Living in a Material World

Socrates believed that the wise person would instinctively lead a frugal life. He himself would not even wear shoes; yet he constantly fell under the spell of the marketplace and would go there often to look at all the wares on display. When a friend asked why, Socrates said, “I love to go there and discover how many things I am perfectly happy without.”

Anthony De Mello, SJ. The Prayer of the Frog (Vol 2), Anand Press (1989).

The Meaning of Life – Joseph Campbell

atkins-bookshelf-quotationsPeople say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about.

 Joseph Campbell. Excerpt from Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, PBS, 2001.


The Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt. Excerpt from his speech, “Citizenship In A Republic, ” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on April 23, 1910.