Sources Of The Self Quotes

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
Mahatma Gandhi
Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.
Joan Didion (On Self-Respect)
Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
One must find the source within one's own Self, one must possess it. Everything else was seeking -- a detour, an error.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
Being clever was, after all, my primary source of self-esteem. I’m a very sad person, in all senses of the word, but at least I was going to get into university.
Alice Oseman (Radio Silence)
People with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called *character,* a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to the other, more instantly negotiable virtues.... character--the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life--is the source from which self-respect springs.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
When you are your own best friend, you don’t endlessly seek out relationships, friendships, and validation from the wrong sources because you realize that the only approval and validation you need is your own.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
Bathsheba loved Troy in the way that only self-reliant women love when they abandon their self-reliance. When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never any strength to throw away. One source of her inadequacy is the novelty of the occasion. She has never had practice in making the best of such a condition. Weakness is doubly weak by being new.
Thomas Hardy (Far From the Madding Crowd)
Every child, every person needs to know that they are a source of joy; every child, every person, needs to be celebrated. Only when all of our weaknesses are accepted as part of our humanity can our negative, broken self-images be transformed.
Jean Vanier (Becoming Human)
And so, onwards... along a path of wisdom, with a hearty tread, a hearty confidence.. however you may be, be your own source of experience. Throw off your discontent about your nature. Forgive yourself your own self. You have it in your power to merge everything you have lived through- false starts, errors, delusions, passions, your loves and your hopes- into your goal, with nothing left over.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
Because if you base your self-worth on what everyone else thinks of you, you hand all your power over to other people and become dependent on a source outside of yourself for validation. Then you wind up chasing after something you have no control over, and should that something suddenly place its focus somewhere else, or change its mind and decide you’re no longer very interesting, you end up with a full-blown identity crisis.
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
True self-confidence is “the courage to be open—to welcome change and new ideas regardless of their source.” Real self-confidence is not reflected in a title, an expensive suit, a fancy car, or a series of acquisitions. It is reflected in your mindset: your readiness to grow.
Carol S. Dweck (Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success)
You are not limited to this body, to this mind, or to this reality—you are a limitless ocean of Consciousness, imbued with infinite potential. You are existence itself.
Joseph P. Kauffman (The Answer Is YOU: A Guide to Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Freedom)
As you watch your mind, you discover your self as the watcher. When you stand motionless, only watching, you discover your self as the light behind the watcher. The source of light is dark, unknown is the source of knowledge. That source alone is. Go back to that source and abide there. "I Am That" - pg 188
Nisargadatta Maharaj
The erotic has often been misnamed by men and used against women. It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, the plasticized sensation. For this reason, we have often turned away from the exploration and consideration of the erotic as a source of power and information, confusing it with its opposite, the pornographic. But pornography is a direct denial of the power of the erotic, for it represents the suppression of true feeling. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling. The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire.
Audre Lorde (Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power)
When life becomes difficult. the only source of strength we have is love. Love of others, love of self, love of life in its entirety.
Renée Ahdieh (The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1))
The more you've struggled to heal and love yourself, the more inspiring your story will be to others when you come out the other side full of triumph, awareness, and honour. Don't give up. Your struggle today is the source of your wisdom tomorrow.
Vironika Tugaleva
Fear and shame are the backbone of my self-control. They are my source of inspiration, my insurance against becoming entirely unacceptable. They help me do the right thing. And I am terrified of what I would be without them. Because I suspect that, left to my own devices, I would completely lose control of my life. I'm still hoping that perhaps someday I'll learn how to use willpower like a real person, but until that very unlikely day, I will confidently battle toward adequacy, wielding my crude skill set of fear and shame.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Europe is overpopulated, the world will soon be in the same condition, and if the self-reproduction of man is not rationalized... we shall have war.
Henri Bergson (The Two Sources of Morality and Religion)
The source to low self-esteem is the lack of control you feel you have in your life. If you spend your life competing with others, trying to make right the wrongs done to you, or waste your time trying to look right, you will never achieve contentment and emotional balance. People you encounter in life can’t be controlled by you. You only have control of yourself. Build your life around a relationship with a higher power and achieving what you’re passionate about. When you let go of what you can’t control, true peace can then enter your life. This is the path to achieving emotional balance.
Shannon L. Alder
Fits of anger, vexation,and bitterness against ourselves tend to pride and they spring from no other source than self-love, which is disturbed and upset at seeing that it is imperfect.
Francis de Sales
That's how we slide, and while we slide we blame the world's problems on colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, corporatism, stupid white men, and America, but there's no need to make a brand name of blame. Individual self-interest: that's the source of our descent, and it doesn't start in the boardrooms or the war rooms either. It starts in the home.
Steve Toltz (A Fraction of the Whole)
My research kept pointing me to the same answer: The source of racist ideas was not ignorance and hate, but self-interest.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
The fact that both ego and self say "I" is a source of confusion and misidentification. The well-informed ego says truly, "I am what I know myself to be." The self says merely, "I am.
Stephen LaBerge (Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming)
The source of wisdom and power, of love and beauty, is within ourselves, but not within our egos. It is within our consciousness. Indeed, its presence provides us with a conscious contrast which enables us to speak of the ego as if it were something different and apart: it is the true Self whereas the ego is only an illusion of the mind.
Paul Brunton (The Notebooks of Paul Brunton)
We seek God so earnestly, Eliav reflected, not to find Him but to discover ourselves.
James A. Michener (The Source)
To know who I am is a species of knowing where I stand. My identity is defined by the commitments and identifications which provide the frame or horizon within which I can try to determine from case to case what is good, or valuable, or what ought to be done, or what I endorse or oppose. In other words, it is the horizon within which I am capable of taking a stand.
Charles Taylor (Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity)
True character arises from a deeper well than religion. It is the internalization of moral principles of a society, augmented by those tenets personally chosen by the individual, strong enough to endure through trials of solitude and adversity. The principles are fitted together into what we call integrity, literally the integrated self, wherein personal decisions feel good and true. Character is in turn the enduring source of virtue. It stands by itself and excites admiration in others.
Edward O. Wilson
You are a man of extreme passion, a hungry man not quite sure where his appetite lies, a deeply frustrated man striving to project his individuality against a backdrop of rigid conformity. You exist in a half-world suspended between two superstructures, one self-expression and the other self-destruction. You are strong, but there is a flaw in your strength, and unless you learn to control it the flaw will prove stronger than your strength and defeat you. The flaw? Explosive emotional reaction out of all proportion to the occasion. Why? Why this unreasonable anger at the sight of others who are happy or content, this growing contempt for people and the desire to hurt them? All right, you think they're fools, you despise them because their morals, their happiness is the source of your frustration and resentment. But these are dreadful enemies you carry within yourself--in time destructive as bullets. Mercifully, a bullet kills its victim. This other bacteria, permitted to age, does not kill a man but leaves in its wake the hulk of a creature torn and twisted; there is still fire within his being but it is kept alive by casting upon it faggots of scorn and hate. He may successfully accumulate, but he does not accumulate success, for he is his own enemy and is kept from truly enjoying his achievements.
Truman Capote (In Cold Blood)
True Love is when you are able to see yourself in another, when you recognize that there is no separation between you and any other Being in the Universe.
Joseph P. Kauffman (The Answer Is YOU: A Guide to Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Freedom)
When we are connected to the source, we will not be afraid of any task set before us.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Prince and the Pauper)
Don’t let anybody, anybody convince you this is the way the world is and therefore must be. It must be the way it ought to be.
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
But this first clumsy attempt showed her that the imagination itself was a source of secrets: once she had begun a story, no one could be told. Pretending in words was too tentative, too vulnerable, too embarrassing to let anyone know. Even writing out the she saids, the and thens, made her wince, and she felt foolish, appearing to know about the emotions of an imaginary being. Self-exposure was inevitable the moment she described a character's weakness; the reader was bound to speculate that she was describing herself. What other authority could she have?
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
I believe that what Genesis suggests is that this original self, with the print of God's thumb still upon it, is the most essential part of who we are and is buried deep in all of us as a source of wisdom and strength and healing which we can draw upon or, with our terrible freedom, not draw upon as we choose. I think that among other things all real art comes from that deepest self - painting, writing music, dance, all of it that in some way nourishes the spirit.
Frederick Buechner (Telling Secrets)
Your true power is not in your difference, but in your consistency of being different. The world will always adjust to consistency, yet struggle with change.
Shannon L. Alder
It is widely believed that interpersonal relationships of an intimate kind are the chief, if not the only, source of human happiness. Yet the lives of creative individuals often seem to run counter to this assumption.
Anthony Storr (Solitude: A Return to the Self)
I know, now, without a doubt that the true source of happiness, self-worth, and authentic beauty doesn't come from the outside. Women are constantly being persuaded to want something unachievable, to look younger or thinner and above all to fit in because being different is too painful and embarassing. I have accepted myself in a world that does not accept me, because I have learned [ . . . ] that our hearts matter most... It's a beautiful heart, not a perfect body, that leads to a beautiful life.
Stephanie Nielson (Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy)
Resisting temptation and instilling self-control are general human goals, and repeatedly failing to achieve them is a source of much of our misery.
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
Neither agreeable nor disagreeable," I answered. "It just is." Istigkeit — wasn't that the word Meister Eckhart liked to use? "Is-ness." The Being of Platonic philosophy — except that Plato seems to have made the enormous, the grotesque mistake of separating Being from becoming and identifying it with the mathematical abstraction of the Idea. He could never, poor fellow, have seen a bunch of flowers shining with their own inner light and all but quivering under the pressure of the significance with which they were charged; could never have perceived that what rose and iris and carnation so intensely signified was nothing more, and nothing less, than what they were — a transience that was yet eternal life, a perpetual perishing that was at the same time pure Being, a bundle of minute, unique particulars in which, by some unspeakable and yet self-evident paradox, was to be seen the divine source of all existence.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception)
The child destined to be a writer is vulnerable to every wind that blows. Now warm, now chill, next joyous, then despairing, the essence of his nature is to escape the atmosphere about him, no matter how stable, even loving. No ties, no binding chains, save those he forges for himself. Or so he thinks. But escape can be delusion, and what he is running from is not the enclosing world and its inhabitants, but his own inadequate self that fears to meet the demands which life makes upon it. Therefore create. Act God. Fashion men and women as Prometheus fashioned them from clay, and, by doing this, work out the unconscious strife within and be reconciled. While in others, imbued with a desire to mold, to instruct, to spread a message that will inspire the reader and so change his world, though the motive may be humane and even noble--many great works have done just this--the source is the same dissatisfaction, a yearning to escape.
Daphne du Maurier (The Loving Spirit)
To be fear-facing is to learn the distinction between fear and danger. It is to look directly at the source of the fear and assess if we are truly in peril or if we are simply afraid of the unknown.
Sonya Renee Taylor (The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love)
[R]eligion was the race's first (and worst) attempt to make sense of reality. It was the best the species could do at a time when we had no concept of physics, chemistry, biology or medicine. We did not know that we lived on a round planet, let alone that the said planet was in orbit in a minor and obscure solar system, which was also on the edge of an unimaginably vast cosmos that was exploding away from its original source of energy. We did not know that micro-organisms were so powerful and lived in our digestive systems in order to enable us to live, as well as mounting lethal attacks on us as parasites. We did not know of our close kinship with other animals. We believed that sprites, imps, demons, and djinns were hovering in the air about us. We imagined that thunder and lightning were portentous. It has taken us a long time to shrug off this heavy coat of ignorance and fear, and every time we do there are self-interested forces who want to compel us to put it back on again.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
A writer's life and work are not a gift to mankind; they are its necessity.
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
The Tao, which others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained. The effort to refute it and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory. There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgment of value in the history of the world. What purport to be new systems or…ideologies…all consist of fragments from the Tao itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to the Tao and to it alone such validity as they posses.
C.S. Lewis (The Abolition of Man)
My own sense is that the acquisition of self knowledge has been made difficult by the modern world. More and more human beings live in vast urban environments, surrounded by other human beings and the creations of human beings. The natural world, the traditional source of self-awareness, is increasingly absent.
Michael Crichton (Travels)
Matter is energy. In the universe, there are many energy fields which we cannot normally perceive. Some energies have a spiritual source which act upon a person's soul. However, this soul does not exist ab initio, as orthodox Christianity teaches. It has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved, owing to man's unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia.
Graham Chapman (The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus: All the Words, Vol. 2)
Money is meaningless.” Waxillium perked up. “What?” “Only expectation has value as currency, Waxillium,” Uncle Edwarn said. “This coin is worth more than the others because people think it is. They expect it to be. The most important things in the world are worth only what people will pay for them. If you can raise someone’s expectation … if you can make them need something … that is the source of wealth. Owning things of value is secondary to creating things of value where none once existed.
Brandon Sanderson (Shadows of Self (Mistborn, #5))
Basic Principles: 1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy. 2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life -- including ourselves. 3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and our lives. 4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves. 5. Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God. 6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature. 7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction. 8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected. 9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity. 10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.
Julia Cameron
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
attributed to Maya Aangelou
If we don’t look within nature, we cannot look within ourselves. If we cannot admire the clear and sweet world, we cannot appreciate our clear and sweet selves… as the soul cannot flow in without a source.
Kayla Severson (Nature's 1st Gem Is Green)
Music gives me a sense of self-sufficiency and nourishment. I don’t need anyone or anything. I bathe in it as in amniotic fluid; it surrounds and protects me. It’s also stable, ever-available and something I can control - that is, I can reach for it whenever I want. I can also choose music that reflects my mood, or if I want, helps to soothe it…music-seeking offers excitement and tension that I can immediately resolve and a reward I can immediately attain - unlike other tensions in my life and other desired rewards. Music is a source of beauty and meaning outside myself that I can claim as my own without exploring how, in my life, I keep from directly experiencing those qualities. Addiction, in this sense, is the lazy man’s path to transcendence.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
When tradition thus becomes master, it does so in such a way that what it transmits is made so inaccessible, proximally and for the most part, that it rather becomes concealed. Tradition takes what has come down to us and delivers it over to self-evidence; it blocks our access to those primordial "sources" from which the categories and concepts handed down to us have been in part quite genuinely drawn. Indeed it makes us forget that they have had such an origin, and makes us suppose that the necessity of going back to these sources is something which we need not even understand.
Martin Heidegger (Being and Time)
Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs. Self-respect is something that our grandparents, whether or not they had it, knew all about. They had instilled in them, young, a certain discipline, the sense that one lives by doing things one does not particularly want to do, by putting fears and doubts to one side, by weighing immediate comforts against the possibility of larger, even intangible, comforts.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages. As John Cheever said, the main emotion of the adult Northeastern American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment. Work is disappointing. In spite of all the talk about making work more creative and self-fulfilling, most people hate their jobs, and with good reason. Most work in modern technological societies is intolerably dull and repetitive. Marriage and family life are disappointing. Even among defenders of traditional family values, e.g., Christians and Jews, a certain dreariness must be inferred, if only from the average time of TV viewing. Dreary as TV is, it is evidently not as dreary as Mom talking to Dad or the kids talking to either. School is disappointing. If science is exciting and art is exhilarating, the schools and universities have achieved the not inconsiderable feat of rendering both dull. As every scientist and poet knows, one discovers both vocations in spite of, not because of, school. It takes years to recover from the stupor of being taught Shakespeare in English Lit and Wheatstone's bridge in Physics. Politics is disappointing. Most young people turn their backs on politics, not because of the lack of excitement of politics as it is practiced, but because of the shallowness, venality, and image-making as these are perceived through the media--one of the technology's greatest achievements. The churches are disappointing, even for most believers. If Christ brings us new life, it is all the more remarkable that the church, the bearer of this good news, should be among the most dispirited institutions of the age. The alternatives to the institutional churches are even more grossly disappointing, from TV evangelists with their blown-dry hairdos to California cults led by prosperous gurus ignored in India but embraced in La Jolla. Social life is disappointing. The very franticness of attempts to reestablish community and festival, by partying, by groups, by club, by touristy Mardi Gras, is the best evidence of the loss of true community and festival and of the loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection. But there remains the one unquestioned benefit of science: the longer and healthier life made possible by modern medicine, the shorter work-hours made possible by technology, hence what is perceived as the one certain reward of dreary life of home and the marketplace: recreation. Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution.
Walker Percy (Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book)
Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning: in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times. Suffering in and of itself is meaningless; we give our suffering meaning by the way in which we respond to it. At one point, Frankl writes that a person “may remain brave, dignified and unselfish, or in the bitter Fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
The self-esteem of western women is founded on physical being (body mass index, youth, beauty). This creates a tricky emphasis on image, but the internalized locus of self-worth saves lives. Western men are very different. In externalizing the source of their self-esteem, they surrender all emotional independence. (Conquest requires two parties, after all.) A man cannot feel like a man without a partner, corporation, team. Manhood is a game played on the terrain of opposites. It thus follows that male sense of self disintegrates when the Other is absent.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (The Eclipse: A Memoir of Suicide)
Her source of self respect was that she had not - as she put it - given up and crawled into safety somewhere. Into a safe marriage.
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
Periods in the wilderness or desert were not lost time. You might find life, wildflowers, fossils, sources of water. I wish there were shortcuts to wisdom and self-knowledge: cuter abysses or three-day spa wilderness experiences. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. I so resent this.
Anne Lamott (Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair)
Technology has solved old economic problems by giving us new psychological problems. The internet has not just open-sourced information, it has also open-sourced insecurity, self-doubt, and shame.
Mark Manson
Betrayal wears a lot of different hats. You don’t have to make a show of it like Brutus did, you don’t have to leave anything visible jutting from the base of your best friend’s spine, and afterward you can stand there straining your ears for hours, but you won’t hear a cock crow either. No, the most insidious betrayals are done merely by leaving the life jacket hanging in your closet while you lie to yourself that it’s probably not the drowning man’s size. That’s how we slide, and while we slide we blame the world’s problems on colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, corporatism, stupid white men, and America, but there’s no need to make a brand name of blame. Individual self-interest: that’s the source of our descent, and it doesn’t start in the boardrooms or the war rooms either. It starts in the home.
Steve Toltz (A Fraction of the Whole)
For the analyst it is a source of never-ending astonishment how comparatively well a person can function with the core of himself not participating.
Karen Horney (Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization)
Direct lies, small lies, huge lies, and lies of omission… these are all self-serving and sources of self-destruction.
Cathy Burnham Martin (The Bimbo Has Brains: And Other Freaky Facts)
Tarot is a way of sorting out what's bothering you and getting advice from the best-informed source - you - in a way that you're likely to listen to.
Rosemary Edghill (Speak Daggers to Her (Bast Mystery, #1))
If someone doesn’t care about himself, you begin to lose interest after a while.
Kem Nunn (Tapping the Source)
If the self is the source of our depression or despair or insecurity or fear, it can’t also be the source of our ultimate fulfillment.
Allie Beth Stuckey (You're Not Enough (and That's Ok): Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love)
We are told in the Quran: “…whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” (Qur’an, 2: 256) There is a crucial lesson in this verse: that there is only one hand-hold that never breaks. There is only one place where we can lay our dependencies. There is only one relationship that should define our self-worth and only one source from which to seek our ultimate happiness, fulfillment, and security. That place is God.
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart)
Even after a peak parenting experience, children never transition to a fully self-tuning physiology. Adults remain social animals: they continue to require a source of stabilization outside themselves. That open-loop design means that in some important ways, people cannot be stable on their own - not should or shouldn't be, but can't be. This prospect is disconcerting to many, especially in a society that prizes individuality as ours does. Total self-sufficiency turns out to be a daydream whose bubble is burst by the sharp edge of the limbic brain. Stability means finding people who regulate you well and staying near them. (86)
Thomas Lewis (A General Theory of Love)
When basic human needs are ignored, rejected, or invalidated by those in roles and positions to appropriately meet them; when the means by which these needs have been previously met are no longer available: and when prior abuse has already left one vulnerable for being exploited further, the stage is set for the possibility these needs will be prostituted. This situation places a survivor who has unmet needs in an incredible dilemma. She can either do without or seek the satisfaction of mobilized needs through some "illegitimate" source that leaves her increasingly divided from herself and ostracized from others. While meeting needs in this way resolves the immediate existential experience of deprivation and abandonment. it produces numerous other difficulties. These include experiencing oneself as “bad” or "weak" for having such strong needs; experiencing shame and guilt for relying on “illegitimate” sources of satisfaction: experiencing a loss of self-respect for indulging in activities contrary to personal moral standards of conduct; risking the displeasure and misunderstanding of others important to her; and opening oneself to the continued abuse and victimization of perpetrators who are all too willing to selfishly use others for their own pleasure and purposes under the guise of being 'helpful.
J. Jeffrey Means
Have you ever watched a baby learning to walk? He totters, arms stretched out to balance himself. He wobbles - and falls, perhaps bumps his nose. Then he puts the palms of his little hands flat on the floor, hikes his rear end up, looks around to see if anybody is watching him. If nobody is, usually he doesn't bother to cry, just precariously balances himself - and tries again. Well, the baby can teach us. What you've undertaken...isn't a state of perfection to be arrived at all of the sudden. It's a WALK, and a walk isn't static but ever-changing. We Friends say that all discouragement is from an evil source and can only end in more evil. Wallowing in self-condemnation or feeling sorry for yourself is worse than falling on your face in the first place. . . So thee is human.
Catherine Marshall (Christy)
At the core of every addiction is an emptiness based in abject fear. The addict dreads and abhors the present moment; she bends feverishly only toward the next time, the moment when her brain, infused with her drug of choice, will briefly experience itself as liberated from the burden of the past and the fear of the future—the two elements that make the present intolerable. Many of us resemble the drug addict in our ineffectual efforts to fill in the spiritual black hole, the void at the center, where we have lost touch with our souls, our spirit—with those sources of meaning and value that are not contingent or fleeting. Our consumerist, acquisition-, action-, and image-mad culture only serves to deepen the hole, leaving us emptier than before. The constant, intrusive, and meaningless mind-whirl that characterizes the way so many of us experience our silent moments is, itself, a form of addiction—and it serves the same purpose. “One of the main tasks of the mind is to fight or remove the emotional pain, which is one of the reasons for its incessant activity, but all it can ever achieve is to cover it up temporarily. In fact, the harder the mind struggles to get rid of the pain, the greater the pain.”14 So writes Eckhart Tolle. Even our 24/7 self-exposure to noise, e-mails, cell phones, TV, Internet chats, media outlets, music downloads, videogames, and nonstop internal and external chatter cannot succeed in drowning out the fearful voices within.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self. Jesus himself entered into this furnace. There he was tempted with the three compulsions of the world: to be relevant ('turn stones into loaves'), to be spectacular ('throw yourself down'), and to be powerful ('I will give you all these kingdoms'). There he affirmed God as the only source of his identity ('You must worship the Lord your God and serve him alone'). Solitude is the place of the great struggle and the great encounter - the struggle against the compulsions of the false self, and the encounter with the loving God who offers himself as the substance of the new self.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers)
A comprehensive treatment plan for the heart’s diseases is to deny the self of its desires,        Enjoin hunger, keep worship vigilance in the night, be silent, and meditate in private;        Also keep company with good people who possess sincerity, those who are emulated in their states and statements;        And, finally, take refuge in the One unto whom all affairs return. That is the most beneficial treatment for all of the previous diseases.        This must be to the point in which you are like a man drowning or someone lost in a barren desert and see no source of succor        Except from the Guardian, possessor of the greatest power. He is the One who responds to the call of the distressed.
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
I had lost confidence and a sense of self. Who am I? Am I a person who cowers in fear at the back of a spin class, avoiding everyone’s gaze? This uncertainty about who I am, this confusion over where I truly was in the time line of my illness and recovery, was ultimately the deeper source of the shame. A part of my soul believed that I would never be myself, the carefree, confident Susannah, again.
Susannah Cahalan (Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness)
Memory (the deliberate act of remembering) is a form of willed creation. It is not an effort to find out the way it really was--that is research. The point is to dwell on the way it appeared and why it appeared in that particular way.
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
Over and over we lose this sense of feeling we are wholly in our skins by means already named as well as through extended duress. Those who toil too long without respite are also at risk. The soulskin vanishes when we are not paying attention to what we are really doing and particularly the cost to us." "We lose the soulskin by becoming too involved with ego, by being too exacting, perfectionistic, or unnecessarily martyred, or driven by a blind ambition, or by being dissatisfied - about self, family, community, culture, world - and not saying or doing anything about it, or by pretending we are an ending source for others, or by not doing all we can to help ourselves. Oh, there are as many ways to lose the soul skin as there are women in the world." "The only way to hold on to this sensual soulskin is to retain an exquisitely pristine consciousness about its value and uses.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
Fear, jealousy and anger are manifestations of a lack of being in love. Being in love is possible only when you are in love with yourslef first. Self-love is an inborn quality that has been corroded because of social conditioning. As a result, we forget that love is within is, or rather, we are the source of love.
Vishwas Chavan
That which is worth taking up is the self-enquiry that reveals jnana; that which is worth enjoying is the grandeur of the Self; that which is worth renouncing is the ego-mind; that in which it is worth taking refuge, to eliminate sorrow completely, is one’s own source, the Heart.
Ramana Maharshi
God is the source of life. Life without God is hopeless. But life with God is an endless hope
Lailah Gifty Akita
Your life is a precious gift from an imaginative loving Source that endlessly breathes life.
Dashama Konah Gordon (Journey to Joyful: Transform Your Life with Pranashama Yoga)
True self-confidence is “the courage to be open—to welcome change and new ideas regardless of their source.
Carol S. Dweck (Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success)
I also hope this map will guide you to heal in a way that helps you become an unflinching source of kindness and self-compassion for yourself,
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
One of two things must be done. Either surrender because you admit your inability and require a higher power to help you, or investigate the cause of misery by going to the source and merging into the Self. Either way you will be free from misery. God never forsakes one who has surrendered.
Ramana Maharshi
All of Nature follows perfectly geometric laws. The Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Peruvian, Mayan, and Chinese cultures were well aware of this, as Phi—known as the Golden Ratio or Golden Mean—was used in the constructions of their sculptures and architecture.
Joseph P. Kauffman (The Answer Is YOU: A Guide to Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Freedom)
Mastery of self is the endless battle in which we must pursue our consciousness straight forward, and head over heels transmute all our focus on what it is ailing our immediate reality. Question yourself without pride and ego, step out of your shoes and look from the outside it. What do you see? What do you hear? This is the reflection our your energy, your absolute control source. Does it benefit you?
Will Barnes (The Expansion of The Soul)
We need to enter the conversation willing to be wrong, willing to admit the limits of our own knowledge, willing to reconsider our evidence, sources, and premises. That is self-skepticism.
Patricia Roberts-Miller (Demagoguery and Democracy)
Narcissists are everywhere in this ripe age of self-love, which amazes me because so much in life would seem to foster humility. Each of us is a potential source of foolishness, each of us must endure the consequences of the foolishness of others, and in addition to all of that, Nature frequently works to impress upon us our absurdity and thereby remind us that we are not the masters of the universe that we like to suppose we are. - Odd Thomas - Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz pg 62 chapter 8
Dean Koontz (Odd Apocalypse (Odd Thomas, #5))
What do you really want? Did you know that every single one of your desires is an expression of your soul's longing to experience human life as you? It's true. These pure impulses get filtered through our conditioning and show up distorted at times, but follow them back to their source and nothing you desire is anything but good and possible.
Jacob Nordby
Thoroughly ruffled, Rachel turned her back on the source of her annoyance and started for the door. She could feel his gaze on her, and the notion that he was watching her made her suddenly self-conscious. In her teetering heels, she could not help but sway. Just as she reached the door, he made an odd sound that caused her to glance back at him, startled. “Rachel,” he said in what was scarcely more than a husky whisper, while his eyes drilled into hers, “don’t sleep with him. Sleep with me instead.” Her breath caught for a moment as the words coiled around her like a seductive snake. Only by forcing herself to keep walking was she able to escape.
Karen Robards (One Summer)
we are incapable of loving another unless we love ourselves, just as we are incapable of teaching our children self-discipline unless we ourselves are self-disciplined. It is actually impossible to forsake our own spiritual development in favor of someone else’s. We cannot forsake self-discipline and at the same time be disciplined in our care for another. We cannot be a source of strength unless we nurture our own strength.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
There is nothing to figure out, and nothing to understand. You are not a person. There is not such thing as a person. The so-called person is merely a thought in the mind of God. In truth, it’s even not that. There is only pure Awareness, Consciousness - formless, unborn and undying, and that is who you are. How can the apparent mind possibly comprehend this? It is not possible. The finite can never understand the infinite. The mind does not exist. Seek the Source of the mind, the Source of the ‘I-thought’, by constant, patient Self-enquiry. When the mind is quiet, You shine in all your glory. Be Yourself, and be happy.
Jeff Foster
Until we walk with despair, and still have hope, we will not know that our hope was not just hope in ourselves, in our own successes, in our power to make a difference, in our image of what perfection should be. We need hope from a much deeper Source. We need a hope larger than ourselves. Until we walk with personal issues of despair, we will never uncover the Real Hope on the other side of that despair. Until we allow the crash and crush of our images, we will never discover the Real Life beyond what only seems like death. Remember, death is an imaginary loss of an imaginary self, that is going to pass anyway. This very journey is probably the heart of what Jesus came to reveal.
Richard Rohr (Near Occasions of Grace)
Ninety percent of what we believe has nothing to do with the process of thought, but comes instead from the four sources of family inheritance, individual temperament, national culture, and economic self-interest; and while we cannot wholly cast off these shackles, we should at least recognize their cramping and distorting influence upon the free process of thought.
Sydney J. Harris
A non-religious man today ignores what he considers sacred but, in the structure of his consciousness, could not be without the ideas of being and the meaningful. He may consider these purely human aspects of the structure of consciousness. What we see today is that man considers himself to have nothing sacred, no god; but still his life has a meaning, because without it he could not live; he would be in chaos. He looks for being and does not immediately call it being, but meaning or goals; he behaves in his existence as if he had a kind of center. He is going somewhere, he is doing something. We do not see anything religious here; we just see man behaving as a human being. But as a historian of religion, I am not certain that there is nothing religious here… I cannot consider exclusively what that man tells me when he consciously says, ‘I don’t believe in God; I believe in history,’ and so on. For example, I do not think that Jean-Paul Sartre gives all of himself in his philosophy, because I know that Sartre sleeps and dreams and likes music and goes to the theater. And in the theater he gets into a temporal dimension in which he no longer lives his ‘moment historique.’ There he lives in quite another dimension. We live in another dimension when we listen to Bach. Another experience of time is given in drama. We spend two hours at a play, and yet the time represented in the play occupies years and years. We also dream. This is the complete man. I cannot cut this complete man off and believe someone immediately when he consciously says that he is not a religious man. I think that unconsciously, this man still behaves as the ‘homo religiosus,’ has some source of value and meaning, some images, is nourished by his unconscious, by the imaginary universe of the poems he reads, of the plays he sees; he still lives in different universes. I cannot limit his universe to that purely self-conscious, rationalistic universe which he pretends to inhabit, since that universe is not human.
Mircea Eliade
We must realize that we are all, like Dr. Faust, ready to accept the devil's inducements. The devil is in each one of us in the form of an ego that promises the fulfillment of desire on condition that we become subservient to its striving to dominate. The domination of the personality by the ego is a diabolical perversion of the nature of man. The ego was never intended to be the master of the body, but its loyal and obedient servant. The body, as opposed to the ego, desires pleasure, not power. Bodily pleasure is the source from which all our good feelings and good thinking stems. If the bodily pleasure of an individual is destroyed, he becomes an angry, frustrated, and hateful person. His thinking becomes distorted, and his creative potential is lost. He develops self-destructive attitudes.
Alexander Lowen (Pleasure)
The inward man is faced with a new and often dramatic task: He must come to terms with the inner tremendum. Since the God 'out there' or 'up there' is more or less dissolved in the many secular structures, the God within asks attention as never before. And just as the God outside could be experienced not only as a loving father but also as a horrible demon, the God within can be not only the source of a new creative life but also the cause of a chaotic confusion. The greatest complaint of the Spanish mystics St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross was that they lacked a spiritual guide to lead them along the right paths and enable them to distinguish between creative and destructive spirits. We hardly need emphasize how dangerous the experimentation with the interior life can be. Drugs as well as different concentration practices and withdrawal into the self often do more harm than good. On the other hand it also is becoming obvious that those who avoid the painful encounter with the unseen are doomed to live a supercilious, boring and superficial life.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society)
Romanticism embodied "a new and restless spirit, seeking violently to burst through old and cramping forms, a nervous preoccupation with perpetually changing inner states of consciousness, a longing for the unbounded and the indefinable, for perpetual movement and change, an effort to return to the forgotten sources of life, a passionate effort at self-assertion both individual and collective, a search after means of expressing an unappeasable yearning for unattainable goals.
Isaiah Berlin (The Roots of Romanticism)
In American religion, as in ancient Gnosticism, there is almost no sense of God’s difference from us—in other words, his majesty, sovereignty, self-existence, and holiness. God is my buddy, my inmost experience, or the power source for my living my best life now.
Michael S. Horton
where actual evidence had been a bit sparse he had, in the best traditions of the keen ethnic historian, inferred from revealed self-evident wisdom* *Made it up and extrapolated from associated sources** **had read a lot of stuff that other people had made up, too.
Terry Pratchett
The Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. That is the way Jesus came to reveal God's love. The great message that we have to carry, as ministers of God's Word and followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love and has chosen us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership)
I am not my opinion of myself, I am not anything I can describe to me. I am only a part of a large system that cannot describe itself fully; therefore, I relax and I am in the point source of consciousness, of delight, of mobility, in the inner spaces. My tasks do not include describing me nor having an opinion about the system in which I live, biological or social or dyadic. I hereby drop that "responsibility". I am much more than I can conceive or judge me to be. Any negative or positive opinions I have of me are false fronts, headlines, limited and unnecessary programmes written on a thin paper blowing about and floating around in the vastness of inner spaces.
John C. Lilly (The Center of the Cyclone: Looking into Inner Space)
We cannot prevail by our own might or strength, we need to plug on to the source of our strength so that we will remain resourceful always.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Prince and the Pauper)
It is the very use of coercion, positive or negative, that breaks or deadens the spirit, which is the source of motivation.
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real: Balancing Passion for Self with Compassion for Others)
The true source of economic security is self-reliance and economic freedom—Social Security is immoral because it subverts both.
Don Watkins (Rooseveltcare: How Social Security is Sabotaging the Land of Self Reliance)
We become "ads" for ourselves under the pressure of the spectacle that flattens our experience of the public/private dichotomy.
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
Our lives are a divine expression no matter how messy and weird they may be. How much more meaningful can it get? The source is experiencing itself in form in a conscious, awake way.
Enza Vita
If biologists have ignored self-organization, it is not because self-ordering is not pervasive and profound. It is because we biologists have yet to understand how to think about systems governed simultaneously by two sources of order, Yet who seeing the snowflake, who seeing simple lipid molecules cast adrift in water forming themselves into cell-like hollow lipid vesicles, who seeing the potential for the crystallization of life in swarms of reacting molecules, who seeing the stunning order for free in networks linking tens upon tens of thousands of variables, can fail to entertain a central thought: if ever we are to attain a final theory in biology, we will surely, surely have to understand the commingling of self-organization and selection. We will have to see that we are the natural expressions of a deeper order. Ultimately, we will discover in our creation myth that we are expected after all.
Stuart A. Kauffman
It took me a long time, my lifetime so to speak, to realise that the colour of an eye half seen, or the source of some distant sound, are closer to Giudecca in the hell of unknowing than the existence of God, or the origins of protoplasm, or the eistence of self, and even less worthy than these to occupy the wise, It's a bit much, a lifetime, to achieve this consoling conclusion, it doesn't leave you much time to profit by it.
Samuel Beckett
According to the Buddha, the failure to recognize the illusion of the self is the source of all ignorance and unhappiness. It is only by renouncing the self, that is, by dropping his ego defences and committing metaphorical suicide, that a person can open up to different modes of being and relating and thereby transform himself into a pure essence of humanity. In so doing, he becomes free to recast himself as a much more joyful and productive person, and attains the only species of transcendence and immortality that is open to man.
Neel Burton (Hide and Seek: The Psychology of Self-Deception)
Fundamentally, the basis of yoga is just this: to initiate a process of self-creation where the nature of your body, your emotion, your mind, your energy is consciously created by you. This is what Adiyogi did. He crafted his life in its entirety.
Sadhguru (Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga)
Obviously, a rigid, blinkered, absolutist world view is the easiest to keep hold of, whereas the fluid, uncertain, metamorphic picture I've always carried about is rather more vulnerable. Yet I must cling with all my might to … my own soul; must hold on to its mischievous, iconoclastic, out-of-step clown-instincts, no matter how great the storm. And if that plunges me into contradiction and paradox, so be it; I've lived in that messy ocean all my life. I've fished in it for my art. This turbulent sea was the sea outside my bedroom window in Bombay. It is the sea by which I was born, and which I carry within me wherever I go.
Salman Rushdie
Leadership potential is in everyone; we all have it, but we all don't know it until we have a direct individual encounter with the Holy Spirit of God. The principal source of leadership influence is the Holy Spirit.
Israelmore Ayivor
It is difficult to overstate the importance of understanding mirror neurons and their function. They may well be central to social learning, imitation, and the cultural transmission of skills and attitudes—perhaps even of the pressed-together sound clusters we call words. By hyperdeveloping the mirror-neuron system, evolution in effect turned culture into the new genome. Armed with culture, humans could adapt to hostile new environments and figure out how to exploit formerly inaccessible or poisonous food sources in just one or two generations—instead of the hundreds or thousands of generations such adaptations would have taken to accomplish through genetic evolution. Thus culture became a significant new source of evolutionary pressure, which helped select brains that had even better mirror-neuron systems and the imitative learning associated with them. The result was one of the many self-amplifying snowball effects that culminated in Homo sapiens, the ape that looked into its own mind and saw the whole cosmos reflected inside.
V.S. Ramachandran (The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human)
In the beginning, it is difficult and even painful to see the faults in yourself, the flaws in your soul, the error of your ways. But I have come to love the moments when I see my flaws and I spot my errors! It is one of the most beautiful things, really! Because it is when we see our own flaws and our own errors that we can find the opposite of those things! It is when we see our own flaws and our own errors that we can see that there is so much more room to become better! And so I have come to actually rejoice when I find something wrong with me! And I know when it’s really wrong because I can see it and I can feel it in my heart both at the same time— it is a revelation. It’s not something that comes from any external source; but it is my own spirit and the voice of God revealing these things to me, unfolding them, rolling them out of a silken cloth at my feet. And I smile.
C. JoyBell C.
If you investigate the matter deeply enough and widely enough, you will find that happiness eludes nearly all men despite the fact that they are forever seeking it. The fortunate and successful few are those who have stopped seeking with the ego alone and allow the search to be directed inwardly by the higher self. They alone can find a happiness unblemished by defects or deficiencies, a Supreme Good which is not a further source of pain and sorrow but an endless source of satisfaction and peace.
Paul Brunton (The Notebooks of Paul Brunton)
Sometimes I drink coffee at 03:57am, only I call it beer, and it's really purple wine, disguised as clear distilled water, taken from my invisible car's radiator. She used to like radiator water too, so this also serves as a self-reminder to never share a glass with someone who has had hepatitis. Glasses are the main source of broken relationships. I mean glass hearts, as they only bend and change their shape under extremely high temperatures, which, unfortunately, are technically impossible to achieve in some places, like Soviet Russia, where nothing ever happens, because it doesn’t really exist anymore.
Will Advise (Nothing is here...)
We talk about the disappointments of early adolescence - the betrayals by friends, the discovery that one is not beautiful by cultural standards, the feeling that one's smartness is a liability, the pressure to be popular instead of honest and feminine instead of whole. I encourage girls to search within themselves for their deepest values and beliefs. Once they have discovered their own true selves, I encourage them to trust that self is the source of meaning and direction in their lives.
Mary Pipher (Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls)
Do you want to awaken? To stop being a false, artificial, self-benighted being? Then developing and sharpening this sense—the ability to detect fear and the source and emanations of fear—amounts to nothing more than disengaging your own autoimmune system; the subsystem of ego that keeps this poison from making you sick. Yes, to get it out you must let it in, breathe it deep, and allow yourself to become sickened by it. The way out is through, and there can be no rebirth without first a death.
Jed McKenna (Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing)
Charles Francis Adams was singular for mental poise — absence of self-assertion or self-consciousness — the faculty of standing apart without seeming aware that he was alone — a balance of mind and temper that neither challenged nor avoided notice, nor admitted question of superiority or inferiority, of jealousy, of personal motives, from any source, even under great pressure.
Henry Adams (The Education of Henry Adams)
Sacrifice of the self is the source of all humiliation, as also on the contrary is the foundation of all true exaltation. The first step will be an inward gaze—an isolating contemplation of ourselves. Whoever stops here has come only halfway. The second step must be an active outward gaze—autonomous, constant observation of the external world. No one will ever achieve excellence as an artist who cannot depict anything other than his own experiences, his favorite objects, who cannot bring himself to study assiduously even a quite strange object, which does not interest him at all, and to depict it at leisure. An artist must be able and willing to depict everything. This is how a great artistic style is created, which rightly is so much admired in Goethe.
Novalis (Philosophical Writings)
Americans might ponder two quotations. One is the much-cited, self-congratulatory saying attributed to Tocqueville (but whose source no one has so far been able to show me): "America is great because America is good." The other is the very real saying of Samuel Johnson, attacking the similar self-congratulatory "greatness" of the English: "We continue every day to show by new proofs, that no people can be great who have ceased to be virtuous.
Os Guinness (A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future)
Let go and let in. When we avoid prejudging our sources of information, we become more receptive to what they have to offer. If we come to listening with a blank slate, our environment can write on it what we need to hear. Similarly, if our mental and sensory channels are open, there’s more room to import energy and information.
Joseph Deitch (Elevate: An Essential Guide to Life)
He was lonely because he could imagine himself as anything but himself and as anywhere but where he was. His competitiveness and self-centeredness cut him off from any thought of shared life. He wanted to have more because he thought that having more would make him able to live more, and he was lonely because he never thought of the sources, the places, where he was going to get what he wanted to have, or of what his having it might cost others. It was loneliness that sometimes even he felt; you could see it. A self-praiser has got to accept a big loneliness in order to accept a little credit.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
Can you identify the source preventing you from feeling good every single day, from loving yourself unconditionally and making your dreams come true? Is it a voice in your head or a gut wrenching ache that compromises your inner peace and doesn’t allow you to accept the love around you? Is there one thing, or maybe many things, keeping you from forgiving your past and moving forward, tormenting you with lies like “You don’t deserve real love so just settle for whatever you can get,” “You’re not smart enough to achieve your dream so don’t even try,” or “Look at your past… you should hate yourself way more than you actually do!”? Welcome to your Little Monster.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
Nostalgia is possibly the greatest of the lies that we all tell ourselves. It is the glossing of the past to fit the sensibilities of the present. For some, it brings a measure of comfort, a sense of self and of source, but others, I fear, take these altered memories too far, and because of that, paralyze themselves to the realities about them.
R.A. Salvatore (Streams of Silver (The Icewind Dale Trilogy, #2))
Have you ever had a dream that you were certain was real, only to wake up and realize that everyone and everything in the dream was really you? Well this is how many mystics describe the nature of our reality, as a dream in which we think we are individual personalities existing in the physical universe. But eventually, like in all dreams, we will wake up. Except in this dream we do not wake up to realize we are still in the world, we awake from the world to realize that we are God.
Joseph P. Kauffman (The Answer Is YOU: A Guide to Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Freedom)
Man has been placed on that summit where he contains within him the source of self-impulsion toward good and evil in equal measure; the nexus of the principles within him is not a bond of necessity but of freedom. He stands at the dividing line; whatever he chooses will be his act, but he cannot remain in indecision because God must necessarily reveal himself and because nothing at all in creation can remain ambiguous.
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
The greatest joy is joy in God. This is plain from Psalm 16:11: "You [God] will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Fullness of joy and eternal joy cannot be improved. Nothing is fuller than full, and nothing is longer than eternal. And this joy is owing to the presence of God, not the accomplishments of man. Therefore, if God wants to love us infinitely and delight us fully and eternally, he must preserve for us the one thing that will satisfy us totally and eternally; namely, the presence and worth of his own glory. He alone is the source of full and lasting pleasure. Therefore, his commitment to uphold and display his glory is not vain, but virtuous. God is the one being for whom self-exaltation is an infinitely loving act. If he revealed himself to the proud and self-sufficient and not to the humble and dependent, he would belittle the very glory whose worth is the foundation of our joy. Therefore, God's pleasure in hiding this from "the wise and intelligent" and revealing it to "infants" is the pleasure of God in both his glory and our joy.
John Piper (The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God)
Oh teach the mind t' aetherial heights to rise, And view familiar, in its native skies, Thy source of good; thy splendor to descry, And on thy self, undazled, fix her eye. Oh quicken this dull mass of mortal clay; Shine through the soul, and drive its clouds away! For thou art Light. In thee the righteous find Calm rest, and soft serenity of mind; Thee they regard alone; to thee they tend; At once our great original and end, At once our means, our end, our guide, our way, Our utmost bound, and our eternal stay!
Boethius
A person with internalized shame believes he is inherently flawed, inferior and defective.Such a feeling is so painful that defending scripts (or strategies) are developed to cover it up. These scripts are the roots of violence, criminality, war and all forms of addiction. What I’ll mainly describe in the first part of this book is how the affect shame can become the source of self-loathing, hatred of others, cruelty, violence, brutality, prejudice and all forms of destructive addictions. As an internalized identity, toxic shame is one of the major sources of the demonic in human life.
John Bradshaw (Healing the Shame that Binds You)
Nothing is more dangerous than to stop working. It is a habit that can soon be lost, one that is easily neglected and hard to resume. A measure of day-dreaming is a good thing, like a drug prudently used; it allays the sometimes virulent fever of the over-active mind, like a cool wind blowing through the brain to smooth the harshness of untrammelled thought; it bridges here and there the gaps, brings things into proportion and blunts the sharper angles. But too much submerges and drowns. Woe to the intellectual worker who allows himself to lapse wholly from positive thinking into day-dreaming. He thinks he can easily change back, and tells himself that it is all one. He is wrong! Thought is the work of the intellect, reverie is its self-indulgence. To substitute day-dreaming for thought is to confuse poison with a source of nourishment.
Victor Hugo
You can become a channel and a source of great inner strength. But you must give up everything in order to gain everything. What must you give up? All that is not truly you; all that you have chosen without choosing and value without evaluating, accepting because of someone else’s extrinsic judgment, rather than your own; all your self-doubt that keeps you from trusting and loving yourself or other human beings.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage)
To experience the ultimate you have to be willing to obliterate the self-created boundaries of individuality, you have to be willing to dissolve. That state of unbounded freedom is a state of oneness with Shiva – an unconditioned state beyond physical experience, beyond imaginative speculation, beyond all conceptual understanding.
Sadhguru (Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga)
The person you love has all kinds of seeds in her: joy, suffering, and anger. If you water her anger, then in just five minutes you can bring the anger out in her. If you know how to water the seeds of her compassion, joy, and understanding, then these seeds will blossom. If you recognize the good seeds in her, you are watering her self-confidence and she will become the source of her own happiness as well as yours.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Fidelity: How to Create a Loving Relationship That Lasts)
We can be clear. We can identify the enemy. We can begin by asking ourselves what it is right rather than what is expedient. Know the difference between fever and the disease. Between racism and greed. We can be clear and we can be careful. Careful to avoid the imprisonment of the mind, the spirit, and the will of ourselves and those among whom we live. We can be careful of tolerating second-rate goals and secondhand ideas.
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
Life, at all times full of pain, is more painful in our time than in the two centuries that preceded it. The attempt to escape from pain drives men to triviality, to self-deception, to the invention of vast collective myths. But these momentary alleviations do but increase the sources of suffering in the long run. Both private and public misfortune can only be mastered by a process in which will and intelligence interact: the part of will is to refuse to shirk the evil or accept an unreal solution, while the part of intelligence is to understand it, to find a cure if it is curable, and, if not, to make it bearable by seeing it in its relations, accepting it as unavoidable, and remembering what lies outside it in other regions, other ages, and the abysses of interstellar space
Bertrand Russell (In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays)
As per the Indian philosophy of the Upanishads, the source of evil is one’s ego-sense –Ahankara—which differentiates oneself from the other selves. A person, who visualizes himself independent of others, tries to guard or please himself at the cost of others. Evil is thus the tendency of a person to live a life that is not ‘in harmony’ with the rest of the world, but ‘in opposition’ to it or at best ‘in indifference’ to it. The good is to discover the unity in the diversity of ‘all selves’ and beings. Once unity in diversity is realized, every being becomes our own self and good deeds follow automatically
Awdhesh Singh (Good and Evil: Two Sides of the Same Coin)
God’, by definition, cannot be an extra item in the universe (a very big one) to be known, and so controlled, by human intellect, will, or imagination. God is, rather, that without which there would be nothing at all; God is the source and sustainer of all being, and, as such, the dizzying mystery encountered in the act of contemplation as precisely the ‘blanking’ of the human ambition to knowledge, control, and mastery. To know God is unlike any other knowledge; indeed, it is more truly to be known, and so transformed.
Sarah Coakley (God, Sexuality, and the Self)
The world exists because your mind exists. If your mind didn’t exist, there would be no world. As you look at these words, you see them in what appears to be a reality outside of you. What you are really seeing is the image that your mind is creating from the electrical signals being sent to your brain. While they may appear to be outside of you, this is an illusion, they exist within your own mind, and are being projected to appear as if they are outside of you. This apparent reality that is projected by our minds, is maya, and to believe that maya is the ultimate reality is a result of ignorance, or avidya in Sanskrit.
Joseph P. Kauffman (The Answer Is YOU: A Guide to Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Freedom)
But if I lack respect for and enjoyment of who I am, I have very little to give—except my unfilled needs. In my emotional impoverishment, I tend to see other people essentially as sources of approval or disapproval. I do not appreciate them for who they are in their own right. I see only what they can or cannot do for me. I am not looking for people whom I can admire and with whom I can share the excitement and adventure of life. I am looking for people who will not condemn me—and perhaps will be impressed by my persona, the face I present to the world. My ability to love remains undeveloped. This is one of the reasons why attempts at relationships so often fail—not because the vision of passionate or romantic love is intrinsically irrational, but because the self-esteem needed to support it is absent.
Nathaniel Branden (The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)
In the half-century 1879–1929, Western societies developed into close-knit units, in which powerful disruptive strains were latent. The more immediate source of this development was the impaired self-regulation of market economy. Since society was made to conform to the needs of the market mechanism, imperfections in the functioning of that mechanism created cumulative strains in the body social. Impaired self-regulation was an effect of protectionism.
Karl Polanyi (The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time)
I should understand the land, not as a commodity, an inert fact to be taken for granted, but as an ultimate value, enduring and alive, useful and beautiful and mysterious and formidable and comforting, beneficent and terribly demanding, worthy of the best of man's attention and care... [My father] insisted that I learn to do the hand labor that the land required, knowing--and saying again and again--that the ability to do such work is the source of a confidence and an independence of character that can come no other way, not by money, not by education.
Wendell Berry (The Hidden Wound)
We give God a name. We then equate God with the name we have given him, and in doing so we make ourselves, in effect, God’s God. Instead of acknowledging God as the source of our identity and existence, we make ourselves the self-proclaimed source of God’s identity. God then becomes the one made in our image and likeness. Those engaged in the undertaking of naming God see themselves as participating in a holy work. They are the God-definers, the definition makers.
James Finley (Merton's Palace of Nowhere)
...The Devil would not have begun by an open and obvious sin to tempt man into doing something which God had forbidden, had not man already begun to seek satisfaction in himself and, consequently, to take pleasure in the words: 'You shall be as Gods.' The promise of these words, however, would much more truly have come to pass if, by obedience, Adam and Eve had kept close to the ultimate and true Source of their being and had not, by pride imagined that they were themselves the source of their being. For, created gods are gods not in virtue of their own being but by a participation in the being of the true God. For, whoever seeks to be more than he is becomes less, and while he aspires to be self-sufficing he retires from Him who is truly sufficient for him.
Augustine of Hippo (City of God)
But if Miss Golightly remained unconscious of my existence, except as a doorbell convenience, I became, through the summer, rather an authority on hers. I discovered, from observing the trash-basket outside her door, that her regular reading consisted of tabloids and travel folders and astrological charts; that she smoked an esoteric cigarette called Picayunes; survived on cottage cheese and Melba Toast; that her vari-colored hair was somewhat self-induced. The same source made it evident that she received V-letters by the bale. They were torn into strips like bookmarks. I used occasionally to pluck myself a bookmark in passing. Remember and miss you and rain and please write and damn and goddamn were the words that recurred most often on these slips; those, and lonesome and love.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories)
Every selfless act, Arjuna, is born from Brahman, the eternal, infinite Godhead. He is present in every act of service. All life turns on this law, O Arjuna. Whoever violates it, indulging his senses for his own pleasure and ignoring the needs of others, has wasted his life. But those who realize he Self are always satisfied. Having found the source of joy and fulfillment, they no longer seek happiness from the external world. They have nothing to gain or lose by any action; neither people nor things can affect their security. Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life. Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind.
Bhagavad Gita
St. Augustine hated the Stoics, Dostoevsky hated the Russian Liberals. At first sight this seems a quite inexplicable peculiarity. Both were convinced Christians, both spoke so much of love, and suddenly - such hate! And against whom? Against the Stoics, who preached self-abnegation, who esteemed virtue above all things in the world, and against the Liberals who also exalted virtue above all things! But the fact remains: Dostoevsky spoke in rage of Stassyulevitch and Gradovsky; Augustine could not be calm when he spoke the names of those pre-Stoic Stoics, Regulus and Mutius Scaevola, and even Socrates, the idol of the ancient world, appeared to him a bogey. Obviously Augustine and Dostoevsky were terrified and appalled by the mere thought of the possibility of such men as Scaevola and Gradovsky - men capable of loving virtue for its own sake, of seeing virtue as an end in itself. Dostoevsky says openly in the Diary of a Writer that the only idea capable of inspiring a man is that of the immortality of the soul.
Lev Shestov (In Job's Balances: On the Sources of the Eternal Truths)
When we encounter a friend who's depressed or afraid, we automatically try to take that distress away and to cheer the person up. While we may be operating with the best of intentions, this Band-Aid approach only reinforces the condition. Unless people experience their pain completely and begin to undrstand it, they will not only fail to overcome it, they'll also lose the opportunity of using it to advance their own growth. Pain can get you somewhere, and that somewhere can be a life-enhancing experience. We all tend to forget that pain can signal change. Alleviating the symptoms of pain in someone, without helping them to get at its underlying source, robs them of an important to for self-exploration. It's also a way of placating that reinforces the person'S need to cave in and succumb to another. This attitude undermines healthy character development and contributes to psychospiritual, moral, and ultimately social decay.
Adele von Rust McCormick (Horse Sense and the Human Heart)
I believe we inherit a great river of knowledge, a flow of patterns coming from many sources. The information that comes from deep in the evolutionary past we call genetics. The information passed along from hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family, and the information offered months ago we call education. But it is all information that flows through us. The brain is adapted to the river of knowledge and exists only as a creature in that river. Our thoughts are profoundly molded by this long historic flow, and none of us exists, self-made, in isolation from it.
David Brooks
There is nothing to figure out, and nothing to understand. You are not a person. There is not such thing as a person. The so-called person is merely a thought in the mind of God. In truth, it’s even not that. There is only pure Awareness, Consciousness - formless, unborn and undying, and that is who you are. How can the apparent mind possibly comprehend this? It is not possible. The finite can never understand the infinite. The mind does not exist. Seek the Source of the mind, the Source of the ‘I-thought’, by constant, patient Self-enquiry. When the mind is quiet, You shine in all your glory. Be Yourself, and be happy.
Robert Adams
I hereby break all contracts I made unconsciously & consciously before I knew the depth of my own Spirit; the silent ones, the ones I inherited, passed down & accepted as my own from generation to generation. I hereby severe all ties with that which holds me down & back, unable to see the glimmer of what I know to be true, whether by my own creation or by expectations tied like weights around my ankles by others lost in the sea of their own confused hearts. I hereby reclaim my right to choose how my story unfolds, armed with creativity, a heart made of gold & reverent humility. I hereby fully accept all of this living & what-is-yet-to-come with brash integrity & loving determination. I hereby swear to use my superpowers for the love of all beings & I return anything that no longer serves my Higher & Lower Self (& the ones Caught-in-Between) with gratitude & consciousness. I do this all with love, from the great source of it found in my very own beating heart.
Bryonie Wise
as architect of choosing... choose. to. live. awakened. entirely. wholly. wildly powerful,  deeply masterful,  authentically creative, thriving.  this is not a hoped-for possible self. [reminder: this is an immutable Law of your being] needing not to learn the skill of being whole,  the antidote is to unlearn the habit of living incompletely here’s the practice: ‘know thyself‘—its about spirit  righteousness is underrated elevate connection with the changeless essence seek similitude with the will of Source and will of self 'choose thyself'—its about substance sacred. sagacious. spacious. in thought, word and deed— intend to: honor virtue. innovate enthusiastically. master integrity. 'become who you are'—its about style  a human, being an entrepreneur of life experiences a human, being a purveyor of preferences being-well with the known experience of soul, in service your relationship with insecurities, contradictions, & failures? obstacles or...invitations to grow? [mindset forms manifestation] emotions are messengers are gifts data for discernment: dare to deconstruct them your fears a belief renovation: fear.less. & aspire towards ascendance, anyway support your shine lean into the Light be.come. incandescent as architect of choosing, I choose...  to disrupt the energy of the status quo, to eclipse the realms of ordinary, & to live--a life-well lived. w/ spirit, substance & style.
LaShaun Middlebrooks Collier
terrified of being abandoned and all narcissists need Narcissistic Supply Sources. These narcissists prefer to direct their furious rage at people who are meaningless to them and whose withdrawal will not constitute a threat to the narcissists' precariously-balanced personalities. They explode at an underling, yell at a waitress, or berate a taxi driver. Alternatively, they sulk (silent treatment). Many narcissists feel anhedonic, or pathologically bored, drink or do drugs - all forms of self-directed aggression. From time to time, no longer able to pretend and to suppress their rage, they have it out with the real source of their anger. Then they lose all vestiges of self-control and rave like lunatics. They shout incoherently, make absurd accusations, distort facts, and air long-suppressed grievances, allegations and suspicions. These episodes are followed by periods of saccharine sentimentality and excessive flattering and submissiveness towards the target of the latest rage attack. Driven by the mortal fear of being abandoned or ignored, the narcissist debases and demeans himself to the point of provoking repulsion in the beholder. These pendulum-like emotional swings make life with the narcissist exhausting.
Sam Vaknin (Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited)
When we perceive the stars, the stars are the object of our perception—they exist within us. When we perceive the ocean, the ocean is also within us. The idea that things exist outside of our Consciousness is an illusion. Ancient wisdom traditions have known this for centuries, and even modern science has recognized that our sense organs merely receive information and project it within our own minds. Vision does not take place in the eye, but in an area located in the back of the brain. Everything that we perceive to be “out there” is being experienced “in here.
Joseph P. Kauffman (The Answer Is YOU: A Guide to Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Freedom)
Children happen to be more attached to the female narcissist due to the way our society is still structured and to the fact that women are the ones to give birth and to serve as primary caretakers. It is much easier for a woman to think of her children as her extensions because they once indeed were her physical extensions and because her on-going interaction with them is both more intensive and more extensive. [The] male narcissist is more likely to regard his children as a nuisance than as a Source of Narcissistic Supply - especially as they grow older and become autonomous. With less alternatives than men, the narcissistic woman fights to maintain her most reliable Source of Supply: her children. Through insidious indoctrination, guilt-formation, emotional sanctions and blackmail, deprivation and other psychological mechanisms, she tries to induce in her offspring dependence which cannot easily be unraveled.
Sam Vaknin (Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited)
It is this rattling I believe that affects the second point: our uneasiness with our own feelings of foreignness, our own rapidly fraying sense of belonging. To what do we pay greatest allegiance? Family, language group, culture, country, gender? Religion, race? And if none of these matter, are we urbane, cosmopolitan, or simply lonely? In other words, how do we decide where we belong? What convinces us that we do? Or put another way, what is the matter with foreignness?
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
When I was younger, I studied the men I was involved with so carefully that I saw or thought I saw what pain or limitation lay behind their sometimes crummy behavior. I found it too easy to forgive them, or rather to regard them with sympathy at my own expense. It was as though I saw the depths but not the surface, the causes but not the effect. Or them and not myself. I think we call that overidentification, and it's common among women. But gods and saints and boddhisattvas must see the sources of all beings' actions and see their consequences, so that there is no self, no separation, just a grand circulatory system of being and becoming and extinguishing. To understand deeply enough is a kind of forgiveness or love that is not the same as whitewashing, if you apply it to everyone, and not just the parade through your bed.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
The welcome book would have taught us that power and signs of status can’t save us, that welcome—both offering and receiving—is our source of safety. Various chapters and verses of this book would remind us that we are wanted and even occasionally delighted in, despite the unfortunate truth that we are greedy-grabby, self-referential, indulgent, overly judgmental, and often hysterical. Somehow that book “went missing.” Or when the editorial board of bishops pored over the canonical lists from Jerusalem and Alexandria, they arbitrarily nixed the book that states unequivocally that you are wanted, even rejoiced in.
Anne Lamott (Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace)
social media addict? This is a very real problem—so much so that researchers from Norway developed a new instrument to measure Facebook addiction called the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale.[3] Social media has become as ubiquitous as television in our everyday lives, and this research shows that multitasking social media can be as addictive as drugs, alcohol, and chemical substance abuse. A large number of friends on social media networks may appear impressive, but according to a new report, the more social circles a person is linked to, the more likely the social media will be a source of stress.[4] It can also have a detrimental effect on consumer well-being because milkshake-multitasking interferes with clear thinking and decision-making, which lowers self-control and leads to rash, impulsive buying and poor eating decisions. Greater social media use is associated with a higher body mass index, increased binge eating, a lower credit score, and higher levels of credit card debt for consumers with many close friends in their social network—all caused by a lack of self-control.[5] We Can Become Shallow
Caroline Leaf (Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health)
That thought, I can’t find the right words, is based not on something negative but on something positive. On the positive awareness that art is something great and higher than our own skill or knowledge or learning. That art is something which though produced by human hands, is not wrought by hands alone, but wells up from a deeper source, from man’s soul, while much of the proficiency and technical expertise associated with art reminds me of what would be called self-righteousness in religion.
Vincent van Gogh (The Letters of Vincent van Gogh)
When the friends of the Bible win a victory over one phase of infidelity, they naturally hope that there will be a truce in the warfare and they may enjoy peace. But the hope is ill-founded. We should have foreseen this, had we considered the real source of infidelity is always in the pride, self-will and ungodliness of man's nature. So that, when men are defeated on one line of attack, a part of them at least will be certainly prompted by their natural enmity to God's Word to hunt for some new weapon against it.
Robert Lewis Dabney
As an epiphany of God, Jesus discloses that at the center of everything is a reality that is in love with us and wills our well-being, both as individuals and as individuals within society. As an image of God, Jesus challenges the most widespread image of reality in both the ancient and modern world, countering conventional wisdom’s understanding of God as one with demands that must be met by the anxious self in search of its own security. In its place is an image of God as the compassionate one who invites people into a relationship which is the source of transformation of human life in both its individual and social aspects.
Marcus J. Borg (Jesus: A New Vision: Spirit, Culture, and the Life of Discipleship)
Here is part of the problem, girls: we’ve been sold a bill of goods. Back in the day, women didn’t run themselves ragged trying to achieve some impressively developed life in eight different categories. No one constructed fairy-tale childhoods for their spawn, developed an innate set of personal talents, fostered a stimulating and world-changing career, created stunning homes and yardscapes, provided homemade food for every meal (locally sourced, of course), kept all marriage fires burning, sustained meaningful relationships in various environments, carved out plenty of time for “self care,” served neighbors/church/world, and maintained a fulfilling, active relationship with Jesus our Lord and Savior. You can’t balance that job description. Listen to me: No one can pull this off. No one is pulling this off. The women who seem to ride this unicorn only display the best parts of their stories. Trust me. No one can fragment her time and attention into this many segments.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
Not caring about our own pain and the pain of others is not working. How much longer are we willing to keep pulling drowning people out of the river one by one, rather than walking to the headwaters of the river to find the source of the pain? What will it take for us to let go of that earned self-righteousness and travel together to the cradle of the pain that is throwing all of us in at such a rate that we couldn’t possibly save everyone? Pain is unrelenting. It will get our attention. Despite our attempts to drown it in addiction, to physically beat it out of one another, to suffocate it with success and material trappings, or to strangle it with our hate, pain will find a way to make itself known. Pain will subside only when we acknowledge it and care for it. Addressing it with love and compassion would take only a minuscule percentage of the energy it takes to fight it, but approaching pain head-on is terrifying. Most of us were not taught how to recognize pain, name it, and be with it. Our families and culture believed that the vulnerability that it takes to acknowledge pain was weakness, so we were taught anger, rage, and denial instead. But what we know now is that when we deny our emotion, it owns us. When we own our emotion, we can rebuild and find our way through the pain. Sometimes owning our pain and bearing witness to struggle means getting angry. When we deny ourselves the right to be angry, we deny our pain. There are a lot of coded shame messages in the rhetoric of “Why so hostile?” “Don’t get hysterical,” “I’m sensing so much anger!” and “Don’t take it so personally.” All of these responses are normally code for Your emotion or opinion is making me uncomfortable or Suck it up and stay quiet. One response to this is “Get angry and stay angry!” I haven’t seen that advice borne out in the research. What I’ve found is that, yes, we all have the right and need to feel and own our anger. It’s an important human experience.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
If I am to believe everything that I see in the media, happiness is to be six foot tall or more and to have bleached teeth and a firm abdomen, all the latest clothes, accessories, and electronics, a picture-perfect partner of the opposite sex who is both a great lover and a terrific friend, an assortment of healthy and happy children, a pet that is neither a stray nor a mongrel, a large house in the right sort of postcode, a second property in an idyllic holiday location, a top-of-the-range car to shuttle back and forth from the one to the other, a clique of ‘friends’ with whom to have fabulous dinner parties, three or four foreign holidays a year, and a high-impact job that does not distract from any of the above. There are at least three major problems that I can see with this ideal of happiness. (1) It represents a state of affairs that is impossible to attain to and that is in itself an important source of unhappiness. (2) It is situated in an idealised and hypothetical future rather than in an imperfect but actual present in which true happiness is much more likely to be found, albeit with great difficulty. (3) It has largely been defined by commercial interests that have absolutely nothing to do with true happiness, which has far more to do with the practice of reason and the peace of mind that this eventually brings. In short, it is not only that the bar for happiness is set too high, but also that it is set in the wrong place, and that it is, in fact, the wrong bar. Jump and you’ll only break your back.
Neel Burton (The Art of Failure: The Anti Self-Help Guide)
People have gotten into the practice of following private religious hunches rather than learning of God from His Word; we have to try to help them unlearn the pride and, in some cases, the misconceptions about Scripture which gave rise to this attitude and to base there convictions henceforth not on what they feel but on what the Bible says…modern people think of all religions as equal and equivalent – they draw their ideas about God from pagan as well as Christian sources; we have to try to show people the uniqueness and finality of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s last word to man…people have ceased to recognize the reality of their own sinfulness, which imparts a degree of perversity and enmity against God to all that they think and do; it is our task to try to introduce people to this fact about themselves and so make them self-distrustful and open to correction by the Word of Christ…people today are in the habit of disassociating the thought of God’s goodness from that of His severity; we must seek to wean them from this habit, since nothing but misbelief is possible as long as that persists.
J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
The most holy association is to Be as you are. This is Freedom. This is beyond imagination, very new and very fresh. So just keep Quiet. Do not think. It is you. It is you. Don't stir a thought, and if a thought comes, let it, don't waver, don't doubt your majesty. It is so simple. The one who has It will know that they have done it. When you are quiet it is Beauty, Joy and Stillness. It is effortless. Effort is to disturb your mind, effort is playing with corpses in the graveyard. Just contemplate that which is always silence. Go to the Source. Do not believe anything, simply stay quiet and return home and do not rest until you are there. Peace is only available when there is no “I” and you need an “I” to do practice. The secret to Bliss is to stop the search, stop thinking, stop not-thinking, and keep Quiet. The best practice is to Know “Who am I.” You are Brahman, know this. If you want to do anything, just Always adore Self.
H.W.L. Poonja (The Truth Is)
The metaphysical mutation that gave rise to materialism and modern science in turn spawned two great trends: rationalism and individualism. Huxley’s mistake was in having poorly evaluated the balance of power between these two. Specifically, he underestimated the growth of individualism brought about by an increased consciousness of death. Individualism gives rise to freedom, the sense of self, the need to distinguish oneself and to be superior to others. A rational society like the one he describes in Brave New World can defuse the struggle. Economic rivalry—a metaphor for mastery over space—has no more reason to exist in a society of plenty, where the economy is strictly regulated. Sexual rivalry—a metaphor for mastery over time through reproduction—has no more reason to exist in a society where the connection between sex and procreation has been broken. But Huxley forgets about individualism. He doesn’t understand that sex, even stripped of its link with reproduction, still exists—not as a pleasure principle, but as a form of narcissistic differentiation. The same is true of the desire for wealth. Why has the Swedish model of social democracy never triumphed over liberalism? Why has it never been applied to sexual satisfaction? Because the metaphysical mutation brought about by modern science leads to individuation, vanity, malice and desire. Any philosopher, not just Buddhist or Christian, but any philosopher worthy of the name, knows that, in itself, desire—unlike pleasure—is a source of suffering, pain and hatred.
Michel Houellebecq (The Elementary Particles)
Life batters and shapes us in all sorts of ways before it's done, but those original selves which we were born with, and which I believe we continue in some measure to be no matter what, are selves which still echo with the holiness of their origin. I believe that what Genesis suggests is that this original self, with the print of God's thumb still upon it, is the most essential part of who we are and is buried deep in all of us as a source of wisdom and strength and healing which we can draw upon or, with our terrible freedom, not draw upon as we choose. I think that among other things all real art comes from that deepest self – painting, writing music, dance, all of it that in some way nourishes the spirit and enriches the understanding. I think that our truest prayers come from there too, the often unspoken, unbidden prayers that can rise out of the lives of unbelievers as well as believers whether they recognize them as prayers or not. And I think that from there also come our best dreams and our times of gladdest playing and taking it easy and all those moments when we find ourselves being better or stronger or braver or wiser than we are.
Frederick Buechner (Telling Secrets)
Return to spirituality. Forget about religion. That statement is going to anger a lot of people. People will react to this entire book with anger…unless they do not. Why do You say, forget religion? Because it is not good for you. Understand that in order for organized religion to succeed, it has to make people believe they need it. In order for people to put faith in something else, they must first lose faith in themselves. So the first task of organized religion is to make you lose faith in yourself. The second task is to make you see that it has the answers you do not. And the third and most important task is to make you accept its answers without question. If you question, you start to think! If you think, you start to go back to that Source Within. Religion can’t have you do that, because you’re liable to come up with an answer different from what it has contrived. So religion must make you doubt your Self; must make you doubt your own ability to think straight.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
In Advaita Vedanta, and in many other ancient wisdom traditions, the world is said to be an illusion. This illusion is commonly referred to as maya, a Sanskrit name which refers to the apparent, or objective reality which is superimposed on the ultimate reality in order to generate the phenomena of what we call the material world. Maya is the magic by which we create duality—by which we create two worlds from one. This creation is an illusory creation—it is not real—it is an imaginary manifestation of the one Universal Consciousness, appearing as all of the various phenomena in objective reality. Maya is God’s, or Consciousness’s, creative power of emptying or reflecting itself into all things and thus creating all things—the power of subjectivity to take on objective appearance.
Joseph P. Kauffman (The Answer Is YOU: A Guide to Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Freedom)
Religion, with its metaphysical error of absolute guilt, dominated the broadest, the cosmic realm. From there, it infiltrated the subordinate realms of biological, social and moral existence with its errors of the absolute and inherited guilt. Humanity, split up into millions of factions, groups, nations and states, lacerated itself with mutual accusations. "The Greeks are to blame," the Romans said, and "The Romans are to blame," the Greeks said. So they warred against one another. "The ancient Jewish priests are to blame," the early Christians shouted. "The Christians have preached the wrong Messiah," the Jews shouted and crucified the harmless Jesus. "The Muslims and Turks and Huns are guilty," the crusaders screamed. "The witches and heretics are to blame," the later Christians howled for centuries, murdering, hanging, torturing and burning heretics. It remains to investigate the sources from which the Jesus legend derives its grandeur, emotional power and perseverance. Let us continue to stay outside this St. Vitus dance. The longer we look around, the crazier it seems. Hundreds of minor patriarchs, self-proclaimed kings and princes, accused one another of this or that sin and made war, scorched the land, brought famine and epidemics to the populations. Later, this became known as "history." And the historians did not doubt the rationality of this history. Gradually the common people appeared on the scene. "The Queen is to blame," the people's representatives shouted, and beheaded the Queen. Howling, the populace danced around the guillotine. From the ranks of the people arose Napoleon. "The Austrians, the Prussians, the Russians are to blame," it was now said. "Napoleon is to blame," came the reply. "The machines are to blame!" the weavers screamed, and "The lumpenproletariat is to blame," sounded back. "The Monarchy is to blame, long live the Constitution!" the burgers shouted. "The middle classes and the Constitution are to blame; wipe them out; long live the Dictatorship of the Proletariat," the proletarian dictators shout, and "The Russians are to blame," is hurled back. "Germany is to blame," the Japanese and the Italians shouted in 1915. "England is to blame," the fathers of the proletarians shouted in 1939. And "Germany is to blame," the self-same fathers shouted in 1942. "Italy, Germany and Japan are to blame," it was said in 1940. It is only by keeping strictly outside this inferno that one can be amazed that the human animal continues to shriek "Guilty!" without doubting its own sanity, without even once asking about the origin of this guilt. Such mass psychoses have an origin and a function. Only human beings who are forced to hide something catastrophic are capable of erring so consistently and punishing so relentlessly any attempt at clarifying such errors.
Wilhelm Reich (Ether, God and devil : cosmic superimposition)
Crime begins with God. It will end with man, when he finds God again. Crime is everywhere, in all the fibres and roots of our being. Every minute of the day adds fresh crimes to the calendar, both those which are detected and punished, and those which are not. The criminal hunts down the criminal. The judge condemns the judger. The innocent torture the innocent. Everywhere, in every family, every tribe, every great community, crimes, crimes, crimes. War is clean by comparison. The hangman is a gentle dove by comparison. Attila, Tamerlane, Genghis Khan reckless automatons by comparison. Your father, your darling mother, your sweet sister: do you know the foul crimes they harbor in their breasts? Can you hold the mirror to iniquity when it is close at hand? Have you looked into the labyrinth of your own despicable heart? Have you sometimes envied the thug for his forthrightness? The study of crime begins with the knowledge of oneself. All that you despise, all that you loathe, all that you reject, all that you condemn and seek to convert by punishment springs from you. The source of it is God whom you place outside, above and beyond. Crime is identification, first with God, then with your own image.
Henry Miller (The Air-Conditioned Nightmare)
But there is an unbounded pleasure to be had in the possession of a young, newly blossoming soul! It is like a flower, from which the best aroma evaporates when meeting the first ray of the sun; you must pluck it at that minute, breathing it in until you’re satisfied, and then throw it onto the road: perhaps someone will pick it up! I feel this insatiable greed, which swallows everything it meets on its way. I look at the suffering and joy of others only in their relation to me, as though it is food that supports the strength of my soul. I myself am not capable of going mad under the influence of passion. My ambition is stifled by circumstances, but it has manifested itself in another way, for ambition is nothing other than a thirst for power, and my best pleasure is to subject everyone around me to my will, to arouse feelings of love, devotion and fear of me—is this not the first sign and the greatest triumph of power? Being someone’s reason for suffering while not being in any position to claim the right—isn’t this the sweetest nourishment for our pride? And what is happiness? Sated pride. If I considered myself to be better, more powerful than everyone in the world, I would be happy. If everyone loved me, I would find endless sources of love within myself. Evil spawns evil. The first experience of torture gives an understanding of the pleasure in tormenting others. An evil idea cannot enter a person’s head without his wanting to bring it into reality: ideas are organic creations, someone once said. Their birth gives them form immediately, and this form is an action. The person in whom most ideas are born is the person who acts most. Hence a genius, riveted to his office desk, must die or lose his mind, just as a man with a powerful build who has a sedentary life and modest behavior will die from an apoplectic fit. Passions are nothing other than the first developments of an idea: they are a characteristic of the heart’s youth, and whoever thinks to worry about them his whole life long is a fool: many calm rivers begin with a noisy waterfall, but not one of them jumps and froths until the very sea. And this calm is often the sign of great, though hidden, strength. The fullness and depth of both feeling and thought will not tolerate violent upsurges. The soul, suffering and taking pleasure, takes strict account of everything and is always convinced that this is how things should be. It knows that without storms, the constant sultriness of the sun would wither it. It is infused with its own life—it fosters and punishes itself, like a child. And it is only in this higher state of self-knowledge that a person can estimate the value of divine justice.
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
What rules, then, can one follow if one is dedicated to the truth? First, never speak falsehood. Second, bear in mind that the act of withholding the truth is always potentially a lie, and that in each instance in which the truth is withheld a significant moral decision is required. Third, the decision to withhold the truth should never be based on personal needs, such as a need for power, a need to be liked or a need to protect one’s map from challenge. Fourth, and conversely, the decision to withhold the truth must always be based entirely upon the needs of the person or people from whom the truth is being withheld. Fifth, the assessment of another’s needs is an act of responsibility which is so complex that it can only be executed wisely when one operates with genuine love for the other. Sixth, the primary factor in the assessment of another’s needs is the assessment of that person’s capacity to utilize the truth for his or her own spiritual growth. Finally, in assessing the capacity of another to utilize the truth for personal spiritual growth, it should be borne in mind that our tendency is generally to underestimate rather than overestimate this capacity. All this might seem like an extraordinary task, impossible to ever perfectly complete, a chronic and never-ending burden, a real drag. And it is indeed a never-ending burden of self-discipline, which is why most people opt for a life of very limited honesty and openness and relative closedness, hiding themselves and their maps from the world. It is easier that way. Yet the rewards of the difficult life of honesty and dedication to the truth are more than commensurate with the demands. By virtue of the fact that their maps are continually being challenged, open people are continually growing people. Through their openness they can establish and maintain intimate relationships far more effectively than more closed people. Because they never speak falsely they can be secure and proud in the knowledge that they have done nothing to contribute to the confusion of the world, but have served as sources of
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Under this swarm of waspish self-inquiries he began to feel sorry for himself - a brilliant man trapped, a Byron tamed; and his mind wandered back to Sarah, to visual images, attempts to recollect that face, that mouth, that generous mouth. Undoubtedly it awoke some memory in him, too tenuous, perhaps too general, to trace to any source in his past; but it unsettled him and haunted him, by calling to some hidden self he hardly knew existed. He said it to himself: It is the stupidest thing, but that girl attracts me. It seemed clear to him that it was not Sarah in herself who attracted him - how could she, he was betrothed - but some emotion, some possibility she symbolized. She made him aware of a deprivation. His future had always seemed to him of vast potential; and now suddenly it was a fixed voyage to a known place. She had reminded him of that.
John Fowles (The French Lieutenant's Woman)
Tragedy's language stresses that whatever is within us is obscure, many faceted, impossible to see. Performance gave this question of what is within a physical force. The spectators were far away from the performers, on that hill above the theatre. At the centre of their vision was a small hut, into which they could not see. The physical action presented to their attention was violent but mostly unseen. They inferred it, as they inferred inner movement, from words spoken by figures whose entrances and exits into and out of the visible space patterned the play. They saw its results when that facade opened to reveal a dead body. This genre, with its dialectics of seen and unseen, inside and outside, exit and entrance, was a simultaneously internal and external, intellectual and somatic expression of contemporary questions about the inward sources of harm, knowledge, power, and darkness.
Ruth Padel (In and Out of the Mind: Greek Images of the Tragic Self)
As always when he worked with this much concentration he began to feel a sense of introverting pressure. There was no way out once he was in, no genuine rest, no one to talk to who was capable of understanding the complexity (simplicity) of the problem or the approaches to a tentative solution. There came a time in every prolonged effort when he had a moment of near panic, or "terror in a lonely place," the original semantic content of the word. The lonely place was his own mind. As a mathematician he was free from subjection to reality, free to impose his ideas and designs on his own test environment. The only valid standard for his work, its critical point (zero or infinity), was the beauty it possessed, the deft strength of his mathematical reasoning. THe work's ultimate value was simply what it revealed about the nature of his intellect. What was at stake, in effect, was his own principle of intelligence or individual consciousness; his identity, in short. This was the infalling trap, the source of art's private involvement with obsession and despair, neither more nor less than the artist's self-containment, a mental state that led to storms of overwork and extended stretches of depression, that brought on indifference to life and at times the need to regurgitate it, to seek the level of expelled matter. Of course, the sense at the end of a serious effort, if the end is reached successfully, is one of lyrical exhilaration. There is air to breathe and a place to stand. The work gradually reveals its attachment to the charged particles of other minds, men now historical, the rediscovered dead; to the main structure of mathematical thought; perhaps even to reality itself, the so-called sum of things. It is possible to stand in time's pinewood dust and admire one's own veronicas and pavanes.
Don DeLillo (Ratner's Star)
Consider the death of the body in terms of God and His law. Your life, the life within you, encompasses everything within itself -- not only those whom you have lost but everything -- it includes God within itself. And if there is a God in your soul, then your soul is full, and there is no loss. And if there is a God, then there is love towards Him and towards people, towards those unfortunates who are in need of love. If you believe that everything that has happened to us in our life has been for our own good, then that which happens to us in our death is also for our own good. All of our misfortunes reveal to us the presence in us of the divine, of the immortal, of the self-sufficient which constitutes the foundation of our life. Death reveals to us fully our true Self. That which happens to man after his death we cannot and ought not to know. We could not live or do God's work if we knew it. If what awaits us after death were worse than what we meet with here on earth, we would prize this life even more than we do now, and there is no greater impediment to the fulfillment of God's will than concern for one's own life. If what awaits us after death were better than now, then we would scorn this life and make every effort to flee from it. We do not know what awaits us after death, but we do know one thing without any doubt, namely, that the spiritual Being into which, according to Christian teachings, I have passed over is indissoluble, eternal, free and omnipotent because this Being is God. I shall go into that Source of Love from which I came and into that which I feel is Love. 'Into thine hands I commit my spirit.' That is all we can say, yet this too is something. For the person who believes in the existence of Him from whom he came and to Whom he is going, this is all there is, and nothing more is needed.
Leo Tolstoy
But since Catt was more realist than fabulist, she understood her actual death at the hands of her killer would be something much slower. It would be a classical feminine death, like a marriage…Raised by meek working-class parents, she despised petty groveling and had no talent for making shit up. She wanted to be a “real” intellectual moving with dizzying freedom between high and low points in the culture. And to a certain extent, she’d succeeded. Catt’s semi-name attracted a following among Asberger’s boys, girls who’d been hospitalized for mental illness, sex workers, Ivy alumnae on meth, and always, the cutters. With her small self-made fortune, Catt saw herself as Moll Flanders, out-sourcing her visiting professorships and writing commissions to younger artists whose work she believed in. But she’d reached a point lately where the same young people she’d helped were blogging against her, exposing the ‘cottage industry’ she ran out of her Los Angeles compound facing the Hollywood sign … the same compound these bloggers had lived in rent-free after arriving from Iowa City, Alberta, New Zealand. Loathing all institutions, Catt had become one herself. Even her dentist asked her for money.
Chris Kraus (Summer of Hate)
The wild is an integral part of who we are as children. Without pausing to consider what or where or how, we gather herbs and flowers, old apples and rose hips, shiny pebbles and dead spiders, poems, tears and raindrops, putting each treasured thing into the cauldron of our souls. We stir our bucket of mud as if it were, every one, a bucket of chocolate cake to be mixed for the baking. Little witches, hag children, we dance our wildness, not afraid of not knowing. But there comes a time when the kiss of acceptance is delayed until the mud is washed from our knees, the chocolate from our faces. Putting down our wooden spoon with a new uncertainty, setting aside our magical wand, we learn another system of values based on familiarity, on avoiding threat and rejection. We are told it is all in the nature of growing up. But it isn't so. Walking forward and facing the shadows, stumbling on fears like litter in the alleyways of our minds, we can find the confidence again. We can let go of the clutter of our creative stagnation, abandoning the chaos of misplaced and outdated assumptions that have been our protection. Then beyond the half light and shadows, we can slip into the dark and find ourselves in a world where horizons stretch forever. Once more we can acknowledge a reality that is unlimited finding our true self, a wild spirit, free and eager to explore the extent of our potential, free to dance like fireflies, free to be the drum, free to love absolutely with every cell of our being, or lie in the grass watching stars and bats and dreams wander by. We can live inspired, stirring the darkness of the cauldron within our souls, the source, the womb temple of our true creativity, brilliant, untamed
Emma Restall Orr
Greatness is the courage to overcome obstacles. It is the willingness to move to a higher level of love. It is the acceptance of others’ humanness and having compassion for their suffering by putting ourselves in their shoes. Out of the forgiveness of others come self-forgiveness and the relief of guilt. The real payoff we get is when we let go of our negativity and choose to be loving; we are the ones who benefit. We are the ones who gain from the real payoff. With this increased awareness of who we really are comes the progressive invulnerability to pain. Once we compassionately accept our own humanness and that of others, we are no longer subject to humiliation, for true humility is a part of greatness. Out of the recognition of who we really are comes the desire to seek that which is uplifting. Out of it arises a new meaning and context for life. When that inner emptiness, due to lack of self-worth, is replaced by true self-love, self-respect and esteem, we no longer have to seek it in the world, for that source of happiness is within ourselves. It dawns on us that it cannot be supplied by the world anyway. No amount of riches can compensate for an inner feeling of poverty. We all know of the many multimillionaires who try to compensate for their inner sense of hollowness and lack of inner worth. Once we have contacted this inner Self, this inner greatness, this inner completion, contentment, and true sense of happiness, we have transcended the world. The world is now a place to enjoy, and we are no longer run by it. We are no longer at the effect of it.
David R. Hawkins (Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender)
Once let down, I never fully recovered. I could never forget, and the break never mended. Like a glass vase that you place on the edge of a table, once broken, the pieces never quite fit again. However the problem wasn’t with the vase, or even that the vases kept breaking. The problem was that I kept putting them on the edge of tables. Through my attachments, I was dependent on my relationships to fulfill my needs. I allowed those relationships to define my happiness or my sadness, my fulfillment or my emptiness, my security, and even my self-worth. And so, like the vase placed where it will inevitably fall, through those dependencies I set myself up for disappointment. I set myself up to be broken. And that’s exactly what I found: one disappointment, one break after another. Yet the people who broke me were not to blame any more than gravity can be blamed for breaking the vase. We can’t blame the laws of physics when a twig snaps because we leaned on it for support. The twig was never created to carry us. Our weight was only meant to be carried by God. We are told in the Qur’an: "…whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things." (Qur’an, 2: 256) There is a crucial lesson in this verse: that there is only one hand-hold that never breaks. There is only one place where we can lay our dependencies. There is only one relationship that should define our self-worth and only one source from which to seek our ultimate happiness, fulfillment, and security. That place is God. However,
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart: Personal insights on breaking free from life's shackles)
What was glimpsed in Aquarius—what was envisioned, believed in, prophesied, predicted, doubted, and forewarned—is made, in Pisces, manifest. Those solitary visions that, but a month ago, belonged only to the dreamer, will now acquire the form and substance of the real. We were of our own making, and we shall be our own end. And after Pisces? Out of the womb, the bloody birth. We do not follow: we cannot cross from last to first. Aries will not admit a collective point of view, and Taurus will not relinquish the subjective. Gemini's code is an exclusive one. Cancer seeks a source, Leo, a purpose, and Virgo, a design; but these are projects undertaken singly. Only in the zodiac's second act will we begin to show ourselves: in Libra, as a notion, in Scorpio, as a quality, and in Sagittarius, as a voice. In Capricorn we will gain memory, and in Aquarius, vision; it is only in Pisces, the last and oldest of the zodiacal signs, that we acquire a kind of selfhood, something whole. But the doubled fish of Pisces, that mirrored womb of self and self-awareness, is an ourobouros of mind—both the will of fate, and the fated will—and the house of self-undoing is a prison built by prisoners, airless, door-less, and mortared from within. These alterations come upon us irrevocably, as the hands of the clock-face come upon the hour.
Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries)
The temporary alliance between the elite and the mob rested largely on this genuine delight with which the former watched the latter destroy respectability. This could be achieved when the German steel barons were forced to deal with and to receive socially Hitler's the housepainter and self-admitted former derelict, as it could be with the crude and vulgar forgeries perpetrated by the totalitarian movements in all fields of intellectual life, insofar as they gathered all the subterranean, nonrespectable elements of European history into one consistent picture. From this viewpoint it was rather gratifying to see that Bolshevism and Nazism began even to eliminate those sources of their own ideologies which had already won some recognition in academic or other official quarters. Not Marx's dialectical materialism, but the conspiracy of 300 families; not the pompous scientificality of Gobineau and Chamberlain, but the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"; not the traceable influence of the Catholic Church and the role played by anti-clericalism in Latin countries, but the backstairs literature about the Jesuits and the Freemasons became the inspiration for the rewriters of history. The object of the most varied and variable constructions was always to reveal history as a joke, to demonstrate a sphere of secret influences of which the visible, traceable, and known historical reality was only the outward façade erected explicitly to fool the people. To this aversion of the intellectual elite for official historiography, to its conviction that history, which was a forgery anyway, might as well be the playground of crackpots, must be added the terrible, demoralizing fascination in the possibility that gigantic lies and monstrous falsehoods can eventually be established as unquestioned facts, that man may be free to change his own past at will, and that the difference between truth and falsehood may cease to be objective and become a mere matter of power and cleverness, of pressure and infinite repetition. Not Stalin’s and Hitler's skill in the art of lying but the fact that they were able to organize the masses into a collective unit to back up their lies with impressive magnificence, exerted the fascination. Simple forgeries from the viewpoint of scholarship appeared to receive the sanction of history itself when the whole marching reality of the movements stood behind them and pretended to draw from them the necessary inspiration for action.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Sant Mat (the path and teachings as taught and practiced by saints) delineates the path of union of soul with the Divine. The teachings of the saints explain the re-uniting as follows: The individual soul has descended from the higher worlds [the Realm of the Divine] to this city of illusion, bodily existence. It has descended from the Soundless state to the essence of Sound, from that Sound to Light, and finally from the realm of Light to the realm of Darkness. The qualities (dharmas, natural tendencies) of the sense organs draw us downward and away from our true nature. The nature of the soul (atman) draws us upwards and inwards and establishes us in our own true nature. Returning to our origins involves turning inward: withdrawal of consciousness from the senses and the sense objects in order to go upward from the darkness to the realms of Light and Sound. [We experience this phenomenon of withdrawal as we pass from waking consciousness to deep sleep.] Another way to express this is to go inward from the external sense organs to the depth of the inner self. (Both of these expressions are the metaphors that signify the same movement). The natural tendencies of the soul (atman) are to move from outward to inward. The current of consciousness which is dispersed in the nine gates of the body and the senses, must be collected at the tenth gate. The tenth gate is the gathering point of consciousness. Therein lies the path for our return. The tenth gate is also known as the sixth chakra, the third eye, bindu, the center located between the two eyebrows. This is the gateway through which we leave the gates of the sense organs and enter in the divine realms and finally become established in the soul. We travel back from the Realm of Darkness to the Realm of Light, from the Light to the Divine Sound, and from the Realm of Sound to the Soundless State. This is called turning back to the Source. This is what dharma or religion really intends to teach us. This is the essence of dharma.
Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj
Individuals blind to the sexual opposite within them, be they men or women, never realise that the partner they choose is chosen because he or she bears some resemblance to the anima or animus. The anger and hurt felt at the 'true discovery' of the partner's failings is really anger and hurt directed at oneself; and this would become apparent, were one to see the dark figure within one's own unconscious impelling one into a particular relationship. Like always attracts like; rather than railing at the partner, one should take a long, close look at one's own psychic makeup. But it is easier to complain bitterly --- to analysts, marriage counsellors, and also astrologers --- that yet another relationship has collapsed and yet another partner has proved to be a bad choice. It is also fashionable to blame this on the failures of the parent of the opposite sex; but the past continues to live within a person not only because in some way it is part of his own substance, but also because he permits it to do so. When a disastrous relationship occurs once, we may fool ourselves into believing it is chance; when it occurs twice, it has become a pattern, and a pattern is an unmistakable indication that the anima or animus is at work in the unconscious, propelling the helpless ego into relationships or situations which are baffling, painful, and frighteningly repetitive. Again, it is much wiser to look within oneself for the source of the pattern, rather than at the inherent failure of the opposite sex. For these destructive patterns are the psyche's way of making itself known, although great effort is often required to fulfil its demand for transformation. And great sacrifices also are required - of such precious commodities as one's pride, one's self-image, one's self-righteousness.
Liz Greene (Relating: An Astrological Guide to Living With Others on a Small Planet)
As we advance in the spiritual life and in the practice of systematic self-examination we are often surprised by the discovery of vast unknown tracts of the inner life of the soul. They seem like great plains stretching out in mystery and wrapt in mists that sometimes for a moment lift, or sweep off and leave one looking for one brief instant upon great reaches of one’s own life, unknown, unmeasured, unexplored. Men stand at such moments breathless in wonder and in awe gazing upon these great tracts upon which they have never looked before, with kindling eyes and beating hearts; and while they look the mists steal back till all is lost to sight once more and they are left wondering if what they saw was reality, or the creation of their fancy. Or sometimes they see, not far-stretching plains which fill the soul with an awestruck sense of its expansiveness and of how much has been left absolutely uncultivated, not these plains but mountain peaks climbing and reaching upwards till lost in the heavens, echoing it may be with the voice of many streams whose waters fertilize and enrich those small tracts of the soul’s life which have been reclaimed and cultivated and which many a man has thought to be his whole inner self, though he never asked himself whence those rich streams had their source. Now he sees how their source lay in unmeasured heights of his own inner being whose existence he never dreamed of before. In one brief instant they have unveiled themselves. He looks again, and they are shut out from his eyes, there is no token visible that he possesses such reaches, such heights of life. The commonplaces of his existence gather in and crowd upon him, the ordinary routine of life settles down upon him, limiting and confining him on all sides, the same unbroken line measures his horizon, such as he has always known it, the same round of interests and occupations crowd in upon his hours and fill them, the pressure of the hard facts of life upon him are as unmistakable and as leveling as ever, bidding him forget his dreams and meet and obey the requirements of the world in which he lives. And yet the man who has caught but a momentary glimpse of that vast unknown inner life can never be the same as he was before; he must be better or worse, trying to explore and possess and cultivate that unknown world within him, or trying—oh, would that he could succeed!—to forget it. He has seen that alongside of, or far out beyond the reach of, the commonplace life of routine, another life stretches away whither he knows not, he feels that he has greater capacities for good or evil than he ever imagined. He has, in a word, awakened with tremulous awe to the discovery that his life which he has hitherto believed limited and confined to what he knew, reaches infinitely beyond his knowledge and is far greater than he ever dreamed.
Basil W. Maturin (Self-Knowledge and Self-Discipline)
Xinxin Ming or Trust in the Heart The Perfect Way is only difficult for those who pick and choose; Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference, and heaven and earth are set apart. If you want the truth [of nonduality] to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease. When the Way is not understood, the mind chatters endlessly to no avail. The Perfect Way is vastness without holiness. Like infinite space it contains all and lacks nothing. Because you pick and choose, cling and reject, you can't see its Suchness. Neither be entangled in the world, nor in inner feelings of emptiness. Be serene in the oneness of things, And dualism vanishes of its own accord. Craving the passivity of Oneness you are filled with activity. As long as you tarry in dualism, You will never know Oneness. If you don't trust in the Heart, you fall into assertion or denial. In this world of Suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self. To be in accord with the Way, let go of all self-centered striving. Denying the world [of duality] is the asserting of it; Asserting emptiness [oneness] is the denying of it. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you go. To return to the root [the One] is to find the meaning, But to pursue appearances [the many] is to miss the source. At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond the one and the many. The mind clings to its image of the world; We call it real only because of our ignorance. Do not seek after the truth, merely cease to cherish your opinions. For the mind in harmony with the One, all selfishness disappears. With not even a trace of fear, you can trust the universe completely. All at once you are free, with nothing left to hold on to. All is empty, brilliant, perfect in its own being. In the world of things as they are, there is neither observer nor observed. If you want to describe its essence, the best you can say is "Not-two." Even to have the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Thoughts that are fettered turn from truth, sink into the unwise habit of "not liking." "Not liking" brings weariness of spirit; estrangements serve no purpose. In this "Not-two" nothing is separate, And nothing in the world is excluded. The enlightened of all times and places have entered into this truth. The One is none other than the All, the All none other than the One. Take your stand on this, and the rest will follow of its accord; To trust in the Heart is the "Not-two," the "Not-two" is to trust in the Heart. There is one reality, not many; Distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant. To seek Mind with the mind is the greatest of all mistakes. I have spoken, but in vain; For what can words say— Of things that have no yesterday, tomorrow, or today. Jianzhi Sengcan (aka Seng-Ts'an, 僧璨, ?-606)
Sengcan
What does Africa — what does the West stand for? Is not our own interior white on the chart? black though it may prove, like the coast, when discovered. Is it the source of the Nile, or the Niger, or the Mississippi, or a Northwest Passage around this continent, that we would find? Are these the problems which most concern mankind? Is Franklin the only man who is lost, that his wife should be so earnest to find him? Does Mr. Grinnell know where he himself is? Be rather the Mungo Park,the Lewis and Clark and Frobisher,of your own streams and oceans; explore your own higher latitudes — with shiploads of preserved meats to support you, if they be necessary; and pile the empty cans sky-high for a sign. Were preserved meats invented to preserve meat merely? Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought. Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice. Yet some can be patriotic who have no self-respect, and sacrifice the greater to the less. They love the soil which makes their graves, but have no sympathy with the spirit which may still animate their clay. Patriotism is a maggot in their heads.What was the meaning of that South-Sea Exploring Expedition,with all its parade and expense, but an indirect recognition of the fact that there are continents and seas in the moral world to which every man is an isthmus or an inlet, yet unexplored by him, but that it is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being alone.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
What’s so interesting here is that through the course of development, these secure children increasingly “internalize” their parents’ emotional availability and responsiveness and come to hold the same constant or dependable loving feeling toward themselves that their parents originally held toward them (certainly, a beautiful developmental process to watch unfold in securely attached children). Said differently, cognitive development increasingly allows securely attached children to internally hold a mental representation of their emotionally responsive parents when the attachment figures are away and they can increasingly soothe themselves as their caregivers have done—facilitating the child’s own capacity for affect regulation and independent functioning. Thus, as these children grow older and mature cognitively and emotionally, they become increasingly able to soothe themselves when distressed, function for increasingly longer periods without emotional refueling, and effectively elicit appropriate help or support when necessary. In this way, object constancy and more independent functioning develops—facilitating their ability to comfort themselves and become the source of their own self-esteem and secure identity as capable, love-worthy persons. Furthermore, they possess the cognitive schemas or internal working models necessary to establish new relationships with others that hold this same affirming affective valence.
Edward Teyber (Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model)
I feel as though dispossessed from the semblances of some crystalline reality to which I’d grown accustomed, and to some degree, had engaged in as a participant, but to which I had, nevertheless, grown inexplicably irrelevant. But the elements of this phenomenon are now quickly dissolving from memory and being replaced by reverse-engineered Random Access actualizations of junk code/DNA consciousness, the retro-coded catalysts of rogue cellular activity. The steel meshing titters musically and in its song, I hear a forgotten tale of the Interstitial gaps that form pinpoint vortexes at which fibers (quanta, as it were) of Reason come to a standstill, like light on the edge of a Singularity. The gaps, along their ridges, seasonally infected by the incidental wildfires in the collective unconscious substrata. Heat flanks passageways down the Interstices. Wildfires cluster—spread down the base trunk Axon in a definitive roar: hitting branches, flaring out to Dendrites to give rise to this release of the very chemical seeds through which sentience is begotten. Float about the ether, gliding a gentle current, before skimming down, to a skip over the surface of a sea of deep black with glimmering waves. And then, come to a stop, still inanimate and naked before any trespass into the Field, with all its layers that serve to veil. Plunge downward into the trenches. Swim backwards, upstream, and down through these spiraling jets of bubbles. Plummet past the threshold to trace the living history of shadows back to their source virus. And acquire this sense that the viruses as a sample, all of the outlying populations withstanding: they have their own sense of self-importance, too. Their own religion. And they mine their hosts barren with the utilitarian wherewithal that can only be expected of beings with self-preservationist motives.
Ashim Shanker (Sinew of the Social Species)
We are the center. In each of our minds - some may call it arrogance, or selfishness - we are the center, and all the world moves about us, and for us, and because of us. This is the paradox of community, the one and the whole, the desires of the one often in direct conflict with the needs of the whole. Who among us has not wondered if all the world is no more than a personal dream? I do not believe that such thoughts are arrogant or selfish. It is simply a matter of perception; we can empathize with someone else, but we cannot truly see the world as another person sees it, or judge events as they affect the mind and the heart of another, even a friend. But we must try. For the sake of all the world, we must try. This is the test of altruism, the most basic and undeniable ingredient for society. Therein lies the paradox, for ultimately, logically, we each must care more about ourselves than about others, and yet, if, as rational beings we follow that logical course, we place our needs and desires above the needs of our society, and then there is no community. I come from Menzoberranzan, city of drow, city of self. I have seen that way of selfishness. I have seen it fail miserably. When self-indulgence rules, then all the community loses, and in the end, those striving for personal gains are left with nothing of any real value. Because everything of value that we will know in this life comes from our relationships with those around us. Because there is nothing material that measures against the intangibles of love and friendship. Thus, we must overcome that selfishness and we must try, we must care. I saw this truth plainly following the attack on Captain Deudermont in Watership. My first inclination was to believe that my past had precipitated the trouble, that my life course had again brought pain to a friend. I could not bear this thought. I felt old and I felt tired. Subsequently learning that the trouble was possibly brought on by Deudermont's old enemies, not my own, gave me more heart for the fight. Why is that? The danger to me was no less, nor was the danger to Deudermont, or to Catti-brie or any of the others about us. Yet my emotions were real, very real, and I recognized and understood them, if not their source. Now, in reflection, I recognize that source, and take pride in it. I have seen the failure of self-indulgence; I have run from such a world. I would rather die because of Deudermont's past than have him die because of my own. I would suffer the physical pains, even the end of my life. Better that than watch one I love suffer and die because of me. I would rather have my physical heart torn from my chest, than have my heart of hearts, the essence of love, the empathy and the need to belong to something bigger than my corporeal form, destroyed. They are a curious thing, these emotions. How they fly in the face of logic, how they overrule the most basic instincts. Because, in the measure of time, in the measure of humanity, we sense those self-indulgent instincts to be a weakness, we sense that the needs of the community must outweigh the desires of the one. Only when we admit to our failures and recognize our weaknesses can we rise above them. Together.
R.A. Salvatore (Passage to Dawn (Forgotten Realms: Legacy of the Drow, #4; Legend of Drizzt, #10))
From a very early age Edison became used to doing things for himself, by necessity. His family was poor, and by the age of twelve he had to earn money to help his parents. He sold newspapers on trains, and traveling around his native Michigan for his job, he developed an ardent curiosity about everything he saw. He wanted to know how things worked—machines, gadgets, anything with moving parts. With no schools or teachers in his life, he turned to books, particularly anything he could find on science. He began to conduct his own experiments in the basement of his family home, and he taught himself how to take apart and fix any kind of watch. At the age of fifteen he apprenticed as a telegraph operator, then spent years traveling across the country plying his trade. He had no chance for a formal education, and nobody crossed his path who could serve as a teacher or mentor. And so in lieu of that, in every city he spent time in, he frequented the public library. One book that crossed his path played a decisive role in his life: Michael Faraday’s two-volume Experimental Researches in Electricity. This book became for Edison what The Improvement of the Mind had been for Faraday. It gave him a systematic approach to science and a program for how to educate himself in the field that now obsessed him—electricity. He could follow the experiments laid out by the great Master of the field and absorb as well his philosophical approach to science. For the rest of his life, Faraday would remain his role model. Through books, experiments, and practical experience at various jobs, Edison gave himself a rigorous education that lasted about ten years, up until the time he became an inventor. What made this successful was his relentless desire to learn through whatever crossed his path, as well as his self-discipline. He had developed the habit of overcoming his lack of an organized education by sheer determination and persistence. He worked harder than anyone else. Because he was a consummate outsider and his mind had not been indoctrinated in any school of thought, he brought a fresh perspective to every problem he tackled. He turned his lack of formal direction into an advantage. If you are forced onto this path, you must follow Edison’s example by developing extreme self-reliance. Under these circumstances, you become your own teacher and mentor. You push yourself to learn from every possible source. You read more books than those who have a formal education, developing this into a lifelong habit. As much as possible, you try to apply your knowledge in some form of experiment or practice. You find for yourself second-degree mentors in the form of public figures who can serve as role models. Reading and reflecting on their experiences, you can gain some guidance. You try to make their ideas come to life, internalizing their voice. As someone self-taught, you will maintain a pristine vision, completely distilled through your own experiences—giving you a distinctive power and path to mastery.
Robert Greene (Mastery (The Robert Greene Collection))
Nature’s ultimate goal is to foster the growth of the individual from absolute dependence to independence — or, more exactly, to the interdependence of mature adults living in community. Development is a process of moving from complete external regulation to self-regulation, as far as our genetic programming allows. Well-self-regulated people are the most capable of interacting fruitfully with others in a community and of nurturing children who will also grow into self-regulated adults. Anything that interferes with that natural agenda threatens the organism’s chances for long-term survival. Almost from the beginning of life we see a tension between the complementary needs for security and for autonomy. Development requires a gradual and ageappropriate shift from security needs toward the drive for autonomy, from attachment to individuation. Neither is ever completely lost, and neither is meant to predominate at the expense of the other. With an increased capacity for self-regulation in adulthood comes also a heightened need for autonomy — for the freedom to make genuine choices. Whatever undermines autonomy will be experienced as a source of stress. Stress is magnified whenever the power to respond effectively to the social or physical environment is lacking or when the tested animal or human being feels helpless, without meaningful choices — in other words, when autonomy is undermined. Autonomy, however, needs to be exercised in a way that does not disrupt the social relationships on which survival also depends, whether with emotional intimates or with important others—employers, fellow workers, social authority figures. The less the emotional capacity for self-regulation develops during infancy and childhood, the more the adult depends on relationships to maintain homeostasis. The greater the dependence, the greater the threat when those relationships are lost or become insecure. Thus, the vulnerability to subjective and physiological stress will be proportionate to the degree of emotional dependence. To minimize the stress from threatened relationships, a person may give up some part of his autonomy. However, this is not a formula for health, since the loss of autonomy is itself a cause of stress. The surrender of autonomy raises the stress level, even if on the surface it appears to be necessary for the sake of “security” in a relationship, and even if we subjectively feel relief when we gain “security” in this manner. If I chronically repress my emotional needs in order to make myself “acceptable” to other people, I increase my risks of having to pay the price in the form of illness. The other way of protecting oneself from the stress of threatened relationships is emotional shutdown. To feel safe, the vulnerable person withdraws from others and closes against intimacy. This coping style may avoid anxiety and block the subjective experience of stress but not the physiology of it. Emotional intimacy is a psychological and biological necessity. Those who build walls against intimacy are not self-regulated, just emotionally frozen. Their stress from having unmet needs will be high.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
I feel as if it were not for me to record, even though this manuscript is intended for no eyes but mine, how hard I worked at that tremendous short-hand, and all improvement appertaining to it, in my sense of responsibility to Dora and her aunts. I will only add, to what I have already written of my perseverance at this time of my life, and of a patient and continuous energy which then began to be matured within me, and which I know to be the strong part of my character, if it have any strength at all, that there, on looking back, I find the source of my success. I have been very fortunate in worldly matters; many men have worked much harder, and not succeeded half so well; but I never could have done what I have done, without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one object at a time, no matter how quickly its successor should come upon its heels, which I then formed. Heaven knows I write this, in no spirit of self-laudation. The man who reviews his own life, as I do mine, in going on here, from page to page, had need to have been a good man indeed, if he would be spared the sharp consciousness of many talents neglected, many opportunities wasted, many erratic and perverted feelings constantly at war within his breast, and defeating him. I do not hold one natural gift, I dare say, that I have not abused. My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest. I have never believed it possible that any natural or improved ability can claim immunity from the companionship of the steady, plain, hard-working qualities, and hope to gain its end. There is no such thing as such fulfilment on this earth. Some happy talent, and some fortunate opportunity, may form the two sides of the ladder on which some men mount, but the rounds of that ladder must be made of stuff to stand wear and tear; and there is no substitute for thorough-going, ardent, and sincere earnestness. Never to put one hand to anything, on which I could throw my whole self; and never to affect depreciation of my work, whatever it was; I find, now, to have been my golden rules.
Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)
Socrates tried to soothe us, true enough. He said there were only two possibilities. Either the soul is immortal or, after death, things would be again as blank as they were before we were born. This is not absolutely comforting either. Anyway it was natural that theology and philosophy should take the deepest interest in this. They owe it to us not to be boring themselves. On this obligation they don’t always make good. However, Kierkegaard was not a bore. I planned to examine his contribution in my master essay. In his view the primacy of the ethical over the esthetic mode was necessary to restore the balance. But enough of that. In myself I could observe the following sources of tedium: 1) The lack of a personal connection with the external world. Earlier I noted that when I was riding through France in a train last spring I looked out of the window and thought that the veil of Maya was wearing thin. And why was this? I wasn’t seeing what was there but only what everyone sees under a common directive. By this is implied that our worldview has used up nature. The rule of this view is that I, a subject, see the phenomena, the world of objects. They, however, are not necessarily in themselves objects as modern rationality defines objects. For in spirit, says Steiner, a man can step out of himself and let things speak to him about themselves, to speak about what has meaning not for him alone but also for them. Thus the sun the moon the stars will speak to nonastronomers in spite of their ignorance of science. In fact it’s high time that this happened. Ignorance of science should not keep one imprisoned in the lowest and weariest sector of being, prohibited from entering into independent relations with the creation as a whole. The educated speak of the disenchanted (a boring) world. But it is not the world, it is my own head that is disenchanted. The world cannot be disenchanted. 2) For me the self-conscious ego is the seat of boredom. This increasing, swelling, domineering, painful self-consciousness is the only rival of the political and social powers that run my life (business, technological-bureaucratic powers, the state). You have a great organized movement of life, and you have the single self, independently conscious, proud of its detachment and its absolute immunity, its stability and its power to remain unaffected by anything whatsoever — by the sufferings of others or by society or by politics or by external chaos. In a way it doesn’t give a damn. It is asked to give a damn, and we often urge it to give a damn but the curse of noncaring lies upon this painfully free consciousness. It is free from attachment to beliefs and to other souls. Cosmologies, ethical systems? It can run through them by the dozens. For to be fully conscious of oneself as an individual is also to be separated from all else. This is Hamlet’s kingdom of infinite space in a nutshell, of “words, words, words,” of “Denmark’s a prison.
Saul Bellow (Humboldt's Gift)
That is why the second coming of the Lord is not only salvation, not only the omega that sets everything right, but also judgment. Indeed at this stage we can actually define the meaning of the talk of judgment. It means precisely this, that the final stage of the world is not the result of a natural current but the result of responsibility that is grounded in freedom. This must be regarded as the key to understanding why the New Testament clings fast, in spite of its message of grace, to the assertion that at the end men are judged "by their works" and that no one can escape giving an account of the way he has lived his life. There is a freedom that is not cancelled out even by grace and, indeed, is brought by it face to face with itself: man's final fate is not forced upon him regardless of the decisions he has made in his life. This assertion is in any case also necessary in order to draw the line between faith and false dogmatism or a false Christian self-confidence. This line alone confirms the equality of men by confirming the identity of their responsibility. ... Perhaps in the last analysis it is impossible to escape a paradox whose logic is completely disclosed only to the experience of a life based on faith. Anyone who entrusts himself to a life of faith becomes aware that both exist: the radical character of grace that frees helpless man and,no less, the abiding seriousness of the responsibility that summons man day after day. Both together mean that the Christian enjoys, on the one hand, the liberating, detached tranquility of him who lives on that excess of divine justice known as Jesus Christ. ... This is the source of a profound freedom, a knowledge of God's unrepentant love; he sees through all our errors and remains well disposed to us. ... At the same time, the Christian knows, however, that he is not free to do whatever he pleases, that his activity is not a game that God allows him and does not take seriously. He knows that he must answer for his actions, that he owes an account as a steward of what has been entrusted to him. There can only be responsibility where there is someone to be responsible to, someone to put the questions. Faith in the Last Judgment holds this questioning of our life over our heads so that we cannot forget it for a moment. Nothing and no one empowers us to trivialize the tremendous seriousness involved in such knowledge; it shows our life to be a serious business and precisely by doing so gives it its dignity.
Benedict XVI (Introduction to Christianity)
We are by the river bank. The river is very, very low. Almost dry. But mostly is wet stones. Grey on the outside. We walk on the stones for awhile. You pick up a stone and crash it onto the others. As it breaks, it is quite wet inside and is very colorful, very pretty. I pick up a stone and break it and run toward the pieces to see the colors. They are beautiful. I laugh and bring the pieces back to you and you are doing the same with your pieces. We keep on crashing stones for hours, anxious to see the beautiful new colors. We are playing. The playfulness of our activity does not presuppose that it is a particular form of play with its own rules. Rather the attitude that carries us through the activity, a playful attitude, turns the activity into play. Our activity has no rules, though it is certainly intentional activity and we both understand what we are doing. The playfulness that gives meaning to our activity includes uncertainty, but in this case the uncertainty is an openness to surprise. This is a particular metaphysical attitude that does not expect the world to be neatly packaged, ruly. Rules may fail to explain what we are doing. We are not self-important, we are not fixed in particular constructions of ourselves, which is part of saying that we are open to self-construction. We are not worried about competence. We are not wedded to a particular way of doing things. While playful we have not abandoned ourselves to, nor are we stuck in, any particular ‘world.’ We are there creatively. We are not passive. Playfulness is, in part, an openness to being a fool, which is a combination of not worrying about competence, not being self-important, not taking norms as sacred and finding ambiguity and double edges a source of wisdom and delight. So, positively, the playful attitude involves openness to surprise, openness to being a fool, openness to self-construction or reconstruction and to construction or reconstruction of the ‘worlds’ we inhabit playfully. Negatively, playfulness is characterized by uncertainty, lack of self-importance, absence of rules or a not taking rules as scared, a no worrying about competence and a lack of abandonment to a particular construction of oneself, others and one’s relation to them. In attempting to take a hold of oneself and one’s relation to others in a particular ‘world,’ one may study, examine and come to understand oneself. One may then see what the possibilities for play are for being one is in that ‘world.’ One may even decide to inhabit that self fully in order to understand it better and find its creative possibilities. All of this is just self-reflection, and is quite different from residing or abandoning oneself to the particular construction of oneself that one is attempting to take a hold of.
María Lugones
The average person wastes his life. He has a great deal of energy but he wastes it. The life of an average person seems at the end utterly meaningless…without significance. When he looks back…what has he done? MIND The mind creates routine for its own safety and convenience. Tradition becomes our security. But when the mind is secure it is in decay. We all want to be famous people…and the moment we want to be something…we are no longer free. Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential…the what is. It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything new…and in that there’s joy. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is real education. SOCIETY It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals…whereas culture has invented a single mold to which we must conform. A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person because he conforms to a pattern. He repeats phrases and thinks in a groove. What happens to your heart and your mind when you are merely imitative, naturally they wither, do they not? The great enemy of mankind is superstition and belief which is the same thing. When you separate yourself by belief tradition by nationally it breeds violence. Despots are only the spokesmen for the attitude of domination and craving for power which is in the heart of almost everyone. Until the source is cleared there will be confusion and classes…hate and wars. A man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country to any religion to any political party. He is concerned with the understanding of mankind. FEAR You have religion. Yet the constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear. You can only be afraid of what you think you know. One is never afraid of the unknown…one is afraid of the known coming to an end. A man who is not afraid is not aggressive. A man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free and peaceful mind. You want to be loved because you do not love…but the moment you really love, it is finished. You are no longer inquiring whether someone loves you or not. MEDITATION The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence. In meditation you will discover the whisperings of your own prejudices…your own noises…the monkey mind. You have to be your own teacher…truth is a pathless land. The beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are…where you are going…what the end is. Down deep we all understand that it is truth that liberates…not your effort to be free. The idea of ourselves…our real selves…is your escape from the fact of what you really are. Here we are talking of something entirely different….not of self improvement…but the cessation of self. ADVICE Take a break with the past and see what happens. Release attachment to outcomes…inside you will feel good no matter what. Eventually you will find that you don’t mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom…it is timeless spiritual truth. If you can really understand the problem the answer will come out of it. The answer is not separate from the problem. Suffer and understand…for all of that is part of life. Understanding and detachment…this is the secret. DEATH There is hope in people…not in societies not in systems but only in you and me. The man who lives without conflict…who lives with beauty and love…is not frightened by death…because to love is to die.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
Unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life are common themes in the American culture today. Folks sometimes mistake my meaning when I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, because they all too often rush to drop everything that is weighing them down. They quit the job, ditch the unhappy marriage, cut out negative friends and family, get out of Dodge, etc. I do not advocate such hastiness; in fact, I believe that rash decision-making leads to more problems further down the road. Another unsatisfying job manifests; another unhappy relationship results. These people want a new environment, yet the same negative energy always seems to occupy it. This is because transformation is all about the internal shift, not the external. Any blame placed on outside sources for our unhappiness will forever perpetuate that unhappiness. Pointing the finger is giving away your power of choice and the ability to create our best life. We choose: “That person is making me unhappy” vs. “I make myself happy.” When you are in unhappy times of lack and feelings of separation – great! Sit there and be with it. Find ways to be content with little. Find ways to be happy with your Self. As we reflect on the lives of mystics past and present, it is not the things they possess or the relationships they share that bring them enlightenment – their light is within. The same light can bring us unwavering happiness (joy). Love, Peace, Joy – these three things all come from within and have an unwavering flame – life source – that is not dependent on the conditions of the outside world. This knowing is the power and wisdom that the mystics teach us that we are all capable of achieving. When I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, I am not referring to external conditions; I am referring to the choice you have to look inward and discover the ability to transform the lead of the soul into gold. Transformation is an inner journey of the soul. Why? Because, as we mentioned above, wherever we go, ourselves go with us. Thus, quitting the job, dumping relationships, etc. will not make us happy because we have forgotten the key factor that makes or breaks our happiness: ourselves. When we find, create, and maintain peace, joy, and love within ourselves, we then gain the ability to embrace the external world with the same emotions, perspective, and vibration. This ability is a form of enlightenment. It is the modern man’s enlightenment that transforms an unsatisfying life into one of fulfillment.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life)