is it true
that your mind is sometimes like
a battering ram
running all through the city,
shouting so madly inside and out
about the ten thousand things
that do not matter?
The appearance of water in a mirage persists after the fact that it is a mirage has dawned on us. So it is with the world.
Though knowing it to be unreal, it continues to manifest - but we do not try to satisfy our thirst with the water of the mirage.
As soon as one knows that it is a mirage, one gives it up as useless and does not run after it to get water.
And a poet said, Speak to us of Beauty.
And he answered:
Where shall you seek beauty, and howshall you find her unless she herself be yourway and your guide?And how shall you speak of her exceptshe be the weaver of your speech?The aggrieved and injured say,"Beauty is kind and gentle."The tired and weary say,"Beauty is of soft whisperingsShe speaks in our spirit."In winter say the snow-bound,"She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."All these things have you said of beauty,Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,But rather an image you see, though youclose your eyes and a song you hear, thoughyou shut your ears.People of Orphalese,beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.But you are life and you are the veil.Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
–Kahlil Gibranfrom The Prophet
Every second, hundreds of billions of these neutrinos pass through each square inch of our bodies, coming from above during the day and from below at night, when the sun is shining on the other side of the earth!
—M.A. Ruderman and A.H. Rosenfeld
An Explanatory Statement on Elementary Particle Physics,
Neutrinos they are very small.
They have no charge and have no mass
And do not interact at all.
The earth is just a silly ball
To them, through which they simply pass,
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
Or photons through a sheet of glass.
They snub the most exquisite gas,
Ignore the most substantial wall,
Cold-shoulder steel and sounding brass,
Insult the stallion in his stall,
And, scorning barriers of class,
Infiltrate you and me! Like tall
And painless guillotines, they fall
Down through our heads into the grass.
At night, they enter at Nepal
And pierce the lover and his lass
From underneath the bed — you call
It wonderful; I call it crass.
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.
World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes -
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands -
There is more than glass between the snow and the roses.
All we have to believe with is our senses: the tools we use to perceive the world, our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end.
The ancient Druids are said to have taken a special interest in in-between things like mistletoe, which is neither quite a plant nor quite a tree, and mist, which is neither quite a rain nor quite air, and dreams, which are neither quite waking nor quite sleep. They believed that in such things as those they were able to glimpse the mystery of the two worlds at once.–Frederick Buechner
Whistling in the Dark
People say, “I’m going to sleep now,” as if it were nothing. But it’s really a bizarre activity. “For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I’m going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.” If you didn’t know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you’d seen. “They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be okay? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the ‘mind adventures’ got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren’t unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.” So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you’re in a science fiction movie. And whisper, ‘The creature is regenerating itself'.
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.
The Garden of Forking Paths is an incomplete, but not false, image of the universe as Ts’ui Pen conceived it.
In contrast to Newton and Schopenhauer, your ancestor did not believe in a uniform, absolute time. He believed in an infinite series of times, in a growing, dizzying net of divergent, convergent and parallel times. This network of times, which approached one another, forked, broke off, or were unaware of one another for centuries, embraces all possibilities of time.
We do not exist in the majority of these times; in some you exist, and not I; in others I, not you; in others, both of us.
Through our daily rambles on the web, where each array of links is a bifurcation of alternatives, labyrinthine time has become a familiar part of our lives.
The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler
Revolutionized Time and Reality
Where does unbelief begin?
When I was young
there were degrees of certainty.
I could say, Yes I know that I have two hands.
Then one day I awakened on a planet of people whose hands occasionally
For intervals, then, throughout our lives
we savor a concurrence, the great blending
of our chance selves with what sustains
all chance. We ride the wave and are
the wave. And with renewed belief
inner and outer we find our talk
turned to prayer, our prayer into truth:
for an interval, early, we become at home in the world.
With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning
so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible
–W. S. Merwin
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
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. One fancies a heart like our own must be beating in every crystal and cell, and we feel like stopping to speak to the plants and animals as friendly fellow mountaineers. Nature as a poet, an enthusiastic workingman, becomes more and more visible the farther and higher we go; for the mountains are fountains — beginning places, however related to sources beyond mortal ken.
The universe would be incomplete without man; but it would also be incomplete without the smallest transmicroscopic creature that dwells beyond our conceitful eyes and knowledge… The fearfully good, the orthodox, of this laborious patchwork of modern civilization cry “Heresy” on every one whose sympathies reach a single hair’s breadth beyond the boundary epidermis of our own species. Not content with taking all of earth, they also claim the celestial country as the only ones who possess the kind of souls for which that imponderable empire was planned.
I have never yet happened upon a trace of evidence that seemed to show that any one animal was ever made for another as much as it was made for itself. Not that Nature manifests any such thing as selfish isolation. In the making of every animal the presence of every other animal has been recognized. Indeed, every atom in creation may be said to be acquainted with and married to every other, but with universal union there is a division sufficient in degree for the purposes of the most intense individuality; no matter, therefore, what may be the note which any creature forms in the song of existence, it is made first for itself, then more and more remotely for all the world and worlds.
The scenery of the ocean, however sublime in vast expanse, seems far less beautiful to us dry-shod animals than that of the land seen only in comparatively small patches; but when we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
from Nature Writings
This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.
Please bring strange things.
Please come bringing new things.
Let very old things come into your hands.
Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
Let desert sand harden your feet.
Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
and the ways you go be the lines on your palms.
Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
and your outbreath be the shining of ice.
May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.
May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
Walk carefully, well loved one,
walk mindfully, well loved one,
walk fearlessly, well loved one.
Return with us, return to us,
be always coming home.
–Ursula Le Guin
Always Coming Home