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This Is Water › Quotes

This Is Water Quotes

The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "Morning, boys. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes "What the hell is water?.
Learning how to think" really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot or will not exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.
The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. That is being taught how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the "rat race" — the constant, gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
And I submit that this is what the real, no-shit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: How to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone, day in and day out.
Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence.
The most dangerous thing about an academic education is that it enables my tendency to over-intellectualize stuff, to get lost in abstract thinking instead of simply paying attention to what’s going on in front of me.
Capital T-truth is about life before death.
There is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.
The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.
It is extremely difficult to stay alert & attentive instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monolog inside your head.
Think of the old cliché about the mind being 'an excellent servant but a terrible master'. This, like many clichés, so lame & banal on the surface, actually expresses a great & terrible truth.
Learning how to think' really means learning how to exercise some control over how & what you think. It means being conscious & aware enough to choose what you pay attention to & to choose how you construct meaning from experience.
But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.
It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms nearly always shoot themselves in...the head. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.