Gaston Bachelard On Love

  Gaston Bachelard  (June 27, 1884 – October 16, 1962)

Gaston Bachelard (June 27, 1884 – October 16, 1962)

Written love … is going out of fashion, but the benefits remain. There are still souls for whom love is the contact of two poetries, the fusion of two reveries… To tell a love, one must write… Love is never finished expressing itself, and it expresses itself better the more poetically it is dreamed. The reveries of two solitary souls prepare the sweetness of loving… The reality of love is mutilated when it is detached from all its unrealness.

August Wilson On Life

   August Wilson   (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005)

August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005)

I once wrote a short story called 'The Best Blues Singer in the World' and it went like this: 'The streets that Balboa walked were his own private ocean, and Balboa was drowning.' End of story. That says it all. Nothing else to say. I've been rewriting that same story over and over again. All my plays are rewriting that same story. I'm not sure what it means, other than life is hard.

Rebecca Solnit On Transformation

   Rebecca Solnit   (June 24, 1961)

Rebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961)

There are times when it seems as though not only the future but the present is dark: few recognize what a radically transformed world we live in, one that has been transformed not only by such nightmares as global warming and global capital, but by dreams of freedom and of justice — and transformed by things we could not have dreamed of… We need to hope for the realization of our own dreams, but also to recognize a world that will remain wilder than our imaginations.

Ursula K Le Guin On Information

   Ursula K Le Guin   (October 21, 1929 - January 22, 2018)

Ursula K Le Guin (October 21, 1929 - January 22, 2018)

Science describes accurately from outside, poetry describes accurately from inside. Science explicates, poetry implicates. Both celebrate what they describe. We need the languages of both science and poetry to save us from merely stockpiling endless “information” that fails to inform our ignorance or our irresponsibility.

The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration — A Weekly Sunday Series by Socrates Black

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The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Four — Alan Watts

 

I take Emily to the table where Simone Weil and Anaïs Nin are seated. They both welcome us to join them but I see Alan Watts across the room gesturing for me to come over. I excuse myself promising to return before the gathering ends and I join Alan at his table.

”Thank you for joining me Socrates. I am most appreciative especially in light of the fact you left three beautiful and inspiring ladies to converse with me.”

”In truth Alan, I wanted to continue our conversation from a few nights ago. We are both autodidacts and yet I find our views of nature and mankind to be so similar.  I have listened to many of your lectures, and with each listening I learn something different about myself and my relationship with nature and with all kind.”

”It saddens me Socrates that humankind sees itself as lonely and isolated from nature when the reality is that we, humankind and nature, are part of one continuous energy flux. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin.”

”How true my friend. I know much of your vision and philosophy of life comes from your experiences and your mystical dreams.”

“That is true Socrates. My mystical dreams and experiences started when I was very young. Most individuals discard their dreams and visions as bundled sensations with no clarity of meaning, but they are so much more. They are doorways into the larger consciousness of all that exists.”

“While living at Esalen, I had many mystical experiences that I cannot explain to someone who has not themself had at least one which they remember. They are too easily abandoned as a flash of light or a shadow in our blind spot.”

”I know from our last conversation you are familiar with a few of my dreams and visions, but please share with me one of your experiences.”

“Okay. I will. As mentioned, this one occurred while living at Esalen. I had a favorite bench on the edge of the bluff, facing east. I would plan my arrival right before sunrise. I would sit down, take a deep breath, cross my legs, straighten my back, watch the sun rise, the occasional school of dolphins and listen to the sea, the birds and then, total silence. The day turned to absolute darkness. The rising sun became just another star in the universe around me. It, I am immense. Endless. I am the universe. Then, just as quickly, I looked down upon myself sitting there on the bench looking into my abdomen and seeing that same endless, immense universe inside my finite body. I know what everything is. I am it!”

“Bravo my dear friend.  For when you see that the universe cannot be distinguished from how you act upon it, there is neither fate nor free will, self nor other. There is simply one all-inclusive 'Happening,' in which your personal sensation of being alive occurs in just the same way as the river flowing and the stars shinning far out in space. There is no question of submitting or accepting or going with it, for what happens in and as you is no different from what happens as it.“

”And still we see ourselves as separate and alone in the universe,” says Socrates.

“Socrates I have a question for you. I see you in front of me. I can reach across this solid table and grab your arm. I see other people, I know without knowing, each interesting in his or her own manner. I want to talk with them all. My suite is England, New York, California, my boat in Sausalito, wherever I see myself. Wherever I wish to be. The guests are past and present, timeless and now. This place Socrates. It exists in the reality of the imagination, but is it real?

”Excuse me for interrupting gentlemen but I decided to leave the poetesses to their discussion of rhyme and meter and to join the philosophers. Besides Socrates, you promised me this dance.”

”You are correct Simone. I did. Excuse us Alan.”

“By all means Socrates. We will talk again soon.”

                                                                                    ---

The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Five — Simone Weil will be published on Sunday, August 19, 2018.

CopyRight©️2018 by Transformation Publications. Cover image “Aries” by  Emilee Petersmark for The Accidentals.

 

 

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche On Truth

   Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche   (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900)

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900)

What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions — they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal and no longer as coins.

 


Henry Miller On Communication

   Henry Miller   (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980)

Henry Miller (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980)

In a few hundred years or less books will be a thing of the past. There was a time when poets communicated with the world without the medium of print; the time will come when they will communicate silently, not as poets merely, but as seers. What we have overlooked, in our frenzy to invent more dazzling ways and means of communication, is to communicate.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox On Protest

   Ella Wheeler Wilcox   (November 5, 1850–October 30, 1919)

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (November 5, 1850–October 30, 1919)

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.

Listen to a reading of the poem Protest by Winston Bart from Poems Cafe here.

László Krasznahorkai On Living

   László Krasznahorkai   (January 05, 1954 -)

László Krasznahorkai (January 05, 1954 -)

I would leave everything here: the valleys, the hills, the paths, and the jaybirds from the gardens, I would leave here the petcocks and the padres, heaven and earth, spring and fall, I would leave here the exit routes, the evenings in the kitchen, the last amorous gaze, and all of the city-bound directions that make you shudder, I would leave here the thick twilight falling upon the land, gravity, hope, enchantment, and tranquillity, I would leave here those beloved and those close to me, everything that touched me, everything that shocked me, fascinated and uplifted me, I would leave here the noble, the benevolent, the pleasant, and the demonically beautiful, I would leave here the budding sprout, every birth and existence, I would leave here incantation, enigma, distances, inexhaustibility, and the intoxication of eternity; for here I would leave this earth and these stars, because I would take nothing with me from here, because I’ve looked into what’s coming, and I don’t need anything from here.

Translated, from the Hungarian, by Ottilie Mulzet.

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🎂Happy Birthday, James Mathes, my friend, (August 07, 1934 - January 08, 2017) In Memoriam🌹 

Jiddu Krishnamurti On Killing: Let Us Not Forget

   Jiddu Krishnamurti   May 11, 1895 – February 17, 1986)

Jiddu Krishnamurti May 11, 1895 – February 17, 1986)

But apparently man loves to kill things, the fleeting deer, the marvelous gazelle, and the great elephant. We love to kill each other. This killing of other human beings has never stopped throughout the history of man's life on this earth. If we could, and we must, establish a deep long abiding relationship with nature, then we would never slaughter another human being for any reason whatsoever. Organized murder is war, and though we demonstrate against a particular war, the nuclear, or any other kind of war, we have never demonstrated against war itself. We have never said that to kill another human being is the greatest sin on earth. 

 

 Photo Credit:   Hiroshima, Shunkichi Kikuchi  , 1945.

Photo Credit: Hiroshima, Shunkichi Kikuchi, 1945.

On this day in 1945 at 8:15 am, seventy three years ago, the United states dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima immediately killing over 140,000 innocent civilians. Hiroshima was not a military target and yet was chosen by the US military as a show of strength and the devastating destruction of a bomb named “Little Boy.” Three days later another atomic bomb, “Fat Man” would be dropped over Nagasaki killing another 70,000 men, women, and children. The world has never know such an absolute act of man’s inhumanity to man.

Xiaolu Guo On Love

   Xiaolu Guo   (1973 -) 

Xiaolu Guo (1973 -) 

 "Love," this English word: like other English words, it has tense. "Loved" or "will love" or "have loved." All these specific tenses mean Love is time-limited thing. Not infinite. It only exist in particular period of time. In Chinese, Love is (ai). It has no tense, no past, no future. Love in Chinese means a being, a situation, a circumstance. Love is existence, holding past and future.


The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration — A Weekly Sunday Series by Socrates Black

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The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Three — Emily Dickinson

She sits quietly across the pond in Monet’s Garden atrium, straight back posture on a bench without a back. She is plain in a visual sense, except for the red streaks in her auburn hair. She is dressed in a white cotton dress. As I approach, I hear her repeating a verse out loud to herself.

Yesterday is History,'Tis so far away -

Yesterday is Poetry -

'Tis Philosophy -

Yesterday is mystery -

Where it is Today

While we shrewdly speculate

Flutter both away

“Excuse me Emily. I hope I am not interrupting, but your note said it was important for us to talk before the evening gathering.”

”O’ Socrates. Forgive me. I was just reciting a poem out loud. Thank you for joining me on such a short notice.”

”I am here to serve Emily. How may I help?”

“I am worried about the gathering this evening. It will be the first since my arrival. I am such a loner. I spend much of my time in solitude. I rarely leave my room. I prefer the company of others through correspondence more than face to face contact.”

”I understand Emily. Attendance is voluntary. Nothing is mandatory here at the Inn. “

”I know. It is just that, I want to attend. That is what surprises me. I have been so private most of my life except for my mother and Lavinia. It is a bit overwhelming. People and conversation drain me so I do not understand this pull of energy to attend.”

”I understand your reservations Emily. I am also a loner who prefers my own company to that of others and yet I am also the Gatekeeper here which requires me to interact with our guests.  We have little if any control over the forces of our existence. I have learned to trust my instincts over my thoughts.”

”Thank you Socrates. I feel better now. Once again I look forward to the gathering this evening.”

”It is my pleasure always, Emily. But now I have a question for you. The verse you were reciting when I arrived. Do you believe poetry and philosophy are intertwined? I am a philosopher by discipline but I think of myself as more of a poet by nature. Do you see yourself as a philosopher as well as a poet?”

”I am a poet, but all poets are philosophers, Socrates. Simply put, only the vehicle of delivery is different. Poetry is philosophy in its essence, reduced to the conclusions of the dialogue. Philosophy is the dialogue. It comes from the mind. Poetry comes from the heart. Yes, they are connected. They are not very different in their intent. They both want us to see the situation from a different perspective. For me, philosophy is something I studied at Amherst. Poetry is something I experience through the everyday experience of living. And yet, the philosophy of my life and death are expressed in my poetry. My poetry is my philosophy.”

”Maybe I should consider being more of a poet. Sometimes my dialogues take on a poetic nature.” Just then the chimes ring to announce the gathering for the evening. “This is a topic I would like to discuss more with you at another time, Emily. Perhaps it might be a topic for one of the evening talks?”

”There are many poets and philosophers here. It should be a lively discussion for sure. Socrates, would you be so kind to escort me the the hall. I would be more comfortable in your presence?”

”It would be my pleasure Emily.” 

                                                                                     ---

The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Five — Alan Watts  will be published on Sunday, August 12, 2018.

CopyRight©️2018 by Transformation Publications. Cover image “Aries” by  Emilee Petersmark for  The Accidentals.

Barack Obama On Respect

   Barack Obama   (August 04, 1961 -)

Barack Obama (August 04, 1961 -)

You can be completely right, and you still are going to have to engage folks who disagree with you. ... So don’t try to shut folks out, don’t try to shut them down, no matter how much you might disagree with them. There's been a trend around the country of trying to get colleges to disinvite speakers with a different point of view, or disrupt a politician’s rally. Don’t do that — no matter how ridiculous or offensive you might find the things that come out of their mouths.

🎂Happy Birthday Mr President, Barack Obama (August 04, 1961 -)🎂 

Madeleine L’Engle On Hubris

   Madeleine L’Engle   (November 29, 1918–September 6, 2007)

Madeleine L’Engle (November 29, 1918–September 6, 2007)

The Greeks had a word for ultimate self-consciousness which I find illuminating: hubris: pride: pride in the sense of putting oneself in the center of the universe. The strange and terrible thing is that this kind of total self-consciousness invariably ends in self-annihilation. The great tragedians have always understood this, from Sophocles to Shakespeare. We witness it in history in such people as Tiberius, Eva Perón, Hitler...When we are self-conscious, we cannot be wholly aware; we must throw ourselves out first. This throwing ourselves away is the act of creativity. So, when we wholly concentrate, like a child in play, or an artist at work, then we share in the act of creating. We not only escape time, we also escape our self-conscious selves.

James Baldwin On Race

   James Baldwin   (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) 

James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) 

My countrymen were my enemy… This country does not know what to do with its black population… The west has no moral authority… The world is not white. White is a metaphor for power… You don’t need numbers. You need passion.

 

🎂Happy Birthday James Baldwin  (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) In Memoriam🌹

Seung Sahn Soen-sa On Sameness

   Seung Sahn Soen-sa   (August 1, 1927–November 30, 2004)

Seung Sahn Soen-sa (August 1, 1927–November 30, 2004)

Everything in the world comes from the same one thing. It is like in a cookie factory. Many different kinds of cookies are made – lions, tigers, elephants, houses, people. They all have different shapes and different names, but they are all made from the same dough and they all taste the same. So all the different things that you see – a cat, a person, a tree, the sun, this floor – all these things are really the same.

 

🎂Happy Birthday Seung Sahn Soen-sa (August 1, 1927–November 30, 2004) In Memoriam🌹