Self-Discovery Portal

Insightful Quotes

teacher Directory of Quotes:

I Have Staked My Body and Mind | Be Like Melting Snow | The Only Meditation | Man's Life Is a Day | Conquered by Self | Doubt | Non sibi: Not for Oneself | His Name Is Now | A Person | Man's Miseries | Bound to One's Ideals | Retreating From the Absurd | Gordian Knot | Salvation Experience | Sacrifice | Relative and Absolute (Buddha Nature) | Enlightenment | Guiding Light of Intuition | Presupposing the Existence Of a Non-Existent Thing | Chief feature of the Quoter | We're Talking About Enlightenment | To Go Beyond Yourself | Looking Back | Good Judgment | Clarity | Pawns in the Game | Achievement | Meditation | Transcendence of Thought | Lion or Gazelle.... | Within | Sentient vs. Insentient | Become a Fighter | Patience | Light of Awareness | Meditation | Persistence … and Grace | Outright Success is Dumb | The Pause that Refreshes | Zen No-Mind | Knowledge Is Awareness | Spiritual Homelessness | Confidence.… | Real Going-Within | Are You Balanced? | Anything Truly Important.… | Laundry | Magic vs. Miracle | Personal Transformation | Get the Facts and.… | Love that Appears to Be Personal | Time Is.… | Don't Wait for Inspiration | Sticking to It Is Key | Why Men Don't Know the Law of Life | I Didn't Ask | Clinging to Beliefs | Every Day | Not Spiritual Olympians | You Don't Exist? | Doubt Transports You | The Appeal of Love | Watching | Comfort | You Can Overcome It | One Quality of Greatness | The Time Has Come to Stop Fooling Around | Awake to the Life-Puzzle? | True Excellence | Ending Our Thirst | It Ain't the Things We Don't Know.… | The Lamps are Different | Anguish of Mind | A Struggle Against Selfishness | Sell Your Cleverness | Surrender | See All the Way Through | Undying Light | Desire | The Natural State | Let Me Remind You | The Only Meditation Technique | What Do You Call Yourself? | Milk from Thorns | Ripeness | Practice of Zen | Jesus to John | You Have to Steal | The Time of Life's Fulfillment | Your Chief Business | Beyond Mental Quiet | Between Nothing & Everything | Threefold Path | Is there eternal recurrence? | Life is Short video clip | Our mind has an amazing ability to split itself | Now is the accepted time | Meaning lies between the words | Only a fool | The little tragedies of men left me indifferent | The deaths do not impress me | All men are noble | Peep-holes of the Absolute | Enlightenment | The Cathars


I have staked my body and mind
To play dice on wager with my Love.
If I lose, my Love wins me
If I win, He becomes mine.
~ Kabir


“Be like melting snow: wash yourself of yourself.” ~ Rumi


The only meditation is what you devise for yourself. The best meditation is just to look at yourself: “Why did I think this?” or “What should I do more dynamically tomorrow?” ~ Richard Rose, from "Peace of Mind Despite Success" public talk (Akron, 1984)


Pindar: "Man's life is a day. What is he, what is he not? Man is the dream of a shadow."


"He who has conquered himself by the Self, he is the friend of himself; but he whose self is unconquered, his self acts as his own enemy like an eternal foe." ~ Bhagavad Gita


Voltaire sums it up best: "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."


Non sibi: not for oneself
      Determination: (Courage)
            > CONTINUALLY WORK for ways to accelerate your adventure….
            > DO NOT WORK FOR YOURSELF (very important)….
      From “Decision, Determination and Discrimination” by Richard Rose


"His name is Now, His nature is forever, none can his creatures from their maker sever." ~ From Thomas Traherne's poem “My Spirit” in NOWletter 233 November 2021 by Alan Mann


A person is neither a thing nor a process but an opening through which the Absolute can manifest. ~ Martin Heidegger, from "Love Expands"


All of man’s miseries come from not being able to sit alone quietly in a room. ~ Pascal


Each one is bound to his own ideals; he whose ideal is mortal must die when his ideal dies, he whose ideal is immortal must become immortal himself to attain it. ~ Franz Hartmann


Retreating from the absurd to the less absurd develops the intuitional computations…. ~ Richard Rose

  Gordian Knot

While it's comforting to find evidence that reconfirms one's beliefs, doing so is also dangerous. The researcher is apt to think that he has it all figured out, which is a prelude to stupidity. ~ John Rekenthaler

Do all things for the sake of a higher power, and it will correctly guide your every step. ~ Richard Rose

PS: A Gordian knot is a problem solvable only by bold action.

  Salvation Experience

When does an instinctive man become an emotional man? That's a step above. An instinctive man is a guy who loves to drink, he loves sex, he loves to fight, he loves power, playing, and that's it. The world is a playhouse, everything is material, and that's all that counts. His concept of life is, "When I can't have sex, let me be dead." (My concept of sex is, "When I depend on sex, shoot me," because it's a trap, that's all.) But the instinctive man falls in love. I'm saying man but this could be a woman as well. The instinctive person falls in love, and in so doing he touches into his emotional center, he respects somebody more than he respects himself. He falls in love with a woman, or she gets pregnant. He starts working selflessly for his children and he forgets about all these other games. I don't say they always do, but this is the graduation if he graduates.

Now, there's another form of this emotional release or growth. And that is the salvationistic experience, where a man falls in love with Jesus or Buddha or some figure he respects, and follows that person. It's no great contact with heaven. It's that he loses the worshiping of himself and his body. This is the key that is struck. From this comes a marvelous release. Sometimes they say, “Oh, I've made it, I've been saved. I confessed my sins and beat my head on the floor, and I'm satisfied now that I'm in touch.” Sure. This is the first step in spiritual growth, if they follow through on it. But what happens? Why do people leave churches? It's because these convictions come and go. The computer somehow is saying, “Maybe you snowed yourself.” Or maybe six months after you get married you realize that you're no longer worshipping this person and now you're working because you have to. Regardless, you're going to drift.
~ From a talk given by Richard Rose in Denver, CO on June 10, 1983 (transcript in the March 2016 TAT Forum).


Sacrifice is not even contemplated but IT IS THE ONLY WAY. There is a price-tag on everything & to get all you must give all; for less you only get a substitute.
~ Alfred Pulyan correspondence, October 6, 1960

  Relative & Absolute

The Buddha nature to me is nothing more than the vein of the absolute that's in every human being. But what will it take for it to be conscious, for the person to be conscious of it? What it amounts to basically, I maintain, is that everybody is unconscious; and when a person realizes the Buddha nature then the small-s self and the large-s Self are both conscious of each other for the first time.
~ Richard Rose, "Relative and Absolute" talk given at Ohio State University in 1978


… We're talking about Enlightenment, but at the same moment I warn you: Do not reach for Enlightenment. Do not reach for it. Because you're postulating something. The only thing you can see is erroneous thinking; this is the only path that you can follow. You can witness erroneous thinking that may get you into trouble or give you trauma. You retreat from that, and the path automatically takes you toward that which is correct – by avoiding the massive amount of that which is ridiculous. And that becomes a way of life.

You have to inhibit some of your energy outflow in order to accomplish anything. And you have to inhibit it quite a bit if you want to accomplish something on the maximum effort; and that maximum effort is self-attainment, or self-realization.

That'll give you more potential in whatever field you want. Whether it's making money or whatever. Spiritual laws are the same as financial laws: Results are proportional to energy applied.

~ Richard Rose, excerpts from part 4 of Richard Rose's "Intro to the Albigen System" talk.

  Guiding Light of Intuition

Whenever you are travelling in what I call the desert without any railroad tracks—you have no trail to go by—you have to have some beacon light, something to guide you. Logic will not do it; your faith alone will not do it; but intuition will. It will take you through the abstract realms.
     Any system that pretends to take you into becoming has to have some mechanism for facilitating your skill in becoming—the necessary skill—and that skill involves intuition. You can't argue it out logically, this is the whole thing.
     So once you hear it—it amounts to the business of closing doors. The human mind is like this room, and if they're pounding on a piano next door, or the sirens are singing outside that window, you're going to be distracted, and your computer's not going to work—because all this stuff is continually going to be injecting itself into your problem. So the secret of course is closing doors.
~ Richard Rose, Laws, Yardsticks, Exaltations.

  Presupposing the Existence Of a Non-Existent Thing

"Presupposing the existence of a non-existent thing and then wanting to get salvation for that imaginary 'I', you have to start and try to do so through the above-said four paths of yoga. [1. 'Act without attachment to the fruit thereof', says karma yoga. 2. 'Do not love any other thing; love God alone', says bhakti yoga. 3. 'By separating yourself from God, you have degraded yourself into a petty individual soul (jiva); go and unite with Him again', says raja yoga. 4. 'Know God', says jnana yoga.] When your sadhanas themselves become a means of giving life to the non-existent ego, how can they destroy it? To do any sadhana except Self-enquiry (atmavichara), the existence of the mind (jiva) is indispensable. For, how to perform those sadhanas without the mind? To try to destroy the ego by sadhanas other than Self-enquiry is to be just like a thief turning himself into a policeman to catch the thief who is none but himself. Only Self-enquiry can reveal the truth that the ego (mind or jiva) has no existence whatsoever!
     "So do not accept this ego, the truth of which you have not yet found out by scrutiny; deny it by giving no importance to its existence, root it out and burn it to extinction by attending to how or from what (whence) it rises!…. Sri Bhagavan used to say that nishkamya karma (desireless action) cannot be done so long as there is a sense of doership while performing the action." ~ Ramana Maharshi. See the PSI Activities page for a February 2019 intensive retreat.

  Chief Feature of the Quoter

"The chief feature of the Quoter is his manifest cowardice and inability to outline in his own words that which he believes." (Ouch! Richard Rose, The Albigen Papers.) ~ See the Maximum Systems of Enlightenment page.

  We're Talking About Enlightment

"… We're talking about Enlightenment, but at the same moment I warn you: Do not reach for Enlightenment. Do not reach for it. Because you're postulating something. The only thing you can see is erroneous thinking; this is the only path that you can follow. You can witness erroneous thinking that may get you into trouble or give you trauma. You retreat from that, and the path automatically takes you toward that which is correct—by avoiding the massive amount of that which is ridiculous. And that becomes a way of life."

"You have to inhibit some of your energy outflow in order to accomplish anything. And you have to inhibit it quite a bit if you want to accomplish something on the maximum effort; and that maximum effort is self-attainment, or self-realization."

"That'll give you more potential in whatever field you want. Whether it's making money or whatever. Spiritual laws are the same as financial laws: Results are proportional to energy applied." ~ Excerpts from part 4 of Richard Rose's "Intro to the Albigen System" talk (Dec. 2016 TAT Forum)

  To Go Beyond Yourself

Use your mind. Remember. Observe. You are not different from others. Most of their experiences are valid for you too. Think clearly and deeply, go into the entire structure of your desires and their ramifications. They are a most important part of your mental and emotional makeup and powerfully affect your actions. Remember, you cannot abandon what you do not know. To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself. ~ Nisargadatta, I Am That, Dialogue 10

  Looking Back

God made the senses turn outwards. Man therefore looks outwards, not into himself. But occasionally a daring soul, desiring immortality, has looked back and found himself. ~ Katha Upanishad

  Good judgment

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment. ~ Unbranded, a documentary of four recent Texas A&M grads riding mustang horses from Mexico to Canada.


The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already. But the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already without a shadow of doubt what is laid before him. ~ Leo Tolstoy

  Pawns in the Game

If I were to distill one main lesson from the research described in this book, it is that we are pawns in a game whose forces we largely fail to comprehend. We usually think of ourselves a sitting in the driver's seat, with ultimate control over the decisions we make and the direction our life takes; but, alas, this perception has more to do with our desires – with how we want to view ourselves – than with reality. ~ Dan Ariely, Predictably Irrational


The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense. ~ Thomas Edison


Meditation shouldn't be sitting there looking at your third eye or something like that. It should be arguing with yourself, analyzing within your own mind. I don't believe in sitting down for the purpose of meditating. I believe in productive thinking … to find out what your obstacle is. I don't tell you to pursue knowledge; I tell you to do things that will provoke your mind to think. ~ Richard Rose

  Transcendence of Thought

Transcendence of thought is not transcendence of self. Shifting the focus of attention away from thought and onto breath or body is a useful prelude to a meditation of self-inquiry, but as an entire meditative technique it is an exercise in self-forgetfulness. It may lead to a wonderful experience but the mind is simply resting on the I-thought and that I-self is having a very pleasant experience, while remaining safely hidden behind the cloak of mental quietude and physical ease. The notion of "coming into the body" is a form of engaging in what Pulyan describes as Ego1 <=> Ego2.* The experience generated from this meditative technique is not the absolute realization that Rose, Nisargadatta, Maharshi, and others speak about. There is always a desire and a need for experiences to be extended in duration and intensity in order to satisfy the ego's need for affirmation, progress, and the nagging, deep sense of lacking a final answer to the question of ultimate self-definition.
    *Alfred Pulyan wrote about the Ego dichotomizing itself in order to set up a dynamic of protecting and reinforcing a "boss" ego with the need created by having a subservient ego hard at supposed spiritual work of creating experiences and thoughts that affirmed ego-self. ~ Bob Cergol, 2014 Labor Day TAT Foundation gathering

  Lion or Gazelle....

Roger Banister was the first person to break the 4-minute mile; asked at age 83 by Piers Morgan what drove him, he said:
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle – when the sun comes up, you'd better be running."


"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  Sentient vs. Insentient

Object Seen (Insentient)
The body, a pot, etc.
The eye
The optic nerve-center
The mind
The individual self
Seer (Sentient)
The eye
The optic nerve-center (the brain)
The mind
The individual self / the ego
Pure Consciousness

"The mind is nothing else than the 'I'-thought. The mind and the ego are one and the same. Intellect, will, ego, and individuality are collectively the same mind." ~ Ramana Maharshi

  Become a Fighter

Q: I think that's what Ouspensky says; that the problem of studying dreams is you get involved with it, and then it complicates itself.

RR: Yes – I think that whenever you get into any bit of self-analysis you go through a phase of real complication. But then, by observing - not becoming involved in the labyrinth, but observing the labyrinth – I think it starts to level out, and you start to see a pattern then, a sensible pattern.

Q&A from Richard Rose public talk, Nostalgia (Case Western Reserve, 1978)

I don't want to discourage people from fighting. I believe that this is important - because even if you lose, you're a fighter. It's important to fight, because then you're a fighter. If you don't fight, you're a slug. You're just like a snail without a shell, or a snail in a shell, something that basically exists.

Richard Rose, from the same talk


"I acquired a central ability that was to help me through my entire career: patience. I'm serious. Patience is usually so underrated. I mean, for all those projects, from third grade all the way to eighth grade, I just learned things gradually, figuring out how to put electronics together without so much as cracking a book.... I learned to not worry so much about the outcome, but to concentrate on the step I was on and to try to do it as perfectly as I could when I was doing it." ~ Stephen Wozniak, iWoz

  Light of Awareness

At Home with the Inner Self "The key was finding that I should not try to direct my awareness. I had to let the light within direct me to the light within." ~ Jim Burns, At Home with the Inner Self


"Meditation shouldn't be sitting there looking at your third eye or something like that. It should be arguing with yourself, analyzing within your own mind. I don't believe in sitting down for the purpose of meditating. I believe in productive thinking … to find out what your obstacle is…. I don't tell you to pursue knowledge; I tell you to do things that will provoke your mind to think." ~ Richard Rose, excerpt from Mister Rose DVD.

  Persistence … and Grace

"That's one side of the equation – persistence. The one you have control over. The other side is grace. A person on the path has help. Once a person makes a commitment to the Truth – I mean truly demonstrates a sincere desire to find his Real Self at all cost – then this commitment will attract assistance and protection. Opportunities arise. Blocks are removed. Decisions may even be made for you." ~ Richard Rose, Zen and Common Sense talk

  Outright Success

"Outright success is dumb, disaster frequently eloquent. At least to the gardener who learns to listen." ~ Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

  • Pollan's book is on the philosophy of living.
  • Do we listen intelligently to what life may be trying to show us?

  The Pause that Refreshes

"It has seemed to me that each year one should pause to take stock of himself, to ask: Where am I going? What am I becoming? What do I wish to do and become?" ~ Louis L'Amour, The Walking Drum

  Zen No-Mind

"Now this is what they really mean in this Zen literature about no-mind. They mean the point where the head stops. And they talk occasionally about killing the Buddha, or killing the mind. But you can't kill your mind. These were terms that were either lost or had something wrong with the translation, or misinterpreted. The mind is killed for you. You can't set out to kill your own mind. The only thing you can do is set out to find the truth. But in the process of finding the truth, you have to somehow put a stop to this relative hassle that goes back and forth: 'It could be this but it also could be the opposite. Or let's look at it from two sides.' No, you have to go right down the middle. Look at it directly. Become one with it. You can't reason it out, back and forth." ~ Richard Rose, Definition of Zen talk at Kent State U, circa 1973

  Knowledge Is Awareness

The Lonesome Gods cover "Knowledge is awareness, and to it there are many paths, not all of them paved with logic. But sometimes one is guided through the maze by intuition. One is led to something felt on the wind, something seen in the stars, something that calls from the wastelands of the spirit. To receive the message, the mental pores must be open…." ~ Louis L'Amour, The Lonesome Gods

  Spiritual Homelessness

"It goes back, perhaps, to the fairy tales of childhood, to Hansel and Gretel, to Babes in the Wood, to Alice and Wonderland, to all half-luminous places that pleased the imagination as a child. It may go back still farther, to racial Druid memories, to an atavistic sense of safety and delight in an open forest. And after long years of spiritual homelessness, of nostalgia, here is that mystic loveliness of childhood again. Here is home. An old thread, long tangled, comes straight again." ~ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Cross Creek, writing about the effect of walking through her orange grove


Euripides "No one can confidently say that he will be living tomorrow." ~ Euripides

  Real Going-Within

going-within "I don't believe in the 'evolution of consciousness' line of thinking that is increasingly manifest in thinking about spiritual work. If anything, I see a devolution – as the manifestations of the least common denominators of human nature – albeit well-dressed – are recast en-masse as spiritual growth. The Perennial Way has become one of self-magnification and the self-delusion of 'knowing' things in esoteric literature simply because it is so widely available and widely read. Everyone 'knows' these days – and seeks affirmation from others – of course they know nothing as their preconceptions of spirituality blind them from seeing clearly. Real going within is experienced as a loss of self – and it takes a rare and unique seeker motivated at a very deep level to weather that." ~ Bob Cergol

  Are You Balanced?

sleeping puppy "When any mother animal raises her babies to survive in the world, she isn't thinking consciously about what it will take to teach them how to find food or how to spot a danger or how to follow the rules of behavior for being that particular animal. The babies learn from her what it takes to be a successful animal in that particular environment without a lot of extra effort on her part, much less bribes or punishment. Surviving, fitting in, and functioning in the world around them is their most fundamental motivation." Cesar Millan, Cesar's Rules

"I think of a balanced dog as one who is comfortable in his own skin." Millan, ibid.

  Anything Truly Important.…

"As any village elder will tell you, anything truly important is worth doing very, very slowly." ~ Greg Mortenson, Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan


"The point is, 99 percent of what you do in life I classify as laundry. It's stuff that has to be done, but you don't do it better than anybody else, and it's not worth much…. Once in a while, though, you do something that changes your life dramatically." ~ Ralph Wanger

  Magic vs. Miracle

Aunt Olivia: Honoria, what's the difference between magic and a miracle?
Honoria: A human can do magic. God do the miracle. Magic make the person think the power be in hisself. A miracle make him know the power belong to God.
~ Madeleine L'Engle, The Other Side of the Sun

  Personal Transformation

cocoon If you want to be a great magician,
focus on the one transformation
that's eternal & complete: know thyself.

  "You not only have to get the facts, you have to face the facts." ~ Paul Cabot, Treasurer of Harvard University

  "Love that appears to be personal is based on a mind-constructed sense of being separate. Love in this separate state involves a longing to merge with an other in order to be fulfilled." ~ Suzanne Segal, Collision with the Infinite (search-inside Amazon link)

  "Time is what prevents everything from happening at once." ~ John Wheeler (1911-2008)

  • "A visionary physicist and teacher who helped invent the theory of nuclear fission, gave black holes their name and argued about the nature of reality with Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr.…" N.Y. Times obit.
  • "Even after he had achieved fame, he continued to teach freshman and sophomore physics, saying that the young minds were the most important." Wikipedia article
  • Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said of Dr. Wheeler, "For me, he was the last Titan, the only physics superhero still standing." (ibid.)
  • The black hole "teaches us that space can be crumpled like a piece of paper into an infinitesimal dot, that time can be extinguished like a blown-out flame, and that the laws of physics that we regard as 'sacred,' as immutable, are anything but," he wrote in his 1999 autobiography, Geons, Black Holes & Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics. (ibid.)

  Don't Wait for Inspiration

"We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action." ~ Frank Tibolt

  Sticking to It Is Key

"Sticking to it is key. Richard J. Daley's one ambition was to become mayor of Chicago. Not President, not ambassador to the U.N., just mayor of Chicago. And since he already was mayor of Chicago, his life was much simpler. I thought that was worth emulating." ~ Ralph Wanger

  Why Men Don't Know the Law of Life

"The reason men don't know the law of life is because they're afraid to look Eternity in the face." ~ Erle Stanley Gardner, The Law of Drifting Sand

  I Didn't Ask

"I took space and time for granted. I did not ask where I had been before my birth or after my death. I did not even recognize the problem of my own death; it was something I left to be explained later." ~ Colin Wilson, The Mind Parasites

  Clinging to Beliefs

"Charles Darwin used to say that whenever he ran into something that contradicted a conclusion he cherished, he was obliged to write the new finding down within 30 minutes. Otherwise his mind would work to reject the discordant information, much as the body rejects transplants. Man's natural inclination is to cling to his beliefs, particularly if they are reinforced by recent experience…." ~ Warren Buffett, Dec. 10, 2001 Fortune magazine

  Every Day

"Every day, therefore, should be regulated as if it were the one that brings up the rear, the one that rounds out and completes our lives." ~ Seneca (Roman philosopher and statesman)

  Not Spiritual Olympians

"The point is to find a practice and do it. Find a teacher that resonates with you and plunge in, do the work until you run into a wall, then try again. Work the system until you are at a dead end, then try again, only moving on when you've truly beaten your head against the wall and broken your tools. Then find a new system and begin again. Again and again, falling and rising is how we make progress.
    "The teachers we read about are not spiritual Olympians. The search is accomplished through ordinary commitment applied to an extraordinary idea."
~ Shawn Nevins, editorial comment in the December 2008 TAT Forum

  You Don't Exist?

"… The one thing neuroscience cannot find is the loom of cells that creates the self. If neuroscience knows anything, it is that there is no ghost in the machine: there is only the vibration of the machinery. Your head contains a hundred billion electric cells, but not one of them is you or knows or cares about you. In fact, you don't even exist. The brain is nothing but an infinite regress of matter, reducible to the callous laws of physics."
~ Jonah Lehrer, Proust Was a Neuroscientist

  Doubt Transports You

"Doubt transports you to the truth. Who does not doubt fails to inquire. Who does not inquire fails to gain insight. Without insight, you remain blind and perplexed."
Al-Ghazali, Sufi master (1058-1111)

  The Appeal of Love

"The idealism of youthful love with its whisper of immortality fades, but the fortunate person finds a new direction for pursuit of the best that life has to offer. The appeal of love is the loss of the boundary that traps us in our conviction of individuality, of being a thing apart. This seeming separation also leaves us feeling threatened with being overwhelmed and subject to annihilation. It is the cocoon or egg of the undefined self."
See The Language of Love in the articles section of this site.


"Sometimes you can observe a lot by watching."
Yogi Berra


"Comfort is the enemy of achievement."
Farrah Gray, who grew up in a single-parent family in the Chicago projects and became a millionaire at 14.

  You Can Overcome It

"I've worn glasses since I was six years old," he said, "and of course, they called me four-eyes and a lot of other things, too. That's hard on a boy. It makes him lonely, and it gives him an inferiority complex, and he has a hard time overcoming it."
    He paused a moment, still smiling, then said, "Of course, we didn't know what an inferiority complex was in those days. But you can overcome it. You've got to fight for everything you do. You've got to be above those calling you names, and you've got to do more work than they do, but it usually comes out all right in the end."
Harry Truman, in Merle Miller's Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman

See Los Niños Héroes in the articles section of this site.

  One Quality of Greatness

"There is one quality of greatness that a soldier appreciates perhaps more than any other, that is, the selfless willingness to be of service to others without thought of personal reward or danger."
George Marshall, in an address to the 80th anniversary of the Salvation Army, whose men and women Marshall admired for "their standards of loyalty and discipline and their simplicity and selfless devotion to duty."

George Catlett Marshall, Jr. (1880-1959) was an American military leader, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense. Once noted as the "organizer of victory" by Winston Churchill for his leadership of the Allied victory in World War II, Marshall supervised the U.S. Army during the war and was the chief military advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. As Secretary of State he gave his name to the Marshall Plan, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. ~ Wikipedia

See A Self-Effacing Man in the articles section of this site.

  The Time Has Come to Stop Fooling Around

"Who am I; who are you? Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Who or what is God? What is absolute reality?

"The time has come to stop fooling around. It's time to get the answer – not from someone else, not someone else's version of the answer – your own answer, arrived at yourself from the depth of your very own being.

"Here and now, you can begin this personal effort to determine just what Fact, Principle, Reality, Truth ITSELF is. In spite of all that mankind has been told for centuries, this is not an impossible task! It is not hard to do. It is not even an uphill struggle. It is the happiest thing you will ever undertake! As one divests himself of former beliefs and opinions and begins to arrive at his own concept of God, through his own effort, from out the wisdom of his own heart, then God, Reality, Truth reveals Itself to that one – just as it has been said, 'Seek and ye shall find.'

"Let the beliefs go. Let what 'they say' go. Drop all the old personal opinions no matter how near and dear they seem. You start anew, turning within to the heart. Then when you arrive at your own meaning of God, you happily find you are also discovering your own real Identity and its childlike simplicity."
William Samuel, 2 + 2 = Reality

  Awake to the Life-Puzzle?

  • Are you a lonely puzzle-piece looking for your spot in the puzzle?
  • Or maybe a puzzle with an aching emptiness at the middle?
  • Is there a way to complete the puzzle with full satisfaction?

Jigsaw alarm clock: The puzzle pieces fire out from the clock at the set time. Wanna shut that dreaded noise off? Sorry, gotta complete the puzzle first.

  True excellence takes sacrifice, mistakes, and enormous amounts of effort.
Rafe Esquith, Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire

  Silent prayer or any other kind of meditation and contemplation without action in the world is like asking God to end our thirst without our drinking water.
William Samuel

  It ain't the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so.
Artemus Ward

  The lamps are different, but the Light is the same. So many garish lamps in the dying brain's lamp-shop. Forget about them.

  One must undergo all the anguish of mind that the flesh is heir to, in order to see the wants of others.
Joseph Sadony, from A Second Book of Crumbs from the Table

  All lives are a struggle against selfishness.
John McCain, from Worth the Fighting For

  Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.

  Leave it to Him. Surrender unreservedly. One of two things must be done. Either surrender because you admit your inability and also require a Higher Power to help you; or investigate into the cause of misery, go into the Source and merge into the Self. Either way you will be free from misery. God never forsakes one who has surrendered. Mamekam saranam vraja. [Take refuge in Me.]
Talks with Ramana Maharshi (no. 363)

  I spent over thirty years journeying; you people were not even born when I found the way. If younger folk believe what I am talking about, you will step back each day, look at yourselves, and see all the way through.
Foyan (1067-1120), from Instant Zen: Waking Up in the Present, translated by Thomas Cleary

  There are men of strange taste who seem to like the resultant gambler's world of complete uncertainty wherein nothing may be trusted and only illusions are left to feed the yearning for belief. But for all those of deeper religious need, the death of hope for certainty is the ultimate tragedy of absolute pessimism -- not the relative pessimism of a Buddha, a Christ, or a Schopenhauer, who each saw the hopeless darkness of this dark world as well as a Door leading to the undying Light, but rather a pessimism so deep that there is no hope for Light anywhere. Somewhere there must be certainty if the end of life is to be more than eternal despair. And to find this certainty something other than criticism is required.
Franklin Merrell-Wolff, from Philosophy of Consciousness Without an Object

  I went on to discover that in its deepest sense, the will is not primarily the faculty of desire for anything known, but rather, the desire for something unknown, animate desire for something that lies beyond ourselves, a longing for something we know is missing in us.…
Bernadette Roberts, from Contemplative: Autobiography of the Early Years

  The only difference between us is that I am aware of my natural state, while you are bemused.… We discover it by being earnest, by searching, enquiring, questioning daily and hourly, by giving one's life to this discovery.

  Let me remind you
That the perceived
Cannot perceive.
Huang Po

  The only meditation is what you devise for yourself. The best meditation is just to look at yourself: "Why did I think this?" or "What should I do more dynamically tomorrow?"
Richard Rose, from Peace of Mind Despite Success talk (Akron, 1984)

  I tell people to get to know themselves. Some people think this means what beginners observe, and consider it easy to understand. Reflect more carefully, in a more leisurely manner, what do you call your self?
Foyan (1067-1120) from Instant Zen: Waking Up in the Present, translated by Thomas Cleary

  Part of the system I advise in The Albigen Papers is that we make milk from thorns. These very things which are negatives can be turned, the energy taken from them, and this energy can be used in progression -- in finding goals faster.
Richard Rose, from the Boston College lecture in The Direct-Mind Experience

  If the consciousness is getting restless to know the Self, it will throw away everything and run to the goal.
Nisargadatta Maharaj

  The practice of Zen has no secret, except standing on the verge of life and death.
Takeda Shingen, 16th Century Japanese warlord

  John said: "Master, is there any material universe?"
Jesus answered: "No."
John asked: "Is there a material body?"
Jesus hesitated a long time and finally said: "Saints believed that their bodies were fashioned of clay and this believing brought them death."
Jesus said: "Let not him who seeketh cease from seeking until he hath found:
"... and when he hath found, he shall be amazed.
"... and when he hath been amazed, he shall reign.
"... and when he shall reign, he shall have rest.
"... the Kingdom of Heaven is within you and whoever shall know himself shall find it.
"... strive, therefore, to know yourselves and ye shall know that ye are in the City of God, and ye are the City."

This dialogue was said to have come from a manuscript found in Oxyrynchus in Egypt on the back side of a land-surveyor list of measurements. It appeared in the TAT Journal Vol. 2, No. 1 (issue 6) -- see the TAT Journal archive -- and was believed to reside in the British Museum, which apparently wasn't true. There were three papyrus fragments in Greek found during archeological excavations on the site of an ancient library at Oxyrhynchus in 1897-1903. The Nag Hammadi discovery in 1945 of a complete version of the lost "Gospel of Thomas" in Coptic made it possible to identify the fragments as coming from a Greek edition of Thomas. You can see the twenty sayings from those Oxyrynchus fragments on the site.

  You have to steal your spirituality [from the appetites].
Richard Rose, Introduction to the Albigen System

  Where the thinking path is exhausted
and the roots of life cease,
there the self becomes tranquil
and the time of life's fulfillment arrives.

  "How is it that we need all this prodding, all these warnings and earnest invitations and promises of infinite rewards, to persuade us to take a really close look at ourselves? Why don't all intelligent and serious people make it their chief business in life to find out whose life it is?" - Douglas Harding, "Self-Enquiry: Some Objections Answered," from Look for Yourself: The Science and Art of Self-Realization

  Ramana Maharshi explained to Paul Brunton the advantage of self-enquiry, 'Mental quiet is easier to attain and earlier, but the goal is mental destruction. Most paths lead to the first, whereas self-enquiry leads to it quickly and then to the second.' In other words, other means may also lead to the subsidence of the mind, but it would rise again. For, they imply the retention of the mind as the instrument of practice, which would lead to its perpetuation. The ego [Note: RM used the terms ego, mind, and small-s self synonymously] may take different and subtler forms at different stages of one's practice but it is itself never destroyed."
Ramana Gita: Dialogues with Sri Ramana Maharshi

  Wisdom tells me I'm Nothing.
Love tells me I'm Everything.
Between the two my life flows.

  "I recommend for those not otherwise addicted, to embark upon a threefold path.… I would explain the mechanism as a sort of troika, the vehicle being the individual, and the three powers that are pulling the vehicle with proportionate pace are the Truth, the Law of the Contractor (brotherhood), and the Life of Search.…

"I feel that a sincere seeker who possessed the determination to find the Truth at any cost, suffering, or expenditure of energy, would most certainly find the Truth, if he followed the threefold path with an open mind. The part of the path which is hardest to realize is that dealing with the brotherhood or school.… This latter requires compatibility with a group of people and requires that we find a group that is doing something worthwhile."

From The Albigen Papers by Richard Rose. Click here for the Threefold Path by Richard Rose.

  Ouspensky: "Very well," I said, "tell me what you think of recurrence. Is there any truth in this, or none at all. What I mean is: Do we live only this once and then disappear, or does everything repeat and repeat itself, perhaps an endless number of times, only we do not remember it?"

Gurdjieff: "This idea of repetition," said G., "is not the full and absolute truth, but it is the nearest possible approximation of the truth. In this case truth cannot be expressed in words. But what you say is very near to it. And if you understand why I do not speak of this, you will be still nearer to it. What is the use of a man knowing about recurrence if he is not conscious of it and if he himself does not change?"

From In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky.

  Clever Life is Short film clip. Requires Windows Media Player or equivalent software. Takes 5 - 10 minutes to download at modem speeds.

  "Our mind has an amazing ability to split itself. The effect of this on the seeker of self-knowledge is to lead him about in endless circles of egos, never getting a true look at himself. 'The world is divided into people who think they are right' also applies to the world inside our heads." ~ Bob Fergeson's Mystic Missal Newsletter for February 2002.

From Towards Democracy by Edward Carpenter (1844-1929)

"Amid all the turmoil and the care - the worry, the fever, the anxiety,
The gloomy outlook, fears, forebodings,
The effort to keep up with the rush of supposed necessities, supposed duties,
The effort to catch the flying point of light, to reach the haven of Peace - always in the future -
Amid all, glides in the little word Now.

"As when the winds of March with their long brooms sweep the dead leaves from the surface of the ground, and the Earth in virgin beauty with the growing grass once more appears;
So when all this debris of thought from the Past, of anxiety about the Morrow, is at last swept away,
Does the vast ever-Present beneath reveal its perfect rondure."

  "Consciousness, descending from above the field of subject-object knowledge, is distorted just as soon as it is forced into the relative form of expression. In the latter field, discursive formulation has finished its task when it has finally shown what non-relative Knowledge is not. It clears the ground so that no obstruction remains for entering the Darkness and Silence. But when the 'Voice of Silence' speaks into the relative world, the meaning lies between the words, as it were, rather than in the direct content of the words themselves.… We may say that the sequence of words is like the obverse side of an embroidered design. One must turn to the other side of the cloth to see the real figure.…" ~ Franklin Merrell-Wolff, Experience and Philosophy

  "Only a fool proclaims he is a spirit and a body. What we are is a body attempting to discover if it has a spirit." ~ Finding Balance by Shawn Nevins, in the November TAT Forum.

  "I looked, as it were, over the world, asking: 'What is there of interest here? What is there worth doing?' I found but one interest: the desire that other souls should also realize this that I had realized, for in it lay the one effective key for the solving of their problems. The little tragedies of men left me indifferent. I saw one great Tragedy, the cause of all the rest, the failure of man to realize his own Divinity. I saw but one solution, the Realization of that Divinity." ~ Franklin Merrell-Wolff, Experience and Philosophy

  "These tales of love are what moves me. The deaths do not impress me. It is the ever present theme of Love manifesting in human relationship and all life that I find overwhelmingly poignant." ~ The Recent Tragedy by Bob Cergol, in the October TAT Forum.

  "All men are noble ... they just have to take the role that allows them to learn about love." ~ Adam, from "Tales of Love" by Richard Rose, in the September 2001 TAT Forum.

  "These forms are like peep-holes, through which the Absolute gazes -- back into Itself." ~ Acceptance and Letting Go by Bob Cergol, in the August 2001 TAT Forum.

  "Enlightenment: The stunning realization that you are eternal, and are no longer alive." ~ Definitions by Shawn Nevins, in the July 2001 TAT Forum.

  [The Cathars of medieval France, who were exterminated as heretics by Crusaders and Inquisition, had the idea that] "the soul is 'not-created' and being a particle of divine substance, is exiled into a wicked world, prisoner of Matter and Time which have forced it to forget its true essence." - Michel Roquebert, The Cathar Religion (Editions Loubatieres). See The Voice of the Cathars in the June 2001 TAT Forum for a fascinating look at their story.


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