Without attention, the human sense of wonder and the holy will stir occasionally, but to become a steady flame it must be tended.
~ Huston Smith
Understanding is not conceptual, and therefore cannot be passed on. It is an immediate experience, and immediate experience can only be talked about (very inadequately), never shared. Nobody can actually feel another’s pain or grief, another’s love or joy or hunger. And similarly nobody can experience another’s understanding of a given event or situation… We must always remember that knowledge of understanding is not the same thing as the understanding, which is the raw material of that knowledge. It is as different from understanding as the doctor’s prescription for penicillin is different from penicillin.
Understanding is not inherited, nor can it be laboriously acquired. It is something which, when circumstances are favorable, comes to us, so to say, of its own accord. All of us are knowers, all the time; it is only occasionally and in spite of ourselves that we understand the mystery of given reality.
~ Aldous Huxley
… holiness is made of dailiness, of living life as it comes to me, not as I insist it be.
~ Joan Chittister, The Gift of Years
Sometimes you are privileged with a glimpse of the other world, when the light shines up from the west as the sun sets and dazzles something wet. The world is just water and light, a slide show through which your spirit glides.
~ Fanny Howe
Every little trifle, for some reason, does seem incalculably important today, and when you say of a thing that ‘nothing hangs on it,’ it sounds like blasphemy. There’s never any knowing – (how am I to put it?) – which of our actions, which of our idlenesses won’t have things hanging on it for ever.
~ E. M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread
There’s a line by John Clare that I adore — I love John Clare; I revere him — “Poets love nature and themselves are love.” And I believe that with all my heart. And part of writing is adoration. For me, celebrating the wildflowers or the birds is like a kind of worship.
~ Michael Longley, in an interview with Krista Tippet, On Being (2016)
It is when we are confronted with poignant reminders of mortality that we become most aware of the strangeness and wonder of our brief life on Earth.
~ Kathleen Basford
If this time is our only time, and it is, then surely we do owe it to ourselves, and to each other, to pay attention, to look deeply, to listen closely, and to respond to all of it, somehow, with love and gratitude.
~ Katrina Kenison