The Perils and Opportunities of Reality

Updated: January 13, 2022 Reading Time: 5 minutes rating: 9


A monologue that reads like someone whispering kind truths to your ear over and over until you understand what life is about.

This is a book to re-read constantly and to use as a tool when one is lost in the midst of life.

Notes & Highlights

  • Waking Up

    • Spiritually means waking up

    • All mystics—Catholics, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion—are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well

  • Most of what we feel and think we conjure up for ourselves in our heads, including this business of being helped by people We suffer more in imagination than in reality Seneca

  • It’s only when you’re sick of your sickness that you’ll get out of it. Most people go to a psychiatrist or a psychologist to get relief

  • Do you know one sign that you’ve woken up? It’s when you are asking yourself, “Am I crazy, or are all of them crazy?” It really is. Because we are crazy. The whole world is crazy. Certifiable lunatics! The only reason we’re not locked up in an institution is that there are so many of us. So we’re crazy.

  • If everybody agrees on something you can be sure it’s wrong!

  • When you renounce something, you’re stuck to it forever. When you fight something, you’re tied to it forever

  • Jesus proclaimed the good news yet he was rejected. Not because it was good, but because it was new. We hate the new. We hate it! 1

  • Charity is really self-interest masquerading under the form of altruism

  • You are never so good as when you have no consciousness that you’re good. Or as the great Sufi would say, “A saint is one until he or she knows it.”

  • I sometimes say to myself that the process that we use for making, for example, a St. Francis Xavier could be exactly the same process used for producing terrorists The horse-shoe theory: extremes are similar

  • That’s the worst kind of charity, when you’re doing something so you won’t get a bad feeling

  • maybe you’ve got the wrong ideas and it is these ideas that are influencing your life and making it the mess that it is and keeping you asleep.

  • We differ from others—from criminals, for example—only in what we do or don’t do, not in what we are

  • When you’re ready to exchange your illusions for reality, when you’re ready to exchange your dreams for facts, that’s the way you find it all. That’s where life finally becomes meaningful. Life becomes meaningful.

  • You forget that you have it all right now anyway, and you don’t know it. Why not concentrate on the now instead of hoping for better times in the future? 2

  • Self-observation.

    • It means to watch everything in you and around you as far as possible and watch it as if it were happening to someone else.
  • When there’s something within you that moves in the right direction, it creates its own direction

  • “The unaware life is not worth living” - Socrates

  • As long as you live to fulfill other people’s expectations, you better watch what you wear, how you comb your hair, whether your shoes are polished—in short, whether you live up to every damned expectations of theirs. Do you call that human? Why do I do What I do?

  • The Illusion of Rewards

    • Nobody seems to be grappling with the problem of: Is there a life before death?

    • It’s precisely the ones who don’t know what to do with this life that are all hot and bothered about what they are going to do with another life.

  • If you didn’t have negative feelings you’d be much more effective, much more effective. Because when negative feelings come in, you go blind

  • Where there is love there are no demands, no expectations, no dependency. I do not demand that you make me happy; my happiness does not lie in you

  • “When the arches shoots for no particular prize, he has all his skills, when he shoots to win a brass buckle, he is already nervous, when he shoots for a gold prize, he goes blind, sees two targets, and is out of his mind. His skills has not changed, but the prize divides him. He cares! He thinks more of winning than of shooting, and the need to win drains him of power” - Tranxu, a great Chinese sage

  • There’s only one reason why you’re not experiencing bliss at this present moment, and it’s because you’re thinking or focusing on what you don’t have

  • Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture.

  • Life is a mystery, which means your thinking mind cannot make sense out of it

  • sometimes people want to imitate Chris, but when a monkey plays a saxophone, that doesn’t make him a musician

  • Suffering points up an area in you where you have not yet grown, where you need to grow and be transformed and change

  • As the great Confucius said, “The one who would be constant in happiness must frequently change”

  • If you don’t look at things through your concepts, you’ll never be bored. Every single thing is unique. Every sparrow is unlike every other sparrow despite the similarities. We must marvel at things like children

  • Reality is lovely; it is an absolute delight. Eternal life is now.

  • You were not allowed to enjoy the solid, nutritious food of life—namely, work play, fun, laughter, the company of people, the pleasures of the senses and the mind. You were given a taste for the drug called approval, appreciation, attention

  • A nice definition of an awakened person: a person who no longer marches to the drums of society, a person who dances to the tune of the music that springs up from within

  • The passport to living is to imagine yourself in your grave

  • Or visit a graveyard. It’s an enormously purifying and beautiful experience

  • An Italian poet said, “We live in a flash of light; evening comes and it is night forever”. It’s only a flash and we waste it. We waste it with our anxiety, our worries, our concerns, our burdens.

  1. Change Is The Only Constant ↩︎

  2. Concentrate Like a Roman ↩︎