I am a living member of the great family of all souls; and I cannot improve or suffer myself without diffusing good or evil around me through an ever-enlarging sphere. I belong to this family. I am bound to it by vital bonds.
Indeed, to some extent it has always been necessary and proper for man, in his thinking, to divide things up, if we tried to deal with the whole of reality at once, we would be swamped. However when this mode of thought is applied more broadly to man’s notion of himself and the whole world in which he lives, (i.e. in his world-view) then man ceases to regard the resultant divisions as merely useful or convenient and begins to see and experience himself and this world as actually constituted of separately existing fragments. What is needed is a relativistic theory, to give up altogether the notion that the world is constituted of basic objects or building blocks. Rather one has to view the world in terms of universal flux of events and processes.
We are made for co-operation like feet like hands like eyelids like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to nature.
Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning, and under every deep a lower deep opens.
If one is estranged from oneself, then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others.
Today the network of relationships linking the human race to itself and to the rest of the biosphere is so complex that all aspects affect all others to an extraordinary degree. Someone should be studying the whole system, however crudely that has to be done, because no gluing together of partial studies of a complex nonlinear system can give a good idea of the behavior of the whole.
If you believe that you can damage, then believe that you can fix.
The spiritual path is not a solo endeavor. In fact the very notion of a self who is trying to free her/himself is a delusion. We are in it together and the company of spiritual friends helps us realize our interconnectedness.
There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.
We are not going to deal with the violence in our communities, our homes, and our nation, until we learn to deal with the basic ethic of how we resolve our disputes and to place an emphasis on peace in the way we relate to one another.
The human condition is that we are individuals in relationship, and there are tensions between individuality and relatedness. A humanist spirituality is not one of complete dependence, nor of complete independence — neither condition can be defended as primary. Rather, a humanist spirituality is one of interdependence.
Communication is a continual balancing act, juggling the conflicting needs for intimacy and independence. To survive in the world, we have to act in concert with others, but to survive as ourselves, rather than simply as cogs in a wheel, we have to act alone.
Civilization grew in the beginning from the minute that we had communication — particularly communication by sea that enabled people to get inspiration and ideas from each other and to exchange basic raw materials.
I have come into this world to see this: the sword drop from men’s hands even at the height of their arc of rage because we have finally realized there is just one flesh we can wound.
The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings which are all part of one another and all involved in one another
A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labor of other People, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. I am strongly drawn to the simple life and am often oppressed by the feeling that I am engrossing an unnecessary amount of the labor of my fellow People. I regard class differences as contrary to justice and, in the last resort, based on force. I also consider that plain living is good for everybody, physically and mentally.
I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for oneself, one’s own family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace.
The greatest personalities that ever existed have been those who united human beings and put them on the road toward cooperation and effectiveness and peace. Those whom the world has held highest have helped to unite and not sever interconnectedness. They have not been the destroyers of differences but the harmonizer of differences.
For everyone of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out. The light doesn’t always necessarily have to be in your family; for me it was teachers and school.
If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.