Archive for June, 2010

Posted: June 29, 2010 in Quotes

Knowledge is merely brilliance in the organization of ideas. It is not true wisdom. The truly wise go beyond knowledge.

– Confucius (551-479 BC)

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  • Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them.
  • The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.
  • …but worst of all when you are the slave-driver of yourself.
  • The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
    • What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
  • What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can.
  • To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge. – Confucius
  • The necessaries of life for man in this climate may, accurately enough, be distributed under the several heads of Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Fuel; for not till we have secured these are we prepared to entertain the true problems of life with freedom and a prospect of success.
  • Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
    • With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meager life than the poor.
  • To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.
    • It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.
  • No man ever stood the lower in my estimation for having a patch in his clothes; yet I am sure that there is greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and unpatched clothes, than to have a sound conscience.
    • …for clothes are but our outermost cuticle and mortal coil. Otherwise we shall be found sailing under false colors, and be inevitably cashiered at last by our own opinion, as well as that of mankind.
    • I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
  • All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.
  • [On fashion] The head monkey at Paris puts on a traveler’s cap, and all the monkeys in America do the same. I sometimes despair of getting anything quite simple and honest done in this world by the help of men.
    • Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
  • Man wanted a home, a place of warmth, of comfort, first of physical warmth, then the warmth of affections.
  • If it is asserted that civilization is a real advance in the condition of man, – and I think that it is, though only the wise improve their advantages, – it must be shown that it has produced better dwellings without making them more costly…
  • …for our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them; and the bad neighborhood to be avoided is our own scurvy selves.
  • The luxury of one class is counterbalanced by the indigence of another.
  • The very simplicity and nakedness of man’s life in the primitive ages imply this advantage, at least, that they left him still but a sojourner in nature.
  • Men have become the tools of their tools.
    • The man who independently plucked the fruits when he was hungry is become a farmer; and he who stood under a tree for shelter, a housekeeper. We now no longer camp as for a night, but have settled down on earth and forgotten heaven.
  • The best works of art are the expression of man’s struggle to free himself from this condition, but the effect of our art is merely to make this low state comfortable and that higher sate to be forgotten.
  • It appeared to me that for a like reason men remain in their present low and primitive condition; but if they should feel the influence of the spring of springs arousing them, they would of necessity rise to a higher and more ethereal life.
  • If men constructed their dwellings with their own hands, and provided food for themselves and families simply and honestly enough, the poetic faculty would be universally developed, as birds universally sing when they are so engaged?
  • …I brag for humanity rather than myself; and my shortcomings and inconsistencies do not affect the truth of my statement.
  • …I will not through humility become the devil’s attorney. I will endeavor to speak a good word for the truth.
  • Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.
  • spending the best part of one’s life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part
  • Many are concerned about the monuments of the West and the East, – to know who built them. For my part, I should like to know who in those days did not build them, – who were above such trifling.
  • Yet men have come to such a pass that they frequently starve, not for want of necessaries, but for want of luxuries.
  • …outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.
  • for my greatest skill has been to want but little
  • Those who would not know what to do with more leisure than they now enjoy, I might advise to work twice as hard as they do.
  • In short, I a convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain one’s self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime, if we will live simply and wisely.
  • I desire that there may be as many different persons in the world as possible; but I would have each one be very careful to find out and pursue his own way, and not his father’s or his mother’s or his neighbor’s instead.
  • We may not arrive at our port within a calculable period, but we would preserve the true course.
  • If a man has faith, he will cooperate with equal faith everywhere; if he has not faith, he will continue to live like the rest of the world, whatever company he is joined to.
  • The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
  • …for the devil finds employment for the idle…
  • Begin where you are and such as you are, without aiming mainly to become of more worth, and with kindness aforethought go about doing good.
  • Often the poor man is not so cold and hungry as he is dirty and ragged and gross. It is partly his taste, and not merely his misfortune.
  • There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of time and money on the needy  is doing the most by his mode of life to produce that misery which he strives in vain to relieve.
  • Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind. Nay, it is greatly overrated; and it is our selfishness which overrates it.
  • A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.
  • I found thus that I had been a rich man without any damage to my poverty.
  • But I would say to my fellows, once for all, as long as possible live free and uncommitted.
  • There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon. – Damodara
  • The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour.
  • To be awake is to be alive.
    • The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life.
  • It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do.
    • To affect the quality of day, that is the highest of arts.
  • I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
    • I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…
  • Our life is frittered away by detail…Let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumbnail.
  • Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.
  • When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.
  • If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications? To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.
  • We think that that is which appears to be.
  • The universe constantly and obediently answers to our conceptions; whether we travel fast or slow, the track is laid for us.
  • Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, through Church and State, through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rock in place, which we can call reality, and say, this is I, and no mistake…
  • If we are really dying, let us hear the rattle in our throats and feel cold in the extremities; if we are alive, let us go about our business.
  • Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.
  • I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secret of things. I do not wish to be any more busy with my hands than is necessary. My head is hands and feet. I feel all my best faculties concentrated in it. My instinct tells me that my head is an organ for burrowing, as some creatures use their snout and fore paws, and with it I would mine and burrow my way through these hills.
  • …but in dealing with truth we are immortal, and need fear no change nor accident.
  • For what are the classics but the noblest recorded thoughts of man?
  • Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.
  • My life itself was become my amusement and never ceased to be novel. It was a drama of many scenes and without an end.
  • Every path but your own is the path of fate. Keep on your own track, then.
  • All sound heard at the greatest possible distance produces one and the same effect, a vibration of the universal lyre, just as the intervening atmosphere makes a distant ridge of earth interesting to our eyes by the azure tint it imparts to it.
  • I go and come with a strange liberty in Nature, a part of herself.
  • I believe that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark, thought the witches are all hung, and Christianity and candles have been introduced.
  • I have found that no exertion the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another.
  • However intense my experience, I am conscious of the presence and criticism of a part of me, which, as it were, is not a part of me, but spectator, sharing no experience, but taking note of it; and that is no more I than it is you. When the play, it may be the tragedy, of life is over, the spectator goes his way.
  • A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will…at the mercy of his thoughts.
  • God is alone, – but the devil, he is far from being alone; he sees a great deal of company; he is legion.
  • I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, tow for friendship, three for society.
  • You want room for your thoughts to get into sailing trim and run a course or two before they make their port.
  • He had been instructed only in that innocent and ineffectual way in which the Catholic priests teach the aborigines, by which the pupil is never educated to the degree of consciousness, but only to the degree of trust and reverence, and a child is not made a man, but kept a child.
  • What danger is there if you don’t think of any?
  • The true husbandman will cease from anxiety, as the squirrels manifest no concern whether the woods will bear chestnuts this year or not, and finish his labor with every day, relinquishing all claim to the produce of his fields, and sacrificing in his mind not only his first but his last fruits also.
  • …I have thought that perhaps my body would find its way home if its master should forsake it, as the hands finds its way to the mouth without assistance.
  • …and not till we are completely lost, or turned around – for a man needs only to be turned round once with his eyes shut in this world to be lost, – do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of nature.
  • Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extend of our relations.
  • I am convinced, that if all men were to live as simply as I then did, thieving and robbery would be unknown. These take place only in communities where some have got more than is sufficient while other have not enough.
  • Love virtue, and the people will be virtuous.
  • The virtues of a superior man are like the wind; the virtues of a common man are like the grass; the grass, when the wind passes over it, bends.
  • A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.
  • I found myself, and still find, an instinct toward a higher, or, as it is named, spiritual life, as do most men, and another toward a primitive rank and savage one, and I reverence them both. I love the wild not less than the good.
  • The gross feed is man in the larva state; and there are whole nations in that condition, nations without fancy or imagination, whose vast abdomens betray them.
  • Whatever my own practice may be, I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized.
  • The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
  • Not that food which entereth into the mouth defileth a man, but the appetite with which it is eaten. It is neither the quality nor the quantity, but the devotion to sensual savors; when that which is eaten is not a viand to sustain our animal, or inspire our spiritual life, but food for the worms that possess us.
  • We are conscious of an animal in us, which awaken in proportion as our higher nature slumbers…Possibly we may withdraw from it, but never change its nature.
  • Man flows at once to God when the channel of purity is open.
    • By turns our purity inspires and our impurity casts us down.
    • He is blessed who is assured that the animal is dying out in him day by day, and the divine being established.
  • Every man is the builder of a temple, called his body, to the god he worships, after a style purely his own…
    • We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones.
  • They suggest not merely the purity of infancy, but a wisdom clarified by experience.
  • …but nothing can deter a poet, for he is actuated by pure love.
  • Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
  • We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us, like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it; and did not spend our time in atoning for the neglect of past opportunities, which we call doing our duty.
  • It is because they do not obey the hint which God gives them, nor accept the pardon which he freely offers to all.
  • Direct you eye right inward, and you’ll find a thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be expert in home-cosmography.
  • It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves.
  • The surface of the earth is soft and impressible by the feet of mean; and so with the paths which the mind travels. How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity!
  • I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
  • A living dog is better than a dead lion.
  • Let every one mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made.
  • Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
  • In an imperfect work time is an ingredient, but into a perfect work time does not enter.
  • The material was pure, and his art was pure; how could the result be other than wonderful?
  • However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are the richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is.
  • Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.
  • Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights.
  • It is life near the bone where it is sweetest.
  • Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.
  • The interest and the conversation are about costume and manners chiefly; but a goose is a goose still, dress it as you will.
  • Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
  • We know not where we are. Beside, we are sound asleep nearly half our time. Yet we esteem ourselves wise, and have an established order on the surface. Truly, we are deep thinkers, we are ambitious spirits!
  • The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.

Posted: June 26, 2010 in Quotes

Kindness gives to another. Compassion knows no other.

  • That government is best which governs least…That government is best which governs not at all.
  • Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.
  • But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it.
  • The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right.
  • The mass of men serve the State thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies.
  • He who gives himself entirely to his fellow-men appears to them useless and selfish; but he who gives himself partially to them is pronounced a benefactor and philanthropist.
  • A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.
  • I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.
    • A man has not every thing to do, but something; and because he cannot do every thing, it is not necessary that he should do something wrong.
    • It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong, he may still properly have other concerns to engage him, but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support.
  • For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done for ever.
  • Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue, for money comes between a man and his objects, and obtains them for him; and it was certainly no great virtue to obtain it.
  • You must live within yourself, and depend upon yourself, always tucked up and ready for a start, and not have many affairs.
  • If a State is governed by the principles of reason, poverty and misery are subjects to shame; if a State is not governed by the principles of reason, riches and honors are the subjects of shame. – Confucius
  • Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses.
  • I perceive that, when an acorn and a chestnut fall side by side, the one does not remain inert to make way for the other, but both obey their own laws, and spring and grow and flourish as best they can, till one, perchance, overshadows and destroys the other. If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.
  • We love eloquence for its own sake, and not for any truth which it may utter, or any heroism it may inspire.
  • Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government?
    • There will never be a really free and enlightened State, until the State come to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.

Posted: June 26, 2010 in Quotes

The permanent temptation in life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat in life comes when dreams are surrendered to reality.

– James A. Michener, The Drifters

  • Great poets – Rumi, Muhammad Iqbal, Mirza Ghalib
  • Fully formed fellows, after twelve years of school and three years of university, wear nice suits, join companies, and take orders from other men for the rest of their lives. Entrepreneurs are made from half-baked clay.
  • We are like sponges – we absorb and grow.
  • …where my genuine concern for him ended and where my self-interest began, I could not tell: no servant can ever tell what the motives of his heart are.
  • …The roosters in the coop smell the blood from above. They see the organs of their brothers lying around them. They know they are next. Yet they do not rebel. They do not try to get our of the coop.
    • The very same thing is done with human beings in this country.
  • The Rooster Coop was doing its work. Servants have to keep other servants from becoming innovators, experimenters, or entrepreneurs.
  • See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of? Losing weight and looking like the poor.
  • The moment you recognize what is beautiful in this world, you stop being a slave. – Muhammad Iqbal
  • But I complain about the police the way the rich complain; not the way the poor complain. The difference is everything.

Posted: June 25, 2010 in Quotes

Plain living harmonized my inner and outward life…my life was certainly more truthful and my soul knew no bounds of joy.

– Mohandas Gandhi

Posted: June 23, 2010 in Quotes
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When I preach, I usually speak of detachment and say that a man should be empty of self and all things; and secondly, that he should be reconstructed in the simple good that God is; and thirdly, that he should consider the great aristocracy which God has set up in the soul, such that by means of it man may wonderfully attain to God; and fourthly, of the purity of the divine nature.

– Meister Eckhart

  • Our Western models of education, being Cartesian or Enlightenment orientated are only about the left brain.Our education doesn’t get to the heart that is in the body.
  • Bede Griffiths’s ashram in southern India
  • Now more than ever we have to strip down religions to their essence, which is not religion but spirituality. Spiritual experience must include worship that awakens people instead of bores them, that empowers them, that brings out the gifts of the community, that heals and brings the healers back to the center of the community, healers such as artists, justice-makers, and others.
  • Orthodox, mechanistic biology which essentially denies the life of organisms but instead treats them as machines.
  • Goethe at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century had a vision of a different kind of science, a holistic science that integrated direct experience and understanding.
  • Book: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn
  • Paradigm – a collectively held model of reality, a belief system, habits of thinking.
  • In the US, university students are treated like children – told exactly what to read and then tested to make sure they have read it.
  • Epiphany Philosophers – connected with an Anglican monastery called Community of the Epiphany

Living Nature and Creation Spirituality

  • The old view was not that the soul is in the body, but that the body is in the soul. Now the soul survived only inside human heads.
  • Mother Nature as now regarded as dead matter, subject only to mechanical forces and governed by mathematical laws.
    • The imaginative disembodying was essential to the scientific revolution.
  • Mechanistic Universe vs. Living Cosmos [video]
  • Souls motivated organisms by attraction.
  • What is being looked for, and the way it is looked for, affects what is found. Moreover, the expectations of the experimenter affect what is observed, as in the placebo effect in medicine or the experimenter effect in psychology.
  • I prefer the idea of Nature as governed by habits.
  • The idea of Nature as alive has been preserved by the romantic poets and is in accordance with many people’s direct, intuitive experience of the natural world.
  • It takes the mystic inside every one of us, it take the child, the vulnerable child wanting to play in the Universe to respond playfully and pleasurably to life.
  • Every Creature is a word of God and a book about God. – Meister Eckhart
  • We must have the heart to open up and the willingness to be silent, to take in the wisdom of creatures and the wisdom of this Universe.
  • Panentheism is the mystic tradition – it teaches that all things are in God, God is in all things, and God works through all things.
  • God became human in order that human beings might become divine. – Thomas Aquinas
  • Being images of God means we are capable of a godlike kind of creativity and a godlike kind of compassion.
  • Divinity is in creation. When creation flourishes and is radiant, divinity flourishes. When creation is crucified, the Christ dies all over again.
  • Three articles of faith – creation, redemption (liberalization), divinization or sanctification.
  • Authentic action comes out of nonaction. It comes out of respect for mystery and wonder and the gift and the glorious surprise of our being here.
  • Mysticism is about trusting your experience.
  • A field is where we are called to be rooted. Back to the sense of roots and radical again, being capable of rootedness.
  • Paul Ricoeur, the French philosopher, says that psyche and cosmos are the same thing. In other words, the world we live in, is our soul.
  • The Kingdom of God is among us. – Jesus
  • Bede Griffiths said that for many people despair is a yoga. Despair is a spiritual path and they do not come to spiritual experience until they enter the path of despair and disillusionment.
  • Life begins anew after the sinking and the letting go.
  • Whales have been here 56 million years longer than we have and do not find it necessary to invent nuclear weapons or tear down the rainforest.
  • The sin of Satan is essentially the sin of pride, and the fall of Satan has to do with pride.
    • So did the fall of the angels and the origin of evil in some sense parallel the development of human consciousness? Are we the source of evil, sin, and fallen angels?
  • The Big Bang itself, the cosmic explosion that separates everything from a primal unity into outward expansion. This is literally a diabolical force, in that diabolical means throwing apart. Then there is the unifying force of gravitation that is always pulling things.

Grace and Praise

  • The creation spirituality tradition has been an effort to bring Nature and grace together.
  • If the only prayer you say in your whole life is thank you, that would suffice. – Meister Eckhart
  • Gratitude is an intricate part of grace.
  • When you praise, hold nothing back. – Onye Onyemici, Afican Spiritual Drummer
  • Grace – a sense of connection, openness, blessedness.
    • There is a fullness to grace.
    • Creation is grace. Nature is grace. Redemption is the return of grace.
    • Being awake is everything. It’s pretty hard to be joyless in the context of grace.
    • Until we can feel graced – a psychological word for that might be high self-esteem – we are not in a position to deal with our wounds or anyone else’s wounds.
    • We are never totally empty of grace but we are the species that can prefer our egos over grace, our agendas over the agenda of the Universe.
    • When everything is speeded up, it doesn’t leave much time for grace.
  • The nonhumans are all full of grace and the humans are perhaps like a gas tank that gets full and empty, and we lose grace, we can fall in gracelessness, which may another word for sin.
  • Sin is the human’s refusal to become who we are. – Rabbi Heschel
  • Praise is a response, an utterance, an expression of the joy that’s inside that you can’t keep down, because joy has to make itself known to the community.
  • Who is a good person? A good person is one who praises good people. – Meister Eckhart
  • Good person is looking for goodness.
  • It is important to recognize good living people.
    • A lot of the great men and women of history were vilified in their lives and sanctified after they’re dead.
  • Almost everything taken for granted until it is threatened.
  • Lack of curiosity and wonder – these are sins of omission.
  • The idea is that praise is not just anthropocentric, it is us joining the cosmological praise that is going on.
    • Praise is going on all the time; humans have just opted out most of the time.
  • Every being is praising God.  The fire has its flame and praises God,; the wind blows a flame and praises God; in the voice we hear the word which praises God; the word when heard praises God, so all creation is a song of praise to God. – Hildegard
  • Relationships with pets are regarded as an inferior substitute for proper human relationships.
  • If you acknowledge any kind of community or relationship with animals, then it is difficult to exploit them or to eat them.

The Soul

  • The soul is the animating principle, that which makes living things alive.
    • Latin word for soul is anima, the source of our word animal.
  • Science was concerned with the objective realm of facts, religion and the arts with the subjective realm of values, aesthetics, morality, and belief.
  • The soul is not in the body but the body is in the soul.
    • Our body is in our souls means that our souls are as large as the world in which we live, as the fields in which our minds play, as the fields in which our hearts roam.
    • We are body and soul, but spirits is greater than our bodies and souls. It blows where it wills (John 3:8).
  • Spirit requires receptivity, an open heart, a letting go.
  • What one can know about the soul must be supernatural. It must be from grace, for the soul is where God works compassion. – Meister Eckhart
  • Secretly we spoke, that wise one and me. I said, “Tell me the secrets of the world.” He said, “Ssssh, let silence tell you the secrets of the world.” – Rumi
  • Our soul was not confined to our head. It not only permeated the whole body but was involved in all experience and perception.
  • Soul is seen as an expression of a person’s total state of being alive. The soul is a totality filled with power. This power lets the soul grow and prosper so it can maintain itself and do its work in the world. This vital power without which no living being can exist. The Israelites called their berakah blessing.
  • The first effect of love is melting. – Aquinas
  • Melting is always movement. That’s a way to look for forgiveness, as melting.
  • We are responsible for our presence in the world.
  • Part of the accomplishment of the last three hundred years in the West has been to develop the sense of the individual. Unfortunately, we’ve done it at the expense of the community, at every level: the human community and the Earth community.

Prayer

  • Four paths of creation spirituality:
    • Positiva. Prayer – render ourselves vulnerable to awe, wonder, gratitude.
    • Negativa. Way of darkness, suffering, silence, letting go, and even nothingness. Emptying.
    • Creativa. Entering into the creative process not to produce a product but to honor our images by paying attention to them and giving birth to them. Honor our deepest experiences – passion, joy, sorrow.
    • Transformativa. Path of compassion which is about realization of our interdependence and the action that results from it.
  • God is at home, it’s we who’ve gone out for a walk. – Meister Eckhart.
  • Meditation is this return home to our origins, to our unborn selves.
  • Poem: What a blessing by Rumi
  • We search for him the beloved, here and there while looking right at him.
  • Enough with such questions, let silence take you to the core of life. All your talk is worthless when compared to one whisper of the beloved. – Rumi
  • Without looking, I can see everything within myself. – Eckhart
  • All the names we give to God come from our experience of ourselves.
  • Why should I bother with eyes any more now that I see the whole world with God’s eye. The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me. – Rumi
  • Do not look for God, look for the one looking for God. But why look at all, God is not lost, God is right here, closer than your own breath. – Rumi
  • Without the mystic coming alive we are not going to have imagination or the courage or the energy to be instruments for compassion and for the environmental revolution.
  • Our soul grows by subtraction, not by addition. – Meister Eckhart
  • Suffering teaches us to let go.

Darkness

  • Sound has silence within it, just as light has darkness within it.
  • The light in us increases as we go more deeply into the darkness, as we sink.
    • Illumination comes at the end of the bottoming out in the darkness experience.
  • Our culture is constantly feeding us light and sound…We are so overdeveloped at the top level when walking around our culture that you have to ask, how can we develop the bottom?…We are not giving darkness its due.
  • We have a need to experience nothingness and learn to be at home with it.
    • Meditation is one such avenue and suffering is another.
  • In the darkness unity, not differentiation, is what is experienced.
    • That is why get worn out at the end of the day – we are seeing all these differences. We need the darkness to reexperience the unity.
    • Unity is primal – underneath all differentiation it’s the unity of being that’s most radical, most basic.
  • Insomnia might be related to the modern world being saturated with light. It is not a big problem in Third World countries.
  • Maybe we sleep at night to experience some sensory deprivation from all the sensory input we receive for two-thirds of the day.
    • We have to be empty in order to be full.
  • Life dies but being goes on. – Eckhart

Morphic Resonance and Ritual

  • Regularities in Nature are more like habits than laws, that they are not fixed for all time from the beginning. They are habits which have grown up within Nature.
    • Nature has a kind of inherent memory rather than an eternal mathematical mind.
  • Carl Jung – all human being draw upon a collective memory, the collective unconscious. He thought of these habitual patterns as archetypes in the collective unconscious.
  • Rituals have a very strong conservative tendency.
    • People believe they should do the ritual the way it has been done before. They believe that by doing so they connect in some way with the people who have done it before.
    • The purpose of ritual is to connect the present participants with the original event that the ritual commemorates and also to link them with all those who participated in the ritual in the past.
  • Without curiosity there is no wisdom. – Thomas Aquinas
  • We now think rapid change is both desirable and necessary, but this is abnormal, even pathological, in term so of human history.
  • Most scientists got into science because of a mystical experience they had when they were children, looking at the stars or worms or something else.
    • But scientists lose the wonder like theologians and priests and everyone else, because they go through academia where it’s beaten out of you and you are rewarded for many other things, but not for wonder.

Revitalizing Education

  • Our Western models of education, being Cartesian or Enlightenment orientated are only about the left brain.
    • Our education doesn’t get to the heart that is in the body.
  • Avarice tends to infinity and knows no limit. – Aquinas
  • The human mind can potentially know all things. The human heart is infinite in its capacity for love but it depends on the mind to feed it daily with lovable objects. The human hands connected to human imagination produce an infinite variety of artifacts: creativity.
  • Science has become, in essence, a monotheistic system. There’s only one kind of science worldwide whereas there are many kinds of culture and religion, reflecting the foibles of human nature, of human subjectivity.
  • Pride (arrogance), greed, and envy (resentment) are the engines that drive our modern economy.
    • Envy is the very basis of consumer society.
  • Good fortune is not an opportunity to make more money, but to do less work and to enjoy life more.
  • The modern mentality is that more means better; quantity prevails over quality.
  • We can argue about the reason of the Universe and we can argue about the meaning of the Universe – but we cannot argue about the beauty of the Universe. – Ernesto Cardinale
  • You begin with beauty, which is to say with awe and praise.
  • What we create ourselves, what we make ourselves we remember.
  • Hope is built on what is possible, despair on what is impossible.

Posted: June 22, 2010 in Quotes

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.

– Aldo Leopold