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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Now the pupil had become a teacher, and as such he had mastered the major task of his first period in office: the struggle to win authority and forge an identity of person and office. In the course of this he made two discoveries. The first was the pleasure it gives to transplant the achievements of the mind into other minds and see them being transformed into entirely new shapes and emanations — in other words, the joy of teaching. The second was grappling with the personalities of the students, the attainment and practice of authority and leadership — in other words, the joy of educating. He never separated the two, and during his magistracy he not only trained a large number of good and some superb Glass Bead Game players, but also by example, by admonition, by his austere sort of patience, and by the force of his personality and character, elicited from a great many of his students the very best they were capable of.

– Hesse ( Glass Bead Game)

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Conflict develops when one feels himself to be in the right and runs into opposition. If one is not convinced of being in the right, opposition leads to craftiness or highhanded encroachment but not to open conflict. If a man is entangled in a conflict, his only salvation lies in being so clear-headed and inwardly strong that he is always ready to come to terms by meeting the opponent halfway. To carry on the conflict to the bitter end has evil effects even when one is the right, because the enmity is then perpetuated.

It is important to see the great man, that is, an impartial man whose authority is great enough to terminate the conflict amicably or assure a just decision. In times of strife, crossing the great water is to be avoided, that is, dangerous enterprises are not to be begun, because in order to be successful they require concerted unity of focus. Conflict within weakens the power to conquer danger without.

– I Ching (hexagram 6. Sung/Conflict)

Man himself acts through the hand; for the hand is, together with the word, the essential distinction of man. Only a being which, like man, “has” the word, can and must “have” “the hand.” Through the hand occur both prayer and murder, greeting and thanks, oath and signal, and also the “work” of the hand, the “hand-work,” and the tool. The handshake seals the covenant. The hand brings about the “work” of destruction. The hand exists as hand only where there is disclosure and concealment. No animal has a hand, and a hand never originates from a paw or a claw or talon. Even the hand of one in desperation (it least of all) is never a talon, with which a person clutches wildly. The hand sprang forth only out of the word and together with the word. Man does not “have” hands, but the hand holds the essence of man, because the word as the essential realm of the hand is the ground of the essence of man. The word as what is inscribed and what appears to the regard is the written word, i.e., script. And the word as script is handwriting.

It is not accidental that modern man writes “with” the typewriter and “dictates” “into” a machine. This “history” of the kinds of writing is one of the main reasons for the increasing destruction of the word. The latter no longer comes and goes by means of the writing hand, the properly acting hand, but by means of the mechanical forces it releases. The typewriter tears writing from the essential realm of the hand, i.e., the realm of the word. The word itself turns into something “typed.” Where typewriting, on the contrary, is only a transcription and serves to preserve the writing, or turns into print something already written, there it has a proper, though limited, significance. In the time of the first dominance of the typewriter, a letter written on this machine still stood for a breach of good manners. Today a hand-written letter is an antiquated and undesired thing; it disturbs speed reading. Mechanical writing deprives the hand of its rank in the realm of the written word and degrades the word to a means of communication. In addition, mechanical writing provides this “advantage,” that it conceals the handwriting and thereby the character. The typewriter makes everyone look the same.

– Heidegger  (Parmenides, p.80-81)

For the discovery of truth there is no path. You must enter the uncharted sea – which is not depressing, which is not being adventurous. When you want to find something new, when you are experimenting with anything, your mind has to be very quiet, has it not? If your mind is crowded, filled with facts, knowledge, they act as an impediment to the new; the difficulty is for most of us that the mind has become so important, so predominantly significant, that it interferes constantly with anything that may be new, with anything that may exist simultaneously with the known. Thus knowledge and learning are impediments for those who would seek, for those who would try to understand that which is timeless.

– Krishnamurti  (The First and Last Freedom)

To be aware of something that is not the projection of the known, there must be the elimination, through the understanding, of the process of the known. Why is it that the mind clings always to the known? Is it not because the mind is constantly seeking certainty, security? Its very nature is fixed in the known, in time; how can such a mind, whose very foundation is based on the past, on time, experience the timeless? It may conceive, formulate, picture the unknown, but that is all absurd. The unknown can come into being only when the known is understood, dissolved, put aside. That is extremely difficult, because the moment you have an experience of anything, the mind translates it into the terms of the known and reduces it to the past. I do not know if you have noticed that every experience is immediately translated into the known, given a name, tabulated and recorded. So the movement of the known is knowledge, and obviously such knowledge, learning, is a hindrance.

– Krishnamurti (The First and Last Freedom)

In the town where I was born lived a woman and her daughter, who walked in their sleep.

One night, while silence enfolded the world, the woman and her daughter, walking, yet asleep, met in their mist-veiled garden.

And the mother spoke, and she said: “At last, at last, my enemy! You by whom my youth was destroyed–who have built up your life upon the ruins of mine! Would I could kill you!”

And the daughter spoke, and she said: “O hateful woman, selfish and old! Who stand between my freer self and me! Who would have my life an echo of your own faded life! Would you were dead!”

At that moment a cock crew, and both women awoke. The mother said gently, “Is that you, darling?” And the daughter answered gently, “Yes, dear.”

– Kahil Gibran