Saturday, December 1, 2007

This is why I Love Anais Nin

from Volume 2 of The Diaries of Anais Nin: "Wholeness for the artist is a different thing from the wholeness of the simple man. We may have a core, an absolute which is an equilibrium in space and motion, whereas the unity of a simple life consists of static choice. No further growth. The artist refuses to die. Fulfillment is the completion of a circle. All aspects of the self have to be lived out, like the twelve houses of the Zodiac. A personality is one who has unrolled the ribbon, unfolded the petals, exposed all the layers. It does not matter where one begins: with instinct or wisdom, with nature or spirit. The fulfillment means the experience of all parts of the self, all the elements, all the planes. It means each cell of the body comes alive, awakened. It is a process of nature, and not the ideal. One dies when the cells are exhausted, one reaches plenitude when they all function, the dream, desire, instinct, appetite. One awakens the other. It is like contagion. The order does not matter. All the errors are necessary, the stutterings, the blunders, the blindnesses. The end is to cover all the terrain, all the routes. No spaces to skip. Any skipping of a phase only retards the branchlike unfolding. Completion means the symphony. Sublimation means to condemn to immobility certain members of the body for the sake of the monstrous development of others. Psychologically, a great personality is a circle touching something at every point. A circle with a core."

Whew. Talk about making me want to go make a mandela.

Another quote (she's really got my brain moving right now) - this is from Volume IV: "The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters, meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked. This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision."

She wrote that some time between 1944 & 1947 -- amplify that by twelve bajillion, and factor in all the technological advances speeding the human pace since then? Wow.