[NetBehaviour] For John Keats

Max Herman maxnmherman at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 25 20:29:56 CET 2021

Hi Edward,

I could always relate to that cycle, how it was sometimes hopeful then less so but that was OK, and I appreciated how Keats was trying to be honest about what he experienced.

Browsing the UEOP book -- seems like long ago now! -- I noticed the following in the introductory notes which seems to echo both the fading quality of things and that other interesting idea from Keats of "negative capability":

I keep trying.
Then suddenly it’s possible. Perhaps all those years of practising some kind of letting go have stood me in good stead. There goes the traffic noise, thrumming along. Someone has been listening to it all the time. Let it arise, let it be for however long it stays, and let it go. Meanwhile, in parallel with that, something else has risen up. The birds are singing. The drill has started up again. There’s a sense that each arises, stays for a while, and fizzles out. They’re not being attended to one at a time, but go on in parallel with nothing holding them together.
It is the fizzling out that is the tricky bit. I notice that as each sound or feeling dies away, or ceases being brought into play, there is a bit of me that wants to hang on to it; that wants to keep saying, ‘I experienced that. I remember it. I exist.’ But the task is clear. Let all these threads do their stuff, and that includes fizzling out again. So they are let go. It is possible after all. They do just seem to arise and fall away again, but not to me.
I have a little chuckle. For years and years I have understood John’s instruction to ‘Let it come, let it be, let it go’ in the following way. Here I am, being mindful, practising meditation, sitting in the middle of my world, and along comes some thought or idea or perception. What I must do is let it arise – here in my consciousness – let it be for a little while and then, when its time is up, let it go out of my consciousness again. I’ve done it for years, and very useful it has been too.
But now it seems that it isn’t like that at all. No, not at all. Rather, there are myriad things arising and staying for a while being experienced by someone and then fizzling out again. The meaning of John’s meme is to let that happen. It is not that they are happening to me. They are not coming, being and going, to me. It’s all just happening anyway, whether I like it or not. The task is not to prevent it, not to interfere with it, not to suppose that there even is a me who could interfere with it all. Ah.
-- Susan Blackmore, Zen and the art of consciousness

All best,


From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Edward Picot via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 12:17 PM
To: netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Cc: Edward Picot <julian.lesaux at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] For John Keats


Those are beautiful lines, and so typical of Keats. The sense of real things takes your soul to nothingness, whereas the visionary chariot takes you to the light of heaven.


On 24/02/2021 22:43, Max Herman via NetBehaviour wrote:

Thankyou for this reminder and poem Edward!  It made me happy to read some Keats yesterday in remembrance.

I always liked this passage from "Sleep and Poetry":

The visions all are fled—the car is fled
Into the light of heaven, and in their stead
A sense of real things comes doubly strong,
And, like a muddy stream, would bear along
My soul to nothingness: but I will strive
Against all doubtings, and will keep alive
The thought of that same chariot, and the strange
Journey it went.

From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org><mailto:netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Edward Picot via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org><mailto:netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 12:27 PM
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org><mailto:netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Cc: Edward Picot <julian.lesaux at gmail.com><mailto:julian.lesaux at gmail.com>
Subject: [NetBehaviour] For John Keats

Today is the 200th anniversary of Keats's death.

Here is a poem in tribute to him:



NetBehaviour mailing list
NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.netbehaviour.org/pipermail/netbehaviour/attachments/20210225/a67980a7/attachment.htm>

More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list