Greek-born English/American Author, Lecturer, Television Personality
Greek-born English/American Author, Lecturer, Television Personality
Our current obsession with creativity is the result of our continued striving for immortality in an era when most people no longer believe in an after-life.
We are not only made in God’s image, but that we are made to image God - to reflect His freedom, joy, compassion and peace in our lives... When religion becomes reduced to an outward observation of rules and ceremonies and an intolerance toward the beliefs of others, we are mistaking the oyster for the pearl. The oyster is certainly valuable, but it is of infinitely greater value when it promotes the growth of the pearl... We cannot reason our way back to the roots of religion. We cannot trap God in stale dogmas or narrow creeds. Our purpose is to make religion a continuous living experience, to lead us toward a resurrection not of the dead but of the living who are dead to their own truth. Then religion becomes a thread that can both link us to the past and guide us to our future.
Things as they are are changed when we demonstrate a new reality. A very small change in perception can result in a change in behavior and, cumulatively, in a very large change in cultural patterns. Our purpose and destiny are encoded within us. But they do not automatically propel us to the next act in our day, let alone the next stage in our evolution. Our Fourth Instinct allows us to see that next stage, and our free will enables us to act on it so that it can become a reality.
Both these perspectives - that the government is responsible for us, and that we are responsible only for ourselves - are dehumanizing. To be fully human, we can neither give up responsibility for ourselves nor refuse responsibility for others. Indeed, we need to redefine individual responsibility to include social responsibility.
Creation is not an arrested reality that can be captured, dissected and handed down in frozen creeds; it is, instead, a living process that can only be completed by our own full participation.
Lasting social change unfolds from inside out: from the inner to the outer being, from inner to outer realities.
Man is going to evolve. It is our destiny. As in any evolution, parts of us will die in order for other parts to be born. Choosing at each moment the feelings, attitudes and values - acceptance, cooperation, caring, loving, forgiving - that will be the building blocks of the emerging reality is what it means to choose to evolve. At each moment we can choose to behave as natives of this new reality and co-creators in our evolution.
Our life’s pattern is not built on a few grand metaphysical themes but on the day-to-day, real-life decisions that we make - and that is also where our life’s meaning will be found.
Religion may begin with our love of God, but true science ends there. In the very process of demystifying the world, we discover a new mystery, recognizing and celebrating God in everything.
The answer to the accumulating casualties of the welfare state’s “war” on poverty is the home-grown, grass-roots, all-volunteer army of ordinary people armed with food, books, skills and a determination to make a difference. The entrepreneurial creativity that catapulted this nation to a position of global leadership can now be harnessed to do for community what it did for productivity. When we provide imaginative, entrepreneurial alternatives to the welfare state, we won’t need to confront it. It will simply wither away. And the rewards of this work are a bounty of spiritual renewal: an abundance of love, meaning and connectedness.
The silence in our lives is under assault on all fronts: roaring jets and blasting Walkmans, numbing elevator music and blaring headline news. It’s hard to genuflect to the beat of MTV. We are wired, plugged in, constantly catered to and cajoled. After a while we become terrified out of the silence, unaware of what it has to offer. We drown out the simple question of God with the simplistic sound-bites of man.
Relationships can become a doorway into a new life - surrendering, growing, giving, creating - or a revolving door which gives us movement without progress and deposits us back into ourselves, not as we could become but as we are.
So long as we are on a search for pain-free human relationships, or shifting responsibility for all our hurt and all our fears of abandonment, or seeking ourselves in others, we have not yet found the thread that will lead us toward God, or ourselves. When we learn to accept ourselves - not just our public achievements and private successes, not just the divine being we are evolving into, but also our failures, inadequacies, cowardices and fears - then we will be able to embrace the strangers among us, because we will, finally, have embraced the stranger inside ourselves.
Soul can neither be destroyed nor created; it can only be evoked or driven even deeper into hiding.
To live exuberantly - to fully know and be fully known - we must be prepared to risk lighting a candle to illuminate the darkness of even our most intimate relationships, revealing ourselves and seeing clearly all that is revealed. To grow in our relationships and to expand as individuals within them, we must exchange the glorious unreality of the honeymoon for something even better...
To reach the depths of the beauty of our souls in our close relationships, we must be prepared to walk into the dark side of intimacy and out the other side into the light. Our most meaningful relationships are based on what we are capable of becoming, rather than on what we have been or what we are, on our longing for expansion rather than our preoccupation with comfort and security.
When we choose to give to others, we will appreciate how much we have - no matter how little it may actually be. And when we start to love our neighbors, we will end up also loving ourselves.
When, in our pain, we turn our attention to life’s purpose, we take up pain as a thread through the labyrinth... But when we deny pain, we are denying life itself. When we flee from pain that we cannot escape, we are fleeing from an opportunity to grow.
For most utopians, the incremental approach is far too slow and unglamorous. It lacks cataclysmic drama. They want to save the world today and send out a great press release tomorrow morning. Feeding a hungry child tonight doesn’t draw a crowd.
I began to accept that the meaning of life, even the purpose of the pain that accompanies it, would be found not in the question I asked of life, but in the questions life asked of me.
In giving, we receive, in serving we find our strength, in reaching out we are lifted up.
Life and love are not essentially about “a few persons nearest us.” They are found in the spiritual nature that unites us, even if everything else separates us. Apart from this unity, we are still lonesome and alienated - we are merely lonesome together, alienated together.
Nothing impedes our evolution more surely than our inability to forgive.
A dimension is missing from ourselves and our culture which is reflected in our inability to reconcile the competing demands of our inner and outer lives. As a result, most of us make use of a very small portion of our possible consciousness and of our soul’s resources... The destiny of mankind depends on something as personal and intimate as the way each one of us chooses to live, think and behave.
Consumption, celebrity and the quest for perfection in this world are all subject to the law of diminishing returns: each successive acquisition and achievement will mean less than the one before. Diminishing returns are finally leading to diminished expectations about the promise of finding happiness without caring for our souls. Perhaps we are now ready to reject the hucksters of materialisms that have lured us down so many dead ends, and start again on the road that will lead us back to God.