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.

All day long a little burro labors, sometimes with heavy loads on her back and sometimes just with worries about things that bother only burros. And worries, as we know, can be more exhausting than physical labor. Once in a while a kind monk comes to her stable and brings a pear, but more than that, he looks into the burro’s eyes and touches her ears and for a few seconds the burro is free and even seems to laugh, because love does that. Love frees.

Meister Eckhart (circa 1260 – 1328)

The soul, when using the body as an instrument of perception — that is to say, when using the sense of sight and hearing, or some other sense — for the meaning of perceiving through the body is perceiving through the senses — is dragged by the body through the region of the changeable (the temporal), and wanders about and is confused. The world spins round her. She is like a drunkard when she touches change… But when, returning into herself she reflects, then she passes into the region of Eternity.

Socrates (470 – 399 B.C.E.)

For if Life were questioned a thousand years and asked, “Why Live?”, and if there were an answer, it could be no more than this: “I live only to live!” And that is because Life is its own reason for being, springs from its own source, and goes on and on, without ever asking why — just because it is life. Thus, if you ask a genuine person, that is, one who acts (uncalculatingly) from his heart, “Why are you doing that?”, he will reply in the only possible way: “I do it because I do it!”

Meister Eckhart (circa 1260 – 1328)

This is a country whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. You do not find it by travelling but by standing still. Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.

Thomas Merton (1915 – 1968)

One Song

What is praised is one, so the praise is one too,
many jugs being poured into a huge basin.
All religions, all this singing, one song.
The differences are just illusion and vanity.

Sunlight looks a little different
on this wall than it does on that wall,
and a lot different on this other one,
but it is still one light.

We have borrowed these clothes,
these time-and-space personalities,
from a light, and when we praise,
we are pouring them back in.

Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207 – 1273)

All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it — tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if should really become manifest — if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself — you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say, “Here at last is the thing I was made for.” We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.

C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)

Sharing in the divine fullness is such that it makes whoever achieves it ever greater, more illimitable, so as never to cease growing, because the spring of all reality flows ceaselessly. The being of anyone who shares in it is increased in grandeur by all that springs up within, so that the capacity for receiving grows along with the abundance of good gifts received.

Gregory of Nyssa (circa 335 – 395)

He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me, in those who harbor such thoughts hatred will never leave… for hatred ceases not by hatred at any time. Hatred ceases by love.

The Dhammapada

When God sees that in all purity of heart you are trusting in him more than in yourself… then a strength unknown to you will come to make its dwelling in you. And you will feel in all your senses the power of him who is with you.

Isaac of Nineveh (circa 613 – 700)

In this vision of things the universe will reveal itself in its unity and totality as a manifestation of a single being, nature as its power of manifestation, evolution as its process of gradual manifestation in matter.

Sri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950)

Because every thought enters the heart in the form of a mental image of some sensible object, the blessed light of the Divinity will illumine the heart only when it is completely empty of everything, and so free from all form. Indeed, this light reveals itself to the pure intellect in the measure to which the intellect is purged of all concepts.

Philokalia (300 – 1400)

God’s divinity comes of my humility, and this may be demonstrated as follows. It is God’s peculiar property to give; but He cannot give unless something is prepared to receive his gifts. If, then, I prepare my humility to receive what He gives, by my humility I make God a giver. Since it is His nature to give, I am merely giving God what is already His own.

It is like a rich man who wants to be a giver but must first find a taker, since without a taker he cannot be a giver. Similarly, if God is to be a giver, He must first find a taker, but no one may be a taker of God’s gifts except by his humility. Therefore, if God is to exercise his divine property by his gifts, He well may need my humility; for apart from humility He can give me nothing — without it I am not prepared to receive His gift. That is why it is true that by humility I give divinity to God.

Meister Eckhart (circa 1260 – 1328)