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Ernest Kurtz quotes (showing 1-20 of 20)

“To deny our errors is to deny ourself, for to be human is to be imperfect, somehow error—prone. To be human is to ask unanswerable questions, but to persist in asking them, to be broken and ache for wholeness, to hurt and to try to find a way to healing through the hurt...Spirituality accepts that "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”
Ernest Kurtz
“One of the disconcerting and delightful teaching of the master was: "God is closer to sinners than to saints."
This is how he explained it: " God in heaven holds each person by a string. When you sin you cut the string. then God ties it up again, making a knot-and therby bringing you a little closer to him. Again and again your sins cut the string-and with each further knot God keeps drawing you closer and closer.”
Ernest Kurtz, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning
“Spirituality begins with the acceptance that our fractured being, our imperfection, simply is: There is no one to 'blame' for our errors-- neither ourselves nor anyone nor anything else. Spirituality helps us first to see, and then to understand, and eventually to accept the imperfection that lies at the very core of our human be-ing. Spirituality accepts that 'If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”
Ernest Kurtz
“The question "Who am I?" really asks, "Where do I belong or fit?" We get the sense of that "direction" -- the sense of moving toward the place where we fit, or of shaping the place toward which we are moving so that it will fit us -- from hearing how others have handled or are attempting to handle similar (but never exactly the same) situations. We learn by listening to their stories, by hearing how they came (or failed) to belong or fit.”
Ernest Kurtz, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning
“To acknowledge, to accept, and to forgive one's parents - both what they gave and what they did not give, both one's dependence upon them and one's independence of them - is the ultimate hallmark of maturity: a perception as valid for institutions as for individuals.”
Ernest Kurtz
“Humor, humility, humanity … we cannot work on one without working on the others. We cannot have one without having the others. To attend to any one of the three begins the process of bringing us home—home to ourselves, to the mixed-up-ed-ness of our human be-ing. Home is the place where we can be ourselves and accept ourselves as both good and bad, beast and angel, saint and sinner. Home is the place where we can laugh and cry, where we can find some peace within all the chaos and confusion, where we are accepted and, indeed, cherished by others precisely because of our very mixed-upedness. Home is that place where we belong, where we fit precisely because of our very unfittingness. Humility allows us to find the fittingness in our own imperfection.”
Ernest Kurtz, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning
“I’m Not All-Right, and You’re Not All-Right, But That’s Okay—THAT’S All-Right”
Ernest Kurtz, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning
“Spirituality is one of those realities that you have only so long as you seek it; as soon as you think you have it, you’ve lost it. In rediscovering this basic spiritual insight, the earliest members of Alcoholics Anonymous tapped the essence of open-endedness that characterizes a spirituality of imperfection. Spirituality is boundless, unable to be fenced in: We do not capture it; it captures us. As much as we might like to “wrap things up,” to lock spirituality in and hold it fast, it will forever escape our grasp.”
Ernest Kurtz, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning
“The search for spirituality is, first of all, a search for reality, for honesty, for true speaking and true thinking. At least from the time of the Delphic oracle’s first admonition, Know thyself, the arch-foe of spirituality has been recognized to be “denial”—the self-deception that rejects self by attempting to repudiate the essential paradox that is our human be-ing.”
Ernest Kurtz, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning
“My dear, do you want forgiveness … or an explanation?”
Ernest Kurtz, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning
“But through the centuries a recurring spiritual theme has emerged, one that is more sensitive to earthly concerns than to heavenly hopes. This spirituality—the spirituality of imperfection—is thousands of years old. And yet it is timeless, eternal, and ongoing, for it is concerned with what in the human being is irrevocable and immutable: the essential imperfection, the basic and inherent flaws of being human. Errors, of course, are part of the game. They are part of our truth as human beings. To deny our errors is to deny ourself, for to be human is to be imperfect, somehow error-prone. To be human is to ask unanswerable questions, but to persist in asking them, to be broken and ache for wholeness, to hurt and to try to find a way to healing through the hurt.”
Ernest Kurtz, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning
“not some thing we have. . . . Prayer has nothing to”
Ernest Kurtz, Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling
“who think of themselves as “spiritual rather than religious” tend to equate religion with belief, and therefore with doctrine and authority; with”
Ernest Kurtz, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning
“It’s nice to have moments when I’m not thinking about me.”
Ernest Kurtz, Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling
“As we listen, truly hearing, our understanding of the world changes from a self-centered focus to an other-oriented openness—we come to understand how we are connected”
Ernest Kurtz, Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling
“CLASSIC American axiom warns: “Don’t try to think yourself into a new way of acting: Act yourself into a new way of thinking.”
Ernest Kurtz, Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling
“Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation. To be humble is not to make comparisons. Secure in its reality, the self is neither better nor worse, bigger nor smaller, than anything else in the universe. It is—is nothing, yet at the same time is one with everything. DAG HAMMARSKJÖLD”
Ernest Kurtz, Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling
“Humility and obedience are two painfully misunderstood virtues that are really the arts of listening. Humility involves the refusal to coerce, the rejection of all attempts to control others.”
Ernest Kurtz, Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling
“Spirituality is experienced in our Listening, in our Forgiveness, in our Dark places, in our Confusions, in our stories—not so much in what we “do,” but in what and how we be . . . by how we experience the realities that we meet. Spirituality is, in briefest description, a way of life—a way of being.”
Ernest Kurtz, Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling
“The difference between a “winner” and a “whiner” is the sound of the “I.” ANONYMOUS”
Ernest Kurtz, Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling


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