New Civilization News: We have a soul at times *    
 We have a soul at times *0 comments
picture11 Apr 2005 @ 01:39, by Tlingel

I value that little phrase "I don't know" so highly. It's small, but it flies on mighty wings. It expands our lives to include spaces within us as well as the outer expanses in which our tiny Earth hangs suspended.
---Wislawa Szymborska

"We Are One!"
---Comment found on NCN [6 Apr 2005 @ 00:03]

"We are NOT all one!
We are a multiplicity of onenesses"

---Comment found on NCN [6 Apr 2005 @ 06:32]

"What," you ask, "was the beginning of it all?"
And it is this...
Existence that multiplied itself
For sheer delight of being
And plunged into numberless trillions of forms
So that it might

---Sri Aurobindo

In a debate that has all too often been contaminated with dogmatism and where political or "spiritual" leaders and Wannabe Gurus of all stripes parade before us and lecture us about "Truth," (whatever "Truth" is for whomever it is who happens to be "uttering" it at the time) it's a rare voice that has the courage to confess the limits of what we really know, and remind us instead that progress flows from uncertainty and doubt.

In her 1996 Nobel Prize lecture, Polish poet Szymborska commented that for people who know, "what they know is enough for them once and for all. They don't want to find out about anything else, since that might diminish the force of their arguments."

As for those who don't know..."their work becomes one continuous adventure ... A swarm of new questions emerge from every problem they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous 'I don't know.'"

* A Few Words On The Soul
by Wislawa Szymborska

We have a soul at times.
No one's got it non-stop,
for keeps.

Day after day,
year after year
may pass without it.

it will settle for awhile
only in childhood's fears and raptures.
Sometimes only in astonishment
that we are old.

It rarely lends a hand
in uphill tasks,
like moving furniture,
or lifting luggage,
or going miles in shoes that pinch.

It usually steps out
whenever meat needs chopping
or forms have to be filled.

For every thousand conversations
it participates in one,
if even that,
since it prefers silence.

Just when our body goes from ache to pain,
it slips off-duty.

It's picky:
it doesn't like seeing us in crowds,
our hustling for a dubious advantage
and creaky machinations make it sick.

Joy and sorrow
aren't two different feelings for it.
It attends us
only when the two are joined.

We can count on it
when we're sure of nothing
and curious about everything.

Among the material objects
it favors clocks with pendulums
and mirrors, which keep on working
even when no one is looking.

It won't say where it comes from
or when it's taking off again,
though it's clearly expecting such questions.

We need it
but apparently
it needs us
for some reason too.

Translated from the Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh.

Strong relativism and openness are well known to be important dimensions in the temporal sphere at the basis of Wislawa Szymborska's poetry. The way in which she links the past with the present, the present with what is to come and the event/experience of a moment with the weightless dimension of eternity is what gives her poetry its greatest strength.
---Malgorzata Anna Packalén: A Domestication of Death: The Poetic Universe of Wislawa Szymborska

Illustration: from "© A Bit of Madness," by Mosdi and Civiello

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