Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Mind to me a Kingdom is..........

Following an initiative led by our philosophy teacher W.D. have started to read '
Nietzsche and Zen, An Essay in Philosophical Theology', by Stephen Priest which I discovered online from  The Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion http://compassionoxford.com/  in addition to re-reading Robert Morrison’s ‘Nietzsche and Buddhism - A study in ironic affinities’ as supplementary texts to the Nietzsche 'neat' we are reading together. 
This is a brief summary from the ‘Nietzsche and Buddhism book cover.
‘Nietzsche’s view of Buddhism has been very influential in the West; Dr Morrison gives a careful critical examination of this view, argues that in fact Buddhism is far from being a nihilistic religion, and offers a counterbalancing Buddhist view of the Nietzschean enterprise. He draws out the affinities and conceptual similarities between the two, and concludes that , ironically, Nietzsche’s aim of self-overcoming is akin to the Buddhist notion of citta-bhavana ( ‘mind-cultivation’). Had Nietzsche lived in an age where Buddhism was better understood, Morrison suggests, he might even have found in the Buddha a model of his hypothetical Ubermensch’
'A' thoughtfully brought these geraniums for the window boxes in Brussels yesterday evening and planted them in. The complementary deep red against the green foliage of the trees is very satisfying to contemplate when you look up from reading a book with a cup of tea in those 'idle' moments......

Who after all needs an Olympic size swimming pool and acres of lawns 
when you can have a window box instead....... ? 

The title for this post comes from the opening verse of this poem redolent with stoic values attributed to Sir Edward Dyer and set to music by William Byrd and sung here by Emma Kirkby in a recording by Fretwork. 

MY mind to me a kingdom is;
  Such present joys therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
  That earth affords or grows by kind:
Though much I want that most would have,        5
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.
No princely pomp, no wealthy store,
  No force to win the victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,
  No shape to feed a loving eye;        10
To none of these I yield as thrall;
For why? my mind doth serve for all.
I see how plenty surfeits oft,
  And hasty climbers soon do fall;
I see that those which are aloft        15
  Mishap doth threaten most of all:
They get with toil, they keep with fear:
Such cares my mind could never bear.
Content I live, this is my stay;
  I seek no more than may suffice;        20
I press to bear no haughty sway;
  Look, what I lack my mind supplies.
Lo, thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my mind doth bring.
Some have too much, yet still do crave;        25
  I little have, and seek no more.
They are but poor, though much they have,
  And I am rich with little store;
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lack, I leave; they pine, I live.        30
I laugh not at another’s loss,
  I grudge not at another’s gain;
No worldly waves my mind can toss;
  My state at one doth still remain:
I fear no foe, I fawn no friend;        35
I loathe not life, nor dread my end.
Some weigh their pleasure by their lust,
  Their wisdom by their rage of will;
Their treasure is their only trust,
  A cloak├Ęd craft their store of skill;        40
But all the pleasure that I find
Is to maintain a quiet mind.
My wealth is health and perfect ease,
  My conscience clear my chief defence;
I neither seek by bribes to please,        45
  Nor by deceit to breed offence:
Thus do I live; thus will I die;
Would all did so as well as I!


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