Posts Tagged ‘Metaphysics’

  • In most cases, to experience higher spiritual existence, we must be at least open to the possibility that such perception exists.
    • …there is a profound difference between knowing about and debating spiritual perception and actually experiencing these perceptions ourselves.
  • The anxiety of early abuse creates a severe need in children to take control of life.
  • The secret of life is learning to make a fool of yourself gracefully.
  • …at a certain point our focus on the economic aspects of life became an obsession used to push away the anxiety of uncertainty.
  • Though our ability to affect the world in both cases, nondirective intention (that is, holding the idea that the very best should happen without injecting our opinion) works better than directive intention (holding the idea that a specific outcome should occur).
  • When we think positively, uplifting ourselves and others in the process, incredible events begin to unfold.
  • Where attention goes, energy flows.
  • Every person is an energy field consisting of a set of assumptions and beliefs that radiate outward and influence the world.
  • Four control dramas:
    1. Interrogation which manifests as judging. Usually the Interrogator comes from a family in which his parental figures were absent or not attentive to his needs.
    2. Aloofness which manifests as being withdrawn and enticing people to draw us out
    3. Pitifulness (a.k.a. “poor me”) which manifests as guilt-inflicting self-pity and even helplessness
    4. Intimidation which manifests as being threatening
  • Yet we must remember that it is because we are short of energy, cut off from the source that the dramas operate.
  • Corruptions of capitalism occur when people are vulnerable to excessive advertising that seeks to create needs based on insecurity.
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Written by Krishnamurti in 1980 at the request of his biographer Mary Lutyens.

The core of Krishnamurti’s teaching is contained in the statement he made in 1929 when he said, “Truth is a pathless land”. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophical knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection.

Man has built in himself images as a fence of security—religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man’s thinking, his relationships, and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind. The content of his consciousness is his entire existence. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all humanity. So he is not an individual.

Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not choice. It is man’s pretense that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.

Thought is time. Thought is born of experience and knowledge, which are inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution. When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts, he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep, radical mutation in the mind.

Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.

Aleph by Paolo Coelho

Posted: May 21, 2012 in Book Notes
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Thou knowest all – I cannot see.
I trust I shall not live in vain,
I know that we shall meet again
In some divine eternity.
– Oscar Wilde, “The True Knowledge”

  • I’ve been trying all my life to find out what my limits are and have never reached them yet. But then my universe doesn’t really help, it keeps expanding and won’t allow me to know it entirely.
  • That’s because, like everyone else on the planet, you believe that time would teach you to grow closer to God. But time doesn’t teach; it merely brings us a sense of weariness and of growing older.
  • It isn’t what you did in the past that will affect the present. It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.
  • Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.
  • After weeks on the road, listening to a language you don’t understand, using a currency whose value you don’t comprehend, walking down streets you’ve never walked down before, you discover that your old “I”, along with everything you ever learned, is absolutely no use at all in the face of those new challenges, and you begin to realize that, buried deep in your unconscious mind, there is someone much more interesting and adventurous and more open to the world and to new experiences.
  • God will guide you, because everything you ever experienced or will experience is in the here and now. The world is being created and destroyed in this very moment. Whoever you met will reappear, whoever you lost will return. Don’t betrayed the grace that was bestowed on you. Understand what is going on inside you and you will understand what is going on inside everyone else.
  • … with familiarity came habit.
  • Tragedy always brings about radical change in our lives, a change that is associated with the same principle: loss. When faced by any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been, it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.
    • In theory, every loss is for our good; in practice, though, that is when we question the existence of God and ask ourselves, “What did I do to deserve this?”
  • Anyone truly committed to life never stops walking.
  • we always try to interpret things in accordance with what we want and not as they are.
  • Courage can attract fear and adulation, but willpower requires patience and commitment. Men and women with immense willpower are generally solitary types and give off a kind of coolness.
  • No life is complete without a touch of madness.
  • A life without cause is a life without effect.
  • Words are tears that have been written down. Tears are words that need to be shed. Without them, joy loses all its brilliance and sadness has no end. Thank you, then, for your tears.

No one is a prophet in his own land. – Brazilian saying

  • We always tend to value what comes from afar, never recognizing the beauty around us.
  • A forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same Path are alike. If we continue to travel together, trying to make things fit our world-view, neither of us will benefit.
  • If we seek something, that same thing is seeking us.

What can’t be cured must be endured. – Portuguese Proverb

  • To live is to experience things, not sit around pondering the meaning of life.
  • Don’t think about what you’ll tell people afterwards. The time is here and now. Make the most of it.

Place all your feelings outside of yourself and you will be renewed. – Laozi

  • … but I knew then that we were like the clouds that fill the sky so that you can no longer tell where one ends and another begins… We had children, we honored God and family, then, one day, a wind came and parted the clouds.
  • Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.
  • Anyone who knows God cannot describe him. Anyone who can describe God does not know him.
  • Why have I been complaining all these months about not being in touch with the Divine Energy? What nonsense! We are always in touch with it, it’s only routine that prevents us from feeling it.
  • Times neither moves nor is it stationary. Time changes.
    • We occupy one point in that constantly mutating time – our Aleph.
  • Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us, they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms. For example, I can’t see who is in the next carriage, but it contains people traveling in the same time as me, as you, as everyone. The fact that we can’t speak to them or know what’s going on in that other carriage is completely irrelevant. They are there. So what we call “life” is a train with many carriages. Sometimes we are in one, sometimes we are in another, and sometimes we cross between them, when we dream or allow ourselves to be swept away by the extraordinary.
  • “Why are there so many conflicts then?” “So that the world can evolve, so that the body can change. It’s nothing personal.”
  • If you don’t get up early, you’ll never see the sun rise. If you don’t pray, God may be near, but you won’t feel His presence.

The Path to Peace flows like a river and because it resists nothing, it has won even before it has begun. The art of peace is unbeatable because no one is fighting against anyone, only themselves. If you conquer yourself, then you will conquer the world. – Morihei Ueshiba

First develop a strategy that utilizes everything around you. The best way to prepare for a challenge is to cultivate the ability to call upon an infinite variety of responses.

  • “Where have you been?” is not an empty question. Anyone asking it is also saying “I missed you”, “I want to be with you”, “I need to know what you’ve been up to”.
  • There is always an element of ‘beginner’s luck’, conceived by God simply to show that it’s possible, but after that, the situation goes into reverse and returns to what it was before.
  • Non-resistance: Good fighters use their opponent’s energy and turn it back on them. So the more I waste my energy on words, the less convinced I will be of what I’m saying, and the easier it will be to get the better of me.
  • All I need at the moment is for you to embrace me, a gesture as old as humanity itself, and which means far more than the meeting of two bodies. An embrace means I don’t feel threatened by you, I’m not afraid to be this close, I can relax, feel at home, feel protected and in the presence of someone who understands me. It is said that each time we embrace someone warmly, we gain an extra day of life. So please, embrace me now.
  • The motto of the alchemists was Solve et coagula, which means “separate and bring together”.
  • The trouble with words is that they give us the illusory sense that we are making ourselves understood as well as understanding what others are saying. However, when we turn around and come face to face with our destiny, we discover that words are not enough.
    • A warrior in search of his dream must take his inspiration from what he actually does and not from what he imagines himself doing.
  • Knowing how to appreciate and honor our opponents is a far cry from what flatters, wimps or traitors do.
  • I love you because all the loves in the world are like different rivers flowing into the same lake, where they meet and are transformed into a single love that becomes rain and blesses the earth.
  • I love you like a river which understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows. I love you because we are all born in the same place, at the same source, which keeps us provided with a constant supply of water. And so, when we feel weak, all we have to do is wait a little. The spring returns, the winter snows melt and fill us with new energy.
    • I love you like a river that begins as a solitary trickle in the mountains and gradually grows and joins other rivers until, after a certain point, it can flow around any obstacles in order to get where it wants.
    • I receive your love and I give you mine. Not the love of a man for a woman, not the love of a father for a child, not the love of God for his creatures, but a love with no name and no explanation, like a river that cannot explain why it follows a particular course, but simply onwards. A love that asks for nothing and gives nothing in return; it is simply there.
  • … for both sexes possess the gift that will allow them to enter into contact with the unknown, as long as they are open to their ‘feminine side.’
  • Is it possible to deviate from the path God has made? Yes, but it’s always a mistake. It is possible to avoid pain? Yes, but you’ll never learn anything. Is it possible to know something without ever having experienced it? Yes, but it will never truly be part of you.
  • Sometimes you have to travel a long way in order to find what is near. When the rain returns to earth, it brings with it the things of the air.
    • The magical and the extraordinary are with me and with everyone in the Universe all the time, but sometimes we forget that and need to be reminded…

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Quotes
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It is only in appearance that time is a river. It is rather a vast landscape and it is the eye of the beholder that moves.

– Thornton Wilder

Posted: August 2, 2011 in Quotes
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Life is a wave, which in no two consecutive moments of its existence is composed of the same particles.

– John Tyndall

  • The word which is “creation” in English language is in Sanskrit exactly “projection.”
    • Western Creation: Something that coming out of nothing.
    • Vedanta Creation: Projection of that which already existed.
  • We are all one, and the cause of evil is the perception of duality.
    • As soon as I begin to feel that I am separate from this universe, then first comes fear, and then comes misery.
    • In reality there is one, but in Maya it is appearing as many.
    • The real is one. It is the mind which makes it appear as many. When we perceive diversity, the unity has gone; and as soon as we perceive the unity, the diversity has vanished.
  • Behind everything the same divinity is existing, and out of this comes the basis of morality. Do not injure another. Love everyone as your own self, because the whole universe is one. In injuring another, I am injuring myself; in loving another, I am loving myself.
  • Just as when a farmer wants to water his field from the canals that pass near, he has only to lift his gate – so each man is the Infinite already, only these bars and bolts and different circumstances shut him in; but as soon as these are removed, he rushes out and expresses himself.
  • Concentrating the powers of the mind is the only way to knowledge.
    • Knowledge is a lower state; it is only in Maya that we can have knowledge.
  • Religion always takes three steps. The first is dualism. Then man gets to a higher state, partial non-dualism. And at last he finds he is one with the universe.
    • When a man first hears it, he must reason on it, so that he does not believe it ignorantly, but knowingly; and after reasoning what it is, he must meditate upon it, and then realize it. And that is religion. Belief is no part of religion. We say religion is a super-conscious state.
  • “Why” cannot be asked beyond the limit of causation. It can only be asked within Maya.
  • [Yoga] One ounce of practice is worth a thousand pounds of theory.
  • Of all scriptures of the world it is the Vedas alone that declare that even the study of the Vedas is secondary. The real study is “that by which we realize the unchangeable.” And that is neither reading, nor believing, nor reasoning, but super-conscious perception, or Samadhi.
  • In the unconditioned there cannot be time, space, or causation.
  • Ignorance makes the illusion.
    • Not that we do not know, or that we are ignorant; but it is above knowledge, and cannot be brought down to the plane of knowledge.
    • There are certain things which we can never know, because they are much higher than the highest vibration of knowledge.
    • Knowledge cannot be the goal, because knowledge is a compound. It is compound of power and freedom, and it is freedom alone that is desirable. Simply the possession of power would not be knowledge.
    • It is not law that we want but ability to break law. We want to be outlaws.
  • If you think you are free, free you will be.
  • There is really no difference between matter, mind, and spirit. They are only different phases of experiencing the One.
  • Reason is not perfect. It is, however, the only possible rational system that the human mind can conceive.
  • Why should God need any purpose? If He had any, He would be bound by it. There would be something besides Him which was greater.
  • As soon as we react, we become slaves.

I sleep but my heart is awake. – Song of Songs 5:2

  • Dreaming emanates from our right brain which, along with the rest of our brain, never stops emitting nerve impulses. This is a natural result of being alive. Like breathing, it goes on day and night.
  • The left brain is abstract and talks of mind, the right brain is spatial and speaks of body.
    • The right brain doesn’t “think”, it experiences. Its realm is the body, its language is formed with images (The process by which the right brain translates our sensory experiences into awareness).

The poet’s language, with its “head of emotion,” its associative images, its leaps, brings us closer to the real thing. The farther poem gets from its initial worldly circumstance without breaking the thread, the more content it has. – Robert Bly

  • Poets flourish at precisely this juncture between the imaginal and the verbal. To them the dream world is primal; verbal language is the servant of dream. For the poet, living movements of the imaginal body gives rise to words as the earth gives rise to a fountain of life. The words of the imaginal body don’t necessarily follow each other in a rational sequence as they would in an intellectual argument. In poetry there are leaps, amazing juxtapositions, shocking associations.
  • Disowning its twin sibling which is the imaginal mind, the conscious mind has fed upon its ability to “know” reality. For four centuries and more it has glorified in measuring, verifying, and proving what it knows. A huge cultural ego has grown around this ability to fix knowledge.
    • In the words of this theorizing ego: What cannot be proven is not true, what is not verifiable does not exist.
    • This way of thinking is very seductive, as it greatly reduces the uncertainties we face and allows us to believe that we control our environment.
  • What cannot be proven is not necessarily untrue.
    • This allows us to accept what we “see” while we yet lack the simply logical tools, or a paradigm, to prove it.
  • Is fear not there to teach us courage?
    • Confronting mysteries may lead us on fascinating adventures we would otherwise miss if we were to give in to our fear.
  • We can hold onto what we think is stable: the outside world. We cling to our supposed ability to distinguish the separation, for we are convinced our safety depends on our being able to see reality as it is.
  • The true juncture between the two world is the body. Trust your body.
    • Your sensations are the pathways in both directions, to the concrete and to the dream world. The senses act as doors that swing in or out at will.
  • Dream acts on the physical world.
    • The images may be “fantasy,” but their effects are real.
    • Imagination affects the physical, and vice versa.
    • The two world interact through the body.
  • By paying attention to your senses, you catch the tail of the beast. Staying grounded in the present and becoming skillful at listening to what your body’s senses are telling you is the first step in your training as a dreamer.
    • Victory over our illusions and projections comes when we are able to distinguish, in our bodies, the difference in sensation between our surface reactions and our true intuitive feelings.
  • We live in a world made recognizable through patterns and forms and, should they disappear, this world would become lost to us.
  • While we would feel totally naked and vulnerable without a sense of boundaries (left brain: stability), at the same time we long to escape their imprisonment (right brain: freedom).
    • We need shape to shape ourselves. Yet we also need a vacation away from shape to allow ourselves, when we return, a larger gamut of choices within the patterned tapestry of this world.
  • We can sustain some chaos, but pattern grounds our lives.
    • Without pattern, life cease to make sense.
    • The mind is insatiable in its search for meaningful patterns.
    • This is the paradox you will encounter as you become a true dreamer: to be able to experience the lightness and freedom beyond pattern and yet remain grounded in your earthly body!
  • In perceiving your world you create it. What you are attracted to defines the way you see the world and yourself.
    • You make the world fit into the parameters of your strange attractors.
    • Since you gravitate only towards certain configurations and ignore others, your worldview is essentially limited and your beliefs about your possibilities are also restricted.
  • The destiny of man is to fully embody the potential offered by the genetic structure that is given to him. Each human being incarnates to fulfill that purpose. But human beings respond to their environment, they have the power of choice…
    • More difficult to deal with than genetic endowments are the environmental restraints which have conditioned us, through repeated programming from the outside, to a narrowed perspective on life. This conditioning is there from the beginning of life.
    • We are self-referent creatures, we train ourselves as we go along, digging ourselves deeper into the groove we have chosen. Then we train our children to do the same.
  • Hypnagogic images: These images appear at the threshold between waking and sleeping, when all your habitual processes are reversed (you are lying down, not standing; your eyes are closed, not open; your muscles are relaxed, not working). You are too relaxed to want to manipulate your images, and thus this hidden inner world – the reverse of the outer world – comes out to play.
  • Imagine that you have been in a dark cave for many days and nights. When you come out into the sunshine the probability is that you will see only swirling colors, hazy shapes, and unfocused senses which you will misinterpret. In the same fashion, you have been in the open cave of the outer world far too long, and have forgotten how to “see” in the dark.
    • When you focus in this new world, you scan the whole picture without ever narrowing in on one particular form. You learn to watch a pattern without getting caught in the pattern.

Rabbi Hiyya said: When the evil inclination (the unexamined impulse) starts to attach itself to a man it is like someone coming to the door (of a house). When he sees that no one tries stop him, he enters the house and becomes a guest. He notices that no one tries to stop him or send him on his way. Once he has entered the house, and still no one tries to stop him, he gains the upper hand becomes the master of the house, so that in time he exercises control over the whole household. – Zohar II, 267B – 268A

What has been done in time must be undone with time. – Colette Simhah Aboulker-Muscat

  • Wouldn’t it be great to be able to stop?…To say “no” and, in so doing, be the master of your needs rather than their slave?
    • …by reigning in their instinctual nature, we can make this great energy available for positive, creative purposes – bringing in extra soul, vital energy.
  • Habits are ingrained in the body. You must work with the body if you wish  to change your habits.
    • To be successful, you must replace this old habit with another “better” habit.
  • Life is movement.
  • Strange attractors – empty lungs and air – have found each other. From the initial shock of their meeting, the whole pathway and form of their interaction is forged into a pattern of exhaling and inhaling. The impulse of the empty lungs to kick back when incited or pricked by the air is what we call an “instinctual reflex.” We can say that our instinct is to breathe out.
    • In the same way, the first encounter of eyes and light stimulates the impulse to see forms; the first sounds activating our ear drums stimulate the impulse to hear sounds; the first meeting of body and space stimulates the impulse to move; skin and touch stimulate the impulse for contact; an empty stomach stimulates the impulse to eat; too much stimuli stimulates the impulse to shut down and sleep.
    • These are all reflexes and instincts, impulsive movements in response to outside stimuli.
    • Our inner nature encounters outside nature and habits of interaction are formed.
    • Fear gravitates toward anger.
    • Just as our bodies are subject to the natural pull of gravity, our psyches are attracted to our more natural urges (desires and reactions).
  • The truth is that there is no sin, only a lack of awareness of where to direct the great waves of our emotions.
    • Blocking an instinctual movement is like blocking the raging torrent. Tension builds and builds, to the point where something has to give.
    • Remember – the movement must go somewhere, for once it is triggered it cannot stop moving until, like a wave, it has exhausted its potential.
  • Being able to observe yourself is the first step in clearing the mirror, while recording your movements brings your observations into concrete focus.

A dream that is not interpreted is like a letter that is not read. And come and see. If one does not remember it, it is as if one had never known it. Therefore whoever forgets a dream and does not know it, will not benefit from its fulfillment. – Zohar I, 199B – 200A

  • Nightmares don’t vanish so easily. How can they, since they are our perception of chaotic sensations produced by our very real emotions?
  • Disease can manifest at four different levels:
    • The physical
    • The emotional (fantasies, illusions, destructive patterns of behavior, etc.)
    • The mental (obsessions, compulsions, schizothymia, paranoia, etc.)
    • The spiritual (indolence, indifference, bitterness, accidie, loss of meaning, apostasy, etc.)
    • One thing you may be sure of, if there is backed-up energy, disease will eventually make its appearance at one of those levels of your being. Can you imagine living in a house where a supporting wall is cracked? If you can’t trust the stability of your own home, you won’t find much enjoyment in your life. Your anxiety and obsession about the cracked wall can cause you to lose your healthy grip on reality. Added to this, instead of dealing with the source of your disease, you are now obsessed about its effects.
  • Repetitiveness is a call for help.
  • We are call caught in some form of repetitive behavior, simply because we are human. It is the nature of our world to be limited by form and habit.
  • Remember, our feelings are not emotions.
    • Emotions are reactions to blocked desires, expectations, claims, etc.
    • Emotions is a movement out, a spark of electricity in reaction to an outer trigger, while feeling is a state of being.
    • Emotions are not thoughts. They are experiences. When you feel anger, you whole body is involved.
  • We need the flame of emotion to light the fire of feeling.
  • Since feeling is triggered by a response, it always comes from the heart realm.

Men and women are animals so long as they react. They only become human beings when they learn to respond.

  • Respond instead of react – adequately address the necessity of the situation.
    • Responding means transmuting emotions into feeling.
    • Why not simply be present to what is presented to us and look necessity in the face?
  • Despite what you say to yourself, the dream is you. You are its audience, yes, but you are also its author…you are the creator of your dreams.
  • Remember that the place inside you where dreams are created is fundamentally optimistic and free.
  • As an old pattern moves into a new configuration, you will feel moved in your entire being.
  • Whereas the conscious mind seizes, directs, proceeds linearly and by elimination, the dreaming mind dissolves, transmutes, leaps ahead or in any which direction – like the all-powerful queen in the game of chess.
  • For, like that famous fruit [Adam and Eve’s apple], truth to us is both good and evil and must be handled with care.
  • As true disciples of scientific side of the Enlightenment, we have been taught, and we teach our children, to step out and, unfortunately, to stay out. Objectivity is our credo. We pride ourselves on being able to distinguish, to separate, to study each aspect of a matter.
    • It is time we remembered that experience as a way of knowing is powerful, valid, and equal in importance to our ability to reason and employ logic as means by which to reach the ultimate goal of “knowledge.”
  • The disease of our modern times is our need to dissect, describe, classify, and interpret experience.
    • With too much information at our fingertips, we are reaching the breaking point where real meanings gets lost in the mind’s deconstructing process.
  • Continually exploring one direction to the exclusion of the others is an impoverishment. To become true dreamers we need to explore all directions.
  • Law of open-endedness: If we set out to ask a question and rush to answer it, we haven’t allowed the question to hang suspended over the void. We haven’t listened.
    • Open-endedness creates the space for a response to come. This space (the pause) is not only the secret of knowing yourself, it is the secret of all healing. Within the pause, the response finds the room to emerge. Open-endedness allows the source to be triggered and the imagination to unfold creatively.
  • How will you ever learn to focus your imagination if, at the very beginning, you are already questioning its validity?
  • Is “vision” a prophetic message from the gods? Or a blueprint of our inner structure that, when unfolded, reveals the true purpose of our being?
  • Don’t worry whether your first memory is an authentic memory or simply a “screen memory,” because either type is capable of becoming your personal myth, as it is its effect on you that is important.

There is a time to laugh and a time to cry. – Ecclesiastes 3:4

  • None of us is immune to the inexorable order of things.
  • The only difference between you and those you envy is a difference in timing.
    • Like the phoenix, they have resurrected themselves from their ashes, whereas so far you haven’t been able to do so.
    • Even when you are in possession of the inestimable treasure of having discovered your purpose in life, you still must face the struggles inherent in accomplishing that purpose.
  • When the conscious mind acknowledges its failure and gives up trying to solve the problem, there is room for the emotions to be felt. This does not mean that the conscious mind goes to sleep. Instead it relinquishes center stage and steps aside to place itself in the observer’s position.
    • Just allow yourself whatever emotion you feel and acknowledge your experience…This allows you to sink into the body of the experience, the domain of the subconscious mind, where two seemingly opposite tendencies can co-exist. It is in this cauldron of paradox that “something other” can emerge.
  • Curiously, being both minds at once, you are the conscious mind amazed as new pattern and directions emerge, and the subconscious mind at play, skipping in the woods! Observer and participant all in one…
  • Memory is selective.

All happy families resemble each other, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. – Leo Tolstoy

  • True, we can be stuck remembering a happiness we lost, but it is regret and loss that motivate us to spend time with the memory, not happiness.
  • Emulation is a very persuasive and seductive argument when you are young and inexperienced (Isn’t that exactly what Eve wants to be, like God? Don’t kids just want to be like their parents?). But, to keep you out of danger, obedience is required.
  • Separation is the first wound.
    • The first wound was separation: another word for it is “stopping.” You were stopped, denied fulfillment of your longing to be One with your mother, with God.
    • Fear and anxiety, anger and frustration, guilt and resentment; these are the dreadful mix-ups arising from the original wound of separation.
  • Unresolved emotions and thwarted desires crowd our minds, pushing against us, intruding on our present, muddying our vision of the future. Isn’t it time we did something about them?

In returning and in rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. – Isaiah 30:15

  • Can we give rise to love and goodness in place of reactivity and thwarted desires?
  • It takes only an instant, a shift of seeing, for fear – the ogre – to become servant to our kavanah.
    • Imagine that instead of being a passenger in the speeding train of your life, you are the switchman at the central switchboard…While you speed along in your train, you are also “considering,” from the switchman’s position, the train’s direction.
  • Remember, we cannot dispense with an emotion without replacing it with something better, in the same way that we cannot dispense with a bad habit without replacing it with another, better one.
    • Where there is an empty space you must dream up something better or the empty space will fill up with the old dream again, and you, sadly, will be back where you started.
  • You can teach anything to the body so long as you teach it in the regular intervals of natural rhythms of beats and pauses.
    • Seven and multiples of seven are natural rhythms.
  • You eat three times a day or five and, because you eat this frequently, think how often during the day food comes into your thoughts. If you have been habituated to pray to God three or five times a day, God will come into your thoughts more often than into those of someone who is not practicing daily prayer.
  • As we strive over and over to return to the heart center through our dreaming, the physical world strives to unman and unbalance us and cut us off from our true feelings again and again.
  • …we learn to become one with the movement and to rest ourselves in the rhythm of the flow.
  • Isn’t it finally obvious that keeping dreaming and consciousness apart will only lead to more opposition?
  • A consciousness that cultivates sobriety (patience, attentiveness) will be rewarded with an insight to the “laws” governing the “irrational.”
  • Can we embrace our two worlds, supporting their differences, contradictions, and opposites equally, beyond opinion?
    • Paradox means (para) “beyond” + (doxa) “opinion.”
  • Attaining balance is always precarious…consider this task of balancing, to be a work in progress. Perfection is of the moment only.
    • Total illumination is not of this world: there are always new causes for unbalance, and new heart spaces to grow into.
    • In bodywork, balance is achieved by equal pressure converging and diverging at the same time from all directions.
  • When we open us to allow all manner of creatures, ways, and truths to exist side by side, understanding, wisdom and compassion develop exponentially.
  • Switch your energy from indecision and idle irritation to active participation in the flow.
  • Since it is no use trying to compete with consciousness, why not elicit its cooperation? Why not use it to watch, not only the outer world which it does by predilection, but also the inner world?

Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein

  • Practice speaking from your “insights” (speak directly from the dream image instead of short-circuiting half of your brain’s input) and soon your two languages will blend. You will have created for yourself a new, fresh, and very alive way of communication. It will free you from calculation and manipulation. The grace, ease, and magic of dreaming will animate all of your encounters.

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Quotes
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You cannot avoid making judgements but you can become more conscious of the way in which you make them. This is critically important because once we judge someone or something we tend to stop thinking about them or it. Which means, among other things, that we behave in response to our judgements rather than to that to which is being judged. People and things are processes. Judgments convert them into fixed states. This is one reason that judgements are often self-fulfilling.

– Neil Postman

  • This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything know about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.
    • The first result of this illusion is that our attitude to the world “outside” us is largely hostile. We are forever “conquering” nature, space, mountains, deserts, bacteria, and insects instead of learning to cooperate with them in a harmonious order.
    • The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events – that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies – and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.
  • Religions are divisive and quarrelsome. They are a form of one-upmanship because they depend upon separating the “saved” from the “damned,” the true believers from the heretics, the in-group from the out-group. Even religious liberals play the game of “we’re-more-tolerant-than-you.”
    • Furthermore, as systems of doctrine, symbolism, and behavior, religious harden into institutions that must command loyalty, be defended and kept “pure,” and because all belief is fervent hope, and thus a cover-up for doubt and uncertainty – religions must make converts.
    • No considerate God would destroy the human mind by making it so rigid and inadaptable as to depend upon one book, the Bible, for all the answers. For the use of words, and thus of a book, is to point beyond themselves to a world of life and experience that is not mere words or even ideas.
  • Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world. Faith is, above all, openness – an act of trust in the unknown.
  • The Book that I would like to slip to my children would itself be slippery. It would slip them into a new domain, not of ideas alone, but of experience and feeling. It would be a temporary medicine, not a diet; a point of departure, not a perpetual point of reference.
  • The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego.
  • …myself does not reside in the drop alone, but in the whole surge of energy which ranges from the galaxies to the nuclear fields in my body. At this level of existence “I” am immeasurably old; my forms are infinite and their comings and goings are simply the pulses or vibrations of a single and eternal flow of energy.
  • Genuine love comes from knowledge, not from a sense of duty or guilt.
  • Yet remember, this story of the cycles of the world’s appearance and disappearance is myth, not science, parable rather than prophecy.
  • The very things that we believe to exist are always on/offs. Ons alone and offs alone do not exist.
    • Although sounds of high vibration seem to be continuous, to be pure sound, they are not. Every sound is actually sound/silence, only the ear does not register this consciously when the alternation is too rapid.
    • Light, too, is not pure light, but light/darkness.
  • Space is the relationship between bodies; and without it there can be neither energy nor motion.
    • Things are said to move only when compared with others that are relatively still, for motion is motion/stillness.
    • But the mistake in the beginning was to think of solids and space as two different things, instead of as two aspects of the same thing. The point is that they are different but inseparable.
      • Take away the crest of the wave, and there is no trough.
  • Attention is narrowed perception.
    • It is a way of looking at life bit by bit, using memory to string the bits together – as when examining a dark room with a flash light having a very narrow beam.
    • The narrow slit in the fence is much like the way in which we look at life by conscious attention, for when we attend to something we ignore everything else.
    • To these we attend, and the rest we ignore – for which reason conscious attention is at the same time ignorance despite the fact that it gives us a vividly clear picture of whatever we choose to notice.
    • We also speak of attention as noticing. To notice is to select, to regard some bits of perception, or some features of the world, as more noteworthy, more significant, than others.
  • It is hard to notice anything for which the languages available to us (whether verbal, mathematical, or musical) have no description.
  • We do not play the Game of Black-and-White – the universal game of up/down, on/off, solid/space, and each/all. Instead, we play the game of Black-versus-White or more usually, White-versus-Black.
    • …We are doing something as crazy as trying to keep the mountains and get rid of the valleys.
  • Imagination cannot grasp simple nothingness and must therefore fill the void with fantasies…
  • Power is not necessarily wisdom. I may have virtual omnipotence in the government of my body and my physical environment, but how am I to control myself so as to avoid folly and error in its use?
  • The question is then whether technical progress actually “gets anywhere” in the sense of increasing the delight and happiness of life.
    • …all too soon these new contrivances are taken for granted, and we find ourselves oppressed with the new predicaments which they bring with them.
  • However much we divide, count, sort, or classify this wiggling into particular things and events, this is no more than a way of thinking about the world: it is never actually divided.
  • Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way, like the problem of cause and effect.
  • The definition of a thing or event must include definition of its environment, we realize that any given thing goes with a given environment so intimately and inseparably that it is more difficult to draw a clear boundary between the thing and its surroundings.
    • Asking “What does it do?” is not enough. We must also ask, “In what surroundings is it doing it?”
  • Your soul, or rather your essential Self, is the whole cosmos as it is centered around the particular time, place, and activity called John Doe. Thus the soul is not in the body, but the body in the soul, and the soul is the entire network of relationships and processes which make up your environment, and apart from which you are nothing.
    • The human individual is not built as a car is built. He does not come into being by assembling parts, by screwing a head onto a neck, by wiring a brain to a set of lungs, or by welding veins to a heart. Head, neck, heart, lungs, brain, veins, muscles, and glands are separate names but not separate events, and these events grow into being simultaneously and interdependently. In precisely the same way, the individual is separate from his universal environment only in name. when this is not recognized, you have been fooled by your name.
  • Double-bind – a person is put in a double-bind by a command or request which contains a concealed contradiction.
    • Stop being self-conscious!
    • Try to relax.
  • The social double-bind game:
    • The first rule of this game is that it is not a game.
    • Everyone must play.
    • You must love us.
    • You must go on living.
    • Be yourself, but play a consistent and acceptable role.
    • Control yourself and be natural.
    • Try to be sincere.
  • Instead of giving our children clean and explicit explanations of the game rules of the community, we befuddle them hopelessly because we – as adults – were once so befuddled, and, remaining so, do not understand the game we are playing.
  • Faith – in life, in other people, and in oneself – is the attitude of allowing the spontaneous to be spontaneous, in its own way and in its own time. That is, of course, risky because life and other people do not always respond to faith as we might wish.
    • But to take the gamble out of the game, to try to make winning a dead certainty, is to achieve a certainty which is indeed dead.
    • The alternative to a community based on mutual trust is a totalitarian police-state, a community in which spontaneity is virtually forbidden.
  • Every individual is a unique manifestation of the Whole, as every branch is a particular outreaching of the tree.
    • Differentiation is not separation.
  • Because he is now so largely defined as a separate person caught up in a mindless and alien universe, his principal task is to get one-up on the universe and to conquer nature. This is palpably absurd, and since the task is never achieved, the individual is taught to live and work for some future in which the impossible will at last happen, if not for him, then at least for his children. We are thus breeding a type of human being incapable of living in the present – that is, of really living.
    • You will never, never be able to sit back with full contentment and say, “Now, I’ve arrived!” Your entire education has deprived you of this capacity because it was preparing you for the future, instead of showing you how to be alive now.
  • For our pleasures are not material pleasures but symbols of pleasure – attractively packaged but inferior in content.
  • Gestalt theory of perception – no figure is ever perceived except in relation to a background.
  • We do not easily notice that all features of the world hold their boundaries in common with the areas that surround them – that the outline of the figure is also the inline of the background.
  • The difficulty is that most languages are arranged so that actions (verbs) have to be set in motion by things (nouns), and we forget that rules of grammar are not necessarily rules, or patterns, of nature.
    • For the organism is sometimes a running process, sometimes a standing process, sometimes a sleeping process, and so on, and in each instance the “cause” of the behavior is the situation as a whole, the organism/environment. Indeed, it would be best to drop the idea of causality and use instead the idea of relativity.
  • It is what it does. More precisely, the organism, including its behavior, is a process which is to be understood only in relation to the larger and longer process of its environment.
    • The whole is a pattern which has no separate parts.
    • Parts are fictions of language – parts exist only for purposes of figuring and describing.
  • It is easy enough to see that an intelligent human being implies an intelligent human society, for thinking is a social activity – a mutual interchange of messages and ideas based on such social institutions as languages, sciences, libraries, universities, and museums.
  • No current will “flow” through a wire until the positive pole is connected with the negative, or, to put it very simply, no current will start unless it has a point of arrival, and a living organism is a “point of arrival” apart from which there can never be the “currents” or phenomena of light, heat, weight, hardness, and so forth.

The fool who persists in his folly will become wise. – William Blake

  • We have lacked the proper self-respect of recognizing that I, the individual organism, am a structure of such fabulous ingenuity that it calls the whole universe into being.
    • We have lacked the real humility of recognizing that we are members of the biosphere, the “harmony of contained conflicts” in which we cannot exist at all without the cooperation of [everything].

…the world cannot be analyzed correctly into distinct parts; instead, it must be regarded as an indivisible unit in which separate parts appear as valid approximations only in the classical [i.e. Newtonian] limit…Thus at the quantum level of accuracy, an object does not have any “intrinsic” properties (for instance, wave or particle) belonging to itself alone; instead, it shares all its properties mutually and indivisibly with the systems with which it interacts. Moreover, because a given object, such as an electron, interacts at different potentialities, it undergoes…continual transformation between the various forms (for instance, wave or particle form) in which it can manifest itself.

Although such fluidity and dependence of form on the environment have not been found, before the advent of quantum theory, at the level of elementary particles in physics, they are not uncommon…in fields, such as biology, which deal with complex systems. Thus, under suitable environmental conditions, a bacterium can develop into a spore stage, which is completely different in structure, and vice versa. – David Bohm, Quantum Theory

  • For eternally and always there in only now, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end.
  • Man so defined and so experienced is, of course, incapable of pleasure and contentment, let alone creative power. Hoaxed into the illusion of being an independent, responsible source of actions, he cannot understand why what he does never comes up to what he should do, to a society which has defined him as separate cannot persuade him to behave as if he really belonged. Thus he feels chronic guilt and makes the most heroic efforts to placate his conscience.
    • The separate person is without content, in both senses of the word. He lives perpetually on hope, on looking forward to tomorrow, having been brought up this way from childhood…
  • If you know what you want, and will be content with it, you can be trusted.
    • But if you do not know, your desires are limitless and no one can tell how to deal with you. For whom that does not know what he wants, everyone suspects that there are limitless strings attached to his gifts.
  • No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

Part of the blessedness of the saints in Heaven was that they could look over the battlements and enjoy the “proper justice” of the sinners squirming in Hell. – Saint Thomas Aquinas

  • All winners need losers; all saints need sinners; all sages need fools.

If I am I because you are you, and if you are you because I am I, them I am not I, you are not you. – A Hassidic rabbi

  • How to get over the sensation of being locked out from everything “other,” of being only oneself – an organism flung into unavoidable competition and conflict with almost every “object” in its experience?
  • Nothing unites a community so much as common cause against an external enemy, yet, in the same moment, that enemy becomes the essential support of social unity.
    • Therefore larger societies require larger enemies.
  • The more resolute you plumb the question “Who or what am I?” – the more you unavoidable is the realization that you are nothing at all apart from everything else.
  • When this feeling of separateness is approached and accepted like any other sensation, it evaporates like the mirage that it is.
  • There is, indeed, no compulsion unless there is also freedom of choice, for the sensation of behaving involuntarily is known only by contrast with that of behaving voluntarily.

When purpose has been used to achieve purposelessness, the thing has been grasped. – The Secret of the Golden Flower

  • To play so as to be relaxed and refreshed for work is not to play, and no work is well and finely done unless it, too, is a form of play.
  • The word is a spell (in Latin, Fascinum), an enchantment (being thrilled by a chant), an amazement (being lost in a maze), an arabesque of such stunning rhythm and a plot so intriguing that we are drawn by its web into a state of involvement where we forget that it is a game…It is simultaneously the purest nonsense and the utmost artistry.
  • The universe is at root a magical illusion and a fabulous game, and that there is no separate “you” to get something out of it, as if life were a bank to be robbed. The only real “you” is the one that comes and goes, manifests and withdraws itself eternally in and as every conscious being. For “you” is the universe looking at itself from billions of points of view, points that come and go so that the vision is forever new. What we see as death, empty space, or nothingness is only the trough between the crests of this endlessly waving ocean. It is all part of the illusion that there should seem to be something to be gained in the future, and that there is an urgent necessity to go on and on until we get it. Yet just as there is no time but the present, and no one except the all-and-everything, there is never anything to be gained – though the zest of the game is to pretend that there is.
  • If we want justice for minorities and cooled wars with our natural enemies, whether human or nonhuman, we must first come to terms with the minority and the enemy in ourselves and in our own hearts, for the rascal is there as much as anywhere in the “external” world – especially when you realize that the world outside your skin is as much yourself as the world inside.
  • The goal of action is always contemplation – knowing and being rather than seeking and becoming.
  • Nothing so eludes conscious inspections consciousness itself. This is why the root of consciousness has been called, paradoxically, the unconsciousness.
  • Just as true humor is laughter at oneself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.
  • Anyone who thinks at all must be a philosopher – a good one or a bad one – because it is impossible to think without premises, without basic (and in this sense, metaphysical) assumptions about what is sensible, what is the good life, what is beauty, and what is pleasure. To hold such assumptions, consciously or unconsciously, is to philosophize.
  • Chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy are special fascination with the details of our environment, but metaphysics is fascination with the whole thing.
  • Thought and sensation are analytical and selective, and thus present the world as no more than a multiplicity of things and events.

What guarantee is there that the five senses, taken together, do cover the whole of possible experience? They cover simply our actual experience, our human knowledge of facts or events. There are gaps between the fingers; there are gaps between the senses. In these gaps is the darkness which hides the connection between things…This darkness is the source of our vague fears and anxieties, but also the home of the gods. They alone see the connections, the total relevance of everything that happens; that which now comes to us in bits and pieces, the “accidents” which exist only in our heads, in our limited perceptions. – Idris Parry

  • All knowledge is a recognition of the mutual relations between sense experiences and/or things and events.
    • All things are known by their differences from and likeness to each other.
  • Enantiodromia – the attainment of any extreme position is the point where it begins to turn into its own opposite.
  • Listen intently to a voice singing without words. It may charm you into crying, force you to dance, fill you with rage, or make you jump for joy. You can’t tell where the music ends and the emotions begin, for the whole thing is a kind of music – the voice playing on your nerves as the breath plays on a flute. All experience is just that, except that its music has many more dimension than sound. It vibrates in the dimensions of sight, touch, taste, and smell, and in the intellectual dimension of symbols and words – all evoking and playing upon each other.
  • For this unity is not mere oneness as opposed to multiplicity, since these two terms are themselves polar. The unity, or inseparability, of one and many is therefore referred to in Vedanta philosophy as “non-duality” (advaita) to distinguish it from simply uniformity.
    • Language can no more transcend duality than paintings or photographs upon a flat surface can go beyond two dimensions. Yet by the convention of perspective, certain two-dimensional lines that slant towards a “vanishing-point” are taken to represent the third dimension of depth.
    • In a similar way, the dualistic term “non-duality” is taken to represent the “dimension” in which explicit differences have implicit unity.
  • What lies beyond opposites must be discussed, if at all, in terms of opposites, and this means using the language of analogy, metaphor, and myth.
  • The difficulty is not only that language is dualistic, insofar as words are labels for mutually exclusive classes. The problem is that IT is so much more myself than I thought I was, so central and basic to my existence, that I cannot make it an object. There is no way to stand outside IT, and, in fact, no need to do so. For so long as I am trying to grasp IT, I am implying that IT is not really myself. If it were possible, I am losing the sense of it by attempting to find it. This is why those who really know that they are IT invariably say they do not understand it, for IT understands understanding – not the other way around. One cannot, and need no, go deeper than deep!
  • It is difficult not to feel the force of the image, because images sway our emotions more deeply than conceptions.

Nothing is left to you at this moment but to have a good laugh! – Zen saying

  • We [The separate selves] do not trust the universe to repeat what it has already done – to “I” itself again and again. We see it as a eternal arena in which the individual is no more than a temporary stranger – a visitor who hardly belongs – for the thin ray of consciousness does not shine upon its own source. In looking out upon the world, we forget that the world is looking at itself – through our eyes and IT’s.

 

[Kahlil Gibran’s] His power came from some great reservoir of spiritual life else it could not have been so universal and so potent, but the majesty and beauty of the language with which he clothed it were all his own. – Claude Bragdon

Love
  • And ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
  • Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Children
  • Your children are not your children.
    • You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts.
    • You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
Giving
  • You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
  • Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable?
  • These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
  • It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding.
  • All you have shall some day be given; therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors.
  • [Plant] They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
  • And you receivers – and you are all receivers – assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives. Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings; For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.
Eating and Drinking
  • By the same power that slays you, I too am slain; and I too shall be consumed. For the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand.
  • And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart, “Your seeds shall live in my body, And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart, And your fragrance shall be my breath, And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”
Work
  • And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.
  • You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary. And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge, and all urge is blind save when there is knowledge. And all knowledge is vain save when there is work, and all work is empty save when there is love; and when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
  • And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of our own spirit.
  • Work is love made visible.
Joy and Sorrow
  • Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
  • The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
    • Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
    • And is not the lute that soothes your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
    • When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
    • When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Laws
  • You delight in laying down laws, yet you delight more in breaking them.
    • Like children playing by the ocean who build sand-towers with constancy and then destroy them with laughter.
Freedom
  • And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment.
    • You shall be free indeed when your days are not without care nor your nights without a want and a grief, but rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.
Reason and Passion
  • Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and appetite. Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody. But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?
  • For reasons ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.
    • Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing; and let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.
    • And since you are a breath in God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.
Pain
  • And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
  • Much of your pain is self-chosen.
Self-Knowledge
  • But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure; and seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
  • Say not, ‘I have found the truth,” but rather, ‘I have found a truth.’ Say not, ‘I have found the path of the soul.’ Say rather, ‘I have met the soul walking upon my path.’ For the soul walks upon all paths. The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Teaching
  • No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
  • The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
    • If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
    • For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man. And even as each one of you stands alone in God’s knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.
Friendship
  • And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
    • For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
    • And let your best be for your friend. If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also. For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill? Seek him always with hours to live. For it is his to fill your needs, but not your emptiness. And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
Talking
  • You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts; and when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime. And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered. For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.
Time
  • Yet the timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness, and knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream. And that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scatters the stars into space. Who among you does not feel that his power to love is boundless?…And is not time even as love is, undivided and paceless?
  • But if in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons, and let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.
Good and Evil
  • You are good when you are one with yourself. Yet when are not one with yourself you are not evil.
    • A ship without a rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.
    • You are good when you strive to give of yourself. Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
      • Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, ‘Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.’ For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.
  • You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good.
Prayer
  • For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether? And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart.
  • I cannot teach you how to pray in words. God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips.
Pleasure
  • Pleasure is a freedom-song, but it is not freedom.
    • It is the blossoming of your desires, but it is not their fruit.
    • It is a depth calling unto a height, but it is not the deep nor the high.
    • It is the caged taking wing, but it is not space encompassed.
    • Ay, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song. And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing.
  • And some of your elders remember pleasures with regret like wrongs committed in drunkenness. But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement. They should remember their pleasures with gratitude, as they would the harvest of summer. Yet if it comforts them to regret, let them be comforted.
  • But tell me, who is he that can offend the spirit?
    • Shall the nightingale offend the stillness of the night, or the firefly the stars?
    • And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind?
    • Think you the spirit is a still pool which you can trouble with a staff?
  • And now you ask in your heart, ‘How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?’
    • Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower, but it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee. For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, and to the flower a bee is a messenger of love, and to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
    • People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.
Beauty
  • Beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
    • It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth, but rather a heart inflamed and a soul enchanted.
    • It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear, but rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
  • Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
Death
  • In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; and like seeds dreaming beneath the snow you heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
  • Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
Other
  • We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us. Even when the earth sleeps we travel.
  • Brief were my days among you, and briefer still the words I have spoken. But should my voice fade in your ears, and my love vanish in your memory, then I will come again, and with a richer heart and lips more yielding to the spirit will I speak.
  • If aught I have said is truth, that truth shall reveal itself in a clearer voice, and in words more kin to your thoughts.
  • Man’s needs change, but not his love, nor his desire that his love should satisfy his needs.
  • The mist that drifts away at dawn, leaving but dew in the fields, shall rise and gather into a cloud and then fall down in rain.
  • To judge you by your failure is to cast blame upon the season for their inconsistency.
  • I only speak to you in words of that which you yourselves know in thought. And what is word knowledge but a shadow of wordless knowledge?
  • And some of you have called me aloof, and drunk with my own aloneness, and you have said, ‘He holds council with the trees of the forest, but not with men. He sits alone on hill-tops and looks down upon your city.’ True it is that I have climbed that hills and walked in remote places. How could I have seen you save from a great height or a great distance? How can one be indeed near unless he be far?
  • If these be vague words, then seek not to clear them. Vague and nebulous is the beginning of all things, but not their end, and I fain would have you remember me as a beginning.
  • That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined. Is it not your breath that has erect and hardened the structure of your bone? And is it not a dream which none of you remember having dreamt, that built your city and fashion all there is in it?