Tag: poetics

Unknown

Kalama Sutra

“Rely not on the teacher/person, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but on experience. Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

– the Buddha

 

Return to contingencies: It’s a wonderful life?

holidays at the blog! have  a wonderful holiday It’s a Wonderful Life Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he. Clarence ,the angel, as he shows George Bailey what the world would look like if he had not lived.    …

Poem for the day: All Things Pass

All Things Pass – Lao-Tzu All things pass A sunrise does not last all morning All things pass A cloudburst does not last all day All things pass Nor a sunset all night All things pass What always changes?Earth…sky…thunder… mountain…water… wind…fire…lake… These change And if these do not last Do man’s visions last? Do man’s…

Quoting Humanisms

 

                                      We tell ourselves stories in order to live

                                                      Joan Didion, title of her collected stories.

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Stories animate human life: that is their work.

Arthur W.Frank   Letting Stories Breathe

 

Narrative makes the earth habitable for human beings” Frank, again: p46

 

 

_____________________________________________________

We have each of us, a life story, an inner narrative – whose continuity, whose sense is our lives…. A man needs such a narrative, a continuous inner narrative to maintain his identity…

Oliver Sachs  opening to The man who mistook his wife for a hat

 

Oliver Sachs

 

Epigramatic Sociology

EPIGRAMATIC SOCIOLOGY: little wisdoms to ponder Here are 25 little sayings that thinkers about society have bequeathed us. I first listed them in my Sociology: The Basics but here they are again. There are many more – and they can be found  in epigrams, under fascinations – will be following shortly. They are worth puzzling…

Quoting Humanisms

‘First of all, he said, if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you”ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks.You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view..until you climb into their skin and walk around in it…. (page 41)

Harper Lee,  To Kill a Mockingbird


Poetic for the day

Poetic for the Day Two little poetics I have recently encountered “All of Us”  by David Budbill Out of the undifferentiated Tao come the ten thousand things: the bug in the bird’s mouth, the bird in the tree, the tree outside the window, the window beyond the chair, the chair in the room, the man…

Quoting Humanisms

Here are a few thoughts from George Eliot. Her Middlemarch is one of the great sociological novels: it should really be a part of any sociology syllabus.

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other? I cannot be indifferent to the troubles of a man who advised me in my trouble, and attended me in my illness

I concluded my textbook with another quote from her.

Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

O may I join the choir invisible
O my I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence: liveGeorge Eliot
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
For miserable aims that end with self,
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
And with their mild persistence urge man’s search
To vaster issues.
    So to live is heaven:
To make undying music in the world,
Breathing as beauteous order that controls
With growing sway the growing life of man.
So we inherit that sweet purity
For which we struggled, failed, and agonised
With widening retrospect that bred despair.
Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued,
A vicious parent shaming still its child
Poor anxious penitence, is quick dissolved;
Its discords, quenched by meeting harmonies,
Die in the large and charitable air.
And all our rarer, better, truer self,
That sobbed religiously in yearning song,
That watched to ease the burthen of the world,
Laboriously tracing what must be,
And what may yet be better— saw within
A worthier image for the sanctuary,
And shaped it forth before the multitude
Divinely human, raising worship so
To higher reference more mixed with love—
That better self shall live till human Time
Shall fold its eyelids, and the human sky
Be gathered like a scroll within the tomb
Unread for ever.
    This is life to come,
Which martyred men have made more glorious
For us who strive to follow. May I reach
That purest heaven, be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony,
Enkindle generous ardour, feed pure love,
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty—
Be the sweet presence of a good diffused,
And in diffusion ever more intense.
So shall I join the choir invisible
Whose music is the gladness of the world.

1867

Quote of the Day:

On getting it all wrong!

“You get them wrong before you meet them, while you’re anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you’re with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion. … The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It’s getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That’s how we know we’re alive: we’re wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that — well, lucky you.” Philip Roth (American Pastoral

A Puzzle?

Poetic: Snow

incorrigibly plural snowflakes

I wake up most mornings with a deep sense of the multiplicities of things, and a bafflement at how we can ever comprehend any of it. I find Louis Macneice’s Snow quite inspirational.

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands –
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

the starry, starry skies

and the snowiness of snow.

the infinity of lists

and the galleries of libraries.

little lives too full to grasp.

legions of dead too lost to see.

a babel of language and love.

a topos of inexpressible ineffability,

ad infinitum, this pluralistic world

%d bloggers like this: