29 August 2009

Birthday Message 2009 (Kazantzakis)

I believe in the innumerable, the ephemeral masks which God has assumed throughout the centuries, and behind his ceaseless flux I discern an indestructable unity.

I believe in his sleepless and violent struggle which tames and fructifies the earth as the life-giving fountain of plants, animals and men.

Blessed be all those who hear and rush to free you, Lord, and who say, "Only you and I exist."

Blessed be all those who free you and become united with you, Lord, and who say, "You and I are one."

And thrice blessed be those who bear on their shoulders and do not buckle under this great, sublime, and terrifying secret: That even this one does not exist!

We come from a dark abyss, we end in a dark abyss, and we call the luminous interval life.

-- Nikos Kazantzakis, from The Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises (1927)

23 August 2009

No other shore (J. Krishnamurti)

There is no way to the other shore. There is no action, no prescription, no behavior that will open the door to the other. It is not an evolutionary process; it is not the end of a discipline; it cannot be bought or given or invited. If this is clear, if the mind has forgotten itself and no longer says 'the other bank' or 'this bank,' if the mind has stopped groping and searching, if there is total emptiness and space within the mind itself, then and only then is it there.

-- J. Krishnamurti, from Freedom, Love and Action

18 August 2009

Creation over life (H. Miller)

From the little reading I had done I had observed that the men who were the most in life, who were molding life, who were life itself, ate little, slept little, owned little or nothing. They had no illusions about duty, or about the perpetuation of their kith and kin, or the preservation of the State. They were interested in truth and in truth alone. They recognized only one kind of activity – creation. Nobody could command their services because they had of their own pledged themselves to give all. They gave gratuitously, because that is the only way to give.

-- Henry Miller, from Sexus

01 August 2009

The spirituality of Harry Potter

There are still religious proponents who insist that the Potter tales are about witchcraft and should be banned. Yet those of us who have journeyed with the characters through the pages of these books know that the Harry Potter series is not really about the wizarding world. It is about the struggle of good versus evil, the power of friendship and growing into adult roles and responsibilities in serious times.

There is a saying, “Religion is for those who are afraid to go to hell; spirituality is for those who have already been there.” In an earlier volume, Luna advises Harry as to why they can see the beasts that lead the carriages taking Hogwarts students to school. Both Luna and Harry have seen death, and only those who have done so can see the beasts. The Harry Potter series is not a religious pageant, as some have described the long-running comic Peanuts. Harry is growing up in a world where the stakes are high, the dangers are many, the losses are great and friendship is the greatest asset that anyone could have in any challenge.

-- Cindy Bowman, Portland Spiritual Living Examiner

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