Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.
~ Munia Khan
We’re all—trees, humans, insects, birds, bacteria—pluralities. Life is embodied network. These living networks are not places of omnibenevolent Oneness. Instead, they are where ecological and evolutionary tensions between cooperation and conflict are negotiated and resolved. These struggles often result not in the evolution of stronger, more disconnected selves but in the dissolution of the self into relationship. Because life is network, there is no “nature” or “environment,” separate and apart from humans. We are part of the community of life, composed of relationships with “others,” so the human/nature duality that lives near the heart of many philosophies is, from a biological perspective, illusory.
~ David George Haskell, The Songs of Trees
Because, underneath all of this is the real truth we have been avoiding: climate change isn’t an “issue” to add to the list of things to worry about, next to health care and taxes. It is a civilizational wake-up call. A powerful message—spoken in the language of fires, floods, droughts, and extinctions—telling us that we need an entirely new economic model and a new way of sharing this planet. Telling us that we need to evolve.
~ Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.
~ Arundhati Roy
Eternity is with us, inviting our contemplation perpetually, but we are too frightened, lazy, and suspicious to respond; too arrogant to still our thought, and let divine sensation have its way. It needs industry and goodwill if we would make that transition; for the process involves a veritable spring-cleaning of the soul, a turning-out and rearrangement of our mental furniture, a wide opening of closed windows, that the notes of the wild birds beyond our garden may come to us fully charged with wonder and freshness, and drown with their music the noise of the gramaphone within. Those who do this, discover that they have lived in a stuffy world, whilst their inheritance was a world of morning-glory:where every tit-mouse is a celestial messenger, and every thrusting bud is charged with the full significance of life.
~ Evelyn Underhill, Practical Mysticism: A Little Book for Normal People (1914)
Here is a moment of extravagant beauty: I drink its liquid from the shells of my hands and almost all of it runs sparkling through my fingers: but beauty is like that, it is a fraction of a second, quickness of a flash and then immediately it escapes.
~ Clarice Lispector, A Breath of Life
Silence is like a cradle holding our endeavors and our will; a silent spaciousness sustains us in our work and at the same time connects us to larger worlds that, in the busyness of our daily struggle to achieve, we have not yet investigated. Silence is the soul’s break for freedom.
Listen to the silence as it echoes around you. Ancient spirits dance to it.
~Amber Coverdalle Sumrall
Take a journey into the things which you are carrying, the known —
not into the unknown — into what you already know:
your pleasures, your delights, your despairs, your sorrows.
Take a journey into that, that is all you have.
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
We are beckoned to see the world through a one-way mirror, as if we are threatened and innocent and the rest of humanity is threatening, or wretched, or expendable. Our memory is struggling to rescue the truth that human rights were not handed down as privileges from a parliament, or a boardroom, or an institution, but that peace is only possible with justice and with information that gives us the power to act justly.
~ John Pilger
Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling?
~ Bertrand Russell