With utter willingness we live our life [New version]

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Flower by Mike Flemming.Copyright 2015

I have edited this but have left the original poem  underneath as it is popular and I don’t want to remove it if some people prefer it that way.

he pathways to the heart are blessed by love.
And those who truly seek will  never lose.
As virtue and her graces smile above
We see the hills ahead,the rocky views.

With willingness to cross land deep in mud,

To struggle through the tangled thorny woods.

Our soul within points to the latent good;
Recalls old trees astonished into bud.

As flowers spring up in between our toes
Encouragement is  gladly now received;
And as we smell the fragrance of the rose,
At last we know our souls have not deceived.

For Virgil,fortune favours steadfast feet.
The journey may be long,the end is sweet.

Old version

The pathways to the heart are blessed by love.
And those who truly seek will  never lose.
As virtue and her graces smile above
We see the hills ahead,the rocky views.

With willingness to cross the seas of mud,
To venture via tangled briar-filled woods.
Our soul within shows us the highest good,
When trees that looked quite dead are now in bud.

With flowers springing up  between our toes
Encouragement is ,with relief ,received
And as we smell the fragrance of the rose,
At last we know our hearts were not deceived.

For Virgil, fortune favours those with steadfast feet.
The journey may be long,the end is sweet.

Note:The saying “Fortune favours the brave” is attributed to several people..Virgil,Pascal,Montaigne…ete

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

After he left me

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After he left me.I walked slowly and blindly.
Unknowingly, I  had entered a grey desert of rocks and stones
Not a person nor a house
Not a flower or a tree…..
Seemed like no-one else in this whole world was alive.
Inside my womb I carried our child.
Solemn with that weight and crushed by grief
I kept on my way.
Though my time had not yet come,
I realized the child was about to be born
I was aided by a faceless
doctor.who informed me
that my child was dead.
Casually he tossed it onto a heap of bodies
I am not Jewish ,but it reminded me of a Death Camp.
Deserted,I gave birth in a Death Camp.To a dead baby.
The doctor vanished and I lay inert like one of the grey rocks that were heaped about.
My heart felt like a stone
I had no food or drink but no desire arose.I lay unmoving
After a week I rose to my feet knowing I must leave or die.
Going over to look at my dead child at last,
I saw with astonishment,
he was alive.Alive!
I picked him up
And held him tenderly.
He’s alive,but what am I do to?
Still there’s noone around in this eery landscape…
But at least my child is alive.
Like the Israelites out of Egypt,I shall have faith in God
And I will keep walking until I die if need be.
My child is alive,is loved.
A miracle has  occurred.

I walk on

Book review:The society of timid souls by Polly Morland

shades of grey

The book I am reading now is called”, The Society of Timid Souls”  written by Polly Morland.

Here is a very good in depth review of it and a photo of a bull fight

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/19/timid-souls-polly-morland-review

She is a good writer,mainly in journalism and also she works  making documentaries.The title comes from a Society that existed in New York starting around the time of Pear Harbour.It was for musiciand too timid ti play in public.From that which ended in 1946 she goe on to look at many situations which need courage such as bravery in war,in giving birth,in bull fighting.She is well read and has studied Aristotle,read Beowulf and many other serious  books and writings.Yet it is not a very difficult read.[I like hard books because I read them several times so they last longer.]The  intriguing part so far is about animals and birds which won awards for bravery.. such as pigeons in WW2 and whether an animal can be brave in the true sense.I have read half this book and strongly recommend it as suitable to a wide range of readers and also because it makes reading Aristotle seem normal,not just for scholars and academics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotelian_ethics

You can get Ethics by Aristotle as a free kindle book

You have to pay a little for Nichomacean Ethics and there is more than one translation so look inside before you buy it.I feel amazed by his thinking and wonder  if we’ve gone backwards

In honor of Paul Tillich

Paul Tillich gave our spirit proper place.

He showed us courage as a  space to dwell.

He wrote for us and left us with   his  grace

With hope he might speak and he might tell.

So many people ignored Fascist speech

And lived with mind cut off from  their own soul

With pen in hand he wrote to reach

And touch us as we strive towards the whole.

Expelled from his own country, he wrote on

Continuing during  tortuous war long years

He lived, he loved ,he wrote, he died and then

His books continue to dispatch our fears.

For many men have lived and have destroyed.

Yet Tillich showed  us how to face the  void

Never say logic again.

English: A schizophrenic patient at the Glore ...
English: A schizophrenic patient at the Glore Psychiatric Museum made this piece of cloth and it gives us a peek into her mind. Русский: Вышивка, сделанная пациентом, страдающим от шизофрении. Экспонат психиатрического музея Глор, Миссури. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Schizophrenia (Wayne Shorter album)
Schizophrenia (Wayne Shorter album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My foreign students said I was too warm to be British,so turn off your heating now or face  execution as a  traitor.

What people forget is we Brits are a mixed race… then we have the nerve to call people,wogs,dagos and foreigners.we are all foreigners here apart from the Welsh.

Some students told me their dreams;s,anything to avoid algebra!

I  personally found quantum theory helps to avoid emotional overspill…

and topology  is useful for dressmakers

Dreams and love are all very well… if you are a millionaire.Till then keep on with figures,asymmetry and words.

Friends are no use unless you are a real person.Whatever she is.

Schizophrenia is to some extent cowardliness………….keep your feet on the ground and say straight out what you mean without entering into wordplay,fey ways,being a seer and seeing how life veers.It’s all absolute bullshit.Only not all bulls are male.

Some bulls are e-male.

Depression is mainly the result of being driven.So give up the chauffeur and take your time.

Some loose women are fast  and vice versa.Isn’t logic trying?

I was so thin  when I began lecturing I got half fare on the bus and I was 25.So studying keeps you young.Never say,Dirac,again.

I was so thin then I bought children’s clothes but now I am  twice the size.Then they said I might have TB,now they say I could get diabetes.Take your pick……there’s something in me that will never take the middle way.My middle gets in the way.

We all eat too much considering how little we do.Bring back the scrubbing  board,brush and hard green soap.But if I eat less I faint…. what an ‘orrible feeling as your vision shrinks to a pinpoint and you sweat all over but more on the top of the head…. and you throw yourself onto the floor… or the ceiling.

Once we were having a meal with another couple…with one of those heated plate things on the table.I passed out and for years they talked about it.They divorced later and blamed me!Still,I gave them something to talk about so maybe I helped.

If you get disturbed stop introspecting and sweep the floor or the pavement.Do useful things with your hands and help others.Be polite even if you think they are the Devil

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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