True love

He who sees all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, hates none and fears nothing.

Isha Upanishad (Mascaró/Prabhavananda)

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 19:19 (RSV)

Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.

Tao Te Ching 13 (Feng/English)

Eternity is in love with the productions of time.

— Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

He who wants to do good knocks at the gate; he who loves finds the gate open.

— Tagore, Stray Birds

Unless our love is made of understanding, it is not true love.

— Thich Nhat Hanh (1998, 83)

Let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

Ephesians 4:25 (RSV)

As far as you know

Self is arrayed as the whole world.

Dogen, Uji (Cleary 1986, 345)

What you are aware of, or conscious of, is the entire universe, as far as you are concerned. Can you point out one thing in the universe that you are not aware of?

No, but you can surely think of things or events that you became aware of, things that surely existed before you were aware of them, events that you did not foresee, places you have never been, situations that did not concern you.

So you are aware that there is more to the universe than you are now aware of, or will ever be aware of. You also know that some of your beliefs about it have turned out to be wrong, which leads you to believe that some of what you now “know” may also be wrong. The universe of your awareness is infinitely incomplete. Does that concern you?

Charles S. Peirce was thinking along these lines in 1913, a few months before his death, when he wrote that

what I am aware of, or, to use a different expression for the same fact, what I am conscious of, or, as the psychologists strangely talk, the “contents of my consciousness” (just as if what I am conscious of and the fact that I am conscious were two different facts, and as if the one were inside the other), this same fact, I say, however it be worded, is evidently the entire universe, so far as I am concerned. At least, so it would seem. Yet there is a wonderful revelation for me in the phenomenon of my sometimes becoming conscious that I have been in error, which at once shows me that if there can be no universe, as far as I am concerned, except the universe I am aware of, still there are differences in awareness. I become aware that though “universe” and “awareness” are one and the same thing, yet somehow the universe will go on in some definite fashion after I am dead and gone, whether I shall be the least aware of it, or not.

— Peirce, EP2:472

Life flows on within you and without you.

— George Harrison, 1967

Charles Peirce and George Harrison are both dead and gone now, and life flows on without them. It flows within you too, the little current of awareness, the entire universe as far as you are concerned, yet a drop in the Big Current of Okeanos. Are you aware of that?

Lightening

Security is mostly a superstition.

— Helen Keller, The Open Door

In insecurity to lie
Is joy’s insuring quality.

— Emily Dickinson (Johnson #1434)

Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly.

— G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Matthew 6:25, 28-9, 34 (KJV)

You are really the natural form of emptiness, so there is no need to fear.

Tibetan Book of the Dead (Trungpa/Fremantle)

Firm as the thunderbolt, the seat of the seeker is established above the void.

Kabir I.68 (Tagore 1915)

The Realized One comes from nowhere and goes nowhere; that is why he is called the Realized One.

Diamond Sutra (Cleary 1998, 140)

Eternity

Set the bird’s wings with gold and it will never again soar in the sky.

— Tagore, Stray Birds 231

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise

— from William Blake’s notebook

Between

Who sends the mind to wander afar? Who first drives life to start on its journey? Who impels us to utter these words?

What cannot be spoken with words, but that whereby words are spoken: Know that alone to be Brahman, the spirit; and not what people here adore.

Kena Upanishad (Mascaró)

The spirit is that which can have no resting place.

Merleau-Ponty (1948, 75)

Ezekiel excoriates false prophets as those who have “not gone up into the gaps.” The gaps are the thing. The gaps are the spirit’s one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself for the first time like a once-blind man unbound. The gaps are the clifts in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fjords splitting the cliffs of mystery. Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock— more than a maple— a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.

The Annie Dillard Reader (p. 422). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

to live in the gap
between the moment that is expiring
and the one that is arising
luminous
and empty

— Laurie Anderson, Heart of a Dog

The space between heaven and earth is like a bellows.
The shape changes, but not the form;
The more it moves, the more it yields.

Tao Te Ching 5 (Feng/English)

… and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

Ecclesiastes 1:6

Busy

Open your mouth, always be busy, and life is beyond hope.

Tao Te Ching 52 (Feng/English)

Almost dotty! I must dash!

Humankind is made of haste. I will show you all My signs, so do not try to hurry Me.

Qur’án 21:37 (Cleary)

A large consciousness is idle and spacey; a small consciousness is cramped and circumspect. Big talk is bland and flavorless; petty talk is detailed and fragmented. We sleep and our spirits converge; we awake and our bodies open outward. We give, we receive, we act, we construct: all day long we apply our minds to struggles against one thing or another— struggles unadorned or struggles concealed, but in either case tightly packed one after another without gap. The small fears leave us nervous and depleted; the large fears leave us stunned and blank. Shooting forth like an arrow from a bowstring: such is our presumption when we arbitrate right and wrong. Holding fast as if to sworn oaths: such is our defense of our victories. Worn away as if by autumn and winter: such is our daily dwindling, drowning us in our own activities, unable to turn back. Held fast as if bound by cords, we continue along the same ruts. The mind is left on the verge of death, and nothing can restore its vitality.

— Zhuangzi (Ziporyn 2009, 10)

Are you not danzzling on the age of a vulcano? Siar, I am deed.

Finnegans Wake, 89

He who acts defeats his own purpose; he who grasps loses.

Tao Te Ching 64 (Feng/English)

Procrastinate now!

— anon.

Mindering

Actual psychological closure in everyday life is a matter of minding what you are doing: in that condition, the practiception circuit is closed and the current flows freely. But human minds tend to wander.

According to a recent study published in Science by Harvard University psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert, almost half our waking thoughts have little relation to what we’re currently doing. Although in general it’s clearly useful to be able to think about things that aren’t present here and now, and although mind wandering in particular can facilitate creative problem solving, it is also linked to negative emotions and unhappiness. As psychologist Jonathan Smallwood and his colleagues have shown, negative moods lead the mind to wander. As Killingsworth and Gilbert discovered, people are less happy when their minds are wandering than when they’re focusing on what they’re doing. Furthermore, although people are more likely to mind wander to pleasant topics than to unpleasant or neutral ones, people are no happier when thinking about pleasant topics than when they focus on the task at hand, and they’re less happy when they mind wander to neutral topics than when they focus on their current activity. As Killingsworth and Gilbert conclude, “a human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost.”

— Evan Thompson (2014, Kindle Locations 7177-7190)

Even when you think about what you are doing, instead of focusing on doing it, your mind is beginning to wander … unless you focus philosophically, becoming a beginner.

Enough already

You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?

— Steven Wright

To have plenty is to be perplexed.

Tao Te Ching 22 (Chan)

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.

— Ivan Illich, Tools for Conviviality (1973), Ch. 3

Anybody that competes with slaves becomes a slave.

— Vonnegut, Player Piano

Every need got an ego to feed.

— Bob Marley

And whoso is saved from his own greed, such are the successful.

Qur’án 64:16 (Pickthall)

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.

Thoreau, Walden, chp. 2

There is no greater sin than desire,
No creater curse than discontent,
No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself.
Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

Tao Te Ching 46 (Feng/English)

The nexus of experience

Experience is what happens just before you notice that something just happened.
Afterwards, “the experience” is what you happen to remember.
Until you notice that remembering is happening.
Or you notice that you are dreaming.
Then you can really dream.
Or you can wake up.
But how do you know that you won’t wake up again?
Or wake further up?
Remember not knowing? The nexperience comes to pass.