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L001.001 - Aspiration and Dryness
dryness ::: n. --> The state of being dry. See Dry.
Dryness comes usually when the vital dislikes a movement or' condition or the refusal of its desires and starts non-co-operation.
1 Sri Aurobindo
NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
4 Juan de la Cruz
4 C S Lewis
3 Henry David Thoreau
2 Winston Graham
2 W H Auden
2 Timothy J Keller
2 Teresa of vila
1:aspiration and dryness :::
Naturally, the more one-pointed the aspiration the swifter the progress. The difficulty comes when either the vital with its desires or the physical with its past habitual movements comes in - as they do with almost everyone. It is then that the dryness and difficulty of spontaneous aspiration come. This dryness is a well-known obstacle in all sadhana. But one has to persist and not be discouraged. If one keeps the will fixed even in these barren periods, they pass and after their passage a greater force of aspiration and experience becomes possible. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II,
*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***
1:He'd reached the point where he was so wet that he should be approaching dryness from the other end ~ Anonymous
2:With the traditional Australian’s indifference to personal dryness and venomous underwater predators, she dived right in. ~ Lev Grossman
3:If once they get through this initial dryness successfully, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt. I ~ C S Lewis
4:Raindrops lingered in a melody of remembrance cast from the heavens above as I myself cast aside the dryness of the present day. ~ Gina Marinello Sweeney
5:It is precisely in times of spiritual dryness that we must hold on to our spiritual discipline so that we can grow into new intimacy with God. ~ Henri Nouwen
6:He who is able to accept everything gladly from the Lord - including darkness, dryness, flatness - and completely disregard self is he who lives for Him." - ~ Watchman Nee
7:Minli suddenly thought of Ma and Ba. A wave of longing washed through her and a dryness caught in her throat that the tea could not moisten. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. ~ Grace Lin
8:...I'm severely allergic to unsolicited monologue performances in public. While they don't cause sneezing or hives, when exposed, I do experience extreme and immediate vaginal dryness. ~ Sara Barron
9:The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another. It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness. ~ Henry David Thoreau
10:Surely one may as profitably be soaked in the juices of a swamp for one day as pick his way dry-shod over sand. Cold and damp ? are they not as rich experience as warmth and dryness? ~ Henry David Thoreau
11:He swallowed hard, annoyed at the sudden dryness in his throat. No reason to become all emotional about it now. He had already sold his soul for a chance at vengeance, and there was no getting it back. ~ G S Jennsen
12:9. Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction. ~ Juan de la Cruz
13:Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction. ~ Saint John of the Cross
14:The man who breathes through the mouth at night, always awakens with a parched feeling in the mouth and a dryness in the throat. He is violating one of nature’s laws, and is sowing the seeds of disease. ~ William Walker Atkinson
15:Even the facts of science may dust the mind by their dryness, unless they are ... rendered fertile by the dews of fresh and living truth. Knowledge does not come to us by details, but in flashes of light from heaven. ~ Henry David Thoreau
16:The four elements: earth, water, fire and air; the qualities recognized by touch: cold, heat, dryness, and moisture; the temperaments: sanguineous, phlegmatic, choleric, and saturnine; the faculties: natural, animal, and vital. ~ Noah Gordon
17:The tiny lines extending from the corners of his eyes were no illusion. He touched his cheek and felt a delicate dryness, a subtle stiffening. Weren’t there also circles under his eyes, and even more lines around his mouth? ~ Whitley Strieber
18:Four times in the false year the false season
Changed, in the immutable course
Of times's progression.
Dryness follows greenness, and greenness dryness,
And no one knows which is first, which
Is last, and they end. ~ Fernando Pessoa
19:The only way God can strengthen his presence in our will is to weaken his presence in our feelings. Otherwise we would become spiritual cripples, unable to walk without emotional crutches. This is why he gives us dryness, sufferings, and failures. ~ Peter Kreeft
20:I ordered a coffee and a little something to eat and savored the warmth and dryness. Somewhere in the background Nat King Cole sang a perky tune. I watched the rain beat down on the road outside and told myself that one day this would be twenty years ago. ~ Bill Bryson
21:Bear patiently your exile and the dryness of your mind. The time will come when I will make you forget these painful moments and you will enjoy inward quietness. I will open the Bible for you and you will be thrilled by your new understanding of my truth. ~ Thomas Kempis
22:You know that because you asked me out, you’re the one who has to pick the place, right?”
All of the dryness in my throat.
“Whatever you suggest.” He grins. “I’ll say yes. You’ll definitely get a yes. If that helps. ~ Stephanie Perkins
23:My parents took an interest in nothing, at home no books, no records. My mother and my father are the emblem of indifference, dryness and bad taste. My father is also terribly stingy, in life as well as in feelings: I have never seen him filling up the bathtub. ~ Vincent Gallo
24:Give me, if you will, prayers;
Or let me know dryness,
An abudance of devotion,
Or if not, then barrenness.
In you alone, Sovereign Majesty,
I find my peace,
What do you want of me?
Yours I am, fo ryou I was born:
What do you want of me? ~ Teresa of vila
25:[I]n order to raise a soul to the highest perfection, He allows it to pass through dryness, brambles, and combats, causing it thereby to honor the times of weariness in the life of His Son, Our Lord, who suffered various kinds of anguish and abandonment. ~ Saint Vincent de Paul
26:Pure earth does not petrify, because the predominance of dryness over [i.e. in] the earth endows it not with coherence but rather with crumbliness. In general, stone is formed in two ways only (a) through the hardening of clay, and (b) by the congelation [of waters]. ~ Avicenna
27:If, like Hume, I had all manner of adornment in my power, I would still have reservations about using them. It is true that some readers will be scared off by dryness. But isn't it necessary to scare off some if in their case the matter would end up in bad hands? ~ Immanuel Kant
28:Like love, mourning affects the world—and the worldly—with unreality, with importunity. I resist the world, I suffer from what it demands of me, from its demands. The world increases my sadness, my dryness, my confusion, my irritation, etc. The world depresses me. ~ Roland Barthes
29:…the warm glazes, the sparkling penumbra of the room itself and, through the little window framed with honeysuckle, in the rustic avenue, the resilient dryness of the sun-parched earth, veiled only by the diaphanous gauze woven of distance and the shade of the trees. ~ Marcel Proust
30:The arm was the worst of it; it felt as though it’d been mangled by a tiger and then jammed into a blender set on pulverize. A blacksmith was mercilessly using her skull as an anvil. Her tongue and mouth had the dryness of both the Sahara and the worst hangover imaginable. Megan ~ Harlan Coben
31:Let him assume that the first ardours of his conversion might have been expected to last, and ought to have lasted, forever, and that his present dryness is an equally permanent condition. Having once got this misconception well fixed in his head, you may then proceed in various ways. ~ C S Lewis
32:She tried to avert her eyes from his bare chest. She should avert her eyes and not admire his magnificent, broad, powerful-looking chest, and focus only on his shoulder injury. She swallowed past the dryness in her throat. Shoulder, Avelina. Injury, Avelina. Breathe, Avelina. She ~ Melanie Dickerson
33:The best remedy for dryness of spirit, is to picture ourselves as beggars in the presence of God and the Saints, and like a beggar, to go first to one saint, then to another, to ask a spiritual alms of them with the same earnestness as a poor fellow in the streets would ask an alms of us. ~ Philip Neri
34:Beauty, midnight, vision dies: Let the winds of dawn that blow Softly round your dreaming head Such a day of welcome show Eye and knocking heart may bless, Find our mortal world enough; Noons of dryness find you fed By the involuntary powers, Nights of insult let you pass Watched by every human love. ~ W H Auden
35:All over the world people were slipping away from where they had been, from once fertile plains cracking with dryness, from seaside villages gasping beneath tidal surges, from overcrowded cities and murderous battlefields, and slipping away from other people too, people they had in some cases loved. ~ Mohsin Hamid
36:that you may reap humility from your dryness, instead of the disquietude the devil strives to cause by it. I believe that where true humility exists, although God should never bestow consolations, yet He gives a peace and resignation which make the soul happier than are others with sensible devotion. ~ Teresa of vila
37:Do not distress yourself on account of any distaste or dryness you experience in God's service. He wills that you should serve Him fervently and constantly it is true, but without any other help than simple faith, and thus your love will be more disinterested, and your service the more pleasing to Him. ~ Margaret Mary Alacoque
38:Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of welcome show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find our mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness find you fed
By the involuntary powers,
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love. ~ W H Auden
39:Our actions are like roses, which when fresh have more beauty, yet when dry have more strength and sweetness. Our works performed with tenderness of heart are more agreeable to ourselves, who regard only our own satisfaction, yet when performed in the time of dryness they possess more sweetness, and become more precious in the sight of God. ~ Francis de Sales
40:The tortured clinging to an earlier expression of The Gift very often precedes the emergence of some new version. We’re aware of the dryness at the center, yes, but this aridity is usually not quite enough to propel us forward. We must first get just a whiff of the new. The surprising and intoxicating whiff of a new dharma is quite irresistible. ~ Stephen Cope
41:Our actions are like roses, which when fresh have more beauty, yet when dry have more strength and sweetness. Our works performed with tenderness of heart are more agreeable to ourselves, who regard only our own satisfaction, yet when performed in the time of dryness they possess more sweetness, and become more precious in the sight of God. ~ Saint Francis de Sales
42:When I took the habit, the Lord immediately showed me how He favours those who do violence to themselves in order to serve Him. No one saw what I endured... At the moment of my entrance into this new state I felt a joy so great that it has never failed me even to this day; and God converted the dryness of my soul into a very great tenderness. ~ Saint Teresa of Avila
43:Fear seizes hold in your chest first. It clamps gently to the top of the heart, like a vice made of rubber. Then you really feel it. Your stomach churns. Your throat closes. And you swallow, desperately trying to avoid the dryness and hoping that when you open your mouth, a confident, clear voice will emerge. Even after all my training, I was terrified. Women, ~ Neil Strauss
44:She goes on with her beautiful hair and mouth like before,
I go on like before, alone in the field.
It’s like my head had been lowered,
And if I think this, and raise my head
And the golden sun dries the need to cry I can’t stop having.
How vast the field and interior love... !
I look, and I forget, like dryness where there was water and trees losing their leaves. ~ Alberto Caeiro
45:Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to ‘do it on their own’. And there lies our opportunity. But also, remember, there lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfully, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt. ~ C S Lewis
46:Love in the high desert is a strange thing. There is something about the climate—the remoteness, the severity of the seasons, the dryness of the air, the extreme beauty—that makes people feel more deeply. Perhaps without trees or cities to dampen the enormity of the feelings, they spread out hugely. Perhaps the hard-packed dust of the San Luis Valley amplifies them, like a shout into a canyon. ~ Maggie Stiefvater
47:Look at a plant in the midst of its range! Why does it not double or quadruple its numbers? We know that it can perfectly well withstand a little more heat or cold, dampness or dryness, for elsewhere it ranges into slightly hotter or colder, damper or drier districts. In this case we can clearly see that if we wish in imagination to give the plant the power of increasing in numbers, we should have to give it some advantage ~ Charles Darwin
48:SOMETIMES, BUT NOT OFTEN, a rain comes to the Salinas Valley in November. It is so rare that the Journal or the Index or both carry editorials about it. The hills turn to a soft green overnight and the air smells good. Rain at this time is not particularly good in an agricultural sense unless it is going to continue, and this is extremely unusual. More commonly, the dryness comes back and the fuzz of grass withers or a little frost ~ John Steinbeck
49:...spiritual dryness is not a problem. It only seems a problem because it's such a contrast with the good feelings of the honeymoon stage. ...this night will continue to go on, often getting worse, throughout our life. But if we persevere in our spiritual journey, we will be able to perceive in it positive meaning and learn to understand it. Then we can move beyond it to the freedom that places our feelings in proper perspective. ~ Monks of New Skete
50:The star [Tycho's supernova] was at first like Venus and Jupiter, giving pleasing effects; but as it then became like Mars, there will next come a period of wars, seditions, captivity and death of princes, and destruction of cities, together with dryness and fiery meteors in the air, pestilence, and venomous snakes. Lastly, the star became like Saturn, and there will finally come a time of want, death, imprisonment and all sorts of sad things. ~ Tycho Brahe
51:Evidence of this [transformation of animals into fossils] is that parts of aquatic animals and perhaps of naval gear are found in rock in hollows on mountains, which water no doubt deposited there enveloped in sticky mud, and which were prevented by coldness and dryness of the stone from petrifying completely. Very striking evidence of this kind is found in the stones of Paris, in which one very often meets round shells the shape of the moon. ~ Albertus Magnus
52:The infallible test of spiritual integrity, Jesus says, is your private prayer life. Many people will pray when they are required by cultural or social circumstances. Those with a genuinely lived relationship with God as Father, however, will inwardly want to pray and therefore will pray even though nothing on the outside is pressing them to do so. They pursue it even during times of spiritual dryness, when there is no social or experiential payoff. ~ Timothy J Keller
53:If we lived for ever, who would look forward eagerly to tomorrow? If there were no darkness, should we so appreciate the sun? Warmth after cold, food after hunger, drink after thirst, sexual love after the absence of sexual love, the fatherly greeting after being away, the comfort and dryness of home after a ride in the rain, the warmth and peace and security of one’s fireside after being among enemies. Unless there were contrast there might be satiety. He ~ Winston Graham
54:Before Noah, men having only water to drink, could not find the truth. Accordingly...they became abominably wicked, and they were justly exterminated by the water they loved to drink. This good man, Noah, having seen that all his contemporaries had perished by this unpleasant drink, took a dislike to it; and God, to relieve his dryness, created the vine and revealed to him the art of making le vin. By the aid of this liquid he unveiled more and more truth. ~ Benjamin Franklin
55:The great, the universal problem is how to be always on a journey and yet see what you would see if it were only possible for you to stay home: a black cat in a garden, moving though iris blades behind a lilac bush. How to keep sufficiently detached and quiet inside so that when the cat in one spring reaches the top of the garden wall, turns down again, and disappears, you will see and remember it, and not be absorbed in that moment in the dryness of your hands. ~ William Maxwell
56:..every once in a while, maybe twice a year, I dream of blood. It tastes like copper pennies on your tongue. It’s hot, hotter than you expect, and very wet at first, but it clots even as it fills your mouth. It sticks in your throat but you swallow it down, you can feel it stringy and dark in the back of your throat but you force it down so you can have some more, another mouthful, and another. I know it so well now. The dryness of it, the clots in your teeth. The need. ~ David Wellington
57:Trees which grow in places facing the course of the sun are not of porous fiber but are solid, being drained by the dryness... The trees in sunny neighborhoods, therefore, being solidified by the compact texture of their fiber, and not being porous from moisture, are very useful, so far as durability goes, when they are hewn into timber. The lowland firs, being conveyed from sunny places, are better than those highland firs, which are brought here from shady places. ~ Marcus Vitruvius Pollio
58:The infallible test of spiritual integrity, Jesus says, is your private prayer life. Many people will pray when they are required by cultural or social expectations, or perhaps by the anxiety caused by troubling circumstances. Those with a genuinely lived relationship with God as Father, however, will inwardly want to pray and therefore will pray even though nothing on the outside is pressing them to do so. They pursue it even during times of spiritual dryness, when there is no social or experiential payoff. ~ Timothy J Keller
59:Unfortunately, we may not always fully enter into the mysteries of Christ, because we don't persevere in praying the Rosary. We forget that, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, prayer can be a real battle (135). Sometimes the attacks in this battle are dryness in praying the Rosary. Well we should keep praying it. Sometimes as we get ready to pray the Rosary, we suddenly feel an aversion, fatigue comes over us, and our minds think of a million other things that have to be done. We should keep praying it. ~ Michael Gaitley
60:Therefore, at this time, all that the soul can do of itself ends, as I have said, in disturbing the peace and the work of God in the spirit amid the dryness of sense. This peace, being spiritual and delicate, effects a work that is quiet and delicate, unobtrusive and satisfactory,6 pacific and utterly alien from the former delights, which were most gross and sensual. This is that peace, according to the Psalmist, which God speaks in the soul to make it spiritual. “He will speak peace unto His people.”7 This brings us to the third test. ~ Juan de la Cruz
61:We lie under the sheet
after making love, speaking
relieved in a book
relived in a book
so on that page
the clot and fissure
of it appears
words of a man
a naked word
entering the clot
a hand grasping
What happens between us
has happened for centuries
we know it from literature
still it happens
dryness of mouth
there are books that describe all this
and they are useless ~ Adrienne Rich
62:Repetition and familiarity work. What is repeated becomes familiar, and this becomes a part of us. Our own culture understands this, but alas, not always the church. Far too many equate ritual with spiritual dryness. True, ritual and liturgy can be dead--even using the terms can raise hackles--but only when the significance and power of those rituals are forgotten. Spiritual death is not a property of ritual itself. To the contrary, ritual has always been and will always be a means of securing for future generations the power and reality of the gospel." (Peter Enns, Exodus, page 262). ~ Peter Enns
63:I have one word to say upon the subject of profound writers, who are grown very numerous of late; and I know very well the judicious world is resolved to list me in that number. I conceive therefore, as to the business of being profound, that it is with writers as with wells; a person with good eyes may see to the bottom of the deepest, provided any water be there; and often, when there is nothing in the world at the bottom, besides dryness and dirt, though it be but a yard and half under ground, it shall pass however for wondrous deep, upon no wiser a reason than because it is wondrous dark. ~ Jonathan Swift
64:aspiration and dryness :::
Naturally, the more one-pointed the aspiration the swifter the progress. The difficulty comes when either the vital with its desires or the physical with its past habitual movements comes in - as they do with almost everyone. It is then that the dryness and difficulty of spontaneous aspiration come. This dryness is a well-known obstacle in all sadhana. But one has to persist and not be discouraged. If one keeps the will fixed even in these barren periods, they pass and after their passage a greater force of aspiration and experience becomes possible. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II,
65:They tried to hold together with their Australian dryness and their Australian curses, their Australian memories and their Australian mateship. But suddenly Australia meant little against lice and hunger and beri-beri, against thieving and beatings and yet ever more slave labour. Australia was shrinking and shrivelling, a grain of rice was so much bigger now than a continent, and the only things that grew daily larger were the men’s battered, drooping slouch hats, which now loomed like sombreros over their emaciated faces and their empty dark eyes, eyes that already seemed to be little more than black-shadowed sockets waiting for worms. ~ Anonymous
66:To The Snake
Green Snake, when I hung you round my neck
and stroked your cold, pulsing throat
as you hissed to me, glinting
arrowy gold scales, and I felt
the weight of you on my shoulders,
and the whispering silver of your dryness
sounded close at my ears --
Green Snake--I swore to my companions that certainly
you were harmless! But truly
I had no certainty, and no hope, only desiring
to hold you, for that joy,
a long wake of pleasure, as the leaves moved
and you faded into the pattern
of grass and shadows, and I returned
smiling and haunted, to a dark morning.
~ Denise Levertov
67:The world is wide, wide, wide, and I am young, young, young, and we’re all going to live forever!'
We were very hungry but we didn’t want to leave, so we ate there. We had chicken sandwiches; boy, the chicken of the century. Dry, wry, and tender, the dryness sort of rubbing against your tongue on soft, bouncy white bread with slivers of juicy wet pickles. Then we had some very salty potato chips and some olives stuffed with pimentos and some Indian nuts and some tiny pearl onions and some more popcorn. Then we washed the whole thing down with iced martinis and finished up with large cups of strong black coffee and cigarettes. One of my really great meals. ~ Elaine Dundy
68:Now, of course, having failed in every attempt to subdue the Glades by frontal attack, we are slowly killing it off by tapping the River of Grass. In the questionable name of progress, the state in its vast wisdom lets every two-bit developer divert the flow into drag-lined canals that give him 'waterfront' lots to sell. As far north as Corkscrew Swamp, virgin stands of ancient bald cypress are dying. All the area north of Copeland had been logged out, and will never come back. As the glades dry, the big fires come with increasing frequency. The ecology is changing with egret colonies dwindling, mullet getting scarce, mangrove dying of new diseases born of dryness. ~ John D MacDonald
69:The Enemy takes this risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His ‘free’ lovers and servants—’sons’ is the word He uses, with His inveterate love of degrading the whole spiritual world by unnatural liaisons with the two-legged animals. Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to ‘do it on their own’. And there lies our opportunity. But also, remember there lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfully, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt. ~ C S Lewis
70:The third sign we have for ascertaining whether this dryness be the purgation of sense, is inability to meditate and make reflections, and to excite the imagination, as before, notwithstanding all the efforts we may make; for God begins now to communicate Himself, no longer through the channel of sense, as formerly, in consecutive reflections, by which we arranged and divided our knowledge, but in pure spirit, which admits not of successive reflections, and in the act of pure contemplation, to which neither the interior nor the exterior senses of our lower nature can ascend. Hence it is that the fancy and the imagination cannot help or suggest any reflections, nor use them ever afterwards. ~ Juan de la Cruz
71:Yet, although he could not quite work this out in simple terms in his own mind, the very savour of life, he thought, was itself enhanced if it were not totally taken for granted. Perhaps it was something to do with the whole philosophy of the world into which we were born. If we lived for ever, who would look forward eagerly to tomorrow? If there were no darkness, should we appreciate the sun? Warmth after cold, food after hunger, drink after thirst, sexual love after the absence of sexual love, the fatherly greeting after being away, the comfort and dryness of home after a ride in the rain, the warmth and peace and security of one’s fireside after being among enemies. Unless there was contrast there might be satiety. ~ Winston Graham
72:The house was an immense place, isolated in a great wooded area. The building and the trees seemed wet, glistening dimly in the grey morning light that was much like the light of midday of Anthea. It was refreshing to his over-sensitive eyes. He liked the woods, the quiet sense of life in them, and the glistening moisture - the sense of water and of fruitfulness that this earth overflowed with, even down to the continual trilling and chirping sounds of the insects. It would be an endless source of delight compared to his own world, with the dryness, the emptiness, the soundlessness of the broad, empty deserts between the almost deserted cities where the only sound was the whining of the cold and endless wind that voiced the agony of his own, dying people..... ~ Walter Tevis
73:Lessons Of English
When Desdemona sang a dittyIn her last hours among the livingIt wasn't love that she lamented,
And not her star-she mourned a willow.
When Desdemona started singing,
With tears near choking off her voice,
Her evil demon for her evil day
Stored up of weeping rills a choice.
And when Ophelia sang a balladIn her last hours among the livingAll dryness of her soul was carried
Aloft by gusts of wind, like cinders.
The day Ophelia started singing,
By bitterness of daydreams jaded,
What trophies did she clutch, when sinking?
A bunch of buttercups and daisies.
Their shoulders stripped of passion's tatters,
They took, their hearts a-quake with fear,
The Universe's chilly baptismTo stun their loving forms with spheres.
~ Boris Pasternak
74:I refused to have bookshelves, horrified that I'd feel compelled to organise the books in some regimented system - Dewey or alphabetical or worse - and so the books lived in stacks, some as tall as me, in the most subjective order I could invent.
Thus Nabokov lived between Gogol and Hemingway, cradled between the Old World and the New; Willa Cather and Theodore Dreiser and Thomas Hardy were stacked together not for their chronological proximity but because they all reminded me in some way of dryness (though in Dreiser's case I think I was focused mainly on his name): George Eliot and Jane Austen shared a stack with Thackeray because all I had of his was Vanity Fair, and I thought that Becky Sharp would do best in the presence of ladies (and deep down I worried that if I put her next to David Copperfield, she might seduce him). ~ Rebecca Makkai
75:Then Ghana, and the smell of Ghana, a contradiction, a cracked clay pot: the smell of dryness, wetness, both, the damp of earth and dry of dust. The airport. Bodies pushing, pulling, shouting, begging, touching, breathing. He'd forgotten the bodies. The proximity of bodies. In America the bodies were distant. The warmth of it ......
Why had he hated this view? Of this beach, of the backs of these fishermen, glistening brown, of the long wooden boats, evangelical names in bright tricolor paint on their splintering sides, Black Star Jesus, Jah Reign, Christ the Fisher of Men, in the red, yellow, green of the national flag and the national spirit of open-source ethos, this mixing of Anglican, Rastafarian, Ghanaian? What was there to hate in this? There was only openness. As far as he could see. A cheerful openness. An innocence. An innocent beach on the road to Kokrobite at seven A.M. November 1975, little country lurching, cheerful, unaware, to revolution. Little taxi lurching, blasting revolution, to grief. ~ Taiye Selasi
76:CREONTA: Rope! My rope! Hang those two thieves by the neck until they are dead.
THE ROPE: Alack, but vile and ill-natured female! Upon wherein did thine affections tarry when I didst but lie here and rot for many a year? Nay, but those fellows tooketh care to remove the wetness that didst plagueth me of late and hath laid me upon the cool ground to revel in a state of dryness. Nay, I wouldst not delay them in their noble course for all thine base and bestial howling.
CREONTA: Then, you, dearest donkey, precious beast of burden, tear those two apart and eat their flesh!
DONKEY: Nay, but alas for many a season didst you but keep the food of the tummy from me and my mouth when it was that I required it of you. These fine gentlemen of fortune didst but give me carrots of which to partake which I did most verily and forthsoothe with merriment. I havest decided that thou dost suck most verily and no longer will I layth the smackth down in thine name but will rather let such gentlemen as these go free of themselves.
TRUFFALDINO: [To the audience.] Well, what do you know? Fakespeare! ~ Hillary DePiano
77:If then you do not make yourself equal to God, you cannot apprehend God; for like is known by like.
Leap clear of all that is corporeal, and make yourself grown to a like expanse with that greatness which is beyond all measure; rise above all time and become eternal; then you will apprehend God. Think that for you too nothing is impossible; deem that you too are immortal, and that you are able to grasp all things in your thought, to know every craft and science; find your home in the haunts of every living creature; make yourself higher than all heights and lower than all depths; bring together in yourself all opposites of quality, heat and cold, dryness and fluidity; think that you are everywhere at once, on land, at sea, in heaven; think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave; grasp in your thought all of this at once, all times and places, all substances and qualities and magnitudes together; then you can apprehend God.
But if you shut up your soul in your body, and abase yourself, and say “I know nothing, I can do nothing; I am afraid of earth and sea, I cannot mount to heaven; I know not what I was, nor what I shall be,” then what have you to do with God? ~ Hermes Trismegistus
78:This here," he said playing with it, "is a stone, and will, after a certain time, perhaps turn into soil, and will turn from soil into a plant or animal or human being. In the past, I would have said: This stone is just a stone, it is worthless, it belongs to the world of the Maja; but because it might be able to become also a human being and a spirit in the cycle of transformations, therefore I also grant it importance. Thus, I would perhaps have thought in the past. But today I think: this stone is a stone, it is also animal, it is also god, it is also Buddha, I do not venerate and love it because it could turn into this or that, but rather because it is already and always everything— and it is this very fact, that it is a stone, that it appears to me now and today as a stone, this is why I love it and see worth and purpose in each of its veins and cavities, in the yellow, in the gray, in the hardness, in the sound it makes when I knock at it, in the dryness or wetness of its surface. There are stones which feel like oil or soap, and others like leaves, others like sand, and every one is special and prays the Om in its own way, each one is Brahman, but simultaneously and just as much it is a stone, is oily or juicy, and this is this very fact which I like and regard as wonderful and worthy of worship. ~ Hermann Hesse
Ten adults at a laden table,
two children sitting on the floor,
one dog to bark when it was able,
who could ask for anything more.
The same old senses intermingling
in spooky ways above the food.
The same old psyches blending; singling
to help inflate the same old mood:
love me, love my lone uniqueness;
listen, tell me what I’ve said
while the world outside in bleakness
loses count of all its dead.
Two go out and three come forward,
ever older grows the mass.
I have only my and your word
that the end will come to pass.
Here it’s just another weekend,
summers flame and winters freeze.
The end of spring is not a bleak end
in the land of cows and bees.
We all ate and drank together
being more fortunate than most.
The wind played havoc with the weather
the rain boomed like an invited ghost
to be sent about its business elsewhere
haunting the rest of the stricken state
casting its watery gift of spells where
it would make the dust abate.
Over our zany conversation
the dryness blew its hurricane.
our wine helped water conservation,
our wind rattled the windowpane.
We raved a lot of first and last things,
Five courses vanished in an hour or two,
The outward gale stayed on to blast things
to nowhere known to me and you.
~ Bruce Beaver
80:It comes down to what is language? Up to now, until this age of mass literacy, language has been something spoken. In utterance there’s a minimum of slowness. In trying to treat words as chisel strokes, you run the risk of losing the quality of utterance, the rhythm of utterance, the happiness. A phrase out of Mark Twain—he describes a raft hitting a bridge and says that it “went all to smash and scatteration like a box of matches struck by lightning.” The beauty of “scatteration” could only have occurred to a talkative man, a man who had been brought up among people who were talking and who loved to talk himself. I’m aware myself of a certain dryness of this reservoir, this backlog of spoken talk. A Romanian once said to me that Americans are always telling stories. I’m not sure this is as true as it once was. Where we once used to spin yarns, now we sit in front of the tv and receive pictures. I’m not sure the younger generation even knows how to gossip. But, as for a writer, if he has something to tell, he should perhaps type it almost as fast as he could talk it. We must look to the organic world, not the inorganic world, for metaphors; and just as the organic world has periods of repose and periods of great speed and exercise, so I think the writer’s process should be organically varied. But there’s a kind of tautness that you should feel within yourself no matter how slow or fast you’re spinning out the reel. ~ John Updike
81:I gave them the same advice that had worked for me: Start by stocking your sense memory. Smell everything and attach words to it. Raid your fridge, pantry, medicine cabinet, and spice rack, then quiz yourself on pepper, cardamom, honey, ketchup, pickles, and lavender hand cream. Repeat. Again. Keep going. Sniff flowers and lick rocks. Be like Ann, and introduce odors as you notice them, as you would people entering a room. Also be like Morgan, and look for patterns as you taste, so you can, as he does, “organize small differentiating units into systems.” Master the basics of structure—gauge acid by how you drool, alcohol by its heat, tannin by its dryness, finish by its length, sweetness by its thick softness, body by its weight—and apply it to the wines you try. Actually, apply it to everything you try. Be systematic: Order only Chardonnay for a week and get a feel for its personality, then do the same with Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc (the Wine Folly website offers handy CliffsNotes on each one’s flavor profile). Take a moment as you drink to reflect on whether you like it, then think about why. Like Paul Grieco, try to taste the wine for what it is, not what you imagine it should be. Like the Paulée-goers, splurge occasionally. Mix up the everyday bottles with something that’s supposed to be better, and see if you agree. Like Annie, break the rules, do what feels right, and don’t be afraid to experiment. ~ Bianca Bosker
82:Thirsting for God O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. PSALM 63:1-2 NLT David wrote many of the psalms in the middle of difficult times. Biblical scholars believe this one was written when David fled Jerusalem when his son Absalom took the throne from him. Even in the midst of David’s breaking heart, he sought the Lord with a deep, soul-parched thirst. He was the deer being hunted by his son; he was the one longing to be filled, to be completely satisfied through the only source who truly satisfies. Many years later, Jesus said, “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6 NLT). The thirst Jesus describes is the same thirst David spoke of. Charles Spurgeon, a nineteenth-century pastor in London, explained it this way in his Treasury of David: This thirst is “the cry of a man far removed from the outward ordinances and worship of God, sighing for the long loved house of his God; and at the same time it is the voice of a spiritual believer, under depressions, longing for the renewal of the divine presence, struggling with doubts and fears, but yet holding his ground by faith in the living God.” Father, I, too, thirst for You in the dryness of my soul. Thank You for Jesus who alone is able to satisfy this thirst. ~ Various
83:Meanwhile, God seeks to raise them higher, to draw them out of this miserable manner of loving to a higher state of the love of God, to deliver them from the low usage of the senses and meditation whereby they seek after God, as I said before,4 in ways so miserable and so unworthy of Him. He seeks to place them in the way of the spirit wherein they may the more abundantly, and more free from imperfections, commune with God now that they have been for some time tried in the way of goodness, persevering in meditation and prayer, and because of the sweetness they found therein have withdrawn their affections from the things of this world, and gained a certain spiritual strength in God, whereby they in some measure curb their love of the creature, and are able, for the love of God, to carry a slight burden of dryness, without going back to that more pleasant time when their spiritual exercises abounded in delights, and when the sun of the divine graces shone, as they think, more clearly upon them. God is now changing that light into darkness, and sealing up the door of the fountain of the sweet spiritual waters, which they tasted in God as often and as long as they wished. For when they were weak and tender, this door was then not shut, as it is written, “Behold, I have given before thee an opened door, which no man can shut; because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name.”5 4. God thus leaves them in darkness so great ~ Juan de la Cruz
You arrive in the basement. Immediatly it catches you. Apples are here, lying on fruit trays, turned crates. You didn't think about it. You had no wish to be flooded by this melancholic wave. But you can't resist. Apple scent is a breaker. How could you manage without this childhood, bitter and sweet ?
Shrivelled fruits surely are delicious, from this feak dryness where candied taste seems to have wormed in each wrinkle. But you don't wish to eat them. Particularly don't turn into an identifiable taste this floating power of smell. Say that it smells good, strong? But not ..... It's beyond .... An inner scent, scent of a better oneself. Here is shut up school autumn, with purple ink we scratch paper with down strokes and thin strokes. Rain bangs against glasses, evening will be long ....
But apple perfume is more than past. You think about formerly because of fullness and intensity from a remembrance of salpetered cellar, dark attic. But it's to live here, stay here, stand up.
You have behind you high herbs and damp orchards. Ahead it's like a warm blow given in the shade. Scent got all browns, all reds with a bit of green acid. Scent distilled skin softness, its tiny roughness. Lips dried, we alreadyt know that this thirst is not to be slaked.
Nothing would happen if you bite the white flesh. You would need to become october, mud floor, moss of cellar, rain, expectation.
Apple scent is painful. It's from a stronger life, a slowness we deserve no more. ~ Philippe Delerm
85:While they fought for the privilege of carrying him on their shoulders along the steep escarpment by the cliffs, men and women became aware for the first time of the desolation of their streets, the dryness of their courtyards, the narrowness of their dreams as they faced the splendor and beauty of their drowned man. They let him go without an anchor so that he could come back if he wished and whenever he wished, and they all held their breath for the fraction of centuries the body took to fall into the abyss. They did not need to look at one another to realize that they were no longer all present, that they would never be. But they also knew that everything would be different from then on, that their houses would have wider doors, higher ceilings, and stronger floors so that Esteban's memory could go everywhere without bumping into beams and so that no one in the future would dare whisper the big boob finally died, too bad, the handsome fool has finally died, because they were going to paint their house fronts gay colors to make Esteban's memory eternal and they were going to break their backs digging for springs among the stones and planting flowers on the cliffs so that in future years at dawn the passengers on great liners would awaken, suffocated by the smell of gardens on the high seas, and the captain would have to come down from the bridge in his dress uniform, with his astrolabe, his pole star, and his row of war medals and, pointing to the promontory of roses on the horizon, he would say in fourteen languages, look there, where the wind is so peaceful now that it's gone to sleep beneath the beds, over there, where the sun's so bright that the sunflowers don't know which way to turn, yes, over there, that's Esteban's village. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez
86:I am Yours and born of You, What do You want of me? Majestic Sovereign, Unending wisdom, Kindness pleasing to my soul; God sublime, one Being Good, Behold this one so vile. Singing of her love to you: What do You want of me? Yours, you made me, Yours, you saved me, Yours, you endured me, Yours, you called me, Yours, you awaited me, Yours, I did not stray. What do You want of me? Good Lord, what do you want of me, What is this wretch to do? What work is this, This sinful slave, to do? Look at me, Sweet Love, Sweet Love, look at me, What do You want of me? In Your hand I place my heart, Body, life and soul, Deep feelings and affections mine, Spouse -- Redeemer sweet, Myself offered now to you, What do You want of me? Give me death, give me life, Health or sickness, Honor or shame, War or swelling peace, Weakness or full strength, Yes, to these I say, What do You want of me? Give me wealth or want, Delight or distress, Happiness or gloominess, Heaven or hell, Sweet life, sun unveiled, To you I give all. What do You want of me? Give me, if You will, prayer; Or let me know dryness, And abundance of devotion, Or if not, then barrenness. In you alone, Sovereign Majesty, I find my peace, What do You want of me? Give me then wisdom. Or for love, ignorance, Years of abundance, Or hunger and famine. Darkness or sunlight, Move me here or there: What do You want of me? If You want me to rest, I desire it for love; If to labor, I will die working: Sweet Love say Where, how and when. What do You want of me? Calvary or Tabor give me, Desert or fruitful land; As Job in suffering Or John at Your breast; Barren or fruited vine, Whatever be Your will: What do You want of me? Be I Joseph chained Or as Egypt's governor, David pained Or exalted high, Jonas drowned, Or Jonas freed: What do You want of me? Silent or speaking, Fruitbearing or barren, My wounds shown by the Law, Rejoicing in the tender Gospel; Sorrowing or exulting, You alone live in me: What do You want of me? Yours I am, for You I was born: What do You want of me? [bk1sm.gif] -- from The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila: Volume Three, Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD / Translated by Otilio Rodriguez, OCD
~ Saint Teresa of Avila, In the Hands of God
Now can you see the monument? It is of wood
built somewhat like a box. No. Built
like several boxes in descending sizes
one above the other.
Each is turned half-way round so that
its corners point toward the sides
of the one below and the angles alternate.
Then on the topmost cube is set
a sort of fleur-de-lys of weathered wood,
long petals of board, pierced with odd holes,
four-sided, stiff, ecclesiastical.
From it four thin, warped poles spring out,
(slanted like fishing-poles or flag-poles)
and from them jig-saw work hangs down,
four lines of vaguely whittled ornament
over the edges of the boxes
to the ground.
The monument is one-third set against
a sea; two-thirds against a sky.
The view is geared
(that is, the view's perspective)
so low there is no "far away,"
and we are far away within the view.
A sea of narrow, horizontal boards
lies out behind our lonely monument,
its long grains alternating right and left
like floor-boards--spotted, swarming-still,
and motionless. A sky runs parallel,
and it is palings, coarser than the sea's:
splintery sunlight and long-fibred clouds.
"Why does the strange sea make no sound?
Is it because we're far away?
Where are we? Are we in Asia Minor,
or in Mongolia?"
An ancient promontory,
an ancient principality whose artist-prince
might have wanted to build a monument
to mark a tomb or boundary, or make
a melancholy or romantic scene of it...
"But that queer sea looks made of wood,
half-shining, like a driftwood, sea.
And the sky looks wooden, grained with cloud.
It's like a stage-set; it is all so flat!
Those clouds are full of glistening splinters!
What is that?"
It is the monument.
"It's piled-up boxes,
outlined with shoddy fret-work, half-fallen off,
cracked and unpainted. It looks old."
--The strong sunlight, the wind from the sea,
all the conditions of its existence,
may have flaked off the paint, if ever it was painted,
and made it homelier than it was.
"Why did you bring me here to see it?
A temple of crates in cramped and crated scenery,
what can it prove?
I am tired of breathing this eroded air,
this dryness in which the monument is cracking."
It is an artifact
of wood. Wood holds together better
than sea or cloud or and could by itself,
much better than real sea or sand or cloud.
It chose that way to grow and not to move.
The monument's an object, yet those decorations,
carelessly nailed, looking like nothing at all,
give it away as having life, and wishing;
wanting to be a monument, to cherish something.
The crudest scroll-work says "commemorate,"
while once each day the light goes around it
like a prowling animal,
or the rain falls on it, or the wind blows into it.
It may be solid, may be hollow.
The bones of the artist-prince may be inside
or far away on even drier soil.
But roughly but adequately it can shelter
what is within (which after all
cannot have been intended to be seen).
It is the beginning of a painting,
a piece of sculpture, or poem, or monument,
and all of wood. Watch it closely.
~ Elizabeth Bishop
88:/Farsi Being humble is right for you now. Don't thrash around showing your strength. You're naked in the bee-house! It doesn't matter how powerful your arms and legs are. To God, that is more of a lie than your weakness is. In his doorway your prestige and your physical energy are just dust on your face. Be helpless and completely poor. And don't try to meet his eye! That's like signing a paper that honors yourself. If you can take care of things, do so! But when you're living at home with God, you neither sew the world together with desires nor tear it apart with disappointments. In that place existence itself is illusion. All that is, is one. Lost in that, your personal form becomes a vast, empty mosque. When you hold on to yourself, you're a fire-worshipping temple. Dissolve, and let everything get done. When you don't, you're an untrained colt, full of erratic loving and biting. Loyal sometimes, then treacherous. Be more like the servant who owns nothing and is neither hungry nor satisfied, who has no hopes for anything, and no fear of anyone. An owl living near the king's palace is considered a bird of misfortune, ragged and ominous. But off in the woods, sitting alone, its feathers grow splendid and sleek like the Phoenix restored. Musk should not be kept near water or heat. The dampness and the dryness spoil its fragrance. But when the musk is at home in the musk bladder, fire and wetness mean nothing. In God's doorway your guilt and your virtue don't count. Whether you're Muslim, or Christian, or fire-worshipper, the categories disappear. You're seeking, and God is what is sought, the essence beyond any cause. External theological learning moves like a moon and fades when the sun of experience rises. We are here for a week, or less. We arrive and leave almost simultaneously. To be is not to be. The Qur'an says, "They go hastening, with the Light running on before them." Clear the way! Muhammed says, "How fine!" A sigh goes out, and there is union. Forget how you came to this gate, your history. Let that be as if it had not been. Do you think the day plans its course by what the rooster says? God does not depend on any of his creatures. Your existence or non-existence is insignificant. Many like you have come here before. When the fountain of light is pouring, there's no need to urge it on! That's like a handful of straw trying to help the sun. "This way! Please, let this light through!" The sun doesn't need an announcer. The lamp you carry is your self-reliance. The sun is something else! Half a sneeze might extinguish your lantern, whereas all a winter's windiness cannot put That out. The road you must take has no particular name. It's the one composed of your own sighing and giving up. What you've been doing is not devotion. Your hoping and worrying are like donkeys wandering loose, sometimes docile, or suddenly mean. Your face looks wise at times, and ashamed at others. There is another way, a pure blankness where those are one expression. Omar once saw a group of boys on the road challenging each other to wrestle. They were all claiming to be champions, but when Omar, the fierce and accomplished warrior, came near, they scattered. All but one, Abdullah Zubair. Omar asked, "Why didn't you run?" "Why should I? You are not a tyrant, and I am not guilty." When someone knows his own inner value, he doesn't care about being accepted or rejected by anyone else. The prince here is strong and just. Stand wondering in his presence. There is nothing but That. [1841.jpg] -- from The Hand of Poetry: Five Mystic Poets of Persia, with Lectures by Inayat Khan, Translated by Coleman Barks
~ Hakim Sanai, Naked in the Bee-House
89:Endometriosis, or painful periods? (Endometriosis is when pieces of the uterine lining grow outside of the uterine cavity, such as on the ovaries or bowel, and cause painful periods.) Mood swings, PMS, depression, or just irritability? Weepiness, sometimes over the most ridiculous things? Mini breakdowns? Anxiety? Migraines or other headaches? Insomnia? Brain fog? A red flush on your face (or a diagnosis of rosacea)? Gallbladder problems (or removal)? — PART E — Poor memory (you walk into a room to do something, then wonder what it was, or draw a blank midsentence)? Emotional fragility, especially compared with how you felt ten years ago? Depression, perhaps with anxiety or lethargy (or, more commonly, dysthymia: low-grade depression that lasts more than two weeks)? Wrinkles (your favorite skin cream no longer works miracles)? Night sweats or hot flashes? Trouble sleeping, waking up in the middle of the night? A leaky or overactive bladder? Bladder infections? Droopy breasts, or breasts lessening in volume? Sun damage more obvious, even glaring, on your chest, face, and shoulders? Achy joints (you feel positively geriatric at times)? Recent injuries, particularly to wrists, shoulders, lower back, or knees? Loss of interest in exercise? Bone loss? Vaginal dryness, irritation, or loss of feeling (as if there were layers of blankets between you and the now-elusive toe-curling orgasm)? Lack of juiciness elsewhere (dry eyes, dry skin, dry clitoris)? Low libido (it’s been dwindling for a while, and now you realize it’s half or less than what it used to be)? Painful sex? — PART F — Excess hair on your face, chest, or arms? Acne? Greasy skin and/or hair? Thinning head hair (which makes you question the justice of it all if you’re also experiencing excess hair growth elsewhere)? Discoloration of your armpits (darker and thicker than your normal skin)? Skin tags, especially on your neck and upper torso? (Skin tags are small, flesh-colored growths on the skin surface, usually a few millimeters in size, and smooth. They are usually noncancerous and develop from friction, such as around bra straps. They do not change or grow over time.) Hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia and/or unstable blood sugar? Reactivity and/or irritability, or excessively aggressive or authoritarian episodes (also known as ’roid rage)? Depression? Anxiety? Menstrual cycles occurring more than every thirty-five days? Ovarian cysts? Midcycle pain? Infertility? Or subfertility? Polycystic ovary syndrome? — PART G — Hair loss, including of the outer third of your eyebrows and/or eyelashes? Dry skin? Dry, strawlike hair that tangles easily? Thin, brittle fingernails? Fluid retention or swollen ankles? An additional few pounds, or 20, that you just can’t lose? High cholesterol? Bowel movements less often than once a day, or you feel you don’t completely evacuate? Recurrent headaches? Decreased sweating? Muscle or joint aches or poor muscle tone (you became an old lady overnight)? Tingling in your hands or feet? Cold hands and feet? Cold intolerance? Heat intolerance? A sensitivity to cold (you shiver more easily than others and are always wearing layers)? Slow speech, perhaps with a hoarse or halting voice? A slow heart rate, or bradycardia (fewer than 60 beats per minute, and not because you’re an elite athlete)? Lethargy (you feel like you’re moving through molasses)? Fatigue, particularly in the morning? Slow brain, slow thoughts? Difficulty concentrating? Sluggish reflexes, diminished reaction time, even a bit of apathy? Low sex drive, and you’re not sure why? Depression or moodiness (the world is not as rosy as it used to be)? A prescription for the latest antidepressant but you’re still not feeling like yourself? Heavy periods or other menstrual problems? Infertility or miscarriage? Preterm birth? An enlarged thyroid/goiter? Difficulty swallowing? Enlarged tongue? A family history of thyroid problems? ~ Sara Gottfried
90:A Roxbury Garden
Blue and pink sashes,
Minna and Stella run out into the garden
To play at hoop.
Up and down the garden-paths they race,
In the yellow sunshine,
Each with a big round hoop
White as a stripped willow-wand.
Round and round turn the hoops,
Their diamond whiteness cleaving the yellow sunshine.
The gravel crunches and squeaks beneath them,
And a large pebble springs them into the air
To go whirling for a foot or two
Before they touch the earth again
In a series of little jumps.
Spit out a shower of blue and white brightness.
The little criss-cross shoes twinkle behind you,
The pink and blue sashes flutter like flags,
The hoop-sticks are ready to beat you.
Turn, turn, Hoops! In the yellow sunshine.
Turn your stripped willow whiteness
Along the smooth paths.
'Round and round, rolls my hoop,
Scarcely touching the ground,
With a swoop,
And a bound,
Round and round.
With a bumpety, crunching, scattering sound,
Down the garden it flies;
In our eyes
The sun lies.
See it spin
Out and in;
Through the paths it goes whirling,
About the beds curling.
Sway now to the loop,
Faster, faster, my hoop.
Round you come,
Up you come,
Quick and straight as before.
Run, run, my hoop, run,
Away from the sun.'
And the great hoop bounds along the path,
Leaping into the wind-bright air.
Twist and twine
Hoop of mine.
Right at the sun.
Run, hoop, run.
Faster and faster,
Wheel like fire,
And spin like glass;
Fire's no whiter
Glass is no brighter.
Over and over,
About and about,
With the top of you under,
And the bottom at top,
But never a stop.
Turn about, hoop, to the tap of my stick,
I follow behind you
To touch and remind you.
Burn and glitter, so white and quick,
Round and round, to the tap of a stick.'
The hoop flies along between the flower-beds,
Swaying the flowers with the wind of its passing.
Beside the foxglove-border roll the hoops,
And the little pink and white bells shake and jingle
Up and down their tall spires;
They roll under the snow-ball bush,
And the ground behind them is strewn with white petals;
They swirl round a corner,
And jar a bee out of a Canterbury bell;
They cast their shadows for an instant
Over a bed of pansies,
Catch against the spurs of a columbine,
Jostle the quietness from a cluster of monk's-hood.
Pat! Pat! behind them come the little criss-cross shoes,
And the blue and pink sashes stream out in flappings of colour.
Faster bowl along,
Slow, to the turning,
Now go! - Go!
Here's the stick.
Pat it, flap it.
Fly like a bird or a yellow-backed bee,
See how soon you can reach that tree.
Here is a path that is perfectly straight.
Roll along, hoop, or we shall be late.'
'Trip about, slip about, whip about
Wheel like a top at its quickest spin,
Then, dear hoop, we shall surely win.
First to the greenhouse and then to the wall
Circle and circle,
And let the wind push you,
And not let you fall.
Whirring you round like a wreath of mist.
Tap! Tap! go the hoop-sticks,
And the hoops bowl along under a grape arbour.
For an instant their willow whiteness is green,
Then they are out in the sunshine,
Leaving the half-formed grape clusters
A-tremble under their big leaves.
'I will beat you, Minna,' cries Stella,
Hitting her hoop smartly with her stick.
'Stella, Stella, we are winning,' calls Minna,
As her hoop curves round a bed of clove-pinks.
A humming-bird whizzes past Stella's ear,
And two or three yellow-and-black butterflies
Flutter, startled, out of a pillar rose.
Round and round race the little girls
After their great white hoops.
Suddenly Minna stops.
Her hoop wavers an instant,
But she catches it up on her stick.
Both the little girls are listening;
And the scents of the garden rise up quietly about them.
'It's the chaise! It's Father!
Perhaps he's brought us a book from Boston.'
Twinkle, twinkle, the little criss-cross shoes
Up the garden path.
Blue - pink - an instant, against the syringa hedge.
But the hoops, white as stripped willow-wands,
Lie in the grass,
And the grasshoppers jump back and forth
Battledore and Shuttlecock
The shuttlecock soars upward
In a parabola of whiteness,
And sinks to a perfect arc.
Plat! the battledore strikes it,
And it rises again,
Winged and curving,
Tracing its white flight
Against the clipped hemlock-trees.
Orange and sparkling with sun,
Rounding under the blue sky,
Fading to grey-green
In the shadow of the coned hemlocks.
'Ninety-one.' 'Ninety-two.' 'Ninety-three.'
The arms of the little girls
Come up - and up Precisely,
Like mechanical toys.
The battledores beat at nothing,
And toss the dazzle of snow
Off their parchment drums.
Back and forth
Goes the shuttlecock,
Leaping at the sharp-edged clouds,
Tinctured with pink
From the upthrusting shine
Of Oriental poppies.
The little girls sway to the counting rhythm;
Yellow heat twines round the handles of the battledores,
The parchment cracks with dryness;
But the shuttlecock
Swings slowly into the ice-blue sky,
Heaving up on the warm air
Like a foam-bubble on a wave,
With feathers slanted and sustaining.
Until the earth turns beneath it;
Poised and swinging,
With all the garden flowing beneath it,
Scarlet, and blue, and purple, and white Blurred colour reflections in rippled water Changing - streaming For the moment that Stella takes to lift her arm.
Then the shuttlecock relinquishes,
And the sharp blue spears of the air
Thrust it to earth.
Again it mounts,
Stepping up on the rising scents of flowers,
Buoyed up and under by the shining heat.
Above the foxgloves,
Above the guelder-roses,
Above the greenhouse glitter,
Till the shafts of cooler air
Past the greenhouse,
Past the guelder-rose bush,
Past the foxgloves.
'Ninety-nine,' Stella's battledore springs to the impact.
Plunk! Like the snap of a taut string.
The shuttlecock drops zigzagedly,
Out of orbit,
Hits the path,
And rolls over quite still.
Dead white feathers,
With a weight at the end.
The tall clock is striking twelve;
And the little girls stop in the hall to watch it,
And the big ships rocking in a half-circle
Above the dial.
Down the side steps
Go the little girls,
Under their big round straw hats.
Minna's has a pink ribbon,
Stella's a blue,
That is the way they know which is which.
An hour yet before dinner.
Mother is busy in the still-room,
And Hannah is making gingerbread.
Slowly, with lagging steps,
They follow the garden-path,
Crushing a leaf of box for its acrid smell,
Discussing what they shall do,
And doing nothing.
'Stella, see that grasshopper
Climbing up the bank!
What a jump!
Almost as long as my arm.'
Run, children, run.
For the grasshopper is leaping away,
In half-circle curves,
Over the grasses.
Hand in hand, the little girls call to him:
'Grandfather, grandfather gray,
Give me molasses, or I'll throw you away.'
The grasshopper leaps into the sunlight,
And is gone.
'Let's catch a bee.'
Round whirl the little girls,
And up the garden.
Two heads are thrust among the Canterbury bells,
And fingers clasp and unclasp behind backs
In a strain of silence.
Hollow and reflexed.
Deep tunnels of blue and white dimness,
Cool wine-tunnels for bees.
There is a floundering and buzzing over Minna's head.
'Bend it down, Stella. Quick! Quick!'
The wide mouth of a blossom
Is pressed together in Minna's fingers.
The stem flies up, jiggling its flower-bells,
And Minna holds the dark blue cup in her hand,
With the bee
Imprisoned in it.
Whirr! Buzz! Bump!
Bump! Whiz! Bang!
The blue flower tears across like paper,
And a gold-black bee darts away in the sunshine.
'If we could fly, we could catch him.'
The sunshine is hot on Stella's upturned face,
As she stares after the bee.
'We'll follow him in a dove chariot.
Come on, Stella.'
Along the red gravel paths,
For a bee is hard to catch,
Even with a chariot of doves.
Tall, still, and cowled,
Stand the monk's-hoods;
Taller than the heads of the little girls.
A blossom for Minna.
A blossom for Stella.
Off comes the cowl,
And there is a purple-painted chariot;
Off comes the forward petal,
And there are two little green doves,
With green traces tying them to the chariot.
'Now we will get in, and fly right up to the clouds.
Fly, Doves, up in the sky,
With Minna and me,
After the bee.'
Up one path,
Run the little girls,
Holding their dove chariots in front of them;
But the bee is hidden in the trumpet of a honeysuckle,
With his wings folded along his back.
The dove chariots are thrown away,
And the little girls wander slowly through the garden,
Sucking the salvia tips,
And squeezing the snapdragons
To make them gape.
'I'm so hot,
Let's pick a pansy
And see the little man in his bath,
And play we're he.'
A royal bath-tub,
Hung with purple stuffs and yellow.
The great purple-yellow wings
Rise up behind the little red and green man;
The purple-yellow wings fan him,
He dabbles his feet in cool green.
Off with the green sheath,
And there are two spindly legs.
'Heigho!' sighs Minna.
'Heigho!' sighs Stella.
There is not a flutter of wind,
And the sun is directly overhead.
Along the edge of the garden
Walk the little girls.
Their hats, round and yellow like cheeses,
Are dangling by the ribbons.
The grass is a tumult of buttercups and daisies;
Buttercups and daisies streaming away
Up the hill.
The garden is purple, and pink, and orange, and scarlet;
The garden is hot with colours.
But the meadow is only yellow, and white, and green,
Cool, and long, and quiet.
The little girls pick buttercups
And hold them under each other's chins.
'You're as gold as Grandfather's snuff-box.
You're going to be very rich, Minna.'
'Oh-o-o! Then I'll ask my husband to give me a pair of garnet earrings
Just like Aunt Nancy's.
I wonder if he will.
I know. We'll tell fortunes.
That's what we'll do.'
Plump down in the meadow grass,
Stella and Minna,
With their round yellow hats,
'One I love,
Two I love,
Three I love I say . . .'
The ground is peppered with daisy petals,
And the little girls nibble the golden centres,
And play it is cake.
A bell rings.
And after dinner there are lessons.
~ Amy Lowell
91:THE STILLEST HOUR
What happened to me, my friends? You see me distracted, driven away, unwillingly obedient, prepared to
go-alas, to go away from you. Indeed, Zarathustra
must return once more to his solitude; but this time
the bear goes back to his cave without joy. What happened to me? Who ordered this? Alas, my angry mistress wants it, she spoke to me; have I ever yet
mentioned her name to you? Yesterday, toward evening,
there spoke to me my stillest hour: that is the name of
my awesome mistress. And thus it happened; for I must
tell you everything lest your hearts harden against me
for departing suddenly.
Do you know the fright of him who falls asleep? He
is frightened down to his very toes because the ground
gives under him and the dream begins. This I say to
you as a parable. Yesterday, in the stillest hour, the
ground gave under me, the dream began. The hand
moved, the clock of my life drew a breath; never had
I heard such stillness around me: my heart took fright.
Then it spoke to me without voice: "You know it,
Zarathustra?" And I cried with fright at this whispering,
and the blood left my face; but I remained silent.
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "You know
it, Zarathustra, but you do not say itl" And at last I
answered defiantly: "Yes, I know it, but I do not want
to say itl"
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "You do
not want to, Zarathustra? Is this really true? Do not
hide in your defiance." And I cried and trembled like
a child and spoke: "Alas, I would like to, but how can
I? Let me off from this! It is beyond my strength!"
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What do
you matter, Zarathustra? Speak your word and break"
And I answered: "Alas, is it my word? Who am l?
I await the worthier one; I am not worthy even of being
broken by it."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What do
you matter? You are not yet humble enough for me.
Humility has the toughest hide." And I answered:
at the foot of my height. How high are my peaks? No
one has told me yet. But my valleys I know well."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "O Zarathustra, he who has to move mountains also moves
valleys and hollows." And I answered: "As yet my
words have not moved mountains, and what I said did
not reach men. Indeed, I have gone to men, but as yet
I have not arrived."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What do
you know of that? The dew falls on the grass when the
night is most silent." And I answered: "They mocked
me when I found and went my own way; and in truth
my feet were trembling then. And thus they spoke to
me: 'You have forgotten the way, now you have also
forgotten how to walk.'"
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What
matters their mockery? You are one who has forgotten
how to obey: now you shall command. Do you not
know who is most needed by all? He that commands
great things. To do great things is difficult; but to
comm and great things is more difficult. This is what
is most unforgivable in you: you have the power, and
you do not want to rule." And I answered: "I lack the
lion's voice for commanding."
Then it spoke to me again as a whisper: "It is the
stillest words that bring on the storm. Thoughts that
come on doves' feet guide the world. 0 Zarathustra, you
shall go as a shadow of that which must come: thus you
will comm and and, commanding, lead the way." And I
answered: "I am ashamed."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "You must
yet become as a child and without shame. The pride of
youth is still upon you; you have become young late;
but whoever would become as a child must overcome
his youth too." And I reflected for a long time and
trembled. But at last I said what I had said at first; "I
do not want to."
Then laughter surrounded me. Alas, how this laughter tore my entrails and slit open my heart! And it
spoke to me for the last time: "O Zarathustra, your
fruit is ripe, but you are not ripe for your fruit. Thus
you must return to your solitude again; for you must
yet become mellow." And again it laughed and fled;
then it became still around me as with a double stillness. But I lay on the ground and sweat poured from
Now you have heard all, and why I must return to
my solitude. Nothing have I kept from you, my friends.
But this too you have heard from me, who is still the
most taciturn of all men-and wants to be. Alas, my
friends, I still could tell you something, I still could
give you something. Why do I not give it? Am I stingy?
But when Zarathustra had spoken these words he was
overcome by the force of his pain and the nearness of
his parting from his friends, and he wept loudly; and
no one knew how to comfort him. At night, however,
he went away alone and left his friends.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Third Part
You look up when you feel the need for elevation.
And I look down because I am elevated. Who
among you can laugh and be elevated at the same
time? Whoever climbs the highest mountains
laughs at all tragic plays and tragic seriousness.
(Zarathustra, "On Reading and Writing," I, p.
TRANSLATOR S NOTES
1. The Wanderer: The contrast between Zarathustra's sentimentality and his praise of hardness remains characteristic
of the rest of the book.
2. On the Vision and the Riddle: Zarathustra's first account
of the eternal recurrence (see my Nietzsche, .i, II) is
followed by a proto-surrealistic vision of a triumph over
3. On Involuntary Bliss: Zarathustra still cannot face the
thought of the eternal recurrence.
4. Before Sunrise: An ode to the sky. Another quotation
from Zweig's essay on Nietzsche seems pertinent: "His
nerves immediately register every meter of height and
every pressure of the weather as a pain in his organs, and
they react rebelliously to every revolt in nature. Rain or
gloomy skies lower his vitality ('overcast skies depress me
deeply'), the weight of low clouds he feels down into his
very intestines, rain 'lowers the potential,' humidity debilitates, dryness vivifies, sunshine is salvation, winter is a kind
of paralysis and death. The quivering barometer needle of
his April-like, changeable nerves never stands still-most
nearly perhaps in cloudless landscapes, on the windless tablelands of the Engadine." In this chapter the phrase "beyond
good and evil" is introduced; also one line, slightly varied,
of the "Drunken Song" (see below). Another important
theme in Nietzsche's thought: the praise of chance and "a
little reason" as opposed to any divine purpose.
5. On Virtue That Makes Small: "Do whatever you will,
but . . .": What Nietzsche is concerned with is not casuistry but character, not a code of morals but a kind of man,
not a syllabus of behavior but a state of being.
6. Upon the Mount of Olives: "'The ice of knowledge will
yet freeze him to death!' they moan." Compare Stefan
George's poem on the occasion of Nietzsche's death (my
Nietzsche, Prologue, II): "He came too late who said to thee
imploring: There is no way left over icy cliffs."
7. On Passing By: Zarathustra's ape, or "grunting swine,"
unintentionally parodies Zarathustra's attitude and style.
His denunciations are born of wounded vanity and vengefulness, while Zarathustra's contempt is begotten by love;
and "where one can no longer love, there one should pass
8. On Apostates: Stylistically, Zarathustra is now often little
better than his ape. But occasional epigrams show his old
power: the third paragraph in section 2, for instance.
9. The Return Home: "Among men you will always seem
wild and strange," his solitude says to Zarathustra. But
"here all things come caressingly to your discourse and flatter
you, for they want to ride on your back. On every parable
you ride to every truth." The discipline of communication might have served the philosopher better than the
indiscriminate flattery of his solitude. But in this respect
too, it was not given to Nietzsche to live in blissful
ignorance: compare, for example, "The Song of Melancholy" in Part Four.
io. On the Three Evils: The praise of so-called evil as an
ingredient of greatness is central in Nietzsche's thought,
from his early fragment, Homer's Contest, to his Antichrist.
There are few problems the self-styled immoralist pursued
so persistently. Whether he calls attention to the element
of cruelty in the Greek agon or denounces Christianity for
vilifying sex, whether he contrasts sublimation and extirpation or the egoism of the creative and the vengeful: all
these are variations of one theme. In German, the three
evils in this chapter are Wollust, Herrschsucht, Selbstsucht.
For the first there is no exact equivalent in English. In
this chapter, "lust" might do in some sentences, "voluptuousness" in others, but each would be quite inaccurate
half the time, and the context makes it imperative that
the same word be used throughout. There is only one
word in English that renders Nietzsche's meaning perfectly
in every single sentence: sex. Its only disadvantage: it is,
to put it mildly, a far less poetic word than Wollust, and
hence modifies the tone though not Nietzsche's meaning.
But if we reflect on the three things which, according to
Nietzsche, had been maligned most, under the influence of
Christianity, and which he sought to rehabilitate or revaluate-were they not selfishness, the will to power, and sex?
Nietzsche's early impact was in some ways comparable to
that of Freud or Havelock Ellis. But prudery was for him
at most one of three great evils, one kind of hypocrisy, one
aspect of man's betrayal of the earth and of himself.
i1. On the Spirit of Gravity: It is not only the metaphor
of the camel that points back to the first chapter of Part
One: the dead weight of convention is a prime instance of
what is meant by the spirit of gravity; and the bird that
outsoars tradition is, like the child and the self-propelled
wheel at the beginning of the book, a symbol of creativity.
The creator, however, is neither an "evil beast" nor an
"evil tamer of beasts"-neither a profligate nor an ascetic:
he integrates what is in him, perfects and lavishes himself, and says, "This is my way; where is yours?" Michelangelo and Mozart do not offer us "the way" but a challenge and a promise of what is possible.
12. On Old and New Tablets: Attempt at a grand summary,
full of allusions to, and quotations from, previous chapters
Its unevenness is nowhere more striking than in section 12,
with its puns on "crusades." Such sections as 5, 7, and 8,
on the other hand, certainly deserve attention. The despot
in section ii, who has all history rewritten, seems to point
forward in time to Hitler, of whose racial legislation it
could indeed be said: "with the grandfa ther, however,
time ends." Section 15 points back to Luther. Section zo
exposes in advance Stefan George's misconception when he
ended his second poem on Nietzsche (my Nietzsche, p.
"The warner went-the wheel that downward rolls /
To emptiness no arm now tackles in the spokes." The
penultimate paragraph of this section is more "playful"
in the original: Ein Vorspiel bin ich besserer Spieler, oh
meine Braiderl Ein Beispiell In section 25 the key word is
Versuch, one of Nietzsche's favorite words, which means
experiment, attempt, trial. Sometimes he associates it with
suchen, searching. (In Chapter 2, "On the Vision and
the Riddle," Sucher, Versucher has been rendered "searchers, researchers.") Section 29, finally, is used again, with
minute changes, to conclude Twilight of the Idols.
13. The Convalescent: Zarathustra still cannot face the
thought of the eternal recurrence but speaks about human
speech and cruelty. In the end, his animals expound the
14 On the Great Longing: Hymn to his soul: Zarathustra
and his soul wonder which of them should be grateful to
15. The Other Dancing Song: Life and wisdom as women
again; but in this dancing song, life is in complete control,
and when Zarathustra's imagination runs away with him
he gets his face slapped. What he whispers into the ear
of life at the end of section 2 is, no doubt, that after his
death he will yet recur eternally. The song at the end,
punctuated by the twelve strokes of the bell, is interpreted
in "The Drunken Song" in Part Four.
i6. The Seven Seals: The eternal recurrence of the small
man no longer nauseates Zarathustra. His affirmation now is
boundless and without reservation: "For I love you, 0
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE STILLEST HOUR
“Whether all towns and all who live in them—
So long as they be somewhere in this world
That we in our complacency call ours—
Are more or less the same, I leave to you.
I should say less. Whether or not, meanwhile,
We’ve all two legs—and as for that, we haven’t—
There were three kinds of men where I was born:
The good, the not so good, and Tasker Norcross.
Now there are two kinds.”
“Meaning, as I divine,
Your friend is dead,” I ventured.
Who talked himself at last out of the world
He censured, and is therefore silent now,
Agreed indifferently: “My friends are dead—
Or most of them.”
“Remember one that isn’t,”
I said, protesting. “Honor him for his ears;
Treasure him also for his understanding.”
Ferguson sighed, and then talked on again:
“You have an overgrown alacrity
For saying nothing much and hearing less;
And I’ve a thankless wonder, at the start,
How much it is to you that I shall tell
What I have now to say of Tasker Norcross,
And how much to the air that is around you.
But given a patience that is not averse
To the slow tragedies of haunted men—
Horrors, in fact, if you’ve a skilful eye
To know them at their firesides, or out walking,—”
“Horrors,” I said, “are my necessity;
And I would have them, for their best effect,
Always out walking.”
Ferguson frowned at me:
“The wisest of us are not those who laugh
Before they know. Most of us never know—
Or the long toil of our mortality
Would not be done. Most of us never know—
And there you have a reason to believe
In God, if you may have no other. Norcross,
Or so I gather of his infirmity,
Was given to know more than he should have known,
And only God knows why. See for yourself
An old house full of ghosts of ancestors,
Who did their best, or worst, and having done it,
Died honorably; and each with a distinction
That hardly would have been for him that had it,
Had honor failed him wholly as a friend.
Honor that is a friend begets a friend.
Whether or not we love him, still we have him;
And we must live somehow by what we have,
Or then we die. If you say chemistry,
Then you must have your molecules in motion,
And in their right abundance. Failing either,
You have not long to dance. Failing a friend,
A genius, or a madness, or a faith
Larger than desperation, you are here
For as much longer than you like as may be.
Imagining now, by way of an example,
Myself a more or less remembered phantom—
Again, I should say less—how many times
A day should I come back to you? No answer.
Forgive me when I seem a little careless,
But we must have examples, or be lucid
Without them; and I question your adherence
To such an undramatic narrative
As this of mine, without the personal hook.”
“A time is given in Ecclesiastes
For divers works,” I told him. “Is there one
For saying nothing in return for nothing?
If not, there should be.” I could feel his eyes,
And they were like two cold inquiring points
Of a sharp metal. When I looked again,
To see them shine, the cold that I had felt
Was gone to make way for a smouldering
Of lonely fire that I, as I knew then,
Could never quench with kindness or with lies.
I should have done whatever there was to do
For Ferguson, yet I could not have mourned
In honesty for once around the clock
The loss of him, for my sake or for his,
Try as I might; nor would his ghost approve,
Had I the power and the unthinking will
To make him tread again without an aim
The road that was behind him—and without
The faith, or friend, or genius, or the madness
That he contended was imperative.
After a silence that had been too long,
“It may be quite as well we don’t,” he said;
“As well, I mean, that we don’t always say it.
You know best what I mean, and I suppose
You might have said it better. What was that?
Incorrigible? Am I incorrigible?
Well, it’s a word; and a word has its use,
Or, like a man, it will soon have a grave.
It’s a good word enough. Incorrigible,
May be, for all I know, the word for Norcross.
See for yourself that house of his again
That he called home: An old house, painted white,
Square as a box, and chillier than a tomb
To look at or to live in. There were trees—
Too many of them, if such a thing may be—
Before it and around it. Down in front
There was a road, a railroad, and a river;
Then there were hills behind it, and more trees.
The thing would fairly stare at you through trees,
Like a pale inmate out of a barred window
With a green shade half down; and I dare say
People who passed have said: ‘There’s where he lives.
We know him, but we do not seem to know
That we remember any good of him,
Or any evil that is interesting.
There you have all we know and all we care.’
They might have said it in all sorts of ways;
And then, if they perceived a cat, they might
Or might not have remembered what they said.
The cat might have a personality—
And maybe the same one the Lord left out
Of Tasker Norcross, who, for lack of it,
Saw the same sun go down year after year;
All which at last was my discovery.
And only mine, so far as evidence
Enlightens one more darkness. You have known
All round you, all your days, men who are nothing—
Nothing, I mean, so far as time tells yet
Of any other need it has of them
Than to make sextons hardy—but no less
Are to themselves incalculably something,
And therefore to be cherished. God, you see,
Being sorry for them in their fashioning,
Indemnified them with a quaint esteem
Of self, and with illusions long as life.
You know them well, and you have smiled at them;
And they, in their serenity, may have had
Their time to smile at you. Blessed are they
That see themselves for what they never were
Or were to be, and are, for their defect,
At ease with mirrors and the dim remarks
That pass their tranquil ears.”
“Come, come,” said I;
“There may be names in your compendium
That we are not yet all on fire for shouting.
Skin most of us of our mediocrity,
We should have nothing then that we could scratch.
The picture smarts. Cover it, if you please,
And do so rather gently. Now for Norcross.”
Ferguson closed his eyes in resignation,
While a dead sigh came out of him. “Good God!”
He said, and said it only half aloud,
As if he knew no longer now, nor cared,
If one were there to listen: “Have I said nothing—
Nothing at all—of Norcross? Do you mean
To patronize him till his name becomes
A toy made out of letters? If a name
Is all you need, arrange an honest column
Of all the people you have ever known
That you have never liked. You’ll have enough;
And you’ll have mine, moreover. No, not yet.
If I assume too many privileges,
I pay, and I alone, for their assumption;
By which, if I assume a darker knowledge
Of Norcross than another, let the weight
Of my injustice aggravate the load
That is not on your shoulders. When I came
To know this fellow Norcross in his house,
I found him as I found him in the street—
No more, no less; indifferent, but no better.
‘Worse’ were not quite the word: he was not bad;
He was not… well, he was not anything.
Has your invention ever entertained
The picture of a dusty worm so dry
That even the early bird would shake his head
And fly on farther for another breakfast?”
“But why forget the fortune of the worm,”
I said, “if in the dryness you deplore
Salvation centred and endured? Your Norcross
May have been one for many to have envied.”
“Salvation? Fortune? Would the worm say that?
He might; and therefore I dismiss the worm
With all dry things but one. Figures away,
Do you begin to see this man a little?
Do you begin to see him in the air,
With all the vacant horrors of his outline
For you to fill with more than it will hold?
If so, you needn’t crown yourself at once
With epic laurel if you seem to fill it.
Horrors, I say, for in the fires and forks
Of a new hell—if one were not enough—
I doubt if a new horror would have held him
With a malignant ingenuity
More to be feared than his before he died.
You smile, as if in doubt. Well, smile again.
Now come into his house, along with me:
The four square sombre things that you see first
Around you are four walls that go as high
As to the ceiling. Norcross knew them well,
And he knew others like them. Fasten to that
With all the claws of your intelligence;
And hold the man before you in his house
As if he were a white rat in a box,
And one that knew himself to be no other.
I tell you twice that he knew all about it,
That you may not forget the worst of all
Our tragedies begin with what we know.
Could Norcross only not have known, I wonder
How many would have blessed and envied him!
Could he have had the usual eye for spots
On others, and for none upon himself,
I smile to ponder on the carriages
That might as well as not have clogged the town
In honor of his end. For there was gold,
You see, though all he needed was a little,
And what he gave said nothing of who gave it.
He would have given it all if in return
There might have been a more sufficient face
To greet him when he shaved. Though you insist
It is the dower, and always, of our degree
Not to be cursed with such invidious insight,
Remember that you stand, you and your fancy,
Now in his house; and since we are together,
See for yourself and tell me what you see.
Tell me the best you see. Make a slight noise
Of recognition when you find a book
That you would not as lief read upside down
As otherwise, for example. If there you fail,
Observe the walls and lead me to the place,
Where you are led. If there you meet a picture
That holds you near it for a longer time
Than you are sorry, you may call it yours,
And hang it in the dark of your remembrance,
Where Norcross never sees. How can he see
That has no eyes to see? And as for music,
He paid with empty wonder for the pangs
Of his infrequent forced endurance of it;
And having had no pleasure, paid no more
For needless immolation, or for the sight
Of those who heard what he was never to hear.
To see them listening was itself enough
To make him suffer; and to watch worn eyes,
On other days, of strangers who forgot
Their sorrows and their failures and themselves
Before a few mysterious odds and ends
Of marble carted from the Parthenon—
And all for seeing what he was never to see,
Because it was alive and he was dead—
Here was a wonder that was more profound
Than any that was in fiddles and brass horns.
“He knew, and in his knowledge there was death.
He knew there was a region all around him
That lay outside man’s havoc and affairs,
And yet was not all hostile to their tumult,
Where poets would have served and honored him,
And saved him, had there been anything to save.
But there was nothing, and his tethered range
Was only a small desert. Kings of song
Are not for thrones in deserts. Towers of sound
And flowers of sense are but a waste of heaven
Where there is none to know them from the rocks
And sand-grass of his own monotony
That makes earth less than earth. He could see that,
And he could see no more. The captured light
That may have been or not, for all he cared,
The song that is in sculpture was not his,
But only, to his God-forgotten eyes,
One more immortal nonsense in a world
Where all was mortal, or had best be so,
And so be done with. ‘Art,’ he would have said,
‘Is not life, and must therefore be a lie;’
And with a few profundities like that
He would have controverted and dismissed
The benefit of the Greeks. He had heard of them,
As he had heard of his aspiring soul—
Never to the perceptible advantage,
In his esteem, of either. ‘Faith,’ he said,
Or would have said if he had thought of it,
‘Lives in the same house with Philosophy,
Where the two feed on scraps and are forlorn
As orphans after war. He could see stars,
On a clear night, but he had not an eye
To see beyond them. He could hear spoken words,
But had no ear for silence when alone.
He could eat food of which he knew the savor,
But had no palate for the Bread of Life,
That human desperation, to his thinking,
Made famous long ago, having no other.
Now do you see? Do you begin to see?”
I told him that I did begin to see;
And I was nearer than I should have been
To laughing at his malign inclusiveness,
When I considered that, with all our speed,
We are not laughing yet at funerals.
I see him now as I could see him then,
And I see now that it was good for me,
As it was good for him, that I was quiet;
For Time’s eye was on Ferguson, and the shaft
Of its inquiring hesitancy had touched him,
Or so I chose to fancy more than once
Before he told of Norcross. When the word
Of his release (he would have called it so)
Made half an inch of news, there were no tears
That are recorded. Women there may have been
To wish him back, though I should say, not knowing,
The few there were to mourn were not for love,
And were not lovely. Nothing of them, at least,
Was in the meagre legend that I gathered
Years after, when a chance of travel took me
So near the region of his nativity
That a few miles of leisure brought me there;
For there I found a friendly citizen
Who led me to his house among the trees
That were above a railroad and a river.
Square as a box and chillier than a tomb
It was indeed, to look at or to live in—
All which had I been told. “Ferguson died,”
The stranger said, “and then there was an auction.
I live here, but I’ve never yet been warm.
Remember him? Yes, I remember him.
I knew him—as a man may know a tree—
For twenty years. He may have held himself
A little high when he was here, but now …
Yes, I remember Ferguson. Oh, yes.”
Others, I found, remembered Ferguson,
But none of them had heard of Tasker Norcross.
~ Edwin Arlington Robinson
20 Integral Yoga
22 Sri Aurobindo
4 The Mother
4 H P Lovecraft
4 Carl Jung
2 Nolini Kanta Gupta
2 A B Purani
5 Letters On Yoga IV
4 Mysterium Coniunctionis
4 Lovecraft - Poems
4 Letters On Yoga II
3 The Interior Castle or The Mansions
2 The Synthesis Of Yoga
2 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
2 Some Answers From The Mother
2 Plotinus - Complete Works Vol 04
2 Plotinus - Complete Works Vol 02
2 Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo
2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07
0.06 - Letters to a Young Sadhak, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
Mother, my life is dry, it was always so; the dryness of
my life constantly increases.
0.07 - Letters to a Sadhak, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
discover, behind the apparent dryness of the surface, the always
burning flame of a conscious Love.
02.07 - The Descent into Night, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
And needed sensual prick and jog and lash
That its hard dryness and dead nerves might feel
Some passion and power and acrid point of life.
1.02 - THE QUATERNIO AND THE MEDIATING ROLE OF MERCURIUS, #Mysterium Coniunctionis, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
This refers to the synthesis of the planets or metals with the sun, to form a crown which will be within Hermes. The crown signifies the kingly totality; it stands for unity and is not subject to Heimarmene. This reminds us of the seven- or twelve-rayed crown of light which the Agathodaimon serpent wears on Gnostic gems,31 and also of the crown of Wisdom in the Aurora Consurgens.32
 In the Consilium coniugii there is a similar quaternio with the four qualities arranged as combinations of two contraries, cold and moist, which are not friendly to heat and dryness.33 Other quaternions are: The stone is first an old man, in the end a youth, because the albedo comes at the beginning and the rubedo at the end.34 Similarly the elements are arranged as two manifesta (water and earth), and two occulta (air and fire).35 A further quaternio is suggested by the saying of Bernardus Trevisanus: The upper has the nature of the lower, and the ascending has the nature of the descending.36 The following combination is from the Tractatus Micreris: In it [the Indian Ocean]37 are images of heaven and earth, of summer, autumn, winter, and spring, male and female. If thou callest this spiritual, what thou doest is probable; if corporeal, thou sayest the truth; if heavenly, thou liest not; if earthly, thou hast well spoken.38 Here we are dealing with a double quaternio having the structure shown in the diagram on page 10.
1.04 - The Paths, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
Another application of the same formula applies to that psychological state of which all mystics speak, viz. : the
Spiritual dryness or " The Dark Night of the Soul ", wherein all one's powers are held temporarily in abeyance gathering, in reality, strength to shoot up and blossom forth in the light of the Spiritual Sun. Its sacred animal is, therefore, the Beetle, representing the Egyptian God
Khephra, the Beetle-God of the Midnight Sun symbolizing
1.05 - The Ascent of the Sacrifice - The Psychic Being, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
A wider formula has been provided by the secular mind of mall of which the basis is the ethical sense; for it distinguishes between the emotions sanctioned by the ethical sense and those that are egoistic and selfishly common and mundane. It is the works of altruism, philanthropy, compassion, benevolence, humanitarianism, service, labour for the well-being of man and all creatures that are to be our Ideal; to shuffle off the coil of egoism and grow into a soul of self-abnegation that lives only or mainly for others or for humanity as a whole is the way of man's inner evolution according to this doctrine. Or if this is too secular and mental to satisfy the whole of our being, since there is a deeper religious and spiritual note there that is left out of account by the humanitarian formula, a religio-ethical foundation can be provided for it -and such was indeed its original basis. To the inner worship of the Divine or the Supreme by the devotion of the heart or to the pursuit of the Ineffable by the seeking of a highest knowledge can be added a worship through altruistic works or a preparation through acts of love, of benevolence, of service to mankind or to those around us. It is indeed by the religio-ethical sense that the law of universal goodwill or universal compassion or of love and service to the neighbour, the Vedantic, the Buddhistic, the Christian ideal, was created; only by a sort of secular refrigeration extinguishing the fervour of the religious element in it could the humanitarian ideal disengage itself and become the highest plane of a secular system of mental and moral ethics. For in the religious system this law of works is a means that ceases when its object is accomplished or a side issue; it is a part of the cult by which one adores and seeks the Divinity or it is a penultimate step of the excision of self in the passage to Nirvana. In the secular ideal it is promoted into an object in itself; it becomes a sign of the moral perfection of the human being, or else it is a condition for a happier state of man upon earth, a better society, a more united life of the race. But none of these things satisfy the demand of the soul that is placed before us by the integral Yoga.
Altruism, philanthropy, humanitarianism, service are flowers of the mental consciousness and are at best the mind's cold and pale imitation of the spiritual flame of universal Divine Love. Not truly liberative from ego-sense, they widen it at most and give it higher and larger satisfaction; impotent in practice to change mall's vital life and nature, they only modify and palliate its action and daub over its unchanged egoistic essence. Or if they are intensely followed with an entire sincerity of the will, it is by an exaggerated amplification of one side of our nature; in that exaggeration there can be no clue for the full and perfect divine evolution of the many sides of our individualised being towards the universal and transcendent Eternal. Nor can the religio-ethical ideal be a sufficient guide, -- for this is a compromise or compact of mutual concessions for mutual support between a religious urge which seeks to get a closer hold on earth by taking into itself the higher turns of ordinary human nature and an ethical urge which hopes to elevate itself out of its own mental hardness and dryness by some touch of a religious fervour. In making this compact religion lowers itself to the mental level and inherits the inherent imperfections of mind and its inability to convert and transform life. The mind is the sphere of the dualities and, just as it is impossible for it to achieve any absolute Truth but only truths relative or mixed with error, so it is impossible for it to achieve any absolute good; for moral good exists as a counterpart and corrective to evil and has evil always for its shadow, complement, almost its reason for existence. But the spiritual consciousness belongs to a higher than the mental plane and there the dualities cease; for there falsehood confronted with the truth by which it profited through a usurping falsification of it and evil faced by the good of which it was a perversion or a lurid substitute, are obliged to perish for want of sustenance and to cease. The integral Yoga, refusing to rely upon the fragile stuff of mental and moral ideals, puts its whole emphasis in this field on three central dynamic processes -- the development of the true soul or psychic being to take the place of the false soul of desire, the sublimation of human into divine love, the elevation of consciousness from its mental to its spiritual and supramental plane by whose power alone both the soul and the life-force can be utterly delivered from the veils and prevarications of the Ignorance.
It is the very nature of the soul or the psychic being to turn towards the Divine Truth as the sunflower to the sun; it accepts and clings to all that is divine or progressing towards divinity and draws back from all that is a perversion or a denial of it, from all that is false and undivine. Yet the soul is at first but a spark and then a little flame of godhead burning in the midst of a great darkness; for the most part it is veiled in its inner sanctum and to reveal itself it has to call on the mind, the life-force and the physical consciousness and persuade them, as best they can, to express it; ordinarily, it succeeds at most in suffusing their outwardness with its inner light and modifying with its purifying fineness their dark obscurities or their coarser mixture. Even when there is a formed psychic being, able to express itself with some directness in life, it is still in all but a few a smaller portion of the being -- "no bigger in the mass of the body than the thumb of a man" was the image used by the ancient seers -- and it is not always able to prevail against the obscurity and ignorant smallness of the physical consciousness, the mistaken surenesses of the mind or the arrogance and vehemence of the vital nature. This soul is obliged to accept the human mental, emotive, sensational life as it is, its relations, its activities, its cherished forms and figures; it has to labour to disengage and increase the divine element in all this relative truth mixed with continual falsifying error, this love turned to the uses of the animal body or the satisfaction of the vital ego, this life of an average manhood shot with rare and pale glimpses of Godhead and the darker luridities of the demon and the brute. Unerring in the essence of its will, it is obliged often under the pressure of its instruments to submit to mistakes of action, wrong placement of feeling, wrong choice of person, errors in the exact form of its will, in the circumstances of its expression of the infallible inner ideal. Yet is there a divination within it which makes it a surer guide than the reason or than even the highest desire, and through apparent errors and stumblings its voice can still lead better than the precise intellect and the considering mental judgment. This voice of the soul is not what we call conscience -- for that is only a mental and often conventional erring substitute; it is a deeper and more seldom heard call; yet to follow it when heard is wisest : even, it is better to wander at the call of one's soul than to go apparently straight with the reason and the outward moral mentor. But It is only when the life turns towards the Divine that the soul can truly come forward and impose its power on the outer members; for, itself a spark of the Divine, to grow in flame towards the Divine is its true life and its very reason of existence.
1.06 - Magicians as Kings, #The Golden Bough, #unset, #Philosophy
calm seas, crops abundant, and trees laden with fruit." On the other
hand, dearth, dryness of cows, blight of fruit, and scarcity of corn
were regarded as infallible proofs that the reigning king was bad.
1.08 - Wherein is expounded the first line of the first stanza, and a beginning is made of the explanation of this dark night, #Dark Night of the Soul, #Saint John of the Cross, #Christianity
3. Since, then, the conduct of these beginners upon the way of God is ignoble,61 and has much to do with their love of self and their own inclinations, as has been explained above, God desires to lead them farther. He seeks to bring them out of that ignoble kind of love to a higher degree of love for Him, to free them from the ignoble exercises of sense and meditation (wherewith, as we have said, they go seeking God so unworthily and in so many ways that are unbefitting), and to lead them to a kind of spiritual exercise wherein they can commune with Him more abundantly and are freed more completely from imperfections. For they have now had practice for some time in the way of virtue and have persevered in meditation and prayer, whereby, through the sweetness and pleasure that they have found therein, they have lost their love of the things of the world and have gained some degree of spiritual strength in God; this has enabled them to some extent to refrain from creature desires, so that for God's sake they are now able to suffer a light burden and a little aridity without turning back to a time62 which they found more pleasant. When they are going about these spiritual exercises with the greatest delight and pleasure, and when they believe that the sun of Divine favour is shining most brightly upon them, God turns all this light of theirs into darkness, and shuts against them the door and the source of the sweet spiritual water which they were tasting in God whensoever and for as long as they desired. (For, as they were weak and tender, there was no door closed to them, as Saint John says in the Apocalypse, iii, 8). And thus He leaves them so completely in the dark that they know not whither to go with their sensible imagination and meditation; for they cannot advance a step in meditation, as they were wont to do afore time, their inward senses being submerged in this night, and left with such dryness that not only do they experience no pleasure and consolation in the spiritual things and good exercises wherein they were wont to find their delights and pleasures, but instead, on the contrary, they find insipidity and bitterness in the said things. For, as I have said, God now sees that they have grown a little, and are becoming strong enough to lay aside their swaddling clothes and be taken from the gentle breast; so He sets them down from His arms and teaches them to walk on their own feet; which they feel to be very strange, for everything seems to be going wrong with them.
1.10 - Laughter Of The Gods, #Twelve Years With Sri Aurobindo, #Nirodbaran, #Integral Yoga
Myself: I am plunged in a sea of dryness and I am terribly thirsty for something. Along with it waves of old desire. Any handy remedy?
1.19 - The Victory of the Fathers, #The Secret Of The Veda, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The sense of this universal diffusion of Truth and the birth and activity of all the godheads in us assuring a universal and immortal life in place of our present limited mortality is made yet clearer by Parashara in I.68. Agni, the divine Seer-Will, is described as ascending to heaven and unrolling the veil of the nights from all that is stable and all that is mobile, "when he becomes the one God encompassing all these godheads with the greatness of his being. Then indeed all accept and cleave to the Will (or the Work) when, O godhead, thou art born a living soul from the dryness (i.e. from the material being, the desert, as it is called, unwatered by the streams of the Truth);
1.2.05 - Aspiration, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Lack of Aspiration
Naturally the more one-pointed the aspiration the swifter the progress. The difficulty comes when either the vital with its desires or the physical with its past habitual movements comes in - as they do with almost everyone. It is then that the dryness and difficulty of spontaneous aspiration come. This dryness is a well-known obstacle in all sadhana. But one has to persist and not be discouraged. If one keeps the will fixed even in these barren periods, they pass and after their passage a greater force of aspiration and experience becomes possible.
1.27 - CONTEMPLATION, ACTION AND SOCIAL UTILITY, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
God does not reserve such a lofty vocation (that of mystical contemplation) to certain souls only; on the contrary, He is willing that all should embrace it. But He finds few who permit Him to work such sublime things for them. There are many who, when He sends them trials, shrink from the labour and refuse to bear with the dryness and mortification, instead of submitting, as they must, with perfect patience.
1953-06-17, #Questions And Answers 1953, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
Have you ever seen a tree growing, a palm tree? There is one in the Ashram courtyard, in the Samadhi courtyard, quite close to the door by which you come up every day, have you never seen how it grows? This tree, you know, is some forty, forty-five or fifty years old perhaps. You see how small it is. These trees can become even much taller than the building. They can live several hundred years, easily, in their natural state, if there is no accident. Have you never seen what it does? I see it from above. It is quite pretty. It happens once a year. At first, you see a kind of small brown ball. Then this small brown ball begins to grow and becomes slightly lighter in colour, less deep. Little by little, you see that it is made of a mass of somewhat complex small lines, with their tips bent inward, as though turned back upon themselves; and that begins to grow, it comes out, becomes more and more limpid, until it begins to turn green, a little pale yellowish green and it takes the form of the bishops cross. Then you see it multiplying and separating; it is yet a little brown, a little queer (almost like you), something like a caterpillar. And suddenly, it is as though it sprang out, it leaps forth. It is pale green; it is frail. It has a delightful colour. It leng thens out. This lasts for a day or two; and then on the following day there are leaves. These leaves I have never counted, I do not know how many they are. Every time there is a new range of leaves. They remain very pale; they are exquisite. They are like a little child, with that something tender, pretty and graceful a child has. And you have still the feeling that it is fragile; and indeed, if it receives a blow, it is spoilt for life. It is very frail, but it is delightfully tender. It has its charm and you say: But why does not Nature remain like that? The following morning pluff! they are separated, they are bright green, they look wonderful with all the strength and force of youth, a magnificent brilliant green. It should stop therenot at all. It continues. Then comes the dust, the deterioration from people who pass by. So it begins to fall, to become yellowish, another kind of yellow, the yellow of dryness until it is completely withered and falls away. It is replaced by the trunk. Every year the trunk increases a little. And it will take several hundred years to reach the end. But every year, it repeats the same thing, passes through all the stages of beauty, charm, attractiveness and you say: But why does it not stop there? And the next minute, it is something else. You cannot say it is better, but it is different. And so it passes from one thing to another through all the stages of flowering. Then the accidents begin; with the accidents comes deterioration, and with deterioration there is death.
1954-07-28 - Money - Ego and individuality - The shadow, #Questions And Answers 1954, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
Another dayor perhaps the very next minuteyou will notice in yourself a kind of dryness, fixity, something that is bitter, that judges severely, that goes as far as bearing a grudge, has rancour, would like the evil-doer punished, that almost has feelings of vengeance; just the very opposite of the former! One day someone harms you and you say, Doesnt matter! He did not know or He couldnt do otherwise or Thats his nature or He could not understand! The next dayor perhaps an hour lateryou say, He must be punished! He must pay for it! He must be made to feel that he has done wrong!with a kind of rage; and you want to take things, you want to keep them for yourself, you have all the feelings of jealousy, envy, narrowness, you see, just the very opposite of the other feeling.
1f.lovecraft - In the Walls of Eryx, #Lovecraft - Poems, #unset, #Philosophy
as high as I possibly could. Letting the mud drain, and squeezing it to
maximum dryness, I flung it up so steeply that I feared it might not
reach the obstructing surface at all. It did, however, and this time it
1f.lovecraft - The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, #Lovecraft - Poems, #unset, #Philosophy
no relation at all to anything heretofore recorded, either normal or
pathological. The skin had a morbid chill and dryness, and the cellular
structure of the tissue seemed exaggeratedly coarse and loosely knit.
1f.lovecraft - The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, #Lovecraft - Poems, #unset, #Philosophy
countless aeons their pigments were brilliant still, for the cold and
dryness of hideous Leng keep alive many primal things. Carter saw them
fleetingly in the rays of that dim and moving lamp, and shuddered at
1f.lovecraft - Till A the Seas, #Lovecraft - Poems, #unset, #Philosophy
on, devising curious shields and armours against the heat and the
deadly dryness. These fearless souls, screening certain buildings
against the encroaching sun, made miniature worlds of refuge wherein no
century. The splashing surf still glistened bright, and the swirling
eddies were still there, but a doom of dryness hung over the whole
watery expanse. However, the shrinkage could not have been detected
details, but soon the cabins were near.
They were very old, for clay blocks lasted long in the still dryness of
the dying world. Little, indeed, changed but the living thingsthe
1.hs - Naked in the Bee-House, #unset, #Rabbi Moses Luzzatto, #Kabbalah
English version by Coleman Barks Original Language Persian/Farsi Being humble is right for you now. Don't thrash around showing your strength. You're naked in the bee-house! It doesn't matter how powerful your arms and legs are. To God, that is more of a lie than your weakness is. In his doorway your prestige and your physical energy are just dust on your face. Be helpless and completely poor. And don't try to meet his eye! That's like signing a paper that honors yourself. If you can take care of things, do so! But when you're living at home with God, you neither sew the world together with desires nor tear it apart with disappointments. In that place existence itself is illusion. All that is, is one. Lost in that, your personal form becomes a vast, empty mosque. When you hold on to yourself, you're a fire-worshipping temple. Dissolve, and let everything get done. When you don't, you're an untrained colt, full of erratic loving and biting. Loyal sometimes, then treacherous. Be more like the servant who owns nothing and is neither hungry nor satisfied, who has no hopes for anything, and no fear of anyone. An owl living near the king's palace is considered a bird of misfortune, ragged and ominous. But off in the woods, sitting alone, its feathers grow splendid and sleek like the Phoenix restored. Musk should not be kept near water or heat. The dampness and the dryness spoil its fragrance. But when the musk is at home in the musk bladder, fire and wetness mean nothing. In God's doorway your guilt and your virtue don't count. Whether you're Muslim, or Christian, or fire-worshipper, the categories disappear. You're seeking, and God is what is sought, the essence beyond any cause. External theological learning moves like a moon and fades when the sun of experience rises. We are here for a week, or less. We arrive and leave almost simultaneously. To be is not to be. The Qur'an says, "They go hastening, with the Light running on before them." Clear the way! Muhammed says, "How fine!" A sigh goes out, and there is union. Forget how you came to this gate, your history. Let that be as if it had not been. Do you think the day plans its course by what the rooster says? God does not depend on any of his creatures. Your existence or non-existence is insignificant. Many like you have come here before. When the fountain of light is pouring, there's no need to urge it on! That's like a handful of straw trying to help the sun. "This way! Please, let this light through!" The sun doesn't need an announcer. The lamp you carry is your self-reliance. The sun is something else! Half a sneeze might extinguish your lantern, whereas all a winter's windiness cannot put That out. The road you must take has no particular name. It's the one composed of your own sighing and giving up. What you've been doing is not devotion. Your hoping and worrying are like donkeys wandering loose, sometimes docile, or suddenly mean. Your face looks wise at times, and ashamed at others. There is another way, a pure blankness where those are one expression. Omar once saw a group of boys on the road challenging each other to wrestle. They were all claiming to be champions, but when Omar, the fierce and accomplished warrior, came near, they scattered. All but one, Abdullah Zubair. Omar asked, "Why didn't you run?" "Why should I? You are not a tyrant, and I am not guilty." When someone knows his own inner value, he doesn't care about being accepted or rejected by anyone else. The prince here is strong and just. Stand wondering in his presence. There is nothing but That. [1841.jpg] -- from The Hand of Poetry: Five Mystic Poets of Persia, with Lectures by Inayat Khan, Translated by Coleman Barks <
1.stav - In the Hands of God, #unset, #Rabbi Moses Luzzatto, #Kabbalah
English version by Kieran Kavanaugh OCD and Otilio Rodriguez OCD Original Language Spanish I am Yours and born of You, What do You want of me? Majestic Sovereign, Unending wisdom, Kindness pleasing to my soul; God sublime, one Being Good, Behold this one so vile. Singing of her love to you: What do You want of me? Yours, you made me, Yours, you saved me, Yours, you endured me, Yours, you called me, Yours, you awaited me, Yours, I did not stray. What do You want of me? Good Lord, what do you want of me, What is this wretch to do? What work is this, This sinful slave, to do? Look at me, Sweet Love, Sweet Love, look at me, What do You want of me? In Your hand I place my heart, Body, life and soul, Deep feelings and affections mine, Spouse -- Redeemer sweet, Myself offered now to you, What do You want of me? Give me death, give me life, Health or sickness, Honor or shame, War or swelling peace, Weakness or full strength, Yes, to these I say, What do You want of me? Give me wealth or want, Delight or distress, Happiness or gloominess, Heaven or hell, Sweet life, sun unveiled, To you I give all. What do You want of me? Give me, if You will, prayer; Or let me know dryness, And abundance of devotion, Or if not, then barrenness. In you alone, Sovereign Majesty, I find my peace, What do You want of me? Give me then wisdom. Or for love, ignorance, Years of abundance, Or hunger and famine. Darkness or sunlight, Move me here or there: What do You want of me? If You want me to rest, I desire it for love; If to labor, I will die working: Sweet Love say Where, how and when. What do You want of me? Calvary or Tabor give me, Desert or fruitful land; As Job in suffering Or John at Your breast; Barren or fruited vine, Whatever be Your will: What do You want of me? Be I Joseph chained Or as Egypt's governor, David pained Or exalted high, Jonas drowned, Or Jonas freed: What do You want of me? Silent or speaking, Fruitbearing or barren, My wounds shown by the Law, Rejoicing in the tender Gospel; Sorrowing or exulting, You alone live in me: What do You want of me? Yours I am, for You I was born: What do You want of me? [bk1sm.gif] -- from The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila: Volume Three, Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD / Translated by Otilio Rodriguez, OCD <
2.01 - The Preparatory Renunciation, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
Of all renunciations, the most natural, so to say, is that of the Bhakti-Yogi. Here, there is no violence, nothing to give up, nothing to tear off, as it were, from ourselves, nothing from which we have violently to separate ourselves; the Bhaktas renunciation is easy, smooth, flowing, and as natural as the things around us. We see the manifestation of this sort of renunciation, although more or less in the form of caricatures, every day around us. A man begins to love a woman; after a while he loves another, and the first woman he lets go. She drops out of his mind smoothly, gently, without his feeling the want of her at all. A woman loves .a man; she then begins to love another man, and the first one drops off from her mind quite naturally. A man loves his own city, then he begins to love his country; and the intense love for his little city drops off smoothly, naturally. Again, a man learns to love the whole world; his love for his country, his intense, fanatical patriotism drops off without hurting him, without any manifestation of violence. An uncultured man loves the pleasures of the senses intensely; as he becomes cultured, he begins to love intellectual pleasures, and his sense-enjoyments become less and less. No man can enjoy a meal with the same gusto or pleasure as a dog or a wolf; but those pleasures which a man gets from intellectual experiences and achievements, the dog can never enjoy. At first, pleasure, is in association with the lower senses; but as soon as an animal reaches a higher plane of existence, the lower kind of pleasures becomes less intense. In human society, the nearer the man is to the animal, the stronger is his pleasure in the senses; and the higher and the more cultured the man is, the greater is his pleasure in intellectual. and such other finer pursuits. So, when a man gets even higher than the plane of the intellect, higher than that of mere thought, when he gets to the plane of spirituality and of divine inspiration, he finds there a state of bliss, compared with which all the pleasures of the senses, or even of the intellect, are as nothing. When the moon shines brightly, all the stars become dim; and when the sun shines, the moon herself becomes dim. The renunciation necessary for the attainment of Bhakti is not obtained by killing anything, but just comes, in as naturally as in the presence of an increasingly stronger light, the less intense ones become dimmer and dimmer until they vanish away completely. So this love of the pleasures of the senses and of the intellect js all made dim and thrown aside and cast into the shade by the love of God Himself. That love of God grows and assumes a form which, is called Para-Bhakti, or supreme devotion. Forms vanish, rituals flyaway, books are superseded, images, temples, churches, religions and sects, countries and nationalitiesall these little limitations, and bondages fall off by their own nature from him who knows this love of God. Nothing remains to bind him or fetter his freedom. A ship, all of a sudden, comes near a .magnetic rock; and its iron bolts and bars are all attracted and drawn out, and the planks get loosened and freely float on the water. Divine grace thus loosens the binding bolts and bars of the soul, and it becomes free. So in this renunciation, auxiliary to devotion, there is no harshness, no dryness, no struggle, nor repression or suppression. The Bhakta has not to suppress any single one of his emotions, he only strives to intensify them and direct them to God.
2.01 - War., #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
14.: What a farce it is! Here are we, with a thousand obstacles, drawbacks, and imperfections within ourselves, our virtues so newly born that they have scarcely the strength to act (and God grant that they exist at all!) yet we are not ashamed to expect sweetness in prayer and to complain of feeling dryness.9
2.02 - On Letters, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Philosophy
As I said, the psychic being is behind the emotional being in the heart, and when it is awakened it throws out the dross from the emotional being and makes it free from sentimentalism and the lower play of vital emotions. But that is not the dryness of the mind, nor the exaggeration of the vital feelings, it gives the just touch to each emotion.
2.03 - Karmayogin A Commentary on the Isha Upanishad, #Isha Upanishad, #unset, #Philosophy
run lose measure and perish from hardness and egoism and that which sees nothing but
Law wither for dryness or fossilise from the cessation of individual expansion.
2.1.02 - Combining Work, Meditation and Bhakti, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
I dont think you understood very well what Mother was trying to tell you. First of all she did not say that prayers or meditation either were no goodhow could she when both count for so much in Yoga? What she said was that the prayer must well up from the heart on a crest of emotion or aspiration, the Japa or meditation come in a live push carrying the joy or the light of the thing in it. If done mechanically and merely as a thing that ought to be done (stern grim duty!), it must tend towards want of interest and dryness and so be ineffective. It was what I meant when I said I thought you were doing Japa too much as a means for bringing about a result I meant too much as a device, a process laid down for getting the thing done. That again was why I wanted the psychological conditions in you to develop, the psychic, the mental for when the psychic is forward, there is no lack of life and joy in the prayer, the aspiration, the seeking, no difficulty in having the constant stream of bhakti and when the mind is quiet and inturned and upturned there is no difficulty or want of interest in meditation. Meditation by the way is a process leading towards knowledge and through knowledge, it is a thing of the head and not of the heart; so if you want dhyana, you cant have an aversion to knowledge. Concentration in the heart is not meditation, it is a call on the Divine, on the Beloved. This Yoga too is not a Yoga of knowledge aloneknowledge is one of its means, but its base being self-offering, surrender, bhakti, it is based on the heart and nothing can be eventually done without this base. There are plenty of people here who do or have done Japa and base themselves on bhakti, very few comparatively who have done the head meditation; love and bhakti and works are usually the basehow many can proceed by knowledge? Only the few.
2.1.3 - Wrong Movements of the Vital, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
It is the resistance of the vital that takes the form of this drynessa form of passive resistance, just as revolt or an excited activity of desire is its active form of resistance. But you should not be discouraged these phases are normal and almost everybody has to face them. It is not really a sign of failure or inability, but a trying part of the process of change. Hold fast and aspire always for the love and the opening. The inner heart is there and that will receive an answer to the aspiration and one day quickly open the outer and make it also receive. To call to the Mother always is the main thing and with that to aspire and assent to the light when it comes, to reject and detach oneself from desire and any dark movement. But if one cannot do these other things successfully, then call and still call.
Yes, dryness comes usually when the vitalhere certainly the vital physicaldislikes a movement or condition or the refusal of its desires and starts non-cooperation. But sometimes it is a condition that has to be crossed through, e.g. the neutral or dry quietude which sometimes comes when the ordinary movements have been thrown out but nothing positive has yet come to take their place (e.g. peace, joy, a higher knowledge or force and action).
The ordinary freshness, energy, enthusiasm of the nature comes either from the vital, direct when it is satisfying its own instincts and impulses, indirect when it cooperates with or assents to the mental, physical or spiritual activities. If the vital resists, there is revolt and struggle. If the vital no longer insists on its own impulses and instincts but does not cooperate, there is either dryness or a neutral state. dryness comes in when the vital is quiescent but passively unwilling, not interested, the neutral state when it neither assents nor is unwilling,simply quiescent, passive. This however, the neutral state, can deepen into positive calm and peace by a greater influx from above which keeps the vital not only quiescent but at least passively acquiescent. With the active interest and consent of the vital the peace becomes a glad or joyful peace or a strong peace supporting and entering into action or active experience.
The dryness is usually only a passage of neutral quiet,the vital withdrawing its stimulus gives to the neutrality a colour of dryness. To live in the peace is the natural condition of the Self and therefore the basis of the Yogic consciousness it is possible when the peace has so deepened and generalised itself that even a vital attack cannot cover it up or penetrate it.
The slight dryness must have been the reaction caused in the physical vital by the uninterest in external thingsbecause the physical vital depends very much on this external interest. When it gets more accustomed to the silence, then the dryness disappears.
The feeling of loneliness, udsnat, dryness and lack of rasa come very usually when the vital part is disappointed in its desires or tries to give them up but has not yet attained a quiet indifference towards them. It is necessary to replace this condition by the true quietude which will allow the psychic being to become again active and reopen the doors of inner experience, and we shall try to get this done.
2.1.4 - The Lower Vital Being, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
All these suggestions are very familiar, and they are always the same both in expression and substance. The reactions too are always the same and their very nature is sufficient to show the source from which they come,disappointment of unsatisfied desire, despondency, discontent, unhappiness, the sense of grievance and injustice, revolt, a fall to tamas and inertia (because the vital being refuses participation in the spiritual effort unless its egoistic demands are conceded), dryness, dullness, cessation of the sadhana. The same phrases even are repeated,no life in this existence, suffocation, limitation, air-tight compartments; and all this simply means that the lower vital natureor some part of itis in revolt and wants something else than the divine Truth and the tapasya that leads to the supramental change. It refuses to give up ego and desire and claim and demand or to accept a true self-giving and surrender, while yet it feels the pressure on it to transform itself into an instrument of the divine life. It is this pressure that it calls suffocation. The refusal to let it expand its desires and make a big place for itself it calls limitation of the being. The calm, purity, collected silence which are the basis of the tapasya for the supramental change,this is what it stigmatises as no life. Right rule and insistence on self-denial and self-mastery and restraint from claim and demand are what it calls air-tight compartments. And the worst suggestions and most dangerous deception come when this spirit of demand and desire is dissimulated in a spiritual garb and takes a form which makes it seem to the sadhak a part of the Yoga.
The supramental creation, since it is to be a creation upon earth, must be not only an inner change but a physical and external manifestation also. And it is precisely for this part of the work, the most difficult of all, that surrender is most needful; for this reason, that it is the actual descent of the supramental Divine into Matter and the working of the Divine Presence and Power there that can alone make the physical and external change possible. Even the most powerful self-assertion of human will and endeavour is impotent to bring it about; as for egoistic insistence and vital revolt, they are, so long as they last, insuperable obstacles to the descent. Only a calm, pure and surrendered physical consciousness, full of the psychic aspiration, can be its field; this alone can make an effective opening of the material being to the Light and Power and the supramental change a thing actual and practicable. It is for this that we are here in the body, and it is for this that you and other sadhaks are in the Asram near us. But it is not by insistence on petty demands and satisfactions in the external field or on an outer nearness pleasing to the vital nature and its pride or desire that you can get the true relation with the Divine in this province. If you want the realisation there, it is the true nearness that you must seek, the descent and presence of the Mother in your physical consciousness, her constant inner touch in the physical being and its activities, her will and knowledge behind all its work and thought and movement and the ever present Ananda of that presence expelling all vital and physical separateness, craving and desire. If you have that, then you have all the nearness you can ask for and the rest you will gladly leave to the Mothers knowledge and will to decide. For with this in you there can be no feeling of being kept away, no sense of gulf and distance, no complaint of a unity that is lacking or an empty dryness and denial of nearness.
A time comes when after a long preparation of the mind and vital being, it becomes necessary to open also the physical nature. But when that happens, very often the vital exaltation which can be very great when the experience is on its own plane, falls away and the obscure, obstructive physical and material consciousness appears in its unrelieved inertia. Inertia, tamas, stupidity, narrowness and limitation, an inability to progress, doubt, dullness, dryness, a constant forgetfulness of the spiritual experiences received are the characteristics of the unregenerated physical nature, when that is not pushed by the vital and is not supported either by the higher mental will and intelligence. This seems to be in part what has temporarily happened to you, but the way out is not to excite the physical by any vital revolt and outcry or to blame for your condition either circumstances or the Mother,for that will only make things worse and increase the tamas, dryness, dullness, inertia,but to recognise that there is here an element of the universal Nature reflected in yours which you must eliminate. And this can only be done by more and more surrender and aspiration and by so bringing in from beyond the vital and the mind the divine peace, light, power and presence. This is the only way towards the transformation and fulfilment of the physical nature.
2.18 - January 1939, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Philosophy
Disciple: But you said in one of your letters to B that one must be prepared to pass through the period of dryness.
2.22 - THE STILLEST HOUR, #Thus Spoke Zarathustra, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
deeply'), the weight of low clouds he feels down into his
very intestines, rain 'lowers the potential,' humidity debilitates, dryness vivifies, sunshine is salvation, winter is a kind
of paralysis and death. The quivering barometer needle of
2.24 - The Evolution of the Spiritual Man, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Another untoward result or peril of the diffusive movement and the consequent invasion has been the intellectual formalisation of spiritual knowledge into dogma and the materialisation of living practice into a dead mass of cult and ceremony and ritual, a mechanisation by which the spirit was bound to depart in course of time from the body of the religion. But this risk had to be taken, for the expansive movement was an inherent necessity of the spiritual urge in evolutionary Nature.
Thus came into being the religions which rely mainly or in the mass on creed and ritual for some spiritual result, but yet hold because of their truth of experience, the fundamental inner reality that was initially present in them and persists so long as there are men to continue or renew it, a means for those who are touched by the spiritual impulse to realise the Divine and liberate the spirit. This development has led farther to a division into two tendencies, catholic and protestant, one a tendency towards some conservation of the original plastic character of religion, its many-sidedness and appeal to the whole nature of the human being, the other disruptive of this catholicity and insistent on a pure reliance on belief, worship and conduct simplified so as to make a quick and ready appeal to the common reason, heart and ethical will. This turn has tended to create an excessive rationalisation, a discrediting and condemnation of most of the occult elements which seek to establish a communication with what is invisible, a reliance on the surface mind as the sufficient vehicle of the spiritual endeavour; a certain dryness and a narrowness and paucity of the spiritual life have been a frequent consequence. Moreover, the intellect having denied so much, cast out so much, has found ample room and opportunity to deny more until it denies all, to negate spiritual experience and cast out spirituality and religion, leaving only intellect itself as the sole surviving power. But intellect void of the spirit can only pile up external knowledge and machinery and efficiency and ends in a drying up of the secret springs of vitality and a decadence without any inner power to save the life or create a new life or any other way out than death and disintegration and a new beginning out of the old Ignorance.
It would have been possible for the evolutionary principle to have preserved its pristine wholeness of movement while pressing on, by an expansion and not a disruption of the wiser ancient harmony, to a greater synthesis of the principle of concentration and the principle of diffusion. In India, we have seen, there has been a persistence of the original intuition and total movement of evolutionary Nature. For religion in India limited itself by no one creed or dogma; it not only admitted a vast number of different formulations, but contained successfully within itself all the elements that have grown up in the course of the evolution of religion and refused to ban or excise any: it developed occultism to its utmost limits, accepted spiritual philosophies of all kinds, followed to its highest, deepest or largest outcome every possible line of spiritual realisation, spiritual experience, spiritual self-discipline. Its method has been the method of evolutionary Nature herself, to allow all developments, all means of communication and action of the spirit upon the members, all ways of communion between man and the Supreme or Divine, to follow every possible way of advance to the goal and test it even to its extreme. All stages of spiritual evolution are there in man and each has to be allowed or provided with its means of approach to the spirit, an approach suited to its capacity, adhikara.
Wikipedia - Challacombe scale -- Medical scale measuring mouth dryness
Wikipedia - Desiccation -- State of extreme dryness
Wikipedia - Dryness (medical) -- Medical condition
Wikipedia - Spiritual dryness
Soil Dryness Index