Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic. His works include plays, poetry, literature, and aesthetic criticism as well as treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour.
Hermann Karl Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Demian, Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Enjoy some of my favorite quotes from the author Anne Lamott:
“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”
“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me–that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”
“But you can’t get to any of these truths by sitting in a field smiling beatifically, avoiding your anger and damage and grief. Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth. We don’t have much truth to express unless we have gone into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not go in to. When we have gone in and looked around for a long while, just breathing and finally taking it in – then we will be able to speak in our own voice and to stay in the present moment. And that moment is home.”
Vangeliya Pandeva Gushterova, commonly known as Baba Vanga, was a Bulgarian mystic and herbalist. Blind since early childhood, Baba Vanga spent most of her life in the Rupite area in the Kozhuh mountains in Bulgaria.
“What is eudaimonia?
Eudaimonia is often translated as happiness or genuine happiness. A somewhat better translation would be human flourishing, the way to reach the perfect life in so far as perfection is attainable by humanity. Something not to be found in outer means but, according to Plotinus, something found within the human spirit, itself.
Socrates thought all human beings wanted eudaimonia more than anything else and that virtue was both the seed and the fruit. Virtues such as self-control, courage, justice, piety and wisdom guaranteed a good and happy life. He contrasted eudaimonia with the life that seeks after honour (modern fame) and pleasure (modern hedonism) because that does nothing for the state of ones soul and thus can never lead to the ‘incomparably more important’ eudaimonia.
Epicurus went even further down this road and said hedonism was the most ethical way of life since pleasure was intrinsically good and pain intrinsically bad. This is different from the way we currently think about hedonism because he thought virtue would bring the most pleasure and so, naturally, everyone would try to be the most virtuous, while nowadays virtue is often viewed as weak or archaic.. it only distances us from our pain and difficult personal issues, but also from our own authentic spirituality, stranding us in a metaphysical limbo, a zone of exaggerated gentleness, niceness, and superficiality.”