The nice guy, so desperate to give, chases all the women away. His giving, in fact, is a weakness and a selfishness — through it he seeks to validate himself. But the validation will not come to him who is weak in his heart. And the less the validation comes the more neurotic the need to give becomes. His giving seeks to manipulate the woman into giving him back the validation he seeks. But no woman will have this because he is not a man who can stand on his own. The nice guy, however, should not revert back to the bad boy type, so craved by the feminine; he must reach into his instinct and come to his strength through his weakness. He ought to become himself, create his boundaries, and become able to stand on his own.
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.
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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.
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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.
There is no life after death, but there is an eternity. Being rooted in it it no longer matters if there is a life after death — or, said from the opposite bank, death achieves its purpose and opens us to eternity, not to an afterlife, but to a here-and-now eternity. Death itself becomes its white flower, its most fragrant sigh, its sigh of overflowing gratitude.
Is the tree less surrendered to love for rising towards the sky and asserting itself, its own height and elevation? Is it less in unity and oneness for affirming itself, its own identity and uniqueness? For wanting to rise higher than its surroundings? For wanting to look down on its surroundings, and high towards the sky? Is it not a betrayal of its duty to its oneness if it refuses to assert its own difference, its own necessarily partial view of the sky towards which it rises? — Replace the tree with man and you will find much of modern spirituality vanishing with a whiff of bad breath, vanishing to reveal itself as a sewer, and one giving discharge to…
In all great artists the will exceeds the talent; the love propelling the creations is at the end greater than all the works of art.
Whatever men insisted women should be or are feminism insisted that women should be its opposite, or that the power relation should be inverted so as women gain the upper hand — this reactive stance as much as it is lauded and needed (we’ve been waiting for it for millennia) will not take us beyond the dynamics of the power relation, the dreadful either/or so entrenched in the breast of culture and the shaping of men and women. This reaction should, instead, grasp itself differently, channel its energy differently — rather than being a reaction it should affirm itself, it should be an affirmation and an affirmative act — women are women irrespective of men and the will and desires of men; woman is woman not as an act that is directed against men, but as an affirmative act of herself and her own being, her own life, aspirations, and embodiment in the world — a creative act and a first act. That is essential, since only this will suspend the opposition struggle of men and women and allow each to find itself entrenched in the other — the woman in man, and the man in woman, and their struggle together in the creation of a new culture that goes beyond the limitations of the old. This will truly be the blow that dismantles the gender dynamics that have governed culture since millennia, giving men and women the space needed to discover themselves and each other anew and in a new light. The relation no longer power-centered, its destructive edge will be replaced by a more supportive and mutually understanding spirit that refuses to slide back into the old modes of relating even when conflicts and tensions arise. What will it look like, this culture? What will its men and women be? — it and they are flourishing right under our eyes, they are coming and will come at a quicker pace in the coming decades. The love-flower that daring spirits dreamed a thousand years ago — we are the witnesses of its coming of age.
A man who can only love or hate a woman, or a certain kind of woman, suffers an impotence of will. What leads him to her and what in her cripples him is a certain lack in his emotional and sexual life. His maturity is the maturity of his will, his ability to choose, and be aware of the moment where his choice is made, and his will to go one way or another activated.
The wine only becomes wine in dark cellars, my friend. When a darkness sets in, welcome it, show it the way out by using it, by putting it into action; use it as a motive and motivation, and if you cannot see the shore or where it is your going, then just use its dark ferment and awesome power just to keep going. Use it in a poem, or jog it out, or let it be the edge of your brush pouring color on a canvas, or let it be your lips spilling out the most intimate things to your lover, even they don’t make sense, even if you don’t know exactly what it is you’re saying. When a darkness sets in, welcome it, embrace it, and after a while you’ll begin to understand what a blessing a darkness is, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll begin to befriend and miss it.
Love is this — that through the beloved the lover expects his world unified and affirmed. For a poet this means — through the lover the world is given back as poetry, with her being the medium and end, the root and the flower. Bless the selfishness of lovers, and the poets’ love of lovers and of poetry.
Make no mistake about it, if you want to give your ear to a poet then be certain that he will be instructing you in the art of theft! The art of wanting to take pleasure in what is not your own. He will fill you up with a craving so intense you’d want to possess and claim the thing desired as part of your growing and expanding self. He will make a gentle conqueror out of you, and, sometimes, not a very gentle one.
The pleasure in ripeness and subsequent descent that the mature soul reaps exceeds that of the youthful soul which raw and unbridled energy hurls it into life.