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The Fire of Aliveness

painting of human figure with bright fire-like colors

Getty/Benjavisa

“There are two fires that we have to encounter daily. The first is the fire of life, which reduces us to joy by burning away all that is false and not essential. This is the fire of aliveness ...

There are two fires that we have to encounter daily. The first is the fire of life, which reduces us to joy by burning away all that is false and not essential. This is the fire of aliveness that needs to be fed, no matter where we are or what we do. This is the light of the soul that must be kept burning. The second is the fire in the world, which can burn us up, which can wound us and damage us. This is the fire of circumstance that needs to be put out. How do we know the difference between these two fires? I honestly don’t know. I have been reduced to what is essential by the one and wounded by the flames of the other, more than once. Nevertheless, we need each other to know which fire to feed and which to douse. To continually know the difference is part of the practice of being human. And helping each other know the difference is part of the work of love. Though we feel the rip and pull of everything taken away from us, being stripped of what covers us helps us grow: by lightening our load and making us more raw and naked, so we can be touched and transformed by the elements of life. This seems t …

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Mark Nepo moved and inspired readers and seekers all over the world with his No. 1 New York...

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Self-HelpLife PurposeLife Lessons

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