Meditation for Thursday of Week 12 in the season of Sowing:   

Beginning – Ending; Growing – Declining

There is a curious paradox which no one can explain.
Who understands the secrets of the reaping of the grain?
Who understands why spring is born out of winter’s laboring pain,
Or why we all must die a bit before we grow again?
[from “The Fantasticks,” lyrics by Tom Jones]

Norman Rockwell, Carefree Days Ahead

Every stage of life confronts us with challenges that are particular to that age. As we age, our perspective on life changes but those changes are particular to the individual. Most people are carefree about time while they are young and become more focused on it as they age. Others are prematurely grey. Some of those people remain so all their lives, while others gain a peace and serenity about time, aging and mortality as they age. Because this is just a way of looking at things, it is unique to each person.

Beginning and ending, growing and declining: these are the changes we cannot control. Still, we can choose how to approach these inevitable changes. We can choose how to look at things and where to concentrate our energy. We can choose to focus our attention wherever it will serve and others best. We can resolve to accept the things we cannot change so that we can change the things we can. A central task for the remainder of the year will be to bring this choice into greater focus and give it, and ourselves, renewed life.

As we move from one chapter to another in our lives, we do well being mindful of the beginnings and endings over which we have no control. We are aware of our mortality and also of the emergence of new life. Awareness and acceptance – better still, embracing – of this cycle is important to our mental and emotional well-being.

Pablo Picasso, The Old Blind Guitarist (1903)

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REAL

Photographs

crocuses, spring

Imaginary

Visual Arts

Music: songs and other short pieces

Film and Stage

Music: Composers, artists, and major works

Two great song cycles by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) develop the dual themes of decline and new growth that so capture the feel of this time of the year. Winterreise (Winter Journey) (1827), set to poems by Wilhelm Müller, explores the theme of loss, decline and despair. Here are links to complete performances by Fischer-Dieskau with MooreFischer-Dieskau with BrendelFischer-Dieskau with BrendelFischer-Dieskau with PolliniBostridge with DrakeHoll with GrubertHotter with Raucheisen; and Stutzmann with Sodergren. Links to the individual songs follow. Die Schöne Müllerin (The Lovely Milleress) (1824) is also set to Müller's poems. It expresses the theme of budding growth. Here are links to complete performances by Fischer-Dieskau with SchiffFischer-Dieskau with EschenbachWunderlich with StolzePrey with Hokansen; and Kaufmann with Deutsch. Individual songs from the cycle, performed by Fischer-Dieskau with Eschenbach (except as noted), are linked below:

Fictional Narratives

Other meditations of interest

Grid into the Creative Forces

  GLOBAL SELF-WORTH DIGNITY CREATIVE FORCES THOUGHT SELF-CONFIDENCE REASON/WISDOM  TRUTH EMOTION SELF-ESTEEM CARING/EMPATHY  LOVE ACTION SELF-COMPETENCE COURAGE/SERVICE/GENEROSITY  FAITH    
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Grid Omnibus

SELF GLOBAL EMOTION THOUGHT ACTION VALUE CONVICTION ATTITUDE EVIL LEVEL 1 LEVEL 2 Self-respect Self-understanding Prudence LEVEL 3 LEVEL 4 CREATIVITY Self-love Faith in self SPIRITUALITY Spirituality  Meaning  Direction  Purpose   CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER PEOPLE GLOBAL EMOTION THOUGHT ACTION VALUE CONVICTION ATTITUDE EVIL LEVEL 1 LEVEL 2 Respect Understanding
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Journals

Virtual libraries (enter sites from this site)    
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Anxiety

   
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Propaganda

Propaganda is information of a biased or misleading nature, or misinformation, used to promote a cause or point of view. It is usually disseminated by someone seeking to promote a self-interest without regard to the whole, and therefore fits within Niebuhr’s definition of evil. As the means of disseminating information
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Intolerance


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Extremism


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Static – Dynamic

In relation to the self: Habits and Practices (static) – Change (dynamic) In relation to others, near and intimate relationships: Tradition (static) – Challenging Conventions (dynamic) In relation to others, near and intimate relationships: Social Norms (static) – Challenging Conventions
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Space and Time

To everything there is a season . . . Humility – Assertiveness Modesty – Drive Skepticism – Advocacy Forbearing – Viligance Patience – Urgency Equanimity – Desire Order – Revolution Stability – Change Freedom – Responsibility Risking – Prudence Beginning – Ending Growing – Declining Arriving Leaving Holding On –
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Deferential Values in Relation to Other People

DEFERENTIAL VALUES in Relation to Other People (Week 6) GLOBAL EMOTION THOUGHT ACTION  VALUE CONVICTION ATTITUDE Avoiding Harm Non-malevolence Acknowleding the Other’s Humanity Restraining Fairness Common Ground Tolerance  
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