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Share in the accounts and discoveries of the many individuals who, just like you, set out to find new, true answers that could stand up to the test of passing time with its ever-changing conditions. Welcome these inward and uplifting thoughts as if they were your own, for in one sense… they are.

We must try to penetrate our most secret self, and examine our being from all sides… And so, for the first time in my life perhaps (although I am supposed to meditate every day!), I took the lamp and, leaving the zone of everyday occupations and relationships where everything seems clear, I went down into my inmost self, to the deep abyss whence I feel dimly that my power of action emanates. But as I moved further and further away from the conventional certainties by which social life is superficially illuminated, I became aware that I was losing contact with myself. At each step of the descent a new person was disclosed within me of whose name I was no longer sure, and who no longer obeyed me. And when I had to stop my exploration because the path faded from beneath my steps, I found a bottomless abyss at my feet, and out of it came — arising I know not from where — the current which I dare to call my life.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 – 1955)

He who knows not,
And knows not that he knows not,
Is a fool — shun him.
He who knows not,
And knows that he knows not,
Is a child — teach him.
He who knows,
And knows not that he knows,
Is asleep — wake him.
He who knows,
And knows that he knows,
Is wise — follow him.

Ibn Yamin (1286 – 1367)

Another thing that people must sacrifice is their suffering. It is very difficult also to sacrifice one’s suffering. A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering. Man is made in such a way that he is never so much attached to anything as he is to his suffering. And it is necessary to be free from suffering. No one who is not free from suffering, who has not sacrificed his suffering, can work. Later on a great deal must be said about suffering. Nothing can be attained without suffering, but at the same time one must begin by sacrificing suffering. Now, decipher what this means.

P. D. Ouspensky (1878 – 1947)

Only let your present and past distress make you feel and acknowledge this twofold great truth: first, that in and of yourself, you are nothing but darkness, vanity, and misery; secondly, that of yourself, you can no more help yourself to light and comfort, than you can create an angel. People at all times can seem to assent to these two truths, but then it is an assent which has no depth or reality, and so is of little or no use, but your condition has opened your heart for a deep and full conviction of these truths. Now give way, I beseech you, to this conviction, and hold these two truths, in the same degree of certainty as you know two and two to be four, and then you are with the prodigal come to yourself, and above half your work is done.

William Law (1686 – 1761)

“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)

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)

Every living being longs always to be happy, untainted by sorrow; and everyone has the greatest love for himself, which is solely due to the fact that happiness is his real nature. Hence, in order to realize that inherent and untainted happiness, which indeed he daily experiences when the mind is subdued in deep sleep, it is essential that he should know himself. For obtaining such knowledge the inquiry “Who am I?” in quest of the Self is the best means.

Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950)

A little boy wearing the mask of a lion looks quite fierce. He runs out where his little sister is playing and shrieks out in a horrible voice, which shocks and terrifies his sister, making her cry out in terror, and making her attempt to escape from the frightening creature. But when her brother takes off the mask, she runs back to exclaim, “It is my nice brother after all!”

Sri Ramakrishna (1836 – 1886)