Tuesday, June 27, 2017

the price you pay






I heard a man say a poem once, he said,
All that lives is holy.’



—John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath


 

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A cat, when it walks—did you ever see a cat making an aesthetic mistake? 
Did you ever see a badly formed cloud?
Were the stars ever mis-arranged? 

When you watch the foam breaking on the seashore, did it ever make a bad pattern? 
Never. 

And yet we think in what we do, we make mistakes. And we’re worried about that. 
So there came this point in human evolution when we lost our innocence. 

When we lost this thing that the cats and the flowers have, and had to think about it, 
and had to purposely arrange and discipline and push our lives around in accordance
with foresight and words and systems of symbols, accountancy, calculation and so on,
and then we worry. 


And this, though, also, is the price you pay for knowing that you know. For being able to think about thinking, being able to feel about feeling. And so you’re in this funny position. 

–Alan Watts 
The Nature of Consciousness





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everything done





 
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Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.
This is the time
For you to compute the impossibility
That there is anything
But Grace.

Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Is sacred.


–Hafiz



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i want to say








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Of all the pitfalls in our paths and the tremendous delays and wanderings off the track I want to say that they are not what they seem to be. I want to say that all that seems like fantastic mistakes are not mistakes, all that seems like error is not error; and it all has to be done. That which seems like a false step is the next step.

–Agnes Martin
Writings









Imagine better than the best you know. —Neville Goddard






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I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

–Henry David Thoreau
Walden: Or, Life in the Woods


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ask me, excerpt

 




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Some time when the river is ice
ask me mistakes I have made.
Ask me whether what I have done is my life.
Others have come
in their slow way
into my thought,
and some have tried to help or to hurt:
ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.
I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait.
We know the current is there, hidden;
and there are comings and goings from miles
away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.


–William Stafford



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you are the music





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For most of us, there is only the unattended

Moment, the moment in and out of time,

The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,

The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning

Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply

That it is not heard at all, but you are the music

While the music lasts.


–T. S. Eliot



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looking closely






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Every particle of the world is a mirror,
In each atom lies the blazing light
of a thousand suns.
Cleave the heart of a raindrop
a hundred pure oceans will flow forth.

Look closely at a grain of sand,
The seed of a thousand beings can be seen.
The foot of an ant is larger than an elephant;
In essence, a drop of water 

Is no different than the Nile.

In the heart of a barley-corn
lies the fruit of a hundred harvests;
Within the pulp of a millet seed
an entire universe can be found.

In the wing of a fly, an ocean of wonder;
In the pupil of the eye, an endless heaven.
Though the inner chamber of the heart is small,
the Lord of both worlds

gladly makes his home there.



–Mahmud Shabestari




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The Square
Soekmin Ko
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Sunday, June 25, 2017

)






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A physicist is just an atom’s way of looking at itself.

—Niels Bohr




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frothy wakings







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Tracks made by atomic particles from a particle accelerator, a device that speeds up the particles. The eye can’t see protons, electrons, and other subatomic particles, but a camera records their frothy wakes in a chamber of liquefied neon and hydrogen at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. Physicists study the tracks to learn about the characteristics of the particles that produced them.  –National Geographic 1978








the stars write





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I am a man: little do I last
and the night is enormous.
But I look up:
the stars write.
Unknowing I understand:
I too am written,
and at this very moment
someone spells me out.



–Octavio Paz



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all things






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All things in this creation exist within you, and all things in you exist in creation; there is no border between you and the closest things, and there is no distance between you and the farthest things, and all things, from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, are within you as equal things.
In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence.

–Kahlil Gibran



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tighten to nothing







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All things
are too small
to hold me,
I am so vast
In the Infinite
I reach
for the Uncreated
I have
touched it,
it undoes me
wider than wide

Everything else
is too narrow
You know this well,
you who are also there


Tighten
to nothing
the circle
that is
the world's things

Then the Naked
circle
can grow wide,
enlarging,
embracing all



–Hadewijch, l or ll (13th Century)
Jane Hirshfield version
Women in Praise of the Sacred:
43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women





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the little space within the heart







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The little space within the heart is
as great as the vast universe. 

The heavens and the earth are there,
and the sun and the moon and the stars. 

Fire and lightening and winds are there,
and all that now is and all that is not.


–The Upanishads




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every thing

 




And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well


–Julian of Norwich, 1342 – 1416



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We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;

At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.

Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)

And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well

When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

–T. S. Eliot
Little Gidding






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so





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So a little spring prays to the ocean, so the beating heart prays to the heart of the universe, so the little word prays to the great Logos, so a dust speck prays to the earth, so the earth prays to the cosmos, so the one prays to the billion, so human love prays to God’s love, so always prays to never, so the moment prays to eternity, so the snowflake prays to winter, so the frightened beast prays to the forest silence, so uncertainty prays to beauty itself.

And all these prayers are heard.



Anna Kamieńska
In the Great River: A Notebook



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beloveds






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For small creatures such as we,
the vastness is bearable only through love.

–Carl Sagan



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Saturday, June 24, 2017

shapes and variations

 



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What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just appearances.

The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist.



–Erwin Schrodinger
Quantum Theory


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conditions






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By itself nothing has existence.
Everything needs its own absence.

To be is to be distinguishable, to be here and not there,
to be now and not then, to be thus and not otherwise.

Like water is shaped by the container, so is everything
determined by conditions (gunas).


–Nisargadatta Maharaj



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when






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When I was the stream, when I was the
forest, when I was still the field,
when I was every hoof, foot,
fin and wing, when I
was the sky
itself,

no one ever asked me did I have a purpose, no one ever
wondered was there anything I might need,
for there was nothing
I could not
love.


It was when I left all we once were that
the agony began, the fear and questions came,
and I wept, I wept. And tears
I had never known
before.
So I returned to the river, I returned to
the mountains. I asked for their hand in marriage again,
I begged—I begged to wed every object and creature,

and when they accepted,
God was ever present in my arms.
And He did not say,
“Where have you been?”

For then I knew my soul—every soul—
has always held Him.



–Meister Eckhart
Daniel Ladinsky version




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no new thing





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There is nothing new you will find here. The work we are doing is timeless. It was the same ten thousand years ago. Centuries roll on …


–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


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laws of harmony






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So the subatomic particles we see in nature, the quartz, the electrons are nothing but musical notes on a tiny vibrating string.

What is physics? Physics is nothing but the laws of harmony that you can write on vibrating strings. 


What is chemistry? Chemistry is nothing but the melodies you can play on interacting vibrating strings.

What is the universe?

The universe is a symphony of vibrating strings and then what is the mind of God? Its the cosmic music resonating through eleven dimensional hyperspace.



–Michio Kaku




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look





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...  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)




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Nothing is, everything is becoming. –Heraclitus of Ephesus





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I see nothing but Becoming.
Be not deceived!


It is the fault of your limited outlook and not the fault of the essence of things if you believe that you see firm land anywhere in the ocean of Becoming and Passing.

You need names for things, just as if they had a rigid permanence, but the very river in which you bathe a second time is no longer the same one which you entered before.


—Heraclitus


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the net for all things





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The mouse-soul is nothing but a nibbler.
To the mouse is given a mind proportionate to its need,
for without need, the Almighty God
does not give anything to anyone.

Need, then, is the net for all things that exist:
man has tools in proportion to his need.
So, quickly, increase your need, needy one,
that the sea of abundance may surge up in loving kindness.


–Rumi


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not to worry





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A thousand times I have ascertained and found it to be true: the affairs of this world are really nothing into nothing.

Still though, we should dance.


–Hafiz


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Friday, June 23, 2017

question





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You ask me how to pray to someone who is not.
All I know is that prayer constructs a velvet bridge
And walking it we are aloft, as on a springboard,
Above landscapes the color of ripe gold
Transformed by a magic stopping of the sun.
That bridge leads to the shore of Reversal
Where everything is just the opposite and the word 'is'
Unveils a meaning we hardly envisioned.
Notice: I say we; there, every one, separately,
Feels compassion for others entangled in the flesh
And knows that if there is no other shore
We will walk that aerial bridge all the same.


Czesław Miłosz
Robert Hass translation



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seduction






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Only
That Illumined
One
Who keeps
Seducing the formless into form
Had the charm to win my
Heart.

Only a Perfect One
Who is always
Laughing at the word
Two
Can make you know
Of
Love.


–Hafiz


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form-ulas





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I used to sit in the cafe of existentialism,
lost in a blue cloud of cigarette smoke,
contemplating the suicide a tiny Frenchman
might commit by leaping from the rim of my brandy glass.

I used to hunger to be engaged
as I walked the long shaded boulevards,
eyeing women of all nationalities,
a difficult paperback riding in my raincoat pocket.

But these days I like my ontology in an armchair,
a rope hammock, or better still, a warm bath
in a cork-lined room--disengaged, soaking
in the calm, restful waters of speculation.

Afternoons, when I leave the house
for the woods, I think of Aquinas at his desk,
fingers interlocked upon his stomach,
as he deduces another proof for God's existence,

intricate as the branches of these bare November trees.
And as I kick through the leaves and snap
the windfallen twigs, I consider Leibniz on his couch
reaching the astonishing conclusion that monads,

those windowless units of matter, must have souls.
But when I finally reach the top of the hill
and sit down on the flat tonnage of this boulder,
I think of Spinoza, most rarefied of them all.

I look beyond the treetops and the distant ridges
and see him sitting in a beam of Dutch sunlight
slowly stirring his milky tea with a spoon.
Since dawn he has been at his bench grinding lenses,

but now he is leaving behind the saucer and table,
the smokey chimneys and tile roofs of Amsterdam,
even the earth itself, pale blue, aqueous,
cloud-enshrined, titled back on the stick of its axis.

He is rising into that high dome of thought
where loose pages of Shelley float on the air,
where all the formulas of calculus unravel,
tumbling in the radiance of a round Platonic sun--

that zone just below the one where angels accelerate
and the ampitheatrical rose of Dante unfolds.
And now I stand up on the ledge to salute you, Spinoza,
and when I whistle to the dog and start down the hill,

I can feel the thick glass of your eyes upon me
as I step from the rock to glacial rock, and on her
as she sniffs her way through the leaves,
her tail straight back, her body low to the ground.


–Billy Collins
philosophy

The Art of Drowning




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in-formation






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These forms we seem to be are cups floating in an ocean
of living consciousness.

They fill and sink without leaving an arc of bubbles or any good-bye spray. What we are is that ocean, too near to see, though we swim in it and drink it in.
Don't be a cup with a dry rim, or someone who rides all night and never knows the horse beneath his thighs, the surging that carries him along.


–Rumi
cup and ocean

Mathnawi 1, 1109-16
Coleman Barks version



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Thirteen

 



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The tiny particles which form the vast universe are not tiny at all.
Neither is the vast universe vast.
These are notions of the mind, which is like a knife,
always chipping away at the Tao,
trying to render it graspable and manageable.
But that which is beyond form is ungraspable, and
that which is beyond knowing is unmanageable.
There is, however, this consolation:
She who lets go of the knife will find the Tao at her
fingertips.

–Lao Tzu
Hua Hu Ching



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renunciation






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What birds plunge through is not the intimate space,
in which you see all Forms intensified.
(In the Open, denied, you would lose yourself,
would disappear into that vastness.)

Space reaches from us and translates Things:
to become the very essence of a tree,
throw inner space around it, from that space
that lives in you. 
Encircle it with restraint.
It has no limits. For the first time, shaped
in your renouncing, it becomes fully tree.


–Rainer Maria Rilke
Gabriel Caffrey version





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