The Nature of Greatness

I can see, and I think it is very easily and obviously spotted anywhere and everywhere, that we live in an era of self-entitlement. I think it's very apparent that the main drive of people these days, is to feel better about themselves. People do things, read things, say things and think things, with the goal of lifting themselves higher. And people are believing in things that promote this train of thought. "The Universe will do everything for you", "Universe will conspire for your good", "You are your own god", "Everything is created for your glory." And while I truly understand how these schools of thought and various belief systems make people feel better about themselves in many ways, I still believe that humility is the greater virtue.

There is a danger that is created by collective beliefs of this nature. When every person is focused on feeling good about himself or herself, there is a great temptation to become blind to personal faults. And I believe that the true way to create something beautiful, is not through the blinding of the eyes to all of one's faults, but it is through the correction of these faults! And in order to correct a fault, one must first see it! You are never going to see your faults, if all you believe in is a theory and a lifestyle of self-entitlement!

To inflate the sense of well-being is an understandable need. But is it the more powerful state to come into? I think not. I think that humility is the more powerful state to step into. And it is only the smaller that needs to inflate herself bigger, while it is the bigger who will decrease in size to be able to fit down lower. People have this dream of being unreachable. They build a name for themselves and then finally fulfill their dream of "being more important." Which just shows they were born from down below. Because when you're born from up above, your dreams have nowhere to go but downwards! And you dream of doing things in order to meet people, to know them, to understand the smallest importances. The one who is born of the earth, dreams of the sky. The one who is born of the sky, dreams of the earth.

Not all things that make you feel good, are things that you need. It's wonderful to be able to instantaneously have all the things that make you feel good– be it praises, material things, words that you read to yourself, and etc. But is it the more honorable thing to have? Or do you actually become a better person through the process of lowliness and the acknowledgment of lack? And I'm not saying that one should not strive for anything more! In fact, I am saying quite the opposite– one can strive for more when one acknowledges that one is needful of more! The wisest man of his time, Plato, said “I thought to myself: I am wiser than this man; neither of us probably knows anything that is really good, but he thinks he has knowledge, when he has not, while I, having no knowledge, do not think I have.” And so even the acquisition of wisdom should be done under the cloak of humility. It's not for showing that we are wise, but it is simply for the ascension of the soul. Aha! Now here we come to a true uplifting! An ascension through the path of humility! Out of a nothingness, the Universe was born! Was it born from a greatness? No, it was born from a nothingness. In the humblest block of coal can be instilled and encapsulated– the hottest and brightest flame! Out of the smallest places if insignificance, can come the brightest sparks of the soul, which sprout wings and carry one up higher!  And this is the flight that cannot be hindered, the flight that truly flies higher than the eagles!

So I warn against self-entitlement, against the feeling that everything is created for your own benefit, that everything is surrounding you to lift you up, that you are the center of the Universe... I warn against these systems of thought. It is very easy to lose one's humility, therefore losing one's greatness! For true greatness lies in humility; humility is the single most beautiful ornament that you can wear, and the most powerful state of being you can exist in. 

Copyright © 2013 C. JoyBell C. All rights reserved.

Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

My son is memorizing a poem for a school activity, which happens to be a beautiful piece by E.E. Cummings. I love this poem if only for the last line of it, by which I entitled this post. When I read this poem, and when I help my son with reciting it, I feel that every other line, every other word in the poem, leads to that very last line and when that very last line is read, it sends tingles through one's soul. Everything else in this piece builds momentum for that beautiful last line.

My son asked me what I thought it was all about, and I said "You know how he is describing someone (could be a lover, a child, or a loved one) all throughout the poem? Someone who obviously has the gentleness and the power to be so much to him? Well he all sums it up in the end as hands so small that can reach into the very crevices and cracks of his heart and soul. You know how a drop of water can get into anything? Well even a drop of rain doesn't have hands so gentle and so powerful like this person he writes of!"

I admit that I am surprised the poem is written all in lower-case letters, which I find a strange thing for an old poet to do (poets of the past eras). But the lower-case letters do add to the gentleness, simplicity, and "smallness" of it all.

Today is the day before Valentine's Day (2/13/13) and is also the day I have officially published my book All Things Dance Like Dragonflies! You might be thinking Why didn't she wait for Valentine's Day? Well, it just so happens that the number "13" is the gematria of two very important words in Kabbalah; "Echad" and "Ahavah" ("One" and "Love"). Therefore two thirteens together create "One Love" ; "Echad Ahavah" so as a matter of fact, 13/13 is a very powerful representation of love in Kabbalistic gematria. So, today is even more powerful than Valentine's Day, and fueled by the fact that it is right before the "Love Day" of the world! But I will also point out that it's already Valentine's Day in many countries right now! So a Happy Valentine's Day to all of you who celebrate! I have numerous cakes to offer up to everyone, in the celebration of One Love, Valentine's Day, and the publication date of All Things Dance Like Dragonflies! Cake is served as the main course and we'll all have the poem for dessert!

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

Those purple wings against that very turquoise sky...


A sampling of what's in store for you...

You know
I still remember the way your perfume smelled
You jumped up and down
The muddy water in the puddle
Some mud even landed on my chin
Your hair bounced
And froze in the summer wind
All around your face
Rose petals
The air always smelled like
Rose petals
When we jumped
And skipped around
In those muddy puddles
Your eyes would twinkle
You know?
They would twinkle and inside them
I could see myself
You are
My best friend


(v.) Icelandic word which translates in English to the exact phrase “jumping into puddles.”

Copyright © 2013 All Things Dance Like Dragonflies, C. JoyBell C. All rights reserved.

Is This About Valentine's Day?

“According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with 4 arms, 4 legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves. And when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other's sight, as I may say, even for a moment...”

― Plato (The Symposium)

In this modern day and age, people throw around the term "soul mate" all too loosely. If they find someone who fits their criteria, it's a soul mate. If they find someone who can make them feel good, it's a soul mate. If they find someone who lives nearby and is "conveniently placed for a relationship" it's a soul mate. On the contrary, when we look at the origins of the concept of the soul mate, we can understand (those of us who have understanding), that if it were so convenient and easy, then it wouldn't be a soul mate, at all. Or else, Zeus would be dimwitted and stupid. And I'm afraid he is not. Why would the other half of your soul simply be someone who lives down the street (yes that could happen, Destiny having her way, but it's unlikely to happen), or simply someone who meets your criteria? And if you fall for a criteria, in the first place, is that a person or is that a list of things that you like? Do you even see the person? At all? 

I don't think people find their soul mates as often as they would like to believe. I believe that people can fall in love many times and with many other people; people can have love! But having another person who is the other half of your soul? Happens less often, and when it does happen, these cases are amongst the greatest love stories ever known, or the greatest love stories that unfolded far from the eyes of the rest of mankind (not all great things are famous things or popular things!)

What would it be like to find the other half of your soul, separated from you? First of all, it would be a very difficult thing to accomplish, as this soul could be anywhere on this planet! And if/when you do find the person, what do you think it would feel like to meet the half of you that hasn't been there for such a long time? Yes, it would feel like a completion, a wholeness; but it would also feel like all things dangerous and unknown; hidden and unexplored. It could possibly even be frightening. Especially if Zeus had it in his mind to particularly keep the two of you far apart! 

Is this about Zeus? No, this isn't really about Zeus. Is this about Valentine's Day? Not really, but you can think that if you like! But I think this is about walking on the edge of something different, something deeper and ancient and far-fetched. 


To Bleed And To Burn

To Bleed And To Burn

I was asked of how I believe in love; of the way that I see it and the way that I respond to it. Of how I recognize it and if my heart has ever longed for it. And in that instant, I realized, for the first time, that not all people are like me! Not all people are born with a burning flame within themselves. Not all people were born as a baby in this flesh, possessing wings within the soul– wings that wish to fly everlastingly and be reunited with "the other one" eternally! 

I answered, "Well isn't it not all the same? Isn't it that we come into this world and from day one we begin our search for our "other one"? Is it not that we search and search as one searches for an emerald, or a ruby; a sapphire or a diamond? And is it not that when we see it, we know what it is?" 

Is it not?

But no, my eyes were opened, unveiled, and I saw like a small baby opening her eyes for the first time after being born into this world, that it is not the same for everyone! Mostly, they don't know what it is that they look for; they say it's love but their love is something else! Mostly, they make decisions; their heart doesn't bleed over in desire and want! Mostly, they are able to sleep in perfect warmth, without the arms of "the other one" around them! They don't see her in their dreams at night, or they don't see him in their dreams at night... they don't know what this is...the love of those few who are like me.

Copyright 2013 C. JoyBell C. All rights reserved

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