I've been thinking about 'LIFE' for the past few years. A good bitof reading (accompanied by less understanding than I would like),many false starts in developing any true philosophy of life, andmore questions than answers.Here are a few of the sources for my thoughts, and some of thequestions that they provoked. Suggestions and comments welcome.Books (in no particular order)-------------------------------Golf in the Kingdom - Michael MurphyThe game of golf is a microcosm of life. The form of the game, theemotions produced during play, the variety of people who playsteadfastly and compellingly. Golf can provide an entree to ourspiritual reality.The Legend of Bagger Vance - Steven PressfieldAnother 'zen golf' study. See above. A more enjoyable read.Seat of the Soul - Gary ZukavA somewhat simplistic view of secular life and spiritual possibilitiesPride and Prejudice - Jane AustenA slice of life in early 1800s England. Many well definedcharacters, exhibiting most of the best and worst of humanity. Astudy of two good people, slightly flawed, who through theirinteraction remediate their shortcomings, fall in love and live happilyever after. Austen's best, and one of my favorites.The Dancing Wu-Li Masters - Gary ZukavModern physics vs. spirituality. Excellent.The Celestine Prophecy - James RedfieldA spiritual journey.The Power of Silence (and others) - Carlos CastenadaI don't really understand ( or resonate to) this. My psychologistson's favorite author. Where did I go wrong?Journey into Healing - Deepak ChopraHelpful during a period of loss and grief. The message: things arethe way they are supposed to be.A Brief History of Everything - Ken WilberA new language and a complex structure of secular vs. spiritual. Ithink there's something here but don't have the background to appreciate it.Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment - Thaddeus GolasRead years ago. I don't remember it. Short though.Tao of Pooh - Hoff, BenjaminMostly fluff, appealing to our love of Pooh.Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Suzuki, ShunryuI didn't understand this.The Rubaiyat - Omar KhayyamRandom thoughts put to beautiful verse. Fate is king here and wehave little control over our lives. A few hopeful quatrains though.There's No Such Place as Faraway (and others) - Bach, RichardThought provoking. Entertaining. Short.Brief History of Time - Hawking, StephenThe cosmos described in (mostly) layman's terms.Chaos - Gleick, JamesExcellent set of (easily understood) mathematical subjectsillustrating infinite progression and our misunderstanding of what isdeterministic and what is not.Dune Series - Herbert, FrankFoundation Trilogy - Asimov, IsaacNew worlds, new concepts of civilization. Class sci-fi.Robert B. Parker (Spenser novels)John D. MacDonald (Travis McGee novels)Louis L'Amour (Sackett novels)Zane Grey (Western novels)Lonesome Dove - McMurtry, LarryInteresting characterizations. Personal character is king here, andthe players have unique concepts of life and how it should be lived.Greatest Generation - Brokaw, TomWW II in America. Case studies of personal growth and sacrifice.Connections - Burke, JamesInventions and discoveries over the ages. A rationale for the orderin which they occurred. Interesting historical discussions.Vital Lies, Simple Truths - Goleman, DanielHuman psychology. Why we close our minds to certain realities.Waking Up - Tart, Charles T.Psychology. Overcoming our conditioning. This book and the oneabove are must reading.A few quotations that relate to LIFE and character------------------------------------------------------To be what we are, and to become what we arecapable of becoming, is the only end of life. --Robert Louis Stevenson, "Of Men and Books," 1882Wizard/master: Conan, what is best in life?Conan: Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentation of their women.I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound tosucceed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. -- Abraham LincolnMy life goes on in endless song. -- Eva Cassidy, 'Eva by Heart' audio albumLive as though you'll die tomorrow. Learn as though you'll liveforever! -- GhandiGet busy living or get busy dying. -- Andy Dufresne, from the movie 'Shawshank Redemption'Courage is the price that life extracts for granting peace. -- Amelia EarhartThe distinction between past, present, and future is only astubbornly persistent illusion. -- Albert EinsteinNo man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the sameriver and he's not the same man. -- HeraclitusNever does nature say one thing and wisdom another. -- JuvenalSometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean overto watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you willsuddenly know everything there is to be known. -- Winnie the PoohCome to the edge, He said.They said, We are afraid.Come to the edge, He said.They came.He pushed them...and they flew. -- Guillaume ApollinaireLife is what happens to us while we are making other plans. -- Thomas La Mance, John LennonTomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes to us atmidnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and puts itself inour hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday. -- John WayneLife is the childhood of our immortality. -- Johann Wolfgang von GoetheNapoleon: You have written this huge book on the system of theworld without once mentioning the author of the universe.Laplace: Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis.Lagrange (later, when told by Napoleon about the incident): Ah, butthat is a fine hypothesis. It explains so many things. -- Pierre-Simon de Laplace (1749 - 1827)Honor isn't about making the right choices. It's about dealing withthe consequences. -- Midori KotoDost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stufflife is made of. -- Benjamin Franklin from 'Poor Richard's Almanac'Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting. -- unknownLife is not separate from death. It only looks that way. Native American Proverb (Blackfoot)Random Thoughts----------------------1. Time seems to be central to our secular existence. Believing thatthe past is gone and the future is a promise to no one, we arecounseled to live in the present. Work hard, have fun, and preparefor the future, while at the same time giving due consideration tohistory and circumstance (e.g. It does not do to leave a live dragonout of your calculations, if you live near him. -- J. R. R. Tolkien).But is time really so immutable? We've all experienced instanceswhere time seems to slow and there is increased clarity in oursurroundings. This happens frequently in sports. Athletes describeit as being in the 'zone' (there are many variations of this). What ifwe can slow, or even stop time? Do we move to another dimension, aspiritual dimension? Does time disappear entirely when we enter our'immortality' (von Goethe quotation above)? If sufficientlyenlightened can we experience this state on demand? Are wesurrounded by, but unaware of beings who have this ability? Arethese beings advanced forms of humanity or another race entirely?2. Is our life (perhaps more than one since 80 or so years is a rathershort time within which to absorb the great truths) simply a learningperiod? Is our universe a kind of 'matrix' provided for ourtraining? What is real? What is the meaning of life? ('Theuniverse is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits togrow sharper.' -- Eden Phillpots)-------------------She don't seem to take an interest in anything, ma'am. She neverpretends company's coming, nor fixes up for it, nor nothing, ma'am.It's only when you come she seems to CHIRK UP a bit. -- Lucy Maud Montgomery, from 'Anne of Avonlea'My glass is half full (my engineer son - always optimizing - suggestsusing a smaller one)chirkup
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