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The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice that which we are for what we could become. Charles Dubois (1804)
And watch two men washing clothes, one makes dry clothes wet. The other makes wet clothes dry. They seem to be thwarting each other, but their work is a perfect harmony. Every holy person seems to have a different doctrine and practice, but there's really only one work. Jalal Al Din Rumi (1207)
Whoever sees all beings in the soul and the soul in all beings...
What delusion or sorrow is there for one who sees unity?
It has filled all. It is radiant, incorporeal, invulnerable...
Wise, intelligent, encompassing, self-existent,
It organizes objects throughout eternity.
Upanishads (800 B.C.E.)
That thou art. Upanishads (800 B.C.E.)
He who knows the Bliss of Brahman does not distress himself with the thought, "Why did I not do what is good? Why did I do what is evil?" Whoever knows this (bliss) regards both of these as Atman (self, soul), indeed he cherishes both as Atman. Upanishads (800 B.C.E.)
This is a country whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. You do not find it by travelling but by standing still. Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity. Thomas Merton (1915)
There are varying degrees of spiritual illumination, which accounts both for the varying outlooks to be found among mystics and for the different kinds of Glimpse among aspirants. All illuminations and all Glimpses free the man from his negative qualities and base nature, but in the latter case only temporarily. He is able as a result, to see into his higher nature. In the first degree, it is as if a window covered with dirt were cleaned enough to reveal a beautiful garden outside it. He is still subject to the activity of thinking, the emotion of joy, and the discrimination between X and Y. In the next and higher degree, it is as if the window were still more cleaned so that still more beauty is revealed beyond it. Here there are no thoughts to intervene between the seer and the seen. In the third degree, it is as if the window were thoroughly cleaned. Here there is no longer even a rapturous emotion but only a balanced happiness, a steady tranquility which, being beyond the intellect, cannot properly be described by the intellect. Gregory Of Nissa (395 B.C.E.)
The greatest of all crosses is self. -- If we die in part every day, we shall have but little to do on the last. -- These little daily deaths will destroy the power of the final dying. Francois Fenelon (1651)
And it is in this darkness, when there is nothing left in us that can please or comfort our own minds, when we seem to be useless and worthy of all contempt, when we seem to have failed, when we seem to be destroyed and devoured, it is then that the deep and secret selfishness that is too close to us for us to identify is stripped away from our souls. It is in this darkness that we find liberty. It is in this abandonment that we are made strong. This is the night which empties us and makes us pure. Thomas Merton (1915)
One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. Andre' Gide (1869)
God hath framed the mind of man as a mirror of glass, capable of the image of the universal world, and joyful to receive the impression thereof, as the eye joyeth to receive light. Odes Of Solomon (390)
Do what you should do when you should do it. Refuse to do what you should not do. And when it is not clear, wait until you are sure. Muhammed (570)
All the matter of the world that surrounds us, the food that we eat, the water that we drink, the air that we breathe, the stones that our houses are built of, our own bodies -- everything is permeated by all the matters that exist in the universe. There is no need to study or investigate the sun in order to discover the matter of the solar world; this matter exists in ourselves and is the result of the division of our atoms. In the same way we have in us the matter of all other worlds. Man is, in the full sense of the term, a "miniature universe"; in him are all the matters of which the universe consists; the same forces, the same laws that govern the life of the universe, operate in him; therefore in studying man we can study the whole world, just as in studying the world we can study man. P. D. Ouspensky (1878)
Do not be bewildered by the surfaces; in the depths all becomes law. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
Somewhere about this time I was very much struck by a talk about the sun, the planets, and the moon. I do not remember how this talk began. But I remember that G. drew a small diagram and tried to explain what he called the "correlation of forces in different worlds." This was in connection with the previous talk, that is, in connection with the influences acting on humanity. The idea was roughly this: humanity, or more correctly, organic life on earth, is acted upon simultaneously by influences proceeding from various sources and different worlds; influences from the planets, influences from the moon, influences from the sun, influences from the stars. All these influences act simultaneously; one influence predominates at one moment and another influence at another moment. And for man there is a certain possibility of making a choice of influences; in other words, of passing from one influence to another. P. D. Ouspensky (1878)
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. Carl Jung (1875)
He alone knows himself in the best way possible who thinks of himself as being nothing. Psalm 130.I (999 B.C.E.)
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along. Jalal Al Din Rumi (1207)
In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God himself culminates in the present moment and will never be mortifying in the lapse of the ages. Time is but a stream I go a-fishin in. I drink at it, but when I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away but eternity remains. Henry David Thoreau (1817)
In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart. As soon as you compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because you have begun to trade in unrealities, and there is no joy in things that do not exist. Thomas Merton (1915)
Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights. Henry David Thoreau (1817)
This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.
Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move Against the earth and the sky,
The Beloved has bowed there -
Our beloved has bowed there knowing
You were coming.
Mark how to know yourself. To know himself a man must ever be on the watch over himself, holding his outer faculties. This discipline must be continued until he reaches a state of consciousness. . . .The object is to reach a state of consciousness--a new state of oneself. It is to reach now, where one is present to oneself. 'What I say unto you I say unto all, be awake. Meister Eckhart (1260)
Truth is not something lying in time, in the future, but is something here, now, only above us, above our present consciousness. Dr. Maurice Nicoll (1884)
Now or Never! You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Henry David Thoreau (1817)
"There is no death . . . Only a change of worlds. "- Chief Seattle, Duwamish-Suquamish
"I've never had a sorrow that one hour's reading wouldn't allay. "- Montesquieu
"Wander all alone, with nothing to call upon, nothing to depend on, and God, who exists, will keep his promise to you. "- Vernon Howard
"God, the divine Principle of man, and man in God's likeness are inseparable, harmonious, and eternal......... God is the parent mind and man is God's spiritual offspring. "- Mary Baker Eddy
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. "- American Indian
""Is there anything that I can do to make myself enlightened?" "As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning." "Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?" "To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise." "- Anthony De Mello
"If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao's Gift!), If you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get, If you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood, You will be destroyed by the very thing you seek. To know when to stop, To know when you can get no further by your own action, This is the right beginning! "- Lao Tse
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