Monday, April 6, 2009

This is It

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.
Walt Whitman

...was talking to a friend while walking to dinner in Mexico about the Yoga Sutras...she didn’t like the part about abstinence...I don’t either...then, I don’t particularly care...

...not that I’ve got anything against Patanjali...whoever he was...just don’t see any reason why disagreeing with something somebody etched on parchment in India thousands of years ago should be a problem...any more than if it was written in Philadelphia yesterday...or vice-versa...

believe it if you need it; if you don’t just pass it on...
Robert Hunter

...for every love thy neighbor there’s an injunction to kill thy neighbor for one highly spiritual reason or other...for every ancient discipline of self-realization, there’s an even older caste system that labels some inherently holy, and others untouchable...for every life-saving medical procedure there’s a new weapon of mass murder...for every nice modern idea like democracy, there’s a nasty one like fascism....neither tradition nor innovation is inherently good or bad...valid or invalid...wise or stupid...

There were no formerly heroic times, and there was no formerly pure generation. There is no one here but us chickens, and so it has always been: a people busy and powerful, knowledgeable, ambivalent, important, fearful, and self-aware; a people who scheme, promote, deceive, and conquer; who pray for their loved ones, and long to flee misery and skip death. It is a weakening and discoloring idea, that rustic people knew God personally once upon a time—or even knew selflessness or courage or literature—but that it is too late for us. In fact, the absolute is available to everyone in every age. There never was a more holy age than ours, and never a less.
Annie Dillard

11 comments:

Seeing Eye Chick said...

Amen to that Brother!

Deborah Godin said...

Trust Annie Dillard to tell it like it is.

Aggie said...

Too true!

earthtoholly said...

...and I love the Box of Rain line...

Kim said...

How true...

Aviva said...

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." ~ Shakespeare

svasti said...

True freedom is not just doing whatever the heck we want. Its being able to not do whatever the heck we want, too. Can we halt our addicitions and preferences? If not, then we are not free.

I'd venture to say, religion isn't the problem. Its the people who created it - humans like us. At some point in the history of man, before religion was invented, I'll bet anything we found other ways to kill, suppress, or otherwise intentionally create a problem for someone else.

Not that I can prove that of course. But then, we see that every day anyway - people doing shitty things to each other and it has nothing to do with religion or organised politics.

Seems to be part of what it is to be a human being. Not the best bit, of course. But then, if we're gonna ignore the bits we don't like, then we're not really accepting everything as it is, are we?

Lana Gramlich said...

Ain't it the truth, although svasti makes a good point, too.

Lydia said...

The Robert Hunter quote seemed to jump out at me. I'll like pondering that one for a few days.

Melinda said...

I love that Hunter quote and I believe it wholeheartedly.

Spirituality is a highly personal path. When I entered into recovery, I went on this spiritual question where I looked at so many different religions and belief systems. Although I didn't realize it at the time, I was searching for spiritual sense in my world and I think I found it (for me).

We are all so different--our needs are different, spiritually and otherwise. Although I don't believe in organized religion personally, I like and admire many people who completely adhere to spirituality in the form of organized religion. If they find peace from their beliefs--then so be it. Who am I to judge what other people get serenity/peace of mind/spiritual connection from.

All religions and belief systems have the potential for abuse--to have those beliefs twisted in a way that can cause a great deal of harm. And most religions and belief systems also have an incredible propensity for goodness too. Nothing is all good and nothing is all bad.

And as my wise mother-in-law always said (she was wise beyond wise), "Nothing is but thinking makes it so."

And now I am done babbling. :)

Melinda

Tony L. Jefferson, Jr. said...

I like the carefree nature of these tidbits!