All your going and coming, seeking pleasure, loving and hating – all this shows that you struggle against limitations, self-imposed or accepted. In your ignorance, you make mistakes and cause pain to yourself and others, but the urge is there and shall not be denied. The same urge that seeks birth, happiness and death, shall seek understanding and liberation. It is like a spark of fire in a cargo of cotton. You may no know about it, but sooner or later the ship will burst in flames. Liberation is a natural process and, in the long run, inevitable. But it is within your power to bring it into the now.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – Chapter 91
(Photo by Jozef Nauwelaerts)
Q: Is self-realization so important?
M: Without it, you will be consumed by desires and fears, repeating themselves meaninglessly in endless suffering. Most of the people do not know that there can be an end to pain. But once they have heard the good news, obviously going beyond all strife and struggle is the most urgent task that can be. You know that you can be free and now it is up to you. Either you remain forever hungry and thirsty, longing, searching, grabbing, holding, ever losing and and sorrowing, or go out wholeheartedly in search of the state of timeless perfection to which nothing can be added, from which nothing taken away. In it all desires and fears are absent, not because they were given up, but because they have lost their meaning.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – Chapter 69 – p. 315-316
The animals met in assembly and began
to complain that humans were always
taking things away from them.
“They take my milk,” said the cow.
“They take my eggs,” said the hen.
“They take my flesh for bacon,” said the hog.
“They hunt me for my oil,” said the whale.
Finally the snail spoke. “I have something
they would certainly take away from me
if they could. Something they want
more than anything else.
I have TIME.”
You have all the time in the world, if you would give it to yourself. What’s stopping you?
— Anthony de Mello – The Song of the Bird (page 136)
“A man who took great pride in his lawn
found himself with a large crop of dandelions.
He tried every method he knew
to get rid of them. Still they plagued him.
Finally he wrote the Department of Agriculture.
He enumerated all the things he had tried
and closed his letter with the question:
‘What shall I do now?’
In due course the reply came:
‘We suggest you learn to love them.'”
He was becoming blind by degrees. He fought it with every means in his power. When medicine no longer served to fight it, he fought it with his emotions. It took courage to say to him, “I suggest you learn to love your blindness.”
It was a struggle. He refused to have anything to do with it in the beginning. And when he eventually brought himself to speak to his blindness his words were bitter. But he kept on speaking and the words slowly changed into words of resignation and tolerance and acceptance… and, one day, very much to his own surprise, they became words of friendliness… and love. Then came the day when he was able to put his arm around his blindness and say, “I love you.” That was the day I saw him smile again.
His vision, of course, was lost forever. But how attractive his face became!
— Anthony de Mello – The Song of the Bird – Dandelions (page 65-66)