The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.
Either I exist or I do not exist, and no amount of pap which I happen to be lapping can dull me to the loss.
The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once remarked that if you ask a man how much is two plus two and he tells you five, that is a mistake. But if you ask a man how much is two plus two and he tells you ninety-seven, that is no longer a mistake. The man you are talking to is operating with a wholly different logic from your own.
The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.
The ultimate destiny of the human spirit is a condition in which all identification with the . . . finite self will disappear. . . . As a minor dream vanishes completely on awakening, awareness will be eclipsed in the blazing light of total awareness. Some say, “The dewdrop slips into the shining sea.” Others say the metaphor would be more accurate if it pictured the ocean as entering the dewdrop itself.
What if nothing exists and we’re all in somebody’s dream? Or what’s worse, what if only that fat guy in the third row exists?
The young student said to his master, “Am I in possession of Buddha consciousness?” The master said, “No.” The student said, “Well, I’ve been told that all things are in the possession of Buddha consciousness: the rocks, the trees, the butterflies, the birds, the animals, all beings.” The master said, “You are correct. All things are in possession of Buddha consciousness: the rocks, the trees, the butterflies, the bees, the birds, the animals, all beings — but not you.” “Not me? Why not?” “Because you are asking this question.”
One day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you?
And now I have to confess the unpardonable and the scandalous. I am a happy man. And I am going to tell you the secret of my happiness. It is quite simple. I love mankind. I love love. I hate hate. I try to understand and accept.
Here’s the thing with me and the religious thing. This is the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music. I don’t find it anywhere else. Songs like “Let Me Rest on a Peaceful Mountain” or “I Saw the Light” — that’s my religion. I don’t adhere to rabbis, preachers, evangelists, all of that. . . . The songs are my lexicon. I believe the songs.
I do not believe in God. I believe in cashmere.
So many gods, so many creeds, / so many paths that wind and wind, / While just the art of being kind is all the sad world needs.
Before, I always lived in anticipation . . . that it was all a preparation for something else, something “greater,” more “genuine.” But that feeling has dropped away from me completely. I live here and now, this minute, this day, to the full, and the life is worth living.
The greatest mystery is in unsheathed reality itself.
Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for joy.
“My feet are cold,” one says, and the legless man replies: “So are mine. So are mine.”
What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.