Friday, July 27, 2007
In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.
What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep.
To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.
You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.
Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?
Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the waiting desk?
by David Whyte © 1999 Many Rivers Press Click
Thursday, July 26, 2007
It lets you walk up to the store to buy breakfast
and the paper, on a stiff knee. It lets you choose
the way you have your eggs, your coffee. Then
it sits a fisherman down beside you at the counter
who says, Last night, the channel was full of
starfish. And you wonder, is this a message, finally,
or just another day?
Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where whole generations of biological
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world: they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.
And then life suggests that you remember the
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.
Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life's way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won't give you smart or brave,
so you'll have to settle for lucky.) Because you
were born at a good time. Because you were able
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.
So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland,
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel,
with smiles on their starry faces as they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.
--Eleanor Lerman, from Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds
With all your heart stop the stream.
When the world dissolves
Everything becomes clear.
Go beyond this way or that way
To the farther shore
Where the world dissolves,
And everything becomes clear.
Beyond this shore and the farther shore
Beyond the beyond
Where there is no beginning,
The Buddha, from the Dhammapada
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
"You do not need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet,
still and solitary. The world will freely
offer itself to you to be unmasked, it
has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy
at your feet."
~ Franz Kafka
Saturday, July 14, 2007
The belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science. Since, however, sense perception only gives information of this external world or of "physical reality" indirectly, we can only grasp the latter by speculative means. It follows from this that our notions of physical reality can never be final. We must always be ready to change these notions - that is to say, the axiomatic basis of physics - in order to do justice to perceived facts in the most perfect way logically. -Einstein
The apparent differences that constitute our world of separate
existences are not intrinsic but only in the eyes of the beholder.
- Ramesh S. Balsekar
Friday, July 13, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
So I finally sat down and watched Planet Earth on my new television. It's even better than everybody says: endless hours of the most extravagant nature porn ever put on film. But the show also got me thinking about evolution, and why it's so difficult for most Americans to believe in Darwinian theory.
Watching Planet Earth, I was stuck by the sheer difficulty of life. You can't help but feel for these animals, as they are forced to scrounge out a miserable existence in their ecological niche. I'm thinking of the desert kangaroos, who have to lick their paws to keep from overheating in 140 degree surface temperatures. Or the male polar bears, who are forced to swim for sixty miles in icy ocean in search of food. Or the penguins, huddled with their eggs in Antarctica. Life is short , nasty and brute. Nature is red in tooth and claw.
And then I looked at myself, lazing on a couch and complaining about the lack of air-conditioning as I sipped my cold beer. I have absolutely no understanding of the struggle for existence, or just how cruel the selection of the fittest really is. Most Americans live similar lives of luxury. As a result, we don't realize that staying alive (let alone reproducing) is damn hard work. And this leads us to dramatically underestimate the creative powers of natural selection. Most of us think it's absurd that a simple algorithmic process could create an orchid, or a human brain, or hundreds of thousands of beetle species, in "just" a few hundred million years. Thus, we invoke God. But perhaps the ingenuity of evolution appears less absurd from the perspective of the male emperor penguin, who is shivering in a -90 degree blizzard right now.
What do you think? Do the glorious comforts of modernity (air-conditioning, frozen dinners, cold beer, etc.) make us less likely to appreciate the selective pressures of evolution?
Jonah Lehrer The Frontal Cortex
If you really let in how much work went into creating your own miraculous capacity for consciousness—fourteen billion years of hard work—then suddenly you will understand why it is completely crazy to sit around and worry about yourself, about the endless petty fears and desires of your separate, personal self-sense, or ego. Believe me, the purpose of all that cosmic effort and creativity—from nothing to energy to light to matter to life to consciousness to you—was not for that!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
It's important to remember that evolution isn't just happening. We are a very big part of that process, and when you really get this, the liberation of your power of choice becomes the very essence of the spiritual endeavor. You realize that the more awake you become, the more enlightened you become, the more responsible you are for our future, and the more profoundly significant become the choices that you make, because they become an expression of the evolutionary principle in action. Ask yourself, Whose hands are these? If you are primarily identified with ego, they are the hands of the ego. But if your purpose has become aligned with the creative principle itself, your hands become God's hands. As audacious as that sounds, it's actually true.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Once there is a clear apprehension that an individual human being is an inseparable part of the totality of phenomenal manifestation and that he cannot pull himself out of the totality as an independent and autonomous entity, man naturally ceases to have personal intentions. When he is convinced that living is a sort of dreaming in which he cannot have any effective control either over his circumstances or his actions therein, all his tensions cease, and a sense of total freedom takes over. He then willingly and freely accepts whatever comes his way within the totality of functioning that this dream-life is.
Ramesh S. Balsekar