The Living Book

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Bliss is not something to be got. On the other hand you are always bliss. This desire for bliss is born of the sense of incompleteness. To whom is this sense of incompleteness? Enquire. In deep sleep you were blissful. Now you are not so. What has interposed between that bliss and this non-bliss? It is the ego. Seek its source and find you are bliss.

Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950)

So, in regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion or flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

But if you keep quiet, and desist from thinking and feeling with your own personal selfhood, then will the eternal hearing, seeing, and speaking become revealed to you, and God will see and hear and perceive through you.

Jacob Boehme (1575 – 1624)

The beauty lies in realizing that you have a right not to be negative, and without that realization you cannot remember yourself. All Self-Remembering has to do with the fact that you came down to this earth, and life here does not correspond with what you came down from, and something in you knows it — that is, has not forgotten it, and that means remembers it.

Maurice Nicoll (1884 – 1953)

The most powerful prayer, one well-nigh omnipotent and the worthiest work of all, is the outcome of a quiet mind. The quieter it is the more powerful, the worthier, the deeper, the more telling and more perfect the prayer is. To the quiet mind all things are possible. What is a quiet mind? A quiet mind is one which nothing weighs or worries, which, free from ties and all self-seeking, is wholly merged into the will of God, and dead as to its own.

Meister Eckhart (circa 1260 – 1328)


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss[ess];
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)

We know that when the rich man asked how he could gain eternal life the answer was: “If you will be perfect follow me.” The meaning, in the Greek, is to reach one’s goal. “Sin” meant, in the original, “missing the mark.” The psychological idea emerges quite clearly when we consider the real meaning of these two words. The goal is to perfect oneself, to become complete, and sin is all that that causes one to miss the goal.

Maurice Nicoll (1884 – 1953)

A singular strength of mind is therefore required to enable a man to live among others consistently with his own ideas and convictions, to be master of himself, and not fall into the habits or exhibit the same passions as those with whom he associates.

Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677)

God is gathering us out of all regions till he can make resurrection of our own hearts from the very earth, and teach us that we are all of one substance, and members of one another. For the one who loves his neighbor loves God, and the one who loves God, loves his own soul.

Saint Anthony of the Desert (circa 251 – 356)

From all this it may be concluded that an unregenerate man is like one who sees phantoms at night… and afterwards, when he is being regenerated, he is like the same man seeing in the early dawn that the things he saw at night are delusions.

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 – 1772)