“It is at least not impossible to regard the earth’s parts—soil, mountains, rivers, atmosphere etc,—as organs or parts of organs of a coordinated whole, each part with its definite function. And if we could see this whole, as a whole, through a great period of time, we might perceive not only organs with coordinated functions, but possibly also that process of consumption as replacement which in biology we call metabolism, or growth. In such case we would have all the visible attributes of a living thing, which we do not realize to be such because it is too big, and its life processes too slow.”—Stephan Harding in Animate Earth
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will”—Frederick Douglass, 1857
…everbody thinks that compassion is important, and everyone has compassion. True enough, but the Buddha gave uncommon quintessential instructions when he taught the methods for cultivating compassion, and the differences are extraordinarily important.
Generally, everyone feels compassion, but the compassion is flawed. In what way? We measure it out. For instance, some feel compassion for human beings but not for animals and other types of sentient beings. Others feel compassion for animals and some other types of sentient beings but not for humans. Others, who feel compassion for human beings, feel compassion for the human beings of their own country but not for the human beings of other countries. Then, some feel compassion for their friends but not for anyone else. Thus, it seems that we draw a line somewhere. We feel compassion for those on one side of the line but not for those on the other side of the line. We feel compassion for one group but not for another. That is where our compassion is flawed. What did the Buddha say about that? It is not necessary to draw that line. Nor is it suitable. Everyone wants compassion, and we can extend our compassion to everyone
”—Lectures on Kamalashila’s ‘Stages of Meditation in the Middle Way School
“Those who chase the glittering rainbows of the consumer society, who buy into the perverted ideology of consumer culture, become, as Dante knew, moral cowards. They are indoctrinated by our corporate systems of information and remain passive as our legislative, executive and judicial branches of government—tools of the corporate state—strip us of the capacity to resist. Democrat or Republican. Liberal or conservative. It makes no difference. Barack Obama serves corporate interests as assiduously as did George W. Bush. And to place our faith in any party or established institution as a mechanism for reform is to be entranced by the celluloid shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave.”—Chris Hedges
“Modern man, if he dared to be articulate about his concept of heaven, would describe a vision which would look like the biggest department store in the world, showing new things and gadgets, and himself having plenty of money with which to buy them. He would wander around open-mouthed in this heaven of gadgets and commodities, provided only that there were ever more and newer things to buy, and perhaps that his neighbors were just a little less privileged than he.”—Erich Fromm - Ch. 5 “Man in Capitalistic Society” Sect. C.2.b “Alienation”
Verbatim written comments about the nature of the spiritual experience for all 24 volunteers who rated the experience at the 14-month follow-up as being among the top five (including the single most) spiritual experiences of their lives. These comments were excerpted from the Retrospective Questionnaire that asked open-ended questions about what was most memorable and what was most spiritually significant about the experience
02 The understanding that in the eyes of God – all people…were all equally important and equally loved by God. I have had other transcendent experiences, however, this one was important because it reminded and comforted me that God is truly and unconditionally loving and present.
03 Freedom from every conceivable thing including time, space, relationships, self, etc… It was as if the embodied ‘me’ experienced ultimate transcendence – even of myself.
04 A non-self self held/suspended in an almost tactile field of light.
05 That in every horrible experience or frightening experience, if you stay with it, enter into it, you will find God. That the horror is in reality only an illusion and God lies beneath it all. It has become a guiding principal in my life.
07 The utter joy and freedom of letting go – without anxiety – without direction – beyond ego self
08 Collapse of ordinary space and time sense. Realization of unity of existence and relativity of ordinary consciousness… I have had glimpses of this before – but this was profound and sustained.
09 The ‘knowing’ was so powerful and yet personal. Experiencing the Beloved and falling in love.
13 The sense that all is One, that I experienced the essence of the Universe and the knowing that God asks nothing of us except to receive love.
17 I became like a point of awareness able to travel inside myself, others and the outside world. No reference to time or space… The feeling of joy and sadness at the same time – paradoxical.
21 The experience of death, which initially was very uncomfortable, followed by absolute peace and being in the presence of God. It was so awesome to be with God that words can’t describe the experience.
23 To cease to ‘BE’, as I understand it, was not frightening. It was safe and much greater than I have words for or understanding of. Whatever is larger than the state of being is what was holding me.
27 ‘Surrender’ is intensely powerful. To ‘let go’ and become enveloped in the beauty of – in this case – music – was enormously spiritual.
28 The feeling of no boundaries – where I didn’t know where I ended and my surroundings began. Somehow I was able to comprehend what oneness is.
29 The profound grief I experienced as if all of the pain and sadness of the world were passing through me cell by cell tearing apart my being.
32 The breath of God/wind/and my breath are all the same… I really enjoy the deep knowings or truths and laughing about them with ‘God’.
36 It opened my third eye – I could see many spiritual beliefs that I hold/held and linked them – a more cohesive and comprehensive spiritual landscape became apparent to me.
37 The experience expanded my conscious awareness permanently. It allows me to let go of negative ideas faster. I accept ‘what is’ easier.
39 [I experienced] a reality that was clear, beautiful, bright and joyful… In short, this experience opened me up (gave me a tangible vision) of what I think is attainable every day.
40 I felt as if tons of information about ‘what is’ was being downloaded quickly into my knowing/understanding.
43 The part that continues to stick out for me was ‘knowing’ and ‘seeing’ and ‘experiencing’ with every sense and fiber of my being that all things are connected.
45 When I confronted my shadow and yelled ‘What do you want?’ and it disappeared in a puff of smoke.
46 The complete and utter loss of self… The sense of unity was awesome… I now truly do believe in God as an ultimate reality.
47 My conversation with God (golden streams of light) assuring me that everything on this plane is perfect; but I do not have the physical body/mind to fully understand.
50 I remember feeling a profound sense of loss of [my family]… I remember after I resolved my fears, the shift then went to joy
“We, the current citizens of the United States, have all been raised to embrace the American Empire without questioning its premises, just as British subjects more than a century ago viscerally cherished and celebrated the British Empire. The justifications of Empires are characteristically unexamined to conceal an unflattering truth: they are all fueled by a base, animalistic craving to dominate other nations and people for the sake of domination.”—Bruce Fein’s book “American Empire Before the Fall”