Sunbeams  October 2013 | issue 454

They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of Him as somewhat of a recluse.

Emily Dickinson

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.

Joseph Campbell

A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I do not believe in God, but I have a sense of the infinite.

Robert Desnos

Man fixes some wonderful erection of his own between himself and the wild chaos, and gradually goes bleached and stifled under his parasol. Then comes a poet, enemy of convention, and makes a slit in the umbrella; and lo! the glimpse of chaos is a vision, a window to the sun.

D.H. Lawrence

For monkeys to speak of truth is hubris of the highest degree. Where is it writ large that talking monkeys should be able to model the cosmos? If a sea urchin or a raccoon were to propose to you that it had a viable truth about the universe, the absurdity of that assertion would be self-evident, but in our case we make an exception.

Terence McKenna

Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? I would like to have a word with him.

Chuang Tzu

If you understand, things are just as they are. If you do not understand, things are just as they are.

Zen saying

The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.

T.S. Eliot

I spent a week at a Buddhist monastic retreat, where I sat silently for hours at a time in an uncomfortable position trying to shatter my ego. Why bother? Two minutes with my wife and kids does the same thing.

Brian Koffman

The only interesting answers are those which destroy the question.

Susan Sontag

One day a man approached Ikkyu and asked: “Master, will you please write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?”
     Ikkyu took his brush and wrote: “Attention.”
     “Is that all?” asked the man.
     Ikkyu then wrote: “Attention. Attention.”
     “Well,” said the man, “I really don’t see much depth in what you have written.”
     Then Ikkyu wrote the same word three times: “Attention. Attention. Attention.”
     Half angered, the man demanded: “What does that word attention mean, anyway?”
     Ikkyu gently responded, “Attention means attention.”

The Little Zen Companion

The veil between us and the divine is more permeable than we imagine.

Sue Patton Thoele

I know what the cure is: it is to give up, to relinquish, to surrender, so that our little hearts may beat in unison with the great heart of the world.

Henry Miller

And like the fish, swimming in the vast sea and resting in its deeps, and like the bird, boldly mounting high in the sky, so the soul feels its spirit freely moving through the vastness and the depth and the unutterable richness of love.

Beatrice of Nazareth

Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word love here not merely in a personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace —not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.

James Baldwin

And who shall say — whatever disenchantment follows — that we ever forget magic, or that we can ever betray, on this leaden earth, the apple tree, the singing, and the gold?

Thomas Wolfe

Since everything is but an apparition, perfect in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.

Longchenpa