(Writer, Philosopher) January 6, 1915 - November 16, 1973
Human desire tends to be insatiable.
When you find out that there was never anything in the dark side to be afraid of … Nothing is left but to love.
Only doubtful truths need defense.
You don’t look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you.
The difficulty for most of us in the modern world is that the old-fashioned idea of God has become incredible or implausible.
You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes.
My death will be the disappearance of a particular pattern in the water.
People become concerned with being more humble than other people.
There was a young man who said though, it seems that I know that I know, but what I would like to see is the I that knows me when I know that I know that I know.
The myths underlying our culture and underlying our common sense have not taught us to feel identical with the universe, but only parts of it, only in it, only confronting it – aliens.
Faith is a state of openness or trust.
Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life. To idolize scriptures is like eating paper currency.
The clash between science and religion has not shown that religion is false and science is true. It has shown that all systems of definition are relative to various purposes, and that none of them actually “grasp” reality.
You’re under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.
Buddhism has in it no idea of there being a moral law laid down by some kind of cosmic lawgiver.
I find that the sensation of myself as an ego inside a bag of skin is really a hallucination.
It’s better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.
Our pleasures are not material pleasures, but symbols of pleasure – attractively packaged but inferior in content.
Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.
Jesus was not the man he was as a result of making Jesus Christ his personal savior.
We identify in our experience a differentiation between what we do and what happens to us.
Saints need sinners.
Wars based on principle are far more destructive… the attacker will not destroy that which he is after.
You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.
The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.
Every intelligent individual wants to know what makes him tick, and yet is at once fascinated and frustrated by the fact that oneself is the most difficult of all things to know.
When we attempt to exercise power or control over someone else, we cannot avoid giving that person the very same power or control over us.
No one is more dangerously insane than one who is sane all the time: he is like a steel bridge without flexibility, and the order of his life is rigid and brittle.
Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe.
I owe my solitude to other people.
Words can be communicative only between those who share similar experiences.
I have no other self than the totality of things of which I am aware.
The menu is not the meal.
Some believe all that parents, tutors, and kindred believe. They take their principles by inheritance, and defend them as they would their estates, because they are born heirs to them.
The religious idea of God cannot do full duty for the metaphysical infinity.
One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt.
Society is our extended mind and body.
I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
Hospitals should be arranged in such a way as to make being sick an interesting experience. One learns a great deal sometimes from being sick.
If we cling to belief in God, we cannot likewise have faith, since faith is not clinging but letting go.
A scholar tries to learn something everyday; a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily.
Omnipotence is not knowing how everything is done; it’s just doing it.
If you cannot trust yourself, you cannot even trust your mistrust of yourself – so that without this underlying trust in the whole system of nature you are simply paralyzed.
This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.
A myth is an image in terms of which we try to make sense of the world.
Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them.
Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep.
No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.
Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.
Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.