Every being cries out silently to be read differently

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C. D. Friedrich –  Two Men by the Sea

Justice. To be ever ready to admit that another person is something quite different from what we read when he is there (or when we think about him). Or rather, to read in him that he is certainly something different, perhaps something completely different from what we read in him.
Every being cries out silently to be read differently.
—  Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace

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In the Case of Good Books

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“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” 
 Mortimer J. Adler

image: Lin Kristensen acquired from Wikimedia Commons

Listen With a Still Heart

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Above all, he learned from it how to listen, to listen with a still heart, with a waiting, open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgment, without opinions. — Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

Stargazer

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Image: ‘Stargazer’ – Sam Wolfe Connelly

“There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht — I can see they have already begun.” – Hermann Hesse; Glass Bead Game

“I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.” – Hermann Hesse; Damien

I Call That Man Awake..

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“I call that man awake who, with conscious knowledge and understanding, can perceive the deep unreasoning powers in his soul, his whole innermost strength, desire and weakness, and knows how to reckon with himself.”

– Hermann Hesse

photo: Reflection of photographer Maynard Owen Williams in a storefront window

Every creature is its own reason to be…

“Do not harass the ant that’s dragging a seed, because it has life and sweet life is dear.”

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We conceive of the individual animal as a small world, existing for its own sake, by its own means. Every creature is its own reason to be. All its parts have a direct effect on one another, a relationship to one another, thereby constantly renewing the circle of life; thus we are justified in considering every animal physiologically perfect. Viewed from within, no part of the animal is a useless or arbitrary product of the formative impulse (as so often thought). Externally, some parts may seem useless because the inner coherence of the animal nature has given them this form without regard to outer circumstance. Thus…[not] the question, What are they for? but rather, Where do they come from?

– Goethe, Scientific Studies

The Dance of Life, Metamorphosis..

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The art of living is based on rhythm – on give and take, ebb and flow, light and dark, life and death. By acceptance of all aspects of life, good and bad, right and wrong, yours and mine, the static, defensive life, which is what most people are cursed with, is converted into a dance, ‘the dance of life,’ metamorphosis. One can dance to sorrow or to joy; one can even dance abstractly … But the point is that, by the mere act of dancing, the elements which compose it are transformed; the dance is an end in itself, just like life. The acceptance of the situation, any situation, brings about a flow, a rhythmic impulse towards self-expression.

– Henry Miller: The Wisdom of the Heart

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