Tuesday, March 21, 2006

movement of the will

Turning towards a spiritual path effects a deep-seated reversal in the movement of the will. The will tends to move in an outward direction, pushing for the extension of its bounds of self-identity. It seeks to gain increasing territory for the self, to widen the range of ownership, control and domination. When we turn to the spiritual path, the ground is laid for this pattern to be undermined and turned around. Our drive for self-expansion is the root of our bondage. It is a mode of craving, of grasping and clinging, leading headlong into frustration and despair. When this is understood the danger in egocentric seeking comes to the surface and the will turns in the opposite direction, moving towards renunciation and detachment. The objects of clinging are gradually relinquished, the sense of "I" and "mine" withdrawn from the objects to which it has attached itself. Ultimate deliverance is now seen to lie, not in the extension of the ego to the limits of infinity, but in the utter abolition of the ego-delusion at its base.

Bhikkhu Bodhi paraphrased

correct insight

In subtle ways, concealed from ourselves, our desires condition our perceptions, twisting them to fit into the mould they themselves want to impose. Thus our minds work by way of selection and exclusion. We take note of those things agreeable to our pre-conceptions; we blot out or distort those that threaten to throw them into disarray.

To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions.

The real way to safety lies through correct insight, not through wishful thinking.

Bhikkhu Bodhi

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

to find progress

One of the ways of stopping science would be only to do experiments in the region where you know the law. But experimenters search most diligently, and with the greatest effort, in exactly those places where it seems most likely that we can prove our theories wrong. In other words we are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.

Richard Feynman

Let experience be primary

Let experience be primary, and let it never be over-ridden by an insistence that nature conform to our human concepts.

Alan Wallace

Saturday, March 11, 2006

what is reality?

Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
What we look for depends on what we think.
What we think depends on what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.

David Bohm
A physicist

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

that sphere of life

The mother sea and fountain-head of all religions lie in the mystical experiences of the individual, taking the word mystical in a very wide sense. All theologies and all ecclesiasticisms are secondary growths superimposed; and the experiences make such flexible combinations with the intellectual prepossessions of their subjects, that one may also say that they have no proper intellectual deliverance of their own, but belong to a region deeper, and more vital and practical, than that which the intellect inhabits. I attach the mystical or religious consciousness to the possession of an extended subliminal self, with a thin partition through which messages make interruption. We are thus made convincingly aware of the presence of a sphere of life larger and more powerful than our usual consciousness, with which the latter is nevertheless continuous. The impressions and impulses and emotions and excitements which we thence receive help us to live, they found invincible assurance of a world beyond the sense, they melt our hears and communicate significance and value to everything and make us happy.

William James
Letters of William James

Saturday, March 04, 2006

to embrace all

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 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 deusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a ferw persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert Einstein

Thursday, March 02, 2006

who are we

Who are we?

Who are we to reach
Toward that we cannot touch,
Illuminated by the scintilla
Of a passing thought.

Who are we to claim knowledge
In the midst of our ignorance,
To impose an order, a human scale
On the recalcitrant material of our worlds?

Who are we to stretch across the chasms
Of self-containment,
To indwell the otherness of a being so un(like) ourselves,
Supported only by the thin substantiality of flesh and words.

And yet,
How can we do otherwise,
Be otherwise,
Than to seek completion beyond the bounds of who we are?

Robert Neimeyer