Archive for October, 2013

  • Don’t confuse the teacher with the lesson, the ritual with the ecstasy, the transmitter of the symbol with the symbol itself.
    • The Tradition is linked to our encounter with the forces of life and not with the people who bring this about.
  • Pity those who seek for shepherds, instead of longing for freedom!
  • Everything moves, and everything moves to a rhythm. And everything that moves to a rhythm creates a sound.
  • What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.
    • The true teacher gives the disciple the courage to throw his or her world off balance, even though the disciple is afraid of things already encountered and more afraid still of what might be around the next corner.
  • It’s the same thing with repetition: it may seem the same, but it’s always different.
  • In order to forget the rules, you must know them and respect them.
  • The important thing is to allow fate to intervene in our lives and to decide what is best for everyone.
  • Like all storms, it will pass. The more violent it is, the more quickly it will pass.
  • We don’t believe that God made the universe. We believe that God is the universe and that we are contained in Him, and He in us.
    • … here we are part of everything and we celebrate rather than pray.
  • The truth is that with each step we take, we arrive.
    • You are on the right path… arriving with each step you take.
  • When we step out of our normal world and leave behind us all the usual barriers and prejudices, we tend to become more adventurous.
  • Everything is worship if you are focus on the present moment.
    • When you are washing up, pray. Be thankful that there are plates to be washed; that means there was food, that fed someone, that you’ve lavished care on one or more people, that you cooked and laid the table.
  • Laugh at your worries and insecurities. View your anxieties with humor.
  • … because we all know everything: it’s merely a question of believing.
  • Live now what others will only live in the future.
  • [Love] It cannot be held prisoner because it is a river and will overflow its banks. Anyone who tries to imprison love will cut off the spring that feeds it, and the trapped water will grow stagnant and rank.
  • Anyone who believes they have failed will always fail. Anyone who has decided that they cannot behave any differently will be destroyed by routine. Anyone who has decided to block all changes will be transformed into dust.
  • … there were two traditions, one that makes us repeat the same thing for centuries at a time, and another that opens the door into the unknown.
  • … common sense will prevail and religions will revert to being a refuge for the weak, who are always in search of guidance.
  • In order for the more substantial pieces of wood to catch fire, the kindling must burn first. In order for us to liberate the energy of our strength, our weakness must first have a chance to reveal itself.

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Posted: October 18, 2013 in Poetry

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

Posted: October 11, 2013 in Quotes
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In all things, we are the victims of The Misconception From Afar. There is the idea of a city, and the city itself, too great to be held in the mind. And it is in this gap (between the conceptual and the real) that aggression begins. No place works any different than any other place, really, beyond mere details. The universal human laws—need, love for the beloved, fear, hunger, periodic exaltation, the kindness that rises up naturally in the absence of hunger/fear/pain—are constant, predictable, reliable, universal, and merely ornamented with the details of local culture. What a powerful thing to know: that one’s desires are mappable onto strangers; that what one finds in oneself will most certainly be found in The Other—perhaps muted, exaggerated, or distorted, yes, but there nonetheless, and thus a source of comfort.

Don’t be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.

– George Saunders, he New Mecca

Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong

Posted: October 8, 2013 in Book Notes
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  • Tengger is the father, the grassland is the mother, and the wolves kill only animals that harm the grassland.
  • War demands patience. Opportunities present themselves only to the patient…
  • The nomadic inhabitants safeguarded the “big life” – the survival of the grassland and of nature were more precious than the survival of people. Tillers of the land, on the other hand, safeguarded “little lives” – the most prescious of which were people, their survival the most important. But as Bilgee had said, without the big life, the little lives were doomed.
  • Half of a Mongol is hunter. If we could not hunt, our lives would be like meat with no salt, tasteless.
  • Chinese write their books to advocate Chinese causes. The Mongols suffer because they can’t write books.
  • On the Mongolian grassland, peace does not follow peace, but danger always follows danger.
  • …we’re farming people, not nomads, and we seek to impose our habits and customs on other people.
  • The grassland had always been a battlefield, and those that survived were the strongest and wisest, the ones best suited to eating and fighting, animals who could eat their fill yet never forget what it was like to be hungry.
  • The most important thing for an overpopuplated race is to stay alive. There can’t be any nutrients left over to feed aesthetic cells.

Posted: October 5, 2013 in Quotes

Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a lot to love a leaf. It’s ordinary to love the beautiful, but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.

Posted: October 2, 2013 in Quotes

All that’s left of me is everything I was before, with a little more love in my heart, and a little more truth I get to sing about.

– Jen Myzel Swanson

Poem by St. John of the Cross

Posted: October 2, 2013 in Poetry

Your body is a divine stream,
as is your spirit.
When your two great rivers merge, one voice is found
and the earth applauds
in excitement.

Shrines are erected to those songs
the hand and heart have sung
as they serve
the world
with a love, a love
we cherish.