Thursday, December 22, 2005

seeing the mad light

Today I'm going for a drunken stroll.

I'll search the town for a rational man,

Pour him a drink from the bowl of my skull,

And turn him into a crazy fool.

#1146: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Key word: stroll

I've become keen to express the dancer in myself in preference to the writer, in an attempt to adjust an imbalance. My normal routine is to start the day with writing but today I went for a walk in the local park and stayed in one place for a while exploring dance motions. (There are quite a few other people there doing solitary dance-like exercises like Tai Chi so I don't feel too kooky.) I was attracted to the idea of a drunken stroll in today's verse.

I also want to explore more and find my own ways of expressing or explaining the word soul. Who better to look at here than the post-Jungian archetypal psychologist, James Hillman? His The Soul's Code is a book I found especially challenging in recent years but it was his Suicide and the Soul that got me started back in the late 70s. With other titles like The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World and Anima: The Anatomy of a Personified Notion, this writer has no hesitation in tackling the soul head on.

This morning I was glancing through my as-yet-unread copy of Hillman's The Force of Character when I came across an item that binds together a few favourite themes. Hillman quotes Nobel Prize-winnning physicist Richard Feynman (from What Do You Care What Other People Think?) as follows:

The thing I call my individuality is only a pattern or dance.... The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out - there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.

excerpt from The Value of Science

And so it is that soul, science and dance have come together for me today. And still I've made no direct comment on today's quatrain! I can do no better here than collect some famous quotes, beginning with Jung:

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.
-- Jung

Why don't you have a right to say you are Jesus? And why isn't the proper response to that "congratulations"?
-- Thomas Szasz

There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.
-- Aristotle

There is a pleasure sure
In being mad which none but madmen know.
-- John Dryden

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.
-- Aldous Huxley

Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the madness with which you should be cleansed? Behold, I show you the Superman. He is this lightning, he is this madness.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting.
-- John Russell

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries of life disappear and life stands explained.
-- Mark Twain



At Thursday, 22 December, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

I read a couple Feynman's books. Good stuff...

I like Sam Goldwyn's quote: "You'd have to be crazy to go to a psychiatrist."

At Thursday, 22 December, 2005, Blogger Arizona said...

Nice one!


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