Kiss the joy as it flies

ccSydney Long (1871-1955)

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.

– William Blake

image: Sydney Long (1871-1955)

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Rejoice because thorns have roses

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 “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses” says Alphonse Karr.

What this is telling us, is that we can choose to see the positive side of something, rather than to focus on the negative.

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

The Herd

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Hence any one who seeks for the true causes of miracles, and strives to understand natural phenomena as an intelligent being, and not to gaze at them like a fool, is set down and denounced as an impious heretic by those, whom the masses adore as the interpreters of nature and the gods. Such persons know that, with the removal of ignorance, the wonder which forms their only available means for proving and preserving their authority would vanish also.~ Spinoza

Illumination

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But sometimes illumination comes to our rescue at the very moment when all seems lost; we have knocked at every door and they open on nothing until, at last, we stumble unconsciously against the only one through which we can enter the kingdom we have sought in vain a hundred years – and it opens.

~ Marcel Proust

image – Rockwell Kent

Inside me there was everything I had believed was outside

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Image: René Magritte

“Inside me there was everything I had believed was outside. There was, in particular, the sun, light, and all colours. There were even the shapes of objects and the distance between objects. Everything was there and movement as well… Light is an element that we carry inside us and which can grow there with as much abundance, variety, and intensity as it can outside of us…I could light myself…that is, I could create a light inside of me so alive, so large, and so near that my eyes, my physical eyes, or what remained of them, vibrated, almost to the point of hurting…” – Jacques Lusseyran

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

The hands that work on us

What is required of us is that we love the difficult and learn to deal with it. In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us. Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are.

—Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters, Vol. I: 1892-1910

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A Subtle Difference

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a man, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn…

— You Learn 
— by Jorge Luis Borges

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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