a new vision of melancholia


Life is a refining process through which we are sculpted by the winds and storms. Suffering provides abrasion for refinement. Survival forces us to change; without the struggle and rawness, how would we evolve? The pain and struggle that are part of my odyssey have taught me a comprehension of the earthly, of myself so that when faced with a challenge, I often have the capacity to rest outside of the complexity. Only in simplicity can complexity coexist in harmony…Carolyn Mary Kleefeld

we forget how arbitrarily we define our lives, good and bad, light and dark……our deepest consciousness rests in the unalterable essence….where matter and illusion co-exist….spirituality is not about idealism…it is the real, dark, vital experience of our lives…

Melancholy is one of the four humors. The Renaissance inherited two traditions concerning it: the first, the Galenic, in which melancholy, because of its cold and dry qualities, is inimical to life; and the Aristotelian, in which melancholy of the right kind is favorable to the imaginative and intellectual powers. During the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy this latter concept was revived, principally by the Florentine Humanist and neo-platonist, Marsilio Ficino, whose book, De vita libri tres sums up this revaluation. By following Aristotle’s statement that all the intellectually brilliant were melancholic by temperament, he fused the furor melancholicus with the platonic furor divinus. In this way he transformed what in the Middle Ages had been regarded as the most inimical of all the humors into that which was a mark of genius. Gradually the attributes and attitudes of melancholy became an indispensable adjunct of any Renaissance man with artistic or intellectual pretensions……Roy Strong

the atman, the soul, the breath…

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.

To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,

and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,

and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

….Wendell Berry

4 thoughts on “a new vision of melancholia

  1. We must realize that there is not only evolution but de-evolution, as much as we like to think we have risen from savagery, perhaps we have also fallen from grace ?

    • …..being in the deep grand canyon of 1.8 billion years old, this question really hangs on……I think we’re falling all the time……and rising at the same time…it’s our judgments about it that get in the way somehow…..all flows, like the heat and ice that formed rock, like the beauty and suffering that sits with us, answering nothing…..may you know the waiting time to be fluid g.f.s…..

  2. I am reminded of a conversation with a friend years ago. Her father had been diagnosed with cancer, and I made the comment ‘what a blessing’. I think she was immediately offended, but I quickly explained that while unfortunate, this would later become a time of great beauty – a gift without price. We are often so busy trying to categorize things into night and day that we fail to see that the difference to shadow is our own light. The worst things to happen to us are often the best things, once we dare to take them out of the box. Lovingly, Me

    • ‘out of the box’ expresses that keen physical law of matter and energy doesn’t it? we are so driven to distinguish between light and shadow……..death and life….how do we live in between? sweetly I guess, simply sweetly….may warm sun kiss your shadows Bobbie…..

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