“If you were to take negative emotions away from people, they would simply collapse and go up in smoke. What would happen to what we call art, theater, drama, to most novels? In the emotional center there is no natural negative part, the greater part of negative emotions are artificial, they are based on instinctive emotions which are transformed by petty imagination and identification (losing self in an object). Positive emotions are emotions which cannot become negative. But all our pleasant emotions such as joy, affection, can, at any moment, turn to boredom, irritation, envy at the slightest provocation, or even without provocation. So we can say that we can have no positive emotions. At the same time we can say that we have no negative emotions without identification and imagination.”
“Nostalgia is a process by which dreams become memories without ever coming true.”
“The kinds of stories we tell about ourselves can also vary greatly across cultures. Along some dimensions, Asians, on average, do less self-inflating than Westerners; along other dimensions–notably ‘collectivist’ virtues, such as loyalty to the group–Asians tend to do more self-inflating than Westerners. Still, the basic pattern of self-inflation holds worldwide, and that’s particularly true when it comes to ethical virtues such as fairness; on average, people think they’re morally above average. This is an especially important piece of self-flattery, because it helps fuel the self-righteousness that starts and sustains conflicts, ranging from quarrels to wars.”
–Robert Wright, Why Buddhism Is True
“The problem is that the self that you became convinced was the real you is a phantom that exists only as an abstraction in your mind – animated by the conflicted emotional energy of separation. It’s about as real as last night’s dream. And when you stop thinking it into existence, it has no existence at all. That’s why it is false – which begs the question, who or what is the real you?
At the core of the false self is a void of deficiency derived from an essential turning away from one’s own divinity, either out of natural development, despair, or simply by succumbing to the trance of the world with all its masks of deception and harsh obligation to conform to its insanity. The false self orbits around this vacuous abyss at its core, in silent terror of its nameless, faceless threat of oblivion.
The false self is both an obstacle and a doorway through which you must pass on your way to awakening to the dimension of being. As you pass through the void of self, the identification with self dies, either temporarily or permanently, and you are revealed (reborn) to be a presence. Presence is not a self in any conventional sense. It has no shape or form, no age or gender. It is an expression of universal being, the formless substance of existence. Presence is not subject to birth or death; it is not of the world of “things.” It is the light and radiance of consciousness in which entire worlds arise and pass away.”
–Adyashanti, wait – what?
“In my research I’ve found that the same can be said for the conspiracies we make up to justify stereotypes and to explain that fight with our partner or the disapproving look from our boss or child’s behavior at school. We make up hidden stories that tell us who is against us and who is with us. Whom we can trust and who is not to be trusted. Conspiracy thinking is all about fear-based self-protection and our intolerance for uncertainty. When we depend on self-protecting narratives often enough, they become our default stories. And we must not forget that storytelling is a powerful integration tool. We start weaving these hidden, false stories into our lives and they eventually distort who we are and how we relate to others.”
–Brene Brown, Rising Strong
“Today, I will let myself enjoy what is good. I don’t have to wreck my good day or good feeling. I don’t have to let others spoil it for me.”
The Garden of Illusion
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“You are not required to act in any way that sacrifices your wish to grow in spiritual strength. For example, you are not required to support the weakness of another person. Also, you are not required to relieve the anxiety of anyone whose anxiety is caused by his preference for delusion over reality.”
– Vernon Howard
“NOTE: An evening at the theatre. It occurred to me that there is something weird about someone wanting to be someone else. And even more so about someone sitting down for a couple of hours to look at someone they don’t know, pretending to be someone else, talking to someone who is also pretending to be someone else. A dialogue, furthermore, invented by somebody who imagined they were pretending to be each of these in turn.”
– Alan Fletcher
“It is only an error in judgment to make a mistake, but it shows infirmity of character to adhere to it when discovered”
–Christian Nevell Bovee