Cool Quote of the Day

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There’s another reason why you should love your enemies, and that is because hate distorts the personality of the hater. We usually think of what hate does for the individual hated or the individuals hated or the groups hated. But it is even more tragic, it is even more ruinous and injurious to the individual who hates. You just begin hating somebody, and you will begin to do irrational things. You can’t see straight when you hate. You can’t walk straight when you hate. You can’t stand upright. Your vision is distorted. There is nothing more tragic than to see an individual whose heart is filled with hate. He comes to the point that he becomes a pathological case. For the person who hates, you can stand up and see a person and that person can be beautiful, and you will call them ugly. For the person who hates, the beautiful becomes ugly and the ugly becomes beautiful. For the person who hates, the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good. For the person who hates, the true becomes false and the false becomes true. That’s what hate does. You can’t see right. The symbol of objectivity is lost. Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater. […] when you start hating anybody, it destroys the very center of your creative response to life and the universe; so love everybody. Hate at any point is a cancer that gnaws away at the very vital center of your life and your existence. It is like eroding acid that eats away the best and the objective center of your life. So Jesus says love, because hate destroys the hater as well as the hated.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama on November 17, 1957

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Cool Quote of the Day

The human world is continually speeding up while the non-human world of plants, insects, and animals, with its once vast range of ecological diversity, is rapidly declining, causing irreversible imbalances throughout the web of life. A spiritual practice exclusively concerned with my enlightenment, my transcendence, or my emancipation from this life, this body, or this earth is not a spiritual practice tuned in to these times of ecological, social, physical, and psychological imbalance. The declining health of our ecosystems and the call for action in our cities, economies, communities, and families remind us that we don’t have time to wait for enlightenment in isolated caves or inner sanctums; instead, it’s time to consider action in the world and inner practice as synchronistic and parallel. Action in the world is not an externally imposed duty or simply a preliminary stage on the path to greater awareness but is itself a valid spiritual path and an expression of interdependence, freedom, and awakening.

Michael Stone, Yoga for a World Out of Balance

Cool Quote of the Day

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Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite…

For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.

-Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Spirits in the material world

The Police manage to capture a collective feeling of unease in the phrase “our troubled evolution.” We know something has gone wrong. Our public forums pound incessantly at problems in economic and political realms, yet innately we know a vital fact is ignored–we are spiritual beings passing through a material world. And nothing will change unless we make that connection.

“Where does the answer lie? Living day to day.” This solution might sound flippant or cliché, but I prefer to interpret it as shorthand for living in the present moment, a profound and disciplined practice. It’s an inner revolution.

Spirits in the Material World

There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution

We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world

Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
The subjugate the meek
But it’s the rhetoric of failure
We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world

Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it’s something we can’t buy
There must be another way

We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world

Cool Quote of the Day: “Tied in a single garment of destiny”

Occupy Caravan vigil at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cool Quote of the Day

General Assembly speakers, Occupy Toronto (Photo by ruffin_ready)

Living without permission…that’s the most difficult part, of course. But we’re not talking about just another social system here, we’re talking about a total transformation of human relations–for it will take nothing less to solve the problems our species faces today. Let’s not kid ourselves–until we can achieve this, the violence and strife inherent in conflict-based relations will continue to intensify, and no law or system will be able to protect us. In consensus-based structures, there are no fake solutions, no ways to suppress conflict without resolving it; those who participate in them must learn to coexist without coercion and submission.

The first precious grains of this new world can be found in your friendships and love affairs whenever they are free from power dynamics, whenever cooperation occurs naturally. Imagine those moments expanded to the scale of out entire society–that’s the life that waits beyond democracy.

It may feel like we are separated from that world from by an uncrossable chasm, but the wonderful thing about consensus and autonomy is that you don’t have to wait for the government to vote for them–you can practice them right now with the people around you.

CrimethInc., The Party’s Over: Beyond Politics, Beyond Democracy

Cool Quote of the Day: Moving into stillness

Imagine a spinning top. Stillness is like a perfectly spinning top, spinning so fast it appears motionless. It appears this way not because it isn’t moving, but because it’s spinning at full speed.

Stillness is not the absence of energy, life, or movement. Stillness is dynamic. It is unconflicted movement, life in harmony with itself, skill in action. It can be experienced whenever there is total, uninhibited, unconflicted participation in the moment you are in–when you are wholeheartedly present with whatever you are doing.

For most of us, however, most of the time, our lives do not resemble a perfectly centered top, spinning so fast it appears motionless. Our lives are more like a top in a somewhat wild, erratic, and chaotic spin. We know we’re alive because at least we’re still spinning, but we are not quite perfectly centered, and we are not spinning anywhere near full speed. We don’t have as much energy as we’d like, we are not experiencing as much aliveness as we might, not are we experiencing the peace of stillness or the joy of being.

-Erich Schiffmann, Yoga, the Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness