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Painting by John Atkinson Grimshaw

“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.” — E.E. Cummings

*

From this I reach what I might call a philosophy; at any rate it is a constant idea of mine; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we — I mean all human beings — are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself. And I see this when I have a shock. …


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Painting by J. M. W. Turner

Just understand your mind: how it works, how attachment and desire arise, how ignorance arises, where emotions come from. It is sufficient to know the nature of all that; just that gives so much happiness and peace.

— Lama Thubten Yeshe

*

“Compassion goes with great intelligence. That intelligence is not the operation of knowledge. Knowledge can solve many problems, intellectual and technical, but intelligence is something entirely different… the problem-solving mind is not the intelligent mind. Intelligence comes with compassion, with love. And when that intelligence is an action of compassion it is global…” — Krishnamurti

*

God speaks to each of us as he makes…


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Painting by Eric Thor Sandberg

The very idea that the universe was created is wrong . It is just always transforming . From form to emptiness and from emptiness to form at different levels

— David Böhm

*

“Reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.”

— Terrence Mc Kenna

*

Looking back, I see how the job I lost pushed me to find work that was mine to do, how the “Road Closed” sign turned me toward terrain I’m glad I traveled, how losses that felt irredeemable forced me to find new sources of meaning. In each of these experiences, it felt as though something was dying, and so it was. Yet deep down, amid all the falling, the seeds of new life were always being silently and lavishly sown. The hopeful notion that new life is hidden in dying is surely reinforced by the visual glories of autumn. What artist would paint a deathbed scene with the vibrant and vital palette nature uses? Perhaps death possesses a grace that we who fear dying, who find it ugly and even obscene, cannot see. How shall we understand nature’s testimony that dying itself — as devastating as we know it can be — contains the hope of a certain beauty?


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Painting by Chagall

“The calling starts when we’re young. The problem is that it’s a soft voice and we often don’t hear it, especially with the chatter around us. But it’s there. So what happens when we get in trouble is it stops the chatter and sometimes that voice gets through. But often it doesn’t get through fully when we’re young and a lot of people live a life not tied to the genius of their own soul. But here’s the valuable thing. This is so important, the awakening of one’s genius, the moving closer to living the life of giftedness and purpose, that the calling keeps calling. And no matter how old a person is or how close they get to the door of exit, the calling keeps calling. A person can awaken at any point along the path of life.” …


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Laurits Andersen Ring — At Breakfast, 1889.

Having little, he cried.

The gods took pity on him and gave him the tiniest portion of their wealth, causing him to become rich beyond his imagination.

Thieves, schemers and false friends arrived.

Barricading himself behind strong walls, he cried.

~ Domo Geshe Rinpoche

*

Here are 7 things my father taught me by example.

Do beautiful things, just for the sake of it. If you love orchids, build a greenhouse full of them in the basement. If you love the sound of French, learn to speak it fluently, even though you rarely have time to visit France. …


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Painting by John William Waterhouse

We use our life to experiment with the truth. — Thich Nhat Hanh

*

Because we have not made our lives to fit
our places, the forests are ruined, the fields, eroded,
the streams polluted, the mountains, overturned. Hope
then to belong to your place by your own knowledge
of what it is that no other place is, and by
your caring for it, as you care for no other place, this
knowledge cannot be taken from you by power or by wealth.
It will stop your ears to the powerful when they ask
for your faith, and to the wealthy when they ask for your land
and your work. …


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Image from Musetouch

“When we ask why each analysis comes upon the death experience so often and in such variety, we find, primarily, death appears in order to make way for transformation. The flower withers around its swelling pod, the snake sheds its skin, and the adult puts off his childish ways. The creative force kills as it produces the new. Every turmoil and disorder called neurosis can be seen as a life and death struggle in which the players are masked.

What is called death by the neurotic mainly because it is dark and unknown is a new life trying to break through into consciousness; what he calls life because it is familiar is but a dying pattern he tries to keep alive.


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Art by Alecos Fassianos

“Now we know thanks to modern science that we can only see a few hundred nanometers on the electromagnetic spectrum. We can’t hear ultra low-frequency sounds. We have machines confirming hard evidence of what the wisdom traditions have been getting across for millennia: that this plane of existence is not quite what it seems.

The ancient Hindus gave us this understanding in the Vedas, some of the oldest texts in our civilization. …


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Painting by Stanislav Zhukovsky

‘One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice, though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognised as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do, determined to save the only life you could save.’ …


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Harold Harvey, The Critics

Not uncommonly we encounter persons of exceptional sensitivity — emotional, imaginative, intellectual, aesthetic, intuitive. Delicate perceptions, fine sentiments, nuances of thought that pass unnoticed by legions of dull, sleepy spirits are powerfully registered by these more thin-skinned and “irritable” souls. And then there is another type of soul, the sort that is known for possessing “grace under pressure.” These persons are admired for their unflappability — keeping their cool and their poise under circumstances that would unnerve or unhinge most persons. Is it possible to imagine the skilled suturing together of these two quite different types of soul — into one marvelous creature? …

About

David Price

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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