the unlearning of spirit

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Astonishing. Getting older and older, I still stand here at this window, watching as if never having watched anything like it before – the wrens, juncos, and purple finches picking the seeds strewn on the pile of frozen snow. Through my breath condensing into fog on the cold window pane, I still see bare branches chasing their shadows in the icy wind, black threads of water crinkling through fissures in the frozen river. I am aware that what I am seeing is no more, no less than the great Mystery, that of being here at all, that of seeing it – as from the other side of a mirror – snow, birds, my breath still condensing, that breath that started so long ago as my first cry………Frederick Franck

do we ever allow the river to freeze within us? to feel the solid ice of holding and the cold that wrenches our heart? sometimes it is best to be in our lives, simply, in the blue-lipped, hard-packed white of a cold long fissure…..

As it is, we are merely bolting our lives—gulping down undigested experiences as fast as we can stuff them in—because awareness of our own existence is so superficial and so narrow that nothing seems to us more boring than simple being.  If I ask you what you did, saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted yesterday, I am likely to get nothing more than the thin, sketchy outline of the few things that you noticed, and of those only what you thought worth remembering. Is it surprising that an existence so experienced seems so empty and bare that its hunger for an infinite future is insatiable? But suppose you could answer, “It would take me forever to tell you, and I am much too interested in what’s happening now.” How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god? And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvelous patterns of its environment—from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies—how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being?…..Alan Watts

contemporary explorations

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. ……….Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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