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« "The Taxi" [by Amy Lowell] | Main | X-Ray Vision [by Nin Andrews] »

April 26, 2024


“Normally we divide the external world into that which we consider to be good or valuable, bad or worthless, or neither. Most of the time these discriminations are incorrect or have little meaning. For example, our habitual way of categorizing people as friends, enemies, and strangers depending on how they make us feel is both incorrect and a great obstacle to developing impartial love for all living beings. Rather than holding so tightly to our discriminations of the external world, it would be much more beneficial if we learned to discriminate between valuable and worthless states of mind.

It is very important to identify the actual cause of whatever unhappiness we feel. If we are forever blaming our difficulties on others, this is a sure sign that there are still many problems and faults within our own mind.

Happiness and suffering are states of mind and so their main causes are not to be found outside the mind. If we want to be truly happy and free from suffering, we must learn how to control our mind.

If we were to respond to difficult situations with a positive or peaceful mind they would not be problems for us; indeed, we may even come to regard them as challenges or opportunities for growth and development.”
― Kelsang Gyatso,

Well, Bishop Berkeley, once I’m in Ukraine, and if no missiles conveniently fall nearby, I’ll be sure to kick the tangled mix of steel, bricks and concrete of a supposedly wrecked kindergarten, perhaps, even, tear open a few pretended body bags. Thus will I attempt to prove that my belief that Vladimir Putin has conjured a murder idol, indeed, that Putin and, with him, confederates, employees and fellow travelers, are paid liars, expert bullies and accomplished murderers. I shall certainly check myself into the nearest psychiatric hospital if I learn that my belief is a mere reflection of an impaired mental state, as it were, just a bit of undigested beef, or what, in the good old days, Soviet doctors called ”slow schizophrenia”.
Your Faithful Servant, S. Johnson.

Samuel Johnson was right to kick the stone standing for the solipsistic blockhead. He refuted him thus.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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