appearances

Everything is a succession of appearances whose source is the accumulation of causes and conditions.

In appearances place no trust.

Goodness is the only value that seems in this world of appearances to have any claim to be an end in itself. Virtue is its own reward.

The world is governed by three things - wisdom, authority, and appearance. Wisdom for thoughtful people, authority for rough people, and appearances for the great mass of superficial people who can look only at the outside.

Everything is a succession of appearances whose source is the accumulation of causes and conditions.

Judging only by outer appearances is a mistake, because things are rarely what they seem... Disapproval of a person is disapproval of God. There is a great difference between being judgmental and using good judgment. You have to love each person’s divine essence, but you do not have to like someone’s inappropriate behavior. Wrong judgment impedes your spiritual growth.

What, then, is the nature of the reality that we believe in evidentially? Transiency is the main reality. We appear to live in an ever-perishing world. It seems that our life is confined to a single instant at a time. We see everything passing away - for ever, as we say, without having the slightest idea of what we mean by this expression. Where does everything go - for ever? Where do our lives go? Certainly they are not contained in a space of three dimensions. We witness, apparently, events, people, and things disappearing into total extinction, into an absolute nothingness, as the result of passing-time. This is the reality of appearances as registered by our senses. There goes with it a particular understanding of life.

The world is governed more by appearances than by realities, so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it.

The eye observes only what the mind, the heart, and the imagination are gifted to see; and sight must be reinforced by insight before souls can be discerned as well as manners, ideas as well as objects, realities and relations as well as appearances and accidental connections.

Axial sensibility: the sense that we find ourselves caught up largely in appearances and are trapped in and subject to various forms of bondage, such as political, psychological, and possibly spiritual ones. Coupled with this sense is the further sense that there must be an elsewhere, or another and better way of being here in the world as it is not, one that better engages reality and gives us a sense of liberation rather than confinement. This axial sense may prove to be but an inchoate [just begun, lacking order, origin] and unrealistic longing, but it has been and continues to be experienced by many as genuine and inescapable. It has often been described as a longing for a belonging, driven in part by a sense of not belonging to the world as it is, of being displaced in it.

You grow in grace and understanding by solving your daily problems as they arise, by the Practice of the Presence of God, by a tolerant attitude toward others, by plan horse sense (which is Divine Wisdom in you), by sincere and honest dealing at all times, and by cultivating a true sense of humor – which always brings us nearer to God. The great point is that life is to be met and mastered. Outer conditions and appearances are simply of no importance in themselves except as they supply material for growth.

Our hesitation before such a colossal thought will perhaps be diminished by the recollection... that the ultimate dreamer of the vast life-dream is finally, in a certain sense, but one, namely the Will to Live, and that the multiplicity of appearances follows from the conditioning effects of time and space [the morphogenetic field whereby the Will to Live assumes forms]. It is one great dream dreamed by a single Being, but in such a way that all the dream characters dream too. Hence, everything links and accords with everything else.

Decency - generosity - cooperation - assistance in trouble - devotion to duty; these are the things that are of greater value than surface appearances and custom.

If the subjective constitution of the senses in general were removed, the whole constitution and all the relation of objects in space and time, nay, space and time themselves, would vanish... As appearances they cannot exist in themselves but only in us. What objects are in themselves, apart from all the receptivity of our sensibility, remains completely unknown to us. We know nothing but our mode of perceiving them - a mode which is peculiar to us, and not necessarily shared in by every being.

If the world is a whole existing in itself, it is either finite or infinite. But both alternatives are false... It is therefore also false that the world (the sum of all appearances) is a whole existing in itself. From this it then follows that appearances in general are nothing outside our representations - which is just what is meant by their transcendental identity.

In all change of appearances substance is permanent; its quantum in nature is neither increased nor diminished.

There is a reality behind the world as it appears to us, possibly a man-layered reality, of which the appearances are the outermost layers. What the great scientist does is boldly to guess, daringly to conjecture, what these inner realities are like. This is akin to myth making... The boldness can be gauged by the distance between the world of appearance and the conjectured reality, the explanatory hypotheses.

Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and in passivity, assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know. To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. At the moment of inner enlightenment, there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness. The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance. Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.

What we call good sense in the conduct of life consists chiefly in that temper of mind which enables its possessor to view at all times, with perfect coolness and accuracy, all the various circumstances of his situation: so that each of them may produce its due impression on him, without any exaggeration arising from his own peculiar habits. But to a man of an ill-regulated imagination, external circumstances only serve as hints to excite his own thoughts, and the conduct he pursues has in general far less reference to his real situation than to some imaginary one in which he conceives himself to be placed: in consequence of which, while he appears to himself to be acting with the most perfect wisdom and consistency, he may frequently exhibit to others all the appearances of folly.