Sunday, March 19, 2017

heavenly father






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the stars are words






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Thinking of the stars night after night I begin to realize
The stars are words
and all the innumerable worlds in the Milky Way are words,
and so is this world too. 
And I realize that no matter where I am,
whether in a little room full of thought,

or in this endless universe of stars and mountains,
it’s all in my mind.


–Jack Kerouac
Lonesome Traveler



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now it is clear





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Now it is clear to me that no leaves are mine
no roots are mine
that wherever I go I will be a spine of smoke in the forest
and the forest will know it
we will both know it

and that birds vanish because of something
that I remember
flying through me as though I were a great wind
as the stones settle into the ground
the trees into themselves
staring as though I were a great wind
which is what I pray for


it is clear to me that I cannot return
but that some of us will meet once more
even here
like our own statues
and some of us still later without names
and some of us will burn with the speed
of endless departures


and be found and lost no more



—W.S. Merwin
The Carrier of Ladders




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perfect miracles





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To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;


Every spear of grass - the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women,
and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.


–Walt Whitman




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quin bond
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I will sing you






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I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving. 
If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.


–Rainer Maria Rilke
Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy version



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Friday, March 17, 2017

beware of tiny gods




 

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Some gods say, the tiny ones
"I am not here in your vibrant, moist lips

That need to beach themselves upon
The golden shore of a
Naked body."
Some gods say, "I am not
The sacred yearning in the unrequited soul;
I am not the blushing cheek
Of every star and Planet--

I am not the applauding Chef
Of those precious sections that can distill
The whole mind into a perfect wincing jewel, if only
For a moment
Nor do I reside in every pile of sweet warm dung
Born of earth's
Gratuity."

Some gods say, the ones we need to hang,
"Your mouth is not designed to know His,
Love was not born to consume
The luminous
Realms."

Dear ones,
Beware of the tiny gods frightened men
Create
To bring an anesthetic relief
To their sad
Days.


–Hafiz
Ladinsky version



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boil me





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A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot

where it’s being boiled.

‘Why are you doing this to me?’

The cook knocks him down with the ladle.

‘Don’t you try to jump out.

You think I’m torturing you.

I’m giving you flavour,

so you can mix with spices and rice

and be the lovely vitality of a human being.

Remember when you drank rain in the garden.

That was for this.’

Grace first. Sexual pleasure,

then a boiling new life begins,

and the Friend has something good to eat.

Eventually the chickpea

will say to the cook,

‘Boil me some more.

Hit me with the skimming spoon.

I can’t do this by myself.

I’m like an elephant that dreams of gardens

back in Hindustan and doesn’t pay attention

to his driver. You’re my cook, my driver,

my way to existence. I love your cooking.’

The cook says,

‘I was once like you,

fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time,

and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.

My animal soul grew powerful.

I controlled it with practices,

and boiled some more, and boiled

once beyond that,

and became your teacher.’


–Rumi
The Essential Rumi,
Coleman Barks and John Moyne version




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beauty
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needful things





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Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.

–Jesus of Nazareth
Matthew 6.19-20



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this is how you become everything that lives





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You are the daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin.
Swimmer, your body is pure as the water;
cook, your blood is quick as the soil.
Everything you do is full of flowers, rich with the earth.
Your eyes go out toward the water, and the waves rise;
your hands go out to the earth and the seeds swell;
you know the deep essence of water and the earth,
conjoined in you like a formula for clay.

Naiad: cut your body into turquoise pieces,
they will bloom resurrected in the kitchen.
This is how you become everything that lives.

And so at last, you sleep, in the circle of my arms
that push back the shadows so that you can rest--
vegetables, seaweed, herbs: the foam of your dreams.


–Pablo Neruda
love sonnet, XXXIV



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inheritance





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Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.


–Rainer Maria Rilke


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

things to think





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Think in ways you've never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you've ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he's carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you've never seen.

When someone knocks on the door,
Think that he's about
To give you something large: tell you you're forgiven,
Or that it's not necessary to work all the time,
Or that it's been decided that if you lie down no one will die.


–Robert Bly
Morning Poems



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regeneration





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Autopoiesis = Self-Creation
(from Greek auto = “self” and poiesis = “creation)

"… a network of mutually interacting processes that continuously both create, and sustain, components that regenerate the network of processes that produce them. There is a constant and intimate contact among the things that coexist and coevolve in the universe, a sharing of bonds and messages that makes reality into a stupendous network of interaction and communication.

—Ervin Laszlo
Philosopher Systems Theorist







a message from space

 



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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
from The Worth of Local Things




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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

observation








There is the body. 

Inside the body appears to be an observer, and outside a world under observation. 

The observer and his observation as well as the world observed appear and disappear together. Beyond it all, there is void. 

This void is one for all.


–Nisargadatta Maharaj



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needful things





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Be suspicious of what you want.

Rumi


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look





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No longer in a merely physical universe, man lives in a symbolic universe. Language, myth, art and religion are parts of this universe.

They are varied threads which weave the symbolic net, the tangled web of human experience.

No longer can man confront reality immediately; he cannot see it, as it were, face to face. Physical reality seems to recede in proportion as man's symbolic activity advances.

Instead of dealing with the things themselves man is in a sense constantly conversing with himself.

He has so enveloped himself in linguistic forms, in artistic images, in mythical symbols or religious rites that he cannot see or know anything except by the interposition of this artificial medium.



–Ernst Cassirer
Philosopher (1874 - 1945)








then





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Martin Buber quotes an old Hasid master who said, "When you walk across the field with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their souls come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you."

–Annie Dillard
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek










you know





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there is no place at all that is not looking at you.


–Rainer Maria Rilke









Sunday, February 26, 2017

question





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When you ask what are electrons and protons I ought to answer that this question is not a profitable one to ask and does not really have a meaning. The important thing about electrons and protons is not what they are but how they behave, how they move. I can describe the situation by comparing it to the game of chess. In chess, we have various chessmen, kings, knights, pawns and so on. If you ask what chessman is, the answer would be that it is a piece of wood, or a piece of ivory, or perhaps just a sign written on paper, or anything whatever. It does not matter. Each chessman has a characteristic way of moving and this is all that matters about it. The whole game of chess follows from this way of moving the various chessmen.

–Paul A. M. Dirac (1902 - 1984)



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origin





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Jesus said, “If they say to you, ‘Where did you come from?’,
say to them, ‘We came from the light, the place where the light
came into being on its own accord and established (itself) and
became manifest through their image
.’ 


If they say to you, ‘Is it you?’, say,
We are its children, we are the elect of the Living Father.’ 


If they ask you, ‘What is the sign of your father in you?’,
say to them, ‘It is movement and repose.’



–The Gospel of Thomas


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stillness reconsidered






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To Taoism that which is absolutely still or absolutely perfect is absolutely dead, for without the possibility of growth and change there can be no Tao. In reality there is nothing in the universe which is completely perfect or completely still; it is only in the minds of men that such concepts exist.

–Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)



... gosh, his little lips! 
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object





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…whatever has been pierced by the searchlight of the intellect is instantaneously transformed into a mere 'thing', a quantifiable object for our thought that is henceforth only mechanically related to other objects. The paradoxical expression of a modern sage, “we perceive only that which is dead,” is a lapidary formulation of a deep truth.

–Ludwig Klages
On Consciousness and Life in The Biocentric Worldview







The Sonnets to Orpheus, II, 29





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Silent friend of many distances, feel
how your breath enlarges all of space.
Let your presence ring out like a bell
into the night. What feeds upon your face

grows mighty from the nourishment thus offered.
Move through transformation, out and in.
What is the deepest loss that you have suffered?
If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine.

In this immeasurable darkness, be the power
that rounds your sense in their magic ring,
the sense of their mysterious encounter.

And if the earthly no longer knows your name,
whisper to the silent earth: I’m flowing.
To the flashing water say: I am.


–Rainer Maria Rilke
Steven Mitchell translation



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keep moving, excerpt





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Stay light-footed, and keep moving.
Do you hear what the violin
says about longing?
The same as the stick, "I was once
a green branch in the wind."
We are all far from home.
Language is our caravan bell.
Don't stop anywhere.
The moment you're attracted to a place,
you grow bored with it.
Think of the big moves you've already made,
from a single cell to a human being!
Stay light-footed, and keep moving.
Turkish, Arabic, Greek, any tongue
is a wind that was formerly water.
As a breeze carries the ocean inside it,
so underneath every sentence is,
"Come back to the source."


–Rumi
Coleman Barks version from a
John Moyne translation




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cloudy words






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God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.


–Rainer Maria Rilke
Book of Hours, I 59



Saturday, February 25, 2017

stellar






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I wish I could speak like music.

I wish I could put the swaying splendor
Of the fields into words
So that you could hold Truth
Against your body
And dance.

I am trying the best I can
With this crude brush, the tongue,
To cover you with light.

I wish I could speak like divine music.

I want to give you the sublime rhythms
Of this earth and the sky's limbs
As they joyously spin and surrender,
Surrender
Against God's luminous breath.

Hafiz Wants you to hold me
Against your precious
Body

And dance
Dance.


Hafiz



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