Tuesday, May 30, 2023

the song sings the singer

Arnhem Land Rock Art, Australia


Karl Jaspers calls the primal connection that the first people had with the universe Pre-Axial Consciousness. David Suzuki finds this Pre-Axial Consciousness among aboriginal people today as well.

"Aboriginal people do not believe they end at their skin or fingertips. The earth as mother is real to them, and their history, culture and purpose are embodied in the land. The aboriginal sense of the interconnection of everything in the world is also readily demonstrable and irrefutable scientifically."

Indeed, the new quantum physics reveals, as Ilia Delio says, that "matter is not composed of basic building blocks but complicated webs of relations. Interconnectedness lies at the core of all that exists." 

—Fr. Richard Rohr


My grandma told me that the Universe is singing in the snowflakes, the raindrops, in the trees, the water, and all Creation. Physicists call this holistic holographic universe. Lakotas call it Taku Wakan Skan Skan/Mitakuye Oyasin, which means everything is connected and related in divine rhythm, vibration. Remember the Lakotas know that the song sings the singer. The Spirit sings the song.

—Basil Braveheart



It is better not to view a particle as a permanent entity, but rather as an instantaneous event. Sometimes these events link together to create the illusion of permanent entities.

[...] 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


"The idealist, in speaking of events, sees them as spirits. He does not deny the sensuous fact: by no means; but he will not see that alone. He does not deny the presence of this table, this chair, and the walls of this room, but he looks at these things as the reverse side of the tapestry, as the other end, each being a sequel or completion of a spiritual fact which nearly concerns him. This manner of looking at things transfers every object in nature from an independent and anomalous position without there, into the consciousness.

"As with events, so is it with thoughts. When I watch that flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, I see that I am a pensioner; not a cause, but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look up, and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come."

"Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus. From the mountain you see the mountain. We animate what we can, and we see only what we animate. Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them. It depends on the mood of the man, whether he shall see the sunset or the fine poem. There are always sunsets, and there is always genius; but only a few hours so serene that we can relish nature or criticism."

"It is very unhappy, but too late to be helped, the discovery we have made, that we exist. That discovery is called the Fall of Man. Ever afterwards, we suspect our instruments. We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are, or of computing the amount of their errors. Perhaps these subject-lenses have a creative power; perhaps there are no objects. Once we lived in what we saw; now, the rapaciousness of this new power, which threatens to absorb all things, engages us. Nature, art, persons, letters, religions, - objects, successively tumble in, and God is but one of its ideas. Nature and literature are subjective phenomena; every evil and every good thing is a shadow which we cast."

"Thus inevitably does the universe wear our color, and every object fall successively into the subject itself. The subject exists, the subject enlarges; all things sooner or later fall into place. As I am, so I see; use what language we will, we can never say anything but what we are."



Be a good animal, true to your instincts. —D.H.Lawrence


Everything that happens is the message:
you read an event and be one and wait,
like breasting a wave, all the while knowing
by living, though not knowing how to live.

Or workers built an antenna -- a dish
aimed at stars -- and they themselves are its message,
crawling in and out, being worlds that loom,
dot-dash, and sirens, and sustaining beams.

And sometimes no one is calling but we turn up
eye and ear -- suddenly we fall into
sound before it begins, the breathing
so still it waits there under the breath --

And then the green of leaves calls out, hills
where they wait or turn, clouds in their frenzied
stillness unfolding their careful words:
"Everything counts. The message is the world."

—William Stafford
A Message from Space
from The Worth of Local Things

Monday, May 29, 2023



Lord, the air smells good today,
straight from the mysteries
within the inner courts of God.

A grace like new clothes thrown
across the garden,
free medicine for everybody.

The trees in their prayer,
the birds in praise
the first blue violets kneeling.

Whatever came from Being
is caught up in being,
drunkenly forgetting the way back.

—Jelaluddin Rumi


The time of judging
Who is drunk or sober,
Who is right and who is wrong,
Who is closer to god, and who is farther away,
All that is over.

This caravan is led instead by a great delight,
The simple joy that sits with us now.

That is the grace.



you are a divine being


You are a divine being. You matter, you count.

You come from realms of unimaginable power and light,
and you will return to those realms.

—Terence McKenna


There is no less holiness at this time - as you are reading this - than there was on the day the Red Sea parted, or that day in the 30th year, in the 4th month, on the 5th day of the month as Ezekiel was a captive by the river Cheban, when the heavens opened and he saw visions of god. 
There is no whit less enlightenment under the tree at the end of your street than there was under Buddha’s bo tree. In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant the bush may flare, your feet may rise, or you may see a bunch of souls in trees.

—Annie Dillard
For the Time Being


the spirit is the bouquet of nature


The divine manifestation is ubiquitous, only our eyes are not open to it. Awe is what moves us forward.

Live from your own center. The divine lives within you.
The separateness apparent in the world is secondary.

Beyond the world of opposites is an unseen, but experienced, unity and identity in us all.

You must return with the bliss and integrate it.
The return is seeing that the radiance is everywhere.

The world is a match for us. We are a match for the world.
The spirit is the bouquet of nature.

Sanctify the place you are in.

—Joseph Campbell


Sunday, May 28, 2023



We invented phonetic writing so we could put our sounds down on paper and, by glancing at a page, hear someone speaking in our head—an invention that became so widespread in the last few thousand years that we hardly ever stop to consider how astonishing it is.

—Carl Sagan
Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death


Prior to the advent of brain, there was no color and no sound in the universe, nor was there any flavor or aroma and probably rather little sense and no feeling or emotion. Before brains the universe was also free of pain and anxiety.

—Roger Sperry


There is only Seeing. Both the seer and the seen are contained in it.

—Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj 


Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. Leonardo


The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,

for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
and invisible guests come in and out at will.

—Czesław Miłosz


[T]here is nothing before language, for there is no consciousness, and therefore no world, without a system of signs. In fact, it is the speaking-being that has created this universe, even if language excludes him from it. This means that we are deprived through words of an authentic intimacy with what we are, or with what the Other is.

We need poetry, not to regain this intimacy, which is impossible, but to remember that we miss it and to prove to ourselves the value of those moments when we are able to encounter other people, or trees, or anything, beyond words, in silence.

—Yves Bonnefoy
The Art of Poetry no. 69


As soon as one speaks, as soon as one enters the medium of language, one loses that very singularity.

[...] Once I speak, I am never and no longer myself, alone and unique.

—Jacques Derrida
The Gift of Death




the way is in the heart


All things exist as they are perceived: at least in relation to the percipient. The mind is its own place, and of itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.

But poetry defeats the curse which binds us to be subjected to the accident of surrounding impressions. And whether it spreads its own figured curtain, or withdraws life’s dark veil from before the scene of things, it equally creates for us a being within our being.

It makes us the inhabitants of a world to which the familiar world is a chaos. It reproduces the common universe of which we are portions and percipients, and it purges from our inward sight the film of familiarity which obscures from us the wonder of our being.

It compels us to feel that which we perceive, and to imagine that which we know. It creates anew the universe, after it has been annihilated in our minds by the recurrence of impressions blunted by reiteration.

—Percy Bysshe Shelley
A Defence of Poetry


You are far from the end of your journey.
The way is not in the sky.
The way is in the heart.
See how you love

There is no fire like passion,
No crime like hatred,
No sorrow like separation,
No sickness like hunger,
And no joy like the joy of freedom

All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.

Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakable.

—shakyamuni buddha


Saturday, May 27, 2023

needful things


Making a poem is making an object.

I always thought of them more as drawings than as texts, but drawings that are also physically enterable through the fact of language.

It was another way to think of a book, an object that is as visually real as it is textually real.

—Αnne Carson
at Montreal’s Blue Metropolis Festival, 2016


In fact, it is the speaking-being that has created this universe, even if language excludes him from it. This means that we are deprived through words of an authentic intimacy with what we are, or with what the Other is.

We need poetry, not to regain this intimacy, which is impossible, but to remember that we miss it and to prove to ourselves the value of those moments when we are able to encounter other people, or trees, or anything, beyond words, in silence.

—Yves Bonne


When the world arises in me,
It is just an illusion:
Water shimmering in the sun,
A vein of silver in mother-of-pearl,
A serpent in a strand of rope.

From me the world streams out
And in me it dissolves,
As a bracelet melts into gold,
A pot crumbles into clay,
A wave subsides into water.

—Ashtavakra Gita 2: 9-10


Live to the point of tears. —Albert Camus


The rhyme is the line's birthday, as you know,
and there are certain customary twins
in Russian as in other tongues. For instance,
love automatically rhymes with blood,
nature with liberty, sadness with distance,
humane with everlasting, prince with mud,
moon with a multitude of words, but sun
and song and wind and life and death with none.

—Vladimir Nabokov
An Evening of Russian Poetry


As we are a doomed race, chained to a sinking ship, as the whole thing is a bad joke, let us, at any rate, do our part; mitigate the suffering of our fellow-prisoners; decorate the dungeon with flowers and air-cushions; be as decent as we possibly can.

—Virginia Woolf


the greatest secret


For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers.

The truth - that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.

—Viktor Frankl



Friday, May 26, 2023

everything is magnificent with existence


I said I will find what is lowly
and put the roots of my identity
down there: each day I'll wake up
and find the lowly nearby,
a handy focus and reminder,
a ready measure of my significance,
the voice by which I would be heard,
the wills, the kinds of selfishness
I could
freely adopt as my own:

but though I have looked everywhere,
I can find nothing
to give myself to:
everything is
magnificent with existence, is in
surfeit of glory:
nothing is diminished,
nothing has been diminished for me:

I said what is more lowly than the grass:
ah, underneath,
a ground-crust of dry-burnt moss:
I looked at it closely
and said this can be my habitat: but
nestling in I found
below the brown exterior
green mechanisms beyond the intellect
awaiting resurrection in rain: so I got up

and ran saying there is nothing lowly in the universe:
I found a beggar:
he had stumps for legs: nobody was paying
him any attention: everybody went on by:
I nestled in and found his life:
there, love shook his body like a devastation:
I said
though I have looked everywhere
I can find nothing lowly
in the universe:

I whirled though transfigurations up and down,
transfigurations of size and shape and place:

at one sudden point came still,
stood in wonder:
moss, beggar, weed, tick, pine, self, magnificent
with being!

—A. R. Ammons


you are this


Rest in peace.

You are the unchangeable Awareness in which all activity takes place.

Always rest in peace.

You are eternal Being, unbounded and undivided.
Just keep Quiet. All is well. Keep Quiet Here and Now.

You are Happiness, you are Peace, you are Freedom.
Do not entertain any notions that you are in trouble.

Be kind to yourself. Open to your Heart and simply Be.
Those who know This know Everything.
If not, even the most learned know nothing at all.



Love is the mystery of water and a star. —Pablo Neruda


Love in its essence is spiritual fire. 



In the end these things matter most:

How well did you love?

How fully did you love?

How deeply did you learn to let go?



Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.

Then as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;

Your life will bring heaven to earth.

—The Sutta-Nipāta

Thursday, May 25, 2023

i divide, in the sky, in the the seams, between the beams


Is anyone there
if so
are you real
either way are you
one or several
if the latter
are you all at once
or do you
take turns not answering
is your answer
the question itself
surviving the asking
without end
whose question is it
how does it begin
where does it come from
how did it ever
find out about you
over the sound
of itself
with nothing but its own
ignorance to go by

—W. S. Merwin
To The Soul


you where the heart begins


Human feeling is like the mighty rivers that bless the earth: it does not wait for beauty — it flows with resistless force and brings beauty with it.

—George Eliot


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


wherever you are


Just turn away from all that occupies the mind;

do whatever work you have to complete,
avoid new obligations;

keep empty, keep available,
but resist not what comes uninvited.

—Nisargadatta Maharaj


wherever you are is the entry point



Wednesday, May 24, 2023


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







First, forget what time it is
for an hour
do it regularly every day

then forget what day of the week it is
and do this regularly for a week
then forget what country you are in
and practice doing it in company
for a week
and then do them together
for a week
with as few breaks as possible

follow these by forgetting to add
or to subtract
it makes no difference
you can change them
around after a week
both will help you later
to forget how to count

forget how to count
starting with your own age
starting with how to count backwards
starting with even numbers
with Roman numerals
starting with fractions of Roman numerals
with the old calendar
going on to the old alphabet
going on to the alphabet
forgetting it all until everything
is continuous again

go on to forgetting elements
starting with water
proceeding to earth
rising in fire

forget fire

—W. S. Merwin


People say that the soul, on hearing the song of creation, entered the body, but in reality the soul was the song itself. —Hafiz


I live my life in growing orbits which move out over this wondrous world, I am circling around God, around ancient towers and I have been circling for a thousand years.

And I still don't know if I am an eagle or a storm or a great song.

―Rainer Maria Rilke


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

you are that


Maharaj: There are many persons who have a great attachment to their own individuality. They want first and foremost to remain as an individual and then search, for they are not prepared to lose that individuality. While retaining their identity, they want to find out what is the truth. But in this process, you must get rid of the identity itself.

If you really find out what you are, you will see that you are not an individual, you are not a person, you are not a body. And people who cling to their body identity are not fit for this knowledge.

The names and forms that appear, with different colors and all that, their origin is water. But nobody says I'm water, they say I am the body. But if you see the origin of the body then ultimately the body has appeared only from water. All these plants and everything, all name and forms, they appear from water only. But still people don't identify themselves with water; they say I am the body.

—Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Ultimate Medicine, Dialogues


From the waters everything is made,
both what is manifest and what is Unmanifest. 

Therefore, all manifestation (murti) is water. 

—Prasna Upanishad 1.4-5




Imagining we have free will is
exactly as if water spoke to itself:

I can make waves
(yes! in the sea during a storm),

I can rush downhill
(yes! in the river bed),

I can plunge down foaming and gushing
(yes! in the waterfall),

I can rise freely as a stream of water into the air
(yes! in the fountain),

I can, finally, boil away and disappear
(yes! at a certain temperature);

but I am doing none of these things now,
and am of my own accord remaining quiet
and clear water in the reflecting pond.

—Arthur Schopenhauer




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

—Anne Carson


Monday, May 22, 2023

wholeness is never lost


Forms within the universe, whether galaxies, human beings or trees, are generated as an expression of vast forces at work within a holistic framework. Separateness, fragmentation, and disconnection are all illusions [...] 

Wholeness is never lost, and Health within the human system, which is a manifestation of this unity, is also never lost.

—John Upledger

One day, I will be a bird, and will snatch my being out of my nothingness. The more my wings burn, the more I near my truth and arise from the ashes.

—Mahmoud Darwish


this is the freedom of the universe

The Beautiful Bird Revealing the Unknown to a Pair of Lovers —Joan Miro


There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are.

And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song — but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.

—Pablo Neruda




"To every Form of being is assigned,"
Thus calmly spake the venerable Sage,
"An 'active' Principle:--howe'er removed
From sense and observation, it subsists
In all things, in all natures; in the stars
Of azure heaven, the unenduring clouds,
In flower and tree, in every pebbly stone
That paves the brooks, the stationary rocks,
The moving waters, and the invisible air.

Whate'er exists hath properties that spread
Beyond itself, communicating good,
A simple blessing, or with evil mixed;
Spirit that knows no insulated spot,
No chasm, no solitude; from link to link
It circulates, the Soul of all the worlds.

This is the freedom of the universe;
Unfolded still the more, more visible,
The more we know; and yet is reverenced least,
And least respected in the human Mind,
Its most apparent home."

—William Wordsworth 1770 - 1850
The Excursion, Book 9, excerpt



a half-open door


Cowardice breaks off on its path.
Anguish breaks off on its path.
The vulture breaks off in its flight.

The eager light runs into the open,
even the ghosts take a drink.

And our paintings see the air,
red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Everything starts to look around.
We go out in the sun by hundreds.

Every person is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

The endless field under us.

Water glitters between the trees.

The lake is a window into the earth.

—Tomas Tranströmer
Half-Finished Heaven, excerpt
Robert Bly version


Sunday, May 21, 2023

the lesson of Nature


It is, admittedly, a strange thought: that one could achieve transcendence by immersing oneself in lived experience, that transcendence was not to be found “out there,” but only in a deeper exploration of life.

But this idea is precisely what drew young Nietzsche to Emerson.

—John Kaag
Hiking With Nietzsche


There is, in sanest hours, a consciousness, a thought that rises, independent, lifted out from all else, calm, like the stars, shining eternal. This is the thought of identity - yours for you, whoever you are, as mine for me. Miracle of miracles, beyond statement, most spiritual and vaguest of earth's dreams, yet hardest basic fact, and only entrance to all facts. 
In such devout hours, in the midst of the significant wonders of heaven and earth, (significant only because of the Me in the centre) creeds, conventions, fall away and become of no account before this simple idea. Under the luminousness of real vision, it alone takes possession, takes value. Like the shadowy dwarf in the fable, once liberated and look'd upon, it expands over the whole earth, and spreads to the roof of heaven.

The quality of being, in the object’s self, according to its own central idea and purpose, and of growing therefrom and thereto — not criticism by other standards, and adjustments thereto — is the lesson of Nature.

—Walt Whitman


We live by waters breaking out of the heart. —Anne Carson


There is a profound ground of unity that is more pertinent and authentic than all the unilateral dimensions of our lives. This a man discovers when he is able to keep open the door of his heart. This is one’s ultimate responsibility, and it is not dependent upon whether the heart of another is kept open for him.

Here is a mystery: If sweeping through the door of my heart there moves continually a genuine love for you, it by-passes all your hate and all your indifference and gets through to you at your center. You are powerless to do anything about it. You may keep alive in devious ways the fires of your bitter heart, but they cannot get through to me.

Underneath the surface of all the tension, something else is at work. It is utterly impossible for you to keep another from loving you.

—Howard Thurman


There isn’t time - so brief is life - for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving - and but an instant, so to speak, for that.

—Mark Twain
in a letter to Clara Spaulding
20 August 1886




You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it

It’s too bad that you want to be someone else

You don’t see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.