classes ::: difficulties,
children :::
branches ::: incapacity
see also :::

Instances - Definitions - Quotes - Chapters - Wordnet - Webgen


object:incapacity
class:difficulties

--- QUOTES
A present incapacity, however heavy may seem its pressure, is only a trial of faith and a temporary difficulty.
~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti

Behind the sorrow and lonliness, behind the emptiness and the feeling of incapacity, there is the golden light of the Divine Presence shining soft and warm.
~ The Mother, White Roses

The attempt of the individual, the living atom, to maintain and aggrandise itself is the whole sense of Desire.
~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity

These ideas of incapacity are absurd, they are the negation of the truth of progress - what cannot be done today, will be done another day, if the aspiration is there.
~ The Mother, Words Of The Mother II

Length of time is no proof of an ultimate incapacity to arriveit is only a sign that there is something in oneself which has to be overcome.
~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, The Divine Grace and Guidance


Our sense by its incapacity has invented darkness. In truth there is nothing but Light, only it is a power of light either above or below our poor human vision's limited range.

For do not imagine that light is created by the Suns. The Suns are only physical concentrations of Light, but the splendour they concentrate for us is self-born and everywhere.

God is everywhere and wherever God is, there is Light.
~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human

What is needed is perseverance-to go on without discouragement, recognising that the process of the nature and the action of the Mother's force is working through the difficulty even and will do all that is needed. Our incapacity does not matter-there is no human being who is not in his parts of nature incapable-but the Divine Force is also there. If one puts one's trust in that, incapacity will be changed into capacity. Difficulty and struggle themselves then become a means towards the achievement.
~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother, Letters On The Mother,

Nobility: the incapacity for any pettiness either of sentiments or of action.


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OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS

AUTH

BOOKS
Letters_On_Yoga
Letters_On_Yoga_IV
Life_without_Death
My_Burning_Heart
old_bookshelf
Spiral_Dynamics
The_Categories
The_Life_Divine
The_Wit_and_Wisdom_of_Alfred_North_Whitehead

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
1.20_-_Death,_Desire_and_Incapacity

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
0.02_-_The_Three_Steps_of_Nature
0.03_-_III_-_The_Evening_Sittings
0.05_-_Letters_to_a_Child
0.06_-_INTRODUCTION
01.02_-_Natures_Own_Yoga
01.03_-_The_Yoga_of_the_King__The_Yoga_of_the_Souls_Release
0.10_-_Letters_to_a_Young_Captain
01.10_-_Principle_and_Personality
0.12_-_Letters_to_a_Student
0.14_-_Letters_to_a_Sadhak
02.02_-_Lines_of_the_Descent_of_Consciousness
02.07_-_The_Descent_into_Night
02.14_-_Panacea_of_Isms
03.13_-_Human_Destiny
03.15_-_Towards_the_Future
04.07_-_Readings_in_Savitri
05.01_-_At_the_Origin_of_Ignorance
05.01_-_Man_and_the_Gods
05.02_-_Gods_Labour
05.06_-_The_Role_of_Evil
05.10_-_Knowledge_by_Identity
05.11_-_The_Place_of_Reason
1.001_-_The_Aim_of_Yoga
1.038_-_Impediments_in_Concentration_and_Meditation
1.03_-_ON_THE_AFTERWORLDLY
1.03_-_Tara,_Liberator_from_the_Eight_Dangers
1.04_-_Descent_into_Future_Hell
1.057_-_The_Four_Manifestations_of_Ignorance
1.05_-_Adam_Kadmon
1.05_-_Splitting_of_the_Spirit
1.05_-_The_Ascent_of_the_Sacrifice_-_The_Psychic_Being
1.05_-_THE_HOSTILE_BROTHERS_-_ARCHETYPES_OF_RESPONSE_TO_THE_UNKNOWN
1.05_-_The_Magical_Control_of_the_Weather
1.06_-_The_Ascent_of_the_Sacrifice_2_The_Works_of_Love_-_The_Works_of_Life
1.06_-_The_Four_Powers_of_the_Mother
1.078_-_Kumbhaka_and_Concentration_of_Mind
1.07_-_The_Ego_and_the_Dualities
1.08_-_Civilisation_and_Barbarism
1.08_-_The_Change_of_Vision
1.08_-_The_Synthesis_of_Movement
1.10_-_The_Three_Modes_of_Nature
1.11_-_The_Change_of_Power
1.1.2_-_Commentary
1.12_-_Delight_of_Existence_-_The_Solution
1.13_-_And_Then?
1.1.4_-_The_Physical_Mind_and_Sadhana
1.15_-_On_incorruptible_purity_and_chastity_to_which_the_corruptible_attain_by_toil_and_sweat.
1.16_-_Man,_A_Transitional_Being
1.17_-_The_Divine_Soul
1.17_-_The_Transformation
1.18_-_Mind_and_Supermind
1.2.01_-_The_Call_and_the_Capacity
1.2.07_-_Surrender
1.2.08_-_Faith
1.20_-_Death,_Desire_and_Incapacity
1.21_-_The_Ascent_of_Life
1.22_-_The_Problem_of_Life
1.23_-_The_Double_Soul_in_Man
1.24_-_The_Killing_of_the_Divine_King
1.25_-_The_Knot_of_Matter
1.26_-_On_discernment_of_thoughts,_passions_and_virtues
1.28_-_Supermind,_Mind_and_the_Overmind_Maya
1.4.01_-_The_Divine_Grace_and_Guidance
1914_07_10p
1914_08_06p
1914_08_08p
1914_10_11p
1915_01_02p
1917_03_30p
1951-03-14_-_Plasticity_-_Conditions_for_knowing_the_Divine_Will_-_Illness_-_microbes_-_Fear_-_body-reflexes_-_The_best_possible_happens_-_Theories_of_Creation_-_True_knowledge_-_a_work_to_do_-_the_Ashram
1953-07-22
1953-08-05
1954-02-03_-_The_senses_and_super-sense_-_Children_can_be_moulded_-_Keeping_things_in_order_-_The_shadow
1954-12-29_-_Difficulties_and_the_world_-_The_experience_the_psychic_being_wants_-_After_death_-Ignorance
1956-03-20
1956-07-18_-_Unlived_dreams_-_Radha-consciousness_-_Separation_and_identification_-_Ananda_of_identity_and_Ananda_of_union_-_Sincerity,_meditation_and_prayer_-_Enemies_of_the_Divine_-_The_universe_is_progressive
1957-02-06_-_Death,_need_of_progress_-_Changing_Natures_methods
1957-07-31_-_Awakening_aspiration_in_the_body
1957-08-28_-_Freedom_and_Divine_Will
1958-06-04_-_New_birth
1958-10-22_-_Spiritual_life_-_reversal_of_consciousness_-_Helping_others
1958-10-29_-_Mental_self-sufficiency_-_Grace
1958_11_28
1959-11-25
1960_11_12?_-_49
1960_11_14?_-_51
1960-11-26
1960-12-13
1961-01-10
1961-01-17
1961-02-25
1961-03-17
1961-04-18
1962_02_03
1962-02-06
1962-06-06
1962-07-04
1962-07-21
1962-09-05
1963-04-20
1963-05-15
1963_05_15
1963-06-19
1963-07-10
1963-08-07
1963-08-31
1963-10-05
1963-10-16
1963-12-21
1964-01-08
1964-07-22
1964-09-16
1964_09_16
1964-10-10
1964-10-30
1964-11-21
1965-05-19
1965-09-25
1966-01-31
1966-03-26
1966-07-27
1966-07-30
1966-08-03
1966-09-17
1967-01-25
1967-02-18
1967-05-20
1967-06-14
1967-08-02
1967-08-19
1967-08-26
1967-10-11
1967-12-08
1968-03-02
1968-09-21
1968-10-26
1968-11-16
1968-12-04
1969-02-08
1969-02-19
1969-04-30
1969-05-10
1969-05-17
1969-05-24
1969_08_31_-_141
1969-11-29
1969-12-20
1970-01-17
1970_02_01
1970-03-14
1970-03-25
1971-03-17
1971-04-14
1971-07-03
1971-10-27
1971-12-18
1972-05-17
1972-07-26
1.rb_-_Fra_Lippo_Lippi
1.ww_-_The_Excursion-_V-_Book_Fouth-_Despondency_Corrected
2.02_-_Brahman,_Purusha,_Ishwara_-_Maya,_Prakriti,_Shakti
2.02_-_THE_EXPANSION_OF_LIFE
2.03_-_On_Medicine
2.03_-_The_Purified_Understanding
2.04_-_The_Divine_and_the_Undivine
2.05_-_The_Cosmic_Illusion;_Mind,_Dream_and_Hallucination
2.07_-_The_Knowledge_and_the_Ignorance
2.07_-_The_Release_from_Subjection_to_the_Body
2.09_-_The_Release_from_the_Ego
2.0_-_THE_ANTICHRIST
2.1.01_-_God_The_One_Reality
2.12_-_The_Realisation_of_Sachchidananda
2.1.3.1_-_Students
2.1.3.3_-_Reading
2.13_-_The_Difficulties_of_the_Mental_Being
2.15_-_Reality_and_the_Integral_Knowledge
2.15_-_The_Cosmic_Consciousness
2.16_-_The_15th_of_August
2.18_-_The_Evolutionary_Process_-_Ascent_and_Integration
2.21_-_The_Ladder_of_Self-transcendence
2.21_-_The_Order_of_the_Worlds
2.2.2_-_Sorrow_and_Suffering
2.22_-_Vijnana_or_Gnosis
2.2.3_-_Depression_and_Despondency
2.2.4_-_Sentimentalism,_Sensitiveness,_Instability,_Laxity
2.26_-_The_Ascent_towards_Supermind
2.27_-_The_Gnostic_Being
2.28_-_The_Divine_Life
2.3.02_-_The_Supermind_or_Supramental
2.3.05_-_Sadhana_through_Work_for_the_Mother
2.3.08_-_The_Mother's_Help_in_Difficulties
3.02_-_The_Great_Secret
3.06_-_The_Sage
31.02_-_The_Mother-_Worship_of_the_Bengalis
31.09_-_The_Cause_of_Indias_Decline
3.1.1_-_The_Transformation_of_the_Physical
3.1.2_-_Levels_of_the_Physical_Being
3.1.3_-_Difficulties_of_the_Physical_Being
3.2.02_-_Yoga_and_Skill_in_Works
32.12_-_The_Evolutionary_Imperative
3.3.1_-_Illness_and_Health
3.4.1.01_-_Poetry_and_Sadhana
3-5_Full_Circle
36.08_-_A_Commentary_on_the_First_Six_Suktas_of_Rigveda
37.07_-_Ushasti_Chakrayana_(Chhandogya_Upanishad)
3.7.2.05_-_Appendix_I_-_The_Tangle_of_Karma
4.03_-_Mistakes
4.06_-_Purification-the_Lower_Mentality
4.09_-_The_Liberation_of_the_Nature
4.1.01_-_The_Intellect_and_Yoga
4.12_-_The_Way_of_Equality
4.1.3_-_Imperfections_and_Periods_of_Arrest
4.14_-_The_Power_of_the_Instruments
4.18_-_Faith_and_shakti
4.2.4_-_Time_and_CHange_of_the_Nature
4.25_-_Towards_the_supramental_Time_Vision
4.3.1_-_The_Hostile_Forces_and_the_Difficulties_of_Yoga
4.3.2.03_-_Wideness_and_the_Higher_Consciousness
4.4.1.03_-_Both_Ascent_and_Descent_Necessary
5.02_-_Perfection_of_the_Body
5_-_The_Phenomenology_of_the_Spirit_in_Fairytales
BOOK_X._-_Porphyrys_doctrine_of_redemption
Liber_111_-_The_Book_of_Wisdom_-_LIBER_ALEPH_VEL_CXI
Liber_46_-_The_Key_of_the_Mysteries
Meno
r1912_12_16
r1913_09_13
r1914_01_15
r1914_04_19
r1917_03_07
r1920_02_21
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_1
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_2
The_Aleph
The_Coming_Race_Contents
the_Eternal_Wisdom
The_Riddle_of_this_World
Timaeus

PRIMARY CLASS

difficulties
SEE ALSO

SIMILAR TITLES
incapacity

DEFINITIONS

incapacity ::: lack of ability, qualification, or strength; esp. to receive.

incapacity ::: n. --> Want of capacity; lack of physical or intellectual power; inability.
Want of legal ability or competency to do, give, transmit, or receive something; inability; disqualification; as, the inacapacity of minors to make binding contracts, etc.


INCAPACITY. ::: There is a part in the physical and vital consciousness of every human being that has not the will for sadhana, docs not feel the capacity for it, distrusts any hope or promise of a spiritual future and is inert and indifferent to any such thing. At one period in the course of the sadhana this rises up and one feels identified with it.



QUOTES [26 / 26 - 239 / 239]


KEYS (10k)

   21 Sri Aurobindo
   5 The Mother

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   21 Sri Aurobindo
   5 The Mother
   5 Paulo Coelho
   4 Yann Martel
   4 Idries Shah
   4 Emil M Cioran
   4 Ana s Nin
   3 Viktor E Frankl
   3 Thomas Jefferson
   3 Robinson Jeffers
   3 Immanuel Kant
   3 Erich Fromm
   2 William Blake
   2 Thucydides
   2 Tahereh Mafi
   2 Suze Orman
   2 Robert Musil
   2 Marcus Aurelius
   2 Marcel Proust
   2 Mahatma Gandhi

1:What devours must also be devoured. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
2:Life is an infinite Force working in the terms of the finite. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
3:One cannot cease to be individually except by being infinitely. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
4:A present incapacity, however heavy may seem its pressure, is only a trial of faith and a temporary difficulty. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
5:Desire is the lever by which the divine Life-principle effects its end of self-affirmation in the universe. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
6:One ought not to settle down into a fixed idea of one’s own incapacity or allow it to become an obsession. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, The Call and the Capacity,
7:The attempt of the individual, the living atom, to maintain and aggrandise itself is the whole sense of Desire. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
8:Behind the sorrow and lonliness, behind the emptiness and the feeling of incapacity, there is the golden light of the Divine Presence shining soft and warm.
   ~ The Mother, White Roses,
9:Hunger in the vital parts becomes craving of Desire in the mentalised life, straining of Will in the intellectual or thinking life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
10:These ideas of incapacity are absurd, they are the negation of the truth of progress - what cannot be done today, will be done another day, if the aspiration is there.
   ~ The Mother, Words Of The Mother II,
11:Length of time is no proof of an ultimate incapacity to arrive—it is only a sign that there is something in oneself which has to be overcome. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, The Divine Grace and Guidance,
12:powers of freedom from subjection to the body :::
   By a similar process the habit by which the bodily nature associates certain forms and degrees of activity with strain, fatigue, incapacity can be rectified and the power, freedom, swiftness, effectiveness of the work whether physical or mental which can be done with this bodily instrument marvelously increased, doubled, tripled, decupled.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Renunciation, 346,
13:Our sense by its incapacity has invented darkness. In truth there is nothing but Light, only it is a power of light either above or below our poor human vision's limited range.

For do not imagine that light is created by the Suns. The Suns are only physical concentrations of Light, but the splendour they concentrate for us is self-born and everywhere.

God is everywhere and wherever God is, there is Light. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human,
14:What is needed is perseverance-to go on without discouragement, recognising that the process of the nature and the action of the Mother's force is working through the difficulty even and will do all that is needed. Our incapacity does not matter-there is no human being who is not in his parts of nature incapable-but the Divine Force is also there. If one puts one's trust in that, incapacity will be changed into capacity. Difficulty and struggle themselves then become a means towards the achievement.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother, Letters On The Mother,
15:There is always some tendency to looseness, forgetfulness and inattention in the physical consciousness. One has to be very vigilant and careful to prevent this tendency having its way. There are many [defects of the physical consciousness] - but mainly obscurity, inertia, tamas, a passive acceptance of the play of wrong forces, inability to change, attachment to habits, lack of plasticity, forgetfulness, loss of experiences or realisations gained, unwillingness to accept the Light or to follow it, incapacity (through tamas or through attachment or through passive reaction to accustomed forces) to do what it admits to be the Right and the Best.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV,
16:Nobility and Refinement
Nobility: the incapacity for any pettiness either of sentiments or of action.
*
Aristocracy: incapable of baseness and pettiness, it asserts itself with dignity and authority.
*
Dignity affirms its worth, but demands nothing.
*
Dignity of the emotions: not to permit one's emotions to contradict the inner Divinity.
*
Dignity in the physical: above all bargaining.
*
Psychic dignity refuses to accept anything that lowers or debases.
*
Refinement: gradually grossness is eliminated from the being.
*
Sensitivity: one of the results of the refinement of the being.
*
Gentleness: always gracious and wishing to give pleasure. ~ The Mother, Words Of The Mother II,
17:The power to do nothing, which is quite different from indolence, incapacity or aversion to action and attachment to inaction, is a great power and a great mastery; the power to rest absolutely from action is as necessary for the Jnanayogin as the power to cease absolutely from thought, as the power to remain indefinitely in sheer solitude and silence and as the power of immovable calm. Whoever is not willing to embrace these states is not yet fit for the path that leads towards the highest knowledge; whoever is unable to draw towards them, is as yet unfit for its acquisition.
...
Still, periods of absolute calm, solitude and cessation from works are highly desirable and should be secured as often as possible for that recession of the soul into itself which is indispensable to knowledge.
~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Freedom from Subjection to the Being,
18:A silence, an entry into a wide or even immense or infinite emptiness is part of the inner spiritual experience; of this silence and void the physical mind has a certain fear, the small superficially active thinking or vital mind a shrinking from it or dislike, - for it confuses the silence with mental and vital incapacity and the void with cessation or non-existence: but this silence is the silence of the spirit which is the condition of a greater knowledge, power and bliss, and this emptiness is the emptying of the cup of our natural being, a liberation of it from its turbid contents so that it may be filled with the wine of God; it is the passage not into non-existence but to a greater existence. Even when the being turns towards cessation, it is a cessation not in non-existence but into some vast ineffable of spiritual being or the plunge into the incommunicable superconscience of the Absolute. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 2.28 - The Divine Life,
19:Three things you must have, - consciousness, - plasticity and - unreserved surrender.
   For you must be conscious in your mind and soul and heart and life and the very cells of your body, aware of the Mother and her Powers and their working; for although she can and does work in you even in your obscurity and your unconscious parts and moments, it is not the same thing as when you are in an awakened and living communion with her.
   All your nature must be plastic to her touch, - not questioning as the self-sufficient ignorant mind questions and doubts and disputes and is the enemy of its enlightenment and change; not insisting on its own movements as the vital in the man insists and persistently opposes its refractory desires and ill-will to every divine influence; not obstructing and entrenched in incapacity, inertia and tamas as man's physical consciousness obstructs and clinging to the pleasure in smallness and darkness cries out against each touch that disturbs it soulless routine or it dull sloth or its torpid slumber.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother, [58],
20:To enlarge the sense-faculties without the knowledge that would give the old sense-values their right interpretation from the new standpoint might lead to serious disorders and incapacities, might unfit for practical life and for the orderly and disciplined use of the reason. Equally, an enlargement of our mental consciousness out of the experience of the egoistic dualities into an unregulated unity with some form of total consciousness might easily bring about a confusion and incapacity for the active life of humanity in the established order of the world's relativities. This, no doubt, is the root of the injunction imposed in the Gita on the man who has the knowledge not to disturb the life-basis and thought-basis of the ignorant; for, impelled by his example but unable to comprehend the principle of his action, they would lose their own system of values without arriving at a higher foundation.
   Such a disorder and incapacity may be accepted personally and are accepted by many great souls as a temporary passage or as the price to be paid for the entry into a wider existence.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine,
21:But for the knowledge of the Self it is necessary to have the power of a complete intellectual passivity, the power of dismissing all thought, the power of the mind to think not at all which the Gita in one passage enjoins. This is a hard saying for the occidental mind to which thought is the highest thing and which will be apt to mistake the power of the mind not to think, its complete silence for the incapacity of thought. But this power of silence is a capacity and not an incapacity, a power and not a weakness. It is a profound and pregnant stillness. Only when the mind is thus entirely still, like clear, motionless and level water, in a perfect purity and peace of the whole being and the soul transcends thought, can the Self which exceeds and originates all activities and becomings, the Silence from which all words are born, the Absolute of which all relativities are partial reflections manifest itself in the pure essence of our being. In a complete silence only is the Silence heard; in a pure peace only is its Being revealed. Therefore to us the name of That is the Silence and the Peace.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Purified Understanding, 302,
22:Life clung to its seat with cords of gasping breath;
   Lapped was his body by a tenebrous tongue.
   Existence smothered travailed to survive;
   Hope strangled perished in his empty soul,
   Belief and memory abolished died
   And all that helps the spirit in its course.
   There crawled through every tense and aching nerve
   Leaving behind its poignant quaking trail
   A nameless and unutterable fear.
   As a sea nears a victim bound and still,
   The approach alarmed his mind for ever dumb
   Of an implacable eternity
   Of pain inhuman and intolerable.
   This he must bear, his hope of heaven estranged;
   He must ever exist without extinction's peace
   In a slow suffering Time and tortured Space,
   An anguished nothingness his endless state.
   A lifeless vacancy was now his breast,
   And in the place where once was luminous thought,
   Only remained like a pale motionless ghost
   An incapacity for faith and hope
   And the dread conviction of a vanquished soul
   Immortal still but with its godhead lost,
   Self lost and God and touch of happier worlds.
   But he endured, stilled the vain terror, bore
   The smothering coils of agony and affright;
   Then peace returned and the soul's sovereign gaze.
   To the blank horror a calm Light replied:
   Immutable, undying and unborn,
   Mighty and mute the Godhead in him woke
   And faced the pain and danger of the world.
   He mastered the tides of Nature with a look:
   He met with his bare spirit naked Hell.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Descent into Night,
23:But if somewhere in your being - either in your body or even in your vital or mind, either in several parts or even in a single one - there is an incapacity to receive the descending Force, this acts like a grain of sand in a machine. You know, a fine machine working quite well with everything going all right, and you put into it just a little sand (nothing much, only a grain of sand), suddenly everything is damaged and the machine stops. Well, just a little lack of receptivity somewhere, something that is unable to receive the Force, that is completely shut up (when one looks at it, it becomes as it were a little dark spot somewhere, a tiny thing hard as a stone: the Force cannot enter into it, it refuses to receive it - either it cannot or it will not) and immediately that produces a great imbalance; and this thing that was moving upward, that was blooming so wonderfully, finds itself sick, and sometimes just when you were in the normal equilibrium; you were in good health, everything was going on well, you had nothing to complain about. One day when you grasped a new idea, received a new impulse, when you had a great aspiration and received a great force and had a marvellous experience, a beautiful experience opening to you inner doors, giving you a knowledge you did not have before; then you were sure that everything was going to be all right.... The next day, you are taken ill. So you say: "Still that? It is impossible! That should not happen." But it was quite simply what I have just said: a grain of sand. There was something that could not receive; immediately it brings about a disequilibrium. Even though very small it is enough, and you fall ill.

~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1953, 175,
24:It is not very easy for the customary mind of man, always attached to its past and present associations, to conceive of an existence still human, yet radically changed in what are now our fixed circumstances.We are in respect to our possible higher evolution much in the position of the original Ape of the Darwinian theory. It would have been impossible for that Ape leading his instinctive arboreal life in primeval forests to conceive that there would be one day an animal on the earth who would use a new faculty called reason upon the materials of his inner and outer existence, who would dominate by that power his instincts and habits, change the circumstances of his physical life, build for himself houses of stone, manipulate Nature's forces, sail the seas, ride the air, develop codes of conduct, evolve conscious methods for his mental and spiritual development. And if such a conception had been possible for the Ape-mind, it would still have been difficult for him to imagine that by any progress of Nature or long effort of Will and tendency he himself could develop into that animal. Man, because he has acquired reason and still more because he has indulged his power of imagination and intuition, is able to conceive an existence higher than his own and even to envisage his personal elevation beyond his present state into that existence. His idea of the supreme state is an absolute of all that is positive to his own concepts and desirable to his own instinctive aspiration,-Knowledge without its negative shadow of error, Bliss without its negation in experience of suffering, Power without its constant denial by incapacity, purity and plenitude of being without the opposing sense of defect and limitation. It is so that he conceives his gods; it is so that he constructs his heavens. But it is not so that his reason conceives of a possible earth and a possible humanity. His dream of God and Heaven is really a dream of his own perfection; but he finds the same difficulty in accepting its practical realisation here for his ultimate aim as would the ancestral Ape if called upon to believe in himself as the future Man. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Ego and the Dualities,
25:28 August 1957
Mother, Sri Aurobindo says here: "Whether the whole of humanity would be touched [by the Supramental influence] or only a part of it ready for the change would depend on what was intended or possible in the continued order of the universe."
The Supramental Manifestation, SABCL, Vol. 16, p. 56

What is meant by "what was intended or possible"? The two things are different. So far you have said that if humanity changes, if it wants to participate in the new birth...

It is the same thing. But when you look at an object on a certain plane, you see it horizontally, and when you look at the same object from another plane, you see it vertically. (Mother shows the cover and the back of her book.) So, if one looks from above, one says "intended"; if one looks from below, one says "possible".... But it is absolutely the same thing, only the point of view is different.

But in that case, it is not our incapacity or lack of will to change that makes any difference.

We have already said this many a time. If you remain in a consciousness which functions mentally, even if it is the highest mind, you have the notion of an absolute determinism of cause and effect and feel that things are what they are because they are what they are and cannot be otherwise.

It is only when you come out of the mental consciousness completely and enter a higher perception of things - which you may call spiritual or divine - that you suddenly find yourself in a state of perfect freedom where everything is possible.

(Silence)

Those who have contacted that state or lived in it, even if only for a moment, try to describe it as a feeling of an absolute Will in action, which immediately gives to the human mentality the feeling of being arbitrary. And because of that distortion there arises the idea - which I might call traditional - of a supreme and arbitrary God, which is something most unacceptable to every enlightened mind. I suppose that this experience badly expressed is at the origin of this notion. And in fact it is incorrect to express it as an absolute Will: it is very, very, very different. It is something else altogether. For, what man understands by "Will" is a decision that is taken and carried out. We are obliged to use the word "will", but in its truth the Will acting in the universe is neither a choice nor a decision that is taken. What seems to me the closest expression is "vision". Things are because they are seen. But of course "seen", not seen as we see with these eyes.

(Mother touches her eyes...) All the same, it is the nearest thing.
It is a vision - a vision unfolding itself.
The universe becomes objective as it is progressively seen.

And that is why Sri Aurobindo has said "intended or possible". It is neither one nor the other. All that can be said is a distortion.

(Silence)

Objectivisation - universal objectivisation - is something like a projection in space and time, like a living image of what is from all eternity. And as the image is gradually projected on the screen of time and space, it becomes objective:

The Supreme contemplating His own Image.
~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1957-1958,
26:I have never been able to share your constantly recurring doubts about your capacity or the despair that arises in you so violently when there are these attacks, nor is their persistent recurrence a valid ground for believing that they can never be overcome. Such a persistent recurrence has been a feature in the sadhana of many who have finally emerged and reached the goal; even the sadhana of very great Yogis has not been exempt from such violent and constant recurrences; they have sometimes been special objects of such persistent assaults, as I have indeed indicated in Savitri in more places than one - and that was indeed founded on my own experience. In the nature of these recurrences there is usually a constant return of the same adverse experiences, the same adverse resistance, thoughts destructive of all belief and faith and confidence in the future of the sadhana, frustrating doubts of what one has known as the truth, voices of despondency and despair, urgings to abandonment of the Yoga or to suicide or else other disastrous counsels of déchéance. The course taken by the attacks is not indeed the same for all, but still they have strong family resemblance. One can eventually overcome if one begins to realise the nature and source of these assaults and acquires the faculty of observing them, bearing, without being involved or absorbed into their gulf, finally becoming the witness of their phenomena and understanding them and refusing the mind's sanction even when the vital is still tossed in the whirl or the most outward physical mind still reflects the adverse suggestions. In the end these attacks lose their power and fall away from the nature; the recurrence becomes feeble or has no power to last: even, if the detachment is strong enough, they can be cut out very soon or at once. The strongest attitude to take is to regard these things as what they really are, incursions of dark forces from outside taking advantage of certain openings in the physical mind or the vital part, but not a real part of oneself or spontaneous creation in one's own nature. To create a confusion and darkness in the physical mind and throw into it or awake in it mistaken ideas, dark thoughts, false impressions is a favourite method of these assailants, and if they can get the support of this mind from over-confidence in its own correctness or the natural rightness of its impressions and inferences, then they can have a field day until the true mind reasserts itself and blows the clouds away. Another device of theirs is to awake some hurt or rankling sense of grievance in the lower vital parts and keep them hurt or rankling as long as possible. In that case one has to discover these openings in one's nature and learn to close them permanently to such attacks or else to throw out intruders at once or as soon as possible. The recurrence is no proof of a fundamental incapacity; if one takes the right inner attitude, it can and will be overcome. The idea of suicide ought never to be accepted; there is no real ground for it and in any case it cannot be a remedy or a real escape: at most it can only be postponement of difficulties and the necessity for their solution under no better circumstances in another life. One must have faith in the Master of our life and works, even if for a long time he conceals himself, and then in his own right time he will reveal his Presence.
   I have tried to dispel all the misconceptions, explain things as they are and meet all the points at issue. It is not that you really cannot make progress or have not made any progress; on the contrary, you yourself have admitted that you have made a good advance in many directions and there is no reason why, if you persevere, the rest should not come. You have always believed in the Guruvada: I would ask you then to put your faith in the Guru and the guidance and rely on the Ishwara for the fulfilment, to have faith in my abiding love and affection, in the affection and divine goodwill and loving kindness of the Mother, stand firm against all attacks and go forward perseveringly towards the spiritual goal and the all-fulfilling and all-satisfying touch of the All-Blissful, the Ishwara.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV,

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Beggars market their incapacity. ~ Mason Cooley
2:The only abnormality is the incapacity to love. ~ Anais Nin
3:The only abnormality is the incapacity to love. ~ Ana s Nin
4:The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.” —Anaïs Nin ~ Zane
5:Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by incapacity. ~ William Blake
6:Inability, human incapacity, is the only boundary to an art. ~ Emile Zola
7:Inability, human incapacity, is the only boundary to an art. ~ mile Zola
8:Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity. ~ William Blake
9:The incapacity to name is a good symptom of disturbance. ~ Roland Barthes
10:Our power resides in our incapacity to know how alone we are. ~ Emil M Cioran
11:The obscurity of a writer is generally in proportion to his incapacity. ~ Quintilian
12:Cunning and treachery are the offspring of incapacity. ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld
13:He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse. ~ Robinson Jeffers
14:The laziness of adolescence is a rehearsal for the incapacity of old age. ~ Idries Shah
15:... He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse. ~ Robinson Jeffers
16:Bigotry is an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition. ~ G K Chesterton
17:Laziness - The laziness of adolescence is a rehearsal for the incapacity of old age. ~ Idries Shah
18:The fundamental premise of liberalism is the moral incapacity of the American people. ~ Alan Keyes
19:What devours must also be devoured. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
20:Bigotry is an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton
21:Capable people do not understand incapacity; clever people do not understand stupidity. ~ Doris Lessing
22:Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another. ~ Immanuel Kant
23:Our works, whatever they may be, derive from our incapacity to kill or to kill ourselves. ~ Emil M Cioran
24:Our works, whatever they may be, derive from our incapacity to kill or to kill ourselves. ~ Emile M Cioran
25:incapacity for true dialogue implies an incapacity for tolerance, self-reflection and empathy. ~ Azar Nafisi
26:Hell is the incapacity to be other than the creature one finds oneself ordinarily behaving as. ~ Aldous Huxley
27:Man is often not defeated by the storm itself, but by his incapacity to handle the storm! ~ Mehmet Murat ildan
28:Our nonviolence in respect of the Government is a result of our incapacity for effective violence. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
29:ECCENTRICITY, n. A method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity. ~ Ambrose Bierce
30:Greed harms you: generosity helps you. This is why is has been said: 'Greed is the mother of incapacity'. ~ Idries Shah
31:Greed harms you: generosity helps you. This is why it has been said: 'Greed is the mother of incapacity'. ~ Idries Shah
32:No man can exactly calculate the capacity of human genius and stupidity, nor the incapacity of will. ~ B H Liddell Hart
33:Her incapacity to recognise change made her children conceal their views from her as Archer concealed his; ~ Edith Wharton
34:In business be as able as you can, but do not be cunning; cunning is the dark sanctuary of incapacity. ~ Lord Chesterfield
35:Life is an infinite Force working in the terms of the finite. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
36:Our incapacity to comprehend other cultures stems from our insistence on measuring things in our own terms. ~ Arthur Erickson
37:close some doors today. not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere ~ Paulo Coelho
38:One cannot cease to be individually except by being infinitely. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
39:Close some doors today. Not because of pride, incapacity, or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere. ~ Paulo Coelho
40:Was it the forgetfulness of old age or personal incapacity that made the man able to say please but not thank you? ~ Yann Martel
41:Close some doors. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere. ~ Paulo Coelho
42:What now on the other hand makes people sociable is their incapacity to endure solitude and thus themselves. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
43:There is a true weakness in American thought today: their incapacity to be interested in the intelligence of evil. ~ Bernard Henri Levy
44:What is ridiculous about human beings, Doctor,' the prince said, 'is actually their total incapacity to be ridiculous ~ Thomas Bernhard
45:The capacity of any conqueror is more likely than not to be an illusion produced by the incapacity of his adversary. ~ George Bernard Shaw
46:Don't be discouraged by your incapacity to dispel darkness from the world. Light your little candle and step forward. ~ Mata Amritanandamayi
47:Homelessness is the actor's fate; physical incapacity to attain what is most required and desired by such a spirit as I am a slave to. ~ Edwin Booth
48:incapacity to commit oneself to any value system beyond one supplying self-serving needs usually indicates severe narcissistic pathology. The ~ Otto F Kernberg
49:Lunacy 5.11 At common law, idiots are subject to a permanent legal incapacity to vote, but persons of unsound mind may vote during lucid intervals. ~ J K Rowling
50:The price of training is always a certain trained incapacity: the more we know how to do something, the harder it is to learn to do it differently. ~ Abraham Kaplan
51:A present incapacity, however heavy may seem its pressure, is only a trial of faith and a temporary difficulty. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
52:Desire is the lever by which the divine Life-principle effects its end of self-affirmation in the universe. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
53:One ought not to settle down into a fixed idea of one’s own incapacity or allow it to become an obsession. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, The Call and the Capacity,
54:Seemingly the most easy of crafts, drawing is the one which reveals most tellingly our incapacity to sustain true vision and our acquiescence to the ready-made. ~ Rico Lebrun
55:That which compels us to create a substitute for ourselves is not the external lack of objects, but our incapacity to lovingly include a thing outside of ourselves ~ Carl Jung
56:The attempt of the individual, the living atom, to maintain and aggrandise itself is the whole sense of Desire. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
57:“That which compels us to create a substitute for ourselves is not the external lack of objects, but our incapacity to lovingly include a thing outside of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung
58:At the time there was a strong feeling in the streets that the authorities were to blame for their incapacity to dispose of the invaders without all this inconvenience. ~ H G Wells
59:The history of man is a graveyard of great cultures that came to catastrophic ends because of their incapacity for planned, rational, voluntary reaction to challenge. ~ Erich Fromm
60:Behind the sorrow and lonliness, behind the emptiness and the feeling of incapacity, there is the golden light of the Divine Presence shining soft and warm.
   ~ The Mother, White Roses,
61:And the great difference between man and monkey is in the larynx, he said, in the incapacity to frame delicately different sounding symbols by which thought could be sustained ~ H G Wells
62:The right to live and triumph is today earned with the same qualifications one requires to be interned in a madhouse: amorality, hypomania and an incapacity for thought. ~ Fernando Pessoa
63:Calvin: Know what I pray for?
Hobbes: What?
Calvin: The strength to change what I can, the inability to accept what I can't, and the incapacity to tell the difference. ~ Bill Watterson
64:In this negative frame, the quickest ticket to heaven, enlightenment, or salvation is “unworthiness” itself, or at least a willingness to face our own smallness and incapacity. ~ Richard Rohr
65:I wondered where Cohn got that incapacity to enjoy Paris. Possibly from Mencken. Mencken hates Paris, I believe. So many young men get their likes and dislikes from Mencken. ~ Ernest Hemingway
66:The party which is out sees nothing but graft and incapacity in the party which is in; and the party which is in sees nothing but greed and animosity in the party which is out. ~ Agnes Repplier
67:Hunger in the vital parts becomes craving of Desire in the mentalised life, straining of Will in the intellectual or thinking life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Death, Desire and Incapacity,
68:capable, feign incapacity; when active, inactivity. When near, make it appear that you are far away; when far away, that you are near. Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance. ~ Steve Bein
69:Throw a puppy into the water. If it swims, well. If it sinks, well. But do not tie a rope around its throat and weight it with a brick and then assert its incapacity to keep afloat. ~ Olive Schreiner
70:Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood ~ John McCain
71:These ideas of incapacity are absurd, they are the negation of the truth of progress - what cannot be done today, will be done another day, if the aspiration is there.
   ~ The Mother, Words Of The Mother II,
72:Length of time is no proof of an ultimate incapacity to arrive—it is only a sign that there is something in oneself which has to be overcome. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, The Divine Grace and Guidance,
73:While I am proud of a number of accomplishments, there are real costs to being unreasonable. Long hours. Too little time with family. A near incapacity for, as they say, stopping and smelling the roses. ~ Eli Broad
74:The worst conceivable government would be by philosophers; they botch every natural process with theory; their ability to make speeches and multiply ideas is precisely the sign of their incapacity for action. ~ Will Durant
75:A principle is a principle and in no case can it be watered down because of our incapacity to live it in practice. We have to strive to achieve it, and the striving should be conscious, deliberate and hard. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
76:What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. ~ Viktor E Frankl
77:And, hence, to manage it. For if, as Thucydides warned two thousand years earlier, words in crises can lose their meaning, leaving in the “ability to see all sides of a question [an] incapacity to act on any,”82 ~ John Lewis Gaddis
78:Every profound dissatisfaction is of a religious nature: our failures derive from our incapacity to conceive of paradise and to aspire to it, as our discomforts from the fragility of our relations with the absolute. ~ Emile M Cioran
79:Flaubert's famous sentence, "Madame Bovary, c'est moi" ("Madame Bovary, she is me"), in reality means, " Madame Bovary, c'est nous" ("Madame Bovary, she is us"), in our modern incapacity to live a "good-enough" life. ~ Sophie Barthes
80:What a mother hen I am become!” he said soberly. “If I were my old self I should not start at every shadow, and be alarmed when you stumble, but one’s anxiety rises in proportion to one’s incapacity to do anything about it. ~ Zen Cho
81:Both strength of mind and body are necessary, strengths which in the last few months have deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. ~ Pope Benedict XVI
82:You don’t really want to crash down the whole universe just to satisfy your situational unease or your incapacity to see the whole picture, do you? You don’t want a life based on your failure to understand life, right? ~ Charles D Ambrosio
83:Many a time since have I noticed, in persons of Ginevra Fanshawe's light, careless temperament, and fair, fragile style of beauty, an entire incapacity to endure: they seem to sour in adversity, like small beer in thunder. ~ Charlotte Bront
84:The old incapacity. Interrupted my writing for barely ten days and already cast out. Once again prodigious efforts stand before me. You have to dive down, as it were, and sink more rapidly than that which sinks in advance of you. ~ Franz Kafka
85:In The Red Book Jung finds his way to this task and sees it belongs to each of us: we must face the lowest in us, our “incapacity,” which is all we exclude when we identify with our ruling principle. ~ Ann Belford Ulanov, Madness and Creativity
86:I did not believe what he was saying, but I bore him no ill-will for that, for I had inherited from my mother and grandmother their incapacity for resentment even of far worse offenders, and their habit of never condemning anyone ~ Marcel Proust
87:What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. Logos is deeper than logic. ~ Viktor E Frankl
88:Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are. ~ Paulo Coelho
89:No matter who you are and what you have in this life, every single one of you needs the following three documents: A will A revocable living trust with an incapacity clause An advance directive and durable power of attorney for health care ~ Suze Orman
90:So-called professional mathematicians have, in their reliance on the relative incapacity of the rest of mankind, acquired for themselves a reputation for profundity very similar to the reputation for sanctity possessed by theologians. ~ Georg C Lichtenberg
91:We cannot go on as we are with 2.6 million people on incapacity benefit, 500,000 of them are under 35. Are we really saying there are half a million people in this country under 35 who are simply too ill to work? I don’t think that’s right. ~ David Cameron
92:All wars derive from lack of empathy: the incapacity of one to understand and accept the likeness or difference of another. Whether in nations or the encounters of race and sex, competition then replaces compassion, subjection excludes mutuality. ~ Marya Mannes
93:In modern life the world belongs to the stupid, the insensitive and the disturbed. The right to live and triumph is today earned with the same qualifications one requires to be interned in a madhouse: amorality, hypomania and an incapacity for thought. ~ Fernando Pessoa
94:But the lucidity of her old age allowed her to see, and she said so many times, that the cries of children in their mothers' wombs are not announcements of ventriloquism or a faculty for prophecy but an unmistakable sign of an incapacity for love. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez
95:Slowed down by a sense of hopelessness in all his decisions and movements, he suffered from bitter sadness, and his incapacity solidified into a pain that often sat like a nosebleed behind his forehead the moment he tried to make up his mind to do something. ~ Robert Musil
96:Slowed down by a sense of hopelessness in all his decisions and
movements, he suffered from bitter sadness, and his incapacity solidified into a pain that often sat like a nosebleed behind his forehead the moment he tried to make up his mind to do something. ~ Robert Musil
97:There's something really interesting about current urbanism: the only model is the universal model, and there is increasingly incapacity to consider the virtues and the qualities that are there, and then to build on them. The only thing is complete transformation. ~ Rem Koolhaas
98:wings that do not form a community like us—When the incapacity to hurt and goodness are fully developed in him who has attained to the enlightened culture of the soul, there is a complete absence of enmity towards men, as also, towards the animals who are near to him ~ Patanjali
99:Some people live to be seventy, sometimes eighty years old believing there is always something new just around the corner, as they say; in the end they practically have to be killed or at least reduced to a state of serious incapacity to get them to see reason. ~ Michel Houellebecq
100:And this accident came about...?"Through nature's unpredictability not man's incapacity. No errors were committed in our maneuvers. Nevertheless, we can't prevent a loss of balance from taking its toll. One may defy human laws, but no one can withstand the laws of nature. ~ Jules Verne
101:It is not accidental that the most unsympathetic characters in Austen's novels are those who are incapable of genuine dialogue with others. They rant. They lecture. They scold. This incapacity for true dialogue implies an incapacity for tolerance, self-reflection and empathy. ~ Azar Nafisi
102:Neurotic anxiety, therefore, is that which occurs when the incapacity for coping adequately with threats is not objective but subjective - I.e., is due not to objective weakness but to inner psychological patterns and conflicts which prevent the individual from using his powers. ~ Rollo May
103:In the stress of modern life, how little room is left for that most comfortable vanity that whispers in our ears that failures are not faults! Now we are taught from infancy that we must rise or fall upon our own merits; that vigilance wins success, and incapacity means ruin ~ Agnes Repplier
104:Neurology’s favourite word is ‘deficit’, denoting an impairment or incapacity of neurological function: loss of speech, loss of language, loss of memory, loss of vision, loss of dexterity, loss of identity and myriad other lacks and losses of specific functions (or faculties). ~ Oliver Sacks
105:The coward’s fear of death stems in large part from his incapacity to love anything but his own body. The inability to participate in others’ lives stands in the way of his developing any inner resources sufficient to overcome the terror of death. — J. Glenn Gary, The Warriors ~ Sebastian Junger
106:I realized I had let my own incapacity to recover from my past shrink my world so that it was big enough for only me. It was hitting me now, really for the first time, how being fucked up can turn into a form of narcissism. So that I barely acknowledged that others might need something from me. ~ Koethi Zan
107:It is the cult of self that is killing the United States. This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance ; a need for constant stimulation; a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt. ~ Chris Hedges
108:The seat I had taken was marked for the use of the elderly and handicapped, but had another claimant come, a figure like Charles, for instance, I would have been prepared to leave the train, when my stop came, with a lurching gait or limb held awry to designate my previously unguessed incapacity. ~ Alan Hollinghurst
109:The spirit of philosophy is one of free inquiry. It suspects all authority. Its function is to trace the uncritical assumptions of human thought to their hiding places, and in this pursuit it may finally end in denial or a frank admission of the incapacity of pure reason to reach the ultimate reality. ~ Muhammad Iqbal
110:I wonder at my incapacity for easy banter, smooth conversation, empty words to fill awkward moments. I don't have a closet filled with umms and ellipses ready to insert at the beginnings and ends of sentences. I don't know how to be a verb, an adverb, any kind of modifier. I'm a noun through and through. ~ Tahereh Mafi
111:Many of us grow up thinking of mistakes as bad, viewing errors as evidence of fundamental incapacity. This negative thinking pattern can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, which undermines the learning process. To maximize our learning it is essential to ask: "How can we get the most from every mistake we make?" ~ Tony Buzan
112:The habits and addictions of the amateur are conscious or unconscious self-inflicted wounds. Their payoff is incapacity. When we take our M1903 Springfield and blow a hole in our foot, we no longer have to face the real fight of our lives, which is to become who we are and to realize our destiny and our calling. ~ Steven Pressfield
113:Carlyle, a man of strong words and attitudes, a rhetorician out of necessity, constantly aroused by the craving for a strong faithas well as by the feeling of an incapacity for it (Min this respect a typical romantic!).... Fundamentally, Carlyle is an English atheist who makes it a point of honor not to be one. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
114:A guide, on finding a man who has lost his way, brings him back to the right path—he does not mock and jeer at him and then take himself off. You also must show the unlearned man the truth, and you will see that he will follow. But so long as you do not show it him, you should not mock, but rather feel your own incapacity. ~ Epictetus
115:Boys like to fight, and of course, it’s in their nature. But as they grow up and their vocabulary expands, they will find the right words to express themselves and the violence will subside. Brutality is just the result of frustration, the incapacity to express oneself in words. Without words, people often resort to fists. ~ Marc Levy
116:Ultimate meaning necessarily exceeds and surpasses the finite intellectual capacities of man... What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. Logos is deeper than logic. ~ Viktor E Frankl
117:Properly speaking, altruism is an absurdity. Women are self-sacrificing in direct proportion to their incapacity to offer anything but this sacrifice. They sacrifice what they never had: a self. The cry of the deserted woman, 'What have I done to deserve this?' reveals at once the false emotional economy that she has been following. ~ Germaine Greer
118:The incapacity of a weak and distracted government may often assume the appearance and produce the effects of a treasonable correspondence with the public enemy. If Alaric himself had been introduced into the council of Ravenna, he would probably have advised the same measures which were actually pursued by the ministers of Honorius. ~ Edward Gibbon
119:English’s drive to exploit the new and the alien, its zeal in robbing words from other languages, its incapacity to feel qualms over the matter, its museum-size overabundance of vocabulary, its shoulder-shrug approach to spelling, its don’t-worry-be-happy concern for grammar—the result was a language whose colour and wealth Henry loved. ~ Yann Martel
120:The vast majority of us are far more capable than we realize. We grow up with parents, teachers, bosses all telling us what we can’t do. Don’t touch it; you’ll break it. They mean well, but they leave us with a sense of our own incapacity. When the day comes, if it comes, that you begin to believe in yourself, the world will be yours. ~ Jack McDevitt
121:When I look back on my past and think how much time I wasted on nothing, how much time has been lost in futilities, errors, laziness, incapacity to live; how little I appreciated it, how many times I sinned against my heart and soul-then my heart bleeds. Life is a gift, life is happiness, every minute can be an eternity of happiness. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
122:On the occasions when I have pondered over men's various activities, the dangers and worries they are exposed to at Court or at war, from which so many quarrels, passions, risky, often ill-conceived actions and so on are born, I have often said that man's unhappiness springs from one thing alone, his incapacity to stay quietly in one room. ~ Blaise Pascal
123:The proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right. ~ Thomas Jefferson
124:The vast majority of us are far more capable than we realize. We grow up with parents, teachers, bosses all telling us what we can’t do. Don’t touch it; you’ll break it. They mean well, but they leave us with a sense of our own incapacity. When the day comes, if it comes, that you begin to believe in yourself, the world will be yours. —Mara ~ Jack McDevitt
125:When I look back on my past and think how much time I wasted on nothing, how much time has been lost in futilities, errors, laziness, incapacity to live; how little I appreciated it, how many times I sinned against my heart and soul — then my heart bleeds. Life is a gift, life is happiness, every minute can be an eternity of happiness! ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
126:It was suffering and incapacity that created all afterworlds - this, and that brief madness of bliss which is experienced only by those who suffer deeply.
Weariness that wants to reach the ultimate with one leap, with one fatal leap, a poor ignorant weariness that does not want to want any more: this created all gods and afterworlds. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
127:There’s something truly strange about living in a historical moment in which the conservative anxiety and despair about queers bringing down civilization and its institutions (marriage, most notably) is met by the anxiety and despair so many queers feel about the failure or incapacity of queerness to bring down civilization and its institutions. ~ Maggie Nelson
128:This account of him [Thomas More] developed as I wrote: what first attracted me was a person who could not be accused of any incapacity for life, who indeed seized life in great variety and almost greedy quantities, who nevertheless found something in himself without which life was valueless and when that was denied him was able to grasp his death. ~ Robert Bolt
129:All psychologists who have studied the intelligence of women, as well as poets and novelists, recognize today that they represent the most inferior forms of human evolution and that they are closer to children and savages than to an adult, civilized man. They excel in fickleness, inconstancy, absence of thought and logic, and incapacity to reason. ~ Gustave Le Bon
130:This is precisely what happened, as we have already noted, in Paraguay in 2012 with the two-day “quickie” impeachment of Fernando Lugo, and in Ecuador in 1997 with the removal of Abdalá Bucaram on bogus grounds of “mental incapacity.” In these cases, impeachment was weaponized—the leaders of congress used it to remove a president they didn’t like. ~ Steven Levitsky
131:What was maddening was not the anti-Americanism, which is understandable and even, in its Astérix-style resistance to American domination, admirable. What is maddening is the bland certainty, the lack of vigilant curiosity, the incapacity for critical self-reflection, the readiness to afficher erreur distante and wait for somebody else to change the paper. ~ Adam Gopnik
132:The artist abandoning his poem, exasperated by the indigence of words, prefigures the confusion of the mind discontented within the context of the existent. Incapacity to organize the elements—as stripped of meaning and savor as the words which express them—leads to the revelation of the void. Thus the rhymer withdraws into silence or into impenetrable artifices. ~ Emil M Cioran
133:Her incapacity to recognize change made her children conceal their views from her as Archer concealed his; there had been, from the first, a joint pretense of sameness, a kind of innocent family hypocrisy, in which father and children had unconsciously collaborated. And she died thinking the world a good place, full of loving and harmonious households like her own. ~ Edith Wharton
134:The net effect of this language system was not to keep these people ignorant of what they were doing, but to prevent them from equating it with their old, "normal" knowledge of murder and lies. Eichmann's great susceptibility to catch words and stock phrases, combined with his incapacity for ordinary speech, made him, of course, an ideal subject for "language rules. ~ Hannah Arendt
135:It was a “severe” disappointment to Henry Wilson who laid it all at the door of Kitchener and the Cabinet for having sent only four divisions instead of six. Had all six been present, he said with that marvelous incapacity to admit error that was to make him ultimately a Field Marshal, “this retreat would have been an advance and defeat would have been a victory. ~ Barbara W Tuchman
136:This superficial blurring has something to do with the incapacity I have just mentioned. I can make no statement about reality clearer than my own relationship to reality; and this has a great deal to do with imprecision, uncertainty, transience, incompleteness, or whatever. But this doesn't explain the pictures. At best it explains what led to their being painted. ~ Gerhard Richter
137:All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable, feign incapacity; when active, inactivity. When near, make it appear that you are far away; when far away, that you are to lure him; feign disorder and strike him. When he concentrates, prepare against him; where he is strong, avoid him. Anger his general and confuse him. Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance. ~ Sun Tzu
138:For my part I consider the central idea pervading this struggle is the necessity that is upon us of proving that popular government is not an absurdity. We must settle this question now, whether in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose. If we fail it will go far to prove the incapacity of the people to govern themselves. ~ Shelby Foote
139:He who wants to educate himself in Chess must evade what is dead in Chess... the habit of playing with inferior opponents; the custom of avoiding difficult tasks; the weakness of uncritically taking over variations or rules discovered by others; the vanity which is self-sufficient; the incapacity for admitting mistakes; in brief, everything that leas to standstill or to anarchy. ~ Emanuel Lasker
140:I was struck by the absence, even among very young boys and girls, of any interior motivation; they were incapable of thinking, of inventing, of imagining, of choosing, of deciding for themselves; this incapacity was expressed by their conformism; in every domain of life they employed only the abstract measure of money, because they were unable to trust to their own judgment. ~ Simone de Beauvoir
141:The deeper we go in search of causes, the more of them we find, and each cause taken singly or whole series of causes present themselves to us as equally correct in themselves, and equally false in their insignificance in comparison with the enormity of the event, and equally false in their incapacity (without the participation of all other coinciding causes) to produce the event that took place. ~ Leo Tolstoy
142:Mahler was a poor yea-sayer. His voice cracks, like Nietzsche’s, when he proclaims values, speaks from mere conviction, when he himself puts into practice the abhorrent notion of overcoming on which the thematic analyses capitalise, and makes music as if joy were already in the world. His vainly jubilant movements unmask jubilation; his subjective incapacity for the happy end denounces itself. ~ Theodor W Adorno
143:He took the Captain as he was, and was fond of him, with his cheery heartlessness, his incapacity to think beyond a couple of thoughts, for which his skull was far too roomy, his insignificant love affairs and childish infatuations, and the pointless and unconnected remarks that came out of his mouth, seemingly at random. He was a mediocre officer, who didn't care about his comrades, his men, his career. ~ Joseph Roth
144:Herbert Pocket had a frank and easy way with him that was very taking. I had never seen anyone then, and I have never seen anyone since, who more strongly expressed to me, in every look and tone, a natural incapacity to do anything secret and mean. There was something wonderfully hopeful about his general air, and something that at the same time whispered to me he would never be very successful or rich. ~ Charles Dickens
145:Herbert Pocket had a frank and easy way about him that was very taking. I had never seen anyone then, and I have never seen anyone since, who more strongly expressed to me, in every look and tone, a natural incapacity to do anything secret and mean. There was something wonderfully hopeful about his general air, and something that at the same time whispered to me he would never be very successful or rich. ~ Charles Dickens
146:So far, therefore, as the science of exchange relates to the advantage of one of the exchanging persons only, it is founded on the ignorance or incapacity of the opposite person. . . . It is therefore a science founded on nescience. . . . This science, alone of sciences, must, by all available means, promulgate and prolong its opposite nescience. . . . It is therefore peculiarly and alone science of darkness. ~ John Ruskin
147:Enlightenment is man's leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one's intelligence without being guided by another. Sapere Aude! Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment. ~ Immanuel Kant
148:We can go on for years arguing about the way in which the enormous organism could have come into being. As we look closer at the bewildering complexity of the mechanism, our brains begin to reel. How are we to reconcile this persistent growth with the determinism of the molecules, the blind play of the chromosomes, the apparent incapacity to transmit individual acquisitions by generation? ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man
149:…Understood that a will is not enough to protect you and your loved ones. …Had a revocable living trust with an incapacity clause. …Transferred ownership of your assets into the trust. …Created a backup will. …Updated the beneficiaries on all your assets. …Understood the safest way to hold title to your home. …Had an advance directive and a durable power of attorney for health care. …Reviewed your critical documents once a year. ~ Suze Orman
150:In my parents' day and age, it used to be the person who fell short. Now it's the discipline. Reading the classics is too difficult, therefore it's the classics that are to blame. Today the student asserts his incapacity as a privilege. I can't learn it, so there is something wrong with it. And there is something especially wrong with the bad teacher who wants to teach it. There are no more criteria, Mr. Zuckerman, only opinions. ~ Philip Roth
151:Enlightenment is the emancipation of man from a state of self-imposed tutelage... of incapacity to use his own intelligence without external guidance. Such a state of tutelage I call 'self-imposed' if it is due, not to lack of intelligence, but to lack of courage or determination to use one's own intelligence without the help of a leader. Sapere aude! Dare to use your own intelligence! This is the battle-cry of the Enlightenment. ~ Immanuel Kant
152:Colonialism is a terrible bane for a people upon whom it is imposed, but a blessing for a language. English's drive to exploit the new and the alien, its zeal in robbing words from other languages, its incapacity to feel qualms over the matter, its museum-size overabundance of vocabulary, it shoulder-shrug approach to spelling, its don't-worry-be-happy concern for grammar-the result was a language whose colour and wealth Henry loved. ~ Yann Martel
153:Colonialism is a terrible bane for a people upon whom it is imposed, but a blessing for a language. English's drive to exploit the new and the alien, its zeal in robbing words from other languages, its incapacity to feel qualms over the matter, its museum-size overabundance of vocabulary, it shoulder-shrug approach to spelling, its don't-worry-be-happy concern for grammar--the result was a language whose colour and wealth Henry loved. ~ Yann Martel
154:Sometimes at midnight, in the great silence of the sleep-bound town, the doctor turned on his radio before going to bed for the few hours’ sleep he allowed himself. And from the ends of the earth, across the thousands of miles of land and sea, kindly, well-meaning speakers tried to voice their fellow-feeling, and indeed did so, but at the same time proved the utter incapacity of every man truly to share in suffering that he cannot see. ~ Albert Camus
155:powers of freedom from subjection to the body :::
   By a similar process the habit by which the bodily nature associates certain forms and degrees of activity with strain, fatigue, incapacity can be rectified and the power, freedom, swiftness, effectiveness of the work whether physical or mental which can be done with this bodily instrument marvelously increased, doubled, tripled, decupled.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Renunciation, 346,
156:We actually contain a built-in ability to rise above restriction, incapacity, or limitation and, as a result of this ability, possess a vital adaptive spirit that we have not yet fully accessed. While this ability can lead us to transcendence, paradoxically it can lead also to violence; our longing for transcendence arises from our intuitive sensing of this adaptive potential and our violence arises from our failure to develop it. ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce
157:Our sense by its incapacity has invented darkness. In truth there is nothing but Light, only it is a power of light either above or below our poor human vision's limited range.

For do not imagine that light is created by the Suns. The Suns are only physical concentrations of Light, but the splendour they concentrate for us is self-born and everywhere.

God is everywhere and wherever God is, there is Light. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human, #the Light,
158:The early removal from school of future officers of Britain's seapower, leaving them unacquainted with the subject matter and ideas of the distant and recent past, may account for the incapacity of no military thinking in a world that devoted itself to military action. With little thought of strategy, no study of the theory of war or of planned objective, war's glorious art may have been glorious, but with individual exceptions, it was more or less mindless. ~ Barbara W Tuchman
159:Thus the aristocracy took their revenge by singing lampoons on their new master, and whispering in his ears sinister prophecies of coming catastrophe.

In this way arose feudal Socialism; half lamentation, half lampoon; half echo of the past, half menace of the future, at times by its bitter, witty and incisive criticism, striking the bourgeoisie to the very heart's core, but always ludicrous in its effects, through total incapacity to comprehend the march of modern history. ~ Karl Marx
160:In some evolving civilizations, for reasons which we don't entirely understand, the evolution of consciousness is attended by a disaster of some sort which occurs shortly after the Sy breakthrough. It has something to do with the discovery of the self and the incapacity to deal with it, the consciousness becoming self-conscious but not knowing what to do with the self, not even knowing what its self is, and so ending by being that which is not, and making others what they are not. ~ Walker Percy
161:To the extent that power is the result of idol making and idol playing, it will almost always distort our deepest relationships. That distortion does not necessarily have to take the form of divorce; for every family visibly broken by a powerful member’s incapacity to keep his promises, there is another where spouse and children know the equally cruel reality of unavailability and unreliability. As the funny but also sadly cynical T-shirt puts it, “Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. ~ Andy Crouch
162:The sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology. The result is that the average individual does not experience the separateness and isolation the fully schizophrenic person feels. He feels at ease among those who suffer from the same deformation; in fact, it is the fully sane person who feels isolated in the insane society - and he may suffer so much from the incapacity to communicate that it is he who may become psychotic. ~ Erich Fromm
163:Incapacity to appreciate certain types of beauty may be the condition sine qua non for the appreciation of another kind; the greatest capacity both for enjoyment and creation is highly specialized and exclusive, and hence the greatest ages of art have often been strangely intolerant. The invectives of one school against another, perverse as they are philosophically, are artistically often signs of health, because they indicate a vital appreciation of certain kinds of beauty, a love of them that has grown into a jealous passion. ~ George Santayana
164:Most people have some appreciation of mathematics, just as most people can enjoy a pleasant tune; and there are probably more people really interested in mathematics than in music. Appearances suggest the contrary, but there are easy explanations. Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity ~ G H Hardy
165:eeing Eduardo yesterday crystallized my mental chill. I listen to his explanation of my feelings. It sounds very plausible. I have suddenly turned cold towards Henry because I witnessed his cruelty to Fred. Cruelty has been the great conflict in my life. I witnessed cruelty in my childhood -- Father's cruelty towards Mother and his sadistic punishment of my brothers and me -- and the sympathy I felt for my mother reached hysteria when she and my father quarreled, acts which paralyzed me later. I grew up with such an incapacity for cruelty it amounts to a weakness. ~ Ana s Nin
166:our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, ~ Thomas Jefferson
167:Seeing Eduardo yesterday crystallized my mental chill. I listen to his explanation of my feelings. It sounds very plausible. I have suddenly turned cold towards Henry because I witnessed his cruelty to Fred. Cruelty has been the great conflict in my life. I witnessed cruelty in my childhood -- Father's cruelty towards Mother and his sadistic punishment of my brothers and me -- and the sympathy I felt for my mother reached hysteria when she and my father quarreled, acts which paralyzed me later. I grew up with such an incapacity for cruelty it amounts to a weakness. ~ Ana s Nin
168:Of course I constantly despair at my own incapacity, at the impossibility of ever accomplishing anything, of painting a valid, true picture or even knowing what such a thing ought to look like. But then I always have the hope that, if I persevere, it might one day happen. And this hope is nurtured every time something appears, a scattered, partial, initial hint of something which reminds me of what I long for, or which conveys a hint of it – although often enough I have been fooled by a momentary glimpse that then vanishes, leaving behind only the usual thing. ~ Gerhard Richter
169:What is needed is perseverance-to go on without discouragement, recognising that the process of the nature and the action of the Mother's force is working through the difficulty even and will do all that is needed. Our incapacity does not matter-there is no human being who is not in his parts of nature incapable-but the Divine Force is also there. If one puts one's trust in that, incapacity will be changed into capacity. Difficulty and struggle themselves then become a means towards the achievement.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother, Letters On The Mother,
170:Meditation is the uncovering of this whole process of becoming and being—the negation of becoming in order to be. All this can be seen by a meditative mind at a glance, and this glance doesn’t involve time at all. Seeing truth is not a matter of time; either you see or you don’t see. The incapacity to see cannot become capable of seeing. So negation is the movement of meditation, and there is no way, no path, no system that can lead a chattering, shallow mind to the heights of bliss. The seeing of this instantly is the truth that frees the shallow mind from itself. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
171:I feel myself begin to blush and I wonder at my inability to be so free with words and feelings. I wonder at my incapacity for easy banter, smooth conversation, empty words to fill awkward moments. I don’t have a closet filled with umms and ellipses ready to insert at the beginnings and ends of sentences. I don’t know how to be a verb, an adverb, any kind of modifier. I’m a noun through and through.
Stuffed so full of people places things and ideas that I don’t know how to break out of my own brain. How to start a conversation. I want to trust but it scares the skin off my bones. ~ Tahereh Mafi
172:Among the Parisians there are a large number of women whose brains are closer in size to those of gorillas than to the most developed male brains. This inferiority is so obvious that no one can contest it for a moment; only its degree is worth discussion. All psychologists who have studied the intelligence of women, as well as poets and novelists, recognize today that they represent the most inferior forms of human evolution and that they are closer to children and savages than to an adult, civilized man. They excel in fickleness, inconstancy, absence of thought and logic, and incapacity to reason. ~ Anonymous
173:Teaching has to deal not so much with lack of knowledge as with resistances to knowledge. Ignorance, suggests Jacques Lacan, is a “passion.” Inasmuch as traditional pedagogy postulated a desire for knowledge, an analytically informed pedagogy has to reckon with the passion for ignorance.22 Felman elaborates further on the productive nature of ignorance, arguing: “Ignorance is nothing other than a desire to ignore: its nature is less cognitive than performative … it is not a simple lack of information but the incapacity — or the refusal — to acknowledge one’s own implication in the information. ~ Henry A Giroux
174:Among the Parisians there are a large number of women whose brains are closer in size to those of gorillas than to the most developed male brains. This inferiority is so obvious that no one can contest it for a moment; only its degree is worth discussion. All psychologists who have studied the intelligence of women, as well as poets and novelists, recognize today that they represent the most inferior forms of human evolution and that they are closer to children and savages than to an adult, civilized man. They excel in fickleness, inconstancy, absence of thought and logic, and incapacity to reason. ~ Jon Ronson
175:Yet another temptation goes to the other extreme. With Sartre, it says: “L’enfer, c’est les autres!” (“Other people—that’s hell!”). In that case, love itself becomes the great temptation and the great sin. Because it is an inescapable sin, it is also hell. But this too is only a disguised form of Eros—Eros in solitude. It is the love that is mortally wounded by its own incapacity to love another, and flies from others in order not to have to give itself to them. Even in its solitude this Eros is most tortured by its inescapable need of another, not for the other’s sake but for its own fulfillment! ~ Thomas Merton
176:It is not perhaps a question of truthfulness; it is rather a natural incapacity to think for herself, to take cognizance of herself in her own brain, and not in the eyes and in the lips of others; even when the ingenuously write into little secret diaries, women think of the unknown god reading--perhaps--over their shoulders. With a similar nature, a woman, to be placed in the first ranks of men, would require even higher genius than that of the highest man; that is why, if the conspicuous works of men themselves, the finest works of women are always inferior to the worth of the women who produced them. ~ R my de Gourmont
177:Alphonse Karr tells a story of a servant-man who asked his master to be allowed to leave his cottage, and sleep over the stable. What was the matter with his cottage? “Why, sir, the nightingales all around the cottage make such a ‘jug, jug, jug,’ at night that I cannot bear them.” A man with a musical ear would be charmed with the nightingales’ song, but here was a man without a musical soul who found the sweetest notes a nuisance. This is a feeble image of the incapacity of unregenerate man for the enjoyments of the world to come, and as he is incapable of enjoying them, so is he incapable of longing for them. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
178:There’s a whole neurodiversity contingent who hate my ideas of sliders, and want to preserve our incapacity to ‘make up your mind and stick to it’ in case there’s some hypothetical species-destroying crossroads in the future where we need to rescue it. I say, you keep your irrationality intact. I’ll switch mine off. Other people can make up their own minds. Because the inability to see reason is a species-destroying crossroads and we’re at it now. If we don’t figure out how to put off gratification today for survival tomorrow, to beat the solipsist’s delusion that you’re a special snowflake—” “Okay, I know how this goes.” “I know you do. ~ Cory Doctorow
179:The “death” of the Hero is the “death” of boyhood, of Boy psychology. And it is the birth of manhood and Man psychology. The “death” of the Hero in the life of a boy (or a man) really means that he has finally encountered his limitations. He has met the enemy, and the enemy is himself. He has met his own dark side, his very unheroic side. He has fought the dragon and been burned by it; he has fought the revolution and drunk the dregs of his own inhumanity. He has overcome the Mother and then realized his incapacity to love the Princess. The “death” of the Hero signals a boy’s or man’s encounter with true humility. It is the end of his heroic consciousness. ~ Robert L Moore
180:There is always some tendency to looseness, forgetfulness and inattention in the physical consciousness. One has to be very vigilant and careful to prevent this tendency having its way. There are many [defects of the physical consciousness] - but mainly obscurity, inertia, tamas, a passive acceptance of the play of wrong forces, inability to change, attachment to habits, lack of plasticity, forgetfulness, loss of experiences or realisations gained, unwillingness to accept the Light or to follow it, incapacity (through tamas or through attachment or through passive reaction to accustomed forces) to do what it admits to be the Right and the Best.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV,
181:Nobility and Refinement
Nobility: the incapacity for any pettiness either of sentiments or of action.
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Aristocracy: incapable of baseness and pettiness, it asserts itself with dignity and authority.
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Dignity affirms its worth, but demands nothing.
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Dignity of the emotions: not to permit one's emotions to contradict the inner Divinity.
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Dignity in the physical: above all bargaining.
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Psychic dignity refuses to accept anything that lowers or debases.
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Refinement: gradually grossness is eliminated from the being.
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Sensitivity: one of the results of the refinement of the being.
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Gentleness: always gracious and wishing to give pleasure. ~ The Mother, Words Of The Mother II,
182:Our first answer must be that the dream has no means at its disposal among the dream-thoughts of representing these logical relations. Mostly it disregards all these terms and takes over only the factual substance of the dream-thoughts to work upon. It is left to the interpretation of the dream to re-establish the connections which the dream-work has destroyed. This inability to express such relations must be due to the nature of the psychical material which goes to make the dream. After all, the fine arts, painting and sculpture, are subject to a similar limitation in comparison with literature, which can make use of speech. Here too the cause of the incapacity lies in the material which both arts use as their medium of expression. ~ Sigmund Freud
183:There was a little praise given, no doubt in irony, to the duchesses who served Mr Melmotte. There was a little praise, given of course in irony, to Mr Melmotte’s Board of English Directors. There was a good deal of praise, but still alloyed by a dash of irony, bestowed on the idea of civilizing Mexico by joining it to California. Praise was bestowed upon England for taking up the matter, but accompanied by some ironical touches at her incapacity to believe thoroughly in any enterprise not originated by herself. Then there was something said of the universality of Mr Melmotte’s commercial genius, but whether said in a spirit prophetic of ultimate failure and disgrace, or of heavenborn success and unequalled commercial splendour, no one could tell. ~ Anthony Trollope
184:Sometimes at midnight, in the great silence of the sleep bound town, the doctor turned on his radio before going to bed for the few hours' sleep he allowed himself. And from the ends of the earth, across thousands of miles of land and sea, kindly, well-meaning speakers tried to voice their fellow-feeling, and indeed did so, but at the same time proved the utter incapacity of every man truly to share in the suffering that he cannot see. "Oran! Oran!" In vain the call rang over oceans, in vain Rieux listened hopefully; always the tide of eloquence began to flow, bringing home still more the unbridgeable gulf that lay between Grand and the speaker. "Oran, we're with you!" they called emotionally. But not, the doctor told himself, to love or to die together-- and that's the only way... ~ Albert Camus
185:Neither Bwitists nor Fang felt they could eradicate ritual sin or evil in the world. This incapacity means that men have to celebrate. Good and bad walk together. As Fang frequently enough told missionaries, "We have two hearts, good and bad." Early missionaries, aware of these self-confessed contradictions, evangelized with the promise of "one heartedness" in Christianity. But Fang by and large did not find it there. For many, Christian one heartedness was a constriction of their selves. While "one heartedness" is celebrated in Bwiti, it is a one heartedness which is coagulated out of a flow of many qualities from one state to another. It is goodness achieved in the presence of badness, an aboveness achieved in the presence of belowness. It is an emergent quality energized in the presence of its opposite. ~ Terence McKenna
186:The "pathology of normalcy" rarely deteriorates to graver forms of mental illness because society produces the antidote against such deterioration. When pathological processes become socially patterned, they lose their individual character. On the contrary, the sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology and arranged the means to give satisfactions which fit the pathology. The result is that the average individual does not experience the separateness and isolation the fully schizophrenic person feels. He feels at ease among those who suffer from the same deformation, in fact, it is the fully sane person who feels isolated in the insane society - and he may suffer so much from the incapacity to communicate that it is he who may become psychotic. ~ Erich Fromm
187:The power to do nothing, which is quite different from indolence, incapacity or aversion to action and attachment to inaction, is a great power and a great mastery; the power to rest absolutely from action is as necessary for the Jnanayogin as the power to cease absolutely from thought, as the power to remain indefinitely in sheer solitude and silence and as the power of immovable calm. Whoever is not willing to embrace these states is not yet fit for the path that leads towards the highest knowledge; whoever is unable to draw towards them, is as yet unfit for its acquisition.
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Still, periods of absolute calm, solitude and cessation from works are highly desirable and should be secured as often as possible for that recession of the soul into itself which is indispensable to knowledge.
~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Freedom from Subjection to the Being,
188:...it was not considered right for a man not to drink, although drink was a dangerous thing. On the contrary, not to drink would have been thought a mark of cowardice and of incapacity for self-control. A man was expected even to get drunk if necessary, and to keep his tongue and his temper no matter how much he drank. The strong character would only become more cautious and more silent under the influence of drink; the weak man would immediately show his weakness. I am told the curious fact that in the English army at the present day officers are expected to act very much after the teaching of the old Norse poet; a man is expected to be able on occasion to drink a considerable amount of wine or spirits without showing the effects of it, either in his conduct or in his speech. "Drink thy share of mead; speak fair or not at all" - that was the old text, and a very sensible one in its way. ~ Eoghan Odinsson
189:Precisely because of this tendency one must be careful not to give the impression, which in any event is false, that only intellectuals equipped with special training are capable of such analytic work. In fact that is just what the intelligentsia would often like us to think: they pretend to be engaged in an esoteric enterprise, inaccessible to simple people. But that’s nonsense. The social sciences generally, and above all the analysis of contemporary affairs, are quite accessible to anyone who wants to take an interest in these matters. The alleged complexity, depth, and obscurity of these questions is part of the illusion propagated by the system of ideological control, which aims to make the issues seem remote from the general population and to persuade them of their incapacity to organize their own affairs or to understand the social world in which they live without the tutelage of intermediaries. ~ Noam Chomsky
190:Do you not see — talking up this plea of Sattva, the country has been slowly and slowly drowned in the ocean of Tamas or dark ignorance? Where the most dull want to hide their stupidity by covering it with a false desire for the highest knowledge which is beyond all activities, either physical or mental; where one, born and bred in lifelong laziness, wants to throw the veil of renunciation over his own unfitness for work; where the most diabolical try to make their cruelty appear, under the cloak of austerity, as a part of religion; where no one has an eye upon his own incapacity, but everyone is ready to lay the whole blame on others; where knowledge consists only in getting some books by heart, genius consists in chewing the cud of others' thoughts, and the highest glory consists in taking the name of ancestors: do we require any other proof to show that that country is being day by day drowned in utter Tamas? ~ Swami Vivekananda
191:A silence, an entry into a wide or even immense or infinite emptiness is part of the inner spiritual experience; of this silence and void the physical mind has a certain fear, the small superficially active thinking or vital mind a shrinking from it or dislike, - for it confuses the silence with mental and vital incapacity and the void with cessation or non-existence: but this silence is the silence of the spirit which is the condition of a greater knowledge, power and bliss, and this emptiness is the emptying of the cup of our natural being, a liberation of it from its turbid contents so that it may be filled with the wine of God; it is the passage not into non-existence but to a greater existence. Even when the being turns towards cessation, it is a cessation not in non-existence but into some vast ineffable of spiritual being or the plunge into the incommunicable superconscience of the Absolute. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 2.28 - The Divine Life,
192:Yours, I presume?" he said in a rich, deeply modulated voice that put her in mind of hot buttered rum on a cold winter day and the sensual luxury of lying amid warm silken sheets. Inwardly, she quivered. Her reply, whatever it might be, stuck like a stone in her throat; the incapacity only worsened when she lifted her gaze to his.
Bold and intelligent, his eyes shone like a set of imperial jewels, their shade an improbably pure blue that lay somewhere between sapphire and lapis lazuli. He was sinfully handsome, with a refined jaw, a long, straight nose and a mouth that seemed the very embodiment of temptation. His mahogany-dark hair was cut short, the severe style unable to tame the rebellious wave that lent the ends just the faintest hint of curl.
But most enticing of all was his height- his large, muscular, impressive height. She guessed he must be six feet three or four at least, his build broad and powerful enough to make even her feel small. ~ Tracy Anne Warren
193:The Education Department controls the education given, and it is planned on foreign models, and its object is to serve foreign rather than native ends, to make docile Government servants rather than patriotic citizens; high spirits, courage, self-respect, are not encouraged, and docility is regarded as the most precious quality in the student; pride in country, patriotism, ambition, are looked on as dangerous, and English, instead of Indian, Ideals are exalted; the blessings of a foreign rule and the incapacity of Indians to manage their own affairs are constantly inculcated. What wonder that boys thus trained often turn out, as men, time-servers and sycophants, and, finding their legitimate ambitions frustrated, become selfish and care little for the public weal? Their own inferiority has been so driven into them during their most impressionable years, that they do not even feel what Mr. Asquith called the "intolerable degradation of a foreign yoke." India's ~ Annie Besant
194:Revolution thus ran its course from city to city, and the places which it arrived at last, from having heard what had been done before, carried to a still greater excess the refinement of their inventions, as manifested in the cunning of their enterprises and the atrocity of their reprisals. Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal supporter; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question incapacity to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting a justifiable means of self-defense. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries. ~ Thucydides
195:He did not say, 'Define me envy', and then, when the man defined it, 'You define it ill, for the terms of the definition do not correspond to the subject defined.' Such phrases are technical and therefore tiresome to the lay mind, and hard to follow, yet you and I cannot get away from them. We are quite unable to rouse the ordinary man's attention in a way which will enable him to follow his own impressions and so arrive at admitting or rejecting this or that. And therefore those of us who are at all cautious naturally give the subject up, when we become aware of this incapacity; while the mass of men, who venture at random into this sort of enterprise, muddle others and get muddled themselves, and end by abusing their opponents and getting abused in return, and so leave the field. But the first quality of all in Socrates, and the most characteristic, was that he never lost his temper in argument, never uttered anything abusive, never anything insolent, but bore with abuse from others and quieted strife. ~ Epictetus
196:I lead a life much below my level. Beyond the books, which trickle in slowly (I have to read what I can get, not what I have a mind to read), I have nothing to sustain my inner life; and everything around me exudes an indescribable prosiness, which presses down on me too with its brutal weight. Nothing on the order of a stroll with a dear person, not one hour of quiet and serene contemplation--all is tainted by mundane worry and staleness. I take it that productive creators fence themselves off from their environment by a certain regimen of living, a certain organization of their daily routine that does not allow the workaday banality, humdrum job, and the rest of it to get to them. I badly feel the lack of such a regimen, my incapacity to subject myself to such a discipline. One must, for instance, fence off one's inner life, not permit the vermin of ordinary cares to infest it. Some blindness used to protect me from this truth; I wore blinkers like a horse in harness. Now reality has won and penetrated my interior. ~ Bruno Schulz
197:For human nature is such that grief and pain - even simultaneously suffered - do not add up as a whole in our consciousness, but hide, the lesser behind the greater, according to a definite law of perspective. It is providential and is our means of surviving in the camp. And this is the reason why so often in free life one hears it said that man is never content. In fact it is not a question of a human incapacity for a state of absolute happiness, but of an ever-insufficient knowledge of the complex nature of the state of unhappiness; so that the single name of the major cause is given to all its causes, which are composite and set out in an order of urgency. And if the most immediate cause of stress comes to an end, you are grievously amazed to see that another one lies behind; and in reality a whole series of others.

So that as soon as the cold, which throughout the winter had seemed our only enemy, had ceased, we became aware of the hunger; and repeating the same error, we now say: "If it was not for the hunger!... ~ Primo Levi
198:The fundamental underpinning of this interpretation was the conviction, to quote one member of the Dunning School, of “negro incapacity.” The childlike blacks, these scholars insisted, were unprepared for freedom and incapable of properly exercising the political rights Northerners had thrust upon them. The fact that blacks took part in government, wrote E. Merton Coulter in the last full-scale history of Reconstruction written entirely within the Dunning tradition, was a “diabolical” development, “to be remembered, shuddered at, and execrated.” Yet while these works abounded in horrified references to “negro rule” and “negro government,” blacks in fact played little role in the narratives. Their aspirations, if mentioned at all, were ridiculed, and their role in shaping the course of events during Reconstruction ignored. When these writers spoke of “the South” or “the people,” they meant whites. Blacks appeared either as passive victims of white manipulation or as an unthinking people whose “animal natures” threatened the stability of civilized society.2 ~ Eric Foner
199:Three things you must have, - consciousness, - plasticity and - unreserved surrender.
   For you must be conscious in your mind and soul and heart and life and the very cells of your body, aware of the Mother and her Powers and their working; for although she can and does work in you even in your obscurity and your unconscious parts and moments, it is not the same thing as when you are in an awakened and living communion with her.
   All your nature must be plastic to her touch, - not questioning as the self-sufficient ignorant mind questions and doubts and disputes and is the enemy of its enlightenment and change; not insisting on its own movements as the vital in the man insists and persistently opposes its refractory desires and ill-will to every divine influence; not obstructing and entrenched in incapacity, inertia and tamas as man's physical consciousness obstructs and clinging to the pleasure in smallness and darkness cries out against each touch that disturbs it soulless routine or it dull sloth or its torpid slumber.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother, [58],
200:When I said that to Mother Sugar she replied with the small nod of satisfaction people use for these resounding truths, that the artist writes out of an incapacity to live. I remember the nausea I felt when she said it; I feel the reluctance of disgust now when I write it: it is because this business about art and the artist has become so debased, the property of every sloppy-minded amateur that any person with a real connection with the arts wants to run a hundred miles at the sight of the small satisfied nod, the complacent smile. And besides, when a truth has been explored so thoroughly—this one has been the subject matter of art for this century, when it has become such a monster of a cliché, one begins to wonder, is it so finally true? And one begins to think of the phrases “incapacity to live,” “the artist,” etc., letting them echo and thin in one’s mind, fighting the sense of disgust and the staleness, as I tried to fight it that day sitting before Mother Sugar. But extraordinary how this old stuff issued so fresh and magisterial from the lips of psychoanalysis. Mother ~ Doris Lessing
201:To enlarge the sense-faculties without the knowledge that would give the old sense-values their right interpretation from the new standpoint might lead to serious disorders and incapacities, might unfit for practical life and for the orderly and disciplined use of the reason. Equally, an enlargement of our mental consciousness out of the experience of the egoistic dualities into an unregulated unity with some form of total consciousness might easily bring about a confusion and incapacity for the active life of humanity in the established order of the world's relativities. This, no doubt, is the root of the injunction imposed in the Gita on the man who has the knowledge not to disturb the life-basis and thought-basis of the ignorant; for, impelled by his example but unable to comprehend the principle of his action, they would lose their own system of values without arriving at a higher foundation.
   Such a disorder and incapacity may be accepted personally and are accepted by many great souls as a temporary passage or as the price to be paid for the entry into a wider existence.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine,
202:Thou sayest, Men cannot admire the sharpness of thy wits.- Be it so: but there are many other things of which thou canst not say, I am not formed for them by nature. Show those qualities then which are altogether in thy power, sincerity, gravity, endurance of labour, aversion to pleasure, contentment with thy portion and with few things, benevolence, frankness, no love of superfluity, freedom from trifling magnanimity. Dost thou not see how many qualities thou art immediately able to exhibit, in which there is no excuse of natural incapacity and unfitness, and yet thou still remainest voluntarily below the mark? Or art thou compelled through being defectively furnished by nature to murmur, and to be stingy, and to flatter, and to find fault with thy poor body, and to try to please men, and to make great display, and to be so restless in thy mind? No, by the gods: but thou mightest have been delivered from these things long ago. Only if in truth thou canst be charged with being rather slow and dull of comprehension, thou must exert thyself about this also, not neglecting it nor yet taking pleasure in thy dulness. ~ Marcus Aurelius
203:5. Thou sayest, Men cannot admire the sharpness of thy wits.—Be it so: but there are many other things of which thou canst not say, I am not formed from them by nature. Show those qualities then which are altogether in thy power, sincerity, gravity, endurance of labor, aversion to pleasure, contentment with thy portion and with few things, benevolence, frankness, no love of superfluity, freedom from trifling, magnanimity. Dost thou not see how many qualities thou art immediately able to exhibit, in which there is no excuse of natural incapacity and unfitness, and yet thou still remainest voluntarily below the mark? or art thou compelled through being defectively furnished by nature to murmur, and to be stingy, and to flatter, and to find fault with thy poor body, and to try to please men, and to make great display, and to be so restless in thy mind? No, by the gods; but thou mightest have been delivered from these things long ago. Only if in truth thou canst be charged with being rather slow and dull of comprehension, thou must exert thyself about this also, not neglecting it nor yet taking pleasure in thy dullness. ~ Marcus Aurelius
204:Cassidy's Epitaph
Here lies a bloke who's just gone West,
A Number One Australian;
He took his gun and did his best
To mitigate the alien.
So long as he could get to work
He needed no sagacity;
A German, Austrian, or Turk,
Were all the same to Cassidy.
Wherever he could raise "the stuff"
-- A liquor deleterious -The question when he'd have enough
Was apt to be mysterious.
'Twould worry prudent folks a lot
Through mental incapacity;
If he could keep it down or not,
Was all the same to Cassidy.
And when the boys would start a dance,
In honour of Terpsichore,
'Twas just an even-money chance
You'd find him rather shickery.
But once he struck his proper stride,
And heard the band's vivacity,
The jazz, the tango, or the slide
Was all the same to Cassidy.
And now he's gone to face the Light,
With all it may reveal to him,
A life without a drink or fight
Perhaps may not appeal to him;
But when St Peter calls the roll
Of men of proved tenacity,
You'll find the front-rank right-hand man
Will answer; "Here . . . Cassidy."
~ Banjo Paterson
205:But for the knowledge of the Self it is necessary to have the power of a complete intellectual passivity, the power of dismissing all thought, the power of the mind to think not at all which the Gita in one passage enjoins. This is a hard saying for the occidental mind to which thought is the highest thing and which will be apt to mistake the power of the mind not to think, its complete silence for the incapacity of thought. But this power of silence is a capacity and not an incapacity, a power and not a weakness. It is a profound and pregnant stillness. Only when the mind is thus entirely still, like clear, motionless and level water, in a perfect purity and peace of the whole being and the soul transcends thought, can the Self which exceeds and originates all activities and becomings, the Silence from which all words are born, the Absolute of which all relativities are partial reflections manifest itself in the pure essence of our being. In a complete silence only is the Silence heard; in a pure peace only is its Being revealed. Therefore to us the name of That is the Silence and the Peace.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Purified Understanding, 302,
206:Self-sacrifice is the leit-motif of most of the marital
games played by women, from the crudest (‘I’ve given you the
best years of my life’) to the most sophisticated (‘I only went to bed
with him so’s he’d promote you’). For so much sacrificed self the
expected reward is security, and seeing that a reward is expected it
cannot properly speaking be called self-sacrifice at all. It is in fact a
kind of commerce, and onein which the female must always be the creditor. Of course, it is also
practised by men who explain their failure to do exciting jobs or risk
insecurity because of their obligations to wife and/or children, but
it is not invariable, whereas it is hard to think of a male/female relationship
in which the element of female self-sacrifice was absent. So
long as women must live vicariously, through men, they must labour
at making themselves indispensable and this is the full-time job that
is generally wrongly called altruism. Properly speaking, altruism is
an absurdity. Women are self-sacrificing in direct proportion to their
incapacity to offer anything but this sacrifice. They sacrifice what
they never had: a self. ~ Germaine Greer
207:We desire some pleasure, and the material means of obtaining it are lacking. “It is a mistake,” Labruyère tells us, “to be in love without an ample fortune.” There is nothing for it but to attempt a gradual elimination of our desire for that pleasure. [...] But the pleasure can never be realised. If we succeed in overcoming the force of circumstances, nature at once shifts the battle-ground, placing it within ourselves, and effects a gradual change in our heart until it desires something other than what it is going to obtain. And if this transposition has been so rapid that our heart has not had time to change, nature does not, on that account, despair of conquering us, in a manner more gradual, it is true, more subtle, but no less efficacious. It is then, at the last moment, that the possession of our happiness is wrested from us, or rather it is that very possession which nature, with diabolical cleverness, uses to destroy our happiness. After failure in every quarter of the domain of life and action, it is a final incapacity, the mental incapacity for happiness, that nature creates in us. The phenomenon, of happiness either fails to appear, or at once gives way to the bitterest of reactions. ~ Marcel Proust
208:I'm struck by the difficulty I had in formulating it. When I think back now, I ask myself what else it was that I was talking about in Madness and Civilization or The Birth of the Clinic, but power? Yet I'm perfectly aware that I scarcely ever used the word and never had such a field of analyses at my disposal. I can say that this was an incapacity linked undoubtedly with the political situation in which we found ourselves. It is hard to see where, either on the Right or the Left, this problem of power could then have been posed. On the Right, it was posed only in terms of constitution, sovereignty, and so on, that is, in juridical terms; on the Marxist side, it was posed only in terms of the state apparatus. The way power was exercised - concretely, and in detail - with its specificity, its techniques and tactics, was something no one attempted to ascertain; they contented themselves with denouncing it in a polemical and global fashion as it existed among the "other," in the adversary camp. Where Soviet socialist power was in question, its opponents called it totalitarianism; power in Western capitalism was denounced by the Marxists as class domination; but the mechanics of power in themselves were never analyzed. ~ Michel Foucault
209:Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal supporter; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question incapacity to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting a justifiable means of self-defense. [5] The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries. In short, to forestall an intending criminal, or to suggest the idea of a crime where it was lacking was equally commended, [6] until even blood became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those united by the latter to dare everything without reserve; for such associations sought not the blessings derivable from established institutions but were formed by ambition to overthrow them; and the confidence of their members in each other rested less on any religious sanction than upon complicity in crime. ~ Thucydides
210:This indeed is the most conspicuous feature of the modern period: need for ceaseless agitation, for unending change, and for ever-increasing speed, matching the speed with which events themselves succeed one another. It is dispersion in multiplicity, and in a multiplicity that is no longer unified by consciousness of any higher principle; in daily life, as in scientific ideas, it is analysis driven to an extreme, endless subdivision, a veritable disintegration of human activity in all the orders in which this can still be exercised; hence the inaptitude for synthesis and the incapacity for any sort of concentration that is so striking in the eyes of Easterners. These are the natural and inevitable results of an ever more pronounced materialization, for matter is essentially multiplicity and division, and this-be it said in passing-is why all that proceeds from matter can beget only strife and all manner of conflicts between peoples as between individuals. The deeper one sinks into matter, the more the elements of division and opposition gain force and scope; and, contrariwise, the more one rises toward pure spirituality, the nearer one approaches that unity which can only be fully realized by consciousness of universal principles. ~ Ren Gu non
211:The fascist dictator declares that the masses of people are biologically inferior and crave authority, that basically, they are slaves by nature. Hence, a totalitarian authoritarian regime is the only possible form of government for such people. It is significant that all dictators who today plunge the world into misery stem from the suppressed masses of people. They are intimately familiar with this sickness on the part of masses of people. What they lack is an insight into natural processes and development, the will to truth and research, so that they are never moved by a desire to want to change these facts.

On the other hand, the formal democratic leaders made the mistake of assuming that the masses of people were automatically capable of freedom and thereby precluded every possibility of establishing freedom and self-responsibility in masses of people as long as they were in power. They were engulfed in the catastrophe and will never reappear.

Our answer is scientific and rational. It is based on the fact that masses of people are indeed incapable of freedom, but it does not—as racial mysticism does—look upon this incapacity as absolute, innate, and eternal. It regards this incapacity as the result of former social conditions of life and, therefore, as changeable. ~ Wilhelm Reich
212:As the body and mind deteriorate, the dying are not less themselves. Dementia steals the faculties for expressing the self—language, memory, personality—but the self remains, albeit largely inaccessible to others. The experience of actually being with the demented and dying is one of watching someone move farther and farther away, out of earshot and eventually out of sight. It’s wrong to think, “Because I cannot access something, it does not exist.” Being with someone who is near death undermines such nonsense. If people are as much themselves when there is no chance of further accomplishment, activity, or self-expression, then the fact that the unborn may grow up to great accomplishment, activity, or self-expression is irrelevant. That a precious child with Down syndrome may some day compete in the Special Olympics is irrelevant. Another precious child with a different genetic abnormality will spend all his days in a state that most of us will inhabit only at the end of our lives, if ever: incapable of communication, incontinent, compromised in language, memory, intellect, and personality. The compassion we show to the dying is not earned by the things they “used to be” any more than it should be earned by the things that the unborn might become. We will all end up in a state of total incapacity and inaccessibility, some for a long time and some only briefly. ~ Anonymous
213:Ere long, however, the daemon was wrestling with him once more; he was seized by that “terrible spirit of unrest” which drove him “like the deluge, to the mountain peaks”. Shadows of gloom and discontent crept into his letters. He began to complain of his “dependent position”, and the forces at work within him soon became obvious. He could not endure regular occupation, could not bear to participate in the daily round of ordinary people. No existence other than that of a poet was acceptable. In this first crisis he probably failed to understand that the trouble sprang from the daemonism within him, from the jealous exclusiveness of the spirit that possessed him, making mundane relationships impossible. He still rationalised the immanent inflammability of his impulses by discovering objective causes for them. He spoke of his pupil’s stubbornness, of defects in the lad’s character which he, as tutor, was impotent to remedy. Hölderlin’s incapacity to meet the demands of everyday life was in this matter all too plain. The boy of nine had a stronger will than the man of twenty-five. The tutor resigned his post. Charlotte von Kalb, who was anything but obtuse, grasped the underlying truth. Wishing to console Johann Christian Friedrich’s mother, she wrote to the latter: “His spirit cannot stoop to these petty labours … or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he takes them too much to heart. ~ Stefan Zweig
214:The root of all evil, the liberal insists, was precisely this interference with the freedom of employment, trade and currencies practiced by the various schools of social, national, and monopolistic protectionism since the third quarter of the nineteenth century; but for the unholy alliance of trade unions and labor parties with monopolistic manufacturers and agrarian interests, which in their shortsighted greed joined forces to frustrate economic liberty, the world would be enjoying today the fruits of an almost automatic system of creating material welfare. Liberal leaders never weary of repeating that the tragedy of the nineteenth century sprang from the incapacity of man to remain faithful to the inspiration of the early liberals; that the generous initiative of our ancestors was frustrated by the passions of nationalism and class war, vested interests, and monopolists, and above all, by the blindness of the working people to the ultimate beneficence of unrestricted economic freedom to all human interests, including their own. A great intellectual and moral advance was thus, it is claimed; frustrated by the intellectual and moral weaknesses of the mass of the people; what the spirit of Enlightenment had achieved was put to nought by the forces of selfishness. In a nutshell this is the economic liberal’s defense. Unless it is refuted, he will continue to hold the floor in the contest of arguments. ~ Karl Polanyi
215:[Fall, 1951]

To me Acapulco is the detoxicating cure for all the evils of the city: ambition, vanity, quest for success in money, the continuous contagious presence of power-driven, obsessed individuals who want to become known, to be in the limelight, noticed, as if life among millions gave you a desperate illness, a need of rising above the crowd, being noticed, existing individually, singled out from a mass of ants and sheep. It has something to do with the presence of millions of anonymous faces, anonymous people, and the desperate ways of achieving distinction. Here, all this is nonsense. You exist by your smile and your presence. You exist for your joys and your relaxations. You exist in nature. You are part of the glittering sea, and part of the luscious, well-nourished plants, you are wedded to the sun, you are immersed in timelessness, only the present counts, and from the present you extract all the essences which can nourish the senses, and so the nerves are still, the mind is quiet, the nights are lullabies, the days are like gentle ovens in which infinitely wise sculptor’s hands re-form the lost contours, the lost sensations of the body. The body comes to life. Quests, pursuits of concrete securities of one kind or another lose all their importance. As you swim, you are washed of all the excrescences of so-called civilization, which includes the incapacity to be happy under any circumstances. ~ Ana s Nin
216:if I found the sermon neither healing nor inspiring, I found the prayers full of hope and consolation. They at least are safe beyond human caprice, conceit, or incapacity. Upon them, too, the man who is distressed at the thought of how little of the needful food he had been able to provide for his people, may fall back for comfort, in the thought that there at least was what ought to have done them good, what it was well worth their while to go to church for. But I did think they were too long for any individual Christian soul, to sympathise with from beginning to end, that is, to respond to, like organ-tube to the fingered key, in every touch of the utterance of the general Christian soul. For my reader must remember that it is one thing to read prayers and another to respond; and that I had had very few opportunities of being in the position of the latter duty. I had had suspicions before, and now they were confirmed—that the present crowding of services was most inexpedient. And as I pondered on the matter, instead of trying to go on praying after I had already uttered my soul, which is but a heathenish attempt after much speaking, I thought how our Lord had given us such a short prayer to pray, and I began to wonder when or how the services came to be so heaped the one on the back of the other as they now were. No doubt many people defended them; no doubt many people could sit them out; but how many people could pray from beginning to end of them ~ George MacDonald
217:Life clung to its seat with cords of gasping breath;
   Lapped was his body by a tenebrous tongue.
   Existence smothered travailed to survive;
   Hope strangled perished in his empty soul,
   Belief and memory abolished died
   And all that helps the spirit in its course.
   There crawled through every tense and aching nerve
   Leaving behind its poignant quaking trail
   A nameless and unutterable fear.
   As a sea nears a victim bound and still,
   The approach alarmed his mind for ever dumb
   Of an implacable eternity
   Of pain inhuman and intolerable.
   This he must bear, his hope of heaven estranged;
   He must ever exist without extinction's peace
   In a slow suffering Time and tortured Space,
   An anguished nothingness his endless state.
   A lifeless vacancy was now his breast,
   And in the place where once was luminous thought,
   Only remained like a pale motionless ghost
   An incapacity for faith and hope
   And the dread conviction of a vanquished soul
   Immortal still but with its godhead lost,
   Self lost and God and touch of happier worlds.
   But he endured, stilled the vain terror, bore
   The smothering coils of agony and affright;
   Then peace returned and the soul's sovereign gaze.
   To the blank horror a calm Light replied:
   Immutable, undying and unborn,
   Mighty and mute the Godhead in him woke
   And faced the pain and danger of the world.
   He mastered the tides of Nature with a look:
   He met with his bare spirit naked Hell.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Descent into Night,
218:If you try to convert someone, it will never be to
effect his salvation but to make him suffer like yourself,
to be sure he is exposed to the same ordeals and
endures them with the same impatience. You keep
watch, you pray, you agonize-provided he does too,
sighing, groaning, beset by the same tortures that are
racking you. Intolerance is the work of ravaged souls
whose faith comes down to a more or less deliberate
torment they would like to see generalized, instituted.
The happiness of others never having been a motive
or principle of action, it is invoked only to appease
conscience or to parade noble excuses: whenever we
determine upon an action, the impulse leading to it
and forcing us to complete it is almost always inadmissible.
No one saves anyone; for we save only ourselves,
and do so all the better if we disguise as
convictions the misery we want to share, to lavish on
others. However glamorous its appearances, proselytism
nonetheless derives from a suspect generosity,
worse in its effects than a patent aggression. No one
is willing to endure alone the discipline he may even
have assented to, nor the yoke he has shouldered.
Vindication reverberates beneath the missionary's
bonhomie, the apostle's joy. We convert not to liberate
but to enchain.
Once someone is shackled by a certainty, he envies
your vague opinions, your resistance to dogmas or
slogans, your blissful incapacity to commit yourself. ~ Emil M Cioran
219:It's this human porosity that bothers me and that I can't escape since it is the faith of my skin, the extra sense which is everywhere in my being, this lack of eyelids on the face of the soul, or perhaps this imaginary lack of imaginary lids, this excessive facility I have for catching others, I am caught by persons or things animated or unanimated that I don't even frequent, and even the verb catch I catch or rather I am caught by it, for, note this please, it's not I who wish to change, it's the other who gets his hooks in me for lack of armor. All it takes is for me to be plunged for an hour or less into surroundings where the inevitable occurs--cafe, bus, hair salon, train carriage, recording studio--there must be confinement and envelopment, and there I am stained intoxicated, practically any speaker can appropriate my mental cells and poison my sinuses, shit, idiocies, cruelties, vulgar spite, trash, innumerable particles of human hostility inflame the windows of my brain and I get off the transport sick for days. It isn't the fault of one Eichmann or another. I admit to being guilty of excessive receptivity to mental miasma. The rumor of a word poisons me for a long time. Should I read or hear such and such a turn of phrase or figure of speech, right away I can't breathe my mucous membranes swell up, my lips go dry, I am asthmaticked, sometimes I lose my balance and crash to the ground, or on a chair if perchance one is there, in the incapacity of breathing the unbreathable. ~ H l ne Cixous
220:While slaveowners worked vigorously to allow slaves only so much biblical teaching as to make them good, docile, submissive slaves, even the most basic moral elements of Christian truth proved revolutionary. This phenomenon arises clearly with the commandment against theft. Reading the proslavery defenses from the antebellum era, one encounters consistent references to slaves stealing and "pilfering" from their masters' stores and livestock, etc. This is always held up as evidence of their incapacity for civilization. Yet it was hardly any lack of capacity; it was resistance and restitution in their keen understanding of their masters' hypocrisy. "While white preachers repeatedly urged 'Don't steal,' slaves just as persistently denied that this commandment applied to them, since they themselves were stolen property." Former slave Josephine Howard retorted to those slaveholders who preached against theft: "[T]hen why did de white folks steal my mammy and her mammy? . . . Dat de sinfulles' stealin' dey is." A Virginian slave preached back at his master, "You white folks set the bad example of stealing—you stole us from Africa, and not content with that, if any got free here, you stole them afterward, and so we are made slaves." Former Georgian slave George Womble agreed: "Slaves were taught to steal by their masters." [...] It is no wonder that whole audiences full of slaves were known to get up and leave the preaching services of missionaries when they began to preach on stealing. They simply could not stomach the hypocrisy. ~ Joel McDurmon
221:On a bleak winter day, Dostoyevsky and his fellow prisoners were marched through the snow in front of the firing squad. As a military official shouted out the death sentences, a priest led each man to a platform, giving him an opportunity to kiss the cross the priest carried. Three of the prisoners were then marched forward and tied to a stake. Dostoyevsky looked on, realizing he would be next in line. He watched the soldiers pull the men’s caps down over their eyes. He felt revulsion in his stomach as the firing squad lifted their rifles, adjusted their aim, and stood ready to pull the triggers. Out of suffering and defeat often comes victory. Frozen in suspense, Dostoyevsky waited for what seemed like a lifetime. Then he heard the drums start up again. But they were beating retreat! He watched, stunned, as the firing squad lowered their rifles and the soldiers removed the prisoners’ caps from their eyes. Their lives—and his—would be spared.2 Immediately after this incident, Dostoyevsky wrote a letter to his brother about the change the experience had worked in him: “When I look back on my past and think how much time I wasted on nothing, how much time has been lost in futilities, errors, laziness, incapacity to live; how little I appreciated it, how many times I sinned against my heart and soul—then my heart bleeds. Life is a gift. … Now, in changing my life, I am reborn in a new form. Brother! I swear that I will not lose hope and will keep my soul and heart pure. I will be reborn for the better. That’s all my hope, all my consolation! ~ Charles W Colson
222:Once or twice, at night, he planted himself in front of the type-writer, trying to get back to the book he'd come to New York to write. It was supposed to be about America, and freedom, and the kinship of time to pain, but in order to write about these things, he'd needed experience. Well, be careful what you wish for. For now all he seemed capable of producing was a string of sentences starting, Here was William. Here was William's courage, for example. And here was William's sadness, smallness of stature, size of hands. Here was his laugh in a dark movie theater, his unpunk love of the films of Woody Allen, not for any of the obvious ways they flattered his sensibility, but for something he called their tragic sense, which he compared to Chekhov's (whom Mercer knew he had not read). Here was the way he never asked Mercer about his work; the way he never talked about his own and yet seemed to carry it with him just beneath the skin; the way his skin looked in the sodium light from outside with the light off, with clothes off, in silver rain; the way he embodied qualities Mercer wanted to have, but without ruining them by wanting to have them; the way his genius overflowed its vessel, running off into the drain; the unfinished self-portrait; the hint of some trauma in his past, like the war a shell-shocked town never talks about; his terrible taste in friends; his complete lack of discipline; the inborn incapacity for certain basic things that made you want to mother him, fuck him, give your right and left arms for him, this man-child, this skinny American; and finally his wildness, his refusal to be imaginable by anyone. ~ Garth Risk Hallberg
223:The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,

No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.

He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.

He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,

The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.

You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.

II

I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.

We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
Implacable arrogance.

I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality ~ Robinson Jeffers
224:But if somewhere in your being - either in your body or even in your vital or mind, either in several parts or even in a single one - there is an incapacity to receive the descending Force, this acts like a grain of sand in a machine. You know, a fine machine working quite well with everything going all right, and you put into it just a little sand (nothing much, only a grain of sand), suddenly everything is damaged and the machine stops. Well, just a little lack of receptivity somewhere, something that is unable to receive the Force, that is completely shut up (when one looks at it, it becomes as it were a little dark spot somewhere, a tiny thing hard as a stone: the Force cannot enter into it, it refuses to receive it - either it cannot or it will not) and immediately that produces a great imbalance; and this thing that was moving upward, that was blooming so wonderfully, finds itself sick, and sometimes just when you were in the normal equilibrium; you were in good health, everything was going on well, you had nothing to complain about. One day when you grasped a new idea, received a new impulse, when you had a great aspiration and received a great force and had a marvellous experience, a beautiful experience opening to you inner doors, giving you a knowledge you did not have before; then you were sure that everything was going to be all right.... The next day, you are taken ill. So you say: "Still that? It is impossible! That should not happen." But it was quite simply what I have just said: a grain of sand. There was something that could not receive; immediately it brings about a disequilibrium. Even though very small it is enough, and you fall ill.

~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1953, 175,
225:It is not very easy for the customary mind of man, always attached to its past and present associations, to conceive of an existence still human, yet radically changed in what are now our fixed circumstances.We are in respect to our possible higher evolution much in the position of the original Ape of the Darwinian theory. It would have been impossible for that Ape leading his instinctive arboreal life in primeval forests to conceive that there would be one day an animal on the earth who would use a new faculty called reason upon the materials of his inner and outer existence, who would dominate by that power his instincts and habits, change the circumstances of his physical life, build for himself houses of stone, manipulate Nature's forces, sail the seas, ride the air, develop codes of conduct, evolve conscious methods for his mental and spiritual development. And if such a conception had been possible for the Ape-mind, it would still have been difficult for him to imagine that by any progress of Nature or long effort of Will and tendency he himself could develop into that animal. Man, because he has acquired reason and still more because he has indulged his power of imagination and intuition, is able to conceive an existence higher than his own and even to envisage his personal elevation beyond his present state into that existence. His idea of the supreme state is an absolute of all that is positive to his own concepts and desirable to his own instinctive aspiration,-Knowledge without its negative shadow of error, Bliss without its negation in experience of suffering, Power without its constant denial by incapacity, purity and plenitude of being without the opposing sense of defect and limitation. It is so that he conceives his gods; it is so that he constructs his heavens. But it is not so that his reason conceives of a possible earth and a possible humanity. His dream of God and Heaven is really a dream of his own perfection; but he finds the same difficulty in accepting its practical realisation here for his ultimate aim as would the ancestral Ape if called upon to believe in himself as the future Man. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Ego and the Dualities,
226:In all conflicts between groups, there are three elements. One: the certitude that our group is morally superior, possibly even chosen by God. All others should follow our example or be at our service. In order to bring peace to the world, we have to impose our set of beliefs upon others, through manipulation, force, and fear, if necessary. Two: a refusal or incapacity to see or admit to any possible errors or faults in our group. The undeniable nature of our own goodness makes us think we are infallible; there can be no wrong in us. Three: a refusal to believe that any other group possesses truth or can contribute anything of value. At best, others may be regarded as ignorant, unenlightened, and possessing only half—truths; at worst, they are seen as destructive, dangerous, and possessed by evil spirits: they need to be overpowered for the good of humanity. Society and cultures are, then, divided into the “good” and the “bad”; the good attributing to themselves the mission to save, to heal, to bring peace to a wicked world, according to their own terms and under their controlling power. Such is the story of all civilizations through the ages as they spread over the earth by invading and colonizing. Differences must be suppressed; “savages” must be civilized. We must prove by all possible means that our culture, our power, our knowledge, and our technology are the best, that our gods are the only gods! This is not just the story of civilizations but also of all wars of religion, inquisitions, censorships, dictatorships; all things, in short, that are ideologies. An ideology is a set of ideas translated into a set of values. Because they are held to be absolutely true, these ideas and values need to be imposed on others if they are not readily accepted. A political system, a school of psychology, and a philosophy of economics can all be ideologies. Even a place of work can be an ideology. Religious sub—groups, sects, are based upon ideological principles. Religions themselves can become ideologies. And ideologues, by their nature, are not open to new ideas or even to debate; they refuse to accept or listen to anyone else’s reality. They refuse to admit any possibility of error or even criticism of their system; they are closed up in their set of ideas, theories, and values. We human beings have a great facility for living illusions, for protecting our self—image with power, for justifying it all by thinking we are the favoured ones of God. ~ Jean Vanier
227:It had been his opinion that it might serve his country if the Chinese and his men saw that he was not afraid to die. For the comprehension of our age and the part treason has played in it, it is necessary to realize there are many English people who would have felt acutely embarrassed if they had to read aloud the story of this young man's death, or to listen to it, or comment on it in public. They would have admitted that he had shown extreme capacity for courage and self-sacrifice, and that these are admirable qualities, likely to help humanity in the struggle for survival; but at the same time he would not please them. They would have felt more at ease with many of the traitors in this book. They would have conceded that on general principles it is better not to lie, not to cheat, not to betray; but they also would feel that Water's heroism has something dowdy about it while treason has a certain style a sort of elegance, or as the vulgar would say, 'sophistication'. William Joyce would not have fallen within the scope of their preference, but the cause for that would be unconnected with his defense of the Nazi cause. The people who harbor such emotions find no difficulty in accepting French writers who collaborated with the Germans during the war. It would be Joyce's readiness to seal his fate with his life which they would have found crude and unappetizing. But Alan Nunn May, and Fuchs, Burgess, and Maclean would seem in better taste. And concerning taste there is no argument. Those who cultivate this preference, would not have been prepared to defend these men's actions if they were set down in black and white. They would have admitted that it is not right for a man to accept employment from the state on certain conditions and break that understanding, when he could have easily obtained alternative employment in which he would not have to give any such undertaking; and that it is even worse for an alien to induce a country to accept him as a citizen when he is homeless and then conspire against its safety by handing over the most lethal secret it possesses to a potential enemy of aggressive character. But, all the same, they would have felt that subtlety was on the side of the traitors, and even morality. To them the classic hero, like poor young Terence Waters, was hamming it. People who practice the virtues are judged as if they had struck the sort of false attitude which betrays an incapacity for art; while the people who practice the vices are judged as if they had shown the subtle rightness of gesture which is the sign of the born artist. ~ Rebecca West
228:It is in the legitimation of death that the transcending potency of symbolic universes manifests itself most clearly, and the fundamental terror-assuaging character of the ultimate legitimations of the paramount reality of everyday life is revealed. The primacy of the social objectivations of everyday life can retain its subjective plausibility only if it is constantly protected against terror. On the level of meaning, the institutional order represents a shield against terror. To be anomic, therefore, means to be deprived of this shield and to be exposed, alone, to the onslaught of nightmare. While the horror of aloneness is probably already given in the constitutional sociality of man, it manifests itself on the level of meaning in man’s incapacity to sustain a meaningful existence in isolation from the nomic constructions of society. The symbolic universe shelters the individual from ultimate terror by bestowing ultimate legitimation upon the protective structures of the institutional order.75 Very much the same may be said about the social (as against the just discussed individual) significance of symbolic universes. They are sheltering canopies over the institutional order as well as over individual biography. They also provide the delimitation of social reality; that is, they set the limits of what is relevant in terms of social interaction. One extreme possibility of this, sometimes approximated in primitive societies, is the definition of everything as social reality; even inorganic matter is dealt with in social terms. A narrower, and more common, delimitation includes only the organic or animal worlds. The symbolic universe assigns ranks to various phenomena in a hierarchy of being, defining the range of the social within this hierarchy.76 Needless to say, such ranks are also assigned to different types of men, and it frequently happens that broad categories of such types (sometimes everyone outside the collectivity in question) are defined as other than or less than human. This is commonly expressed linguistically (in the extreme case, with the name of the collectivity being equivalent to the term “human”). This is not too rare, even in civilized societies. For example, the symbolic universe of traditional India assigned a status to the outcastes that was closer to that of animals than to the human status of the upper castes (an operation ultimately legitimated in the theory of karma-samsara, which embraced all beings, human or otherwise), and as recently as the Spanish conquests in America it was possible for the Spaniards to conceive of the Indians as belonging to a different species (this operation being legitimated in a less comprehensive manner by a theory that “proved” that the Indians could not be descended from Adam and Eve). The ~ Peter L Berger
229:In a physician's office in Kearny Street three men sat about a table, drinking punch and smoking. It was late in the evening, almost midnight, indeed, and there had been no lack of punch. The gravest of the three, Dr. Helberson, was the host—it was in his rooms they sat. He was about thirty years of age; the others were even younger; all were physicians. "The superstitious awe with which the living regard the dead," said Dr. Helberson, "is hereditary and incurable. One needs no more be ashamed of it than of the fact that he inherits, for example, an incapacity for mathematics, or a tendency to lie." The others laughed. "Oughtn't a man to be ashamed to lie?" asked the youngest of the three, who was in fact a medical student not yet graduated. "My dear Harper, I said nothing about that. The tendency to lie is one thing; lying is another." "But do you think," said the third man, "that this superstitious feeling, this fear of the dead, reasonless as we know it to be, is universal? I am myself not conscious of it." "Oh, but it is 'in your system' for all that," replied Helberson; "it needs only the right conditions—what Shakespeare calls the 'confederate season'—to manifest itself in some very disagreeable way that will open your eyes. Physicians and soldiers are of course more nearly free from it than others." "Physicians and soldiers!—why don't you add hangmen and headsmen? Let us have in all the assassin classes." "No, my dear Mancher; the juries will not let the public executioners acquire sufficient familiarity with death to be altogether unmoved by it." Young Harper, who had been helping himself to a fresh cigar at the sideboard, resumed his seat. "What would you consider conditions under which any man of woman born would become insupportably conscious of his share of our common weakness in this regard?" he asked, rather verbosely. "Well, I should say that if a man were locked up all night with a corpse—alone—in a dark room—of a vacant house—with no bed covers to pull over his head—and lived through it without going altogether mad, he might justly boast himself not of woman born, nor yet, like Macduff, a product of Cæsarean section." "I thought you never would finish piling up conditions," said Harper, "but I know a man who is neither a physician nor a soldier who will accept them all, for any stake you like to name." "Who is he?" "His name is Jarette—a stranger here; comes from my town in New York. I have no money to back him, but he will back himself with loads of it." "How do you know that?" "He would rather bet than eat. As for fear—I dare say he thinks it some cutaneous disorder, or possibly a particular kind of religious heresy." "What does he look like?" Helberson was evidently becoming interested. "Like Mancher, here—might be his twin brother." "I accept the challenge," said Helberson, promptly. "Awfully obliged to you for the compliment, I'm sure," drawled Mancher, who was growing sleepy. "Can't I get into this?" "Not against me," Helberson said. "I don't want your money." "All right," said Mancher; "I'll be the corpse." The others laughed. The outcome of this crazy conversation we have seen. ~ Ambrose Bierce
230:Closing The Cycle

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are. ~ Paulo Coelho
231:In the absence of expert [senior military] advice, we have seen each successive administration fail in the business of strategy - yielding a United States twice as rich as the Soviet Union but much less strong. Only the manner of the failure has changed. In the 1960s, under Robert S. McNamara, we witnessed the wholesale substitution of civilian mathematical analysis for military expertise. The new breed of the "systems analysts" introduced new standards of intellectual discipline and greatly improved bookkeeping methods, but also a trained incapacity to understand the most important aspects of military power, which happens to be nonmeasurable. Because morale is nonmeasurable it was ignored, in large and small ways, with disastrous effects. We have seen how the pursuit of business-type efficiency in the placement of each soldier destroys the cohesion that makes fighting units effective; we may recall how the Pueblo was left virtually disarmed when it encountered the North Koreans (strong armament was judged as not "cost effective" for ships of that kind). Because tactics, the operational art of war, and strategy itself are not reducible to precise numbers, money was allocated to forces and single weapons according to "firepower" scores, computer simulations, and mathematical studies - all of which maximize efficiency - but often at the expense of combat effectiveness.

An even greater defect of the McNamara approach to military decisions was its businesslike "linear" logic, which is right for commerce or engineering but almost always fails in the realm of strategy. Because its essence is the clash of antagonistic and outmaneuvering wills, strategy usually proceeds by paradox rather than conventional "linear" logic. That much is clear even from the most shopworn of Latin tags: si vis pacem, para bellum (if you want peace, prepare for war), whose business equivalent would be orders of "if you want sales, add to your purchasing staff," or some other, equally absurd advice. Where paradox rules, straightforward linear logic is self-defeating, sometimes quite literally. Let a general choose the best path for his advance, the shortest and best-roaded, and it then becomes the worst path of all paths, because the enemy will await him there in greatest strength...

Linear logic is all very well in commerce and engineering, where there is lively opposition, to be sure, but no open-ended scope for maneuver; a competitor beaten in the marketplace will not bomb our factory instead, and the river duly bridged will not deliberately carve out a new course. But such reactions are merely normal in strategy. Military men are not trained in paradoxical thinking, but they do no have to be. Unlike the business-school expert, who searches for optimal solutions in the abstract and then presents them will all the authority of charts and computer printouts, even the most ordinary military mind can recall the existence of a maneuvering antagonists now and then, and will therefore seek robust solutions rather than "best" solutions - those, in other words, which are not optimal but can remain adequate even when the enemy reacts to outmaneuver the first approach. ~ Edward N Luttwak
232:28 August 1957
Mother, Sri Aurobindo says here: "Whether the whole of humanity would be touched [by the Supramental influence] or only a part of it ready for the change would depend on what was intended or possible in the continued order of the universe."
The Supramental Manifestation, SABCL, Vol. 16, p. 56

What is meant by "what was intended or possible"? The two things are different. So far you have said that if humanity changes, if it wants to participate in the new birth...

It is the same thing. But when you look at an object on a certain plane, you see it horizontally, and when you look at the same object from another plane, you see it vertically. (Mother shows the cover and the back of her book.) So, if one looks from above, one says "intended"; if one looks from below, one says "possible".... But it is absolutely the same thing, only the point of view is different.

But in that case, it is not our incapacity or lack of will to change that makes any difference.

We have already said this many a time. If you remain in a consciousness which functions mentally, even if it is the highest mind, you have the notion of an absolute determinism of cause and effect and feel that things are what they are because they are what they are and cannot be otherwise.

It is only when you come out of the mental consciousness completely and enter a higher perception of things - which you may call spiritual or divine - that you suddenly find yourself in a state of perfect freedom where everything is possible.

(Silence)

Those who have contacted that state or lived in it, even if only for a moment, try to describe it as a feeling of an absolute Will in action, which immediately gives to the human mentality the feeling of being arbitrary. And because of that distortion there arises the idea - which I might call traditional - of a supreme and arbitrary God, which is something most unacceptable to every enlightened mind. I suppose that this experience badly expressed is at the origin of this notion. And in fact it is incorrect to express it as an absolute Will: it is very, very, very different. It is something else altogether. For, what man understands by "Will" is a decision that is taken and carried out. We are obliged to use the word "will", but in its truth the Will acting in the universe is neither a choice nor a decision that is taken. What seems to me the closest expression is "vision". Things are because they are seen. But of course "seen", not seen as we see with these eyes.

(Mother touches her eyes...) All the same, it is the nearest thing.
It is a vision - a vision unfolding itself.
The universe becomes objective as it is progressively seen.

And that is why Sri Aurobindo has said "intended or possible". It is neither one nor the other. All that can be said is a distortion.

(Silence)

Objectivisation - universal objectivisation - is something like a projection in space and time, like a living image of what is from all eternity. And as the image is gradually projected on the screen of time and space, it becomes objective:

The Supreme contemplating His own Image.
~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1957-1958,
233:An Act for establishing religious Freedom.

Section 1

Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free;

That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do,

That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time;

That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical;

That even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the Ministry those temporary rewards, which, proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind;

That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry,

That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right,

That it tends only to corrupt the principles of that very Religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments those who will externally profess and conform to it;

That though indeed, these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way;

That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own;

That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order;

And finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them. ~ Thomas Jefferson
234:No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard — and he had never been handsome. He had a considerable independence besides two good livings — and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she still lived on — lived to have six children more — to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number; but the Morlands had little other right to the word, for they were in general very plain, and Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features — so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind. She was fond of all boy's plays, and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush. Indeed she had no taste for a garden; and if she gathered flowers at all, it was chiefly for the pleasure of mischief — at least so it was conjectured from her always preferring those which she was forbidden to take. Such were her propensities — her abilities were quite as extraordinary. She never could learn or understand anything before she was taught; and sometimes not even then, for she was often inattentive, and occasionally stupid. Her mother was three months in teaching her only to repeat the "Beggar's Petition"; and after all, her next sister, Sally, could say it better than she did. Not that Catherine was always stupid — by no means; she learnt the fable of "The Hare and Many Friends" as quickly as any girl in England. Her mother wished her to learn music; and Catherine was sure she should like it, for she was very fond of tinkling the keys of the old forlorn spinner; so, at eight years old she began. She learnt a year, and could not bear it; and Mrs. Morland, who did not insist on her daughters being accomplished in spite of incapacity or distaste, allowed her to leave off. The day which dismissed the music-master was one of the happiest of Catherine's life. Her taste for drawing was not superior; though whenever she could obtain the outside of a letter from her mother or seize upon any other odd piece of paper, she did what she could in that way, by drawing houses and trees, hens and chickens, all very much like one another. Writing and accounts she was taught by her father; French by her mother: her proficiency in either was not remarkable, and she shirked her lessons in both whenever she could. What a strange, unaccountable character! — for with all these symptoms of profligacy at ten years old, she had neither a bad heart nor a bad temper, was seldom stubborn, scarcely ever quarrelsome, and very kind to the little ones, with few interruptions of tyranny; she was moreover noisy and wild, hated confinement and cleanliness, and loved nothing so well in the world as rolling down the green slope at the back of the house. ~ Jane Austen
235:The Levellers . . . only change and pervert the natural order of things: they load the edifice of society by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground. . . .

Far am I from denying in theory, full as far is my heart from withholding in practice (if I were of power to give or to withhold), the real rights of men. In denying their false claims of right, I do not mean to injure those which are real, and are such as their pretended rights would totally destroy. . . . In this partnership all men have equal rights; but not to equal things. . . .

Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Among these wants is to be reckoned the want, out of civil society, of a sufficient restraint upon their passions. Society requires not only that the passions of individuals should be subjected, but that even in the mass and body, as well as in the individuals, the inclinations of men should frequently be thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection. This can only be done by a power out of themselves, and not, in the exercise of its function, subject to that will and to those passions which it is its office to bridle and subdue. In this sense the restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights. . . .

Society is, indeed, a contract. Subordinate contracts for objects of mere occasional interest may be dissolved at pleasure; but the state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern, to be taken up for a little temporary interest, and to be dissolved by the fancy of the parties. It is to looked on with other reverence; because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all science, a partnership in all art, a partnership in every virtue and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. . . .

You would not cure the evil by resolving that there should be no more monarchs, nor ministers of state, nor of the Gospel— no interpreters of law, no general officers, no public councils. You might change the names: the things in some shape must remain. A certain quantum of power must always exist in the community, in some hands, and under some appellation. Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names— to the causes of evil, which are permanent, not to the occasional organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear. Otherwise you will be wise historically, a fool in practice. . . .

The effects of the incapacity shown by the popular leaders in all the great members of the commonwealth are to be covered with the 'all-atoning name' of Liberty. . . . But what is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Those who know what virtuous liberty is cannot bear to see it disgraced by incapable heads, on account of their having high-sounding words in their mouths. . . . To make a government requires no great prudence. Settle the seat of power, teach obedience, and the work is done. To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government, that is to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one consistent work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind. ~ Edmund Burke
236:I have never been able to share your constantly recurring doubts about your capacity or the despair that arises in you so violently when there are these attacks, nor is their persistent recurrence a valid ground for believing that they can never be overcome. Such a persistent recurrence has been a feature in the sadhana of many who have finally emerged and reached the goal; even the sadhana of very great Yogis has not been exempt from such violent and constant recurrences; they have sometimes been special objects of such persistent assaults, as I have indeed indicated in Savitri in more places than one - and that was indeed founded on my own experience. In the nature of these recurrences there is usually a constant return of the same adverse experiences, the same adverse resistance, thoughts destructive of all belief and faith and confidence in the future of the sadhana, frustrating doubts of what one has known as the truth, voices of despondency and despair, urgings to abandonment of the Yoga or to suicide or else other disastrous counsels of déchéance. The course taken by the attacks is not indeed the same for all, but still they have strong family resemblance. One can eventually overcome if one begins to realise the nature and source of these assaults and acquires the faculty of observing them, bearing, without being involved or absorbed into their gulf, finally becoming the witness of their phenomena and understanding them and refusing the mind's sanction even when the vital is still tossed in the whirl or the most outward physical mind still reflects the adverse suggestions. In the end these attacks lose their power and fall away from the nature; the recurrence becomes feeble or has no power to last: even, if the detachment is strong enough, they can be cut out very soon or at once. The strongest attitude to take is to regard these things as what they really are, incursions of dark forces from outside taking advantage of certain openings in the physical mind or the vital part, but not a real part of oneself or spontaneous creation in one's own nature. To create a confusion and darkness in the physical mind and throw into it or awake in it mistaken ideas, dark thoughts, false impressions is a favourite method of these assailants, and if they can get the support of this mind from over-confidence in its own correctness or the natural rightness of its impressions and inferences, then they can have a field day until the true mind reasserts itself and blows the clouds away. Another device of theirs is to awake some hurt or rankling sense of grievance in the lower vital parts and keep them hurt or rankling as long as possible. In that case one has to discover these openings in one's nature and learn to close them permanently to such attacks or else to throw out intruders at once or as soon as possible. The recurrence is no proof of a fundamental incapacity; if one takes the right inner attitude, it can and will be overcome. The idea of suicide ought never to be accepted; there is no real ground for it and in any case it cannot be a remedy or a real escape: at most it can only be postponement of difficulties and the necessity for their solution under no better circumstances in another life. One must have faith in the Master of our life and works, even if for a long time he conceals himself, and then in his own right time he will reveal his Presence.
   I have tried to dispel all the misconceptions, explain things as they are and meet all the points at issue. It is not that you really cannot make progress or have not made any progress; on the contrary, you yourself have admitted that you have made a good advance in many directions and there is no reason why, if you persevere, the rest should not come. You have always believed in the Guruvada: I would ask you then to put your faith in the Guru and the guidance and rely on the Ishwara for the fulfilment, to have faith in my abiding love and affection, in the affection and divine goodwill and loving kindness of the Mother, stand firm against all attacks and go forward perseveringly towards the spiritual goal and the all-fulfilling and all-satisfying touch of the All-Blissful, the Ishwara.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - IV,
237:
ON THE AFTERWORLDLY

At one time Zarathustra too cast his delusion beyond
man, like all the afterworldly. The work of a suffering
and tortured god, the world then seemed to me. A
dream the world then seemed to me, and the fiction
of a god: colored smoke before the eyes of a dissatisfied deity. Good and evil and joy and pain and I and
you-colored smoke this seemed to me before creative
31
eyes. The creator wanted to look away from himself;
so he created the world.
Drunken joy it is for the sufferer to look away from
his suffering and to lose himself. Drunken joy and loss
of self the world once seemed to me. This world,
eternally imperfect, the image of an eternal contradiction, an imperfect image-a drunken joy for its imperfect creator: thus the world once appeared to me.
Thus I too once cast my delusion beyond man, like
all the afterworldly. Beyond man indeed?
Alas, my brothers, this god whom I created was
man-made and madness, like all gods! Man he was,
and only a poor specimen of man and ego: out of my
own ashes and fire this ghost came to me, and, verily,
it did not come to me from beyond. What happened,
my brothers? I overcame myself, the sufferer; I carried
my own ashes to the mountains; I invented a brighter
flame for myself. And behold, then this ghost fled from
me. Now it would be suffering for me and agony for
the recovered to believe in such ghosts: now it would
be suffering for me and humiliation. Thus I speak to
the afterworldly.
It was suffering and incapacity that created all afterworlds-this and that brief madness of bliss which is
experienced only by those who suffer most deeply.
Weariness that wants to reach the ultimate with one
leap, with one fatal leap, a poor ignorant weariness
that does not want to want any more: this created all
gods and afterworlds.
Believe me, my brothers: it was the body that despaired of the body and touched the ultimate walls with
the fingers of a deluded spirit. Believe me, my brothers: it was the body that despaired of the earth and
heard the belly of being speak to it. It wanted to crash
through these ultimate walls with its head, and not
32
only with its head-over there to "that world." But
"that world" is well concealed from humans-that dehumanized inhuman world which is a heavenly nothing; and the belly of being does not speak to humans
at all, except as a human.
Verily, all being is hard to prove and hard to induce
to speak. Tell me, my brothers, is not the strangest of
all things proved most nearly?
Indeed, this ego and the ego's contradiction and confusion still speak most honestly of its being-this creating, willing, valuing ego, which is the measure and
value of things. And this most honest being, the ego,
speaks of the body and still wants the body, even
when it poetizes and raves and flutters with broken
wings. It learns to speak ever more honestly, this ego:
and the more it learns, the more words and honors it
finds for body and earth.
A new pride my ego taught me, and this I teach
men: no longer to bury one's head in the sand of
heavenly things, but to bear it freely, an earthly head,
which creates a meaning for the earth.
A new will I teach men: to will this way which man
has walked blindly, and to affirm it, and no longer to
sneak away from it like the sick and decaying.
It was the sick and decaying who despised body and
earth and invented the heavenly realm and the redemptive drops of blood: but they took even these
sweet and gloomy poisons from body and earth. They
wanted to escape their own misery, and the stars were
too far for them. So they sighed: "Would that there
were heavenly ways to sneak into another state of being and happiness!" Thus they invented their sneaky
ruses and bloody potions. Ungrateful, these people
deemed themselves transported from their bodies and
this earth. But to whom did they owe the convulsions
33
and raptures of their transport? To their bodies and
this earth.
Zarathustra is gentle with the sick. Verily, he is not
angry with their kinds of comfort and ingratitude. May
they become convalescents, men of overcoming, and
create a higher body for themselves Nor is Zarathustra
angry with the convalescent who eyes his delusion ten-

derly and, at midnight, sneaks around the grave of his

god: but even so his tears still betray sickness and a
sick body to me.
Many sick people have always been among the
poetizers and God-cravers; furiously they hate the lover
of knowledge and that youngest among the virtues,
which is called "honesty." They always look backward
toward dark ages; then, indeed, delusion and faith
were another matter: the rage of reason was godlikeness, and doubt was sin.
I know these godlike men all too well: they want
one to have faith in them, and doubt to be sin. All too
well I also know what it is in which they have most
faith. Verily, it is not in afterworlds and redemptive
drops of blood, but in the body, that they too have
most faith; and their body is to them their thing-initself. But a sick thing it is to them, and gladly would
they shed their skins. Therefore they listen to the
preachers of death and themselves preach afterworlds.
Listen rather, my brothers, to the voice of the
healthy body: that is a more honest and purer voice.
More honestly and purely speaks the healthy body that
is perfect and perpendicular: and it speaks of the
meaning of the earth.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
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~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE AFTERWORLDLY

238:I am poor brother Lippo, by your leave!
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,
Do,harry out, if you must show your zeal,
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong hole,
And nip each softling of a wee white mouse,
Weke, weke, that's crept to keep him company!
Aha, you know your betters! Then, you'll take
Your hand away that's fiddling on my throat,
And please to know me likewise. Who am I?
Why, one, sir, who is lodging with a friend
Three streets offhe's a certain . . . how d'ye call?
MasteraCosimo of the Medici,
I' the house that caps the corner. Boh! you were best!
Remember and tell me, the day you're hanged,
How you affected such a gullet's-gripe!  
But you, sir, it concerns you that your knaves
Pick up a manner nor discredit you:
Zooks, are we pilchards, that they sweep the streets
And count fair price what comes into their net?
He's Judas to a tittle, that man is!
Just such a face! Why, sir, you make amends.
Lord, I'm not angry! Bid your hang-dogs go
Drink out this quarter-florin to the health
Of the munificent House that harbours me
(And many more beside, lads! more beside!)
And all's come square again. I'd like his face
His, elbowing on his comrade in the door
With the pike and lantern,for the slave that holds
John Baptist's head a-dangle by the hair
With one hand ("Look you, now," as who should say)
And his weapon in the other, yet unwiped!
It's not your chance to have a bit of chalk,
A wood-coal or the like? or you should see!
Yes, I'm the painter, since you style me so.
What, brother Lippo's doings, up and down,
You know them and they take you? like enough!
I saw the proper twinkle in your eye
'Tell you, I liked your looks at very first.
Let's sit and set things straight now, hip to haunch.
Here's spring come, and the nights one makes up bands
To roam the town and sing out carnival,
And I've been three weeks shut within my mew,
A-painting for the great man, saints and saints
And saints again. I could not paint all night
Ouf! I leaned out of window for fresh air.
There came a hurry of feet and little feet,
A sweep of lute strings, laughs, and whifts of song,
Flower o' the broom,
Take away love, and our earth is a tomb!
Flower o' the quince,
I let Lisa go, and what good in life since?
Flower o' the thymeand so on. Round they went.
Scarce had they turned the corner when a titter
Like the skipping of rabbits by moonlight,three slim shapes,
And a face that looked up . . . zooks, sir, flesh and blood,
That's all I'm made of! Into shreds it went,
Curtain and counterpane and coverlet,
All the bed-furniturea dozen knots,
There was a ladder! Down I let myself,
Hands and feet, scrambling somehow, and so dropped,
And after them. I came up with the fun
Hard by Saint Laurence, hail fellow, well met,
Flower o' the rose,
If I've been merry, what matter who knows?
And so as I was stealing back again
To get to bed and have a bit of sleep
Ere I rise up to-morrow and go work
On Jerome knocking at his poor old breast
With his great round stone to subdue the flesh,
You snap me of the sudden. Ah, I see!
Though your eye twinkles still, you shake your head
Mine's shaveda monk, you saythe sting 's in that!
If Master Cosimo announced himself,
Mum's the word naturally; but a monk!
Come, what am I a beast for? tell us, now!
I was a baby when my mother died
And father died and left me in the street.
I starved there, God knows how, a year or two
On fig-skins, melon-parings, rinds and shucks,
Refuse and rubbish. One fine frosty day,
My stomach being empty as your hat,
The wind doubled me up and down I went.
Old Aunt Lapaccia trussed me with one hand,
(Its fellow was a stinger as I knew)
And so along the wall, over the bridge,
By the straight cut to the convent. Six words there,
While I stood munching my first bread that month:
"So, boy, you're minded," quoth the good fat father
Wiping his own mouth, 'twas refection-time,--
"To quit this very miserable world?
Will you renounce" . . . "the mouthful of bread?" thought I;
By no means! Brief, they made a monk of me;
I did renounce the world, its pride and greed,
Palace, farm, villa, shop, and banking-house,
Trash, such as these poor devils of Medici
Have given their hearts toall at eight years old.
Well, sir, I found in time, you may be sure,
'T#was not for nothingthe good bellyful,
The warm serge and the rope that goes all round,
And day-long blessed idleness beside!
"Let's see what the urchin's fit for"that came next.
Not overmuch their way, I must confess.
Such a to-do! They tried me with their books:
Lord, they'd have taught me Latin in pure waste!
Flower o' the clove.
All the Latin I construe is, "amo" I love!
But, mind you, when a boy starves in the streets
Eight years together, as my fortune was,
Watching folk's faces to know who will fling
The bit of half-stripped grape-bunch he desires,
And who will curse or kick him for his pains,
Which gentleman processional and fine,
Holding a candle to the Sacrament,
Will wink and let him lift a plate and catch
The droppings of the wax to sell again,
Or holla for the Eight and have him whipped,
How say I?nay, which dog bites, which lets drop
His bone from the heap of offal in the street,
Why, soul and sense of him grow sharp alike,
He learns the look of things, and none the less
For admonition from the hunger-pinch.
I had a store of such remarks, be sure,
Which, after I found leisure, turned to use.
I drew men's faces on my copy-books,
Scrawled them within the antiphonary's marge,
Joined legs and arms to the long music-notes,
Found eyes and nose and chin for A's and B's,
And made a string of pictures of the world
Betwixt the ins and outs of verb and noun,
On the wall, the bench, the door. The monks looked black.
"Nay," quoth the Prior, "turn him out, d'ye say?
In no wise. Lose a crow and catch a lark.
What if at last we get our man of parts,
We Carmelites, like those Camaldolese
And Preaching Friars, to do our church up fine
And put the front on it that ought to be!"
And hereupon he bade me daub away.
Thank you! my head being crammed, the walls a blank,
Never was such prompt disemburdening.
First, every sort of monk, the black and white,
I drew them, fat and lean: then, folk at church,
From good old gossips waiting to confess
Their cribs of barrel-droppings, candle-ends,
To the breathless fellow at the altar-foot,
Fresh from his murder, safe and sitting there
With the little children round him in a row
Of admiration, half for his beard and half
For that white anger of his victim's son
Shaking a fist at him with one fierce arm,
Signing himself with the other because of Christ
(Whose sad face on the cross sees only this
After the passion of a thousand years)
Till some poor girl, her apron o'er her head,
(Which the intense eyes looked through) came at eve
On tiptoe, said a word, dropped in a loaf,
Her pair of earrings and a bunch of flowers
(The brute took growling), prayed, and so was gone.
I painted all, then cried " `T#is ask and have;
Choose, for more's ready!"laid the ladder flat,
And showed my covered bit of cloister-wall.
The monks closed in a circle and praised loud
Till checked, taught what to see and not to see,
Being simple bodies,"That's the very man!
Look at the boy who stoops to pat the dog!
That woman's like the Prior's niece who comes
To care about his asthma: it's the life!''
But there my triumph's straw-fire flared and funked;
Their betters took their turn to see and say:
The Prior and the learned pulled a face
And stopped all that in no time. "How? what's here?
Quite from the mark of painting, bless us all!
Faces, arms, legs, and bodies like the true
As much as pea and pea! it's devil's-game!
Your business is not to catch men with show,
With homage to the perishable clay,
But lift them over it, ignore it all,
Make them forget there's such a thing as flesh.
Your business is to paint the souls of men
Man's soul, and it's a fire, smoke . . . no, it's not . . .
It's vapour done up like a new-born babe
(In that shape when you die it leaves your mouth)
It's . . . well, what matters talking, it's the soul!
Give us no more of body than shows soul!
Here's Giotto, with his Saint a-praising God,
That sets us praisingwhy not stop with him?
Why put all thoughts of praise out of our head
With wonder at lines, colours, and what not?
Paint the soul, never mind the legs and arms!
Rub all out, try at it a second time.
Oh, that white smallish female with the breasts,
She's just my niece . . . Herodias, I would say,
Who went and danced and got men's heads cut off!
Have it all out!" Now, is this sense, I ask?
A fine way to paint soul, by painting body
So ill, the eye can't stop there, must go further
And can't fare worse! Thus, yellow does for white
When what you put for yellow's simply black,
And any sort of meaning looks intense
When all beside itself means and looks nought.
Why can't a painter lift each foot in turn,
Left foot and right foot, go a double step,
Make his flesh liker and his soul more like,
Both in their order? Take the prettiest face,
The Prior's niece . . . patron-saintis it so pretty
You can't discover if it means hope, fear,
Sorrow or joy? won't beauty go with these?
Suppose I've made her eyes all right and blue,
Can't I take breath and try to add life's flash,
And then add soul and heighten them three-fold?
Or say there's beauty with no soul at all
(I never saw itput the case the same)
If you get simple beauty and nought else,
You get about the best thing God invents:
That's somewhat: and you'll find the soul you have missed,
Within yourself, when you return him thanks.
"Rub all out!" Well, well, there's my life, in short,
And so the thing has gone on ever since.
I'm grown a man no doubt, I've broken bounds:
You should not take a fellow eight years old
And make him swear to never kiss the girls.
I'm my own master, paint now as I please
Having a friend, you see, in the Corner-house!
Lord, it's fast holding by the rings in front
Those great rings serve more purposes than just
To plant a flag in, or tie up a horse!
And yet the old schooling sticks, the old grave eyes
Are peeping o'er my shoulder as I work,
The heads shake still"It's art's decline, my son!
You're not of the true painters, great and old;
Brother Angelico's the man, you'll find;
Brother Lorenzo stands his single peer:
Fag on at flesh, you'll never make the third!"
Flower o' the pine,
You keep your mistr manners, and I'll stick to mine!
I'm not the third, then: bless us, they must know!
Don't you think they're the likeliest to know,
They with their Latin? So, I swallow my rage,
Clench my teeth, suck my lips in tight, and paint
To please themsometimes do and sometimes don't;
For, doing most, there's pretty sure to come
A turn, some warm eve finds me at my saints
A laugh, a cry, the business of the world
(Flower o' the peach
Death for us all, and his own life for each!)
And my whole soul revolves, the cup runs over,
The world and life's too big to pass for a dream,
And I do these wild things in sheer despite,
And play the fooleries you catch me at,
In pure rage! The old mill-horse, out at grass
After hard years, throws up his stiff heels so,
Although the miller does not preach to him
The only good of grass is to make chaff.
What would men have? Do they like grass or no
May they or mayn't they? all I want's the thing
Settled for ever one way. As it is,
You tell too many lies and hurt yourself:
You don't like what you only like too much,
You do like what, if given you at your word,
You find abundantly detestable.
For me, I think I speak as I was taught;
I always see the garden and God there
A-making man's wife: and, my lesson learned,
The value and significance of flesh,
I can't unlearn ten minutes afterwards.
You understand me: I'm a beast, I know.
But see, nowwhy, I see as certainly
As that the morning-star's about to shine,
What will hap some day. We've a youngster here
Comes to our convent, studies what I do,
Slouches and stares and lets no atom drop:
His name is Guidihe'll not mind the monks
They call him Hulking Tom, he lets them talk
He picks my practice uphe'll paint apace.
I hope sothough I never live so long,
I know what's sure to follow. You be judge!
You speak no Latin more than I, belike;
However, you're my man, you've seen the world
The beauty and the wonder and the power,
The shapes of things, their colours, lights and shades,
Changes, surprises,and God made it all!
For what? Do you feel thankful, ay or no,
For this fair town's face, yonder river's line,
The mountain round it and the sky above,
Much more the figures of man, woman, child,
These are the frame to? What's it all about?
To be passed over, despised? or dwelt upon,
Wondered at? oh, this last of course!you say.
But why not do as well as say,paint these
Just as they are, careless what comes of it?
God's workspaint any one, and count it crime
To let a truth slip. Don't object, "His works
Are here already; nature is complete:
Suppose you reproduce her(which you can't)
There's no advantage! you must beat her, then."
For, don't you mark? we're made so that we love
First when we see them painted, things we have passed
Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see;
And so they are better, paintedbetter to us,
Which is the same thing. Art was given for that;
God uses us to help each other so,
Lending our minds out. Have you noticed, now,
Your cullion's hanging face? A bit of chalk,
And trust me but you should, though! How much more,
If I drew higher things with the same truth!
That were to take the Prior's pulpit-place,
Interpret God to all of you! Oh, oh,
It makes me mad to see what men shall do
And we in our graves! This world's no blot for us,
Nor blank; it means intensely, and means good:
To find its meaning is my meat and drink.
"Ay, but you don't so instigate to prayer!"
Strikes in the Prior: "when your meaning's plain
It does not say to folkremember matins,
Or, mind you fast next Friday!" Why, for this
What need of art at all? A skull and bones,
Two bits of stick nailed crosswise, or, what's best,
A bell to chime the hour with, does as well.
I painted a Saint Laurence six months since
At Prato, splashed the fresco in fine style:
"How looks my painting, now the scaffold's down?"
I ask a brother: "Hugely," he returns
"Already not one phiz of your three slaves
Who turn the Deacon off his toasted side,
But's scratched and prodded to our heart's content,
The pious people have so eased their own
With coming to say prayers there in a rage:
We get on fast to see the bricks beneath.
Expect another job this time next year,
For pity and religion grow i' the crowd
Your painting serves its purpose!" Hang the fools!
That isyou'll not mistake an idle word
Spoke in a huff by a poor monk, God wot,
Tasting the air this spicy night which turns
The unaccustomed head like Chianti wine!
Oh, the church knows! don't misreport me, now!
It's natural a poor monk out of bounds
Should have his apt word to excuse himself:
And hearken how I plot to make amends.
I have bethought me: I shall paint a piece
There's for you! Give me six months, then go, see
Something in Sant' Ambrogio's! Bless the nuns!
They want a cast o' my office. I shall paint
God in the midst, Madonna and her babe,
Ringed by a bowery, flowery angel-brood,
Lilies and vestments and white faces, sweet
As puff on puff of grated orris-root
When ladies crowd to Church at midsummer.
And then i' the front, of course a saint or two
Saint John' because he saves the Florentines,
Saint Ambrose, who puts down in black and white
The convent's friends and gives them a long day,
And Job, I must have him there past mistake,
The man of Uz (and Us without the z,
Painters who need his patience). Well, all these
Secured at their devotion, up shall come
Out of a corner when you least expect,
As one by a dark stair into a great light,
Music and talking, who but Lippo! I!
Mazed, motionless, and moonstruckI'm the man!
Back I shrinkwhat is this I see and hear?
I, caught up with my monk's-things by mistake,
My old serge gown and rope that goes all round,
I, in this presence, this pure company!
Where's a hole, where's a corner for escape?
Then steps a sweet angelic slip of a thing
Forward, puts out a soft palm"Not so fast!"
Addresses the celestial presence, "nay
He made you and devised you, after all,
Though he's none of you! Could Saint John there draw
His camel-hair make up a painting brush?
We come to brother Lippo for all that,
Iste perfecit opus! So, all smile
I shuffle sideways with my blushing face
Under the cover of a hundred wings
Thrown like a spread of kirtles when you're gay
And play hot cockles, all the doors being shut,
Till, wholly unexpected, in there pops
The hothead husband! Thus I scuttle off
To some safe bench behind, not letting go
The palm of her, the little lily thing
That spoke the good word for me in the nick,
Like the Prior's niece . . . Saint Lucy, I would say.
And so all's saved for me, and for the church
A pretty picture gained. Go, six months hence!
Your hand, sir, and good-bye: no lights, no lights!
The street's hushed, and I know my own way back,
Don't fear me! There's the grey beginning. Zooks!
NOTES



Form:
unrhyming

1.
First published in Men and Women, 1855.In this poem, Browning makes use of the account of
Lippi in Vasari's Lives of the Painters, from
which the following is an extract: "The Carmelite monk,
Fra Filippo di Tommaso Lippi (1412-1469), was born
at Florence in a bye-street called Ardiglione, under the
Canto alla Cuculia, and behind the convent of the
Carmelites. By the death of his father he was left a
friendless orphan at the age of two years, his mother
having also died shortly after his birth. The child was
for some time under the care of a certain Mona Lapaccia,
his aunt, the sister of his father, who brought him up
with very great difficulty till he had attained his eighth
year, when, being no longer able to support the burden
of his maintenance, she placed him in the above-named
convent of the Carmelites. Here, in proportion as he
showed himself dexterous and ingenious in all works
performed by hand, did he manifest the utmost dullness
and incapacity in letters, to which he would never apply
himself, nor would he take any pleasure in learning of
any kind. The boy continued to be called by his worldly
name of Filippo, and being placed with others, who like
himself were in the house of the novices, under the care
of the master, to the end that the latter might see what
could be done with him\; in place of studying, he never
did anything but daub his own books, and those of the
other boys, with caricatures, whereupon the prior determined
to give him all means and every opportunity for learning
to draw. The chapel of the Carmine had then been newly
painted by Masaccio, and this being exceedingly beautiful,
pleased Fra Filippo greatly, wherefore he frequented it daily
for his recreation, and, continually practising there, in
company with many other youths, who were constantly
drawing in that place, he surpassed all the others by very
much in dexterity and knowledge .... Proceeding thus, and
improving from day to day, he has so closely followed the
manner of Masaccio, and his works displayed so much
similarity to those of the latter, that many affirmed the spirit
of Masaccio to have entered the body of Fra Filippo .... "It is
said that Fra Filippo was much addicted to the pleasures of
sense, insomuch that he would give all he possessed to secure
the gratification of whatever inclination might at the moment
be predominant .... It was known that, while occupied in the
pursuit of his pleasures, the works undertaken by him received
little or none of his attention\; for which reason Cosimo de'
Medici, wishing him to execute a work in his own palace, shut
him up, that he might not waste his time in running about\; but
having endured this confinement for two days, he then made
ropes with sheets of his bed, which he cut to pieces for that
purpose, and so having let himself down from a window, escaped,
and for several days gave himself up to his amusements. When
Cosimo found that the painter had disappeared, he caused him
to be sought, and Fra Filippo at last returned to his work, but
from that time forward Cosimo gave him liberty to go in and
out at his pleasure, repenting greatly of having previously shut
him up, when he considered the danger that Fra Filippo had
incurred by his folly in descending from the window\; and ever
afterwards labouring to keep him to his work by kindness only,
he was by this means much more promptly and effectually
served by the painter, and was wont to say that the excellencies
of rare genius were as forms of light and not beasts of burden."

17.
Cosimo of the Medici (1389-1464): the real ruler of Florence,
and a patron of art and literature.

53.
The snatches of song represent a species of Italian folk-song
called Stornelli\; each consisting of three lines of a set form,
and containing the name of a flower in the first line.

67.
Saint Laurence: the Church at San Lorenzo, now famous for
the tombs of the Medici, the work of Michael Angelo.

73.
Jerome: one of the Christian Fathers, translated the Bible
into Latin\; he led a life of extreme asceticism.

117-18.
A reference to the procession carrying the consecrated wafer.

121.
the Eight: a body of magistrates who kept order.

130.
antiphonary: the service-book.

140.
Preaching Friars: the Dominicans.

172.
funked: turned to smoke.

176 ff.
Lippi belonged to the naturalistic school which developed
among the Florentines. These showed a greater attention to
natural form and beauty, as opposed to the conventional school,
who were men under the influence of earlier artists and inherited
an ascetic timidity in the representation of material things.

189.
Giotto (1267-1337): the earliest of the greater Florentine
painters.

196.
Herodias: sister-in-law of Herod, and mother of Salome.
See Matthew, 14 for the story of Salome's dance and the beheading
of John the Baptist.

227.
See line 18 above.

235.
Brother Angelico: Fra Angelico (1387-1455), "By purity of
life, habitual elevation of thought, and natural sweetness of
disposition, he was enabled to express the sacred affections
upon the human countenance, as no one ever did before or since" (Ruskin).

236.
Lorenzo: Lorenzo Monaco (1370-1425), a Camaldolese
friar who painted in Florence.

273 ff.
Tommaso Guidi (1401-28) better known as Masaccio (which means
"hulking") "because," says Vasari, "of his excessive negligence and
disregard of himself." He was the teacher--not, as here represented,
the pupil--of Filippo Lippi (see first note above).

324.
Prato: a town some dozen miles from Florence\; in the Cathedral
are frescoes by Filippo, but they represent St. Stephen, and the
Baptist, not St. Laurence.

328.
According to tradition, St. Laurence was roasted on a gridiron.

339.
Chianti wine: the common red wine of Tuscany.

346.
Browning proceeds to put into Fra Filippo's mouth a description
of what is considered his masterpiece --a Coronation of the Virgin--which
he painted for the nuns of Sant' Ambrogio. Browning, following Vasari,
believes that the painter put a self-portrait in the lower corner of the
picture. Recent research has shown that the figure is a portrait, not of
Fra Filippo, but of the benefactor who ordered the picture for the
church. In this case, perfecit opus means "caused the work to
be made," not, as Browning takes it, "completed the work himself."

354.
St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of the Florentines.


~ Robert Browning, Fra Lippo Lippi

239:The Victories Of Love. Book Ii
From Jane To Her Mother
Thank Heaven, the burthens on the heart
Are not half known till they depart!
Although I long'd, for many a year,
To love with love that casts out fear,
My Frederick's kindness frighten'd me,
And heaven seem'd less far off than he;
And in my fancy I would trace
A lady with an angel's face,
That made devotion simply debt,
Till sick with envy and regret,
And wicked grief that God should e'er
Make women, and not make them fair.
That he might love me more because
Another in his memory was,
And that my indigence might be
To him what Baby's was to me,
The chief of charms, who could have thought?
But God's wise way is to give nought
Till we with asking it are tired;
And when, indeed, the change desired
Comes, lest we give ourselves the praise,
It comes by Providence, not Grace;
And mostly our thanks for granted pray'rs
Are groans at unexpected cares.
First Baby went to heaven, you know,
And, five weeks after, Grace went, too.
Then he became more talkative,
And, stooping to my heart, would give
Signs of his love, which pleased me more
Than all the proofs he gave before;
And, in that time of our great grief,
We talk'd religion for relief;
For, though we very seldom name
Religion, we now think the same!
Oh, what a bar is thus removed
To loving and to being loved!
292
For no agreement really is
In anything when none's in this.
Why, Mother, once, if Frederick press'd
His wife against his hearty breast,
The interior difference seem'd to tear
My own, until I could not bear
The trouble. 'Twas a dreadful strife,
And show'd, indeed, that faith is life.
He never felt this. If he did,
I'm sure it could not have been hid;
For wives, I need not say to you,
Can feel just what their husbands do,
Without a word or look; but then
It is not so, you know, with men.
From that time many a Scripture text
Help'd me, which had, before, perplex'd.
Oh, what a wond'rous word seem'd this:
He is my head, as Christ is his!
None ever could have dared to see
In marriage such a dignity
For man, and for his wife, still less,
Such happy, happy lowliness,
Had God Himself not made it plain!
This revelation lays the rein—
If I may speak so—on the neck
Of a wife's love, takes thence the check
Of conscience, and forbids to doubt
Its measure is to be without
All measure, and a fond excess
Is here her rule of godliness.
I took him not for love but fright;
He did but ask a dreadful right.
In this was love, that he loved me
The first, who was mere poverty.
All that I know of love he taught;
And love is all I know of aught.
My merit is so small by his,
That my demerit is my bliss.
My life is hid with him in Christ,
293
Never thencefrom to be enticed;
And in his strength have I such rest
As when the baby on my breast
Finds what it knows not how to seek,
And, very happy, very weak,
Lies, only knowing all is well,
Pillow'd on kindness palpable.
II
From Lady Clitheroe To Mary Churchill
Dear Saint, I'm still at High-Hurst Park.
The house is fill'd with folks of mark.
Honoria suits a good estate
Much better than I hoped. How fate
Loads her with happiness and pride!
And such a loving lord, beside!
But between us, Sweet, everything
Has limits, and to build a wing
To this old house, when Courtholm stands
Empty upon his Berkshire lands,
And all that Honor might be near
Papa, was buying love too dear.
With twenty others, there are two
Guests here, whose names will startle you:
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Graham!
I thought he stay'd away for shame.
He and his wife were ask'd, you know,
And would not come, four years ago.
You recollect Miss Smythe found out
Who she had been, and all about
Her people at the Powder-mill;
And how the fine Aunt tried to instil
Haut ton, and how, at last poor Jane
Had got so shy and gauche that, when
The Dockyard gentry came to sup,
She always had to be lock'd up;
And some one wrote to us and said
Her mother was a kitchen-maid.
Dear Mary, you'll be charm'd to know
294
It must be all a fib. But, oh,
She is the oddest little Pet
On which my eyes were ever set!
She's so outrée and natural
That, when she first arrived, we all
Wonder'd, as when a robin comes
In through the window to eat crumbs
At breakfast with us. She has sense,
Humility, and confidence;
And, save in dressing just a thought
Gayer in colours than she ought,
(To-day she looks a cross between
Gipsy and Fairy, red and green,)
She always happens to do well.
And yet one never quite can tell
What she might do or utter next.
Lord Clitheroe is much perplex'd.
Her husband, every now and then,
Looks nervous; all the other men
Are charm'd. Yet she has neither grace,
Nor one good feature in her face.
Her eyes, indeed, flame in her head,
Like very altar-fires to Fred,
Whose steps she follows everywhere
Like a tame duck, to the despair
Of Colonel Holmes, who does his part
To break her funny little heart.
Honor's enchanted. 'Tis her view
That people, if they're good and true,
And treated well, and let alone,
Will kindly take to what's their own,
And always be original,
Like children. Honor's just like all
The rest of us! But, thinking so,
'Tis well she miss'd Lord Clitheroe,
Who hates originality,
Though he puts up with it in me.
Poor Mrs. Graham has never been
To the Opera! You should have seen
The innocent way she told the Earl
She thought Plays sinful when a girl,
295
And now she never had a chance!
Frederick's complacent smile and glance
Towards her, show'd me, past a doubt,
Honoria had been quite cut out.
'Tis very strange; for Mrs. Graham,
Though Frederick's fancy none can blame,
Seems the last woman you'd have thought
Her lover would have ever sought.
She never reads, I find, nor goes
Anywhere; so that I suppose
She got at all she ever knew
By growing up, as kittens do.
Talking of kittens, by-the-bye,
You have more influence than I
With dear Honoria. Get her, Dear,
To be a little more severe
With those sweet Children. They've the run
Of all the place. When school was done,
Maud burst in, while the Earl was there,
With ‘Oh, Mama, do be a bear!’
Do you know, Dear, this odd wife of Fred
Adores his old Love in his stead!
She is so nice, yet, I should say,
Not quite the thing for every day.
Wonders are wearying! Felix goes
Next Sunday with her to the Close,
And you will judge.
Honoria asks
All Wiltshire Belles here; Felix basks
Like Puss in fire-shine, when the room
Is thus aflame with female bloom.
But then she smiles when most would pout;
And so his lawless loves go out
With the last brocade. 'Tis not the same,
I fear, with Mrs. Frederick Graham.
Honoria should not have her here,—
And this you might just hint, my Dear,—
For Felix says he never saw
Such proof of what he holds for law,
296
That ‘beauty is love which can be seen.’
Whatever he by this may mean,
Were it not dreadful if he fell
In love with her on principle!
III
From Jane To Mrs. Graham
Mother, I told you how, at first,
I fear'd this visit to the Hurst.
Fred must, I felt, be so distress'd
By aught in me unlike the rest
Who come here. But I find the place
Delightful; there's such ease, and grace,
And kindness, and all seem to be
On such a high equality.
They have not got to think, you know,
How far to make the money go.
But Frederick says it's less the expense
Of money, than of sound good-sense,
Quickness to care what others feel,
And thoughts with nothing to conceal;
Which I'll teach Johnny. Mrs. Vaughan
Was waiting for us on the Lawn,
And kiss'd and call'd me ‘Cousin.’ Fred
Neglected his old friends, she said.
He laugh'd, and colour'd up at this.
She was, you know, a flame of his;
But I'm not jealous! Luncheon done,
I left him, who had just begun
To talk about the Russian War
With an old Lady, Lady Carr,—
A Countess, but I'm more afraid,
A great deal, of the Lady's Maid,—
And went with Mrs. Vaughan to see
The pictures, which appear'd to be
Of sorts of horses, clowns, and cows
Call'd Wouvermans and Cuyps and Dows.
And then she took me up, to show
Her bedroom, where, long years ago,
A Queen slept. 'Tis all tapestries
297
Of Cupids, Gods, and Goddesses,
And black, carved oak. A curtain'd door
Leads thence into her soft Boudoir,
Where even her husband may but come
By favour. He, too, has his room,
Kept sacred to his solitude.
Did I not think the plan was good?
She ask'd me; but I said how small
Our house was, and that, after all,
Though Frederick would not say his prayers
At night till I was safe upstairs,
I thought it wrong to be so shy
Of being good when I was by.
‘Oh, you should humour him!’ she said,
With her sweet voice and smile; and led
The way to where the children ate
Their dinner, and Miss Williams sate.
She's only Nursery-Governess,
Yet they consider her no less
Than Lord or Lady Carr, or me.
Just think how happy she must be!
The Ball-Room, with its painted sky
Where heavy angels seem to fly,
Is a dull place; its size and gloom
Make them prefer, for drawing-room,
The Library, all done up new
And comfortable, with a view
Of Salisbury Spire between the boughs.
When she had shown me through the house,
(I wish I could have let her know
That she herself was half the show;
She is so handsome, and so kind!)
She fetch'd the children, who had dined;
And, taking one in either hand,
Show'd me how all the grounds were plann'd.
The lovely garden gently slopes
To where a curious bridge of ropes
Crosses the Avon to the Park.
We rested by the stream, to mark
The brown backs of the hovering trout.
Frank tickled one, and took it out
298
From under a stone. We saw his owls,
And awkward Cochin-China fowls,
And shaggy pony in the croft;
And then he dragg'd us to a loft,
Where pigeons, as he push'd the door,
Fann'd clear a breadth of dusty floor,
And set us coughing. I confess
I trembled for my nice silk dress.
I cannot think how Mrs. Vaughan
Ventured with that which she had on,—
A mere white wrapper, with a few
Plain trimmings of a quiet blue,
But, oh, so pretty! Then the bell
For dinner rang. I look'd quite well
(‘Quite charming,’ were the words Fred said,)
With the new gown that I've had made.
I am so proud of Frederick.
He's so high-bred and lordly-like
With Mrs. Vaughan! He's not quite so
At home with me; but that, you know,
I can't expect, or wish. 'Twould hurt,
And seem to mock at my desert.
Not but that I'm a duteous wife
To Fred; but, in another life,
Where all are fair that have been true
I hope I shall be graceful too,
Like Mrs. Vaughan. And, now, good-bye!
That happy thought has made me cry,
And feel half sorry that my cough,
In this fine air, is leaving off.
IV
From Frederick To Mrs. Graham
Honoria, trebly fair and mild
With added loves of lord and child,
Is else unalter'd. Years, which wrong
The rest, touch not her beauty, young
With youth which rather seems her clime,
Than aught that's relative to time.
299
How beyond hope was heard the prayer
I offer'd in my love's despair!
Could any, whilst there's any woe,
Be wholly blest, then she were so.
She is, and is aware of it,
Her husband's endless benefit;
But, though their daily ways reveal
The depth of private joy they feel,
'Tis not their bearing each to each
That does abroad their secret preach,
But such a lovely good-intent
To all within their government
And friendship as, 'tis well discern'd,
Each of the other must have learn'd;
For no mere dues of neighbourhood
Ever begot so blest a mood.
And fair, indeed, should be the few
God dowers with nothing else to do,
And liberal of their light, and free
To show themselves, that all may see!
For alms let poor men poorly give
The meat whereby men's bodies live;
But they of wealth are stewards wise
Whose graces are their charities.
The sunny charm about this home
Makes all to shine who thither come.
My own dear Jane has caught its grace,
And, honour'd, honours too the place.
Across the lawn I lately walk'd
Alone, and watch'd where mov'd and talk'd,
Gentle and goddess-like of air,
Honoria and some Stranger fair.
I chose a path unblest by these;
When one of the two Goddesses,
With my Wife's voice, but softer, said,
‘Will you not walk with us, dear Fred?’
She moves, indeed, the modest peer
Of all the proudest ladies here.
Unawed she talks with men who stand
300
Among the leaders of the land,
And women beautiful and wise,
With England's greatness in their eyes.
To high, traditional good-sense,
And knowledge ripe without pretence,
And human truth exactly hit
By quiet and conclusive wit,
Listens my little, homely Dove,
Mistakes the points and laughs for love;
And, after, stands and combs her hair,
And calls me much the wittiest there!
With reckless loyalty, dear Wife,
She lays herself about my life!
The joy I might have had of yore
I have not; for 'tis now no more,
With me, the lyric time of youth,
And sweet sensation of the truth.
Yet, past my hope or purpose bless'd,
In my chance choice let be confess'd
The tenderer Providence that rules
The fates of children and of fools!
I kiss'd the kind, warm neck that slept,
And from her side this morning stepp'd,
To bathe my brain from drowsy night
In the sharp air and golden light.
The dew, like frost, was on the pane.
The year begins, though fair, to wane.
There is a fragrance in its breath
Which is not of the flowers, but death;
And green above the ground appear
The lilies of another year.
I wander'd forth, and took my path
Among the bloomless aftermath;
And heard the steadfast robin sing
As if his own warm heart were Spring,
And watch'd him feed where, on the yew,
Hung honey'd drops of crimson dew;
And then return'd, by walls of peach,
And pear-trees bending to my reach,
And rose-beds with the roses gone,
301
To bright-laid breakfast. Mrs. Vaughan
Was there, none with her. I confess
I love her than of yore no less!
But she alone was loved of old;
Now love is twain, nay, manifold;
For, somehow, he whose daily life
Adjusts itself to one true wife,
Grows to a nuptial, near degree
With all that's fair and womanly.
Therefore, as more than friends, we met,
Without constraint, without regret;
The wedded yoke that each had donn'd
Seeming a sanction, not a bond.
From Mrs. Graham
Your love lacks joy, your letter says.
Yes; love requires the focal space
Of recollection or of hope,
Ere it can measure its own scope.
Too soon, too soon comes Death to show
We love more deeply than we know!
The rain, that fell upon the height
Too gently to be call'd delight,
Within the dark vale reappears
As a wild cataract of tears;
And love in life should strive to see
Sometimes what love in death would be!
Easier to love, we so should find,
It is than to be just and kind.
She's gone: shut close the coffin-lid:
What distance for another did
That death has done for her! The good,
Once gazed upon with heedless mood,
Now fills with tears the famish'd eye,
And turns all else to vanity.
'Tis sad to see, with death between,
The good we have pass'd and have not seen!
How strange appear the words of all!
302
The looks of those that live appal.
They are the ghosts, and check the breath:
There's no reality but death,
And hunger for some signal given
That we shall have our own in heaven.
But this the God of love lets be
A horrible uncertainty.
How great her smallest virtue seems,
How small her greatest fault! Ill dreams
Were those that foil'd with loftier grace
The homely kindness of her face.
'Twas here she sat and work'd, and there
She comb'd and kiss'd the children's hair;
Or, with one baby at her breast,
Another taught, or hush'd to rest.
Praise does the heart no more refuse
To the chief loveliness of use.
Her humblest good is hence most high
In the heavens of fond memory;
And Love says Amen to the word,
A prudent wife is from the Lord.
Her worst gown's kept, ('tis now the best,
As that in which she oftenest dress'd,)
For memory's sake more precious grown
Than she herself was for her own.
Poor child! foolish it seem'd to fly
To sobs instead of dignity,
When she was hurt. Now, more than all,
Heart-rending and angelical
That ignorance of what to do,
Bewilder'd still by wrong from you:
For what man ever yet had grace
Ne'er to abuse his power and place?
No magic of her voice or smile
Suddenly raised a fairy isle,
But fondness for her underwent
An unregarded increment,
Like that which lifts, through centuries,
The coral-reef within the seas,
Till, lo! the land where was the wave,
303
Alas! 'tis everywhere her grave.
VI
From Jane To Mrs. Graham
Dear Mother, I can surely tell,
Now, that I never shall get well.
Besides the warning in my mind,
All suddenly are grown so kind.
Fred stopp'd the Doctor, yesterday,
Downstairs, and, when he went away,
Came smiling back, and sat with me,
Pale, and conversing cheerfully
About the Spring, and how my cough,
In finer weather, would leave off.
I saw it all, and told him plain
I felt no hope of Spring again.
Then he, after a word of jest,
Burst into tears upon my breast,
And own'd, when he could speak, he knew
There was a little danger, too.
This made me very weak and ill,
And while, last night, I lay quite still,
And, as he fancied, in the deep,
Exhausted rest of my short sleep,
I heard, or dream'd I heard him pray:
‘Oh, Father, take her not away!
‘Let not life's dear assurance lapse
‘Into death's agonised 'Perhaps,'
‘A hope without Thy promise, where
‘Less than assurance is despair!
‘Give me some sign, if go she must,
‘That death's not worse than dust to dust,
‘Not heaven, on whose oblivious shore
‘Joy I may have, but her no more!
‘The bitterest cross, it seems to me,
‘Of all is infidelity;
‘And so, if I may choose, I'll miss
‘The kind of heaven which comes to this.
‘If doom'd, indeed, this fever ceased,
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‘To die out wholly, like a beast,
‘Forgetting all life's ill success
‘In dark and peaceful nothingness,
‘I could but say, Thy will be done;
‘For, dying thus, I were but one
‘Of seed innumerable which ne'er
‘In all the worlds shall bloom or bear.
‘I've put life past to so poor use
‘Well may'st Thou life to come refuse;
‘And justice, which the spirit contents,
‘Shall still in me all vain laments;
‘Nay, pleased, I will, while yet I live,
‘Think Thou my forfeit joy may'st give
‘To some fresh life, else unelect,
‘And heaven not feel my poor defect!
‘Only let not Thy method be
‘To make that life, and call it me;
‘Still less to sever mine in twain,
‘And tell each half to live again,
‘And count itself the whole! To die,
‘Is it love's disintegrity?
‘Answer me, 'No,' and I, with grace,
‘Will life's brief desolation face,
‘My ways, as native to the clime,
‘Adjusting to the wintry time,
‘Ev'n with a patient cheer thereof—’
He started up, hearing me cough.
Oh, Mother, now my last doubt's gone!
He likes me more than Mrs. Vaughan;
And death, which takes me from his side,
Shows me, in very deed, his bride!
VII
From Jane To Frederick
I leave this, Dear, for you to read,
For strength and hope, when I am dead.
When Grace died, I was so perplex'd,
I could not find one helpful text;
And when, a little while before,
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I saw her sobbing on the floor,
Because I told her that in heaven
She would be as the angels even,
And would not want her doll, 'tis true
A horrible fear within me grew,
That, since the preciousness of love
Went thus for nothing, mine might prove
To be no more, and heaven's bliss
Some dreadful good which is not this.
But being about to die makes clear
Many dark things. I have no fear,
Now, that my love, my grief, my joy
Is but a passion for a toy.
I cannot speak at all, I find,
The shining something in my mind,
That shows so much that, if I took
My thoughts all down, 'twould make a book.
God's Word, which lately seem'd above
The simpleness of human love,
To my death-sharpen'd hearing tells
Of little or of nothing else;
And many things I hoped were true,
When first they came, like songs, from you,
Now rise with witness past the reach
Of doubt, and I to you can teach,
As if with felt authority
And as things seen, what you taught me.
Yet how? I have no words but those
Which every one already knows:
As, ‘No man hath at any time
‘Seen God, but 'tis the love of Him
‘Made perfect, and He dwells in us,
‘If we each other love.’ Or thus,
‘My goodness misseth in extent
‘Of Thee, Lord! In the excellent
‘I know Thee; and the Saints on Earth
‘Make all my love and holy mirth.’
And further, ‘Inasmuch as ye
‘Did it to one of these, to Me
‘Ye did it, though ye nothing thought
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‘Nor knew of Me, in that ye wrought.’
What shall I dread? Will God undo
Our bond, which is all others too?
And when I meet you will you say
To my reclaiming looks, ‘Away!
‘A dearer love my bosom warms
‘With higher rights and holier charms.
‘The children, whom thou here may'st see,
‘Neighbours that mingle thee and me,
‘And gaily on impartial lyres
‘Renounce the foolish filial fires
‘They felt, with 'Praise to God on high,
‘'Goodwill to all else equally;'
‘The trials, duties, service, tears;
‘The many fond, confiding years
‘Of nearness sweet with thee apart;
‘The joy of body, mind, and heart;
‘The love that grew a reckless growth,
‘Unmindful that the marriage-oath
‘To love in an eternal style
‘Meant—only for a little while:
‘Sever'd are now those bonds earth-wrought:
‘All love, not new, stands here for nought!’
Why, it seems almost wicked, Dear,
Even to utter such a fear!
Are we not ‘heirs,’ as man and wife,
‘Together of eternal life?’
Was Paradise e'er meant to fade,
To make which marriage first was made?
Neither beneath him nor above
Could man in Eden find his Love;
Yet with him in the garden walk'd
His God, and with Him mildly talk'd!
Shall the humble preference offend
In heaven, which God did there commend?
Are ‘honourable and undefiled’
The names of aught from heaven exiled?
And are we not forbid to grieve
As without hope? Does God deceive,
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And call that hope which is despair,
Namely, the heaven we should not share?
Image and glory of the man,
As he of God, is woman. Can
This holy, sweet proportion die
Into a dull equality?
Are we not one flesh, yea, so far
More than the babe and mother are,
That sons are bid mothers to leave
And to their wives alone to cleave,
‘For they two are one flesh?’ But 'tis
In the flesh we rise. Our union is,
You know 'tis said, ‘great mystery.’
Great mockery, it appears to me;
Poor image of the spousal bond
Of Christ and Church, if loosed beyond
This life!—'Gainst which, and much more yet,
There's not a single word to set.
The speech to the scoffing Sadducee
Is not in point to you and me;
For how could Christ have taught such clods
That Cæsar's things are also God's?
The sort of Wife the Law could make
Might well be ‘hated’ for Love's sake,
And left, like money, land, or house;
For out of Christ is no true spouse.
I used to think it strange of Him
To make love's after-life so dim,
Or only clear by inference:
But God trusts much to common sense,
And only tells us what, without
His Word, we could not have found out.
On fleshly tables of the heart
He penn'd truth's feeling counterpart
In hopes that come to all: so, Dear,
Trust these, and be of happy cheer,
Nor think that he who has loved well
Is of all men most miserable.
There's much more yet I want to say,
But cannot now. You know my way
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Of feeling strong from Twelve till Two
After my wine. I'll write to you
Daily some words, which you shall have
To break the silence of the grave.
VIII
From Jane To Frederick
You think, perhaps, ‘Ah, could she know
How much I loved her!’ Dear, I do!
And you may say, ‘Of this new awe
‘Of heart which makes her fancies law,
‘These watchful duties of despair,
‘She does not dream, she cannot care!’
Frederick, you see how false that is,
Or how could I have written this?
And, should it ever cross your mind
That, now and then, you were unkind,
You never, never were at all!
Remember that! It's natural
For one like Mr. Vaughan to come,
From a morning's useful pastime, home,
And greet, with such a courteous zest,
His handsome wife, still newly dress'd,
As if the Bird of Paradise
Should daily change her plumage thrice.
He's always well, she's always gay.
Of course! But he who toils all day,
And comes home hungry, tired, or cold,
And feels 'twould do him good to scold
His wife a little, let him trust
Her love, and say the things he must,
Till sooth'd in mind by meat and rest.
If, after that, she's well caress'd,
And told how good she is, to bear
His humour, fortune makes it fair.
Women like men to be like men;
That is, at least, just now and then.
Thus, I have nothing to forgive,
But those first years, (how could I live!)
When, though I really did behave
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So stupidly, you never gave
One unkind word or look at all:
As if I was some animal
You pitied! Now, in later life,
You used me like a proper Wife.
You feel, Dear, in your present mood,
Your Jane, since she was kind and good,
A child of God, a living soul,
Was not so different, on the whole,
From Her who had a little more
Of God's best gifts: but, oh, be sure,
My dear, dear Love, to take no blame
Because you could not feel the same
Towards me, living, as when dead.
A hungry man must needs think bread
So sweet! and, only at their rise
And setting, blessings, to the eyes,
Like the sun's course, grow visible.
If you are sad, remember well,
Against delusions of despair,
That memory sees things as they were,
And not as they were misenjoy'd,
And would be still, if ought destroy'd
The glory of their hopelessness:
So that, in truth, you had me less
In days when necessary zeal
For my perfection made you feel
My faults the most, than now your love
Forgets but where it can approve.
You gain by loss, if that seem'd small
Possess'd, which, being gone, turns all
Surviving good to vanity.
Oh, Fred, this makes it sweet to die!
Say to yourself: ‘'Tis comfort yet
‘I made her that which I regret;
‘And parting might have come to pass
‘In a worse season; as it was,
‘Love an eternal temper took,
‘Dipp'd, glowing, in Death's icy brook!’
Or say, ‘On her poor feeble head
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‘This might have fallen: 'tis mine instead!
‘And so great evil sets me free
‘Henceforward from calamity.
‘And, in her little children, too,
‘How much for her I yet can do!’
And grieve not for these orphans even;
For central to the love of Heaven
Is each child as each star to space.
This truth my dying love has grace
To trust with a so sure content,
I fear I seem indifferent.
You must not think a child's small heart
Cold, because it and grief soon part.
Fanny will keep them all away,
Lest you should hear them laugh and play,
Before the funeral's over. Then
I hope you'll be yourself again,
And glad, with all your soul, to find
How God thus to the sharpest wind
Suits the shorn lambs. Instruct them, Dear,
For my sake, in His love and fear.
And show how, till their journey's done,
Not to be weary they must run.
Strive not to dissipate your grief
By any lightness. True relief
Of sorrow is by sorrow brought.
And yet for sorrow's sake, you ought
To grieve with measure. Do not spend
So good a power to no good end!
Would you, indeed, have memory stay
In the heart, lock up and put away
Relics and likenesses and all
Musings, which waste what they recall.
True comfort, and the only thing
To soothe without diminishing
A prized regret, is to match here,
By a strict life, God's love severe.
Yet, after all, by nature's course,
Feeling must lose its edge and force.
Again you'll reach the desert tracts
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Where only sin or duty acts.
But, if love always lit our path,
Where were the trial of our faith?
Oh, should the mournful honeymoon
Of death be over strangely soon,
And life-long resolutions, made
In grievous haste, as quickly fade,
Seeming the truth of grief to mock,
Think, Dearest, 'tis not by the clock
That sorrow goes! A month of tears
Is more than many, many years
Of common time. Shun, if you can,
However, any passionate plan.
Grieve with the heart; let not the head
Grieve on, when grief of heart is dead;
For all the powers of life defy
A superstitious constancy.
The only bond I hold you to
Is that which nothing can undo.
A man is not a young man twice;
And if, of his young years, he lies
A faithful score in one wife's breast,
She need not mind who has the rest.
In this do what you will, dear Love,
And feel quite sure that I approve.
And, should it chance as it may be,
Give her my wedding-ring from me;
And never dream that you can err
T'wards me by being good to her;
Nor let remorseful thoughts destroy
In you the kindly flowering joy
And pleasure of the natural life.
But don't forget your fond, dead Wife.
And, Frederick, should you ever be
Tempted to think your love of me
All fancy, since it drew its breath
So much more sweetly after death,
Remember that I never did
A single thing you once forbid;
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All poor folk liked me; and, at the end,
Your Cousin call'd me ‘Dearest Friend!’
And, now, 'twill calm your grief to know,—
You, who once loved Honoria so,—
There's kindness, that's look'd kindly on,
Between her Emily and John.
Thus, in your children, you will wed!
And John seems so much comforted,
(Like Isaac when his mother died
And fair Rebekah was his bride),
By his new hope, for losing me!
So all is happiness, you see.
And that reminds me how, last night,
I dreamt of heaven, with great delight.
A strange, kind Lady watch'd my face,
Kiss'd me, and cried, ‘His hope found grace!’
She bade me then, in the crystal floor,
Look at myself, myself no more;
And bright within the mirror shone
Honoria's smile, and yet my own!
‘And, when you talk, I hear,’ she sigh'd,
‘How much he loved her! Many a bride
‘In heaven such countersemblance wears
‘Through what Love deem'd rejected prayers.’
She would have spoken still; but, lo,
One of a glorious troop, aglow
From some great work, towards her came,
And she so laugh'd, 'twas such a flame,
Aaron's twelve jewels seem'd to mix
With the lights of the Seven Candlesticks.
IX
From Lady Clitheroe To Mrs. Graham
My dearest Aunt, the Wedding-day,
But for Jane's loss, and you away,
Was all a Bride from heaven could beg!
Skies bluer than the sparrow's egg,
And clearer than the cuckoo's call;
And such a sun! the flowers all
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With double ardour seem'd to blow!
The very daisies were a show,
Expanded with uncommon pride,
Like little pictures of the Bride.
Your Great-Niece and your Grandson were
Perfection of a pretty pair.
How well Honoria's girls turn out,
Although they never go about!
Dear me, what trouble and expense
It took to teach mine confidence!
Hers greet mankind as I've heard say
That wild things do, where beasts of prey
Were never known, nor any men
Have met their fearless eyes till then.
Their grave, inquiring trust to find
All creatures of their simple kind
Quite disconcerts bold coxcombry,
And makes less perfect candour shy.
Ah, Mrs. Graham! people may scoff,
But how your home-kept girls go off!
How Hymen hastens to unband
The waist that ne'er felt waltzer's hand!
At last I see my Sister's right,
And I've told Maud this very night,
(But, oh, my daughters have such wills!)
To knit, and only dance quadrilles.
You say Fred never writes to you
Frankly, as once he used to do,
About himself; and you complain
He shared with none his grief for Jane.
It all comes of the foolish fright
Men feel at the word, hypocrite.
Although, when first in love, sometimes
They rave in letters, talk, and rhymes,
When once they find, as find they must.
How hard 'tis to be hourly just
To those they love, they are dumb for shame,
Where we, you see, talk on the same.
Honoria, to whose heart alone
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He seems to open all his own,
At times has tears in her kind eyes,
After their private colloquies.
He's her most favour'd guest, and moves
My spleen by his impartial loves.
His pleasure has some inner spring
Depending not on anything.
Petting our Polly, none e'er smiled
More fondly on his favourite child;
Yet, playing with his own, it is
Somehow as if it were not his.
He means to go again to sea,
Now that the wedding's over. He
Will leave to Emily and John
The little ones to practise on;
And Major-domo, Mrs. Rouse,
A deal old soul from Wilton House,
Will scold the housemaids and the cook,
Till Emily has learn'd to look
A little braver than a lamb
Surprised by dogs without its dam!
Do, dear Aunt, use your influence,
And try to teach some plain good sense
To Mary. 'Tis not yet too late
To make her change her chosen state
Of single silliness. In truth,
I fancy that, with fading youth,
Her will now wavers. Yesterday,
Though, till the Bride was gone away,
Joy shone from Mary's loving heart,
I found her afterwards apart,
Hysterically sobbing. I
Knew much too well to ask her why.
This marrying of Nieces daunts
The bravest souls of maiden Aunts.
Though Sisters' children often blend
Sweetly the bonds of child and friend,
They are but reeds to rest upon.
When Emily comes back with John,
Her right to go downstairs before
Aunt Mary will but be the more
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Observed if kindly waived, and how
Shall these be as they were, when now
Niece has her John, and Aunt the sense
Of her superior innocence?
Somehow, all loves, however fond,
Prove lieges of the nuptial bond;
And she who dares at this to scoff,
Finds all the rest in time drop off;
While marriage, like a mushroom-ring,
Spreads its sure circle every Spring.
She twice refused George Vane, you know;
Yet, when he died three years ago
In the Indian war, she put on gray,
And wears no colours to this day.
And she it is who charges me,
Dear Aunt, with ‘inconsistency!’
From Frederick To Honoria
Cousin, my thoughts no longer try
To cast the fashion of the sky.
Imagination can extend
Scarcely in part to comprehend
The sweetness of our common food
Ambrosial, which ingratitude
And impious inadvertence waste,
Studious to eat but not to taste.
And who can tell what's yet in store
There, but that earthly things have more
Of all that makes their inmost bliss,
And life's an image still of this,
But haply such a glorious one
As is the rainbow of the sun?
Sweet are your words, but, after all
Their mere reversal may befall
The partners of His glories who
Daily is crucified anew:
Splendid privations, martyrdoms
To which no weak remission comes,
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Perpetual passion for the good
Of them that feel no gratitude,
Far circlings, as of planets' fires,
Round never-to-be-reach'd desires,
Whatever rapturously sighs
That life is love, love sacrifice.
All I am sure of heaven is this:
Howe'er the mode, I shall not miss
One true delight which I have known.
Not on the changeful earth alone
Shall loyalty remain unmoved
T'wards everything I ever loved.
So Heaven's voice calls, like Rachel's voice
To Jacob in the field, ‘Rejoice!
‘Serve on some seven more sordid years,
‘Too short for weariness or tears;
‘Serve on; then, oh, Beloved, well-tried,
‘Take me for ever as thy Bride!’
XI
From Mary Churchill To The Dean
Charles does me honour, but 'twere vain
To reconsider now again,
And so to doubt the clear-shown truth
I sought for, and received, when youth,
Being fair, and woo'd by one whose love
Was lovely, fail'd my mind to move.
God bids them by their own will go,
Who ask again the things they know!
I grieve for my infirmity,
And ignorance of how to be
Faithful, at once, to the heavenly life,
And the fond duties of a wife.
Narrow am I and want the art
To love two things with all my heart.
Occupied singly in His search,
Who, in the Mysteries of the Church,
Returns, and calls them Clouds of Heaven,
I tread a road, straight, hard, and even;
But fear to wander all confused,
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By two-fold fealty abused.
Either should I the one forget,
Or scantly pay the other's debt.
You bid me, Father, count the cost.
I have; and all that must be lost
I feel as only woman can.
To make the heart's wealth of some man,
And through the untender world to move,
Wrapt safe in his superior love,
How sweet! How sweet the household round
Of duties, and their narrow bound,
So plain, that to transgress were hard,
Yet full of manifest reward!
The charities not marr'd, like mine,
With chance of thwarting laws divine;
The world's regards and just delight
In one that's clearly, kindly right,
How sweet! Dear Father, I endure,
Not without sharp regret, be sure,
To give up such glad certainty,
For what, perhaps, may never be.
For nothing of my state I know,
But that t'ward heaven I seem to go,
As one who fondly landward hies
Along a deck that seaward flies.
With every year, meantime, some grace
Of earthly happiness gives place
To humbling ills, the very charms
Of youth being counted, henceforth, harms:
To blush already seems absurd;
Nor know I whether I should herd
With girls or wives, or sadlier balk
Maids' merriment or matrons' talk.
But strait's the gate of life! O'er late,
Besides, 'twere now to change my fate:
For flowers and fruit of love to form,
It must be Spring as well as warm.
The world's delight my soul dejects,
Revenging all my disrespects
Of old, with incapacity
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To chime with even its harmless glee,
Which sounds, from fields beyond my range,
Like fairies' music, thin and strange.
With something like remorse, I grant
The world has beauty which I want;
And if, instead of judging it,
I at its Council chance to sit,
Or at its gay and order'd Feast,
My place seems lower than the least.
The conscience of the life to be
Smites me with inefficiency,
And makes me all unfit to bless
With comfortable earthliness
The rest-desiring brain of man.
Finally, then, I fix my plan
To dwell with Him that dwells apart
In the highest heaven and lowliest heart;
Nor will I, to my utter loss,
Look to pluck roses from the Cross.
As for the good of human love,
'Twere countercheck almost enough
To think that one must die before
The other; and perhaps 'tis more
In love's last interest to do
Nought the least contrary thereto,
Than to be blest, and be unjust,
Or suffer injustice; as they must,
Without a miracle, whose pact
Compels to mutual life and act,
Whether love shines, or darkness sleeps
Cold on the spirit's changeful deeps.
Enough if, to my earthly share,
Fall gleams that keep me from despair.
Happy the things we here discern;
More happy those for which we yearn;
But measurelessly happy above
All else are those we guess not of!
XII
From Felix To Honoria
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Dearest, my Love and Wife, 'tis long
Ago I closed the unfinish'd song
Which never could be finish'd; nor
Will ever Poet utter more
Of love than I did, watching well
To lure to speech the unspeakable!
‘Why, having won her, do I woo?’
That final strain to the last height flew
Of written joy, which wants the smile
And voice that are, indeed, the while
They last, the very things you speak,
Honoria, who mak'st music weak
With ways that say, ‘Shall I not be
‘As kind to all as Heaven to me?’
And yet, ah, twenty-fold my Bride!
Rising, this twentieth festal-tide,
You still soft sleeping, on this day
Of days, some words I long to say,
Some words superfluously sweet
Of fresh assurance, thus to greet
Your waking eyes, which never grow
Weary of telling what I know
So well, yet only well enough
To wish for further news thereof.
Here, in this early autumn dawn,
By windows opening on the lawn,
Where sunshine seems asleep, though bright,
And shadows yet are sharp with night,
And, further on, the wealthy wheat
Bends in a golden drowse, how sweet
To sit and cast my careless looks
Around my walls of well-read books,
Wherein is all that stands redeem'd
From time's huge wreck, all men have dream'd
Of truth, and all by poets known
Of feeling, and in weak sort shown,
And, turning to my heart again,
To find I have what makes them vain,
The thanksgiving mind, which wisdom sums,
And you, whereby it freshly comes
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As on that morning, (can there be
Twenty-two years 'twixt it and me?)
When, thrill'd with hopeful love I rose
And came in haste to Sarum Close,
Past many a homestead slumbering white
In lonely and pathetic light,
Merely to fancy which drawn blind
Of thirteen had my Love behind,
And in her sacred neighbourhood
To feel that sweet scorn of all good
But her, which let the wise forfend
When wisdom learns to comprehend!
Dearest, as each returning May
I see the season new and gay
With new joy and astonishment,
And Nature's infinite ostent
Of lovely flowers in wood and mead,
That weet not whether any heed,
So see I, daily wondering, you,
And worship with a passion new
The Heaven that visibly allows
Its grace to go about my house,
The partial Heaven, that, though I err
And mortal am, gave all to her
Who gave herself to me. Yet I
Boldly thank Heaven, (and so defy
The beggarly soul'd humbleness
Which fears God's bounty to confess,)
That I was fashion'd with a mind
Seeming for this great gift design'd,
So naturally it moved above
All sordid contraries of love,
Strengthen'd in youth with discipline
Of light, to follow the divine
Vision, (which ever to the dark
Is such a plague as was the ark
In Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron,) still
Discerning with the docile will
Which comes of full persuaded thought,
That intimacy in love is nought
Without pure reverence, whereas this,
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In tearfullest banishment, is bliss.
And so, dearest Honoria, I
Have never learn'd the weary sigh
Of those that to their love-feasts went,
Fed, and forgot the Sacrament;
And not a trifle now occurs
But sweet initiation stirs
Of new-discover'd joy, and lends
To feeling change that never ends;
And duties, which the many irk,
Are made all wages and no work.
How sing of such things save to her,
Love's self, so love's interpreter?
How the supreme rewards confess
Which crown the austere voluptuousness
Of heart, that earns, in midst of wealth,
The appetite of want and health,
Relinquishes the pomp of life
And beauty to the pleasant Wife
At home, and does all joy despise
As out of place but in her eyes?
How praise the years and gravity
That make each favour seem to be
A lovelier weakness for her lord?
And, ah, how find the tender word
To tell aright of love that glows
The fairer for the fading rose?
Of frailty which can weight the arm
To lean with thrice its girlish charm?
Of grace which, like this autumn day,
Is not the sad one of decay,
Yet one whose pale brow pondereth
The far-off majesty of death?
How tell the crowd, whom passion rends,
That love grows mild as it ascends?
That joy's most high and distant mood
Is lost, not found in dancing blood;
Albeit kind acts and smiling eyes,
And all those fond realities
Which are love's words, in us mean more
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Delight than twenty years before?
How, Dearest, finish, without wrong
To the speechless heart, the unfinish'd song,
Its high, eventful passages
Consisting, say, of things like these:—
One morning, contrary to law,
Which, for the most, we held in awe,
Commanding either not to intrude
On the other's place of solitude
Or solitary mind, for fear
Of coming there when God was near,
And finding so what should be known
To Him who is merciful alone,
And views the working ferment base
Of waking flesh and sleeping grace,
Not as we view, our kindness check'd
By likeness of our own defect,
I, venturing to her room, because
(Mark the excuse!) my Birthday 'twas,
Saw, here across a careless chair,
A ball-dress flung, as light as air,
And, here, beside a silken couch,
Pillows which did the pressure vouch
Of pious knees, (sweet piety!
Of goodness made and charity,
If gay looks told the heart's glad sense,
Much rather than of penitence,)
And, on the couch, an open book,
And written list—I did not look,
Yet just in her clear writing caught:—
‘Habitual faults of life and thought
‘Which most I need deliverance from.’
I turn'd aside, and saw her come
Adown the filbert-shaded way,
Beautified with her usual gay
Hypocrisy of perfectness,
Which made her heart, and mine no less,
So happy! And she cried to me,
‘You lose by breaking rules, you see!
‘Your Birthday treat is now half-gone
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‘Of seeing my new ball-dress on.’
And, meeting so my lovely Wife,
A passing pang, to think that life
Was mortal, when I saw her laugh,
Shaped in my mind this epitaph:
‘Faults had she, child of Adam's stem,
‘But only Heaven knew of them.’
Or thus:
For many a dreadful day,
In sea-side lodgings sick she lay,
Noteless of love, nor seem'd to hear
The sea, on one side, thundering near,
Nor, on the other, the loud Ball
Held nightly in the public hall;
Nor vex'd they my short slumbers, though
I woke up if she breathed too low.
Thus, for three months, with terrors rife,
The pending of her precious life
I watch'd o'er; and the danger, at last,
The kind Physician said, was past.
Howbeit, for seven harsh weeks the East
Breathed witheringly, and Spring's growth ceased,
And so she only did not die;
Until the bright and blighting sky
Changed into cloud, and the sick flowers
Remember'd their perfumes, and showers
Of warm, small rain refreshing flew
Before the South, and the Park grew,
In three nights, thick with green. Then she
Revived, no less than flower and tree,
In the mild air, and, the fourth day,
Look'd supernaturally gay
With large, thanksgiving eyes, that shone,
The while I tied her bonnet on,
So that I led her to the glass,
And bade her see how fair she was,
And how love visibly could shine.
Profuse of hers, desiring mine,
And mindful I had loved her most
When beauty seem'd a vanish'd boast,
324
She laugh'd. I press'd her then to me,
Nothing but soft humility;
Nor e'er enhanced she with such charms
Her acquiescence in my arms.
And, by her sweet love-weakness made
Courageous, powerful, and glad,
In a clear illustration high
Of heavenly affection, I
Perceived that utter love is all
The same as to be rational,
And that the mind and heart of love,
Which think they cannot do enough,
Are truly the everlasting doors
Wherethrough, all unpetition'd, pours
The eternal pleasance. Wherefore we
Had innermost tranquillity,
And breathed one life with such a sense
Of friendship and of confidence,
That, recollecting the sure word:
‘If two of you are in accord,
‘On earth, as touching any boon
‘Which ye shall ask, it shall be done
‘In heaven,’ we ask'd that heaven's bliss
Might ne'er be any less than this;
And, for that hour, we seem'd to have
The secret of the joy we gave.
How sing of such things, save to her,
Love's self, so love's interpreter?
How read from such a homely page
In the ear of this unhomely age?
'Tis now as when the Prophet cried:
‘The nation hast Thou multiplied,
‘But Thou hast not increased the joy!’
And yet, ere wrath or rot destroy
Of England's state the ruin fair,
Oh, might I so its charm declare,
That, in new Lands, in far-off years,
Delighted he should cry that hears:
‘Great is the Land that somewhat best
‘Works, to the wonder of the rest!
‘We, in our day, have better done
325
‘This thing or that than any one;
‘And who but, still admiring, sees
‘How excellent for images
‘Was Greece, for laws how wise was Rome;
‘But read this Poet, and say if home
‘And private love did e'er so smile
‘As in that ancient English isle!’
XIII
From Lady Clitheroe To Emily Graham
My dearest Niece, I'm charm'd to hear
The scenery's fine at Windermere,
And glad a six-weeks' wife defers
In the least to wisdom not yet hers.
But, Child, I've no advice to give!
Rules only make it hard to live.
And where's the good of having been
Well taught from seven to seventeen,
If, married, you may not leave off,
And say, at last, ‘I'm good enough!’
Weeding out folly, still leave some.
It gives both lightness and aplomb.
We know, however wise by rule,
Woman is still by nature fool;
And men have sense to like her all
The more when she is natural.
'Tis true that, if we choose, we can
Mock to a miracle the man;
But iron in the fire red hot,
Though 'tis the heat, the fire 'tis not:
And who, for such a feint, would pledge
The babe's and woman's privilege,
No duties and a thousand rights?
Besides, defect love's flow incites,
As water in a well will run
Only the while 'tis drawn upon.
‘Point de culte sans mystère,’ you say,
‘And what if that should die away?’
Child, never fear that either could
326
Pull from Saint Cupid's face the hood.
The follies natural to each
Surpass the other's moral reach.
Just think how men, with sword and gun,
Will really fight, and never run;
And all in sport: they would have died,
For sixpence more, on the other side!
A woman's heart must ever warm
At such odd ways: and so we charm
By strangeness which, the more they mark,
The more men get into the dark.
The marvel, by familiar life,
Grows, and attaches to the wife
By whom it grows. Thus, silly Girl,
To John you'll always be the pearl
In the oyster of the universe;
And, though in time he'll treat you worse,
He'll love you more, you need not doubt,
And never, never find you out!
My Dear, I know that dreadful thought
That you've been kinder than you ought.
It almost makes you hate him! Yet
'Tis wonderful how men forget,
And how a merciful Providence
Deprives our husbands of all sense
Of kindness past, and makes them deem
We always were what now we seem.
For their own good we must, you know,
However plain the way we go,
Still make it strange with stratagem;
And instinct tells us that, to them,
'Tis always right to bate their price.
Yet I must say they're rather nice,
And, oh, so easily taken in
To cheat them almost seems a sin!
And, Dearest, 'twould be most unfair
To John your feelings to compare
With his, or any man's; for she
Who loves at all loves always; he,
Who loves far more, loves yet by fits,
And when the wayward wind remits
327
To blow, his feelings faint and drop
Like forge-flames when the bellows stop.
Such things don't trouble you at all
When once you know they're natural.
My love to John; and, pray, my Dear,
Don't let me see you for a year;
Unless, indeed, ere then you've learn'd
That Beauties wed are blossoms turn'd
To unripe codlings, meant to dwell
In modest shadow hidden well,
Till this green stage again permute
To glow of flowers with good of fruit.
I will not have my patience tried
By your absurd new-married pride,
That scorns the world's slow-gather'd sense,
Ties up the hands of Providence,
Rules babes, before there's hope of one,
Better than mothers e'er have done,
And, for your poor particular,
Neglects delights and graces far
Beyond your crude and thin conceit.
Age has romance almost as sweet
And much more generous than this
Of yours and John's. With all the bliss
Of the evenings when you coo'd with him,
And upset home for your sole whim,
You might have envied, were you wise,
The tears within your Mother's eyes,
Which, I dare say, you did not see.
But let that pass! Yours yet will be,
I hope, as happy, kind, and true
As lives which now seem void to you.
Have you not seen shop-painters paste
Their gold in sheets, then rub to waste
Full half, and, lo, you read the name?
Well, Time, my Dear, does much the same
With this unmeaning glare of love.
But, though you yet may much improve,
In marriage, be it still confess'd,
There's little merit at the best.
328
Some half-a-dozen lives, indeed,
Which else would not have had the need,
Get food and nurture, as the price
Of antedated Paradise;
But what's that to the varied want
Succour'd by Mary, your dear Aunt,
Who put the bridal crown thrice by,
For that of which virginity,
So used, has hope? She sends her love,
As usual with a proof thereof—
Papa's discourse, which you, no doubt,
Heard none of, neatly copied out
Whilst we were dancing. All are well,
Adieu, for there's the Luncheon Bell.
The Wedding Sermon
The truths of Love are like the sea
For clearness and for mystery.
Of that sweet love which, startling, wakes
Maiden and Youth, and mostly breaks
The word of promise to the ear,
But keeps it, after many a year,
To the full spirit, how shall I speak?
My memory with age is weak,
And I for hopes do oft suspect
The things I seem to recollect.
Yet who but must remember well
'Twas this made heaven intelligible
As motive, though 'twas small the power
The heart might have, for even an hour,
To hold possession of the height
Of nameless pathos and delight!
II
In Godhead rise, thither flow back
All loves, which, as they keep or lack,
In their return, the course assign'd,
Are virtue or sin. Love's every kind,
329
Lofty or low, of spirit or sense,
Desire is, or benevolence.
He who is fairer, better, higher
Than all His works, claims all desire,
And in His Poor, His Proxies, asks
Our whole benevolence: He tasks,
Howbeit, His People by their powers;
And if, my Children, you, for hours,
Daily, untortur'd in the heart,
Can worship, and time's other part
Give, without rough recoils of sense,
To the claims ingrate of indigence,
Happy are you, and fit to be
Wrought to rare heights of sanctity,
For the humble to grow humbler at.
But if the flying spirit falls flat,
After the modest spell of prayer
That saves the day from sin and care,
And the upward eye a void descries,
And praises are hypocrisies,
And, in the soul, o'erstrain'd for grace,
A godless anguish grows apace;
Or, if impartial charity
Seems, in the act, a sordid lie,
Do not infer you cannot please
God, or that He His promises
Postpones, but be content to love
No more than He accounts enough.
Account them poor enough who want
Any good thing which you can grant;
And fathom well the depths of life
In loves of Husband and of Wife,
Child, Mother, Father; simple keys
To what cold faith calls mysteries.
III
The love of marriage claims, above
All other kinds, the name of love,
As perfectest, though not so high
As love which Heaven with single eye
Considers. Equal and entire,
Therein benevolence, desire,
330
Elsewhere ill-join'd or found apart,
Become the pulses of one heart,
Which now contracts, and now dilates,
And, both to the height exalting, mates
Self-seeking to self-sacrifice.
Nay, in its subtle paradise
(When purest) this one love unites
All modes of these two opposites,
All balanced in accord so rich
Who may determine which is which?
Chiefly God's Love does in it live,
And nowhere else so sensitive;
For each is all that the other's eye,
In the vague vast of Deity,
Can comprehend and so contain
As still to touch and ne'er to strain
The fragile nerves of joy. And then
'Tis such a wise goodwill to men
And politic economy
As in a prosperous State we see,
Where every plot of common land
Is yielded to some private hand
To fence about and cultivate.
Does narrowness its praise abate?
Nay, the infinite of man is found
But in the beating of its bound,
And, if a brook its banks o'erpass,
'Tis not a sea, but a morass.
IV
No giddiest hope, no wildest guess
Of Love's most innocent loftiness
Had dared to dream of its own worth,
Till Heaven's bold sun-gleam lit the earth.
Christ's marriage with the Church is more,
My Children, than a metaphor.
The heaven of heavens is symbol'd where
The torch of Psyche flash'd despair.
But here I speak of heights, and heights
Are hardly scaled. The best delights
Of even this homeliest passion, are
331
In the most perfect souls so rare,
That they who feel them are as men
Sailing the Southern ocean, when,
At midnight, they look up, and eye
The starry Cross, and a strange sky
Of brighter stars; and sad thoughts come
To each how far he is from home.
Love's inmost nuptial sweetness see
In the doctrine of virginity!
Could lovers, at their dear wish, blend,
'Twould kill the bliss which they intend;
For joy is love's obedience
Against the law of natural sense;
And those perpetual yearnings sweet
Of lives which dream that they can meet
Are given that lovers never may
Be without sacrifice to lay
On the high altar of true love,
With tears of vestal joy. To move
Frantic, like comets to our bliss,
Forgetting that we always miss,
And so to seek and fly the sun,
By turns, around which love should run,
Perverts the ineffable delight
Of service guerdon'd with full sight
And pathos of a hopeless want,
To an unreal victory's vaunt,
And plaint of an unreal defeat.
Yet no less dangerous misconceit
May also be of the virgin will,
Whose goal is nuptial blessing still,
And whose true being doth subsist,
There where the outward forms are miss'd,
In those who learn and keep the sense
Divine of ‘due benevolence,’
Seeking for aye, without alloy
Of selfish thought, another's joy,
And finding in degrees unknown
That which in act they shunn'd, their own.
For all delights of earthly love
332
Are shadows of the heavens, and move
As other shadows do; they flee
From him that follows them; and he
Who flies, for ever finds his feet
Embraced by their pursuings sweet.
VI
Then, even in love humane, do I
Not counsel aspirations high,
So much as sweet and regular
Use of the good in which we are.
As when a man along the ways
Walks, and a sudden music plays,
His step unchanged, he steps in time,
So let your Grace with Nature chime.
Her primal forces burst, like straws,
The bonds of uncongenial laws.
Right life is glad as well as just,
And, rooted strong in ‘This I must,’
It bears aloft the blossom gay
And zephyr-toss'd, of ‘This I may;’
Whereby the complex heavens rejoice
In fruits of uncommanded choice.
Be this your rule: seeking delight,
Esteem success the test of right;
For 'gainst God's will much may be done,
But nought enjoy'd, and pleasures none
Exist, but, like to springs of steel,
Active no longer than they feel
The checks that make them serve the soul,
They take their vigour from control.
A man need only keep but well
The Church's indispensable
First precepts, and she then allows,
Nay, more, she bids him, for his spouse,
Leave even his heavenly Father's awe,
At times, and His immaculate law,
Construed in its extremer sense.
Jehovah's mild magnipotence
Smiles to behold His children play
In their own free and childish way,
And can His fullest praise descry
333
In the exuberant liberty
Of those who, having understood
The glory of the Central Good,
And how souls ne'er may match or merge,
But as they thitherward converge,
Take in love's innocent gladness part
With infantine, untroubled heart,
And faith that, straight t'wards heaven's far Spring,
Sleeps, like the swallow, on the wing.
VII
Lovers, once married, deem their bond
Then perfect, scanning nought beyond
For love to do but to sustain
The spousal hour's delighted gain.
But time and a right life alone
Fulfil the promise then foreshown.
The Bridegroom and the Bride withal
Are but unwrought material
Of marriage; nay, so far is love,
Thus crown'd, from being thereto enough,
Without the long, compulsive awe
Of duty, that the bond of law
Does oftener marriage-love evoke,
Than love, which does not wear the yoke
Of legal vows, submits to be
Self-rein'd from ruinous liberty.
Lovely is love; but age well knows
'Twas law which kept the lover's vows
Inviolate through the year or years
Of worship pieced with panic fears,
When she who lay within his breast
Seem'd of all women perhaps the best,
But not the whole, of womankind,
Or love, in his yet wayward mind,
Had ghastly doubts its precious life
Was pledged for aye to the wrong wife.
Could it be else? A youth pursues
A maid, whom chance, not he, did choose,
Till to his strange arms hurries she
In a despair of modesty.
334
Then, simply and without pretence
Of insight or experience,
They plight their vows. The parents say
‘We cannot speak them yea or nay;
‘The thing proceedeth from the Lord!’
And wisdom still approves their word;
For God created so these two
They match as well as others do
That take more pains, and trust Him less
Who never fails, if ask'd, to bless
His children's helpless ignorance
And blind election of life's chance.
Verily, choice not matters much,
If but the woman's truly such,
And the young man has led the life
Without which how shall e'er the wife
Be the one woman in the world?
Love's sensitive tendrils sicken, curl'd
Round folly's former stay; for 'tis
The doom of all unsanction'd bliss
To mock some good that, gain'd, keeps still
The taint of the rejected ill.
VIII
Howbeit, though both were perfect, she
Of whom the maid was prophecy
As yet lives not, and Love rebels
Against the law of any else;
And, as a steed takes blind alarm,
Disowns the rein, and hunts his harm,
So, misdespairing word and act
May now perturb the happiest pact.
The more, indeed, is love, the more
Peril to love is now in store.
Against it nothing can be done
But only this: leave ill alone!
Who tries to mend his wife succeeds
As he who knows not what he needs.
He much affronts a worth as high
As his, and that equality
Of spirits in which abide the grace
335
And joy of her subjected place;
And does the still growth check and blurr
Of contraries, confusing her
Who better knows what he desires
Than he, and to that mark aspires
With perfect zeal, and a deep wit
Which nothing helps but trusting it.
So, loyally o'erlooking all
In which love's promise short may fall
Of full performance, honour that
As won, which aye love worketh at!
It is but as the pedigree
Of perfectness which is to be
That our best good can honour claim;
Yet honour to deny were shame
And robbery; for it is the mould
Wherein to beauty runs the gold
Of good intention, and the prop
That lifts to the sun the earth-drawn crop
Of human sensibilities.
Such honour, with a conduct wise
In common things, as, not to steep
The lofty mind of love in sleep
Of over much familiarness;
Not to degrade its kind caress,
As those do that can feel no more,
So give themselves to pleasures o'er;
Not to let morning-sloth destroy
The evening-flower, domestic joy;
Not by uxoriousness to chill
The warm devotion of her will
Who can but half her love confer
On him that cares for nought but her;—
These, and like obvious prudences
Observed, he's safest that relies,
For the hope she will not always seem,
Caught, but a laurel or a stream,
On time; on her unsearchable
Love-wisdom; on their work done well,
336
Discreet with mutual aid; on might
Of shared affliction and delight;
On pleasures that so childish be
They're 'shamed to let the children see,
By which life keeps the valleys low
Where love does naturally grow;
On much whereof hearts have account,
Though heads forget; on babes, chief fount
Of union, and for which babes are
No less than this for them, nay far
More, for the bond of man and wife
To the very verge of future life
Strengthens, and yearns for brighter day,
While others, with their use, decay;
And, though true marriage purpose keeps
Of offspring, as the centre sleeps
Within the wheel, transmitting thence
Fury to the circumference,
Love's self the noblest offspring is,
And sanction of the nuptial kiss;
Lastly, on either's primal curse,
Which help and sympathy reverse
To blessings.
IX
God, who may be well
Jealous of His chief miracle,
Bids sleep the meddling soul of man,
Through the long process of this plan,
Whereby, from his unweeting side,
The Wife's created, and the Bride,
That chance one of her strange, sweet sex
He to his glad life did annex,
Grows more and more, by day and night,
The one in the whole world opposite
Of him, and in her nature all
So suited and reciprocal
To his especial form of sense,
Affection, and intelligence,
That, whereas love at first had strange
Relapses into lust of change,
It now finds (wondrous this, but true!)
337
The long-accustom'd only new,
And the untried common; and, whereas
An equal seeming danger was
Of likeness lacking joy and force,
Or difference reaching to divorce,
Now can the finish'd lover see
Marvel of me most far from me,
Whom without pride he may admire,
Without Narcissus' doom desire,
Serve without selfishness, and love
‘Even as himself,’ in sense above
Niggard ‘as much,’ yea, as she is
The only part of him that's his.
I do not say love's youth returns;
That joy which so divinely yearns!
But just esteem of present good
Shows all regret such gratitude
As if the sparrow in her nest,
Her woolly young beneath her breast,
Should these despise, and sorrow for
Her five blue eggs that are no more.
Nor say I the fruit has quite the scope
Of the flower's spiritual hope.
Love's best is service, and of this,
Howe'er devout, use dulls the bliss.
Though love is all of earth that's dear,
Its home, my Children, is not here:
The pathos of eternity
Does in its fullest pleasure sigh.
Be grateful and most glad thereof.
Parting, as 'tis, is pain enough.
If love, by joy, has learn'd to give
Praise with the nature sensitive,
At last, to God, we then possess
The end of mortal happiness,
And henceforth very well may wait
The unbarring of the golden gate,
Wherethrough, already, faith can see
That apter to each wish than we
338
Is God, and curious to bless
Better than we devise or guess;
Not without condescending craft
To disappoint with bliss, and waft
Our vessels frail, when worst He mocks
The heart with breakers and with rocks,
To happiest havens. You have heard
Your bond death-sentenced by His Word.
What, if, in heaven, the name be o'er,
Because the thing is so much more?
All are, 'tis writ, as angels there,
Nor male nor female. Each a stair
In the hierarchical ascent
Of active and recipient
Affections, what if all are both
By turn, as they themselves betroth
To adoring what is next above,
Or serving what's below their love?
Of this we are certified, that we
Are shaped here for eternity,
So that a careless word will make
Its dint upon the form we take
For ever. If, then, years have wrought
Two strangers to become, in thought,
Will, and affection, but one man
For likeness, as none others can,
Without like process, shall this tree
The king of all the forest, be,
Alas, the only one of all
That shall not lie where it doth fall?
Shall this unflagging flame, here nurs'd
By everything, yea, when reversed,
Blazing, in fury, brighter, wink,
Flicker, and into darkness shrink,
When all else glows, baleful or brave,
In the keen air beyond the grave?
Beware; for fiends in triumph laugh
O'er him who learns the truth by half!
Beware; for God will not endure
For men to make their hope more pure
339
Than His good promise, or require
Another than the five-string'd lyre
Which He has vow'd again to the hands
Devout of him who understands
To tune it justly here! Beware
The Powers of Darkness and the Air,
Which lure to empty heights man's hope,
Bepraising heaven's ethereal cope,
But covering with their cloudy cant
Its ground of solid adamant,
That strengthens ether for the flight
Of angels, makes and measures height,
And in materiality
Exceeds our Earth's in such degree
As all else Earth exceeds! Do I
Here utter aught too dark or high?
Have you not seen a bird's beak slay
Proud Psyche, on a summer's day?
Down fluttering drop the frail wings four,
Missing the weight which made them soar.
Spirit is heavy nature's wing,
And is not rightly anything
Without its burthen, whereas this,
Wingless, at least a maggot is,
And, wing'd, is honour and delight
Increasing endlessly with height.
XI
If unto any here that chance
Fell not, which makes a month's romance,
Remember, few wed whom they would.
And this, like all God's laws, is good;
For nought's so sad, the whole world o'er,
As much love which has once been more.
Glorious for light is the earliest love;
But worldly things, in the rays thereof,
Extend their shadows, every one
False as the image which the sun
At noon or eve dwarfs or protracts.
A perilous lamp to light men's acts!
By Heaven's kind, impartial plan,
Well-wived is he that's truly man
340
If but the woman's womanly,
As such a man's is sure to be.
Joy of all eyes and pride of life
Perhaps she is not; the likelier wife!
If it be thus; if you have known,
(As who has not?) some heavenly one,
Whom the dull background of despair
Help'd to show forth supremely fair;
If memory, still remorseful, shapes
Young Passion bringing Eshcol grapes
To travellers in the Wilderness,
This truth will make regret the less:
Mighty in love as graces are,
God's ordinance is mightier far;
And he who is but just and kind
And patient, shall for guerdon find,
Before long, that the body's bond
Is all else utterly beyond
In power of love to actualise
The soul's bond which it signifies,
And even to deck a wife with grace
External in the form and face.
A five years' wife, and not yet fair?
Blame let the man, not Nature, bear!
For, as the sun, warming a bank
Where last year's grass droops gray and dank,
Evokes the violet, bids disclose
In yellow crowds the fresh primrose,
And foxglove hang her flushing head,
So vernal love, where all seems dead,
Makes beauty abound.
Then was that nought,
That trance of joy beyond all thought,
The vision, in one, of womanhood?
Nay, for all women holding good,
Should marriage such a prologue want,
'Twere sordid and most ignorant
Profanity; but, having this,
'Tis honour now, and future bliss;
For where is he that, knowing the height
And depth of ascertain'd delight,
341
Inhumanly henceforward lies
Content with mediocrities!
~ Coventry Patmore

IN CHAPTERS



  146 Integral Yoga
   4 Yoga
   3 Poetry
   3 Philosophy
   3 Occultism
   2 Psychology
   2 Education
   2 Christianity
   1 Integral Theory


  102 The Mother
   87 Sri Aurobindo
   73 Satprem
   20 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   4 Swami Krishnananda
   3 A B Purani
   2 Saint John of Climacus
   2 Plato
   2 James George Frazer


   20 The Life Divine
   18 The Synthesis Of Yoga
   11 Letters On Yoga IV
   9 Agenda Vol 08
   9 Agenda Vol 04
   8 On Thoughts And Aphorisms
   8 Agenda Vol 10
   6 Record of Yoga
   6 Questions And Answers 1957-1958
   6 Prayers And Meditations
   6 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01
   6 Agenda Vol 07
   6 Agenda Vol 05
   5 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03
   5 Agenda Vol 12
   5 Agenda Vol 09
   5 Agenda Vol 02
   4 The Study and Practice of Yoga
   4 Some Answers From The Mother
   4 Letters On Yoga II
   4 Agenda Vol 03
   4 Agenda Vol 01
   3 The Mother With Letters On The Mother
   3 On the Way to Supermanhood
   3 Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo
   3 Essays In Philosophy And Yoga
   3 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07
   3 Agenda Vol 11
   2 The Red Book Liber Novus
   2 The Ladder of Divine Ascent
   2 The Golden Bough
   2 Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness
   2 Savitri
   2 Questions And Answers 1954
   2 Questions And Answers 1953
   2 On Education
   2 Letters On Yoga III
   2 Letters On Yoga I
   2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 08
   2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02
   2 Agenda Vol 13
   2 Agenda Vol 06


0.02 - The Three Steps of Nature, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  
  It is not mental incapacity, but the long rejection or seclusion from opportunity and withdrawal of the awakening impulse that creates the savage. Barbarism is an intermediate sleep, not an original darkness.
  

0.03 - III - The Evening Sittings, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Kabbalah
  
   What was talked in the small group informally was not intended by Sri Aurobindo to be the independent expression of his views on the subjects, events or the persons discussed. Very often what he said was in answer to the spiritual need of the individual or of the collective atmosphere. It was like a spiritual remedy meant to produce certain spiritual results, not a philosophical or metaphysical pronouncement on questions, events or movements. The net result of some talks very often was to point out to the disciple the inherent incapacity of the human intellect and its secondary place in the search for the ultimate Reality.
  

0.05 - Letters to a Child, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  withdraw, though it is always there, behind, ready to manifest
  again. But above all you must not believe the suggestions of incapacity and failure; they come from an adverse source and ought
  not to be given any credence. Certainly there are difficulties on
  --
  suffering.
  On the first path, there is no question of personal incapacity,
  since our help and protection are always there. Indeed, you must

0.06 - INTRODUCTION, #Dark Night of the Soul, #Saint John of the Cross, #Christianity
  The Passive Nights, in which it is God Who accomplishes the purgation, are
  based upon this incapacity. Souls 'begin to enter' this dark night
  when God draws them forth from the state of beginnerswhich is the

01.02 - Natures Own Yoga, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   This has been the highest consummation, the supreme goal which the purest spiritual experience and the deepest aspiration of the human consciousness generally sought to attain. But in this view, the world or creation or Nature came in the end to be looked upon as fundamentally a product of Ignorance: ignorance and suffering and incapacity and death were declared to be the very hallmark of things terrestrial. The Light that dwells above and beyond can be made to shed for a while some kind of lustre upon the mortal darkness but never altoge ther to remove or change itto live in the full light, to be in and of the Light means to pass beyond. Not that there have not been other strands and types of spiritual experiences and aspirations, but the one we are considering has always struck the major chord and dominated and drowned all the rest.
  

01.03 - The Yoga of the King The Yoga of the Souls Release, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It left mind's distance from the Truth supreme
  And lost life's incapacity for bliss.
  All now suppressed in us began to emerge.

0.10 - Letters to a Young Captain, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  ought to disappear, one must strongly feel one’s unworthiness
  and incapacity to express the divine perfection.
  The two states of consciousness should be simultaneous and
  --
  The descent of the forerunners of the supramental forces is a
  fact (not a prediction). The incapacity of the vast majority of
  human beings to become conscious of it is a fact which can in

01.10 - Principle and Personality, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   Religious bodies that are formed through the bhakti and puja for one man, social reconstructions forced by the will and power of a single individual, have already in the inception this grain of incapacity and disease and death that they are not an integrally self-conscious creation, they are not, as a whole, intelligent and wide awake and therefore constantly responsive to the truths and ideals and realities for which they exist, for which at least, their founder intended them to exist. The light at the apex is the only light and the entire structure is but the shadow of that light; the whole thing has the aspect of a dark mass galvanised into red-hot activity by the passing touch of a dynamo. Immediately however the solitary light fails and the dynamo stops, there is nothing but the original darkness and inertiatoma asit tamasa gudham agre.
  

0.12 - Letters to a Student, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  correctly, or are men still unable to do that?
  Human incapacity is necessarily behind all that men do. Only
  he who has become conscious of the Divine and become His

0.14 - Letters to a Sadhak, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  correct our defects, so that everything may be an opportunity to
  cure ourselves of ignorance and incapacity — then life becomes
  tremendously interesting and worth living.

02.02 - Lines of the Descent of Consciousness, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   The next step of Descent is the Mind where the original unity and identity and harmony are disrupted to a yet greater degree, almost completely. The self-delimitation of consciousness which is proper to the Supermind and even to the Overmind, at least in its higher domainsgives way to self-limitation, to intolerant egoism and solipsism. The consciousness withdraws from its high and wide sweep, narrows down to introvert orbits. The sense of unity in the mind is, at most, a thing of idealism and imagination; it is an abstract notion, a supposition and a deduction. Here we enter into the very arcana of Maya, the rightful possession of Ignorance. The individualities here have become totally isolated and independent and mutually conflicting lines of movement. Hence the natural incapacity of mind, as it is said, to comprehend more than one object simultaneously. The Super mind and, less absolutely, the Overmind have a global and integral outlook: they can take in each one in its purview all at once the total assemblage of things, they differentiate but do not divide the Supermind not at all, the Overmind not categorically. The Mind has not this synthetic view, it proceeds analytically. It observes its object by division, taking the parts piecemeal, dismantling them, separating them, and attending to each one at a time. And when it observes it fixes itself on one point, withdrawing its attention from all the rest. If it bas to arrive at a synthesis, it can only do so by collating, aggregating and summing. Mental consciousness is thus narrowly one pointed: and in narrowing itself, being farther away from the source it becomes obscurer, more and more outward gazing (parci khni) and superficial. The One Absolute in its downward march towards multiplicity, fragmentation and partiality loses also gradually its subtlety, its suppleness, its refinement, becomes more and more obtuse, crude, rigid and dense.
  

02.07 - The Descent into Night, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
    Only remained like a pale motionless ghost
    An incapacity for faith and hope
    And the dread conviction of a vanquished soul

02.14 - Panacea of Isms, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   Again, Nationalism is also not the summum bonum of collective living. The nation has emerged out of the family and the tribe as a greater unit of the human aggregate. But this does not mean that it is the last word on the subject, that larger units are not to be found or formed. In the present-day juncture it is nationalism that has become a stumbling-block to a fairer solution of human problems. For example, India, Egypt, Ireland, even Poland, whatever may be the justifying reasons, are almost exclusively, chauvinistically, nationalistic. They believe that the attainment of their free, unfettered, separate national existence first will automatically bring in its train all ideal results that have been postponed till now. They do not see, however, that in the actual circumstances an international solution has the greater chance of bringing about a happier solution for the nation too, and not the other way round. The more significant urge today is towards this greater aggregationPan-America, Pan-Russia, Pan-Arabia, a Western European Block and an Eastern European Block are movements that have been thrown up because of 'a greater necessity in human life and its evolution. Man's stupidity, his failure to grasp the situation, his incapacity to march with Nature, his tendency always to fall back, to return to the outdated past may delay or cause a turn or twist in this healthy movement, but it cannot be permanently thwarted or denied for long. Churchill's memorable call to France, on the eve of her debacle, to join and form with Britain a single national union, however sentimental or even ludicrous it may appear to some, is; as we see it, the cry of humanity itself to transcend the modern barriers of nationhood and rise to a higher status of solidarity and collective consciousness.
  

03.13 - Human Destiny, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   The continuance and maintenance of an innocent baby animality in man shown in his physical features has been termed reversion to type or fetalisation. Some declare that for man at least it is a sign of weakness, a possible incapacity to face squarely the blows of life and nature. This is due to culture and refinement that makes one sensitive but weak. There have been races in the past that attained cultural effeminacy the Egyptians for example and could not last, last long enough to withstand the impact of less cultured, less refined, but more vigorous races. The Grco-Roman succeeded the Egyptian, but they too in their turn were overwhelmed by the onslaught of ruder races, the Nordic barbarians, and gave way and perished. And once more, in the modern age, do we not see the repetition of a similar drama? The more cultured, the more refined, the older races seem to have paid heavily for their culture and refinement by being more and more delicate and weak and thus being slowly pushed to the wall by newer races built with heavier and coarser gram.
  

03.15 - Towards the Future, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   This world, this material existence is to be transmuted the portion of earthly human existence at least, with which we are most concerned. It is at present made of ignorance and sorrow and incapacity-composed of the particles of these entities; poor and sorry as they are, these have to be replaced by entities of light and joy and love, of peace and strength and wideness. Well, it is a transmutation or transubstantiation of the kind which Nature has already attempted as an experiment; I am referring to the alchemy of fossilisation. The present human formation must be dipped and soaked-and held under high pressure in an environment of the desired material or materials that one has in view.
  

04.07 - Readings in Savitri, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   That is the meaning of human life, the significance of even the very ordinary human life. It is the field of a dire debate, a fierce question, a constant struggle between the two opposing or rather polar forces, the will or aspiration to be and the will of inertia not to be the friction, to use a Vedic image, of the two batons of the holy sacrificial wood, arani out of which the flame is to leap forth. The pain and suffering men are subject to in this unhappy vale of tears physical illness and incapacity, vital frustration or mental confusionare symbols and expressions of a deeper fundamental Pain. That pain is the pain of labour, the travail for the birth and incarnation of a godhead asleep or dead. Indeed, the sufferings and ills of life are themselves powerful instruments. They inevitably lead to the Bliss, they are the fuel that kindles, quickens and increases the Fire of Ecstasy that is to blaze up on the day of victory in the full and integral spiritual consciousness. The round of ordinary life is not vain or meaningless: its petty innocent-looking moments and events are the steps of the marching Divinity. Even the commonest life is the holy sacrificial rite progressing, through the oblations of our experiences, bitter or sweet, towards the revelation and establishment of the immortal godhead in man.
  

05.01 - At the Origin of Ignorance, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   And yet the result is strange and revolutionary. The game once begun develops its own scheme and pattern and modality. For that crucial step in the movement of freedom, that definite moving away, the assertion of complete independence and isolation immediately brought about a reversal of realities, a complete negation of the original attri butes. Thus Light became obscurity or Inconscience, Life became death, Delight became pain and suffering, Power became incapacity, Knowledge became Ignorance, and Truth became falsehood. In other words, Spirit became forthright Matter.
  

05.01 - Man and the Gods, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   Human nature, human movement, is, however, different. Man, the terrestrial creature, has developed as the result of a slow growth, through struggle and suffering, the sturm und drangof an arduous ascent. He knows of things which the gods do not. He has an experience which even they, strange to say, covet. First of all, it must be borne in mind that the gods represent only one mode of consciousness, a fixed and definite typea god is bound by his godhood; but man embodies all the modes of consciousness, he is an ever growing and changing type. Man is an epitome of creation, he is coterminous with Nature. If he is that within which is wholly divineconsciousness and bliss, truth and immortalityphenomenally he is also quite the oppositeearthly, unconsciousness, pain and suffering, ignorance and falsehood, incapacity and death. If heaven is his father, the earth is his motherdyaur me pit mt pthivriyam. And all the gradations in between he has in him and can become any.
  

05.02 - Gods Labour, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   Matter or the physical body is not by itself the centre of gravity of the human consciousness; it is not that that pins the soul or the self to the life of pain and misery and incapacity and death. Matter is not the Evil, nor made up of Evil; it contains or harbours evil under the present circumstances, even as dross is mixed up, inextricably as it appears, with the noble metal in the natural ore; but the dross can be eradicated and the free metal brought out, pure- and noble in its own true nature. It is, as Rumi, the Persian mystic, says in his famous imagery, like a piece of iron, dull and dismal to look at, but when put into fire slowly acquires the quality of fire, turning into a glowing and radiant beauty, yet maintaining its original form and individuality and concrete, even material reality. Now, the crust or dross that has to be eliminated in Matter is called by Sri Aurobindo "Inconscience". Matter is inconscient, therefore it is unconscious and ignorant. Make it conscious, it will be radiant and full of knowledge. That is the great transformation needed, the only way to true and total reformation. The Divine descends into Matter precisely to work out that transformation.
  
  --
  
   Suffering, incapacity and death are, it is said, the wages of earthly life; but they are, in fact, reverse aspects of divine truths. Whatever is here below has its divine counterpart above. What appears as matter, inertia, static existence here below is the devolution of pure Existence, Being or Substance up there. Life-force, vital dynamism here is the energy of Consciousness there. The pleasure of the heart and emotions and enjoyment is divine Delight. Finally, our mind with its half-lighted thinking power, its groping after knowledge has at its back the plenary light of the Supermind. So the aim is not to reject or withdraw from the material, vital and mental existence upon the earth and in this body, but house in them, make them concrete vehicles, expressions and embodiments of what they really are.
  
   Pain and suffering, disease and incapacity, even age and death are fortuitous auxiliaries; they have come upon us simply because of the small and partial scale of our life to which we agreed. One can live here below, live a full life, upon a larger scale, upon the scale of infinity and eternity. That need not dissolve body and life and mind, the triple ranges that make up our earthly existence. In brief, man himself is not truly man, he is the reverse aspect of God; and when he becomes divine and remains not merely human, he but realises what he is truly and integrally himself.
   ***

05.06 - The Role of Evil, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Justice moved my great maker
   This is the divine miracle that has been vouchsafed to man, the spectacle of the Divine himself becoming an earthly creature, wearing as his own body of flesh and blood this mortal frame of pain and suffering and ignorance, of obscurity and incapacity and falsehood. This is the calvary he has accepted, the sacrifice of his divinity he agreed to in order that the undivine too may gracefully serve the Divine, be taken up and transmuted into the reality from which it fell, of which it is an aberration.
  

05.10 - Knowledge by Identity, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   When the Upanishad says, one who knows Brahman be comes Brahman, does it not mean that the very condition of knowing Brahman is to become it? Indeed, there is no contradiction or incommensurability between knowing and becoming, between (what is termed by the mystic as) Knowledge and Realisation. Consciousness has a twofold power, Sri Aurobindo says: the power of apprehension and the power of comprehensionprajna and vijna. Prajnana, the apprehending consciousness, sets the object in front, away and separate from itself and contemplates it: Vijnana, the comprehending consciousness, on the other hand, comprehends, embraces the object within itself, as part of its own being. The two are not distinct or incompatible movements, they go together and form one single movement of consciousness. It is the mind, the reason that makes the separation; it is not possible for the mind to view two things simultaneously. It is because of this incapacity of the mind, married to its logic of the finite, that Sri Aurobindo points out the way of correcting it by a higher supramental power which operates in a global way.
  

05.11 - The Place of Reason, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   Another point in Sri Aurobindo's view of consciousness which troubles Prof. Das is about the exact nature and function of Reason. For while on one side Sri Aurobindo never seems to be tired of pointing out the inherent incapacity of Reasonin the good company of the ancient Rishisas an instrument for the discovery or realisation of the Absolute or the integral Reality, he asserts, on the other hand, almost in the same breath as it were, that mind can have some idea or conception of what is beyond it, which it so often vainly strives to seize or represent. Evidently, the rationalist logic fails to hold together the two ends, as it is further seen in Prof. Das's failure to perceive any distinction between types or gradations of "thinking".1 He thinks that just as a philosopher thinks, or a cabman thinks or an animal thinks, all must think in the same way and through the same function of the same organ: either there is thinking (thinking proper, of one particular kind) or there is no thinking. That Nature consists of a graduated scale in every line of its movements, and that the gradations shade off into each othernot only so but that each scale or principle may contain within itself all the others2is a phenomenon which runs contrary to the "either this or that" or "no-overlapping" principle, like the colour-blind for whom things are either black or white. In the global outlook, however, we do not stand in the relation of division, separation, mutual exclusiveness. There is a consciousness in which all contraries find a harmonising truth and rhythm.
  

1.001 - The Aim of Yoga, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  
  The whole difficulty is that the structure of life is arranged in such a pattern that the depth of human understanding is incapable of touching its borders. We are not simply living life we are identical with life itself. One of the most difficult things to define is life itself. We cannot say what life is. It is only a word that we utter without any clear meaning before our eyes. It is an enigma, a mystery a mystery which has caught hold of us, which extracts the blood out of us every day, which keeps us restless and tantalises us, promising us satisfaction but never giving it. Life is made in such a way that there are promises which are never fulfilled. Every object in the world promises satisfaction, but it never gives satisfaction it only promises. Until death it will go on promising, but it will give nothing, and so we will die in the same way as we were born. Because we have been dying without having the promise fulfilled, we will take rebirth so that we will see if the promise can be fulfilled, and the same process is continued, so that endlessly the chain goes on in a hopeless manner. This vicious circle of human understanding, or rather human incapacity to understand, has arisen on account of the isolation of the human individual from the pattern of life.
  

1.038 - Impediments in Concentration and Meditation, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  
  Then Patanjali goes on to tell us that there can be another obstacle alabdhabhumikatva, which means to say the incapacity to fix the point of attention. However much we may try, we will not know where to concentrate the mind. There will be either experimentation with various ideas and ideals for the purpose of concentration, not knowing which is good and which is better, or there will be a total inability to fix the mind at all. Due to continued exertion of the mind for a protracted period in the practice of meditation, it may become so tired that it may refuse to act further, just as we sometimes see horses becoming exhausted by pulling carts. Perhaps from not having been fed for some days and from working in the hot sun, they refuse to move further in spite of their being whipped any number of times. They may even topple the cart, or they may move backwards, so that the driver does not know what they will do. It is possible that the mind can also resort to these devices when it is exhausted due to the fatigue of practice.
  
  --
  
  The incapacity of the mind to fix its attention on the ideal of meditation may be due to undue pressure exerted upon it by an unclarified understanding of the technique. It can also be due to certain desires present in the mind which have not been fulfilled, and which have not been allowed to come to the surface due to the force of discipline. While discipline is good, it cannot always succeed, because it is a power externally exerted upon something which succeeds for sometime, but cannot succeed for all times. The reason is that anything extraneous is repelled it cannot be absorbed. The mind, being the subtlest instrument available to us, can feel the pressure more than anything else. Therefore, any kind of frustration of feeling, even very minutely present, can cause a sensation of exhaustion in oneself. It is not easy to understand why we are exhausted, why it is that we are not able to sit for a continued period in meditation. There can be hundreds of excuses for our inability to sit for meditation, but they are only excuses devices employed by the mind to get out of this difficulty we have put upon it.
  

1.03 - ON THE AFTERWORLDLY, #Thus Spoke Zarathustra, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
  the afterworldly.
  It was suffering and incapacity that created all afterworlds-this and that brief madness of bliss which is
  experienced only by those who suffer most deeply.

1.03 - Tara, Liberator from the Eight Dangers, #How to Free Your Mind - Tara the Liberator, #Thubten Chodron, #unset
  and our integrating the Dharma in our minds. Such conditions may be externalsuch as war, poverty, excessive obligations, or lack of a qualied spiritual guideor internalsuch as disease, emotional turbulence, doubt, or
  mental incapacity.
  Second, we dedicate our positive potential (merit) so that we and all others will meet conditions conducive for actualizing the path to enlightenment.

1.04 - Descent into Future Hell, #The Red Book Liber Novus, #unset, #Kabbalah
  
  But our ruler is the spirit of this time, which rules and leads in us all. It is the general spirit in which we think and act today. He is of frightful power, since he has brought immeasurable good to this world and fascinated men with unbelievable pleasure. He is bejeweled with the most beautiful heroic virtue, and wants to drive men up to the brightest solar heights, in everlasting ascent. 100 The hero wants to open up everything that he can. But the nameless spirit of the depths evokes everything that man cannot. incapacity prevents further ascent. Greater height requires greater virtue. We do not possess it.
  
  We must first create it by learning to live with our incapacity. We must give it life. For how else shall it develop into ability?
  We cannot slay our incapacity and rise above it. But that is precisely what we wanted. incapacity will overcome us and demand
  
  --
  
  The one who learns to live with his incapacity has learned a great deal. This will lead us to the valuation of the smallest things, and to wise limitation, which the greater height demands. If all heroism is erased, we fall back into the misery of humanity and into even worse. Our foundations will be caught up in excitement since our highest tension, which concerns what lies outside us, will stir them up. We 'will fall into the cesspool of our underworld, among the rubble of all the centuries in us. 101
  The heroic in you is the fact that you are ruled by the thought that this or that is good, that this or that performance is indispensable, this or that cause is objectionable, this or that goal must be attained in headlong striving work, this or that pleasure should be ruthlessly repressed at all costs. Consequently you sin against incapacity. But incapacity exists. No one should deny it, find fault with it, or shout it down. 102
  

1.057 - The Four Manifestations of Ignorance, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  
  It is not true that anything is permanent in this world. So, how is it that we see everything as permanent? We see a tree, a wall or a building, and we see people living for years. All these are phenomena, no doubt. They are phenomena, not noumena not realities. This incapacity on the part of the perceiving consciousness to distinguish between the phenomenal feature in experience and the real element behind it is ignorance avidya. Inasmuch as things are interconnected, interrelated, vitally dependent upon one another there is an organic relationship of things it is not true that objects are really isolated completely and that there is a necessity for the mind to run after objects. There is no necessity for the mind to run after objects, inasmuch as the objects are really connected with the subject. That they are not so connected, and therefore there is a need for desiring and possessing them, is ignorance.
  

1.05 - Adam Kadmon, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
  
  I have refrained from here discussing the various prob- lems and doctrines of the so-called Doctrinal Qabalah, such as the Evolution of the Universe and of Man, Reincarna- tion, and Causation as applied to Retri bution- because, having originally postulated the incapacity of the Ruach to deal adequately with such problems, it would be useless to engage upon an exposition of these points. Particularly is this so with regard to the Zoharic and post-Zoharic con- ceptions of Gilgolem, Reincarnation. A great deal of loose thinking and unwarranted assumption characterizes the
  Qabalistic literature concerning this aspect of esoteric doc- trine, and I feel more strongly than ever that it is only by m eans of a profound and well-assimilated knowledge of

1.05 - Splitting of the Spirit, #The Red Book Liber Novus, #unset, #Kabbalah
  
  And thus was the fate of the people: The murder of one was the poisonous arrow that :flew into the hearts of men, and kindled the fiercest war. This murder is the indignation of incapacity against will, a Judas betrayal that one would like someone else to have committed. 107 We are still seeking the goat that should bear our sin. 108
  Everything that becomes too old becomes evil, the same is true of your highest. Learn from the suffering of the crucified God that one can also betray and crucify a God, namely the God of the old year. If a God ceases being the way of life, he must fall secretly. 109

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