Thursday, February 25, 2021

Random Beauty

"Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,

And Innocence, thy sister dear?" 

~ Andrew Marvell, The Garden

It seems the older I get, the more I return to appreciating how a child sees the world.  I've written before about this notion of being "childlike" (versus "childish").  

We can wander through the world in a state of natural wonder.  We can combine this with maturity by being consciously Still. 

Tonight, I "randomly" turned to the poem The Garden by Andrew Marvell, in a very sizeable book.  It was exactly that.

Beauty awaits us.

 

 

 

Early Spring Wildflower by Susan Larison Danz.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Mystic

"Theologians may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language." ~ Meister Eckhart

It took me a while to add "Mystic" to various "About Me" statements online.  I've tended to refer to my spiritual orientation in a variety of ways.  

Am I using the term "correctly"?

There is no "correct".

For me, it is an integration of the Sacred into everyday life.  We get distracted from the Sacred.  But it returns to us, and we return to it, when we are conscious of returning. 

The Divine is present.  And mysterious.  It reveals itself when we're open.  We don't need to pry the door open because it even assists with the opening.  Once open, there can never be a closing.  Yes, we get distracted, but the Sacred never really leaves us.


Clouds and Water photo by Susan Larison Danz.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Authenticity

 "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." ~ Oscar Wilde

Authenticity begins with being honest with ourselves.  That is not an easy process.  It's not actually about what anyone else perceives.  People see what they see, and even when you attempt to be authentically open (which is rare, except in very special relationships), people still tend to see what they see. 

It takes very deep work, but it's worth it.  Who are you, really?  And who are you growing to be?



Reflection on Path Photo by Susan Larison Danz.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Fear and Existence

"Fear is the mind-killer . . ." ~ Frank Herbert, Dune

It might be even more appropriately said that "Fear is the Heart killer." - but yes, it can certainly extinguish our minds as well.  That's why it is so very important to be in a conscious relationship with our fears.  A long time ago, I created an online radio program about moving beyond fear, The Frontier Beyond Fear.  And yet, we are human. It's a process.

What I can say is that it absolutely is possible to over time, make significant progress in calming your fears.  I know this because I have lived it.  Calming does not imply "completely".

When fear dominates our lives, we can neither think nor feel clearly.  There is a further quote from Dune, which was a favorite of my teens, worth reflecting on: 

 "Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration."

Why?

Because when we allow it to dominate us, we are diminished piece by piece, and eventually our freely expressed authenticity, which is a fundamental spiritual concept, is crushed.  We lose sight of ourselves and our choices.  When our choices are gone, we are too.

 

 

Winter Tree photo by Susan Larison Danz.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Reconnecting to the Sacred

 "Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again." ~ Joseph Campbell

I found myself over the weekend rather unexpectedly drawn into a deep and reflective video of a sacred spiritual event, arising in a place and a culture very different from what surrounds me here, and in a language I do not know (with a narrator translating).  As can often be the case with such things, it just "showed up" - in this case, virtually, as most experiences must these days.  

It reconnected me and reminded me of something important - especially in our current tumultuous world.  We need to come back into relationship with the Sacred.  

I've needed this.  I've needed the Honesty of what this is, unfiltered.  I've needed the Simplicity.  I've needed the Depth.  

In our seemingly "advanced" society, we've forgotten a great deal.  So many seem to think they're just too "smart" to listen to so-called "simple people".  They scoff at such things.  They are far too busy racing towards a future that would harm us more than help.  This kind of "intelligence" that congratulates itself continually on being so "clever" is hollow at the core.  Exposed for what it is, it  falls short in the presence of Wisdom.  Wisdom is what "advances" Humanity - and nothing else.



Early Spring photo by Susan Larison Danz.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Hiding in Plain Sight

"The sky is falling..." ~ Chicken Little

One of the people I assist in my work lives in the community over which a plane engine disintegrated today and fell from the sky.  Despite close calls, no one was hurt, either on the ground or in the air.  The plane landed safely.  That's really quite miraculous.

But it led me to ponder the things that are hiding in plain sight, that we tend not to think about.  Like airplanes over our heads, or even satellites, or any number of other things that might befall us.

I could write about fear and how it's best we don't think about such things.  To survive day to day, that is true (at least in reasonable peace).

But this isn't about that.

They say the metal probably gave out, from fatigue and use, but nobody knew it.  They do try to look for such things.

But this isn't about that, either.

What else in our world is like that disintegrating engine, precariously hovering over our heads?  

We can be thankful for miracles, and hope for more.  They do happen.  And we can also pay attention and act before things fall.

 

 

Up in the Sky photo by Susan Larison Danz. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Milestone

 "The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words." ~ William H. Gass


I realized earlier today that I may have written more entries in this blog in 2021 than in any other year since it has been in existence.  And sure enough, yes, that's true.  

What "they" say about writing is actually true as well, though I do quite a bit of it daily in other ways.  We simply need to write.  This blog is an intentional project - that will grow into others, I sense. 

 

 

Walking Stick of the Woods photo by Susan Larison Danz.