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Wisdom for Our Dis-eases

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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