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Browse by: Rainer Maria Rilke
I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
The Man Watching
I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can't bear without a friend,
I can't love without a sister.
The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.
What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
When we win it's with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestlers' sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.
Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.
You come and go. The doors swing closed
ever more gently, almost without a shudder.
Of all who move through the quiet houses,
you are the quietest.
We become so accustomed to you,
we no longer look up
when your shadow falls over the book we are reading
and makes it glow. For all things
sing you: at times
we just hear them more clearly.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
Do not be bewildered by the surfaces; in the depths all becomes law. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
Be ahead of all parting, as though it were already behind you, like the winter that hast gone by. For among those winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it will your heart survive. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
You are not surprised at the force of the storm, you have seen it growing...
Now you must go out into your heart as onto a vast plain. Now the immense loneliness begins...
Through the empty branches the sky remains. It is what you have.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
Love your solitude and bear with sweet-sounding lamentation the suffering it causes you. For those who are near you are far, you say, and that shows it is beginning to grow wide about you. And when what is near you is far, then your distance is already among the stars and very large; rejoice in your growth, in which you naturally can take no one with you, and be kind to those who remain behind, and be sure and calm before them and do not torment them with your doubts and do not frighten them with your confidence or joy which they could not understand. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
But if then you notice that it is great, rejoice because of this, for what (ask yourself) would solitude be that had no greatness. There is but one solitude, and that is great, and not easy to bear, and to almost everybody come hours when they would gladly exchange it for any sort of intercourse, however banal and cheap, for the semblance of some slight accord with the first comer, with the unworthiest... But perhaps those are the very hours when solitude grows, for its growing is painful as the growing of boys and sad as the beginning of spring-times. But that must not mislead you. The necessary thing is after all but this: solitude, great inner solitude. Going into oneself and for hours meeting no one -- this one must be able to attain. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
I don't want to think a place for you.
Speak to me from everywhere.
Your Gospel can be comprehended
without looking for its source.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
But believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance and trust that in this love there is a strength and a blessing, out beyond which you do not have to step in order to go very far! Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
"All things in the world are two. In our minds we are two, good and evil . With our eyes we see two things, things that are fair and things that are ugly. We have the right hand strikes and makes for evil, and we have the left hand full of kindness, near the heart. One foot may lead us to an evil way, the other foot may lead us to a good. So are all things two, all two. "- Chief Gray Eagle, Pawnee
"And Jesus was a sailor When he walked upon the water And he spent a long time watching From his lonely wooden tower And when he knew for certain Only drowning men could see him He said "All men will be sailors then Until the sea shall free them" "- Leonard Cohen
"To come to the pleasure you have not You must go by a way in which you enjoy not. To come to the knowledge you have not You must go by a way in which you know not. To come to the possession you have not You must go by a way in which you possess not. To come to be what you are not You must go by a way in which you are not. "- St. John Of The Cross
"Many people want to serve God, mostly in an advisory capacity. "- C. S. Lewis
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. "- American Indian
""Is there anything that I can do to make myself enlightened?" "As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning." "Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?" "To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise." "- Anthony De Mello
"If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao's Gift!), If you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get, If you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood, You will be destroyed by the very thing you seek. To know when to stop, To know when you can get no further by your own action, This is the right beginning! "- Thomas Merton
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