We meet in all forms of life. — Thich Nhat Hanh
What an amazing circle of sources here — as we bow in. Interesting to me to see in this how myriad are my own sources. Not just because I grew up precocious, reading voraciously, and developing traits of a polymath. But that the nature of reality, as revealed to me, upon which I base my view, is myriad. Respect for all life forms in-forms and is source of my wisdom view, my meditation, my actions. From that coherence emerges what Felipe directs our attention to, awareness of multiple layers and dimensions to life. Plus, how my meaning may not be single (As Humpty Dumpty says, in Alice in Wonderland : “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”). Rather, meaning may be polysemous.
Case in point : Such a diversity is evident as displayed in this week’s responsa ( still developing critical mass as I sit with it — never fixed but always protoplasmic & mutli-faceted ). Interesting that no one mentioned typical mainstream sources : Freud (psychology), nor Ken Wilbur ( trans ); but Edgar Cayce, William James, Walt Whitman, yes. Some acknowledge such roots as the church, or family, but as springboards, points of departure. ( I’m Jewish, on my parents’ side. )
What a variety of sources here, as we cite
- eclectic authors
- quotations ( several )
- movies ( 2 )
- cartoons ( 2 )
- seeing, imageination / visualization / view
- the ancient river of Yoga
- and even particular vibrational frequencies
Moreover, can you hear the commonality of our sources being grounded in our own experience, as abiding font of living tradition, rather than as fixed objects of cognition ? Truth in life: this seems central to our mutual sensing of sources and Source : our personal, first-person, lived experience — ongoingly.
根源 : Sylvia’s presentation struck me at how deeply cultural continuity — & identity — can derive from language, the words themselves ; e.g., the 5,000-year unbroken tradition of Chinese. Have you ever noticed how James Hillman and his ( Dallas ) school often use philology / etymology — word origins — in their analyses ? I was going to look up source in my copy of Karlgren’s Analytical Dictionary of Chinese, but she did so, and tells us :
… source is where the tree is rooted below the surface of the soil and my water is flow to the surface of the earth from underground.
Checking the Online Etymology Dictionary, I find a similar aquatic / chthonic / botanical resonance in the Anglo-Saxon :
mid-14c., “support, base,” from Old French sourse “a rising, beginning, fountainhead of a river or stream” (12c.), fem. noun taken from past participle ofsourdre “to rise, spring up,” from Latin surgere “to rise” (see surge (n.)). Meaning “a first cause” is from late 14c., as is that of “fountain-head of a river.” Meaning “person or written work supplying information or evidence” is by 1777.
Later, still ( 1972 ) is its use as a verb : “obtain from a specified source,” as in sourcing ; something many of us ( myself included ) failed to do here. Digression ( ? ) : ( Would EverNote help ? ) My posting of Thich Nhat Hanh’s calligraphy of Interbeing would familiar to those who know his work that well, but not the rest of us. I enjoyed reading Jay’s blog to the music he shared, but am curious who composed it ; even more, who’s the person who uttered the splendid quote he began with ?
It is important, because so often these days we’re snockered, hoodwinked, taken for ride, without knowing the sources, such as of what we we consume ( eat, read, digest ), without proper labelling, sourcing, citation. Mea culpa: I am sometimes quoted as a source, from my Buddha guide book; usually, I can back up my statements with my research, but there’s one attribution, recently, (a statement attributed to Arnold Toynbee) that might be apocryphal; I’m submitting it to research from someone who specializes in such-like. ( I wrote a chapter-a-week for that book, and everything that wasn’t nailed down was blowing around. ) What I’m getting at here : the aspect of us becoming sources, ourselve — will branch out into the next two weekly topics, namely, lineage(s) and extension(s).
But I digress. In Chinese as in English (and French) we hear water flowing, underground. Knowing our watershed ( where we get our water ), is crucial — as is how we use it ( what seeds do we nourish ). And how water not only penetrates into the earth, but rises up, bubbles up, surges comes to daylight, from below. Are our sources like this too ? And then the contrast of how Western tradition takes a water as symbol of ” first cause,” where planetary deep ecologists sees water as an eternal cycle ( in which we’re embedded ). In the English ( back to the 12th century ), I particularly like how our sources support us , as base; our grounding … framework within which we can establish ourselves.
Besides who all I’m awakening with here, and the what’s of our individual landmarks and touchstones — I’m also struck by how we present our sources. Being somewhat grounded in the phenomenological tradition / project, I was immediately taken by the manner ( way ) in which David Anderson presents to himself and us his source : on-the-hoof, unpremeditated, based on his lived world in the moment, and so my reading too flowed ; hardly any separation between perception and expression ! Admirable ideal. ( — Neil’s has a similar immediacy, altho’ seems divided into a two-panel diptych — )
One contribution is scholarly. which is fine. Many chose narrative ( whether or not grounded in that particular transpersonal school known as narrative psychology ). Have you noticed? memoir has, in our time, resumed as a spiritual genre. ( If autobiography is the whole kettle of fish, grandparents teachers extended family etc — memoir is a particular slice of aspect of one’s life based around a particular topical theme . )
And ok! We’re halfway in to our initial posts ; I look forward to hearing the other shoe drop.
A D F O N T E S !
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calligraphy : Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh