Category Archives: courage

Losing one’s self again

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There are trends in society to encourage us to build our self esteem and to value ourselves… to develop and achieve  a place suited to our talents.. but what is best for me is when I lose myself in something.I was reading an old blog of a friend and was quite absorbed and went into a different state of mind..then I regretted I don’t manage to lose myself enough being  a housewife and having much on my mind and being busy.

Sometimes it can happen when we love a person.Sometimes a wonderful landscape feels like home.. other times a sunset across the Irish sea from the cliffs of the Isle of Man where myriad butterflies swirl and float over flowers and rocks.

Modern life, the News,talk,excitement of the wrong sort seem to lock us into  our self and frighten us so we forget the value of fining something in which to lose ourselves and grow as a result. Sitting by a river  fishing,knitting,sewing,a book, many things can elicit this response  And remember how horror filled was the self consciousness of adolescence and how good to forget one’s self being more comfortable and accepting of appearance and image..How to live like a wild flower for a time… and be happy not to be a rose but just a tiny wild geranium or a moderate  sized  gentle pink flower in a arden

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Behind glass… a defense

Have you ever felt you were behind a pane of glass? I did once many years ago after a friend committed  suicide.It must be a protective  condition but it is painful and odd.Everyone else seems ok ,you imagine,but you are not a part..In reality many people may be feeling like you do and putting on a performance while out at work or socialising.We are probably wiser as we grow older as we know more people better and see we are not  unique in our suffering and pain; we know that feelings pass,even the worst ones and we may have become better at judging others and knowing if friends die  by suicide it’s probably not our fault

When one feels that way it has to be accepted for the time being, like all feelings,I found reading poetry helped me and also being with others in a group where I could sit and listen without pressure to speak.I like this poem from then.It was a favorite  of Simone Weil,the mystic.

LOVE BADE ME WELCOME  by George Herbert

 

 Love Bade Me Welcome – from Love (III)

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back.
Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.

A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungrateful? Ah, my deare,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

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Paul Tillich and I: The Courage To Be

Paul Tillich photo

Tillich 1You know this experience, sometimes when you are browsing in a bookshop you come across a book with a wonderful title. This happened to me as  student when I saw a book with this title:

“The courage to be ”

by Paul Tillich

I was going through a hard time and just the title alone helped me as no one I knew had ever said it takes courage to live well.So I bought this book and dipped in. I found it interesting and thoughtful.Sometimes I would just look at the front cover and repeat the title.I had discovered mantra meditation.in a sense.

This morning I was listening to a radio programme  about poetry in England and tidying up. Suddenly my old battered copy fell out of a shelf and into my hand.And I said, thank you. Because I had  lost this companion and now it’s restored to me when I need again to say the words to help me in a personal crisis.

The Courage to Be

And to recognise the power of words on the human mind and thus to take care of  self and others and what we say to them for they too are struggling humans as we ourselves are.

And to discover virtue is not faux piety which suddenly reminded me that Tillich had a weakness for women. He was no plaster saint. I am not saying. I approve.

Had he stayed in Germany he would no doubt have been imprisoned even killed like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.He would not have been silent

Books… they save lives. I was so grateful and still am for education, books, people who talk to me .Had I lived a few years earlier it would have been different.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/595850/Paul-Tillich/7266/Development-of-his-philosophy

Tillich was expelled from Germany in 1933,the first non-Jewish theologian to have this honor bestowed on him.I never saw him but I love him for his writing.

Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.
Paul Tillich
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/paul_tillich.html#y15kkZigwdviBd76.99

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A new writer/thinker:C Fred Alford

7451351_b4ccf55226_thttp://www.salon.com/2013/06/10/expert_whistleblowers_tend_to_be_conservative/

I am reading two books by C Fred Alford about Evil.He is a very good writer and scholar with a wonderful mind.He is also influenced greatly by Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion.

In fact I am really delighted because he talks quite a lot about thought and what makes us thoughtless and how thinking is related to emotions.And how breaking linkages in our minds is a defence which stops us from feeling painful emotion at the cost of deadness inside

This article is about Whistleblowers like Edward Snowden because it’s good and also I cannot find any articles about Alford’s life.

Here is a review of his new book but we can’t get it in the UK
http://www.upne.com/0819566020.html

It is about Emmanuel Levinas and the Frankfurt School.

 

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Authenticity is invaluable

Jim Jarmusch

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”
Jim Jarmusch

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The shadow of a human

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One side of us is good and the other is bad

We are like old gramophone records

Sometimes we are playing the good side

Then late we play the reverse.

The brighter the appearance

The darker the shadow

so Jung decided

Which may explain

why he and Heidegger

did not see the truth about the Nazis.

Jung got a top job

because all the Jewish psychoanalysts had to flee Austria and Germany

And later France

Jung was unable

to use his own insights

I guess we are all  a bit like that.

But we must keep trying…..

We need to accept  the pain

Of knowing we have a shadow.

If not,we will do harm

for if we don’t know it

we cannot control it

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Courage

This is very interesting and the whole site is good

http://oates.org/index.php/journal/prior-editions/92-2001/288-schmidt-2001

Extract:

In examining the lives of these quiet heroes, Kohut concluded that they all manifested three features that gave their courage the qualities of groundedness and non-psychosis, but also allowed them to transcend the entrapment of the status quo. These three features were not necessarily equally present in these different individuals but they all seemed to manifest them in obvious measure so that it was clearly discernable by others. These three features are: 1) a sense of humor, 2) the ability to respond to others with empathy, and 3) a deep sense of peace. This latter attribute was especially noteworthy in spite of the intense inner struggle underway in them as they faced their choices and their agonizing consequences. Their personalities seemed filled with a profound sense of serenity, perhaps close to what we would call wisdom. These three elements, especially the sense of peace or serenity, always seemed evident to observers, even to their torturers, persecutors and executioners.

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