The Rose Garden

He who tries to penetrate into the Philosophical Rose Garden without a key, resembles a man who wants to walk without feet.

He who tries to enter the Rose-garden of the Philosophers without the key is like a man wanting to walk without feet.
The Rose garden of Wisdom has an abundance of various flowers, But the gate is always closed with strong bolts;
Only one thing of little value is found in the world which is the key to it.
Without this key you will walk like somebody without legs.
You will try in vain to climb up to the steep top of the Parnassus,
You, who have hardly sufficient strength to remain standing on flat ground.
Atalanta Fugiens, Emblem 27

Time Present and Time Past

flowers of summer
flowers of summer

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets, Burnt Norton