Welcome to the Yoga Beyond Fitness Blog!
Yoga Beyond Fitness Blog

Search

About Karin

Yoga teacher, practicing yoga since 1997, teaching since 2003, writer/translator, global soul, world traveller (and sometimes beyond), passionate about eastern philosophy and western psychology, especially its application in mind-body practices such as yoga and somatic movement therapy, deeply in love with life, knows that our greatest teacher lies within, also sometimes a total mess - it's part of the package!

Latest TweetsFollow espritrelax on Twitter!

    Recent Entries

    Poets and the Quest for Enlightenment

    Sunday, March 8. 2009

    I sometimes wonder if Rilke was a mystic.

    Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is considered to be one of the German language's greatest 20th century poets. His Letters to a Young Poet ("Briefe an einen jungen Dichter"), written between 1903 and 1908, influenced generations of writers and ordinary readers alike in his home country as well as abroad. The beauty of his masterful writing has the ability to take the ardent reader beyond the limited and limiting patterns of body, mind, emotions, volition, and understanding, and enables us to catch a glimpse of what it really means to search for the truth - provided we can read between the lines - and to restore a sense of unity or oneness with who we really are.

    The following is an excerpt of Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet translated by Stephen Mitchell:
    "We must assume our existence as broadly as we in any way can; everything, even the unheard-of, must be possible in it. That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter.

    That mankind has in this sense been cowardly has done life endless harm; the experiences that are called "visions", the whole so-called "spirit-world", death, all those things that are so closely akin to us, have by daily parrying been so crowded out of life that the senses with which we could have grasped them are atrophied. To say nothing of God. But fear of the inexplicable has not alone impoverished the existence of the individual; the relationship between one human being and another has also been cramped by it, as though it had been lifted out of the riverbed of endless possibilities and set down in a fallow spot on the bank, to which nothing happens. For it is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope.

    But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical, will live the relation to another as something alive and will himself draw exhaustively from his own existence.

    For if we think of this existence of the individual as a larger or smaller room, it appears evident that most people learn to know only a corner of their room, a place by the window, a strip of floor on which they walk up and down. Thus they have a certain security. And yet that dangerous insecurity is so much more human which drives the prisoners in Poe's stories to feel out the shapes of their horrible dungeons and not be strangers to the unspeakable terror of their abode.

    We, however, are not prisoners. No traps or snares are set about us, and there is nothing which should intimidate or worry us. We are set down in life as in the element to which we best correspond, and over and above this we have through thousands of years of accommodation become so like this life, that when we hold still we are, through a happy mimicry, scarcely to be distinguished from all that surrounds us. We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us.

    Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abuses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them.

    And if only we arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful.

    How should we be able to forget those ancient myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.

    Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us."
    (Page 1 of 1, totaling 1 entries)

    Subscribe

    Blogs I Like

    esutra
    Leslie Kaminoff's blog, making waves in the yoga community since 1998

    AYP Forum
    Advanced Yoga Practices Support Forum

    AYP Main
    Advanced Yoga Practices Main Lessons

    AYP Tantra
    Advanced Yoga Practices Tantra Lessons

    My Teachers

    Godfrey Devereux
    Dynamic Astanga Vinyasa Flow Yoga

    Kira Balaskas
    Traditional Thai Yoga Massage

    Leslie Kaminoff
    Yoga and Breath Anatomy