Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue [...] Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.
–Marie Rainer Rilke
Arriving at the conclusion that a human being is speaking seems simple to an unsophisticated mind, but in fact it is the result of very complicated processes. These processes all lead up to perceiving, in a sound in which on experiences oneself, another I at the same time. During this experience, everything else is disregarded; inasmuch as we turn our attention to it, the connection from I to I is what is taken into account. The whole mystery of the empathy with the I of another is expressed in this fact, a mystery we cannot attempt to describe other than to say that we feel our own I in that of the other. If we then perceive a sound coming from the other I, our own I lives in that sound and therefore in the other I.
Speaking, Listening, Understanding: The Art of Creating Conscious Conversation
A person should hear a little music, read a little poetry and see a fine picture every day in order that wordly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We can learn to love not only what is, but what will be.
Ah, we count the years, and introduce divisions here and there and stop and begin anew and waver between these options. But everything that we encounter is so very much of one piece,and so intimately related to everything else, and has given birth to itself, grows, and is then raised so much to come into its own, that we basically just need to be there, if only unassumingly, if only authentically, the way the earth is there in its affirmation of the seasons,light and dark and wholly in space, longing to be supported by nothing but that web of influences and forces where the stars feel secure.
–Marie Rainer Rilke
Whether a work of art consists of stone, wood, color, tone, word or whatever, its physical aspect is the end of a path, the condensation and embodiment of something invisible which has become visible in this process. The path began with an experience. In a work of art truly worthy of the name, this experience always originates in the spiritual world; it is the artist’s sense of being looked at by a divine being. For true art takes what is merely personal and raises it to the level of what is shared by all humanity.
The path comes into being by being trod upon,
By being discovered step by step.
Do not sit back and expect the path to appear of itself.
One has to begin, to move, to go somewhere to find it,
even if the movement only means working toward a right attitude.
The inner compass can direct on in the right direction
so that outer movement is not senseless wandering.
-Claire Blatchford, Friend of My Heart
Imagination means singing to a wide invisible audience. It means receptivity to the creative unconscious, the macrocosmic mind, the artistic mind. It makes erotic philosophers of us, as we imagine the world of images that make whole. To imagine is to give birth to—to embody the spirit of Word and picture and behavior. The world will change when we can imagine it differently, and like artists, do the work of creating new social forms.
Imagination is a bridge between our ordinary senses and the archetypal world which transcends the senses. It is a world of images which can inspire us, nourish us. It is also a world of daimonic powers that can harm us. We need to develop our authenticity, our inner I AM, to receive Sophia, our sacred Wisdom, to learn to guide our tiny craft through cosmic waters.
Opening Our Moral Eye: Essays, Talks and Poems Embracing Creativity and Community
The basis of all free religious life that will unfold in humanity in the future will be the acknowledgment, not merely in theory but in actual practice, that every human being is made in the likeness of the Godhead. When that time comes then every meeting between one person and another will of itself be in the nature of a religious rite, a sacrament.
What liberates is the knowledge of who we were, what we became; where we were, where into we have been thrown; where to we speed, wherefore we are redeemed; what birth is, and what rebirth.
–Valentius, Second Century Gnostic
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet…
–J. R. R. Tolkien
I understand vocation… not as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received. Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth….
–Parker J. Palmer
Destiny grants us our wishes, but in its own way,
in order to give us something beyond our wishes.
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It is a starting point in the understanding of Destiny to know: I have taken in,
like an indrawn breath, my being, my soul and spirit, at earthly birth out of the
widths of heaven. I bear in myself the whole image of the starry world, parts
of it indeed emphasized as my particular responsibility. In the struggle of earth,
this heavenly commission would now be forgotten were it not for Spirit. The
nearer I draw to Spirit the better I shall remember it: and in its presence not
be overwhelmed by it, but in every situation helped in finding the first small
steps to carry out my commission afresh.
–Adam Bittleston, The Spirit of the Circling Stars
Rhythmic strains in a biography are the music that plucks at our heartstrings.
–Bill Bryant, A Journey Through Time: Biographical Rhythms
First, there is what it does to the listener. A miracle of self-overcoming takes place within him whenever he really lends an ear to others. If he is to understand the person speaking, he must withdraw his attention from his own concerns and make a present of it to the speaker: he clears his inner scene like one who for a time gives up his home for others’ use while himself remaining only in the role of servant. Listeners quite literally entertain a speaker’s thought.
Second, there is what happens to the speaker when he is fortunate enough to be listened to perceptively. Another kind of miracle takes place in him, perhaps best described as a springtime burgeoning. Before his idea was expressed to a listener, it lives in his soul as potential only; it resembled a seed force lying fallow in the winter earth. To be listened to with real interest acts upon this seed like sun and warmth and rain and other cosmic elements that provide growth impetus; the soul ground in which the idea is embedded comes magically alive.
–Marjorie Spock, Group Moral Artistry I, Reflections on Community Building
It must always be born in mind that each (person) is an individual
whose soul must be studied individually.