appearances

I now exercize my fearless faith in three ways - by thinking, speaking and acting. I am unmoved by appearances, therefore appearances move.

Among those points of self-education which take up the form of mental discipline, there is one of great importance, and, moreover, difficult to deal with, because it involves an internal conflict, and equally touches our vanity and our ease. It consists in the tendency to deceive ourselves regarding all we wish for, and the necessity of resistance to these desires. It is impossible for any one who has not been constrained, by the course of his occupation and thoughts, to a habit of continual self-correction, to be aware of the amount of error in relation to judgment arising from this tendency. The force of the temptation which urges us to seek for such evidence and appearances as are in favour of our desires, and to disregard those which oppose them, is wonderfully great. In this respect we are all, more or less, active promoters of error. In place of practising wholesome self-abnegation, we ever make the wish the father to the thought: we receive as friendly that which agrees with, we resist with dislike that which opposes us; whereas the very reverse is required by every dictate of common sense.

To judge the appearances we receive of things, we should need a judicatory instrument; to verify this instrument, we should need a demonstration; to rectify this demonstration, we should need an instrument: so here we are arguing in a circle. Seeing the senses cannot decide our dispute, being themselves full of uncertainty, we must have recourse to Reason; there is no reason but must be built upon another reason, so here we are retreating backwards to all eternity.

When I realize everything’s equality I forget all about my close friends and my relatives It’s OK to forget the objects of your attachment.
When I realize wisdom beyond thought I forget everything included in perceiver and perceived It’s OK to forget these causes of happiness and pain.

Beyond memory, beyond feelings I forget all about experiences, the good ones and the bad It’s OK to forget them, they just go up and down.

When I know the three kayas are present naturally I forget all about the deity’s generation stage practice It’s OK to forget the Dharma made of concepts.

When I realize the result’s inside of me I forget all about the results you have to strive and strain to get It’s OK to forget the Dharma of the relative truth.

Meditating on the key instructions I forget all other explanations and their conventional terms It’s OK to forget the Dharma that makes you arrogant.

When I realize appearances are my texts I forget all about those big books with their letters in black It’s OK to forget the Dharma that’s just a heavy load.

Hinduism – not only in philosophy and literature but also in art – has the capacity for immense conceptions, profound an subtle apprehensions, that can entice the imagination and stun the mind with their depth, range and boldness. The many masks of the many gods, their various appearances and incarnations, have been employed to suggest the infinitely possible variations of one supreme essence. In seeking to give expression to that almost inexpressible idea of a unity which admits also of polarities, a “union beyond the opposites,” Hinduism created such arresting icons as the divine two-in-one embrace of Shiva and Shakti; or Shiva alone, half male, half female, or the two-sided figure of Hari-Hara, an expression of the seemingly “opposite” creative-destructive forces of Vishnu and Shiva embodied in one being.

Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.

The true seems often false, the false seem true – appearances deceive, so think it through.

And where is the boundary-if there is a boundary-between a collective outlook and "the world"? Many cultures assume such a boundary, but they set it in different places. Divine appearances once were real- they are mere fantasies today. Where shall we, who examine the phenomenon, set the boundary?

We think, sometimes, there's not a dragon left. Not one brave knight, not a single princess gliding through secret forests, enchanting deer and butterflies with her smile. We think sometimes that ours is an age past frontiers, past adventures. Destiny, it's way over the horizon; glowing shadows galloped past long ago, and gone. What a pleasure to be wrong. Princesses, knights, enchantments and dragons, mystery and adventure... not only are they here-and-now, they're all that ever lived on earth! Our century, they've changed clothes, of course. Dragons wear government-costumes, today, and failure-suits and disaster-outfits. Society's demons screech, whirl down on us should we lift our eyes from the ground, dare we turn right at corners we've been told to turn left. So crafty have appearances become that princesses and knights can be hidden from each other, can be hidden from themselves. Yet masters of reality still meet us in dreams to tell us that we've never lost the shield we need against dragons, that blue-fire voltage arcs through us now to change our world as we wish. Intuition whispers true: We're not dust, we're magic!

The analogy between telescope and eye, between watch and living organism, is false. All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way. A true watchmaker has foresight: he designs his cogs and springs, and plans their interconnections, with a future purpose in his mind's eye. Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker.

The Perils of Worship -

The life without reverence is barren and insensitive. And worship is the proper expression of reverence. The Sermon on the Mount leads to adoration, thanksgiving, and prayer as truly as it leads to acts of service. But there are perils in worship.

Some of the worship that goes on in our churches is merely lip service, talk takes the place of activity. True worship is the expression of the reverence of a human personality for his Lord and Creator. Reverence makes us eager to serve and obey. But false worship and lip service can be worse then open defiance.

The story is told of Mark Twain's encounter with a man who managed to combine the appearances of piety with a predatory career in business. "Before I die," said the hypocrite, "I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb to the top of Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments aloud." "I have a better idea," answered Mark Twain. "Why don't you stay right at home in Boston and keep them?"

After the warmth of the worship that says, "Lord, Lord," there is a chill in the words, "Do what I say." But if we do not meet the chill, the warmth is not the warmth of life. Bishop Gore ended his book, The Sermon on the Mount, by saying: "Many will come to him in that day with a record of their orthodoxy and of their observances, of their brilliant successes in his professed service; but he will protest unto them, 'I never knew you.' He 'knows' no man in whom he cannot recognize his own likeness." (The Sermon on the Mount by Charles Gore, p. 188. John Murray Ltd., London)

His own likeness? If we understand the Sermon on the Mount, we will never claim that. But if it sinks in, it does begin to remake us.

We believe being afflicted by the death of a person , when it is the dead one that makes printing on us.

All is well that ends well.

A serpent guards its head when its body is being crushed, and a wise monk guards his faith at all times, for this is the origin of his life.

If anyone has put his trust in him as a man without a human mind, he is wholly bereft of mind, and quite unworthy of salvation. For that which he has not assumed he has not healed; but that which is united to his Godhead is also saved.

When I clutch'd your hand, it was not with terror; but suddenly, pouring about me here, on every side, and below there where the boys were drilling, and up the slopes they ran, and where tents are pitch'd, and wherever you see, south and south-east and south-west, over hills, across lowlands, and in the skirts of woods, and along the shores, in mire (now fill'd over,) came again, and suddenly raged, as eighty-five years a-gone, no mere parade receiv'd with applause of friends, but a battle, which I took part in myself—aye, long ago as it is, I took part in it, walking then this hill-top, this same ground.

The central drama of our age is how the Western nations and the Asian peoples are to find a tolerable basis of co-existence.

Individual receptivity is absolutely everything. Without it, nothing changes. With it, all things are possible for you.

Words can confer strength; they can drain it off; Words can gain friends; they can turn them into enemies; words can elevate or lower the individual. One must learn the habit of making one's words sweet, soft, and pleasant.