Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Poetry Surrounds Us - Vincent Van Gogh

“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. People are often unable to do anything, imprisoned as they are in I don’t know what kind of terrible, terrible, oh such terrible cage. Do you know what makes the prison disappear? Every deep, genuine affection. Being friends, being brothers, loving, that is what opens the prison, with supreme power, by some magic force. Without these one stays dead. But whenever affection is revived, there life revives."

"If only we try to live sincerely, it will go well with us, even though we are certain to experience real sorrow, and great disappointments, and also will probably commit great faults and do wrong things, but it certainly is true, that it is better to be high-spirited, even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent. It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love, is well done."

"What am I in the eyes of most people? A nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion."

"Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum… Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it. I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream." "That God of the clergymen, He is for me as dead as a doornail. But am I an atheist for all that? The clergymen consider me as such — be it so; but I love, and how could I feel love if I did not live, and if others did not live, and then, if we live, there is something mysterious in that. Now call that God, or human nature or whatever you like, but there is something which I cannot define systematically, though it is very much alive and very real, and see, that is God, or as good as God."

"To believe in God for me is to feel that there is a God, not a dead one, or a stuffed one, but a living one… When I have a terrible need of — shall I say the word — religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.”
 ~Vincent van Gogh ~

Sunday, June 08, 2014

"Self knowledge" a piece by David Whyte


"Self Knowledge - is not fully possible for human beings. We do not reside in a body, a mind or a world where it is achievable or from the point of being interesting, even desirable. Half of what lies in the heart and mind is potentiality, resides in the darkness of the unspoken and unarticulated and has not yet come into being: this hidden unspoken half will supplant and subvert any present understandings we have about ourselves. Human beings are a frontier between what is known and what is not known. The act of turning any part of the unknown into the known is simply an invitation for an equal measure of the unknown to flow in and reestablish that frontier: to reassert the far horizon of an individual life; to make us what we are – that is - a moving edge between what we know about ourselves and what we are about to become. What we are actually about to become or are afraid of becoming always trumps and rules over what we think we are already." 

"The hope that a human being can achieve complete honesty and self-knowledge with regard to themselves is a fiction and a chimera, the jargon and goals of a corporate educational system brought to bear on the depths of an identity where the writ of organizing language does not run. Self-knowledge includes the understanding that the self we want to know is about to disappear. What we can understand is the way we occupy this frontier between the known and the unknown, the way we hold the conversation of life, the figure we cut at that edge, but a detailed audit of the self is not possible and diminishes us in the attempt to establish it; we are made on a grander scale, half afraid of ourselves, half in love with immensities beyond any name we can give."

"Self-knowledge is often confused with transparency, but knowledge of the self always becomes the understanding of the self as a confluence; a flowing meeting of elements, including all the other innumerable selves in the world, not a set commodity to be unearthed and knocked into shape. Self-knowledge is not clarity or transparency or knowing how everything works, self-knowledge is a fiercely attentive form of humility and thankfulness, a sense of the privilege of a particular form of participation, coming to know the way we hold the conversation of life and perhaps, above all, the miracle that there is a particular something rather than an abstracted nothing and we are a very particular part of that particular something."


"What we recognize and applaud as honesty and transparency in an individual is actually the humble demeanor of the apprentice, someone paying extreme attention, to themselves, to others, to life, to the next step, which they may survive or they may not; someone who does not have all the answers but who is attempting to learn what they can, about themselves and those with whom they share the journey, someone like everyone else, wondering what they and their society are about to turn into. We are neither what we think we are nor entirely what we are about to become, we are neither purely individual nor fully a creature of our community, but an act of becoming that can never be held in place by a false form of nomenclature. No matter our need to find a place to stand amidst the onward flow of the world, the real foundation of the self is in the self-forgetfulness that can occur when we meet something other than our reflection." by David Gordon Whyte 

Dave Chappelle Maya Angelou Iconoclasts - "courage to change your thinking"

Friday, June 06, 2014

We can change the way we think, and we must in order to evolve!

""Can Human Beings Drop Divisive Reactionary Thinking and Move To a Higher Level?" by Ronit Herzfeld
She starts with: "Why does so much of our political and social discourse devolve into extreme positions with little or no ability for each side to hear the other?  Why are we continually reacting to conflict in the same unproductive or destructive ways? Given the multitude of challenges facing us and our planet, it’s time to break this reactive and futile cycle.  As Albert Einstein so eloquently observed, “A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.” The urgency of finding that “new type of thinking” cannot be overstated."

 and concludes with: "....At this juncture of human evolution, it is incumbent on us to step out of our habitual counter-productive patterns and create new, out of the box solutions.  This will require a willingness to challenge our preexisting perceptions and open our minds to the higher level of thinking that Albert Einstein called for so many years ago.  When we know what we are up against, we humans have demonstrated an indomitable and awe-inspiring ability to step up and triumph over the most difficult of challenges.  For the sake of future generations, we now need to find constructive ways to transcend our differences.