I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear, nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion…..Thoreau
when we feel like we’re dragging a bag of shadows or stones or unwanted questions around, it is part of digging in to root out…..to find that honesty about where our lives charm us or leave us burdened…..signs of a hungry heart…..
We are drawn to a spiritual path out of a desire for tranquil abiding. Just saying the words feels wonderful, like an antidote to the fear, unhappiness, and anxiety with which we often approach life. Fear of what? Fear of our basic human condition. If we stop long enough to take a quiet look at our situation, we’ll hear the tick-tick-ticking of time’s impersonal progress. Spirituality invites us to linger. It gives us a way of standing naked in the truth of the human condition, meeting it head-on with curiosity and openness. This is serious work, but the mysterious outcome of the work is a lightness of heart- what we call happiness……Elizabeth Lesser
In the dark interior space of the forge, life is heated and beaten into soul. The anvil is its altar, because the sweaty work going on is a spiritual one, an alchemy by which the raw materials of life are shaped. The unicorn is a spiritual beast, an amalgam of the high and the low, just as the forge is a dark place where a tough smithy does his grimy work. It’s all very sensuous and very spiritual, and it all takes place in the dark, where the only light is made by sparks and fire. This is the magic and creativity of the dark place. Here an alchemy of the elements transforms the raw stuff of a life into a thing of usefulness and beauty. A dark night can toughen you and steel you helping you to be a real presence in your world. The most precious gift of your dark night might be the sheer edge and heft of your soul, your presence as a person of real substance……Thomas Moore