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The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning to work on becoming yourself.
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. We do not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
Soul work is not a high road. It's a deep fall in to an unforgiving darkness, that won't let you go until you find the song that sings you home.
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.
The faster we run, the more determined is the Universe to slow us down. The more embedded our methods of self-distraction, the more agitating the truth-aches calling us back to authenticity. The more eagerly we race to the sky, the more intense the lessons that bring us back to earth. The Universe has no interest in our flight from reality. It wants us right here. Nowhere else... but here.
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. Unforseen incidents, meetings, material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way.
Life does not accommodate you; it shatters you. Every seed destroys its container, or else there would be no fruition.
Florida Scott Maxwell
What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn't make it worse. Not being open about it doesn't make it go away. And because it's true, it is what is there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn't there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.
Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fall is they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
If we are strong enough to be weak enough, we are given a wound that never heals. It is the gift that keeps the heart open.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
If you want to awaken humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly the greatest gift that you have to give is that of your own self transformation.
From the Taoist oral tradition
In my case Pilgrim's Progress consisted in my having to climb down a thousand ladders until i could reach out my hand to the little clod of earth that I am.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitememnt and gladness; touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.
When you see a man led to prison say in your heart, "Mayhap he is escaping from a narrower prison." And when you see a man drunken say in your heart, "Mayhap he sought escape from something still more unbeautiful."
Happiness is always a by product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy, you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.