you were supposed to sing or to dance
January 10, 2013, 11:49 pm
Filed under: brave new world, the sweet life | Tags: , , , ,

From Alan Watts, Life and Music:

Then when you wake up one day about 40 years old, and you say, “my god, I’ve arrived, I’m there!”  And you don’t feel any different from what you always felt.  And there’s a slight let down because you feel there was a hoax.  And there was a hoax.  A dreadful hoax.  They made you miss everything.

We thought of life by analogy with a journey, a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end.  And the thing was to get to that end:  success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead.  But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.

love what it loves
December 19, 2011, 7:38 am
Filed under: the sweet life, unseen world | Tags: , , , ,

Are you hard on yourself?  Do you feel you need to do penance, crawl across cut glass, punish yourself, walk through deserts to find your rightful way in the world?  Are you despairing?

Here is some solace, within reach, that gives relief from the human habit of constant striving.  It’s in the form of a poem by Mary Oliver which tells us up front to end our ceaseless and vain attempts to justify ourselves.  Then it says to simply succumb to what we love.

There’s a yawning void between self justification and yielding to what we love.  We desperately and forever cling to our habits of guilt and self immolation.  But the suggestion here is clear, we should – and it is natural to – yield to what our bodies want.

How can we be sure?   Continue reading