A man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.
Seeing Him alone, one transcends death; there is no other way.
Science is the art of creating suitable illusions which the fool believes or argues against, but the wise man enjoys for their beauty or their ingenuity, without being blind to the fact that they are human veils and curtains concealing the abysmal darkness of the unknowable.
Why is life so tragic; so like a little strip of pavement over an abyss? I look down; I feel giddy; I wonder how I am ever to walk to the end.
Can you walk on water? You have done no better than a straw. Can you fly in the air? You have done no better than a bluebottle. Conquer your heart; then you may become somebody.
How different each death is, and yet it leads us into the self-same country, that country which we inhabit so rarely, where we see the worthlessness of what we have long pursued and will so soon return to pursuing.
Know that joy is rarer, more difficult and more beautiful than sadness. Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.
I do not know when it was that I understood that it is precisely this hell in which we wage our lives that offers us the energy, the possibility to care for each other. A surgeon does not slip from his mother’s womb with compassion smeared upon him like the drippings of his birth. It is much later that it comes. No easy shaft of grace this, but the cumulative murmuring of the numberless wounds he has dressed, the incisions he has made, all the sores and ulcers and cavities he has touched in order to heal. In the beginning it is barely audible, a whisper, as from many mouths. Slowly it gathers, rises from the steaming flesh until, at last, it is a pure calling — an exclusive sound, like the cry of certain solitary birds — telling that out of the resonance between the sick man and the one who tends him there may spring that profound courtesy that the religious call Love.
I have a perfect cure for a sore throat — cut it.
There’s a Sufi story of the river coming down to the edge of the sand and can’t get across the desert, and the wind comes along and says, “Drop your identity as water and become air with me and I’ll take you across the desert turn you into water and drop you back down on the other side.” And the river says, “How will I know I’ll be the same river?” It doesn’t matter — river is river, life is life, karma is karma. We all do our stuff. Karma’s the name of the way we do it.
To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy.
The witch doctor succeeds for the same reason all the rest of us succeed. Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. They come to us not knowing that truth. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work.
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
It is sometimes very painful to make the growth choice rather than the fear choice, but the reverberations of a single, positive, honest actualizing act can strengthen the entire planet.
Life as we find it is too hard for us; it entails too much pain, too many disappointments, impossible tasks. We cannot do without palliative remedies. There are perhaps three of these means: Powerful diversions of interest, which lead us to care little about our misery; substitutive gratifications, which lessen it; and intoxicating substances, which make us insensitive to it. Something of this kind is indispensible.