Reverence

We have rudiments of reverence for the human body, but we consider as nothing the rape of the human mind.

Nature has no reverence towards life. Nature treats life as though it were the most valueless thing in the world.... Nature does not act by purposes.

Let the young soul look back upon its life and ask: What up to now have you truly loved, what has raised up your soul, what ruled it and at the same time made it happy? Line up these objects of reverence before you, and perhaps by their sequence they will yield to you a basic law of your true self. Compare them and see how they form a ladder on which you have so far climbed up toward yourself.

The purpose of our journey on this precious Earth is now to align our personalities with our souls. It is to create harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. It is to grow spiritually. This is our new evolutionary pathway. The old pathway - pursuing the ability to manipulate and control - no longer works. It now produces only violence and destruction.

Reverence is an attitude of honoring life. Reverence automatically brings forth patience. Reverence permits non-judgemental justice. Reverence is a perception of the soul.

I wish to use my last hours of ease and strength in telling the strange story of my experience. I have never fully unbosomed myself to any human being; I have never been encouraged to trust much in the sympathy of my fellow-men. But we have all a chance of meeting with some pity, some tenderness, some charity, when we are dead: it is the living only who cannot be forgiven — the living only from whom men's indulgence and reverence are held off, like the rain by the hard east wind. While the heart beats, bruise it — it is your only opportunity; while the eye can still turn towards you with moist, timid entreaty, freeze it with an icy unanswering gaze; while the ear, that delicate messenger to the inmost sanctuary of the soul, can still take in the tones of kindness, put it off with hard civility, or sneering compliment, or envious affectation of indifference; while the creative brain can still throb with the sense of injustice, with the yearning for brotherly recognition — make haste — oppress it with your ill-considered judgements, your trivial comparisons, your careless misrepresentations.

When we reverence anything in the mature, it is their virtues or their wisdom, and this is an easy matter. But we reverence the faults and follies of children. We should probably come considerably nearer to the true conception of things if we treated all grown-up persons, of all titles and types, with precisely that dark affection and dazed respect with which we treat the infantile limitations.

I see the clouds part slowly, and I hear a cry of protest against the bigot. The restraining hand of tolerance is laid upon the inquisitor, and the humanist utters a message of peace to the persecuted. Instead of the cry, "Burn the heretic!" men study the human soul with sympathy, and there enters into their hearts a new reverence for that which is unseen.

Learn to reverence night and to put away the vulgar fear of it, for, with the banishment of night from the experience of man, there vanishes as well a religious emotion, a poetic mood, which gives depth to the adventure of humanity.

He that will have his son have a respect for him and his orders, must himself have a great reverence for his son.

Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe. We cannot imagine a Second Coming that would not be cut down to size by the televised evening news, or a Last Judgment not subject to pages of holier-than-Thou second- guessing in The New York Review of Books.

To celebrate is to contemplate the singularity of the moment and to enhance the singularity of the self. What was shall not be again... Every moment is a new arrival, a new bestowal. How to welcome the moment? How to respond to the marvel? The cardinal sin is in our failure not to sense the grandeur of the moment, the marvel and mystery of being, the possibility of quiet exaltation. The man of our time is losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating, he seeks to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state - it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle... Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions. Celebration is an act of expressing respect or reverence for that which one needs or honors... inward appreciation, lending spiritual form to everyday acts.

Among the sentiments of most powerful operation upon the human heart, and most highly honorable to the human character, are those of veneration for our forefathers, and of love for our posterity. They form the connecting links between the selfish and the social passions. By the fundamental principle of Christianity, the happiness of the individual is Later-woven, by innumerable and imperceptible ties, with that of his contemporaries: by the power of filial reverence and parental affection, individual existence is extended beyond the limits of individual life, and the happiness of every age is chained in mutual dependence upon that of every other.

How much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements?

Civilized man has been more ruthlessly wasteful and grasping in his attitude toward the natural world than has served even his most material best interests. Possibly - as some hope - a mere enlightened selfishness will save it in time. Even if we should learn just in the nick of time not to destroy what is necessary for our own preservation, the mere determination to survive is not sufficient to save very much of the variety and beauty of the natural world. They can e preserved only if man feels the necessity of sharing the earth with at least some of his fellow creatures to be a privilege rather han an irritation. And he is not likely to feel that without something more than intellectual curiosity - that something more you may call love, fellow-feeling, or reverence for life. Without reverence or love the increasing awareness of what the science of ecology teaches us can come to be no more than a shrewder exploitation of what it would be better to admire, to enjoy, and to share in.

Man ... differs from all other animals in having a brain which can and largely does bring all the various elements of experience into contact, instead of keeping them in a series of wholly or largely separate compartments or channels. This not only provides the basis for conceptual thought, and so for all man's ideas and philosophic systems, ideals and works of art and creative imagination, but also for his battery of complex sentiments unknown in animals, such as reverence and religious awe, moral feelings (including hate and contempt arising from moral abhorrence), and love in its developed form.

Of all human and long-existent beliefs concerning religion, that one seems to me to be most probable and most justifiable which recognizes God as a power incomprehensible, source and preserver of all things; all goodness, all perfection, receiving and accepting in good part the honor and reverence which human beings render him under whatever form, under whatever name, and in whatever manner it may be.

Simple minds, less curious, less well instructed, are made good Christians, and through reverence and obedience hold their simple belief and abide by their laws.

Aikido is love. It is the path that brings our heart into oneness with the spirit of the universe to complete our mission in life by instilling in us a love and reverence for all of nature.

Rightly understood, the desire for sensation is the desire of being, the distortion of the soul’s eternal life. The lust of sensual stimulus and excitation rests on the longing to feel one’s life keenly, to gain the sense of being really alive. This sense of true life comes only with the coming of the soul, and the soul comes only in silence, after self-indulgence has been courageously and loyally stilled, through reverence before the coming soul.