Some other advice

“Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.”

The flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.

Seek out what magnifies your spirit.

Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them, and visit them often. Use them not only as a remedy once spiritual malaise has already infected your vitality but as a vaccine administered while you are healthy to protect your radiance.

Don’t be afraid to be an idealist.

There is much to be said for our responsibility as creators and consumers of that constant dynamic interaction we call culture — which side of the fault line between catering and creating are we to stand on? The commercial enterprise is conditioning us to believe that the road to success is paved with catering to existing demands — give the people cat GIFs, the narrative goes, because cat GIFs are what the people want. 

Don’t just resist cynicism — fight it actively. Fight it in yourself, for this ungainly beast lays dormant in each of us, and counter it in those you love and engage with, by modelling its opposite. Cynicism often masquerades as nobler faculties and dispositions, but is categorically inferior. Unlike that great Rilkean life-expanding doubt, it is a contracting force. Unlike critical thinking, that pillar of reason and necessary counterpart to hope, it is inherently uncreative, unconstructive, and spiritually corrosive. Life, like the universe itself, tolerates no stasis — in the absence of growth, decay usurps the order. Like all forms of destruction, cynicism is infinitely easier and lazier than construction. There is nothing more difficult yet more gratifying in our society than living with sincerity and acting from a place of largehearted, constructive, rational faith in the human spirit, continually bending toward growth and betterment. This remains the most potent antidote to cynicism. Today, especially, it is an act of courage and resistance.

Since such a time machine of reflection would get nowhere without the substance that fueled it, here are ten of the things I most loved reading and writing about in this first decade of Brain Pickings, writes Maria Popova.


Some advice

After ten years of „Brain Pickings”, Maria Popova wrote this. I promise I will translate

Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.

Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.As Paul Graham observed, “prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.” Those extrinsic motivators are fine and can feel life-affirming in the moment, but they ultimately don’t make it thrilling to get up in the morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night — and, in fact, they can often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper rewards.

Be generous.Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.

Build pockets of stillness into your life.Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming, even to boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new combinations. Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative processis broken.

Most important, sleep. Besides being the greatest creative aphrodisiac, sleep also affects our every waking momentdictates our social rhythm, and even mediates our negative moods. Be as religious and disciplined about your sleep as you are about your work. We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic. But what it really is is a profound failure of self-respect and of priorities. What could possibly be more important than your health and your sanity, from which all else springs?

When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as important, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.

Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.Ours is a culture that measures our worth as human beings by our efficiency, our earnings, our ability to perform this or that. The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living — for, as Annie Dillard memorably put it, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”


to follow…

Our Father, Our Lord…

Hear our prayer. We have sinned before Thee. Have mercy upon us and our children. Bring end to disease, war and famine. Bring an end to the suffering and oppression. 

Tatal Nostru, Regele nostru, asculta-ne rugaciunea. Am pacatuit înaintea Ta. Dar Tu, care ne iubesti, vei pune capat suferintelor, vei da un viitor copiilor nostri…

O singura „punte” e posibila între Voia cea sfânta a lui Dumnezeu si libertatea omeneasca, cea care ne-a dus acolo unde suntem: a-I spune „da”. Adica, sa ne recunoastem, orice vom fi facut ca pacate, copii iubiti ai lui Dumnezeu, asadar, „fii ai Luminii”. Nu numai în momentele de emotie când sacrul apare ca o evidenta, ci zi de zi, pas cu pas.  

BBC: 104-year-old woman keeps fit with yoga

26 October 2016 Last updated at 15:19 BST

A woman said to be the oldest living Test cricketer says healthy eating and two glasses of red wine a day are her secret to a long life.

Eileen Ash, who lives in Norwich, celebrates her 105th birthday on Sunday and enjoys regular yoga sessions and getting behind the wheel of her yellow Mini car.

She played Test cricket for England women, making her debut at the crease in 1937.

She said: „I’d like to know when I’m going to be old. Do you think it will be when I’m 105?”

25 octombrie — POVEŞTI DE AERODROM

schiță de Mircea CRISTEA “Se duc existențele ca zborurile. Dispărute printre anii care trec, printre zilele care s-au scurs, printre orele pe cer, printre vocile care ne-au marcat în ultimii ani, prin căldura altor oameni, printre sentimente, lacrimi, spaimă, durere, deznădejde, iubire, moarte. Gândeam… până la urmă, ce rămâne în urma unui om? Ne consumăm […]

via 25 octombrie — POVEŞTI DE AERODROM

Interested in Leonard Cohen?


Leonard Cohen Casts a Dim But Holy Glow on ‘You Want It Darker’


Sunday evening marked the beginning of Shemini Atzeret, a Jewish holiday celebrating the end of the harvest festival, Sukkot. While Sukkot signifies the end of the harvesting year, Shemini Atzeret and its celebration of Simchat Torah mark the completion of the year’s Torah readings, the original five books of Moses that make up the Old Testament.

How fitting that Leonard Cohen would bless us with his 14th album of music, You Want It Darker, just before the harvest was over and the scrolls were rewound. That it arrived on a Friday, ushering in Shabbat with a dim but holy glow, is fitting too.

Cohen’s latest collection of songs proves a summation of the poet’s most enduring images, his most illuminated words, shaped into investigations of the soul and the body, the sacred and the profane. He goes back to sitting at someone’s table, a common image in his songs, only to leave the table a few songs later. He slow-dances through another waltz from the era when rock ‘n roll was young, subverting the message of young devotion with his grim, late-in-life reflections.

And by the album’s close he’s thrown away any infatuation with artifacts, from the ruins and altars that have populated his most classic explorations of biblical righteousness, to the unholy shopping mall that has come to define such righteousness today.


Leonard Cohen Casts a Dim But Holy Glow on ‘You Want It Darker’

„Je tournerai tout en bien, tu le verras”

Des révélations à Julienne de Norwich [1]

« Par la même puissance, sagesse, bonté avec lesquelles J’ai fait ce que tu vois, je tournerai en bien tout ce qui ne l’est pas, tu le verras toi-même ».  (Le Seigneur à Julienne dans une vision)

« Nous sommes la joie de Jésus, nous sommes sa béatitude, nous sommes sa récompense, nous sommes sa gloire, nous sommes sa couronne. »

Notre-Seigneur dit avec la plus vive allégresse : « Vois à quel point je t’aime ! »

 « Notre bon Seigneur répondit donc à toutes mes questions à et à tous mes doutes. Il me réconforta par ces paroles : “Je puis tout tourner en bien, Je sais tout tourner en bien. Je vais tout tourner en bien. Je veux tout tourner en bien. Et tu le verras toi-même toutes choses tourneront en bien”. Par ces cinq paroles, Dieu veut que nous soyons dans une enceinte de repos et de paix. » 

 « Au regard de Dieu, tous les hommes ne sont qu’un seul homme, et un seul homme c’est tous les hommes. Cet homme fut blessé dans ses facultés et rendu très faible. S’étant détourné de la contemplation de Dieu, il devint hébété dans son intelligence, bien que sa volonté demeura intacte aux yeux de Dieu. (…) Ce qui était pour lui grande douleur et cruelle détresse. Car, d’une part, il ne pouvait voir clairement son Seigneur, lequel l’aimait et était tout doux et humble avec lui. D’autre part, il ne voyait plus vraiment comme son Seigneur tout aimant le regardait. »

« Alors il me montra, gisant dans la paume de sa main, une petite chose, de la grosseur d’une noisette et, selon ce que je compris, ronde comme une bille. Je l’observai et pensai : « Qu’est-ce donc ? » II me fut répondu, de façon générale : « C’est tout ce qui est créé ». Je m’étonnai que cette chose-là pût subsister, car, me sembla-t-il, un si petit rien pouvait être anéanti en un instant. Il me fut répondu dans mon entendement : « II subsiste et subsistera à jamais, parce que Dieu l’aime. Ainsi toute chose tient son être de l’amour de Dieu. Dans ce petit rien, je vis trois propriétés. La première : Dieu l’a créé. La deuxième : Dieu l’aime. La troisième Dieu le garde. Mais lui, qu’est-il pour moi ? Celui qui crée. Celui qui aime. Celui qui garde. Aussi longtemps que je ne suis pas substantiellement unie à lui, je ne puis avoir ni plein repos ni vraie béatitude. C’est-à-dire aussi longtemps que je ne suis pas liée à lui d’un tel lien qu’entre mon Dieu et moi il n’y ait plus rien qui nous sépare. »


« Notre Seigneur me montra aussi que son plaisir est grand et plénier quand une âme simple vient à lui nûment, sans détours, comme en famille. »

« Alors notre bon Seigneur ouvrit mon œil spirituel. Il me montra mon âme au milieu de mon cœur. Je la vis aussi grande que si elle était un univers infini et, pour ainsi dire, un royaume bienheureux. Telle qu’elle m’apparut, je compris que c’est une cité de gloire. En son centre siège notre Seigneur Jésus, vrai Dieu et vrai homme

[1] Julienne de Norwich, Écrits mystiques, trad. par R. Maisonneuve, présenté par Ivan Marcil, Éditions du Carmel, 2007. Julienne de Norwich est une mystique anglaise du XIVe siècle. 

Deux chemins

La Didachè (entre 60-120), catéchèse judéo-chrétienne
§ 1-6 (trad. coll. Icthus, t. 1, p. 112s)

« Choisis donc la vie » (Dt 30,19)

      Il y a deux chemins : l’un de la vie, l’autre de la mort ; mais il est entre les deux chemins une grande différence. Or le chemin de la vie est le suivant : D’abord, tu aimeras Dieu qui t’a créé ; en second lieu, tu aimeras ton prochain comme toi-même ; et ce que tu ne veux pas qu’il te soit fait, toi non plus ne le fais pas à autrui. Et voici l’enseignement signifié par ces paroles : Bénissez ceux qui vous maudissent, priez pour vos ennemis, jeûnez pour ceux qui vous persécutent. Quel mérite, en effet, d’aimer ceux qui vous aiment ? Les païens n’en font-ils pas autant ? Quant à vous, aimez ceux qui vous haïssent, et vous n’aurez pas d’ennemis. Abstiens-toi des désirs charnels et corporels…

      Deuxième commandement de la doctrine : Tu ne tueras pas, tu ne seras pas adultère, tu ne séduiras pas des garçons, tu ne commettras ni fornication, ni vol, ni magie, ni empoisonnement ; tu ne tueras point d’enfants, par avortement ou après la naissance ; tu ne désireras pas les biens de ton prochain. Tu ne te parjureras pas, tu ne diras pas de faux témoignage, tu ne tiendras pas de propos médisants, tu ne garderas pas de rancune. Tu n’auras pas deux manières de penser ni deux paroles : car la duplicité de langage est un piège de mort. Ta parole ne sera pas menteuse ; pas vaine non plus, mais remplie d’effet. Tu ne seras ni avare, ni rapace, ni hypocrite, ni méchant, ni orgueilleux ; tu ne formeras pas de mauvais dessein contre ton prochain. Tu ne dois haïr personne ; mais tu dois reprendre les uns et prier pour eux, et aimer les autres plus que ta propre vie.

      Mon enfant, fuis tout ce qui est mal et tout ce qui ressemble au mal… Veille à ce que nul ne te détourne de ce chemin de la doctrine, car cette personne-là t’enseigne en dehors de Dieu. Si tu peux porter le joug du Seigneur tout entier, tu seras parfait ; sinon, fais du moins ce qui est en ton pouvoir.

(Références bibliques : Mt 22,37s ; 7,12 ; Tb 4,15 ; Mt 5,44s ; 1P 2,11 ; Ex 20 ; Mt 24,4)