18 Mar
Posted in: Books
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Something in Us Knows

Today feels like a good day for this passage from Jack Kornfield, in After the Ecstasy, the Laundry:

“We don’t know all the reasons that propel us on a spiritual journey, but somehow our life compels us to go. Something in us knows that we are not just here to toil at our work. There is a mysterious pull to remember. What takes us from out of our homes and into [a spiritual quest] can be a combination of events.

“It can be a longing from childhood, or an ‘accidental’ encounter with a spiritual book or figure. Sometimes something in us awakens when we travel to a foreign culture and the exotic world of new rhythms, fragrances, colors, and activity catapults us out of our usual sense of reality. Sometimes it is as simple as walking in the blue-green mountains or hearing choral music so beautiful it seems inspired by the gods. Sometimes it is that mysterious transformation when we attend at the bedside of the dying and a ‘person’ vanishes from existence, leaving only a lifeless sack of flesh awaiting burial.

“A thousand gates open to the spirit. Whether in the brilliance of beauty or the dark woods of confusion and sorrow, a force as sure as gravity brings us back to our heart. It happens to every one of us.”  


Illustration from The Principles of Uncertainty, by Maira Kalman(click to enlarge)
Text reads: “I am at a loss for words. Everything was not said. Things are bittersweet. Bitter. Sweet. What is this faint vision? This fleeting memory? The furniture is so fragile. And the dust floats so slowly in the sunlight. So sunny. And so precarious.”

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