The Fate of Me

‘Ink Landscape’ – Kanō Motonobu, 16th AD (Art Institute of Chicago) – Wikimedia

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I saw you rise so many times,
Invade the space of my being,
To occupy my whole presence,
Take everything, leaving nothing,
Not a corner of emptiness
Where I could recognise my self.

I saw you rise so many times
Acquire my whole, my essential
To leave me lost, truly yearning
For that silence now filled by you;
To leave me sad, truly longing
For the one here just before you.

I saw you rise so many times
T’was impudent, how did you dare
Burying light in obscurity,
Dimming joy with your avid search,
Thinking it right to lead my life
When you are but a malign ghost.

But more than once, you did vanish
I’ll tell you why, listen to this:
I found you had no consistence
The reason is: you are not found
Your reality imagined
Your existence: your insistence.

Look at yourself, you are not here
You’re not the one you claim to be
You’re just a thought that’s tossed about
In an ocean of presence;
That sea is not a place to be
When you are but a lump of salt.

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Kanō Motonobu (1476–1559)

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Website:
Kanō Motonobu (Wikipedia)

Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

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A Place of Thankfulness

This is where I’m big. When I’m following my unique fate as presence. When I’m fully being my self, embodying it as it were. This is where I cannot be led astray. This is where I cannot be persuaded of my dying. This is where life becomes a princely road towards this beloved castle of being. You become immovable. You cannot be displaced. Where would you go? Where would you be?

Do you really need a direction? Follow the motorway of being. It will be your universal compass. Everlastingly pointing to your self, where you cannot be lost. No matter what, or how, or when, or where. It will find you in times innumerable, that will all have their origin as you. It will take you to countless places, that will all have their being in you. Congealed inside you. Resting. Yet like waves dancing softly, swiftly. Your life will find its being in being. It will move in that which cannot be moved. Are you still afraid now? Are you still dreading this unknown course of your life? Think again! There is no wrong direction in being. There is nothing threatening or dangerous in being. Presence is a soft bed. This is your king size armchair, from where life is enjoyed and cherished. This is your place of thankfulness.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Other ‘Ways of Being’ from the blog…

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Being Spiritual

‘Sea View’ – J.M.W. Turner, 1820-1830 – WikiArt

This whole adventure of knowing oneself is not about being spiritual. It’s about being alive. Not just a little bit alive, with holes here and there, where unconsciousness can creep in, and steal us the best portion of what it is to be truly alive. For life is not a collection of deeds or experiences. Life is an energy and an essence that you can feel or know as the totality of your own being. And life extends to everything and everywhere. It is not about you. It never was.

To realise our true nature is not about being spiritual. It’s about being happy. Not the happiness that shakes and crumbles at the least twist of life’s circumstances. Happiness is not meant to be so fragile. And it is not something that you have to attain, or perform. You are not meant to work for that which is your inborn due and essence. Happiness is when you cannot even form or comprehend the concept of unhappiness. It is the distinguishing trait of being.

This understanding is not about being spiritual. It’s about being wholly a human being — inhabiting this whole experience while staying rooted in your true essence as awareness. There is immense delight in being awareness through your whole body and mind. Don’t leave your human experience at the door of consciousness anymore that you should leave consciousness at the door of your human experience. Include your humanness in your understanding.

To recognise our real identity is not about being spiritual. It’s about being in a world. Feeling what a world is — its golden nature — its sacredness — its dazzling presence. Having a world as our own being. Don’t think that you cannot know it through its essence. Knowing the world is like knowing yourself. And that will make you equip the world with ravishing beauty. The world is not about an outside. It is all inside yourself, curling itself into your own being.

I don’t want to be spiritual, or special, or humble. I want to be so fully being that I cannot even formulate such ideas. I want to be so fully myself that I cannot even know the meaning of these words. And I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be soft and malleable, and utterly vulnerable. Not fragile or brittle, but open to every passing feeling, to every hue inherent in living. This is how life shows its greatness. This is how you are truly grateful for being human.

I don’t want to have the identity of being spiritual. I want to have no contours where I can be fixed and localised. I don’t want to be anything that can be bumped into, and get hurt or scarred. I want to be being only being, to leave no room for an other, or for a difference. Why should I define myself? To be truly living is to be undefinable. And to be without objective identity is to belong in everything and in everyone. This is the true meaning of love.

I don’t quite fancy being tagged as spiritual. Being spiritual is only a nice word for everything in myself that cannot quite let go and espouse the pure essence of being. These are the leftovers on the failed path of being one with my essential being. I don’t want to be spiritual any more that I want my true nature to be identified with being French, or being this or that. I want to be what I ought to be when every form of control is seen detrimental and abandoned.

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851)

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Website:
J. M. W. Turner (Wikipedia) 

Suggestion:
– Other ‘Reveries’ from the blog…

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The Dark Night

‘Night’ – Ivan Marchuk, 1981 – WikiArt

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Being human is a complicated gig.
So give that ol’ dark night of the soul a hug.
Howl the eternal yes!

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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There is a poem that fed the imagination of many prestigious writers and philosophers like T. S. Eliot, Simone Weil, or Thomas Merton. Many a spiritual seeker has found in it a guiding lamp for the harsh ascent towards divine union. Its name: the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, a short poem written by the 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet John of the Cross. It refers to the unknowable nature of both the goal and the path, and how such darkness would allow us to merge with the presence of god in ourself. As John of the Cross wrote: “In the dark night of the soul, bright flows the river of God.” I am presenting here the translation by Edgar Allison Peers. Following the poem is a short text that I wrote, words that the poem has evoked in me, the inspiration that it invoked…

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On a dark night,
Kindled in love with yearnings — oh, happy chance! —
I went forth without being observed,
My house being now at rest.

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Read this famous poem by John of the Cross and a few more words… (READ MORE…)

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The Riddle of Ignorance

‘Landscape’ – Sergey Vasilkovsky – WikiArt

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There is a truer, hidden reality lying just under the veneer of life. Don’t think that what you have is the real thing. It is not. This hidden reality is being covered by the thick blanket of our deceptive representation of reality, made of a whole array of thoughts, feelings, memories, worries, beliefs, conditionings, that have numbed our aliveness, blunted our sensitivity, and rendered our god-given natural endowment as if inexistant. This is why, in some religious traditions, man has been proclaimed ’ignorant’. This is a word that indicates that simple fact — the plain and unfortunate forgetting of a nature in us that has been temporarily hidden, and that craves in the background for our recognition, our remembering. This is why all men and women on this earth are seeking peace and happiness in one form or another.

This particular reality is the subject of countless religious books and spiritual traditions in the world. This was never about having many different beliefs like we sometimes think it is. It was about revealing this truer reality of ours. In the process of doing so, approaches may vary depending on the times and cultures where they arose, and misunderstandings have sprung proportionally, but the fact of our ignorance is the same for all, at all times, in all places. And the reality discovered behind its dispelling is not only the same for all, but is one whole and single reality present here and now as the rock-like experience of being in all beings — be they human or not. This is not a small affair to be pushed around and despised as being mere ‘beliefs’, but is the very core, substance, and meaning of our lives. So why is such an obvious reality being missed by so many of us? What has made it so commonly invisible, and inaccessible?

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Some reflections about how reality is being ignored by man… (READ MORE…)

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A Disencumbered Now

Expecting anything from the next moment will make you leave the present moment. Holding on to anything that took place in a past moment is a hindrance. It will curb your ecstasy. It will dampen your freedom. It is like the surging of time in a timeless moment. It will throw a cold. Now is always timeless. Otherwise now is not now anymore. Now then mingles itself with thoughts of past events, and with expectations. It is sullied. Eternity is lost, replaced by the movement of separation. Stillness is disturbed, transformed into endless seeking. Now is being encumbered with time. And time is nothing but the main constituent of our limited, illusory, suffering self.

The present moment can never be a moment. It would make it of time. It would make it last. Nothing lasts in the field of the now — which is pristine being. Something that lasts is already stained. But presence is only shining in purity. It is an empty container, even when it is full to the brim with multiple appearances. Presence is unencumbered by anything past. It doesn’t need to accumulate. It doesn’t need to expect, hope, project, prepare. How do you accumulate in fullness? How do you prepare for the inconceivable? How do you expect the unanticipated? How do you hope for the unexpected? Presence is like a pure diamond. Any impurity, the slightest stain, will lower its intrinsic power and value. For the diamond of being needs clarity. This is how it takes ever more light. The diamond of presence has to be unadulterated. This is how it is made genuine and innocent. Disencumber the now. Unload it from anything that is coming from thought, that finds its origin in the memories of the past and the images of the future, and expresses itself as fear and lack. Your apparent self is made of such thoughts and images, with their concomitant feelings. They are like the soldiers of the separate self’s army. Take a time off from these. Stop indulging in them. Don’t be fooled and misguided by them. You are not made of the past or the future. These are only the now in disguise. Now is who you truly are. Now is all there is. So go for the now. Allow it to shine freely. Disencumbered.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Other ‘Ways of Being‘ from the blog…

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A Story of Lack

‘Melancholy’ (Part) – Odilon Redon, 1876 – WikiArt

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When the ‘I’ is divested of the ‘I’, only ‘I’ remains.”
~ Ramana Maharshi

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Don’t run in the other direction. Don’t take a sense of lack for a need. For this is what we do, when we sense in ourself an insufficiency, we want to fill it up, by all means necessary. We think it important to grant its wanting, its craving. But a lack is never a need. A lack is a fact that needs no repairing and no repairman. By bowing or giving allegiance to it, we submit ourself. We give up all power of understanding. We place ourself at the level of that lack. We become small. We don’t respect it. For this is not to respect it, to obey a random sense of lack. For lack comes as the supreme teacher, and our genuine bowing to it rather takes the form of listening. This is how we bow to a teacher, how we respect it, fulfil its function: by listening to it. So we listen. We stay motionless and invite its teaching. We don’t run away in the other direction.

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A story about how a sense of lack can be the real teacher… (READ MORE…)

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