John Bonham was born on this day in 1948.
"The Ocean" ...
Put your faith in thoseCrimson nightsSet sail in thoseTurquoise days
In fairyland there had been a real law; a law that could be broken, for the definition of a law is something that can be broken. But the machinery of this cosmic prison was something that could not be broken; for we ourselves were only a part of its machinery. We were either unable to do things or we were destined to do them. The idea of the mystical condition quite disappeared; one can neither have the firmness of keeping laws nor the fun of breaking them. The largeness of this universe had nothing of that freshness and airy outbreak which we have praised in the universe of the poet. This modern universe is literally an empire; that is, it was vast, but it is not free. One went into larger and larger windowless rooms, rooms big with Babylonian perspective; but one never found the smallest window or a whisper of outer air.Their infernal parallels seemed to expand with distance; but for me all good things come to a point, swords for instance. So finding the boast of the big cosmos so unsatisfactory to my emotions I began to argue about it a little; and I soon found that the whole attitude was even shallower than could have been expected. According to these people the cosmos was one thing since it had one unbroken rule. Only (they would say) while it is one thing it is also the only thing there is. Why, then, should one worry particularly to call it large? There is nothing to compare it with. It would be just as sensible to call it small. A man may say, “I like this vast cosmos, with its throng of stars and its crowd of varied creatures.” But if it comes to that why should not a man say, “I like this cosy little cosmos, with its decent number of stars and as neat a provision of live stock as I wish to see”? One is as good as the other; they are both mere sentiments. It is mere sentiment to rejoice that the sun is larger than the earth; it is quite as sane a sentiment to rejoice that the sun is no larger than it is. A man chooses to have an emotion about the largeness of the world; why should he not choose to have an emotion about its smallness?It happened that I had that emotion. When one is fond of anything one addresses it by diminutives, even if it is an elephant or a life-guardsman. The reason is, that anything, however huge, that can be conceived of as complete, can be conceived of as small. If military moustaches did not suggest a sword or tusks a tail, then the object would be vast because it would be immeasurable. But the moment you can imagine a guardsman you can imagine a small guardsman. The moment you really see an elephant you can call it “Tiny.” If you can make a statue of a thing you can make a statuette of it. These people professed that the universe was one coherent thing; but they were not fond of the universe. But I was frightfully fond of the universe and wanted to address it by a diminutive. I often did so; and it never seemed to mind. Actually and in truth I did feel that these dim dogmas of vitality were better expressed by calling the world small than by calling it large. For about infinity there was a sort of carelessness which was the reverse of the fierce and pious care which I felt touching the pricelessness and the peril of life. They showed only a dreary waste; but I felt a sort of sacred thrift. For economy is far more romantic than extravagance. To them stars were an unending income of halfpence; but I felt about the golden sun and the silver moon as a schoolboy feels if he has one sovereign and one shilling.These subconscious convictions are best hit off by the colour and tone of certain tales. Thus I have said that stories of magic alone can express my sense that life is not only a pleasure but a kind of eccentric privilege. I may express this other feeling of cosmic cosiness by allusion to another book always read in boyhood, “Robinson Crusoe,” which I read about this time, and which owes its eternal vivacity to the fact that it celebrates the poetry of limits, nay, even the wild romance of prudence. Crusoe is a man on a small rock with a few comforts just snatched from the sea: the best thing in the book is simply the list of things saved from the wreck. The greatest of poems is an inventory. Every kitchen tool becomes ideal because Crusoe might have dropped it in the sea. It is a good exercise, in empty or ugly hours of the day, to look at anything, the coal-scuttle or the book-case, and think how happy one could be to have brought it out of the sinking ship on to the solitary island. But it is a better exercise still to remember how all things have had this hair-breadth escape: everything has been saved from a wreck. Every man has had one horrible adventure: as a hidden untimely birth he had not been, as infants that never see the light. Men spoke much in my boyhood of restricted or ruined men of genius: and it was common to say that many a man was a Great Might-Have-Been. To me it is a more solid and startling fact that any man in the street is a Great Might-Not-Have-Been.
A soul in tension that's learning to flyCondition grounded but determined to tryCan't keep my eyes from the circling skiesTongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I
We were about 45 minutes in when my daughter started to pull on my shirt because she wanted to whisper something to me. I went down to her level and she put her hand to my ear so that everyone around us couldn't hear what she was saying. "Mom, they are going to think you are crazy. You are asking way too many questions!" I busted out laughing and had to tell the manager what she said.His reply was, "Well that's good because you are in good company. We are all a little crazy here." This is foodie's paradise and talking passionately about food is completely NORMAL.We were at the register for a solid 20 minutes! All of the cashiers started giving me their feedback.... products they were sure I couldn't live without.
Whole Foods is worse.
People go insane, fly around in planesPray that it won't rain, drive around in carsGet drunk in local bars, dream of being stars ...
What I’m coming to lately is an end-of-life conviction that there is more to consciousness than what is produced in my little head, or yours. Both of us have the capacity, at times, mysteriously, to get beyond whatever this small consciousness is doing and telling us. When we are able, when we are sufficiently still and relaxed—letting it happen, not doing it—we can receive a resonance from a greater consciousness.Many spiritual masters I’ve known, and also eminent scientists like Carl Jung, echo this belief. Just before Jung died, the BBC managed to interview him. And he was free enough at that stage of his life to say things without looking over his shoulder and worrying about his scientific reputation. He said: “Man cannot stand a meaningless life. Something in us sees around corners, knows beyond time and space, so may continue in that state after our physical death. Those who fear death as the End, die soon. Those who think they will go on, die old.”Fear is constricting. In fact, so are all those self-concerns for one’s reputation, for one’s ideas, even for what the next association is telling me. For example, am I just thinking of what I should say to you now? Or am I open to something that could be quite new, that is not really coming so much from me as from this source consciousness that many traditions have called “I”? I’m referring to the consciousness that manages to see what things are, what I am, and to not get caught in the next reaction or judgment or association—because all of these are functions; and consciousness is not a function.In the environmental movement that I’ve been part of for thirty years, I’ve been saying that the problem is not just in our technology or in our corporate system, but inside ourselves. What has to change more radically is my whole attitude to nature, from one of domination to an attitude of stewardship. It’s a hard sell these days, though the need for such a radical change has been laid out in all of the great traditions.When we talk about the need for a less self-centered attitude or for waking up, it’s a change of consciousness, a change of mind from an identified mind that is just presenting its next automatic association—and assuming it can control our entire life that way—to a mind that is still and open and able to receive something from this greater mind that Carl Jung was invoking earlier. Like you, I am searching for who I am, and by now I know that I am not going to find an answer in my functional machinery, ticking away automatically, but in my essential mind, just aware attention, watching.As the Dalai Lama has been pointing out in recent years, the Tibetan language has two words for these two very different kinds of “mind”: The ordinary automatic mind that they call Sem; and this other receptive stillness, which has no judgments, no associations, that they call Rigpa and translate as awareness. It’s a beautiful statement in a few sentences of what has previously been a very secret Tibetan practice called dzogchen, closely allied to what Gurdjieff and others have taught as the wordless way of being totally present now, in this moment.We’re all designed with this possibility. But what is obstructing the realization of that human potential ... it’s me. This narcissistic preoccupation with my story, my difficulty, which always has a kind of negative touch to it because I am complaining about what is wrong with me either physically or mentally. And the quiet, impartial, impersonal mind, consciousness, with which I could be connected, is blocked by that.It is so important to understand awareness as a connector to something greater than me, to my source, really. My presence is the doorway to that, even at the moment that I acknowledge that I don’t know who I am and I see my lack of presence. But that is the beginning of a real wish for it, a wish to be.