Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Federico Moramarco - One Hundred and Eighty Degrees

Have you considered the possibility
that everything you believe is wrong,
not merely off a bit, but totally wrong,
nothing like things as they really are?

If you’ve done this, you know how durably fragile
those phantoms we hold in our heads are,
those wisps of thought that people die and kill for,
betray lovers for, give up lifelong friendships for.

If you’ve not done this, you probably don’t understand this poem,
or think it’s not even a poem, but a bit of opaque nonsense,
occupying too much of your day’s time,
so you probably should stop reading it here, now.

But if you’ve arrived at this line,
maybe, just maybe, you’re open to that possibility,
the possibility of being absolutely completely wrong,
about everything that matters.

How different the world seems then:
everyone who was your enemy is your friend,
everything you hated, you now love,
and everything you love slips through your fingers like sand.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jiddu Krishnamurti - The Great Silence

photo Fred Mount

 Way down in the valley were the dull lights of a small village; 
it was dark and the path was stony and rough. 
The waving lines of the hills against the starlit sky were deeply embedded in darkness 
and a coyote was howling somewhere nearby. 
The path had lost its familiarity and a small scented breeze was coming up the valley. 
To be alone in that solitude was to hear the voice of intense silence and its great beauty. 
Some animal was making noise among the bushes, frightened of attracting attention. 
It was quite dark by now and the world of that valley became deep in its silence. 
The night air had special smells, a blend of all the bushes that grow on the dry hills, 
that strong smell of bushes that know the hot sun. 
The rains had stopped many months ago; 
it wouldn’t rain again for a very long time and the path was dry, dusty and rough. 
The great silence with its vast space held the night 
and every movement of thought became still. 
The mind itself was the immeasurable space and in that deep quietness 
there was not a thing that thought had built. 
To be absolutely nothing is to be beyond measure. 
The path went down a steep incline and a small stream 
was saying many things, delighted with its own voice. 
It crossed the path several times and the two were playing a game together. 
The stars were very close and some were looking down from the hill tops. 
Still the lights of the village were a long way off 
and the stars were disappearing over the high hills. 
Be alone, without word and thought, but only watching and listening. 
The great silence showed that without it, 
existence loses its profound meaning and its beauty.

 From Krishnamurti’s Journal, page 124

Monday, August 1, 2016

Yu Xuanji - The house of the Immortals

I’ve come to the house of the Immortals:
In every corner, wildflowers bloom.
In the front garden, trees
Offer their branches for drying clothes;
Where I eat, a wine glass can float
In the springwater’s chill.
From the portico, a hidden path
Leads to the bamboo’s darkened groves.
Cool in a summer dress, I choose
From among the heaped piles of books.
Reciting poems in the moonlight, riding a painted boat…
Every place the wind carries me is home.

—Yu Xuanji. Taken from Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women (New York: Harper Collins, 1994)

Ramana Maharshi - Consciousness is indivisible

From ~~~ Ramana Smrti, P. 58. (Douglas E. Harding)


I thank Ramana Maharshi
for his uncompromising attitude to people’s problems.
For him, all the troubles that afflict humans
reduce to one trouble — mistaken identity.
The answer to the problem is to see Who has it.
At its own level it is insoluble.
And it must be so.
There is no greater absurdity,
no more fundamental or damaging a madness,
than to imagine one is centrally
what one looks like at a distance.
To think one is a human being here
is a sickness so deep-seated
that it underlies and generates all one’s ills.
Only cure that one basic disease
— mistaken identity —
and all is exactly as it should be.
I know no Sage who goes more directly
to the root of the disease,
and refuses more consistently
to treat its symptoms.
WHO AM I? is the only serious question.
And, most fortunately,
it is the only question that can be answered
without hesitation or the shadow of a doubt, absolutely.
I thank Ramana Maharshi above all
for tirelessly posing this question of questions,
and for showing how simple the answer is,
and for his lifelong dedication to that simple answer.
But in the last resort
all this talk of one giving
and another taking is unreal.
The notion that there was a consciousness
associated with that body in Tiruvannamalai,
and there is another consciousness
associated with this body in Nacton, England,
and a lot of other consciousness
associated with the other bodies
comprising the universe —
this is the great error
which Maharshi never tolerated.
Consciousness is indivisible.

 Douglas E. Harding
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