Saturday, March 31, 2012

Aristophanes on love

Each of us when separated, having one side only, like a flat fish, is but the indenture of a man, and he is always looking for his other half... And when one of them meets with his other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and will not be out of the other's sight, as i may say, even for a moment: these are the people who pass their whole lives together: yet they could not explain what they desire of one another. For the intense yearning which each of them has towards the other does not appear to be the desire of lover's intercourse, but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell, and of which she has only a dark and doubtful presentiment. Suppose Hephaestus, with his instruments, were to come to the pair who are lying side by side and say to them, "What do you people want of one another?" They would be unable to explain. And suppose further, that when he saw their perplexity he said, "Do you desire to be wholly one; always day and night to be in one another's company, for it this is what you desire, I am ready to melt you into one and let you grow together....." There is not a man of them who when he heard the proposal would deny or would acknowledge that this meeting and melting into one another, this becoming one instead of two, was the very expression of his ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Steppenwolf - Herman Hesse

"Time and the world, money and power belong to the small people and the shallow people. To the rest, to the real men belongs nothing. Nothing but death."
"Nothing else?"
"Yes, eternity."
"You mean a name, and fame with posterity?"
"No, Steppenwolf, not fame. Has that any value? And do you think that all true and real men have been famous and known to posterity?"
"No, of course not."
"Then, it isn't fame. Fame exists in that sense only for the schoolmasters. No, it isn't fame. It is what I call eternity. The pious call it the kingdom of God. I say to myself: all we who ask too much and have a dimension too many could not contrive to live at all if there were not another air to breathe outside of this world, if there were not eternity at the back of time, and this is the kingdom of truth. The music of Mozart belongs there and the poetry of your great poets. The saints, too, belong there, who have worked wonders and suffered martyrdom and given a great example to men. But the image of every true act, the strength of every true feeling, belongs to eternity just as much, even though no one knows of it or sees it or records it or hands it down to posterity... Ah, Harry, we have to stumble through so much dirt and humbug before we reach home. And we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is our homesickness.

Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jung on the unconscious

When people let their unconscious speak, they always tell us the most important things of their intimate selves - even the smallest details appears to have meaning.

Carl Jung

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Dream Play - August Strindberg

The Poet: It seems to me that all this has happened before --
The Daughter: So it seems to me also.
The Poet: Perhaps I have dreamt it.
The Daughter: Or put it in a poem, perhaps.
The Poet: Or put it in a poem.
The Daughter: Then you know what poetry is.
The Poet: Then I know what dreaming is.
The Daughter: It seems to me that we have said all this to each other before, in some other place.
The Poet: Then you may soon figure out what reality is.
The Daughter: Or dreaming!
The Poet: Or poetry!

A Dream Play, August Strindberg

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

real but hidden story

Art reveals and expresses our real but hidden story: that which lies under the surface, in the realm of feeling, unavailable to the naked eye; that which still resonates, though long past, through memories or fantasies or the thoughts that course through our mind.

What literature teaches us about life, Arnold Weinstein

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012


All that I’ve hoarded is lost. All that I gave is mine.


Friday, March 16, 2012

eternal recurrence - Jung

Just a moment ago we were given over to the noisy ephemeral life of the present, when something very far away and strange appears to us, which turns our attention to things of another order; a glimpse away from the incoherent multiplicity of the present to a higher coherence in history. Very likely it would suddenly occur to us that on this spot where we now run busily to and fro a similar life and activity prevailed two thousand years ago in somewhat other forms; similar passions moved mankind, and man was likewise convinced of the uniqueness of his existence.

Carl Jung, The psychology of the unconscious

Saturday, March 10, 2012

art criticism

.. what is the use of art-criticism? Why cannot the artist be left alone, to create a new world if he wishes it, or, if not, to shadow forth the world which we already know, and of which, I fancy, we would each one of us be wearied if Art, with her fine spirit of choice and delicate instinct of selection, did not, as it were, purify it for us, and give to it a momentary perfection. It seems to me that the imagination spreads, or should spread, a solitude around it, and works best in silence and in isolation. Why should the artist be troubled by the shrill clamour of criticism? Why should those who cannot create take upon themselves to estimate the value of creative work? What can they know about it? If a man's work is easy to understand, an
explanation is unnecessary. . . .

Oscar Wilde, The critic as artist: with some remarks on the importance of doing nothing

Friday, March 09, 2012

those who were seen dancing - Nietzsche

And those who were seen dancing
were thought to be insane
by those who could not hear the music.


Friday, March 02, 2012

practice of patience

The practice of patience protects us from losing our composure. In doing that it enables us to exercise discernment, even in the heat of difficult situations. It gives us inner space. And within that space we gain a degree of self-control, which allows us to respond to situations in an appropriate and compassionate manner rather than being driven by our anger and irritation.

HH Dalai Lama