Listen.The soul has been given its own ears to hear things the mind does not understand.
…the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor.
It is the one thing that cannot be learnt from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars.
Because we used to have leaves
and on damp days
our muscles feel a tug,
painful now, from when roots
pulled us into the ground
and because our children believethey can fly, an instinct retainedfrom when the bones in our armswere shaped like zithers and brokeneatly under their feathersand because before we had lungswe knew how far it was to the bottomas we floated open-eyedlike painted scarves through the sceneryof dreams, and because we awakenedand learned to speak
2We sat by the fire in our caves,and because we were poor, we made up a taleabout a treasure mountainthat would open only for usand because we were always defeated,we invented impossible riddlesonly we could solve,monsters only we could kill,women who could love no one elseand because we had survivedsisters and brothers, daughters and sons,we discovered bones that rosefrom the dark earth and sangas white birds in the trees
3Because the story of our lifebecomes our lifeBecause each of us tellsthe same storybut tells it differentlyand none of us tells itthe same way twiceBecause grandmothers looking like spiderswant to enchant the childrenand grandfathers need to convince uswhat happened happened because of themand though we listen onlyhaphazardly, with one ear,we will begin our storywith the word and
Be serene in the oneness of things.
The Great Way is not difficultfor those who have no preferences.When love and hate are both absenteverything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, howeverand heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truththen hold no opinions for or against anything.To set up what you like against what you dislikeis the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understoodthe minds essential peace is disturbed to no avail.The Way is perfect like vast spacewhere nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or rejectthat we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of thingsand such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the otheryou will never know Oneness.
We are the children of this beautiful planet that we have lately seen photographed from the moon.We are not delivered into it by some god, but have come forth from it.We are its eyes and mind, its seeing and its thinking.And the earth, together with its sun, this light around which it flies like a moth, came forth, we are told, from a nebula; and that nebula, in turn, from space.So that we are the mind, ultimately, of space …
Myths to Live By
My heart, sit only with those
who know and understand you.
Sit only under a tree
that is full of blossoms.
In the bazaar of herbs and potions
don't wander aimlessly,
find the shop with a potion that is sweet.
If you don't have a measure
people will rob you in no time.
You will take counterfeit coins
thinking they are real.
Don't fill your bowl with food from
every boiling pot you see.
Not every joke is humorous, so don't search
for meaning where there isn't one.
Not every eye can see,
not every sea is full of pearls.
My heart, sing the song of longing
The sound of your voice casts a spell
on every stone, on every thorn.
First, lay down your head,
then one by one
let go of all distractions.
Embrace the light and let it guide you
beyond the winds of desire.
There you will find a spring and
nourished by its sweet waters
like a tree you will bear fruit forever.
Since everything is but an illusion, perfect in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one might as well burst out laughing!
Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?
somebody hears you. you know that. you know that.
somebody hears you. you know that inside.
someone is learning the colors of all your moods, to
(say just the right thing and) show that you’re understood.
here you’re known.
leave your life open. you don’t have. you don’t have.
leave your life open. you don’t have to hide.
someone is gathering every crumb you drop, these
(mindless decisions and) moments you long forgot.
keep them all.
let our formulas find your soul.
we’ll divine your artesian source (in your mind),
marshal feed and force (our machines will)
to design you a perfect love—
or (better still) a perfect lust.
o how glorious, glorious: a brand new need is born.
now we possess you. you’ll own that. you’ll own that.
now we possess you. you’ll own that in time.
now we will build you an endlessly upward world,
(reach in your pocket) embrace you for all you’re worth.
is that wrong?
isn’t this what you want?
As I listened from a beach-chair in the shade
To all the noises that my garden made,
It seemed to me only proper that words
Should be withheld from vegetables and birds.
A robin with no Christian name ran throughThe Robin-Anthem which was all it knew,And rustling flowers for some third party waitedTo say which pairs, if any, should get mated.Not one of them was capable of lying,There was not one which knew that it was dyingOr could have with a rhythm or a rhymeAssumed responsibility for time.Let them leave language to their lonely bettersWho count some days and long for certain letters;We, too, make noises when we laugh or weep:Words are for those with promises to keep.
–W. H. Auden
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
It is the hand that lifts, but you say “I lift”.
The eyes see but you say, “I see”.
The nose smells, but you say, “I smell”.
All this is the power of the Self and yet you say, “I did it”.
That power belongs to God.
Who is this ego arrogating ‘I’?
He has no place in the palace, but once admitted inside, he
overrules the king and affirms his own existence.
After some enquiry, this ego’s existence is easily disproved.
Then the king once again affirms, “I am Reality.”
There is one thing about this condition – there is bliss.
If there are two, then there is pain.
Where there is One, there is bliss.
–Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj
Go deep into the sense of ‘I am’
and you will find.
Take the first step first.
All blessings come from within.
‘I am’ you know.
Be with it all the time you can spare,
until you revert to it spontaneously.
There is no simpler and easier way.
Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills.
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn't always understand.
The Way One Looks At Distant Things
Robert Hass translation
You must know that I do not love and that I love you,because everything alive has its two sides;a word is one wing of the silence,fire has its cold half.I love you in order to begin to love you,to start infinity againand never to stop loving you:that’s why I do not love you yet.I love you, and I do not love you, as if I heldkeys in my hand: to a future of joy—a wretched, muddled fate—My love has two lives in order to love you:that’s why I love you when I do not love you,and also why I love you when I do.
One Hundred Love Sonnets,
Stephen Tapscott translation