Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Blood Meridian, excerpt





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The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part. Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way. For existence has its own order and that no man’s mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others.


—Cormac McCarthy


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rebirth, excerpt





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In our souls everything
moves guided by a mysterious hand.

We know nothing of our own souls
that are ununderstandable and say nothing.


The deepest words
of the wise man teach us

the same as the whistle of the wind when it blows


or the sound of the water when it is flowing.


–Antonio Machado


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image Riitta Ikonen
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palm


 



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Interior of the hand.
Sole that has come to walk
only on feelings. That faces upward
and in its mirror
receives heavenly roads, which travel
along themselves.

That has learned to walk upon water
when it scoops,
that walks upon wells,
transfiguring every path.

That steps into other hands,
changes those that are like it
into a landscape:
wanders and arrives within them,
fills them with arrival.


–Rainer Maria Rilke



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the highest teaching





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From joy all beings have come.
In joy all beings are sustained.
To joy all beings return. 

This is the highest teaching.
This is the highest teaching.


—The Upanishads


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failure to see





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Rather the flying bird, leaving no trace
Than the going beast
Marking the earth with his track.

The bird flies by and forgets
(As is only right). The beast
Where he no longer is
(And is therefore no use)
Marks that he was there before
(Which is also no use).

For to remember is to betray
Nature, since the nature of yesterday
Is not nature.
What has been, is nothing.
Remembering
Is failure to see.

Move on, bird, move on, teach me
To move on.



–Fernando Pessoa
Thomas Merton translation



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doctrine





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Believe nothing merely because you have been told it.
Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. 
But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, and conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take as your guide.


–Buddhist teaching


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three things





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In the end only three things matter:

how fully you have lived,
how deeply you have loved and
how well you have learned to let go

–Buddhist teaching



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oh well ...





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Every spiritual wisdom tradition from time immemorial has pointed out in its own creative way that grasping onto the idea of intrinsic, independent existence─both in the seemingly objective outer world and within the subjective domain of our own selves─is the fundamental mental affliction, the root cause of our self-created delusion with all of its concomitant suffering.

Clinging onto the idea that we exist in a way that we simply do not is a deeply entrenched unconscious disposition, a habitual pattern that at a certain point gains enough momentum to develop a seeming autonomy such that it re-generates itself, as we invest our life force into an illusory identity and unconsciously recreate it moment by moment.

These same spiritual wisdom traditions point out that the realization of what in Buddhism is called “emptiness”─the lack of intrinsic, independent objective existence of both the outer world as well as ourselves─is the fundamental cure for our psychic dis-ease.
In discovering that there is no objective world out there and no objective subject in here, quantum physics is discovering the medicine─the fundamental cure─for the psycho-spiritual illness that ails our species.

–Paul Levy








not to worry





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Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.

It will not lead you astray.


—Rumi

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

aimless love








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This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table. 

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle. 

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone. 

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel. 

No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida. 

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
just a twinge every now and then 
for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit. 

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow. 

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap, 
so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.

I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.


–Billy Collins




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The Waking





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I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.
Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.


–Theodore Roethke


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Friday I tasted life






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Friday I tasted life.
It was a vast morsel. 
A Circus passed the house —-
still I feel the red in my mind though the drums are out. 
The Lawn is full of south and the odors tangle,
and I hear to-day for the first time
the river in the tree.



–Emily Dickinson



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to thy self





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Know yourself as Nothing.

Feel yourself as Everything.


—Alan Watts


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De Rerum Virtute, II, excerpt





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I believe the first living cell
Had echoes of the future in it, and felt
Direction and the great animals, the deep green forest
And whale’s-track sea; I believe this globed earth
Not all by chance and fortune brings forth her broods,
But feels and chooses. And the Galaxy, the firewheel
On which we are pinned, the whirlwind of stars in which our sun is one dust-grain, one electron, this giant atom of the universe
Is not blind force, but fulfils its life and intends its courses. “All things are full of God.
Winter and summer, day and night, war and peace are God.”


–Robinson Jeffers


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messages






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A story is like water
that you heat for your bath.
It takes messages between the fire
and your skin. It lets them meet,
and it cleans you!
Very few can sit down
in the middle of the fire itself
like a salamander or Abraham.
We need intermediaries.


A feeling of fullness comes,
but it usually takes some bread
to bring it.
Beauty surrounds us,
but usually we need to be walking
in a garden to know it.
The body itself is a screen
to shield and partially reveal
the light that’s blazing
inside your presence.
Water, stories, the body,
all the things we do, are mediums
that hide and show what’s hidden.
Study them,
and enjoy being washed
with a secret we sometimes know,
and then not.


–Rumi
Coleman Barks version



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presently


 

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Wherefore a man can know nothing by himself, save after a natural manner, which is only that which he attains by means of the senses. For this cause he must have the phantasms and the forms of objects present in themselves and in their likenesses; otherwise it cannot be, for, as philosophers say: Ab objecto et potentia paritur notitia. That is: From the object that is present and from the faculty, knowledge is born in the soul. Wherefore, if one should speak to a man of things which he has never been able to understand, and whose likeness he has never seen, he would have no more illumination from them whatever than if naught had been said of them to him.

–John of the Cross
(1542 - 1591)







blessed ones, whole ones





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You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing
that is more than your own.
Let it brush your cheeks
as it divides and rejoins beside you.
Blessed ones, whole ones,
you where the heart begins:
You are the bow that shoots the arrows
and you are the target.
Fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back
into the earth;
for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.
The trees you planted in childhood have grown
too heavy. You cannot bring them along.
Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.



–Rainer Maria Rilke
Sonnets to Orpheus, Part One, IV



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this love






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Those who don't feel this Love
pulling them like a river,
those who don't drink dawn
like a cup of spring water
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don`t want to change,

 
let them sleep

This Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
If you want to improve your mind that way,


sleep on

I've given up on my brain.
I've torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.


If you're not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
around you,


and sleep.


–Rumi



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Monday, December 5, 2016

a happy birthday






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This evening, I sat by an open window and read till the light was gone and the book was no more than a part of the darkness. I could easily have switched on a lamp, but I wanted to ride this day down into night, to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page with the pale gray ghost of my hand.

–Ted Kooser

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assurance





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You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes. Yellow
pulls across the hills and thrums,
or in the silence after lightning before it says
its names — and then the clouds’ wide-mouthed
apologies. You were aimed from birth:

you will never be alone. Rain
will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,
long aisles — you never heard so deep a sound,
moss on rock, and years. You turn your head —
that’s what the silence meant: you’re not alone.
The whole wide world pours down.


–William Stafford


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not to worry






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Come, live in my heart, and pay no rent.

—Samuel Lover



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questions





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Change your ways of feeling and thinking, take stock of them and examine them closely. You are in bondage by inadvertence.

Attention liberates. You are taking so many things for granted.

Begin to question. The most obvious things are the most doubtful.
Ask yourself such questions as:

‘Was I really born?
‘Am I really so-and-so?’
‘How do I know that I exist?
‘Who are my parents?’
‘Have they created me, or have I created them?’
‘Must I believe all I am told about myself?’
‘Who am I, anyhow?’.

You have put so much energy into building a prison for yourself. Now spend as much on demolishing it. In fact, demolition is easy, for the false dissolves when it is discovered.


–Nisargadatta Maharaj



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considering ...





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What is called the world is only thought.

–Ramana Maharshi


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dear ones



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Live to the point of tears.

—Albert Camus


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hush





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Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say: “Be more silent.” 

Die and be quiet. 

Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died. 

Your old life was a frantic running from silence. 
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. 

Live in silence.


–Rumi

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life is like music






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Life is like music for its own sake. 

We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.


–Alan Watts

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really





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Time is only an idea. There is only the Reality.

Whatever you think it is, it looks like that. If you call it time, it is time.
If you call it existence, it is existence, and so on. After calling it time, you divide it into days and nights, months, years, hours, minutes, etc.

Time is immaterial for the Path of Knowledge. But some of these rules and discipline are good for beginners.


―Sri Ramana Maharshi


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Sunday, December 4, 2016

The problem is not to find the answer, it’s to face the answer. —Terence McKenna





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Inside the river is there a river? -
it could follow slow water the way
the real current follows a stiller
shore. And in your life the life that
hurries could pass, and pass its
open neighbor the earth, and its shore
the sky. To be here, and always to find
places in the current, the dreams
the river has - surely we bubbles
ought to tell about it?

Listen: One of the rooms the river has
after its bridge and its bend in the mountains
is a place waiting for the sun every
afternoon, when the sun dwells
at a slant under a log and finds
that little yellow room and a waterbug
trying to learn circles but never making
one its shadow approves. Miles later
the river tries to recall that dream,
turning with all of its twisting self
that found gravel and found it good.

Just before the ocean that river
turns on its back and side and slowly
invites the world and the air and the sky,
trying to give away everything, everything.


–William Stafford



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beauty
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the timeless level of reality





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The inescapable suggestion is that reality has both local and nonlocal aspects; that there exists a more fundamental level than our macroscopic world, which corresponds to Heisenberg’s potentia, Bohm’s implicate order, Seth’s Framework 2, and the world of light outside Plato’s cave.

All of these denote the timeless level of reality, the world of the wave function before collapse – the level from which, through the act of observation, our three-dimensional world is created.


—Norman Friedman
The Hidden Dimension


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merrily, merrily






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Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. I cannot count one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.

–Henry David Thoreau
from Walden: Where I lived and What I lived for


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