WALTER PATER'S GEMLIKE FLAME?
|Walter Horatio Pater, l839-1894, attended Oxford in 1858; liked it, moved in, spent his career as an Oxford academic, died there. There's scant evidence that Pater practiced his own philosophy. But who knows? It isn't what you do that measures a life; it's how you think. Pater wrote:
To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstacy, is success in life. In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes any two persons, things, situations, seem alike.While all melts under our feet, we may well grasp at any exquisite passion, or any contributions to knowledge that seems by a lifted horizon to set the spirit free for a moment, or any stirring of the senses, strange dyes, strange colours, and curious odours, or work of the artist's hands, or the face of one's friend. Not to discriminate every moment some passionate attitude in those about us, and in the very brilliancy of their gifts some tragic, dividing of forces on their ways, is, on this short day of frost and sun, to sleep before evening.....What we have to do is to be for ever curiously testing new opinions and courting new impressions....
We read the "Ballad of the Reading Gaol" in high school but the teacher didn't tell us how the author came to land there. Like a lot of us, Oscar was his own worst enemy. How did he really have the crust to initiate a court case against Queensberry for leaving a calling card at his club addressed "To Mr. Oscar Wilde, posing as a somdomite (sic)"? Did Queensberry ever haul in a stream of nasty witnesses: chambermaids at hotels watching for white stains on the sheets, and half of all the grooms and stableboys in London!
Oscar knew how to live big. It all went sour at the end--two years in gaol
at hard labor and a penurious exile to Paris. But he had fun all the way
down. And today he he has been vindicated. A plaque has been placed at the
St. James Theatre door. People flocked to see a sympathetic
biographical flick. He is St. Oscar.
After all the strife
That, alive, he caused,
Ravaged with fear,
In the half-light stretched, was
The gay spark's body
Lies dumb in the dark,
Silent, the funereal
The graceful body,
The firm gaze spent
In a cold bare room
With a concierge spiteful
From too much attendance
On a foreign tippler
Who left without paying
The ten per cent service.
Exiled from the Flore
To a saintly desert,
The young prince of sin
A withered churl,
The gold jewel of lust
Left far behind him,
No pernod to brace him,
Only holy water.
The young king of Beauty
A ravished Narcissus
As the star of the pure Virgin
Glows on the water
Delightful the path of sin
But a holy death's a habit.
Good man yourself there, Oscar.
Every way you had it.
adore simple pleasures.
"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."
"Only the shallow know themselves."
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."
have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything
except the obvious."
|THE ART OF TRUE HEALING?
Regardie wrote: "The first step towards freedom and health is a conscious realization of the vast spiritual reservoir in which we live and move and have our being. Repeated intellectual effort to make this part and parcel of one's mental outlok upon life automatically breaks down or dissolves something of the hard inflexible shell of the mind. And then life and spirit pour abundantly. Health spontaneously arises, and a new life begins as the point of view undergoes this radical change. Moreover, it would appear that the environment attracts just those people who can help in various ways, and precisely those amenities of life which had been longed for.
|Finding a Passion||Everyone needs a passion in life.|
|I think that everyone
needs a passion in life. It doesn't matter whether it's another person or
whether it's trying to find Jack the Ripper or whether it's the internet, or
whether it's golf, God, music, books, crow-watching, or collecting
chewing gum wrappers! It's whatever keeps those synapses snapping.
Keep looking for that passion. If you don't feel anything, think of
what it would be like to feel something. Keep working at it! Fake it
until you make it.
It also helps to do something for somebody else every now and then.