This is what you should do:
Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labour to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people …
re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book,
dismiss whatever insults your own soul;
and your very flesh shall be a great poem …
— Walt Whitman (from the preface to the 1855 edition of “Leaves of Grass” and as selected by Richard Holloway for the last page of “Doubts and Loves”).
"The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here is the place to have the experience."
— Joseph Campbell (via the latest Parabola magazine newsletter with gratitude)
"The Buddhist path is not about being a good Buddhist or knowing Buddhist doctrine. It’s about learning how to live my life, and learning about who I am, not as a Buddhist, but as a human being."
— Mark Unno (in an Ohigan seminar at the San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, March 16, 2013, “Boundless Compassion and the Miracle of Life and Death”)
Some years ago I copied into my notebook an aphorism from a Russian writer called V V Rozanov:
‘All religions will pass, but this will remain:
simply sitting in a chair and looking in the distance.’
I would like to adapt Rozanov’s saying and suggest that religion is a consequence of sitting in a chair and looking in the distance.
— Richard Holloway; “Doubts and loves” p.3 and on-line here
"Be in love with your life, every detail of it."
— Jack Kerouac (via loveatpsychedelicvelocity)
(Source: saddest-summer, via zenhumanism)
My formula for
greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.
Nietzsche, “On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo”
(as amended by me - we can do without striving for greatness. Even so, living this way. which I love the idea of, is a tall order if not actually idealistic - ironically.)
"I think this search does not lead to complacent satisfaction that we know the answer, not an arrogant sense that the answer is before us and we need do only one more experiment to find it out. It goes with a courageous intent to greet the universe as it really is, not to foist our emotional predispositions on it but to courageously accept what our explorations tell us."
— Carl Sagan
” I think it a sad commentary on our culture that this noble word has become something of a pejorative. It simply means “thoughtful” from the Greek skepscepticus and its Latin derivative, scepticus means “inquiring” and “reflective”.”
(I am grateful for this and some preceding postings to this ‘Zen Naturalism’ blog)
"He never understood why anyone would want to separate science, which is just a way of searching for what is true, from what we hold sacred, which are those truths that inspire and awe. His argument was not with God but with those who believed that our understanding of the sacred had been completed. Sciences’s permanently revolutionary conviction that the search for truth never ends seemed to him the only approach with sufficient humility to be worthy of the universe it revealed. The methodology of science, with its error-correcting mechanism for keeping us honest in spite of our chronic tendencies to project, to misunderstand, to deceive ourselves and others, seemed to him the height of spiritual discipline. If you are searching for sacred knowledge and not just a palliative for your fears, then you will train yourself to be a good sceptic."
— Ann Druyan speaking of Carl Sagan