This is the final background piece before I begin posting journal-like entries. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe is another poet, artist, or may I say universal man, that had a great influence on me. This poem, written a few years before his death, may be directed towards the young about ready to enter life and I find this piece to be quite poignant and wise. This piece is a potential remedy or a solution to overcome my utopian day dreams, excuses, and aggravation with the general human momentum. It is my intention and desire that my journal-like writings lead to more consciousness and action in the spirit of this eternal piece of wisdom.
No living atom comes at last to naught!
Active in each is still the eternal Thought:
Hold fast to Being if thou wouldst be blest.
Being is without end; for changeless laws
Bind that from which the All its glory draws
Of living treasures endlessly possessed.
Unto the wise of old this truth was known,
Such wisdom knit their noble souls in one;
Then hold thou still the lore of ancient days!
To that high power thou ow’st it, son of man,
By whose decree the earth its circuit ran
And all the planets went their various ways.
Then inward turn at once thy searching eyes;
Thence shalt thou see the central truth arise
From which no lofty soul goes e’er astray;
There shalt thou miss no needful guiding sign-
For conscience lives, and still its light divine
Shall be the sun of all thy moral day.
Next shalt thou trust thy senses’ evidence,
And fear from them no treacherous offence
While the mind’s watchful eye thy road commands:
With lively pleasure contemplate the scene
And roam securely, teachable, serene,
At will throughout a world of fruitful lands.
Enjoy in moderation all life gives:
Where it rejoices in each thing that lives
Let reason be thy guide and make thee see.
Then shall the distant past be present still,
The future, ere it comes, thy vision fill-
Each single moment touch eternity.
Then at the last shalt thou achieve thy quest,
And in one final, firm conviction rest:
What bears for thee true fruit alone is true.
Prove all things, watch the movement of the world
As down the various ways its tribes are whirled;
Take thou thy stand among the chosen few.
Thus hath it been of old; in solitude
The artist shaped what thing to him seemed good,
The wise man hearkened to his own soul’s voice.
Thus also shalt thou find thy greatest bliss;
To lead where the elect shall follow-this
And this alone is worth a hero’s choice.
I have included two more poems composed by Robinson Jeffers below as I couldn’t decide which one I liked better. Besides, the two pieces fit well together. He has had a big influence on me…in that he confirmed my intuition and expressed himself, of course, with more eloquence, wisdom and force. I have begun writing my journal-like entries, that by their very nature reveal the positive aspect of critical thinking. I will begin to post after Piece 5 and as various sections are completed. I don’t know where these journal-like entries will take me or this blog…perhaps somewhere else…or perhaps in a circular loop. My hope is that it takes the form of the former…rather than the later.
Our sardine fishermen work at night in the dark
of the moon; daylight or moonlight
They could not tell where to spread the net,
unable to see the phosphorescence of the
shoals of fish.
They work northward from Monterey, coasting
Santa Cruz; off New Year’s Point or off
The look-out man will see some lakes of milk-color
light on the sea’s night-purple; he points,
and the helmsman
Turns the dark prow, the motorboat circles the
gleaming shoal and drifts out her seine-net.
They close the circle
And purse the bottom of the net, then with great
labor haul it in.
I cannot tell you
How beautiful the scene is, and a little terrible,
then, when the crowded fish
Know they are caught, and wildly beat from one wall
to the other of their closing destiny the
Water to a pool of flame, each beautiful slender body
sheeted with flame, like a live rocket
A comet’s tail wake of clear yellow flame; while outside
Floats and cordage of the net great sea-lions come up
to watch, sighing in the dark; the vast walls
Stand erect to the stars.
Lately I was looking from a night mountain-top
On a wide city, the colored splendor, galaxies of light:
how could I help but recall the seine-net
Gathering the luminous fish? I cannot tell you how
beautiful the city appeared, and a little terrible.
I thought, We have geared the machines and locked all together
into inter-dependence; we have built the great cities; now
There is no escape. We have gathered vast populations incapable
of free survival, insulated
From the strong earth, each person in himself helpless, on all
dependent. The circle is closed, and the net
Is being hauled in. They hardly feel the cords drawing, yet
they shine already. The inevitable mass-disasters
Will not come in our time nor in our children’s, but we
and our children
Must watch the net draw narrower, government take all
powers–or revolution, and the new government
Take more than all, add to kept bodies kept souls–or anarchy,
These things are Progress;
Do you marvel our verse is troubled or frowning, while it keeps
its reason? Or it lets go, lets the mood flow
In the manner of the recent young men into mere hysteria,
splintered gleams, crackled laughter. But they are
There is no reason for amazement: surely one always knew
that cultures decay, and life’s end is death.
(Context of quote on picture…Hurt Hawks)
Robinson Jeffers is a poet I discovered in my twenties. His poetry is tough, hard, philosophical, and he takes on the big issues that I struggled with as a young man in my late teens and twenties…and still do today in the first half of my 40’s. He wrote much of his works while living in Carmel…a place I know well…I have frequently observed and admired the same natural beauty he alludes to in his poetry. Here is a generic biography of Jeffers….(Background on Robinson Jeffers), but the core philosophical connection I share with this very intelligent and artistic man can be summarized by the below paragraph taken from the above link….
Jeffers coined the phrase inhumanism, the belief that mankind is too self-centered and too indifferent to the “astonishing beauty of things.” Jeffers articulated that inhumanism symbolized humans’ inability to “uncenter” themselves. In “The Double Axe,” Jeffers explicitly described inhumanism as “a shifting of emphasis and significance from man to notman; the rejection of human solipsism and recognition of the trans-human magnificence… This manner of thought and feeling is neither misanthropic nor pessimist… It offers a reasonable detachment as rule of conduct, instead of love, hate and envy… it provides magnificence for the religious instinct, and satisfies our need to admire greatness and rejoice in beauty.”
Theory Of Truth
(Reference to The Women at Point Sur)
I stand near Soberanes Creek, on the knoll over the sea, west of
the road. I remember
This is the very place where Arthur Barclay, a priest in revolt,
proposed three questions to himself:
First, is there a God and of what nature? Second, whether there’s
anything after we die but worm’s meat?
Third, how should men live? Large time-worn questions no
doubt; yet he touched his answers, they are not unattainable;
But presently lost them again in the glimmer of insanity.
many minds have worn these questions; old coins
Rubbed faceless, dateless. The most have despaired and accepted
doctrine; the greatest have achieved answers, but always
With aching strands of insanity in them.
I think of Lao-tze; and the dear beauty of the Jew whom they
crucified but he lived, he was greater than Rome;
And godless Buddha under the boh-tree, straining through his
mind the delusions and miseries of human life.
Why does insanity always twist the great answers?
tormented persons want truth.
Man is an animal like other animals, wants food and success and
women, not truth. Only if the mind
Tortured by some interior tension has despaired of happiness:
then it hates its life-cage and seeks further,
And finds, if it is powerful enough. But instantly the private
agony that made the search
Muddles the finding.
Here was a man who envied the chiefs of
the provinces of China their power and pride,
And envied Confucius his fame for wisdom. Tortured by hardly
conscious envy he hunted the truth of things,
Caught it, and stained it through with his private impurity. He
praised inaction, silence, vacancy: why?
Because the princes and officers were full of business, and wise
Confucius of words.
Here was a man who was born a bastard, and among the people
That more than any in the world valued race-purity, chastity, the
prophetic splendors of the race of David.
Oh intolerable wound, dimly perceived. Too loving to curse his
mother, desert-driven, devil-haunted,
The beautiful young poet found truth in the desert, but found also
Fantastic solution of hopeless anguish. The carpenter was not his
father? Because God was his father,
Not a man sinning, but the pure holiness and power of God.
His personal anguish and insane solution
Have stained an age; nearly two thousand years are one vast poem
drunk with the wine of his blood.
And here was another Saviour, a prince in India,
A man who loved and pitied with such intense comprehension of
pain that he was willing to annihilate
Nature and the earth and stars, life and mankind, to annul the
suffering. He also sought and found truth,
And mixed it with his private impurity, the pity, the denials.
search for truth is foredoomed and frustrate?
Only stained fragments?
Until the mind has turned its love from
itself and man, from parts to the whole.
I am going to break up these five pieces of deep thought with this YouTube video of the full version of the Snowman. It ties in perfectly…and loops back to recent posts. It is so odd…that I came by this film via my nine-year old’s Christmas choir performance…I was expecting to hear the same old shit…Jingle Bells…Frosty the Snowman…Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer…and of course I did hear some of the same old shit…but….then….from some where magical…came this song….Walking in the Air…and it hit a deep chord…and so I looked into it…and thus the multiple posts on this music and film animation. My brother texted me and notified me that the full version of the film was now available on YouTube. So here it is down below…it takes some 28 minutes to view…but it is worth it. I love the contrast between what the beautiful spirited boy shows the Snowman….the Snowman as I interpret being the embodiment of Nature…and what the Snowman shows the boy…this is…in its simplest form…the point and conundrum I am facing and addressing with this critical reasoning project. And….the music piece…Walking in the Air…is the highest form of expressing my sentiments.
If I had the resources…I could create a more poignant video…and music selection…to pay tribute to this angelic and philosophical masterpiece…composed and relevant for children..teens..adults…the elderly…human”kind”…. but…this is an excellent creation….Happy New Year…or more to the point…yet another revolution around the sun…which itself..and our earth..solar system…is rotating around our galactic center…which takes 225-250 million years to complete a full orbit…and our galaxy itself…is probably flying and rotating around something else even larger…taking even more time to complete a cycle…and then there is our universe itself………………………….relative to other universes….or something even more incomprehensible………………………Cheers….to those…that care to comprehend………….that we can’t comprehend…………and what that means as to how we should live our flicker of existence as individuals………… and as a species………and with our other species……………………………………….to those that are not asleep…and are brave enough to see…to greet those that have flown…and to greet those that are flying….or trying to fly………….that see the beauty……..that understand the great mystery without succumbing to a prescription………a solution….to which there is never a solution…….the never ending discovery…..the eternal questions………the forever effort to push on………to go beyond…..and to Love……yourself…and carefully selected others…and something beyond the general human momentum….that appears to be………..not concerned with anything………..sublime……..this very masterpiece……..a threat….an enemy………….to that momentum………..a momentum to where….to what end…to what progression….to what struggle to build…upon one generation to the next…..for the children……………………………………………………………………….to believe………………………………in their dreams………..in the future…………….to receive……………from……their father…..their mother…………………….man”kind”…………a torch………………..a torch that grows…….into a flame as hot and illuminate as the sun………and then….beyond….there is no limit….to the light….the dark….the heat…the cold……….if………we see….if…..we…..want to walk in the air…………if we want our children…and their children….to fly higher…and higher….in the air
Lyrics…”Walking in the Air”
We’re walking in the air
We’re floating in the moonlit sky
The people far below are sleeping as we fly
I’m holding very tight
I’m riding in the midnight blue
I’m finding I can fly so high above with you
Far across the world
The villages go by like dreams
The rivers and the hills
The forests and the streams
Children gaze open-mouthed
Taken by surprise
Nobody down below believes their eyes
We’re surfing in the air
We’re swimming in the frozen sky
We’re drifting over icy
Mountains floating by
Suddenly swooping low on an ocean deep
Rousing of a mighty monster from his sleep
We’re walking in the air
We’re dancing in the midnight sky
And everyone who sees us greets us as we fly
Mankind could benefit greatly by observing the free-flowing forces of nature. The winds, clouds, oceans, rivers and continents pay no attention to borders. The earth, sun, our solar system, our galaxy, all galaxies, fall freely through infinite space.
The concept of a nation with its own borders, walls, military, laws, economy and politics is in reality obsolete. A nation imprisons the people in the form of patriotism, wastes resources, and complicates cooperation. In the grand scheme of the universe the nation concept appears foolish.
But mankind may never come to understand that we all share this blue-green marble with each other and all the other animate creatures. Even though the airplane, the ship, the train, the automobile, and the internet enables us to break through our own self-created borders, our consciousness hasn’t adjusted accordingly. We still hold on to past superstitions and constructs that tear us apart. We don’t seem to be as intelligent, evolved, or conscious as we lead ourselves to believe. Perhaps I should be more patient. After all, relative to geological time, we just emerged from the jungle this morning.
I was fortunate to live in a beautiful environment when I was living with my parents. Our house was backed up against a nature preserve in Northern California where coyotes, bobcat, deer, and rattle snakes roamed. The nature preserve consisted of rolling foothills covered with long silver grass and oak trees. Beyond the preserve was the densely forested Santa Cruz mountain range and beyond that lay the mighty Pacific.
I spent much time wandering in that preserve during the day and the night. It was a magical place. On one side was unspoiled nature, on the other side one could view the entire bay area from San Jose all the way to San Francisco. The contrast was even more remarkable on a moonlit night. On one side was the silver fog rolling over the Santa Cruz mountains like a giant Pacific wave, on the other side one could see the city of lights and the thousands of cars constantly meandering like a snake along the 280 freeway. You could hear the slight but constant hum of the cars in motion.
It was here that I felt most at home especially at sunset or at night when the wind blew. It was here that I took my first true love. It was here that I would go before a big high school baseball or football game to calm my nerves and gain perspective. It was here I went with my beloved brother to contemplate our existence. And it was here that I realized mankind has yet to figure out the Enigma.