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Apr
23rd
Tue
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Nature Boy

There was a boy
A very strange, enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far
Very far, over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he

And then one day,
One magic day he passed my way
While we spoke of many things
Fools and Kings
This he said to me

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.

Eden Ahbez, was an American songwriter and recording artist of the 1940s–1960s, whose lifestyle in California was influential on the hippie movement (1908-1995), Nature Boy (1947) performed by Nat King Cole.

Feb
15th
Fri
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Your heart and my heart are very, very old friends.
Hafiz, Persian poet (1325/26–1389/1390), "Your Mother and My Mother"
Nov
4th
Sun
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…Listen,
how your heart pounds inside me.
Wislawa Szymborska, Polish poet, essayist, translator and laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1923-2012), Could Have, in View With a Grain of Sand, trans. Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1996.
Jun
6th
Wed
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…It is the lovers pulling down empty structures.
They wait and touch and watch their dreams
eat the morning.
Amiri Baraka, American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays, and music criticism, Like Rousseau, Poetry, December 1964.
Apr
11th
Wed
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Mono-no-aware means literally “the pathos of things”, also translated as “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera”, is a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of impermanence, or the transience of things, and a gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing. — (Wiki)

Mono means things, and aware comes from the ancient Japanese exclamation ‘Ah(a)!’. In early Heian times (794-1185) aware became a noun designating a profound and individual emotion that one experiences in communion with the transient beauty of a person, an event, a natural object or a work of art. Aware is sometimes called the ‘ah!-ness of things’ you feel when confronted with beauty and at the same time are conscious of the transience or incompleteness of this beauty. Aware transcends the feelings of sadness and joy and merges these into a new, profound emotion. (…)

In the 12th and 13th centuries Southern France saw the troubadours turning their feelings of love, what they called fin’amor, into exquisite poetry. The basis of fin’amor was an emotion called joy. Joy caused an ecstatic experience in which the lover appreciated simultaneously the happiness as well as the sadness, the gaiety as well as the pains, of loving. The same is true for 'mono no aware', where an object, person or situation can cause a feeling encompassing happiness as well as sadness, and where experiencing both elements is essential to the emotion. When one experiences fin’amor one forgets all about oneself. One can live life without the obstructions from one’s self-created ego and enjoy every component of one’s emotions, be they happy or sad.”

Mono no Aware - A Sensitivety to Things
Apr
5th
Thu
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Love is the only rational act.
Mitch Albom, American writer, Tuesdays with Morrie, Random House, 1997, p. 52.
Oct
18th
Tue
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Mario Benedetti

Táctica y estrategia


Mi táctica es
mirarte
aprender como eres
quererte como eres

mi táctica es
hablarte
y escucharte
construir con palabras
un puente indestructible

mi táctica es
quedarme en tu recuerdo
no sé cómo ni sé
con qué pretexto
pero quedarme en ti

mi táctica es
ser franco
y saber que eres franca
y que no nos vendamos
simulacros
para que entre los dos

no haya telón
ni abismos

mi estrategia es
en cambio
más profunda y más
simple
mi estrategia es
que un día cualquiera
no sé cómo ni sé
con qué pretexto
por fin me necesites

Tactics and Strategy

My tactic is to look at you
To learn how you are
Love you as you are

My tactic is to talk to you
And listen to you
And construct with words
An indestructible bridge

My tactic is to stay in your memory,
I don’t know how
Nor with what pretext
But stay within you

My tactic is to be honest
And know you are too
And that we don’t sell each other illusions

So that between us there is no curtain or abyss

My strategy instead is
Deeper and simpler.

My strategy is that some day
I don’t know how, nor with what pretext
That finally you need me!
Mario Benedetti, Uruguayan journalist, novelist, and poet, in the Spanish-speaking world he was considered one of Latin America’s most important 20th-century writers (1920-2009), Táctica y estrategia, (1973-1974)
Sep
15th
Thu
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The Three Passions of Bertrand Russell: Love, Truth, and Justice

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. (…)

I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved. (…)

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to Earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me. (…)

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness - that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. (…)

This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what—at last—I have found. (…)

I had supposed until that time that it was quite common for parents to love their children, but the war persuaded me that it is a rare exception. I had supposed that most people liked money better than almost anything else, but I discovered that they liked destruction even better. I had supposed that intellectuals frequently loved truth, but I found here again that not ten per cent of them prefer truth to popularity. (…)

As a lover of truth, the national propaganda of all the belligerent nations sickened me. As a lover of civilization, the return to barbarism appalled me. (…)

He asked my religion and I replied “agnostic.” He asked how to spell it, and remarked with a sigh: “Well, there are many religions, but I suppose they all worship the same God.” (…)

I have lived in the pursuit of a vision, both personal and social. Personal: to care for what is noble, for what is beautiful, for what is gentle; to allow moments of insight to give wisdom at more mundane times. Social: to see in imagination the society that is to be created, where individuals grow freely, and where hate and greed and envy die because there is nothing to nourish them. These things I believe, and the world, for all its horrors, has left me unshaken.”

Bertrand Russell, British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature (1872-1970), The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell (1967), Routledge, 2000, Prologue, p. 240, 241, 257, 466, Postscript. See also:
Bertrand Russell’s message to future generations
Jul
29th
Fri
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It is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope. But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical will live the relation to another as something alive.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Bohemian–Austrian poet (1875-1926), Letters to a Young Poet
Jun
24th
Fri
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The Neurobiology of “We”.  Relationship is the flow of energy and information between people

"Relationship [is] “the flow of energy and information between people.” Mind is “an embodied and relational process that regulates the flow of energy and information, consciousness included. Mind is shared between people. It isn’t something you own; we are profoundly interconnected. We need to make maps of we because we is what me is!” (…) The mechanism is the brain; subjective impressions and consciousness are mind. The regulation of energy and information flow is a function of mind as an emergent process emanating from both relationships and brain. Relationships are the way we share this flow. (…) “Everything we experience, memory or emotion or thought, is part of a process, not a place in the brain! Energy is the capacity to do stuff. (…)

Information is literally a swirl of energy in a certain pattern that has a symbolic meaning; it stands for something other than itself. Information should be a verb; mind, too—as in minding or informationing. And the mind is an embodied and relational emergent process that regulates the flow of energy and information.” (…)

[Mirror neurons] dissolve the border between you and others. These mirror neurons are a hardwired system designed for us to see the mind-state of another person. (…)  They automatically and spontaneously pick up information about the intentions and feelings of those around us, creating emotional resonance and behavioral imitation as they connect our internal state with those around us, even without the participation of our conscious mind.” (…)

Right hemisphere signals (are those) the mirror neuron system uses to simulate the other within ourselves and to construct a neural map of our interdependent sense of a ‘self.’ It’s how we can be both an ‘I’ and part of an ‘us.’” (…)

“You can take an adult brain in whatever state it’s in and change a person’s life by creating new pathways,” (…) “Since the cortex is extremely adaptable and many parts of the brain are plastic, we can unmask dormant pathways we don’t much use and develop them. A neural stem cell is a blob, an undifferentiated cell in the brain that divides into two every twenty-four hours. In eight–ten weeks, it will become established as a specialized neural cell and exist as a part of an interconnected network. How we learn has everything to do with linking wide areas of the brain with each other.” (…)

The brain is exquisitely social, and emotions are its fundamental language. Through them we become integrated and develop an emergent resonance with the internal state of the other.” (…) “Relationship is key,” (…) “When we work with relationship, we work with brain structure. Relationship stimulates us and is essential in our development.”

— Patty de Llosa, author, ☞ The Neurobiology of “We”, Parabola Magazine, 2011, Daniel Siegel, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.
Jun
22nd
Wed
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Love requires the activation of neural circuits that facilitate attachment, and the deactivation of defensive circuits.
Semir Zeki, professor of neuroesthetics at University College London, 2007, source
See also: ☞ Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki, The neural basis of romantic love (pdf) ☞ The neural correlates of maternal and romantic love (pdf), Department of Cognitive Neurology, University College London
Apr
27th
Wed
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I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.
Jonathan Safran Foer, Jewish-American author, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Houghton Mifflin, 2005
Apr
12th
Tue
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While love is common, true love is rare, and I believe that few people are fortunate enough to experience it. The roads of regular love are well traveled and their markers are well understood by many - the mesmerizing attraction, the ideational obsession, the sexual afterglow, the profound self-sacrifice, and the desire to combine DNA. But true love takes its own course through uncharted territory. It knows no fences, eludes modern measurement, and seems scientifically woolly. But I know true love exists. I just can’t prove it.
David Buss a professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, known for his evolutionary psychology research on human sex differences in mate selection, The Evolution of Desire (tnx commondense)
Apr
10th
Sun
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One has no right to love or hate anything if one has not acquired a thorough knowledge of its nature. Great love springs from great knowledge of the beloved object, and if you know it but little you will be able to love it only a little or not at all.
Leonardo da Vinci, Italian polymath; painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer (1452-1519)
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Human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love.
Plato, Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens (428/427 BC – 348/347 BC), The Symposium