Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

5.14.2009

More Book Quotes

While I was not particularly taken by the book, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn did have some interesting aspects. A few quotes:

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I didn't want a guru or a kung fu master or a spiritual director. I didn't want to become a sorcerer or learn the zen of archery or meditate or align my chakras or uncover past incarnations. Arts and disciplines of that kind are fundamentally selfish; they're all designed to benefit the pupil--not the world.

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There is no secret knowledge; no one knows anything that can't be found on a shelf in the public library.

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And what did Hitler have to tell the German people? . . .

A story in which the Aryan race and the people of Germany in particular had been deprived of their rightful place in the world, bound, spat upon, raped, and ground into the dirt under the heels of mongrel races, Communists, and Jews. A story in which, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, the Aryan race would burst its bonds, wreak vengeance on its oppressors, purify mankind of its defilements, and assume its rightful place as the master of all races. . . .

It may seem incredible to you now that any people could have been captivated by such nonsense, but after nearly two decades of degredation and suffering following World War I, it had an almost overwhelming appeal to the people of Germany, and it was reinforced not only through the ordinary means of propaganda but by an intensive program of education of the young and reeducation of the old. . . .

As I say, there were many in Germany who recognized this story as rank mythology. They were nevertheless held captive by it simply because the vast majority around them thought it sounded wonderful and were willing to give their lives to make it a reality. . . . Even if you privately thought the whole thing was madness, you had to play your part, you had to take your place in the story. The only way to avoid that was to escape from Germany entirely. . . .

I'm telling you this because the people of your culture are in much the same situation. Like the people of Nazi Germany, they are the captives of a story. . . .

[You've heard of no such story] because there's no
need to hear of it. There's no need to name it or discuss it. Every one of you knows it by heart by the time you're six or seven. Black and white, male and female, rich and poor, Christian and Jew, American and Russian, Norwegian and Chinese, you all hear it. And you hear it incessantly, because every medium of propaganda, every medium of education pours it out incessantly. And hearing it incessantly, you don't listen to it. There's no need to listen to it. It's always there humming away in the background, so there's no need to attend to it at all. In fact, you'll find--at least initially--that it's hard to attend to it. It's like the humming of a distant motor that never stops; it becomes a sound that's no longer heard at all.

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People can't just
give up a story. . . . you can't just stop being in a story, you have to have another story to be in.

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