What Are You Doing with Your Life?

2-3-5 Renewal Lies between Thoughts
The difficulty is for the mind to be still; for the mind is always worried, it is always after something, acquiring or denying, searching and finding. The mind is never still, it is in continuous movement. The past, overshadowing the present, makes its own future. It is a movement in time, and there is hardly ever an interval between thoughts. One thought follows another without pause; the mind is ever making itself sharp and so wearing itself out. If a pencil is being sharpened all the time, soon there will be nothing left of it; similarly, the mind uses itself constantly and is exhausted. The mind is always afraid of coming to an end. But, living is ending from day to day; it is the dying to all acquisition, to memories, to experiences, to the past.
from Jiddu Krishnamurti “What Are You Doing with Your Life?” (Krishnamurti Foundation of America)

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The Temple of Dawn

It was the rainy season in Bangkok.  The air was saturated with a continuous fine drizzle, and often drops of rain would dance in a brilliant ray of sunlight.  Rifts of blue were always visible here and there; and even when the clouds clustered most thickly round the sun, the sky at their circumference was dazzlingly blue.  Before an approaching squall, it would turn ominously dark and threatening.  A foreboding shade would shroud the predominantly green, low-roofed city dotted with palms.

from Yukio Mishima “The Temple of Dawn” (Translated by E. Dale Saunders and Cecilia Segawa Seigle)

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Silence

My hunch from some time back was not wrong. What are the Japanese peasants looking for in me? These people who work and live and die like beasts find for the first time in which they can cast away the fetters that bind them. The Buddhist bonzes simply treat them like cattle. For a long time they have just lived in resignation to such a fate.

from Shusaku Endo “Silence” (Translated by William Johnson)

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Arise Awake

Never mind failures; they are quite natural, they are the beauty of life – these failures.  What would life be without them?  It would not be worth having if it were not for struggles.  Where would be the poetry of life?  Never mind the struggles, the mistakes.  I never heard a cow tell lie, but it is only cow – never mind these failures, these little backslidings; hold the ideal a thousand times and if you fail a thousand times, make the attempt once more.

from “Arise Awake Messages of Swami Vivekananda”

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The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi

We stand today in danger of forgetting how to use our hands. To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves. To think that your occupation of the Ministerial chair will be vindicated if you serve the cities only would be to forget that India really resides in her 7,00,000 village units. What would it profit a man if he gained the world but lost his soul into the bargain.”

from M. K. Gandhi “The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi (Compiled & Edited by R. K. Prabhu & U. R. Rao) ” 

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The Savage Mind

Bergson dis­cerned the importance of the part which, in view of its logical struc­ture, the notion of species was to play in the critique of totemism. But there is every reason to fear that, had he been forced to make his analysis more specific, he would have restricted it to the sub­jective and practical aspect of the relation between man and the natural world, of the kind exemplified by someone asking what there is for lunch today and being wholly satisfied with the answer ‘veal’. In fact the importance of the notion of species is to be explained not so much by a propensity on the part of the practising agent to dissolve it into a genus for biological and utilitarian reasons (which would amount to extending to man the famous dictum that it is grass in general which attracts the herbivore) as by its pre­sumptive objectivity : the diversity of species furnishes man with the most intuitive picture at his disposal and constitutes the most direct manifestation he can perceive of the ultimate discontinuity of reality. It is the sensible expression of an objective coding.

from Claude Lévi-Strauss “The Savage Mind”

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The Two Sources of Morality and Religion

An indifferent schoolmaster, mechanically teaching a science created by men of genius, may awaken in one of his pupils the vocation he himself has never possessed, and change him unconsciously into an emulator of those great men, who are invisible and present in the message he is handing on.

from Henri Bergson “The Two Sources of Morality and Religion”

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