The Physics of the Quest: In the end, I’ve come to believe in something I call “The Physics of the Quest.” A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.
Liz confides in her friend, Richard that she is missing her ex, David- she tells him I love him, I miss him, etc. His response: “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, and then you drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll really be alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone…If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot– a doorway. And guess what that universe will do with that doorway? It will rush in– God will rush in– and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go…You’re wishing too much baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.”
Controlling the Mind:
“On first glance, this seems a nearly impossible task. Control your thoughts? Repression and denial set up elaborate games to pretend that negative thoughts and feelings are not occurring…Instead of admitting to the existence of negative thoughts, understanding where they came from and why they arrived, and then– with great forgiveness and fortitude– dismissing them…You can use the shrink’s office to understand why you have these destructive thoughts in the first place; you can use spiritual exercises to help overcome them. It’s a sacrifice to let them go, of course. It’s a loss of old habits, comforting old grudges and familiar vignettes…This all takes practice and effort, it’s not a teaching you can hear once and then expect to master immediately.”
Americans and Pleasure: (read Western society for Americans)
“Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions on themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks, but that is not the same thing as quiet enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today..Americans feel more happy and fulfilled in their office than they do in their own homes.”
Italians and Pleasure:
“Il bel far niente (the beauty of doing nothing) has always been a cherished Italian ideal. The beauty of doing nothing* is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated…You don’t necessarily need to be rich to experience this, either…l’arte d’arrangiarsi or the art of making something out of nothing. The art of turning a few ingredients into a feast.”
* Bring your awareness to each task. Instead of doing nothing, honour what you are doing.
Sometimes the pain of staying where you are becomes greater than the pain of making changes.
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