Temet Nosce (Know Thyself)

This page exists as what used to be known as a "Commonplace Book" for the purpose of maintaining a log of the poetry and philosophy that inspires and propels much of my own thought and writing, and to share, with fellow sojourners, a collection of the beauty and wisdom of kindred souls throughout time. My hope is that we will collectively work towards the goal of a deep and sustaining self-knowledge that will, then, inspire and guide us to pursue beauty, peace and justice in our world.

“He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Friday, April 17, 2015

"Let Mystery Have It's Place In You" Henri Frederic Amiel

"Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the ploughshare of self-examination, but leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring."
~ Henri Frederic Amiel

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"The Mother of All Arts" Gene Logsdon

“As a working definition of art, I lean toward Tolstoy's: "Art is a human activity having for it's purpose the transmission to other of the highest and best feelings to which mankind has risen." It seems to me that, regarding agrarian art, the farther it moves away from the natural world, especially when the main goal is money profits, the more difficult it becomes for it to reflect "the highest and best feelings" of humanity. The same is true of, of course, of agriculture itself. The farther it tries to remove itself from nature in search of money, the more it moves away from the highest and healthiest kinds of food.”
~ Gene Logsdon, The Mother of All Arts: Agrarianism and the Creative Impulse

"You Are The Only Faithful Student You Have" Rumi

You are the only faithful student you have.
All the others leave eventually.
Have you been making yourself shallow
with making others eminent?
Just remember, when you're in union,
you don't have to fear
that you'll be drained.
The command comes to speak,
and you feel the ocean
moving through you.
Then comes, Be silent,
as when the rain stops,
and the trees in the orchard
begin to draw moisture
up into themselves.
~ Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, "You Are the Only Student You Have"

"Birth, Breath and Death" Amy Wright Glenn

"Wisdom and insight are born when we stay close to the birthing and dying. Wounds from the past can be healed. Forgiveness and perspective dawn. Our culture is currently fragmented from much of this wisdom. The training of doulas represents a healing shift. By holding compassionate and nonjudgmental space, doulas support families as they make room for the generations to enter and exit this world. As we attend to birth and death, we touch upon a great mystery and deeply benefit from being starkly reminded of our own mortality...While the birth/postpartum doula movement makes important inroads in our maternity care system, great commitment and insight are needed to bring doula care to the dying. The elderly are easily disregarded in a culture that worships youthfulness, independence and productivity. Like infants, the dying remind us of our fragility, our dependency and our need for each other. When we sequester either birth or death, we lose touch with the truth of our interdependence, the nesting of generations, and what Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh calls our “interbeing.”
~ Amy Wright Glenn

"You are capable of love, and so need not despair of insignificance." Yorke Brown

"...you are most certainly an infinitesimal in the cold vastness of the cosmos, and yes, you are only one of billions of humans and other creatures who have come before and will come after, and your life is barely a mathematical instant in the span of time. But you are also--just as certainly--a miracle: you are a creature capable of thought, of wonder, of awe. You are a creature capable of recognizing that you are not the center of the Universe. And it is because of that very capacity that you can see in other people the same intrinsic value that you see in yourself. You are a miracle. You are capable of love, and so need not despair of insignificance."
~ Yorke Brown, Dartmouth Professor of Physics and Astronomy