The Living Book

Explore quotations throughout time

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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 – 1947)

By prayer I mean not that which is only in the mouth, but that which springs up from the bottom of the heart. In fact, just as trees with deep roots are not shattered or uprooted by storms… in the same way prayers that come from the bottom of the heart, having their roots there, rise to heaven with complete assurance and are not knocked off course by the assault of any thought. That is why the Psalm says, “Out of the deep have I called unto Thee, O Lord.”

The Book of Psalms

There are stages through which we have to pass, and all those who persevere will succeed. Give up all argumentation and other distractions. Is there anything in this dry intellectual jargon? It only throws the mind off its balance and disturbs it. These things have to be realized. Will talking do that? So give up all vain talk. Read only those books which have been written by persons who have had realizations.

Vivekananda (1863 – 1902)

Humility is often only a feigned submission, of which we make use to make others submissive. It is the trickery of pride which abases itself in order to exalt itself, and though it transforms itself in a thousand different ways, it is never better disguised and more capable of deceiving than when it conceals itself under the cloak of humility.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613 – 1680)

When you know that you are eternal you can play your true role in time. When you know you are divine you can become completely human. When you know you are one with God you are free to become absolutely yourself, individual and holy and my child.

Maurice Nicoll (1884 – 1953)

Our life is like a journey in which, as we advance, the landscape takes a different view from that which is presented at first, and changes again, as we come nearer. This is just what happens, especially with our desires. We often find something else, no, something better than what we were looking for… Instead of finding, as we expected, pleasure, happiness, joy, we get experience, insight, knowledge — a real and permanent blessing, instead of a disappearing and illusory one. In their search for gold, the alchemists discovered other things — gunpowder, china, medicines, the laws of nature. There is a sense in which we are all alchemists.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)