The Living Book

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God dwells in you, as you, and you don’t have to “do” anything to be God-realized or Self-realized, it is already your true and natural state. Just drop all seeking, turn your attention inward, and sacrifice your mind to the One Self radiating in the Heart of your very being. For this to be your own presently lived experience, Self-Inquiry is the one direct and immediate way.

Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950)

A kind of waking trance I have frequently had, quite up from boyhood, when I have been all alone. This has generally come upon me through repeating my own name two or three times to myself, silently, till all at once, as it were, out of the intensity of the consciousness of individuality, the individuality itself seemed to fade away into boundless being, and this not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the surest of the surest, utterly beyond words, where death was almost a laughable impossibility, the loss of personality (if so it were) seeming no extinction but the only true life… I am ashamed of my feeble description. Have I not said that the state is beyond words?

Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809 – 1892)

It seldom happens that a man changes his life through his habitual reasoning. No matter how fully he may sense the new plans and aims revealed to him by reason, he continues to plod along in the old paths until his life becomes frustrating and unbearable… he finally makes the change only when his usual life can no longer be tolerated.

Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910)

Whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time.

What is it that is not yours? Material form is not yours. Abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time.

Buddhism (circa 500 B.C.E.)

Discovering this the mind becomes whole: the split between I and me, man and the world, the ideal and the real, comes to an end. Paranoia, the mind beside itself, becomes metanoia, the mind with itself and so free from itself.

Alan Watts (1915 – 1973)

What is the use of the most sovereign of medicines while they stand on the sick man’s table? What is the mightiest of truths so long as it is not believed? The spiritually sick still mocks at the medicine offered; he will not know its cure.

George MacDonald (1824 – 1905)

As to the thirst after knowledge, it is an old law that we all get whatever we want. None of us can get anything other than what we fix our hearts upon… The success sometimes may come immediately, but we must be ready to wait patiently even for what may look like an infinite length of time. The student who sets out with such a spirit of perseverance will surely find success and realization at last.

Vivekananda (1863 – 1902)

If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao’s Gift!), if you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get, if you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood, you will be destroyed by the very thing you seek. To know when to stop, to know when you can get no further by your own action, this is the right beginning!

Thomas Merton (1915 – 1968)