Good Advice from Three Wise Sages

“Do not give your attention to what others do
or fail to do; give it to what you do or fail to do.”
— Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha, from The Dhammapda, verse 50 (translated by Eknath Easwaran)

“Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people—unless it affects the common good. It will keep you from doing anything useful. You’ll be too preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and what they’re saying, and what they’re thinking, and what they’re up to, and all the other things that throw you off and keep you from focusing on your own mind.”
— Marcus Aurelius, from Meditations, Book III, chap. 4 (translated by Gregory Hays)

Weapon after weapon conquers
Everything but chaos,
Business after business provides
A craze of waste,
Law after law breeds
A multitude of thieves.
Therefore a sensible man says:
If I keep from meddling with people, they take care of themselves,
If I keep from commanding people, they behave themselves,
If I keep from preaching at people, they improve themselves,
If I keep from imposing on people, they become themselves.
— Lao Tzu, from the Tao Teh Ching [The Way of Life], 57 (translated by Witter Bynner)


Socrates, Buddha, and Joseph Campbell on Bliss

“That soul, I say, herself invisible, departs to the invisible world to the divine and immortal and rational: thither arriving, she lives in bliss and is released from the error and folly of men, their fears and wild passions and all other human ills, and forever dwells, as they say of the initiated, in company with the gods.”
― Socrates in Plato’s Phaedo (translated by Benjamin Jowett)

“That land is sublime, blissful, serene and pure. Why do you not diligently practice good, reflect on the naturalness of the Way and realize that it is above all discriminations and is boundlessly pervasive? You should each make a great effort to attain it. . . . The Pure Land is easy to reach, but very few actually go there. It rejects nobody, but naturally and unfailingly attracts beings. Why do you not abandon worldly matters and strive to enter the Way? If you do, you will obtain an infinitely long life and one of limitless bliss.”
― Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha in the Infinite Life Sutra aka the Larger Pure Land Sutra (translated by Hisao Inagaki)

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
― Joseph Campbell

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