"What did I tell you is the one thing that makes human
beings as unique among all life?”
“Fire. We have the ability to make and use and control Fire.”
"Yeah. You hear these guys with all the capital letters after their names talking about how we humans have choice and free will and all that? Boil it down, make it simple, you end up at the Fire. Humans Beings were given the ability to choose how to use and control Fire; to create with it and destroy with it. That goes for the Fire inside us, too. What kinda thoughts do we feed
to the Fire inside us; that tells us who we are, how we choose? The fire is always there, wherever. Light a
match, you don’t begin it, you awaken it. Bad thoughts are like a match, you awaken the Destroyer in you. Like that."
(Marcellus 'Bear Heart' Williams)
(Photo: Jane Walsh)
See demons as demons, that is the danger. Know that they are powerless; that is the way. Understand them for what they are; that is deliverance. Recognize them as your father and mother; that is their end. Realize that they are creations of the mind; they become it’s glory. When these truths are known, all is liberation. (Milarepa)
Do not believe in anything simply because you have
Do not believe in traditions because they have been
handed down for many generations. Do not believe in
anything because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found
written in your religious books. Do not believe in
anything merely on the authority of your teachers or
But after observation and analysis, when you
find that anything agrees with reason, and is
conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then
accept it and live to it.
-The Buddha, in the Kalama Sutra-
"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us,
"Universe," a part limited in time and space. He
experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as
something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical
delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a
kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal
desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to
us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this
prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace
all living creatures and the whole of nature in its
beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely,
but the striving for such achievement is in itself a
part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."
Friendship is different from all other relationships. Unlike acquaintanceship, it is based on love. Unlike lovers and married couples, it is free of jealousy. Unlike children and parents, it knows neither criticism nor resentment. Friendship has no status in law. Business partnerships are based on a contract. So is marriage. Parents are bound by law, as are children. But friendship is freely entered into, freely given, freely exercised. A person who cheats, takes advantage of, or lies to another, is not a friend. Friends do not spy; they have no secrets. Friends rejoice in their friend’s successes and are dispirited by their friend’s failures. Friends minister to each other, nurture each other. Friends give to each other, worry about each other, and stand always ready to help. Perfect friendship is rarely attained; at its zenith it is sublime.
I am old hippie, and proud of it. I wish to point out that my tribe did not kill three million Vietnamese and the fifty thousand Americans alongside them, nor did we defoliate that nation with toxic chemicals. My tribe did not allow the savings and loan industry to wipe out the retirement funds of millions of dedicated citizens. We did not countenance and coordinate the murder of thousands of Guatemalans and Nicaraguans. Nor did we unleash the poisons prevalent in our air and water and thus create an epidemic of cancer. It’s corporate businessmen, not hippies, who have driven the productive wage earning industries from our shores and replaced them with a minimum wage service economy, forcing both parents to work and transforming the nation’s children into unsupervised, angry, gun-toting specters. So now our world is faced with an impending time of overpopulation, mass starvation, choking pollution, incurable epidemics and plagues, children killing children, and savagery from madmen that will make Hitler, Stalin, and Mao look like mere knaves.
I am searching for sacred knowledge and not just a
palliative for my fears. And the question with which
I open my search, and knew at the onset but am seeing
for the first time now as I approach the close of my
life, is ‘why does something exist rather than
Nothing is simpler than something. Why is
‘Being' necessary? This to me is sufficient reason
for ‘Existence.’ But we are not just Beings, we are
also ‘Human’ Beings. What Human Beings 'do' is find
out, explore, discover, uncover which is the exact
opposite of simple belief, acceptance of dogma.
What is sacred knowledge is the whole journey, not the
goal. All that I can do is trace my own thinking and
understanding of Being' in the hopes that it will
stimulate others to go further, so that new insights
-Carl Sagan, (paraphrased)
At the end of one of the Dalai Lama's talks someone
from the audience asked, "Why didn't you fight back
against the Chinese?"
The Dalai Lama looked down, swung his feet just a bit,
then looked back up at and said with a gentle smile,
"Well, war is obsolete, you know. "
Then, after a few moments, his face grave, he said,
"Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back...
but the heart, the heart would never understand. Then
you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the
mind, and the war would be inside you."