Before, I always lived in anticipation . . . that it was all a preparation for something else, something “greater,” more “genuine.” But that feeling has dropped away from me completely. I live here and now, this minute, this day, to the full, and the life is worth living.
– Etty Hillesum, Etty: The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum,
Since Active Hope doesn’t require our optimism, we can apply it even in areas where we feel hopeless. The guiding impetus is intention; we choose what we aim to bring about, act for, or express. Rather than weighing our chances and proceeding only when we feel hopeful, we focus on our intention and let it be our guide.
– Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy, p. 3.
The deep truth about matter, which neither Descartes nor Newton realized, is that, over the course of four billion years, molten rocks transformed themselves into monarch butterflies, blue herons, and the exalted music of Mozart. Ignorant of this stupendous process, we fell into the fantasy that our role here was to reengineer inert matter.
– Brian Swimme, Journey of the Universe