Understanding: The Aim of Life

"The aim of human life was understanding. Man needs to live in the material world and for this need, he easily has sufficient strength, that is, energy. Beyond what is necessary for his obvious physical needs, his energy must be devoted to gaining understanding — the understanding of himself and his relationship to the Higher, or God. And this understanding does not come just from books and reading, but from studying oneself in the midst of life. And for this total aim, man has and will receive energy from the Universe itself!"
Money and The Meaning of Life

America, Once the Hope of the World

"America was once the hope of the world.

"But what kind of hope? More than the hope of material prosperity, although that was part of it; and more than the promise of equality and liberty, although that, too, was an important part of it. And more than safety and security, precious as these things are. The deeper hope of America was its vision of what humanity is and can become — individually and in community. It was through that vision that all the material and social promise of America took its fire and light and its voice that called to men and women within its own borders and throughout the world. America was once a great idea, and it is such ideas that move the world, that open the possibility of meaning in human life."
American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders

Materialism: A Disease of the Mind

"Our world, so we see and hear on all sides, is drowning in materialism, commercialism, consumerism. But the problem is not really there. What we ordinarily speak of as materialism is a result, not a cause. The root of materialism is a poverty of ideas about the inner and the outer world. Less and less does our contemporary culture have, or even seek, commerce with great ideas, and it is that lack that is weakening the human spirit. This is the essence of materialism. Materialism is a disease of the mind starved for ideas."
American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders

The Future Already Exists

"The exercise is simply this: during the day, as you enter into one or another situation of your life, try to look upon it in advance as having already happened. Look upon every detail as predetermined. Try sometime to treat your life like a script that has already been written, as a play in which you are only an actor rehearsing a part. Try to regard the immediate future as already existing. You are like a tiny insect crawling up a tree. The tree exists already, the roots, trunk, branches and leaves are all already there. What you call time is only your movement from the roots to the branches that are already there. The insect imagines that the branches and the leaves are appearing out of nonexistence, but it is not so. The branches and leaves are there, waiting. Try to look at your life in this way — for a day, for an hour, even for a minute."
Time and the Soul

Love and a Shared Search

"We may be drawn to each other through a shared feeling of search, yet at the same time we are as driven as the rest of mankind by our sexual needs and by the impulses of vanity or ambition or fear. Once again, falling in love even in its most exquisite forms represents no more than a taste and a promise of a more profound quality of conscious life. If lovers themselves tend to overestimate the purity and the durability of this taste, then the modern 'realistic' view of love, which is aware of all that is mixed in with romantic love, tends to underestimate the contact with higher human possibilities that being in love gives to almost everyone at least once in his or her lifetime.

"This said, when a man or woman who is searching, often beneath the level of awareness, for something apart from the values and forms of life as we know it meets another man or woman in whom the same search exists, the experience of falling in love has an exceptional dimension that goes beyond the sexual, social, or psychological aspects of human relationships. The challenge is to maintain this quality of connection in the work of living together.

"It is not only a matter of two people maintaining the sense of search that was such an important element in drawing them together. It is much more than that. The point is that when two people are drawn to each other in this way, they have the possibility — and perhaps the duty — not only to maintain this quality of relationship but to help each other deepen the search and carry it forward in each other's individual life."
The Wisdom of Love