Goodness Depends on You to Make It Great

By Peter Y. Chou,

Line in Poem Literary Sources
Where are the holy ones?
Who can behold the breadth of heaven,
measure the number of its stars,
and find where this universe rests?
Book of Enoch 93.11 (105 BC); 93 Million Miles (2003)
Book of Enoch 93.11 (105 BC)
Book of Enoch 93.11 (105 BC)
Book of Enoch 93.11 (105 BC)
Let there be a firmament of waters—

the rivers raise their voices,
their thunders greater than oceans,
and water overflows everywhere.
Genesis I.6 (KJV: 93rd word = Let);
Melville, Moby Dick, Ch. 93 (1851)
Psalms 93 (1000 B.C.)
Psalms 93 (1000 B.C.)
Bhagavad Gita, Verse 93 (c. 400 BC)
Where does your garden grow?
The angels call them rainbows,
a dragon ascends, clouds rise,
and under heaven— good fortune.
Jared Leto's 30 Seconds to Mars, 93 Million Miles (2003)
Emily Dickinson, Letter 93 (1852)
Ling Ch'i Ching, Trigraph 93 (c. 419 AD)
Ling Ch'i Ching, Trigraph 93 (c. 419 AD)
Tell me the secrets that you know—
the earth's distance from the sun,
Leonardo's golden section, Parthenon,
Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge.
30 Seconds to Mars, 93 Million Miles (2003)
A.U. = 93 million miles
93rd & 94th digits of Phi, φ = 93
Jonathan Swift counted 93 stones at Stonehenge
The wondrous ascending descending
wandering, yearning, exploring
the mystery of the Ineffable—
why the stars and winds are born?
E. Dickinson Poem 93 (1859); Whitman India, Line 89 (1871)
Walt Whitman, Passage to India, Line 93 (1871)
Pistis Sophia Ch. 93 (c. 150 AD)
Pistis Sophia Ch. 93 (c. 150 AD)
Wisdom reveals joyous eternities,
the Gods preserve us with blessings—
flowers satiated with morning dew,
ambrosia and rosy nectar.
Melville, Moby Dick, Ch. 93 (1851)
Rig Veda, VII.93.8 (c. 1500 B.C.)
Emily Dickinson, Letter 93 (1852)
Homer, Odyssey V.93 (850 BC)
The wise without desires, full of bliss
content resting in the inner self
realizing enlightened emptiness
like birds soaring without a trace.
Patanjali, Yoga Sutra, Aphroism 93 (c. 200 BC)
Astavakra Gita, XVIII.93 (c. 400 BC)
Buddha, Dhammapada, Verse 93 (240 BC)
Buddha, Dhammapada, Verse 93 (240 BC)
Can virtue and goodness be taught?
Can the human soul be attuned?
Keep company with the sages,
your love will come to help you.
Plato, Meno, 93b (380 BC)
Plato, Phaedo, 93c (360 BC)
Kabir, Slokas, 93 (1518)
Hafiz, Divan, Verse 93 (1389)
Love is a gift, wisdom its offspring.
Perform a dance, make some bows,
hold goodness firmly within you—
It depends on you to make it great.
William of Auvergne, Trinity, 93 (1249)
Blue Cliff Records, Case 93 (1052)
Chu Hsi, Chin-ssu lu, Section 93 (1175)
Chu Hsi, Chin-ssu lu, Section 93 (1175)
Contemplation— the yogi's food,
not by your will but by Grace—
artha, kama, dharma, moksha
celestial man— tranquil & peaceful.
Santideva, Bodhicaryavatara IX.93 (700 AD)
Paul Brunton, Notebooks, XV.i.4.93 (1988)
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake, 93.22 (1939)
Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia, 93 (1837)
The night covered with darkness,
the day has dawned for the journey—
fifty years or fifty lifetimes
you'll find the center of stillness
Mohammed, Koran, 93.2 (c. 700 AD)
Tagore, Gitanjali, Verse 93 (1912)
Paul Brunton, Notebooks, XV.ii.1.93 (1988)
Paul Brunton, Notebooks, XV.ii.4.93 (1988)
in vertical mind intersecting
horizontal time— the now-moment
absence of presence-and-absence
delusions gone— no minds, no forms
Wei Wu Wei, Ask the Awakened, Ch. 93 (1963)
Wei Wu Wei, Ask the Awakened, Ch. 93 (1963)
Wei Wu Wei, Ask the Awakened, Ch. 93 (1963)
Lankavatara Sutra: Sagathakam, Verse 93 (440 AD)
from skin to bone to marrow
ponder on the void and be joyous
that you're no longer on earth but
swifter than lightning returning home
Chao Chou, Sayings of Joshu, 93 (897)
Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, p. 93 (1123)
Dante, Paradiso I.91 (1321)
Dante, Paradiso I.93 (1321)
to some great marvelous adventure
music of such sweet delight
sweet love dwelling in Eve's apple
sprout of the tree— spirit of life.
Sir Gawain & the Green Knight, Line 93 (1400)
Pearl Poet, The Pearl, Line 93 (1400)
Shakespeare, Sonnet 93 (1616)
Wang Yang Ming, Ch'uan-hsi lu, I.93 (1518)
The first blossoms of the year
from burweeds butterflies are born
the air sublime, our souls all light
a beautiful, bounteous, blue day!
Basho's Haiku, 93 (1678)
Poems of Issa, Haiku 93 (1827)
Thomas Cole's Poetry, Poem 93 (1848)
Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Ch. 93 (1851)
a sigh, a weep, an arrow of song
the new is the true— so kiss me
a kiss that would linger long
O blossoming tree— I'll dance & sing
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake, 93.22 (1939)
e. e. cummings, 95 Poems, Poem 93 (1958)
Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets, 93 (1960)
e. e. cummings, 95 Poems, Poem 93 (1958)

Notes to the Poem:

For the context of sources for the lines in this poem, consult On the Number 93 to see how this poem was constructed. What unites the writers quoted in this poem is the number 93. That is, the writer's words appeared in verse 93, sonnet 93, chapter 93, line 93, or page 93. It was exhilarating assembling this poem together from the words of my favorite poets, philosophers, and sages. I'm still learning from this puzzle poem and hope that readers will find much insights and inspiration.

stanzas 1-5: Not by design but chance were the four elements of ancient Greece invoked in these opening stanzas. 1st stanza: stars (fire); 2nd stanza: rivers, oceans (water); 3rd stanza: rainbows, dragon, clouds (water); 4th stanza: Pyramids, Stonehenge (earth); 5th stanza: ascending, descending, wandering, winds (air).

Who can behold the breadth of heaven?: This line of questions on heaven's mysteries in the 93rd Book of Enoch (105 BC) is repeated in Chapter 93 of Pistis Sophia (150 AD). Similar questions may be found earlier in Chapters 38-39 of The Book of Job (c. 700 BC)

Tell me the secrets that you know—: This is the second line of the song "93 Million Miles" by Jared Leto's band 30 Seconds to Mars (Simba Records, 2003). The secret discovered here while compiling "On the Number 93" was that the 93rd & 94th digits of phi, φ = 93. Since Leonardo da Vinci found the golden section of φ = 1.618... in numerous parts of the human anatomy, and the ancient architects used φ in constructing the Egyptian Pyramids and the Greek Parthenon, we may speculate the Divine Architect placing our Earth 93 million miles from the Sun (AU) in designing this cosmos. Since π and φ are transcendental numbers, we may say that 93 is a sacred number. It's interesting that the astronomical unit (AU) is also the chemical symbol for gold (Au).

artha, kama, dharma, moksha: These four Sanskrit words appear in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, 93.22: They are the four purusarthas or "goals of life"artha = wealth, gain; kama = desire, lust, craving; dharma = cosmic law or Buddha's teachings; moksha = liberation of ego or enlightenment to Cosmic Self. Joyce follows these words with "Ask Kavya for the kay." Kavya is a style of Classical Sanskrit poetry, but its etymology kavyam = inspiration, poem and kavi = seer, poet. Whereas the traditional yogic path follows Buddha's teaching (dharma) to rid oneself of material gain (artha) and desires (kama) to attain liberation (moksha), Joyce is telling us "Ask the poet-seer for the key" to enlightenment. It's interesting that Joyce placed these Sanskrit words at line 22 of page 93— since 22 is the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet and the number of major arcana Tarot cards.

celestial man— tranquil & peaceful: Swedenborg's "celestial man" is the enlightened sage with cosmic consciousness. Having conquered ego cravings and desires, he is tranquil and peaceful. Characteristics of the sage (celestial man) are described in Buddha's Dhammapada, Canto VII "The Holy One", Verses 90-99, Chuang Tzu, Chapters 13 & 25, and Paul Brunton's Notebooks: Volume 15: Advanced Contemplation / The Peace within You.

vertical mind intersecting horizontal time: This is the symbol of the cross, Christ's crucifixion— the horizontal representing time or Jesus, the Son on Earth, the vertical representing eternity or Christ, one with the Father in Heaven. The now-moment is not in serial time but outside of time in eternity. An example would be the wave rising and falling in time, but water is timeless in eternity.

swifter than lightning returning home: This is Beatrice's reminder to Dante who has doubt in his ascension to heaven. She tells him that he's not earth-bound, but a spiritual being of light that can travel faster than lightning in his journey home back to the Celestial Empyrean (Paradiso, Canto I).

absence of presence-and-absence: If all the positive numbers are considered "presence" and the negative numbers considered as "absence", then the absence of "presence-and-absence" or "positive-and-negative" is zero or the Void which Wei Wu Wei calls the "inconceivable truth". Milarepa sang to the pigeons, "contemplate the void with joyful hearts" (Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, p. 93).

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (6-1-2004)