Supreme Summation of all Aims

“The more I contemplate the spectacle of the world and the ebb and flow of change in things, the more deeply am I convinced of the innately fictitious nature of it all, of the false prestige given to the pomp of reality.  And in this contemplation, which any reflective person will have experienced at some time or other, the motley parade of costumes and fashions, the complex path of progress and civilizations, the magnificent tangle of empires and cultures, all seem to me like a myth and a fiction, dreamed up amidst shadows and oblivion.  But I do not know if the supreme summation of all these aims, vain even when achieved, lies in the joyful renunciation of the Buddha, who, on comprehending the emptiness of it all, woke from his ecstasy saying: ‘Now I know everything,’ or in the world-weary indifference of the Emperor Severus:  ‘omnia fui, nihil expedit’ – I was all things; all was worthless.”

-Fernando Pessoa

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~ by Scott Hamilton Peters on December 7, 2008.

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