The Key Question

<Aug. 11/09>

I’ve heard that the very brilliant Albert Einstein(1) once said the most important question facing us is, “Is the Universe a friendly place?”

Personally, although I didn’t always believe so, I’ve been utterly convinced for some time now that the answer is an unequivocal “Yes!!” Some challenging (let’s say very challenging) personal growth experiences gradually led me to conclude quite a few years ago now that the Universe very definitely does look after me – with the proviso that I must meet it at least halfway. Or, as dear young Grace & I articulated one time, “You can ask the Universe for help – but not for a free ride.”


A Few Relevant Quotations:

“I hope to be remembered as someone who made the earth a little more beautiful.” Justice William O. Douglas

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury; and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasion, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.” – William Henry Channing

Ralph Waldo Emerson on success: “To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived…this is to have succeeded.”

“The criteria for success: you are free, you live in the present moment, you are useful to the people around you, and you feel love for all humanity.” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

More wisdom from Einstein:

“Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to our lives.” – Albert Einstein

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. We need a new way of thinking if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels.” ~ Albert Einstein

“The world we have created today as a result of our thinking thus far has problems which cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them.” Albert Einstein

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus or Gandhi armed with the moneybags of Carnegie?” – Albert Einstein

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” – Sign over Albert Einstein’s desk at Princeton

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Einstein

“I believe that a simple and unassuming life is good for everybody, physically and mentally.” – Albert Einstein

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein, quoted in ‘The Great Turning – From Empire to Earth Community,’ by David Korten

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein

‘Quote of the day’ w. this post: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Harold Whitman

(1) The German-born American physicist (& Nobel prize winner), who lived from 1879 - 1955.