Category Archives: English

Notes on a Nervous Planet I


Life is beautiful (but)

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. Even modern life. Maybe even especially modern life. We are saturated with a billion kinds of transient magic. We can pick up a device and contact people a whole hemisphere away. We can, when choosing a holiday, look at the reviews of people who stayed in our desired hotel last week. We can look at satellite images of every road in Timbuktu. When we are ill, we can go to the doctor and get antibiotics for illnesses that could once have killed us. We can go to a supermarket and buy dragon fruit from Vietnam and wine from Chile. If a politician says or does something we disagree with, it has never been easier to voice that disagreement. We can access more information, more films, more books, more everything, than ever before.

When, back in the 1990s, Microsoft’s slogan asked, ‘Where do you want to go today?’ it was a rhetorical question. In the digital age, the answer is everywhere. Anxiety, to quote the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, may be the ‘dizziness of freedom’, but all this freedom of choice really is a miracle.

But while choice is infinite, our lives have time spans. We can’t live every life. We can’t watch every film or read every book or visit every single place on this sweet earth. Rather than being blocked by it, we need to edit the choice in front of us. We need to find out what is good for us, and leave the rest. We don’t need another world. Everything we need is here, if we give up thinking we need everything.


An excess of everything

THERE IS, IN the current world, an excess of everything.

Think of just one single category of thing.

Think, say, of the thing you are holding – a book.

There are a lot of books. You have, for whatever reason, chosen to read this one, for which I sincerely thank you. But while you are reading this book you might also be painfully aware that you aren’t reading other books. And I don’t want to stress you out too much but there are a lot of other books. The website Mental Floss, relying heavily on data from Google, calculated there were – at a conservative estimate – 134,021,533 books in existence, but that was halfway through 2016. There are many millions more now. And anyway, 134,021,533 is still, technically, a lot.

It wasn’t always like this.

We didn’t always have so many books, and there was an obvious reason. Before printing presses books had to be made by hand, written on surfaces of clay, papyrus, wax or parchment.

Even after the printing press was invented there wasn’t that much stuff to read. A book club in England in the early 16th century would have struggled as there were only around 40 different books published a year, according to figures from the British Library. An avid reader could therefore quite easily keep up with every book that was published.

‘So, what are ye all reading?’ a hypothetical member of the hypothetical book club would ask.

‘Whatever there is, Cedric,’ would be the reply.

However, the situation changed quite quickly. By the year 1600 there were around 400 different titles being published per year in England – a tenfold increase on the previous century.

Although it is said that the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was the last person who read everything, this is a technical impossibility as he died in 1834, when there were already millions of books in existence. However, what is interesting is that people of the time could believe it was possible to read everything. No one could believe such a thing now.

We all know that, even if we break the world record for speed reading, the number of books we read will only ever be a minuscule fraction of the books in existence. We are drowning in books just as we are drowning in TV shows. And yet we can only read one book – and watch one TV show – at a time. We have multiplied everything, but we are still individual selves. There is only one of us. And we are all smaller than an internet. To enjoy life, we might have to stop thinking about what we will never be able to read and watch and say and do, and start to think of how to enjoy the world within our boundaries. To live on a human scale. To focus on the few things we can do, rather than the millions of things we can’t. To not crave parallel lives. To find a smaller mathematics. To be a proud and singular one. An indivisible prime.


The problem, clearly, isn’t that we have a shortage of time. It’s more that we have an overload of everything else.



Source: Matt Haig – Notes on a Nervous Planet



Something within me calmed down. Perhaps became wiser. Made peace with the fact that love never really has any guarantees. Anyone can die at any moment. The only thing that we always have in this life, in my opinion, is to surrender to the love that exists beyond fear.


The theme for tonight is love.

And for tomorrow night as well.

As a matter of fact, I don’t know of any

better subject for us to discuss until we all die.



Pleasure is the holiest thing in the world.


I don’t know and I’m alright with not knowing everything.


“But is there love in the world, my dear Athaliah?” asked Ishtar. “Tell me what the Goddess sees.”

“No,” answered the young kedesha, closing her eyes. “There is no love in the world, there is no love in the world! The world itself, the very world itself is love! Your flesh is made of love, your hearts are made of love. I am love. I am a fornicator of love. Bring me your wounded hearts and I will heal them with the potion of love that I possess. My kisses are love and my bites are love. My breasts are dripping with the milk of love, my temple is oozing with the juice of love, dissolving all pain, and my excrement is the excrement of love. Just allow me, and I will dissolve your blind hearts and then rebirth them anew from my womb. I will create a pure heart within you, a heart of love.”

Source: Ohad Pele Ezrahi – Kedesha: A Timeless Tale of a Love Priestess

On Being Awake in a Sleeping World

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When you’re awake, you’re no longer numb.

You can no longer turn away from Truth.

You can no longer comfort yourself with the old fairy tales, stories of good and evil, positive thinking.

The light of awareness cannot be switched off. You can’t hide from yourself now. There’s nowhere to hide.

You live life in the raw. And you feel more than ever, not less. Your bandwidth is infinite. From the deepest despair to the most ecstatic joy, it all passes through. But the difference is, now, you are not at war with it all. You allow all feelings to surge through. You don’t judge them or try to get rid of them. You are their mother, their sanctuary. You don’t blame anyone else anymore.

You no longer have a fixed identity. You don’t know who you are anymore, from the perspective of the mind. And yet, you know who you are more deeply than ever. You are alive. You are life itself, inseparable from the stars, the moon, the flowers and trees.

It is dizzying, sometimes, this freedom. Like being born again in every moment. Like dying every day to the old hopes.

Reality is groundless, you see, dripping with uncertainty. You live at the point of total insecurity, nothing to hold onto, no concept to bring comfort to a weary mind. And yet, you feel the deepest kind of security of all, a security deep within your bones, the security of Being itself. You know that your experience is always trustable, even if it hurts like hell.

You won’t call yourself an ‘awakened person’, you won’t think of yourself as better or worse than anyone, you won’t lie to yourself about having the answers.

You won’t make a big fuss about yourself at all, for the self is the biggest illusion.

It’s simple, being so fully awake, because it is the effortless embrace of the present moment. But it’s not easy at all, because your old reality has shattered into a billion pieces, and the old protection has gone, and you are a vessel for all the joy and the pain of the world, and you can’t kid yourself that you’re in control any longer. It’s not easy, to be so open to life. It’s not easy, to see all the pain of the world. It’s not easy, to sometimes feel like you’re a stranger in a strange land, knowing yourself as Love more clearly than ever, yet seeing others around you forgetting so much.

It’s not easy, no longer fitting into the systems that promised so much happiness and delivered so little.

And yet, this is the price you pay for absolute freedom. One cannot be fully awake without fully dying to the dreams of yesterday. One cannot live without leaving the known.

Those of you who are walking this exhilarating and terrifying path, I bow to your courage.

Sursa – Jeff Foster (

Brave is the Man Who Loves a Wild Woman


We all long for that magnificant moment when you meet that amazing person who is brave enough to Love you just as you are.

Whenever that excuisite in-sync moment arrives —you will ‘know’. When you meet your Beloved and find out that this person dares to fully Love you to your bones, you will be grateful that it never worked out with anyone else.

While you may have deep emotions, a Wild and unpredictable personality, it’s almost impossible to not Love a passionate, extraordinairy and endlessly inspiring woman like you. Most just have no idea what to do or how to truly meet a woman that has depths and a radiant Spirit like you have.

A woman who is not afraid to admit it when she is wrong and always rises after she falls.. It doesn’t matter how deep you fell.. each time you will find the strenght to get up and stand even stronger as ever before. There is nothing you can’t overcome. You know how to re-connect yourself with your deepest calling, which is bigger then any life experience.

You walk with bare feet on Mother Earth and let the juices of nature feed your life energy. You know how to work with the forces of Nature and you never ignore this Sacred connection. You are a daughter of the Earth and the Moon.

You have always known that you are meant for only deep and profound Love, for you it’s the only way to surrender yourself.

So when you stumble upon the brave awakened man who just can’t seem to get enough of you and who is able to fully endure your intensity, you will instantly know that this is the man that possesses the courage that every other Lover you had before lacked.

-Tara Isis Gerris

A New Dawn: The End Of Co-Dependency

You cannot save anyone. You can be present with them, offer your groundedness, your sanity, your peace. You can even share your path with them, offer your perspective. But you cannot take away their pain. You cannot walk their path for them. You cannot give answers that are right for them, or even answers they can digest right now. They will have to find their own answers, ask their own questions or lose their own questions, make friends with their own uncertainty. They will need to make their own mistakes, feel their own sorrows, learn their own lessons. If they truly want to be at peace, they will have to trust the path of healing that reveals itself step by step. But you cannot heal them. You cannot diffuse their fear, their anger, their feelings of powerlessness. You cannot save them, or make things right for them. If you push too hard, they may lose their own unique way. Your way may not be their way.

You did not create their pain. You may have done or not done some things, said or not said some things, triggering pain that was already inside them. But you did not create it, and you are not guilty, even if they say you are. You can take responsibility for your words and deeds, yes, you can grieve over a past, but you cannot erase or change what happened, and you cannot control the future. You can only meet them in the here and now, your only place of power. You are not responsible for their happiness, and they are not responsible for yours.

Your happiness cannot come from outside of you. If it does, it is a dependent happiness, a fragile happiness that will turn to sorrow so quickly. And then you will get caught up in a web of blame and guilt, regret and persecution. Your happiness is directly related to your presence, your connection with your breath, your body, the earth. Your happiness is not small, and cannot be removed by fear, or anger, or the most intense shame. Your happiness is not a state, or a passing experience, or even a feeling that others can give to you. Your happiness is vast, ever-present, the boundless space of the heart, in which joy and sorrow, bliss and boredom, certainty and doubt, loneliness and connection, even fear and longing, can move like the weather, like the rain and the sunshine, all held in the hugeness of the sky.

You cannot save anyone, and you cannot be saved if you are looking to be saved. There is no self to save, no self to lose, no self to defend, no self to make perfect or perfectly happy. Let go of every impossible ideal. You are beautiful in your imperfection, outrageously perfect in your doubts, loveable even in your feelings of unloveability. All these parts have been given, all are parts of the whole, and you were never less than whole.

You are breathing. You know you are alive. You have a right to exist, feel what you feel, think what you think. You have a right to your joy and a right to your sorrows. You have a right to doubt too. You have a right to walk your path. You have a right to be right and a right to be wrong, a right to this giant happiness that you knew when you were young. You are breathing, and you are inseparable from the life force that animates all things, knows itself as all beings, discovers itself in every moment of this impossibly wondrous existence.

Your self-worth is not tied to what others think of you. It is tied to the moon, to the infinite expanse of the cosmos, to comets blazing towards unknown destinations, to the forgetting of time and the love of solitude and this unspeakable gratitude for each new dawn, unexpected, given.

-Jeff Foster


If You Choose to Love an Awakened Woman

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If you choose to love an awakened woman, understand that you are entering into new, radical and challenging territory.

If you choose to love an awakened woman, you cannot stay asleep.

If you choose to love an awakened woman, every part of your Soul will be aroused, not just your sexual organs or even your heart.

Frankly, if you prefer a normal life, stick with a normal girl.

If you want a tame life, seek only a woman who has allowed herself to be tamed.

If you only want to dip your toe into the flowing waters of Shakti, stay with the safe, tamed woman who has not yet plunged into the wildness of the Sacred Feminine ocean.

It is comfortable to love a woman who has not yet activated her inner sacred powers, because she does not push your buttons.

She will not challenge you.

She will not press you into becoming your highest Self.

She will not awaken the forgotten and numbed-out parts of your Spirit that urge you to remember that there is more to your Life here than this.

She will not look into your weary eyes and send a lightning bolt of Truth through your body, jolting you awake and stirring long-lost desires for Soul Love within you.

A safe, unawakened woman will be wonderfully satisfying and soothing to your ego, heart, and body. She will walk quietly beside you and make you feel needed, responsible, like you are fulfilling your manly role.

If this is enough for you then accept it, love her with all your heart, remain faithful to her and thank her daily for the gift of her mild, unthreatening feminine presence in your life.

If this is not enough for you – if your heart, body and spirit is only craving the ‘other kind of woman’, the Wild One – then know that you are on the cusp of Soul-Shifting transformation.

Know that you are making a serious choice with karmic consequences.

If you choose to step into the aura and body of a woman whose spiritual fires are blazing, you are accepting that you need a certain level of danger and risk in order to grow.

Once you begin to love a woman of this nature, you must accept total responsibility for the life-changes that will then ensue.

Your life will not be sleepily comfortable all the time. Your life will not allow you to stay stuck in old ruts and stagnant routines. Your life will take on a radically-new flavour and scent. You will be ignited by the presence of the Wild Feminine, and it will begin to send electric shockwaves of spiritual Light through your entire chakra system, attuning you to the Call of the Divine.

Choosing to be sexually and romantically-intimate with an awakened woman takes masculine courage to walk fearlessly into the Unknown. But it will reap rewards beyond your mind’s comprehension.

She will take you into undiscovered worlds of mystery and magic.

She will lead you, mesmerised and half-drunk with love, into the wild forests of sensual ecstasy and wonder.

She will show you sacred skies so full and burning with stars that you will start to wonder if you are still living on the same planet that you were born on.

She will break and tear you open so that your fierce, passionate heart drives you half-mad with longing. You will want to consume and penetrate her on every level so that your Masculine Essence can consume and penetrate the world – illuminating the Universe with your devoted Love.

She will see you like you’ve never been seen before.

She will trust you.

She will appreciate you.

She will acknowledge your efforts to make her happy.

She will value everything good that you do, and everything good that you are.

She will not run from your darkness, because your darkness does not scare her.

She will embrace, kiss, caress and love you back to Life. She will speak words that your Soul understands. She will not punish you for your mistakes.

It is a monumental risk to love an awakened woman, because there is suddenly no place to hide. She sees everything, therefore she can love you with a depth and presence that your heart and body have yearned for so hard, so long, so fiercely…that you wonder whether you have actually been alive for all the time that she has been away.

Loving a woman like this is a choice you make to start living with your Soul on fire.

Your life will never be the same again once you’ve invited her energy in.

Take this risk on yourself, or step back, stay with the normal girl and accept a different, safer, more comfortable and somewhat calmer life.

Just make sure that if you choose the latter, you don’t spend the rest of your days with your eyes looking back over your shoulder, straining to see once again the hazy vision of Feminine Mystery that has now disappeared from view.

She has long gone..spiralling back up to the Stars, the distant Galaxies and the Heavens…from where She came.

Author: Sophie Bashford

Reasons to Stay Alive

Reasons To Stay Alive

So what, you have a label? ‘Depressive’. Everyone would have a label if they asked the right professional.


There is this idea that you either read to escape or you read to find yourself. I don’t really see the difference. We find ourselves through the process of escaping. It is not where we are, but where we want to go, and all that. ‘Is there no way out of the mind?’ Sylvia Path famously asked. I had been interested in this question (what it meant, what the answers might be) ever since I had come across it as a teenager in a book of quotations. If there is a way out, a way that isn’t death itself, then the exit route is through words. But rather than leave the mind entirely, words help us leave a mind, and give us the building blocks to build another one, similar but better, nearby to the old one but with firmer foundations, and very often a better view.

 ‘The object of art is to give life a shape,’ said Shakespeare. And my life – and my mess of a mind – needed shape. I had ‘lost the plot’. There was no linear narrative of me. There was just mess and chaos. So yes, I loved external narratives for the hope they offered. Films. TV dramas. And most of all, books. They were, in and of themselves, reasons to stay alive. Every book written is the product of a human mind in a particular state. Add all the books together and you get the end sum of humanity. Every time I read a great book I felt I was reading a kind of map, a treasure map, and the treasure I was being directed to was in actual fact myself. But each map was incomplete, and I would only locate the treasure if I read all the books, and so the process of finding my best self was an endless quest. And books themselves seemed to me to reflect this idea. Which is why the plot of every book ever can be boiled down to ‘someone is looking for something’.

One cliché attached to bookish people is that they are lonely, but for me books were my way out of being lonely. If you are the type of person who thinks too much about stuff then there is nothing lonelier in the world than being surrounded by a load of people on a different wavelength.

In my deepest state of depression, I had felt stuck. I felt trapped in quicksand (as a kid that had been my most common nightmare). Books were about movement. They were about quests and journeys. Beginnings and middles and ends, even if not in that order. They were about new chapters. And leaving old ones behind.


THE WORLD IS increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind.

To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.

Yet we have no other world to live in. And actually, when we really look closely, the world of stuff and advertising is not really life. Life is the other stuff.

 Life is what is left when you take all that crap away, or at least ignore it for a while. Life is the people who love you. No one will ever choose to stay alive for an iPhone. It’s the people we reach via the iPhone that matter.

And once we begin to recover, and to live again, we do so with new eyes. Things become clearer, and we are aware of things we weren’t aware of before.


‘Put your ear down next to your soul and listen hard.’

—Anne Sexton



You need to feel life’s terror to feel its wonder.

And I feel it today, actually, right now, on what could seem like quite a grey, overcast afternoon. I feel the sheer unfathomable marvel that is this strange life we have, here on earth, the seven billion of us, clustered in our towns and cities on this pale blue dot of a planet, spending our allotted 30,000 days as best we can, in glorious insignificance.

I like to feel the force of that miracle. I like to burrow deep into this life, and explore it through the magic of words and the magic of human beings (and the magic of peanut butter sandwiches). And I am glad to feel every tumultuous second of it, and glad for the fact that when I walk into the vast room with all the Tintorettos in it in the National Gallery my skin literally tingles, and my heart palpitates, and I am glad for the synesthesia that means when I read Emily Dickinson or Mark Twain my mind feels actual warmth from those old American words.


That is what it is about.

People place so much value on thought, but feeling is as essential. I want to read books that make me laugh and cry and fear and hope and punch the air in triumph. I want a book to hug me or grab me by the scruff of my neck. I don’t even mind if it punches me in the gut. Because we are here to feel.

I want life.

I want to read it and write it and feel it and live it.

I want, for as much of the time as possible in this blink-of-an-eye existence we have, to feel all that can be felt.

Source: Matt Haig – Reasons to Stay Alive