Browse the Living Book by "The Sacred"

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Despite the many differences that seem to exist between peoples the world over — regardless of culture, tradition, environment, or heredity — there is but one seeker, one search, and one sacred object of our desire. The celestial source of this sacred being doesn’t just live within us… we are, in fact, one with it.

But if then you notice that it is great, rejoice because of this, for what (ask yourself) would solitude be that had no greatness. There is but one solitude, and that is great, and not easy to bear, and to almost everybody come hours when they would gladly exchange it for any sort of intercourse, however banal and cheap, for the semblance of some slight accord with the first comer, with the unworthiest… But perhaps those are the very hours when solitude grows, for its growing is painful as the growing of boys and sad as the beginning of spring-times. But that must not mislead you. The necessary thing is after all but this: solitude, great inner solitude. Going into oneself and for hours meeting no one — this one must be able to attain.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926)

Whatever Nature undertakes, she can only accomplish it in a sequence. She never makes a leap. For example, she could not produce a horse if it were not preceded by all the other animals on which she ascends to the horse’s structure as if on the rungs of a ladder. Thus every one thing exists for the sake of all things and all for the sake of one. For the one is of course the all as well. Nature, despite her seeming diversity, is always a unity, a whole. And thus, when she manifests herself in any part of that whole, the rest must serve as a basis for that particular manifestation, and the latter must have a relationship to the rest of the system.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)

For whilst in one sense we give up self to live the universal and absolute life of reason, yet that to which we thus surrender ourselves is in reality our truer self. The life of absolute truth or reason is not a life that is foreign to us. If it is above us, it is also within us. In yielding to it we are not submitting to an outward and arbitrary law or to an external authority, but to a law which has become our own law, an authority which has become enthroned in the inmost essence of our being.

Edward Caird (1835 – 1908)

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)

Though slowly and with pain, the objects of our affections change, as the objects of thought do. There are moments when the affections rule and absorb the man, and make his happiness dependent on a person or persons. But in health, the mind is presently seen again, its overarching vault, bright with galaxies of immutable lights, and the warm loves and fears that swept over us as clouds, must lose their finite character, and blend with God, to attain their own perfection. But we need not fear that we can lose any thing by the progress of the soul. The soul may be trusted to the end. That which is so beautiful and attractive as these relations, must be succeeded and supplanted only by what is more beautiful, and so on forever.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

The rule for doing unto others as you would wish them to do unto you, calls for no miraculous proof, neither does it require faith, because the rule is convincing in itself, both to reason and to human nature.

Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910)

Let me tell you, that as here lies all the true and real freedom, which cannot be taken from you, so in the constant exercise of this freedom, that is, in a continual leaving yourself to, and depending upon the operation of God in your soul, lies all your road to heaven. No divine virtue can be had any other way.

William Law (1686 – 1761)

Know to what extent the Creator has honored you above all the rest of creation. The sky is not an image of God, nor is the moon, nor the sun, nor the beauty of the stars, nor anything of what can be seen in creation. You alone have been made the image of the Reality that transcends all understanding, the likeness of imperishable beauty, the imprint of true divinity, the recipient of beatitude, the seal of the true light.

When you turn to Him you become that which he is Himself… There is nothing so great among beings that it can be compared with your greatness. God is able to measure the whole heaven with his span. The earth and the sea are enclosed in the hollow of his hand. And although he is so great and holds all creation in the palm of his hand, you are able to hold him, he dwells in you and moves within you without constraint, for he has said, “I will live and move among them.”

Gregory of Nyssa (circa 335 – 395)