“When we are mired in the relative world, never lifting our gaze to the mystery, our life is stunted, incomplete; we are filled with yearning for that paradise that is lost when, as young children, we replace it with words and ideas and abstractions — such as merit, such as past, present, and future — our direct, spontaneous experience of the thing itself, in the beauty and precision of this present moment. We identify, label, and interpret our surroundings as abstract concepts, quite separate from another concept, which is our own separate identity and ego..” – Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard

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