verbs & viewpoint

November 2, 2007

Any spiritual view which focuses attention on ourselves, and puts the human creature with its small ideas and adventures in the centre foreground, is dangerous till we recognize its absurdity…

We mostly spend those lives conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have, to Do.  Craving, clutching, and fussing, on the material, political, emotional, intellectual–even on the religious–plane, we are kept in perpetual unrest: forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except, so far as they are transcended by and included in, the fundamental verb, to Be: and that Being, not wanting, having, and doing, is the essence of a spiritual life.

 —Evelyn Underhill, The Spiritual Life

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