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Author Topic:   For The Pilgrim's Progress
SDragon
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posted March 07, 2015 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This thread is for quoting lines, passages, or inspirational quotes from books, articles, etc, that can help inspire Pilgrim's along their progress. As most seekers know, inspiration to us is like air for the body. I'll update the thread every week and others can feel free to add their own favorite material. Just add the title and author of the quote so that seekers who want to dig deeper can find the material. I'm not too concerned if passages are repeated between pages as it's my hope that every page will be filled with treasures for seekers along the way.

Note: Please keep conversation outside of this thread to keep it clean and on point. Thanks!

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SDragon
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posted March 07, 2015 06:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Power of the Now - Eckhart Tolle
(Chapter 1 excerpt)

"Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.

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. The inability to feel this connectedness gives rise to the illusion of separation, from yourself and from the world around you. You then perceive yourself, consciously or unconsciously, as an isolated fragment. Fear arises, and conflict within and without becomes the norm.

I love the Buddha's simple definition of enlightenment as "the end of suffering". There is nothing superhuman in that, is there? Of course, as a definition, it is incomplete. It only tells you what enlightenment is not: no suffering. But what's left when there is no more suffering? The Buddha is silent on that, and his silence implies that you'll have to find out for yourself. He uses a negative definition so that the mind cannot make it into something to believe in or into a superhuman accomplishment, a goal that is impossible for you to attain. Despite this precaution, the majority of Buddhists still believe that enlightenment is for the Buddha, not for them, at least not in this lifetime."

----------------------------------

"The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the possessing entity - the thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe the entity. The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arises from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken."

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SDragon
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posted March 07, 2015 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a Man Thinketh - James Allen
(Chapter: Effect of Thought on Circumstances excerpts)

"A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.

Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals, within himself, the laws of thought, and understands, with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of his character, circumstances, and destiny.

Thought and character are one, and as character can only manifest and discover itself through environment and circumstance, the outer conditions of a person's life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state. This does not mean that man's circumstances at any given time are an indication of his entire character, but that those circumstances are so intimately connected with some vital thought element within himself that, for the time being, they are indispensable to his development.

...

The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves, and also that which it fears; it reaches the height of its cherished aspirations; it falls to the level of its unchastened desires - and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own."

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Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes.
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:-
He thinks in secret and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.

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SDragon
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posted March 07, 2015 06:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Road Less Traveled - M. Scott Peck, M.D.
Chapter: Grace excerpts (page 280-)

"The words 'aware' and 'awareness' have repeatedly cropped up throughout. A mark of the spiritually advanced is their awareness of their own laziness. Through bracketing and the attention of love we grow more aware of our beloved and of the world. An essential part of discipline is the development of an awareness of our responsibility and power of choice. The capacity of awareness we assign to that portion of the mind we call conscious or consciousness. We are now at the point where we can define spiritual growth as the growth or evolution of consciousness. The development of consciousness is the development of awareness of our conscious mind of knowledge along with our unconscious mind, which already possesses that knowledge. It is the process of the conscious mind coming into synchronicity with the unconscious.

We have now come to the point where we can understand the nature of power. Spiritual power is the capacity to make decisions with the maximum awareness. It is consciousness. Most people most of the time make decisions with little awareness of what they are doing. They take action with little understanding of their own motives and without beginning to know the ramifications of their choices.

Others, sufficiently aware to know that they are lost, dare to hope that they can work themselves out of ignorance through developing even greater awareness. They are correct, it is possible. But such greater awareness does not come to them in a single blinding flash of enlightenment. It comes slowly, piece by piece, and each piece must be worked for by the patient effort of study and observation of everything, including themselves. They are humble students. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. If this path is followed long and earnestly enough, the pieces of knowledge begin to fall into place. Gradually, things begin to make sense; there are blind alleys, disappointments; concepts arrived at only to be discarded. But gradually it is possible for us to come to a deeper understanding of what our existence is all about. And gradually we can come to the place where we actually know what we are doing. We can come to power.

The experience of spiritual power is basically a joyful one. There is a joy that comes with mastery. Indeed, there is no greater satisfaction than that of being an expert, of really knowing what we are doing. Those who have grown the most spiritually are those who are the experts in living. And there is yet another joy, even greater. It is the joy of communion with God. For when we truly know what we are doing, we are participating in the omniscience of God. With total awareness of the nature of a situation, of our motives for acting upon it, and of the results and ramifications of our action, we have attained that level of awareness that we normally expect only of God. Our conscious self has succeeded in coming into alignment with the mind of God. We know with God.

Yet those who have attained this stage of spiritual growth, this stage of great awareness, are invariably possessed by a joyful humility. For one of their very awareness’ is the awareness that their unusual wisdom has its origin in their unconscious. They are aware of their connection to the rhizome and aware that their knowledge flows to them from the rhizome through the connection. Their efforts at learning are only efforts to open the connection, and they are aware that the rhizome, their unconscious, is not theirs alone but all mankind’s, all life’s, God’s. Invariably when asked the source of their knowledge and power, the truly powerful will reply: 'It is not my power. What little power I have is but a minute expression of a far greater power. I am merely a conduit. It is not my power at all.' I have said that this humility is joyful. That is because, with their awareness of their connectedness to God, the truly powerful experience a diminution in their sense of self. 'Let thy will, not mine, be done. Make me your instrument,' is their only desire. Such a loss of self brings with it always a kind of calm ecstasy, not unlike the experience of being in love. Aware of their intimate connectedness to God, they experience a surcease of loneliness. There is communion."

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SDragon
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posted March 07, 2015 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Initiation, Human and Solar - Alice A. Bailey
(Initiation Excerpts pp. 88-9.)

"We should be on our guard not to place undue emphasis on the subject of initiation, as this might readily lead to too much self-interest. Man should work towards initiation and not for initiation. Initiation as such should therefore never be the objective of the disciple -- he should work, discipline himself, and study to equip himself mentally as best he can to become an efficient instrument in the hands of the Masters for serving humanity. With such striving and serving, the disciple will automatically gain experience, knowledge, expansion of consciousness, and finally wisdom, resulting in proportionate spiritual stature. For descriptive purposes, various sequential stages of spiritual development are referred to as 'initiations'.

...

The first initiation is called the Birth Initiation. It is the result of the birth of the Christ consciousness in the cave of the heart, and aspirants who have undergone this experience will have oriented themselves towards the spiritual life -- which does not necessarily mean the religious life. A general rightness of conduct and thinking and an attitude of goodwill will be demonstrated. The character will still have many faults (the ideal is seldom attained), but a new and more comprehensive and inclusive attitude to all beings will be shown, and the desire to serve will be strong. As a result of the control of the physical elemental, a greater creativeness will manifest itself. This is due to the shift of the energy flow from the lower chakras to the throat center. It is not by accident, therefore, that the culture of any civilization is created by the initiates.

The second initiation demonstrates emotional control, control of the astral elemental, just as the first demonstrated control of the physical elemental. This initiation is said to be the most difficult. The initiate, enmeshed in the fogs of desire, of the astral mists, has to clarify his responses to reality and free himself from emotional bondage. So powerful is the astral nature of man that this is an enormously difficult task and can take many lives to achieve. The soul, through the agency of the mind, has to control the emotional body and make it limpid and clear for its true purpose: a fitting vehicle for the buddhic or intuitional level of consciousness. The fifth principle of mind, working through the mental body, acts as the director and organizer of astral reaction, and thus as the dispeller of glamour. The Master Djwhal Khul has written:

'The second initiation is a profoundly difficult one to take. For those upon the first or second rays of aspect it is probably the most difficult of them all." However, with the advent of the Christ, acting as the dispeller of glamour on a world scale, the way forward for the large number of aspirants now approaching this experience will be facilitated, and many, having long ago taken the first initiation, will pass through the portals for a second time during this life.

The second initiation behind him, the initiate has to learn control of his mental vehicle. Just as the fogs of glamour on the astral plane have had to be dissipated, so now the illusions of the mental plane must be dissolved in the light flooding in more and more brightly from the soul. The third initiation, the Transfiguration, demonstrates the completely integrated personality, soul infused and responding now to the energy of the Monad. Love, wisdom and dynamic will, the attributes of the soul, now shine clearly through the personality, and a creative life of world service and effectiveness ensues. These first three major planetary initiations must always be taken in incarnation, on the physical plane. In this way the initiate's consciousness is demonstrated through both mind and brain.'"

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SDragon
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posted March 13, 2015 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What More Do You Want? (Zen Questions, Zen Answers) - Albert Low
Page 31

Q: How do I deal with thoughts that keep coming back?

A: This background noise of an inner monologue will always be there. As you practice so the thoughts will become more "transparent", and you will not be so likely to be identified with them. The thoughts themselves are not the problem, just as the beating of the heart is not a problem, unless you put your attention on it. Perhaps you may have noticed that under the thoughts and supporting them lies a tension, an ill-at-ease feeling, a feeling perhaps of restless dissatisfaction. The random thoughts are an attempt to dissipate this malaise. By allowing the malaise, the "off center" feeling, to remain, the thoughts are no longer needed, and they are drained of importance. The mind becomes clearer, not because it is empty, but because the thoughts are empty of importance.

To stay with the feeling of malaise is very uncomfortable; you will find that you will only be able to do so for a short while. This is why constant attention is necessary. Another way would be to recommence counting the breaths. However, try not to allow the struggle with thoughts to become a dominating aspect of the practice. The practice that you are doing addresses levels of the mind deeper than these thoughts. You could look upon thoughts as something similar to waves on a lake. What is important is that the lake should become deeper, not that the surface should become calmer.

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posted March 26, 2015 01:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please Hear What I am Not Saying - Charles C. Finn
September 1966


Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,
and I know it.
That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
if it's followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to, I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can't say.

I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings--
very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!

With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator--
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.

Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.

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SDragon
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posted March 26, 2015 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I Had My Life Over - I'd Pick More Daisies
Nadine Stair

If I had my life to live over,
I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles,
but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely,
hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again,
I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.

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SDragon
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posted March 26, 2015 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Island of Emotions
Author Unknown


Once upon a time,

There was an island where all feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Vanity, Knowledge, Richness, and Love.

Theirs was a contented existence until one day to everyone’s dismay it was discovered that the island was sinking. Everyone was told they must leave. So the feelings all prepared their boats and started leaving their beloved island.

Love was the only one that stayed, behind. Love so cared for the island home that he wanted to stay until they were sure that the island was really sinking.

When Love realized that the island was really sinking, he decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a beautiful boat. Love said, “Richness, can you take me with you?” Richness answered, ”No, I can’t. There are a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no room in here for you.”

Love decided to ask Vanity who was passing by, “Vanity, please help me!” “I can’t help you Love. You are all wet and will damage my boat,” Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, “Sadness, let me go with you.” “Oh...Love, I am so sad that I can’t help anyone. I prefer to be alone!”

Happiness passed Love too. She was too happy to notice when Love called her!

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come Love, I will take you.” It was an elderly man.

Love became very happy that he even forgot to ask the name of the elder. When they arrived to safe grounds, Love asked Knowledge who was the elderly man.

“It was time.” “Time? But why did Time help me?”

“Because only Time is capable of understanding such a great Love.”

Remember that when things may look the bleakest, and when all appears abandon, Time is capable of solving anything.
Things may not have a solution today, but tomorrow you may find one!

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SDragon
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posted March 26, 2015 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom of Truth and Justice

The following story is based on a story by Brother Phil Lane, Jr., Ihanktowan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations, as retold by Richard Wagamese. It considers the valued traits in an Indigenous Leader of truth and justice.

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IN THE TIME BEFORE there were human beings on Earth, the Creator called a great meeting of the Animal People.

During that period of the world’s history, the Animal People lived harmoniously with one another and could speak to the Creator with one mind. They were very curious about the reason for the gathering. When they had all assembled together, the Creator spoke.

“I am sending a strange new creature to live among you,” he told the Animal People.

“He is to be called Man and he is to be your brother.

But unlike you he will have no fur on his body, will walk on two legs and will not be able to speak with you. Because of this he will need your help in order to survive and become who I am creating him to be. You will need to be more than brothers and sisters, you will need to be his teachers.

Man will not be like you. He will not come into the world like you. He will not be born knowing and understanding who and what he is. He will have to search for that. And it is in the search that he will find himself.

He will also have a tremendous gift that you do not have. He will have the ability to dream. With this ability he will be able to invent great things and because of this he will move further and further away from you and will need your help even more when this happens.

But to help him I am going to send him out into the world with one very special gift. I am going to give him the gift of the knowledge of Truth and Justice. But like his identity it must be a search, because if he finds this knowledge too easily he will take it for granted. So I am going to hide it and I need your help to find a good hiding-place. That is why I have called you here.”

A great murmur ran through the crowd of Animal People. They were excited at the prospect of welcoming a new creature into the world and they were honoured by the Creator’s request for their help. This was truly an important day.

One by one the Animal People came forward with suggestions of where the Creator should hide the gift of knowledge of Truth and Justice.

“Give it to me, my Creator,” said the Buffalo, “and I will carry it on my hump to the very centre of the plains and bury it there.”

“A good idea, my brother,” the Creator said, “but it is destined that Man should cover most of the world and he would find it there too easily and take it for granted.”

“Then give it to me,” said the Salmon, “and I will carry it in my mouth to the deepest part of the ocean and I will hide it there.”

“Another excellent idea,” said the Creator, “but it is destined that with his power to dream, Man will invent a device that will carry him there and he would find it too easily and take it for granted.”

“Then I will take it,” said the Eagle, “and carry it in my talons and fly to the very face of the Moon and hide it there.”

“No, my brother,” said the Creator, “even there he would find it too easily because Man will one day travel there as well.”

Animal after animal came forward with marvelous suggestions on where to hide this precious gift, and one by one the Creator turned down their ideas. Finally, just when discouragement was about to invade their circle, a tiny voice spoke from the back of the gathering. The Animal People were all surprised to find that the voice belonged to the Mole.

The Mole was a small creature who spent his life tunneling through the earth and because of this had lost most of the use of his eyes. Yet because he was always in touch with Mother Earth, the Mole had developed true spiritual insight.

The Animal People listened respectfully when Mole began to speak.

“I know where to hide it, my Creator,” he said. “I know where to hide the gift of the knowledge of Truth and Justice.”

“Where then, my brother?” asked the Creator. “Where should I hide this gift?”

“Put it inside them,” said the Mole. “Put it inside them because then only the wisest and purest of heart will have the courage to look there.”

And that is where the Creator placed the gift of the knowledge of Truth and Justice.

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Randall
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posted March 27, 2015 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

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posted March 28, 2015 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SDragon:
The Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom of Truth and Justice

The following story is based on a story by Brother Phil Lane, Jr., Ihanktowan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations, as retold by Richard Wagamese. It considers the valued traits in an Indigenous Leader of truth and justice.


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posted March 30, 2015 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Love the Mole story.

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SDragon
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posted April 02, 2015 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Freedom: The Courage to be Yourself - Osho

"Each human being has to draw upon and assimilate the cultural heritage of his society - his culture, his religion, his people. He has to assimilate all that the past makes available. He has to assimilate the past; this is what Nietzsche calls the camel stage. The camel has the power of storing in his body enormous amounts of food and water for his arduous journey across the desert. And it is the same for the human individual - you have to pass across a desert, you have to assimilate the whole past... This Nietzsche calls the camel stage, but don't be stuck there. One has to move. The camel is the larva; the camel is a hoarder. But if you are stuck at that stage and always remain a camel, then you will not know the beauties and the benedictions of life. Then you will never know God. You will remain stuck in the past. The camel can assimilate the past but cannot use it.

In the course of his personal development the time comes when the camel has to become the lion. The lion proceeds to tear apart the huge monster known as "thou shalt not". The lion in man roars against all authority. The lion is a reaction, a rebellion against the camel. The individual now discovers his own inner light as the ultimate source of all authentic values. He becomes aware of his primary obligation to his own inner creativity; to his inmost hidden potential. A few remain stuck at the stage of the lion; they go on roaring and roaring and become exhausted in their roaring. It is good to become a lion, but one has still to take one more jump - and that jump is become the child.

Now each of you has been a child. But those who know, they say the first childhood is a false childhood. It is like first teeth: they only look like teeth but they are of no use, they have to fall out. Then the real teeth are born. The first childhood is a false childhood; the second childhood is the real childhood. That second childhood is called the stage of the child or the stage of the sage - it means the same. Unless a man becomes utterly innocent, free from past, so free that he is not even against the past ...

The first stage, the camel, was dependence; the second stage was independence; but in innocence one comes to know that neither is there dependence nor is there independence. Existence is interdependence - all are dependent on each other. It is all one... The camel lives in the past, the lion lives in the future, the child lives in the present, here-now. The camel is pre-mind, the lion is mind, the child is post-mind. The camel is pre-self, the lion is self, the child is post-self."

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posted April 15, 2015 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LIVING BEYOND LIMITS


It is not a tragedy to experience adversities, yet it is a tragedy to use those adversities as an excuse for giving up on life. One ship drives east and other drives west by the same winds that blow. It’s the set of the sails and not the gales that determines the way they go. So was the story of two brothers in a small village in the Eastern Cape. The twin brothers grew up knowing nothing, but poverty. Their father was an alcoholic and their mother was a domestic worker. They grew up with very little.

On their way home one day, their parent were involved in a bus accident and died instantly. The brother’s condition became even worse. At age 17 they separated. Years and years later, a family member decided to find them and have a family reunion.

One of the brother’s was a wealthy engineer, owning a construction company. He had three beautiful kids. The other was an alcoholic with no sense of direction for his life. The family members asked the engineer, “how did your life turn out like this?” “what did you expect with a childhood like mine?” he answered, she moved unto the other brother with the same question. “what did you expect from a childhood like mine?” was his answer. This tells us that it’s not what happens to us, but how we react to it makes the difference.

In all human endeavour, we will under go circumstances: diseases, deaths, heartbreaks, financial instability etc. while those circumstances are more than a good reason to quit, none of them will make a strong enough for us to give up on ourselves, on our dreams, on what we stand for as human beings.

Aristotle said: The ideal person bears the accident of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances. Therefore break the limits that life might throw at you and live beyond those limits.

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Randall
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posted April 16, 2015 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SDragon:
LIVING BEYOND LIMITS


It is not a tragedy to experience adversities, yet it is a tragedy to use those adversities as an excuse for giving up on life. One ship drives east and other drives west by the same winds that blow. It’s the set of the sails and not the gales that determines the way they go. So was the story of two brothers in a small village in the Eastern Cape. The twin brothers grew up knowing nothing, but poverty. Their father was an alcoholic and their mother was a domestic worker. They grew up with very little.

On their way home one day, their parent were involved in a bus accident and died instantly. The brother’s condition became even worse. At age 17 they separated. Years and years later, a family member decided to find them and have a family reunion.

One of the brother’s was a wealthy engineer, owning a construction company. He had three beautiful kids. The other was an alcoholic with no sense of direction for his life. The family members asked the engineer, “how did your life turn out like this?” “what did you expect with a childhood like mine?” he answered, she moved unto the other brother with the same question. “what did you expect from a childhood like mine?” was his answer. This tells us that it’s not what happens to us, but how we react to it makes the difference.

In all human endeavour, we will under go circumstances: diseases, deaths, heartbreaks, financial instability etc. while those circumstances are more than a good reason to quit, none of them will make a strong enough for us to give up on ourselves, on our dreams, on what we stand for as human beings.

Aristotle said: The ideal person bears the accident of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances. Therefore break the limits that life might throw at you and live beyond those limits.


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Randall
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posted April 18, 2015 08:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gotta love Aristotle.

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SDragon
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posted April 28, 2015 06:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The greatest weight.-- What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence - even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!"

Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?... Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?

from Nietzsche's The Gay Science, s.341, Walter Kaufmann transl.

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posted April 29, 2015 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

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posted April 30, 2015 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Quite a curse.

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SDragon
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posted May 04, 2015 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Burden Of My Own

A Monarch of long ago had twin sons. As they grew to young manhood, the king sought a fair way to designate one of them as crown prince. All who knew the young men thought them equal in intelligence, wit, personal charm, health, and physical strength. Being a keenly observant king, he thought he detected a trait in one which was not shared by the other.

Calling them to his council chamber one day, he said, "My sons, the day will come when one of you must succeed me as king. The weight of sovereignty is very heavy. To find out which of you is better able to bear them cheerfully, I am sending you together to a far corner of the kingdom.

One of my advisors there will place equal burdens on your shoulders. My crown will one day go to the one who first returns bearing his yoke like a king should."

In a spirit of friendly competition, the brothers set out together. Soon they overtook an aged woman struggling under a burden that seemed far too heavy for her frail body. One of the boys suggested that they stop to help her. The other protested: "We have a saddle of our own to worry about. Let us be on our way."

The objector hurried on while the other stayed behind to give aid to the aged woman. Along the road, from day to day, he found others who also needed help. A blind man took him miles out of his way, and a lame man slowed him to a cripple's walk.

Eventually he did reach his father's advisor, where he secured his own yoke and started home with it safely on his shoulders. When he arrived at the palace, his brother met him at the gate, and greeted him with dismay. He said, "I don't understand. I told our father the weight was too heavy to carry. However did you do it?"

The future king replied thoughtfully, "I suppose when I helped others carry their yoke, I found the strength to carry my own."

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posted May 04, 2015 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Cracked Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked. The other pot had a crack in it and by the time the water bearer reached his master's house it had leaked much of it's water and was only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, God will use our flaws to grace his table. In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

- Author Unknown

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posted May 05, 2015 02:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SDragon:
The Cracked Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked. The other pot had a crack in it and by the time the water bearer reached his master's house it had leaked much of it's water and was only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, God will use our flaws to grace his table. In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

- Author Unknown


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SDragon
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posted May 11, 2015 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is rewarding to find someone you like, but it is essential to like yourself. It is quickening to recognize that someone is a good and decent human being, but it is indispensable to view yourself as acceptable. It is a delight to discover people who are worthy of respect and admiration and love, but it is vital to believe yourself deserving of these things.

For you cannot live in someone else. You cannot find yourself in someone else. You cannot be given a life by someone else. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never leave or lose.

To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution.

Jo Coudert

==============================================================

And I saw the river
over which every soul must pass
to reach the kingdom of heaven
and the name of that river was suffering:
and I saw a boat which carries souls across the river
and the name of that boat was
love.

Saint John of the Cross

==============================================================

Sometimes it's a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.

David Byrne

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SDragon
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posted May 11, 2015 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SDragon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Art of Loving
by Erich Fromm

The practice of any art has certain general requirements, quite regardless of whether we deal with the art of carpentry, medicine, or the art of love. First of all, the practice of an art requires discipline. I shall never be good at anything if I do not do it in a disciplined way; anything I do not do it in a disciplined way; anything I do only if "I am in the mood" may be a nice or amusing hobby, but I shall never become a master of the art. But the problem is not only that of discipline in the practice of the particular art (say practicing every day a certain amount of hours) but it is that of discipline in one's whole life. One might think that nothing is easier to learn for modern man than discipline. Does he not spend eight hours a day in a most disciplined way at a job which is strictly routinized? The fact, however, is that modern man has exceedingly little self-discipline outside of the sphere of work. When he does not work, he wants to be lazy, to slouch or, to use a nicer word, to "relax". This very wish for laziness is largely a reaction against the routinization of life. Just because man is forced for eight hours a day to spend his energy for purposes not his own, in ways not his own, but prescribed for him by the rhythm of work, he rebels and his rebelliousness takes the form of an infantile self-indulgence. In addition, in the battle against authoritarianism he has become distrustful of all discipline, of that enforced by irrational authority, as well as of rational discipline imposed by himself. Without such discipline, however, life becomes shattered, chaotic, and lacks in concentration.

That concentration is a necessary condition for the mastery of an art is hardly necessary to prove. Anyone who ever tried to learn an art knows this. Yet, even more than self-discipline, concentration is rare in our culture. On the contrary, our culture leads to an unconcentrated and diffused mode of life, hardly paralleled anywhere else. You do many things at once; you read, listen to the radio, talk, smoke, eat, drink. You are the consumer with the open mouth, eager and ready to swallow everything - pictures, liquor, knowledge. This lack of concentration is clearly shown in our difficulty in being alone with ourselves. To sit still, without talking, smoking, reading, drinking, is impossible for most people. They become nervous and fidgety and must do something with their mouth or their hands.

A third factor is patience. Again, anyone who ever tried to master an art knows that patience is necessary if you want to achieve anything. If one is after quick results, one never learns an art. Yet, for modern man, patience is as difficult to practice as discipline and concentration. Our whole industrial system fosters exactly the opposite: quickness. Modern man thinks he loses something - time - when he does not do things quickly; yet he does not know what to do with the time he gains - except kill it.

Eventually, a condition of learning any art is a supreme concern with the mastery of the art. If the art is not something of supreme importance, the apprentice will never learn it. He will remain, at best, a good dilettante, but will never become a master. This condition is as necessary for the art of loving as for any other art. It seems, though, as if the proportion between masters and dilettantes is more heavily weighted in favor of the dilettantes in the art of loving than is the case with other arts.

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