Monthly Archives: October 2005

discovering

I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.

-Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)

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expressing

Poetry is the clear expression of mixed feelings.

-W.H. Auden, poet (1907-1973)


ways you’ve never thought

Bly_1THINGS TO THINK
By Robert Bly

Think in ways you’ve never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that somebody may bring a bear to your door.
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.

When someone knocks on the door, think that he’s about
To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,
Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, or that it’s
Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.


secrets

I’ve never read Deepak Chopra but for some reason I was drawn to open his book, The Book of Secrets, yesterday in Borders KL. Here’s an excerpt taken from the publisher’s website:

The greatest hunger in life is not for food, money, success, status, security, sex, or even love from the opposite sex. Time and again people have achieved all of these things and wound up still feeling dissatisfied—indeed, often more dissatisfied than when they began. The deepest hunger in life is a secret that is revealed only when a person is willing to unlock a hidden part of the self. In the ancient traditions of wisdom, this quest has been likened to diving for the most precious pearl in existence, a poetic way of saying that you have to swim far out beyond shallow waters, plunge deep into yourself, and search patiently until the pearl beyond price is found.

The pearl is also called essence, the breath of God, the water of life, holy nectar—labels for what we, in our more prosaic scientific age, would simply call transformation. Transformation means radical change of form, the way a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. In human terms, it means turning fear, aggression, doubt, insecurity, hatred, and emptiness into their opposites. Can this really be achieved? One thing we know for certain: The secret hunger that gnaws at people’s souls has nothing to do with externals like money, status, and security. It’s the inner person who craves meaning in life, the end of suffering, and answers to the riddles of love, death, God, the soul, good and evil. A life spent on the surface will never answer these questions or satisfy the needs that drive us to ask them.

Finding the hidden dimensions in yourself is the only way to fulfill your deepest hunger…

…Ultimately you have to believe that your life is worth investigating with total passion and commitment. It took thousands of tiny decisions to keep the book of secrets closed, but it takes only a single moment to open it again.

I take it literally when the New Testament says, “Ask and you will receive, knock and the door will be opened.” It’s that simple. You will know every secret about life when you can truly say I must know. I can’t wait a moment longer. Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree and Jesus wrestling with demons in the desert are symbolic of the same drama of the soul that you were born to repeat. Never doubt this: You are the most significant being in the world, because at the level of the soul you are the world. You don’t have to earn the right to know. Your very next thought, feeling, or action can begin to uncover the deepest spiritual wisdom, which flows as pure and free as mountain waters in spring. It isn’t possible for the self to keep secrets from itself forever, no matter how thoroughly we’ve been trained to believe otherwise.

-Deepak Chopra, from his introduction to The Book of Secrets: Unlocking The Hidden Dimensions Of Your Life


never

People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.

-John Porter