Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Sacred Place


"Sacred space is a space that is transparent to transcendence, 
and everything within such a space furnishes 
a base for meditation, even for the youngest child. 

When you enter through the door, 
everything within such a space is symbolic, 
the whole world is mythologized, 
and spiritual life is possible. 

This is a place where you can go and 
feel safe and bring forth what you are 
and what you might be. 

This is the place of creative incubation. 
At first you might find that nothing happens there. 
But if you have a sacred place and use it,
 you will eventually find yourself again and again."

- Joseph Campbell (1904 - 1987)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quality of Beauty


"...the supreme quality of beauty being 
a light from some other world is the idea ... 

... that the matter is but a shadow, 
the reality of which it is but the symbol."

- James Joyce (1882 - 1941)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Complex Tapestry


"Its substance was known to me. The crawling infinity of colours, the chaos of textures that went into each strand of that eternally complex tapestry…each one resonated under the step of the dancing mad god, vibrating and sending little echoes of bravery, or hunger, or architecture, or argument, or cabbage or murder or concrete across the aether. The weft of starlings’ motivations connected to the thick, sticky strand of a young thief’s laugh. The fibres stretched taut and glued themselves solidly to a third line, its silk made from the angles of seven flying buttresses to a cathedral roof. The plait disappeared into the enormity of possible spaces.

Every intention, interaction, motivation, every colour, every body, every action and reaction, every piece of physical reality and the thoughts that it engendered, every connection made, every nuanced moment of history and potentiality, every toothache and flagstone, every emotion and birth and banknote, every possible thing ever is woven into that limitless, sprawling web.

It is without beginning or end. It is complex to a degree that humbles the mind. It is a work of such beauty that my soul wept..."

- China MiƩville (1972 - )

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Dance of Interacting Parts


"We have been trained to think of patterns, with the exception of those of music, as fixed affairs. It is easier and lazier that way but, of course, all nonsense. In truth, the right way to begin to think about the pattern which connects is to think of it as primarily (whatever that means) a dance of interacting parts and only secondarily pegged down by various sorts of physical limits and by those limits which organisms characteristically impose."

- Gregory Bateson (1904 - 1990)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Metaphysical Speculation


"There is a philosophy that says that if something is unobservable -- unobservable in principle -- it is not part of science. If there is no way to falsify or confirm a hypothesis, it belongs to the realm of metaphysical speculation, together with astrology and spiritualism. By that standard, most of the universe has no scientific reality -- it's just a figment of our imaginations."

- Leonard Susskind (1940 - )

Monday, February 13, 2017

Probabilities


"In the beginning there
were only probabilities.
The universe could only
come into existence
if someone observed it.
It does not matter that the observers
turned up several billion years later.
The universe exists because
we are aware of it."

- Martin Rees (1942 - )

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Coexistence


"There is a constant and
intimate contact among the
things that coexist and co-evolve
in the universe;
 a sharing of bonds and
messages that makes reality
into a stupendous network
of interaction and communication."

- Ervin Laszlo (1932 - )

Friday, February 10, 2017

Rhymes


"There is no closed figure in nature
Every shape participates with another.
No one thing is independent of another,
and one thing rhymes with another,
and light gives them shape."

- Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 - 2004)

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Art of Reflection


"In the mango grove, shade poured into his black eyes, when playing as a boy, when his mother sang, when the sacred offerings were made, when his father, the scholar, taught him, when the wise men talked. For a long time, Siddhartha had been partaking in the discussions of the wise men, practising debate with Govinda, practising with Govinda the art of reflection, the service of meditation. He already knew how to speak the Om silently, the word of words, to speak it silently into himself while inhaling, to speak it silently out of himself while exhaling, with all the concentration of his soul, the forehead surrounded by the glow of the clear-thinking spirit. He already knew to feel Atman in the depths of his being, indestructible, one with the universe."

- Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Simple Beauty


"The power of bonsai is in its ability to portray the utmost beauty of nature. This is the goal for all who grow bonsai... Bonsai is a living thing in the roots and even in the leaves. Every day that you are attending your bonsai, although the plant cannot speak to you, you'll sense that the plant is trying to tell you something. You'll one day know a plant is asking for water or fertilizer. When you come to that stage, you'll have developed a close bond. Bonsai responds to your love and becomes like honest friends with no human falsehood or betrayals... Bonsai are loyal if you water and fertilize regularly with loving care. Life is more meaningful when we attend these little plants. We learn the essence and dignity of life!"

- Saburo Kato (1915 - 2008)
"Bonsai No Kokoro"
(Spirit and Philosophy of Bonsai)

Friday, February 03, 2017

Feeling of Meaning


"Religion, mysticism and magic all spring from the same basic 'feeling' about the universe: a sudden feeling of meaning, which human beings sometimes 'pick up' accidentally, as your radio might pick up some unknown station. Poets feel that we are cut off from meaning by a thick, lead wall, and that sometimes for no reason we can understand the wall seems to vanish and we are suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of the infinite interestingness of things."

-  Colin Wilson (1931 - 2013)

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Peculiarity


"If you observe something long enough, you’ll see something peculiar. If you can’t see something peculiar, if you stare long enough, then that in itself is peculiar. And then you try to explain the peculiarity... A lot of it is, I'm convinced, done by the subconscious... You look - it depends on what kind of thing you are dealing with - but you look at it until you see something that attracts your attention, your curiosity. Maybe it doesn't suggest anything at all. You go on to something else. The next day you come back and look at it again."

- Thomas Dyer, a Navy code breaker stationed
in Hawaii during WWII (The Pacific Crucible)