The Living Book

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He who does not have attention in himself and does not regard his mind, cannot become pure in heart, and so cannot see God. He who does not have attention in himself cannot be poor in spirit, cannot be contrite, nor be gentle and meek, nor hunger and thirst after righteousness, nor be merciful, nor a peacemaker, nor suffer persecution for righteousness sake.

Saint Symeon the New Theologian (949 – 1022)

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.

Mother Meera (1960)

All insight, all revelation, all illumination, all love, all that is genuine, all that is real, lies in now — and in the attempt to find now we approach the inner precincts, the holiest part of life. For in time all things are seeking completion, but in now all things are complete.

Maurice Nicoll (1884 – 1953)

Every further stage of ourselves is within us, above us. Below us lies what we are already, what we have done before. Below us, behind us, is the passive surrender to things, the inertia of the past, the habits of years, and the passive, sensual mind — the mind of the senses — with its sole belief in appearances and passing time. At any point in our lives we are thus between two opposing forces: the force of the realized and the force of the unrealized, what we are and have been, and what we may be. And what we may be is already there, as unhappy feeling, as incompleteness.

Maurice Nicoll (1884 – 1953)

It is only when everything, even love fails that with a flash, man finds out how vain, how dream-like is this world. Then he catches a glimpse of the beyond. It is only by giving up this world that the other comes, never through holding on to this one.

Vivekananda (1863 – 1902)

I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water are thirsty. You don’t grasp the fact that what is most alive of all is inside your own house, and so you walk from one holy city to the next with a confused look!

Kabir (circa 1398 – 1518)

Keep my secret, you who are kept by it.
Keep my faith, you who are kept by it.
Learn what I know, you whom my truth has known.
Love me with love, you whom I have loved.
Pray without ceasing, dwell in the love of the Lord,
you who are loved in the Well-beloved,
you who are living in the Living one,
saved by him who has redeemed you.
So will you escape from death, throughout all ages,
in the name of your Father. Alleluia!

Odes of Solomon (circa 1st-century A.D.)

At the still point of the turning world, neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

T. S. Eliot (1888 – 1965)

The notion that we are not awake, that we are not at a level of consciousness where we can understand anything rightly, and where it is impossible to know or have anything real, and where we cannot be in control of ourselves because we are not conscious at the point where control would be possible — is found throughout Platonic, Christian and many other teachings. But consider how difficult — how impossible — it is for us to admit that we are asleep in life. It cannot be an admission. It can only be a gradual realization. And such an experience can only be brought about by the influences of efforts and ideas belonging to the nearly-lost science of awakening. The translators of the gospel could not have properly understood this idea for they translated the Greek “ypnyopew” as “watch” (“Watch, therefore, and pray,” etc.). And this word “watch” is found in many places in the New Testament, but its real meaning is to be “awake.” And the force of this meaning is incalculably greater than that expressed by the term “watch.”

Maurice Nicoll (1884 – 1953)