Posts Tagged ‘Sex’

  • The basic principle of Tantra is that the world is not divided into the lower and the higher, but that it is one piece.
    • The lower has to be allowed to move upward and in that way the lower becomes the higher.
    • The earth and the sky meet in Tantra; it is the meeting of polar opposites.
    • This is the ultimate for Tantra, to become gods and yet be part of this world.
  • Never condemn anything.
    • By condemning something, you deny yourself the possibilities that would have become available to you if you had encouraged the lower to evolve.
    • Don’t condemn the mud, because the lotus is hidden in the mud.
  • Sex is as sacred as Samadhi. The lowest and the highest are part of one continuum. The lowest rung is as much part of the ladder as the highest rung: they are nowhere divided. If you deny the lower you will never be able to reach the higher.
  • It is simply psychology that if you prohibit somebody from something, that something becomes more attractive, more magnetic.
    • If you say, “Don’t do this!” You can be sure it will be done.
  • Never feel guilty about anything! All that happens is good. The bad does not happen and cannot happen – the world is so full of godliness, how can the bad happen? The bad must be our interpretation.
  • There is no separation between divine love and human, four-lettered love. It is one continuity. You love and divine love are two ends of the same phenomenon, the same energy.
  • Accept yourself, because only through acceptance is transformation possible.
    • If you start feeling guilty, you will become repressive.
    • All is accepted, because all is divine.
  • The inner most core is nothingness, and the outermost circumference is a carnival. The innermost core is meditation, samadhi, and the outermost circumference is sexuality.
  • Tantra is the way of wholeness – neither obsession with the world, nor withdrawal from it. It is being in the world lightly, with a little smile. It is playfulness. It doesn’t take things seriously. It is light of heart, it laughs.
    • Tantra is playfulness. Yes, it is sincere – but not serious. It is joyous.
  • Life is a dance. You have to participate in it. The more silent you become, the deeper your participation.
    • When you have known how to remain still – dance – and the dance will give you the background in which the stillness will come loud and clear.
  • There is no reason for this world, but there is a rhyme and a rhythm.
  • There are only two basic paths: the path of devotion, prayer, and love, and the path of meditation and awareness.
    • Either you can approach reality through thinking or you can approach reality through feeling.
    • On Shiva’s path you no longer love the form, you no longer love the person – you start loving the whole existence.
    • If you can be alone and blissful, then choose Saraha; if you cannot be blissful when you are alone, if your bliss comes only when you relate, then choose Shiva.
  • This is one of the greatest renunciations – it is easy to renounce wealth, it is easy to renounce a great kingdom, but to renounce knowledge is the most difficult thing in the world…It is the greatest austerity there is, to become ignorant again, to become again innocent like a child.
  • To go into Tantra you need the cooperation of a wise woman; without a wise woman, you will not be able to enter the complex world of Tantra.
  • The less civilized, the more primitive, the more alive a person is.
    • The more you become civilized, the more you become plastic – you become artificial.
    • If you become too cultivated, you lose your roots in the earth.
  • To be in the middle means the pendulum just hangs there in the middle, moving neither to the right nor to the left. Then the clock stops. Then the world stops. Then there is no time; then the state of no-time arises.
  • Buddha says, To be worldly is to be worldly, and to be otherworldly is also to be worldly; to worship money is to be mad, to be against money is to be mad; to seek power is foolish, to escape from it is also foolish.
    • You have moved from the left to the right, but money is still at the center of your consciousness.
    • You can change from one desire to another, but you remain the same, the disease persists.
    • When things are natural, you are either for nor against. Both are obsessions.
  • To be total in action is to be free of action. Karma is created because you are not totally in your acts. If you are totally in an action, it leaves no trace.
    • Karma means incomplete actions.
    • Mind has a great temptation to complete things. Complete anything, and the mind is gone.
    • Mind is the accumulated past of all incomplete actions.
    • Do any action totally and you are free of it; you don’t look back because there is nothing to see.
    • …to be in life, to go on doing trivial things, but with such absorption that the profundity is revealed in every action.
  • Inference is just inference, it is not experience.
  • That is real knowledge – to know that which cannot be known, to realize that which unrealizable, to attain that which cannot be attained. This impossible passion is what makes a person a spiritual seeker.
    • By “impossible,” I don’t mean that it will not happen; I mean that it cannot happen unless you are utterly transformed. As you are, it cannot happen, but there are difference ways of being, and you can be totally new.
    • Only the destructible will be destroyed and the indestructible will be there. When you attain to that indestructible element in your being, to that eternal awareness in your being, you are a new consciousness. Through that consciousness the impossible is possible, the unattainable is attained.
  • Reproduction – the word is ugly (is the woman a factory?). Love is Fun! Make love when you are feeling happy, joyous, when you are at the top of the world. Share that energy…Make love out of joy, out of abundant joy. Give when you have it.

Though the house lamps have been lit, the blind live on in the dark. Though spontaneity is all-encompassing and close, To the deluded it remains always far away. – Saraha

  • The only way to get rid of the form is to know it so deeply that it has no attraction anymore.
  • Truth is one, only lies are many. Health is one; diseases are many. One health conquers all disease and one truth conquers all lies.
  • Remember, a mystic has no proof.
    • I am not here to convince you logically, I am here to convince you existentially.
  • You never happen; you are always there. Things happen in you, you never happen.
    • Things happen just like clouds happen in the sky. You are the silent watcher of the play of clouds.
  • When you watch a person’s behavior, you are focusing on the cloud. When you watch the innermost purity of the person’s being, you are watching the sky.
    • Actions are clouds, Doings are clouds. Being is like the sky.
  • Whatever you do will bring some good into the world and will bring some bad into the world – whatever you do. Because no action can be just white or just black. To be it has to be both.
    • In the overall reality, each act brings something good and something bad.
  • You can accumulate great knowledge or you can remain ignorant; that is only on the periphery. No knowledge can make you more knowing that you already are. Nothing can be added to you. Your purity is infinite; there is no way to improve upon it.
    • Its [the sea] perfection is such that you cannot take anything out of it and you cannot add anything to it.
    • Saraha says: you can give me all the honors that are possible, and nothing is added to me. Or you can take all the honors away and insult me. You can do whatever you want to destroy my respectability, but nothing is happening to me. No matter what, I remain the same. I am that which never increases and never decreases.
  • The mask has to be put aside. Hence, a love and a trust is needed – that you can be utterly nude, without any fear.
  • Tantra is not an intellectual proposition, it is an experience. Only when you are receptive, ready, and vulnerable to the experience, is it going to come to you.
  • It is like a seed – how can a seed rest and relax? Rest and relaxation is known only by flowers. The seed has to be deep in anguish; the seed has to continuously tremble. The trembling is because it does not know whether it will be able to become actual, whether it will find the right soil, whether it will find the right climate, whether it will find the right sky. Is it going to happen, or will it simply die without ever being born? The seed trembles inside. The seed has anxiety, anguish.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche has said man is a bridge. Exactly right! Man is not a place to rest, he is a bridge to pass over. Man is a door to go through. You cannot rest at being human.
    • Man is a tension.
  • Words are meaningless with reality. Silence is meaningful. Silence is pregnant; words are dead. You have to learn the language of silence.
  • How can you misunderstand somebody without thinking? Can you? Can you misunderstand me without thinking?
    • The moment you think, you are not looking at me; you are avoiding me. You are hiding behind your thought. Your thoughts come from your past. I am here, present.
  • For those few seconds of orgasm when you are out of the mind, you can relate.
    • When orgasm comes, there is no union – there is unity. The duality is lost.
  • It is only husbands and wives who talk. Lovers fall silent.
    • In fact, the husband and wife cannot keep silent because language is a way to avoid each other. If you are not avoiding the other, if you are not talking, the presence of the other becomes embarrassing.
  • Only a deep sensitivity can understand anything; only a deep feeling, a deep moving into it, can understand anything.
    • You can understand sex only if you move in it as a poet moves amidst flowers – only then! If you feel guilty about flowers, you may pass through the garden, but you will pass with closed eyes.
  • Tantra says there is duality; it is only an appearance.
  • If you fight, you are bound to create an ego. And the more you fight, the more strengthened the ego will be. If you win your fight, then you will achieve the supreme ego.
  • Remember, it is ultimately your mind that makes anything attractive or unattractive. You are the deciding factor.
  • Sex carries something of the ultimate in it, something of samadhi, of transcendence.
  • …when you die, then you know who you are…Die to the mind and you will know who you are. Death is the way to know.
  • Emotions have to be relieved, relaxed. When you feel like crying you must cry; when you feel like laughing you must laugh. You must drop this nonsense of repression, you have to learn expression, because only through your sentiments, your emotions, and your sensitivity, do you come to that vibration through which communication is possible.
  • The heart is in the middle – three centers below it, three center above it. The heart is the door from the lower to the higher, or from the higher to the lower.
  • Love is not just sentimental. Love has more depth than sentiment; love has more validity than sentiment. Sentiments are momentary.
    • Liking is not love. Never misunderstand liking for love, otherwise your whole life you will be only driftwood…you will be drifting from one person to another and intimacy will never grow.
  • Tantra say: Only speak when you have come to the fifth center via the fourth – only speak through love; otherwise, don’t speak. Speak through compassion; otherwise, don’t speak!
    • …then your words have a fragrance, a music to them, a dance. Then whatever you say is poetry, whatever you utter is sheer joy.
  • If you avoid the fourth chakra, then you go into the head. To be in the head means not to be in love; to be in thoughts means not to be in trust; to be thinking means not to be looking.
  • Tantra is transcendence. It is neither indulgence nor repression. It is walking on a tightrope in one of the greatest balances. It is not as easy as it appears – it needs delicate awareness. It is a great harmony.
  • Tantra says: The other has not to be the focus, neither this way nor that way.
  • Tantra is scientific. The word science means understanding. The word science means knowing. Tantric says: knowing liberates.
  • There are two types of people who act out of that ignorance [avoidance]: one who indulges madly and one who becomes tired and escapes.
    • That’s what the person who indulges goes on doing: he creates great energy and then throws it out for no purpose, with no significance. Having it, he suffers the tension of it. Throwing it out, he suffers the weakness of it. He simply suffers.
  • Tantra says: Beware. Beware of indulgence and beware of renunciation. Beware of both. Both are traps. Either way, you are trapped in the mind.
    • Tantra says: Awareness is the way.
    • Don’t go to the Himalayas, bring about a Himalayan silence within you. Don’t escape, become more awake. Look into things deeply with no fear…without fear, look into things deeply.
  • It is awareness that brings change, not your effort. Why does it happen through awareness? Because the awareness changes you, and when you are different the whole world is different. It is not a question of creating a different world, it is only a question of creating a different you.
    • Awareness is the key, the master key that opens all the doors of life.
  • The Four Mudras
    • First, be total in your action and the first seal is broken. Second, be honest in your knowing and the second seal is broken. Now, be just here and now and the third seal is broken.
  • Joy and pleasure are the buds, grace and gratitude and glory are the leaves, and this ultimate flowering of bliss is the fulfillment, the fruition. You have come home.
  • The unknown cannot be thought – there is no way to think about the unknown. All that you think is the know that goes on repeating in your mind. Yes, you can create new combinations of old thoughts, but just by making new combinations, you are not going got discover the real. You will be deceiving yourself.
    • Through intellect you create such a dust around yourselves that you cannot see the reality at all, and you are cut off from the existential.
  • Philosophy is cheap. It does not require any involvement; it is not a commitment. You can sit in your chair and think. It is a dream. It does not require you to change in order to see reality. That’s where courage is needed; adventurous courage is needed.
  • The journey is unknown, so unknown that you cannot even plan it. You have to take a jump into it. Blindfolded, you have to jump into it, in the dark night, with no map, not knowing where you are going, not knowing what you are going for. Only a few daredevils enter into this existential quest.
  • Sex has not disappeared – the moralist have only poisoned it more and more. It is still there in a poisoned form. Yes, guilt has arisen in human beings, but sex has not disappeared. It cannot disappear because it is a biological reality. It is existential; it cannot simply be made to disappear by repressing it…the energy is released not by repressing but by understanding.
  • Tantra says: Whatever exists has to be understood, and through understanding, changes occur of their own accord.
  • Sex energy is life energy; it is uncontrollable.
  • Tantra means expansion…When you become universal, you come home. When you become all, when you become one with all, when you are as huge as this universe, when you contain all…
  • Tantra says: Drop character, be fluid, be flowing, live moment-to-moment.
    • It does not mean irresponsibility. It means greater responsibility because it means greater awareness.
    • A characterless person does not follow any rules – he follows his awareness. He doesn’t have any discipline – he has only his consciousness.
  • Spontaneity means you don’t interfere, you are in a let-go. Whatever happens, you watch, you are a witness to it.
  • Those who are too analytical, interpretative, continuously thinking in categories of the mind, are always divided. They are split. There is always a problem for them. The problem is not in existence; that problem comes from their own divided minds. That person’s own mind is not a single unity.
  • An ugly woman can give you as beautiful an orgasm as a beautiful woman, but why don’t you like the ugly woman? She does not appeal to your brain, that’s all. Otherwise, as far as orgasm is concerned, both are equally capable. The ugliest woman or the most beautiful woman is, immaterial – your head, your brain, is more interested in form, in the beauty.
  • The more you think logically, the bigger is the gap between the two hemispheres of the brain. The less you think logically, the closer they come. The more poetic, the more esthetic your approach is, the more they will come close and the more possibility of joy, delight, and celebration there will be.
    • That’s why an interpretative mind is never a happy mind.
  • Tantra trusts in your body. No other religion trusts in your body. And when religions don’t trust in your body, they create a split between you and your body. They make you an enemy of your body and they start destroying the wisdom of the body.
    • Tantra teaches you to look at the body as the greatest creation of existence. Tantra is the religion of the body. Of course it goes higher, but it never leaves the body; it is grounded there…It is grounded in the earth: it has roots.
  • Tantra says: First purify the body – purify it of all repressions. Allow the body energy to flow, remove the blocks.
  • Do you ever come across a bird that is ugly? Do you ever come across a deer that is ugly? It never happens…They simply accept themselves and they are beautiful in their acceptance. In that very acceptance they shower beauty upon themselves.
    • The moment you accept yourself you become beautiful.
  • Tantra can be understood only when your body is alive and your senses feel.
    • Free your senses from habits.
  • Find new ways in everything. Let that be one of your disciplines. Tantra says: If you can continue finding new ways every day, your life will remain a thrill, an adventure…You will always be curious to know, you will always be on the verge of seeking the unknown and the unfamiliar. Your eyes will remain clear and your senses will remain clear, because when you are always on the verge of seeking, exploring, finding, searching, you cannot become dull…
  • Bring individuality to things. To imitate is to miss life. To be imitative is to be neurotic. The only way to be sane in the world is to be individual, authentically individual. Be your own being.
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Bull and Ox by Osho

Posted: April 25, 2011 in Short Stories
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When you want a bull to be yoked to a cart, what do you do? You castrate him – you destroy his sex energy. And have you seen the difference between a bull and an ox? What a difference! An ox is a poor phenomenon, a slave. A bull is a beauty; a bull is a glorious phenomenon, a great splendor. See a bull walking, how he walks like an emperor! Then see an ox pulling a cart.

The same has been done to human beings: the sex instinct has been curtailed, cut, crippled. A man does not exist as a bull now, he exists like the ox, and each man is pulling a thousand and one carts. Look, and you will find behind you a thousand and one carts, and you are yoked to them all.

Why can’t you yoke a bull? The bull is too powerful. If he sees a cow passing by, he will throw aside both you and the cart and he will go to the cow. He will not bother a bit about who you are and he will not listen to you. It will be impossible to control the bull.

Sex energy is life energy. It is uncontrollable.

  • This mitigating circumstance prevents us from coming to a verdict. For how can we condemn something that is ephemeral, in transit?
  • …reveals the profound moral perversity of a world that rests essentially on the nonexistence of return, for in this world everything is pardoned in advance and therefore everything cynically permitted.
  • But is heaviness truly deplorable and lightness splendid?
    • The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become.
  • We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.
    • And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself?
    • Any schoolboy can do experiments in physics laboratory to test various scientific hypotheses. But man, because he has only one life to live, cannot conduct experiments to test whether to follow his passion (compassion) or not.
  • What happens but once.
    • If we have only one life to live, we might as well not have lived at all.
  • Love does not make itself felt in the desire of copulation (a desire that extends to an infinite number of women) but in the desire for shared sleep (a desire limited to one woman).
  • Compassion
    • Latin form: “with” (com-), “suffering” (passio)
    • We cannot look on coolly as others suffer; or, we sympathize with those who suffer.
    • Not only to be able to live with the other’s misfortune but also to feel with him any emotion – joy, anxiety, happiness, pain.
    • Maximal capacity of affective imagination, the art of emotional telepathy. In the hierarchy of sentiments, then, it is supreme.
    • For there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.
  • A person who longs to leave the place where he lives is an unhappy person.
  • …and now he realized that those years were more attractive in retrorespect than they were when he was living them.
    • Now what was tiring had disappeared and only the beauty remained.
  • Necessity, weight, and value are three concepts inextricably bound: only necessity is heavy, and only what is heavy has value.
  • Chances and chance alone has a message for us. Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute. Only chance can speak to us.
    • Necessity knows no magic formulae – they are all left to chance. If a love is to be unforgettable, fortuities must immediately start fluttering down to it like birds to Francis of Assisi’s shoulders.
    • “Co-incidence” means that two events unexpectedly happen at the same time, they meet.
  • Human lives are composed like music. Guided by his sense of beauty, an individual transforms a fortuitous occurrence to a motif, which then assumes a permanent place in the composition of the individual’s life.
    • While people are fairly young and the musical composition of their lives is still in its opening bars, they go about writing it together and exchange motifs, but if they meet when they are older, their musical compositions are more or less complete, and every motif, every object, every word means something different to each of them.
  • Dreaming is not merely an act of communication (or coded communication, if you like); it is also an aesthetic activity, a game of imagination, a game that is a value in itself.
    • Our dreams prove that to imagine – to dream about things that have not happened – is among mankind’s deepest needs.
  • Anyone whose goal is “something higher” must expect some day to suffer vertigo.
    • What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, vertigo is something other than the fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.
    • The intoxication of the weak: aware of his weakness, a man decides to give in rather than stand up to it.
  • Being in foreign country means walking a tightrope high above the ground without the net afforded a person by the country where he has his family, colleagues, and friends, and where he can easily say what he has to say in a language he has known from childhood.
  • All lovers unconsciously establish their own rule of the game, which from the outset admit no transgression.
  • What we have not chosen we cannot consider either our merit or our failure.
  • That is what made him feel that fidelity deserved pride of place among the virtues: fidelity gave a unity to lives that would otherwise splinter into thousands of split-second impressions.
  • But what is betrayal? Betrayal means breaking ranks. Betrayal means breaking ranks and going off into the unknown.
    • The first betrayal is irreparable. It calls forth a chain reaction of further betrayals, each of which takes us farther and farther away from the point of our original betrayal.
  • And suddenly he realized that all his life he had done nothing but talk, write, lecture, concoct sentences, search for formulations and amend them, so in the end no words were precise, their meaning were obliterated, their content lost, they turned into trash, chaff, dust, sand; prowling through his brain, tearing at his head, they were his insomnia, his illness.
    • The endless vanity of speeches and words, the vanity of culture, the vanity of art.
  • The darkness was pure, perfect, thoughtless, visionless; that darkness was without end, without borders; that darkness was the infinite we each carry within us. (Yes, if you’re looking for infinity, just close your eyes!)
  • Culture is perishing in overproduction, in an avalanche of words, in the madness of quantity.
  • The dead are as innocent as children.
  • There are things that can be accomplished only by violence. Physical love is unthinkable without violence.
  • For Sabina, living in truth, lying neither to ourselves nor to others, was possible only away from the public: the moment someone keeps an eye on what we do, we involuntarily make allowances for that eye, and nothing we do is truthful.
  • Her drama was a drama not of heaviness but of lightness. What fell to her lot was not the burden but the unbearable lightness of being.
  • The goals we pursue are always veiled.
    • The thing that gives our every move its meaning is always totally unknown to us.
  • Only the most naïve of questions are truly serious. They are questions with no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limits of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.
  • For what made the soul so excited was that the body was acting against its will; the body was betraying it, and the soul was looking on.
  • People usually escape from their troubles into the future; they draw an imaginary line across the path of time, a line beyond which their current troubles will cease to exist.
  • In a society run by terror, no statements whatsoever can be taken seriously. They are all forced, and it is the duty of every honest man to ignore them.
  • How defenseless we are in the face of flattery!
  • Men who pursue a multitude of women fit neatly into two categories. Some seek their own subjective and unchanging dream of a woman in all women. Others are prompted by a desire to possess the endless variety of the objective female world.
    • The obsession of the former is lyrical: what they seek in women is themselves, their ideal, and since an ideal is by definition something that can never be found, they are disappointed again and again.
    • The obsession the latter is epic, and women see nothing the least bit touching in it: the man projects no subjective ideal on women, and since everything interests him, nothing can disappoint him.
  • Is it better to shout and thereby hasten the end, or to keep silent and gain thereby a slower death?
  • Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost.
  • “Kitsch” is a German word born in the middle of the sentimental nineteenth century, and from German it entered all Western language.
    • Kitsch excludes everything from its purview which is essentially unacceptable in human existence.
    • Kitsch is the absolute denial of shit, in both the literal and the figurative senses of the word.
  • A question is like a knife that slices through the stage backdrop and gives us a look at what lies hidden behind it.
    • The true opponent of kitsch is the person who asks questions.
  • And no wonder: political movements rest not so much on rational attitudes as on the fantasies, images, words, and archetypes that come together to make up this that political kitsch.
  • We all need someone to look at us. We can be divided into four categories according to the kind of look we wish to live under.
    • The first category longs for the look of an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other words, for the look of the public.
    • The second category is made up of people who have a vital need to be looked at by many known eyes.
    • The third category are people who need to be constantly before the eyes of the person they love.
    • The fourth category are people who live in the imaginary eyes of those who are not present. They are dreamers.
  • The very beginning of Genesis tells us that God created man in order to give him dominion over fish and fowl and all creatures. Of course, Genesis was written by man, not a horse. There is no certainty that God actually did grant man dominion over other creatures. What seems more likely, in fact, is that man invented God to sanctify the dominion that he had usurped for himself over the cow and the horse.
    • Even though Genesis say that God gave man dominion over all animals, we can also construe it to mean that He merely entrusted them to man’s care. Man was not the planet’s master, merely its administrator, and therefore eventually responsible for his administration.
    • True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Mankind’s true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.
  • We can never establish with certainty what part of our relations with others is the result of our emotions – love, antipathy, charity, or malice – and what part is predetermined by the constant power play among individuals.
  • Life in paradise was not like following straight line to the unknown; it was not an adventure. It moved in a circle among known objects. Its monotony bred happiness, not boredom.
    • And therein lies the whole of man’s plight. Human time does not turn in circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy: happiness is the longing for repetition.
  • The longing for Paradise is man’s longing not to be man.
    • Or to be more precise, man had not yet been cast out on man’s path.
  • Horror is a shock, a time of utter blindness. Horror lacks every hint of beauty. All we can see is the piercing light of an unknown waiting us. Sadness, on the other hand, assumes we are in the know.
  • Sometimes you make up your mind about something without knowing why, and your decision persists by the power of inertia. Every year it gets harder to change.
  • We all have tendency to consider strength the culprit and weakness the innocent victim.

He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how. – Nietzsche

  • Central theme of existentialism: to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering. If there is a purpose in life at all, there must be a purpose in suffering and in dying.
  • Life holds a potential meaning under any conditions, even the most miserable ones.
  • For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.
    • Pleasure is, and must remain, a side-effect or by-product, and is destroyed and spoiled to the degree to which it is made a goal in itself.

Experiences in a Concentration Camp

  • No explanations are needed for those who have been inside, and the others will understand neither how we felt then nor how we feel now.
  • Delusion of reprieve: the condemned man, immediately before his execution, gets the illusion that he might be reprieved at the very last minute.

Man is a creature who can get used to anything, and I believe that is the very best way of defining him. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

There are things which must cause you to lose your reason or you have none to lose. – Gotthold Lessing

  • An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.
  • At such moment it is not the physical pain which hurts the most (and this applies to adults as much as to punished children); it is  the mental agony caused by the injustice, the unreasonableness of it all.
    • The most painful part of beatings is the insult which they imply.
  • At that moment I became intensely conscious of the fact that no dream, no matter how horrible, could be as bad as the reality of the camp which surrounded us…
  • Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain (they were often of a delicate constitution), but the damage to their inner selves was less. They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom.
  • The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.
    • The salvation of man is through love and in love.
    • Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved.
  • In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his suffering in the right way – an honorable way – in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment.
  • The intensification of inner life helped the prisoner find a refuge from the emptiness, desolation and spiritual poverty of his existence, by letting him escape into the past.
  • The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living.
  • Suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind like the behavior of gas, no matter whether the suffering is great or little.
    • Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.
  • No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.
  • Everything that was not connected with the immediate task of keeping oneself and one’s closest friends alive lost its value. Everything was sacrificed to this end. A man’s character became involved to the point that he was caught in a mental turmoil which threatened all the values he held and threw them into doubt. Under the influence of a world which no longer recognized the value of a human life and human dignity, which had robbed man of his will and had made him an object to be exterminated (having planned, however, to make full use of him first – to the last ounce of his physical resources) – under this influence the personal ego finally suffered a loss of values. If the man in the concentration camp did not struggle against this in a last effort to save his self-respect, he lost the feeling of being an individual, a being with a mind, with inner freedom and personal value. He thought of himself then as only a part of an enormous mass of people; his existence descended to the level of animal life.
  • The prisoner would have preferred to let fate make the choice for him – escape from commitment.
  • The consciousness of one’s inner value is anchored in higher, more spiritual things, and cannot be shaken by camp life. But how many free men, let alone prisoners, possess it?
  • Since the prisoner continually witnessed scenes of beatings, the impulse toward violence was increased.
  • Human being is completely and unavoidably influenced by his surroundings.
    • Is that theory true which would have us believe that man is no more than a product of many conditional and environmental factors – be they of a biological, psychological or sociological nature? Is man but an accidental product of these?
    • Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.
    • The last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to chooses one’s own way.
    • It is this spiritual freedom – which cannot be taken away –that makes life meaningful and purposeful.
  • The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influence alone.
    • Man’s inner strengths may raise him above his outward fate.

There is only one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings. – Dostoevski

  • An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature…But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it. – Spinoza

  • It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
    • Long ago we had passed the stage of asking what was the meaning of life, a naïve query which understands life as the attaining of some aim through the active creation of something of value. For us, the meaning of life embraced the wider cycles of life and death, of suffering and of dying.
  • No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response.
    • Sometimes the situation in which a man finds himself may require him to shape his own fate by action. At other times it is more advantageous for him to make use of an opportunity for contemplation and to realize assets in this way. Sometimes man may be required simply to accept fate, to bear his cross.
  • There was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.
  • A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for is existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.”

What you have experienced, no power on earth can take from you.

  • They must not lose hope but should keep their courage in the certainty that the hopelessness of our struggle did not detract from its dignity and its meaning.
  • No one has the right to do wrong, not even if wrong has been done to them.

Logotherapy in a Nutshell

  • Logotherapy focuses rather on the future – on the meanings to be fulfilled by the patient in the future – a meaning-centered psychotherapy.
    • Striving to find a meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man.
    • Logotherapy deviates from psychoanalysis insofar as it considers man a being whose main concern consists in fulfilling meaning, rather than in the mere gratification and satisfaction of drives and instincts, or in merely reconciling the conflicting claims of id, ego and superego, or in mere adaptation and adjustment to society and environment.
  • Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life not a “secondary rationalization” of instinctual drives (Freudian psychoanalysis).
    • This meaning is unique and specific in that it must and can be fulfilled by him alone; only then does it achieve a significance which will satisfy his own will to meaning.
    • Man is able to live and even to die for the sake of his ideals and values!
  • One of the basic tenets of logotherapy is that man’s concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see meaning in his life.
  • Not every conflict is necessarily neurotic; some amount of conflict is normal and healthy.
    • Rather than being a symptom of neurosis, suffering may well be a human achievement, especially if the suffering grows out of existential frustration.
  • Mental health is based on a certain degree of tension, the tension between what one has already achieved and what one still ought to accomplish, or the gap between what one is and what one should become. Such a tension is inherent in the human being and therefore is indispensable to mental well-being.
    • What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.
    • What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.
  • The existential vacuum: No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do; sometimes he does not even know what he wishes to do. Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism) or he does what other people wish him to do (totalitarianism).
    • In actual fact, boredom is now causing more problems to solve than distress.
    • Sunday neurosis: depression which afflicts people who become aware of the lack of content in their lives when the rush of the busy week is over and the void within themselves becomes manifest.
    • In other cases, the place of frustrated will to meaning is taken by the will to pleasure. That is why existential frustration often eventuates in sexual compensation (sexual libido becomes rampant in the existential vacuum).
  • What matters is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.
    • To question the meaning of life is comparable to the question posed to a chess champion: “Tell me, Master, what is the best move in the world?”
    • One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.
    • Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.
  • Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!
  • To put it figuratively, the role played by a logotherapist is that of an eye specialist rather than that of a painter. A painter tries to convey to us a picture of the world as he sees it; an ophthalmologist tries to enable us to see the world as it really is. The logotherapist’s role consists of widening and broadening the visual field of the patient so that the whole spectrum of potential meaning becomes conscious and visible to him.
  • The true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system.
  • The more one forgets himself – by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love – the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.
    • Self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.
  • According to logotherapy, we can discover meaning in life in three different ways:
    • By creating a work or doing a deed.
    • By experiencing something or encountering someone.
    • By the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.
  • Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.
    • By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities.
  • Sex is justified, even sanctified, as soon as, but only as long as, it is a vehicle of love.
    • Love is not understood as a mere side-effect of sex; rather, sex is a way of expressing the experience of that ultimate togetherness which is called love.
  • The unique human potential to transform a personal tragedy into triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement.
    • When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
  • Suffering cease to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
    • But in no way is suffering necessary to find meaning…To suffer unnecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic.

Our current mental-hygiene philosophy stresses the idea that people ought to be happy, that unhappiness is a symptom of maladjustment. Such a value system might be responsible for the fact that the burden of unavoidable unhappiness is increased by unhappiness about being unhappy…He is not only unhappy, but also ashamed of being unhappy. – Edith Weisskopf-Joelson

  • Are you sure that the human world is a terminal point in the evolution of the cosmos? Is it not conceivable that there is still another dimension, a world beyond man’s world; a world in which the question of an ultimate meaning of human suffering would find an answer?
    • This ultimate meaning necessarily exceeds and surpasses the finite intellectual capacities of man.
    • What is required is not to endure the meaningless of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms.
  • Something which in itself is meaningless cannot be rendered meaningful merely by its perpetuation.
  • The transitoriness of our existence in no way make it meaningless. For, in the past, nothing is irretrievably lost but everything is irrevocably stored.
    • Man constantly makes his choice concerning the mass of present potentialities; which of these will be condemned to nonbeing and which will be actualized? Which choice will be made an actuality once and forever, an immortal “footprint in the sands of time”?
    • What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest…Instead of possibilities, he has realities in his past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered.
    • The potentialities they have actualized, the meanings they have fulfilled, the values they have realized – these assets can never be removed from the past.
  • Paradoxical intention technique – fear brings about that which one is afraid of, and that hyper-intention makes impossible what one wishes.
    • The fear of sleeplessness results in a hyper-intention to fall asleep, which, in turn, incapacitates the patient to do so. To overcome this particular fear, I usually advise the patient not to try to sleep but rather to try to do just the opposite, that is, to stay awake as long as possible.
    • Anticipatory anxiety has to be counteracted by paradoxical intention; hyper-intention as well as hyper-reflection have to be counteracted by deflection; deflection, however, ultimately is not passable except by the patient’s orientation toward his specific vocation and mission in life.
  • Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.
    • What he becomes – within the limits of endowment and environment – he has made out of himself.
    • Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary.
  • Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.

The Case for a Tragic Optimism

  • Human potentials of a tragic optimist:
    • Turning suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment.
    • Deriving from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better.
    • Deriving from life’s transitoriness an incentive to take responsible action.
  • A human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy, last but not least, through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in a given situation.
  • The causation of the feeling of meaninglessness – people have enough to live by but nothing to live for; they have the means but no meaning.
    • Unemployment neurosis: being jobless was equated with being useless, and being useless was equated with having a meaningless life.
  • Doesn’t the final meaning of life reveal itself, if at all, only at its end, on the verge of death? And doesn’t this final meaning, too, depend on whether or not the potential meaning of each single situation has been actualized to the best of the respective individual’s knowledge and belief?
  • Meaning can be found not only in work but also in love.

But everything great is just as difficult to realize as it is rare to find. – Spinoza

  • Let us be alert – alert in a twofold sense:
    • Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of.
    • And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.

Quotes by Wilhelm Reich

Posted: November 3, 2010 in Quotes
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Follow the voice of your heart, even if it leads you off the path of timid souls. Do not become hard and embittered, even if life tortures you at times. There is only one thing that counts: to live one’s life well and happily…

To be radical, according to Marx, means “going to the root of things.” If one goes to the root of things, if one understands their contradictory character, the means of mastering the reaction become plain.

The unity and congruity of culture and nature, work and love, morality and sexuality, longed for from time immemorial, will remain a dream as long as man continues to condemn the biological demand for natural (orgastic) sexual gratification.

You are “free” only in one sense: free from education in governing your life yourself, free from self-criticism.

Your life will be good and secure when aliveness will mean more to you than security; love more than money; your freedom more than party line or public opinion…

Man’s right to know, to learn, to inquire, to make bona fide errors, to investigate human emotions must, by all means, be safe, if the word FREEDOM should ever be more than an empty political slogan.

[More on Wilhelm Reich]

[Quotes taken from A Course in Miracles]

  • The innocent faith of a child met the pseudointellectualism of a high school sophomore head on.
  • A Course in Miracles claims no monopoly on God. It is a statement of universal spiritual themes. There’s only one truth, spoken different ways, and the Course is just one path to it out of many.

Introduction

  • Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we have learned here.
    • The spiritual journey is the relinquishment – or unlearning – of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts.
    • Love is the essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.
  • Love is the intuitive knowledge of our hearts.
  • Love isn’t material. It is energy.
  • We overvalue what we perceive with our physical senses, and undervalue what we know to be true in our hearts.
    • Meaning doesn’t lie in things, meaning lie in us.
    • We are searching for meaning in the meaningless.
  • The truth doesn’t stop being the truth just because we’re not looking at it. Love merely becomes clouded over, or surrounded by mental mists.
    • …with hope and faith and a sense of wonder. It’s easily retrieved, because perception is a choice.
    • A miracle is a parting of the mists, a shift in perception, a return to love.

Principles

  • The problem is we’re terrified. We’re more afraid of life than we are of death.
  • The light is in you.
  • The moment of surrender is not when life is over. It’s when it begins.
    • Surrender means the decision to stop fighting the world, and to start loving it instead.
    • It is a gentle melting into who we really are.
  • There is no time, no place, no state where God is absent.
  • God remains who He is and always has been: the energy, the thought of unconditional love.
  • Although aggression is not bad – it is at the heart of creation – it needs to be tempered by love in order to be an agent of harmony rather than violence.
  • Love is real. It’s an eternal creation and nothing can destroy it. -> Anything that isn’t love is an illusion. -> Remember this, and you’ll be at peace.
  • The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.
  • Our real self is the love within us.
    • What you do or don’t do is not what determines your essential value – your growth perhaps, but not your value.
  • Again – nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth.
  • We’re like the spokes on a wheel, all radiating out from the same center.
    • If you define us according to our position on the rim, we seem separate and distinct from one another. But if you define us according to our starting point, our source – the center of the wheel – we’re a shared identity – what we are is love.
  • Eastern religion tell us that if we go for God, all that is not authentically ourselves will drop.
    • Go for light and darkness will disappear.
    • Focus on the goodness and power that lie latent within us, in order to invoke them into realization and expression.
  • The ego is quite literally a fearful thought.
  • The ego has a pseudo-life of its own, and like all life forms, fights hard for its survival.
  • Sometimes, in fact, it was the people who loved us the most who felt it was their responsibility to train us to struggle.
  • Love isn’t love until it’s unconditional.
  • Enlightened beings – ‘Jesus and others’ – exist in a state that is only potential in the rest of us.
    • The Christ-mind is merely the perspective of unconditional love.
  • To trust in the force that moves the universe is faith.
  • Feminine consciousness exerts its power through attraction rather than activity.
  • Our only job in every situation is to merely let go of our resistance to love.
  • Surrender is not weakness or loss. It is a powerful nonresistance. Through openness and receptivity on the part of human consciousness, spirit is allow to infuse our lives, to give them meaning and direction.
  • Zen Mind (Beginner’s Mind) – the mind should be like an empty rice bowl. If it’s already full, then the universe can’t fill it. If it’s empty, it has room to receive.
  • We are meant to shine. Look at small children. They are all so unique before they start trying to be, because they demonstrate the power of genuine humility.
    • Look at little children in kindergarten. They are all different without trying to be. As long as they are unselfconsciously being themselves, they can’t help but shine.
  • Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.
  • Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle – as our perception of an object changes, the object itself literally changes.
  • If we think we are magnificent creatures with an infinite abundance of love and power to give, then we tend to behave that way.
  • This teaching has very little to do with verbal communication, and everything to do with a quality of human energy.
    • To teach is to demonstrate.
  • To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past, and those that were given to you. All the rest must be forgotten.
  • The only point where eternity meets time is in the present.
    • The present is the only time there is.
  • Our capacity for brilliance is equal to our capacity to forget the past and forget the future.

Practice

Relationships
  • Our perceptions of other people often become a battleground between the ego’s desire to judge and the Holy Spirit’s desire to accept people as they are.
    • Ego seeks out faults in ourselves and others. The Holy Spirit seeks out our innocence.
  • People who do make us angry are our most important teachers – they indicate the limits to our capacity for forgiveness.
  • Judgment is not an attribute of God.
  • The son of God cannot sin. We can make mistakes.
  • In seeking a miracle, we don’t take part in life’s battles, but rather we are asking to be lifted above them.
  • People are not perfect – that is, they not yet express externally their internal perfection.
    • Whether we choose to focus on the guilt in their personality, or the innocence in their soul, is up to us.
  • Darkness is merely the absence of light, and fear is merely the absence of love.
    • We can’t get rid of darkness by hitting it with a baseball bat, because there is nothing to hit. If we want to be rid of darkness, we must turn on a light. Similarly, if we want to be rid of fear, we cannot fight it but must replace it with love.
    • There is no fear that love does not dissolve. There is no negativity that forgiveness does not transform.
  • A miracle is always available in any situation because no one can decide for us how to interpret our own experience.
  • Lasting relationship – each person is given a chosen learning partner who presents him with unlimited opportunities for learning.
  • Relationships are eternal. They are of the mind, not the body, since people are energy, not physical substance.
  • Although the word “special” normally implies something wonderful, from a Course perspective, special means different, therefore separate, which is a characteristic of ego rather than spirit. A special relationship is a relationship based on fear.
    • It makes us feel we need another person, when in fact we are complete and whole as we are.
    • In the special relationship, I am afraid to show you the real truth about myself – my fears, my weakness – because I am afraid that if you see them, you will leave. I am assuming you are as judgmental as I am.
  • The purpose of a relationship is not for two incomplete people to become one, but rather for two complete people to join together for the greater glory of God.
    • The ego seeks to use other people to fulfill our needs as we define them.
    • In the holy relationship, it is understood that we all have unhealed places, and that healing is the purpose of our bring with another person.
  • For an unholy relationship is based on differences, where each one thinks the other has what he has not. They come together, each to complete himself and rob the other. They stay until they think that there is nothing left to steal, and then move on. And so they wander through a world of strangers, unlike themselves, living with their bodies perhaps under a common roof that shelters neither; in the same room and yet a world apart.
  • We are not here to fix, change or belittle another person. We are here to support, forgive and heal one another.
  • Our fearful places have to be revealed before they can be healed.
    • Darkness is to be brought to light, and not the other way around.
  • Real support is when we help one another see beyond someone’s errors, to drop our judgments and see the love that lies beyond.
  • It is not our job to try to make a relationship into something we think it should be.
    • If the train doesn’t stop at your station, it’s not your train.
  • A holy relationship is a common state of mind, where both give errors gladly to correction, that both may happily be healed as one.
  • Love is all around us. The ego is the block to our awareness of love’s presence.
    • The idea that there is a perfect person who just hasn’t arrived yet is a major block.
  • A long-term romance is like a rose bush. In any given season, a blossom might fall off. But if the plant is well nourished, then the season will come around again, and new blossoms appear.
  • Love is to people what water is to plants.
  • Salvation is only found in the present. Every moment we have a chance to change our past and our future by reprogramming the present.
  • We think we are going to understand people in order to figure out whether or not they are worthy of our love, but that actually, until we love them, we can never understand them.
    • What is not loved is not understood.
    • Through understanding, we are healed.
  • It is far better to communicate than to suppress our feelings.
    • Anger is often a result of a series of uncommunicated feelings building up inside of us and ultimately exploding.
  • It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.
  • A spiritual teach from India once pointed out that there is no such thing as a gray sky. The sky is always blue. Sometimes, however, gray clouds come and cover the blue sky.
  • The greatest challenge of parenthood will be to support her in keeping an open hear while living in such a fearful world.
    • We can’t really give to our children what we don’t have ourselves.
    • Children learn more through imitation than through any other form of instruction.
    • My greatest gift to my daughter is that I continue to work on myself.
  • Addiction to the attraction phase behavior – as soon as he saw human faults and weaknesses in a woman, he would run – narcissistic personality looking for perfection.
  • The problem is not that we attract a certain kind of person, but rather that we are attracted to a certain kind of person.
  • The only way that I can accept someone’s find me wonderful, is if I find myself wonderful.
    • But to the ego, self-acceptance is death.
  • The fundamental change will occur with the change of mind in the thinker.
  • The ego is our pain, but it is what we know, and we resist moving out of it (because it is what we are familiar with). The effort it takes to grow out of painful patterns often feels more uncomfortable than remaining within it.
  • Faith is the acknowledgement of union.
  • We can grow from any experience, and we can transcend any experience.
  • There are no great deeds – just small deeds done with great love. – Mother Theresa
Work
  • I am only here to be truly helpful. I am here to represent Him who sent me. I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me. I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me. I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.
  • The word “charisma” was originally a religious term. It means “of the spirit.”
  • The genius of a Beethoven, Shakespeare or Picasso is actually expression not creation. That’s why great art strikes us with the shock of recognition, the wish that we had said that. The soul thrills at the reminder of what we all already know.
    • The ego interferes with the clear expression of our power by trying to get us to add something to it.
    • The Son of God doesn’t have to embellish who he is.
  • It is easy to distinguish grandeur from grandiosity, because love is returned and pride is not.
  • Grandiosity is always a cover for despair.
  • A miracle worker is an artist of the soul. There’s no higher art than living a good life.
    • The reason so many of us are obsessed with becoming stars is because we are not yet starring in our own lives.
  • We are here to do what there is a deep psychological and emotional imperative for us to do…Our power is not rationally or willfully called forth. It’s divine dispensation, an act of grace.
  • Don’t go to work to make money; go to work to spread joy.
  • Money isn’t evil; it’s just nothing.
  • Many of us have a lot “on” money – anything from an inappropriate need for it to an inappropriate judgment of it.
  • Like everything else, money is either holy or unholy, depending on the purposes ascribed to it by the mind. We tend to do with money what we do with sex: we desire it but we judge the desire. It is the judgment that then distorts the desire, turning it into an ugly expression. Because we are ashamed to admit that we want these things, we have insidious ways of pretending that we don’t – such as condemning our desires even as we act them out. The loss of purity is in us, then – not in money or in sex. They are both just canvasses onto which we project our guilt.
  • Just as the fearful mind is the source of promiscuity and sex is merely the vehicle through which it is expressed, so money is not the source of greed – the mind is.
  • What we mentally refuse to permit others, we refuse ourselves. What we bless in others, we draw to us.
  • The moral imperative is not to block the reception of money into our lives. The challenge is to spiritualize our relationship to it, by seeing that its only purpose is to heal the world…We are not poor because the rich are rich. We are poor because we do not work with love.
  • One of the principles to remember about money is how important it is to pay for services rendered.
    • What we give, we will receive, and what we withhold will be withheld from us.
  • Miracles are everyone’s right but purification is necessary first.
  • Our life is meant to be a story that mysteriously writes itself, and our work is the creative fruit of our lives.
  • The fact that you are alive means a function has been assigned to you: open your heart to everyone and everything.
  • We are always impacting the world in which we live, through our presence, our energy, our interactions with others.
    • In modesty, we allow things to blossom.
  • The universe fills up the modest and cuts down the proud. – An I Ching Saying
  • Our power does not lie in our resume or our connections. Our power does not lie in what we have done or even in what we are doing. Our power lies in our clarity about why we are on the earth.
  • Setting specific goals can be limiting.
    • Perhaps we are asking for something good, when God’s will was that we be given something great.
  • The issue underlying our need to tell God what to do is our lack of trust.
    • Our success will be an effortless accomplishment. Things will just happen.
  • May I become the best that I am capable of being.
  • Living out of our vision is more powerful than living out of our circumstances.
    • Vision is content; material circumstances mere form.
  • I ask only that my heart be open to give love and to receive love.
  • If you genuinely have something to say, there is someone who genuinely needs to hear it. – Arnold Patent
  • Every person is a cell in the body of human consciousness. At the moment, it is as though the body of Christ is suffering from cancer. In cancer, a normal working cell decides that it no longer wants to function in contribution to the whole. Instead of being part of the support system of the blood or the liver, the cell goes off and builds its own kingdom. That’s malignancy, which threatens to destroy the organism.
    • We have lost sight of our essential interrelatedness, and the forgetfulness threatens to destroy us.
The Body
  • The body was not made by love. Yet love does not condemn it and can use it lovingly, respecting what the Son of God has made and using it to save him from illusions.
  • We are not punished for our sins, but by our sins.
  • Sickness is an illusion and does not actually exist.
  • Healing come from entering into a conversation with our illness, seeking to understand what it’s trying to tell us.
  • To the ego, reality is only what we can perceive physically. But many things that we know to exist cannot be seen with the naked eye…
  • The miracle emerges from our own thoughts, our own decision to let go our belief in fear and danger, and to embrace instead, a view of world that is based on hope and love.
Heaven
  • Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time.
  • Heaven is a decision I must make.
  • Creation is an extension of thought. Think lack, and you get lack. Think abundance, and you get more.
    • The key to happiness is the decision to be happy.
  • During the time of the darkest night, act as if the morning has already come. – The Talmud
  • Only infinite patience produces immediate results.
  • We don’t love ourselves as He loves us, and so we block our experience of the miracles to which we are entitled.
    • Few people have wronged us like we have wronged ourselves.
    • We have been unable to accept joy because it doesn’t match who we thing we are.
  • Hope is born of participation in hopeful solutions.
  • Unlimited capacity rather than unlimited potential – because potential can be a dangerous concept – we can use it to tyrannize ourselves, to live in the future instead of in the present, to set ourselves up for despair by constantly measuring ourselves against what we think we could be rather than what we are.
    • Capacity is expressed in the present. It is immediate.
    • The ego would have us born with great potential, and die with great potential.
  • We are afraid to do anything unless we know we can do it extremely well. But we get to Carnegie Hall by practicing.
  • An untrained mind can accomplish nothing.
  • The principles of miracles become mental habits in our problem-solving repertoire.
    • It’s not what we think that transforms us, but how we think.
  • Meditation is time spent with God in silence and quiet listening.
    • The way to Heaven is fraught with demons on the side of the road, just as the fairy tale castle is surrounded by dragons.
  • No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected.
  • The important thing about our past is not what happened, but what we have done with what happened.
    • The meaningful question is never what we did yesterday, but what we have learned from it and are doing today.

Dear God,

I give this day to you, the fruit of my labor and the desires of my heart. In your hands I place all questions, on your shoulders I place all burdens. I pray for my brothers and for myself. May we return to love. May our minds be healed. May we all be blessed. May we find our way home, from the pain to peace, from fear to love, from hell to Heaven.

Forever and ever.

Amen.

Brida by Paulo Coelho

Posted: May 6, 2010 in Book Notes
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Magic & Mystery

  • Magic is a bridge between the visible world and the invisible world – to learn lessons of both those worlds.
    • Everyone has their own way – discover your own way of crossing it.
  • Magic speaks all the languages of the human heart.
  • Look at the world around you and try to see and understand as much as you can. The Tradition of the Sun is constantly revealing eternal knowledge to each individual.
    • The Tradition of the Sun was the path of all men, and it was there so that it could be deciphered by anyone who knew how to pray and be patient and who wanted to learn what it had to teach.
  • The Tradition of the Sun kept its knowledge alive through the impulse of Creation.
  • That’s the great problem with anyone wanting to study magic – When we set out on the path, we always have a fairly clear idea of what we hope to find. Women are generally seeking their Soulmate, and men are looking for Power. Neither party is really interested in learning. They simply want to reach the thing they have set as their goal.
    • But the path of magic – like path of life – is and always will be the path of Mystery.
    • Learning something means coming into contact with a world a world of which you know nothing. In order to learn, you must be humble.
    • When you were spreading the cards, you always has a preconceived idea of what might happen. You never let the cards tell their own story; you were trying to make them confirm what you imagined you know.
  • Magical places are always beautiful and deserve to be contemplated. Waterfalls, mountains and forests are all places where the spirits of Earth tend to play and laugh and speak to us.
    • Always stay on the bridge between the visible and invisible.
  • People are afraid to discover that life was magical.
    • They are used to their houses, their jobs, their expectations, and if someone turned up saying that it was possible to travel in time, that it was possible to see castles adrift in the Universe, tarot cards that told stories, men who walked through the dark night, people who had never experienced such things would feel that life had cheated them.
    • Life, as far as they were concerned, was the same every day, every night, every weekend.
  • In magic, living is more important than understanding.
    • Trying to explain your emotions is the best way to destroy the bridge between visible and the invisible.
    • Emotions are like wild horses, and reason could never entirely master them – only wisdom can control them.
  • We have extraordinary experiences, but we try to convince ourselves that it was the mere product of our imagination.
  • Women could learn witchcraft more quickly than men, because each month, they experienced in their own bodies the complete cycle of nature: birth, life and death, ‘the Cycle of the Moon’.
  • When you set off along the path of magic, the first thing you do is surrender yourself to a greater power, for you will encounter things that you will never understand.
    • Nothing will behave in the logical way you have come to expect.
    • You will understand things only with your heart, and that can be a little frightening.
    • For a long time, the journey will seem like a Dark Night, but then any search is an act of faith.
    • God appreciates our act of faith, and takes our hand and guides us through the Mystery.

Faith

  • Every moment in life is an act of faith.
    • For us each day is a dark night. None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, and yet still we go forwards. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.
    • We just don’t see the mystery contained in the next second.
    • Miracles couldn’t be explained either, but they existed for those who believed in them.
    • Faith cannot be explained – only choose to accept it or not.
  • Having the courage to take the steps we always wanted to take is the only way of showing that we trust in God.
    • The greatest thing a human being can do is to accept the Mystery.
    • We don’t look for an answer, we accept, and then life becomes much more intense, much more brilliant, because we understand that each minute, each step that we take, has a meaning that goes far beyond us as individuals.
    • We realize that somewhere in time and space this question does have an answer. We realize that there is a reason for us being here, and for us, that is enough.
    • We plunge into the Dark Night with faith, we fulfill what the ancient alchemist used to call our Personal Legend and we surrender ourselves fully to each moment, knowing that there is always a hand to guide us, and whether we accept or not is entirely up to us.

Soulmate

  • In certain reincarnations, we divide into two. Our souls divide as do crystals and stars, cells and plants.
  • As well as dividing into two, we also find ourselves. And that process of finding ourselves is called Love. Because when a soul divides, it always divides into a male part and a female part.
    • Book of Genesis: The soul of Adam was split in two, and Eve was born out of him.
    • Human beings are all interlinked, like the cards in this deck.
    • In each life, we feel a mysterious obligation to find at least one of those Soulmates. The Greater Love that separated them feels please with the Love that brings them together again.
    • You could tell your Soulmate by the light in their eyes.
    • Above all, we are responsible for reencountering, at least once in every incarnation, the Soulmate who is sure to cross our path. Even if it is only for a matter of moments, because those moments bring with them a Love so intense that it justifies the rest of our days.
  • The essence of Creation is one and one alone. And that essence is called Love. Love is the force that brings us back together, in order to condense the experience dispersed in many lives and many parts of the world.
  • The whole of man’s life on the face of Earth can be summed up by that search for his Soulmate.
  • With the exception of a few creatures who are descended from the angels – and who need solitude in order to encounter God – the rest of humanity will only achieve Union with God if, at some point, at some moment in their life, they manage to commune with their Soulmate.
  • The more you understand yourself, the more you will understand the world. And the closer your will be to your Soulmate.
  • At some point in our lives, we all meet our Soulmate and recognize him or her.
  • True love allow each person to follow their own path, knowing that they would never lose touch with their Soulmate.
  • Anything you do can lead you to the Supreme Wisdom, as long as you work with love in your heart.

Love

  • Love was the only bridge between the visible and the invisible known to everyone. It was the only effective language for translating the lessons of the Universe taught to human beings every day.
    • People worked hard and honestly, they feared God, and they tried to help their fellow man. They did all these things because they had known love. Their lives had a reason, they could understand without ever having heard of things like the Tradition of the Sun and the Tradition of the Moon.
    • People had been trying to understand the universe through love ever since the beginning of time.
  • When you are in love, you are capable of learning everything and of knowing things you had never dared event to think, because love was the key to understanding of all the mysteries.
  • Love is a feeling completely bound up with color, life thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other.
  • Problems of the heart always bruised the soul…
  • …in the days when she was still hoping to meet someone and be swept up in some whirlwind romance that would put a stop to the endless identical days.
  • Because suddenly the whole world fitted into my village. Love became my explanation for life.
  • Love does not grow old with the body.
    • Feelings from part of a world I don’t know, but it’s world where there’s no time, no space, no frontiers.
  • She needed love and understanding, because she, too, knew stories she could tell no one.
  • I am afraid of love, because it involves things that are beyond our understanding; it sheds such a brilliant light, but the shadow it casts frightens me.
  • When two men are in love with the same woman, it’s better that they hate each other than that they become friends. Because, if that happened, she would end up losing them both.
  • The best way to immerse oneself in God is through love.
  • People give flowers as presents because flowers contain the true meaning of Love. Anyone who tries to possess a flower will have to watch its beauty fading. But if you simply look at a flower in a field, you will keep it forever, because the flower is part of the evening, and the sunset and the smell of damp earth and the clouds on the horizon.
  • That is what the forest taught me. That you will never be mine, and that is why I will never lose you. You were my hope during my days of loneliness, my anxiety during moments of doubt, my certainty during moments of faith.
    • I will always remember you, and you will remember me, just as we will remember the evening, the rain on the windows, and all the things we’ll always have because we cannot possess them.
  • Love is liberty.

Have the Courage to Follow Your Path

  • You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes.
    • Disappointment, defeat and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.
  • By always giving up when she had only just started, she had exhausted all possible paths without even taking a single step.
  • Sometimes we set off down a path simply because we don’t believe in it.
    • People spend their whole life destroying paths they didn’t even want to follow, instead of following the one path that would lead them somewhere.
  • It isn’t explanations that carry us forward, it’s our desire to go on.
    • Immigrant workers believe that their efforts will be rewarded and that one day they’ll understand what happened along the way which, at the time, seemed so very frightening.
  • She wanted to follow all possible paths and so ended up following none.
  • You have to take risks, follow some paths and abandon others.
  • The search is as interesting as actually finding what you are looking for.
  • Never stop having doubts.
    • If you ever do, it will be because you’ve stopped moving forward.
    • One the other hand, you must be careful never to allow doubt to paralyze you.
    • Always take the decisions you need to take, even if you are not sure you are doing the right thing.
  • Play your part and don’t worry about what others do.
    • Believe that God also speaks to them, and that they are as engaged as you are in discovering the meaning of life.
  • Being human means having doubts and yet still continuing on your path.
  • Life is about making mistakes – Cells went on reproducing themselves in exactly the same way for millions of years, until one of them made a mistake, and introduced change into that endless cycle of repetition.
  • It was a mistake that set the Universe in motion – Never be afraid of making a mistake.
    • God knew what he was doing when he drew Adam and Eve’s attention to the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If he hadn’t wanted them to eat it, he would never have mentioned it.

Sex

  • Both men and women are extremely vulnerable to the force of sex, because, during sex, pleasure and fear are present in equal measure.
    • Because anyone who comes into contact with sex knows that they’re dealing with something which only happens in all its intensity when they lose control. When we are in bed with someone, we are giving permission to that person not only to commune with our body, but with our whole being. The pure forces of life are in communication with each other, independently of us, and then we cannot hide who we are.
  • Our relationships with the world come through our five senses. Plunging into the world of magic means discovering other unknown senses, and sex propels us towards one of those doors.
    • At the moment of orgasm, the five senses vanish, and you enter the world of magic; you can no longer see, hear, taste, touch or smell. During those long seconds everything disappears, to be replaced by ecstasy.
  • When male knowledge joins with female transformation, then the great magical union is created, and its name is Wisdom – both to know and to transform.

Other Topics

  • All roads lead to Rome.
    • Gift could be awoken anywhere.
  • To build or to plant?
    • The builders might take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they’re doing. Then they find they’re hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses its meaning when the building stops.
    • The gardeners endure storms and all the many vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest. But, unlike the builders, a garden never stops growing. And while it requires the gardener’s constant attention, it also allows life for the gardener to be a great adventure.
  • …even if she was still very young and fascinated by the things and the people of this world.
  • There is a big different between danger and fear.
    • The night is just a part of the day.
  • Tarot Card – its author, knowing that humanity learned more easily from vice than from virtue, had arranged for this sacred book to be transmitted across the generations in the form of a game. The deck was an invention of the gods.
  • We study what we can see, but what we see is not always what exists.
    • Many of those stars have already died, and yet their light still fills the Universe. Other stars were born far away, and their light has not yet reached us.
  • Everything in the Universe has life, and you must always try to stay in contact with that life. It understands your language. And the world will begin to take on a different meaning for you.
  • This is how the Tradition survives, because people are willing to die for an idea.
  • The soldiers know they could die at any moment, and that’s why, for them, life is one long celebration.
    • Only warriors choose how they will die.
  • God manifests himself in everything, but the word is one of his most favored methods of doing so, because the word is thought transformed into vibration; you are projecting into the air around you something which, before, was only energy. Take great care with everything you say.
  • Some doctors study their patiently very coolly and objectively, more interested in nothing down the symptoms than in understanding the pain and suffering caused by those symptoms.
  • Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
  • You concern too much with other people – they are mirrors of yourself.
  • The Force of God is always diffused, like Light. When you give off positive vibrations, you benefit all humankind, but when you concentrate the force of the messenger, you are only benefiting – or harming – yourself.
  • Ordinary people carry millennia of disappointment with them, and they can no longer learn certain things though the simple things of life.
  • The candle, according to the Tradition of the Moon, was the symbol of the four elements, and contained within itself the earth of the wick, the water of the paraffin, the fire that burned and the air that allowed the fire to burn.
  • We are responsible for the Universe, because we are the Universe.
  • God placed his pharmacy in the woods and fields, so that everyone could enjoy good health.
  • May she bless us because we are women and live in a world in which men love and understand us more and more. Yet still we bear our bodies the marks of past lives, and those marks still hurt.
  • In order not to suffer, you have to renounce life. It is like putting out your own eyes in order not to see the bad things in life.
  • What is outside is harder to change than what is inside.
    • Only now, when she was considering changing on the outside, could she realize how much she had changed inside.
  • God has a special fondness for shepherds. They are people accustomed to nature, silence, patience. They possess all the necessary virtue to commune with the Universe.
  • Solitary people lose track of time, the hours are long and the days interminable.
  • I felt necessary, and that’s the best feeling a human being can have.
  • It is not his reason that is working now, it is his intuition.
  • We will never ever know the ultimate reason for our existence…the main objective of the great Architect of the Universe is known to Him along, and to no one else.
  • What is now proved was once only imagined. – William Blake
  • Birds existed and fish existed. Theirs were universes that occasionally collided, but they could not answer each other’s questions. And yet both had questions, and the questions had answers.
  • Never interfere with another person’s free will.
  • At one point, men may have decided to make themselves God’s representatives and subsequently made mistakes, but God had nothing to do with that.
  • She didn’t need to neglect her beauty in order to prove that she was also intelligent and capable.
  • This is a ceremony but it is also a celebration. And no celebration can begin without everyone filling their glasses.
  • Those peasants were eager for happiness, and no one who has experienced happiness can ever again feel at ease with sadness. The peasants might then expect to be happy all year round, and that would threaten the whole political and religious system.
  • The first road to God is prayer, the second is joy.
  • For God placed in the hands of each and every person a Gift, the instrument He used to reveal Himself to the world and to help humanity. God chose human beings to be His helpers on Earth.
  • Never be ashamed. Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.
  • No one can possess a sunset like one we saw that evening. Just as no one can possess an afternoon of rain beating against the window, or the serenity of a sleeping child, or the magical moment when the waves break on the rocks. No one can possess the beautiful things of this Earth, but we can know them and love them. It is through such moments that God reveals himself to mankind.

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Cuelho

Posted: February 16, 2010 in Book Notes
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  • Having chosen adventure, shouldn’t they be prepared to go the whole way? Or do they think the intelligent thing to do would be to avoid the ups and downs (rollercoaster) and spend all their time on a carousel, going round and round on the spot…it’s taking chances, falling over and getting up again.
  • The Marquis de Sade said that the most important experiences a man can have are those that take him to the very limit; that is the only way we learn, because it requires all our courage.
  • They are people who have never dared to look into the depths of their soul, never attempted to know the origin of that desire to unleash the wild beast, or to understand that sex, pain and love are all extreme behaviors.
  • Only those who know those frontiers know life; everything else is just passing the time, repeating the same tasks, growing old and dying without ever having discovered what we are doing here.
  • I am two women: one wants to have all the joy, passion and adventure that life can give me. The other wants to be a slave to routine, to family life, to the things that can be planned and achieved.
  • When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself.