Our universe has its eternal laws that we seem to have forgotten. Used together, they become a powerful force that can make us stronger and wiser.
The Law of Thought states that thoughts create reality.
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Selected thoughts of the inimitable John Steinbeck:
John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. was an American author and the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature winner "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception." He has been called "a giant of American letters." Steinbeck wrote 31 books over the course of his career. His most well-known novels include Of Mice and Men (1937), Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952).
“When our food, clothing, and roof become the product of a complex mass production, then complex mass ideas enter our consciousness that displace all other thoughts and this is dangerous. There is a vast tension around the world and people seem to be stiff and confused…At such times it seems logical to ask oneself – What do I believe in? Against what I need to stand up?
“Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man. And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammer blows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.
And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for this is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely, I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.”
“I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught - in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too - in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well - or ill?”
“In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layer of frailty men want to be good and want be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love.”
“Miracles – they contradict not our laws of nature but our idea of the Laws of Nature.”
What I Don’t Love About Christmas
I love Christmas. I love the time with family, I love giving my loved ones gifts, I love the food, I love the church service, and I love the joy. What I don’t like about this time of year is the constant barrage of messages from everybody telling me that I don’t have enough or that my life would be better if I only had something more.
Having more does not make us satisfied, it makes us want more. Steinbeck was exactly right about society. Too much does not make us happy; it makes us miserable, greedy, and sick. If we have some, we want more. So how do we break free from the lie of having more?
I believe that there are two keys to break free from this trap: (1) thankfulness and (2) generosity. When we are thankful, we acknowledge that someone or something else is responsible for what we have. This attitude leads us toward a belief that what we have is not really ours to keep, but ours to share. Through this attitude of thankfulness we begin to desire generosity above greed. More is no longer enough or even sought after.
More may come in, but that just means more can go out…
Shared with Joy