“What would have become of Herules do you think,
if there had been no lion, hydra, stag or boar
and no savage criminals to rid the world of?
What would he have done in the absence of such challenges?
Obviously he would have just rolled over in bed and gone back to sleep.
So by snoring his life away in luxury and comfort,
he would have never developed into the mighty Hercules.
And even if he had, what good would it have done him?
What would have been the use of those arms, that physique and that noble soul…
without crisis or conditions to stir him into action?’
– EPICTETUS, Discourses 1
We are sitting around a table.
A man is convinced he has found the philosophy which is the elixir to life.
He may be right, for the idea he speaks of is a beautiful one, but then he insists it isn’t just an idea, it is the idea.
The only one.
There is only one right philosophy and he knows it.
A palpable tension begins to travel around the table. A few people shift uncomfortably in their seats.
He asks, “What do you do when you are thirsty?”
Someone answers, “You drink water.”
“Yes there is only one thing to do when you are thirsty. This philosophy is that water,” he says.
I want to join the uneasy silence, but I can’t help but disrupt it with a thought that is burning within me, “Yes, when you are thirsty, you must drink water, but water can be drunk in many ways, from a waterfall, a river, a crystal jar, an earthen pot, a glass cup, water harvested from the rain, water transformed from the sea, water from melted snow, water from a tap, a stream and a well. It seems there are many ways to drink the same water and quench one’s thirst. Aren’t there?”
Read the whole story at : The Huffington Post
“Warriors of light always have a certain gleam in their eyes.
They are of this world, they are part of the lives of others, and they set out on their journey with no saddlebags and no sandals. They are often cowardly. They do not always make the right decisions.
They suffer over the most trivial things, they have mean thoughts, and sometimes believe that they are incapable of growing. They frequently deem themselves unworthy of any blessing or miracle. They are not always quite sure what they are doing here. They spend many sleepless nights, believing that their lives have no meaning.
That is why they are warriors of light. Because they make mistakes. Because they ask themselves questions. Because they are looking for a reason – and are sure to find it.”
― Paulo Coelho
photo – by John Brauer
I love the whole book, but I especially love this quote, for it presents being human as imperfect, often plagued by doubt and still worthy of miracles.
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft.
But a wise man said, ‘Love is the only rational act.'”
“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves.
We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own.”
“If you’re trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down at you anyhow. And if you’re trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone. Do the kind of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied or envious. On the contrary you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back.”
Quotes from Tuesday’s with Morrie
“Ah! realise your youth while you have it.
Don’t squander the gold of your days listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant and the common.
These are the sickly aims, the false ideals of our age. Live!
Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing…. A new Hedonism – that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. The world belongs to your for a season.”
“Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us.
Nothing remains but the recollection of a pleasure or the luxury of a regret.
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.”
“1. When you tell the truth to yourself, about yourself.
2. When you tell the truth to yourself, about another.
3. When you tell the truth about yourself, to another and reveal who you are.
4. Telling the truth about another, to that other. – your truth of course, not the truth. The truth objectively doesn’t exist, but sharing your innermost truth about another, with that other.
5. When you tell the truth to everyone, about everything.
And if you can take these five steps, you’ve taken five steps closer to heaven, because heaven is not having to lie any more.”
– Neale Donald Walsch
Whoa, while I certainly haven’t mastered these, I find this a beautiful life-long practice to acquire.
“It happens like this.
One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else–closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel–one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them–even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering–the reason for their presence will become clear in due time.
Though here is a word of warning–you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn’t to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled; the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more.”
“Said one oyster to a neighbouring oyster, “I have a very great pain within me. It is heavy and round and I am in distress.”
And the other oyster replied with haughty complacence, “Praise be to the heavens and to the sea, I have no pain within me. I am well and whole both within and without.”
At that moment a crab was passing by and heard the two oysters, and he said to the one who was well and whole both within and without, “Yes, you are well and whole; but the pain that your neighbour bears is a pearl of exceeding beauty.” Khalil Gibran
May we find the beauty in our every wound. “For He can bring beauty out of the ashes of lost dreams and glean Joy out of sorrow.”