“They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.” Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
“We have an inner window through which we can see the world, and though it gets cloudy in life, it’s our job to wipe it clean and see things as they really are.” Sebastian Koch
“Safety is an illusion and perhaps it’s better to challenge it sometimes, to see how far we can go, to learn about the stuff we are made of.” Tania Aebi
“Are you searching for purpose?
Then write something, yeah it might be worthless
Then paint something then, it might be wordless
Pointless curses, nonsense verses
You’ll see purpose start to surface
No one else is dealing with your demons
Meaning maybe defeating them
Could be the beginning of your meaning, friend.”
Twenty One Pilots – Kitchen Sink
Ernest Becker, the quintessential optimist and sometimes life of the party had a thing about worms. It’s possible that he was also an avid fisherman or gardener, although there was no mention of that in his biography.
One of my favorite of his worm quotes is from a book he wrote that won the Pulitzer Prize back in 1974:
“What does it mean to be a self-conscious animal? The idea is ludicrous, if it is not monstrous. It means to know that one is food for worms. This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression and with all this yet to die. It seems like a hoax, which is why one type of cultural man rebels openly against the idea of God. What kind of deity would create such a complex and fancy worm food?”
Reflecting on this has got me through many hours at the lake when the trout weren’t biting. But I think David Gerrold said the same thing in a better way: “Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then the worms eat you. Be grateful it happens in that order.”
Food for thought.
Charlotte Joko Beck from Everyday Zen: “My dog doesn’t worry about the meaning of life. She may worry if she doesn’t get her breakfast, but she doesn’t sit around worrying about whether she will get fulfilled or liberated or enlightened. As long as she gets some food and a little affection, her life is fine. But we human beings are not like dogs. We have self-centered minds which get us into plenty of trouble. If we do not come to understand the error in the way we think, our self-awareness, which is our greatest blessing, is also our downfall.”
In other words, handle every situation like a dog. If you can’t eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away.
“I have looked into the eyes of many animals. Each time I get a special feeling. A feeling different from human eye contact. It is a unique feeling. It touches my heart. It affects my soul.” Anthony Douglas Williams
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” Denis Waitley
“Autumn is the time of year when Mother Nature says, “Look how easy, how healthy, and how beautiful letting go can be.” Toni Sorenson
“The meaning of life is that it stops.” Franz Kafka