A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
- Albert Einstein
If our ruinous civilization is built on a struggle of good versus evil, then its healing demands the opposite: self-acceptance, self-love, and self-trust. Contrary to our best intentions, we will never end the evil and violence of our civilization by trying harder to overcome, regulate, and control a human nature we deem evil, for the war on human nature, no less than the war on nature, generates only more separation, more violence, more hatred. "You can kill the haters," said Martin Luther King, "but you cannot kill the hate." The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. The same applies internally. You can go to war against parts of yourself you think are bad, but even if you win, like the Bolsheviks and the Maoists, the victors become the new villains. The separation from self that the campaign of willpower entails cannot but be projected, eventually, in some form, onto the outside world.
Yeah, sure, self-acceptance. . . the concept is pretty much a cliché these days. In its full expression though, the path to Reunion of self-acceptance, self-love, and self-trust is utterly radical, challenging cherished doctrines of how to be a good person. Let me state it as purely as I can: the path to salvation for us as individuals and as a society lies in being more selfish, not less.
- Charles Eisenstein
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that someone took and sowed in their field.
It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it is grown
it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree
so that the birds of the air can come
and can make their nests in its branches
The kingdom of heaven is within you.
The most universal and uplifting prayers and teachings describe love as the power that connects us to one another and also to the Source of Love that we might call God. Such writings exhort us to know love as the power that 'wakes us up' and moves us on from small-self feelings of isolation, hopelessness, despair. In fact, those teachings don't just praise love. They evoke it as the only possible salvation, not salvation for the unfathomable 'next life' but for this familiar one: for each one of us moving through a human existence that will uniformly be marked by fear, sorrow, stupidity, ignorance, cruelty, loss and death, as well as insight, hope, grace, forgiveness and bliss.
- Stephanie Dowrick
|Before or After Love by Agudelo Gungaro|