··· East ···

May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries,
May the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk through the world and
Know its beauty all the days of your life.

— an Apache blessing [via]  <link>

In every question, an element of doubt, the awareness of not having, is implied.

— Paul Tillich, Courage to Be  <link>

The Wizard said to the Tin Man, “Remember my friend, love is not measured by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”

from The Wizard of Oz  <link>

Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. It is this screen of thought that creates the illusion of separateness, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate “other.” You then forget the essential fact that, underneath the level of physical appearances and separate forms, you are one with all that is.

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now  <link>

To Know

It is not speech which we should want to know:
we should know the speaker.

It is not things seen which we should want to know:
we should know the seer.

It is not sounds which we should want to know:
we should know the hearer.

It is not mind which we should want to know:
we should know the thinker.

— Kaushitaki Upanishad 3:8 [via]  <link>

The Truth is far more all-encompassing than the mind could ever comprehend. No thought can encapsulate the Truth. At best, it can point to it. For example, it can say: “All things are intrinsically one.” That is a pointer, not an explanation. Understanding these words means feeling deep within you the truth to which they point.

— Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks  <link>

The modern mind always tends to reduce the greater to the lesser rather than seeing the lesser as reflecting the greater.

— Peter Kreeft  <link>

The world, and man, attest that they contain within themselves neither their first principle nor their final end, but rather that they participate in Being itself, which alone is without origin or end.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, #34  <link>

To many moderns, [love] is something that is only a part of us rather than something of which we are a part.

— Peter Kreeft  <link>

The Complaining Pattern in the Mind

Every time you complain, you strengthen a little bit of the form identity of me, the complainer, the thought form, the reaction. Your egoic [sense of self] inflates a little bit though the complaint.

Every complaint means you are right, and what you are complaining about is wrong—the situation, the person, the place. You are superior to that which you are complaining about. That is the illusion of how the self-entity inflates continually itself through that. It never lasts for long and then it needs something else. … The self-importance grows through every complaint, the imagined superiority of me as compared to that which I am complaining about.

— Eckhart Tolle, Through the Open Door  <link>

The Three Most Difficult Things

The three most difficult things for a human being are not physical feats or intellectual achievements. They are, first, returning love for hate; second, including the excluded; third, admitting that you are wrong.

— Anthony de Mello, Awareness  <link>

I don’t know if we each have a destiny or if we’re all just floating accidental like on a breeze, but I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both are happening at the same time.

— Forrest Gump  <link>

This moment—there is only one moment—appears in different forms. …

There is an inevitability to whatever form this moment takes. And so if you do not resist the form that this moment takes, internally, you are no longer trapped or imprisoned by the form that this moment takes.

— Eckhart Tolle, Through the Open Door  <link>

The Illusion of Me

You align yourself with the form [of the moment]. Don’t fight the form. The moment you fight the form, the form of me gets strengthened in yourself. The me that is based on my thought forms gets stronger through the struggle, the reaction, the reactivity of what is. Ultimately, the illusion of me gets strengthen by fighting what is.

— Eckhart Tolle, Through the Open Door  <link>

Any Denial of the Now

Where is life? Here, now. Life cannot exist separately from here and now. So any denial of the now, resistance to the now, running away from the now, mentally always trying to get to the next moment because fulfillment is there somewhere, and you miss this life. And then you reach the age of eighty-five still looking for something, and you missed the Beloved, the divine that is here in every moment.

— Eckhart Tolle, Through the Open Door  <link>

The beautiful line in the Course of Miracles says, “It has taken time to misguide you so completely, but it takes no time at all to be who you are.” To be who are means who you are in your essence underneath the mind structures, the conditioned mind structures, and the only access you have to that is through the little doorway of now. And it is only here, it is only through the power that is inherent in the present moment that all those mind structures dissolve. The power of the present moment is the power of life itself, your very being. What arises in the now is presence, allowing this moment to be.

— Eckhart Tolle, Through the Open Door  <link>

Our world hangs like a magnificent jewel in the vastness of space. Every one of us is a part of that jewel. A facet of that jewel. And in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal. We are intimately related. May we never even pretend that we are not.

Have you heard my favorite story that came from the Seattle Special Olympics? Well, for the 100-yard dash there were nine contestants, all of them so-called physically or mentally disabled. All nine of them assembled at the starting line and at the sound of the gun, they took off. But not long afterward one little boy stumbled and fell and hurt his knee and began to cry. The other eight children heard him crying; they slowed down, turned around and ran back to him. Every one of them ran back to him. One little girl with Down Syndrome bent down and kissed the boy and said, “This’ll make it better.” And the little boy got up and he and the rest of the runners linked their arms together and joyfully walked to the finish line. They all finished the race at the same time. And when they did, everyone in that stadium stood up and clapped and whistled and cheered for a long, long, time. People who were there are still telling the story with great delight. And you know why. Because deep down, we know that what matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What really matters is helping others win too. Even if it means slowing down and changing our course now and then.

— Fred Rogers, Dartmouth Commencement Address, 2002 [via]  <link>

Hate as a Weapon

Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.

— Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven  <link>

The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt.

— Paul Tillich, last line of The Courage to Be  <link>

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that Acme crap to try to catch the Road Runner, why didn’t he just buy dinner?

— Author unknown  <link>

Only in the continuous encounter with another person does the person become and remain a person.

— Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be  <link>

Man, indeed, describes more than he explains; while the angelic spirit sees and understands. Man judges nature in relation to itself; the angelic spirit judges it in relation to heaven. In short, to the spirits everything speaks.

— Honoré de Balzac  <link>

By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.

— Confucius [via]  <link>

Connected to All

The Buddha’s philosophy says that when you realize that there is a part of you that’s connected to all that exists, you will be loving, you will be compassionate, and you will actually follow what Christ says on the Sermon on the Mount.

— Deepak Chopra [via]  <link>

Who You Think You Are

Everything that you call reality, which is perception and cognition, and feeling, and behavior and biology and social interactions and personal relationships are a direct result of who you think you are.

— Deepak Chopra [via]  <link>

A man is a slave to anything he cannot part with that is less than himself.

— George MacDonald  <link>

The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being. It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, something that, almost paradoxically, is essentially you and yet is much greater than you. It is finding your true nature beyond name and form.

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now  <link>

Man does not put silence to the test, silence puts man to the test.

— Max Picard, The World of Silence  <link>

Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you?

— Rainer Maria Rilke  <link>

Spiritus ubi vult spirat.
(The Spirit blows where he wills.)

— John 3:8  <link>

For one human being to love another, that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

— Rainer Maria Rilke  <link>

Lottery Tickets and God

“The funny thing about lottery tickets,” Mary mused as we waited in line at the cash register, “is that people keep buying them even if they never win. Week after week, month after month, year after year, still they never give up hope. But if they pray for something two or three times, they expect immediate results, and if it doesn’t happen, then they say that God is unfair, disinterested, or dead. Why is it easier to keep believing in the lottery than in God?”

— Diane Schoemperlen, Our Lady of the Lost and Found: A Novel of Mary, Faith, and Friendship  <link>

Infinite Distances

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.

— Rainer Maria Rilke  <link>

After all, it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

— Albus Dumbledore (J.K. Rowling), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone  <link>

The wanderer does not bring a handful of earth
from the mountain slope to the valley,
the unutterable,
but a pure word he has learned,
the blue and yellow gentian.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Ninth Elegy”  <link>

A god who lets us prove his existence would be an idol.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer  <link>

Humility, metaphysically, implies the absence of any entity to be either “proud” or “humble”.

— Wei Wu Wei, The Tenth Man  <link>

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, “darkness” on the walls of his cell.

— C.S. Lewis  <link>

Only a general knows how and when to use one of his soldiers. Wait, your turn will come.

— St. Pio of Pietrelcina  <link>

We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather we are Reality itself illusorily conceived.

— Wei Wu Wei, Fingers Pointing Towards the Moon  <link>

Perhaps an Illusion that We “Live”

Does not one of our elementary errors lie in imagining that we “do” things, for it seems to be equally probable that things “do” us? We believe that we perform an endless series of actions, but the truth may be that an endless series of actions performs us. We think that we manipulate events, but are we not rather manipulated by events? We think we go to meet that which we experience, but that which we experience may come to meet us. It is perhaps an illusion that we “live”: we are “lived”.

— Wei Wu Wei, Fingers Pointing Towards the Moon  <link>

What was said to the rose to make it unfold
was said to me here in my chest.

— David Crowder, from the song “Here is Our King”  <link>

What you are looking for is what is looking.

— attributed to St. Francis of Assisi  <link>

Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

— St. Francis of Assisi  <link>

Advice on the False Self

Don’t let the drunken monkey run the show.

— Author unknown [via]  <link>

There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, a man who
is always blamed, or a man who is always praised.

The Dhammapada, v228  <link>

A person is not who they are during the last conversation you had with them—they are who they have been throughout your whole relationship.

— Rainer Maria Rilke  <link>

Our Life is the Creation of Our Mind

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind. If a man speaks or acts with an impure mind, suffering follows him as the wheel of the cart follows the beast that draws the cart.

The Dhammapada, v1  <link>

The Really Interesting Questions

[Suppose] we just finished poisoning the earth and everyone was dead in a hundred years. Then what was the point of anything? Art, beauty—all gone—the Greeks, the Constitution, people dying for freedom, ideas. None of it meant anything? What about religion? Do we give up on God too?

I realized science couldn’t answer any of the really interesting questions.

— Dr. Chantilas, from Red Planet  <link>

And we, who think of happiness ascending,
would with consternation
know the rapture that almost overwhelms us,
when happiness falls.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the end of “The Tenth Elegy”  <link>