What appears to be an objective statement is actually a statement of collective agreement among different observers concerning their experience.
Reality is the stuff that doesn't go away just because you stop believing in it.
As each fresh effort is made to understand humanness as it really is, the thing turns out to be made of states of mind.
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Without contraries is no progression.
Attraction and repulsion,
reason and energy,
love and hate,
are necessary to human existence.
In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
Everything actual must also first have been possible, before having actual existence.
You have to choose where you look, and in making that choice you eliminate entire worlds.
The pure impulse of dynamic creation is formless; and being formless, the creation it gives rise to can assume any and every form.
The future is not something we enter.
The future is something we create.
Contrary to some of our most deep-seated beliefs, mess is the material from which life and creativity are built, and it turns out that they are built, not according to some prior design, but through a process of spontaneous self-organization that produces emergent outcomes.
Everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be.
Whatever we call reality, it is revealed to us only through an active construction in which we participate.
The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.
The earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the children of the earth. This we know. The earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. We did not weave the web of life; we are merely strands in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
Men have become the tools of their tools.
It is the last lesson of modern science,
that the highest simplicity of structure
is produced not by few elements,
but by the highest complexity.
This is how everything begins — the mountains, the oceans, life itself. A slow accumulation — the gathering together of meaning.
The task of science is to explain the principles and functions of nature's complexity and changes.
Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun. These webs constitute "culture," whose analysis is not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning.
Rather than thinking of an organization as an imposed structure, plan, design, or role, it is clear that in life, organization arises from the interactions and needs of individuals who have decided to come together.
What we call an organization is more than anything else a pattern of knowledge and an information flow made visible.
Anticipation of coming trouble brings to pass the very calamities we fear most, for by brooding over a thing we generate the conditions for its ultimation.
We — my wife and family — have for fifty-six years realized a series of miracles that occur just when I need something, but not until the absolutely last second. If what I think I need does not become available I realize that my objective may be invalid or that I am steering a wrong course. I simply have to have faith and just when I need the right-something for the right-reasoning, there it is — or there they are — the workshops, helping hands, materials, ideas, money, tools.
We first design our structures, then they design our lives.
I was reminded this week of the time a Zen monk greeted an audience with a bow. After we returned his bow, he asked, "Do you know why we bow here at the monastery?"
All sorts of answers came back at him, most true enough, but none of them on the mark. Some thought we bowed to acknowledge divinity in one another, some thought we bowed to indicate mutual respect. The monk did not refute any of the answers, but turned them aside as an aikido master turns aside an attacker. When no more answers were forthcoming, the monk said, "We bow because things seem to work better when we bow."
Our postures, in other words, express a deeper truth than we can tell, even when we connect those postures to explanations that purport to make sense of them. Good tools work regardless of why we say they work. Technical tools and spiritual tools alike.
When we forget the generative power of language, we quickly confuse our maps for the territory.
Successful technology reframes human experience.
The operations of heaven and earth
proceed with the most admirable order,
yet they never speak.
The four seasons observe clear laws
but they do not discuss them.
All of nature is regulated by exact principles,
but it never explains them.
The sage penetrates the mystery
of the order of heaven and earth
and comprehends the principles of nature.
Thus the perfect man does nothing,
and the great sage originates nothing.
That is to say, they merely contemplate the universe.
In the light of the most recent findings in physics, the fact is that no real division can be found between ourselves, other people, and the world around us — unless we create it in our minds.
He who confronts the paradoxical exposes himself to reality.
The thought manifests as the word
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And the habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care;
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.
And the shadow follows the body,
As we think, so we become.