Ghandi quote has got me stranded. Opinions??

Ghandi quote has got me stranded. Opinions??
mortonman1
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Posted Feb 1, 2010 - 12:41 AM:
Subject: Ghandi quote has got me stranded. Opinions??
"Everything you do in life will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it."

I think it means that too us, everything is insignificant, but to others it's very important now and especially in the future. Opinions? Please help me figure this out.

Edited by Incision on Feb 3, 2010 - 10:04 PM. Reason: capitals, punctuation
Ferius
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Posted Feb 1, 2010 - 1:02 AM:

I think its more of a spiritual reference, because the little things we do now in life don't seam so important, but perhaps to a higher power it means everything.
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Posted Feb 1, 2010 - 1:04 AM:

Interesting.

At first sight, it seems contradictory (if one assumes insignificant = lacking in importance). What I think is meant is that life is made up of multitudinous events each of which is individually insignificant, and yet the future is what it is only because of those individual events (hence their importance). Think of the butterfly effect - the flapping of a butterfly's wings may be considered insignificant from one perspective, but who knows what effects will eventually follow? This is well recognised in chaos theory - that small (apparenly insignificant) differences in the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of that system.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect
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Posted Feb 1, 2010 - 3:35 AM:

He was probably at an age, with self-imposed poverty, living in ascetic traditions. Once you achieve that state of mind, nothing seems to hold value. Mr. Gandhi probably achieved that state of mind where he lost the ability to tell profit from loss - Hindus have the philosophy of acting without thought to consequences / fruits of labour, acting for the sake of acting not the result. In that sense, Mr. Gandhi's quote fits that mentality perfectly.

Should you not act without thought for the consequence, the significance of that act thus depreciates.
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Posted Feb 2, 2010 - 9:26 AM:

"Everything you do in life will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it."

Everything you do in life is insignificant compared to the grand scale of things like the universe.
Nothing really matters in that regard.

but it's very important that you do what you do because if you dont what else is there?


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Posted Feb 2, 2010 - 10:03 AM:

The concept is important in the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most important tests of Hinduism: "One who neither hates nor desires the fruits of his activities is known to be always renounced. Such a person, free from all dualities, easily overcomes material bondage and is completely liberated, O mighty-armed Arjuna." (Chapter 5 verse 3)
This probably was a very important book for Gandhi's vision.
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Posted Feb 2, 2010 - 10:45 AM:

Significatività wrote:
This probably was a very important book for Gandhi's vision.


Absolutely - he was undoubtedly deeply religious. Although he did say that all holy books are but different paths to the same goal, he remained a Hindu throughout his life, becoming more devout once he studied the Gita in more detail whilst in prison.
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Posted Feb 2, 2010 - 11:34 AM:

My guess is every act is intergral to the whole. Each is miniscule but required.
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Posted Feb 2, 2010 - 12:50 PM:

throng wrote:
My guess is every act is intergral to the whole. Each is miniscule but required.

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Posted Apr 12, 2010 - 12:18 PM:

I have an acquaintance who, while claiming to be spiritually mature, seeks only passtimes that are what he defines as "significant". They do not involve hard work, or any giving of himself. He does what is easy. He sits before a computer and philosphizes on human issues, politics, etc. He believes all other matters of life are not to be invested in. Consequently in those areas of his life including work, family, relationships - he fails continually and because of his failure to embrace the basics, he is stressed and unable to move forward spiritally as well.
This quote I believe speaks to the "significance" placed on seemingly insignificant acts such as I am speaking of. What we believe is unimportant, or will not bring the glory we seek, can be the very matters that are the most significant to spiritual growth, and therefore we need to take care of them with all due diligence.
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