Wednesday, July 26, 2017

the only true statement





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'I do not know’ is the only true statement the mind can make.

–Nisargadatta Maharaj



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the only clue





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You want to know yourself. For this, keep steadily in the focus of consciousness, the only clue you have: your certainty of being. 

Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality.

–Nisargadatta Maharaj


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The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, excerpt






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You are something that the whole universe is doing,
in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing.


...


We do not “come into” this world;
we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.
As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.”

Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.

This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals.

Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin.

You didn’t come into this world.
You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean.
You are not a stranger here.


—Alan Watts



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you know






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We are not stuff that abides,
but patterns that perpetuate themselves.
 

–Norbert Weiner



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paintings





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We should not for a moment consider even our best-established knowledge of existence as true.

It is awareness only of the colors that our own vision paints on the film of one bubble in one strand of foam on the ocean of being.


–Olaf Stapledon (1886 - 1950)

 
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abandon all self-concern





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If you seek reality you must set yourself free of all backgrounds, of all cultures, of all patterns of thinking and feeling.
Even the idea of being a man or woman, or even human, should be discarded. The ocean of life contains all, not only humans.
So, first abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such, so-and-so, this or that.
Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual, abandon every desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind.
You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing.


–Nisargadatta Maharaj



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narrow gate





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In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.

–William Blake

 





you know







At the center of your being, you have the answer;
you know who you are and you know what you want.

—Lao Tzu


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not to worry





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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.


–Papaji



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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

question







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All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home.

This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.



–Rumi
Coleman Barks version



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mute but piercing





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In the antigarden represented by the desert, the question accompanying the poet like her shadow under the sun is: Who am I to be so alone? Who am I if I am not with another? The demand for another is always mute but piercing. All these texts ask for another and all the poets ask for another language, even for a foreign language perhaps, because the essence of poetry is to find strangeness in language.


–Hélène Cixous
Readings: The Poetics of Blanchot, Joyce, Kafka, Kleist, Lispector,
and Tsvetayeva.











master of metaphor







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…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.


—Aristotle
Poetics, 1459


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how to make poems







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In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,

but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.


–Rumi


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Ars Poetica, excerpt






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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


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tonight would be the night






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The moon is full tonight
an illustration for sheet music,
an image in Matthew Arnold
glimmering on the English Channel,
or a ghost over a smoldering battlefield
in one of the history plays.

It's as full as it was
in that poem by Coleridge
where he carries his year-old son
into the orchard behind the cottage
and turns the baby's face to the sky
to see for the first time
the earth's bright companion,
something amazing to make his crying seem small.

And if you wanted to follow this example,
tonight would be the night
to carry some tiny creature outside
and introduce him to the moon.

And if your house has no child,
you can always gather into your arms
the sleeping infant of yourself,
as I have done tonight,
and carry him outdoors,
all limp in his tattered blanket,
making sure to steady his lolling head
with the palm of your hand.

And while the wind ruffles the pear trees
in the corner of the orchard
and dark roses wave against a stone wall,
you can turn him on your shoulder
and walk in circles on the lawn
drunk with the light.
You can lift him up into the sky,
your eyes nearly as wide as his,
as the moon climbs high into the night.


–Billy Collins



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yes




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In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent: / a thing is brought forth which we didn’t know we had in us, / so we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out / and stood in the light, lashing his tail.

–Czeslaw Milosz
Ars Poetica



the greatest secret





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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


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good poets cure





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If one day you become sick of words, as happens to us all, and you grow tired of hearing them, of saying them; if whichever you choose seems worn out, dull, disabled; if you feel nauseated when you hear 'horrible' or 'divine' for some everyday occurrence - you'll not be cured, obviously, by alphabet soup.

You must do the following: cook a plate of al dente spaghetti dressed with the simplest seasoning - garlic, oil and chili. Over the pasta toss in this mixture, grate a layer of Parmesan cheese. To the right of the deep plate full of the spaghetti thus prepared, place an open book. To the left, place an open book. In front of it a full glass of red wine. Any other company is not recommended. Turn the pages of each book at random, but they must both be poetry. Only good poets cure us of an overindulgence in words. Only simple essential food cures us of gluttony.


–Héctor Abad Faciolince
Recipes for Sad Women



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Sunday, July 23, 2017

at the heart of time






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I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age-old pain,
It's ancient tale of being apart or together,
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you,
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours
And the songs of every poet past and forever. 



–Rabindranath Tagore



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accidental fences




 
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We with our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest. The maple and the pine may whisper to each other with their leaves. But the trees also commingle their roots in the darkness underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean’s bottom. Just so there is a continuum of cosmic consciousness, against which our individuality builds but accidental fences, and into which our several minds plunge as into a mother-sea or reservoir.

–William James









eye of my heart





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I am blind and do not see the things of this world;
but when the Light comes from above, it enlightens my Heart,
and I can see, for the Eye of my Heart sees everything.

The Heart is a sanctuary of the Center in which there is a little space
wherein the Great Spirit dwells, and this is the Eye.
This is the Eye of Wakentaka by which he sees all things,
and through which we see Him.



–Black Elk

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look at the unity of this






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look at love...
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love

look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life

why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend

why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how unknown merges into the known

why think separately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last

look at your heart and tongue
one feels but deaf and dumb
the other speaks in words and signs

look at water and fire
earth and wind
enemies and friends all at once

the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together

look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox

you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me

be like sugarcane
sweet yet silent
don't get mixed up with bitter words

my beloved grows
right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be?


–Rumi
Nader Khalili translation




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like this






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The best method is to plunge deep into the inner man and remain there in seclusion, constantly tending the vineyard of one’s heart.

–St. Isaac of Syria


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out of my heart





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Out of my deeper heart a bird rose and flew skyward.
Higher and higher did it rise, yet larger and larger did it grow.


At first it was but like a swallow, then a lark, then an eagle, then as vast as a spring cloud, and then it filled the starry heavens.
Out of my heart a bird flew skyward. And it waxed larger as it flew.
Yet it left not my heart.


–Kahlil Gibran



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the beautiful necessity





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Let us build altars to the Beautiful Necessity, which secures that all is made of one piece; that plaintiff and defendant, friend and enemy, animal and planet, food and eater, are of one kind. 
In astronomy is vast space, but no foreign system; in geology, vast time, but the same laws as to-day. 

Why should we be afraid of Nature, which is no other than “philosophy and theology embodied”?
Why should we fear to be crushed by savage elements, we who are made up of the same elements? 

Let us build to the Beautiful Necessity, which makes man brave in believing that he cannot shun a danger that is appointed, nor incur one that is not;
to the Necessity which rudely or softly educates him to the perception that there are no contingencies;
that Law rules throughout existence, a Law which is not intelligent but intelligence, — not personal nor impersonal, — it disdains words and passes understanding; 
it dissolves persons; it vivifies nature;
yet solicits the pure in heart to draw on all its omnipotence.



–Ralph Waldo Emerson




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look






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Look at the birds. Even flying
is born

out of nothing. The first sky
is inside you, Friend, open

at either end of day.
The work of wings

was always freedom, fastening
one heart to every falling thing.


—Li-Young Lee
Book of My Nights




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journey of the breath






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Of the two spoiled, barn-sour geldings
we owned that year, it was Red—
skittish and prone to explode
even at fourteen years—who'd let me
hold my face to his own: the massive labyrinthine
caverns of the nostrils, the broad plain
up the head to the eyes.
He'd let me stroke
his coarse chin whiskers and take
his soft meaty underlip
in my hands, press my man's carnivorous
kiss to his grass-nipping under half of one,

just so that I could smell
the long way his breath had come from the rain
and the sun, the lungs and the heart,
from a world that meant no harm. 


–Robert Wrigley
Kissing a Horse



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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sorrow Arrow, excerpt






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You sit in your body, quietly making blood
Wild blood
Bird of the world


–Emily Kendal Frey


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on being perfectly alive







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I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me.

That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly,
and my blood is part of the sea.


There is not any part of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surfaces of the water.


–D. H. Lawrence



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air





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Breathing, all creatures are
Brighter than the brightest star
You are by far
You come right inside of me
Close as you can be

You kiss my blood
And my blood kiss me.


–Mike Heron
(The Incredible String Band)



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