Quotes Worth Pondering

Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed by the masses ~ Plato

Wishing to entice the blind, the Buddha has playfully let words escape his golden mouth; Heaven and earth are ever since filled with entangling briars ~ Daito Kokushi

How on earth can religious people believe in so much arbitrary, clearly invented balderdash? The acceptance of a creed, any creed, entitles the acceptor to membership in the sort of artificial extended family we call a congregation. It is a way to fight loneliness. Any time I see a person fleeing from reason and into religion, I think to myself, there goes a person who simply cannot stand being so goddamned lonely anymore ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes ~ Walt Whitman

My work is not a piece of writing designed to meet the needs of an immediate public, but was done to last for ever ~ Thucydides

I came, I saw, I puttered ~ Yaj Ekim (a.k.a. Michael Jay Holshouser)

Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo (I was not; I was; I am not; I care not) ~ Epicurus

Was not, am not, don't know, don't care ~ Yaj Ekim

Nullius in verba (See for yourself) ~ Latin Proverb

Vanitas Vanitatum, Omnia Vanitas (Vanity of vanities, all is vanity) ~ Ecclesiastes 1:2

The fool thinks, “I am the body.” The intelligent man thinks, “I am an individual soul united with the body.” But the wise man, in the greatness of his knowledge and spiritual discrimination, sees the Self as the only reality, and thinks, “I am Brahman.” ~ Adi Shankaracharya

You are neither earth nor air nor fire nor water nor ether ... To attain liberation know yourself as the witnessing consciousness of all these ... If you separate yourself from the physical body and rest in consciousness then this very moment you will be happy, at peace, and free of bondage ~ Ashtavakra, a translation by Manuel Schoch

A yogi has no particular path; he simply renounces imagining things.  His mind then ceases of its own accord, and the perfect state just naturally occurs ~ Dattatreya, Song of the Avadhut, a translation by Swami Abhayananda

Know, without any doubt, that I’m limitless.  Know, without any doubt, that I’m changeless.  Know, without any doubt, that no stains can touch me.  My nature is Freedom; there’s no maya to me ~ Dattatreya, Song of the Avadhut, a translation by Swami Abhayananda

He who renouncing all activities, who is free of all the limitations of time, space and direction, worships his own Atman which is present everywhere, which is the destroyer of heat and cold, which is Bliss-Eternal and stainless, becomes All-knowing and All-pervading and attains thereafter Immortality ~ Adi Sankaracharya, Atma Bodha, Swami Chinmayananda

Imagine a big building collapsing. Some rooms are in ruins, some are intact. But can you speak of the space as ruined or intact? It is only the structure that suffered and the people who happened to live in it. Nothing happened to space itself. Similarly, nothing happens to life when forms break down and names are wiped out. The goldsmith melts down old ornaments to make new. Sometimes a good piece goes with the bad. He takes it in his stride, for he knows that no gold is lost ~ Nisargadatta

Pure and impure thoughts are a feature of the mind. There are no wandering thoughts in the Supreme Being. Therefore, abide as That and, free from the pure and impure thoughts of the mind, remain still like a stone or a log of wood. You will then be always happy ~ The Ribhu Gita, translated by Dr. H. Ramamoorthy and Nome

I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path. This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

It is the mind that frees us or enslaves.  Driven by the senses we become bound;
Master of the senses we become free.  Those who seek freedom must master their senses.  When the mind is detached from the senses, one reaches the summit of consciousness.  Mastery of the mind leads to wisdom.  Practice meditation.  Stop all vain talk.  The highest state is beyond reach of thought, for it lies beyond all duality ~ The Amritabindu Upanishad

The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one's body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one's master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai ~ Hagakure, The Way of the Samurai

The hero of the Odyssey is a great fighter, a wily schemer, a ready speaker, a man of stout heart and broad wisdom who knows that he must endure without too much complaining what the gods send; and he can both build and sail a boat, drive a furrow as straight as anyone, beat a young braggart at throwing the discus, challenge the Pheacian youth at boxing, wrestling or running; flay, skin, cut up and cook an ox, and be moved to tears by a song. He is in fact an excellent all-rounder; he has surpassing areté. Areté implies a respect for the wholeness or oneness of life, and a consequent dislike of specialization. It implies a contempt for efficiency... or rather a much higher idea of efficiency, an efficiency which exists not in one department of life but in life itself ~ Robert M. Pirsig, On the Nature of Areté

The world is but a show, glittering and empty. It is, and yet it is not. It is there as long as I want to see it and take part in it. When I cease caring, it dissolves. It has no cause and serves no purpose. It just happens when we are absent-minded. It appears exactly as it looks, but there is no depth in it, nor meaning. Only the onlooker is real, call him Self or Atma. To the Self, the world is but a colourful show, which he enjoys as long as it lasts and forgets when it is over. Whatever happens on the stage makes him shudder in terror or roll with laughter, yet all the time he is aware that it is but a show. Without desire or fear, he enjoys it, as it happens ~ Nisargadatta

To enjoy this peace and absolute security we do not need any dogma, belief systems, rituals or practices. All that is necessary is to abandon the external search for this. We must stop "seeking for love in all the wrong places"; just recognize, and totally relax into, that pure awareness that we already are ~ Colin Drake

We've all been given a gift, the gift of life. What we do with our lives is our gift back ~ Edo

Man’s inability to live God’s words makes the Avatar’s teaching a mockery. Instead of practicing the compassion he taught, man has waged wars in his name. Instead of living the humility, purity, and truth of his words, man has given way to hatred, greed, and violence. Because man has been deaf to the principles and precepts laid down by God in the past, in this present Avataric form, I observe silence ~ Meher Baba

I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don't worry. It's all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don't know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It's a dream already ended. There's nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born ~ Jack Kerouac

There is nowhere you can go where I am not, no thought you can think that I am not, no breath you can take that I am not, no word you can speak that I am not, no pain you can suffer that I am not, no distance you can travel that I am not and no sound you can make that I am not. For you are I are one, embracing in the timeless dance of here and now ~ Mike Jenkins

As you learn to observe with no attachment, peace arises. The only thing that can attempt to interfere with this is your identification with thoughts ~ Jac O'Keeffe

The final understanding is the acceptance of what Is as the functioning of totality or god. However, that acceptance is not in your hands. In the final understanding, there is no surrenderer, no accepter, no seeker and no finder. You know you have understood the teaching when questions answer themselves. You know you have understood the teaching when questions don’t matter anymore and they dissolve. The stopping of all questioning is the most powerful understanding. Understanding means there is no need for understanding ~ Ramesh S. Balsekar

Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you hear everything, don’t you? You hear the far off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds – which means really that you are listening to everything. Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel. If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change that comes without your volition, without you asking; and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight ~ J. Krishnamurti

When you think about the mind, when you're thinking about the thoughts then you're giving it energy. When you just observe and just watch and leave it alone and do nothing where does the energy come from? There is no energy to give it. So you ignore the mind by observing it. Then you will find out that there is no mind. You've been wasting your time for years observing something that doesn't exist. So why would you want to do that? ~ Robert Adams.

People often ask how the mind is controlled. I say to them 'Show me the mind and then you will know what to do.' The fact is that the mind is only a bundle of thoughts. How can you extinguish it by the thought of doing so or by a desire? Your thoughts and desires are part and parcel of the mind. The mind is simply fattened by new thoughts rising up. Therefore it is foolish to attempt to kill the mind by means of the mind. The only way of doing it is to find its source and hold on to it. The mind will then fade away of its own accord ~ Ramana

The self that seeks Awareness is like a shadow that seeks the sun ~ Rupert Spira

If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It's very important to be aware of them every time they come up ~ Deepak Chopra

Always go too far, for that's where you'll find the Truth ~ Albert Camus

We must here make a clear distinction between belief and faith, because, in general practice, belief has come to mean a state of mind which is almost the opposite of faith. Belief, as I use the word here, is the insistence that the truth is what one would “lief” or wish it to be. The believer will open his mind to the truth on the condition that it fits in with his preconceived ideas and wishes. Faith, on the other hand, is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown. Belief clings, but faith lets go. In this sense of the word, faith is the essential virtue of science, and likewise of any religion that is not self-deception ~ Alan Watts

Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Language, ideas, even the phrase each other, doesn't make any sense ~ Rumi

What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera ~ Aldous Huxley

You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop ~ Rumi

The mystery of existence is long no matter how short, and short no matter how long ~ Yaj Ekim

The greatest seers, saints, and yogis agree on little. Seeing this, who could not be indifferent to knowledge and become still? ~ Ashtavakra, translated by Bart Marshall

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh ~ Voltaire

If I am ever put to death on the hook, expect a very human performance ~ Bokonon (a.k.a. Kurt Vonnegut)

I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure ~ Agent Smith, The Matrix

So it goes ~ Tralfamadorian Proverb (a.k.a. Kurt Vonnegut)

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Quotes Worth Pondering
© Michael J. Holshouser 2015
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