Archive for April, 2009

“When I started loving myself” apparently by Charlie Chaplin written on his 70th birthday on April 16, 1959:

When I started loving myself

I’ve understood that I’m always and at any given opportunity

in the right place at the right time.

And I’ve understood that all that happens is right –

from then on I could be calm.

Today I know: It’s called TRUST.

When I started to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody

When I try to force my desires on this person,

even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it,

and even though this person was me.

Today I know: It’s called “RESPECT”.

When I started loving myself

I could recognize that emotional pain and grief

are just warnings for me to not live against my own truth.

Today I know: It’s called AUTHENTICALLY BEING.

When I started loving myself

I have stopped longing for another life

and could see that everything around me was a request to grow.

Today I know: It’s called MATURITY.

When I started loving myself

I’ve stopped depriving myself of my free time

and I’ve stopped sketching further magnificent projects for the future.

Today I only do what’s fun and joy for me,

what I love and what makes my heart laugh,

in my own way and in my tempo.

Today I know: it’s called HONESTY.

When I started loving myself

I’ve escaped from all what wasn’t healthy for me,

from dishes, people, things, situations

and from everyhting pulling me down and away from myself.

In the beginning I called it the “healthy egoism”,

but today I know: it’s called SELF-LOVE.

When I started loving myself

I’ve stopped wanting to be always right

thus I’ve been less wrong.

Today I’ve recognized: it’s called HUMBLENESS.

When I started loving myself

I’ve refused to live further in the past

and to worry about my future.

Now I live only at this moment where EVERYTHING takes place,

like this I live every day and I call it CONSCIOUSNESS.

When I started loving myself

I recognized, that my thinking

can make me miserable and sick.

When I though requested for my heart forces,

my mind got an important partner.

I call this connection today HEART WISDOM.

We do not need to fear further discussions,

conflicts and problems with ourselves and others

since even stars sometimes bang on each other

and create new worlds.

Today I know: THIS IS THIS LIFE!

I originally saw this at Mountain Who am I? but with some inconsistent formatting, then a further search revelaed a copy at Esteem News in 3 separate posts. The two are very very different, enough so to make me wonder if it is from Chaplin. I’ve compiled it and pulled it together here. Anyone know the definitive version, anyone know if this is really by Chaplin?


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More and more I am working (in the metaphysical sense) with friends who are battling to function in the world.  The demands of form drive them crazy.  Managing beauracracy, earning a living, looking after their bodies.  The biggest of these challenges seems to be dealing with money and earning a living.

In the process of spiritual awakening often an energetic shift  happens where our gears get somehow stripped – that is that portion of us, the cog which seemed to fit into the world and make things turn is no longer there.  We can no longer operate from the same ego and survival drives we had before and indeed do not want to.  But it leaves us strangely disconnected from the rest of humanity all scurrying around doing. When your self-worth or sense of purpose no longer depends on money or impressing the opposite sex or fame, recognition or security or impressing ones parents or not ending up like them – what is left?    After my awakening I spent a week living in the park before crashing with some of my friends in a squat & then close to a year after that wandering around barefoot doing what little it took to keep my body alive but hardly participating.

Sound familiar? 

It was my blessing to get stabbed twice and thus be brought back from this blissed yet also somehow unreal realm fully into this world with all its delight and tears. Intense prolonged pain was a fast shortcut back in but is not appropriate for most. There are gentler ways to get back in but first you need the motivation as why to engage again.

How about playing the game for its own sake? For the sheer joy of being in a body and being surrounded by the 10 000 fascinating things?  How about delighting in the fact that material existence gives us sex and chocloate brownies? How about figuring out something to do with our time here that is loving, creative, fun and juicy? GUYS jacking back in is important, spirit without matter is expressionless – the maya is also the leela. 

My friends who are sensing a dissatisfaction with being cut off, who do want to again play the game often end up engaging with me around the re-entry.  Seldom do they come right out and actually ask though, because as in the pre-awakened state we never know there is another level until we reach the false summit and see more clearly the next stage of the journey.

I swear to god maybe I am clumsy and new at it – but this work is like breaking in horses.  My friends ask for my help in the world beacuse they can sense I am operational again yet from true Will rather than from ego (mostly – I do keep finding the odd shard here or there) but then when I try and help they buck and bite, kick and scream.  Like having got out of the matirx there is no way they are even contemplating jacking back in.

Jack kornfield wrote a great book called “After the Ecstacy the Laundry: How the heart grows wise on the spiritual path”

For almost everyone who practices, cycles of awakening and openness are followed by periods of fear and contraction. Times of profound peace and newfound love are often overtaken by periods of loss, by closing up, fear, or the discovery of betrayal, only to be followed again by equanimity or joy. In mysterious ways the heart reveals itself to be like a flower that opens and closes. This is our nature.The only surprising thing is how unexpected this truth can be. It is as if deep down we all hope that some experience, some great realization, enough years of dedicated practice, might finally lift us beyond the touch of life, beyond the mundane struggles of the world. We cling to some hope that in spiritual life we can rise above the wounds of our human pain, never to have to suffer them again. We expect some experience to last. But permanence is not true freedom, not the sure heart’s release.

Every wise voyager learns that we cannot hold on to the last port of call, no matter how beautiful. To do so would be like holding our breath, creating a prison from our past. As one Zen master puts it:

“Enlightenment is only the beginning, is only a step of the journey. You can’t cling to that as a new identity or you’re in immediate trouble. You have to get back down into the messy business of life, to engage with life for years afterward. Only then can you integrate what you have learned. Only then can you learn perfect trust.”

So come on down and get back in its lovely here.

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“My concept of the new man is that he will be Zorba the Greek and he will also be Gautam the Buddha: the new man will be Zorba the Buddha. He will be sensuous and spiritual, physical, utterly physical, in the body, in the senses, enjoying the body and all that the body makes possible, and still a great consciousness, a great witnessing will be there. He will be Christ and Epicurus together.” Osho

There are two primary modes of energetic expansion – for simplicity and becasue that’s how I experience them I’ll call them ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’.


This is the development of awareness.  Recognising your own and other’s patterns.  Process work, knowledge of self and others. There is a sense of sharpness and clarity about it. Although it is not seeing, this kind of energy opening is closest to the sense of sight.

As you start to develop this faculty one gets on top of the emotions and recognises them for arisings in the bodymind.  A non-attachment begins to develop and often changes in language take place – “I am sad” becomes “There is some sadness today”.

For me it feels centered in the Ajna or brow Chakra.

A flowering of vertical mode is what is commonly thought of when we call someone “spiritual”


This is the development of the capacity to move energy through the body, to sense into things and respond intuitively.  There is a warmth and feeling of aliveness about it. This kind of opening is closest to the sense of touch and movement.

As this faculty gets more developed there is a sense of flow and of being able to strongly affect the energy of others, heightened senses, increased pleasure. When this further develops it becomes an ability to go with the flow and there is a deep acceptance of what is.

For me it feels centered in the Svadhistana or belly chakra.

When there is an opening and expansion of the horizontal we often view people as artistic.


Practices which emphasise the vertical are meditation, enquiry such as Maharshi’s “Who am I?”, and deep process work through tools such as the enneagram.

Practices which emphasise the horizontal are creative and expressive ritual, dance, ecstatic prayer, sacred sex 

Practices which use both modes – Yoga, Magick, Singing, Active Meditations, Tantra, Dzogchen


Risks of an overemphasis of the vertical are dryness, a lack of juice, excessive analysis. Spiritual practitioners with a strong vertical and an underdeveloped horizontal mode get stuck with insufficient energy to power through conditioning and other internal blocks.

Risks of an overemphasis on the horizontal mode are an excess of undirected energy and this leading to all the dangers we associate with artistic temperament, mental instability, addiction, excesses of emotion.  Artists with an underdeveloped vertical often do not acheive much the undirected energy spills into drama and indulgence instead of being channeled into creativity.


Masters who emphasise the vertical mode – The Buddha, Zen Masters, Ramana Maharshi, Al-Maas

Masters who emphasise the horizontal mode – Rumi, Ramakrishna, Amma

Masters who have emphasised both modes – Osho, Gurdjieff, Adi Da, David Deida


I don’t think the initial journey toward unity can be attained through timid steps in both directions and an attempt to stay in balance.  That way lies a static underdevelopment in both spheres.  Each should be explored wholeheartedly and yet there needs to be a recognition that when diminishing returns are being obtained in one sphere, it is time to push the pendulum back the other way and start shifting modes.


In my own growth I have found a definite sense of swinging between these practices and at times in my life I have primarily explored one or the other.  I think of my time in business and then my time living in a park and a squat.

A few years back when I was strongly rooted (stuck.) in the horizontal I had the good fortune to meet an amazing woman who was very dedicated to vertical expression (primarily in the form of process work rather than meditation so I did not recognise it).  We proceeded to push each other very hard – it was mostly agony because of sharp shards of remaining ego we still both had (despite prior shatterings) and which we were configured to recognise and demand abandonment of in the other.

This kind of intimate partner work though intense proved to be a fast, high energy track. 

Right now the expressions have both reached a certain level where there is enough momentum that development is proceeding similtaneously 

Narcissus and Goldmund

In the book of this name Herman Hesse examines something similar to the two modes I speak of here through the  characters Narcissus and Goldmund.

“The thinker tries to determine and to represent the nature of the world through logic. He knows that reason and its tool, logic, are incomplete–the way an intelligent artist knows full well that his brushes or chisels will never be able to express perfectly the radiant nature of an angel or a saint. Still they both try, the thinker as well as the artist, each in his own way.” Narcissus

“Perhaps there were husbands and heads of families who did not lose their sensuality by being faithful. Perhaps there were people who, though settled, did not have hearts dried up by lack of freedom and lack of risk. Perhaps. He had never met one.” Goldmund

“Dear friend, how little you know me still!  Perhaps I did ruin a future monk in you, but in exchange I cleared the path inside you for a destiny that will not be ordinary.  Even if you burned down our rather handsome cloister tomorrow, or preached a mad doctrine of error to the world, I would not for an instant regret that I helped you on the road toward it.” Narcissus

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