Famous Quotes & Sayings

Sam Keen Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 97 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Sam Keen.

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Famous Quotes By Sam Keen

Sam Keen Quotes 591717

The more we chase away the false mysteries - those things we think we know about ourselves and others - the more mysterious our existence becomes. — Sam Keen

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One part of love is sweet and easy, something we fall into and are swept away by. But the other part is hard: it requires discipline, willpower, and opening your heart again and again to someone with whom you are angry, can't stand, and do not like. — Sam Keen

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To really love a person completely is to come to a point where your stories are intertwined. — Sam Keen

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The spiritual mind is always metaphorical. Spiritual thinking is poetic thinking. It's always trying to put a very diaphanous experience into words, realizing all the while that words are inadequate. — Sam Keen

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You come to love not by discovering the ideal individual, yet by figuring out how to see a blemished individual flawlessly. — Sam Keen

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To be on a quest is nothing more or less than to become an asker of questions. — Sam Keen

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To sustain love, a man and a woman must continually be marrying and divorcing, moving with, against, away from, and beyond each other, saying 'yes' and 'no'. — Sam Keen

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You can know what's in your life when you know what's in your heart. — Sam Keen

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Many people wake up in middle age with the realization that in their youthful romances and early marriages, they were drawn to precisely the kinds of partners they were trying to avoid. All too often we marry stand-ins for our alchoholic fathers, shadowy replacements for our angry mothers, surrogates with whom we try to work out our unfinished childhood dramas. Or we fall in love with someone who incarnates the virtues or vices opposite our own. An orderly man who plans his days marries a spontaneous woman who lets things lie where they fall, lives in the moment, and is perpetually late for appointments. — Sam Keen

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Every time I come across a rattlesnake on my farm I initially react in fear and am tempted to kill it. Then I realize I wouldn't want to live in a world where all wild things - without and within - are domesticated. — Sam Keen

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The traditional gender ideals of the strong-silent man who plays his cards close to his chest and the mysterious woman who disguises her feelings with coyness go so far as to make a virtue of being unavailable and secretive. But wholehearted intimacy can develop only where two people are equally forthcoming and self-revelatory. To take the risk of loving, we must become vulnerable enough to test the radical proposition that knowledge of another and self-revelation will ultimately increase rather than decrease love. It is an awe-ful risk. — Sam Keen

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I think that critiquing the myths of our society and helping people find their way through them is a very important thing. It's a theme that goes through all of my work. — Sam Keen

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On the pilgrim's path each man must become Moses, going on a vision quest to some mountaintop and returning with the ten or twenty commandments that he holds sacred. So long as we obey or break the rules that have been set up for us by the Giants - Parents and other Authorities - we remain good or bad children. Growing into the fullness of our humanity means that we become co-authors of the rules by which we will agree to have our lives judged. — Sam Keen

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The first part of the spiritual journey should properly be called psychological rather than spiritual because it involves peeling away the myths and illusions that have misinformed us. — Sam Keen

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The root of humanly caused evil is not man's animal nature, not territorial aggression, or innate selfishness, but our need to gain self-esteem, deny our mortality, and achieve a heroic self-image. Our desire for the best is the cause of the worst. — Sam Keen

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What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never think to ask. — Sam Keen

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There are two questions a man must ask himself: The first is 'Where am I going?' and the second is 'Who will go with me?'
If you ever get these questions in the wrong order you are in trouble. — Sam Keen

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Good men and good women have fire in the belly. We are fierce. Don't mess with us if you're looking for someone who will always be 'nice' to you. Nice gets you a C+ in life. We don't always smile, talk in a soft voice, or engage in indiscriminate hugs. In the loving struggle between the sexes we thrust and parry. — Sam Keen

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I try to steer away from high metaphysical belief because I think we humans do best when we realize that we don't know all that much. — Sam Keen

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It's perfectly possible to spend forty hours a week on a job that's meaningless, as long as you know what your real vocation is and find some way to express it. Then you won't confuse your job with the meaning of your life. — Sam Keen

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A man must go on a quest / to discover the sacred fire / in the sanctuary of his own belly / to ignite the flame in his heart / to fuel the blaze in the hearth / to rekindle his ardor for the earth — Sam Keen

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The more you become a connoisseur of gratitude, the less you are a victim of resentment, depression, and despair. Gratitude will act as an elixir that will gradually dissolve the hard shell of your ego-your need to posses and control-and transform you into a generous being. The sense of gratitude produces true spiritual alchemy, makes us magnanimous-lar ge souled. — Sam Keen

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Consensual paranoia - the pathology of the normal person who is a member of a war-justifying society - forms the template from which all the images of the enemy are created. By studying the logic of paranoia, we can see why certain archetypes of the enemy must necessarily recur, no matter what the historical circumstances. — Sam Keen

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If some incarnation of evil as unambiguous as Hitler appeared again, I would have no moral qualms about killing the enemy. But in the modern world of moral murkiness, I prefer to keep my hands as clean of enemy blood as possible. — Sam Keen

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I suspect that we are all recipients of cosmic love notes. Messages, omens, voices, cries, revelations, and appeals are homogenized into each day's events. If only we knew how to listen, to read the signs. — Sam Keen

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As a mode of perception that often becomes a style of life, paranoia weaves around the vulnerable self or group an air-tight metaphysic and world view. Paranoia is an antireligious mysticism based on the feeling or perception that the world in general, and others in particular, are against me or us. Reality is perceived as hostile. By contrast, the religious mystic experiences the ground of being as basically friendly to the deepest needs of the self. That which is unknown, strange, or beyond our comprehension is with and for rather than against us. — Sam Keen

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Human beings are what I think of as "biomythic" animals: we're controlled largely by the stories we tell. When we get the story wrong, we get out of harmony with the rest of the natural order. — Sam Keen

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I think we're always in the process of writing and rewriting the story of our lives, forming our experiences into a narrative that makes sense. Much of that work involves demythologizing family myths and cultural myths - getting free of what we have been told about ourselves. — Sam Keen

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In problems of logic, contradictory statements cannot be true; in the psyche, only contradictions are true. Self-image and shadow are Siamese twins, and the psyche is equally formed by the conscious and unconscious. Whatever appears to be true on the surface is linked to an opposite truth beneath the surface. What you see is not what you get. — Sam Keen

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To a large extent, the aged in our society are ghettoized. Old people are seen as useless, bypassed by history, old-fashioned, in the way. So, not surprisingly, when we reach the official mark of old age, we're supposed to go gently into that good night, to get off center stage and hand over the spotlight. Old age is also surrounded by shame - the myth of impotence and inability. — Sam Keen

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You don't go through a deep personal transformation without some kind of dark night of the soul. — Sam Keen

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To cultivate love, or whole-soul-fulness, we must resist the temptation to be upwardly mobile, to be always on the move, to pull up our roots and fly to the mythic kingdom of Elsewhere. — Sam Keen

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The deepest mystery comes not when we don't know somebody well, but when we do. — Sam Keen

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Throughout my life, I've had different metaphors for freedom. At one time, it was skin diving. In the ocean you feel weightless; you escape from gravity. — Sam Keen

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We [people] may enjoy this fleeting beauty [of life] for such a brief instance. And then we are compost. G - , the creator-destroyer, certainly has a strange sense of humor! — Sam Keen

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In a way, human beings have never been part of the natural order; we're not biological in the normal sense. Normal biological animals stop eating when they're not hungry and stop breeding when there is no sense in breeding. By contrast, human beings are what I think of as "biomythic" animals: we're controlled largely by the stories we tell. When we get the story wrong, we get out of harmony with the rest of the natural order. For a long time, our unnatural beahvior didn't threaten the natural world, but now it does. — Sam Keen

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The telling of your stories is a revolutionary act. — Sam Keen

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The question that surrounds lovemaking is, "Did you cum?" and the unasked question beneath that is, "Am I all right? — Sam Keen

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Call it "womb awe" or even "womb worship" but it's not simple envy. I don't remember even wanting to be a woman. But each of the three times I have been present at the birth of one of my children, I have been overwhelmed by a sense of reverence ... It was quite suddenly, the first day of creation; the Goddess giving birth to a world ... Like men since the beginning of time I wondered: What can I ever create that will equal the magnificence of this new life? — Sam Keen

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Without reverence we [people] will gradually descend into ecocide. In the degree that the imperatives of the market - the temple of the Mall - govern our lives, we are in escalating danger of destroying the commonwealth of all sentient beings - bugs and bees and buntings - on which we depend for a luxurious life on planet earth. — Sam Keen

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Without knowing how to calculate the odds on such matters, it seems improbably to me that God would have whispered the meaning of my life into the ear of some guru or authority. — Sam Keen

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In a pluralistic culture ... every individual must create a private mythological system. I must discover within myself the Garden of Eden from which I am exiled and the New Jeruselem toward which I am journeying. And must bear the burden of being my own redeemer, my own Christ. — Sam Keen

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In the beginning, we create the enemy. Before the weapon comes the image. We think others to death and then invent the battle-axe or ballistic missiles with which to actually kill them. Propaganda precedes technology. — Sam Keen

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Trust what moves you most deeply. — Sam Keen

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Love isn't finding a perfect person. It's seeing an imperfect person perfectly. — Sam Keen

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Chronological time is what we measure by clocks and calendars; it is always linear, orderly, quantifiable, and mechanical. Kairotic time is organic, rhythmic, bodily, leisurely, and aperiodic; it is the inner cadence that brings fruit to ripeness, a woman to childbirth, a man to change the direction of his life. — Sam Keen

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I think there are families that are very kind and supportive of people's ability to change. People who come from such families may go through life without dipping into the dark night. — Sam Keen

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Burnout is nature's way of telling you, you've been going through the motions your soul has departed; you're a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system. — Sam Keen

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Soul grows in communion. Word by word, story by story, for better or worse, we build our world. From true conversation - speaking and listening - communication deepens into compassion and creates community. — Sam Keen

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The sacred is discovered in what moves and touches us, in what makes us tremble. — Sam Keen

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I think we're inevitably going to be depressed when we focus the major part of our energy and attention on something that doesn't give us meaning, only material things. — Sam Keen

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The lover heals the world not by a vague and abstract love for everybody and everything, but by becoming passionate and vowing fidelity to concrete relationships, persons, institutions, and places. — Sam Keen

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Condition a man (or a woman) to value aggression above all other virtues, and you will produce a character type whose most readily expressed emotion will be anger. Condition a woman (or a man) to value submission above all other attitudes and you will produce a character type whose most readily expressed emotion will be sadness. — Sam Keen

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I think it's increasingly hard to have deep self-knowledge without entering the darkness in some way. — Sam Keen

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The best practice is to follow the advice posted on every railroad crossing: Stop. Look. Listen. — Sam Keen

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Our society has been eaten up by the economic view of things, which routinely forces us to work at jobs that don't mean anything. — Sam Keen

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At thirty I lived in a world where death wasn't immediately real; it was always something "out there." My deeply held illusions of immortality - a product of my very conservative religious upbringing - were still pretty much intact. — Sam Keen

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I fall into all kinds of inauthenticity when I conspire to forget my mortality. — Sam Keen

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If we had a better understanding of the ways we think about enemies, we might be able to think of more rational ways of settling conflict. — Sam Keen

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Our minds, bodies, feelings, relationships are all informed by our questions. What you ask is who you are. What you find depends on what you search for. And what shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never think of asking. — Sam Keen

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The Greeks invented the idea of nemesis to show how any single virtue, stubbornly maintained gradually changes into a destructive vice. Our success, our industry, our habit of work have produced our economic nemesis. Work made modern men great, but now threatens to usurp our souls, to inundate the earth in things and trash, to destroy our capacity to love and wonder. — Sam Keen

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To love is to return to a home we never left, to remember who we are. — Sam Keen

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Each day befriend a single fear, and the miscellaneous terrors of being human will never join together to form such a morass of vague anxiety that it rules your life from the shadows of the unconscious. We learn to fly not by being fearless, but by the daily practice of courage. — Sam Keen

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The world is run largely by urban, sedentary males. The symbol of power is the chair. — Sam Keen

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The 'still, small voice' of God never calls on me to be like another man. It appeals to me to rise to my full stature and fulfill the promise that sleeps within my being. — Sam Keen

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We all yearn to fly. We are creatures of longing. We do not need to [physically fly] to be airborne. What I call the aerial instinct-the drive to transcend our present condition- is the defining characteristic of a human being. We are restless animals, eternal travelers who are forever in the process of becoming. Consciousness itself is a flight from the here and now to the beyond. Our reach always exceeds our grasp, which is what Heaven is for ... — Sam Keen

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We suffer from the illusion that the faster we run, the more likely we are to grasp happiness. The truth is that the velocity necessary for success rarely exceeds the rate of reflection. — Sam Keen

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There is the extreme of hopelessness and the inevitability of doom, a deep despair that comes from the sense that our industrial, consuming society is jeopardizing the planet. — Sam Keen

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It's interesting that the worse things get, the more we believe the next technological fix is going to get us out of it. But it's like being in quicksand: the more you struggle the deeper you sink. — Sam Keen

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We now realize that we're not living in a piecemeal world, but a world where everything is linked together. — Sam Keen

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Paranoia reduces anxiety and guilt by transferring to the other all the characteristics one does not want to recognize in oneself. It is maintained by selective perception and recall. We only see and acknowledge those negative aspects of the enemy that support the stereotype we have already created. — Sam Keen

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Enter each day with the expectation that the happenings of the day may contain a clandestine message addressed to you personally. Expect omens, epiphanies, casual blessings and teachers who unknowingly speak to your condition. — Sam Keen

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There has always been a part of me that saw wilderness and risk-taking as the path to freedom. — Sam Keen

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The abyss beyond our beliefs is something we have to pass through in order to see the world anew, to see it in terms not dictated so much by our culture, our parents, or our religious convictions. — Sam Keen

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Freud articulated the standard opinion when he asked with supposed seriousness, 'What does a woman want?' ... Today the question that is the yeast in the social dough is, 'What do men want? — Sam Keen

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The spiritual journey is one that we must take "alone together," in the same way that a good marriage involves a dance between solitude and communion. The life of the spirit entails a continuous alternation between retreating into oneself and going out into the world: it's an inward-outward journey. There is a solitary part to it, but that solitude helps us to develop richer and more in-depth relationships with our friends, our children, our community, and the political world. — Sam Keen

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Aristotle said that philosophy begins in wonder. I believe it also ends in wonder. The ultimate way in which we relate to the world as something sacred is by renewing our sense of wonder. That's why I'm so opposed to the kind of miracle-mongering we find in both new-age and old-age religion. We're attracted to pseudomiracles only because we've ceased to wonder at the world, at how amazing it is. — Sam Keen

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We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. — Sam Keen

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Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. — Sam Keen

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Freedom is an inside job. — Sam Keen

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Myth is the system of basic metaphors, images, and stories that informs the perceptions, memories, and aspirations of a people; provides the rationale for its institutions, rituals and power structure; and gives a map of the purpose and stages of life. — Sam Keen

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Our inner dialogue is frequently composed of old tape loops that we run again and again ... The normal personality marshals sufficient defense mechanisms to exclude dangerous and unknown stimuli and just enough windows to let in an occasional wandering minstrel. Neurotic identity crises come when our defense mechanisms have been too successful and we're encapsulated in the fortress we have constructed with nothing to refresh us in our solitary confinement. So we play the old movies with their stale fears and their unrealistic hopes until we become bored enough to risk disarmament and engagement. — Sam Keen

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Being pretty successful, I can, of course, afford some luxuries. But I realize again and again how we have to disillusion ourselves of the idea that these things are going to give us real satisfaction. — Sam Keen

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We can only choose whether we will feel and not what we will feel. — Sam Keen

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Wise people are able to give themselves gracefully to seemingly contradictory experiences, because they know that they belong to different seasons of life, all of which are necessary to the whole. Spring and winter, growth and decay, creativity and fallowness, health and sickness, power and impotence, and life and death all belong within the economy of being. — Sam Keen

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What happens if I try to build a life dedicated to avoiding all danger and all unnecessary risk? — Sam Keen

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Compassion begins with the acknowledgment of the single inescapable truth that is the foundation for the possibility of love between human beings - an awareness of the tragic sense of life. — Sam Keen

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There is no easy formula for determining right and wrong livelihood, but it is essential to keep the question alive. To return the sense of dignity and honor to manhood, we have to stop pretending that we can make a living at something that is trivial or destructive and still have sense of legitimate self-worth. A society in which vocation and job are separated for most people gradually creates an economy that is often devoid of spirit, one that frequently fills our pocketbooks at the cost of emptying our souls. — Sam Keen

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Mounting an expedition to actualize a Compassionate Commonwealth of all peoples ... is the great spiritual challenge of our time. — Sam Keen

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If we don't preserve forest habitat for spotted owls, then soon we won't have trees to refresh the air we breathe. And we're realizing that this applies to social ecology, as well. — Sam Keen

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Mystical experiences (unlike scientific conclusions) cannot be communicated from one person to another. Philosophers and little children are continually amazed that we, unaccountably, find ourselves in a somewhat intelligible world. — Sam Keen

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In the degree that we remember and retell our stories and create new ones we become the authors, the authorities, of our own lives. — Sam Keen

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There is a saying in Bali: "We have no art. We do everything as beautifully as possible." This reflects my philosophy of practice. I try to remember daily what a gift it is to have the privilege of living in this wondrous world. — Sam Keen

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When you genuinely lose your illusions, you begin to marvel at things, because you don't have the answers any more. — Sam Keen

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The major impediment to experiencing the sacred depths of ordinary moments is the speed and distraction of contemporary life that moves to the imperatives of the global economic order.In addition, we increasingly live in a virtual world in which our reality is filtered through media and information technology. — Sam Keen

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If we come from good families where we have been supported well, there is a disillusionment we have to undergo in terms of the culture's values. We have to get beyond our cultural mythology to find out who we are. — Sam Keen

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Down to earth advice about the path that leads away from the kingdom of the hollow men. — Sam Keen