Friday, January 24, 2014

Weekly Quotes 2014 #3

People in our culture today are more isolated and more alone than they have ever been.  What’s often missing from our digital world is the experience of personal connection and mutual support, of being an individual within a real community.  (134)

Family traditions develop at the confluence of necessity and nurture.  Religious traditions, in contrast, get established when people share a transcendent intention and develop a corresponding way of life.  (137)

The experience of transcendence is most palpable during worship—the hallmark of a religious community:  it’s what makes a religious community religious.  (143)

The elements of an effective worship service need to address four key aspects of human experience:  what’s true, what’s broken, what’s right, and what’s transcendent.  (145)

Choose this day to pursue a worthy purpose.  Choose this day to embody an exemplary virtue.  Choose this day to uphold a noble value.  In worship, we bear witness to what is right and commit ourselves to serving it.  (147)

“The sun of quality,” he wrote, “does not revolve around the subjects and objects of our existence.  It does not just passively illuminate them.  It is not subordinate to them in any way.  It has created them.  They are subordinate to it!”  (215)

Zen is the “spirit of the valley,” not the mountaintop.  The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.  (220)

You go up the mountaintop and all you’re gonna get is a great big heavy stone tablet handed to you with a bunch of rules on it.  (220)

The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans.  The present is our only reality.  The tree that you are aware of intellectually . . . is always in the past and therefore is always in the past and therefore is always unreal.  Any intellectually conceived object is always in the past and therefore unreal.  Reality is always the moment of vision before the intellectualization takes place.  There is no other reality. . . .  Since all intellectually identifiable things must emerge from this pre-intellectual reality.  Quality is the parent, the source of all subjects and objects.  (222)

In today’s world, ideas that are incompatible with scientific knowledge don’t get off the ground.  (207-208)

When you live in the shadow of insanity, the appearance of another mind tha thinks and talks as yours does is something close to a blessed event.  (233)

Uncertainty and discomfort need to become normal and natural parts of your life rather than scary possibilities to be avoided at all costs—which is impossible, of course, and makes anxiety worse.  

Courage . . . is when the goal is important enough that you willingly move forward even when you’re not sure how it’s going to turn out, or when you predict you’re going to feel uncomfortable.  

Celebrating courage in little and big ways can motivate and inspire each of you to keep moving forward. 

When we doubt our ability to handle a task, we automatically start looking for support. That’s completely normal and expected. . . . When seeking security becomes more important than exploring—when kids start to hesitate, to become dependent on others, and to back away from adventures—then we have a problem.  

Before you intervene in your child’s struggles, ask yourself, Am I promoting independence? Or am I encouraging dependence?  

If there are gods, they made sheep so wolves could eat mutton, and they made the weak for the strong to play with.

I’m honest. It’s the world that’s awful.

“If there are gods, why is the world so full of pain and injustice?” “Because of men like you.” “There are no men like me. There’s only me.” 

Whatever the waste, stupidity, ineptitude, whatever the problems and frustrations of teachers and pupils, something very exciting is going on.  In each of the classrooms, on each of the floors,  all at the same time, education is going on.  In some form or other, for all its abuses, young people are exposed to education.  (288-289)

I had set out to you exactly what happened.  But since I am the one writing this, how do I know what in my telling I am selecting, omitting, emphasizing:  what unconscious editing I am doing?  (304)

[A]cceptance means to embrace whatever arises within us, moment to moment, just as it is.  (11)

The purpose of this book is to teach you the knowledge and he skills to face suffering from a position of strength.  (25)

It’s critical to know when the instinctive habits of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain are causing us more trouble than they’re worth.  Usually when we engage in these activities, stress is not far behind.  We suffer when we don’t get what we want, when we lose what we had, and when we get what we did not want.  The ability to see things as they are, with acceptance, gets us through.  (27)

This book is designed to show you how to cultivate acceptance, especially self-acceptance, one day at a time. (31)

[M]aybe you’re practicing “self-improvement” rather than “self-acceptance.”  (35)


  1. Enjoyed the book quotes! I don't think I have read any of these, will have to check them out.

    1. I haven't finished the last one, since it seems to have up and disappeared on me midway through my reading it, but I do recommend the others. Each is good in its own way.

  2. I love these - especially the quotes from the Zen book.

    1. If you haven't read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, I think you would love it and so I'm going to highly recommend it to you. :)