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Wisdom for Our Dis-eases

March 21, 2015



In my last post I mentioned a recent article I wrote for Spirituality & Health about twelve cultural/spiritual dis-eases. These are energies in our culture or in ourselves that can make it difficult for us to experience well-being and to grow personally and spiritually. Here is a sampling of wisdom quotations from people throughout the ages who have addressed the existential realities of being human--fresh perspectives that can help hoist us out of old cognitive grooves that create dis-ease.



Comparative mind


There is only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be

yourself.  Anthony Rapp


Whoever envies others does not obtain peace of

mind.   --Buddha



Pursuing happiness


Happiness is a byproduct of an effort to make

someone else happy.   --Gretta Brooker Palmer


Holiness is a greater ideal by far than happiness

because it embraces struggle.   --David Wolpe



Materialistic attachment


Trying to satisfy one’s desires with possessions is

like trying to put out fire with straw.   --Confucius


Attachment brings manifold miseries, non-

attachment brings manifold bliss.   --Sivananda



Low body image



True freedom is being without

anxiety about imperfection.  --Seng-ts’an


I stand in awe of my body.  --Henry David Thoreau



Low self-esteem


Settle yourself in solitude and you will come upon

God in yourself.  --Teresa of Avila


Between God and the soul there is no between.

--Julian of Norwich





You, as much as anyone in the entire universe, are

deserving of your love and compassion.  --Buddha


I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in

darkness the astonishing Light of your own being.




Imperfect love


Love finds its soul in feelings of incompleteness,

impossibility, and imperfection. --Thomas Moore


Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are

mistakes in the sense that almost certainly, in a

more perfect world...both partners might be found

more suitable mates. But the real soul mate is the

one you are actually married to.  --J.R.R. Tolkien





If the mind can get still enough, something sacred

will be revealed.  --Helen Tworkov


A mind that is fast is sick. A mind that is slow is

sound. A mind that is still is divine.  --Meher Baba





If you hear a voice that says you cannot paint, then

by all means paint and the voice will be silenced.

--Vincent van Gogh


Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good

we oft might win by fearing to attempt.

--William Shakespeare






Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would

like to see you living in better conditions. --Hafiz


Every suffering is a seed, because suffering impels

us to seek wisdom.  --Bodhidharma





The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the

miraculous in the common.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson


There are two ways to live your life. One is as

though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though

everything is a miracle.  --Albert Einstein


Absolute certainty


Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I

have found a truth.”  --Kahlil Gibran


The infinite transcends every particular content of

faith.   --Moses ben Jacob Cordovero

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Crecopia moth photo in header used by permission of Scott Rosenfeld,