Both the particulars and the whole of all personal suffering stem from overlooking the truth of who you are in favor of the story of who you are, which is ego.
To a two-year-old who is just beginning to sense his or her individualism, that story can start out as very pleasurable or grandiose, inviting the mind to follow it and build on it.
Invariably, in the belief that you are limited to being a character in a story, there will be suffering. It is a lie. You are not just a character in a story. You are the totality of being.
The belief that you are just a character in a story, or perhaps even the main character, takes a tremendous amount of maintenance. It takes holding on to the pleasurable aspects of the story, and then attempting to keep out anything that would destroy that "good" story.
Then there are the attempts to blame others who don't agree with the story or don't somehow validate or contribute to the story of your worth.
~ From: The Diamond In Your Pocket, by Gangaji.
Do nothing, just be. In being all happens naturally.
Be nothing, know nothing, have nothing. This is the only life worth living, the only happiness worth having.
You can do nothing. What time has brought about, time will take away. This is the end of yoga, to realize independence. All that happens, happens in and to the mind, not to the source of the "I am".
Once you realize that all happens by itself (call it destiny, or the will of God, or mere accident), you remain as witness only, understanding and enjoying, but not perturbed. You are responsible only for what you can change. All you can change is only your attitude. There lies your responsibility.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
If I feel depressed I will sing.
If I feel sad I will laugh.
If I feel ill I will double my labor.
If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.
If I feel inferior I will wear new garments.
If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.
If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.
If I feel incompetent I will think of past success.
If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.
Today I will be the master of my emotions.
- Og Mandino
“I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...
The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
"Once, as Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai was coming forth from Jerusalem, Rabbi Joshua followed after him and beheld the Temple in ruins. 'Woe unto us,' Rabbi Joshua cried, 'that this, the place where the iniquities of Israel were atoned for, is laid waste!'
"'My son,' Rabbi Yohanan said to him, 'be not grieved. We have another atonement as effective as this. And what is it? It is acts of loving-kindness, kindness, as it is said, For I desire mercy and not sacrifice [Hosea 6.6].
Talmud, Abot de Rabbi Nathan 6
There is only one state of being.
There is not
a single moment when one is not conscious
What we are in our sentient state is
the consciousness of being present.
this conscious awareness is aware of sensory
forms, it operates as witnessing.
identifies itself with a witnessing organism as
a separate entity, it operates as an individual
person who suffers and enjoys.
- Ramesh S. Balsekar
Man is closer to God than the fishes are to the ocean.
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
One day Inayat was praying on the roof of the house, offering his prayers and he thought to himself that there had not been an answer yet to all the prayers he had offered to God and he did not know where God was to hear his prayers and he could not reconcile himself to going on praying to the God whom he knew not. He went fearlessly to his father and said: "I do not think I will continue my prayers any longer, for it does not fit in with my reason. I do not know how I can go on praying to a God I do not know." His father, taken aback, did not become cross lest he might turn Inayat's beliefs sour by forcing them upon him without satisfying his reason and he was glad on the other hand to see that, although it was irreverent on the child's part, yet it was frank, and he knew that the lad really hungered after Truth and was ready to learn now, what many could not learn in their whole life.
He said to him: "God is in you and you are in God. As the bubble is in the ocean and the bubble is a part of the ocean and yet not separate from the ocean. For a moment it has appeared as a bubble, then it will return to that from which it has risen. So is the relation between man and God. The Prophet has said that God is closer to you than the jugular vein, which in reality means that your own body is farther from you than God is. If this be rightly interpreted, it will mean that God is the very depth of your own being." This moment to Inayat was his very great initiation, as if a switch had turned in him, and from that moment onward his whole life Inayat busied himself, and his whole being became engaged in witnessing in life what he knew and believed, by this one great Truth.
The innermost being of man is the real being of God; man is always linked with God. If he could only realize it, it is by finding harmony in his own soul that he finds communion with God. All meditation and contemplation are taught with this purpose: to harmonize one's innermost being with God, so that He is seeing, hearing, thinking through us, and our being is a ray of His light. In that way we are even closer to God than the fishes are to the ocean in which they have their being.
Many think that spiritual attainment can only be achieved by great labor. It is not so; labor is necessary for material attainment, but for spiritual attainment what one needs is a seeking soul like that of Moses. Moses falling upon the ground may be interpreted as the cross, which means, 'I am not; Thou art.' In order to be, one must pass through a stage of being nothing. In Sufi terms this is called Fana, when one thinks, 'I am not what I had always thought myself to be.' This is the true self-denial, which the Hindus called Layam, and the Buddhists annihilation. It is the annihilation of the false self which gives rise to the true self; once this is done, from that moment man approaches closer and closer to God, until he stands face to face with his divine ideal, with which he can communicate at every moment of his life.