The Quest for Nirvana

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There is one aspect I really loved about the Romantics of the first generation. They had a vision. They soon understood that the world was undergoing such a change due to the industrial revolution, whose consequences wouldn’t have been only of a social, economical nature, but emotional. Modern world would have moved faster, but speed would have made man inevitably more shallow if not blind. You cannot grasp the essence and the beauty of live if you must move at high-speed. For example, If I live in Rome and I want to go to Milan by airplane I will see just the destination, if I get the train I will be able to see the beautiful landscapes, mountains, rivers ; but if I could do it riding a bike I could smell the air, meet the people, taste their food, interact, live, I could really see, learn, grow – I am sure two fellow bloggers from Canada cannot but agree with me upon this point  😉  – . If you don’t want modernity to devour your uniqueness and sensibility, you need time and maybe a bike.

imagesW2YGFEXYTherefore you have to STOP. This is what Wordsworth said. Stop and breathe, stop and enjoy the wonders of nature, stop and make your “inner eye” live and vibrate with the spiritual forces of the world. If you just stop for a while, you will find  happiness. This is the inner message of one or Wordsworth’s most famous poems: “Daffodils“. He also adds, that this or any other experience of this kind, will be always part of man and helps him in times of trouble. But if a man is insensitive, where can he find his comfort?

images7YML3HLBEven the Ancient Mariner of Coleridge‘s “Rime”  stops with a spell the young, reluctant, Wedding Guest in order to communicate with him. He wants the boy to listen to his tale in order to meditate upon its meaning. Think before acting or you will inevitably pay its consequences, he seems to say, take your time to do the right thing. In the end the Wedding Guest will be transformed into ” A wiser and sadder man”.

nirvanaAt this point a question takes shape in my mind : “couldn’t  Coleridge and Wordsworth be a kind of unaware Buddhists”?  After all, the ancient mariner seems a sort of Buddha to me, that is, the enlightened teacher who shares his insights to help man (the Wedding Guest), end sufferings through the elimination of ignorance by way of understanding and the elimination of craving.  Even the poem Daffodils, cannot be a great example of Buddhist meditation? Your mind focuses on an object (daffodils), this image expands to your mind, body and entire surroundings, till your mind is able to gain insight (inward eye) into the ultimate nature of reality and reach a sense of beatitude (“My heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils“). In that state, time does not exist and we are in harmony with ourselves reaching our Nirvana.

However, Buddhism was well-known at those times. images1GO9TIX4Arthur Schopenhauer, for instance, was deeply influenced by Eastern philosophy and religion and was convinced that suffering was caused by desire and only the extinction of desire led to liberation. In The World as Will and Representation he finds in aesthetic contemplation a temporary way to escape this pain, because through aesthetic contemplation the world is no longer seen as an object of perception but rather as that place where one merges with that perception. In that timeless moment the individual loses his identity/will and his sorrows as well, thus being able to enjoy the true essence of the world.

Ahhhh, that would be really great, but, excuse me…………….what time is it?

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28 thoughts on “The Quest for Nirvana

  1. Well the Canadian bloggers definitely agree with your thoughts on taking one’s time and smelling the flowers. Cycling does make one slow down, especially me:) so often we have spoken to people, discovered beautiful scenes that would have so easily been missed in a vehicle. Thank you for linking your readers to us!

  2. Reblogged this on closetoeighty and commented:
    It’s about 7 am in Hollywood, Florida. I am going for a morning walk. But I just read this thoughtful warm post and decided to reblog it. Please read it slowly, think and be happy!

  3. You’re so right about taking the time to smell the roses. So often it isn’t the destination that gives the greatest rewards, but the journey.
    And your English is excellent for a second language. I’ve always admired those who speak more than one language. I stink at it.

  4. Man, I just realised I read a hole bunch of posts under the section Literature and Society. My finger hurts from scrolling down, but´s o.k was worth it, won´t hold it against you.

    Again this Wordsworth guy! Although he does seem to be a smart guy, stop for a moment once in a while and look around your surroundings appreciate the things that are out there.

    And you got The Ancient Mariner which he does say a good thing to the boy think before you act or you will pay the consequences, but what i didn´t get is why he ends up a wiser and sadder man.

    From Rome to Milan on a bike…..don´t know if your going to appreciate much then, might have a heart attack. And with this new world of social media, people with their constant wassup and constantly on the internet. I walk around and only see people staring down at the palm of their hands.

    But there is a thing here, through this new medium you can also appreciate other things in life or be more aware of certain things. You might not be experiment the breeze hitting your face or hear the birds sing or see the mountains but the trade off is knowledge in another sense. I believe much more knowledge, and with knowledge comes opportunities.

    Thank´s again for the read Mrs. Tink.

  5. How can we take a break from the frenzy of our life? How can we do it if we are the generation that feels the weight of today’s dire situation? Everyone is teaching us how to follow the world, how to live in this society, we do not even have the possibility to think and stop. We have too many duties, we must be on the top of expectations, how can we disappoint everyone just leaving everything to find Nirvana? We just cannot.Probably the best thing is no connections with this sick society, but you will also lose everyone because you will be stuck in a moment and they will still be hunting life.

  6. “Think before acting or you will inevitably pay its consequences” and “Speed makes man inevitably more shallow or blind” are absolutely the two sentences which have had the most quick, effective and powerful impact on my mind. Do you know the reason? Maybe because I sincerely think that they are such important and true teachings which everyone should really listen to. I have known the first one since I was six because my parents used to repeat it everytime I made a mistake. Thanks to them, now I am a very reflective person and in some occasions this is a great advantage.
    Whereas, regarding the second sentence, I believe that nowadays it is quite difficult for people to stop for a while probably because of the frenzied rhytm of this technological world in which almost everyone is increasingly stressed, tired and sometimes also unhappy. Nevertheless I am very optimistic that ,also in this chaotic world, if people succeed in finding a little time, they will be happy again!

  7. Since I was a child I always had a special feeling with the nature that surrounds us.
    I was lucky enough to travel a lot, to see wonderful places and now carry beautiful memories inside me.
    I’m very attentive to detail and so every time I travel by plane, car, train or else I don’t miss even a picture of what I see out the window.
    There are times when I think about how perfect is nature and how strong are the emotions that causes us its beauty.
    The thing I love most in the world are the sunsets.
    Aaaaaah how beautiful is that sense of infinity that you feel when you see the sun go down to make way to the night?
    Those pastel colors that convey peace, serenity and happiness and make us forget for a moment all that bad happening around us every day.
    So I share fully the message of Wordsworth to stop and to start to breathe, to live.
    If all of us concentrate at least 10 minutes every day to feel part of nature, and appreciate its beauty, rather than to send messages on WhatsApp, probably we would see our life easier and lighter and we could chase away the worries that plague us.
    With the right poem or with the song that we love, all the nature that surrounds us will be an integral part of us, and we will always remember.

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