The Wisdom of the Heart: Henry Miller on wholeness, love & conflict.

{Photo: Robert Doisneau}

“Life, as we all know, is conflict, and man, being part of life, is himself an expression of conflict. If he recognizes the fact and accepts it, he is apt, despite the conflict, to know peace and to enjoy it. But to arrive at this end, which is only a beginning (for we haven’t begun to live yet!), a man has got to learn the doctrine of acceptance, that is, of unconditional surrender, which is love.” ~ Henry Miller

If you are still not in love with Henry Miller, maybe you should consider it. A writer and a painter, he was also a creative troublemaker and he fascinated Anaïs Nin, official muse of the twentieth century, best known for her extensive diaries.

Here is a suggested daily dose of Miller. Increase if still thirsty.

The Wisdom of [Henry Miller’s] Heart echoes through each page of this selection of essays and stories that he will gladly add to your cup of coffee (or tea) with intimate candor and freedom—if you let him.



Side effects: possible enlightenment, possible awakening and possible desire to chew on life as hard as you can, sit down with your own journal and scribble your own heart in it.


But first, slow down. Accept what is. Take a deep breath. Surrender for five minutes. 

“The art of living is based on rhythm — on give and take, ebb and flow, light and dark, life and death. By acceptance of all aspects of life, good and bad, right and wrong, yours and mine, the static, defensive life, which is what most people are cursed with, is converted into a dance, ‘the dance of life,’ metamorphosis.


One can dance to sorrow or to joy; one can even dance abstractly. But the point is that, by the mere act of dancing, the elements which compose it are transformed; the dance is an end in itself, just like life. The acceptance of the situation, any situation, brings about a flow, a rhythmic impulse towards self-expression.


To relax is, of course, the first thing a dancer has to learn. It is also the first thing a patient has to learn when he confronts the analyst. It is the first thing any one has to learn in order to live. It is extremely difficult, because it means surrender, full surrender.”


Nothing can save you. No one.  

“It is just this ability to stand alone, and not feel guilty or harassed about it, of which the average person is incapable.


The desire for a lasting external security is uppermost, revealing itself in the endless pursuit of health, happiness, possessions an so on, defense of what has been acquired being the obsessive idea, and yet no real defense being possible, because one cannot defend what is undefendable.


All that can be defended are imaginary, illusory, protective devices.”


Life interrupts death. 



Awakening is our life’s free currency: 

“For the awakened individual, however, life begins now, at any and every moment; it begins at the moment when he realizes that he is part of a great whole, and in the realization becomes himself whole. In the knowledge of limits and relationships he discovers the eternal self, thenceforth to move with obedience and discipline in full freedom.”


Love interrupts life: 




More Henry Miller Bites: 

>> “Come closer to me, come closer, I promise you it will be beautiful.”

>> Writing Lab: Henry Miller’s 11 commandments for the everyday writer.



{Wisdom Bank.}



(Visited 670 times, 7 visits today)
The following two tabs change content below.
Andrea Balt
Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Rebelle Society, Wellness Alchemist at Rebelle Wellness & Professional Dream Chaser at Creative Rehab. Unfinished book with a love for greens, bikes and poetry; raised by wolves & adopted by people; not trying to make art but to Be Art. Holds a BA in Journalism & Mass Communication, an MFA in Creative Writing & a Holistic Health Coach degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®. In her work she tries to reflect the wholeness of the human experience by combining Art & Health + Mind & Body + Darkness & Brilliance into a more alive, unabridged and unlimited edition of ourselves. She is also on a quest to reinstate Creativity as one of our essential Human Rights to (hopefully and soon) be included in the UN Declaration. Connect with her in the Social Media Jungle via Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and sign up for her FREE MuseLetter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *