“By two wings we are lifted up from things earthly: by simplicity and purity.”
~ Thomas a Kempis
To soar to the heights, the soul needs two wings. One is purity, which enables us to keep our eyes on the one thing in life that matters: awareness of the divinity within every human being. The other is simplicity: of lifestyle, but also simplicity in our desires.
This raises a worry that many serious-minded people have today. Living in the workaday world, surrounded by all manner of influences we cannot control, can purity and simplicity ever be anything for us but beautiful abstractions? It is one thing to grasp intellectually how we want to live; it is quite another to put our ideals into practice.
Yet, it is possible to learn to tug our attention away from lesser things, and focus on what really matters. And, to our great surprise, we will actually hit on some remedies. One person may start with his teenaged son, discovering a way to give him support that hadn’t occurred to him before. Another may mobilize help for children dying of hunger in Ethiopia or help the homeless in the inner city.
~ Eknath Eswaran