On my struggle with philosophy and poetry

My approach to poetry has always been intuitive, and it is this intuition that lead me to truths that clashed directly with what an intellectual or philosophic grasp on the world might propose. Poetry draws from the source, and philosophy, regarding that, was, rightly, cynical. Which lead me to an impasse — I could no longer surrender to poetry and its source, and yet when I attempted to subjugate myself to the lessons and outlook of philosophy it felt like I was suppressing a huge and essential part of my own self, a part without which I couldn’t be myself. This struggle ate away at a good decade of my life, diminishing the best of what I could offer, philosophically and poetically — I was diminished and weakened in both areas. This struggle is so essential to my identity and to my well being. I’m not sure how to proceed, except to say that an either/or approach to the matter is not in the least fruitful, and that the repression of poetry even at the risk of being “dogmatic” to the rational side in me is also no longer possible. Maybe what is required is a leap of faith, one that does not deny reason and philosophy, but that comes from a deeper place in the heart, a place unconcerned with appealing or being granted the approval of philosophy and reason. This while retaining philosophy and reason as essential tools with which to handle the self in its relation to the world.


Wandering Thought # 63

As a poet you cannot wait for your intellect to allow your surrender into your poetic flow and its intuition — the intellect will never allow it, for it is its very nature to remain skeptic and, hence, to hold you back; a leap must be made, and the intellect, humbled.

Wandering Thought # 61

The discipline of the flower is opening up to the light. That is my discipline too, as a poet, a lover, and a man. Man is conscious depth; his discipline is opening and giving his life direction through the sea of light.

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There is a friend to whom you come closer even when you go into a different or even an opposite direction. Such friendship, what is its touchstone: a mutual commitment to the growth of the heart.

* * *

We do not simply stumble upon new books; they stumble upon us and call us out too. It is a meeting, and the space of the meeting (depending on its depth) spills out back and forth throughout our life, reshaping, transforming, metamorphosing, down into the cradle of our birth and up into the darkness of our tomb.

* * *

The poet, today, is an outcast destined to live in the shadow of a socially unjustifiable existence. The intellectual atmosphere of his time renders him mistrustful even towards the sacred fountain of his inspiration. And so he finds himself in the peculiar position where he cannot turn away from poetry nor completely give in and surrender to it — he does not believe in his own existence. He suffers, and his suffering is incommunicable. He suffers in silence. Yet this silence and suffering are preparing something in him too; even now, something is rising out of him. This intuition alone makes his existence bearable, and fills him with the awe of being a poet. He will go unseen like a flower on the wind. But poetry, her, the midwife of the heart, has already taken something out of him and planted in the garden of eternity. He will go unseen, but the poem shall survive.

Wandering Thought # 60

With the poem the poets barter their way into eternity, and that is all the poets have ever done, consciously or not. But then again, eternity is the intuition for which the poem is the medium and conductor, the activity through which eternity expands inside the poet’s heart. So a moment comes where every poet wonders if the poem is in fact more than a poem, a poetry that goes beyond poetry and overflows into life, under and inside the very marrow of life. The poet intuits eternity as a force of life, or, rather, life as an expression of eternity. The poet, then, driven as if by instinct, wants his life lived in harmony with the eternal, as he begins to experience the true opening of the heart. His relationship with life or what life is for him must now come from his openness to eternity, from his intuition of the absolute. He wants to live the eternal as he relates to life. He glorifies being inasmuch as he feels that that is a state of flowering inside the eternal; being, for him, is a state of absolute openness, of total transparency and a life taken over by the eternal. So the images come of the moth and the flame, of the whirling dervish, the ocean, and the boundless sky, and underneath it all, the silence of God, the eternal.

Wandering Thought # 50

The invention of aviation was not a utilitarian invention. Reading through its history one realizes that its root and outgrowth came the human imagination, from an irrational fixation on the reveries where man saw himself flying, felt himself in flight, and so ached to achieve flying that from the profundity of a love that persisted through millennia he was finally able to materialize his dream.
In the end, much of our modern inventions with which we pride ourselves owe themselves to this — poetry and witchcraft, the ability to imagine new things, impossible things. For all his rationality, man, more than he knows, will always be close to the poet’s heart — his passions, which are inescapable, will make sure of this.