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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ability to Feel Life - Apart From One-Sided Thinking, April 21, 2004
This review is from: Letters to a Young Poet (Mass Market Paperback)
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This book is a treasure of a man of solitude and poetic ability to FEEL life, not simply an intellectual exercise like 99% people in our so called "enlightened" world so do. It's amazing how insightful Rilke was at such a young age. And yet the world today, the power, control and politics currently live in a fundamentally thinking world of one-sided blindness that is so far apart from Rilke that it is like a regression of humanity of large and major proportion, and in such a short amount of time.
On solitude and the ability to be childlike (not childish), that is, living in the present moment in appreciation of what simply is, apart from all concepts, occupations and fundamental thinking and answers of security and certainty, Rilke writes:
"There is one solitude and that is great . . . a great inner solitude. Going into oneself and for hours meeting no one - this one must be able to attain. To be solitary, the way one was solitary as a child, when the grownups went around involved with things that seemed important and big because they themselves looked so busy . . . and when one day one perceives that their occupations are paltry, their professions petrified and no longer linked with (real) living . . Only the individual who is solitary is like a thing placed under profound laws, and when he goes out into the morning that is just beginning, or looks out into the evening that is full of happening . . . all status drops from him as a dead man, though he stands in the midst of sheer life. pp. 45-47
Rilke knew that life was creative, an art not grasped by criticism and intellectualism:
"Words of art are of an infinite loneliness and with nothing so little to be reached as with criticism. Only love can grasp and hold and be just toward them." p. 29
This is because life is not about the answers, for truth only stands in relativity, as the intellectual fails to realize, only living in despair or in bogus formulas for safety. For life is about living dangerously in the difficult, not in the comfort zones, which ultimately are not real comfort, but illusion of such. Living in the fast lane but with discernment, there is a balance, like a tamed down Dr. Faust.
"Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now." p. 35
" We must assume our existence as broadly as we in any way can; everything, even the unheard-of, must be possible in it. That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter."
And finally to sum Rilke's incredible insight,
"Nobody can counsel you and help you, nobody. There is only one single way. Go into yourself."
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