Insofar as man is an animal, he lives by struggle, he lives at the expense of others, whom he fears and hates. Life then is war.
Peace is much harder to define. Peace is neither an original paradisiacal state nor a form of coexistence by mutual consent. Peace is something we do not know; we can only sense and search for it. Peace is an ideal. It is infinitely complex, unstable and fragile — a breath can destroy it. True peace is more difficult and unusual than any other ethical or intellectual achievement.
“Peace talks” is a phrase we have come to associate with political meetings, as on the subject of disarmament. Try saying “peace” talks, the way you’d say “money” talks. “Money talks” and “Put your money where your mouth is” are old-timers. Peace talks. Peace talks. Peace talks. Peace talks.
Money talks because money is a metaphor, a transfer, and a bridge.
I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.
Politicians wish to move great masses of people. We do not need to move great masses of anyone. We need to let the bitterness of the moves we have already accomplished die down.
On a hot day in the southern desert of Africa I had wanted to go and speak to one of my favorite Stone Age hunters. He was sitting in the middle of a thorn bush. . . . He was huddled in an attitude of the most intense concentration . . . but his friends would not let me get near him, saying, “But don't you know, he is doing work of the utmost importance. He is making clouds.”
A line connects or divides. I see one, you the other. Same line.
The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.
The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love.
Arnold Bennett says that the horror of marriage lies in its “dailiness.” All acuteness of relationship is rubbed away by this. The truth is more like this: life — say four days out of seven — becomes automatic; but on the fifth day a bead of sensation (between husband and wife) forms which is all the fuller and more sensitive because of the automatic customary unconscious days on either side. That is to say, the year is marked by moments of great intensity, Hardy’s “moments of vision.” How can a relationship endure for any length of time except under these conditions?
Yes, you who must leave everything
That you cannot control;
It begins with your family,
But soon it comes round to your soul.
Well, I’ve been where you’re hanging
I think I can see how you’re pinned.
When you’re not feeling holy,
Your loneliness says that you’ve sinned.
The main point of any spiritual practice is to step out of the bureaucracy of ego. This means stepping out of ego’s constant desire for a higher, more spiritual, more transcendental version of knowledge, religion, virtue, judgment, comfort, or whatever it is that the particular ego is seeking. One must step out of spiritual materialism.
We are all killers.
As you grow older you will find that your desires are never really fulfilled. ln fulfillment there is always the shadow of frustration, and in your heart there is not a song but a cry. The desire to become — to become a great man, a great saint, a great this or that — has no end and therefore no fulfillment; its demand is ever for the “more,” and such desire always breeds agony, misery, wars. But when one is free of all desire to become, there is a state of being whose action is totally different. It is. That which is has no time. It does not think in terms of fulfillment. Its very being is in its fulfillment.