The Three “Only” Things by Robert Moss

Posted: November 18, 2010 in Book Notes
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  • Through dreams, coincidence, and the workings of imagination, we begin to remember that there is a world beyond the obvious one, and that it is where we reawaken to who we are and what we are meant to become.

I don’t want to hear about the moon from a man who has not been there. – Mark Twain

  • Every setback offers an opportunity.
  • To live the fullest, juiciest lives, we need to invest our energy and attention in a form of active imagination that dares to revision everything.

The stronger the imagination, the less imaginary the results. – Rabindranath Tagore

Only a Dream

  • Dreams open vistas of possibilities that take us beyond our everyday self-limiting beliefs and behaviors.
    • When we go dreaming, we go beyond the curtain of consensus reality. We get out there. We operate outside the rules of a three-dimensional reality, in a spacious Now. We enter parallel and other worlds.
  • We may prefer not to think about these matters, but if they are in our dreams, it is because our wiser Self is telling us we need to think about them.
    • When our dreams reveal aspects of ourselves we tend to deny, they invite us to reclaim the energy we waste in denial and to integrate and work with all the aspects of our energy.

That which the dream shows is the shadow of such wisdom as exists in man, even if during his waking state he may know nothing about it…We do not know it because we are fooling away our time with outward and perishing things, and are asleep to the that which is real within ourselves. – Paracelsus

It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. – John Steinbeck

  • Linear time, as measured by clocks and experienced in plodding sequences of one thing following another, always heading in the same direction, is an illusion of limited human awareness, at best, a convenience.
  • We lose soul when we make the choice to give up on our big dreams, when we refuse to make that creative leap of faith, or to trust ourselves to love.

Only Coincidence

  • In my personal lexicon, a coincidence is a meaningful convergence of inner and outer experiences. The sense of meaning comes from the observer.
  • Coincidence can inspire a sense of awe, a feeling we are in the presence of the numinous.
  • Inner and outer, subjective and objective, interweave and move together at quantum levels, on a human scale, and no doubt everywhere in the universe. We live in an energy field where everything resonates – to greater or lesser degree – with everything else. The world we inhabit mirrors our thought and feelings, and vice versa.
    • In the hidden order of reality (the deeper reality), there is no distinction between mind and matter.

The larger our consciousness is, and the more it develops, the more we get hold of certain aspects of the spirit of the unconscious, draw it into our own subjective sphere, and then call it our own psychic activity or our own spirit. – Marie-Louise von Franz

  • Thoughts are actions and produce effects.
  • When we understand that the world is a book of symbols, we may come to grasp that every moment is a learning opportunity, in absolutely any situation.

What does not kill me makes me stronger. The fire that melts the butter tempers the steel. – Nietzsche

  • The cardinal navigational law of serendipity: You can only get to the magic kingdom by getting lost. You get there when you think you are going somewhere else and fall off the maps.
  • The passions of soul work magic.
    • We must choose to take the primal, pulsing energy of our strongest passions and direct it toward a creative goal.
    • We must seize the moment when they are running strongest and give ourselves completely to acting in the power of that moment. The time is always now, but when the passions of the soul are at work the time is also go.
  • Time is devoured by the moment; space is absorbed by the point.
  • Part of the wisdom of the Book of Changes (I Ching 易经) is that it teaches us that there is constancy and stability only through change. At every moment, our place in the world is shifting. You can no more stop the changes than ask the waves to stop rolling in. The art is to learn to read the patterns of what wants to happen in a given moment.

Only Imagination

You can’t depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus. – Mark Twain

A man’s life is dyed in the color of his imagination. – Marcus Aurelius

  • We live by images…Image generates and constitute our experience of reality.

What we experience directly is a virtual-reality rendering, conveniently generated for us by our unconscious minds from sensory data plus complex inborn and acquired theories about how to interpret them…Every last scrap of our external experience is of virtual reality…Biological speaking, the virtual-reality rendering of their environment is the characteristic means by which human beings survive. – David Deutsch

There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself. – Hermann Hesse

A normal adult never stops to think about problems of space and time. These are things which he has thought about as a child. But my intellectual development was retarded, as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I grew up. – Albert Einstein

No child should be permitted to grow up without exercise for imagination. It enriches life for him. It makes things wonderful and beautiful. – Mark Twain

  • The practice of imagination, on an everyday basis, involves clearing unhelpful images that block or misdirect our energies, and choosing to focus on positive, mobilizing imagery that gives us courage and confidence.
  • Because we are so physically oriented in our society, many of us require physical aids and constructs to trigger the imagination and sustain our belief in its creation.

I will not just be a tourist in the world of images. – Anaïs Nin

  • We want to be travelers, not tourists who are pushed from one package deal and photo opportunity to the next, forever letting others tell us what to see and where to go.
    • We want to be more than characters in a prepared script. We wants to live our own story – not just the daily dramas, but the Big Story, the one that is forever hunting us, even when we have no sense of it whatsoever.
  • If you can see your destination, you are better than halfway there.
  • To switch from visual mode (staring at a blank wall) to auditory mode, Leonardo da Vinci advises listening with undivided focus to the sound of bells or the sound of running water. As you let your imagination stream with the sounds, words and music will come to you, and if you let it flow, you will soon be in creative flow yourself, bringing through fresh words and new ideas.
  • We build a happy future we can believe in, and that imagined future gives us traction to get beyond current difficulties.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

  • Energy flows where attention goes.

A man who stands in his own way will find the whole world stands in his way. – Henry David Thoreau

  • A person is not a failure because he or she fails at this or that. A person is a failure when he or she gives up.
    • Letting go is not giving up.

It is not enough to do our best; we must do what is necessary. – Winston Churchill

  • The journey to absolute knowledge is so serious it can only be approached in a spirit of play.
  • The games we play with the aim of winning are finite games…Infinite players don’t play to win; they play for the sake of playing.
  • We forget that we chose to be an engineer, a mother, a mail carrier, or even a golfer. We spend our days trying to meet our obligations, or lower our handicap, or fatten our bank accounts, because this is what we think we must do.
  • Playing the field is about coming into harmony with everything that is in the field in a given moment. It’s about giving our best without fear of consequences, for the love of the play.

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