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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nothing is Good or Ill

For years I've been collecting quotations that mean something to me, and it has always struck my fancy that great thinkers said exactly the same thing about the concept that can be resumed in these words: you are what you think.


This is so simple, it's been said throughout the millennia, and yet we seem to find it so difficult to adhere to.

Why?

At first glance, we might say that we find it difficult because it requires effort, but at second glance I would say that another reason has more to do with the fact that we tend to buy into the mindset that has us believing that our salvation lies outside ourselves, when, of course, as I so often discuss here and in my newsletter and website, our salvation, our inner peace and freedom, lie totally within ourselves.

And hence the difficulty. We look and look and search, going on life-long quests, expecting to find it out there, the god of success will save us, the god of prestige will save us, the god of physical beauty will save us, the god of consumerism will save us, the god of academia and the intellectual life will save us, the god of spirituality and om-ing will save us, the god of ecological awareness will save us, and then, sometimes, if we are lucky, we finally do realize that all those things can make a difference to our lives but since they don't save us, we have to look elsewhere, and only then do we start the inner search.

Some of those collected quotes about the topic are here:

Marcus Aurelius
If you are distressd by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Samuel Butler
Not only is nothing good or ill but thinking makes it so, but nothing is at all, except in so far as thinking has made it so.

Joseph Campbell
That's what known as Hermetic Gnosticism - bodhi in Sanskrit. Change the perspective of your eyes, and you see the whole world before you now is radiant.


Epictetus
We are not troubled by things, but by the opinions we have of things.

Seneca
A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.

Albert Schweitzer
The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.

Richard Bach
Break the chains of your thinking and you will break the chains of your body.

The Buddha
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.

Deepak Chopra
The rishis said that life is built up by your participation in it. Nothing is good or bad, hard or soft, painful or pleasant, except as you live it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

James Allen
As a man thinketh, so is he.

Elizabeth Haich"...my doubts are weakening me, paralyzing me. But doubt is a thought. So I must conquer my thoughts in order to master doubt."

Jon Kabat-Zinn
If you want the future to be different, it's the quality of this moment that needs tending and attention.

Ruby Nelson
The only person you are responsible for changing is yourself.

Louise L. Hay
It's only a thought and a thought can be changed.

Diane K. Osbon
We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.


Photo: Zakynthos, Greece

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