Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Journey Through Thoght

To be aware of that of which we are ignorant is dwelling with shadows. But to be unaware of that of which we are ignorant is deep darkness indeed.

Dana Bate
Hello to the person in Ile-de-France, Paris
"Watchman, tell us of the night."
Sometimes darkness comes at noon,
and sometimes the light shines at midnight.
This is the 1,825 edition of Vagabond Journeys. When I first began this journal I posted quotes from the wise and witty, without comments. But when people started to comment I decided to add a few thoughts of my own.

I have 112 pages of quotes, single spaced, small font, about 30 to 35 per page. They come mainly from my reading, books, magazines and newspapers, some come from other journalists and some are my own, (as in above). As I look back over them I realize that back in 2006 when I first started collecting these quotes, I thought some ideas were very clever and worth a lot of thought which I now regard as simple statements of fact that need no embellishment, such as "Worrying makes you cross the bridge before you come to it." (Harvey Mackey) A self-evidently apt analogy that needs no explanation or comment, I will gladly place it within the body of a journal entry one day to add some zest.

I try to avoid polemics, although the temptation to plunge in is great. But I find that the best political quotes are the humorous ones, like this one from Howard Zinn "If the gods had intended for people to vote, they would have given us candidates."

There are quotes that stroke my poetic self, and I enjoy learning from them. "I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame." (Yeats)

There are the esoteric and mystic authors that intrigue me and give me much to say. "I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming of being a man?" (Zhuangzi)

I, at last, have become ready to take on the big thinkers, like Friedrich Nietzsche, "Blessedness is not a promise, it has no strings attached; it is the ONLY reality - everything else is just a symbol used to speak about it."

The lesson for me from the past 6 years is that grappling with the thoughts of some of these thinkers has evolved my own thinking process, cleared some questions, placed larger and rangier issues on the table for me, made me more aware of that of which I am ignorant and doused me in a baptism of learning. Now I do what I hope everyone does or will do. I look for the light that shines at midnight.

Dana Bate - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up