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November/December 1998


Sunrise over Longboat Key, Florida

THANKSGIVING 1998

Erich Fromm suggests in ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM that individuation is the key to authentic & spontaneous human experience. By this, I do not think he meant isolation, but rather a condition in which we are vitally connected to others while maintaining our own unique identity.

An individual with surety about his won worth does not need to hurt, dominate or slavishly attach him or herself to others. Such a person discovers a fountain of perpetual self-replenishment from within. And, again, this is not to say that we have no need of one another, because the very power to be such a source to nourishment to ourselves is lovingly bestowed upon us by the example of other self-actualized persons. Our best chance of being helpful to each other happens when we are most solidly in touch with ourselves, when we are most fully being ourselves. Socrates said, "Know thyself," a process that is easier said than done, because it involves passing through all negative self-assessments in order to understand and express the essence of our own unique potential constructively and redemptively.

Being at home with one's self is the only way to really be at home anywhere, including - especially - in our own habitat. Likewise, we are never going to be at rest in our relationships with others if we are not comfortable with ourselves. The most crucial of all achievements, therefore, is learning to be at home within one's self -- individuation. It's a matter of doing what you do best and forgetting all the rest. Thus are we freed from the unbearable pain of isolation and the overwhelming need to be needed by others - simply by being completely at home with who we are. Thus are we enabled to relate effectively with and truly be an example of hope to others.

--Bill Joyner

 

 

God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.

--James M. Barrie


If you don't be who you is, you'll end up being who you ain't.

-- a street-corner philosopher


"...the cruel radiance of what is."

--James Agee


Making Money, what a bore!
Having none, even more!

--Bill Joyner

 






 

The first question is not what to do, but who to be. The answer always is, be who you are.

What to do will become obvious when you discover the unique essence of your finding and following, without deviation, the one thing that most fully pleases and expresses you. From that one primary thing, other tributary expressions of talent and skill will flow. Staying tuned into the basic melody of your own heart makes the whole world sing and sway all around you.

This morning, while having breakfast & reading the paper at Chef Paul's, I came across this article on "The Artless Art" of Zen calligraphy masters. In part, this is what it says: "The Zen brush is wielded by everything you are, and most particularly the zero point where 'you' are not. Nonstriving is true realization, Mr. (Stephen) Addiss writes. He quotes Dogen Zenji, the 13th century founder of one of the two major branches of Zen: 'To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things.'"

--- Bill Joyner



ęChristopher Browne

 

To come alive again, one needs a special grace.
Self-forgetfulness or a homeland. Certain mornings,
on turning a corner, a delightful dew falls on the heart
and then evaporates. But it's coolness remains, and
this is what the heart requires always.

--Camus


I wish to remember
your tall, brown presence
coming to me
on an afternoon
of an afternoon
of amber clouds
made glad
into fairy hands.

--BJ


"I am a mystic in spite of myself," he wrote, remaining as much of an irreducible rascal as I am, as a standing example of God's continuing compassion for sinners or, if you will, of Buddha-nature in a dog, or a light shining in darkness.
Come to think of it, in what else could it shine?

 

--Alan Watts


 

Dear Friends,

Talk about a neglected classic! Not long ago, one of my dearest friends was quite amazed when I said that I had not seen Harold & Maude. It's playing for the first time (for me) on the video screen right now. Ruth Gordon will break your heart with her octogenarian spontaneity. And Bud Cort as Harold, a young man who fancies himself to be in love with death, but he finds himself completely unable to resist it's opposite when he meets the full embodiment of same. Harold's supposed love of death gradually blends in with Maude's liberating embrace of life and death, and suddenly, all is one. Could anyone reasonably call it anything less than love? Not me. Our chances of finding anything resembling essential humanity are too slim to ignore the simplicity of what is revealed in this movie. "Any film about life is a religious motion picture," Corita Kent used to say; and Harold & Maude, by that standard, is one of the most religious movies I've ever seen, because it is saturated with the divinity of authentic human reality. If you ever have the time to think beyond time, if you ever want to make friends with life AND death and see one as only a reflection of the other, like night & day -- if you ever want to try to learn how to travel lightly, to let go more and more lovingly and embrace what IS in complete faith, check this baby out!

-- Bill Joyner





Jano's niece, Kathleen, herself now part of the boat community of Sausalito and an artist and craftswoman, remembers the extraordinary way Watts played with her and her brother when she was still a child.

Once, in New York he took them to the zoo and bought helium balloons for all three of them. While the children happily clutched theirs, Watts deliberately released the string of his and watched it float up into the sky -- an act that made a deep impression on the children.

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds: Your mind transcends limitations and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.

Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. 

--Patanjall

 


 

We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.

 

--Joseph Campbell


O Lord of love, open our hearts to the possibility of a new day, a new understanding, a new ability to transcend our own self-imposed limitations, a new glow of strength and vitality.

Amen


Come ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God's own temple, come,
Raise the song of harvest home.

--Alford 1810-1871


Announced by all the trumpets in the sky.
Arrives the snow.

--Emerson



 

Wednesday, November 25, 1998

There is a great need to practice self-possession, integrity and dignity. Someone is in need of a guiding hand, a show of stability, a demonstration of support. And, yes, it may be only an act, but the very appearance of self-control makes everything better in itself. So, stand strong and sure at the point of transition - first & foremost for your own sake. Be that smiling and relaxed self with whom you & others are most comfortable. Re-create yourself! Plant some new seeds!

---BJ

 



 

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William T. Joyner, Editor
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