Walking Cross-Town. Waxing and Waning.

Simon Birch

It’s Tuesday. 6 am.
The Metro-North train arrives at Grand Central.
I’m walking across town.
It’s there.
I’m, Unstoppable.

Today. It’s back.
The energy geyser bursting from the Center.
The Possibilities? Endless.
Hope?  Springs eternal.
Mystery source?  Soul. Powered. Soulerpowered.*

Other days.
The cauldron bubbles.
The witches’ brew stews.
Lethargy. Worry. Anxiety. Fatigue. Doubt.
Fully Present, in a Civil War of One.
It? It’s just not there.

William James had a bead on it.  The Human energizing. The sum-total of activities. Some outer. Some inner. Some muscular. Some emotional. Some moral. Some spiritual.  The waxing and waning in himself he is at times so well aware.  How to keep it an appreciable maximum? How not to let the level lapse? That is the great problem.

I feel this lapsing.
Mr. Miyagi’s Wax On, Wax off. [Read more…]

Word

black and white, photography

You are looking for the “right” word.

For a paper, an article, a story, a blog post, a presentation – – you’re trying to express a intense moment, a feeling, an emotion.

Words, sentences, paragraphs, a continuous stream flowing…your back and forth rhythm now rudely interrupted. You have hit The Wall. You can’t climb over without the Word.

It’s right there. On the tip of your tongue. Your mind is searching. You feel the Word. It’s Sizzling, Searing. The perfect Word to capture the moment, the feeling.

Yet, you come up Empty.

Your frustration grows. You use a substitute. You re-read the passage again, and again. The Word doesn’t fit. It doesn’t feel right. It’s an impostor. You go with it anyway. And it hangs, like an ill-fitting jacket or pair of oversized shoes.

Suppose we try to recall a forgotten name. The state of our consciousness is peculiar. There is a gap therein; but no mere gap. It is a gap that is intensely active. A sort of wraith of the name is in it, beckoning us in a given direction, making us at moments tingle with the sense of our closeness, and then letting us sink back without the longed-for term. If wrong names are proposed to us, this singularly definite gap acts immediately so as to negate them. They do not fit into its mould. And the gap of one word does not feel like the gap of another, all empty of content as both might seem necessarily to be when described as gaps. . . . The rhythm of a lost word may be there without a sound to clothe it; or the evanescent sense of something which is the initial vowel or consonant may mock us fitfully, without growing more distinct. Every one must know the tantalizing effect of the blank rhythm of some forgotten  verse, restlessly dancing in one’s mind, striving to be filling out with words.

William James, 1890

And, then you read a poem that captures this, all of this.

Magic.

She’s gone and done it.
[Read more…]

Did you ever hear that one where 2 people meet in a room…

William James Quote


Source: pulpinsidefiction.  Quote: William James (1842-1910).  An American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labelled him the “Father of American psychology.”

You are not your body. You are not your mind.

Swami Vivekananda

 

WSJ Magazine: What Did J.D. Salinger, Leo Tolstoy, and Sarah Bernhardt Have in CommonThe surprising—and continuing—influence of Swami Vivekananda, the pied piper of the global yoga movement. 

Fascinating article worth reading in its entirety on this man’s influence on Henry & William James, Leo Tolstoy, Salinger, Carl Jung and many others.  A few of my favorite excerpts:

“By the late 1960s, the most famous writer in America had become a recluse, having forsaken his dazzling career…While he no longer visited with his editors, he was keen to spend time with his spiritual teacher, Swami Nikhilananda…”

“Though the iconic author of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ published his last story in 1965, he did not stop writing.  From the early 1950’s onward, he maintained a lively correspondence with several Vedanta monks and fellow devotees.  After all, the central guiding light of Salinger’s spiritual quest was the teachings of Vivekananda, the Calcutta born Monk who popularized Vedanta and yoga in the West at the end of the 19th century.

“These days yoga is offered up in classes and studios that have become as ubiquitous as Starbucks.  Vivekananda would have been puzzled, if not somewhat alarmed.  ‘As soon as I think of myself as a little body,’ he warned, ‘I want to preserve it, protect it, to keep it nice, at the expense of other bodies.  Then you and I become separate.’ For Vivekananda, yoga meant just one thing: “the realization of God.”

[Read more…]

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