How to live?

The truth must be a piece of your Self as is your leg of your brain or your liver. Otherwise, do not try to live a trith which is not akin to your whole being. It will turn into a lie in no time, and into a worse one to boot, then the lie which has grown organically in the makeshifts of social living. … Don't preach truth. Show people by example how to find the way to their own resources of truthful living. Let people live their own truth, not your truth. What is organic truth to one is not truth at all to another man or woman. There is no absolute truth just as there are no two faces alike. And yet there are basic functions in nature which are common to all truth. But individual expression varies from body to body, from soul to soul. It is true that all trees have roots in the soil. But the concrete tree A could not use the roots of the concrete tree B to draw nourishment from the soil since they are are not his. To maintain the special in the common, the variation in the rule is the essence of wisdom.

--Wilhelm Reich

How to live?

Live as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now.

--Viktor E. Frank

How to live?

Who knows the question knows not how. Who knows not the question cannot tell.

Those who live for themselves alone, unburdened by the needs and rights of others, observing the rules only to the degree required to stay out of jail, always in a running skirmish with the group but never in conflict within themselves, they know how, know without ever having known the question: Fuck you, buddy! I've got mine, now you get yours.

--Allen Wheelis

How to live?

"You never lose your balance. What is your secret?" - "You are wrong," O Sensei replied. "I am constantly losing my balance. My skill lies in my ability to regain it."

--unknown source

How to live?

It meant putting learning in its place - below living. As a schoolmaster I had used knowledge as the criterion of success. Lane showed me that emotions were infinitely more powerful and more vital than intellect.

--A. S. Neill

How to live?

This problem, however, cannot be solved basically by skillful propaganda but only by the victory in all countries of one fundamental truth: that ethical principles stand above the existence of the nation and that be adhering to these principles and individual belongs to the community of all those who share, who have shared, and who will share this belief.

Spontaneous activity is the one way in which man can overcome the terror of aloneness without sacrificing the integrity of his self; for in the spontaneous realization of the self man unites himself anew with the world - with man, nature, and himself. Love is the foremost component of such spontaneity; not love as the dissolution of the self in another person, not love as the possession of another person, but love as spontaneous affirmation of others, as the union of the individual self. The dynamic quality of love lies in this very polarity: that it springs from the need of overcoming separateness, that is leads to oneness - and yet that individuality is not eliminated. Work is the other component; not work as a compulsive activity in order to escape aloneness, not work as a relationship to nature which is partly one of dominating her, partly one of worship of and enslavement by the very products of man's hands, but work as creation in which man becomes one with nature in the act of creation. What holds true of love and work holds true of all spontaneous action, whether it be the realization of sensuous pleasure or participation in the political life of the community. It affirms the individuality of the self and at the same time it unites the self with man and nature. The basic dichotomy that is inherent in freedom - the birth of individuality and the pain of aloneness - is dissolved on a higher plane by man's spontaneous action. In all spontaneous activity the individual embraces the world. Not only does his individual self remain interact; it becomes stronger and more solidified. For the self is as strong as it is active. There is no genuine strength in possession as such, neither of material property nor of mental qualities like emotions or thoughts. There is also no strength in use and manipulation of objects; what we use us not ours simple because we use it. Ours is only that to which we are genuinely related by our creative activity, be it a person or an inanimate object. Only those qualities that result from our spontaneous activity give strength to the self and thereby from the basis of its integrity. The inability to act spontaneously, to express what one genuinely feel and thinks, and the resulting necessity to present a pseudo self to others and oneself, are the root of the feeling of inferiority and weakness. Whether or not we are aware of it, there is nothing of which we are more ashamed than of not being ourselves, and there is nothing that gives us greater pride and happiness than to think, to feel, and to say what is ours. This implies that what matters is the activity as such, the process and not the result. In our culture the emphasis is just the reverse. We produce not for a concrete satisfaction but for the abstract purpose of selling our commodity; we feel that we can acquire everything material or immaterial by buying it, and thus things become ours independently of any creative effort of our own in relation to them. In the same way we regard our personal qualities and the result of our efforts as commodities that can be sold for money, prestige, and power. The emphasis thus shifts from the present satisfaction of creative activity to the value of the finished product. Thereby man misses the only satisfaction that can give him real happiness - the experience of the activity of the present moment - and chase after a phantom that leaves him disappointed as soon as he believes he has caught it - the illusory happiness called success. If the individual realizes his self by spontaneous activity and thus relates himself to the world, he ceases to be an isolated atom; he and the world become part one structuralized whole; he has his rightful place, and thereby his doubt concerning himself and the meaning of life disappears. This doubt sprang from his separateness and from the thwarting of life; when he can live, neither compulsively nor automatically but spontaneously, the doubt disappears. He is aware of himself as an active and creative individual and recognizes that there is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself.

--Erich Fromm

How to live?

Ask your self following four questions:

First, what am I here for in the world? That already is a rough one. But you do not live on this intrinsic level unless you ask yourself that question and answer it. It doesn't mean that you have to save the world. Everybody can have the depth of himself no matter what he does. But he must have the feeling that this is what I am here for in the world. My birth is not happenstance -- I didn't just happen. I am a part of the universe of God and I am here for a very important purpose -- namely, to live my life doing this or that. That's the first question.

The second question -- why do I work in this organization? It has to fit in with my purpose and the purpose that is meant for me.

Third question -- what can this organization do to help me fulfill my meaning in the world? I'm not an organization man -- I am a person. I'm working with this organization to help me fulfill my meaning in the world.

And, four -- how can I help this organization to fulfill my meaning in the world? These four questions crystallize, I would say, the intrinsic value that I am myself in society and the task of the future is to bring more and more if this intrinsic values into our social living. I believe very firmly there's no movement in the world today that can do this but yours of the cooperatives.

--Robert S. Hartman