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Tag Archives: Marcel Proust

When the Mind Is at Peace

When we experience the world, we often do so through the traditions that have been passed down to us. Those traditions colour the world in a particular way that is hard to shake. Culture and its traditions are not easily overcome without questioning how we perceive the world.

Marcel Proust suggested to overcome the cultural biases we each have was to see the world through new eyes rather to seek new landscapes. This idea is shared by others in various ways. Shunryu Suzuki described the beginner’s mind, which involves an attitude of openness. As we study a subect, we seek to explore it as child might rather than limiting ourselves to a single “expert” view of the subject.

Layman P’ang’s proposes peace in the world is a result of having peace of mind. In this way, we are ordinary people exploring the world not through pre-conceived ways of knowing, but always emerging and fresh understandings. We remain open and question what we think is real.

When the mind is at peace,
the world too is at peace.
Nothing real, nothing absent.
Not holding on to reality,
not getting stuck in the void,
you are neither holy nor wise, just
an ordinary fellow who has completed his work.

Change

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. ― Rumi

Source: Change

I enjoy Rumi. He wrote poetry that yielded lasting messages.

We live in a world where people want to change the world, rather than themselves. However, the world changes when we change ourselves. I transform and move beyond who I was, even the second before. As I change, my view of the world shifts and the world appears new to me.

It reminds me of Marcel Proust‘s quote: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Leaders who believe they can change the world for others are mere managers. Leaders change the world for themselves and invite others to join them in sharing their view of the world. There are not two identical views.

Explore, Dream, Discover

Explore, Dream, Discover.

I enjoy Mark Twain. He had a way with words and wisdom. We live life to explore, dream, and discover. We can close our eyes and be transported to whatever place we want in the world, perhaps the banks of the Mississippi.

Marcel Proust said that “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Imagine opening your eyes and seeing the world afresh in each new experiencing. To see the extraordinary in the ordinary would be have new eyes, exploring and discovering the world anew. We should catch the trade winds and leave those safe harbours, if only in our imagination.

The Opening of Eyes

I arrive at the end of another week. It was a quiet week in many ways. Next week includes parent-teacher interviews and will be more hectic. When I reflected, I thought of the Marcel Proust quote: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” I need the quiet and the solitude which allows me to achieve one glimpse at a time.

I found my way to this David Whyte poem which proposed a similar message. The poet echoed Proust in the second stanza. As I open my eyes, my heart and mind open in astonishment as the wonder of silence finds a new world that was always there, a paradox.

That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.

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