August 11, 2012

What Is.

It’s extremely dangerous to stop growing because at that point you begin to die. It’s extremely dangerous to commit yourself to one idea. Be careful you’re not caught in your own net.

We live from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, and at each point we are a little different. we are not the same twice on any two occasions. When you realize that, it becomes extremely important that the next minute be better than the last one. If you’re going to change, change for the better, not the worse. No question you will change, the only question is the direction. If there is no change, this is the open door to death. Life is a progression. It is not a standing still. It is either a plus or a minus.

  — Scott Nearing (1883–1983), obituary interview with Jean Hay, May 1981 (from Meanwhile, Next Door to the Good Life, Jean Hay Bright, Brightberry Press, Dixmont, Maine, 2003)

Q: I would like to know whether you believe in God.

What is God? If you can tell us what you mean by the term, we can discuss the matter. If not, there's no way to get down to specifics.

If you think of God as a heavenly Father who can be nudged or cajoled into granting benefits and excusing delinquencies . . . no, we do not believe.

If you think of God as an arbitrary, autocratic ruler of the universe to be propitiated and worshiped . . . our answer, again, would be no.

If “your” God is a tribal chief, a God of battle, and a leader of a chosen people . . . we do not believe in Him (or Her).

However, if you see God as the unity of all things, including rocks, grass, beasts, clouds, stars, and humans . . . if your God incorporates the above and the below, the plus and the minus, the killer and the killed, the sinner and the saint, the creator and the destroyer . . . yes, we believe.

  — Helen and Scott Nearing, ‘Homesteading Tools, Dividing Household Chores, and other Wisdom from Helen and Scott Nearing’, Mother Earth News, March/April 1981

All religions have truth in them, and all can be accepted in part. But there is no religion higher than truth, and Truth is the whole magnificent universe. What is. We believe in that — and strive to lend a hand.

  — Helen and Scott Nearing, letter, 10 May 1981, in reply to response to above (from Meanwhile, Next Door to the Good Life)

Satyan nasti paro dharmah