Saturday, September 19, 2009

i want to be with those who are wise

krishna with the lion. manjit bawa


a feature of my life that is somewhat tucked away but probably evident is my wish to understand.

my self, my place and my purpose in this world.

this world . . .

and then those worlds i am aware of but cannot describe.

finding the tools to open up the knowledge,
finding the tools to shut down the background noise.
knowing which tools,
which route,
which path allows for the process to emerge and continue.

well.

it's like playing music to help a lion find peace.

john bennett wrote: "we must wish to learn, and not to expect to know without having learned.
we may imagine that there is nothing we want more than to know the truth about ourselves and the world, but we show again and agin by our behaviours that we simply close our mind to knowledge that does not suit us.

some part of learning must come from ourselves. we must be willing to be sincere in our observation of our inner state and hidden impulses as well as our outside behaviour."

the poet rainer rilke
saw this as surely as any
when he himself
had such a moment of insight -
of such clarity -
that you can feel the force of his inner voice through these words . . .

i am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every hour holy.
i am too small in the world, and yet not tiny enough
just to stand before you like a thing,
dark and shrewd.
i want my will, and i want to be with my will
as it moves towards deed;
and in those quiet, somehow hesitating times,
when something is approaching,
i want to be with those who are wise
or else alone.
i want always to be a mirror that reflects your whole being,
and never to be too blind or too old
to hold your heavy, swaying image.
i want to unfold.
nowhere do i want to remain folded,
because where i am bent and folded, there i am lie.
and i want my meaning
true for you. i want to describe myself
like a painting that i studied
closely for a long, long time,
like a word i finally understood,
like the pitcher of water i use every day ,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the deadliest storm of all.

it brings to mind some of robert fripp's recent writing from his diary . . . "one way we recognize the presence of consciousness is that we see connections – immediately. before, we knew all the parts. then, we see the whole, the relationship between the parts, and the relationship of the parts to the whole. there is a directness and immediacy in seeing the connections. in a sense, consciousness is the energy of understanding. awareness is local; understanding is global."


rumi said:

o God, help me against this self of mine
that is seeking help from you;
i seek justice from no one but from
this justice-seeking self.
i shall not get justice from any one except from
him who is nearer to me than myself;
for this i-ness comes moment by moment from him."

22 comments:

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven...

It seems to me that you are describing the Quest of Life...

I think Rumi is talking about the big I rather than the little i...

Happy musing Days

Rachel Fenton said...

Universal truths...I love Rilke's poetry.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Hi Steven:

An interesting selection of quotations . . . I like that Fripp does not get caught in the "local" (self in this instance) and shows true understanding moves out from the search within, to the service one can offer outside of one's awareness of self. As he says, understanding is global, inludes the whole not just the part - suggesting we not get so caught up teasing apart our own intricacies that we forget we are here to extend love outward, and to serve.

Barry said...

Then again, we can just celebrate the fact that this is International Talk Like A Pirate Day and wish everyone a Happy Arrrr!

Being how pirates were so into learning and self awareness.

Or am I confusing them with someone else?

Arrrr!

steven said...

right on barry!! i like to think that even though they probably had no friends, and history hasn't been kind to them at all, and in the films they always lose - the pirates carried no baggage - they got it allllll out. no guilt - "who cares i'm a pirate"! "no introspection for me what is that anyway?"!!! "you need something - you take it"!!! arrrrrrrr barry that's the life!!!! arrrrrr. steven

jinksy said...

"consciousness is the energy of understanding. awareness is local; understanding is global."

This struck me as very pertinent; my blgging great niece in NZ quoted Rilke this week, and thanks to Friko, I was lead to buy his book 'The Selected Poetry' within the last month. Now you've mentioned Rilke in this post too. The global understanding is spreading apace...

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

There are people who are like your post describes. Society does have ideals we subscribe to because we must to fit in with the crowd. I suppose that is why racism has never gone away in this country but seems to be a thing of the past in many other places. It depends on where one calls home. Knowledge is never cheap. In prison it costs your life.

Tongue Trip said...

Have you read the Gita?
try, you might like it.
unusual blog, i mean it in a good way.
cheers!

Reya Mellicker said...

The Rilke quote is delicious and the whole post fabulous in terms of describing the human condition.

Much love to you, great human!

Friko said...

You quoted RILKE, my favourite poet ever. Even in English and in translation he can do no wrong.

Thank you so much for a wonderful post.

steven said...

hello delwyn, yes. it's the question that has dogged me and so many others who have come and gone in my life.
funny thing - there are no big i's on this blog!!!! hmmmm. steven

steven said...

hello rachel - i love rilke's poetry also!!! thanks for dropping by. steven

steven said...

hi bonnie - i see that also. i think that it is the case that in learning to love one start with oneself from which the natural exension into loving everything emanates. steven

steven said...

hello tongue trip - i've dipped in and out of the gita of course but its vastness was not so much scarifying as daunting. i've not given myself enough time to absorb so many of the really important texts that would help me along. thanks for the heads-up. have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

reya - it's palpable. you're in love pouring out love!!! thanks for visiting. peace in dc. steven

steven said...

hi abe, i've met a couple. wished i'd known a couple more deeply who were like this. but i want to arrive at a place where my own work is well under way to such a degree that i can do more for this place while i am here. the trouble is i don't really know what to do next to effect that. thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment abe. steven

Alaine said...

Only you can make it happen - and you will!

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Steven~ I'm thinking back to the picture of and your bruvver playing with Mush and your Mum's a little exasperated: all four of you are unaware of yourselves at that moment; you are without a sense of self. You are one with the universe. Then I thought of your post that touched on karma last week, and I thought that is what consciousness in people does: it shows us our humanity in relation to other people. So our self and our not-self co-exist in our soul. you've put together a very interestng, thought-provoking post, and I thank you. Have a good Sunday, Steven.

Liza said...

I love the soft change of your blog. It seems to suit the coming season, and brings to mind fleece.
Okay Steven, this post had me crying. What beautiful words, every single one. Thank you for putting them together in the magical and loving way that do.

steven said...

hi alaine - thanks for that affirmation. you're absolutely right of course. there are some aspects of life that daunt me and this is one. have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hello margaret - exasperation! that's what it might have been. she was often exasperated with my dad and with the two of us so who knows what was going on!!!
i like the great learning you articulate here: our karma shows us our humanity in relation to other people. hmmmmm. thanks for that. steven

steven said...

hi liza - thankyou for noticing the change and i am really pleased that you get it! i woke up and the blog was in a mess and so was i - well not a mess but everything was disconnected for me so i decided to change the feeling of the blog from what i thought of as a cool radiance to soft. thanks for your generous comment liza. i said what i could and then when my own words failed, tried to speak through the words of others. this post is the essence of the biggest burning question of my existence here in this place. how do i repay the debt of my existence? have a peaceful sunday liza. steven