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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.

If you devote your time to study, you will avoid all the irksome things of life, and you will not long for the approach of night, being tired of the day, and you will not be a burden to yourself, and your company will be acceptable to others.

Seneca (4 B.C.E. – 65 A.D.)

Culture, far from giving us freedom, only develops as it advances, new necessities; the fetters of the physical close more tightly around us, so that the fear of loss quenches even the ardent impulse towards improvement, and the maxims of passive obedience are held to be the highest wisdom of life.

Friedrich von Schiller (1759 – 1805)

This is the greatest stumbling block in our spiritual discipline, which, in actuality, consists not in getting rid of the self but in realizing the fact that there is no such existence from the first. The realization means being “poor” in spirit. “Being poor” does not mean “becoming poor.” “Being poor” means to be from the very beginning not in possession of anything and not giving away what one has. Nothing to gain, nothing to lose; nothing to give, nothing to take; to be just so, and yet to be rich in inexhaustible possibilities — this is to be “poor” in its most proper and characteristic sense of the word, this is what all religious experiences tell us. To be absolutely nothing is to be everything. When one is in possession of something, that something will keep all other somethings from coming in.

Thomas Merton (1915 – 1968)

In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals, for Tirawa, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beast, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun and moon should man learn… all things tell of Tirawa.

Chief Gray Eagle, Pawnee (1794)

Nor do we think that many of our insoluble difficulties, perplexities, and unanswered questions necessarily exist because of the kind of consciousness we naturally possess, and that a new degree of consciousness would either cause our awareness of them to disappear or bring about an entirely new relation to them.

Maurice Nicoll (1884 – 1953)

For most people, even for educated and thinking people, the chief obstacle in the way of acquiring self-consciousness consists in the fact that they think they possess it, that is that they already possess self-consciousness and everything connected with it; individuality in the sense of a permanent and unchangeable ‘I,’ will, ability to do, and so on. It is evident that a man will not be interested if you tell him that he can acquire by long and difficult work something which, in his opinion, he already has. On the contrary he will think either that you are mad or that you want to deceive him with a view to personal gain.

P. D. Ouspensky (1878 – 1947)

All men who have sense and feeling are being continually helped; they are taught by every person they meet, and enriched by everything that falls in their way. The greatest is he who has been oftenest aided. Originality is the observing eye.

John Ruskin (1819 – 1900)

You ask, “How can we know the Infinite?” I answer, not by reason. It is the office of reason to distinguish and define. The Infinite, therefore, cannot be ranked among its objects. You can only apprehend the Infinite by a faculty superior to reason, by entering into a state in which you are your finite self no longer, in which the Divine Essence is communicated to you. This is Ecstasy. It is the liberation of your mind from its finite consciousness.

Plotinus (circa 204 – 270)

But what is the secret of finding this treasure? There isn’t one. This treasure is everywhere. It is offered to us all the time and wherever we are. All creatures, friends or foes, pour it out in abundance, and it flows through every fiber of our body and soul until it reaches the very core of our being. God’s activity runs through the universe. It wells up around and penetrates every created being. Where they are, there it is also. It goes ahead of them, it is with them, and it follows them. All they have to do is let its waves sweep them onward, fulfill the simple duties of their religion and state, cheerfully accept all the troubles they meet, and submit to God’s will in all they have to do. This is true spirituality, which is valid for all times and for everyone. We cannot become truly good in a better, more marvelous, and yet easier way than by the simple use of the means offered us by God: the ready acceptance of all that comes to us at each moment of our lives.

Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675 – 1751)