“You have noticed that the truth comes into this world with two faces. One is sad with suffering, and the other laughs; but it is the same face, laughing or weeping.” Black Elk
“This morning, before Prime, in the early morning sky, three antiquated monoplanes flew over the monastery with much noise, followed by a great heron.” Thomas Merton, Conjectures
“Do not be afraid of the past. If people tell you that it is irrevocable, do not believe them. The past, the present and the future are but one moment in the sight of God, in whose sight we should try to live. Time and space, succession and extension, are merely accidental conditions of thought. The imagination can transcend them, and more in a free sphere of ideal existences. Things, also, are in their essence what we choose to make them. A thing is, according to the mode in which one looks at it. “Where others,” says Blake, “see but the dawn coming over the hill, I see the sons of God shouting for joy.” …What lies before me is my past. I have got to make myself look on that with different eyes, to make the world look on it with different eyes, to make God look on it with different eyes. This I cannot do by ignoring it, or slighting it, or praising it, or denying it. It is only to be done fully by accepting it as an inevitable part of the evolution of my life and character: by bowing my head to everything that I have suffered…You came to me to learn the pleasure of life and the pleasure of art. Perhaps I am chosen to teach you something much more wonderful—the meaning of sorrow and its beauty.” Oscar Wilde, De Profundis
“I never felt so lonely as in that particular hour when I was surrounded by people but suddenly realized my ultimate isolation. I became silent and retired from the group in order to be alone with my loneliness. I wanted my external predicament to match my internal one. Loneliness can be conquered only by those who can bear solitude. We have a natural desire for solitude because we are men. We want to feel what we are—namely alone—not in pain and horror, but with joy and courage. There are many ways in which solitude can be sought and experienced. And each way can be called “religious,” if it is truce, as one philosopher said, that “religion is what a man does with his solitariness.” Paul Tillich, Eternal Now
“Today I see Jung. He is in a chaise lounge on the terrace, listening through the open window to Scholem’s lecture. For a man of seventy-five, he appears in excellent health. From Mme. Corbin I learn some of the rumors that circulate around the great man. Jung has a prodigious appetite and is a great master in culinary matters. Knowing that Mme. Frobe-Kapteyn does not set a very good table, he secretly bought some dainties and treated himself in his room alone at night. But eventually he was found out, and one of his admirers in Ascona sent him yesterday evening, quite surreptitiously, a fried chicken.” Mircea Eliade, Journals
“Dear Herr N., I am sorry to be late with my answer. I was away on holiday and your letter was lying around for some time. You have experienced in your marriage what is an almost universal fact—that individuals are different from one another. Basically, each remains for the other an unfathomable enigma. There is never complete concord. If you have committed a mistake at all, it consisted in your having stiven too hard to understand your wife completely and not reckoning with the fact that in the end people don’t want to know what secrets are slumbering in their souls. If you struggle too much to penetrate into another person, you find that you have thrust him into a defensive position, and resistances develop because, through your efforts to penetrate and understand, he feels forced to examine those things in himself which he doesn’t want to examine. Everybody has his dark side which—so long as all goes well—he had better not know about. That is no fault of yours. It is a universal human truth which is nevertheless true, even though there are plenty of people who will assure you that they’d be only too glad to know everything about themselves. It is as good as certain that your wife had many thoughts and feeling which made her uneasy and which she wanted to hide even from herself. That is simply human. It is also the reason who so many elderly people withdraw into their own solitude where they won’t be disturbed. And it is always about things they would rather not be too clearly conscious of. Certainly you are not responsible for the existence of thee psychic contents. If nevertheless you are still tormented by guilt feelings, then consider for once what sins you have not committed which you would have liked to commit. This might perhaps cure you of your guilt feelings towards your wife. With kindest regards, yours sincerely,” C. G. Jung C. G. Jung, Letters
“Before you can paint a bamboo, the bamboo must have grown deep inside you. It is then that, brush in hand gazing intently, you will see the vision rise up before you. Capture the vision at once by the strokes of your brush, for it may vanish as suddenly as a hare at the approach of the hunter.” Su Dongpo
“When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.” Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
“If you could turn your heart Into a cowstall, Christ would be born again on earth!” Angelius Silesius
“The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
Until only the mountain remains.” Li Po
“The migrating bird
leaves no trace behind
and does not need a guide.” Dogen