Remembering T.S.Eliot III

II of the FOUR QUARTETS, T.S. Eliot – East Coker

Everything is Cyclical

In my beginning is my end.

In succession

Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,

Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place

………

Houses live and die: there is a time for building

And a time for living and for generation

And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane

And to shake the wainscot where the field-mouse trots

And to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto.

In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls

………..

 

Limited value of Knowledge

Knowledge, At best, only a limited value

In the knowledge derived from experience.

The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,

For the pattern is new in every moment

And every moment is a new and shocking

Valuation of all we have been.

We are only undeceived

Of that which, deceiving, could no longer harm.

……….

Do not let me hear

Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,

Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possession,

Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God.

The only wisdom we can hope to acquire

Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.

………

 

In order to arrive there,

To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,

You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.

In order to arrive at what you do not know

You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.

In order to possess what you do not possess

You must go by the way of dispossession.

In order to arrive at what you are not

You must go through the way in which you are not.

And what you do not know is the only thing you know

And what you own is what you do not own

And where you are is where you are not.

………..

You have right only to work – This is the essence of what Krishna says in Gita

For us, there is only the trying.

The rest is not our business.

Home is where one starts from.

As we grow older

The world becomes stranger,

the pattern more complicated

Of dead and living.

Not the intense moment

Isolated, with no before and after,

But a lifetime burning in every moment

And not the lifetime of one man only

But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.

There is a time for the evening under starlight,

A time for the evening under lamplight

(The evening with the photograph album).

Love is most nearly itself

When here and now cease to matter.

Old men ought to be explorers

Here or there does not matter

We must be still and still moving

Into another intensity

For a further union, a deeper communion

Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,

The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters

Of the petrel and the porpoise.

In my end is my beginning.

  • Abridged FOUR QUARTETS, T.S. Eliot
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Remembering T S Eliot – II

 

First of the FOUR QUARTETS – Burnt Norton

Some timeless quotes on TIME 

Time:

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future,

And time future contained in time past.

If all time is eternally present

All time is unredeemable.

What might have been is an abstraction

Remaining a perpetual possibility

Only in a world of speculation.

What might have been and what has been

Point to one end, which is always present.

But to what purpose

………………

 

 

Still Point

At the still point of the turning world.

Neither flesh nor fleshless;

Neither from nor towards;

at the still point, there the dance is,

But neither arrest nor movement.

And do not call it fixity,

Where past and future are gathered.

Neither movement from nor towards,

Neither ascent nor decline.

Except for the point, the still point,

There would be no dance,

and there is only the dance.

I can only say, there we have been:

but I cannot say where.

And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

……….

To be conscious is not to be in time

……

Only through time, time is conquered.

……..

Time before and time after

Descend lower, descend only

Into the world of perpetual solitude,

World not world, but that which is not world,

Internal darkness, deprivation

And destitution of all property,

Desiccation of the world of sense,

Evacuation of the world of fancy,

Inoperancy of the world of spirit;

This is the one way, and the other

Is the same, not in movement

But abstention from movement; while the world moves

In appetency, on its metalled ways

Of time past and time future.

…….

 

 

……….

Or say that the end precedes the beginning,

And the end and the beginning were always there

Before the beginning and after the end.

And all is always now.

…..

Excerpts from T S Eliot

Reflections on “Small Boat, Great Mountain” , Amaro Bhikku – Part I

Small Boat, Great Mountain

  • By Amaro Bhikku

This book “Small Boat, Great Mountain” by Amaro Bhikku reflects on philosophy espoused by Theravada sect of Buddhism.  The book has three distinct sections. Section one discuses nature of reality, section two on the whole issue of living and managing it effectively and section three on some exercise and Buddhist chants relevant to the above two sections. This Part I  discusses Buddhist view  on nature of reality and living.

*****

“I was suffering and had no idea why”

~~~

What is a living being?

We are conditioned to believe that there is such a thing as a real living being. We see ourselves in forms of the limitations of the body, personality and we define we are within these bound. We assume then that other beings are also limited in little pockets of beingness that float around in the cosmos.

Where are we

If one takes out physical element of what you are and just looks at in terms of mind, you will find that whole quality of boundary breaks up and as does the idea of “where I am”, “where other people are” and you will see that the body and its locations and three dimensional space apply only to material form. In fact, inside, outside here and there, space and spatial relations only apply to form. They do not apply to mind. Mind does not exist in space. The material form is giving us clue to separateness. We create illusion of separateness and individuality through our belief in the sense world.

Let go

Am I feeling sorrow. Is there a feeling of alienation or difficulty? If there is it means, we are clinging and hanging on to something. We need to see that the heart is attached to somewhere and then make gestures to loosen up. To let go.

Non-abiding

Non abiding is that timeless, selfless quality that is independent of location. Non abiding draws us to the fact that the whole concept of and construct of whereness, the act of conceiving ourselves as this individual entity living at this spot in space and time is a presumption.

Non abiding was the essence of path, as basis of peace and a door way into the world of freedom. The principle of non-abiding is exceedingly frustrating to the conceptual thinking mind because that mind has built up such an edifice out of me and you, out of here and there, out of past and future and out of this and that. In the abandonment of self, time and place all questions are resolved.

Where does not apply

The seen is merely seen. There is nothing there. There are forms, shapes, colors so forth but there is nothing there. There is no real substance, no solidity, no self-existent reality. All there is the quality of experience. No more no less. There is just seeing, hearing, feeling, sensing, cognizing, and the mind naming it all is just another experience.

Quantum physics

The sea of potential, primordial level of physical reality exists and from that all particles and energy crystalizes and into which subsequently dissolves. The principle of non-locality means the places where something happens cannot be truly defined and that a single event can have exactly simultaneous effect in widely separated place.

Who and what do not apply. Where does not apply. Birth and death does depend on time. Something apparently born in the past living now will die in the future. If we let go of time, if we also let go of thing then no being or dying.

Nature of Mind

The nature of mind is still and yet flowing. Mind is still, spacious, silent and all objects of sights, sounds, smell, taste, touch, thoughts and emotions flow through it.  It has no movement; it is not related to all that arises and ceases. It is silent and spacious. Problems arise because the clarity of the mind gets entangled with sense impressions. The untrained heart chases the delightful, runs away from the painful, and as a result, finds itself struggling, alienated, and miserable. By contemplating our own experience, we can make a clear distinction between the mind that knows and the sense impressions that flow through it. By refusing to get entangled with any sense impressions, we find refuge in that quality of stillness, silence, and spaciousness, which is the mind’s own nature. This policy of noninterference allows everything and is disturbed by nothing.

Body and mind

The body is in mind rather than mind in body. What do we know about our body? We can see it. We can hear it. We can smell it. Touch it. Where does all these things happen – in mind. Everything that we know about the body now and at any other time has been through agency of our mind. What we have known about out body the world has happened in our mind. So where is our body. Physical world is there but experienced in mind.

Cessation and consciousness

Your persistent energy, sharpest mindfulness, physical calm, one pointedness of mind have to do with restlessness. Unsupported consciousness wherever there is something that is intended, something that is acted upon or something that lies dormant then that becomes the basis for consciousness to lead. And where consciousness lands then is the cause for confusion, attachment, becoming, rebirth and so on. And having no basis to land on consciousness is released. Since consciousness is released mind is firm. Owing to staying firm the heart is contended. Owing to contented mind it is not agitated. One then realizes complete bliss within themselves.

When heart is released from clinging to four nutriments- physical food, sense contact – of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, intention and consciousness then consciousness does not land anywhere. That state is without sorrow, affliction or despair.

World is within our mind

It is pointless to try to find peace through nullifying or erasing the sense world. Peace only comes through skillful handling of the world’s abrasions. Peace only comes through not giving that world more substantiality or more reality than it actually possesses.

Relaxation

Even though we might have this enlightened free space internally it needs to be interfaced with the phenomenal world.  Who are you. Observe coming and going of feelings, thoughts and perceptions and so on.

The balance comes when we stop creating each other and allow ourselves to relax into pure quality of knowing. In not fabricating the world ourselves or our stories there is gentle relaxation and we find ourselves more attuned to life than ever

  • excerpts from – “Small Boat, Great Mountain” – Theravadan Reflections on The Natural Great Perfection, “Amaro Bhikku”

Series in Living III – A Note on “Who will feed the Mice” – Ajahn Amaro

A Note on “Who will feed the Mice” – Ajahn Amaro

Here is a Buddhist view on life. Ajahn Amaro, The Buddhist monk reminisces his relationship with his mother after her demise in a discourse which is published as a booklet. This is my notes from the booklet “Who will feed the mice”.

“Parents are of great help to their children, they bring them up, feed them and show them the world.”
Anguttara Nikaya

“For a child, the parents are a kind of substitute for the Dhamma, that basis upon which everything rests and around which everything revolves.”

The roles parents play in one’s life are important. They provide stable family situations, reliability and resultant sense of security. They keep one level headed. They also teach us the importance of orderliness, regularity or predictability and its importance in life. If one’s family is not able to provide it, then one has to find it later in life in other ways.

“All sankharas (formations, things put together, ‘volitional formations’) are impermanent, mother is just a formation in nature like any other, and it’s no big deal.” There’s a mysterious twining here of both the realization of ultimate truth and the recognition of the unique quality of that personal connection on the material plane. It’s almost as if the mother is the primordial symbol of the source of reality, as she is the source of life on the physical plane.”

One of the ways that the Buddha spoke about stream entry—the irreversible breakthrough to realization of the Dharma—was as a “change of lineage” which is the idea that “I am a personality; this is me, this is mine, this is what I am.” This belief is called “personality view.” And as long as “I am the body,” then are my parents. But if the body is not-self, and perceptions are not-self, feelings are not-self, the personality is not self. What does that mean? If this body is not-self, then the lineage of the body can’t be the whole story.”

There are relationship which are of karmic flow. But the lineage of our true reality is rooted in the Dharma. That’s the source, the origin, the basis. Rather than thinking of one’s physical parents as the origin, the clear realization that it’s the Uncreated, the Unformed, the Unborn, the Unconditioned that’s the genuine source, the genuine origin, the basis, the ground of reality.

There’s nothing to get heated about, nothing to get carried away by; it’s just life doing its dance. The heart can remain serene, stable, clear, and bright. Which, of course, is what makes it possible for us to be of benefit to others, whether they be our parents, our children, our teachers, our students, . . . or the mice.”

  • Based on a talk by “Ajahn Amaro”

Living Life

To be or not to to be, the question from time immemorial

If everything in life is impermanent, To be here today and vanish tomorrow

To light you up now and pit you to darkness then

If everything is to end suddenly here, in this corporeal world

If dynasties were to fall for new one to ascend

If waves and cyles are the designs of life,

Do you dare to face the viscititudes of life.

Like travellers on Earth in a perpetual trail

From one place to another and on constant move

Knowing not the destination and duration

Yet being in the movement and enjoying life.

Do we live like a butterfly on the moment,

Darting between flowers ever in motion drinking nectar

To have a colourful, dancing and short life

Or to be like a turtle slow and steady,

Carrying the burden of world in its shoulder long

Will some one or can some tell,

What is the right way or is there a right way.

Life as I see around, in its multitudes

Today at the top of the world, Happy, joyous, proud, contented and fulfilled

Tomorrow like a ship wrecked, grounded and shattered

Woe to the life, how I wish I can understand you.