“Fighting with anybody is dangerous because you become like your enemy. That is one of the greatest problems of humanity. Once you fight with somebody, by and by you have to use the same techniques and the same ways. Then the enemy may be defeated, but by the time he is defeated you have become your own enemy.”
“The very word intuition has to be understood. You know the word tuition—tuition comes from outside, somebody teaches you, the tutor. Intuition means something that arises within your being; it is your potential, that’s why it is called intuition. Wisdom is never borrowed, and that which is borrowed is never wisdom. Unless you have your own wisdom, your own vision, your own clarity, your own eyes to see, you will not be able to understand the mystery of existence.”
“The people of the heart—the painters, the poets, the musicians, the dancers, the actors—are all irrational. They create great beauty, they are great lovers, but they are absolutely unfit in a society that is arranged by the head. Your artists are thought by your society to be almost outcast, a little bit crazy, an insane type of people. Nobody wants his or her children to become musicians or painters or dancers. Everybody wants them to be doctors, engineers, scientists, because those professions pay. Painting, poetry, dance, are dangerous, risky—you may end up just a beggar on the street, playing on your flute.”
“Intellect is not going to be your home. It is a small instrument, to be used only for passing from instinct to intuition. So only the person who uses his intellect to go beyond it can be called intelligent. Intuition is existential. Instinct is natural. Intellect is just groping in the dark. The faster you move beyond intellect, the better; intellect can be a barrier to those who think nothing is beyond it. Intellect can be a beautiful passage for those who understand that there is certainly something beyond it.”
“The world of politics is basically of the instinctive level. It belongs to the law of the jungle: might is right. And the people who get interested in politics are the most mediocre. Politics needs no other qualifications except one—that is, a deep feeling of inferiority.”
“Drop the mind that thinks in prose; revive another kind of mind that thinks in poetry Put aside all your expertise in syllogism; let songs be your way of life. Move from intellect to intuition, from the head to the heart, because the heart is closer to the mysteries.”
“If the left hemisphere of the brain goes on dominating you, you will live a successful life—so successful that by the time you are forty you will have ulcers; by the time you are forty-five, you will have had at least one or two heart attacks. By the time you are fifty you will be almost dead—but successfully dead! You may become a great scientist, but you will never become a great being. You may accumulate enough wealth, but you will lose all that is of worth. You may conquer the whole world like an Alexander, but your own inner territory will remain unconquered.”
“But intellect can also reject what has happened. That is what is meant by having faith or not having faith. If you feel that what cannot be explained by the intellect does not exist, then you are a “nonbeliever.” Then you will continue in this lower existence of the intellect, tethered to it. Then you disallow mystery, then you disallow intuition to speak to you.”
“The universities, the colleges, the schools, should not only teach political science—it is such a stupid idea to teach political science! Teach political science but also teach political art, because science is of no use; you have to teach practical politics. And those professors in the universities should prepare politicians, give them certain qualities. Then the people who are ruling now all over the world will be nowhere at all. Then you will find rulers well trained, cultured, knowing the art and the science of politics, and always ready to go to the professors, to the scholars. And slowly it may be possible that they can approach the highest level of meritocracy: the intuitive people. If this is possible, then we will have, for the first time, something that is really human—giving dignity to humanity, integrity to individuals. For the first time you will have some real democracy in the world. What exists now as democracy is not democracy—it is mobocracy.”
“These belief systems have to be dropped. Then understanding arises; then readiness to explore, then innocence, arises. Then you are surrounded by a sense of mystery, awe, wonder. Then life is no longer a known thing, it is an adventure. It is so mysterious that you can go on exploring; there is no end to it. And you never create any belief, you remain in a state of not-knowing. On that not-knowing state Sufis insist very much, and so do Zen masters.”
“The unknowable is the beauty, the meaning, the aspiration, the goal. Because of the unknowable, life means something. When everything is known, then everything is flat. You will be fed up, bored.”
“Intuition is possible because the unknowable is there. Science denies the existence of the divine because it says, “There is only one division: the known and the unknown. If there is any God, we will discover him through laboratory methods. If he exists, science will discover him.”
“The proverb that says that the empty mind is the devil’s workshop is just nonsense. Just the opposite is the truth: the occupied mind is the devil’s workshop!”
“If you rightly see the division, it is simple to understand: unless instinct is available, you will be dead. And unless intuition is available, your life has no meaning—you just drag on. It is a kind of vegetation.”
“To know means to be silent, utterly silent, so you can hear the still, small voice within. To know means to drop the mind. When you are absolutely still, unmoving, nothing wavers in you, the doors open. You are part of this mysterious existence. You know it by becoming part of it, by becoming a participant in it. That is knowing.”
“Intellect is your mind. Instinct is your body. And just as instinct functions perfectly on behalf of the body, intuition functions perfectly as far as your consciousness is concerned. Intellect is just between these two—a passage to be passed, a bridge to be crossed. But there are many people, many millions of people, who never cross the bridge. They simply sit on the bridge thinking they have arrived home.”
“Reason is an effort to know the unknown and intuition is the happening of the unknowable. To penetrate the unknowable is possible, but to explain it is not. The feeling is possible, the explanation is not.”
“Dialogue disappears when you are burdened with belief systems. How can you really be in a dialogue? You are already too full of your ideas and you think they are absolutely true. When you are listening to the other, you are just being polite; otherwise you don’t listen. You know what is right, you are simply waiting until this man finishes and then you jump upon him. Yes, there can be a debate and a discussion and argumentation, but there can be no dialogue. Between two beliefs there is no possibility of dialogue. Beliefs destroy friendship, beliefs destroy humanity, beliefs destroy communion. So”
“And of course in the long run, if there is a constant fight, the graceful is bound to be defeated and the efficient mind will win, because the world understands the language of mathematics, not of love.”
“Intuition is only a mirror. It does not create anything, it only reflects. It reflects that which is.”
“Because of the unknowable, life means something. When everything is known, then everything is flat. You will be fed up, bored.”
“For the first time you will have some real democracy in the world. What exists now as democracy is not democracy—it is mobocracy.”
“Scientific discovery always arises out of meditation, not out of mind. And whenever something comes from the mind, it is not science but only technology. Technology is a poor thing; it is not the insight but the implementation of the insight. ... Insights come from the beyond. Mind is just the surface of your being; insights come from the center of your being. Meditation takes you to the center.”
“When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors. Survivors who don’t get pats on the back from coworkers who congratulate them on making it. Survivors who wake to more work than before because their friends and family are exhausted from helping them fight a battle they may not even understand. I hope to one day see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle, and as a celebration of the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like.”
“On those trains you’ll be taking across Europe. A book light always comes in
“Shut up, Arthur,' said my mother, and he zipped his mouth shut like an infuriating child.
Ginger started to laugh. Not at anything in particular, but just because Ginger was stoned.”
“God sees when we do not see, ja?”
“Because if I see you defeated, then I think I will see Alban defeated, and if that happens, none of us can go on. To guard you is to guard the heart of this land of ours.”
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