Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment.


We ourselves cannot put any magic spells on this world. The world is its own magic.

Shunryu Suzuki

If you write for God you will reach many men and bring them joy.

If you write for men you may make some money and you may give someone a little joy and you may make a noise in the world, for a little while.

If you write for yourself you can read what you yourself have written and after ten minutes you will be so disgusted you will wish that you were dead.

Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation

I think the most optimistic thing is that we are still here! We have attained the capacity to destroy the planet and haven’t done it. The longer we don’t do it, the better chance we have.

Margaret Mead

Desolation will not leave the desert
Until it leaves the heart. . . .

David Rokeach

The application of this knife, the division of the world into parts and the building of this structure, is something everybody does. All the time we are aware of millions of things around us — these changing shapes, these burning hills, the sound of the engine, the feel of the throttle, each rock and weed and fence post and piece of debris beside the road — aware of these things but not really conscious of them unless there is something unusual or unless they reflect something we are predisposed to see. We couldn’t possibly be conscious of these things and remember all of them because our mind would be so full of useless details we would be unable to think. From all this awareness we must select, and what we select and call consciousness is never the same as the awareness because the process of selection mutates it. We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.

Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“Oh, if only it were possible to find understanding,” Joseph exclaimed. “If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn’t there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?”

The Master had never heard him speak so fervently. He walked on in silence for a little, then said: “There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht — I can see they have already begun.”

Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi (The Glass Bead Game)

When the future of mankind is at stake, no country or interest group can afford to claim that its position is the only right one and the others must take it or leave it.

U Thant

I see two birds in the same branch — one eats the sweet fruit, one looks on sadly.

The first bird wonders: in what prison does he live?

The second marvels: how can he rejoice?

The Ramayana, translated by William Buck

We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.


Peace is such a precious jewel that I would give anything for it but truth.

Matthew Henry