Wednesday, May 27, 2015

a different self





... I myself I require a more direct revelation, 
not one that must come through so many minds before it reaches mine.  
I must have a faith that I can see and hear, 
one that I can feel without thinking or even trying to put it into words.  
It is not for anyone else, 
it is a personal faith.

The interval of solitude is precious.  
It is a different world and I am a different self.  
I feel relieved of a responsibility that cannot be defined.  
I am released from pressure, my mind is free.  
Yet would I not feel a lack of balance if I lived alone all the time?



~ Harlan Hubbard
from his journal, 1959





magnetism








The Self is like a powerful magnet within us. 
It draws us gradually to itself, though we imagine we are going to It of our own accord:
 when we are near enough, It puts an end to our activities, 
makes us still, and then swallows up our personal current,
 thus killing our wrong personality. 
It overwhelms the intellect and over floods the whole being. 

We think we are meditating upon It and developing towards It, 
whereas the truth is that we are iron filings and It is the Atman-magnet 
that is pulling us towards Itself. Thus the process of finding 
the Self is a form of Divine magnetism.




~ Ramana Maharshi


what keeps us alive





What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.

I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey 
to find its source, and how the moon wept
without her lover's 
warm gaze.

We weep when light does not reach our hearts, We wither
like fields if someone close
does not rain their
kindness
upon 
us.



~  Meister Eckhart


Monday, May 25, 2015

in succession, in division








We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. 
Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence;
 the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; 
the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist, 
and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing
 and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, 
the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. 
We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree;
 but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul. 




~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
from the essay The Over-Soul
art by gene kloss

Saturday, May 16, 2015

on friendship and love






Such a friendship has no model but itself, and can only be compared to itself. It was not one special consideration, nor two, nor three, nor four, nor a thousand; it was some mysterious quintessence of all this mixture which possessed itself of my will,  and led it to plunge and lose itself in his, which possessed itself of his whole will, and led it, with a similar hunger and a like impulse, to plunge and lose itself in mine.  I may truly say lose, for it left us with nothing that was our own, nothing that was either his or mine.


~ Montaigne
from Essays of Michel de Montaigne



In any true love - a mother's for her child, a husband's for his wife, a friend's for a friend - there is an excess energy that always wants to be in motion.  Moreover, it seems to move not simply from one person to another but through them toward something else.  ("All I know now / is the more he loved me the more I loved the world" - Spencer Reece.) That is why we can be so baffled and overwhelmed by such love (and I don't mean merely when we fall in love; in fact, I'm talking more of other, more durable relationships): it wants to be more than it is; it cries out inside of us to make it more than it is.



~ Christian Wiman
from My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer

Friday, May 15, 2015

we say







We say release, and radiance, and roses,
and echo upon everything that's known;
and yet, behind the world our names enclose is
the nameless: our true archetype and home.

The sun seems male, and earth is like a woman,
the field is humble, and the forest proud;
but over everything we say, inhuman,
moves the forever-undetermined god.

We grow up; but the world remains a child.
Star and flower, in silence, watch us go.
And sometimes we appear to be the final
exam they must succeed on. And they do.



~ Rainer Maria Rilke
translation by Stephen Mitchell
photo by Carsten Meyerdierks

Monday, May 11, 2015

well of darkness





If each day falls
inside each night,
there exists a well
where clarity is imprisoned.

We need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness
and fish for fallen light
with patience.




~ Pablo Neruda
from The Sea and the Bells
translated by William O'Daly
with thanks to Love is a Place


Friday, May 8, 2015

you can go






There is a place you can go
where you are quiet,
a place of water and the light

on the water. Trees are there,
leaves, and the light
on leaves moved by air.

Birds, singing, move
among leaves, in leaf shadow.
After many years you have come

to no thought of these,
but they are themselves
your thoughts. There seems to be

little to say, less and less.
Here they are. Here you are.
Here as though gone.

None of us stays, but in the hush
where each leaf in the speech
of leaves is sufficient syllable

the passing light finds out
surpassing freedom of its way.




~ Wendell Berry
from Sabbaths 1998, VII




Thursday, May 7, 2015

lost







Stand still.

The trees ahead and the bushes beside you 
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.




~ David Wagoner
from Collected Poems 1956-1976
with thanks to Love is a Place


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

the look of its landlord






For in this house, everything
has the look of its landlord.

While the hand moves
the shadow must follow.
Since the shadow gains its substance
from the hand
it has none of itself,
That which derives existence
from something else 
how can we say
it truly exists?

It has a name, yes,
but is not that existence
which subsists through God.



~ Fakhruddin Iraqi
from Divine Flashes



Some thought that all these loves were copies of 
our love for the landlord.


~ C.S. Lewis 
from God in the Dock

that crookedness is straightness itself





They asked al-Hallaj, "To which religious School do you belong?
he answered, "God's own."

He who limned 
a thousand worlds with paint-
you layabout! - do you expect
He'll use your color or mine?
Our paints and tints
are but opinions and fantasy,
He is colorless
and we must adopt His hue.

Look: a shadow lies crooked upon the ground because the very earth is laid rough; but no, 
that crookedness is straightness itself, for the perfection, the "straightness" of the eyebrow is in its 
sinuous curve.

Only because it is bent
is this piece of wood a bow.

Reality is a sphere: wherever you place your finger,
there is its dead center.




~ Fakhruddin Iraqi
from Divine Flashes