“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
Here is T. S. Eliot, warning us that in the darkness we must wait, that we must surrender, not to inaction, but to NOT KNOWING. Here is the secret. That is the universal solvent to our spiritual journey. To wait.
(Poem is an extract from the Four Quartets)
Solar eclipse, Berlin, Friday 20 March
“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things”
Not many times you read a book and you just don’t want to finish it. The book shows Miller’s soul, the funny and eloquent ways he expressed his views, the special people he met throughout his life in Big Sur and the genius he developed here as a writer, as a father and as a Human.
Do you like to get intimate with fear ? Do you like to feel disappointed? Normally I would said no. I’d usually ran away from fear and I would hate to feel disappointed.
Within almost four decades I have had certain moments where pain, difficulty and misery have affected me somehow. After the death of my Father – and the process of his disease, a divorce, and other devastating events such as break- ups-, problems at work and other situations, that I sometimes used to call or see them as failures.
As many others, I’ve been running away from fear and from the fear of suffering. Instead, I had always put in place hope, to block the fear from coming. The thing is that fear and hope are actually two sides of the same coin. The hope we create in our minds is nothing but an illusion. An illusion like: “everything will be better”, “we will find the right person”, “we will get perfect job”, etc. For now I’d say: hope is not something we really need, because all we need is what we have NOW.
The only thing that really exists is the now. In the case of fear/pain, I had finally face it, recently. Even though I’ve always thought it was horrible, because suffering involves crying and pain for hours-days-months sometimes, those days when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep and on, but after all theres something I liked about it. When you finally face your fears and suffer, what you’re doing is that you’re opening your heart. You are growing stronger. It’s in the midst of troubled times when you see the light. Its one hard but meaningful moment of truth and awareness. “An illumination in the darkness of ignorance” says Pema. Here- when getting to know your fears and facing sadness and suffering- you are able to realize how much harm you have done to yourself…. and also the harm you have caused to others and from this stating point, a sense of forgiveness and of acceptance arrives. In the case of disappointment I will leave it all to Pema who wise fully says: “When there’s a disappointment, I don’t know if it’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure.”
Pema Chödrön, an American Buddhist Nun and meditation master of a Tibetan Buddhist Practice, wrote a book called “When Things Fall Apart”, a book that both me and my very good friend Efy are currently reading. Will be back with a lil more from it… ❤
“Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.”
The Tropic of Cancer, tropic referred to as the Northern tropic with the sun at its zenith, its an event that occurs once per year at the time of the June solstice. Regarding the second word, Cancer, the author explains the title of his novel: “It was because to me cancer symbolizes the disease of civilization, the endpoint of the wrong path, the necessity to change course radically, to start completely over from scratch.”
Published in Paris in 1934, this title can be read as a metaphor of the City. Indeed, the City is the main character of this extraordinary book I’m currently reading. The ironic relationship of Miller with Paris, a love/hate relationship, with a city that shines like the sun at its zenith, that promises the splendor to the young artist who enters it, but that reveals itself as a disease while the same artist actually begins to live in it.
This aforementioned quote I find brilliant, refers at some point to the huge scandal that this novel had because of its language and its approach to some taboos for that time, the 30′s, especially related to sex. Prohibited in USA and UK for three decades because of the confusion between ethics and aesthetics that seems to lead to its interpretation, the novel was considered immoral and obscene.
I feel now very fortunate to read one of the greatest modernist writings in the universal literature and as Annais Nin said in the Preface “a book that might restore our appetite for the fundamental realities”.