Authenticity – Nov 30

This blog is dedicated to a woman born in 1900, who challenged all gender, social and psychological norms, in order to seek a life of her own.  Marion Milner, thank you for daring to seek yourself, and for sharing your story.

marion milner.jpg

The most fortunate are those who have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic good of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy.  ~ Abraham Maslow

the fool


I finished!  The book, I mean.  But am far from finishing this journey. 🙂

The author endeavored along this spiraling journey for seven years, and then a few beyond before she choose to share her experiential wisdom. 

So, I close this month with many excerpts from her book, excerpts which are not nearly as beautiful when removed from their pages of timeless wisdom.  

And, in the spirit of timeless wisdom, a wisdom which spirals around to meet us again, and again, I include images from past blogs; images that lap upon the shores of our mind, reminding us that wisdom repeats itself, until we get all of it. 🙂

nothing ever goes away.jpg


I had not realized how subtle were the little motions of thought. I had looked for something busier and noisier…[and then] the excessive busyness of my thoughts no longer worried me.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


…every pattern of thought must have its reverse side…to see only the ridiculousness of humanity was just as misleading as to see only its dignity…  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

I began to accept that thought, which I had always before looked upon as a cart-horse, to be driven…might really be a Pegasus…[to] alight beside me from places I had no knowledge of.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


I came to the conclusion that ‘continual mindfulness’ could certainly not mean that my little conscious self should be entirely responsible for marshaling and arranging my thoughts, for it simply did not know enough. It must mean…a continual readiness to look and readiness to accept whatever came. The worst sin…was to refuse to accept any thought.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


…my mental gesture of standing aside brought an automatic easing of bodily tensions…relax toward the distraction, instead of trying to push it away.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

wu wei 875x300

Experiencing the present with the whole of my body instead of with the pin-point of my intellect led to all sorts of new knowledge and new contentment. I began to…live from the heart…which told me more surely what I wanted than any making of lists.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


It struck me as odd that it had taken me so long to reach a feeling of sureness that there was something in me that would get on with the job of living without my continual tampering.   ~ A Life Of One’s Own


I had the problem of relaxing when amongst other people. I needed some basis of security before I could do it…[which] kept me perpetually straining to guard against the very engulfment I wanted…in the world of perception what I wanted was to lose myself in the thing perceived, yet it was too terrifying a thought to be fully admitted when it was a matter of another person.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

dog loving deer

If I sacrificed myself for others, it must be, not because I thought they really needed what I had to give, but simply as a way of expressing my feelings towards them…[to] want nothing from it.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


I had envied those who were always doing things for others. But as I grew more observant I began to see that this by itself was no sure way to peace, for as long as you expect results from what you do…[it creates] exasperation.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


…wordless understanding [with others] seemed to be particularly important…an almost direct interchange of emotion which came with this spreading of invisible feelers.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

murmuring starlings
click to sensorially experience

It was then that the idea occurred to me that until you have, once at least, faced everything you know – the whole universe – with utter giving in, and let all that is ‘not you’ flow over and engulf you, there can be no lasting sense of security.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

time as star cluster

Only by being prepared to accept annihilation can one escape from that spiritual ‘abiding alone.’  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


…there seemed to be endless obstacles preventing me from living with my eyes open, but as I gradually followed clue after clue it seemed that the root cause of them all was fear.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

terror on the wall

…I had discovered that the unconscious is not only a refuge of childish fantasies and fears but also a source of creative wisdom.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

…it is only too easy to accept technical concepts intellectually and use them as jargon, not as instruments for the real understanding of experience. We must do this, we must do that, must love our neighbors more, must get rid of lies and hypocrisy.’ But hardly anywhere is heard the question, “What have we the power to do?’ …the only thing…even potentially so…was my attention.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

magicians wand

…introspection meant continual expression, not continual analysis; …bring my thoughts and feelings up in their wholeness, not argue about them and try to pretend they were somehow different…  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

I was beginning to find that part of the day’s happiness came while sweeping or preparing food…it was a kind of communication, it expressed my feeling for the house…[and] the people who lived in it.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


…happiness not only needs no justification…it is the only final test of whether what I am doing is right for me.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


I had set out using the scientific method of observation, and then found that it led me beyond the range of science…I had found something which could not be communicated.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


I could develop my own rules for living and find out which of the conflicting exhortations of a changing civilization was appropriate to my needs.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


…the conflict between my male and female attitudes prevented me from reaching the fullness of either.   ~ A Life Of One’s Own

chess with two kings

…my early discovery about how delight came when I stopped trying, may have been a first achievement in the understanding of real femininity.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

1927: Bisexuality. T.J. Faithfull

Sex equality is no myth, for we are each of us essentially whole. It does not matter how deep below a complete surface femininity we have to dig, there we find a complete male striving for expression….[or in] the depth of the psyche we probe to find the woman in the painfully self-assertive male, there is the other half of the psyche in its entirety seeking for outlet and finding it by many strange paths.


The central idea seemed to be that although in every living being there exist the two aspects, these do not grow at an equal rate, and it is the conflict between these two sides of the personality, and the relation of this to the physical sex, which is the root of a great amount of psychological difficulty both in children and adults.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own


Now I saw that just as I…[while] searching to test the depths of female attitude, had feared it as a spiritual death, so the average Westerner may fear the Eastern glorification of the receptive attitude to life, fear that if he is not perpetually active and efficient everything he knows and clings to will cease to exist.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

Duality is necessary for observation and comprehension…failure to reflect…[was due to] difficulty in allowing the internal male and female to interact…reflective thinking requires a subtle balance of male and female activity.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

masculine and feminine

One who, being masculine, remains feminine, is a universal channel. ~ Lao-Tze


What I seek to reveal is the tendency of both males and females to dismiss the slow-moving, the enduring, the receptive, the nurturing, the intuitive, the wisdom, of the feminine.  ~ me



The idea I had developed of trying to explore many of my discoveries in terms of an inherent conflict between the male and female aspects of one’s psyche turned up in many reviews.  ~ A Life Of One’s Own

Olga Martin, 1934 review: ‘…if the bisexual nature of man were generally recognized, then the values appropriate to the suppressed feminine urge would be given their proper place in society and our problems would be tackled in a more peaceful and understanding spirit. Instead of thwarting hidden femininity Western man might find repose and inspiration in yielding to it.’

angel statue over ball

Stephen Spender, 1934 review: ‘…I found the theory of bisexuality interesting…as for me, when I eventually became a psychoanalyst I was to be continually faced with men’s fear of their own femininity, if one use the word in the sense that Hamlet did: ‘a kind of gain-giving as would perhaps trouble a woman.’

darning socks

Editorial, 1934 review: ‘The feminine quality of her Eastern thought is foreign to a Western culture shaped by a peculiarly masculine struggle with Nature. That is why the industrial hemisphere needs this thought so much.’

elephants soothing

– to be on a level with the dust of the earth, this is the mysterious virtue. ~ Lao-Tze


fortune telling present

Just one thought…

  • Am I authentic, and how do I know the answer?

meditation of love
All blessings and tinkling bells of honey to your heart.



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