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For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Remember to Revisit this One Day

and there are a lot of leaves already.
I could rake and get a head start.
The boy’s summer toys need to be put
in the basement. I could clean it out
or fix the broken storm window.
When Eli gets home from Sunday school,
I could take him fishing. I don’t fish
but I could learn to. I could show him
how much fun it is. We don’t do as much
as we used to do. And my wife, there’s
so much I haven’t told her lately,
about how quickly my soul is aging,
how it feels like a basement I keep filling
with everything I’m tired of surviving.
I could take a walk with my wife and try
to explain the ghosts I can’t stop speaking to.
Or I could read all those books piling up
about the beginning of the end of understanding…
Meanwhile, it’s such a beautiful morning,
the changing colors, the hypnotic light.
I could sit by the window watching the leaves,
which seem to know exactly how to fall
from one moment to the next. Or I could lose
everything and have to begin over again.

Philip Shultz

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”

Edward Abbey

The twentieth century is, among other things, the Age of Noise. Physical noise, mental noise and noise of desire — we hold history’s record for all of them. And no wonder; for all the resources of our almost miraculous technology have been thrown into the current assault against silence. That most popular and influential of all recent inventions, the radio, is nothing but a conduit through which pre-fabricated din can flow into our homes. And this din goes far deeper, of course, than the eardrums. It penetrates the mind, filling it with a babel of distractions, blasts of corybantic or sentimental music, continually repeated doses of drama that bring no catharsis, but usually create a craving for daily or even hourly emotional enemas.

And where, as in most countries, the broadcasting stations support themselves by selling time to advertisers, the noise is carried from the ear, through the realms of phantasy, knowledge and feeling to the ego’s core of wish and desire. Spoken or printed, broadcast over the ether or on wood-pulp, all advertising copy has but one purpose — to prevent the will from ever achieving silence. Desirelessness is the condition of deliverance and illumination. The condition of an expanding and technologically progressive system of mass production is universal craving. Advertising is the organized effort to extend and intensify the workings of that force, which (as all the saints and teachers of all the higher religions have always taught) is the principal cause of suffering and wrong-doing and the greatest obstacle between the human soul and its Divine Ground.

Aldous Huxley, On silence (written in 1946)

You live in a peaceful world where there is 60 million dollars to be shared between 1,000 people a year. Everybody in your world makes 60,000 dollars a year (this number is significant You get to do whatever job you please. For example, you want to be in the industry of making clothing for 1,000 people. On Monday, you work the fields of cotton. On Tuesday, you sew. On Wednesday, you design patterns. On Thursday, you organize the business and manage the daily economic tasks of marketing, budgeting, and accounting. On Friday, you work in distribution and front of the counter sales. Every day of the week you have a different job with different kinds of labor demands. All of your colleagues share the fruits of design and the demand of manual labor and distribution. You get to think and you get to work. Your world is constantly new and constantly changing. Everyone in your world has the same amount and degree of education. [Think about it]

You, and everyone around you, has enough money, resources, and time to have the things you/they really need. Now you get to decide if you’re happy. Are you?

"You want to exercise your will, bend the language your way, bend the world your way. You want to control the flow of impulses, images, words, faces, ideas. But there's a higher place, a secret aspiration. You want to let go. You want to lose yourself in language, become a carrier or messenger. The best moments involve a loss of control. It's a kind of rapture, and it can happen with words and phrases fairly often-completely surprising combinations that make a higher kind of sense, that come to you out of nowhere." Don Delillo, in an interview