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The Message vs The Messenger
It seems human nature, when given a message from God (whoever or whatever we believe that to be), to venerate the messenger (Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Bahá’u’lláh, Joseph Smith, Gandhi, etc etc etc). It’s as if we can’t separate the two, but all too often, we end up focusing on the Messenger rather than on the Message. And, they’ve all had essentially the same message: promote peace, love others, practice compassion, be grateful for what you have, don't succumb to greed, etc.. They also usually include having a RESPECT for nature and an appreciation for nature's bounty. We call these Truths.
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"It is precisely through the onset of old age, through loss or personal tragedy, that the spiritual dimension would traditionally come into people’s lives. This is to say, their inner purpose would emerge only as their outer purpose collapsed and the shell of the ego would begin to crack open. The emphasis shifts from doing to Being, and our civilization, which is lost in doing, knows nothing of Being. It asks: being? What do you do with it?"
"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment."
"Also, go inside and listen to your body, because your body will never lie to you. Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel in your heart, in your guts, is the truth."
"Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith."
"Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is."
"All that is necessary to awaken to yourself as the radiant emptiness of spirit is to stop seeking something more or better or different, and to turn your attention inward to the awake silence that you are."
"Love is not selective, just as the light of the sun is not selective. It does not make one person special. It is not exclusive. Exclusivity is not the love of God but the “love” of
ego. However, the intensity with which true love is felt can vary. There may be one person who reflects your love back to you more clearly and more intensely than others, and if that person feels the same toward you, it can be said that you are in a love relationship with him or her. The bond that connects you with that person is the same bond that connects you with the person sitting next to you on a bus, or with a bird, a tree, a flower. Only the degree of intensity with which it is felt differs."
"The greatest gift you can give someone is the space to be his or herself, without the threat of you leaving."
"The story of the Zen Master whose only response was always “Is that so?” shows the good that comes through inner nonresistance to events, that is to say, being at one with what happens. The story of the man whose comment was invariably a laconic “Maybe” illustrates the wisdom of nonjudgment, and the story of the ring points to the fact of impermanence which, when recognized, leads to nonattachment. Nonresistance, nonjudgement, and nonattachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living."
I think when people have what some would term “very closed minds,” that it is not a defect of character so much as just where they are right now. I used to believe it was a conscience choice, but now I think maybe it is a genuine limitation. I think the root of the limitation can vary from one person to the next, or even one topic to the next in a single individual, whether it be biological, fear, education, or what-have-you. Given this, I think we need to strive to give them the space to be close-minded, stop trying to force their minds open, and just let them be, while focusing on the people we actually can reach, teach, help, and learn from.