Yet another contrast: Remember what you felt like when you had power, you were the boss, people looked up to you, took orders from you; or when you were popular. And contrast that worldly feeling with the feeling of intimacy, companionship-the times you thoroughly en­joyed yourself in the company of a friend or with a group in which there was fun and laugh­ter.
Having done this, attempt to understand the true nature of worldly feelings, namely, the feel­ings of self-promotion, self-glorification. They are not natural, they were invented by your so­ciety and your culture to make you productive and to make you controllable. These feelings do not produce the nourishment and happiness that is produced when one contemplates Nature or enjoys the company of one’s friends or one’s work. They were meant to produce thrills, ex­citement-and emptiness.
Anthony De Mello (via lazylucid)
Pay attention to the reactions you’re generating inside yourself as a response to the world around you. You’ll always be able to tell whether or not you’re maintaining power and flow by the reactions forming within you moment to moment. If you’re not feeling elevated, inspired, energized, take notice and shift your mind gears where you need to. A simple focus on gratitude or the things you love in your life will have you back in flow in no time.
(via kidestom)
For power can guarantee the interests of some men but it can never foster the good of man. Power always protects the good of some at the expense of all the others. Only love can attain and preserve the good of all. Any claim to build the security of all on force is a manifest imposture.
Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968)

Taxation (Idealistically): A collective investment in self-given gifts - by, from, and to the entire community - manifesting in various forms of services, goods, and locales benefiting the public

Taxation (Realistically): Collective extortion - in the name of free market imperialism - misappropriated to further corporate interests via the organized application of militaristic force in establishing greater material wealth for those with frozen hearts in this world

There are not only true or false solutions,there are also false questions. The task of philosophy is not to provide answers or solutions, but to submit to critical analysis the questions themselves, to make us see how the very way we perceive a problem is an obstacle to its solution. This holds especially for today’s public debates on ecological threats, on lack of faith,on democracy and the ‘‘war on terror’’, in which the‘‘unknown knowns’’, the silent presuppositions we are not aware of, determine our acts.
Slavoj Zizek 2006, ‘Philosophy, Unknown Knowns and the Public Use of Reason’, Topoi, p. 137-142 (via macaulaybulkin)