Tuesday, January 20, 2009

know thyself...

The world would be a much better, breathable place, indeed, if most people stopped being so regimented, so compartmentalised, and paid more attention to things like these.

Discipline of self-restraint is an easy one; being clear-cut, negative, and usually based on some accepted cultural values. Discipline of following desires, always doing what you want to do, is hardest. It presupposes self-knowledge of motives, a careful balance of free action and sense of where the cultural taboos lay - knowing whether a particular "desire" is instinctive, cultural, personal, a product of thought, contemplation, or the unconscious. Blake: if the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, 'til all he sees is through narrow chinks of his caverns. Ah.

Gary Snyder, "Lookout's Journal", from Earth House Hold.

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