The Living Book

Explore quotations throughout time

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Explore all of the quotations in our Living Book…

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said “All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them.”

Leonard Cohen (1934 – 2016)

Whatever forms Christianity assumed in later times, however distorted it became, it must be remembered that its introduction was heralded by John the Baptist preaching change of mind as the first step towards “eternal” life. And this change of mind was connected by him with the teaching on the Kingdom of Heaven — an idea so difficult to grasp and so contrary to all sense-thinking and external evidence that it remains a new idea for all time.

Maurice Nicoll (1884 – 1953)

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.

Hafez (1315 – 1390)

Freedom is not a constant attribute which we either “have” or “have not.” In fact, there is no such thing as “freedom” except as a word and an abstract concept. There is only one reality: the act of freeing ourselves in the process of making choices. In this process the degree of our capacity to make choices varies with each act, with our practice of life.

Erich Fromm (1900 – 1980)

He had no feeling that he was in the heart of a crowded universe, between all whose great verities moved countless small and smaller truths. Little notion had he that to learn these after the measure of their importance, was his business, with eternity to do it in!

George MacDonald (1824 – 1905)

When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you dwell in poverty, and you are poverty.

Gospel of Thomas

What guarantee is there that the five senses, taken together, do cover the whole of possible existence? They cover simply our actual experience, our human knowledge of facts or events. There are gaps between the fingers; there are gaps between the senses. In these gaps is the darkness which hides the connection between things… this darkness is the source of our vague fear and anxiety, but also the home of the gods. They alone see the connections, the total relevance of everything that happens; that which now comes to us in bits and pieces, the accidents which exist only in our heads, in our limited perceptions.

Idris Parry (1916 – 2008)

Resign yourself to the sequence of things, forgetting the changes of life, and you shall enter into the pure, the divine, the One.

Taoism

“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 (1931 – 1987)