“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, How Sir Galahad, Sir Bors and Sir Percival Were Fed with the Sanct Grael, 1864
Rossetti once described Malory’s Morte d’Arthur as one of the greatest books in the world and drew inspiration from it for a number of his designs. Here he unites two scenes from the text. One relates to Percival, who achieves the Grail quest with his fellow knights, Galahad and Bors. The other relates to his sister who gives her life to heal a woman who could only be saved by the blood of a virgin. Rossetti shows the knights receiving the Grail before an altar. Beside them Percival’s sister lies on the ground awaiting burial. The lily symbolises her purity.
“It is in troubled times that it becomes most important to remember that the wonder of life places the medicine of the Self near where the poison dwells. The gifts always lie near the wounds, the remedies are often made from poisonous substances and love often appears when deep losses become acknowledged.”
Sir Frederic Leighton, Flaming June, 1895
Ancient and modern masters alike have shown us that mindfulness is the direct path to emotional healing and spiritual awakening. Dreams teach how to recognize the spiritual lessons of each phase of the Journey and urge us to learn. Relaxing our grip on control, our dreams open us to guidance from the InnerSource. Seeing through the illusion of permanence, they teach us to release attachments and grieve the limitations and losses that life imposes. Mindful of our destructive rush to judgment, our dreams move us to embrace compassion for our own suffering—not just that of others. Finally, dreams teach us mindfulness of our impatience so that we may live more consciously and awake in the present moment.