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Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett
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Becoming Wise Quotes Showing 1-30 of 83
“I can disagree with your opinion, it turns out, but I can’t disagree with your experience. And once I have a sense of your experience, you and I are in relationship, acknowledging the complexity in each other’s position, listening less guardedly. The difference in our opinions will probably remain intact, but it no longer defines what is possible between us.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise Deluxe: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Spiritual humility is not about getting small, not about debasing oneself, but about approaching everything and everyone else with a readiness to see goodness and to be surprised. This is the humility of a child, which Jesus lauded. It is the humility of the scientist and the mystic. It has a lightness of step, not a heaviness of heart. That lightness is the surest litmus test I know for recognizing wisdom when you see it in the world or feel its stirrings in yourself. The questions that can lead us are already alive in our midst, waiting to be summoned and made real. It is a joy to name them. It is a gift to plant them in our senses, our bodies, the places we inhabit, the part of the world we can see and touch and help to heal. It is a relief to claim our love of each other and take that on as an adventure, a calling. It is a pleasure to wonder at the mystery we are and find delight in the vastness of reality that is embedded in our beings. It is a privilege to hold something robust and resilient called hope, which has the power to shift the world on its axis.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Generous listening is powered by curiosity, a virtue we can invite and nurture in ourselves to render it instinctive. It involves a kind of vulnerability - a willingness to be surprised, to let go of assumptions and take in ambiguity. The listener wants to understand the humanity behind the words of the other, and patiently summons one's own best self and one's own best words and questions.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“That's very important about stories. They touch something that is human in us and is probably unchanging. Perhaps this is why the important knowledge is passed through stories. It's what holds a culture together. Culture has a story, and every person in it participates in that story. They world is made up of stories; it's not made up of facts.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a habit that becomes spiritual muscle memory.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and the Art of Living
“I’m helped by a gentle notion from Buddhist psychology, that there are “near enemies” to every great virtue—reactions that come from a place of care in us, and which feel right and good, but which subtly take us down an ineffectual path. Sorrow is a near enemy to compassion and to love. It is borne of sensitivity and feels like empathy. But it can paralyze and turn us back inside with a sense that we can’t possibly make a difference. The wise Buddhist anthropologist and teacher Roshi Joan Halifax calls this a “pathological empathy” of our age. In the face of magnitudes of pain in the world that come to us in pictures immediate and raw, many of us care too much and see no evident place for our care to go. But compassion goes about finding the work that can be done. Love can’t help but stay present”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Jonathan Sacks; “One way is just to think, for instance, of biodiversity. The extraordinary thing we now know, thanks to Crick and Watson’s discovery of DNA and the decoding of the human and other genomes, is that all life, everything, all the three million species of life and plant life—all have the same source. We all come from a single source. Everything that lives has its genetic code written in the same alphabet. Unity creates diversity. So don’t think of one God, one truth, one way. Think of one God creating this extraordinary number of ways, the 6,800 languages that are actually spoken. Don’t think there’s only one language within which we can speak to God. The Bible is saying to us the whole time: Don’t think that God is as simple as you are. He’s in places you would never expect him to be. And you know, we lose a bit of that in English translation. When Moses at the burning bush says to God, “Who are you?” God says to him three words: “Hayah asher hayah.”Those words are mistranslated in English as “I am that which I am.” But in Hebrew, it means “I will be who or how or where I will be,” meaning, Don’t think you can predict me. I am a God who is going to surprise you. One of the ways God surprises us is by letting a Jew or a Christian discover the trace of God’s presence in a Buddhist monk or a Sikh tradition of hospitality or the graciousness of Hindu life. Don’t think we can confine God into our categories. God is bigger than religion.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“But that (physical attractiveness), as the late great Irish poet and philosopher of beauty John O’Donohue helpfully distinguished, is glamour. I’ve taken his definition as my own, for naming beauty in all its nuance in the moment-to-moment reality of our days: beauty is that in the presence of which we feel more alive.
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“I’m strangely comforted when I hear from scientists that human beings are the most complex creatures we know of in the universe, still, by far. Black holes are in their way explicable; the simplest living being is not. I lean a bit more confidently into the experience that life is so endlessly perplexing. I love that word. Spiritual life is a way of dwelling with perplexity—taking it seriously, searching for its purpose as well as its perils, its beauty as well as its ravages.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Pico Iyer: “And at some point, I thought, well, I’ve been really lucky to see many, many places. Now, the great adventure is the inner world, now that I’ve spent a lot of time gathering emotions, impressions, and experiences. Now, I just want to sit still for years on end, really, charting that inner landscape because I think anybody who travels knows that you’re not really doing so in order to move around—you’re traveling in order to be moved. And really what you’re seeing is not just the Grand Canyon or the Great Wall but some moods or intimations or places inside yourself that you never ordinarily see when you’re sleepwalking through your daily life. I thought, there’s this great undiscovered terrain that Henry David Thoreau and Thomas Merton and Emily Dickinson fearlessly investigated, and I want to follow in their footsteps.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Our spiritual traditions have carried virtues across time. They are tools for the art of living. They are pieces of intelligence about human behavior that neuroscience is now exploring with new words and images: what we practice, we become. What’s true of playing the piano or throwing a ball also holds for our capacity to move through the world mindlessly and destructively or generously and gracefully. I’ve come to think of virtues and rituals as spiritual technologies for being our best selves in flesh and blood, time and space. There are superstar virtues that come most readily to mind and can be the work of a day or a lifetime—love, compassion, forgiveness. And there are gentle shifts of mind and habit that make those possible, working patiently through the raw materials of our lives.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“The interesting and challenging thing about this moment is that we know the old forms aren’t working. But we can’t yet see what the new forms will be. We are making them up in “real time”; we’re even reimagining time.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise Deluxe: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Taking in the good, whenever and wherever we find it, gives us new eyes for seeing and living.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“I’ve come to understand the cumulative dialogue of my work as a kind of cartography of wisdom about our emerging world. This book is a map in words to important territory we all are on now together. It’s a collection of pointers that treat the margins as seriously as the noisy center. For change has always happened in the margins, across human history, and it’s happening there now. Seismic shifts in common life, as in geophysical reality, begin in spaces and cracks.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“I come to understand that for most of my life, when I was looking for love, I was looking to be loved. In this, I am a prism of my world. I am a novice at love in all its fullness, a beginner.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“When you admire people, you put them on pedestals. When you love people, you want to be together.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“You realized you were surrounded by love, that you were held by love, and that you’d had too small an imagination about that word, that thing. Romantic love, absolutely. Our notion of love— it just seems a very unevolved and very unenlightened notion. That it’s this one person who you will meet. Eve Ensler”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“The conundrum of the twenty-first (century) is that with the best intentions of color blindness, and laws passed in this spirit, we still carry instincts and reactions inherited from our environments and embedded in our being below the level of conscious decision. There is a color line in our heads, and while we could see its effects we couldn’t name it until now. But john powell is also steeped in a new science of “implicit bias,” which gives us a way, finally, even to address this head on. It reveals a challenge that is human in nature, though it can be supported and hastened by policies to create new experiences, which over time create new instincts and lay chemical and physical pathways. This is a helpfully unromantic way to think about what we mean when we aspire, longingly, to a lasting change of heart. And john powell and others are bringing training methodologies based on the new science to city governments and police forces and schools. What we’re finding now in the last 30 years is that much of the work, in terms of our cognitive and emotional response to the world, happens at the unconscious level.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“John Lewis said, "You have to be taught the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. In the religious sense, in the moral sense, you can say that in the bosom of every human being, there is a spark of the divine. So you don’t have a right as a human to abuse that spark of the divine in your fellow human being. From time to time, we would discuss that, if you have someone attacking you, beating you, spitting on you, you have to think of that person. Years ago that person was an innocent child, an innocent little baby. What happened? Did something go wrong? Did someone teach that person to hate, to abuse others? You try to appeal to the goodness of every human being and you don’t give up. You never give up on anyone.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“The paradise is here. Paradise is right in front of us. In capitalism what is engineered is longing, engineered longing and desire in us for what can be in the future. It’s always about the next product, the next big thing. You look at clothes and you always see some hot, sexy, fabulous couple wearing those jeans—the jeans, i.e., the love. Everything’s all hooked into the seduction. And when you wake up you don’t actually look like that, but the reality is delicious in its own messy, human way. I think we’re always comparing the messy, human to that, and to celebrity culture, so whatever this is doesn’t come up right. Come on. What if we actually were content with our lives? What if we actually knew this was paradise? It would be very hard to control us.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“More to the point: the growing universe of the Nones—the new nonreligious—is one of the most spiritually vibrant and provocative spaces in modern life. It is not a world in which spiritual life is absent. It is a world that resists religious excesses and shallows.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“We are among the first peoples in human history who do not broadly inherit religious identity as a given, a matter of kin and tribe, like hair color and hometown. But the very fluidity of this—the possibility of choice that arises, the ability to craft and discern one’s own spiritual bearings—is not leading to the decline of spiritual life but its revival. It is changing us, collectively. It is even renewing religion, and our cultural encounter with religion, in counterintuitive ways. I meet scientists who speak of a religiosity without spirituality—a reverence for the place of ritual in human life, and the value of human community, without a need for something supernaturally transcendent. There is something called the New Humanism, which is in dialogue about moral imagination and ethical passions across boundaries of belief and nonbelief.
But I apprehend— with a knowledge that is as much visceral as cognitive— that God is love. That somehow the possibility of care that can transform us— love muscular and resilient— is an echo of a reality behind reality, embedded in the creative force that gives us life.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“We have to be educated by the other. My heart cannot be educated by myself. It can only come out of a relationship with others. And if we accept being educated by others, to let them explain to us what happens to them, and to let yourself be immersed in their world so that they can get into our world, then you begin to share something very deep. You will never be the person in front of you, but you will have created what we call communion.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“If we are stretching to live wiser and not just smarter, we will aspire to learn what love means, how it arises and deepens, how it withers and revives, what it looks like as a private good but also a common good. I long to make this word echo differently in hearts and ears—not less complicated, but differently so. Love as muscular, resilient. Love as social—not just about how we are intimately, but how we are together, in public. I want to aspire to a carnal practical love—eros become civic, not sexual and yet passionate, full-bodied. Because it is the best of which we are capable, loving is also supremely exacting, not always but again and again. Love is something we only master in moments.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“We’ve made it private, contained it in family, when its audacity is in its potential to cross tribal lines. We’ve fetishized it as romance, when its true measure is a quality of sustained, practical care. We’ve lived it as a feeling, when it is a way of being. It is the elemental experience we all desire and seek, most of our days, to give and receive. The sliver of love’s potential that the Greeks separated out as eros is where we load so much of our desire, center so much of our imagination about delight and despair, define so much of our sense of completion. There is the love the Greeks called filia—the love of friendship. There is the love they called agape—love as embodied compassion, expressions of kindness that might be given to a neighbor or a stranger. The Metta of the root Buddhist Pali tongue, “lovingkindness,” carries the nuance of benevolent, active interest in others known and unknown, and its cultivation begins with compassion towards oneself.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Now is a powerful time in this country for young people and others to be asking the question, What are we for? Do we exist for some reason other than competing with China or finding the best possible technological advances?”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Generous listening is powered by curiosity, a virtue we can invite and nurture in ourselves to render it instinctive. It involves a kind of vulnerability—a willingness to be surprised, to let go of assumptions and take in ambiguity. The listener wants to understand the humanity behind the words of the other, and patiently summons one’s own best self and one’s own best words and questions.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“In life, in religion, in science, this I believe: any conviction worth its salt has chosen to cohabit with a piece of mystery, and that mystery is at the essence of the vitality and growth of the thing.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Spirituality doesn’t look like sitting down and meditating. Spirituality looks like folding the towels in a sweet way and talking kindly to the people in the family even though you’ve had a long day.”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“God is that force that drives us to really see each other and to really behold each other and care for each other and respond to each other. And for me, that is actually enough. That cultivating it, that thinking about it, worshipping it, working towards it, taking care of it, nurturing it in myself, nurturing it in other people, that really is a life’s work right there, and it doesn’t have to be any bigger than that. God doesn’t have to be out in the next solar system over bashing asteroids together. It’s plenty, just the God that I work with.” Kate Braestrup”
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living

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