"… Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart through the world. There, in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul… ."

— Carl Gustav Jung. The Psychology of the Unconscious  (via heartmindspirit)

(Source: seeyoulateraggregator, via heartbloodspirit)

"

To say that life is nothing but a property of certain peculiar combinations of atoms is like saying that Shakespeare’s Hamlet is nothing but a property of a peculiar combination of letters. The truth is that the peculiar combination of letters is nothing but a property of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The French or Ger­man versions of the play “own” different combinations of let­ters.

The extraordinary thing about the modern “life sciences” is that they hardly ever deal with life as such, the factor x, but devote infinite attention to the study and analysis of the physicochemical body that is life’s carrier. It may well be that modern science has no method for coming to grips with life as such. If this is so, let it be frankly admitted; there is no excuse for the pretense that life is nothing but physics and chemistry…

Analogically speaking, it might be said that only man has “real” existence in this world insofar as he alone possesses the “three dimensions” of life, consciousness, and self-awareness. In this sense, animals, with only two dimen­sions-life and consciousness-have but a shadowy existence, and plants, lacking the dimensions of self-awareness and con­sciousness, relate to a human being as a line relates to a solid.

In terms of this analogy, matter, lacking the three “invisible dimensions,” has no more reality than a geometrical point. This analogy, which may seem farfetched from a logical point of view, points to an inescapable existential truth: The most “real” world we live in is that of our fellow human beings. Without them we should experience a sense of enormous emp­tiness; we could hardly be human ourselves, for we are made or marred by our relations with other people. The company of animals could console us only because, and to the extent to which, they were reminders, even caricatures, of human be­ings. A world without fellow human beings would be an eerie and unreal place of banishment; with neither fellow humans nor animals the world would be a dreadful wasteland, no matter how luscious its vegetation. To call it one-dimensional would not seem to be an exaggeration. Human existence in a totally inanimate environment, if it were possible, would be total emp­tiness, total despair.

It may seem absurd to pursue such a line of thought, but it is surely not so absurd as a view which counts as “real” only inanimate matter and treats as “unreal,” “subjec­tive,” and therefore scientifically nonexistent the invisible di­mensions of life, consciousness, and self-awareness.

"

— E.F. Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed

"Close friendships Gandhi says, are dangerous, because ‘friends react on one another’ and through loyalty to a friend one can be led into wrong-doing. This is unquestionably true. Moreover, if one is to love God, or to love humanity as a whole, one cannot give one’s preference to any individual person. This again is true, and it marks the point at which the humanistic and the religious attitude cease to be reconcilable. To an ordinary human being, love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others… The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one’s love upon other human individuals."

— George Orwell

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprises him most about humanity, said:

arsvitaest:

Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. 
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.

(via understandtheuniverse)

(via langoaurelian)

"

Some say we get what we deserve in life, but I don’t believe it. We certainly don’t deserve Bach. What have I done to deserve the Second Brandenburg Concerto? I have not been kind enough; I have not done enough justice; I have not loved my neighbor, or myself, sufficiently; I have not praised God enough to have earned a gift like this.

Life is a gift we have not earned and for which we cannot pay. There is no necessity that there be a universe, no inevitability about a world moving toward life and then self-consciousness. There might have been… nothing at all.

Since we have not earned Bach— or crocuses or lovers— the best we can do is express our gratitude for the undeserved gifts, and do our share of the work of creation.

"

— Robert R. Walsh, minister emeritus, First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist, Duxbury, Massachusetts

"Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect."

— Margaret Mitchell (Author of Gone with the Wind)

(Source: shelftalkersanon)

"Let us live while we live, and snatch each fleeting moment of truth and love and beauty."

— Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley (Unitarian, Transcendentalist)

(Source: uuquotes, via revnaomiking)

Sign Up For Life

guest book

"It’s hard to get people to sign up for life."

Have you ever accidentally overheard a portion of someone’s conversation, and gone on to think about it?  This happened to me a few years ago when I was helping out at a local Unitarian church cleaning up and setting up between the regular service and a Hindu service which was to follow in the same space.

I was picking up hymnals from chairs and thinking that if I was done in time, I might stay to see what a Hindu service was all about.  As I worked, I walked by a group that was meeting on the choir risers.

"It’s hard to get people to sign up for life," said a member of the group as I passed.

"Yes," I thought, as I continued my work.  "It is hard to get people to sign up for life."

I thought of people I knew who stayed in jobs they didn’t like and with friends they couldn’t stand.  What is it that keeps us doing the mundane?  Is it simply fear of change?  We are, every minute, making a choice either to do what we have already done, or to do something new.  So often we choose to exist instead of to live.

I thought of my own life, and how long I stayed with a job I hated before I decided to leave.  Why had it taken me so long to sign up for life?  Even now, away from that job, I spent most of the time thinking about how happy I will be one day when I have the career I want.  Why am I waiting until then to be happy, when I can simply be happy now?

It seems we are all waiting for life to happen to us some time down the line.  “When I get the promotion…” “When I lose the weight…” “When I get married…” “When I have my degree…”

Often the dream is so important that we are afraid to even take steps in that direction.  Is it living itself that we fear?  Or do we simply feel we are not worthy of life until we have earned it?  If there were a simple sign up sheet, who would put their name down to live?  Somehow this woman had seen it, and summed it up in one sentence.  Why is it so hard to get people to sign up for life?

And with an arm full of song books, my work almost done, I turned again and was back by the same choir risers.  I leaned in, hoping to get another ear-full of wisdom.  The same woman was speaking.

"Well, maybe we should just concentrate on the one year memberships instead," she said.

Slightly modified from an original version published in Invited to Sound by Laura Lee

"

To say that life is nothing but a property of certain peculiar combinations of atoms is like saying that Shakespeare’s Hamlet is nothing but a property of a peculiar combination of letters. The truth is that the peculiar combination of letters is nothing but a property of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The French or Ger­man versions of the play “own” different combinations of let­ters.

The extraordinary thing about the modern “life sciences” is that they hardly ever deal with life as such, the factor x, but devote infinite attention to the study and analysis of the physicochemical body that is life’s carrier. It may well be that modern science has no method for coming to grips with life as such. If this is so, let it be frankly admitted; there is no excuse for the pretense that life is nothing but physics and chemistry…

Analogically speaking, it might be said that only man has “real” existence in this world insofar as he alone possesses the “three dimensions” of life, consciousness, and self-awareness. In this sense, animals, with only two dimen­sions-life and consciousness-have but a shadowy existence, and plants, lacking the dimensions of self-awareness and con­sciousness, relate to a human being as a line relates to a solid.

In terms of this analogy, matter, lacking the three “invisible dimensions,” has no more reality than a geometrical point. This analogy, which may seem farfetched from a logical point of view, points to an inescapable existential truth: The most “real” world we live in is that of our fellow human beings. Without them we should experience a sense of enormous emp­tiness; we could hardly be human ourselves, for we are made or marred by our relations with other people. The company of animals could console us only because, and to the extent to which, they were reminders, even caricatures, of human be­ings. A world without fellow human beings would be an eerie and unreal place of banishment; with neither fellow humans nor animals the world would be a dreadful wasteland, no matter how luscious its vegetation. To call it one-dimensional would not seem to be an exaggeration. Human existence in a totally inanimate environment, if it were possible, would be total emp­tiness, total despair.

It may seem absurd to pursue such a line of thought, but it is surely not so absurd as a view which counts as “real” only inanimate matter and treats as “unreal,” “subjec­tive,” and therefore scientifically nonexistent the invisible di­mensions of life, consciousness, and self-awareness.

"

— E.F. Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed