When a storm comes up, where do you find shelter? How safe is this harbor? How much of life is on a mirror-calm sea with a clear-blue sky overhead? These questions are important to observe closely. Unless we wake up & intentionally remain awake, we'll squander our precious time, energy & immense potential by living the life of the most primitive single-cell organisms: pulling away from unpleasant stimuli, and pulling towards the pleasant stimuli. We can live infinitely more meaningful lives.
“In the first half of life, our summons is to build an ego strong enough to enter the world, deal with it, meet its demands, and create a living space for ourselves in it. This is seemingly what growing up requires and all life apparently expects. But if we are privileged to live longer than that, we often find other, insistent demands beginning to wash up on our shores from the vast sea within. … I think the meaning of the entire second half of life, (second half used more metaphorically than chronologically) is about finding, or submitting to, something larger than our ego needs, something larger than our complexes with their insistent chatter.
If the first half of life is about ‘what does the world want from me, and how do I meet its demands,’ the second ‘half’ is about ‘what wants to enter the world through me?’ … I further believe that we all swim in mystery, and that that mystery – what some call the voice of God, some the Daimon, some ‘destiny’ – seeks its expression through us. We are the humble vehicles of that expression. It little matters if we wish that summons – it happens. And the more we submit, the richer our live becomes because we are flush with some kind of energy, and we experience our lives, however conflictual and traumatic, as meaningful. The experience of enduring meaning is not found in the precincts of pleasure, affluence, or achievement, as we once thought evident, but in surrendering to something developmental, redeeming, and enlarging, something coursing through us, something wishing embodiment through us."
James Hollis. “Prisms. Reflections on This Journey We Call Life.” Chiron, 2021.
“Because the volume of the world is so loud,
it’s drowning out the whisper from the heart.” Muhammad Iqbal
“That whisper in your heart
may not have wings,
but it has the power to fly.” Muhammad Iqbal
“In the final analysis we do not solve our problems, for life is not a problem to be solved but an experiment to be lived. It is enough to have suffered through into deeper and deeper meaning. Such meaning enriches and is its own reward. We cannot avoid the swamplands of the soul, but we may come to value them for what they can bring us.”
James Hollis. “Swamplands of the Soul: New Life in Dismal Places.” Inner City Books, 1966.
“We are equipped for the journey. We possess the resilience of our ancestors who clung to this spinning orb, tumbling through measureless space, and we survive … rich for all that has accumulated on our journey.”
James Hollis. “Living Between Worlds. Finding Personal Resilience in Changing Times.” Sounds True, 2020.
“The whole path of mindfulness is this:
Whatever you are doing, be aware of it.”
|Alex Grey CoSM.org