Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Afternoon of Life ~ Carl G. Jung

“Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” 

― C.G. Jung



Jung and Quakerism ~ http://fcrp.quaker.org/yungblut.html 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Painful Happiness ~ Elizabeth Berg

“There are random moments - tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children's rooms - when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead.” 

― Elizabeth Berg



Monday, November 28, 2011

Love and Help ~ William Penn

"There is one great God and power that has made the world and all things therein, to whom you and I and all people owe their being and well being, and to whom you and I must one day give an account for all that we do in this world. This great God has written his law in our hearts, by which we are taught and commanded to love and help and do good to one another, and not to do harm and mischief one unto another."

~William Penn



Free e-books and kindle editions from William Penn
http://www.manybooks.net/authors/pennw.html
Artwork from Gustave Baumann
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Baumann

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grasp of the Harmony ~ Marcus Aurelius

"Let it make no difference to thee whether thou art cold or warm, if thou art doing thy duty; and whether thou art drowsy or satisfied with sleep; and whether ill-spoken of or praised; and whether dying or doing something else. For it is one of the acts of life, this act by which we die: it is sufficient then in this act also to do well what we have in hand.

Look within. Let neither the peculiar quality of anything nor its value escape thee.

All existing things soon change, and they will either be reduced to vapour, if indeed all substance is one, or they will be dispersed....


In conformity to the nature of the universe every single thing is accomplished, for certainly it is not in conformity to any other nature that each thing is accomplished, either a nature which externally comprehends this, or a nature which is comprehended within this nature, or a nature external and independent of this.

The universe is either a confusion, and a mutual involution of things, and a dispersion; or it is unity and order and providence. If then it is the former, why do I desire to tarry in a fortuitous combination of things and such a disorder? And why do I care about anything else than how I shall at last become earth? And why am I disturbed, for the dispersion of my elements will happen whatever I do. But if the other supposition is true, I venerate, and I am firm, and I trust in him who governs.

When thou hast been compelled by circumstances to be disturbed in a manner, quickly return to thyself and do not continue out of tune longer than the compulsion lasts; for thou wilt have more mastery over the harmony by continually recurring to it."


— Marcus Aurelius (Translated George Long)



Free Marcus Aurelius e-book or Kindle edition

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Food to Grow On ~ May Sarton

“In the middle of the night, things well up from the past that are not always cause for rejoicing--the unsolved, the painful encounters, the mistakes, the reasons for shame or woe. But all, good or bad, give me food for thought, food to grow on.” 


― May Sarton

Friday, November 25, 2011

What We Are ~ Meister Eckhart

"People should not worry as much about what they do but rather about what they are. If they and their ways are good, then their deeds are radiant. If you are righteous, then what you do will also be righteous. We should not think that holiness is based on what we do but rather on what we are, for it is not our works which sanctify us but we who sanctify our works."

~ Meister Eckhart

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Distance Within You ~ John O'Donohue

“Your beloved and your friends were once strangers. Somehow at a particular time, they came from the distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed so accidental and contingent. Now your life is unimaginable without them. Similarly, your identity and vision are composed of a certain constellation of ideas and feelings that surfaced from the depths of the distance within you. To lose these now would be to lose yourself.” 

― John O'Donohue



A Thanksgiving Prayer ~ Tom Barrett

"In the spirit of humility we give thanks for all that is.
We thank the great spiritual beings who have shared their wisdom.
We thank our ancestors who brought us to where we are now.
We are grateful for the opportunity to walk this planet,
to breathe the air,
to taste the food,
to experience sensations of a human body/mind,
to share in this wonder that is life.
We are grateful for the natural world that supports us,
for the community of humankind that enables us to do many wonderous things.
We are grateful that we are conscious,
that as intelligent beings we can reflect upon the many things we have been given."


Tom Barrett



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Free Man In Powys: My Life as a Hedge

Free Man In Powys: My Life as a Hedge: This weekend, during a rare sighting of the sun, I decided to get stuck into the hedge and do some work. We have about 600ft of hedge to mai...


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No Conditions ~ Karen Blixen



"Man, in his weakness and shortsightedness believes he must make choices in this life. He trembles at the risks he takes. We do know fear. But no. Our choice is of no importance. There comes a time when our eyes are opened and we come to realize that mercy is infinite. We need only await it with confidence and receive it with gratitude. Mercy imposes no conditions. And lo! Everything we have chosen has been granted to us. And everything we rejected has also been granted. Yes, we even get back what we rejected. For mercy and truth have met together, and righteousness and bliss shall kiss one another."

~ Karen Blixen

More at  http://www.karenblixen.com/

Monday, November 21, 2011

Go Outside ~ Anne Frank

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” 

~ Anne Frank




Addicted ~ George Fox

"Friends,--Whatever ye are addicted to, the tempter will come in that thing; and when he can trouble you, then he gets advantage over you, and then ye are gone. Stand still in that which is pure, after ye see yourselves; and then mercy comes in. After thou seest thy thoughts, and the temptations, do not think, but submit; and then power comes. Stand still in that which shows and discovers; and there doth strength immediately come. And stand still in the light, and submit to it, and the other will be hushed and gone; and then content comes. And when temptations and troubles appear, sink down in that which is pure, and all will be hushed, and fly away. Your strength is to stand still, after ye see yourselves; whatsoever ye see yourselves addicted to, temptations, corruption, uncleanness, &c., then ye think ye shall never overcome. And earthly reason will tell you, what ye shall lose; hearken not to that, but stand still in the light that shows them to you, and then strength comes from the Lord, and help contrary to your expectation."


George Fox



More at  http://www.hallvworthington.com/Letters/gfsection1.html

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How we Walk ~ Sura Lama Das

"People who spend a great deal of time in their gardens attest to the natural mindfulness that gardening requires. What could be more naturally mindful than weeding? It requires a great deal of sustained attention. Weeds need to be taken up with care: Pull too hard, and the weed breaks in your fingers, leaving the root to grow and spread. Different weeds need different techniques and, sometimes, tools. When we weed our gardens, we have to pay attention to where and how we walk and bend. Move too far in one direction or another, and we'll squash growing things."

- Sura Lama Das

Friday, November 18, 2011

That Unique Pattern ~ John W. Gardner

"Meaning is not something you stumble across, like an answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of the affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account."

~ John W. Gardner

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Tree Quaker ~ Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: The Tree Quaker: For some people, the great spiritual highs of their lives (apart from those “once in a while” things like graduating, getting married, havi...

The Friend who can be Silent ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." 

— Henri J.M. Nouwen




Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Now ~ George Harrison


"It's being here now that's important. There's no past and there's no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can't relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don't know if there is one." 

— George Harrison

Without Blinking ~ Renée Crauder

"And yet, Friends, and yet…There is that which is nearer to me than my very self…which lifts me out of myself in gratefulness at my life and its gifts…which gently insists on becoming a greater part of myself as I grow big enough, strong enough, free enough, to let it enter…which enables me to reach for the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control........

Prayer for me is looking at myself without excuses, without blinking. Prayer means accepting my weaknesses, my negativities (patience, for instance, is not one of my virtues), looking at my turnings away from God. It also means accepting my gifts, my positives, and not having false modesty. (Do you have trouble accepting a compliment?)"

~ Renée Crauder
 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In Simplicity ~ Cecile Andrews

"We have to make choices in our everyday lives, of course, but these choices are becoming more and more narrow. It's the equivalent of choosing a brand of cereal — there are scads of choices, but the choices are essentially all the same. In Simplicity, we are making choices in terms of their benefit to the well being of people and the planet. (What other criteria could there be?) In terms of the well being of people, you need a variety of experiences in order to make a choice. That's why we need the stories of people who have gone a different route. We need to know about the people who choose to live on less, who choose to live close to the land, who find enjoyment in community and creativity. If we don't know about them, they can't be part of our choice."

 ~ Cecile Andrews




More at
  http://lessismoresimplicity.blogspot.com/

Artwork from David Sim  http://crailgallery.com/shop/artist-name/David%20Sim/All/artist_3

Six degrees of Connection ~ Vivienne Tuffnell

"But what about the good we do that we never know? How often do you find out later that your kind words have meant the world to someone who was thirsting to have some goodness and gentleness extended to them instead of harshness and cruelty? The things we teach our children need to include kindness and consideration for the feelings and well-being of others: we live in an increasingly me-focussed society where selflessness is seldom encountered and the dog-eat-dog model is followed ruthlessly.

It’s far from a perfect world. I’m far from perfect as a human being; some days I think I am a wretched specimen, falling so far from my aims. But aim high and while you might miss the stars you may still land on the moon, is a saying I sometimes think of. It’s not about being perfect but about trying the hardest to ensure that the harm you do is outweighed by the good.

Remembering that we are all connected, some say by only six degrees of connection, is a way of reminding yourself that you are never truly alone. The good you do will return to you, as will the harm. I’m not a believer in the full concept of Karma, but I do believe that somewhere along the line, we tend to get what we deserve."


~ Vivienne Tuffnell


Much more excellent reading at; http://zenandtheartoftightropewalking.wordpress.com

Monday, November 14, 2011

Retaining its Unity ~ Simone de Beauvoir

“A life is such a strange object, at one moment translucent, at another utterly opaque, an object I make with my own hands, an object imposed on me, an object for which the world provides the raw material and then steals it from me again, pulverized by events, scattered, broken, scored yet retaining its unity; how heavy it is and how inconsistent: this contradiction breeds many misunderstandings.” 

― Simone de Beauvoir



Internal Simplification ~ Thomas R. Kelly

"I have in mind something deeper than the simplification of our external programs, our absurdly crowded calendars of appointments through which so many pantingly and frantically gasp. These do become simplified in holy obedience, and the poise and peace we have been missing can really be found. But there is a deeper, an internal simplification of the whole of one's personality, stilled, tranquil, in childlike trust listening ever to Eternity's whisper, walking with a smile into the dark."

~ Thomas R. Kelly







More at  http://www.quaker.org/pamphlets/wpl1939a.html

Artwork by Eric Ravilious http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/exhibitions/7112323/sublime-timelessness/

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Daily Life ~ Albert Einstein

"Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men."

Albert Einstein




More at  http://einsteinandreligion.com/

Friday, November 11, 2011

About Tages ~ Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: About Tages: It’s November - not the most inviting month of the year. How is it that some months last longer than others? I know that some have thirty d...

How Could You be my Enemy? ― Erich Maria Remarque

“But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony--Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?”

― Erich Maria Remarque



War is a Crime Against Humanity ~ Peace Pledge Union

So why, in the 21st century, with all our skills, knowledge and resources, are we still waging war?

Lack of political will to implement internationally agreed disarmament initiatives.

Arms sales fuel tensions, contribute to instability and impoverish recipient countries. On the other hand the multi-billion pound arms industry, its workersand shareholders profit handsomely from war and its consequences.

Human rights abuses, often underpinned by British arms, create a climate of alienation. Frustration easily breeds violence which in turn leads to further abuse, which completes the circle of violence.

So what, in the 21st century, with all our skills, knowledge and resources, can we do to make war obsolete?

Promote a respect for human rights by example, not by force.

Dismantle nuclear weapons and reallocate resources to peace-building, conflict prevention and non-violent diplomacy.

Relocate resources from military research (30% in the UK) to non-damaging and life enhancing technologies.

Promote a non-military approach to security.

Develop a coherent programme of education for peace, in which children and adults alike can discover that preparing to kill strangers or actually killing them is not the route to a better world.

 Peace Pledge Union



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sympathetic Threads ~ Herman Melville

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” 

― Herman Melville



'Moby Dick' free e-book and Kindle edition http://www.manybooks.net/titles/melvilleetext01moby11.html

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Many Kinds of Freedom ~ Carl Sagan

"Frederick Douglas taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path." 

— Carl Sagan

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Success ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better place than we found it, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.” 

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

No! ~ Thomas Hood


No!  ~ Thomas Hood



No sun—no moon!
No morn—no noon!
No dawn—no dusk—no proper time of day—
No sky—no earthly view—
No distance looking blue—
No road—no street—no “t’other side this way”—
No end to any Row—
No indications where the Crescents go—
No top to any steeple—
No recognitions of familiar people—
No courtesies for showing ‘em—
No knowing ‘em!
No travelling at all—no locomotion—
No inkling of the way—no notion—
“No go” by land or ocean—
No mail—no post—
No news from any foreign coast---
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility—
No company—no nobility—
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member—
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds—
November!



Monday, November 7, 2011

Unbelievable Altruism ~ Mary R. Hopkins

"When I drop my modern assumptions of culture and pare my self down to a human who mysteriously emerged from a great body, found my nourishment and greatest safety in, on, and under enormous female bellies, I might feel the need of a comforting little reminder even an adult. Can I put the pieces of this puzzle together to suppose that this is the art of a culture that worshipped The Great Mother? Mothers have the physical power to create new life, not only other females, but something different from themselves, males. They then, with unbelievable altruism, keep the new being alive with milky breasts full of perfect nourishment. The astonishment I feel when I look at this with Palaeolithic eyes fills me with awe: I am in the presence of magic. And it is that very emotion, awe, which is also shared with our ancient grandparents. We worship that which inspires awe in us"

~ Mary R. Hopkins



Much more at http://fcrp.quaker.org/shortphysics.pdf (Well worth a read)

Dust of Earth ~ Charles Dickens

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before-more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.” 

― Charles Dickens



Free 'Great expectations' e-book of Kindle edition or Audio-book at ;http://www.manybooks.net/titles/dickenscetext98grexp10a.html

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stop Questioning ~ Sylvia Plath

“I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.”

― Sylvia Plath



Friday, November 4, 2011

We are Made up of Layers ~ Anaïs Nin

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

Healthy Contempt ~ Aldo Leopold

“But wherever the truth may lie, this much is crystal-clear: our bigger-and-better society is now like a hypochondriac, so obsessed with its own economic health as to have lost the capacity to remain healthy. . . . Nothing could be more salutary at this stage than a little healthy contempt for a plethora of material blessings.” 

― Aldo Leopold



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Beating the Clock ~ Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: Beating the Clock: It is no longer summer, fairly soon it will be no longer autumn either and the winter will be upon us. People prepare for the change in se...

Down to the Gates ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

"Give us grace and strength to forbear and to persevere. Give us courage and gaiety, and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavours. If it may not, give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we may be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temparate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune, and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving to one another."

— Robert Louis Stevenson




Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Revolution We Seek ~ Arthur Gish

"We need to incorporate within our own lives the revolution we seek. We need not only a theory of a liberated society, but the practice of it. We need the experience of living a new reality. Instead of talking about abstract ideals, we need to live a new life. The time has come for a change and it must begin with me."


~ Arthur Gish 




More at  http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/271775_Arthur-Gish--county-native--global-activist-dies.html

Vegetarianism is my Statement ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

“To be a vegetarian is to disagree - to disagree with the course of things today... starvation, cruelty - we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it's a strong one.” 


― Isaac Bashevis Singer

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Look Fear in the Face ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do." 

— Eleanor Roosevelt





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