If you need to visualize the Soul, think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It's a program, a piece of hyper-spatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery. Not 'a' mystery, mind you - but "The Mystery." The One that can never be solved.
American novelist Tom Robbins in Esquire Magazine, 1993
To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge, to find the will of God is the greatest discovery, and to do the will of God is the greatest achievement. W.A. Criswell
"The man who is born with a talent that he was meant to use finds his greatest happiness in using it." Will. I. Am.
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I Cor. 4:2
"The winds of grace are always blowing, but it is up to us to raise our sails." Rabindinath Tagor
What makes for a good house is not what gives it a striking appearance, but the solidity of the unseen foundation. Look out for this in other areas of life as well: for example, sincerity in speech and depth of mind do not get as much attention as eloquence and brilliance, but they are more solid. Cultivating truly solid qualities means forging social competition and a willingness to accept the lowest rung on the social ladder. These are the qualities of the most actual benefit to others. Cultivating these should be the main business of anyone truly devoted to helping others in public service, rather than just making a name for herself.
"You cannot be afraid. There is good anger. It is the anger of seeing clearly. It's the anger the Old Ones warned me about. Yu must learn to control that anger, then it can be of use. But there is bad anger, too. It is the anger of people who only want their own way. That anger is selfish. It is a child's anger, and you must not back down from that anger. If you back down from it, you are being a coward. You will use your gifts well if you stop being afraid of other people's bad anger. You are a keeper of the fire. Keepers of the fire cannot be cowards. They are carrying the light."
'Dan," in Kent Nerburn's book "Neither Wolf Nor Dog."
Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self." Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need. What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.... anything can be made, any sentence begun.
Elizabeth Alexander excerpted from her Inaugural Poem, 1/20/2009
"Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear, only love can do that.
Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.
Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it."
-- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rev. King went from being listed as "public enemy number one" in the 1960's-as an outspoken voice for human rights and against the war in South East Asia-- to becoming a national hero with a holiday dedicated to him in the 1980's. In Dec. of 1999, a jury in Memphis, Tennessee found local, state, and federal "government agencies" guilty of planning the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (How often have you heard this point reported by our media?) May his courage and devotion to human dignity and justice continue to inspire us all as we continue this important work.
In the Taoist view, individuals who are materially oriented - who identify themselves with their possessions - have no real purpose in the universe other than moving matter from place to place and reproducing life forms that may ultimately have the potential for intellectual evolution. Materially oriented individuals cannot evolve intellectually because their attachment to and hoarding of matter trains the mind to view reality as fixed and not flowing. This view is in harmony with dying, not growth, and thus they cannot with the larger meaning behind consciousness. Those who follow the Tao realize that they are in a more powerful position when they are mobile, unburdened, and independent. for the Taoist, excessive possessions are treated like ballast. they are released to gain greater buoyancy. Just as air rushes in to fill a vacuum, more things will come into and pass through such lives. Most important, the capacity to need less and pass things on brings Evolved Individuals closer to themselves and closer to the continuous unfolding of reality - a perspective of advantage in the world.
From R. L. Wing's translation of the Tao of Power
"We are luminous beings. We are perceivers. The world that we perceive though is an illusion. It was created by a description that was told to us since the moment we were born. The world of objects and solidity is a way of making our passage on earth convenient. It is only a description that was created to help us. We, or rather our reasons, forget that descriptions are only descriptions, and thus we entrap the totality of ourselves in a vicious circle from which we rarely emerge in a lifetime. We are an awareness. We are not objects. We have no solidity. We are boundless."
Carlos Casteneda speaking as Don Juan
"From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other - above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men [and women], both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received."
~ Albert Einstein
How can mystics and technocrats, so long at odds in their vision of the universe, find a common path to the future? Mystics must give up their insistence on the empirical truth of their metaphysics, and technocrats must stop denying the truth of anything that cannot be proven empirically, for both the mystical experience and technology transcend cultural and religious differences. It is this transcendent quality of each that will allow them to merge in the 'conscious technology' of the future.
Jerome Glenn, author Future Mind
It's an old epistemological debate, older, actually, than the koan about the tree in the forest. (Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.) Plato weighed in on it, and philosophers for two millennia afterward: What is beauty? Is it a measurable fact (Gottfried Leibniz), or merely an opinion (David Hume), or is it a little of each, colored by the immediate state of mind of the observer (Immanuel Kant)?
Reductionism fails to explain the phenomenon of the emergent mind. The reductionist approach has no place for the "I" at the center of everything. The whole is best understood in terms of the whole. William James argued that any method that tries to dissect the mind into a set of elemental units, be it sensations or synapses, is the opposite of science, because it ignores actual reality. Thus it is the contradictions of gaps in reasoning, of illogical experiences, of non-sequiturs, of inexplicable feelings as depicted by artists which best represent us in our world, better than logic and method ever can. In venturing beyond a simplified, reductionist world, beyond one directional time, and beyond three dimensions, we are forced to resort to metaphor. Math formulas only represent fundamental forms. Beautiful language induces integrity. To understand the whole we must us analogy. A drop of liquid symbolizes the atomic nucleus. To understand the whole we must represent the Holy, because we are not whole because and if we are Holy; we are Holy because and when we are whole.
Our Birth is but a sleep and a forgetting/ the Soul that rises with us, our life's star
Hath had elsewhere its setting/ And cometh from afar/ Not in entire forgetfulness/ And not in utter nakedness/ But trailing clouds of glory do we come/ from God Who is our Home.
Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows/ Like harmony in music; there is a dark/ Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles/ Discordant elements, makes them cling together In one society.
The Vedic Sages recognized that each of us exists as an interdependent being and that we are linked to the Universe through our ancestry. They predicted that the collective grief of of the modern world would be caused by the loss of our ancestral memory. When ancestral memories are blocked, a part of our psyche is blocked from innate intuitive guidance. We forget who we are at the deepest levels. When we do not remember our ancestors we also fail to recognize ancestral traumas that continue to influence our live, thus re-enacting patterns that originated in our family lines. These blueprints may appear as seemingly impregnable obstacles in the way of our joy, health and abundance.