So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
[I]f the name of wife appears more sacred and more valid, sweeter to me is ever the word friend, or, if thou be not ashamed, concubine ... And thou thyself wert not wholly unmindful of that ... [as in ] thou hast not disdained to set forth sundry reasons by which I tried to dissuade thee from our marriage, from an ill-starred bed; but wert silent as to many, in which I preferred love to wedlock, freedom to a bond. I call God to witness, if Augustus, ruling over the whole world, were to deem me worthy of the honour of marriage, and to confirm the whole world to me, to be ruled by me forever, dearer to me and of greater dignity would it seem to be called thy concubine than his empress.
Do you know about Hanuman, sir? He was the faithful servant of the god Rama, and we worship him in our temples because he is a shining example of how to serve your masters with absolute fidelity, love, and devotion.These are the kinds of gods they have foisted on us Mr. Jiabao. Understand, now, how hard it is for a man to win his freedom in India.
Every organized religion holds that certain behaviors, rituals, personalities, places, and/or books are sacred. These organized teachings are proper in their own place, but they are mere options for the one infused with devotion. To such a one, God is direct and spontaneous, providing him with an immediate source of guidance and direction. His relationship with God is not mediated through anyone or anything. (104)
Without love even the most radical devotion to God is of no value to Him. Let me make sure that sinks in You can gain all the spiritual gifts in the world. You can take the most radical steps of obedience. You can share every meal with the homeless in your city. You can memorize the book of Leviticus. You can pray each morning for four hours like Martin Luther. But if what you do does not flow out of a heart of love - a heart that does those things because it genuinely desires to do them - it is ultimately worthless to God.
Spiritual literature can be a great aid to an aspirant, or it can be a terrible hindrance. If it is used to inspire practice, motivate compassion, ad nourish devotion, it serves a very valuable purpose. If scriptural study is used for mere intellectual understanding, for pride of accomplishment, or as a substitute for actual practice, then one is taking in too much mental food, which is sure to result in intellectual indigestion. (152)