Friday, December 09, 2005

Beautiful People

"The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.

Growth can come in unexpected ways from the nooks and crannies of our life's experiences. In death and in grief, we do not need as much protection from painful experiences as we need the boldness to face them. We do not need as much tranquilization from pain as we need the strength to conquer it. If we choose to love, we must also have the courage to grieve."

Roy and Jane Nichols
Funerals: A Time for Grief and Growth
Death - The Final Stage of Growth
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Monday, November 21, 2005

oh where

To understand this world, one must sometimes turn away from it.
To serve man better, one must briefly hold them at a distance.
But where can the necessary solitude be found, the long breathing space in which the mind gathers its strength and takes stock of its courage?

Albert Camus,
Lyrical and Critical Essays

Friday, November 04, 2005

Monday, September 12, 2005


Beings are like the moon in rippling water,
Fitful, fleeting, empty in their nature.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

path to enlightenment

... meditation on the preciousness and rarity of a human incarnation endowed with infinite spiritual potential... a spiritual vessel, a boat with which to generate inner qualities that that have eternal benefits. The ordinary samsaric mind sees the human body as just a tool with which to chase material, social and biological needs, all of which to satisfy only superficial levels of the spirit. Their effects do not pass beyond the gates of death. We have to learn to appreciate the intrinsic spiritual quality of human nature, to have a subtle confidence in the positive, creative aspect of our being. It is difficult to enter spiritual training if one regards one's life as having no purpose other than the pursuit of ephemeral, transient goals. In order to break the mind of this vain, mundane attitude towards life, we sit in meditation and contemplate first the 8 freedoms and 10 endowments described earlier, and then the meaningful and rare nature of human incarnation. This contemplation imbues us with a sense of spiritual dignity that subtly transforms our way of relating to ourselves and our existence. We cease to see ourselves as animals uncontrollably chasing after the immediate cravings of the senses in a vicious circle of jungle law; and we come to appreciate the quality of penetrating awareness and the capacity for spiritual development that distinguishes humans from animals and insects. This causes the thought of extracting the essence of life to arise with a joyous intensity.

The Dalai Lama
The Path to Enlightenment

Thursday, August 25, 2005


In rare moments of deep play, we can lay aside our sense of self, shed time's continuum, ignore pain, and sit quietly in the absolute moment, watching the world's ordinary miracles. No mind or heart hobbles. No analyzing or explaining. No questing for logic. No promises. No goals. No relationships. One is completely open to whatever drama may unfold. With innocent surprise, one regards life's spectacles and underpinnings... When it happens, we experience a sense of revelation and gratitude. Nothing need be thought or said. There is a way of beholding that is a form of prayer.

Diane Ackerman
Deep Play

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Like Love...

Diane Ackerman wrote this in her journal during her trip to the Antarctic:

"Tonight the moon is invisible, darkness itself has nearly vanished, and the known world which we map with families, routines and newspapers, floats somewhere beyond the horizon. Travelling to a strange, new landscape is a kind of romance. You become intensely aware of the world where you are, but also oblivious to the rest of the world at the same time. Like love, travel makes you innocent again."

Diane Ackerman

Thursday, August 18, 2005


The best scholar is one who has realized the meaning of the absence of any true existence.
The best monk is one who has tamed his own mind.
The best quality is a great desire to benefit others.
The best instruction is always to watch the mind.
The best remedy is to know that nothing has any inherent reality.
The best way of life is one that does not fit with wordly ways.
The best accomplishment is a steady lessening of negative emotions.
The best sign of practice is a steady decrease of desires.
The best generosity is non-attachment.


Friday, August 12, 2005


The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.

John Milton
Paradise Lost

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Buddha is like...

The Buddha is like Hume in wanting to set man free from his own irrational attempts to build metaphysical scaffolding as a vantage point for perceiving the nature and destiny of almost everything about which man has ever had a persisting question. He is like Nietzsche in seeing the sad plight of human power shackled by the guilt-ridden resentment of the weak. He is like Marx and Engels in wanting to liberate man from the chimeras and myths under whose mystification he is pining away. The Buddha is like John Stuart Mill in seeing that the most powerful bonds that enslave man are not tyrants sitting astride great thrones but those subtle persuasions that rule the inner man and strip him of his integrity and independence. The Buddha is like Freud, too, in wanting to free the creative processes deep in human personality from the compulsive authoritarian controls of an ego or super-ego in which every urge to happiness is distorted, suppressed and denied. He is like Wittgenstein in wishing to alert man to the "mystification" of the human intellect by language.

N.P. Jacobson
Buddhism: The Religion of Analysis

Monday, August 01, 2005

Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is

Gotta take a little time
A little time to think things over
I better read between the lines
In case I need it when I'm older

This mountain I must climb
Feels like a world upon my shoulders
Through the clouds I see love shine
It keeps me warm as life grows colder

In my life there's been heartache and pain
I don't know if I can face it again
Can't stop now, I've traveled too far
To change this lonely life
I want to know what love is
I want you to show me
I want to feel what love is
I know you can show me

I'm gonna take a little time
A little time to look around me
I've got nowhere left to hide
It looks like love has finally found me

By Foreigner

Holding true

What we say about love between persons applies even more to God. If love is true, it will last, we tell our children when they fear a separation from their beloved. If it is the real thing, it will come through. Surely this holds for God as well. If God's gift of self-revelation reveals truth, then it will see us through. Its forms of expression may alter; our ways into its truths may find different expression; but its truth about the center goes on shining. And the center still addresses us, pushes toward us and into us. We must discover new ways to receive it and explore new ways to correspond with it.

Ann Belford Ulanov
finding space - Winnicott, God and Psychic Reality

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Paradoxically, what we fear most is love. When someone loves us completely, abandons oneself totally to us, then we are no longer our own. Often, we try to insulate ourselves against such love because it asks the same of us. Partial love we can handle, but total love begets a running fear in us: instinctively, we hide.

Rev Edward J Farrell

Thursday, July 28, 2005

life's problems

The serious problems in life are never fully solved. The meaning and the purpose of a problem seem not to lie in its solution but in our working at it incessantly. This alone preserves us from stultification and petrifaction.

There is no birth of consciousness without pain.

Carl Jung

Robert Frost: Escapist - Never

He is no fugitive -- escaped, escaping,
No one has seen him stumble looking back,
His fear is not behind him but beside him
On either hand to make his course perhaps
A crooked straightness yet no less a straightness.
He runs face forward. He is a pursuer,
He seeks a seeker who in his turn seeks
Another still, lost far into the distance.
Any who seek him seek in him the seeker.
His life is a pursuit of a pursuit forever.
It is the future that creates his present.
He is an interminable chain of longing.

Robert Frost

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Images in St Teresa of Avila

Images found in The Interior Castle: castle, water, journey, serpent and devil, butterfly, marriage and Christ.

The castle image calls us to center our lives. Water speaks to the hidden depths which contain a great deal of our life. Journey as an image alerts us to passages or transitions which will inevitably be part of our development. Serpents and devils express the darkness we experience in life, and butterflies remind us of the newness that comes to be in the darkness. Marriage expresses the healing and wholeness we ache for, within our persons, our communities, and with God. And finally, the symbol of Christ points to the fullness of life we attain when we are in union with the divine presence in our lives.

Spiritual Pilgrims - Carl Jung & Teresa of Avila
John Welch

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

St John of the Cross

"To attain to this which you know not,
you must pass through that which you know not.
To attain to that which you possess not,
you must pass through that which you possess not.
To attain to that which you are not,
you pass through that which you are not."

St John of the Cross

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Space between Thoughts

In a receptive state of mind, we strive, through meditation, to catch a glimpse of the clear light of the intermediate state as it presents itself while we sit. Observing the meaningless flow of thoughts that pass through the mind, one should try not to become involved. Just let them be. A thought that is ignored soon goes away. And there it is! The space between thoughts.

At first, when we begin to practise, this small glimpse of reality quickly passes and the mind is again flooded with attractive thoughts that have us by the nose. Unable to resist their lure, we follow helplessly and are once more entangled in their snare until the whole train of ideas comes to some kind of conclusion. Then, suddenly, there it is again! That small gap between one thought and the next. That small gleam of clear light, utterly devoid of graspable form or content.

The Illustrated Tibetan Book of the Dead, Stephen Hodge

Saturday, June 04, 2005

whatever is really good

Poet: Lead me rather to the quiet nook that is my heaven,
the only place where a poet can be happy
and can cultivate his precious gift among those who love and cherish him.
The verses, good or bad, that spring to his lips from deep within him
are crowded out n the rough-and-tumble of the day.
You have to wait for years to see them in their true light.
Showy things are just meant for the moment,
but whatever is really good comes through to posterity.

Goethe, Faust

Saturday, May 28, 2005

St Christopher

According to the legend, St Christopher, the patron of all travellers, felt an arrogant pride in his tremendous physical strength, and was willing to serve only the strongest. First he served a king; but when he saw that the king feared the devil, he left him and became the devil's servant. Then one day he discovered that the devil feared the Crucifix, and so he decided to serve Christ if he could find him. He followed the advice of a priest who told him to wait for Christ at a ford. In the years that passed, he carried many people across the river. But once, in a dark, stormy night, a small child called out that he wanted to be carried over the river. With the greatest ease, St Christopher lifted the child on to his shoulders, but he walked more slowly with every step, for his burden became heavier and heavier. When he arrived in mid-stream, he felt "as if he carried the whole universe." He realized then taht he had taken Christ upon his shoulders -- and Christ gave him remission of his sins and eternal life.

This miraculous child is a symbol of the Self that literally "depresses" the ordinary human being, even though it is the only thing that can redeem him.

The Process of Individuation, M L von Franz

Thursday, May 26, 2005

T S Eliot

"The awful daring of a moment's surrender,
which an age of prudence can never retreat."

The Waste Land

Thursday, May 19, 2005


"Animus ad amplitudinem Mysteriorum pro modulo suo dilatetur; non Mysteriaad augustias animi constringantur."

(Let the mind, so far as it can, be open to the fullness of the mysteries;
let not the mysteries be constrained to fit the narrower confines of the mind.)


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Gospel of Thomas

"If you bring forth what is within you,
what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Gospel of Thomas

No one understands

"No one understands, only a poet could begin to understand."

Carl Jung

Saturday, May 14, 2005

All things ephemeral

All things ephemeral
Are but a reflection;
The unattainable
Here finds perfection;
The indescribable
Here it is done;
The Eternal Feminine
Still draws us on.

James Joyce

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a
yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

© 1915 Robert Frost

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

From E M Brainard

Who never wept knows laughter but a jest;
Who never failed, no victory has sought;
Who never suffered, never lived its best;
Who never doubted, never really thought;
Who never feared, real courage has not shown;
Who never faltered, lacks a real intent;
Whose soul was never troubled has not known
The sweetness and the peace of real content.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

By Author Unknown

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk their love.
To lovei s to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The one who risks nothing does nothing and has nothing ---
finally is nothing.
He may avoid sufferings and sorrow,
But he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.
Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited freedom.
Only one who risks is free!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Carl Jung - The Man who does not sell his soul

It is perfectly true that the man who is not superfluous, the man who is needed, is the one who has not sold his soul to an organization, who is able to stand by himself and for himself. Such a man is always necessary just because most people don't stand alone; they sell their souls, and then there is no freedom. The only trace of freedom and the only hope is, of course, in the one who is not devoured by the monster, who can deal with it, who can ride the monster. Therefore, the old Chinese represented their heroes or their great sages as riding the monster. When Confucius was asked what he thought of Lao-tse, whom he did not know personally, he said he didn't know whether he was an expert at weapons, or at driving carts, but however that might be, he knew he was an expert at riding dragons. He knew how to deal with the monster, that is. Now, the dragon is of course the symbol for the collective unconscious. It also means the crowd within; it is the crowd soul, the collective soul of man. So over against that monster is the man who doesn't sell his soul to it, and he is needed. He should be careful and even should seek a certain solitude in order to maintain his isolation. But he would also be lost if he didn't know how to deal with the crowd.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Carl Jung on Logos & Eros

Logos is a certain peculiar quality in a man's being which leads him to discriminate, to reason, to judge, to divide, to understand in a particular way.

And one cannot understand all this without also thinking of its antithesis, the equally intuitive concept of Eros, which would be then a principle of relatedness, seeing things together, gathering things together, establishing relations between things, not judging things, not looking at them properly, but rather attracting or repelling them.

Logos also contains the idea of the word; legein means to talk, to speak. It is another characteristic of man that he insists upon giving voice to an idea, designating it, giving a name, making a concept, expressing it, while woman, chracterized more by Eros, can leave things in suspens; they have not necessarily to be SAID. A man says, "Why the devil don't you say so?" but a woman doesn't need to say so, and usually she doesn't. Or she says something else, and a man is always convinced that she has said just the thing she should not have said. Therefore, men's ideas about women --- about their talk, you know: gossip and afternoon tea, that intricate talk, the indirect vague way of women. If he carefully follows up such a conversation, however, he sees that she is like a spider weaving a web. The talk of women, being round-about, doesn't consist of words but of spider webs, and they have a purpose different from that of a man.

A woman's world is strange to a man.

Nonetheless, Anatole France is quite right when he says that when men have worked things up to a fix, they must call in an intelligent woman.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Carl Jung - Aspects of the Feminine

“Love requires depth and loyalty of feelings; without them it is not love but mere caprice. True love will always commit itself and engage in lasting ties; it needs freedom only to effect its choice, not for its accomplishment. Every true and deep love is a sacrifice. Love has more than one thing in common with religious faith. It demands unconditional trust and expects absolute surrender. Just as nobody but the believer who surrenders himself wholly to God can partake of divine grace, so love reveals its highest mysteries and its wonder only to those who are capable of unqualified devotion and loyalty of feeling. And because this is so difficult, few mortals can boast of such an achievement. But, precisely because the truest and most devoted love is also the most beautiful, let no man seek to make it easy. Love is not cheap --- let us therefore beware of cheapening it!”

For book lovers

Dear nieces and nephews, and also little vicki if she understands any of this, i thought i should start a blog of some sort just to keep up with the times. Hah.

As you all know, i have a long-standing love affair with books, and i spend most of my money on books, and coffee, and drinks, and gadgets, and...... but mostly on books. I've built up a small "fortune" over the years and will most likely bequeath them all to vicki and my nieces and nephews if they want any of it. Otherwise, these books are better off buried/cremated with me. Then i can really read them at long leisure. ;-)

Oftentimes, in the course of my reading adventures, i come across many beautiful and meaningful passages. So i thought this blogging thingy would be a good way to share some of these with you as i come across them in my readings.

These bloggings are for all of you.