Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Basis of Oneness

"feel your lightness and let it merge with others..."
--Tao Te Ching
"Many poets are not poets... they never succeed in being themselves."
--Thomas Merton
"I am the will, the heart, the soul, the spirit, the self, the I..."
--Peter Kreeft

Ways of seeing, vispayana, are many and yet they are few: some spiritual traditions are unique, and yet they are universal:

"If you know what it is, don't talk it away:
If you don't then you don't understand.

Hush, keep it in, and your doorway shut--
Steer clear of sharpness and untangle the knots.

Feel your lightness and let it merge with others,
This we say is our basis of oneness.

The sage who does this doesn't have to worry
about people called 'friends' or 'enemies,'
with profit or loss, honor or disgrace--

He is a Master of Life, instead."

--Tao Te Ching, chapter 56, translated by Man-Ho Kwok

"I have three priceless treasures:
The first is compassion
the second, thrift
And the third is that I never want to be ahead of you.

If I have compassion, you will die for me. I know that.
If I waste nothing, I can give myself to you all--
And if I don't seem perfect, then you'll trust me to lead you.

These days people scorn compassion. They try to be tough.
They spend all they have, and yet want to be generous
They despise humility, and want to be the best.

I tell you that way is Death's.

If you have loved your people, you will know it
they will fight tooth and nail for you in attack or defense.

This is the protection of Heaven, and your harvest.

--Tao Te Ching, chapter 67, translated by Man-Ho Kwok

Thomas Merton, Integrity

"Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or particular saint they are intended to be by [gifts of] God... They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor to have somebody elses' experiences, or write somebody else's poems, or possess somebody else's spirituality... There can be an intense egoism in following everybody else. People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular-- and too lazy to think of anything better... Hurry ruins saints as well as artists... In great saints you find that perfect humility and perfect integrity coincide. The two turn out to be practically the same thing. The saint is unlike everybody else precisely because he is humble... since no two people are alike, if you have the humility to be yourself, you will not be like anyone else in the whole universe... Individuality is something deep in the soul... humility brings with it a deep refinement of spirit, a peacefulness, a tact and common sense, without which there is no sane morality...How do you expect to arrive at the end of your own journey if you take the road to another man's city?

--Thomas Merton, Trappist monk from his book, The New Seeds of Contemplation

Peter Kreeft, The Most Important Thing

"Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." Matthew 15:11

"This is true not only of the mouth or the body, but also the soul. What comes into my soul is not necessarily what I will, but what comes out of my soul is precisely what I will. The Greek philosophers did not clearly recognize this personal center. They were intellectualists; they thought the deepest thing in us was the mind. Thus Plato taught that whenever we really know the good, we do it... Aristotle defined man as a rational animal." When asked about his teachings, Jesus replied, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If any man's will is to do this [the Father's] will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God." John 7, verses 16,17

"The will leads us to wisdom... Know thyself, was the first and greatest command for the Greeks. It was inscribed upon every Temple of Apollo... To answer that fundamental question: What is the self? What am I? What is the human person? The key of love unlocks the deepest answer...

--Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You

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