The Great Hall


great hall

Two old men met again, as they did each day, on the steps of the Great Hall.  Neither knew each other.  They never spoke.  Yet every day at the same time they would arrive at this place and barely acknowledge each other.  Their missions were the same, yet entirely different, both knowing the way here the same as they knew their own faces.

Entering the hall, the cool air greeted them and filled them with a familiar sense of purpose.  The glistening polished walls gave wings to the importance of their missions.  Arching windows that framed a breathtaking vista went unnoticed.  They were intent only on the two objects in the immense room:  a large book and a computer, each sitting on a plain table.  So intent were they, and so habitual, even the floor bore a slightly worn path where they tread each day.

One of the men, with soft but fearful eyes, settled himself in front of the large book.  As he reached his calloused fingers to touch it, they trembled slightly.  Then, with a movement graced by deepest respect and tempered in repetition, he opened the book.  Carefully he leafed through its pages until he found the words he was searching for.  He settled into reading.  The only sounds that danced around him were the rustling of the page and the whispering of his lips as he read.  Occasionally, he would shift his gaze towards the ceiling, rich with murals, and then close his eyes.

These actions met with an almost imperceptible glance of distain from the second man.  He was settled stiffly in front of the computer just a short distance away from the man and his book.  With a quick movement, he flicked the machine on and tapped the keyboard impatiently as fans whirred and parts clicked and hummed.  When the screen came to life in its usual greeting, he took a deep breath and sat forward.  With a relieved smile his fingers launched into tapping away at the keys.  The more he tapped, the hungrier his posture became as if a cat about to pounce a mouse.

The man with the book spared him a glance and wondered at his raptness.  He looked like he was about to dive into the monitor and swim in his sea of information.  He chuffed and turned back to his book.  Foolishness.

And each day they spent like this, leaving only to satisfy other needs that couldn’t be ignored.  Never had they spoken.  Never had they taken noticed of much of anything else in this grand place beyond the perches where they sat.  So engrossed were they that neither noticed the child standing quietly in front of a window, smiling at the sunrise and stretching his tiny wings.

Advertisements

“The Kingdom is Inside of You, and Outside of You.” — The Gospel of Thomas


Nag Hammadi Codex II, folio 32, the beginning of the Gospel of Thomas

Nag Hammadi Codex II, folio 32, the beginning of the Gospel of Thomas

Jesus said, “If those who lead you say, ‘See, the Kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you.  Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you.  When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”

This is an exert from The Gospel According to Thomas or what has become to be known as The Gospel of Thomas.  This gospel is considered non-canonical.  Per Wikipedia:

It was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945, in one of a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library. The Gospel of Thomas was found among a collection of fifty-two writings that included, in addition to an excerpt from Plato’s Republic, gospels claiming to have been written by Jesus’s disciple Philip. Scholars have speculated that the works were buried in response to a letter from Bishop Athanasius who for the first time declared a strict canon of Christian scripture.

You can read more about this gospel here.

The introduction states: “These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas wrote them down.”  However, some critical scholars believe the reference to Thomas is false and the true author is unknown.

Regardless of the controversy, the words are beautiful and powerful and echoed by other prophets and sages across the ages.

The Craftsman


zimsculpt

We have grown to be in love with our thoughts.  We have chained ourselves to our intellect, prostrate before it, and worship it as the ultimate.  We groom it like a show pony, display it like a precious gem, yet we rarely see the truth of this treasure.  It’s no treasure at all.

The intellect is not a sparkling diamond.  It’s nothing but a hammer and chisel.  It chips away at memories of experiences past and engraves them upon our reality as if they were a great testament to who we are.  But the intellect is only a tool busily engraving dreams upon dust; a tool of the mind.  It has no eyes to see the dreams and dust blown away on any errant breeze.  It’s too busy chiselling.

We have grown to love our emotions.  Not only to love them but to fear them as well.  Here we seek our thrills,  Leaping from the cliff of love in hopes our parachute will open, exploding in a rush of anger to feel the burning flames engulf us, weeping cool tears to the strains of music so sweet it almost drives us to madness we delight in the aliveness.  Swept up in the dance we seek reassurance that this is who we are.

But the emotions are not who we are.  Emotions are the little chips of stone that patter to the ground as the intellect chisels away, the ringing of the hammer on chisel.  They’re but the sounds of its labor.

When we put the chisel down the song of its work goes silent and a sudden and unexpected enquiry arises like the sun burning through a cloud:  “Who drives the hammer and holds the chisel?  Who hears its song and watches the chips fall?”

This is the moment you become the Craftsman.  The hammer, chisel and chaff are in your hands but they are not who you are.  They are merely the tools and by-products of the timeless observer endlessly creating its own reality.  This is the moment you realize you can put the tools down and rest.

“There is a Cloud Floating…” – Thich Nhat Hanh


cloud in paper

 

 

Text reads:

“You will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. without a cloud there will be no water; without water the trees cannot grow; without trees, you cannot make paper. so the cloud is in here. the existence of this page is dependent on the existence of a cloud. paper and cloud are so close. let us think of other things, like sunshine. sunshine is very important because the forest cannot grow without sunshine, and we as humans cannot grow without sunshine. so the logger needs sunshine in order to cut the tree, and the tree needs sunshine in this sheet of paper. and if you look more deeply… you see not only the cloud and the sunshine in it, but that everything is here, the wheat that became the bread for the logger to eat, the logger’s father—everything is in this sheet of paper. the presence of this tiny sheet of paper proves the presence of the whole cosmos.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Quote text found on infamous-jamie

 

“Blushing” by Andrea Gibson


smiling_soul_blue_glade_500w

(I find this so amazingly beautiful and moving that it’s become a personal favorite.)

“I’ve been told when a human dies the Soul misses the Body.
Actually grieves, grieves the loss of its hands and all they could hold.
Misses the kissing lips, the searching tongue, the throat closing shy
reading out loud on the first day of school.

The Soul misses the weather of the chest,
the hard weather when love walks away.
Misses the stubbed toe, the churning belly,
and the funny bone. The Soul still asks, Why did the funny bone do that?

The Soul misses the tears and the thirsty garden cheeks.
Misses how the Body could sleep through a dream.
What else could sleep through a dream? What else could laugh?
What else can wrinkle the smile’s autograph?

The Soul misses the falling eyelash waiting to be wished.
The river wrist screaming away the blade.
The underdog heart winning, winning, winning the game.

The Soul misses the lisp, and the limp, and the coyote mind
always plotting a new shape, a new size.

The Soul misses how hard the eyes fought off history to see clearly,
to see the holy bruise- blue from that army of blood rushing to the wound’s side.
When a human dies the Soul scours the universe for something blushing,
for something shaking in the cold, for something with teeth
biting its own nails to calm the panic nerve,
for something stretching the word “brave” up up into love.

The Soul misses love, that swinging chandelier in the shack-castle chest.
Even misses the grief fist-fighting the light,
breaking the light’s jaw, spitting on its faith.
“What else can hunger?” the Soul asks.
“What else can freckle? What else can clumsy?”
The fist that was never taught to curl- curls.
The teeth that were never taught to clench- clench.
The Body that was never taught to make love makes love
like a hungry ghost digging its way out of the grave.

The Soul misses the un-forever of old age, the skin that no longer fits.
The Soul misses every single day the Body was sick, the NOW it forced,
the HERE it built from the fever.

The Soul misses the way the body inflamed to hold its own loneliness.
Misses the legs aching up the stairs, misses the fear
that climbed up the vocal chords to curse the wheelchair.

The Soul misses how the Body could not let go.
What else could hold on so tightly to everything?
What else could hear the chain of a swing
and fall to its knees on the kitchen floor?
What else could touch the metal grate of a screen door and taste lemonade?
What else could come back from a war and not come back…
would hold its own ears, curled up in the basement on the 4th of July
then walk up the stairs to hold a daughter, to sing a lullaby?

When a human dies the Soul moves through the galaxy
trying to describe how the Body breathed, how it cried for its mother,
how a wound would heal given nothing but time.
Do you understand? Nothing in space ever believes.
No ray of light can fathom the speed of terror, the heat of shame,
a belly full of butterflies, the fingertips pulling that first gray hair
and throwing it away.
“How could we possibly believe in goose bumps,” the stars say.
“How could we possibly believe?”

Reposted from ifallfastformuchness

Music Passion for January 2013 (Jazz) – Come Away With Me by Norah Jones


This is my entry for January’s Music Passion.  Every month, bloggers are posting one of their favorite songs based on each month’s theme. This month’s theme is “jazz”.

I absolutely adore Norah Jones.  Her voice is purely magical and this song, “Come Away With Me” is my all time favorite.

The lyrics:

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus
Come away where they can’t tempt us
With their lies

I want to walk with you 
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won’t you try to come

Come away with me and we’ll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I’ll never stop loving you

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I’m safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me

Norah was born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar, March 30, 1979, to famed sitar player the late Ravi Shankar and Sue jones.  She is also half sister to the talented Anoushka Shankar.  She has won 9 Grammy Awards and was declared Billboard’s top jazz artist of the decade for 2000-2009.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

If you’d like to participate, jump on over to Allaboutlemon for more information and jump on in!  The blogger posting the video which receives the most “likes” for the month gets to choose the topic for next month.

 

Dissolving


Clay Mask by Jim Heinlein

Clay Mask by Jim Heinlein

Personal labels have become a great source of disinterest for me.  It used to be I was greatly curious about labels.  I loved to try them on myself, like a new outfit, to see how they suited me.

“I’m a writer.”     “I’m spiritual.”     “I’m a healer.”     “I’m a poet.”

Sometimes they fit for awhile.  Sometimes I found them quite becoming.  Other times they got kicked under the bed quickly.  I was equally curious about the labels other people chose to wear.  I thought this told me a great deal about them.  But I realized labels are a deflection from that reality.  A label, for me, has become nothing more than clay smeared over who I really am in order to appear as something else.

The clay is dissolving.  I am not these things.  I only am.

“Not That Which the Mind Can Think…” — The Kena Upanishad


peacock-eye-and-om
From the Kena Upanishad or kenopanishad:

Not that which the eye can see, but that whereby the eye can see: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore;

Not that which the ear can hear, but that whereby the ear can hear: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore;

Not that which speech can illuminate, but that by which speech can be illuminated: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore;

Not that which the mind can think, but that whereby the mind can think: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore.

The One Power that illumines everything and everyone is indivisible. It is the Ear behind the ears, Mind behind the mind, Speech behind speech, Vital Life behind life. The ears cannot hear it; it is what makes the ears hear. The eyes cannot see it; it is what makes the eyes see. You cannot speak about it; it is what makes you speak. The mind cannot imagine it; it is what makes the mind think. It is different from what all we know; yet it is not known either. Those who feel they know Him know Him not. Those who know that anything amenable to the senses is not Brahman, they know it best. When it is known as the innermost witness of all cognitions, whether sensation, perception or thought, then it is known. One who knows thus reaches immortality.

Kena is Sanskrit meaning “by whom”.

Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds — An Incredible Video Journey Into Understanding


mandelbrot

A few days ago I stumbled upon these remarkable videos.  I’m sharing them with you because I’ve found them to be the most rational, intelligent and unspeakably beautiful journey into understanding what it is we are seeking to understand; marrying ancient spiritual philosophies with mathematics and science.  Here is the synopsis from Awaken the World who began publishing these films on April 17, 2012.  More are to come.

There is one vibratory source that connects all things. It has been called Akasha, the primordial OM, the quantum field, the super-string matrix, the music of the spheres, and a thousand other names throughout history. This field is at the root of all true scientific and spiritual investigation. It is what saints, sages, Buddhas and mystics have found by looking within, and it is what the greatest scientists have discovered at the farthest reaches of the universe. “Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds” is series of films to be released in 2012 available at http://www.awakentheworld.com. To awaken oneself, one must awaken the entire world.

I have embedded all 4 films here for your convenience.  If you subscribe to their Youtube channel, you can be notified of future releases when they’re published.  Grab a cup of tea, settle in, and let’s begin…

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

 

Each film is just under 32 minutes long.  Please feel free to share your experiences with these gems.