How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god.
The reason we have poverty is that we have no imagination. There are a great many people accumulating what they think is vast wealth, but it's only money... they don't know how to enjoy it, because they have no imagination.
To put is still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.
But when no risk is taken there is no freedom. It is thus that, in an industrial society, the plethora of laws made for our personal safety convert the land into a nursery, and policemen hired to protect us become selfserving busybodies.
What are plants doing? What are plants all about? They serve human beings by being decorative, but what is it from its own point of view? It's using up air; it's using up energy. It's really not doing anything except being ornamental. And yet here's this whole vegetable world, cactus plants, trees, roses, tulips, and edible vegetables, like cabbages, celery, lettuce - they're all doing this dance.
The harder we try to catch hold of the moment, to seize a pleasant sensation..., the more elusive it becomes... It is like trying to clutch water in one's hands - the harder one grips, the faster it slips through one's fingers.
Tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present, since it is in the present and only in the present that you live. There is no other reality than present reality, so that, even if one were to live for endless ages, to live for the future would be to miss the point everlastingly.
Imagine a multidimensiona l spider's web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image.
Think about a piece of music - some great symphony - we don't expect it to get better as it develops, or that its whole purpose is to reach the final crescendo. The joy is found in listening to the music in each moment.
Conscious attention is a designed function of the brain which scans the environment for any trouble making changes. If you identify yourself with your trouble shooter, then naturally you define yourself as being in a perpetual state of anxiety.
That's a waste of time. If you really understand Zen... you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because... the sound of the rain needs no translation.
And people get all fouled up because they want the world to have meaning as if it were words... As if you had a meaning, as if you were a mere word, as if you were something that could be looked up in a dictionary. You are meaning.
For every individual is a unique manifestation of the Whole, as every branch is a particular outreaching of the tree. To manifest individuality, every branch must have a sensitive connection with the tree, just as our independently moving and differentiated fingers must have a sensitive connection with the whole body. The point, which can hardly be repeated too often, is that differentiation is not separation.
The art of living... is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.
There are two specific objections to use of psychedelic drugs.First,use of these drugs may be dangerous.Howev er,every worth-while exploration is dangerous-climb ing mountains,testi ng aircraft,rocket ing into outer space,or collecting botanical specimens in jungles.But if you value knowledge & the actual delight of exploration more than mere duration of uneventful life,you are willing to take the risks.
By replacing fear of the unknown with curiosity we open ourselves up to an infinite stream of possibility. We can let fear rule our lives or we can become childlike with curiosity, pushing our boundaries, leaping out of our comfort zones, and accepting what life puts before us.
The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance. Like music also, it is fulfilled in each moment of its course. You do not play a sonata in order to reach the final chord, and if the meaning of things were simply in ends, composers would write nothing but finales.
Man is a little germ that lives on an unimportant rock ball that revolves about a small star at the outskirts of an ordinary galaxy. ... I am absolutely amazed to discover myself on this rock ball rotating around a spherical fire. It's a very odd situation. And the more I look at things I cannot get rid of the feeling that existence is quite weird.
I seem to be a brief light that flashes but once in all the aeons of time a rare, complicated, and all-too-delicate organism on the fringe of biological evolution , where the wave of life bursts into individual, sparkling, and multicolored drops that gleam for a moment... only to vanish forever.
...the materialism of modern civilization is paradoxically founded on a hatred of materiality, a goal-oriented desire to obliterate all natural limits through technology, imposing an abstract grid over nature.
If the earth is man's extended body, to be loved and respected as one's own body, those who do no greening of themselves will hardly bring about the greening of America. The idea of 'greening' involves color, flowering, freshness of spring, and, above all, respect for what is organic and vegetative as distinct from the mechanical and metallic.
But, as Douglas E Harding has pointed out, we tend to think of this planet as a life-infested rock, which is as absurd as thinking of the human body as a cell infested skeleton. Surely all forms of life, including man, must be understood as "symptoms" of the earth, the solar system, and the galaxy in which case we cannot escape the conclusion that the galaxy is intelligent.
What you do is what the whole universe is doing at the place you call the here and now. You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way that the wave is something that the whole ocean is doing. The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around. The real deep-down you is the whole universe.
Paradoxical as it may seem, the purposeful life has no content, no point. It hurries on and on, and misses everything. Not hurrying, the purposeless life misses nothing, for it is only when there is no goal and no rush that the human senses are fully open to receive the world.
Although profoundly "inconsequential," the Zen experience has consequences in the sense that it may be applied in any direction, to any conceivable human activity, and that wherever it is so applied it lends an unmistakable quality to the work.
But the transformation of consciousness undertaken in Taoism and Zen is more like the correction of faulty perception or the curing of a disease. It is not an acquisitive process of learning more and more facts or greater and greater skills, but rather an unlearning of wrong habits and opinions. As Lao-tzu said, "The scholar gains every day, but the Taoist loses every day.
Life is like music for its own sake. We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.
The police have enough work to keep them busy regulating automobile traffic, preventing robberies and crimes of violence and helping lost children and little old ladies find their way home. As long as the police confine themselves to such activities they are respected friends of the public. But as soon as they begin inquiring into people's private morals, they become nothing more than armed clergymen.
And so when the essential idea of love is lost there comes talk of fidelity. Actually, the only possible basis for two beings, male and female, to relate to each other is to grant each other total freedom.
Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.
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.
We do not "come into" this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean "waves," the universe "peoples." Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.
...for thousands of years human history has been a magnificently futile conflict, a wonderfully staged panorama of triumphs and tragedies based on the resolute taboo against admitting that black goes with white.
Just what should a young man or woman know to be 'in the know'? Is there, in other words, some inside information, some special taboo, some real lowdown on life and existence that most parents and teachers either don't know or won't tell?
The self-styled practical man of affairs who pooh-poohs philosophy as a lot of windy notions is himself a pragmatist or a positivist, and a bad one at that, since he has given no thought to his position.
The psychotherapist ... tries to help the individual to be himself and to go it alone without giving unnecessary offense to his community, to be in the world (of social convention) but not of the world.
We feel that our actions are voluntary when they follow a decision and involuntary when they happen without decision. But if a decision itself were voluntary every decision would have to be preceded by a decision to decide - An infinite regression which fortunately does not occur. Oddly enough, if we had to decide to decide, we would not be free to decide
We are not clear as to the role in life of these chemicals; nor are we clear as to the role of the physician. You know, of course, that in ancient times there was no clear distinction between priest and physician.
Look, here is a tree in the garden and every summer is produces apples, and we call it an apple tree because the tree apples. That's what it does. Alright, now here is a solar system inside a galaxy, and one of the peculiarities of this solar system is that at least on the planet earth, the thing peoples! In just the same way that an apple tree apples!
Essentially Satori is a sudden experience, and it is often described as a "turning over" of the mind, just as a pair of scales will suddenly turn over when a sufficient amount of material has been poured into one pan to overbalance the weight in the other. Hence it is an experience which generally occurs after a long and concentrated effort to discover the meaning of Zen.
Nothing is more creative than death, since it has the whole secret of life. It means that the past must be abandoned, that the unknown cannot be avoided, that 'I' cannot continue, and that nothing can be ultimately fixed. When a man knows this, he lives for the first time in his life. By holding his breath, he loses it. By letting go he finds it.
So we down-to-earth, gutsy, tough, realistic, and practical types have just been squandering billions of dollars and unimaginable amounts of energy, nerve-work, and materials in whizzing off to the moon to discover, as astronomers knew before, that it was just a dreary slag heap. This is the true, original and scientifically etymological meaning of being lunatics. Crying for the moon.
Spiritual awakening is the difficult process whereby the increasing realisation that everything is as wrong as it can be flips suddenly into the realisation that everything is as right is it can be. Or better, everything is as It as it can be.
We are sick with fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas. Meditation is therefore the art of suspending verbal and symbolic thinking for a time, somewhat as a courteous audience will stop talking when a concert is about to begin.
There is always something taboo, something repressed, unadmitted, or just glimpsed quickly out of the corner of one's eye because a direct look is too unsettling. Taboos lie within taboos, like the skin of an onion.
We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.
If you are afraid of death, be afraid. The point is to get with it, to let it take over - fear, ghosts, pains, transience, dissolution, and all. And then comes the hitherto unbelievable surprise; you don't die because you were never born. You had just forgotten who you are.
Here is the vicious circle: if you feel separate from your organic life, you feel driven to survive; survival -going on living- thus becomes a duty and also a drag because you are not fully with it; because it does not quite come up to expectations, you continue to hope that it will, to crave for more time, to feel driven all the more to go on.
We are the eyes of the cosmos. So that in a way, when you look deeply into somebody's eyes, you are looking deeply into yourself, and the other person is looking deeply into the same self, which many-eyed, as the mask of Vishnu is many-faced, is looking out everywhere, one energy playing myriads of different parts.
In Hindu philosophy the whole creation is regarded as the Vishnu Lila, the play of Vishnu. Lila means dance or play. Also in Hindu philosophy, they call the world illusion; and in Latin the root of the word illusion is ludere, to play.
If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you'll spend your life completely wasting your time. You'll be doing things you don't like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing thing you don't like doing, which is stupid.