The reality of loving God is loving him like he's a Superhero who actually saved you from stuff rather than a Santa Claus who merely gave you some stuff.
About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about?Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
Action is the activity of the rational soul, which abhors irrationality and must combat it or be corrupted by it. When it sees the irrationality of others, it must seek to correct it, and can do this either by teaching or engaging in public affairs itself, correcting through its practice. And the purpose of action is to enable philosophy to continue, for if men are reduced to the material alone, they become no more than beasts.
....I am inclined to think that these muscles and bones of mine would have gone off long ago to Megara or Boeotia—by the dog they would, if they had been moved only by their own idea of what was best.(tr Jowett)
It’s the poet we love in Caeiro, not the philosopher. What we really get from these poems is a childlike sense of life, with all the direct materiality of the child’s mind, and all the vital spirituality of hope and increase that exist in the body and soul of nescient childhood. Caeiro’s work is a dawn that wakes us up and quickens us; a more that material, more than anti-spiritual dawn. It’s an abstract effect, pure vacuum, nothingness.
Manlius ... took care in his invitations, actively sought to exclude from his circle crude and vulgar men like Caius Valerius. But they were all around; it was Manlius who lived in a dream world, and his bubble of civility was becoming smaller and smaller. Caius Valerius, powerful member of a powerful family, had never even heard of Plato. A hundred, even fifty years before, such an absurdity would have been inconceivable. Now it was surprising if such a man did know anything of philosophy, and even if it was explained, he would not wish to understand.
Eyes blinded by the fog of thingscannot see truth.Ears deafened by the din of thingscannot hear truth.Brains bewildered by the whirl of thingscannot think truth.Hearts deadened by the weight of thingscannot feel truth.Throats choked by the dust of thingscannot speak truth.
Nin knew how much humans loved money, riches, and material things—though he never really could understand why. The more technologically advanced the human species got, the more isolated they seemed to become, at the same time. It was alarming, how humans could spend entire lifetimes engaged in all kinds of activities, without getting any closer to knowing who they really were, inside.
But I do know we’re deficient in some way. We are too involved in materialistic things, and they don’t satisfy us. The loving relationships we have, the universe around us, we take these things for granted.
COMING FORTH INTO THE LIGHTI was born the dayI thought:What is?What was?AndWhat if?I was transformed the dayMy ego shattered,And all the superficial, materialThings that matteredTo me before,Suddenly ceasedTo matter.I really came into beingThe day I no longer cared aboutWhat the world thought of me,Only on my thoughts forChanging the world.
The materialistic view of happiness of our age starkly revealed in our understanding of the word luxury.
Happiness is not a thing - it is a feeling, a way of joyful living and being. It comes from inner fulfilment and appreciating the world you live in.
I think at the heart of so much restlessness of the day is a spiritual vacuum. There is a yearning for meaningful lives, a yearning for values we can commonly embrace. I hear an almost inaudible but pervasive discontent with the price we pay for our current materialism. And I hear a fluttering of hope that there might be more to life than bread and circuses.
Our lives are mere flashes of light in an infinitely empty universe. In 12 years of education the most important lesson I have learned is that what we see as “normal” living is truly a travesty of our potential. In a society so governed by superficiality, appearances, and petty economics, dreams are more real than anything anything in the “real world”. Refuse normalcy. Beauty is everywhere, love is endless, and joy bleeds from our everyday existence. Embrace it. I love all of you, all my friends, family, and community. I am ceaselessly grateful from the bottom of my heart for everyone. The only thing I can ask of you is to stay free of materialism. Remember that every day contains a universe of potential; exhaust it. Live and love so immensely that when death comes there is nothing left for him to take. Wealth is love, music, sports, learning, family and freedom. Above all, stay gold.
It's as if I had been going downhill when I thought I was going uphill. That's how it was. In society's opinion I was heading uphill, but in equal measure life was slipping away from me... And now it's all over. Nothing left but to die! So what's it all about? What's it for? It's not possible. It's not possible that life could have been as senseless and sickening as this. And if it has really been as sickening and senseless as this why do I have to die, and die in agony? There's something wrong. Maybe I didn't live as I should have done? came the sudden thought. But how can that be when I did everything properly? he wondered, instantly dismissing as a total impossibility the one and only solution to the mystery of life and death.
Greed is a contagious mental illness without which civilization as we know it would not have been possible.
The world economy would collapse if a significant number of people were to realize and then act on the realization that it is possible to enjoy many if not most of the things that they enjoy without first having to own them.
When selecting a one-night stand, a heterosexual woman who is materialistic is a trillion times more likely to choose a sexually unattractive poor man who seems rich over a sexually attractive rich man who seems poor.
Getting through life without a lot of money, possessions, and/or friends is admirable, especially if it is by choice.
The second most dangerous thing about money is that it leaves most of the people who have a lot of it with the unshakable belief that they are intelligent and well informed. The most dangerous thing about it is that it leaves most of the people who do not have a lot of money with the very same belief.
Some people will insult your intelligence by suddenly being nice or nicer to you once you make it … or they think you have.
Most of the very few people who would choose a good heart over riches would eventually use that to either make a lot of money, or attract men or women who are rich.
Japan likewise put her hopes of victory on a different basis from that prevalent in the United States. (...) Even when she was winning, her civilian statesmen, her High Command, and her soldiers repeated that this was no contest between armaments; it was pitting of our faith in things against their faith in spirit.
But in the wake of 'Bullet,' all the guys wanted to know was, 'How's it doing? How's it selling?' How to tell them I didn't give a flying fuck how it was doing in the marketplace, that what I cared about was how it was doing in the reader's heart?
All the wealth in the world is nothing, pointless - of no true value - if you yourself feel worthless.
Science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is born. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call 'soul' or 'spirit,' is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the 'soul' or the 'spirit' ceases likewise.I expressed these ideas long before the behaviorists, led by Pavlov in Russia and by Watson in the United States, proclaimed their new psychology. This apparently mechanistic conception is not antagonistic to an ethical conception of life.
The only way of life satisfying the need of all times must be motivated by incentives and rewards – materially, morally and spiritually because motivation for work is produced by incentives and rewards only, an aspect built into the fundamental specification of human nature itself. Any prescription not recognising this important aspect of life is bound to fail in the life-styles of human beings.
I am, indeed, an absolute materialist so far as actual belief goes; with not a shred of credence in any form of supernaturalism—religion, spiritualism, transcendentalism, metempsychosis, or immortality.
Renouncing false beliefs will not usher in the millennium. Few things about the strategy of contemporary apologists are more repellent than their frequent recourse to spurious alternatives. The lesser lights inform us that the alternative to Christianity is materialism, thus showing how little they have read, while the greater lights talk as if the alternative were bound to be a shallow and inane optimism. I don't believe that man will turn this earth into a bed of roses either with the aid of God or without it. Nor does life among the roses strike me as a dream from which one would not care to wake up after a very short time.
There are at least two ways to believe in the idea of quality. You can believe there's something ineffable going on within the human mind, or you can believe we just don't understand what quality in a mind is yet, even though we might someday. Either of those opinions allows one to distinguish quantity and quality. In order to confuse quantity and quality, you have to reject both possibilities. The mere possibility of there being something ineffable about personhood is what drives many technologists to reject the notion of quality. They want to live in an airtight reality that resembles an idealized computer program, in which everything is understood and there are no fundamental mysteries. They recoil from even the hint of a potential zone of mystery or an unresolved seam in one's worldview. This desire for absolute order usually leads to tears in human affairs, so there is a historical reason to distrust it. Materialist extremists have long seemed determined to win a race with religious fanatics: Who can do the most damage to the most people?