"In the world of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, you pretty soon run out of eyes, and of teeth. "
"I believe and have always believed that life is totally meaningless and that we have no destiny, no purpose, no author. "
"According to ancient mythology, trees link the Earth to the sky. In this respect trees link humans to another world. "
"All the peace, wisdom and joy in the Universe are already within us, we just have to open our eyes and realise what is already here and who we really are."
"Evil is the stone on which the good sharpens itself."
"People can be just as moral without a belief in God, but if they are working in difficult humanitarian fields, such as Aboriginal welfare or refugee advocacy, they need to be extraordinarily focused and courageous to maintain it over a long period of time. I couldn't do it without religious faith and I greatly admire those who can."
"Wilderness has become one of the world's fastest disappearing resources, and it is non-renewable. Yet unlike oil, gold or woodchips, it is essential to the wellbeing of humanity. We are made of it and fashioned by it?our psychological beings resonate with it. "
"There is a spiritual side to our connection with the planet. And in this material world, that's anathema. It is somewhat worrying. What I say... it makes life. It gives us fulfilment. It makes us whole human beings. And without it, we make mistakes. And, boy, are the leaders of the world making mistakes at the moment"
"Human language has a vocabulary suited to our daily needs and functions: the shape of any human language maps approximately to the needs and activities of our mundane lives. But few would deny that there is another dimension of human existence which transcends the mundane: call it the soul, the spirit: it is that part of the human frame which sees the shimmer of the numinous. "
"If we're not growing, we must feel guilty, because we are not fulfilling Christ's demand."
"I close my eyes and melt in its embrace, basking in the sweetest balm of forgiveness: that for which one need not even ask."
"Always there are walls, Rachael, she persisted. Walls that block our path. Too high, too hard. We stop to rest, to gather strength, and before we know it we have lived whole lives in their shade. In time, we cease to even see them there, casting their long shadows, blocking our path. We cease to yearn for the other side."
"You get moments where your whole body, soul and mind are just concentrated on doing something in the surf. You have to just get up, trust your instinct and fall into the wave. It's during seconds like that that you seem to just totally disappear, you as a being don't really exist at that moment... you throw yourself into the moment so heavily that you're actually inside the surfboard and what it's doing. You're inside the landscape around you and the ocean as it's surging. You get totally inside the moment and it's so intense that time disappears, everything disappears. You disappear, you're not thinking of you, Nick Carroll or whoever. It's way beyond that."
"I know when I've been surfing I've got a sense of level of calmness to me, and when I hit the ocean, even in its presence, at the shore, and especially by a powerful surf, I've been put in my place as a person. "
"You're actually inside the surfboard... you're inside the landscape around you and the ocean is surging, you get totally inside the moment and it's so intense that time disappears, you disappear. "
"If you're going to make a big wave, you have to be totally unified with everything that's happening. Maybe in the moment of having to know everything all at once you burst through the barriers of trying to put things in order."
"Life doesn't come wrapped with a ribbon, but it's a gift just the same."
"All faiths in Australia have been the faiths of exiles, and so suffered from a tendency to serve purposes other than those of their founder."
"It is the divided ones, the ones who thirst to believe, and who are sceptical of all belief, who believe in the perfectibility of mankind, and yet perceive that the hearts of the sons of men are filled with evil, who became the great teachers."
"... the theological struggle to comprehend the Holocaust as an episode in an enigmatic deity's intentions regarding his chosen people continues to shadow putatively secular debate."
"There are no easy words for the insights of the spirit, and approximate language used in good faith can cause approximate truths to spread like a disease."
"A close contact with nature has been a focus of my life since childhood and has been my inspiration both professionally and personally. I believe that for most of us, most of the time, it is in the everyday experience of beauty, certainly in nature and in music, that we sense a heaven half-revealed and come closest to the true meaning of reality. "
"Civilisation has moved so far from its origin. I think we're part of the earth. The concept of the rainforest being the womb of life is something I believe in - the value system must get back to the environment as it was originally, the magnificence from where we emerged. I believe we carry certain seeds in our genes that connect us to that time..."
"I have always felt that the great lottery of life is unfair. The fact is that I was thrown up on the stage of life called Australia. You don't choose where you are thrown on to this stage. So universal health, universal education, of course plenty of food and clean water. "
"Politics is always my temptation but not my vocation. I feel absolutely committed to what I'm doing."
"Integrity is the trait valued highest in today's world... Integrity calls for consistent values that underpin all of our lives and allows our true self to be expressed. A life well lived requires such an integrity, if we are to leave behind a legacy from our time on this earth. "
"I think Australians are rightly suspicious of people who will try and use religion for another end. I don't think that's right and I don't think it should be done, but I think it should inform values, and it does."
"When times get really tough you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. That very next step might lead into change."
"It is our spirit which brings to life our whole being; if we are spiritually drained and depleted it is very difficult to remain positive in difficult times. In our contemporary lifestyle material goods are necessary to provide temporary relief but are not sustainable, as they will never be enough."
"I believe that gardens offer us something beyond the material world. They provide a spiritual component allowing us to participate in the wonder and mystery of creation."
"We must feel part of the land we walk on and love the plants that grow there... if we are to achieve a spirit in a garden. "
"I repudiate the crawl theory that we should be servile to our parents or to God for the bare facts of a mean existence. "
"I believe the divine is part of the world, not in a pantheistic way but by way of the movement of the Spirit. "
"Right from our early beginnings we were taught of the sanctity of the total life around us... The Aboriginal way is that everything is created equal and sacred: that the soil, the clay, the rocks are all sacred; and that all have a personality. I had the strength of knowing that my creator is not above me somewhere, but is always with me; that, whatever the substance around me, that creation flows to me, through me, within me; that the universe is part of me, as I am part of it - there is complete belonging, and life and death is just a constant flowing - a continual renewing. "
"These days I love to take in the sunset because every time I do so I remember how lucky I am to be alive. That's a great relationship to have with the setting sun. "
"The truth is impossible to comprehend even when one is willing to tell it. For the truth resides in memory and memory is clouded with repression and a desire to embellish. The recollections of any individual are conditioned by the general truths to which he or she has tried to live. To recall an event is to interpret it, so the truth is altered by the very act of remembering. Therefore the truth, like God, does not exist - only the search for it."
"I just loved him and he loved me? He was a most humble man, the most decent man I've ever met in my life and he always looked for the best in people to find positives and he said something to me that always remained with me. He said if you believe in the fatherhood of God you must necessarily believe in the brotherhood of man, it follows necessarily and even though I left the church and was not religious, that truth remained with me. "
"As for me, I believe that snakes are God's creatures, too, and trust that they think the same as me in relation to that Great Anaconda in the sky."
"When you're with someone, when they pass away, when they die, it's very final, you know. You know they've gone. And that's why life is so precious. You just have to trust. When someone's spirit goes, where does it go? I still think it surrounds you."
"Psychology is the theology of the 20th century."
"Psychology is the theology of the 20th century."
"I have a great belief in a sort of destiny that is laid out, for better or worse. I have faith in prayer; that is, in thinking about someone you want things to go well for. I guess I do believe in something greater than myself. "
"To me, religion is about people sharing the spirit of life with each other. "
"Aboriginal people are a steady beating heart at the centre of our Australian spiritual identity."
"Magpies are crying their last melancholy carol of the day and the sound strikes a corresponding chord in my soul. "
"The pace of contemporary life encourages us to squander experience as though it were infinite, to move on from one event to the next, in search of novelty and in the illusion of progress. What is the point of all our doing, however exciting, however novel, if nothing is harvested from it and integrated into increased understanding and insight? "
"Living life to the full, with meaning and spirit, in not an unattainable goal for the few. It's open to everyone. There is a naturalness about it, which, once caught, becomes a sort of second nature. It grows out of paying serious attention to the discovery of who you are and what your purpose is. It is not a withdrawal from the world but a commitment to waking up to the possibilities of life, to engaging courageously with life, taking in its rich experiences so they become part of you; to giving all that you uniquely have to give? Living life to the full requires you to laugh and enjoy, to be grateful for the astonishing gift of your life, to identify and take care of your spiritual sources of nourishment, and find a community of faith in life that will challenge you and keep you in good company. "
"If one's spiritual life is clear and sound, then every other level - mental, emotional, physical - falls into place."
"It seems I have this search to find my people, to find my culture, to find a place where there is some common agreement; to find a common ground, my people, my society, my village, my parish, my culture? I feel we live in a time when these things are shattered and cast all over the place in a great mess, and I want to keep tying it up together a bit and linking it and seeing to what extent I'm like you and to what extent you can feel as I feel. "
"I think from the time I could open my eyes I was aware that there seemed to be something else going on amongst those around me which was not talked about - there was another truth... "
"In the silence let us listen to our heart. "
"At the very simplest, I think as Van Gogh said and St Francis would have said, we must find nature. Just to be in the presence of nature your feelings and 'little seedlings' start to awake. So if we disassociate ourselves from God we cut nature out, too. More and more we turn nature into a commodity, into eco-tourism. But we must integrate it into the way people live every day. "
"If European symbols and traditions have grown tired, perfunctory and oppressively banal in Australia, or been drained of spirit and meaning by the dreary dictates of materialism and secularity, then the raw spirit truth of our native land is alive and radiant by comparison. For joy and meaning we might well turn to our natural country and witness miracles of vitality and new life, of inspiration and profound beauty; all in some humble, quiet and improbable place."
"Yet out in the countryside, beyond the harsh gravity of the material world, far from Father Christmas and closer to Mother Nature, a wondrous child may behold the miracles of the bush and know that new life and great beauty are abundant and eternal. There is no monumental religious event in this infinity of detail and diversity; it is all part of a broader ancient miracle.
Huge clouds of brown butterflies swirl up into the dazzling light, parrots swoop to grassy earth, honeyeaters ravish the sweet flowers of the bottlebrush, echidnas trundle steadily in search of each other, lizards dart among ants and ancient rocks, the fine branchlets of manna gums quiver to the mating growls of koalas, ibises stroll and feast on grasshoppers and gleaming Christmas beetles hang from eucalyptus leaves like small green baubles. The birds sing gloriously and not a wrong note is heard. This is Christmas in the bush..."
"The sun is higher now, highlighting the grass and the bushes while I write. It is so beautiful. It lifts my spirits bringing light to the darkest areas."
"I need to get out and about more, taste the world, taste nature, and taste the garden. I'm too house bound. That limits my spirit. My spirit needs contact with the outdoors to flourish. I need my garden. I need to plant, to watch things grow, to feel the earth under my feet and in my hands, to know that life will go on."
"The bulbs should flower in a month or so. The place will be a picture of colour, smell and beauty. All the rockwork and the planting of hundreds of bulbs will come to fruition. The lemon and lime trees are languishing, in need of water and food, a bit like me. I'm in need of nourishment for the brain, food for the soul and solace for the spirit. I wonder how long we will have together."
"In the hard journey back to life and health, it sure helps to know that there are people in the world who will love and encourage and help."
"New life (you might say 'grace') is always coming at us but the trick about embracing new life is letting go."
"Mature relationships are those that know intimacy will be won and lost and won again. The impulse to maintain intimacy without end, the impulse to live on an emotional high without end, is the impulse of an addict."
"The innate impulse to defend one's self against people's expectation and potential wrongdoing is so strong it's possible to spend most of our lifetime defending, rather than living."
"When anyone wins, we all win and the celebration is real and when anyone is lost, we are all lost and sometimes knowing the sadness of it, feeling the waste and the loss, is our quiet duty and our deepest honour. I suspect that the human spirit that can soar to great heights can also sit in the silence of hopes dashed. It's hard to feel the jarring thud of disappointment without trying to rescue; without trying to cheer up; without appearing to have all the answers and yet that is THE lesson that is key to life by the Wayside."
"There are none so blind as those who know how they feel about things. I wouldn't mind but such people are usually evangelical too, they're miserable about someone or something and they want to share it. Here's my tip for the day - before you unload on anyone today, stop for just long enough to ask yourself what you see. Are you seeing a person or a problem?"
"The blind spot of this generation is that it thinks that authentic expression of feeling somehow gives legitimacy to hurtful acts."
"Love isn't a feeling. Love happens. It's an activity. It's a communal activity. Sometimes it's like a whisper in the ear and other times it's like a wrestling match but always, it happens."
"Life is bigger and better than we can imagine and, in order to enter into the beauty of life, we often have to be dragged through the death of our illusions and the collapse of our smaller hopes. This brings liberation."
"Real life breathes just like we do, in and then out. It moves and changes just like the seasons. It's dynamic never static."
"But change never happens with one insight or one decision or one event. I think good habits are the greatest tools for character building and bad habits are the greatest weapons for the dissipation of ourselves."
"Love must triumph over chaos... Love always triumphs in the end even when that involves embracing failure and death."
"The ultimate cost of love is sorrow. The reward of love is the way through sorrow to greater and truer love. Finding the way is about tearing away one's illusions."
"Life itself is fluid. You can bathe in it; you can drink it in and be nourished by it; you can float in it but you can never possess it. You can't hold it still and if you could, it wouldn't be life but a mere psychological trick or delusion. Life moves; spring, summer, autumn and winter; day and night; high tide and low tide; birth and death and birth; everything is on the move, even me."
"To be in the presence of another human being is awesome. It is to have your breath taken away by sheer beauty. It is to be shocked. It is to be arrested. It is to be changed. This is the joy and agony of my life. In a pragmatic culture, people are mostly reduced to a means to an end. When people become problems to be solved rather than people to be met, it's no wonder that loneliness and isolation are our greatest social need. All real living is meeting."
"If you have, or had, a good mum you are the recipient of an incalculably precious gift. Many have not had such a gift. Remember the Scriptures say, 'Honour your Mother and Father, if they are worth it.' Or it should do anyway."
"Within a healthy relationship there is a seed that can spring with life, even if it otherwise looks dead. The power is not in the seed, but in the interaction of the seed with the soil and sun and water."
"I long to gaze and be gazed upon; to know and be known; to love and to be loved. Often I gaze and I know that the person in front of me cannot see me. They see a potential soft touch or perhaps an authority figure. They look to experience or use me but have no concept of meeting me."
"There is no single person; humans are hard wired as relational beings; to reduce humanity to 'one' is to violate the very essence of what it means to be human. The minimum number in the basic human unit is at least two. So the word 'I' could only ever refer to half of something. We in the west love the idea of the 'power of one' but it is a total illusion. So, there is no such thing as success except shared success and there is no such thing as failure except shared failure."
"We naturally develop high hopes for our careers, children, investments and communities for all of these are good things. But good things are fluid and life is to be lived most fully when we recognise the passing nature of everything beautiful."
"But anyone who loves another person knows they have placed themselves in a vulnerable position. To love is to be vulnerable. To love is to embrace weakness. It is to pay the price of being with another. The pain of the other becomes my pain. The joy of the other becomes my joy. I can only enter into this love through a path of openness. I cannot make anyone love me an, if I could, it would only be a form of manipulation. I must simply enter into the space of the other and hope they recognise my weakness. Once recognised, love is well worth all the suffering in the world."
"All I have is the power of presence which is disappointing for those who seek magic but the greatest gift for those who need to know that they're not alone."
"Life is about learning to love. Love is about learning weakness in order to set aside personal ambitions for the sake of others. The religious life is about nothing else. Religious knowledge that can be separated from love and life is a blasphemy."
"There is an oblivion that doesn't destroy the self. There is an oblivion that is right and holy. It is the act of knowing that my essence is not located in me, but located between me and you."
"The art of turning fable into fact."
" We feel our crosses hard at times, but our courage should rise with them. "
"Do all you can with the means at your disposal and leave the rest to God."
"Never see a need without doing something about it.
"We are but travellers here, so while we're here we should do as much good as we can and live in peace with each other, and there'll be a reward in the afterlife."
"Whatever happens...men, women and children have to be prepared to put other people first and thereby create the miracle of the species which is people living together in harmony and putting other people first, before themselves."
"You need a civil society... Bushfires can achieve the change from society to community. Bushfires can. Floods can. Ghastly crimes and disasters can. Places can change, but it takes blood, sweat and tears. "
"The persistent appetite for human beings for community is what we should all be dedicated to. "
"God give me the courage to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know it's me. "
"Fallen into a crevasse:
Exhausted, weak and chilled (for my hands were bare and pounds of snow had got inside my clothing) I hung with firm conviction that all was over except the passing. Below was a black chasm; it would be but the work of the moment to slip from the harness, then all the pain and toil would be over. It was a rare situation, a rare temptation ? a chance to quit small things for great ? to pass from the petty exploration of a planet to the contemplation of vaster worlds beyond. But there was all eternity for the last and, at its longest, the present would be but short. I felt better for the thought.
"It is the certainty of death that renders existence meaningful, gives each moment value. Eternal life is my definition of absurdity; and of hell. Were life - as opposed to the soul - endless, nothing would have any relative merit or interest."
"I think love, as religions have said from time immemorial, is the single most crucial ingredient in experiencing being alive as something that's wonderful. So, it's something that, along with the roots of religion and the nature of science, we necessarily reflect on a lot and should do. And to my way of thinking, to love another human being is to say I affirm your existence as a particular being in the world, and I want to see you happy, I want to see you flourish. "
"We maximise the richness of our lives, we increase the richness of other people's lives by, in a strange sort of sense, exposing them to more chances, more opportunities, rather than by saying "This is it. The future is predictable. Your future is predictable and this is what you have to do." The "meaning of life", in other words, is a kind of dance with chance. "
"God does play dice. Life is a stochastic process - there's an enormous amount of randomness and chance, you know. "
"The most important journey is the one of the spirit, for your internal peace relies on it."
"People need to realise that we all share the same spirit that comes from God and from the earth."
"But with every new morning there's a new day. The spirit must rise, because that is the law of nature."
"My theory is that if we don't connect to nature, mentally, physically or spiritually, we're lost. Teaching children to photograph an animal is to understand its behaviour, its habitat and why that habitat must be preserved. In a nation of city dwellers with an ever expanding migrant population, it's crucial to plug people in, give them respect and connection to their natural environment. "
" It truly was astonishing, the depth and breadth of this land. I really felt a calling to show it to others; to ensure that we not only appreciated what we have down here, down under, but that we were willing to protect it, too. At the time I started Steve Parish Publishing, environmental issues were only just coming to the fore. People were beginning to question what we were doing to nature. I still feel that nature is under attack and it is enormously frustrating that we continue to march hell-bent on destroying what we love and what is necessary for us - both spiritually and materially - as it is for all life forms. "
"Painting is a form of incarnation. It is spirit made manifest in the world."
"I do not want to go to heaven; I want my children, forever children, and other children, stalwart adults, and a good happy wife, that is all I ask, but not paradise; earth is good enough for me: it is because I believe earth is heaven, Naden, that I can overcome all my troubles and face down my enemies."
"Once you accept the existence of God - however you define him, however you explain your relationship to him - then you are caught forever with his presence in the centre of all things. "
"If God be God and man a creature made in image of the divine intelligence, his noblest function is the search for truth. "
"Man is a creature who walks in two worlds and traces upon the walls of his cave the wonders and the nightmare experiences of his spiritual pilgrimage. "
"None of us is guaranteed against failure or corruption of any kind; witness what's going on in the world in this moment, the follies of human nature and the failures of human nature. "
"I don't believe there's anything cosmic or divine or morally superior about whales and dolphins or sharks or trees, but I do think that everything that lives is holy and somehow integrated; and on cloudy days I suspect that these extraordinary phenomena, and the hundreds of tiny, modest versions no one hears about, are an ocean, an earth, a Creator, something shaking us by the collar, demanding our attention, our fear, our vigilance, our respect, our help."
"When you're surfing you're not thinking about where you parked the car or what you're going to do when you grow up or what you're going to buy when you've got lots of money. You know, you're just there. You're in the moment. And I think in a contemporary world, that's a rare privilege. "