Sam Keen:”The first questions we must ask ourselves are “What’s my life about?”

London: In Hymns to an Unknown God, you ask: “Is it possible in this chaotic day and age to have a sense of the sacred in everyday life, or do we have to check our spirits and our god at the workplace door?” Much of what we call spirituality today takes place on Sundays, after work, when the kids are in bed, or when we’re off meditating on our own. Is it possible to make it an integral part of everyday life?

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Keen: I think there is a deep yearning today to figure out how to make a real connection with the sacred. I hear many men say, “I have a good job and make a living, but it doesn’t mean anything to me; I want something with meaning, something I have a reason for doing.” But 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. 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.

We have to return, I think, to the difficult idea of right livelihood, which Buddhists talk about, or the Christian idea of vocation. The first questions we must ask ourselves are “What’s my life about?” and “What gives me meaning?” Only after that should we ask “How do I make a living?” and “How do I provide for myself?”

Source : https://scott.london/interviews/keen.html

David Cain: “we’re given bad answers by both nature and society”

Do you think people know what it is that makes them happy in the first place?

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David Cain: That is a great question, and I think the answer is generally no. What amazes me most about human beings is that we all want exactly the same thing — happiness — and there is so little frank discussion on how to achieve it. Part of the problem is that we’re given bad answers by both nature and society. Nature tells us we’ll be happy if we just eat something or have sex, and society tells us we’ll be happy if we just bump up our salary or buy certain things. Mother Nature just wants us to pass our genes along and couldn’t care less about our happiness, not unlike marketers who just want us to pass our money along to them. So there is widespread confusion between gratification and happiness in human societies.

Source :  https://lifedonewrite.com/2013/11/20/an-interview-with-raptitude-creator-david-cain/

Eckhart Tolle:”you learn that it is possible to choose to be present rather than being identified with the mind”

Q: Is there anything we can actually do to bring about enlightenment, or is it a state of grace that is bestowed on us, like winning the spiritual lottery?

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ET: Let’s briefly look at what we mean by enlightenment. When you continuously know and sense yourself as the space of consciousness rather than what appears in consciousness – sense perceptions, thoughts, emotions – then it can be said that you are enlightened… except that you wouldn’t think or speak of yourself as ‘enlightened’, because that would instantly create another mind-based conceptual identity and so it would be the end of ‘your’ enlightenment. So, strictly speaking, “you” cannot become enlightened, because who you take yourself to be is like a ripple in the ocean of consciousness – or a little wave if you’re a VIP – and the ripple doesn’t become enlightened until it realizes that its ripple-identity is ultimately a misperception, that it is the ocean taking on a fleeting ripple-form. So, to know its true identity, the ripple first needs to recognize its nothingness. And when that happens, then, paradoxically, it is not the ripple, but the ocean that is awakening!

Now for most people, awakening is a gradual process of disidentification from mental positions, opinions, viewpoints, reactive patterns and so on. What disidentification means is that those things are no longer endowed with a sense of self. This makes life much easier, as you no longer need to defend a mental fiction! The first glimpse of non-identification with the mind and the recognition of yourself as formless presence comes when one is ready. Often suffering is the trigger, or a spiritual teaching, or both. Call it readiness, or grace. This is the beginning of the awakening process. Now, increasingly, an element of choice comes in, and you learn that it is possible to choose to be present rather than being identified with the mind. This is the most helpful way of looking at it, but not the ultimate truth, of course. In ultimate terms, all we can say is: consciousness is awakening, and even that is not absolutely true, in the same way that saying “the sun is rising” is not absolutely true, but implies that the observer’s perspective is limited. So words can only serve as pointers.

Source : http://www.watkinsmagazine.com/where-are-you-now-an-interview-with-eckhart-tolle