Every one of us owes nature his death and must be prepared to pay his debt, in short, that death was natural, undeniable, and inevitable. In practice we were accustomed to act as if matters were quite different. We have shown an unmistakable tendency to put death aside, to eliminate it from life. We attempted to hush it up, in fact, we have the proverb: to think of something as of death. Of course we meant our own death. We cannot, indeed, imagine our own death; whenever we try to do so we find that we survive ourselves as spectators. The school of psychoanalysis could thus assert that at bottom no one believes in his own death, which amounts to saying: in the unconscious every one of us is convinced of his immortality.
In the depths of my heart I can’t help being convinced that my dear fellow-men, with a few exceptions, are worthless.
It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.
The ego refuses to be distressed by the provocations of reality, to let itself be compelled to suffer. It insists that it cannot be affected by the traumas of the external world; it shows, in fact, that such traumas are no more than occasions for it to gain pleasure.
The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions.
The EGO, or territorial-status circuit of the primate brain is a social creation for which one person at a time gets the blame.
The price we pay for our advance in civilization is a loss of happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt.
Two hallmarks of a healthy life are the abilities to love and to work. Each requires imagination.
Where questions of religion are concerned, people are guilty of every possible sort of dishonesty and intellectual misdemeanor.
Beware of organizations that proclaim their devotion to the light without embracing, bowing to the dark; for when they idealize half the world they must devalue the rest.
The word Witch carries so many negative connotations that many people wonder why we use the word at all. Yet to reclaim the word Witch is to reclaim our right, as women, to be powerful; as men, to know the feminine within as divine.
Indeed, awakened people seem to function more effectively in everyday life because they act in harmony with what is, rather than in conflict or resistance. At the same time, they see the empty, dreamlike nature of reality—you could say that they awaken out of the illusion of substantiality into the reality of the empty, ungraspable nature of what is. The awakened person is in the world but not of it—or as Walt Whitman put it, in and out of the game.
We’re not talking about rewards and punishments here when we talk about karma. You’re not a bad boy if you cheat on your taxes or a good girl if you help the old lady across the street. The law of karma doesn’t carry that kind of judgmental baggage; it’s much more practical and down to earth. The point is simple: If you act with ill will, you’ll experience ill will in the future. If you act with love, you’ll experience love in return. Or to continue the metaphor of the seeds: As you sow, so shall you reap.
As a child I could often feel the pain of others in my heart. It made me angry to be alive in such an anguished world. I couldn't stay open to the suffering I saw around me, or to the pain within. It took me years to allow my heart its vulnerability. The grief had torn me open but I hadn't known what to do with the pain... Grief can have a quality of profound healing because we are forced to a depth of feeling that is usually below the threshold of awareness. Though many of our motivations come from this level of fear, of loss, yet we don't know where these volitions originate. We simply find ourselves lost in action, in anger or fear, pushing away others, grasping at what we imagined to be our safety, constantly guarding our heart. This tearing open of the heart leaves us exposed to that which has caused us and our loved ones the pain of imagined separateness so often before. This experience of discovery that grief leads us to is, for some, like going below ground level to look at the roots of a tree whose branches and twigs, leaves and flowers were all you thought were meaningful. It is the tree of life, of your life.
As both capitalist and communist states -- not to mention the technological world --have evolved under the illusion that men purposefully built them, ideological optimism seeps into every niche of our lives. It is made worse by mass culture which feeds our
The enraged man always appears as the gang-leader of his own self, giving his unconscious the order to pull no punches, his eyes shining with the satisfaction of speaking for the many that he himself is. The more someone has espoused the cause of his own aggression, the more perfectly he represents the repressive principle of society. In this sense more than in any other, perhaps, the proposition is true that the most individual is the most general.
Triviality is evil - triviality, that is, in the form of consciousness and mind that adapts itself to the world as it is, that obeys the principle of inertia. And this principle of inertia truly is what is radically evil.
Most of the world is either asleep or dead. The religious people are, for the most part, asleep. The irreligious are dead. Those who are asleep are divided into two classes, like the Virgins in the parable, waiting for the Bridegroom's coming. The wise have oil in their lamps. That is to say they are detached from themselves and from the cares of the world, and they are full of charity. They are indeed waiting for the Bridegroom, and they desire nothing else but His coming, even though they may fall asleep while waiting for Him to appear. But the others are not only asleep: they are full of other dreams and other desires. Their lamps are empty because they have burned themselves out in the wisdom of the flesh and in their own vanity. When He comes, it is too late for them to buy oil. They light their lamps only after He has gone. So they fall asleep again, with useless lamps, and when they wake up they trim them to investigate, once again, the matters of a dying world.
The message of hope the contemplative offers you, then, brother, is not that you need to find your way through the jungle of language and problems that today surround God: but that whether you understand or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you, and offers you an understanding and light which are like nothing you ever found in books or heard in sermons.
A traveler must have the back of an ass to bear all, a tongue like the tail of a dog to flatter all, the mouth of a hog to eat what is set before him, the ear of a merchant to hear all and say nothing.