The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
Love your enemies, for they determine who you are.
The Fantasy is a reassurance -- a promise that the peace of Paradise... is not to be lost.
It is only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes the king of himself if not of the world.
Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.
Your bliss can guide you to that transcendent mystery, because bliss is the welling up of the energy of the transcendent wisdom within you.
Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up.
Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up. The earth must be broken to bring forth life. If the seed does not die there is no plant. Bread results from the death of wheat. Life lives on lives. Our own life lives on the acts of other people. If you are lifeworthy, you can take it.
What each must seek in his life was never on land or sea. It is something out of his own unique potentiality for experience. Something that never has been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.
For Shinto, at root, is a religion not of sermons but of awe: which is a sentiment that may or may not produce words, but in either case goes beyond them.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.
We must be willing to get rid of
the life we've planned, so as to have
the life that is waiting for us.
The old skin has to be shed
before the new one can come.
If we fix on the old, we get stuck.
When we hang onto any form,
we are in danger of putrefaction.
Hell is life drying up.
For the bliss of the deep abode is not lightly abandoned in favor of the self-scattering of the wakened state,.
If you want to understand what's most important to a society, don't examine its art or literature, simply look at its biggest buildings.
When I was in India I met and conversed briefly with Shri Atmananda Guru of Trivandrum, and the question he gave me to ponder was this: 'Where are you between two thoughts?
Christianity isn't moving people's lives today. What's moving people's lives is the stock market and the baseball scores. What are people excited about? It's a totally materialistic level that has taken over the world. There isn't even an ideal that anybody's fighting for.
The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.
Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human manifestation.
I think of mythology as the homeland of the muses, the inspirers of art, the inspirers of poetry. To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you.
They thought that it would be a disgrace to go forth as a group. Each entered the forest at a point that he himself had chosen, where it was darkest and there was no path. If there is a path it is someone else's path and you are not on the adventure.
Enlarge the pupil of the eye, so that the body with its attendant personality will no longer obstruct the view. Immortality is then experienced as a present fact.
The realms of the gods and demons -- heaven, purgatory, hell -- are of the substance of dreams. Myth, in this view, is the dream of the world.
Poets are simply those who have made a profession and a lifestyle of being in touch with their bliss.
The myth is the public domain and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn't, you've got a long adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.
Myths are so intimately bound to culture, time, and place that unless the symbols, the metaphors, are kept alive by constant recreation through the arts, the life just slips away from them.
It is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue.
And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal --carries the cross of the redeemer-- not in the bright moments of his tribe's great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair.
The function of ritual, as I understand it, is to give form to human life, not in the way of a mere surface arrangement, but in depth.
The senses are a kind of reason. Taste, touch and smell, hearing and seeing, are not merely a means to sensation, enjoyable or otherwise, but they are also a means to knowledge -- and are, indeed, your only actual means to knowledge.
Man should not be in the service of society, society should be in the service of man. When man is in the service of society, you have a monster state, and that's what is threatening the world at this minute.
Read myths. They teach you that you can turn inward, and you begin to get the message of the symbols. Read other people's myths, not those of your own religion, because you tend to interpret your own religion in terms of facts -- but if you read the other ones, you begin to get the message.
Each of us has capacities. The real trick is knowing the machinery of the boat in which you are crossing the channel.
One can experience an unconditional affirmation of life only when one has accepted death, not as contrary to life, but as an aspect of it.
A woman is a vehicle of life. Life has overtaken her. Woman is what it is all about-the giving of birth and the giving of nourishment.
You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.
Where there is a way or path,
it is someone else's path.
You are not on your own path.
If you follow someone else's way,
you are not going to realize
No tribal rite has yet been recorded which attempts to keep winter from descending; on the contrary: the rites all prepare the community to endure, together with the rest of nature, the season of the terrible cold.
There's something inside you that knows when you're in the center, that knows when you're on the beam or off the beam. And if you get off the beam to earn money, you've lost your life. And if you stay in the center and don't get any money, you still have your bliss.
Suddenly you hit on something that the student really responds to, you can see the eyes open and the complexion change. The life possibility has opened there. All you can say to yourself is, I hope this child hangs on to that.
The images of Myth are reflections of Spiritual and Depth potentialities of every one of us. Through contemplating those we evoke those powers in our own lives to operate through ourselves.
In America we have people from all kinds of backgrounds, all in a cluster, together, and consequently law has become very important in this country. Lawyers and law are what hold us together. There is no ethos.
Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life
seems most challenging. Negativism to the pain and ferocity of life is negativism to life. We are not there until we can say 'yea' to it all.
If you see your path laid out in front of you -- Step one, Step two, Step three -- you only know one thing ... it is not your path. Your path is created in the moment of action. If you can see it laid out in front of you, you can be sure it is someone else's path. That is why you see it so clearly.
Life is but a mask worn on the face of death. And is death, then, but another mask? 'How many can say,' asks the Aztec poet, 'that there is, or is not, a truth beyond?'
The actual point in question, throughout the centuries of Christian persecution, has never been faith in God, but faith in the Bible as the word of God, and in the Church (this Church or that) as the interpreter of that word.
Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end.
Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end. The exclusivism of there being only one way in which we can be saved, the idea that there is a single religious group that is in sole possession of the truth--that is the world as we know it that must pass away. What is the kingdom? It lies in our realization of the ubiquity of the divine presence in our neighbors, in our enemies, in all of us.
How teach again, however, what has been taught correctly and incorrectly learned a thousand thousand times, throughout the millenniums of mankind's prudent folly? That is the hero's ultimate difficult task.
Questing... is not an ego trip; it is an adventure to bring into fulfillment your gift to the world, which is yourself.
It takes courage to do what you want. Other people have a lot of plans for you... Follow your bliss.
Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.
The Garden is a metaphor for the following: our minds, and our thinking in terms of pairs of opposites -- man and woman, good and evil -- are as holy as that of a god.
Just as anyone who listens to the muse will hear, you can write out of your own intention or out of inspiration. There is such a thing. It comes up and talks. And those who have heard deeply the rhythms and hymns of the gods, can recite those hymns in such a way that the gods will be attracted.
The notion of this universe, its heavens, hells, and everything within it, as a great dream dreamed by a single being in which all the dream characters are dreaming too, has in India enchanted and shaped the entire civilization.
But the makers of legend have seldom rested content to regard the world's great heroes as mere human beings who broke past the horizons that limited their fellows and returned such boons as any man with equal faith and courage might have found.
Mythology tells us that where you stumble, there your treasure is ... The world is a match for us, and we're a match for the world. And where it seems most challenging lies the greatest invitation to find deeper and greater power in ourselves.
You don't have to believe that there was a King Arthur to get the significance of those stories, but Christians say we have to believe there was a Christ, or the miracles don't make sense.
The goal is to live with God like composure on the full rush of energy, like Dionysus riding the leopard, without being torn to pieces.
He must put aside his pride, his virtue, beauty and life and bow or submit to the absolutely intolerable.
At such moments, you realize that you and the other are, in fact, one. It's a big realization. Survival is the second law of life. The first is that we are all one.
It's characteristic of democracy that majority rule is understood as being effective not only in politics but also in thinking. In thinking, of course, the majority is always wrong.
How do you find the divine power in yourself? The word enthusiasm means 'filled with a god,' so what makes you enthusiastic? Follow it. So I have a little word: follow your bliss. The bliss is the message of God to yourself. That's where your life is.
You don't ask what a dance means. You enjoy it. You don't ask what the world means. You enjoy it. You don't ask what you mean. You enjoy it.
The priests used to say that faith can move mountains, and nobody believed them. Today the scientists say that they can level mountains, and nobody doubts them.
Breaking out is following your bliss pattern, quitting the old place, starting your hero journey, following your bliss. You throw off yesterday as the snake sheds its skin.
The experience of Eternity right here and now, is the function of life.
The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here is the place to have the experience.
Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.
The Navajo have that wonderful image of what they call the pollen path. The Navajo say, 'Oh, beauty before me, beauty behind me, beauty to the right of me, beauty to the left of me, beauty above me, beauty below me, I'm on the pollen path.'
A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. A goal is what specifically you intend to make happen. Dreams and goals should be just out of your present reach but not out of sight. Dreams and goals are coming attractions in your life.
At first you might find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred space and use it, eventually something will happen. Your sacred space is where you find yourself again and again.
We know that Jesus could not have ascended to heaven because there is no physical heaven anywhere in the universe. Even ascending at the speed of light, Jesus would still be in the galaxy.
You know, when real trouble comes your humanity is awakened. The fundamental human experience is that of compassion.
It is not only that there is no hiding place for the gods from the searching telescope and microscope; there is no such society any more as the gods once supported.
This is an important point about symbols: they do not refer to historical events; they refer through historical events to spiritual or psychological principles and powers that are of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and that are everywhere.
The idea of the Bodhisattva is the one who out of his realization of transcendence participates in the world. The imitation of Christ is joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.
There's nothing you can do that's more important than being fulfilled. You become a sign, you become a signal, transparent to transcendence; in this way, you will find, live, and become a realization of your own personal myth.
We keep thinking of deity as a kind of fact, somewhere; God as a fact. God is simply our own notion of something that is symbolic of transcendence and mystery. The mystery is what's important.
The theme of the Grail is the bringing of life into what is known as 'the wasteland.' The wasteland is the preliminary theme to which the Grail is the answer... It's the world of people living inauthentic lives -- doing what they are supposed to do.
There is no make-believe about heaven, future bliss, and compensation, to alleviate the bitter majesty, but only utter darkness, the void of unfulfillment, to receive and eat back the lives that have been tossed forth from the womb only to fail.
When you follow your bliss a kind of track opens up, that's always been there, waiting for you. And the life that you should be living, is the one that you will be living.
If you follow your bliss you will find a path laid out before you that has been waiting for you all along and you will begin to live the life you ought to be living.
Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it.
Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.
You have to have a feeling for where you are. You've got only one life to live and you don't have to live it for six people. Pay attention to it.
All the old bindings are broken. Cosmological centers now are anywhere and everywhere. The earth is a heavenly body, most beautiful of all, and all poetry is now archaic that fails to match the wonder of this view.
Successful marriage is leading innovative lives together, being open, non-programmed. It's a free fall: how you handle each new thing as it comes along. As a drop of oil on the sea, you must float, using intellect and compassion to ride the waves.
The mighty hero of extraordinary powers, able to lift Mount Govardhan on a finger, and to fill himself with the terrible glory of the universe, is each of us: not the physical self visible in the mirror, but the King within.
If you live with the myths in your mind, you will find yourself always in mythological situations. They cover everything that can happen to you. And that enables you to interpret the myth in relation to life, as well as life in relation to myth.
The departure from the world is regarded not as a fault, but as the first step into that noble path at the remotest turn of which illumination is to be won.
The best things cannot be told, the second best are misunderstood. After that comes civilized conversation; after that, mass indoctrination; after that, intercultural exchange.
Your adventure has to be coming out of your own interior. If you are ready for it then doors will open where there were no doors before, and where there would not be doors for anyone else. And you must have courage. It's the call to adventure, which means there is no security, no rules.
When before the beauty of a sunset or a mountain, you pause and exclaim, 'Ah,' you are participating in divinity.
You yourself are participating in the evil, or you are not alive. Whatever you do is evil for somebody. This is one of the ironies of the whole creation.
When we talk about settling the world's problems, we're barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It's a mess. It has always been a mess. We're not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.
Every religion, every mythology is true in this sense: It is true as metaphorical of the human and cosmic mystery.
The seizure of passionate love can be, in such a context, only illicit, breaking in upon the order of one's dutiful life in virtue as a devastating storm.
If you realize what the real problem is-losing yourself-you realize that this itself is the ultimate trial.
Every moment is utterly unique and will not be continued in eternity. This fact gives life its poignancy and should concentrate your attention on what you are experiencing now.
I don't think people are really seeking the meaning of Life. I think we're seeking an experience of being alive…we want to feel the rapture of being alive.
I always feel uncomfortable when people speak about ordinary mortals because I've never met an ordinary man, woman or child.
Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream.
Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamic of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problems and solutions sown are directly valid for all mankind.
We have today to learn to get back into accord with the wisdom of nature and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea.
We have today to learn to get back into accord with the wisdom of nature and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea. To say that divinity informs the world and all things is condemned as pantheism. But pantheism is a misleading word. It suggests that a personal god is supposed to inhabit the world, but that is not the idea at all. The idea is trans-theological. It is of an indefinable, inconceivable mystery, thought of as a power, that is the source and end and supporting ground of all life and being.
Mythology helps you to identify the mysteries of the energies pouring through you. Therein lies your eternity.
The experience of mystery comes not from expecting it but through yielding all your programs, because your programs are based on fear and desire. Drop them and the radiance comes.
Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery.
And that Aha! that you get when you see an artwork that really hits you is, 'I am that.' I am the very radiance of energy that is talking to me through this painting.
When you no longer are compelled by desire and fear ... when you have seen the radiance in eternity from all forms of time ... when you follow your bliss ... doors will open where you would not have thought there were doors ... and the world will step in and help.
Change the focus of the eye. When you have done that, then the end of the world as you formerly knew it will have occurred, and you will experience the radiance of the divine presence everywhere, here and now.
It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward.
It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those that tend to tie it back.
If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.
There are something like 18 billion cells in the brain alone. There are no two brains alike; there are no two hands alike; there are no two human beings alike. You can take your instructions and your guidance from others, but you must find your own path.
God is an intelligible sphere-a sphere known to mind, not to the senses-whose center is everywhere and whose circumference nowhere.
The hero, whether god or goddess, man or woman, the figure in a myth or the dreamer of a dream discovers and assimilates his opposite (his own unsuspected self) either by swallowing it or by being swallowed.
There is a God inside my PC. An Old-Testament God with lots of arbitrary rules and utterly no mercy.
The boy answers, Don't ask unless you are willing to be hurt.
Indra says, I ask. Teach. (That, by the way, is a good Oriental idea: you don't teach until you are asked. You don't force your mission down people's throats.)
There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts, and those who know that they are not facts. Those who know they are not facts are what we call atheists, and those who think they are facts are religious. Which group really gets the message?
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder. Fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won.
God is within you. You yourself are your creator. If you find that place in yourself from which you brought this thing about, you will be able to live with it and affirm it, perhaps even enjoy it, as your life.
From the perspective of the source, the world is a majestic harmony of forms pouring into being, exploding, and dissolving. But what the swiftly passing creatures experience is a terrible cacophony of battle cries and pain.
When your mind is simply trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image.
Mythology may, in a real sense, be defined as other people's religion. And religion may, in a sense, be understood as popular misunderstanding of mythology.
When you have lived your individual life in your own adventurous way and then look back upon its course, you will find that you have lived a model human life, after all.