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Image for post
Painting by James Roper

Anyone who takes the sure road is as good as dead. — Carl Jung


🙏🏼 Amor Fati 🙇🏻‍♂️

You should arm yourself,
not like a Caesar with a raised sword
against the world, but with the words:
Amor Fati — love your fate.

You shall make this axiom
your strongest liberator;
You have chosen your path in the thicket.
Don’t look sideways at other paths!

The pain, too, is your servant.
Paralyzed, crushed and rejected
you see that it reunites you
with what is required.

The fall and the betrayal, too,
will help you like friends.
Your defeats are rich
gifts placed in your hands.

Once, contented
by being worthy of your destiny
you shall know: This was my will.
All that happens to me happens justly.

Then say, when the green woods
of your joy for life has been wandered through:
I want nothing different.
I want nothing changed.

— André Bjerke,
translated by Hossein Kashani


Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born — the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people’s experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things.

— Aldous Huxley

I was a child smitten by fantasies and obsessions I took for real. Even as I grew up, I never became very realistic or reasonable. I was always chasing dreams, dreams that revolved around the arts, languages, stories, foreign countries and foreign women (girls really), ideas and fantasies of enlightenment and mastery of creativity.

That was plenty to keep me in hot water for a lifetime, causing more than my rightful allotment of catastrophes. Yet, here I am, still alive and still proceeding by force of attraction to stretch myself into yet another unexpected shape. Because I am unconscious of how things are supposed to be done, I don’t get depressed. I don’t try to force myself into impossible shapes to please “them.” I keep my focus on what seems to carry a numinous aura.

I’m now in the third act of my life. It’s obvious that I was given exactly what I needed to grow up. I had the right parents, the right family, the right inherited abilities, the right body, the right emergencies and failings, the right kind of stupidity even.

Everyone in my life played their roles to perfection, even the trusted ones who betrayed that trust. I have successfully learned what I was meant to learn up to now. I’m taking a little time now to rest and repair, but I don’t think this is the end of the road. My list of fascinations has reduced itself to a smaller number of things pulling me forward, but since life for me is directed by love and attraction, I have the feeling a door is opening to a new world.

What I have learned was all basic stuff, not at all esoteric or difficult. It consisted of things not a few people know from childhood — the importance of love and forgiveness, the common snares of conventional thought, the importance of being true and staying on your true path, how essential silence and listening are, how to offer understanding — things like that. Just basic human things that came more slowly for me than for others.

Now the real learning begins. The levels are endless.

Written by

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

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