hasn’t got a damn thing to do with anything, ‘cause all it has to do with is nothing. Nothingness. Okay? It doesn’t develop the mind, it dissolves the mind. Self-improvement? Forget it, baby. It erases the self. Throws the ego out on its big brittle ass. What good is it? Good for nothing. Excellent for nothing. Yes, Lord, but when you get down to nothing, you get down to ultimate reality. It’s then and exactly then that you’re sensing the true nature of the universe, you’re linked up with the absolute Absolute, son, and unless you’re content with blowing smoke up your butt all your life, that there’s the only place to be.
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hasn’t got a damn thing to do with anything, ‘cause all it has to do with is nothing. Nothingness. Okay? It doesn’t develop the mind, it dissolves the mind. Self-improvement? Forget it, baby. It erases the self. Throws the ego out on its big brittle ass. What good is it? Good for nothing. Excellent for nothing. Yes, Lord, but when you get down to nothing, you get down to ultimate reality. It’s then and exactly then that you’re sensing the true nature of the universe, you’re linked up with the absolute Absolute, son, and unless you’re content with blowing smoke up your butt all your life, that there’s the only place to be.

-Tom Robbins

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Lao Tzu's first paragraph in the book "Tao Te Ching" is that the Tao that can be told is not the absolute Tao.Lao Tzu has his own logic, the logic of paradoxes, the logic of life.To understand Tao, you will have to create eyes.Lao Tzu believes in the unity of opposites, because that is how life is.The Tao can be communicated, but it can only be communicated from heart to heart, from being to being, from love to love, from silence to silence.Truth is always realized in silence. In silence, the truth is realized.You reach to truth through silence.All spiritual books tries to say something that can not be said in the hope that a thirst, a longing, is created in your heart to know the truth.Tao is totality. Life exists through the tension of the opposites, the meeting of the opposites.Lao Tzu says that the opposite poles of life are not really opposites, but complementaries.Thinking is always of opposites. Lao Tzu says: drop the split attitude. Be simple.And when you are simple, you do not choose. Lao Tzu says: be choiceless, let life flow.Enjoy both poles in life, and then your life becomes a symphony of opposites.How to drop the mind: do not choose. If you do not choose, the mind drops.Live life as it comes - float. Float with life. Enjoy the moment in its totality,It is to live as part of the whole, to live as part of existence.If you become silent and empty, everything will come on it's own accord.When you live without any desire for power, position, fame or success, the whole existence pours down into your emptiness.

-Swami Dhyan

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The last time I’d been unwell, suicidally depressed, whatever you want to call it, the reactions of my friends and family had fallen into several different camps:The Let’s Laugh It Off merchants: Claire was the leading light. They hoped that joking about my state of mind would reduce it to a manageable size. Most likely to say, ‘Feeling any mad urges to fling yourself into the sea?’The Depression Deniers: they were the ones who took the position that since there was no such thing as depression, nothing could be wrong with me. Once upon a time I’d have belonged in that category myself. A subset of the Deniers was The Tough Love people. Most likely to say, ‘What have you got to be depressed about?’The It’s All About Me bunch: they were the ones who wailed that I couldn’t kill myself because they’d miss me so much. More often than not, I’d end up comforting them. My sister Anna and her boyfriend, Angelo, flew three thousand miles from New York just so I could dry their tears. Most likely to say, ‘Have you any idea how many people love you?’The Runaways: lots and lots of people just stopped ringing me. Most of them I didn’t care about, but one or two were important to me. Their absence was down to fear; they were terrified that whatever I had, it was catching. Most likely to say, ‘I feel so helpless … God, is that the time?’ Bronagh – though it hurt me too much at the time to really acknowledge it – was the number one offender.The Woo-Woo crew: i.e. those purveying alternative cures. And actually there were hundreds of them – urging me to do reiki, yoga, homeopathy, bible study, sufi dance, cold showers, meditation, EFT, hypnotherapy, hydrotherapy, silent retreats, sweat lodges, felting, fasting, angel channelling or eating only blue food. Everyone had a story about something that had cured their auntie/boss/boyfriend/next-door neighbour. But my sister Rachel was the worst – she had me plagued. Not a day passed that she didn’t send me a link to some swizzer. Followed by a phone call ten minutes later to make sure I’d made an appointment. (And I was so desperate that I even gave plenty of them a go.) Most likely to say, ‘This man’s a miracle worker.’ Followed by: ‘That’s why he’s so expensive. Miracles don’t come cheap.’There was often cross-pollination between the different groupings. Sometimes the Let’s Laugh It Off merchants teamed up with the Tough Love people to tell me that recovering from depression is ‘simply mind over matter’. You just decide you’re better. (The way you would if you had emphysema.)Or an All About Me would ring a member of the Woo-Woo crew and sob and sob about how selfish I was being and the Woo-Woo crew person would agree because I had refused to cough up two grand for a sweat lodge in Wicklow.Or one of the Runaways would tiptoe back for a sneaky look at me, then commandeer a Denier into launching a two-pronged attack, telling me how well I seemed. And actually that was the worst thing anyone could have done to me, because you can only sound like a self-pitying malingerer if you protest, ‘But I don’t feel well. I feel wretched beyond description.’Not one person who loved me understood how I’d felt. They hadn’t a clue and I didn’t blame them, because, until it had happened to me, I hadn’t a clue either.

-Marian Keyes

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If we get rid of all wishful thinking and dubious metaphysical speculations, we can hardly doubt that – at a time not too distant – each one of us will simply cease to be. It won’t be like going into darkness forever, for there will be neither darkness, nor time, nor sense of futility, nor anyone to feel anything about it. Try as best you can to imagine this, and keep at it. The universe will, supposedly, be going on as usual, but for each individual it will be as if it had never happened at all; and even that is saying too much, because there won’t be anyone for whom it never happened. Make this prospect as real as possible: the one total certainty. You will be as if you had never existed, which was, however, the way you were before you did exist – and not only you but everything else. Nevertheless, with such an improbable past, here we are. We begin from nothing and end in nothing. You can say that again. Think it over and over, trying to conceive the fact of coming to never having existed. After a while you will begin to feel rather weird, as if this very apparent something that you are is at the same time nothing at all. Indeed, you seem to be rather firmly and certainly grounded in nothingness, much as your sight seems to emerge from that total blankness behind your eyes. The weird feeling goes with the fact that you are being introduced to a new common sense, a new logic, in which you are beginning to realize the identity of ku and shiki, void and form. All of a sudden it will strike you that this nothingness is the most potent, magical, basic, and reliable thing you ever thought of, and that the reason you can’t form the slight idea of it is that it’s yourself. But not the self you thought you were.

-Alan W.

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