“Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can’t have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We were too uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and therefore a man’s worth couldn’t be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorneys or politicians, therefore we couldn’t cheat. We really were in a bad way before the white men came, and I don’t know how we managed to get along without these basic things which, we are told, are absolutly necessary to make a civilized society.”
“I’m amazed what thin soup is dished out as spiritual food.”
Really great 8m bit here on Terrence’s own way of seeing his history of “drugs”, thinkers, competing ideologies and experiences.
“I think it was the pursuit of beauty that served me best.”
“You do not have to sell out to any form of airhead-ism. You can be as demanding, analytical, rational as you want, and the thing is bigger than you are. It’ll take you apart, you’ll be weeping like a baby. It kicks in the front door and takes you prisoner.”
“You’ll never get anywhere if you believe in stuff because, you know, it’ll take you 6 months to get through Baba G and then you have to go on to someone else and life is just not long enough to give all these guys a crack at your enlightenment… so you sort of have to goose it along.”
“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never.”
“You go out into a world where mankind is challenged, as it has never been challenged before, to prove its maturity and its mastery — not of nature, but of itself. Therein lies our hope and our destiny.”
“To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.”
Found in the epic Magic Lessons podcast, episode #201. From a poem called A Brief for the Defense. Here’s that poem:
Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.
“I have no wish to defend my ‘vices’ with propaganda, making out that they are in fact virtues which others should follow. I am only saying that I distrust people who show no sign of naughtiness or self-indulgence.”
I know that God will give me my daily bread…
When I run after what I think I want,
My days are a furnace of distress and anxiety;
If I sit in my own place of patience,
What I need flows to me,
And without any pain.
From this I understand that
What I want also wants me,
Is looking for me
And attracting me;
When it cannot attract me
Any more to go to it,
It has to come to me.
There is a great secret
In this for anyone
Who can grasp it.