Collected wisdom | Collective wisdom
On this journey of self-realization I started a few years ago, reading has been instrumental. Throughout my readings, I’ve come across deep words and genius ideas. Quotes that have impacted me and heavily contributed to the steps I’ve taken on my path.
They are all in a little black notebook that sits on my kitchen counter. I’d like to share them with the world now — they might spark something in you as they did in me.
To detach from the mind.
“A person cannot see the goodness of the laws if his or her mind is drugged by the love of pleasure and the fear of pain.” Ram Dass
About detaching ourselves from the stuff of this life. Freedom is found when I stop taking this game too seriously, when I understand that nothing matters, including “I”. Letting go can be practised and experienced through meditative activities. When there’s being, the “I” dissolves taking away with it the wants, likes, dislikes, fears and judgments. This quote also resonates with me because it speaks of the mind and the prison it can be. Which makes me think of the yoga sutra:
“Yoga citta vriti nirodaha” Yoga Sutras
Yoga is the calming of the activity of the mind. The holy grail.
Mind, mind, when are you going to leave me alone?
“I can’t stop my thoughts but I can detach from them.” Myself
My thoughts are most of the time not important, they don’t matter — the rubbish rambling of a monkey mind.
To let go.
“The more I see, the less I know, the more I learn to let it go.” Red Hot Chili Peppers
All I know is that I know nothing. The more I am lived by this life, the higher the account of experiences that go through this body, through this heart, the clearer it becomes: all I know is that I know nothing.
On a level, I am it all, so I do know it all. On another level, “I know nothing” means to be open for a surprise, to lose inherited judgments, to get out of the usual thinking framework.
Meet someone and not judge. Do something and not judge. See something and observe.
The more I see, the less I know, the more I learn to let go. The more I let go of what I think should or shouldn’t happen, the more i become a white canvas for life’s magnificence.
I am lived by life. I am loved by life.
To be alive.
‘Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.’ Rainer Maria Rilke
It is the experience of life. Can you remain open? Can you surrender with trust in the process of life? Can you “let everything happen to you”? Knowing that nothing is permanent, that there’s no right or wrong, that nothing matters. Knowing that bliss would be a flat curve without hardship, that yin needs yang, hard needs soft, grace needs misery. It’s all here for us to experience, it’s all here for us to feel.
To be alive.
“Grief does not change you, it reveals you.” J. Green
A couple of weeks ago, I noted on my black notebook these words as they cam in a sharp realisation: “My heart shines from the sorrow.” followed by this comment: “5 months now. It’s been a ride. I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to put the old armour back on, the cold mask of composure, the shield of a closed heart. I want a new armour, a lighter one, one that lets my heart shine. My heart shines from the sorrow.”
The sorrow of my grief cracked me open. It left me down on the floor. It was such a strong hurt, sadness so big, that I couldn’t pretend anymore. Sorrow and pain stripped me of my fakeness, my coping mechanisms, my defence, and left me naked for me to see myself, truly and with harsh honesty.
It was so strong it cracked my heart open. Through that crack, light shone.
As did Rumi say: “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” It is also where your inner light gets to shine, outwardly.
“Grief does not change you, it reveals you.” I believe grief is an invitation to see yourself, truly. See who you are when you’re not playing smart anymore. When the make-up is out, when the mask is off. There are hurts so strong it knocks you out. It sure did, 5 months ago. You’re left lying on the floor of your kitchen as you are — defenceless (and I mean here, ego-less), numbed by the pain, no clever mind to rescue you.
Once the illusions drop, once projections vanish, what remains is you. A dual being, light and darkness in the same shell.
In that special moment where no one else is here but you and yourself, where things are suddenly lit in the harsh light of honesty, you see that your light and your shadow are all ok. There’s no need to celebrate or shun one or another. It is just you. No big deal.
This moment, for me, is grace. It’s a precious invitation to start the journey of radical self-acceptance, the first step to self-realisation and peace.