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The Man Watching
I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can't bear without a friend,
I can't love without a sister.
The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.
What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
When we win it's with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestlers' sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.
Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.
Enlightenment is the understanding that this is all, that this is perfect, that this is it. Enlightenment is not an achievement, it is an understanding that there is nothing to achieve, nowhere to go. Osho (1931)
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. Louis L'Amour (1908)
When I look inside and see that I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I look outside and see that I am everything, that is love. And between these two, my life turns. Nisargadatta (1897)
The most exquisite paradox . . . as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can't have it. The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible. Ram Dass (1931)
One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900)
The fundamental truths are all men's property. Whether or not we live by them, we all know them, with deep instinctiveness. J. Donald Adams (1891)
If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. James Madison (1751)
There is an intuitive knowing within us that we are eternal but this gets covered over with the noise we create while identifying with the impermanent. Mooji (1954)
God's divinity comes of my humility, and this may be demonstrated as follows. It is God's peculiar property to give; but he cannot give unless something is prepared to receive his gifts. If, then, I prepare my humility to receive what he gives, by my humility I make God a giver. Since it is his nature to give, I am merely giving God what is already his own. It is like a rich man who wants to be a giver but must first find a taker, since without a taker he cannot be a giver. Similarly, if God is to be a giver, he must first find a taker, but no one may be a taker of God's gifts except by his humility. Therefore, if God is to exercise his divine property by his gifts, he well may need my humility; for apart from humility he can give me nothing--without it I am not prepared to receive his gift. That is why it is true that by humility I give divinity to God. Meister Eckhart (1260)
Start first with yourself and abandon yourself. Trully, if you won't first leave yourself, wherever you may go you will find obstacles and war, anywhere. They who seek peace in external things - in places or in ways and methods, in persons or works, in monasticism or isolation, in poverty or humility, in anything, however great that might be - , not one of them has the least value and it does not bring peace at all. They who ask this way, ask wrong. The further they go, the less they find what they seek. They walk like the man who has lost his way: the more he walks the more his delusion grows. ... But if someone abandons himself, whatever else he might keep, whether riches or honours, or anything, he has abandoned all things ... See yourself and wherever you find him, see him off ... The more you go out of all things, that much, neither less nor more, God comes in you with all that is His. Meister Eckhart (1260)
He who strikes terror into others is himself in continual fear. Claudian (370)
Really, the fundamental, ultimate mystery - the only thing you need to know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets - is this: that for every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside, and although they are different, they go together. Alan Watts (1915)
You could be sitting all alone in your room, in anguish, regretful over the past, anxious in the present, and worried about the future, having nothing, hopeful for nothing - and if you would snap the hypnosis of your mind, all grief would vanish in a flash. Vernon Howard (1918)
More and more our sincere seeker realizes his need to do nothing except to be an aware person from moment to moment. In one flash of insight he banishes the awful compulsion to scheme, protect, avoid, revise, attack, grab, cling, retreat, resist, regret, worry, expect, struggle, insist, demand, crave, battle, blame, apologize, persuade, believe. The whole terrible burden is cleared away. In its place he has quiet awareness. Vernon Howard (1918)
If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality. Dan Millman (1946)
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806)
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. Patanjali (150 B.C.E.)
It is peace, not happiness, that quells the fires of desire and leaves the heart truly content. Peace is the very essence of emotion and thought and yet beyond the touch of both. Frank Kinslow
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot (1927)
The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness. Abraham Maslow (1908)
A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses. Hippocrates (460 B.C.E.)
In this moment of clarity, there never was a "before" or "after." To be what you are, you don't need time. Karl Renz (1953)
You have to make your own world, instead of succumbing to the one that presses on you. You have to turn the tables on what appears to be fate or the full weight of society. Against the greatest odds, you have to keep your wits about you and refuse to surrender to anyone or anything less than divine. You have to be faithful to the mystery taking place in your heart, rather than to any idea or system that would try, with the best of motives, to disempower you and make you theirs. Thomas Moore (1940)
From ignorance of oneself, the world appears, and by knowledge of oneself it appears no longer. Hinduism
"To become attached to the experience of peace is to threaten the true and essential and vital union of our soul with God above sense and experience in the darkness of a pure and perfect love. "- Thomas Merton
"Origen says the soul's quest of God comes by self-observation. If she knew herself she would know God also. "- Meister Eckhart
"He who knows others is wise; He who knows himself is enlightened. "- Lao Tse
"Therefore, if God's essence is to be seen at all, it must be that the intellect sees it through the divine essence itself; so that in that vision the divine essence is both the object and the medium of vision. "- Thomas Aquinas
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. "- American Indian
""Is there anything that I can do to make myself enlightened?" "As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning." "Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?" "To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise." "- Anthony De Mello
"If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao's Gift!), If you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get, If you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood, You will be destroyed by the very thing you seek. To know when to stop, To know when you can get no further by your own action, This is the right beginning! "- Lao Tse
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