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Monday, July 26, 2010

The Mysterious, Depth & God - An "Unsuspected Inner Resource"

In The World As I See It, an autobiographical collection of Albert Einstein's papers, notes and lectures etc., the most renowned scientist of the twentieth century - and not unrelatedly one of that century's most visible and public atheists - makes the following comments regarding religion, God and the deep mysteries of life:

"The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. It was the experience of mystery--even if mixed with fear--that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms--it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fear, Desire and Suffering

Re-reading, yet again, the Seventh Step in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, I was struck anew by (a) how profoundly fear, desire and suffering are interrelated, (b) how integral the realization of suffering is in order to gain the humility necessary for removal of our character defects, and (c) how closely the commentary on Step Seven - whether knowingly or unbeknownst to Bill - reflects the simplicity of the Buddha's primary spiritual teaching. It teaches the nature of our suffering and how to remove it.