The Living Book

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Love between human beings springs from a desire to be made free of another world than one’s own. Every true communion of lovers is a mutual discovery and recognition. Every passion is a passion for release, for that loss of one’s self by which alone one gains life.

Gerald Bullett (1893 – 1958)

Unless he attains inner unity man can have no ‘I,’ can have no will. The concept of “will” in relation to a man who has not attained inner unity is entirely artificial. The whole of life is composed of small things which we continually obey and serve. Our ‘I’ continually changes as in a kaleidoscope. Every external event which strikes us, every suddenly aroused emotion, becomes caliph for an hour, begins to build and govern, and is, in its turn, as unexpectedly deposed and replaced by something else. And the inner consciousness, without attempting to disperse the illusory designs created by the shaking of the kaleidoscope and without understanding that in reality the power that decides and acts is not itself, endorses everything and says about these moments of life in which different external forces are at work, “This is I, this is I.”

P. D. Ouspensky (1878 – 1947)

The first lesson, then, is to sit for some time and let the mind run on. The mind is bubbling up all the time. It is like that monkey jumping about. Let the monkey jump as much as he can; you simply watch and wait. Knowledge is power says the proverb, and that is true. Until you know what the mind is doing you cannot control it. Give it the full length of the reins; many most hideous thoughts may come into it; you will be astonished that it was possible for you to think such thoughts. But you will find that each day the mind’s vagaries are becoming less and less violent, that each day it is becoming calmer… until at last it will be under perfect control, but we must patiently practise every day.

Vivekananda (1863 – 1902)

Without going out of doors, one may know the whole world; without looking out of the window, one may see the way of heaven. The further one travels, the less one may know. Thus it is that without moving you may know; without looking you shall see; without doing you shall succeed.

Lao Tzu (570 – 490 B.C.E.)

Nor do we think that many of our insoluble difficulties, perplexities, and unanswered questions necessarily exist because of the kind of consciousness we naturally possess, and that a new degree of consciousness would either cause our awareness of them to disappear or bring about an entirely new relation to them.

Maurice Nicoll (1884 – 1953)