Day 65 – The Bhagavad-Gita

The Bhagavad-Gita

Chapter 2, verse 20

The individual unit of consciousness neither takes birth nor dies at any time. It has never been created nor will it ever be created. It is unborn, eternal, indestructible and timeless – it is not destroyed when the material body is destroyed.


Day 64 – Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death
Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities,
of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House.  But different
men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it
will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do
opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my
sentiments freely and without reserve.  This is no time for ceremony.
The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country.
For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of
freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject
ought to be the freedom of the debate.  It is only in this way that
we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility
which we hold to God and our country.  Should I keep back my opinions
at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself
as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty
toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope.
We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the
song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts.  Is this the part
of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?
Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not,
and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their
temporal salvation?  For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost,
I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of
experience.  I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.
And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct
of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with
which  gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House.
Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?
Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet.  Suffer not yourselves
to be betrayed with a kiss.  Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our
petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and
darken our land.  Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and
reconciliation?  Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that
force must be called in to win back our love?  Let us not deceive ourselves,
sir.  These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to
which kings resort.  I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if
its purpose be not to force us to submission?  Can gentlemen assign any other
possible motive for it?  Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of
the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies?  No, sir,
she has none.  They are meant for us:  they can be meant for no other.
They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British
ministry have been so long forging.  And what have we to oppose to them?
Shall we try argument?  Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years.
Have we anything new to offer upon the subject?  Nothing.  We have held the
subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain.
Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication?  What terms shall we
find which have not been already exhausted?  Let us not, I beseech you, sir,
deceive ourselves.  Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert
the storm which is now coming on.  We have petitioned; we have remonstrated;
we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have
implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and
Parliament.  Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced
additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded;
and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne!
In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and
reconciliation.  There is no longer any room for hope.  If we wish to be free--
if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which
we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble
struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged
ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest
shall be obtained--we must fight!  I repeat it, sir, we must fight!
An appeal to arms  and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable
an adversary.  But when shall we be stronger?  Will it be the next week,
or the next year?  Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British
guard shall be stationed in every house?  Shall we gather strength by
irresolution and inaction?  Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance
by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until
our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?  Sir, we are not weak if we make
a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a
country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy
can send against us.  Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.
There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will
raise up friends to fight our battles for us.  The battle, sir, is not to the
strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.  Besides, sir,
we have no election.  If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late
to retire from the contest.  There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!
Our chains are forged!  Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!
The war is inevitable--and let it come!  I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter.  Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--
but there is no peace.  The war is actually begun!  The next gale that sweeps
from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms!
Our brethren are already in the field!  Why stand we here idle?
What is it that gentlemen wish?  What would they have?  Is life so dear,
or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take;
but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Day 63 – The Ecstasy

The Ecstasy
John Donne
Where, like a pillow on a bed
         A pregnant bank swell’d up to rest
The violet’s reclining head,
         Sat we two, one another’s best.
Our hands were firmly cemented
         With a fast balm, which thence did spring;
Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
         Our eyes upon one double string;
So to’intergraft our hands, as yet
         Was all the means to make us one,
And pictures in our eyes to get
         Was all our propagation.
As ‘twixt two equal armies fate
         Suspends uncertain victory,
Our souls (which to advance their state
         Were gone out) hung ‘twixt her and me.
And whilst our souls negotiate there,
         We like sepulchral statues lay;
All day, the same our postures were,
         And we said nothing, all the day.
If any, so by love refin’d
         That he soul’s language understood,
And by good love were grown all mind,
         Within convenient distance stood,
He (though he knew not which soul spake,
         Because both meant, both spake the same)
Might thence a new concoction take
         And part far purer than he came.
This ecstasy doth unperplex,
         We said, and tell us what we love;
We see by this it was not sex,
         We see we saw not what did move;
But as all several souls contain
         Mixture of things, they know not what,
Love these mix’d souls doth mix again
         And makes both one, each this and that.
A single violet transplant,
         The strength, the colour, and the size,
(All which before was poor and scant)
         Redoubles still, and multiplies.
When love with one another so
         Interinanimates two souls,
That abler soul, which thence doth flow,
         Defects of loneliness controls.
We then, who are this new soul, know
         Of what we are compos’d and made,
For th’ atomies of which we grow
         Are souls, whom no change can invade.
But oh alas, so long, so far,
         Our bodies why do we forbear?
They’are ours, though they’are not we; we are
         The intelligences, they the spheres.
We owe them thanks, because they thus
         Did us, to us, at first convey,
Yielded their senses’ force to us,
         Nor are dross to us, but allay.
On man heaven’s influence works not so,
         But that it first imprints the air;
So soul into the soul may flow,
            Though it to body first repair.
As our blood labors to beget
         Spirits, as like souls as it can,
Because such fingers need to knit
         That subtle knot which makes us man,
So must pure lovers’ souls descend
         T’ affections, and to faculties,
Which sense may reach and apprehend,
         Else a great prince in prison lies.
To’our bodies turn we then, that so
         Weak men on love reveal’d may look;
Love’s mysteries in souls do grow,
         But yet the body is his book.
And if some lover, such as we,
         Have heard this dialogue of one,
Let him still mark us, he shall see
         Small change, when we’are to bodies gone.

Day 62 – Alone

By Edgar Allan Poe

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

I am Much Too Alone in this World, Yet not Alone
Rainer Maria Rilke

I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone
to truly consecrate the hour.
I am much too small in this world, yet not small
to be to you just object and thing,
dark and smart.
I want my free will and want it accompanying
the path which leads to action;
and want during times that beg questions,
where something is up,
to be among those in the know,
or else be alone.

I want to mirror your image to its fullest perfection,
never be blind or too old
to uphold your weighty wavering reflection.
I want to unfold.
Nowhere I wish to stay crooked, bent;
for there I would be dishonest, untrue.
I want my conscience to be
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed
for a long time, one close up,
like a new word I learned and embraced,
like the everday jug,
like my mother’s face,
like a ship that carried me along
through the deadliest storm.


Day 61 – The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life
By Albert Einstein

What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow-creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.

Day 60 – On the Beach at Night Alone

On the Beach at Night Alone

 By Walt Whitman

On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future.

A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets,
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time, all inanimate forms,
All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any globe,
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.

Day 59 – I’ll Always Belong to Myself

I’ll Always Belong to Myself
Rainer Maria Rilke

I’ll always belong to myself
Even as many times as I’ll try to give myself away
And as many times as someone else will try and take it
I will always belong to myself and you’ll always belong to
Unions are not formed by giving yourself away but by
coming together

two minds
two hearts
two flames
two contributors
two architects
building their mad or sadly sane worlds together

I don’t want to be you and I don’t want you to be me

The beauty
The love

Come from our acceptance of each others’ souls

-Rainer Maria Rilke