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The Sun Magazine

Quotations

Sunbeams

Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.

Hosea Ballou

Sunbeams

When I pray, I never pray for myself, always for others, or else I hold a silly, naive, or deadly serious dialogue with what is deepest inside me, which for the sake of convenience I call God. Praying to God for something for yourself strikes me as being too childish for words. To pray for another’s well-being is something I find childish as well; one should only pray that another should have enough strength to shoulder his burden. If you do that, you lend him some of your own strength.

Etty Hillesum
An Interrupted Life

Sunbeams

That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way. There’s a pressure on us all the time to go on to something that seems new because there are new words attached to it. But I want to take words as ordinary as bread. Or life. Or death. Cliches. I want to have my nose rubbed in cliches.

Doris Lessing
The Four-Gated City

Sunbeams

History is so indifferently rich that a case for almost any conclusion from it can be made by a selection of instances.

Will Durant

Sunbeams

The real questions are the ones that obtrude upon your consciousness whether you like it or not, the ones that make your mind start vibrating like a jackhammer, the ones that you “come to terms with” only to discover that they are still there. The real questions refuse to be placated. They barge into your life at the times when it seems most important for them to stay away. They are the questions asked most frequently and answered most inadequately, the ones that reveal their true natures slowly, reluctantly, most often against your will.

Ingrid Bengis

Sunbeams

The disciples were full of questions about God.

Said the master, “God is the Unknown and the Unknowable. Every statement about him, every answer to your questions, is a distortion of the truth.”

The disciples were bewildered. “Then why do you speak about him at all?”

“Why does the bird sing?” said the master.

Anthony de Mello
The Song Of The Bird

Sunbeams

The pure in heart will avoid the struggles, detour the tar pits, blind their eyes to the sirens. The problem is that in avoiding the paths that contain the tar, you may never reach any destination; in avoiding temptation, you remain pure, but irrelevant. Life is tar pits and sirens.

Donald A. Norman

Sunbeams

In blocking off what hurts us, we think we are walling ourselves off from pain. But in the long run, the wall, which prevents growth, hurts us more than the pain, which, if we will only bear it, soon passes over us. Washes over us and is gone. Long will we remember pain, but the pain itself, as it was at the point of intensity that made us feel as if we must die of it, eventually vanishes. Our memory of it becomes its only trace. Walls remain. They grow moss. They are difficult barriers to cross, to get to others, to get to closed-down parts of ourselves.

Alice Walker
The Temple Of My Familiar