We have no reason to harbor any mistrust against our world, for it is not against us. If it has terrors, they are our terrors; if it has abysses, these abysses belong to us; if there are dangers, we must try to love them. And if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love. (1984, pp. 91-92)If you have a monster or person chasing you in your dreams, it's worth asking that individual what it wants.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Rainer Maria Rilke's compilation of his Letters to a Young Poet, originally written as true correspondence to the 19-year-old Franz Xaver Kappus in 1903-1904, are . . . well, wonderful. I can barely hold back from using each line from his letters in my thesis on understanding the quarterlife crisis. Rilke was just 27 when he wrote these letters, undoubtedly still in (or just out of) a quarterlife crisis himself. Perhaps I'll share several of his quotes here. To start with, is this one, on understanding that the work of healing the world is our own work of healing ourselves.
Posted by Satya Doyle Byock, M.A. at 11:37 AM