Monday, January 11, 2010

as wonderful to learn as to live

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. . . Yes, that's the way it was, that's the way your being grows with your knowledge, is clarified by it, unified by it. It is as wonderful to learn as it is to live. Don't be afraid of losing yourself in larger spirits than your own. Don't sit there anxiously brooding about the uniqueness of your soul, don't cut yourself off from what has power, out of fear that it will carry you off with it and drown your beloved, most intimate character in its mighty surge. Be confident: the uniqueness that is lost in the disassembling and re-creating during a vigorous development has only been an imperfection, merely a shoot sprouting in darkness that was unique only as long as it was sick with pallor, shunning the light. And it is the healthy part of you that you must live on, the healthy part that will become great. . .
~ Excerpt from Niels Lyhne by Jens Peter Jacobsen (1847-1885)


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16 comments:

Kim said...

That's a great quote for what I'm starting this week...grad school!

Lydia said...

@Kim- Oh, that's so great! Congratulations on living your life so daringly and brilliantly, Kim.

I read this book some years ago and last night saw it on a shelf, picked it up and found a few pages that I'd dog-eared. This quote was on one of them and I knew I had my blog post. :)

Looking to the Stars said...

I love this! It is so true, thanks for sharing it. Also, thanks again for helping me translate the japanese comment I got the other day. You are the best :)

Erin Davis said...

What a wonderful passage. To learn is to live (can you tell I'm a teacher?)!

Owen said...

Very inspiring... something there for all of us I think...

Ben said...

That's a really inspiring quote. I like it a lot. "It is as wonderful to learn as it is to live." I've felt that way at times, but haven't really expressed it in words. Very profound. Thanks for sharing.

Lydia said...

@Looking to the Stars- I love it too and am glad I rediscovered it last night!
May the next foreign comment you receive at your blog be even more interesting than the one you just translated. :)

@Erin- Isn't it meaningful? Jens Peter Jacobsen was a favorite writer of Rainier Rilke's, which is how I was steered in the direction of this book.

@Owen- I agree. I love when something written long ago has such applicability to our age...

kj said...

lydia, i actually think i live my life this way. i am not afraid most of the time to risk, learn, feel, venture. but it can be a bit confusing....! and my poor heart wants a rest every once in a while.

happy new year lydia


kj

Nancy said...

Hmmm - I'm going to have to ponder this for a bit...

Lydia said...

@kj- I can tell from your writings and art that you live your life in this way. btw, did you see that I mentioned your book in my post on Jan 7th? :)

@Nancy- As did I.

Citizen of Earth said...

Yes
Living is learning
We must embrace the universe
And touch the infinite
One small step at a time
Each day
And in this way
We move forward
Lest we become nothing more
Than human flywheels
Endlessly turning
Going nowhere

Bobbb

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Beautiful passage and very inspiring quote. I could say very spiritual dear Lydia. Hugs.

Lydia said...

@Bobbb- Powerful words, especially since you wrote them the same day -- but ahead of -- the earthquake in Haiti.
Thank you for being here.

@Phivos- I agree with what you wrote about the quote. Please share it with your wife, the teacher!
Hugs.

earthtoholly said...

"Don't sit there anxiously brooding about the uniqueness of your soul,..." Yikes...sounds familiar. A good message that will take time for me to grasp. Thank you for sharing, Lydia!

Jukka said...

Lydia - Itäs wonderfulö learing new thingi. I think we can always develop and always have something new ito learn as long as people want to continue. Seems to me the real hardship is to continue to have the attityde of the youn one and see everything as oppertunity to know

Lydia said...

earthtoholly: You're not alone in thinking Yikes! to parts of this. :)

Jukka: I am so excited that you are in a new phase of learning in your life. You are right: there is always something new to learn, but sometimes we need to be reminded. :)

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