Some people are called upon to do great things externally in this world by creating some new structure that reflects their awakening consciousness. Other people are not called to go out into the world and create great big things externally. Their purpose is to let consciousness flow into whatever they do - to do everything in a sacred manner.
My personal convictions drive me to join those like-minded, in the recruitment of a growing army without guns, no hatred or prejudice, but with a leadership voice of influence and harnessing resources to create the change they desire. The major problems facing the world, particularly our beloved African continent, will not be won by sanctions, cruelty, ethnic cleansing, revenge, guns or bullets. The challenges are not largely externally motivated, so the platform to change them must shift. Shift from selfish to selfless, from external to internal, from behaviours to beliefs. Some of them are externally sponsored but self-inflicted, whilst most of them are due to greed, short-sightedness, abuse and selfishness.
Why do we feel sorry for people who can't travel? Because, unable to expand externally, they are not able to expand internally either, they can't multiply and so they are deprived of the possibility of undertaking expansive excursions in themselves and discovering who and what else they could have become.
The disappointments of life can never, any more than its pleasures, be estimated singly; and the healthiest and most agreeable of men is exposed to that coincidence of various vexations, each heightening the effect of the other, which may produce in him something corresponding to the spontaneous and externally unaccountable moodiness of the morbid and disagreeable.
I was trying to explain my situation to myself. My situation was that I was in pain and nobody knew it, even I had trouble knowing it. So I told myself, over and over, You are in pain. It was the only way I could get through to myself. I was demonstrating externally and irrefutably an inward condition.
Many are so preoccupied with what others think it defines their existence. When we fixate externally, it keeps us from truly knowing ourselves and our destiny. Most [people] fear looking inward for worry they won't find greatness, but when you stop allowing others to define your worth, you'll see""greatness exists in us all, waiting to be"¨ expressed
Externally, the jollity of aged men has much in common with the mirth of children; the intellect, any more than a deep sense of humor, has little to do with the matter; it is, with both, a gleam that plays upon the surface, and imparts a sunny and cheery aspect alike to the green branch, and gray, mouldering trunk.
Late twentieth-century machines have made thoroughly ambiguous the difference between natural and artificial, mind and body, self-developing and externally designed, and many other distinctions that used to apply to organisms and machines. Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.
Donna J. Haraway
Intellectual freedom begins when one says with Socrates that he knows that he knows nothing, and then goes on to add: Do you know what you don't know and therefore what you should know? If your answer is affirmative and humble, then you are your own teacher, you are making your own assignment, and you will be your own best critic. You will not need externally imposed courses, nor marks, nor diplomas, nor a nod from your boss... in business or in politics. (from the essay The Last Don Rag)
Scott M. Buchanan
I spent a lot of time learning how to define myself internally rather than externally. I learned how to care less about external validation. I think that's given me a renewed confidence in speaking out loud. I kind of don't care what people think about me. I feel a lot more confident in saying what I believe.
Countries which have a different base, for example, a Christian one (or at least one with the memory of a Christian foundation) may indeed act most inconsistently and horribly. But when a state with a materialistic base acts arbitrarily and gives no dignity to man, internally or externally, it is being consistent to its basic presuppositions and principles.
Francis A. Schaeffer
Because by definition they lack any sense of mutuality or wholeness, our specializations subsist on conflict with one another. The rule is never to cooperate, but rather to follow one's own interest as far as possible. Checks and balances are all applied externally, by opposition, never by self-restraint. Labor, management, the military, the government, etc., never forbear until their excesses arouse enough opposition to force them to do so.
We are internally related to everything, not [just] externally related. Consciousness is an internal relationship to the whole, we take in the whole, and we act toward the whole. Whatever we have taken in determines basically what we are. Wholeness is a kind of attitude or approach to the whole of life. If we can have a coherent approach to reality then reality will respond coherently to us.
If you're brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.
Mindfulness is not just a word or a discourse by the Buddha, but a meaningful state of mind. It means we have to be here now, in this very moment, and we have to know what is happening internally and externally. It means being alert to our motives and learning to change unwholesome thoughts and emotions into wholesome ones Mindfulness is a mental activity that in due course eliminates all suffering.
By turning names into things we create false models of reality. By endowing nations, societies or cultures, with the qualities of internally homogeneous and externally distinctive bounded objects, we create a model of the world as a global pool hall in which the entities spin off each other line so many hard and round billiard balls
Eric R. Wolf
They told me that nothing was a sin, just a poor life choice. Poor impulse control. That nothing is evil. Any concept of right versus wrong, according to them, is merely a cultural construct relative to one specific time and place. They said that if anything should force us to modify our personal behavior it should be our allegiance to a social contract, not some vague, externally imposed threat of flaming punishment.
Life is an experimental journey undertaken involuntarily. It is a journey of the spirit through the material world and, since it is the spirit that travels, it is the spirit that is experienced. That is why there exist contemplative souls who have lived more intensely, more widely, more tumultuously than others who have lived their lives purely externally.
In a Zen retreat we have a format for working with these quicksilver changes: we sit with them, we pay attention to them... Being steady with mindfulness as an anchor for all the changes we go through is the way we practice forbearance. And you can employ this same method anywhere anytime: just pay close attention to the details of what is going on internally and externally. Don't flinch, don't run away. Trust what happens. Take your stand there." (71)
Sometimes I have experienced at the start of a film you're very excited and enthusiastic and you've done all your preparation internally and externally and you start the film and it's all go..... Then your attention goes somewhere else. Your energy goes into telling the story, so you don't have the same amount of energy to be objective, and that's okay because sometimes you become a subject of the story and you're inside it so much that you don't need to keep on looking on the outside.
We dream - it is good we are dreaming - It would hurt us - were we awake - But since it is playing - kill us, And we are playing - shriek - What harm? Men die - externally - It is a truth - of Blood - But we - are dying in Drama - And Drama - is never dead - Cautious - We jar each other - And either - open the eyes - Lest the Phantasm - prove the Mistake - And the livid Surprise Cool us to Shafts of Granite - With just an Age - and Name - And perhaps a phrase in Egyptian - It's prudenter - to dream -
We dream "" it is good we are dreaming "" It would hurt us "" were we awake "" But since it is playing "" kill us, And we are playing "" shriek "" What harm? Men die "" externally "" It is a truth "" of Blood "" But we "" are dying in Drama "" And Drama "" is never dead "" Cautious "" We jar each other "" And either "" open the eyes "" Lest the Phantasm "" prove the Mistake "" And the livid Surprise Cool us to Shafts of Granite "" With just an Age "" and Name "" And perhaps a phrase in Egyptian "" It's prudenter "" to dream ""
My advice to myself and to everyone else, particularly young people, is to turn on, tune in and drop out. By drop out, I mean to detach yourself from involvement in secular, external social games. But the dropping out has to occur internally before it can occur externally. I'm not telling kids just to quit school; I'm not telling people to quit their jobs. That is an inevitable development of the process of turning on and tuning in.
Your external circumstances may change, toil may take the place of rest, sickness of health, trials may thicken within and without. Externally, you are the prey of such circumstances; but if your heart is stayed on God, no changes or chances can touch it, and all that may befall you will but draw you closer to Him. Whatever the present moment may bring, your knowledge that it is His will, and that your future heavenly life will be influenced by it, will make all not only tolerable, but welcome to you, while no vicissitudes can affect you greatly, knowing that He who holds you in His powerful hand cannot change, but abideth forever.
Jean Nicolas Grou
Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God. These duties are, internally, love and adoration: externally, devotion and obedience; therefore provision should be made for maintaining divine worship as well as education. But each one has a right to entire liberty as to religious opinions, for religion is the relation between God and man; therefore it is not within the reach of human authority.
History provides many examples of democracy crushed by people who said to be the champion of "genuine democracy" and "the people's real meaning". The realization about this may lead us to a defence position that conceals that democracy is an extraordinarily demanding way of rule. It must constantly find new ways to revitalize, to reach out to people and make them active. Dictatorships offers a machinery of obedience, closed and externally well-oiled. Democracy is based on fairness, openness and pulsating life. Therefore it must constantly be won again.
A man who has cured himself of all ridiculous prepossessions, and is fully, sincerely, and steadily convinced, from experience as well as philosophy, that the difference of fortune makes less difference in happiness than is vulgarly imagined; such a one does not measure out degrees of esteem according to the rent-rolls of his acquaintance. He may, indeed, externally pay a superior deference to the great lord above the vassal; because riches are the most convenient, being the most fixed and determinate, source of distinction. But his internal sentiments are more regulated by the personal characters of men, than by the accidental and capricious favours of fortune.
I've come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call "The Physics of The Quest" - a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: "If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared - most of all - to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself... then truth will not be withheld from you." Or so I've come to believe.
The most dangerous type of atheism is not theoretical atheism, but practical atheism -that's the most dangerous type. And the world, even the church, is filled up with people who pay lip service to God and not life service. And there is always a danger that we will make it appear externally that we believe in God when internally we don't. We say with our mouths that we believe in him, but we live with our lives like he never existed. That is the ever-present danger confronting religion. That's a dangerous type of atheism.
Martin Luther King
Life is an experimental journey undertaken involuntarily. It is a journey of the spirit through the material world and, since it is the spirit that travels, it is the spirit that is experienced. That is why there exist contemplative souls who have lived more intensely, more widely, more tumultuously than others who have lived their lives purely externally. The end result is what matters. What one felt was what one experienced. One retires to bed as wearily from having dreamed as from having done hard physical labor. One never lives so intensely as when one has been thinking hard.
Part of the human experience is to confront temptation. No one escapes. It is omnipresent. It is both externally driven and internally prompted. It is like the enemy that attacks from all sides. It boldly assaults us in television shows, movies, billboards, and newspapers in the name of entertainment or free speech. It walks down our streets and sits in our offices in the name of fashion. It drives our roads in the name of style. It represents itself as political correctness or business necessity. It claims moral sanction under the guise of free choice. On occasion it roars like thunder; on others it whispers in subtle, soothing tones. With chameleon-like skill it camouflages its ever-present nature, but it is there-always there.
Tad R. Callister
The double consequence of artifice-to project sentience out onto the made world and in turn to make sentience itself into a complex living artifact-is thus fractured, neatly fractured, into two separable consequences, one of which (projection) belongs to one group of people, and the other of which (reciprocation) belongs to another group of people, and this shattering of the original integrity of projection-reciprocation into a double location has its most sustained registration in the texture of analysis that alternates between an almost sensuous rendering of the inner desire and movements of capital (the large Artifact) on the one hand and an almost arithmetic recording of amplified human embodinedness on the other. Though the interior value of capital is projected there through the collective labor of the workers, it now (by becoming internally self-referential, and when once more externally referential, referring to a much smaller group of people whom it now disembodies and exempts from the process of production) standas apart from and against its own inventors.
Elaine Scarry The Body in Pain
Some reputable scientists, even today, are not wholly satisfied with the notion that the song of birds is strictly and solely a territorial claim. It's an important point. We've been on earth all these years and we still don't know for certain why birds sing. We need someone to unlock the code to the foreign language and give us the key; we need a new Rosetta stone. Today I watched and heard a wren, a sparrow, and the mockingbird sing. My brain started to trill, why why why, what is the meaning meaning meaning? It's not that they know something we don't; we know much more than they do, and surely they don't even know why they sing. No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. If the mockingbird were chirping to give us the long-sought formulae for a unified field theory, the point would be only slightly less irrelevant. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful? The question is there since I take it as given as I have said, that beauty is something objectively performed- the tree that falls in the forest- having being externally, stumbled across, or missed, as real and present as both sides of the moon... If the lyric is simply, mine mine mine, then why the extravagance of the score? It has the liquid, intricate sound of every creek's tumble over every configuration of rock creek-bottom in the country. Beauty itself is the language to which we have no key; it is the mute cipher, the cryptogram, the uncracked, unbroken code. And it could be that for beauty there is no key, that it will never make sense in our language but only in its own, and that we need to start all over again, on a new continent, learning the strange syllables one by one.
All the great groups that stood about the Cross represent in one way or another the great historical truth of the time; that the world could not save itself. Man could do no more. Rome and Jerusalem and Athens and everything else were going down like a sea turned into a slow cataract. Externally indeed the ancient world was still at its strongest; it is always at that moment that the inmost weakness begins. But in order to understand that weakness we must repeat what has been said more than once; that it was not the weakness of a thing originally weak. It was emphatically the strength of the world that was turned to weakness and the wisdom of the world that was turned to folly. In this story of Good Friday it is the best things in the world that are at their worst. That is what really shows us the world at its worst. It was, for instance, the priests of a true monotheism and the soldiers of an international civilisation. Rome, the legend, founded upon fallen Troy and triumphant over fallen Carthage, had stood for a heroism which was the nearest that any pagan ever came to chivalry. Rome had defended the household gods and the human decencies against the ogres of Africa and the hermaphrodite monstrosities of Greece. But in the lightning flash of this incident, we see great Rome, the imperial republic, going downward under her Lucretian doom. Scepticism has eaten away even the confident sanity of the conquerors of the world. He who is enthroned to say what is justice can only ask: 'What is truth?' So in that drama which decided the whole fate of antiquity, one of the central figures is fixed in what seems the reverse of his true role. Rome was almost another name for responsibility. Yet he stands for ever as a sort of rocking statue of the irresponsible. Man could do no more. Even the practical had become the impracticable. Standing between the pillars of his own judgement-seat, a Roman had washed his hands of the world.
We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares. But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us. This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.
I see things in windows and I say to myself that I want them. I want them because I want to belong. I want to be liked by more people, I want to be held in higher regard than others. I want to feel valued, so I say to myself to watch certain shows. I watch certain shows on the television so I can participate in dialogues and conversations and debates with people who want the same things I want. I want to dress a certain way so certain groups of people are forced to be attracted to me. I want to do my hair a certain way with certain styling products and particular combs and methods so that I can fit in with the In-Crowd. I want to spend hours upon hours at the gym, stuffing my body with what scientists are calling 'superfoods', so that I can be loved and envied by everyone around me. I want to become an icon on someone's mantle. I want to work meaningless jobs so that I can fill my wallet and parentally-advised bank accounts with monetary potential. I want to believe what's on the news so that I can feel normal along with the rest of forever. I want to listen to the Top Ten on Q102, and roll my windows down so others can hear it and see that I am listening to it, and enjoying it. I want to go to church every Sunday, and pray every other day. I want to believe that what I do is for the promise of a peaceful afterlife. I want rewards for my 'good' deeds. I want acknowledgment and praise. And I want people to know that I put out that fire. I want people to know that I support the war effort. I want people to know that I volunteer to save lives. I want to be seen and heard and pointed at with love. I want to read my name in the history books during a future full of clones exactly like me. The mirror, I've noticed, is almost always positioned above the sink. Though the sink offers more depth than a mirror, and mirror is only able to reflect, the sink is held in lower regard. Lower still is the toilet, and thought it offers even more depth than the sink, we piss and shit in it. I want these kind of architectural details to be paralleled in my every day life. I want to care more about my reflection, and less about my cleanliness. I want to be seen as someone who lives externally, and never internally, unless I am able to lock the door behind me. I want these things, because if I didn't, I would be dead in the mirrors of those around me. I would be nothing. I would be an example. Sunken, and easily washed away.