Tagged: soul

Learning to Read

One path of a good reader, perhaps the most common modern path:

1. Find depth of meaning in the mediocre books of youth, which usually means the popular books deemed serious in your time, or among those of your “type.”
2. Realize that one’s “found” meaning was in fact deeper than the thoughts of one’s favorite authors, which in effect…

We, Being Pure: Part One

Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of the unquestionable giants of world literature: essential to the development of the nineteenth century anti-romantic novel; one of his century’s two great prophets and critics (Nietzsche being the other) of the then-growing nihilism that was devouring European intellectual life, and has since — as he (like Nietzsche) predicted — settled like volcanic ash over the entire civilized world;...

Circles and Self-Corrections

The cosmos self-corrects, and that certainly includes the human portion of the cosmos, to the extent it may be regarded separately. One might object that to say the cosmos self-corrects is to suggest that “The Whole” itself is flawed, which might reasonably lead one to ask, “Flawed against what standard?” Nevertheless it is so, although I prefer to say incomplete rather than flawed...


I prefer feeling anxiously alone to feeling safely swaddled within a crowd. I prefer ideas that leave me uncomfortable in my weakness to ideas that satisfy my weakest inclinations. I prefer looking at things squarely to rounding off the edges of my vision for the sake of stability. I prefer the constant hum of disquiet that comes of acknowledging the vast unknown to...

The Crow

Where you climb, he soars —
waiting for you in welcome,
or mocking your pains?

Dark wings remind you
that you have struggled all day,
and night is coming.

If you reached the top,
he would be gone, you sense — to
tempt you to new strains….

Reminders of Thought and Life

From the entry on “Bird” in Cirlot’s A Dictionary of Symbols: Every winged being is symbolic of spiritualization. The bird, according to Jung, is a beneficent animal representing spirits or angels, supernatural aid, thoughts and flights of fancy. Hindu tradition has it that birds represent the higher states of being. To quote a passage from the Upanishads: ‘Two birds, inseparable companions, inhabit the...

The Soul’s Motive

What motivates? A feeling that we need something, without knowing quite what it is. If we knew what we needed, it would no longer have much power to move us — and hence, perhaps, we would no longer need it very much. From the preceding, we may conclude that all essential motivation is indirect. For there must be a thing we can point to...

Limbo’s Greatest Hits: #7

Our Readers’ Choice countdown of the most popular posts here in Limbo over the past year — since August 1st, 2018 to be precise — continues today with an item that sprang directly out of a conversation I had shared last November with a student who frequently visits me to engage in a sort of running consultation about her experiences, emotions, and efforts...

Descending, Ascending

This week, North Korea has continued to test and perfect its missile systems, while Donald Trump reassures everyone that all is well with his relationship with his good friend Kim Jong Un. Meanwhile, the United States of America, the last hope for any semblance of individual liberty and citizen self-determination to survive on this planet into the foreseeable future, has taken yet another...

Free Souls for Slavish Days

Two thousand eighteen, upon any honest reflection, must be judged to have been a year of robust and energetic activity for the forces of tyranny, inhumanity, and vulgarism. In other words, it was yet another year — and perhaps more than just “another year” — of predictable failure for freedom, character, and taste. In short, the body is winning, the soul losing; earth...