The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying the only thing more impossible than stayin the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.g was leaving.
I look at the Augusteum,and I think that perhaps my life has not actually been so chaotic, after all. It is merely this world that is chaotic, bringing changes to us all that nobody could have anticipated. The Augusteum warns me to not to get attached to any obsolete ideas about who I am, what I represent, whom I belong to, or what function I may once have intended to serve. Yesterday I might have been a glorious monument to somebody, true enough--but tomorrow I could be a fireworks depository. Even in the Eternal City, says the silent Augusteum, one must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation.
You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control.
No matter what the industry you choose to ultimately invest all your time and energy in, be sure you're the owner, founder, and CEO. Remember, if you don't own it, you can't control it nor can you depend on it.
Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.
I filled the song with everything I wished I could teach him about life. I tried to reassure him with every line about how the world is hard and unfair sometimes, but that it's all OK beacuse he is so loved. He is surrounded by souls who would do anything to help him. And not only that- he has wisdom and patience of his own, buried deep inside his being, which will only reveal themselves over time and will always carry him through any trial. He is a gift from God to all of us.
Do little things every day that no one else seems to want to do, be patient, and success will find you.
The child is taught form earliest consciousness that she has these four brothers with her in the world wherever she goes, and that they will always look after her. The brothers inhabit the four virtues a person needs in order to be safe and happy in life: intelligence, friendship, strength and poetry. The brothers can be called upon in any critical situation for rescue and assistance. When you die, your four spirit brothers collet your soul and bring you to heaven.
ceremony is essential to humans: It's a circle that we draw around important events to separate the momentous from the ordinary. And ritual is a sort of magical safety harness that guides us from one stage of our lives into the next, making sure we don't stumble or lose ourselves along the way. Ceremony and ritual march us carefully right through the center of our deepest fears about change…
Psychologists suggest that we must reach back at least three generations to look for clues whenever we begin untangling the emotional legacy of any one family's history.
The philosopher Odo Marquard has noted a correlation in the German language between the word zwei, which means 'two,' and the word zweifel, which means 'doubt' - suggesting that two of anything brings the automatic possibility of uncertainty to our lives. Now imagine a life in which every day a person is presented with not two or even three but dozens of choices, and you can begin to grasp why the modern world has become, even with all its advantages, a neurosis-generating machine of the highest order. In a world of such abundant possibility, many of us simply go limp from indecision. Or we derail our life's journey again and again, backing up to try the doors we neglected on the first round, desperate to get it right this time. Or we become compulsive comparers - always measuring our lives against some other person's life, secretly wondering if we should have taken her path instead.
The Buddha taught that most problems - if only you give them enough time and space - will eventually wear themselves out.
All too often, those of us who choose to remain childless are accused of being somehow unwomanly or unnatural or selfish, but history teaches us that there have always been women who went through life without having babies.
Now that young girls like my twelve-year-old friend Mai are being exposed to modern Western women like me through crowds of tourists, they're experiencing those first critical moments of cultural hesitation. I call this the Wait-a-Minute Moment - that pivotal instant when girls from traditional cultures start pondering what's in it for them, exactly, to be getting married at the age of thirteen and starting to have babies not long after. They start wondering if they might prefer to make different choices for themselves, or any choices, for that matter. Once girls from closed societies start thinking such thoughts, all hell breaks loose.
I was struck - not for the first time in my years of travel - by how isolating contemporary American society can seem by comparison. Where I came from, we have shriveled down the notion of what constitutes 'a family unit' to such a tiny scale that it would probably be unrecognizable as a family to anybody in one of these big, loose, enveloping Hmong clans. You almost need an electron microscope to study the modern Western family these days.
There was no better path to autonomy for an ambitious young businesswoman than to be married off to a respectable corpse.
I also get that we women in particular must work very hard to keep our fantasies as clearly and cleanly delineated from our realities as possible, and that sometimes it can take years of effort to reach such a point of sober discernment.
How many people have I heard claim their children as the greatest accomplishment and comfort of their lives? It's the thing they can always lean on during a metaphysical crisis, or a moment of doubt about their relevancy - If I have done nothing else in this life, then at least I have raised my children well.But what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity? What if you step out? Where do you sit at the reunion? How do you mark time's passage without the fear that you've just fritted away your time on earth without being relevant? You'll need to find another purpose, another measure by which to judge whether or not you have been a successful human being. I love children, but what if I don't have any? What kind of person does that make me?Virginia Woolf wrote, Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword. On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where all is correct. But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course. Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous.
The Yogic path is about disentangling the built-in glitches of the human condition, which I'm going to over-simply define here as the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment. Different schools of thought over the centuries have found different explanation for man's apparently inherently flawed state. Taoists call it imbalance, Buddism calls it ignorance, Islam blames our misery on rebellion against God, and the Judeo-Christian tradition attributes all our suffering to original sin. Freudians say that unhappiness is the inevitable result of the clash between our natural drives and civilization's needs. (As my friend Deborah the psychologist explains it: Desire is the design flaw.) The Yogis, however, say that human discontentment is a simple case of mistaken identity. We're miserable because we think that we are mere individuals, alone with our fears and flaws and resentments and mortality. We wrongly believe that our limited little egos constitute our whole entire nature. We have failed to recognize our deeper divine character. We don't realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme Self who is eternally at peace. That supreme Self is our true identity, universal and divine. Before you realize this truth, say the Yogis, you will always be in despair, a notion nicely expressed in this exasperated line from the Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus: You bear God within you, poor wretch, and know it not.