spiritual wank

There’s a point of view that’s taken from some meditators. I find myself drawn to this, and I recognize it, and have to stop. It’s the point of view that there is no ego. That there is no personality. That this is an appearance.

‘Who is asking that question?’

Yeah — ‘who’s asking the question? Who needs to fix themselves? Who needs to do the work? Look for that who and when you see through that there’s no who and that’s it’s allll this, then you’ll see the silliness of your pursuit…’ Now the best teachers are the ones who say, yeah you wake up, you also grow up across these lines of development…

There’s a partial truth in that, but it’s only a partial truth.

It’s partial, exactly. Like sure you can inhabit unbound, contentless awareness and it will feel like there is absolutely no self and everything is perfect as it is. And then five seconds later when you’re back in your body, yelling at your kids, you’ll realize how irrelevant that is to actually being good in the world.”

-In conversation between
Zubin Damania and David Fuller

 

 

 

everything

Fuck, I thought, in reference to the passing, fragmented awe I felt about my laptop working. For most of my life I had believed everything was broken. I had believed everything was broken in a manner that, I’d only recently begun to understand, blindly assumed things that weren’t true. My whole life I had been oriented toward the world in a manner that reflected me back. I’d always started with myself, only pretending to look outward, and only pretending to look inward too. I’d always viewed malice and tragedy as the only true facts of my life, ignoring everything else that didn’t fit my self-serving narrative. I had believed that everything was broken when in fact the opposite was true: everything worked! Even that which didn’t seem to work worked. It’s an unbelievable miracle, I thought, parroting Jordan Castro.”

-Jordan Castro
The Novelist

 

 

 

. . .

In town, everything was chaotic and contradictory. News from abroad was censored, but travel was left unrestricted. Confused was increased by a spate of new and conflicting regulations, and by the arbitrary way controls were imposed or lifted. The one thing that would have clarified the position was an overall picture of world events; but this was prohibited by the determination of the politicians to ban all foreign news. My impression was that they had lost their heads, did not know how to deal with the approaching danger, and hoped to keep the public in ignorance of its exact nature until a plan had been evolved.”

-Anna Kavan
Ice
1967

snakes

Thoughts were snakes shooting through high grasses. Now you see them, now you don’t. As you walk in the high grasses, you must take a stick and beat the ground. Scare up the snakes, pursue them to the edge of the field into the open and see them, exorcise them. You must perform this ritual now. In the middle of the night, alone with pen and paper, you sound out the snakey thoughts. You write one of those letters that’s never meant to be sent, isn’t addressed to anyone. No one’s eyes are meant to see this. This is a private ritual. The writer, the reader are trying to get as close together as possible. They are coming together, sealed in a word on a page where you’re trying to make the shooting thoughts come out in the pen. Shoot them down your arm, through your fingers, and out the end of your pen. Make them visible. You know it’s primitive: filling up a page so you can empty your mind. But you’re doing what you must: trying to let go. You’re starting by addressing yourself:”

-Constance DeJong
Modern Love

gone West

He has rejected a great many books that he liked before the War, as well as a great many trends in painting or music, because they have not stood the test of experience. The work of human thought should withstand the test of brutal, naked reality. If it cannot, it is worthless. Probably only those things are worth while which can preserve their validity in the eyes of man threatened with instant death.”

-Czeslaw Milosz
The Captive Mind

ink

‘… Your mother will be coming any moment now, and she’ll teach you many things.’ Eleseus is eager to learn and asks, ‘When you write on paper, what does it feel like?’—’It feels like almost nothing,’ the father answers, ‘just like being empty-handed.’—’But doesn’t he slip, like on the ice?’—’Who?’—’The pen you write with?’—’Uh-huh. Well you have to learn to steer him.'”

-Knut Hamsun
Growth of the Soil

glukupikron

It is a deadly stinginess by which the nonlover eludes desire. He measures his emotions out like a miser counting gold. There is no risk entailed in his transaction with eros because he does not invest in the single moment that is open to risk, the moment when desire begins, ‘now.’ ‘Now’ is the moment when change erupts. The nonlover declines change, as successfully as the cicadas do, enclosed in a carapace of sōphrosynē. He is secure in his narrative choices of life and love. He already knows how the novel will end, and he has firmly crossed out the beginning…

The point of time that Lysias deletes from his logos, the moment of mania when Eros enters the lover, is for Sokrates the single most important moment to confront and grasp. ‘Now’ is a gift from the gods and an access onto reality. To address yourself to the moment when Eros glances into your life and to grasp what is happening in your soul at that moment is to begin to understand how to live. Eros’ mode of takeover is an education: it can teach you the real nature of what is inside you. Once you glimpse that, you can begin to become it. Sokrates says it is a glimpse of a god.”

-Anne Carson
Eros, The Bittersweet