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Desire...

Imprisoned flowers
Parched of light
Refuse to open
For the honeybee
Yearning to sip
Of the nectar
From under the
Cherry blossom tree

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Madness...

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“Be silent and listen:
have you recognized your madness and do you admit it?
Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness?
Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner?
You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you.
Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life...
If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature...
Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim.
Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical.
Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law.
What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.”
~ CG Jung.

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To Earn a Living...?

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"We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living.

We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

~ Richard Buckminster Fuller

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Kindness...

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Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

~ Naomi Shihab Nye

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Dark Night...

The dark night rises...
Love unfurls
like a stubborn petal
in the twilight of its existence

only to be extinguished
by the harshness of light,
wishing for the liminality of life
to dissolve into its fullness of being

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Dragonfly and Lotus

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“Young man”, said Bu Fu at the beginning of the first lesson, "though I am a sorcerer, we must begin at the beginning." 

"And what's the beginning?" said Chi Po. 

"Tell me, my foolish piece of youth, if your mother and father could give you anything you desired, what things would you ask them for?" 

That was a question Chi Pohad often dreamed of himself, and had answered, too, in his dreams.   So he replied without hesitation: "Anew hoop, a dog from Peking, strawberries and whipped cream every afternoon, and two rocking chairs, one for Father and one for Mother, because they have always wanted rocking chairs." 

"Now sit at the door of my cave," said Bu Fu, "and watch the sky and the trees, and watch above all the wind and the destruction of the clouds, and watch the squirrels and the conies, and dream of the brush and of your hand which will sweep over the silk of your next painting." 

With this Bu Fupronounced several frightful incantations, and abandoning Chi Po at the mouth of the cave, he went gathering acorns.  Only the bulbul remained with Chi.  He sat on a branch where he could watch the newcomer, and you could see by the tilt of his head and the angle of his beak that he doubted whether Chi could do it. And it wasn't easy.  Now that BuFu had reminded him of the new hoop and the strawberries, Chi Po found it hard to send his thoughts into the trees and to keep his eye on the destruction of the clouds.  But the afternoon was warm, and Chi settled drowsily with his back to the cave, chewing on a pine needle as he sat. 

He watched a cloud leave the top of a cedar and edge cautiously over to the top of another cedar -- "Like a tightrope walker," thought Chi. And then he heard the wind: well now, it 'ooooed' against the rocks, and 'frushled' among the leaves, and tickled in the pines, and it just went loose above the earth. And on top of the wind went the snitting of the sparrows, the wild geese, the magpies, and above all, the lilling of the scarlet-throated winch, and "Oh," thought Chi Po, "the treble of the birds and the bass of the wind -- the high of the mountain and the low of the river -- the king and the slave -­- father and boy -- above and below -- spring and winter," and on he went in this way, delighted with his discovery and getting drowsy indeed, while the bulbul watched him out of his single eye. 

"Young one," said Bu Fu, returning with the acorns, "what is on your mind?"  "Oh," said Chi Po, a little ashamed, "nothing." "Excellent, supreme," cried Bu Fu, his beard quivering.  "You have had your first lesson.  Now go home, because I have work in hand.  Come back tomorrow.  If your mind is still free of that clutter of strawberries and rocking chairs, I will allow you to paint a single dragonfly on a single lotus flower.  Off then!"  

"So," said Bu Fu the next day, when Chi Po came puffing up to the cave, "what of the clutter?" 

"I hope it is still gone, sir," answered Chi Po. "May I try the dragonfly, please?" 

"And the lotus blossom.  Yes, you may." 

And Bu Fu told Chi Po why a dragonfly needs a flower, and why a flower needs a dragonfly, for the one stays in the ground and rises from the ground upward, while the other moves about and descends from the sky downward. 

"Therefore," said Chi Po, "I must paint them where they meet, where down flows into up and up flows into down."

~ Oscar Mandel.

~ Artwork: Sukanya Kar.

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Unfold Your Own Myth...

Today I began contemplating about the ‘outer’ and the ‘inner’. As sentient beings we know our solar system quite intimately. We know the distance from Earth to the Sun; between the sun and the moon; the earth's radius; its circumference; how quickly it spins on its axis; the fact that it has a wobble to its orbit - its precession… We know an awful lot about “out there…”

I then began to consider how little we know of the oceans. Most of them remain uncharted in their depths, perhaps because we don’t have the means to navigate them and yet they are so much ‘closer’ than the stars we know so much about.

If we move even closer to ‘home’ then and consider ‘self’, we have a ‘conscious being’ and an ‘unconscious being’. If we agree that correspondences such as ‘black is to white as yin is to yang’ or ‘rocket is to fast as snail is to slow’ are appropriate then we can also say that ‘unconscious is to water as conscious is to matter or earth.’

Hermetically speaking it's therefore not surprising that we seem to know an awful lot about the earth and its place in the universe etc, but we know very little about the oceans. I say that because we also know much about our bodies right down to the cellular level, and their conscious ways of being but we know very little of our ‘self’ and its unconscious ways of being.

There’s so much discussion these days regarding politics, race, sexuality, religion, but very little about who we are as individuals and what our place is within the universe, within the collective unconscious. We would rather identify our ‘self’ with ‘politics’, ‘culture’, or ‘religion’ rather than stripping ourselves to the bone, standing naked in front of the mirror and asking just who the hell am I if I remove all that shit? Just what is it that I am afraid of? Why pass the buck and ask somebody else to make me happy, make me feel less lonely, or save me?

Perhaps we should focus more on ourselves being the change we wish to see in the world rather than expecting somebody else to do it for us. Perhaps if we are willing to plummet the depths of our own unconscious we might at least be able to begin to ask the right questions…

As Rumi once said, “Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

Thoughts anyone...?

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Freethought

DAY 65/100 - #100dayproject #100daysofcalligraphy

F for…FREETHOUGHT… a philosophical point of view which regards truth on the basis of logic and reasoning rather than authority, tradition or dogma.
Some notable freethinkers I admire: Carl Jung, William Blake, Woody Allen, Buckminster Fuller, Elton John, Frida Kahlo, John Lennon, Susan Sontag, Leo Tolstoy and my wife…

Here’s to breaking the chains of mental slavery…

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#100daysofcalligraphy

I've been doing #the100dayproject again this year. I'm currently on day 16 and thoroughly enjoying learning the art of calligraphy. Today I started capital letters.

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Meet the Artist - JDCA

I went to the 203rd 'Meet the Artist' event at the JDCA (Jatin Das Centre of Art) on Saturday. This month was hosted by Shri Kanduri Charan Patra - a traditional handloom weaver from Odisha. He described the labor intensive processes involved within the art of weaving including ‘tie and dye’ and had many examples of traditional textiles on display.

The 'Meet the Artist' program is held on the second Saturday of each month and is a great way of meeting likeminded creatives.

For more information you may visit their website:

www.jdcentreofart.org

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