Sunday, January 06, 2008

Beauty Attracts Beauty

So, earlier this evening I finished Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Wow! I mean, big WOW! I've been savoring each page, trying not to hurry through it too fast even though I could've seriously finished forever ago. So, when reading a book, it is like me to mark pages that have passages that stand out for whatever reason. As I review the 331 pages of this book, I notice that about half seemed to be marked. Needless to say, I really enjoyed the journey.

A few passages that jumped out at me along the way:

In Italian there is a seldom-used tense called the passato remoto, the remote past. You use this tense when you are discussing things in the far, far distant past, things that happened so long ago they have no personal impact on you anymore -- for example, ancient history.

Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where "all is correct." But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous.

Yoga is the effort to experience one's divinity personaly and then to hold on to that experience forever. Yoga is about self-mastery and the dedicated effort to haul your attention away from your endless brooding over the past and your nonstop worrying about the future so that you can seek, instead, a place of eternal presence from which you may regard yourself and your surrounding with poise. Only from that point of even-mindedness will the true nature of the world (and yourself) be revealed to you.

The other problem with all this swinging through the vines of thought is that you are never where you are. You are always digging in the past or poking at the future, but rarely do you rest in this moment. It's something like the habit of my dear friend Susan, who -- whenever she sees a beautiful plce -- exclaims near panic, "It's so beautiful here! I want to come back here someday!" and it takes all of my persuasive powers to try to convince her that she is already here...because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time.

(on soul mates) - Your problem is you don't understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.

Letting go, of course, is a scary enterprise for those of us who believe that the world revolves only because it has a handle on the top of it which we personally turn, and that if we were to drop this handle for even a moment, well -- that would be the end of the universe. But try dropping it...Sit quietly for now and cease your relentless participation. Watch what happens.

Okay...there are so many more to include but for tonight, I'll stop now and get some rest before my first full week of work since mid-December.

Tonight, I miss befrie. Her birthday's coming up and I believe she's overseas or coming back on Monday. Either way, I wish I could talk to her now. It's way past her bedtime so no such luck. Soon, I hope.

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