We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between a causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality.
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For there is a growing apprehension that existence is a rat-race in a trap: living organisms, including people, are merely tubes which put things in at one end and let them out at the other, which which both keeps them doing it and in the long run wears them out. So to keep the farce going, the tubes find ways of making new tubes, which also put things in at one end and let them out at the other.
The real reason why human life can be so utterly exasperating and frustrating is not because there are facts called death, pain, fear, or hunger. The madness of the thing is that when such facts are present, we circle, buzz, writhe, and whirl, trying to get the I out of the experience...Sanity, wholeness and integration lie in the realisation that we are not divided, that man and his present experience are one, and that no separate I or mind can be found .... [Life] is a dance, and when you are dancing, you are not intent on getting somewhere. The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance.
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There is no formula for generating the authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied. You cannot talk yourself into it or rouse it by straining at the emotions or by dedicating yourself solemnly to the service ofmankind. Everyone has love, but it can only come out when he is convinced of the impossibility and the frustration of trying to love himself. This conviction will not come through condemnations, through hatingoneself, through calling self love bad names in the universe. It comes only in the awareness that one has no self to love.
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If you love a person, you say to that person, "Look, I love you, whatever that may be. I've seen quite a bit of it and I know there's lots that I haven't seen, but still it's you and I want you to be what you want to be. And I won't be happy if I've got you in a cage. You'd be a bird without song."
We are at the moment looking at space as something to be entered by the tremendous thrust of a rocket because that is the attitude of attacking the unknown. And that causes us not to realize that we are already on the most magnificently equipped spaceship, which could hardly be improved upon. It has got a source of temperature and energy just at the right distance from it. It's beautifully equipped with oxygen, with food supplies, with all kinds of delightful things to do while on the journey.... and it's traveling through space at a colossal speed... and it's called the planet Earth.
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Everybody should do in their lifetime, sometime, two things. One is to consider death...to observe skulls and skeletons and to wonder what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up-never. That is a most gloomy thing for contemplation; it's like manure. Just as manure fertilizes the plants and so on, so the contemplation of death and the acceptance of death is very highly generative of creating life. You'll get wonderful things out of that.
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We thought of life by analogy with a journey, a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end, success or whatever it is, maybe heaven after you're dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.
The Chinese word Li may therefore be understood as organic order, as distinct from mechanical or legal order, both of which go by the book. Li is the asymmetrical, nonrepetitive, and unregimented order which we find in the patterns of moving water, the form of trees and clouds, of frost crystals on the window, or the scattering of pebbles on beach sand.
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Of what use is the universe? What is the practical application of a million galaxies? Yet just because it has no use, it has a use- which may sound like a paradox, but is not. What, for instance, is the use of playing music? If you play to make money, to outdo some other artist, to be a person of culture, or to improve your mind, you are not really playing- for your mind is not on the music. You don't swing. When you come to think of it, playing or listening to music is a pure luxury, an addiction, a waste of valuable time and money for nothing more than making elaborate patterns of sound.
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It seems to be the special peculiarity of human beings that they reflect: they think about thinking and know that they know. This, like other feedback systems, may lead to vicious circles and confusions if improperly managed, but self-awareness makes human experience resonant. It imparts that simultaneous "echo" to all that we think and feel as the box of a violin reverberates with the sound of the strings. It gives depth and volume to what would otherwise be shallow and flat.
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There are two specific objections to use of psychedelic drugs.First,use of these drugs may be dangerous.Howev er,every worth-while exploration is dangerous-climb ing mountains,testi ng aircraft,rocket ing into outer space,or collecting botanical specimens in jungles.But if you value knowledge & the actual delight of exploration more than mere duration of uneventful life,you are willing to take the risks.
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