is the harvest of presence, the evanescent moment of seeing or hearing on the outside what already lives far inside us; the eyes, the ears or the imagination suddenly become a bridge between the here and the there, between then and now, between the inside and the outside; beauty is the conversation between what we think is happening outside in the world and what is just about to occur far inside.

Beauty is an achieved state of both deep attention and self-forgetting; the self forgetting of seeing, hearing, smelling or touching that erases our separation, our distance, our fear of the other. Beauty invites us, through entrancement, to that fearful, frontier between what we think makes us; and what we think makes the world. Beauty is almost always found in symmetries and intriguing asymmetries: the symmetries and asymmetries seen out in creation, the wings of the moth, the airy sky and the solid earth, the restful, focused eyes of a loving face in which we see our own self reflected: the symmetry also, therefore, of bringing together inner and outer recognitions, the far horizon of otherness seen in that face joined to the deep inner horizon of our own being. Beauty is an inner and an outer complexion living in one face.

Beauty especially occurs in the meeting of time with the timeless; the passing moment framed by what has happened and what is about to occur, the scattering of the first spring apple blossom, the turning, spiraling flight of a curled leaf in the falling light; the smoothing of white sun-filled sheets by careful hands setting them to air on a line, the broad expanse of cotton filled by the breeze only for a moment, the sheets sailing on into dryness, billowing toward a future that is always beckoning, always just beyond us. Beauty is the harvest of presence.

From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.
© David Whyte & Many Rivers Press



All great religious teachers, compared to Gautam Buddha, fall very short. They want you to become followers, they want you to practice a certain discipline, they want you to manage your affairs, your morality, your lifestyle. They make a mold of you and they give you a beautiful prison cell.

Buddha stands alone, totally for freedom. Without freedom man cannot know his ultimate mystery; chained he cannot move his wings into the sky and cannot go into the beyond. Every religion is chaining people, keeping some hold on them, not allowing them to be their original beings, but giving them personalities and masks – and this they call religious education.

Buddha does not give you any religious education. He wants you simply to be yourself, whatever it is. That is your religion – to be yourself. No man has loved freedom so much. No man has loved mankind so much. He would not accept followers for the simple reason that to accept a follower is to destroy his dignity. He accepted only fellow travelers. His last statement before dying was, “If I ever come back, I will come as your friend.” Maitreya means the friend.

Osho, Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, Talk #5


India could not understand Gautam Buddha for this simple reason: it thinks that to sit silently, just being, is worthless. You have to do something, you have to pray, you have to recite mantras, you have to go to some temple and worship a manmade god. “What are you doing sitting silently?”

And that is the greatest contribution of Gautam Buddha: that you can find your eternity and your cosmic being only if you can sit silently, aimlessly, without any desire and without any longing, just enjoying being – the silent space in which thousands of lotuses blossom.

Gautam Buddha is a category in himself. Very few people have understood him. Even in the countries where Buddhism is a national religion – Thailand, Japan, Taiwan – it has become an intellectual philosophy. Zazen, the original contribution of the man, has disappeared.

Perhaps you are the only people who are the closest contemporaries of Gautam Buddha. In this silence, in this emptiness, in this quantum leap from mind to no-mind, you have entered a different space which is neither outer nor inner but transcendental to both.

Osho, Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-Mind, Talk #9


My message is: try to understand Gautam Buddha. He is one of the most beautiful men who has walked on this earth.

H.G. Wells, in his world history, has written one sentence which should be written in gold. Writing about Gautam Buddha he writes, “Gautam Buddha is perhaps the only godless man, and yet, so godly.”

In that illumination, in that moment of enlightenment, nirvana, he did not find any God. The whole existence is divine; there is no separate creator. The whole existence is full of light and full of consciousness; hence there is no God but there is godliness.

It is a revolution in the world of religions. Buddha created a religion without God. For the first time God is no longer at the center of a religion. Man becomes the center of religion, and man’s innermost being becomes godliness, for which you have not to go anywhere – you have simply stopped going outside. Remain for a few moments within, slowly, slowly settling at your center. The day you are settled at the center, the explosion happens.

So my message is: understand Gautam Buddha, but don’t be a Buddhist. Do not follow. Let the understanding be absorbed by your intelligence, but let it become yours. The moment it becomes yours, it starts transforming you. Until then it has remained Gautam Buddha’s, and there is twenty-five centuries distance. You can go on repeating Buddha’s words – they are beautiful, but they will not help you to attain what you are after.

Osho, The Sword and the Lotus, Talk #11


Gautam Buddha’s emphasis on compassion was a very new phenomenon as far as the mystics of old were concerned. Gautam Buddha makes a historical dividing line from the past; before him meditation was enough, nobody had emphasized compassion together with meditation. And the reason was that meditation brings enlightenment, your blossoming, your ultimate expression of being. What more do you need? As far as the individual is concerned, meditation is enough. Gautam Buddha’s greatness consists in introducing compassion even before you start meditating. You should be more loving, more kind, more compassionate.

There is a hidden science behind it. Before a man becomes enlightened, if he has a heart full of compassion there is a possibility that after meditation he will help others to achieve the same beatitude, to the same height, to the same celebration as he has achieved. Gautam Buddha makes it possible for enlightenment to be infectious. But if the person feels that he has come back home, why bother about anybody else?

Buddha makes enlightenment for the first time unselfish; he makes it a social responsibility. It is a great change. But compassion should be learned before enlightenment happens. If it is not learned before, then after enlightenment there is nothing to learn. When one becomes so ecstatic in himself then even compassion seems to be preventing his own joy – a kind of disturbance in his ecstasy…That’s why there have been hundreds of enlightened people, but very few masters.

To be enlightened does not mean necessarily that you will become a master. Becoming a master means you have tremendous compassion, and you feel ashamed to go alone into those beautiful spaces that enlightenment makes available. You want to help the people who are blind, in darkness, groping their way. It becomes a joy to help them, it is not a disturbance.

In fact, it becomes a richer ecstasy when you see so many people flowering around you; you are not a solitary tree who has blossomed in a forest where no other tree is blossoming. When the whole forest blossoms with you, the joy becomes a thousandfold; you have used your enlightenment to bring a revolution in the world. Gautam Buddha is not only enlightened, but an enlightened revolutionary.

His concern with the world, with people, is immense. He was teaching his disciples that when you meditate and you feel silence, serenity, a deep joy bubbling inside your being, don’t hold onto it; give it to the whole world. And don’t be worried, because the more you give it, the more you will become capable of getting it. The gesture of giving is of tremendous importance once you know that giving does not take anything from you; on the contrary, it multiplies your experiences. But the man who has never been compassionate does not know the secret of giving, does not know the secret of sharing.

Osho, The New Dawn, Talk #22


is a heartache and difficult to achieve because strangely, it not only refuses to eliminate the original wound, but actually draws us closer to its source. To approach forgiveness is to close in on the nature of the hurt itself, the only remedy being, as we approach its raw center, to reimagine our relation to it.

It may be that the part of us that was struck and hurt can never forgive, and that strangely, forgiveness never arises from the part of us that was actually wounded. The wounded self may be the part of us incapable of forgetting, and perhaps, not actually meant to forget, as if, like the foundational dynamics of the physiological immune system our psychological defenses must remember and organize against any future attacks – after all, the identity of the one who must forgive is actually founded on the very fact of having being wounded.

Stranger still, it is that wounded, branded, un-forgetting part of us that eventually makes forgiveness an act of compassion rather than one of simple forgetting. To forgive is to assume a larger identity than the person who was first hurt, to mature and bring to fruition an identity that can put its arm, not only around the afflicted one within but also around the memories seared within us by the original blow and through a kind of psychological virtuosity, extend our understanding to one who first delivered it.

Forgiveness is a skill, a way of preserving clarity, sanity and generosity in an individual life, a beautiful way of shaping the mind to a future we want for ourselves; an admittance that if forgiveness comes through understanding, and if understanding is just a matter of time and application then we might as well begin forgiving right at the beginning of any drama rather than put ourselves through the full cycle of festering, incapacitation, reluctant healing and eventual blessing.

To forgive is to put oneself in a larger gravitational field of experience than the one that first seem to hurt us. We re-imagine ourselves in the light of our maturity and we re-imagine the past in the light of our new identity, we allow ourselves to be gifted by a story larger than the story that first hurt us and left us bereft.

At the end of life, the wish to be forgiven is ultimately the chief desire of almost every human being. In refusing to wait; in extending forgiveness to others now, we begin the long journey of becoming the person who will be large enough, able enough and generous enough to receive, at the very end, that absolution ourselves.

“CONSOLATIONS : The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.”
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press 2015

Friedrich Nietzsche’s Guide to Conquering Your Existence

by Jordan Bates

In Nietzsche’s most popular book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, he described what would become one of his most memorable theories — that of the Übermensch.

In English versions of the work of Nietzsche, “Übermensch” is translated as “Superman” or “Overman”. The term “Superman” has adopted many connotations as a result of the comic book hero in popular culture, so for many scholars today, “Overman” is the more suitable term.

“Overman” refers to Nietzsche’s conception of a man who has literally overcome himself and human nature. In essence, an Overman is one who has superseded the bondage of the human condition and reached a liberated state — one of free play and creativity.

This state can be seen as the state of the pure individual, a person unencumbered by the influences and authorities of society and other people. This person wills their own destiny, creates their own values, and dances with the game of life to the tune of their own spirit.

In Thus Spoke ZarathustraNietzsche writes of three spiritual metamorphoses that must be undergone for the individual to reach the state of Overman. These transformations are rather prescriptive in nature, and thus can be seen as a sort of guide to becoming Overman, or liberating one’s spirit. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Metamorphosis #1: The Camel

The first metamorphosis described by Nietzsche is that of the camel. Of this, he writes:

“What is difficult? asks the spirit that would bear much, and kneels down like a camel wanting to be well loaded. What is most difficult, O heroes, asks the spirit that would bear much, that I may take it upon myself and exult in my strength?”

After this passage, Nietzsche goes on to list several items that may be considered among the most difficult or trying of life’s possible experiences. He indicates that the camel must invite these burdens. For example, he writes, “Or is it this: loving those who despise us and offering a hand to the ghost that would frighten us?”

What Nietzsche is saying is that before one can become Overman, one must first bear a great many burdens. One must battle with fear, love, truth, death, confusion, thirst for knowledge, and all of the other aspects of human existence. The camel embraces these challenges in the name of duty and nobility.

Put another way, the camel does not run from life or distract itself from it. It greets life head-on and embraces the difficulties that it presents out of a sense of duty. In doing so, the camel is humbled and strengthened. Only through suffering these challenges does the camel gain the strength and resilience necessary to attain the next spiritual metamorphosis.

Metamorphosis #2: The Lion

Nietzsche goes on to describe how the camel ultimately enters “the loneliest desert” before becoming a lion. The lonely desert metaphor can be interpreted as follows: The camel has sought out and invited the struggles that life has to offer. In doing so, it has become alienated to a certain extent. It has become different from others and from the society that produced it; it finds itself questioning everything, both its worth and the value of its pursuits.

The desert can be seen as a place of existential crisis, where the camel ponders whether or not any universal laws or virtues exist to guide it and give it purpose. For Nietzsche, such universal virtues and absolute purpose do not exist. The camel is forced to confront this possibility, and thus, the camel must become a lion. Nietzsche writes:

“Here the spirit becomes a lion who would conquer his freedom and be master in his own desert. Here he seeks out his last master: he wants to fight him and his last god; for ultimate victory he wants to fight with the great dragon. Who is the great dragon whom the spirit will no longer call lord and god? “Thou shalt” is the name of the great dragon. But the spirit of the lion says, “I will.” “Thou shalt” lies in his way, sparkling like gold, an animal covered with scaled; and on every scale shines a golden “thou shalt.” My brothers, why is there a need in the spirit for the lion? Why is not the beast of burden, which renounces and is reverent, enough? To create new values—that even the lion cannot do; but the creation of freedom for oneself for new creation—that is within the power of the lion. The creation of freedom for oneself and a sacred “No” even to duty—for that, my brothers, the lion is needed. To assume the right to new values—that is the most terrifying assumption for a reverent spirit that would bear much.”

Okay, that was a long quote, but it’s a key section of the text. Let’s unpack it a bit. When the camel discovers that universal truth and virtue may be non-existent, it has two choices: it can reject life as meaningless and probably commit suicide, or it can claim its own freedom and create its own meaning and virtue. To become Overman, the camel must obviously do the latter; it must ascend.

To do this, the camel must destroy the largest barrier to true freedom: the duty and virtue imposed by tradition and society. This is what Nietzsche’s great dragon represents. The camel had been a slave to the dragon, inviting life’s challenges but always living in accordance with the values imposed upon it from without. The dragon of “Thou Shalt” can also be seen as simply representing everyone who would try to tell one how to live one’s life.

The camel must reject this dragon of tradition and commands, but it cannot in its current, duty-loving form. Thus, it must become a lion. Its trials have allowed it to attain enough strength to become a lion. The lion symbolizes courage, tenacity, disillusionment, and even rage. Only in this state is the spirit able to deliver the “sacred “No.”” The “sacred “No”” represents the utter rejection of external control and all traditional values. Everything imposed by other individuals, society, churches, governments, families, and all forms of propaganda must be denied in an empowered roar.

That is not to say that the lion believes all virtues and values imposed by such entities to be evil or corrupt. Indeed, they could be useful and good. However, it is the fact that they come from an external authority that requires their rejection. An Overman is an absolute individual, and thus must create his own values on his own terms.

Metamorphosis #3: The Child

After the lion has delivered the “sacred “No””, the spirit still must make one more transformation to become Overman. The spirit must become a child. Nietzsche writes:

“But say, my brothers, what can the child do that even the lion could not do? Why must the preying lion still become a child? The child is innocence and forgetting, a new beginning, a game, a self-propelled wheel, a first movement, a sacred “Yes.” For the game of creation, my brothers, a sacred “Yes” is needed: the spirit now wills his own will, and he who had been lost to the world now conquers his own world.”

So, Nietzsche holds that the lion must again transform in order to forget. The spirit has undergone much duress and turmoil in its transformations, but it must cleanse its mind of the past. In delivering a “sacred “Yes””, the child affirms the moment, affirms uncertainty, and affirms the flux of life. The child becomes a self-propelled wheel, just as life can be viewed in the same terms. The child elects to roll with life, dance and play with it.

Ultimately, for Nietzsche, pure creation arises from this state of play. When one can achieve a child-mind — a mind immersed in the moment and filled with wonder and playfulness — then one can will his own will, create his own virtue, and thus create his own reality. In undergoing this final metamorphosis, the spirit overcomes itself, conquers its world, and reaches the state of Overman. The spirit achieves liberation.

Objections to Nietzsche’s Overman

There are certainly compelling objections to Nietzsche’s Overman theory and his nihilistic views about morality. If universally “good” values do not exist and one is free to create one’s own, what is there to keep one from determining that heinous acts—murder, rape, torture, etc.—are justified? Nietzsche was well-aware of this possibility and even predicted that his ideas would be used as justification for various atrocities. He was right: some speculate that his ideas were influential in Nazi ideology, and in 1924 two wealthy University of Chicago students who had been influenced by Nietzsche’s Overman theory murdered a 14-year-old boy.

The important thing to note here is that Nietzsche was, like most philosophers, a voracious truth-seeker. The objection in the preceding paragraph arises from a sort of utilitarian, consequentialist reading of Nietzsche (i.e. a reading from the perspective that we should act in such a way that our actions will result in the greatest good for the greatest number of people). But, for Nietzsche, this objection would have been yet another example of mankind attempting to impose arbitrary moral standards onto a universe in which none objectively exist. Nietzsche was less interested in the imaginary moral constructs mankind might use to reduce suffering and more interested in discovering the truth of existence.

While this might strike you as a reason to think Nietzsche was a scoundrel, I credit the man for not compromising his ideals simply because they were unpopular. Plus he went insane trying to save a horse from being beaten and spent the last decade of his life in a rather wretched condition, so maybe we ought to give him a break and acknowledge that he at least, did possess a fair share of compassion. He was an audacious, unflinching thinker, and that’s why he earned a permanent place in the logo of Refine The Mind. That’s not to say that I agree with all of his views; I agree with his doggedness. I don’t think the fact that the Overman could end up a hideous person requires us to dismiss the theory.

Furthermore, we have little reason to believe that the hypothetical Overman would not will compassionate values, and in fact, there is a certain argument for thinking it’s quite likely that he or she would. It’s possible to see Nietzsche’s “child”—a playful being in-touch with its deep-down nature—as uncannily similar to a realized Taoist or Zen Buddhist. There is a Zen saying—“Nothing is left to you at this moment but to have a good laugh.”—that is meant to refer to the moment after one has attainedsatori (or, “enlightenment”) that would seem equally appropriate if applied to the moment one has attained “child” status. In Zen and Taoism, as in Nietzsche’s work, when one has seen through all baggage imposed from without, one is able to affirm existence as a kind of game and to blossom colorfully with the great unfolding of things, organic as a daffodil, individuated but also one with the whole roadshow. In the Zen and Taoist traditions, when one reaches this state of liberation, one naturally discovers compassion for all sentient beings—not as a moral law, but as a natural outgrowth of the insight that all beings are “cut from the same cloth”, as it were. I like to think that the true Overman would share this realization, but Nietzsche doesn’t explicitly say so. If this is a distortion of Nietzsche, call it my Overman 2.0.

Usefulness of the Overman

Some have dismissed Nietzsche’s theory of the Overman as an unattainable idealization. Personally, I think doing so is near-sighted. From the theory of the Overman, we can at least glean several very important and useful axioms:

1) Pain is necessary for positive transformation and should be embraced.

I’ve actually written at length about this idea and how it necessitates a new conception of “happiness.” Basically, pain (emotional, physical, existential, etc.) is an inevitable aspect of life. Most of us allow it to become a source of anxiety or deeper sadness because we feel guilty about it — we wonder why we aren’t happy. Instead, we should realize that it is through our difficult experiences that we become resilient and more appreciative of life. Thus, we should instead accept altogether that pain cannot be avoided. We should embrace it and observe it calmly.

2) In order to liberate ourselves, we must wage war against control by external authority.

If our thoughts and actions are being dictated by entities outside of us, we cannot truly know ourselves. Thus, we cannot live authentically. I believe that the lives and ideas of others can still inspire and influence our lives and ideas. But, the key is to never be influenced blindly or to assume anything you “know” is absolute. We must develop the ability to entertain any idea without accepting it, allowing those parts of it that resonate as true to become infused into our unique and ever-changing worldview. We must make every idea our own, altering and understanding it in a way that is specific to our spirit.

3) We must cultivate great courage, strength, and audacity in order to truly sever our puppet strings.

There’s a reason most people walk blindly through life — it’s terrifying to pursue the alternative. Choosing to pursue truth and freedom at all costs is a painful and often lonely existence. The rewards, though, are galactic in their grandeur. The sense of freedom and power and oneness and love that one can attain in the pursuit of a higher existence are indescribable jewels of the human experience. But, as Nietzsche stresses, we truly must become lions to follow the path of spiritual growth. We must find in ourselves a place of unparalleled resolve and boldness to rise above those who wish to control our lives.

4) Our goal should be to affirm life and to dance with it: to play and create as children. 

The child not only accepts life, but exalts it in full. The child-spirit recognizes that its own thoughts and expectations are the source of its experience, whether positive or negative. Thus, it chooses to live in a spontaneous, easy-going, and celebratory state. In doing so, it is able to “go with the flow”, per se, rather than swim against it. It is able to create purely because it lives authentically, tapping into the infinite imagination of the universe. We must aim to do so as well.


Original article as it appeared on High Existence

Meditation is a simple process

“Meditation is a simple process

Of watching your own mind.

Not fighting with the mind

Not trying to control it either

Just remaining there, a choiceless witness.

Whatsoever passes you simply take note of it With no prejudice for or against.

You don’t call it names

That this should not come to my mind

That this is an ugly thought and

This is a very beautiful and virtuous thought.

You should not judge

You should remain non-judgmental

Because the moment you judge, you lose meditation.

You become identified.

Either you become a friend or you become a foe.

You create relationships.

Meditation means

Remaining unrelated with your thought process. Utterly unrelated, cool, calm. Watching whatsoever is passing.

And then a miracle happens:

Slowly, slowly one becomes aware

That less and less thoughts are passing.

The more alert you are, the less thoughts pass. The less alert you are, the more thoughts pass.

It is as if traffic depends on your awareness.

When you are perfectly aware

Even for a single moment, all thinking stops.

Immediately, there is a sudden stop

And the road is empty, there is no traffic.

That moment is meditation.

Slowly slowly those moments come more and more. Those empty spaces come again and again. And stay longer.

And you become capable of moving easily

Into those empty spaces with no effort.

So whenever you want you can move

Into those empty spaces with no effort.

They are refreshing, rejuvenating

And they make you aware of who you are.

Freed from the mind you are freed

From all ideas about yourself.

Now you can see who you are without any prejudice.

And to know oneself

Is to know all that is worth knowing.

And to miss self-knowledge is to miss all.

A man may know everything in the world

But if he does not know himself

He is utterly ignorant

He is just a walking Encyclopedia Britannica.

Freedom without awareness is only an empty idea.

It contains nothing.

One cannot be really free without being aware because your unconscious goes on dominating you. Your unconscious goes on pulling your strings.

You may think, you may believe that you are free But you are not free, you are just a victim of natural forces, blind forces.”

— Osho


Civilization has been thrust upon me


By Wisdom Pills 

Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of life of the Indigenous people of the Great Plains before, and during, the arrival and subsequent spread of the European pioneers. Raised in the traditions of his people until the age of eleven, he was then educated at the Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School of Pennsylvania, where he learned the english language and way of life. (Though a National Historical Landmark, Carlisle remains a place of controversy in Native circles.)

Like his above mentioned contemporaries, however, his native roots were deep, leaving him in the unique position of being a conduit between cultures. Though his movement through the white man’s world was not without “success” — he had numerous movie roles in Hollywood — his enduring legacy was the protection of the way of life of his people. By the time of his death he had published 4 books and had become a leader at the forefront of the progressive movement aimed at preserving Native American heritage and sovereignty, coming to be known as a strong voice in the education of the white man as to the Native American way of life.

Here, then, are 10 quotes from the great Sioux Indian Chief known as Standing Bear that will be sure to disturb much of what you think you know about “modern” culture.

  • Praise, flattery, exaggerated manners and fine, high-sounding words were no part of Lakota politeness. Excessive manners were put down as insincere, and the constant talker was considered rude and thoughtless. Conversation was never begun at once, or in a hurried manner.
  • Children were taught that true politeness was to be defined in actions rather than in words. They were never allowed to pass between the fire and the older person or a visitor, to speak while others were speaking, or to make fun of a crippled or disfigured person. If a child thoughtlessly tried to do so, a parent, in a quiet voice, immediately set him right.
  • Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and his granting a space of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness and regardful of the rule that ‘thought comes before speech.’…and in the midst of sorrow, sickness, death or misfortune of any kind, and in the presence of the notable and great, silence was the mark of respect… strict observance of this tenet of good behavior was the reason, no doubt, for his being given the false characterization by the white man of being a stoic. He has been judged to be dumb, stupid, indifferent, and unfeeling.
  • We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, the winding streams with tangled growth, as ‘wild’. Only to the white man was nature a ‘wilderness’ and only to him was it ‘infested’ with ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery.
  • Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. And so close did some of the Lakotas come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue.
  • This concept of life and its relations was humanizing and gave to the Lakota an abiding love. It filled his being with the joy and mystery of living; it gave him reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all.
  • It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth… the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.
  • Everything was possessed of personality, only differing from us in form. Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature learns, and that was to feel beauty. We never railed at the storms, the furious winds, and the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensified human futility, so whatever came we adjusted ourselves, by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint.
  • …the old Lakota was wise. He knew that a man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans, too. So he kept his children close to nature’s softening influence.
  • Civilization has been thrust upon me… and it has not added one whit to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity.




No desire to be or not to be

Self-knowledge is not a process to be read about or speculated upon: it must be discovered by each one from moment to moment, so that the mind becomes extraordinarily alert. In that alertness there is a certain quiescence, a passive awareness in which there is no desire to be or not to be, and in which there is an astonishing sense of freedom. It may be only for a minute, for a second, that is enough. That freedom is not of memory; it is a living thing, but the mind, having tasted it, reduces it to a memory and then wants more of it. To be aware of this total process is possible only through self-knowledge, and self-knowledge comes into being from moment to moment as we watch our speech, our gestures, the way we talk, and the hidden motives that are suddenly revealed. Then only is it possible to be free from fear. As long as there is fear, there is no love. Fear darkens our being and that fear cannot be washed away by any prayer, by any ideal or activity. The cause of fear is the ‘me’, the ‘me’ which is so complex in its desires, wants, pursuits. The mind has to understand that whole process, and the understanding of it comes only when there is watchfulness without choice.

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti