“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Prophecy without profit

The prophet is beside himself, and breathes into history the words that will not be heard but by those with silent hearts, whose longing for a world more real reminds them daily of the night that has befallen us. Illusions are paraded as truth, and the people cheer. But does not everyone know with ever-increasing clarity the prophet’s voice as their own?

Is the true source of our troubled time that only he has courage enough to shout in the streets, while we ignore it for fear that our petty personality will meet social disgrace? O, but what heights we might reach, but would we open our eyes to the grace of a life divine, whose gifts of light and love can free us from our deluded ways.

And what angel’s message does the prophet trumpet to startle our spirits from their slumber?

Wisdom breathes
A silent Word.
She cries,
And upon the still surface
Of the depths, Her tears
Are heard
By He
Who loves the world
By He,
Who is never
And forever born.
By He,
Who knows that heaven is here
Beneath the stars,
Where light warms the ground,
And reveals the shadow of Beings
Otherwise unseen.

The prophecy is simple in its subtley: heaven is not another world. But nor is hell. We exist in what we know; we live as freely as our fear of dying fails to hold us.






4 responses to “Prophecy without profit”

  1. slpmartin Avatar

    Rather liked the poem and its message…thanks.

  2. Leland BeBee Avatar
    Leland BeBee


    Reading this made my day! It’s exciting to see you expanding your expression to poetic form — the more so because of the message. Echoes resonate from this — of Pascal, Gibran, and Blake (especially so), as well as others who have melded the spiritual and the poetic so effectively. I can’t tarry now to go through the myriad thoughts this has conjured, but I will (perhaps in an email very soon in which to answer your question to me about my SF trip in October, and to address other matters. Watch for that email, if you can, Matt. And, no you had not answered the earlier one, for abundant good reasons. Time is, and there will be time.)

    Keep growing, dear friend!

    Always and always,


    1. matthewdsegall Avatar

      Thanks Leland. I await your email!

  3. Thinking the Holocaust with Schelling… | Footnotes 2 Plato Avatar

    […] state’s role in that situation (something I separate from the Jewish religious tradition: prophets are not politicians), that kept me from accepting citizenship there. Mostly though it was my spiritually formative […]

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