Diary of a Country Priest

’Diary of a Country Priest’ – Robert Bresson – (With actor Claude Laydu)

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I try to catch and to convey the idea that we have a soul
and that the soul is in contact with God.
That’s the first thing I want to get in my films
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~ Robert Bresson.

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Robert Bresson is a unique film maker in the history of cinema. He has developed a very personal way of filming that wholly tends towards one thing only: conveying truth. This is achieved by means of the right use of cinema language. As the French master said in the newspaper ‘Libération’: “The true language of cinema is that which translates the invisible. I am trying to convey feelings rather than facts or actions. I am trying to substitute an internal movement for an external movement.” This is particularly well shown in his 1951 film ‘Diary of a Country Priest’, where Bresson, slowly, relentlessly, and above all with simplicity, is scanning the interior life in everything, in the dialogues, the lights, the camera movements, the acting. But this simplicity is here to serve an utter precision. The film is crafted. A skilful surgeon is here at work. And we make silence.

‘Diary of a Country Priest’ tells a simple story based on the novel of the same name by Georges Bernanos, published in 1936. A young priest arrives in his first rural parish where he and his faith will be met with misunderstandings and challenges, both from his parishioners and his declining health. The film opens with these simple lines in his diary: “I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong in writing down daily, with absolute frankness, the simplest and most insignificant secrets of a life actually lacking any trace of mystery.” In the first scene, we see the young priest appearing behind the bars of a gate, signifying that we are about to see the story of an imprisonment. The film is the description of his total dedication to his duty, which will prove to be an ordeal. We are always in a prison, when we are locked in the belief in being somebody.

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Learn more about this movie by French director Robert Bresson… (READ MORE…)

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The Program

Image by Pete Linforth in Pixabay

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There is a program that shows up in our being
. This program was created since the dawn of time. It has been affected by countless lines of conditioning. It is moving, dancing like a sea, moulded by habits or necessities, defined by laws, created by the limitations of having a body. It has its own incentives, formed out of previous incentives. It develops in an infinite number of ways. The program is always surprising. It never stands still. It is entrancing, captivating. It occupies us all, and it does it totally. There is no escape from the program. At least, there doesn’t seem to be. Until one day. Until one day…

That day is the day where light shows up at last. And that light comes as a revelation. It is here to clarify the situation. To give us the truth of the matter. There is in fact a way out of the program. We can be free of it. It doesn’t have to mesmerise us, make us fearful. The program was never really a program. It never was limiting. It was play. And the stage for it was not the universe. The stage for the play was dimensionless. It never came into existence. It didn’t have to. For it is unborn, uncreated, unsubstantial. It is not itself a program. Thank god that it isn’t. It would have had tragic implications. Now listen carefully…

All of life is contained in this infinitesimal point of being that is responsible for your saying ‘I’. This is the stage of life. Beware though of mistaking the stage for the program. That sublime ‘I’ is not the ‘I’ that carries the formulation of the program. It is not the ‘I’ that borrows its existence to the existence of the program. Not that shaky ‘I’. No. That sacred ‘I’ of being is the only thing that is seemingly in the program but is in fact not. That all encompassing ‘I’ is before everything that you can name. It is the nameless that harbours all names. It is the no-thing that contains all things. It is independent of all the things that only depend on it. It is alone within itself. And that aloneness is you, ‘I’, all that you are now. All that you have ever been. Will ever be. Can ever be…

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Text by Alain Joly

Image by Pete Linforth

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Website:
TheDigitalArtist (Pixabay)

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Other ‘Ways of Being‘ from the blog…

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The Guard and the Prison Breaker

‘The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ (part) – Caspar David Friedrich, 1818 – WikiArt

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Without freedom there is no self-knowing 
and without self-knowing there is no meditation
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~ J. Krishnamurti 

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Few sensations are as boisterously exhilarating as freedom is. Freedom is something that we all love to feel. To be freed! Freed from all weights and limitations. Freed from everything that bullies us and pins us down. But most of the time, this feeling is experienced from the vantage point of the little thought in our head that thinks it runs the show. This entity thinks that its freedom comes from being separate, and from its capacity to do what it wants. This is what being free means to most people. But is this really what freedom is, where freedom lies? In expressing all that comes from the lack and desperation of a limited, vindicative little self? If that is so, then this freedom takes us nowhere but in the already known boundaries of our self. How could that account for the power and magnitude of this feeling? Freedom cannot be so small and contrived. What is it then? Where is true freedom to be found? 

Freedom can never be fully felt within the conglomerate of our thoughts, feelings and perceptions, between the four walls of our prison cell. We may feel some occasional bursts of pleasure but this is not the real deal. If you search for freedom through that portion of yourself that is fleeting, fragile, untrue, you will by definition prevent the advent of any meaningful freedom. You will have limited freedom, something to be achieved, something to be added that becomes just another object, another aim in view. And don’t forget that this limited freedom can never be achieved anyway, for we in truth can never do what we want. And of what advantage would it be to follow the clumsy, limited, fanciful ideas of a mind that stands on false premises. Because of this impossible claim, we feel bitter, sad, violent, jealous, regretful. Let’s move away from such dangerous idea. 

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An inquiry into the question of freedom… (READ MORE…)

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A Thing of Beauty

‘Saint Peter’s Basilica’ – Rome (Vatican)

Isn’t the world the most extraordinary place? I’ll explain. Take a tree. A single tree, with its roots spreading and fiddling deep into the soil. And its erected trunk that divides itself into branches, and a thousand twigs, and a whole foliage of leaves. The shadow it gives. The home that it is for birds and little animals. And the shelter. And a thing of beauty. To be admired, listened to, touched, felt. The roughness of its bark under your fingers. And the presence. There are millions — most certainly trillions — of such trees that spread over the world to form groves and vast forests. Extending their sheltering embrace to countless beings. And to you too, today. A tree! The strangest thing there is. To look at one is to be taken into a well of wonder. Feel that amazement. See where it takes you. You will be surprised.

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A reflection and meditation on the beautiful world that we are… (READ MORE…)

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An Unnoticed Pathology

In our relationship to truth, we often find ourselves in the position of somebody who, on waking up, tries to remember his dream. Any searching, any effort to remember, the slightest doing towards that goal, is pushing the dream away, dislocating it irremediably.

The problem is that we want something. This is our state. Our unnoticed pathology. One that we have inherited from society, and that we have integrated to the point of being it — this wanting, craving, searching. We mind what happens and want to control it. Fair enough. But we should do it from a position of truth, of relaxation, of not minding. We should let the story go, the one that tells us that we are incomplete, not enough, needy of a thousand things, and that prevents us from seeing clearly this presence that we are now and of all eternity. 

We cannot even say that we will let go of all seeking and just sit down doing nothing, for our ‘not doing anything’ is already a cathedral of doing that we have patiently and methodically put together over the years. As the French philosopher Blaise Pascal once noticed, “all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” 

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Some thoughts on our unfortunate propensity for seeking… (READ MORE…)

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The Householder Sage

Photo by lensnmatter on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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Objectivity, in any form, is the only obstacle to Truth.”
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon

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It really is a remarkable thing that some of the clearest expressions of modern day non-duality have come from simple Indian men who lived simple lives in society. Atmananda Krishna Menon, married and a father of three children, a police inspector, was one such man. He became, along with Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, an essential pillar of the non-dual understanding in India, giving voice to a new approach called the Direct Path, and becoming a guiding light for many seekers of truth in the West. 

Krishna Menon was born in 1883 in Kerala. He grew up in a well educated Brahmin family — some of his relatives were poets or scholars — and had a happy childhood. He was endowed with a good and curious mind, that allowed him to find pathways towards understanding that are clear, simple and effective. Krishna Menon had the highest respect for the function of a true guru. His encounter with his teacher was simple and eloquent. Walking by the roadside, he met in 1919 a swami and sannyasin from Calcutta named Yogananda. It was a short, transforming and unforgettable meeting that lasted only one night but touched him to his very soul. “This paralyzed my ego.” did he say. He realised his true self in just a few years and began teaching. His impeccable logic and clarity drew many a student around him. 

The Truth goes into you undressed,
not through language at all
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~ Atmananda Krishna Menon

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Discover the life and teaching of Atmananda Krishna Menon… (READ MORE…)

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What is Sought

“You are what needs to be found –
you are not the finder of anything –
the truth is in back of us,
not in front of us.
That’s why it can never be reached,
it can never be understood,
it can never be felt,
it can never be sensed —
because we are what needs
to be sensed, felt and seen.
We are not the seeker, 
we are what is sought.”

~ Eric Baret

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Quote by Eric Baret

Photo by Alain Joly

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The quote is excerpted from an interview in ‘Science & Nonduality’ entitled ‘What is Truth?’…

Bibliography:
– ‘Let the Moon Be Free: Conversations on Kashmiri Tantra’ – by Eric Baret (translation by Jeanric Meller) – (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

Website:
Eric Baret (in French) 
Eric Baret (YouTube Channel) 

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Other quotes from the category Beauty in Essence

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