Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.
The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.
Nirvana is right here, in the midst of the turmoil of life. It is the state you find when you are no longer driven to live by compelling desires, fears, and social commitments, when you have found your center of freedom and can act by choice out of that. Voluntary action out of this center is the action of the bodhisattvas -- joyful participation in the sorrows of the world. You are not grabbed, because you have released yourself from the grabbers of fear, lust, and duties.
The Fantasy is a reassurance -- a promise that the peace of Paradise... is not to be lost.
The notion of this universe, its heavens, hells, and everything within it, as a great dream dreamed by a single being in which all the dream characters are dreaming too, has in India enchanted and shaped the entire civilization.
The essence of oneself and the essence of the world: these two are one. The aim is not to see, but to realize that one is, that essence; then one is free to wander as that essence in the world. Hence separateness, withdrawal, is no longer necessary. Wherever the hero may wander, whatever he may do, he is ever in the presence of his own essence-for he has the perfected eye to see.
Life is but a mask worn on the face of death. And is death, then, but another mask? 'How many can say,' asks the Aztec poet, 'that there is, or is not, a truth beyond?'
The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.
The hero's journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, 'Look, you're in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that's not been touched. So you're at home here? Well, there's not enough of you there.' And so it starts.
Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life, the idea came to him of what he called "the love of your fate." Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, "This is what I need." It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment-not discouragement-you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow.
Myths are so intimately bound to culture, time, and place that unless the symbols, the metaphors, are kept alive by constant recreation through the arts, the life just slips away from them.
Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.
The actual point in question, throughout the centuries of Christian persecution, has never been faith in God, but faith in the Bible as the word of God, and in the Church (this Church or that) as the interpreter of that word.
Every story you tell is your own story.
For when the heart insists on its destiny, resisting the general blandishment, then the agony is great; so too the danger. Forces, however, will have been set in motion beyond the reckoning of the senses. Sequences of events from the corners of the world will draw gradually together, and miracles of coincidence bring the inevitable to pass.
The two greatest works of war mythology in the west ... are the Iliad and the Old Testament... When we turn from the Iliad and Athens to Jerusalem and the Old Testament we find a single-minded single deity with his sympathies forever on one side. And the enemy, accordingly, no matter who it may be, is handled... pretty much as though he were subhuman: not a "Thou" but an "It.
Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are the artists of one kind or another.
If you follow your bliss you will find a path laid out before you that has been waiting for you all along and you will begin to live the life you ought to be living.
Our time has changed, and it's changed and changed, and it continues to change so fast, that what was proper fifty years ago is not proper today. So the virtues of the past are the vices of today, and many of what were thought to be the vices of the past are the necessities of today. And the moral order has to catch up with the moral necessities of actual life in time, here and now, and that's what it's not doing, and that's why it's ridiculous to go back to the old-time religion.
Just think, Vishnu sleeps in the cosmic ocean, and the lotus of the universe grows from his navel. On the lotus sits Brahma, the creator. Brahma opens his eyes, and a world comes into being, governed by an Indra. Brahma closes his eyes, and a world goes out of being. The life of a Brahma is 432,000 years. When he dies, the lotus goes back, and another lotus is formed, and another Brahma. Then think of the galaxies beyond galaxies in infinite space, each a lotus, with a Brahma sitting on it, opening his eyes, closing his eyes.
When before the beauty of a sunset or a mountain, you pause and exclaim, 'Ah,' you are participating in divinity.
The senses are a kind of reason. Taste, touch and smell, hearing and seeing, are not merely a means to sensation, enjoyable or otherwise, but they are also a means to knowledge -- and are, indeed, your only actual means to knowledge.
For the bliss of the deep abode is not lightly abandoned in favor of the self-scattering of the wakened state,.
No tribal rite has yet been recorded which attempts to keep winter from descending; on the contrary: the rites all prepare the community to endure, together with the rest of nature, the season of the terrible cold.
Any god who can invent hell is no candidate for the Salvation Army.
One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.
Though omnipotence may seem to be endangered by the threshold passages and life awakenings, protective power is always and ever present within the sanctuary of the heart and even immanent within, or just behind, the unfamiliar features of the world. One has only to know and trust, and the ageless guardians will appear. Having responded to his own call, and continuing to follow courageously as the consequences unfold, the hero finds all the forces of the unconscious at his side.
And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
Their task creative artists, therefore, is to communicate directly from one inward world to another, in such a way that an actual shock of experience will have been rendered: not a mere statement for the information or persuasion of a brain, but an effective communication across the void of space and time from one center of consciousness to another.
The function of ritual, as I understand it, is to give form to human life, not in the way of a mere surface arrangement, but in depth.
Marriage is not a love affair. A love affair has to do with immediate personal satisfaction. Marriage is an ordeal; it means yielding, time and again. That's why it's a sacrament; You give up your personal simplicity to participate in a relationship. And when you're giving, you're not giving to the other person; you're giving to the relationship.
All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.
From the standpoint of the Olympians, eon after eon of earthly history rolls by, revealing ever the harmonious form of the total round, so that where men see only change and death, the blessed behold immutable form, world without end. But now the problem is to maintain this cosmic standpoint in the face of an immediate earthly pain or joy.
Dragons, you know, we have a good deal of biology and zoology about the dragon; we know their habits. The dragon tends to guard things, and he usually has these guarded in a cave... Now dragons don't know what to do either with beautiful girls or gold, but they just hang on. There are people like this. We call them creeps.
It is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue.
Eternity is not a long time; rather, it is another dimension. It is that dimension to which time-thinking shuts us. And so there never was a creation. Rather, there is a continuous creating going on. This energy is pouring into every cell of our being right now, every board and brick of the buildings we sit in, every grain of sand and wisp of wind.
It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward.
It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those that tend to tie it back.
This is an important point about symbols: they do not refer to historical events; they refer through historical events to spiritual or psychological principles and powers that are of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and that are everywhere.
From the perspective of the source, the world is a majestic harmony of forms pouring into being, exploding, and dissolving. But what the swiftly passing creatures experience is a terrible cacophony of battle cries and pain.
Within the field of a secular society, which is a sort of neutral frame that allows individuals to develop their own lives, so long as they don't annoy their neighbors too much, each of us has an individual myth that's driving us, which we may or may not know.
Wisdom and foolishness are practically the same. Both are indifferent to the opinions of the world.
Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up.
Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up. The earth must be broken to bring forth life. If the seed does not die there is no plant. Bread results from the death of wheat. Life lives on lives. Our own life lives on the acts of other people. If you are lifeworthy, you can take it.
The hero, whether god or goddess, man or woman, the figure in a myth or the dreamer of a dream discovers and assimilates his opposite (his own unsuspected self) either by swallowing it or by being swallowed.
Poets are simply those who have made a profession and a lifestyle of being in touch with their bliss.
Find a place inside where there's joy and the joy will burn out the pain.
The seizure of passionate love can be, in such a context, only illicit, breaking in upon the order of one's dutiful life in virtue as a devastating storm.
You have to have a feeling for where you are. You've got only one life to live and you don't have to live it for six people. Pay attention to it.
All the old bindings are broken. Cosmological centers now are anywhere and everywhere. The earth is a heavenly body, most beautiful of all, and all poetry is now archaic that fails to match the wonder of this view.
I always feel uncomfortable when people speak about ordinary mortals because I've never met an ordinary man, woman or child.
Mythology helps you to identify the mysteries of the energies pouring through you. Therein lies your eternity.
The Greeks, it will be recalled, regarded Eros, the god of love, as the eldest of the gods; but also as the youngest, born fresh and dewy-eyed in every living heart.
At such moments, you realize that you and the other are, in fact, one. It's a big realization. Survival is the second law of life. The first is that we are all one.
A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American At the time of his initiation: As you go the way of life, You will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think. Longer Version:
I should have said, 'Follow your blisters.'
You don't have to believe that there was a King Arthur to get the significance of those stories, but Christians say we have to believe there was a Christ, or the miracles don't make sense.
A woman is a vehicle of life. Life has overtaken her. Woman is what it is all about-the giving of birth and the giving of nourishment.
There are mythologies that are scattered, broken up, all around us. We stand on what I call a terminal moraine of shattered mythic systems that once structured society. They can be detected all around us. You can select any of these fragments that activate your imagination for your own use. Let it help shape your own relationship to the unconscious system out of which these symbols have come.
The first function of mythology is showing everything as a metaphor to transcendence.
It is only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes the king of himself if not of the world.
Every moment is utterly unique and will not be continued in eternity. This fact gives life its poignancy and should concentrate your attention on what you are experiencing now.
Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream.
Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamic of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problems and solutions sown are directly valid for all mankind.
God is an intelligible sphere-a sphere known to mind, not to the senses-whose center is everywhere and whose circumference nowhere.
Mythology tells us that where you stumble, there your treasure is ... The world is a match for us, and we're a match for the world. And where it seems most challenging lies the greatest invitation to find deeper and greater power in ourselves.
Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?
Comedies, in the ancient world, were regarded as of a higher rank than tragedy, of a deeper truth, of a more difficult realization, of a sounder structure, and of a revelation more complete. The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read, not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man.... Tragedy is the shattering of the forms and of our attachments to the forms; comedy, the wild and careless, inexhaustible joy of life invincible.
Suddenly you're ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you're alive and its spectacular.
What is it we are questing for? It is the fulfillment of that which is potential in each of us. Questing for it is not an ego trip; it is an adventure to bring into fulfillment your gift to the world, which is yourself. There is nothing you can do that's more important than being fulfilled. You become a sign, you become a signal, transparent to transcendence; in this way you will find, live, become a realization of your own personal myth.
The myth is not my own; I have it from my mother. Euripides.
Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.
Typically, the hero of the fairy tale achieves a domestic, microcosmic triumph, and the hero of myth a world-historica l, macrocosmic triumph. Whereas the former-the youngest or despised child who becomes the master of extraordinary powers-prevails over his personal oppressors, the latter brings back from his adventure the means for the regeneration of his society as a whole.
People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
I am Shiva-this is the great meditation of the yogis in the Himalayas...Hea ven and hell are within us, and all the gods are within us. This is the great realization of the Upanishads of India in the ninth century B.C. All the gods, all the heavens, all the worlds, are within us. They are magnified dreams, and dreams are manifestations in image form of the energies of the body in conflict with each other.
You become mature when you become the authority of your own life.
There is no way you can use the word "reality" without quotation marks around it.
In America we have people from all kinds of backgrounds, all in a cluster, together, and consequently law has become very important in this country. Lawyers and law are what hold us together. There is no ethos.
The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation.
To find your own way is to follow your bliss.
To find your own way is to follow your bliss. This involves analysis, watching yourself and seeing where real deep bliss is -- not the quick little excitement , but the real deep, life-filling bliss.
Could God exist if nobody else did? No. That's why gods are very avid for worshipers. If there is nobody to worship them, there are no gods. There are as many gods as there are people thinking about God. In choosing your god, you choose your way of looking at the universe. There are plenty of Gods. Choose yours. The god you worship is the god you deserve.
If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.
Questing... is not an ego trip; it is an adventure to bring into fulfillment your gift to the world, which is yourself.
The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves.
Follow your bliss. The heroic life is living the individual adventure.
Let the world be as it is and learn to rock with the waves.
So I think the Guru can be a delusion. But everything can be deluding. The thing central about the Guru in the West is that he represents an alien principle of the spirit, namely, that you don't follow your own path; you follow a given path. And that's totaly contrary to the Western Spirit! Our spirituality is of the individual quest, individual realization- authenticity in your life out of your own center. So you must take the message of the East, assimilate it to your own dimension and to your own thrust of life, and not get pulled off track.
I don't think people are really seeking the meaning of Life. I think we're seeking an experience of being alive…we want to feel the rapture of being alive.
Don't do anything that isn't play.
It may be a species of impudence to think that the way you understand God is the way God is.
You don't ask what a dance means. You enjoy it. You don't ask what the world means. You enjoy it. You don't ask what you mean. You enjoy it.
I think of mythology as the homeland of the muses, the inspirers of art, the inspirers of poetry. To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you.
The perfect human being is uninteresting-the Buddha who leaves the world, you know. It is the imperfections of life that are lovable.
Eternity is not future or past. Eternity is a dimension of now.
The image that comes to mind is a boxing ring. There are times when...you just want that bell to ring, but you're the one who's losing. The one who's winning doesn't have that feeling. Do you have the energy and strength to face life? Life can ask more of you than you are willing to give. And then you say, 'Life is not something that should have been. I'm not going to play the game. I'm going to meditate. I'm going to call "out."
There are three positions possible. One is the up-to-it, and facing the game and playing through. The second is saying, Absolutely not. I don't want to stay in this dogfight. That's the absolute out. The third position is the one that says, This is mixed of good and evil. I'm on the side of the good. I accept the world with corrections. And may the world be the way I like it. And it's good for me and my friends. There are only the three positions.
For those in whom a local mythology still works, there is an experience both of accord with the social order, and of harmony with the universe. For those, however, in whom the authorized signs no longer work-or, if working, produce deviant effects-there follows inevitably a sense both of dissociation from the local social nexus and of quest, within and without, for life, which the brain will take to be for 'meaning.'
When people get married because they think it's a long-time love affair, they'll be divorced very soon, because all love affairs end in disappointment. But marriage is a recognition of a spiritual identity.
We are standing on a whale fishing for minnows.
Trebuie să fim dispuși să renunțăm la viața pe care ne-am planificat-o, pentru a o putea trăi pe cea care ne așteaptă.
My definition of mythology is "other people's religion," which suggests that ours must be something else. My definition of religion, then, is "misunderstood mythology" -- and the misunderstanding consists in mistaking the symbol for the reference. So all the historic events that are so important to us in our tradition should not be important to us in any way except as symbols of power within ourselves.
The fates lead him who will; him who won't they drag.
If you are on the right path you will find that invisible hands are helping.
The Navajo have that wonderful image of what they call the pollen path. The Navajo say, 'Oh, beauty before me, beauty behind me, beauty to the right of me, beauty to the left of me, beauty above me, beauty below me, I'm on the pollen path.'
Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery.
Not all who hesitate are lost.
There's nothing you can do that's more important than being fulfilled. You become a sign, you become a signal, transparent to transcendence; in this way, you will find, live, and become a realization of your own personal myth.
When you have lived your individual life in your own adventurous way and then look back upon its course, you will find that you have lived a model human life, after all.
Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.
Your bliss can guide you to that transcendent mystery, because bliss is the welling up of the energy of the transcendent wisdom within you.
What we are really living for is the experience of life, both the pain and the pleasure.
Your adventure has to be coming out of your own interior. If you are ready for it then doors will open where there were no doors before, and where there would not be doors for anyone else. And you must have courage. It's the call to adventure, which means there is no security, no rules.
I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.
Mythology is the womb of mankind's initiation to life and death.
Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need. Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy. What you have to do, you do with play. I think a good way to conceive of sacred space is as a playground. If what you're doing seems like play, you are in it. But you can't play with my toys, you have to have your own. Your life should have yielded some. Older people play with life experiences and realizations or with thoughts they like to entertain. In my case, I have books I like to read that don't lead anywhere.
You know, when real trouble comes your humanity is awakened. The fundamental human experience is that of compassion.
If a person does not listen to the demands of their own spiritual and heart life and insists on a certain program, you're going to have a schizophrenic crackup. The person has put themselves off center. They have aligned themselves with a programmatic life and it's not the one the body is interested in at all.
I think a person who takes a job in order to live -- that is to say, for the money -- has turned himself into a slave. Work begins when you don't like what you're doing. There's a wise saying: make your hobby your source of income. Then there's no such thing as work, and there's no such thing as getting tired. That's been my own experience. I did just what I wanted to do. It takes a little courage at first, because who the hell wants you to do just what you want to do; they've all got lots of plans for you. But you can make it happen.
Dream is personalized myth, myth is depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamics of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problem and solutions shown are directly valid for all mankind.
The Deadheads are doing the dance of life and this I would say is the answer to the atom bomb.
It's characteristic of democracy that majority rule is understood as being effective not only in politics but also in thinking. In thinking, of course, the majority is always wrong.
Where is your bliss station? You have to try to find it.
Nothing is exciting if you know what the outcome is going to be.
Each of us has capacities. The real trick is knowing the machinery of the boat in which you are crossing the channel.
When you go through life ... it all seems accidental at the time it is happening. Then when you get on in your 60s or 70s and look back, your life looks like a well-planned novel with a coherent theme ... Incidents that seemed accidental, pure chance, turn out to be major elements in the structuring of this novel. Schopenhauer says, 'Who wrote this novel? You did.'
The goal is to live with God like composure on the full rush of energy, like Dionysus riding the leopard, without being torn to pieces.
The problem of the hero is to pierce himself (and therewith his world) precisely through that point; to shatter and annihilate that key knot of his limited existence.
Enlarge the pupil of the eye, so that the body with its attendant personality will no longer obstruct the view. Immortality is then experienced as a present fact.
For people who are really alive to have life awakened is more important than to get a sandwich.
A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life.
A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life. I think ritual is terribly important.
When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you're sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.
The experience of mystery comes not from expecting it but through yielding all your programs, because your programs are based on fear and desire. Drop them and the radiance comes.
The wonder is that the characteristic efficacy to touch and inspire deep creative centers dwells in the smallest nursery fairy tale-as the flavor of the ocean is contained in a droplet or the whole mystery of life within the egg of a flea. For the symbols of mythology are not manufactured; they cannot be ordered, invented, or permanently suppressed. They are spontaneous productions of the psyche, and each bears within it, undamaged, the germ power of its source.
When an idea is important to a person or culture it will find its way into imagery.
Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history, or science, it is killed.
Suddenly you hit on something that the student really responds to, you can see the eyes open and the complexion change. The life possibility has opened there. All you can say to yourself is, "I hope this child hangs on to that.
The conquest of the fear of death is the recovery of life's joy. One can experience an unconditional affirmation of life only when one has accepted death, not as contrary to life, but as an aspect of life. Life in its becoming is always shedding death, and on the point of death. The conquest of fear yields the courage of life. That is the cardinal initiation of every heroic adventure -- fearlessness and achievement.
I would say that all our sciences are the material that has to be mythologized. A mythology gives spiritual import -- what one might call rather the psychological, inward import, of the world of nature round about us, as understood today. There's no real conflict between science and religion ... What is in conflict is the science of 2000 BC ... and the science of the 20th century AD.
Survival is the second law of life. The first is that we are all one.
Make your god transparent to the transcendent, and it doesn't matter what his name is.
The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy-not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call "following your bliss.
There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss.
If you live with the myths in your mind, you will find yourself always in mythological situations. They cover everything that can happen to you. And that enables you to interpret the myth in relation to life, as well as life in relation to myth.
You can get a lot of work done if you stay with it and are excited and its play instead of work.
All societies are evil, sorrowful, inequitable; and so they will always be. So if you really want to help this world, what you will have to teach is how to live in it. And that no one can do who has not himself learned how to live in it in the joyful sorrow and sorrowful joy of the knowledge of life as it is.
The world is perfect. It's a mess. It has always been a mess. We are not going to change it.
There are now no more horizons. And with the dissolution of horizons we have experienced and are experiencing collisions, terrific collisions, not only of peoples but also of their mythologies. It is as when dividing panels are withdrawn from between chambers of very hot and very cold airs: there is a rush of these forces together.
Every religion, every mythology is true in this sense: It is true as metaphorical of the human and cosmic mystery.
Read myths. They teach you that you can turn inward, and you begin to get the message of the symbols. Read other people's myths, not those of your own religion, because you tend to interpret your own religion in terms of facts -- but if you read the other ones, you begin to get the message.
Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human manifestation.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.
We must be willing to get rid of
the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
The old skin has to be shed
before the new one can come.
If we fix on the old, we get stuck.
When we hang onto any form, we are in danger of putrefaction.
Hell is life drying up.
God is within you. You yourself are your creator. If you find that place in yourself from which you brought this thing about, you will be able to live with it and affirm it, perhaps even enjoy it, as your life.
No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.
When you follow your bliss a kind of track opens up, that's always been there, waiting for you. And the life that you should be living, is the one that you will be living.
Our actual ultimate root is in our humanity, not in our personal genealogy.
Modern romance, like Greek tragedy, celebrates the mystery of dismemberment, which is life in time. The happy ending is justly scorned as a misrepresentation; for the world, as we know it, as we have seen it, yields but one ending: death, disintegration, dismemberment, and the crucifixion of our heart with the passing of the forms that we have loved.
The experience of Eternity right here and now, is the function of life.
The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here is the place to have the experience.
Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.
Mythology may, in a real sense, be defined as other people's religion. And religion may, in a sense, be understood as popular misunderstanding of mythology.
We're in a freefall into future. We don't know where we're going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you're going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It's a very interesting shift of perspective and that's all it is... joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.
What each must seek in his life was never on land or sea. It is something out of his own unique potentiality for experience. Something that never has been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.
You yourself are participating in the evil, or you are not alive. Whatever you do is evil for somebody. This is one of the ironies of the whole creation.
When we follow our bliss, we are met by a thousand unseen helping hands.
The images of Myth are reflections of Spiritual and Depth potentialities of every one of us. Through contemplating those we evoke those powers in our own lives to operate through ourselves.
God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, 'Ah!
The myths and folktales of the whole world make clear that the refusal is essentially a refusal to give up what one takes to be one's own interest. The future is regarded not in terms of an unremitting series of deaths and births, but as though one's own present system of ideals, virtues, goals, and advantages were to be fixed and made secure.
You are the hero of your own story.
The mighty hero of extraordinary powers, able to lift Mount Govardhan on a finger, and to fill himself with the terrible glory of the universe, is each of us: not the physical self visible in the mirror, but the King within.
There is perhaps nothing worse than reaching the top of the ladder and discovering that you're on the wrong wall.
The myth is the public domain and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn't, you've got a long adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.
There is a God inside my PC. An Old-Testament God with lots of arbitrary rules and utterly no mercy.
For we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heros of all time have gone before us.
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder. Fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won.
Now all the myths that you have heard and that resonate with you, those are the elements from round about that you are building into a form in your life. The thing worth considering is how they relate to each other in your context, not how they relate to something out there-how they were relevant on the North American prairies or in the Asian jungles hundreds of years agon, but how they are relevant now-unless by contemplating their former meaning you can begin to amplify your own understanding of the role they play in your life.
He must put aside his pride, his virtue, beauty and life and bow or submit to the absolutely intolerable.
The best things cannot be told, the second best are misunderstood. After that comes civilized conversation; after that, mass indoctrination; after that, intercultural exchange.
We're not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world.
It takes courage to do what you want. Other people have a lot of plans for you... Follow your bliss.
There is what I would call the hero journey, the night sea journey, the hero quest, where the individual is going to bring forth in his life something that was never beheld before.
Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; and where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
A schism in the body social, will not be resolved by any scheme of a return to the good old days (archaism), or by programs guaranteed to render an ideal projected future (futurism), or even by the most realistic, hardheaded work to weld together again the deteriorating elements. Only birth can conquer death -- the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new.
The dreamer is a distinguished operatic artist, and, like all who have elected to follow, not the safely marked general highways of the day, but the adventure of the special, dimly audible
call that comes to those whose ears are open within as well as without.
When the Buddha declares there is escape from sorrow, the escape is Nirvana, which is not a place, like heaven, but a psychological state of mind in which you are are released from desire and fear. And your life becomes harmonious, centered and affirmative. Even with suffering.
The Buddhists speak of the bodhisattva -- the one who knows immortality, yet voluntarily enters into the field of the fragmentation of time and participates willingly and joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
In one of the Upanishads it says, when the glow of a sunset holds you and you say 'Aha,' that is the recognition of the divinity. And when you say 'Aha' to an art object, that is a recognition of divinity. And what divinity is it? It is your divinity, which is the only divinity there is. We are all phenomenal manifestations of a divine will to live, and that will and the consciousness of life is one in all of us, and that is what artwork expresses.
Often in actual life, and not infrequently in the myths and popular tales, we encounter the dull case of the call unanswered; for it is always possible to turn the ear to other interests. Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or "culture," the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless--even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire of renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his Minotaur.
Mythology is to relate found truth to the living of a life.
When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.
When I was in India I met and conversed briefly with Shri Atmananda Guru of Trivandrum, and the question he gave me to ponder was this: 'Where are you between two thoughts?
You've got to say yes to this miracle of life as it is, not on condition that it follow your rules.
Our life has become so economic and practical in its orientation that, as you get older, the claims of the moment upon you are so great, you hardly know where the hell you are, or what it is you intended. You are always doing something that is required of you. Where is your bliss station? You have to try to find it.
Life, in both its knowing and its doing, has become today a "free fall," so to say, into the next minute, into the future. So that, whereas, formerly, those not wishing to hazard the adventure of an individual life could rest within the pale of a comfortably guaranteed social order, today all the walls have burst. It is not left to us to chooseto hazard the adventure of an unprecedented life: adventure is upon us, like a tidal wave.
We have today to learn to get back into accord with the wisdom of nature and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea.
We have today to learn to get back into accord with the wisdom of nature and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea. To say that divinity informs the world and all things is condemned as pantheism. But pantheism is a misleading word. It suggests that a personal god is supposed to inhabit the world, but that is not the idea at all. The idea is trans-theological. It is of an indefinable, inconceivable mystery, thought of as a power, that is the source and end and supporting ground of all life and being.
The boy answers, "Don't ask unless you are willing to be hurt."
Indra says, "I ask. Teach." (That, by the way, is a good Oriental idea: you don't teach until you are asked. You don't force your mission down people's throats.)
At first you might find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred space and use it, eventually something will happen. Your sacred space is where you find yourself again and again.
Since you came to birth in this world at this time, in this place, and with this particular destiny, it was this indeed that you wanted and required for your own ultimate illumination. That was a great big wonderful thing that you thereupon brought to pass: not the "you" of course, that you now suppose yourself to be, but the "you" that was already there before you were born. You are not now to lose your nerve! Go on through with it and play your own game all the way!
Behind all these manifestations is the one radiance, which shines through all things.
Truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names.
We keep thinking of deity as a kind of fact, somewhere; God as a fact. God is simply our own notion of something that is symbolic of transcendence and mystery. The mystery is what's important.
The object becomes aesthetically significant when it becomes metaphysically significant.
When we talk about settling the world's problems, we're barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It's a mess. It has always been a mess. We're not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
People who don't have a concept of the whole can do very unfortunate things.
How to teach again what has been taught correctly it incorrectly 1000 thousand times, throughout the millenniums of mankind's prudent folly? That is the hero's ultimate difficult task. How to render back into light-world language the speech-defying pronouncements of the dark? Many failures attest to the difficulties of this life-affirmative threshold.
Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.
The Garden is a metaphor for the following: our minds, and our thinking in terms of pairs of opposites -- man and woman, good and evil -- are as holy as that of a god.
If you want to understand what's most important to a society, don't examine its art or literature, simply look at its biggest buildings.
For Shinto, at root, is a religion not of sermons but of awe: which is a sentiment that may or may not produce words, but in either case goes beyond them.
If you see your path laid out in front of you -- Step one, Step two, Step three -- you only know one thing ... it is not your path. Your path is created in the moment of action. If you can see it laid out in front of you, you can be sure it is someone else's path. That is why you see it so clearly.
Respect your curses, for they are the instruments of your destiny.
But if we are to grasp the full value of the materials, we must note that myths are not exactly comparable to dream. Their figures originate from the same sources -- the unconscious wells of fantasy -- and their grammar is the same, but they are not the spontaneous products of sleep. On the contrary their patterns are consciously controlled. And their understood function is to serve as powerful picture language for the communication of traditional wisdom.
Love your enemies, for they determine who you are.
Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life
seems most challenging. Negativism to the pain and ferocity of life is negativism to life. We are not there until we can say 'yea' to it all.
The myth does not point to a fact; the myth points beyond facts to something that informs the fact.
There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts, and those who know that they are not facts. Those who know they are not facts are what we call "atheists," and those who think they are facts are "religious." Which group really gets the message?
If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all.
He who thinks he knows, doesn't know. He who knows that he doesn't know, knows.
Heresy is the life of a mythology and orthodoxy is the death.
In the Orient the ultimate divine mystery is sought beyond all human categories of thought and feeling, beyond names and forms, and absolutely beyond any such concept as of a merciful or wrathful personality, chooser of one people over another, comforter of folk who pray, and destroyer of those who do not. Such anthropomorphic attributions of human sentiments and thoughts to a mystery beyond thought is-from the point of view of Indian thought-a style of religion for children.
And then he says, "The writer must be true to truth." And that's a killer, because the only way you can describe a human being truly is by describing his imperfections. The perfect human being is uninteresting -- the Buddha who leaves the world, you know. It is the imperfections of life that are lovable. And when the writer sends a dart of the true word, it hurts. But it goes with love. This is what Mann called "erotic irony," the love for that which you are killing with your cruel, analytical word.
The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it.
Art is the set of wings to carry you out of your own entanglement.
When you look at that nature world it becomes an icon, it becomes a holy picture that speaks of the origins of the world. Almost every mythology sees the origins of life coming out of water. And, curiously, that's true. It's amusing that the origin of life out of water is in myths and then again, finally, in science, we find the same thing. It's exactly so.
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
The priests used to say that faith can move mountains, and nobody believed them. Today the scientists say that they can level mountains, and nobody doubts them.
Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived. Follow the path that is no path, follow your bliss.
Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it.
Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.
The realms of the gods and demons -- heaven, purgatory, hell -- are of the substance of dreams. Myth, in this view, is the dream of the world.
In the field of consciousness research-and also in physics and astronomy-we are breaking past the cause-and-effect, mechanistic way of interpreting things. In the biological sciences, there is a vitalism coming in that goes much further toward positing a common universal consciousness of which our brain is simply an organ. Consciousness does not come from the brain. The brain is an organ of consciousness. It focuses consciousness and pulls it in and directs it through a time and space field. But the antecedent of that is the universal consciousness of which we are all just a part.
If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.
We no longer desire and fear; we are what was desired and feared.
If you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen.
Love is the burning point of life, and since all life is sorrowful, so is love. The stronger the love, the more the pain. Love itself is pain, you might say -the pain of being truly alive.
I think the person who takes a job in order to live -- that is to say, for the money -- has turned himself into a slave.
The idea of the Bodhisattva is the one who out of his realization of transcendence participates in the world. The imitation of Christ is joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.
The hero journey is inside of you; tear off the veils and open the mystery of your self.
It is not only that there is no hiding place for the gods from the searching telescope and microscope; there is no such society any more as the gods once supported.
If you want to change the world, you have to change the metaphor.
I prefer the gradual path My feeling is that mythic forms reveal themselves gradually in the course of your life if you know what they are and how to pay attention to their emergence. My own initiation into the mythic depths of the unconscious has been through the mind, through the books that surround me in this library. I have recognized in my quest all the stages of the hero's journey. I had my calls to adventure, my guides, demons, and illuminations.
My writing is of a very different kind from anything I've heard about. All this mythological material is out there, a big gathering of stuff, and I have been reading it for some forty- or fifty-odd years. There are various ways of handling that. The most common is to put the material together and publish a scholarly book about it. But when I'm writing, I try to get a sense of an experiential relationship to the material. In fact, I can't write unless that happens ... I don't write unless the stuff is really working on me, and my selection of material depends on what works.
Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.
When your mind is simply trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image.
And that Aha! that you get when you see an artwork that really hits you is, 'I am that.' I am the very radiance of energy that is talking to me through this painting.
There's something inside you that knows when you're in the center, that knows when you're on the beam or off the beam. And if you get off the beam to earn money, you've lost your life. And if you stay in the center and don't get any money, you still have your bliss.
And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal --carries the cross of the redeemer-- not in the bright moments of his tribe's great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair.
Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end.
Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end. The exclusivism of there being only one way in which we can be saved, the idea that there is a single religious group that is in sole possession of the truth--that is the world as we know it that must pass away. What is the kingdom? It lies in our realization of the ubiquity of the divine presence in our neighbors, in our enemies, in all of us.
Successful marriage is leading innovative lives together, being open, non-programmed. It's a free fall: how you handle each new thing as it comes along. As a drop of oil on the sea, you must float, using intellect and compassion to ride the waves.
Art is the clothing of a revelation.
If you realize what the real problem is-losing yourself-you realize that this itself is the ultimate trial.
How teach again, however, what has been taught correctly and incorrectly learned a thousand thousand times, throughout the millenniums of mankind's prudent folly? That is the hero's ultimate difficult task.
Money is congealed energy, and releasing it releases life's possibilities.
You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.
The person who thinks he has found the ultimate truth is wrong.
I think of mythology as a function of biology; the energies of the body are the energies that move the imagination. These energies are the source, then, of mythological imagery; in a mythological organization of symbols, the conflicts between the different organic impulses within the body are resolved and harmonized. You might say mythology is a formula for the harmonization of the energies of life.
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
The first step to the knowledge of the wonder and mystery of life is the recognition of the monstrous nature of the earthly human realm as well as its glory, the realization that this is just how it is and that it cannot and will not be changed. Those who think they know how the universe could have been had they created it, without pain, without sorrow, without time, without death, are unfit for illumination.
In the older view the goddess Universe was alive, herself organically the Earth, the horizon, and the heavens. Now she is dead, and the universe is not an organism, but a building, with gods at rest in it in luxury: not as personifications of the energies in their manners of operation, but as luxury tenants, requiring service. And Man, accordingly, is not as a child born to flower in the knowledge of his own eternal portion but as a robot fashioned to serve.
The departure from the world is regarded not as a fault, but as the first step into that noble path at the remotest turn of which illumination is to be won.
Eternity is not the hereafter...this is it. If you don't get it here you won't get it anywhere.
Man should not be in the service of society, society should be in the service of man. When man is in the service of society, you have a monster state, and that's what is threatening the world at this minute.
Passion will move men beyond themselves, beyond their shortcomings, beyond their failures.
The real important function of the church is to present the symbol, to perform the rite, to let you behold this divine message in such a way that you are capable of experiencing it. What the relationship of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost to each other might be, in technical terms, is not half important as you, the celebrant, feeling the Virgin Birth within you, the birth of the mystic, mythic being that is your own spiritual life.
We know that Jesus could not have ascended to heaven because there is no physical heaven anywhere in the universe. Even ascending at the speed of light, Jesus would still be in the galaxy.
Anyone who has had an experience of mystery knows that there is a dimension of the universe that is not that which is available to his senses. There is a pertinent saying in one of the Upanishads: When before the beauty of a sunset or of a mountain you pause and exclaim, ‘Ah,' you are participating in divinity. Such a moment of participation involves a realization of the wonder and sheer beauty of existence. People living in the world of nature experience such moments every day. They live in the recognition of something there that is much greater than the human dimension.
We save the world by being alive ourselves.
What is the cause, though, of the growth of an acorn? The oak that is to come! What is to happen in the future is then the cause of what is occurring now; and, at the same time, what occurred in the past is also the cause of what is happening now. In addition, a great number of things round about, on every side, are causing what is happening now. Everything, all the time, is causing everything else.
One can experience an unconditional affirmation of life only when one has accepted death, not as contrary to life, but as an aspect of it.
We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.
She was ... the arch personification of the power of Space, Time, and Matter, within whose bound all beings arise and die: the substance of their bodies, configurator of their lives and thoughts, and receiver of their dead. And everything having form or name-including God personified as good or evil, merciful or wrathful-was her child, within her womb.
Breaking out is following your bliss pattern, quitting the old place, starting your hero journey, following your bliss. You throw off yesterday as the snake sheds its skin.
Life will always be sorrowful. We can't change it, but we can change our attitude toward it.
Heinrich Zimmerhe had a little saying : The best things cant be told -- because they are transcendent, inexpressible truths. The second best are misunderstood : myths, which are metaphoric attempts to point to the way toward the first. And the third best have to do with history, science, biography, and so on. The only kind of talking that can be understood is this last kind.
The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.
When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.
You enter the forest
at the darkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else's path. You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else's way, you are not going to realize your potential.
Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.
Every hero must have the courage to be alone, to take the journey for himself.
Just as anyone who listens to the muse will hear, you can write out of your own intention or out of inspiration. There is such a thing. It comes up and talks. And those who have heard deeply the rhythms and hymns of the gods, can recite those hymns in such a way that the gods will be attracted.
You are more than you think you are. There are dimensions of your being and a potential for realization and consciousness that are not included in your concept of yourself. Your life is much deeper and broader than you conceive it to be here. What you are living is but a fractional inkling of what is really within you, what gives you life, breadth, and depth.
Change the focus of the eye. When you have done that, then the end of the world as you formerly knew it will have occurred, and you will experience the radiance of the divine presence everywhere, here and now.
Without passion, men are not willing to pay any price or bear any burden to set the captives free.
What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss.
We are all born as animals and live the life that animals live: we sleep, eat, reproduce, and fight. There is, however, another order of living, which the animals do not know, that of awe before the mystery of being ... that can be the root and branch of the spiritual sense of one's days. That is the birth -- the Virgin Birth -- in the heart of a properly human, spiritual life.
There is no make-believe about heaven, future bliss, and compensation, to alleviate the bitter majesty, but only utter darkness, the void of unfulfillment, to receive and eat back the lives that have been tossed forth from the womb only to fail.