Delusions of Grandeur

A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin

A Soldier of the Great War
Mark Helprin

Here’s something for "Perfection ", Peter. It’s a superbly spiritual passage from Mark Helprin, a writer whose fiction I love, though whose politics I loathe.  Life hands out challenges like that, doesn’t it? Beauty is found in the most unusual places. Had I known his politics before having read most of his books, I might never have picked up the first, Winter’s Tale (a delight of American magic realism).  This passage, however, comes from A Soldier of the Great War .  Oh, this man understands love and spirit, and beauty and passion. Oh, he does! For that, I forgive him writing speeches for Bush Jr.  lol — I think maybe you’re right after all: spirituality is independent of politics!
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Emergence… Metamorphosis

Monarch Butterfly on Daisy

Monarch Butterfly on Daisy

The butterflies are gorgeous, gorgeous. All of them, but I really love the monarchs and daisies. They’re special. I know you’ve already sold Tweet on the lonely butterfly, but …  if you’re going to go with butterflies anyway, those are stronger images. I do like Tweet’s avatar, though!

Was it at all tempting to categorise that post under "Perfection" rather than "Beauty"? Or in addition to? I know you tagged it ‘perfection’, but there is something so perfect about them, something that transcends beauty…maybe they deserve to be categorised in "Perfection" too?  I know your intention for that category is for representations of ‘enlightened paths’ rather than expressions of beauty, but … butterflies are a metaphor for transcendence to a state of perfection. Is there anything more perfect than a butterfly drying its wings after emerging from the chrysalis?

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Emergence… and Butterflies

Black and Yellow Butterfly On Yellow Flower

Black and Yellow Butterfly
On Yellow Flower

Hey Staci,

Found some more butterfly images to play with. I’m thinking about making them part of the site theme. I’ll have to talk to Tweet about the Twitter one. We’ve been having a little to-and-fro on that. I’m really liking two, which I think will work well: the one with the single yellow butterfly in the field of blue…or the yellow monarchs on daisies.
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I love Passion ! Now that’s an inspiring gallery.  But sweetness, how ever did you miss this Chekirov print?

Hmmm? Ms. Passionate Parisien?

Yes, Paris is a date…Quatorze Juillet at the North East leg…and then after the Tower, we’ll find a wonderful little pension and while away the days as the French scurry all about us, intent on baguettes, crepes and demi tasse.

Note to Self

Note to Self

Note to Self

It’s not that I float. That indicates the possibility of falling, and there is none. It’s not that I have a position in space. There is no space. It’s not a dimension, or a plane of existence that I exist in. These are all concepts of a physical manifestation, and there is nothing physical about me. I have no substance or energy that the thoughts of a being of manifestation can measure or imagine. But you need something to imagine, so think of me as a point of light, a singularity in an infinite space of singularities. Look up into the night sky and pick a star. It’s metaphor, poetry, and only those who share the experiences of the poet can truly understand what he means. Still, I can think of nothing better to evoke in you the reality of my experience. A black hole is a singularity in space/time that eats all energy and matter falling within its influence. I am a singularity in the soul space that is not space and which emanates…light, love, beauty, things you sense as divine.
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Everything is Wonderful  100 SACRED PLACES  9781407596044   Parragon Books  Books

100 Sacred Places

While browsing in a chain bookstore I picked up a beautiful text featuring the world’s 100 most spiritual places. Leafing through it, I was startled to discover how many I’d visited. More than that, I’d knocked off nearly all the ones in places I’d travelled to. Until that day, I’d never really thought of myself as a spiritual nomad, just a nomad.

One of the places I got to that was not in that book was Shugakuin, a Tendai Buddhist temple on Kyoto’s Mount Hiei, famous now for the Marathon Monks who run a marathon every day for a year. Historically it’s more famous for being the home of Saicho, the 9th Century monk who brought Tendai Buddhism (a branch of Mahayana) from China to Japan. It took a while to catch on but, shortly after Saicho’s death in 823, the emperor gave Tendai his official approval, marking a reproach of the more ascetic Therevada influences favoured until that time.
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Jane with Butterflies and Doves


I tried to make him understand. Tried so hard to give him the images and emotions of my experience.

 His subconcious is so powerful. It resisted, turned it into a dream about being in a jeep chased by a dinosaur through a jungle. A nightmare, for sure, but not the nightmare I’d lived out, not the image I’d tried to give him.

We’d been together for a year, but I just couldn’t make it real for him. The images I gave him did bubble up through his subconscious one day, but they became play, a game to be played with a girlfriend. I look back now and see that there’s no way to make my story as real for anyone as it was for me on the day I died. How can anyone who hasn’t experienced such a thing grasp the horror of it?

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An Early Memory

Boy and Girl Playing at the Beach by Elizabeth Blaylock

Boy and Girl at the Beach
by Elizabeth Blaylock

The memory is of my girlfriend, Corinne, tied to a tree in her backyard. She’s naked. I can’t remember how she’s responding to this, but I don’t recall any negative feelings about it. It’s playful, until her mother calls to her from inside the house. I quickly release the bonds, a plastic skip rope, and she dresses. Then she runs in. I do remember being scared about almost getting caught. The memory ends there.

Corinne was the first girlfriend I can remember, though my mother assures me there were others before her.
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16 thoughts I felt compelled to write down one day in 2008.

Your body knows more about your spiritual well-being than you mind does. Teach your mind to listen to it.

Body Mind Spirit

A facebook friend challenged 16 of her friends, including me, to each write down 16 random notes about themselves, post it as a note, then ask 16 of their friends to do the same. A neat challenge.

I didn’t intend to write the following, it’s just what came out. It’s not really what the challenge called for, so I’ll go back and try that one again. But I thought it was worth posting anyway. . .so here it is.

1. There’s a spiritual sensation of connectedness I get from time to time, a few moments in time that feel as though I’m connected to and can sense the existence of all things, an awareness that there is a grand spiritual reality beyond my rational ken that is graspable by my ever developing being.
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