Writers & Writing

“The Deep Meaning Is Beyond Words”

“It is impossible to say just what I mean!” – Eliot Words, declared Chuang Tzu, are only the guests of reality.
Read More »

“The Essence of Dante”

Here are the haikus of each of the three books of Dante's Divine Comedy.
Read More »

Video: Words – Signifiers of Reality

Words are merely signifiers of reality, not, as we so often treat them, reality itself. Their application, whether as a simple name given to an object or a whole story created about it, forces us to see the object in a particular way, and so limits our perception.
Read More »

“Our Karma: To Ignore Homer”

Achilles' wrath … such the will of Jove! (The Iliad, trans. Alexander Pope) Achilles' rage … as Zeus' will was done. (The Iliad, trans. Stanley Lombardo)
Read More »

“In Praise of Tolstoy”

Samuel Johnson: “It is always a writer's duty to make the world better.”
Read More »

“Writing is So Much Easier When I am Free”

Every day I write whatever comes to me to write about. And I love doing it. But if I am asked to write about a particular topic – even one I know well, and may of my own volition have written about previously, I don't enjoy the writing experience nearly as much.
Read More »

“Juan Mascaro’s Love of Mankind”

I have long admired, been so inspired by, Juan Mascaro's translations of the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the Dhammapada. In many ways, even more than the Works themselves by his Introductions. Now – unfortunately – discarded by Penguin Classics!

I wrote to his widow who very kindly sent me a little booklet of his, "A Star from the East, An Appreciation of the Bhagavad Gita." As a tribute to him, to his love of Mankind, here are some quotations from it.

Read More »

“Performance and Truth”

"Looke upon the rainebow, and praise him that made it, very beautifull it is in the brightnesse thereof. It compasseth the heaven about with a glorious circle, and the hands of the most high have bended it." — Ecclesiasticus xliii: 11–12

At one time, for a period of several months, I had almost no inclination to write anything: general essays, research findings, or even my so-called poetry. I initially thought that this was some form of blockage, then I realized that it was but the next stage in a process that had become apparent over the previous few years, which included the giving up of my “composing”—and especially of my seminars and lectures. At this time, when I received a speaking invitation my immediate thought was how to get out of it. It was not performance anxiety—I have never experienced that—but rather the absence of the desire to perform. And this I regarded not as a problem but a virtue, not as an impediment but a breakthrough.
Read More »