Monthly Archives: June 2014

Timothy Leary

“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…”

“Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.”

“My advice to people today is as follows: If you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out.”

“And a new philosophy emerged called quantum physics, which suggest that the individual’s function is to inform and be informed. You really exist only when you’re in a field sharing and exchanging information. You create the realities you inhabit.”

“The universe is an intelligence test.”

“I wanted to scientize myth and mythologize science.”

“In the information age, you don’t teach philosophy as they did after feudalism. You perform it. If Aristotle were alive today he’d have a talk show.”

“We are dealing with the best-educated generation in history. They are a hundred times better educated than their grandparents, and ten times more sophisticated. There has never been such an open-minded group. The problem is that no one is giving them anything fresh. They’ve got a brain dressed up with nowhere to go.”

“To describe externals, you become a scientist. To describe experience, you become an artist. The old distinction between artists and scientists must vanish. Every time we teach a child correct usage of an external symbol, we must spend as much time teaching him how to fission and reassemble external grammar to communicate the internal. The training of artists and creative performers can be a straightforward, almost mechanical process. When you teach someone how to perform creatively (ie, associate dead symbols in new combinations), you expand his potential for experiencing more widely and richly.”

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Dylan Thomas

” I should say I wanted to write poetry in the beginning because I had fallen in love with words. The first poems I knew were nursery rhymes and before I could read them for myself I had come to love the words of them, the words alone. What the words stood for was of a very secondary importance … I fell in love, that is the only expression I can think of, at once, and am still at the mercy of words, though sometimes now, knowing a little of their behaviour very well, I think I can influence them slightly and have even learned to beat them now and then, which they appear to enjoy. I tumbled for words at once. And, when I began to read the nursery rhymes for myself, and, later, to read other verses and ballads, I knew that I had discovered the most important things, to me, that could be ever. ”

Thoreau

You must love the crust of the earth on which you dwell. You must be able to extract nutriment out of a sandheap You must have so good an appetite as this, else you will live in vain.

It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life.

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.

An infinite and unaccountable friendliness all at once like an atmosphere sustaining me…..Every little pine needle expanded and swelled with sympathy and befriended me. I was so distinctly made aware of the presence of something kindred in me….that I thought no place could ever be strange to me again

The millions are awake enough for effective physical labour; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred million to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?

‎Let us spend one day as deliberately as nature.

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you; but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be.

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.

Since most of us spend our lives doing ordinary tasks, the most important thing is to carry them out extraordinarily well.

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness.

Humility, like darkness reveals the heavenly lights

However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it
and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb,
like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things,
whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change.
Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.

Twelve Steps to achieving a More Nourishing Life

ONE
Always keep your promises despite how difficult this may eventually turn out to be. Avoid at all costs engaging with ‘ sneaky ‘ tactics that deliberately try to dismiss or go back on an agreement. When we give our word on something we must keep to it. It’s all about integrity and credibility, keeping the trust that people invest in us. If you find it difficult to follow things through then be careful of what you promise. In the final analysis it’s better not to commit to something that is perceived as problematic rather than to prematurely promise that which is hard to deliver.

TWO
Don’t expect too much from others or you are bound to be disappointed. People will give only what they think is appropriate – if at all – and not what you invariably expect. Be accepting of this realizing that everyone is different. Staying attached to projected outcomes can only lead to frustration and irritation. In this situation it’s best to cultivate a mind-set of non-expectation then if someone surprises you with their positive response embrace it in the spirit of gratitude.

THREE
This is one I constantly trip over but here goes – don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them. Easily said than done but this objective is one to pursue if we are to gain balance and harmony in our lives. We have no idea what other people’s journeys are about, what they have to endure, what pain they may suffer. We only see things that appear on the surface of life, we have no real view of the depths. Also we come to it with a bias, a subjective slant that may, at times bare little reality to what is actually going on.

FOUR
Try to develop the enthusiasm for being seen as the most co-operative, constructive and helpful person around. Celebrate this, let others feel these gifts in their lives, spread them far and wide. This will not only aid other’s development but importantly, yours as well.

FIVE
Be grateful – this is the secret of a contented existence. It’s all about developing perspective, cultivating balance on how we view life. Everything we are given, including our very own existence is a gift although we might often forget this profound truth. Life is a gift, we don’t earn it, work for it, we can’t demand it or buy it. It’s a gift! When we fully realize this truth, hold it closely to our chest to feel its full weight then we have no alternative but to be deeply appreciative.

SIX
Life, very often isn’t fair – accept this reality and work with it in the best way you can. Pain, suffering, adversity, targets everyone at some point, this is an undeniable truth that we simply cannot ignore. However, we can work with these issues; we can apply ourselves mindfully and committedly to finding solutions to turn things around, or we can find an inner centre deep within ourselves where we can open up to acceptance and accommodation. The real power resides with us, never forget this….

SEVEN
We can spend so much time and energy searching in the external world for happiness vis a vis a new car, house, job, partner, whatever we are chasing at the time and completely forget that happiness, a deep abiding happiness, is largely a product of our own minds – the attitudes we bring to the world. If we can access the qualities of reflection, perspective and appreciation then the gift of a lasting happiness will not be too far away. Yes, there is a short-term, temporary happiness that can found in many activities, in acquiring many new ‘ things, ‘ but it is incumbent on us to go after the real thing – the one that lies within us…

EIGHT
Act generously; give what you think is right then give more. Mean spirit-ness is a very unattractive attribute that keeps us locked in selfhood. It means we cannot see the bigger picture, cannot contribute to the greater whole. Many individuals have experimented with the notion of Random Acts of Kindness – giving to strangers or virtual strangers, and have felt the whole experience to be of great benefit not only to the receivers but the givers themselves. Generosity – whether with money or time – brings out the best in us so don’t pass up on the opportunity to show how considerate you are.

NINE
In times of prolonged busy activity where we are under pressure ( real or perceived ) the body can let us down or even fail completely, although the mind is saying continue. Try to pick up an early warning signal on these moments of stressfulness and bring your attention to your breathing, vocalizing just one word to yourself – relax. Stay focussed on the breath, deep, regular, calming. Stay in this space for as long as you can allowing any residual anxiety to melt away. You are in a special place where time as no real meaning what Eliot called “ …the still point of the turning world.”

TEN
Experiment with your life; investigate the way you do things if only on a small scale in order to keep yourself fresh. As a normal late riser, I recently experimented with getting up early on a regular basis – it shifted my entire day for the better. I was really surprise how it deepened the quality of my sleep and affected my diet in a positive way. We all need to challenge ourselves, look at our lives and see what can be freshened up or re-invented. Even if the outcomes are not always to our expectations they will give us insights from which we can learn – new ideas that can improve our routine of taken for granted everydayness.

ELEVEN
Be polite and courteous to everyone you meet. Engage with people; get to know neighbours and others that you normally don’t engage with. Say a simple hello, inquire after them, show that you are interested in their lives. People are important – express that in your dealings with them.

TWELVE
Don’t wait for the ‘ right ‘ opportunities to just ‘ happen ‘ mysteriously out of the blue – go and find them, go and MAKE them. Every situation has inherent opportunities buried inside it somewhere, find them. The key here is persistence, we must be prepared to stay fresh and energized constantly on the lookout for those moments we can seize in order to make the changes we want in our lives. Inevitably this means working through self-doubt, uncertainty, challenge, etc but that’s where the treasures are buried. We may very well see ourselves as lacking ‘ talent,’ but that’s OK provided we push on, trying to undertake our very best then achievements will materialize. Always remember that ‘ talent ’ is the net result of sustained effort – stay with it.

Cras es Noster – The future is ours….

Michael Lewin
http://www.michaellewin.org

Rilke

“Always trust yourself and your own feelings, as opposed to arguments and discussions….if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments a silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this is what it means to live as an artist.”

Thomas Merton

“ We must begin by frankly admitting that the first place in which to go looking for the world is not outside us but in ourselves. We are the world. In the deepest ground of our being we remain in metaphysical contact with the whole of that creation in which we are only small parts. Through our senses and our minds, our loves, needs, and desires, we are implicated, without possibility of evasion, in this world of matter and of men, of things and of persons, which not only affect us and change our lives but are also affected and changed by us…The question, then, is not to speculate about how we are to contact the world – as if we were somehow in outer space – but how to validate our relationship, give it a fully honest and human significance, and make it truly productive and worthwhile for our world.“

The Six Barriers that Restrict Growth

I CAN’T DO IT!
This psychologically fixed reaction undermines our confidence and motivation by constantly sabotaging the energy within. However, if we listen deeply enough there is an inner voice that cries out in the affirmative saying: “ Yes, I can! “

I DON’T HAVE THE CONFIDENCE
We often believe that we lack confidence to take on a new venture despite the fact that confidence grows in proportion to the steps we take on our new journey.

I’M COMFORTABLE
We cling to the safety of the comfort zone because of fear of stepping outside of what we know, what is familiar to us. Yet it is growth itself that asks us to move outside this constricting zone in order that we may expand as individuals.

I’M AFRAID OF REJECTION
This feeling often surfaces and presents itself in our lives. Yet we ignore the fact that the road to success is always paved with difficulties and rejections. But provided we work forward into our goals, success will inevitably be ours.

I DON’T HAVE THE NECESSARY TALENTS
We pullback because we feel we are not good enough. But this debilitating feeling fails to recognize the reality of building up our skills as we go along . Start your journey knowing that it will be firmly set in a growth stretching process.

I’M AFRAID I MIGHT FAIL
We all, at times feel frightened to embark on a new venture because we might fail. Fear of making mistakes, fear of not doing well holds us back, keeps us locked in – unavailable from reaching out to new heights. But if we do not journey forth we will never ever know what it is like to succeed.

Creativity Checklist

Be bold in your endeavours, don’t hold back.

 Stay curious about everything.

 Experiment.

 Play more, have fun in your work.

 Never rest on your laurels, there is always scope for improvement, for refinement to get you something better.

 Stay motivated.

 Take risks, more than you think you can handle. Feel the personal growth in doing so. 

 Perfectionism can kill. Allow yourself space to undertake bad work which can allow improvements to filter through.

 Forget about likely costs, just go with the idea and see where it will lead you.

 Don’t worry about what other people think of you.

 Be brave.

 Make copious notes on your ideas.

 The only rule is there are no rules. If you think there are rules that impede  your growth then break them!

 Avoid sharing your ideas too early with others. This might diminish then in some way.

 Accept failure as part of a journey to eventual success.

 Don’t be afraid to adapt the ideas of others and make them your own.

 Allow your ideas to breathe, don’t be too anxious in reaching out for premature conclusions. 

 Give yourself time for the best work to filter through.

 Take time out to recharge your batteries.  

 Seek out and enjoy the company of other creative individuals. 

 Never let an idea slip away without writing it down – which means you always carry paper and pens.

 Take photographs on a regular basis, anything that inspires you and will feed into your work if not on the current project then maybe the next.

 Regularly assess what you carry in your bag to aid your creativity.

 Always approach the right people to give you creative feedback, the ones who know how to respond constructively.

 Accept that there will be occasional fallow periods, use this time to relax and rest.

 Sit quietly and listen more.

 Try to think differently, imaginatively and prepare to tread new ground.  

 Good Luck

 

 

 

 

 

W S Merwin For the Anniversary of my Death

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
when the last fires will wave to me

and the silence will set out

tireless traveler

like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
find myself in life as in a strange garment

surprised at the earth

and the love of one woman

and the shamelessness of men

as today writing after three days of rain

hearing the wren sing and the falling cease

and bowing not knowing to what.