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Monthly Archives: January 2011

“The broad, incalculable sweep of time lets emerge everything that is not open as well as concealing (again) in itself what has appeared.”

– Sophocles

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“Time crumbles all things; everything grows old and is forgotten under the power of time.”

-Aristotle

Although we need the Word

to keep things known in common,

people still treat specialists

as if their nonsense

were a form of wisdom.


– Heraclitus (translated by Brooks Haxton)

If I think I am very beautiful and you tell me I am not, which may be a fact, do I like it? If I think I am very intelligent, very clever, and you point out that I am actually a rather silly person, it is very unpalatable to me. And your pointing out my stupidity gives you a sense of pleasure, does it not? It flatters your vanity, it shows how clever you are. But you do not want to look at your own stupidity; you want to run away from what you are, you want to hide from yourself, you want to cover up your own emptiness, your own loneliness. So you seek out friends who never tell you what you are. You want to show others what they are; but when others show you what you are, you do not like it. You avoid that which exposes your own inner nature.

– J.Krishnamurti (Life Ahead)

The uncanny is the simple, the insignificant, ungraspable by the fangs
of the will, withdrawing itself from all artifices of calculation, because
it surpasses all planning.
Heidegger
"It is said they (the thinkers) indeed know things
that are excessive, and thus astounding, and thereby difficult, and hence
in general [uncanny]—but also useless, for they are not seeking what
is, according to straightforward popular opinion, good for man."
Aristotle (translated by Heidegger)

Society is not changed by example. Society may reform itself, it may bring about certain changes through political or economic revolution, but only the religious man can create a fundamental transformation in society; and the religious man is not he who practices starvation as an example to impress society. The religious man is not concerned with society at all, because society is based on acquisitiveness, envy, greed, ambition, fear. That is, mere reformation of the pattern of society only alters the surface, it brings about a more respectable form of ambition. Whereas, the truly religious man is totally outside of society, because he is not ambitious, he has no envy, he is not following any ritual, dogma or belief; and it is only such a man who can fundamentally transform society, not the reformer. The man who sets out to be an example merely breeds conflict, strengthens fear, and brings about various forms of tyranny. It is very strange how we worship examples, idols. We don’t want that which is pure, true in itself; we want interpreters, examples, masters, gurus, as a medium through which to attain something – which is all sheer nonsense, and is used to exploit people. If each one of us could think clearly from the very beginning, or re-educate ourselves to think clearly, then all these examples, masters, gurus, systems, would be absolutely unnecessary, which they are anyhow.

J. Krishnamurti The Collected Works, Vol. IX

“…For although in a certain sense and for light-minded persons non-existent things can be more easily and irresponsibly represented in words than existing things, for the serious and conscientious historian it is just the reverse. Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, then to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born.”

– Hermann Hesse

“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but are not from you, and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of To-morrow,
Which you can not visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backwards nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the Bows from which your children as Living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
And he bends you with his might that
His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for Gladness:
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
So he loves also the bow that is stable.”

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

“Of course one should bring order into history,” Jacobus thundered. “Every science is, among other things, a method of ordering, simplifying, making the indigestible digestible for the mind. We think we have recognized a few laws in history and try to apply them to our investigations of historical truth. Suppose an anatomist is dissecting a body. He does not confront wholly surprising discoveries. Rather, he finds beneath the epidermis a congeries of organs, muscles, tendons, and bones which generally conform to a pattern he has brought to his work. But if the anatomist sees nothing but his pattern, and ignores the unique, individual reality of his object, then he is Castalian, a Glass Bead Game player; he is using mathematics on the least appropriate object. I have no quarrel with the student of history who brings to his work a touchingly childish, innocent faith in the power of our minds and our methods to order reality; but first and foremost he must respect the incomprehensible truth, reality, and uniqueness of events. Studying history, my friend, is no joke and no irresponsible game. To study history one must know in advance that one is attempting something fundamentally impossible, yet necessary and highly important. To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning. It is a very serious task, young man, and possibly a tragic one.”

– The Glass Bead Game, Hesse