The people we admire–the artists, thought-leaders, painters, and craftsman–have found a way to overcome the obstacles that continuously limit us gaining an admirable independence. These people were not born with an exceptional brain, or special gifts, however some, very few, may actually come from a different planet, but for the most part these people contain a stubbornness, a complete surrendering, to never quit.
Anais Nin, a wonderful diarist and essayist, learned to speak through writing about the life happening within her; she became her own savior through internal self-revelations. We all need love, assistance, examples, and people in this world, near and far, that will invest us with the courage to make the world brighter. Frances Steloff became a mentor for Anais in her early days of working on being published. She became an example of Anais’s strength and possibilities teaching us heroes are all around us–Anais Nin On Independence says:
This remarkable woman is a great inspiration to other women. In 1920 she opened up a bookshop near the theatre section of town. She had the idea of keeping the bookshop open in the evening for people who came from the theatre. The shop was devoted to the dance and the theatre crowd mostly. But after that what she did was to create a bookshop which was far more than a bookshop. This was the seed and the origin of the bookshop. There she had her books all around her.
The world intends on destroying us long before we become conscious of the assumptions and rituals used to destroy us. Resisting the nuanced refashioning of Victorian expectations on womanhood Anais realized that the enlightened soul, the modern Buddha, challenges the assumptions of his age and creates herself. Freedom is creating through challenging our assume limitation.
Of looking into the taboos–religious, sexual, social, and legal–and deciding that this approach to the world wasn’t handed down from the mouth of God. But an attempt by civilization to create a bulwark against the inner and the outer chaos, in order to make life bearable and to keep the human race alive, Anais found spiritual mentors in order to expand her own possibilities. Lou Andreas-Salome was a spiritual mentor that creating her own freedom by moving through the world with an foundation as deep as her spirit. Influencing Rilke, Nietzsche, and Freud she shaped the consciousness of a generation–Anais Nin On Independence says:
Salome created a freedom in herself, at a time when this was incredibly difficult, but which women today demand…She inspired men, even if the relationship was tragic, as it was with Nietzsche, she was a muse who always inspired men to become their highest self…This was her seduction, and she demonstrated this with Rilke who she elevated from an ordinary poet to greatness by expanding his vision…She always ended the relationship, which was unusual for that time…She had no guilt, and a rebellious spirit which almost commanded her to break all of the taboos.
We must turn our back to a culture that destroys our humanity; a spiritual abandonment that involves relearning and enlightening ourselves in order to, like Prometheus, bring light onto the community. We have a responsibility to the people suffering, but we must save ourselves by living through the voices whispering from inside us. She was inspired by a book that told the stories of Lady Jane Digby and Isabelle Eberhardt to represent the necessary stubbornness required to create our freedom–Anais Nin On Independence says:
I read The Wilder Shores of Love by Lesley Blanch and became completely devoted to her writing. It is a book of great vitality, superb storytelling. She is herself Scheherazade telling about four remarkable women. The four women became my heroines. I read the book several times. My admiration for her was total, and I wondered why she received less attention than Romain Gary. There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered. Who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage. Conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair. Presenting to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.
Last night I wept. I wept because the process by which I have become woman was painful. I wept because I was no longer a child with a child’s blind faith. Wept because I could not believe anymore and I love to believe. I can still love passionately without believing. That means I love humanly. Wept because I have lost my pain and I am not yet accustomed to its absence. I disregard the proportions, the measures, the tempo of the ordinary world. I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. In the sense that I live in my world.
Anais Nin On Independence speaks with warmth and urgency on those themes which have always been closest to her: relationships, creativity, the struggle for wholeness, the unveiling of woman, the artist as magician, women reconstructing the world, moving from the dream outward, and experiencing our lives to the fullest possible extent. Continue reading Anais Nin On Faith.
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