Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No Secret Knowledge?

This morning, I found a quote in Ishmael that is related to the quote I posted by Kurt Vonnegut a few weeks back. Here is the quote by Vonnegut:

“Meditation is holy to me, for I believe that all the secrets of existence and nonexistence are somewhere in our heads - or in other people's heads. And I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This is to me is a miracle.”

Here is the one I found in Ishmael:

"I didn't want a guru or a kung fu master or spiritual director. I didn't want to become a sorcerer or learn the zen of archery or meditate or align my chakras or uncover past incarnations. Arts and disciplines of that kind are fundamentally selfish; they're all designed to benefit the pupil - not the world. I was after something else entirely, but it wasn't in the Yellow Pages or anywhere else I could discover.

In Hermann Hesse's "The Journey to the East," we never find out what Leo's awesome wisdom consists of. This is because Hesse couldn't tell us what he himself didn't know. He was like me - he just yearned for there to be someone in the world like Leo, someone with a secret knowledge and a wisdom beyond his own. In fact, of course, there is no secret knowledge; no one knows anything that can't be found on a shelf in the public library. But I didn't know that then." [Daniel Quinn, Pg. 5, Ishmael]

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