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She marveled at his story

She marveled at his story. Beyond the solid writing, she saw it as a remarkable testament to how far he’d come since they’d met. Then he’d had no self-awareness, never mind the ability to see others. He cared about no one and nothing but himself. Now he recognized others’ suffering, responded with compassion, and connected others’ pain with his own. Melody had a thought that made her smile. On his own and without knowing it, Jarvis had arrived at the heart of Buddhism.

“religion” means religio, linking back

The word “religion” means religio, linking back. If we say it is the one life in both of us, then my separate life has been linked to the one life, religio, linked back. This has become symbolized in the images of religion, which represent that connecting link.

he can only build bridges to other islands

Yet it has come to seem to me that this separateness of individuals, the right of each individual to utilize his experience in his own way and to discover his own meanings in it,—this is one of the most priceless potentialities of life. Each person is an island unto himself, in a very real sense; and he can only build bridges to other islands if he is first of all willing to be himself and permitted to be himself.