Thomas Merton (quotes)

  • Whose silence are you?
  • Love is its own reward.
  • The root of war is fear.
  • Love is our true destiny.
  • A daydream is an evasion.
  • Love is its own reward….
  • Today will never come again.
  • Love is the door to eternity.
  • We do not exist for ourselves.
  • To be a saint is to be yourself.
  • The gate of heaven is everywhere.
  • Take more time, cover less ground.
  • Perhaps I am stronger than I think.
  • The goal of fasting is inner unity.
  • Love is an intensification of life.
  • The end of the world will be legal.
  • Our real journey in life is interior.
  • Humility is a virtue, not a neurosis.
  • When ambition ends, happiness begins.
  • Love is a special way of being alive.
  • Hurry ruins saints as well as artists.
  • Lovely morning! How lovely life can be!
  • For me to be a saint means to be myself.
  • The only unhappiness is not to love God.
  • Love winter when the plant says nothing.
  • It might be good to open our eyes and see.
  • We love the things we pretend to laugh at.
  • The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.
  • Love is the epiphany of God in our poverty.
  • Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity.
  • My best writing has always been in journals.
  • You are made in the image of what you desire.
  • If you have love you will do all things well.
  • Love is perfect in proportion to it’s freedom.
  • Thinking prevents the unconscious from speaking.
  • Music and art and poetry attune the soul to God.
  • Infinite sharing is the law of God s inner life.
  • The biggest disease in North America is busyness.
  • We are already ONE. We just think we are separate.
  • The speech of God is silence. His Word is solitude.
  • A bad book about the love of God remains a bad book.
  • To be unknown to God is altogether too much privacy.
  • Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.
  • The God of peace is never glorified by human violence.
  • Action is the stream, and contemplation is the spring.
  • When you see God in everyone, then they see God in you.
  • No one is so wrong as the man who knows all the answers.
  • There is a logic of language and a logic of mathematics.
  • The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.
  • Life reveals itself to us only in so far as well live it.
  • A faith that is afraid of other people is no faith at all.
  • You cannot be a man of faith unless you know how to doubt.
  • The least of the work of learning is done in the classroom.
  • A faith that is afraid of other people is not faith at all.
  • The only way to make a man worthy of love is by loving him.
  • A man who fails well is greater than one who succeeds badly.
  • My spiritual goal is to one day walk into God and disappear.
  • The biggest human temptation is… to settle for too little.
  • Teach me to go to the country beyond words and beyond names.
  • The purpose of our lives is to find the purpose of our lives.
  • Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.
  • To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything.
  • Violence is not completely fatal until it ceases to disturb us.
  • What I wear is pants. What I do is live. How I pray is breathe.
  • What I do is live, how I pray is breathe, what I wear is pants.
  • In Silence God ceases to be an object and becomes an experience.
  • I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
  • The great thing, and the only thing, is to adore and praise GOD.
  • How far have I to go to find you in whom I have already arrived.
  • Happiness that is sought for ourselves alone can never be found.
  • We stumble and fall constantly, even when we are most enlightened.
  • God, my God, the night has values that the day never dreamed of.
  • The problem today is that there are no deserts, only dude ranches.
  • Man was made for the highest activity, which is, in fact, his rest,
  • Power always protects the good of some at the expense of all others.
  • Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
  • Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.
  • To hope is to risk frustration. Make up your mind to risk frustration.
  • We cannot achieve greatness unless we lose all interest in being great.
  • The man of faith who has never experienced doubt is not a man of faith.
  • God, have mercy on me in the blindness in which I hope I am seeking You!
  • Zen insight is not our awareness, but Being’s awareness of itself in us.
  • The closer we are to God, the closer we are to those who are close to him.
  • We must slow down to a human tempo and we’ll begin to have time to listen.
  • If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.
  • We must slow down to a human tempo and we’ll begin to have time to listen.
  • The imagination should be allowed a certain amount of time to browse around.
  • In the end, it’s the reality of personal realtionships that save everything.
  • Wheels of fire, cosmic, rich, full-bodied honest victories over desperation.
  • If you yourself are at peace, then there is at least some peace in the world.
  • While some men see ordinary happenings, others see divine light and guidance.
  • If we seek paradise outside ourselves, we cannot have paradise in our hearts.
  • Meditation is one of the ways in which the spiritual man keeps himself awake.
  • Do not be one of those who, rather than risk failure, never attempts anything.
  • … but any fool knows that you don’t need money to get enjoyment out of life.
  • Every other man is a piece of myself, for I am a part and a member of mankind.
  • Conscience is the light by which we interpret the will of God in our own lives.
  • To be ordinary is not a choice: It is the usual freedom of men without visions.
  • The very contradictions in my life are in some ways signs of God’s mercy to me.
  • The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly
  • In the spiritual life there is no such thing as an indifference to love or hate.
  • Duty does not have to be dull. Love can make it beautiful and fill it with life.
  • Contemplation is the loving sense of this life, this presence and this eternity.
  • When we are strong, we are always much greater than the things that happen to us.
  • Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.
  • Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand.
  • Every breath we draw is a gift of God’s love; every moment of existence is a grace.
  • Charity is without fear: having given all that it has, it has nothing left to lose.
  • Solitude is a way to defend the spirit against the murderous din of our materialism.
  • We are obliged to love one another. We are not strictly bound to “like” one another.
  • If you want to study the social and political history of modern nations, study hell.
  • A man searching for enlightenment is like a man sitting on an Ass in search of an Ass
  • Our whole life is a meditation of our last decision – the only decision that matters.
  • Christ is born to us today, in order that he may appear to the whole world through us.
  • Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more.
  • To worship our false selves is to worship nothing. And the worship of nothing is hell.
  • God Himself begins to live in me not only as my Creator but as my other and true self.
  • Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.
  • Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.
  • God has brought me to Kentucky…the precise place he has chosen for my sanctification.
  • Because of their enmity you will be left alone. They will cast you out and forsake you.
  • There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
  • The meaning of life is found in openness to being and “being present” in full awareness.
  • In our creation, God asked a question and in our truly living; God answers the question.
  • Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.
  • Advertising treats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments.
  • Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of man for it is the image of God.
  • The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.
  • Love not only prefers the good of another to my own, but it does not even compare the two.
  • You are certainly one of the joys of life for all who have ever come within a mile of you.
  • But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question.
  • People have no idea what one saint can do: for sanctity is stronger than the whole of hell.
  • If Zen has any preference it is for glass that is plain, has no color, and is “just glass.”
  • Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.
  • Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already I am.
  • We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.
  • To find love I must enter into the sanctuary where it is hidden, which is the mystery of God.
  • Let us come alive to the splendor that is all around us and see the beauty in ordinary things.
  • Grains of error planted innocently in a well-kept greenhouse can become giant poisonous trees.
  • The peace produced by grace is a spiritual stability too deep for violence — it is unshakeable
  • Love is free; it does not depend on the desirability of its object, but loves for love’s sake.
  • There is not true intimacy between souls who do not know how to respect one another’s solitude.
  • The peace produced by grace is a spiritual stability too deep for violence, it is unshakeable
  • True happiness is found in unselfish Love, A love which increases in proportion as it is shared.
  • I have learned that one cannot truly know hope unless he has found out how like despair hope is.
  • Actions are the doors and windows of being. Unless we act, we have no way of knowing what we are.
  • A Christian is committed to the belief that Love and Mercy are the most powerful forces on earth.
  • Gratitude takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder.
  • There is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.
  • Be good, keep your feet dry, your eyes open, your heart at peace and your soul in the joy of Christ.
  • Prayer is not so much a way to find God as a way of resting in him…who loves us, who is near to us.
  • The degradation of the sense of symbol in modern society is one of its many signs of spiritual decay.
  • What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we cannot cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?
  • And that is why the man who wants to see clearly, before he will believe, never starts on the journey.
  • Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it.
  • love-why can’t you leave me alone? Which is a rhetorical question meaning: for heaven’s sake, don’t.
  • How do you expect to arrive at the end of your own journey if you take the road to another man’s city?
  • A man knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live.
  • A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless, than one that always verges on despair.
  • If we have not silence, God is not heard in our music. If we have no rest God, does not bless our work.
  • Prayer is not so much a way to find God as a way of resting in him…who loves us, who is near to us…
  • Nothing has ever been said about God that hasn’t already been said better by the wind in the pine trees.
  • We have what we seek, it is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us.
  • Technology is not in itself opposed to spirituality and to religion. But it presents a great temptation.
  • The sky is my prayer, the birds are my prayer, the wind in the trees is my prayer, for God is all in all.
  • Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone.
  • Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.
  • I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity … I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.
  • Good moral actions are not enough. Everything in us, from the very depths, must be cleansed and reordered…
  • You pray best when the mirror of your soul is empty of every image except the Image of the Invisible Father.
  • If we are to love sincerely, and with simplicity, we must first of all overcome the fear of not being loved.
  • The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.
  • It is in deep solitude and silence that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brother and sister.
  • The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived.
  • A gentle sense of humor will be alert to detect anything that savors of a pious ‘act’ on the part of the penitent.
  • Violence is essentially wordless. and it can begin only where thought and rational communication have broken down.
  • I shall lead you through the loneliness, the solitude you will not understand; but it is my shortcut to your soul.
  • The simplest and most effective way to sanctity is to disappear into the background of ordinary every day routine.
  • May God prevent us from becoming “right-thinking men”-that is to say men who agree perfectly with their own police.
  • Ash Wednesday is full of joy…The source of all sorrow is the illusion that of ourselves we are anything but dust.
  • The light of truth burns without a flicker in the depths of a house that is shaken with storms of passion and fear.
  • People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular- and too lazy to think of anything better.
  • The center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth.
  • For although God is right with us and in us and out of us and all through us, we have to go on journeys to find him.
  • The truth never becomes clear as long as we assume that each one of us, individually, is the center of the universe.
  • There is a subtle but inescapable connection between the “sacred” attitude and the acceptance of one’s in most self.
  • We have to have a deep, patient compassion for the fears of men and irrational mania of those who hate or condemn us.
  • If you want to have a spiritual life you must unify your life. A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all.
  • The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds
  • When you reread your journal you find out that your newest discovery is something you already found out five years ago.
  • It is in the ordinary duties and labors of life that the Christian can and should develop his spiritual union with God.
  • How can I be sincere if I am constantly changing my mind to conform with the shadow of what I think others expect of me?
  • We have to have a deep, patient compassion for the fears of others and irrational mania of those who hate or condemn us.
  • The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the other…. The whole purpose of life is to live by love.
  • The grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.
  • True encounter with Christ liberates something within us, a power we did not know we had, a capacity to grow and change.
  • He who hopes in God trusts God, Whom he never sees, to bring him to the possession of things that are beyond imagination.
  • It is when we love the other, the enemy, that we obtain from God the key to an understanding of who He is, and who we are.
  • I myself am part of the weather and part of the climate and part of the place … It is certainly part of my life of prayer.
  • The sacred attitude is, then, one of deep and fundamental respect for the real in whatever new form it may present itself.
  • The solution of the problem of life is life itself. Life is not attained by reason and analysis but first of all by living.
  • In the devil’s theology, the important thing is to be absolutely right and to prove that everybody else is absolutely wrong.
  • Our happiness consists in sharing the happiness of God, the perfection of His unlimited freedom, the perfection of His love.
  • The Holy Spirit is the most perfect gift of the Father to men, and yet He is the one gift which the Father gives most easily.
  • Fear narrows the little entrance of our heart. It shrinks up our capacity to love. It freezes up our power to give ourselves.
  • For perfect hope is achieved on the brink of despair, when instead of falling over the edge, we find ourselves walking on air.
  • Prayer is an expression of who we are…We are a living incompleteness. We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment.
  • Our knowledge of God is perfected by gratiitude: we are thankful and rejoice in the experience of the truth that He is love…
  • Spread abroad the name of Jesus in humility and with a meek heart; show him your feebleness, and he will become your strength.
  • To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.
  • There was this shadow, this double, this writer who had followed me into the cloister. He rides my shoulders I cannot lose him.
  • For our duties and our needs, in all the fundamental things for which we were created, come down in practice to the same thing.
  • For the ones who are called saints by human opinion on earth may very well be devils, and their light may very well be darkness
  • May we all grow in grace and peace and not neglect the silence that is printed in the center of our being. It will not fail us.
  • The deepest of level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless … beyond speech … beyond concept.
  • Contemplative living is living in true relationship with oneself, God, others and nature, free of the illusions of separateness.
  • Just remaining quietly in the presence of God, listening to Him, being attentive to Him, requires a lot of courage and know-how.
  • Art is not an end in itself. It introduces the soul into a higher spiritual order, which it expresses and in some sense explains.
  • …love triumphs, at least in this life, not by eliminating evil once for all, but by resisting and overcoming it anew every day.
  • The truth that many people never understand until it is too late is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer.
  • One might say I have decided to marry the silence of the forest. The sweet dark warmth of the whole world will have to be my wife.
  • The real hope is not in something we think we can do, but in God, who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see.
  • Today the artist has inherited the combined functions of hermit, pilgrim, prophet, priest, shaman, sorcerer, soothsayer, alchemist.
  • Each individual Christian and each new age of the Church has to make this rediscovery, this return to the source of Christian life.
  • Sincerity must be bought at a price: the humility to recognize our innumerable errors, and fidelity in tirelessly setting them right.
  • Show us your Christ, Lady, after this our exile, yes: but show Him to us also now, show Him to us here, while we are still wanderers.
  • We refuse love, and reject society, in so far as it seems, in our own perverse imagination, to imply some obscure kind of humiliation
  • Our minds are like crows. They pick up everything that glitters, no matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all that metal in them.
  • Zen is consciousness unstructured by particular form or particular system, a trans-cultural, trans-religious, transformed consciousness.
  • The fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the wind, and join in the general Dance.
  • For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God’s will, to be what God wants us to be.
  • I will no longer wound myself with the thoughts and questions that have surrounded me like thorns: that is a penance You do not ask of me.
  • Humility sets us free to do what is really good, by showing us our illusions and withdrawing our will from what was only an apparent good.
  • I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me.
  • We do not want to be beginners [at prayer]. but let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything but beginners, all our life!
  • Jesus lived and died in vain if He did not teach us to regulate the whole of life by the eternal law of love. Gandhi, quoted in Merton, p. 38
  • The only right way: to love and serve the man of the modern world, but not simply to succumb, with him, to all his illusions about the world.
  • An author in a Trappist monastery is like a duck in a chicken coop. And he would give anything in the world to be a chicken instead of a duck.
  • But if you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for.
  • No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees.
  • The artistic experience, at its highest, was actually a natural analogue of mystical experience. It produced a kind of intuitive of perception.
  • On Pride: This sickness is most dangerous when it succeeds in looking like humility. When a proud man thinks he is humble his case is hopeless.
  • In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart.
  • The peculiar grace of a Shaker chair is due to the fact that it was made by someone capable of believing that an angel might come and sit on it.
  • Love is not a mere emotion or sentiment. It is the lucid and ardent responses of the whole person to a value that is revealed to him as perfect.
  • The man who sweats under his mask, whose role makes him itch with discomfort, who hates the division in himself, is already beginning to be free.
  • Every man has a vocation to be someone: but he must understand clearly that in order to fulfill this vocation he can only be one person: himself.
  • It is by desiring to grow in love that we receive the Holy Spirit, and the thirst for more charity is the effect of this more abundant reception.
  • The greatest temptations are not those that solicit our consent to obvious sin, but those that offer us great evils masking as the greatest goods.
  • Life is not accomplishing some special work but attaining to a degree of consciousness and inner freedom which is beyond all works and attainments.
  • We are not converted only once in our lives but many times and this endless series of conversions and inner revolutions leads to our transformation.
  • Others can give you a name or a number, but they can never tell you who you really are. That is something you yourself can only discover from within.
  • We stumble and fall constantly even when we are most enlightened. But when we are in true spiritual darkness, we do not even know that we have fallen.
  • Be still: There is no longer any need of comment. It was a lucky wind That blew away his halo with his cares, A lucky sea that drowned his reputation.
  • I have only one desire, and that is the desire for solitude-to disappear into God, to be submerged in His peace, to be lost in the secret of His Face.
  • If there was no other proof of the infinite patience of God, a very good one could be found in His toleration of the pictures that are painted of Him.
  • Stop asking yourself questions that have no meaning. Or if they have, you’ll find out when you need to — find out both the questions and the answers.
  • We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God
  • I am earth, earth My heart’s love Bursts with hay and flowers. I am a lake of blue air In which my own appointed place Field and valley Stand reflected
  • Self-conquest is really self-surrender. Yet before we can surrender ourselves we must become ourselves. For no one can give up what he does not possess.
  • Now anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity. It is the fruit of unanswered questions. But questions cannot go unanswered unless they first be asked.
  • It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes.
  • In a world of noise, confusion and conflict it is necessary that there be places of silence, inner discipline and peace. In such places love can blossom.
  • A happiness that is sought for ourselves alone can never be found: for a happiness that is diminished by being shared is not big enough to make us happy.
  • We cannot possess the truth fully until it has entered into the very substance of our life by good habits, and by a certain perfection of moral activity.
  • Love in fact is the spiritual life, and without it all the other exercises of the spirit, however lofty, are emptied of content and become mere illusions.
  • People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.
  • Even the darkest moments of the liturgy are filled with joy, and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the lenten fast, is a day of happiness, a Christian feast.
  • It is true that we are called to create a better world. But we are first of all called to a more immediate and exalted task: that of creating our own lives.
  • To love blindly is to love selfishly, because the goal of such love is not the real advantage of the beloved but only the exercise of love in our own souls.
  • The humble person receives praise the way a clean window takes the light of the sun. The truer and more intense the light is, the less you see of the glass.
  • To love our nothingness we must love everything in us that the proud man loves when he loves himself. But we must love it all for exactly the opposite reason.
  • The cause of liberty becomes a mockery if the price to be paid is the wholesale destruction of those who are to enjoy liberty. Ghandi, quoted in Merton, p. 68
  • There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist fighting for peace by nonviolent methods most easily succumbs; activism and overwork.
  • Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward.
  • What is the use of praying if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?
  • Music is pleasing not only because of the sound but because of the silence that is in it: without the alternation of sound and silence there would be no rhythm.
  • We do not exist for ourselves alone, and it is only when we are fully convinced of this fact that we begin to love ourselves properly and thus also love others.
  • Every one of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false Self. We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves.
  • Modern man believes he is fruitful and productive when his ego is aggressively affirmed, when he is visibly active, and when his action produces obvious results.
  • I can depend less and less on my own power and sense of direction…It is so strange to advance backwards and get where you are going in a totally unexpected way
  • The whole aim of Zen is not to make foolproof statements about experience, but to come to direct grips with reality without the mediation of logical verbalizing.
  • Everybody has an instinctive desire to do good things and avoid evil. But that desire is sterile as long as we have no experience of what it means to be good….
  • That is God’s call to us – simply to be people who are content to live close to him and to renew the kind of life in which the closeness is felt and experienced.
  • This is the crucifixion of Christ: in which He dies again and again in the individuals who were made to share the joy and freedom of His grace, and who deny Him.
  • And the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. it is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept.
  • A humble man is not afraid of failure. In fact, he is not afraid of anything, even himself, since perfect humility implies perfect confidence in the power of God.
  • We must be true inside, true to ourselves, before we can know a truth that is outside us. But we make ourselves true inside by manifesting the truth as we see it.
  • Before we can realize who we really are, we must become conscious of the fact that the person we think we are, here and now, is at best an impostor and a stranger.
  • October is a fine and dangerous season in America. a wonderful time to begin anything at all. You go to college, and every course in the catalogue looks wonderful.
  • The evil in the world is all of our own making, and it proceeds entirely from our ruthless, senseless, wasteful, destructive, and suicidal neglect of our own being.
  • Our vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny….To work out our identity in God.
  • Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it.
  • My God, I pray better to you by breathing and walking than by talking, just as in choir I sing best when I am thinking about something else, or better still, praying.
  • For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.
  • We cannot love ourselves unless we love others, and we cannot love others unless we love ourselves. But a selfish love of ourselves makes us incapable of loving others.
  • Saints are what they are not because their sanctity makes them admirable to others, but because the gift of sainthood makes it possible for them to admire everyone else.
  • How deluded we sometimes are by the clear notions we get out of books. They make us think that we really understand things of which we have no practical knowledge at all.
  • It is my belief, that we should not be too sure of having found Christ in ourselves until we have found him also in that part of humanity that is most remote from our own.
  • The first step toward finding God, Who is Truth, is to discover the truth about myself: and if I have been in error, this first step to truth is the discovery of my error.
  • Indeed, it is a kind of quintessence of pride to hate and fear even the kind and legitimate approval of those who love us! I mean, to resent it as a humiliating patronage.
  • True contemplation is not a psychological trick but a theological grace. It can come to us ONLY as a gift, and not as a result of our own clever use of spiritual techniques.
  • For if I am to love truly and freely, I must be able to give something that is truly my own to another. If my heart does not first belong to me, how can I give it to another?
  • A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.
  • The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.
  • The man who lives in division is living in death. He cannot find himself because he is lost; he has ceased to be a reality. The person he believes himself to be is a bad dream.
  • We live on the brink of disaster because we do not know how to let life alone. We do not respect the living and fruitful contradictions and paradoxes of which true life is full.
  • Not all of us are called to be hermits, but all of us need enough silence and solitude in our lives to enable the deeper voice of our own self to be heard at least occasionally.
  • There were only a few shepherds at the first Bethlehem. The ox and the donkey understood more of the first Christmas than the high priests in Jerusalem. And it is the same today.
  • The art of our time, sacred art included, will necessarily be characterized by a certain poverty, grimness and roughness which correspond to the violent realities of a cruel age.
  • To Serve the God of Love one must be free, one must face the terrible responsibility of the decision to love in spite of all unworthiness whether in oneself or in one’s neighbor.
  • Let me rest in Your will and be silent. Then the light of Your joy will warm my life. Its fire will burn in my heart and shine for Your glory. This is what I live for. Amen, amen.
  • When I pray for peace, I pray not only that the enemies of my own country may cease to want war, but above all that my country will cease to do the things that make war inevitable.
  • The selfishness of an age that has devoted itself to the mere cult of pleasure has tainted the whole human race with an error that makes all our acts more or less lies against God.
  • Life is this simple: we are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable, it is true.
  • Grace is not a strange, magic substance which is subtly filtered into our souls to act as a kind of spiritual penicillin. Grace is unity, oneness within ourselves, oneness with God.
  • The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
  • But precisely this illusion that everything is “clear” is what is blinding us all. It is a serious temptation, and it is a subtle form of pride and worldly love of power and revenge.
  • Souls are like athletes, that need opponents worthy of them, if they are to be tried and extended and pushed to the full use of their powers, and rewarded according to their capacity.
  • There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us.
  • Ours is a time of anxiety because we have willed it to be so. Our anxiety is not imposed on us by force from outside. We impose it on our world and upon one another from within ourselves.
  • To be alone by being part of the universe-fitting in completely to an environment of woods and silence and peace. Everything you do becomes a unity and a prayer. Unity within and without.
  • Love is not a matter of getting what you want. Quite the contrary. The insistence on always having what you want, on always being satisfied, on always being fulfilled, makes love impossible.
  • In an age where there is much talk about “being yourself,” I reserve to myself the right to forget about being myself, since in any case there is very little chance of my being anybody else.
  • To become attached to the experience of peace is to threaten the true and essential and vital union of our soul with God above sense and experience in the darkness of a pure and perfect love.
  • For pride, which is the inordinate attribution of goods and values and glories to one’s own contingent self, cannot exist where there is no contingent self to which anything can be attributed.
  • Do not be too quick to condemn the man who no longer believes in God: for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice and mediocrity and materialism and selfishness that have chilled his faith.
  • Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.
  • One of the strange laws of the contemplative life is that in it you do not sit down and solve problems: you bear with them until they somehow solve themselves. Or until life solves them for you.
  • The only influence that can really upset the injustice and iniquity of men is the power that breathes in the Christian tradition, renewing our participation in the Life that is the Light of men.
  • Death is someone you see very clearly with eyes in the center of your heart: eyes that see not by reacting to light, but by reacting to a kind of a chill from within the marrow of your own life.
  • One of the first things to learn if you want to be a contemplative is to mind your own business. Nothing is more suspicious, in a man who seems holy, than an impatient desire to reform other men.
  • The logic of the poet – that is, the logic of language or the experience itself – develops the way a living organism grows: it spreads out towards what it loves, and is heliotropic, like a plant.
  • The artist should preach nothing-not even his own autonomy. His art should speak its own truth, and in so doing it will be in harmony with every other kind of truth- moral, metaphysical, mystical.
  • In meditative prayer, one thinks and speaks not only with the mind and lips, but in a certain sense with one’s whole being… All good meditative prayer is a conversation of our entire self to God.
  • We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have – for their usefulness.
  • The true contemplative is one who has discovered the art of finding leisure even in the midst of his work, by working with such a spirit of detachment and recollection that even his work is a prayer
  • One has to be alone, under the sky, Before everything falls into place and one finds his or her own place in the midst of it all. We have to have the humility to realize ourselves as part of nature.
  • There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.
  • I refuse to be misled by any kind of a mirage about any alleged success of what I write. Those things are too easily exaggerated, and even when they are true, they always mean less than they seem to.
  • 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 whole world has risen in Christ… If God is ‘all in all,’ then everything is in fact paradise, because it is filled with the glory and presence of God, and nothing is any more separated from God.
  • Do not look for rest in any pleasure, because you were not created for pleasure: you were created for joy. And if you do not know the difference between pleasure and joy you have not yet begun to live.
  • Pardon all runners, All speechless, alien winds, All mad waters. Pardon their impulses, Their wild attitudes, Their young flights, their reticence. When a message has no clothes on How can it be spoken.
  • ….it is of the very essence of Christianity to face suffering and death not because they are good, not because they have meaning, but because the resurrection of Jesus has robbed them of their meaning.
  • The most awful tyranny is that of the proximate Utopia where the last sins are currently being eliminated and where, tomorrow, there will be no more sins because all the sinners will have been wiped out.
  • My life is … a mystery which I do not attempt to really understand, as though 1 were led by the hand in a night where I see nothing, but can fully depend on the love and protection of Him who guides me.
  • I suppose what makes me most glad is that we all recognize each other in this metaphysical space of silence and happening, and get some sense, for a moment, that we are full of paradise without knowing it.
  • No matter how ruined man and his world may seem to be, and no matter how terrible man’s despair may become, as long as he continues to be a man his very humanity continues to tell him that life has a meaning.
  • The true inner self must be drawn up like a jewel from the bottom of the sea, rescued from confusion, from indistinction, from immersion in the common, the nondescript, the trivial, the sordid, the evanescent.
  • To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.
  • If we examine ourselves carefully we shall see most of us have an enormous amount of unfinished business…We have to be free so that we can just step across the line and that’s it. That is what real freedom is.
  • Solitude is so necessary both for society and for the individual that when society fails to provide sufficient solitude to develop the inner life of the persons who compose it, they rebel and seek false solitudes.
  • We have the choice of two identities: the external mask which seems to be real…and the hidden, inner person who seems to us to be nothing, but who can give himself eternally to the truth in whom he subsists. (295)
  • The fruitfulness of our lives depends in large measure in our ability to doubt our own words and to question the value of our own work. The man who completely trusts his own estimate of himself is doomed to sterility.
  • Why do we have to spend our lives striving to be something that we would never want to be, if we only knew what we wanted? Why do we waste our time doing things which… are just the opposite of what we were made for?
  • Our real journey in life is interior; It is a matter of growth, deepening, and of an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts. Never was it more necessary to respond to that action.
  • They were in the world and not of it–not because they were saints, but in a different way: because they were artists. The integrity of an artist lifts a man above the level of the world without delivering him from it.
  • The world as pure object is something that is not there. It is not a reality outside us for which we exist….It is a living and self-creating mystery of which I am myself a part, to which I am myself, my own unique door.
  • The only trouble is that in the spiritual life there are no tricks and no shortcuts. Those who imagine that they can discover spiritual gimmicks and put them to work for themselves usually ignore God’s will and his grace.
  • If there is no silence beyond and within the many words of doctrine, there is no religion, only a religious ideology. For religion goes beyond words and actions, and attains to the ultimate Truth only in silence and Love.
  • What do I mean by loving ourselves properly? I mean first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of what it enables us to give to others.
  • Humble people can do great things with uncommon perfection because they are no longer concerned about their own interests and their own reputation, and therefore they no longer need to waste their efforts in defending them.
  • The geographical pilgrimage is the symbolic acting out an inner journey. The inner journey is the interpolation of the meanings and signs of the outer pilgrimage. One can have one without the other. It is best to have both.
  • God, Who is everywhere, never leaves us. Yet He seems sometimes to be present, sometimes to be absent. If we do not know Him well, we do not realize that He may be more present to us when He is absent than when He is present.
  • In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for ‘finding himself.’ If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.
  • As long as I continue to take myself seriously, how can I consider myself a saint? How can I consider myself a contemplative? For the self I bother about does not really exist, never will, never did except in my own imagination.
  • It seems to me that the darkness that has troubled you … comes from one very serious source. Without wanting to be in conflict with the truth and with the will of God, we are actually going against God’s will and His teaching.
  • If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.
  • His justice is the love that gives to each one of His creatures the gifts that His mercy has previously decreed. And His mercy is His love, doing justice to its own exigencies, and renewing the gift which we had failed to accept.
  • You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.
  • To be truly Catholic is not merely to be correct according to an abstractly universal standard of truth, but also and above all to be able to enter into the problems and the joys of all, to understand all, to be all things to all.
  • Nevertheless, the liturgy of Ash Wednesday is not focussed on the sinfulness of the penitent but on the mercy of God. The question of sinfulness is raised precisely because this is a day of mercy, and the just do not need a savior.
  • Thinking about monastic ideals is not the same as living up to them, but at any rate such thinking has an important place in a monk’s life, because you cannot begin to do anything unless you have some idea what you are trying to do.
  • To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.
  • It is both dangerous and easy to hate man as he is because he is not what he ought to be. If we do not first respect what he is we will never suffer him to become what he ought to be: in our impatience we do away with him altogether.
  • What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.
  • For the birds there is not a time that they tell, but the point vierge between darkness and light, between being and nonbeing. You can tell yourself the time by their waking, if you are experienced. But that is your folly, not theirs.
  • 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.
  • One of the most important-and most neglected-elements in the beginning of the interior life is the ability to respond to reality, to see the value and the beauty in ordinary things, to come alive to the splendour that is all around us.
  • You will never be able to have perfect interior peace and recollection unless you are detached even from the desire of peace and recollection. You will never be able to pray perfectly until you are detached from the pleasures of prayer.
  • The gift of love is the gift of the power and capacity to love, and therefore, to give love with full effect is also to receive it. So love can only be kept by being given away, and it can only be given perfectly when it is also received.
  • The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt
  • The Hindus are not looking for us to send them men who will build schools and hospitals, although those things are good and useful in themselves–and perhaps very badly needed in India: they want to know if we have any saints to send them.
  • The mission of Christian humility in social life is not merely to edify, but to keep minds open to many alternatives. The rigidity of a certain type of Christian thought has seriously impaired this capacity, which nonviolence must recover.
  • The secret of my full identity is hidden in Him. He alone can make me who I am, or rather who I will be when at last I fully begin to be. But unless I desire this identity and work to find it with Him and in Him, the work will never be done
  • To desire Him to be merciful to us is to acknowledge Him as God. To seek His pity when we deserve no pity is to ask Him to be just with a justice so holy that it knows no evil and shows mercy to everyone who does not fly from Him in despair.
  • A superficial freedom to wander aimlessly here or there, to taste this or that, to make a choice of distractions, is simply a sham. It claims to be a freedom of “choice” when it has evaded the basic task of discovering who it is that chooses.
  • If our life is poured out in useless words, we will never hear anything, never become anything, and in the end, because we have said everything before we had anything to say, we shall be left speechless at the moment of our greatest decision.
  • a man can radically change his life and attain to a deeper meaning, a more perfect integration, a more complete fulfillment, a more total liberty of spirit than are possible in the routines of a purely active existence centered on money-making.
  • Curiously, the most serious religious people, or the most concerned scholars, those who constantly read the Bible as a matter of professional or pious duty, can often manage to evade a radically involved dialogue with the book they are questioning.
  • We assume that others are receiving the kind of appreciation we want for ourselves, and we proceed on the assumption that since we are not loveable as we are, we must become lovable under false pretenses, as if we were something better than we are.
  • The more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt. The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers most.
  • Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. They want quick success, and they are in such a hurry to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves. And when the madness is upon them, they argue that their very haste is a species of integrity.
  • Faith is a light of such supreme brilliance that it dazzles the mind and darkens all its visions of other realities, but in the end when we become used to the new light, we gain a new view of all reality transfigured and elevated in the light itself.
  • Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.
  • For the sinful self is not my real self, it is not the self YOU have wanted for me, only the self that I have wanted : And I no longer want this false self. But now, Father, I come to You in your own Son’s self … and it is He Who Presents me to You.
  • If a writer is so cautious that he never writes anything that cannot be criticized, he will never be able to write anything that can be read. If you want to help other people you have got to make up your mind to write things that some men will condemn.
  • The things I thought were so important — because of the effort I put into them — have turned out to be of small value. And the things I never thought about, the things I was never able to either to measure or to expect, were the things that mattered.
  • By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.
  • We who claim to love peace and justice must always be careful that we do not use our righteousness to provoke the violent, and in this way bring about the conflict for which we, too, like other men, are hungering in secret, and with suppressed barbarity.
  • The monk in hiding himself from the world becomes not less than himself, not less of a person, but more of a person, more truly and perfectly himself: for his personality and individuality are perfected in their true order, the spiritual, interior order.
  • God must be allowed the right to speak unpredictably…. We must find him in our enemy, or we may lose him even in our friend. We must find him in the pagan or we will lose him in our own selves, substituting for his living presence an empty abstraction.
  • Business is not the supreme virtue, and sanctity is not measured by the amount of work we accomplish. Perfection is found in the purity of our love for God, and this pure love is a delicate plant that grows best where there is plenty of time for it to mature
  • Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.
  • The only thing to seek in contemplative prayer is God; and we seek Him successfully when we realize that we cannot find Him unless He shows Himself to us, and yet at the same time that He would not have inspired us to seek Him unless we had already found Him.
  • We do not pray for the sake of praying, but for the sake of being heard. We do not pray in order to listen to ourselves praying but in order that God may hear us and answer us. Also, we do not pray in order to receive just any answer: it must be God’s answer.
  • The importance of detachment from things, the importance of poverty, is that we are supposed to be free from things that we might prefer to people. Wherever things have become more important than people, we are in trouble. That is the crux of the whole matter.
  • Every man becomes the image of the God he adores. He whose worship is directed to a dead thing becomes dead. He who loves corruption rots. He who loves a shadow becomes, himself, a shadow. He who loves things that must perish lives in dread of their perishing.
  • Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself, and if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself.
  • Every moment and every event of everyman’s life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men.
  • October is a fine and dangerous season in America. It is dry and cool and the land is wild with red and gold and crimson, and all the lassitudes of August have seeped out of your blood, and you are full of ambition. It is a wonderful time to begin anything at all.
  • I seek to speak to you, in some way, as your own self. Who can tell what this may meanI myself do not know, but if you listen, things will be said that are perhaps not written in this book. And this will be due not to me but to the One who lives and speaks in both.
  • True encounter with Christ liberates something in us, a power we did not know we had, a hope, a capacity for life, a resilience, an ability to bounce back when we thought we were completely defeated, a capacity to grow and change, a power of creative transformation.
  • I am beginning to realize that “sanity” is no longer a value or an end in itself. If modern people were a little less sane, a little more doubtful, a little more aware of their absurdities and contradictions, perhaps there might be the possibility of their survival.
  • Contemplation is not and cannot be a function of this external self. There is an irreducible opposition between the deep transcendent self that awakens only in contemplation, and the superficial, external self which we commonly identify with the first person singular.
  • And of course most non-Catholics imagine that the Church is immensely rich, and that all Catholic institutions make money hand over fist, and that all the money is stored away somewhere to buy gold and silver dishes for the Pope and cigars for the College of Cardinals.
  • We must suffer. Our five sense are dulled by inordinate pleasure. Penance makes them keen, gives them back their natural vitality, and more. Penance clears the eye of conscience and of reason. It helps think clearly, judge sanely. It strengthens the action of our will.
  • From the moment you put a piece of bread in your mouth you are part of the world. Who grew the wheat? Who made the bread? Where did it come from? You are in relationship with all who brought it to the table. We are least separate and most in common when we eat and drink.
  • The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to receive them as gifts we have to be open. In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed identity.
  • The Lord did not create suffering. Pain and death came into the world with the fall of man. But after man had chosen suffering in preference to the joys of union with God, the Lord turned suffering itself into a way by which man could come to the perfect knowledge of God.
  • I stand among you as one who offers a small message of hope. . . there are always people who dare to seek on the margin of society, who are not dependent on social acceptance, not dependent on social routine, and prefer a kind of free-floating existence under a state of risk.
  • To those who have no personal experience of this revolutionary aspect of Christian truth, but who see only the outer crust of dead, human conservatism that tends to form around the Church the way barnacles gather on the hull of a ship, all this talk about dynamism sounds foolish.
  • Weaknesses and deficiencies . . . play a most important part in all our lives. It is because of them that we need others and others need us. We are not all weak in the same spots, and so we supplement and complete one another, each one making up in himself for the lack in another.
  • This act of total surrender is not merely a fantastic intellectual and mystical gamble; it is something much more serious. It is an act of love for this unseen person, who, in the very gift of love by which we surrender ourselves to his reality also makes his presence known to us.
  • In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers.
  • ..takes created things for ends in themselves, which they are not. The will that seeks rest in creatures for their own sake stops on the way to its true end, terminates in a value which does not exist, and thus frustrates all its deepest capacities for happiness and peace.
  • I came with the notion of perhaps saying something for monks and to monks of all religions because I am supposed to be a monk. … My dear brothers, WE ARE ALREADY ONE. BUT WE IMAGINE THAT WE ARE NOT. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are
  • If we live with possibilities we are exiles from the present which is given us by God to be our own, homeless and displaced in a future or a past which are not ours because they are always beyond our reach. The present is our right place, and we can lay hands on whatever it offers us.
  • For power can guarantee the interests of some men but it can never foster the good of man. Power always protects the good of some at the expense of all the others. Only love can attain and preserve the good of all. Any claim to build the security of all on force is a manifest imposture.
  • Learn how to meditate on paper. Drawing and writing are forms of meditation. Learn how to contemplate works of art. Learn how to pray in the streets or in the country. Know how to meditate not only when you have a book in your hand but when you are waiting for a bus or riding in a train.
  • The simplicity that all this presupposes is not easy to attain. I find that my life constantly threatens to become complex and divisive. A life of prayer is basically a very simple life. This simplicity, however, is the result of asceticism and effort: it is not a spontaneous simplicity.
  • The whole function of the life of prayer is, then, to enlighten and strengthen our conscience so that it not only knows and perceives the outward, written precepts of the moral and divine laws, but above all lives God’s law in concrete reality by perfect and continual union with His will.
  • For power can guarantee the interests of some men but it can never foster the good of man. Power always protects the good of some at the expense of all the others.  Only love can attain and preserve the good of all.  Any claim to build the security of all on force is a manifest imposture.
  • Peace cannot be built on exclusivism, absolutism, and intolerance. But neither can it be built on vague liberal slogans and pious programs gestated in the smoke of confabulation. There can be no peace on earth without the kind of inner change that brings man back to his “right mind.” p. 31
  • To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect on me is to live on the doorstep of hell. Selfishness is doomed to frustration centered as it is upon a lie. To live exclusively for myself, I must make all things bend themselves to my will as if I were a god.
  • To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect on me is to live on the doorstep of hell. Selfishness is doomed to frustration centered as it is upon a lie. To live exclusively for myself, I must make all things bend themselves to my will as if I were a god.
  • Let no one hope to find in contemplation an escape from conflict, from anguish or from doubt. On the contrary, the deep inexpressible certitude of the contemplative experience awakens a tragic anguish and opens many questions in the depths of the heart like wounds that cannot stop bleeding.
  • It is not only our hatred of others that is dangerous but also and above all our hatred of ourselves: particularly that hatred of ourselves which is too deep and too powerful to be consciously faced. For it is this which makes us see our own evil in others and unable to see it in ourselves.
  • The devil makes many disciples by preaching against sin. He convinces them that the great evil of sin, induces a crisis of guilt by which God is satisfied,” and after that he lets them spend the rest of their lives meditating on the intense sinfulness and evident reprobation of other men.
  • The silence of the forest is my bride and the sweet dark warmth of the whole world is my love, and out of the heart of that dark warmth comes the secret that is heard only in silence, but it is the root of all the secrets that are whispered by all the lovers in their beds all over the world.
  • We are not perfectly free until we live in pure hope. For when our hope is pure, it no longer trusts exclusively in human and visible means, nor rests in any visible end. He who hopes in God trusts God, Whom he never sees, to bring him to the possession of things that are beyond imagination.
  • Living is not thinking. Thought is formed and guided by objective reality outside us. Living is the constant adjustment of thought to life and life to thought in such a way that we are always growing, always experiencing new things in the old and old things in the new. Thus life is always new.
  • God has left sin in the world in order that there may be forgiveness: not only the secret forgiveness by which He Himself cleanses our souls, but the manifest forgiveness by which we have mercy on one another and so give expression to the fact that He is living, by His mercy, in our own hearts.
  • A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying [God]. It “consents,” so to speak, to [God’s] creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree
  • Imagination has the creative task of making symbols, joining things together in such a way that they throw new light on each other and on everything around them. The imagination is a discovering faculty, a faculty for seeing relationships, for seeing meanings that are special and even quite new.
  • Imagination has the creative task of making symbols, joining things together in such a way that they throw new light on each other and on everything around them. The imagination is a discovering faculty, a faculty for seeing relationships, for seeing meanings that are special and even quite new.
  • Not only does silence give us a chance to understand ourselves better, to get a truer and more balanced perspective on our own lives in relation to the lives of others: silence makes us whole if we let it. Silence helps draw together the scattered and dissipated energies of a fragmented existence.
  • A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying [God]. It consents, so to speak, to [God’s] creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree
  • The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else’s imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real!
  • Are they moved by a sense of human need for silence, for reflection, for inner seeking? So they want to get away from the noise and tension of modern life, at least for a little while, in order to relax their minds and wills and seek a blessed healing sense of inner unity, reconciliation, integration?
  • I am against war, against violence, against violent revolution, for peaceful settlement of differences, for nonviolent but nevertheless radical changes. Change is needed, and violence will not really change anything: at most it will only transfer power from one set of bull-headed authorities to another.
  • The pleasure of a good act is something to be remembered – not in order to feed our complacency but in order to remind us that virtuous actions are not only possible and valuable, but that they can become easier and more delightful and more fruitful than the acts of vice which oppose and frustrate them.
  • Persons are not known by intellect alone, not by principles alone, but only by love. It is when we love the other, the enemy, that we obtain from God the key to an understanding of who he is, and who we are. It is only this realization that can open to us the real nature of our duty, and of right action.
  • The married man and the mother of a Christian family, if they are faithful to their obligations, will fulfill a mission that is as great as it is consoling: that of bringing into the world and forming young souls capable of happiness and love, souls capable of sanctification and transformation in Christ.
  • For every gain in deep certitude there is a corresponding growth of superficial “doubt.” This doubt is by no means opposed to genuine faith, but it mercilessly examines and questions the spurious “faith” of everyday life, the human faith which is nothing but the passive acceptance of conventional opinion.
  • Very well, then: why are you attached to any one book, or to the words and ways of one saint when he himself tells you to let them go and walk in simplicity? To hang on to him as if to make a method of him is to contradict him and to go in the opposite direction to the one in which he would have you travel.
  • Do not be too quick to assume your enemy is a savage just because he is your enemy. Perhaps he is your enemy because he thinks you are a savage. Or perhaps he is afraid of you because he feels that you are afraid of him. And perhaps if he believed you are capable of loving him he would no longer be your enemy.
  • Do not be too quick to assume your enemy is a savage just because he is your enemy. Perhaps he is your enemy because he thinks you are a savage. Or perhaps he is afraid of you because he feels that you are afraid of him. And perhaps if he believed you are capable of loving him he would no longer be your enemy.
  • Surrender your own poverty and acknowledge your nothingness to the Lord. Whether you understand it or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you and offers you an understanding and compassion which are like nothing you have ever found in a book or heard in a sermon.
  • The whole purpose of spiritual direction is to penetrate beneath the surface of a man’s life, to get behind the fa√ßade of conventional gestures and attitudes which he presents to the world, and to bring out his inner spiritual freedom, his inmost truth, which is what we call the likeness of Christ in his soul.
  • Since no man ever can, or could, live by himself and for himself alone, the destinies of thousands of other people were bound to be affected, some remotely, but some very directly and near-at-hand, by my own choices and decisions and desires, as my own life would also be formed and modified according to theirs.
  • Each particular being, in its individuality, its concrete nature and entity, with all its own characteristics and its private qualities and its own inviolable identity, gives glory to God by being precisely what He wants it to be here and now, in the circumstances ordained for it by His Love and His infinite Art.
  • Life consists in learning to live on one’s own, spontaneous, freewheeling: to do this one must recognize what is one’s own-be familiar and at home with oneself. This means basically learning who one is, and learning what one has to offer to the contemporary world, and then learning how to make that offering valid.
  • The only true liberty is in the service of that which is beyond all limits, beyond all definitions, beyond all human appreciation: that which is All, and which therefore is no limited or individual thing: The All is no-thing, for if it were to be a single thing separated from all other things, it would not be All.
  • When your tongue is silent, you can rest in the silence of the forest. When your imagination is silent, the forest speaks to you. It tells you of its unreality and of the Reality of God. But when your mind is silent, then the forest suddenly becomes magnificently real and blazes transparently with the Reality of God.
  • It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am, the more affection I have for them. It is pure affection, and filled with reverance for the solitude of others. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.
  • It is easy enough to tell the poor to accept their poverty as Gods will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head and no worry about the rent. But if you want them to believe youtry to share some of their poverty and see if you can accept it as Gods will yourself!
  • Keeping a journal has taught me that there is not so much new in your life as you sometimes think. When you re-read your journal you find out that your latest discovery is something you already found out five years ago. Still, it is true that one penetrates deeper and deeper into the same ideas and the same experiences.
  • Who is willing to be satisfied with a job that expresses all his limitations? He will accept such work only as a ‘means of livelihood’ while he waits to discover his ‘true vocation’. The world is full of unsuccessful businessmen who still secretly believe they were meant to be artists or writers or actors in the movies.
  • The lights of prayer that make us imagine we are beginning to be angels are sometimes only signs that we are finally beginning to be men. We do not have a high enough opinion of our own nature. We think we are at the gates of heaven and we are only just beginning to come into our own realm as free and intelligent beings.
  • It is a kind of pride to insist that none of our prayers should ever be petitions for our own needs: for this is only another subtle way of trying to put ourselves on the same plane as God – acting as if we had no needs, as if we were not creatures, not dependent on Him and dependent, by His will, on material things, too.
  • I was not sure where I was going, and I could not see what I would do when I got [there]. But you saw further and clearer than I, and you opened the seas before my ship, whose track led me across the waters to a place I had never dreamed of, and which you were even then preparing to be my rescue and my shelter and my home.
  • In all His acts God orders all things, whether good or evil, for the good of those who know Him and seek Him and who strive to bring their own freedom under obedience to His divine purpose. All that is done by the will of God in secret is done for His glory and for the good of those whom He has chosen to share in His glory.
  • In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your piece of heart. As soon as you compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because you have begun to trade in unrealities and there is no joy in things that do not exist.
  • At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will.
  • It is the will of God that we live not only as rational beings, but as “new men” regenerated by the Holy Spirit in Christ. It is His will that we reach out for our inheritance, that we answer His call to be His sons. We are born men without our consent, but the consent to be sons of God has to be elicited by our own free will.
  • Detachment from things does not mean setting up a contradiction between ‘things’ and ‘God’ as if God were another thing and as if creatures were His rivals. We do not detach ourselves from things in order to attach ourselves to God, but rather we become detached from ourselves in order to see and use all things in and for God.
  • To be risen with Christ means not only that one has a choice and that one may live by a higher law – the law of grace and love – but that one must do so. The first obligation of the Christian is to maintain their freedom from all superstitions, all blind taboos and religious formalities, indeed from all empty forms of legalism.
  • When I am liberated by silence, when I am no longer involved in the measurement of life, but in the living of it, I can discover a form of prayer in which there is effectively no distraction. My whole life becomes a prayer. My whole silence is full of prayer. The world of silence in which I am immersed contributes to my prayer.
  • The desire to kill is like the desire to attack another with a red hot iron. I have to pick up the incandescent metal and burn my own hand while burning the other person. Hate itself is the seed of death in my own heart while it seeks death of another. Love is the seed of life in my own heart while it seeks the good of another.
  • But the man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God’s love precisely because of his shortcomings, can begin to be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not in his own illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God.
  • We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and God is shining through it all the time. God manifests Himself everywhere, in everything – in people and in things and in nature and in events … The only thing is we don’t see it … I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere.
  • We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and God is shining through it all the time. God manifests Himself everywhere, in everything – in people and in things and in nature and in events … The only thing is we don’t see it … I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere.
  • God utters me like a word containing a partial thought of him. A word will never be able to comprehend the voice that utters it. But if I am true to the concept that God utters in me, if I am true to the thought of Him that I was meant to embody, I shall be full of his actuality and find him everywhere in myself, and find myself nowhere.
  • Either you look at the universe as a very poor creation out of which no one can make anything or you look at your own life and your own part in the universe as infinitely rich, full of inexhaustible interest, opening out into infinite further possibilities for study and contemplation and interest and praise. Beyond all and in all is God.
  • My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me…you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
  • By my monastic life and vows I am saying no to all the concentration camps, the aerial bombardments, the staged political trials, the judicial murders, the racial injustices, the economic tyrannies, and the whole socioeconomic apparatus which seems geared for nothing but global destruction in spite of all its fair words in favor of peace.
  • The psychological impotence of our enraged generation must be traced to the overwhelming accusation of insincerity which every man and woman has to confront, in the depths of his own soul, when he seeks to love merely for his own pleasure.And yet the men of our time do not love with enough courage to risk even discomfort or inconvenience.
  • To know the Cross is not merely to know our own sufferings. For the Cross is the sign of salvation, and no man is saved by his own sufferings. To know the Cross is to know that we are saved by the sufferings of Christ; more, it is to know the love of Christ Who underwent suffering and death in order to save us. It is, then, to know Christ.
  • Consequently, the truth of God lives in our souls more by the power of superior moral courage than by the light of an eminent intelligence. Indeed, spiritual intelligence itself depends on the fortitude and patience with which we sacrifice ourselves for the truth, as it is communicated to our lives concretely in the providential will of God
  • The camera does not know what it takes; it captures materials with which you reconstruct, not so much what you saw as what you thought you saw. Hence the best photography is aware, mindful, of illusion and uses illusion, permitting and encouraging it – especially unconscious and powerful illusions that are not usually admitted on the scene.
  • Our technological society has no longer any place in it for wisdom that seeks truth for its own sake, that seeks the fullness of being, that seeks to rest in an intuition of the very ground of all being. Without wisdom, the apparent opposition of action and contemplation, of work and rest, of involvement and detachment, can never be resolved.
  • I am beginning to realize that “sanity” is no longer a value or an end in itself. The “sanity” of modern man is about as useful to him as the huge bulk and muscles of the dinosaur. If he were a little less sane, a little more doubtful, a little more aware of his absurdities and contradictions, perhaps there might be a possibility of his survival.
  • All men who live only according to their five senses, and seek nothing beyond the gratification of their natural appetites for pleasure and reputation and power, cut themselves off from that charity which is the principle of all spiritual vitality and happiness because it alone saves us from the barren wilderness of our own abominable selfishness.
  • The land which thou goest to possess is not like the land of Egypt from whence thou camest out… For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord…Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near…Why do you spend money for that which is not bread and your labor for that which doth not satisfy you?
  • The thing about Zen is that it pushes contradictions to their ultimate limit where one has to choose between madness and innocence. Zen suggests that we may be driving toward one or the other on a cosmic scale. Driving toward them because, one way or the other, as madmen or innocents, we are already there. It might be good to open our eyes and see.
  • We cannot master everything, taste everything, understand everything, drain every experience to its last dregs. But if we have the courage to let almost everything else go, we will probably be able to retain the thing necessary for us-whatever it may be. If we are too eager to have everything, we will almost certainly miss even the one thing we need
  • Zen enriches no one. There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while in the place where it is thought to be. But they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the “nothing,” the “no-body” that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey.
  • Contradictions have always existed in the soul of [individuals]. But it is only when we prefer analysis to silence that they become a constant and insoluble problem. We are not meant to resolve all contradictions but to live with them and rise above them and see them in the light of exterior and objective values which make them trivial by comparison.
  • In the natural order no matter what ideals may be theoretically possible, most people more or less live for themselves and for their own interests and pleasures or for those of their own family or group, and therefore they are constantly interfering with one another’s aims, and hurting one another and injuring one another, whether they mean it or not.
  • The thing about Zen is that it pushes contradictions to their ultimate limit where one has to choose between madness and innocence. And Zen. suggests that we may be driving toward one or the other on a cosmic scale. Driving toward them because, one way or the other, as madmen or innocents, we are already there. It might be good to open our eyes and see.
  • When society is made up of men who know no interior solitude it can no longer be held together by love: and consequently it is held together by a violent and abusive authority. But when men are violently deprived of the solitude and freedom which are their due, then society in which they live becomes putrid, it festers with servility, resentment and hate.
  • The question of love is one that cannot be evaded. Whether or not you claim to be interested in it from the moment you are alive you are bound to be concerned with love because love is not just something that happens to you: It is a certain special way of being alive. Love is in fact an intensification of life a completeness a fullness a wholeness of life.
  • Teach me to take all grace / And spring it into blades of act, / Grow spears and sheaves of charity, / While each new instant, (new eternity) / Flowering with clean and individual circumstance, / Speaks me the whisper of [God’s] consecrating Spirit. / Then will obedience bring forth new Incarnations / Shining to God with the features of [the Lord’s] Christ.
  • As long as we are on earth, the love that unites us will bring us suffering by our very contact with one another, because this love is the resetting of a body of broken bones. Even saints cannot live with saints on this earth without some anguish. There are two things which men can do about the pain of disunion with other men. They can love or they can hate.
  • One thing is certain: the humility of faith, if it is followed by the proper consequences-by the acceptance of the work and sacrifice demanded by our providential task-will do far more to launch us into the full current of historical reality than the pompous rationalizations of politicians who think they are somehow the directors and manipulators of history.
  • If you write for God you will reach many men and bring them joy. If you write for men–you may make some money and you may give someone a little joy and you may make a noise in the world, for a little while. If you write for yourself, you can read what you yourself have written and after ten minutes you will be so disgusted that you will wish that you were dead.
  • Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair.
  • I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
  • Contemplation is life itself, fully awake, fully active, and fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is gratitude for life, for awareness, and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent, and infinitely abundant Source.
  • Silence has many dimensions. It can be a regression and an escape, a loss of self, or it can be presence, awareness, unification, self-discovery. Negative silence blurs and confuses our identity, and we lapse into daydreams or diffuse anxieties. Positive silence pulls us together and makes us realize who we are, who we might be, and the distance between these two.
  • If it so happened that I had once written a best-seller, this was a pure accident, due to inattention and naivete, and I would take very good care never to do the same again. If I had a message for my contemporaries, I said, it was surely this: Be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success.
  • If it so happened that I had once written a best-seller, this was a pure accident, due to inattention and naivete, and I would take very good care never to do the same again. If I had a message for my contemporaries, I said, it was surely this: Be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success.
  • See, see Who God is, see the glory of God, going up to Him out of this incomprehensible and infinite Sacrifice in which all history begins and ends, all individual lives begin and end, in which every story is told, and finished, and settled for joy or for sorrow: the one point of reference for all the truths that are outside of God, their center, their focus: Love.
  • We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest.
  • There are days when I am convinced that Heaven starts already, now, in this ordinary life just as it is, in all its incompleteness, yet, this is where Heaven starts.. see within yourself, if you can find it. I walked through the field in front of the house, lots of swallows flying, everywhere! Some very near me..it was magical. “We are already one, yet we know it not.
  • It is by the Holy Spirit that we love those who are united to us in Christ. The more plentifully we have received of the Spirit of Christ, the more perfectly we are able to love them: and the more we love them the more we receive the Spirit. It is clear, however, that since we love them by the Spirit Who is given to us by Jesus, it is Jesus Himself Who loves them in us.
  • I am willing to admit that some people might live there for years, or even a lifetime, so protected that they never sense the sweet stench of corruption that is all around them – the keen, thin scent of decay that pervades everything and accuses with a terrible accusation the superficial youthfulness, the abounding undergraduate noise, that fills those ancient buildings.
  • In any case, his religious teaching consisted mostly in more or less vague ethical remarks, an obscure mixture of ideals of English gentlemanliness and his favorite notions of personal hygiene. Everybody knew that his class was liable to degenerate into a demonstration of some practical points about rowing, with Buggy sitting on the table and showing us how to pull an oar.
  • My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following Your Will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
  • Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being. Between the silence of the world and the silence of God. When we have really met and known the world in silence, words do not separate us from the world nor from other men, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we no longer trust entirely in language to contain reality.
  • The danger of education, I have found, is that it so easily confuses means with ends. Worse than that, it quite easily forgets both and devotes itself merely to the mass production of uneducated gradtuates – people literaly unfit for anything except to take part in an elaborate and completely artificial charade which they and their contemporaries have conspired to call “life”.
  • In order to find God in ourselves, we must stop looking at ourselves, stop checking and verifying ourselves in the mirror of our own futility, and be content to be in Him and to do whatever He wills, according to our limitations, judging our acts not in the light of our own illusions, but in the light of His reality which is all around us in the things and people we live with.
  • There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves.
  • Nonviolence seeks to ‘win’ not by destroying or even by humiliating the adversary, but by convincing [the adversary] that there is a higher and more certain common good than can be attained by bombs and blood. Nonviolence, ideally speaking, does not try to overcome the adversary by winning over [them], but to turn [them] from an adversary into a collaborator by winning [them] over.
  • But there is no substance under the things I have gathered together about me. I am hollow, and my structure of pleasures and ambitions has no foundation. I am objectified in them. But they are all destined by their very contingency to be destroyed. And when they are gone there will be nothing left of me but my own nakedness and emptiness and hollowness, to tell me that I am a mistake.
  • The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. Not that we discover a new unity. We discover an older unity. My dear Brothers [and Sisters], we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.
  • I believe we are going to have to prepare ourselves for the difficult and patient task of outgrowing rigid and intransigent nationalism, and work slowly towards a world federation of peaceful nations. How will this be possible? Don’t ask me. I don’t know. But unless we develop a moral, spiritual, and political wisdom that is proportionate to our technological skill, our skill may end us.
  • Our thought should not merely be an answer to what someone else has just said. Or what someone else might have said. Our interior world must be more than an echo of the words of someone else. There is no point in being a moon to somebody else’s sun, still less is there any justification for our being moons of one another, and hence darkness to one another, not one of us being a true sun.
  • The soul of man, left to its own natural level, is a potentially lucid crystal left in darkness. It is perfect in its own nature, but it lacks something that it can only receive from outside and above itself. But when the light shines in it, it becomes in a manner transformed into light and seems to lose its nature in the splendor of a higher nature, the nature of the light that is in it.
  • In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity. We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work with expecting immediate reward, to love without an instant satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition. It is only when we are detached from ourselves that we can be at peace with ourselves.
  • … Nothing resembles reality less than the photograph. Nothing resembles substance less than its shadow. To convey the meaning of something substantial you have to use not a shadow but a sign, not the limitation but the image. The image is a new and different reality, and of course it does not convey an impression of some object, but the mind of the subject; and that is something else again.
  • The world of men has forgotten the joys of silence, the peace of solitude, which is necessary, to some extent, for the fullness of human living. Man cannot be happy for long unless he is in contact with the springs of spiritual life which are hidden in the depths of his own soul. If man is exiled constantly from his own home, locked out of his spiritual solitude, he ceases to be a true person.
  • It is not merely our own desire but the desire of Christ in His Spirit that drives us to grow in love. Those who seldom or never feel in their hearts the desire for the love of God and other men, and who do not thirst for the pure waters of desire which are poured out in us by the strong, living God, are usually those who have drunk from other rivers or have dug for themselves broken cisterns.
  • The primordial blessing, ‘increase and multiply’, has suddenly become a hemorrhage of terror. We are numbered in billions, and massed together, marshalled, numbered, marched here and there, taxed, drilled, armed, worked to the point of insensibility, dazed by information, drugged by entertainment, surfeited with everything, nauseated with the human race and with ourselves, nauseated with life.
  • Merely to resist evil with evil by hating those who hate us and seeking to destroy them, is actually no resistance at all. It is active and purposeful collaboration in evil that brings the Christian into direct and intimate contact with the same source of evil and hatred which inspires the acts of his enemy. It leads in practice to a denial of Christ and to the service of hatred rather than love.
  • Some of us need to discover that we will not begin to live more fully until we have the courage to do and see and taste and experience much less than usual… And for a man who has let himself be drawn completely out of himself by his activity, nothing is more difficult than to sit still and rest, doing nothing at all. The very act of resting is the hardest and most courageous act he can perform.
  • Each one of us has some kind of vocation. We are all called by God to share in His life and in His Kingdom. Each one of us is called to a special place in the Kingdom. If we find that place we will be happy. If we do not find it, we can never be completely happy. For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God’s will, to be what God wants us to be.
  • Our God…is a consuming fire. And if we, by love, become transformed into Him and burn as He burns, His fire will be our everlasting joy. But if we refuse His love and remain in the coldness of sin and opposition to Him and to other men then will His fire (by our own choice rather than His) become our everlasting enemy, and Love, instead of being our joy, will become our torment and our destruction.
  • The most dangerous man in the world is the contemplative who is guided by nobody. He trusts his own visions. He obeys the attractions of an interior voice but will not listen to other men. He identifies the will of God with anything that makes him feel, within his own heart, a big, warm, sweet interior glow. The sweeter and the warmer the feeling is, the more he is convinced of his own infallibility.
  • At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our life, which is inaccessable to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us.
  • What does it mean to know and experience my own “nothingness?” It is not enough to turn away in disgust from my illusions and faults and mistakes, to separate myself from them as if they were not, and as if I were someone other than myself. This kind of self-annihilati on is only a worse illusion, it is a pretended humility which, by saying “I am nothing” I mean in effect “I wish I were not what I am.
  • In general, it can be said that no contemplative life is possible without ascetic self-discipline. One must learn to survive without the habit-forming luxuries which get such a hold on men today. I do not say that to be a contemplative one absolutely has to go without smoking or without alcohol, but certainly one must be able to use these things without being dominated by an uncontrolled need for them.
  • The most dangerous man in the world is the contemplative who is guided by nobody. He trusts his own visions.  He obeys the attractions of an interior voice but will not listen to other men.  He identifies the will of God with anything that makes him feel, within his own heart, a big, warm, sweet interior glow.  The sweeter and the warmer the feeling is, the more he is convinced of his own infallibility.
  • God, teach me to be satisfied with my own helplessness in the spiritual life. Teach me to be content with Your grace that comes to me in darkness and that works things I cannot see. Teach me to be happy that I can depend on You. To depend on You should be enough for an eternity of joy. To depend on You by itself ought to be infinitely greater than any joy which my own intellectual appetite could desire.
  • There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious unity and integrity is wisdom, the mother of us all, “natura naturans.” There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fountain of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness, and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being.
  • There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious unity and integrity is wisdom, the mother of us all, “natura naturans.”  There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fountain of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness, and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being.
  • You have got me walking up and down all day under those trees, saying to me over and over again, “Solitude, solitude.” And You have turned around and thrown the world in my lap. You have told me, “Leave all things and follow me,” and then You have tied half of New York to my foot like a ball and chain. You have got me kneeling behind that pillar with my mind making a noise like a bank. Is that contemplation?
  • Perhaps peace is not, after all, something you work for, or ‘fight for.’ It is indeed ‘fighting for peace’ that starts all the wars. What, after all, are the pretexts of all these Cold War crises, but ‘fighting for peace?’ Peace is something you have or do not have. If you are yourself at peace, then there is at least some peace in the world. Then share your peace with everyone, and everyone will be at peace.
  • Creation was given to people as a clean window through which the light of God could shine into people’s souls. Sun and moon, night and day, rain, sea, the crops, the flowering tree, all these things were transparent. They spoke to people not of themselves but only of Him who made them. Nature was symbolic. But the progressive degradation of humans led them further and further from this truth. Nature became opaque.
  • The Bible is not primarily a written or printed text to be scrutinized in private, in a scholar’s study or a contemplative cell. It is a body of oral messages, announcements, prophecies, promulgations, recitals, histories, songs of praise, lamentations, etc., which are meant either to be uttered or at least read aloud, or chanted, or sung, or recited in a community convoked for the purpose of a living celebration.
  • It is true to say that for me sanctity consists in being myself and for you sanctity consists of being yourself and that, in the last analysis, your sanctity will never be mine and mine will never be yours, except in the communism of charity and grace. For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.
  • It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, now I realize what we all are . If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth This little point is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody.
  • What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows! Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen.
  • Contemplation in the age of Auschwitz and Dachau, Solovky and Karaganda is something darker and more fearsome than contemplation in the age of the Church Fathers. For that very reason, the urge to seek a path of spiritual light can be a subtle temptation to sin. It certainly is sin if it means a frank rejection of the burden of our age, an escape into unreality and spiritual illusion, so as not to share the misery of other men.
  • Because You have called me here not to wear a label by which I can recognize myself and place myself in some kind of a category. You do not want me to be thinking about what I am, but about what You are. Or rather, You do not even want me to be thinking about anything much: for You would raise me above the level of thought. And if I am always trying to figure out what I am and where I am and why I am, how will that work be done?
  • A purely mental life may be destructive if it leads us to substitute thought for life and ideas for actions. The activity proper to man is purely mental because man is not just a disembodied mind. Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it. It is only by making our knowledge part of ourselves, through action, that we enter into the reality that is signified by our concepts.
  • There are crimes which no one would commit as an individual which he willingly and bravely commits when acting in the name of his society, because he has been (too easily) convinced that evil is entirely different when it is done ‘for the common good.’…one might point to the way in which racial hatreds and even persecution are admitted by people who consider themselves, and perhaps in some sense are, kind, tolerant, civilized and even humane.
  • It’s a risky thing to pray and the danger is that our very prayers get between God and us. The great thing in prayer is not to pray, but to go directly to God. . . . The fact is, though, that if you descend into the depths of your own spirit and arrive somewhere near the center of what you are, you are confronted with the inescapable truth that, at the very root of your existence, you are in constant and immediate contact with the infinite power of God.
  • It is true that neither the ancient wisdoms nor the modern sciences are complete in themselves. They do not stand alone. They call for one another. Wisdom without science is unable to penetrate the full sapiential meaning of the created and the material cosmos. Science without wisdom leaves man enslaved to a world of unrelated objects in which there is no way of discovering (or creating) order and deep significance in man’s own pointless existence. (p. 4)
  • We know when we are following our vocation when our soul is set free from preoccupation with itself and is able to seek God and even to find Him, even though it may not appear to find Him. Gratitude and confidence and freedom from ourselves: these are signs that we have found our vocation and are living up to it even though everything else may seem to have gone wrong. They give us peace in any suffering. They teach us to laugh at despair. And we may have to.
  • I just remember their kindness and goodness to me, and their peacefulness and their utter simplicity. They inspired real reverence, and I think, in a way, they were certainly saints. And they were saints in that most effective and telling way: sanctified by leading ordinary lives in a completely supernatural manner, sanctified by obscurity, by usual skills, by common tasks, by routine, but skills, tasks, routine which received a supernatural form from grace within.
  • Memory is corrupted and ruined by a crowd of memories. If I am going to have a true memory, there are a thousand things that must first be forgotten. Memory is not fully itself when it reaches only into the past. A memory that is not alive to the present does not remember the here and now, does not remember its true identity, is not memory at all. He who remembers nothing but facts and past events, and is never brought back into the present, is a victim of amnesia.
  • After all, what is your personal identity? It is what you really are, your real self. None of us is what he thinks he is, or what other people think he is, still less what his passport says he is And it is fortunate for most of us that we are mistaken. We do not generally know what is good for us. That is because, in St. Bernard’s language, our true personality has been concealed under the ‘disguise’ of a false self, the ego, whom we tend to worship in place of God.
  • After all, what is your personal identity? It is what you really are, your real self. None of us is what he thinks he is, or what other people think he is, still less what his passport says he is. And it is fortunate for most of us that we are mistaken. We do not generally know what is good for us. That is because, in St. Bernard’s language, our true personality has been concealed under the ‘disguise’ of a false self, the ego, whom we tend to worship in place of God.
  • The modern child may early in his or her existence have natural inclinations toward spirituality. The child may have imagination, originality, a simple and individual response to reality, and even a tendency to moments of thoughtful silence and absorption. All these tendencies, however, are soon destroyed by the dominant culture. The child becomes a yelling, brash, false little monster, brandishing a toy gun or dressed up like some character he has seen on television.
  • If we wait for some people to become agreeable or attractive before we begin to love them, we will never begin. If we are content to give them a cold impersonal ‘charity’ that is merely a matter of obligation, we will not trouble to understand them or to sympathize with them at all. And in that case we will not really love them, because love implies an efficacious will not only to do good to others exteriorly but also to find some good in them to which we can respond.”
  • The devil is no fool. He can get people feeling about heaven the way they ought to feel about hell. He can make them fear the means of grace the way they do not fear sin. And he does so, not by light but by obscurity, not by realities but by shadows; not by clarity and substance, but by dreams and the creatures of psychosis. And men are so poor in intellect that a few cold chills down their spine will be enough to keep them from ever finding out the truth about anything.
  • What is ‘grace’? It is God’s own life, shared by us. God’s life is love. Deus caritas est. By grace we are able to share in the infinitely selfless love of Him Who is such pure actuality that He needs nothing and therefore cannot conceivably exploit anything for selfish ends. Indeed, outside of Him there is nothing, and whatever exists exists by His free gift of its being, so that one of the notions that is absolutely contradictory to the perfection of God is selfishness.
  • It is not humility to insist on being someone that you are not. It is as much as saying that you know better than God who you are and who you ought to be. How do you expect to arrive at the end of your own journey if you take the road to another man’s city? How do you expect to reach your own perfection by leading somebody else’s life? His sanctity will never be yours; you must have the humility to work out your own salvation in a darkness where you are absolutely alone…
  • As a magnifying glass concentrates the rays of the sun into a little burning knot of heat that can set fire to a dry leaf or a piece of paper, so the mystery of Christ in the Gospel concentrates the rays of God’s light and fire to a point that sets fire to the spirit of man. … Through the glass of His Incarnation He concentrates the rays of His Divine Truth and Love upon us so that we feel the burn, and all mystical experience is communicated to men through the Man Christ.
  • Day after day I read Freud, thinking myself to be very enlightened and scientific when, as a matter of fact, I was about as scientific as an old woman secretly poring over books about occultism, trying to tell her own fortune, and learning how to dope out the future form the lines in the palm of her hand. I don’t know if I ever got very close to needing a padded cell: but if I ever had gone crazy, I think psychoanalysis would have been the one thing chiefly responsible for it.
  • I had refused to pay any attention to the moral laws upon which all our vitality and sanity depend: and so now I was reduced to the condition of a silly old woman, worrying about a lot of imaginary rules of health, standards of food-value, and a thousand minute details of conduct that were in themselves completely ridiculous and stupid, and yet which haunted me with vague and terrific sanctions. If I eat this, I may go out of my mind. If I do not eat that, I may die in the night.
  • Paradoxically, I have found peace because I have always been dissatisfied. My moments of depression and despair turn out to be renewals, new beginnings. If I were once to settle down and be satisfied with the surface of life, with its divisions and its cliches, it would be time to call in the undertaker… So, then, this dissatisfaction which sometimes used to worry me and has certainly, I know, worried others, has helped me in fact to move freely and even gaily with the stream of life.
  • Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time, there would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed . . . I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.
  • Things that are good are good, and if one is responding to that goodness one is in contact with a truth from which one is getting something. . . . The truth of the sunshine, the truth of the rain, the truth of the fresh air, the truth of the wind in the trees. . . and if we allow ourselves to be benefited by the forms of truth that are readily accessible to us instead of rejecting them as “merely natural,” we will be in a better position to profit by higher forms of truth when they come our way.
  • The friends of Job appear on the scene as advisers and “consolers,” offering Job the fruits of their moral scientia. But when Job insists that his sufferings have no explanation and that he cannot discover the reason for them through conventional ethical concepts, his friends turn into accusers, and curse Job as a sinner. Thus, instead of consolers, they become torturers by virtue of their very morality, and in so doing, while claiming to be advocates of God, they act as instruments of the devil.
  • And it is in this darkness, when there is nothing left in us that can please or comfort our own minds, when we seem to be useless and worthy of all contempt, when we seem to have failed, when we seem to be destroyed and devoured, it is then that the deep and secret selfishness that is too close to us for us to identify is stripped away from our souls. It is in this darkness that we find liberty. It is in this abandonment that we are made strong. This is the night which empties us and makes us pure.
  • Our Christian destiny is, in fact, a great one: but we cannot achieve greatness unless we lose all interest in being great. For our own idea of greatness is illusory, and if we pay too much attention to it we will be lured out of the peace and stability of the being God gave us, and seek to live in a myth we have created for ourselves. And when we are truly ourselves we lose most of the futile self-consciousness that keeps us constantly comparing ourselves with others in order to see how big we are.
  • Everything in modern city life is calculated to keep man from entering into himself and thinking about spiritual things. Even with the best of intentions a spiritual man finds himself exhausted and deadened and debased by the constant noise of machines and loudspeakers, the dead air and the glaring lights of offices and shops, the everlasting suggestion of advertising and propaganda. The whole mechanism of modern life is geared for a flight from God and from the spirit into the wilderness of neurosis.
  • The reality that is present to us and in us: call it being…Silence. And the simple fact that by being attentive, by learning to listen (or recovering the natural capacity to listen) we can find ourself engulfed in such happiness that it cannot be explained: the happiness of being at one with everything in that hidden ground of Love for which there can be no explanations…. May we all grow in grace and peace, and not neglect the silence that is printed in the center of our being. It will not fail us.
  • To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.
  • Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.
  • But it certainly is a wonderful thing to wake up suddenly in the solitude of the woods and look up at the sky and see the utter nonsense of everything including all the solemn stuff given out by professional asses about the spiritual life; and simply to burst out laughing, and laugh and laugh, with the sky and the trees because God is not in words, and not in systems, and not in liturgical movements, and not in “contemplation” with a big “C,” or in asceticism or in anything like that, not even in the apostolate.
  • Let me say this before rain becomes a utility that they can plan and distribute for money. By “they” I mean the people who cannot understand that rain is a festival, who do not appreciate its gratuity, who think that what has no price has no value, that what cannot be sold is not real, so that the only way to make something actual is to place it on the market. The time will come when they will sell you even your rain. At the moment it is still free, and I am in it. I celebrate its gratuity and its meaninglessness.
  • First, the desert is the country of madness. Second, it is the refuge of the devil, thrown out into the “wilderness of upper Egypt” to “wander in dry places.” Thirst drives man mad, and the devil himself is mad with a kind of thirst for his own lost excellence–lost because he has immured himself in it and closed out everything else. So the man who wanders into the desert to be himself must take care that he does not go mad and become the servant of the one who dwells there in a sterile paradise of emptiness and rage.
  • Therefore, doing the Stations of the Cross was still more laborious than consoling, and required a sacrifice. It was much the same with all my devotions. They did not come easily or spontaneously, and they very seldom brought with them any strong sensible satisfaction. Nevertheless the work of performing them ended in a profound and fortifying peace: a peace that was scarcely perceptible, but which deepened and which, as my passions subsided, became more and more real, more and more sure, and finally stayed with me permanently.
  • If nothing that can be seen can either be God or represent Him to us as He is, then to find God we must pass beyond everything that can be seen and enter into darkness. Since nothing that can be heard is God, to find Him we must enter into silence. Since God cannot be imagined, anything our imagination tells us about Him is ultimately a lie and therefore we cannot know Him as He really is unless we pass beyond everything that can be imagined and enter into an obscurity without images and without the likeness of any created thing.
  • The illusion that mechanical progress means human improvement … alienates us from our own being and our own reality. It is precisely because we are convinced that our life, as such, is better if we have a better car, a better TV set, better toothpaste, etc., that we condemn and destroy our own reality and the reality of our natural resources. Technology was made for man, not man for technology. In losing touch with being and thus with God, we have fallen into a senseless idolatry of production and consumption for their own sakes.
  • The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of contemporary violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activity neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
  • When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash – at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the “newness,” the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.
  • To some men peace merely means the liberty to exploit other people without fear of retaliation or interference. To others peace means the freedom to rob others without interruption. To still others it means the leisure to devour the goods of the earth without being compelled to interrupt their pleasures to feed those whom their greed is starving. And to practically everybody peace simply means the absence of any physical violence that might cast a shadow over lives devoted to the satisfaction of their animal appetites for comfort and pleasure.
  • Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or the particular monk they are intended to be by God. They never become the man or the artist who is called for by all the circumstances of their individual lives. They waste their years in vain efforts to be some other poet, some other saint…They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor to have somebody else’s experiences or write somebody else’s poems.
  • My own personal task is not simply that of poet and writer (still less commentator, pseudo-prophet); it is basically to praise God out of an inner center of silence, gratitude, and ‘awareness.’ This can be realized in a life that apparently accomplishes nothing. Without centering on accomplishment or nonaccomplishment, my task is simply the breathing of this gratitude from day to day, in simplicity, and for the rest turning my hand to whatever comes, work being part of praise, whether splitting logs or writing poems, or best of all simple notes.
  • For now, oh my God, it is to You alone that I can talk, because nobody else will understand. I cannot bring any other man on this earth into the cloud where I dwell in Your light, that is, Your darkness, where I am lost and abashed. I cannot explain to any other man the anguish which is Your joy nor the loss which is the Possession of You, nor the distance from all things which is the arrival in You, nor the death which is the birth in You because I do not know anything about it myself and all I know is that I wish it were over – I wish it were begun.
  • You must realize that it is the ordinary way of God’s dealings with us that our ideas do not work out speedily and efficiently as we would like them to. The reason for this is not only the loving wisdom of God, but also the fact that our acts have to fit into a great complex pattern that we cannot possibly understand. I have learned over the years that Providence is always a whole lot wiser than any of us, and that there are always not only good reasons, but the very best reasons for the delays and blocks that often seem to us so frustrating and absurd.
  • The basic problem is not political, it is apolitical and human. One of the most important things to do is to keep cutting deliberately through political lines and barriers and emphasizing the fact that these are largely fabrications and that there is another dimension, a genuine reality, totally opposed to the fictions of politics: the human dimension which politics pretend to arrogate entirely to themselves. This is the necessary first step along the long way toward the perhaps impossible task of purifying, humanizing and somehow illuminating politics themselves.
  • I have my own way to walk and for some reason or other Zen is right in the middle of it wherever I go. So there it is, with all its beautiful purposelessness, and it has become very familiar to me though I do not know “what it is.” Or even if it is an “it.” Not to be foolish and multiply words, I’ll say simply that it seems to me that Zen is the very atmosphere of the Gospels, and the Gospels are bursting with it. It is the proper climate for any monk, no matter what kind of monk he may be. If I could not breathe Zen I would probably die of spiritual asphyxiation.
  • I would call the attention of the reader to the difference between “reason” and “reasoning.” Reason is a light, reasoning a process. Reason is a faculty, reasoning an exercise of that faculty. Reasoning proceeds from one truth to another by means of argumentation. This generally involves the whole mind in labor and complexity. But reason does not exist merely in order to engage in reasoning. The process is a means to an end. The true fulfillment of reason as a faculty is found when it can embrace the truth simply and without labor in the light of single intuition.
  • The basic problem is not political, it is a-political and human. One of the most important things to do is to keep cutting deliberately through political lines and barriers and emphasizing the fact that these are largely fabrications and that there is another dimension, a genuine reality, totally opposed to the fictions of politics: the human dimension which politics pretend to arrogate entirely to themselves. This is the necessary first step along the long way toward the perhaps impossible task of purifying, humanizing and somehow illuminating politics themselves.
  • First of all, although men have a common destiny, each individual also has to work out his own personal salvation for himself in fear and trembling. We can help one another to find the meaning of life no doubt. But in the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for “finding himself.” If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence. You cannot tell me who I am and I cannot tell you who you are. If you do not know your own identity, who is going to identify you?
  • The man who fears to be alone will never be anything but lonely, no matter how much he may surround himself with people. But the man who learns, in solitude and recollection, to be at peace with his own loneliness, and to prefer its reality to the illusion of merely natural companionship, comes to know the invisible companionship of God. Such a one is alone with God in all places, and he alone truly enjoys the companionship of other men, because he loves them in God in Whom their presence is not tiresome, and because of Whom his own love for them can never know satiety.
  • We too often forget that faith is a matter of questioning and struggle before it becomes one of certitude and peace. You have to doubt and reject everything else in order to believe firmly in Christ, and after you have begun to believe, your faith itself must be tested and purified. Christianity is not merely a set of forgone conclusions. Faith tends to be defeated by the burning presence of God in mystery, and seeks refuge from him, flying to comfortable social forms and safe convictions in which purification is no longer an inner battle but a matter of outward gesture.
  • Once you have grace,” I said to him, “you are free. Without it, you cannot help doing the things you know you should not do, and that you know you don’t really want to do. But once you have grace, you are free. When you are baptized, there is no power in existence that can force you to commit a sin-nothing that will be able to drive you to it against your own conscience. And if you merely will it, you will be free forever, because the strength will be given you, as much as you need, and as often as you ask, and as soon as you ask, and generally long before you ask for it, too.
  • Place no hope in the feeling of assurance, in spiritual comfort. You may well have to get along without this. Place no hope in the inspirational preachers of Christian sunshine, who are able to pick you up and set you back on your feet and make you feel good for three or four days-until you fold up and collapse into despair. Self-confidence is a precious natural gift, a sign of health. But it is not the same thing as faith. Faith is much deeper, and it must be deep enough to subsist when we are weak, when we are sick, when our self-confidence is gone, when our self-respect is gone.
  • It is almost impossible to overestimate the value of true humility and its power in the spiritual life. For the beginning of humility is the beginning of blessedness and the consummation of humility is the perfection of all joy. Humility contains in itself the answer to all the great problems of the life of the soul. It is the only key to faith, with which the spiritual life begins: for faith and humility are inseparable. In perfect humility all selfishness disappears and your soul no longer lives for itself or in itself for God: and it is lost and submerged in Him and transformed into Him.

 

 

Rabia Basri (quotes)

  • You know of the how, but I know of the how-less.
  • Great doubt will eventually lead to great awakening.
  • May Allah steal from you All that steals you from Him.
  • I love Allah: I have no time left in which to hate the devil.
  • Ironic, but one of the most intimate acts of our body is death.
  • Each love is now alone with his beloved. And I am alone with You.
  • I will not serve Allah like a laborer, in expectation of my wages.
  • True devotion is for itself: not to desire heaven nor to fear hell.
  • How long will you keep pounding on an open door Begging for someone to open it?
  • I didn’t even dare walk past Your house-And now I am not even worthy to be let in
  • If I repent now will God forgive me? No, but if God forgives you, you will repent.
  • Your prayers are your light; Your devotion is your strength; Sleep is the enemy of both.
  • Since no one really knows anything about God, those who think they do are just troublemakers.
  • I seek forgiveness from Allah for the lack of my sincerity when I say I seek the forgiveness of Allah
  • The doors of Kings are bolted now and guarded by soldiers. Your Door is open to all who call upon You.
  • You are the Just who knows no change, The Balance that can never swerve, The Eternal which never passes away.
  • Eyes are at rest, the stars are setting. Hushed are the stirrings of birds in their nests, Of monsters in the ocean.
  • The real work is in the Heart: Wake up your Heart! Because when the heart is completely awake, Then it needs no Friend.
  • Your life is the only opportunity that life can give you. If you ignore it, if you waste it, You will only turn to dust.
  • You know that the only thing I want in this life Is to be obedient to Your command. Even the living sight of my eyes Is service at your court
  • Beloved of Hearts, I beseech only You. Have pity this day on those who turn to You. My Hope, my Rest, my Delight, this heart can love none other but You.
  • He does not refuse sustenance to the one who speaks ill of Him. How then could He refuse sustenance to the one whose soul is over flowing with love for Him?
  • Were Women all like those whom here I name, Woman to man I surely would prefer; The Sun is feminine, nor deems it shame; The Moon, though masculine, depends on her.
  • How many gifts and graces You have given me! How many favors You have fed me from your hand! I look for your love in all directions, then suddenly its blessing burns in me.
  • A leading scholar of Basra visited Rabi’a al-Adawiyya while she was ill. Sitting beside her pillow, the scholar spoke about how terrible the world was. In reply, Rabi`a told him:
  • I so detached my heart from the world and cut short my hopes that for thirty years now I have performed each prayer as though it were my last and I were praying the prayer of farewell.
  • my Lord, whatever share of this world You have bestowed on me, bestow it to my enemies, and whatever share of the next world You have for me, give it to my friends. You are enough for me.
  • Your hope in my heart is the rarest treasure. Your Name on my tongue is the sweetest word. My choicest hours Are the hours I spend with You – O God, I can’t live in this world Without remembering You
  • God! if I worship Thee in fear of Hell, burn me in Hell; and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise; but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, withhold not thine everlasting beauty.
  • I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to Allah. I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of Allah.
  • I swear that ever since the first day You brought me back to life, The day You became my Friend, I have not slept – And even if You drive me from your door, I swear again that we will never be separated – Because You are alive in my heart
  • You love the world very dearly. If you did not love the world, you would not mention it so much. It is always the purchaser who first disparages what he wants to buy. If you were done with the world, you would not mention it either for good or evil. As it is, you keep mentioning it because, as the proverb says, whoever loves a thing mentions it frequently.
  • It is reported from the famous worshiper Rabi’ah al-Adawiyya (radiAllahu anha) that she said: “I have never heard the adhaan except that I remember the caller who will announce the Day of Resurrection, and I never see the falling snow except that I imagine the flying pages of the records of peoples deeds (on that day), and I never see swarms of locusts except that I think about the Great Gathering on the Last Day.”

 

 

Plotinus (quotes)

  • Withdraw into yourself and look.
  • The world is finite, harmonious, and good.
  • We’re beautiful when we’re truly ourselves.
  • One jests because one wants to contemplate.
  • The world is knowable, harmonious, and good.
  • Life is the flight of the alone to the alone.
  • There is one and the same soul in many bodies.
  • Knowing demands the organ fitted to the object.
  • The soul that beholds beauty becomes beautiful.
  • How is this to be accomplished? Let all else go!
  • It is in virtue of unity that beings are beings.
  • We are not separated from spirit, we are in it.
  • Act is determined by the higher phase of the Soul.
  • Each one of us is part of the soul of the universe
  • Mankind is poised midway between the gods and the beasts.
  • Knowledge, if it does not determine action, is dead to us.
  • What do you experience on perceiving yourselves lovely within?
  • To set oneself above intellect is immediately to fall outside it.
  • Fear must be entirely banished. The purified soul will fear nothing.
  • Knowing ourselves, we are beautiful; in self-ignorance, we are ugly.
  • More quotes by other insightful Neoplatonic Philosophers and Mystics
  • Beauty is established in multitude when the many is reduced into one.
  • Attention to trifles is inconsistent with great genius of every kind,
  • The Soul of each one of us is sent, that the universe may be complete.
  • Wherever it lies, under earth or over earth, the body will always rot.
  • As translated by Stephen Mackenna and B. S. Page unless otherwise noted.
  • This cause, therefore, of all existing things cannot be any one of them.
  • I am striving to give back the Divine in myself to the Divine in the All.
  • If a fire is to warm something else, must there be a fire to warm that fire?
  • You can only apprehend the Infinite by a faculty that is superior to reason.
  • Next to this, we must consider the soul receiving its beauty from intellect,
  • It is by participation of species that we call every sensible object beautiful.
  • What, then, must be the condition of that being, who beholds the beautiful itself?
  • How great that all his parts are infinite. Name any place, and he is already there.
  • It is precisely because there is nothing within the One that all things are from it.
  • One principle must make the universe a single complex living creature, one from all.
  • All teems with symbol; the wise man is the man who in any one thing can read another.
  • Life here with the things of the earth is a sinking, a defeat, a failing of the wing.
  • Beauty is rather a light that plays over the symmetry of things than that symmetry itself.
  • Being is desirable because it is identical with Beauty, and Beauty is loved because it is Being.
  • All things are filled full of signs, and it is a wise man who can learn about one thing from another.
  • The purification of the Soul is simply to allow it to be alone; it is pure when it keeps no company.
  • God is not external to anyone, but is present with all things, though they are ignorant that He is so.
  • We ourselves possess Beauty when we are true to our own being; ugliness is in going over to another order.
  • Bad men rule by the feebleness of the ruled; and this is just; the triumph of weaklings would not be just.
  • It has not deserted its creation for a place apart; it is always present to those with strength to touch it.
  • The One is, in truth, beyond all statement; whatever you say would limit It; the All-Transcendent has no name.
  • Those incapable of thinking gravely read gravity into frivolties which correspond to their own frivolous nature.
  • Every participant partakes of the power of Being in its entirety, while Being is unchanged and undivided. 
  • Nature is but an image of wisdom, the last thing of the soul; nature being a thing which doth only do, but not know.
  • Everyone therefore must become divine, and of godlike beauty, before he can gaze upon a god and the beautiful itself.
  • Pleasure and distress, fear and courage, desire and aversion, where have these affections and experiences their seat?
  • Let us, therefore, re-ascend to the good itself, which every soul desires; and in which it can alone find perfect repose.
  • If someone with the right conduct tries to attain to something that lies outside of it, is his goal not the right conduct.
  • And this is the life of the Gods, and of Godlike men, a life without love of the world, a flight of the Alone to the Alone.
  • It is That which is the truly Existent. … It is the Source from which all that appears to exist derives that appearance. …
  • iPerceptive is centred around the wisdom of history and the empowerment of consciousness through direct experience and mysticism.
  • We must close our eyes and invoke a new manner of seeing, a wakefulness that is the birthright of us all, though few put it to use.
  • There exists no single human being that does not either potentially or effectively possess this thing we hold to constitute happiness.
  • To make the existence and coherent structure of this Universe depend upon automatic activity and upon chance is against all good sense.
  • The proof of the mightiest power is to be able to use the ignoble nobly, and given formlessness, to make it the material of unknown forms.
  • Never stop working on your statue until the divine glory of virtue shines out on you, until you see self-mastery enthroned upon its holy seat.
  • The One, perfect in seeking nothing, possessing nothing and needing nothing, overflows and creates a new reality by its superabundance. 
  • Never did eye see the sun unless it had first become sun-like, and never can the soul have vision of the First Beauty unless itself be beautiful.
  • Perhaps, the good and the beautiful are the same, and must be investigated by one and the same process; and in like manner the base and the evil.
  • At this there would be a Socrates as long as Socrates’ soul remained in body; but Socrates ceases to exist, precisely on attainment of the highest.
  • Diversity within the ONE depends not upon spatial separation, but sheerly upon differentiation; all Being, despite this plurality, is a Unity still.
  • If life and soul survive death, then there will still be good, and the more so now that soul acts purely according to its nature, unimpeded by body.
  • The sensitive eye can never be able to survey, the orb of the sun, unless strongly endued with solar fire, and participating largely of the vivid ray.
  • We must enter deep into ourselves, and, leaving behind the objects of corporeal sight, no longer look back after any of the accustomed spectacles of sense.
  • This All is universal power, of infinite extent and infinite in potency, a god so great that all his parts are infinite. Name any place, and he is already there.
  • It is bad enough to be condemned to drag around this image in which nature has imprisoned me. Why should I consent to the perpetuation of the image of this image?
  • For man, and especially the Proficient, is not the Couplement of Soul and body: the proof is that man can be disengaged from the body and disdain its nominal goods
  • T he All-Transcendent, utterly void of multiplicity, is Unity’s Self, independent of all else… It is the great Beginning, wholly and truly One. All life belongs to It.
  • Soul in its unity is not extended by fragmentation into bodies, but is entirely present where it is present, and omnipresent and undivided throughout the universe. 
  • This Absolute is none of the things of which It is the Source; Its nature is that nothing can be affirmed of It not existence, not essence, not life-It transcends all these.
  • Those who believe that the world of being is governed by luck or chance and that it depends upon material causes are far removed from the divine and from the notion of the One.
  • Everywhere one and whole, It is at rest throughout. But, … in Its very non-action It magnificently operates and in Its very self-being It produces everything by Its Power.
  • H e that has the strength, let him arise and withdraw into himself, foregoing all that is known by the eyes, turning away forever from the material beauty that once made his joy.
  • The First, then, should be compared to light, the next [Spirit or Intellect] to the sun, and the third [soul] to the celestial body of the moon, which gets its light from the sun.
  • The souls are apart without partition; they are no more hedged off by boundaries than are the multiple items of knowledge in one mind. The one Soul so exists as to include all souls.
  • Every evildoer began by despising the Gods; and one not previously corrupt, taking to this contempt, even though in other respects not wholly bad, becomes an evildoer by the very fact.
  • True satisfaction is only for what has its plentitude in its own being; where craving is due to an inborn deficiency, there may be satisfaction at some given moment but it does not last.
  • A dogma recognized throughout antiquity… (that) the soul expiates its sins in the darkness of the infernal regions and… afterwards… passes into new bodies, there to undergo new trials.
  • We may treat of the Soul as in the body — whether it be set above it or actually within it — since the association of the two constitutes the one thing called the living organism, the Animate.
  • In this state of absorbed contemplation, there is no longer any question of holding an object in view; the vision is such that seeing and seen are one; object and act of vision have become identical
  • From the Soul using the body as an instrument, it does not follow that the Soul must share the body’s experiences: a man does not himself feel all the experiences of the tools with which he is working.
  • Self-knowledge reveals to the soul that its natural motion is not, if uninterrupted, in a straight line, but circular, as around some inner object, about a center, the point to which it owes its origin.
  • The source is not fragmented into the universe, for its fragmentation would destroy the whole, which would not longer come to be if there did not remain by itself, distinct from it, its source. 
  • All things and events are foreshown and brought into being by causes; but the causation is of two Kinds; there are results originating from the Soul and results due to other causes, those of the environment.
  • But humanity, in reality, is poised midway between gods and beasts, and inclines now to the one order, now to the other; some men grow like to the divine, others to the brute, the greater number stand neutral.
  • The stars are like letters that inscribe themselves at every moment in the sky. Everything in the world is full of signs. All events are coordinated. All things depend on each other. Everything breathes together.
  • When one has achieved the object of one’s desires, it is evident that one’s real desire was not the ignorant possession of the desired object but to know it as possessed–as actually contemplated, as within one.
  • W e dare not keep ourselves set towards the images of sense, or towards the merely vegetative, intent upon the gratifications of eating and procreation; our life must be pointed towards the divine Mind, toward God.
  • The One is all things and yet no one of them. It is the source of all things, not itself all things, but their transcendent Principle… So that Being may exist the One is not Being, but the begetter of Being. 
  • We must not run after it, but we must fit ourselves for the vision and then wait tranquilly for it, as the eye waits on the rising of the Sun which in its own time appears above the horizon and gives itself to our sight.
  • When we look outside of that on which we depend we ignore our unity; looking outward we see many faces; look inward and all is one head. If a man could but be turned about, he would see at once God and himself and the All.
  • No doubt we should not speak of seeing, but instead of seen and seer, speak boldly of a simple unity. For in this seeing we neither distinguish nor are there two. The man … is merged with the Supreme … one with it. 
  • Thus, with the good we have the bad: we have the opposed movements of a dancer guided by one artistic plan; we recognize in his steps the good as against the bad, and see that in the opposition lies the merit of the design.
  • In the divine Mind itself, there is complete identity of knower and known, no distinction existing between being and knowing, contemplation and its object, [but] constituting a living thing, a one Life, two inextricably one.
  • Now from this relation, from the Soul using the body as an instrument, it does not follow that the Soul must share the body’s experiences: a man does not himself feel all the experiences of the tools with which he is working.
  • He who has not even a knowledge of common things is a brute among men. He who has an accurate knowledge of human concerns alone, is a man among brutes. But he who knows all that can be known by intellectual energy is a God among men.
  • W hat is meant by the purification of the soul is simply to allow it to be alone. [It is pure] when it keeps no company, entertains no alien thoughts; when it no longer sees images, much less elaborates them into veritable affections.
  • The power of the One, as Plotinus speaks of it, is to be understood as the only adequate description of the “manifestation” of a supreme principle that, by its very nature, transcends all predication and discursive understanding. Edward Moore
  • Clearly, either in the Soul alone, or in the Soul as employing the body, or in some third entity deriving from both. And for this third entity, again, there are two possible modes: it might be either a blend or a distinct form due to the blending.
  • Like a seed at rest, the nature-principle within, unfolding outwards, makes its way towards what appears a multiple life. It was Unity self-contained, but now, in going forth from Itself, It fritters Its unity away; It advances to a lesser greatness.
  • But if Soul is sinless, how come the expiations? Here surely is a contradiction; on the one side the Soul is above all guilt; on the other, we hear of its sin, its purification, its expiation; it is doomed to the lower world, it passes from body to body.
  • The soul in its nature loves God and longs to be at one with Him in the noble love of a daughter for a noble father; but coming to human birth and lured by the courtships of this sphere, she takes up with another love, a mortal, leaves her father and falls.
  • The sphere of sense, the Soul in its slumber; for all of the Soul that is in body is asleep and the true getting-up is not bodily but from the body: in any movement that takes the body with it there is no more than passage from sleep to sleep, from bed to bed.
  • What else could true moderation be but to avoid association with bodily pleasures, and to shun them as impure affections of a thing impure? . . The soul when purified becomes pure form and formative power, all disembodied and intellective, and wholly within the Divine.
  • Being is desirable because it is identical with Beauty, and Beauty is loved because it is Being. We ourselves possess Beauty when we are true to our own being; ugliness is in going over to another order; knowing ourselves, we are beautiful; in self-ignorance, we are ugly.
  • In advancing stages of contemplation, rising from contemplation of Nature, to that in the soul, and thence again to that in the divine Mind, the object contemplated becomes progressively a more and more intimate possession of the contemplating being, more and more one with them.
  • Knowledge has three degrees – opinion, science, illumination. THe means or instrument of the first s sense; of the second dialectic; of the third intuition. To the last I subordinate reason. It is absolute knowledge found on the identity of the mind knowing with the object know
  • Once we know our own soul rising still higher, we sing the divinity of the Mind [which produced it], and above all these, the mighty King of that dominion (the Absolute), who, while remaining as He is, yet creates that multitude, all dependent on Him, existing by Him and from Him.
  • A gang of lads, morally neglected, and in that respect inferior to the intermediate class, but in good physical training, attack and throw another set, trained neither physically nor morally, and make off with their food and their dainty clothes. What more is called for than a laugh?
  • Every living thing is a combination of soul and body-kind: the celestial sphere, therefore, if it is to be everlasting as an individual entity must be so in virtue either of both these constituents or of one of them, by the combination of soul and body or by soul only or by body only.
  • Time was not yet; … it lay … merged in the eternally Existent and motionless with It. But an active principle there … stirred from its rest; … for the One contained an unquiet faculty, … and it could not bear to retain within itself all the dense fullness of -its possession.
  • A bolder course would be to abandon the duality of seer and seen, and count both as one. In that vision the seer does not see or distinguish, or even imagine, two; he is changed, no longer himself nor owning himself there, but belongs to God, one with him, centre joined with centre. 
  • The One will debar all telling and knowing except that it may be described as transcending Being – for if there were nothing outside all alliance and compromise, nothing authentically one, there would be no Source. Untouched by multiplicity, it will be wholly self-sufficing, an absolute First
  • Often I have woken to myself out of the body, become detached from all else and entered into myself; and I have seen beauty of surpassing greatness, and have felt assured that then especially I belonged to the higher reality, engaged in the noblest life and identified with the Divine. 
  • Beauty is established in multitude when the many is reduced into one, and in this case it communicates itself both to the parts and to the whole. But when a particular one, composed from similar parts, is received it gives itself to the whole, without departing from the sameness and integrity of its nature.
  • If you accurately distinguish the intelligible objects you will call the beautiful the receptacle of ideas; but the good itself, which is superior, the fountain and principle of the beautiful; or, you may place the first beautiful and the good in the same principle, independent of the beauty which there subsists.
  • No: the body has acquired life, it is the body that will acquire, with life, sensation and the affections coming by sensation. Desire, then, will belong to the body, as the objects of desire are to be enjoyed by the body. And fear, too, will belong to the body alone; for it is the body’s doom to fail of its joys and to perish.
  • B ut possess yourself of It by the very elimination of [individual] being, and you hold a marvel! Thrusting forward to This, attaining, and resting in Its content, seek to grasp It more and more, understanding It by that intuitive thrust alone, but knowing its greatness by the beings that follow upon It and exist by Its power.
  • I am made by a God: from that God I came perfect above all forms of life, adequate to my function, self-sufficing, lacking nothing: for I am the container of all, that is, of every plant and every animal, of all the Kinds of created things, and many Gods and nations of Spirit-Beings and lofty souls and men happy in their goodness.
  • Mathematics, which as a student by nature he will take very easily, will be prescribed to train him to abstract thought and to faith in the unembodied; a moral being by native disposition, he must be led to make his virtue perfect; after the Mathematics he must be put through a course in Dialectic and made an adept in the science.
  • Cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labour to make all one glow of beauty and never cease chiselling your statue, until there shall shine out on you from it the godlike splendour of virtue, until you shall see the perfect goodness surely established in the stainless shrine.
  • This universe is a single living being embracing all living beings within it, and possessing a single Soul that permeates all its parts to the degree of their participation in it. Every part of this sensible universe is fully participant in its material aspect, and in respect of soul, in the degree to which it shares in the World Soul. 
  • Not even a God would have the right to deal a blow for the unwarlike: the law decrees that to come safe out of battle is for fighting men, not for those that pray. The harvest comes home not for praying but for tilling…we have no right to complain of the ignoble getting the richer harvest if they are the only workers in the fields, or the best.
  • If he remembers who he became when he merged with the One, he will bear its image in himself. He was himself one, with no diversity in himself or his outward relations; for no movement was in him, no passion, no desire for another, once the ascent was accomplished. Nor indeed was there any reason or though, nor, if we dare say it, any trace of himself.
  • There is one identical Soul, every separate manifestation being that Soul complete. The differentiated souls issue from the Unity and strike out here and there, but are united at the Source much as light is a divided thing on earth, shining in this house and that, and yet remains one. One Soul [is] the source of all souls; It is at once divided and undivided.
  • Pleasure and distress, fear and courage, desire and aversion, where have these affections and experiences their seat?Clearly, either in the Soul alone, or in the Soul as employing the body, or in some third entity deriving from both. And for this third entity, again, there are two possible modes: it might be either a blend or a distinct form due to the blending.
  • A sympathy pervades this single universe, like a single living creature, and the distant is near… Like parts lie not in contact but separated, with other parts between, yet by their likeness they feel sympathy . . and in a living and unified being there is no part so remote as not to be near, through the very nature that binds the living unity in sympathy. 
  • Besides this purest Soul, there must be also a Soul of the All: at once there is another Love – the eye with which this second Soul looks upwards – like the supernal Eros engendered by force of desire. This Aphrodite, the secondary Soul, is of this Universe – not Soul unmingled alone, not Soul, the Absolute, giving birth, therefore, to the Love concerned with the universal life
  • Our thought cannot grasp the One as long as any other image remains active in the soul . . To this end, you must set free your soul from all outward things and turn wholly within yourself, with no more leaning to what lies outside, and lay your mind bare of ideal forms, as before of the objects of sense, and forget even yourself, and so come within sight of that One. 
  • W e ought not to question whence it [the experience of Unity] comes; there is no whence, no coming or going in place; it either appears [to us] or does not appear. We must not run after it, but we must fit ourselves for the vision and then wait tranquilly for it as the eye waits on the rising of the Sun which in its own time appears above the horizon and gives itself to our sight
  • There must be something prior to Soul because Soul is in the world and there must be something outside a world in which, all being corporeal and material, nothing has enduring reality: failing such a prior, neither man nor the Ideas would be eternal or have true identity. These and many other considerations establish the necessary existence of an Intellectual-Principle prior to Soul.
  • Hence, as Narcissus, by catching at the shadow, plunged himself in the stream and disappeared, so he who is captivated by beautiful bodies, and does not depart from their embrace, is precipitated, not with his body, but with his soul, into a darkness profound and repugnant to intellect (the higher soul), through which, remaining blind both here and in Hades, he associates with shadows.
  • Beauty addresses itself chiefly to sight, but there is a beauty for the hearing too, as in certain combinations so words and in all kinds of music; for melodies and cadences are beautiful; and minds that lift themselves above the realm of sense to a higher order are aware of beauty in the conduct of life, in actions, in character, in the pursuits of the intellect; and there is the beauty of the virtues.
  • The perception of Beauty and the awe and the stirring of passion towards it are for those already in some degree knowing and awakened: but the Good, as possessed long since and setting up a natural tendency, is inherently present to even those asleep and brings them no wonder when some day they see it, since it is no occasional reminiscence but is always with them though in their drowse they are not aware of it.
  • We may treat of the Soul as in the body – whether it be set above it or actually within it – since the association of the two constitutes the one thing called the living organism, the Animate.Now from this relation, from the Soul using the body as an instrument, it does not follow that the Soul must share the body’s experiences: a man does not himself feel all the experiences of the tools with which he is working.
  • All is transparent, nothing dark, nothing resistant; every being is lucid to every other; inwardly and in every respect, light runs through light. Each being contains all within itself, and at the same time sees all in every other; so that everywhere there is all, and all is all and each all. Each of them is great, the small is great, the sun, thither, is all the stars, and every star is all the stars and sun. 
  • Before we had our becoming here, we existed There, men other than now; we were pure souls. Intelligence inbound with the entire of reality, not fenced off, integral to that All. […] Then it was as if One voice sounded. One word was uttered and from every side an ear attended and received and there was an effective hearing; now we are become a dual thing, no longer that which we were at first, dormant, and in a sense no longer present.
  • Intellect can veil itself from the world and concentrate its gaze within, and though it sees nothing, it will behold a light – not an external light in some perceived object, but a solitary light, pure and self-contained, suddenly revealed within itself… We must not enquire whence it comes, for there is no “whence”… He does not come as one expected, and his coming knows no arrival; he is beheld not as one who enters but who is eternally present.
  • W hen there enters into it a glow from the Divine, the soul gathers strength, spreads true wings, and, however distracted by its proximate environment, speeds its buoyant way to something greater; … its very nature bears it upwards, lifted by the Giver of that love. … Surely we need not wonder that It possesses the power to draw the soul to Itself, calling it back from every wandering to rest before It. From It came everything; nothing is mightier.
  • Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: he cuts away here, he smoothes there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer. … Cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labor to make all one glow or beauty and never cease chiseling your statue, until there shall shine out on you from it the godlike splendor of virtue.
  • For at this point one would arrive at the act of thinking of it (evil, i.e. κακως) as if to be disproportion in regards to proportion, and limitlessness in regards to limit, formlessness in regards to the one-shaping-the-forms, always wanting in self-sufficiency, always indefinite, no where having a place to situate itself, wholly passive, insatiable absolute poverty; and these things above have not been corresponding to it, but as if the true essential being of it is these things, and what is it but all these things.
  •  
  • The One is, in truth, beyond all statement; whatever you say would limit It; the All-Transcendent has no name. [It] is That which is the truly Existent. … It is the Source from which all that appears to exist derives that appearance. Everywhere one and whole, It is at rest throughout. But, … in Its very non-action It magnificently operates and in Its very self-being It produces everything by Its Power .This Absolute is none of the things of which It is the Source; Its nature is that nothing can be affirmed of It not existence, not essence, not life-It transcends all these.
  • There, our Self-seeing is a communion with the Self, restored to purity. No doubt we should not speak of “seeing,” but, instead of [speaking of] “seen” and “seer,” speak boldly of a simple unity. For in this seeing we neither see, nor distinguish, nor are there, two. The man is changed, no longer himself nor belonging to himself; he is merged with the Supreme, sunken into It, one with It; it is only in separation that duality exists. This is why the vision baffles telling; for how could a man bring back tidings of the Supreme as something separate from himself when he has seen It as one with himself?
  • S uppose the soul have attained; the Highest has come to her, or rather has revealed Its presence; she has turned away from all about her and has made herself apt, beautiful to the utmost, brought into likeness [with the Divine] by the preparings and adornings known to those growing ready for the vision. She has seen that Presence suddenly manifesting within her, for there is nothing between, nor are they any longer two, but one; for so long as the Presence remains, all distinction fades. It is in this way that lover and beloved here [in this world], in a copy of that [Divine] union, long to blend their being.
  • W ithdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful; he cuts away here, he smoothes there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work. So do you also; cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is in shadow; labor to make all one glow of beauty and never cease chiseling your statue until there shall shine out on you from it the godlike splendor of virtue, until you shall see the perfect goodness established in the stainless shrine.
  • Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: he cuts away here, he smoothes there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work. So do you also: cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labour to make all one glow of beauty and never cease chiselling your statue, until there shall shine out on you from it the godlike splendour of virtue, until you shall see the perfect goodness surely established in the stainless shrine.
  • When the soul has descended into generation (from its first divine condition) she partakes of evil, and is carried a great way into a state the opposite of her first purity and integrity, to be entirely merged in which, is nothing more than to fall into a dark mire. …The soul dies as much as it is possible for the soul to die: and the death to her is, while baptized or immersed in the present body, to descend into matter, and be wholly subjected by it; and after departing thence to lie there til it shall arise and turn its face away from the abhorrent filth. This is what is meant by falling asleep in Hades, of those who have come there.
  • Many times it has happened: Lifted out of the body into myself; becoming external to all other things and self-encentered; beholding a marvelous beauty; then, more than ever, assured of community with the loftiest order; enacting the noblest life, acquiring identity with the divine; stationing within It by having attained that activity; poised above whatsoever within the Intellectual is less than the Supreme: yet, there comes the moment of descent from intellection to reasoning, and after that sojourn in the divine, I ask myself how it happens that I can now be descending, and how did the soul ever enter into my body, the soul which, even within the body, is the high thing it has shown itself to be
  • Perhaps, the good and the beautiful are the same, and must be investigated by one and the same process; and in like manner the base and the evil. And in the first rank we must place the beautiful, and consider it as the same with the good; from which immediately emanates intellect as beautiful. Next to this, we must consider the soul receiving its beauty from intellect, and every inferior beauty deriving its origin from the forming power of the soul, whether conversant in fair actions and offices, or sciences and arts. Lastly, bodies themselves participate of beauty from the soul, which, as something divine, and a portion of the beautiful itself, renders whatever it supervenes and subdues, beautiful as far as its natural capacity will admit.
  • That One, therefore, since it has no otherness is always present and we are present to it when we have no otherness; and the One does not desire us, so as to be around us, but we desire it, so that we are around it. And we are always around it but do not always look to it; it is like a choral dance: in the order of its singing the choir keeps round its conductor but may sometimes turn away, so that he is out of their sight, but when it turns back to him it sings beautifully and is truly with him; so we too are always around him – and if we were not, we should be totally dissolved and no longer exist – but not always turned to him; but when we do look to him, then we are at our goal and at rest and do not sing out of tune as we truly dance our god-inspired dance around him
  • The power and nature of Soul encompasses heaven and guides it according to its will. To all this vast expanse, as far as it extends, it gives itself, and every interval, both large and small, is filled with Soul… Soul enlivens all things with its whole self and all Soul is present everywhere… And vast and diversified thought this universe is, it is one by the power of soul and a god because of soul. The sun is also a god, because ensouled, and the other stars, and if we ourselves partake of the Divine, this is the cause. Nothing is detached or severed from its prior, so that the higher soul seems to extend as far as plants; and in a way it does so extend, because the life in plants belongs to it. Not that soul is wholly within plants, but only to the extent that they are the lower limit of its advance, another level of existence created by its decline towards the worse. 
  • The sensitive eye can never be able to survey, the orb of the sun, unless strongly endued with solar fire, and participating largely of the vivid ray. Everyone therefore must become divine, and of godlike beauty, before he can gaze upon a god and the beautiful itself. Thus proceeding in the right way of beauty he will first ascend into the region of intellect, contemplating every fair species, the beauty of which he will perceive to be no other than ideas themselves; for all things are beautiful by the supervening irradiations of these, because they are the offspring and essence of intellect. But that which is superior to these is no other than the fountain of good, everywhere widely diffusing around the streams of beauty, and hence in discourse called the beautiful itself because beauty is its immediate offspring. But if you accurately distinguish the intelligible objects you will call the beautiful the receptacle of ideas; but the good itself, which is superior, the fountain and principle of the beautiful; or, you may place the first beautiful and the good in the same principle, independent of the beauty which there subsists.
  • What measures, then, shall we adopt? What machine employ, or what reason consult by means of which we may contemplate this ineffable beauty; a beauty abiding in the most divine sanctuary without ever proceeding from its sacred retreats lest it should be beheld by the profane and vulgar eye? We must enter deep into ourselves, and, leaving behind the objects of corporeal sight, no longer look back after any of the accustomed spectacles of sense. For, it is necessary that whoever beholds this beauty, should withdraw his view from the fairest corporeal forms; and, convinced that these are nothing more than images, vestiges and shadows of beauty, should eagerly soar to the fair original from which they are derived. For he who rushes to these lower beauties, as if grasping realities, when they are only like beautiful images appearing in water, will, doubtless, like him in the fable, by stretching after the shadow, sink into the lake and disappear. For, by thus embracing and adhering to corporeal forms, he is precipitated, not so much in his body as in his soul, into profound and horrid darkness; and thus blind, like those in the infernal regions, converses only with phantoms, deprived of the perception of what is real and true.
  • It is by participation of species that we call every sensible object beautiful. Thus, since everything void of form is by nature fitted for its reception, as far as it is destitute of reason and form it is base and separate from the divine reason, the great fountain of forms; and whatever is entirely remote from this immortal source is perfectly base and deformed. And such is matter, which by its nature is ever averse from the supervening irradiations of form. Whenever, therefore, form accedes, it conciliates in amicable unity the parts which are about to compose a whole; for being itself one it is not wonderful that the subject of its power should tend to unity, as far as the nature of a compound will admit. Hence beauty is established in multitude when the many is reduced into one, and in this case it communicates itself both to the parts and to the whole. But when a particular one, composed from similar parts, is received it gives itself to the whole, without departing from the sameness and integrity of its nature. Thus at one and the same time it communicates itself to the whole building and its several parts; and at another time confines itself to a single stone, and then the first participation arises from the operations of art, but the second from the formation of nature. And hence body becomes beautiful through the communion supernally proceeding from divinity.
  • It is now time, leaving every object of sense far behind, to contemplate, by a certain ascent, a beauty of a much higher order; a beauty not visible to the corporeal eye, but alone manifest to the brighter eye of the soul, independent of all corporeal aid. However, since, without some previous perception of beauty it is impossible to express by words the beauties of sense, but we must remain in the state of the blind, so neither can we ever speak of the beauty of offices and sciences, and whatever is allied to these, if deprived of their intimate possession. Thus we shall never be able to tell of virtue’s brightness, unless by looking inward we perceive the fair countenance of justice and temperance, and are convinced that neither the evening nor morning star are half so beautiful and bright. But it is requisite to perceive objects of this kind by that eye by which the soul beholds such real beauties. Besides it is necessary that whoever perceives this species of beauty, should be seized with much greater delight, and more vehement admiration, than any corporeal beauty can excite; as now embracing beauty real and substantial. Such affections, I say, ought to be excited about true beauty, as admiration and sweet astonishment; desire also and love and a pleasant trepidation. For all souls, as I may say, are affected in this manner about invisible objects, but those the most who have the strongest propensity to their love; as it likewise happens about corporeal beauty; for all equally perceive beautiful corporeal forms, yet all are not equally excited, but lovers in the greatest degree.
  • Let us, therefore, re-ascend to the good itself, which every soul desires; and in which it can alone find perfect repose. For if anyone shall become acquainted with this source of beauty he will then know what I say, and after what manner he is beautiful. Indeed, whatever is desirable is a kind of good, since to this desire tends. But they alone pursue true good, who rise to intelligible beauty, and so far only tend to good itself; as far as they lay aside the deformed vestments of matter, with which they become connected in their descent. Just as those who penetrate into the holy retreats of sacred mysteries, are first purified and then divest themselves of their garments, until someone by such a process, having dismissed everything foreign from the God, by himself alone, beholds the solitary principle of the universe, sincere, simple and pure, from which all things depend, and to whose transcendent perfections the eyes of all intelligent natures are directed, as the proper cause of being, life and intelligence. With what ardent love, with what strong desire will he who enjoys this transporting vision be inflamed while vehemently affecting to become one with this supreme beauty! For this it is ordained, that he who does not yet perceive him, yet desires him as good, but he who enjoys the vision is enraptured with his beauty, and is equally filled with admiration and delight. Hence, such a one is agitated with a salutary astonishment; is affected with the highest and truest love; derides vehement affections and inferior loves, and despises the beauty which he once approved. Such, too, is the condition of those who, on perceiving the forms of gods or daemons, no longer esteem the fairest of corporeal forms. What, then, must be the condition of that being, who beholds the beautiful itself?
  • When they write incantations, and utter them as to the stars, not only to [the bodies and] souls of these, but also to things superior to soul, what do they effect? They answer, charms, allurements, and persuasions, so that the stars hear the words addressed to them, and are drawn down; if any one of us knows how in a more artificial manner to utter these incantations, sounds, aspirations of the voice, and hissings, and such other particulars as in their writings are said to possess a magical power. …They likewise pretend that they can expel disease. And if, indeed, they say that they effect this by temperance and an orderly mode of life, they speak rightly, and conformably to philosophers. But now when they assert that diseases are daemons, and that they are able to expel these by words, and proclaim that they possess this ability, they may appear to the multitude to be more venerable, who admire the powers of magicians; but they will not persuade intelligent men that diseases have not their causes either from labours, or satiety, or indigence, or putrefaction, and in short from mutations which either have an external or internal origin. This, however, is manifest from the cure of diseases. For disease is deduced downward, so as to pass away externally, either through a flux of the belly, or the operation of medicine. Disease, also, is cured by letting of blood and fasting. …The disease …[is] something different from the daemon. …The manner, however, in which these things are asserted by the Gnostics, and on what account is evident; since for the sake of this, no less than of other things, we have mentioned these daemons. …And this must every where be considered, that he who pursues our form of philosophy, will, besides all other goods, genuinely exhibit simple and venerable manners, in conjunction with the possession of wisdom, and will not endeavour to become insolent and proud; but will possess confidence accompanied with reason, much security and caution, and great circumspection.

 

 

Longchenpa (quotes)

  • Reality is free of all delimitation.
  • Always engage in the quest for life’s meaning, which is inner peace.
  • Realization that is beyond characteristic or designation is marvellous!
  • Self-appearing subjects and objects are the power of the baseless ultimate truth.
  • We should cast aside all childish games that fetter and exhaust body, speech and mind.
  • Where the natural perfection of reality lies, we should gaze at the uncontrived sameness of every experience.
  • To reject practice by saying, ‘it is conceptual!’ is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided.
  • Since everything is but an apparition, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.
  • Let the flower of compassion blossom in the rich soil of maître, and water it with the good water of equanimity in the cool, refreshing shade of joy.
  • Yet ‘freedom’ is just a verbal convention, and who is ‘realized’ and who is not? How could anyone be ‘liberated’? How could anyone be lost in samsara?
  • Just as dream is a part of sleep, unreal in its arising, so all and everything is pure mind, never separated from it, and without substance or attribute.
  • Since things neither exist nor do not exist, are neither real nor unreal, are utterly beyond adopting and rejecting – one might as well burst out laughing.
  • In the experience of yogins who do not perceive things dualistically, the fact that things manifest without truly existing is so amazing they burst into laughter
  • Begin with bodhicitta, do the main practice without concepts, Conclude by dedicating the merit. These, together and complete, Are the three vital supports for progressing on the path to liberation.
  • In the universal womb that is boundless space, all forms of matter and energy occur as flux of the four elements, but all are empty forms, absent in reality: all phenomena, arising in pure mind, are like that.
  • Freedom is timeless, so constantly present; freedom is natural, so unconditional; freedom is direct, so pure vision obtains; freedom is unbounded, so no identity possible; freedom is unitary, so multiplicity is consumed.
  • As a beginner, it is most important that you secure your own well-being, guarding your mind in solitude, abandoning distractions and busyness, avoiding unfavorable situations, and subduing the mental afflictions with appropriate antidotes.
  • Experience is neither mind nor anything but mind; it is a vivid display of emptiness, like magical illusion, in the very moment inconceivable and unutterable. all experience arising in the mind, at its inception, know it as emptiness!
  • The enlightened mind Is without coming or departing. It is neither outside nor within. Transcending thought, it has no partiality. It is ultimate reality, unlimited and unconfined, Wherein there is no wide or narrow And no high or low. So set aside all anxious search for it.
  • From the very first step on the path right now, all the way until you have reached the final end, it is of vital importance to rely on someone who is better than yourself. This is in order to direct your mind towards the spiritual practice of past masters and to raise your own level.
  • We should cast aside all childish games that fetter and exhaust body, speech and mind. Stretching out in inconceivable nonaction, in the unstructured matrix, the actuality of emptiness, where the natural perfection of reality lies, we should gaze at the uncontrived sameness of every experience, all conditioning and ambition resolved with finality.
  • e should cast aside all childish games that fetter and exhaust body, speech and mind; and stretching out in inconceivable nonaction, in the unstructured matrix, the actuality of emptiness, where the natural perfection of reality lies, we should gaze at the uncontrived sameness of every experience, all conditioning and ambition resolved with finality.
  • Pure mind is like the empty sky, without memory, supreme meditation; it is our own nature, unstirring, uncontrived, and wherever that abides is the superior mind, one in buddhahood without any sign, one in view free of limiting elaboration, one in meditation free of limiting ideation, one in conduct free of limiting endeavor, and one in fruition free of limiting attainment. Vast! spacious!

 

 

 

Kabir (quotes)

  • Stand firm in that which you are.
  • Wherever you are is the entry point.
  • I sell mirrors in the city of the blind.
  • The sun is within me and so is the moon.
  • Wherever you are, that’s the entry point.
  • It is the spirit of the quest which helps
  • The essence of life is in remembering God.
  • When the flower opens, the bees will come.
  • Why are we here? To become ourselves in you.
  • The river that flows in you also flows in me.
  • If you haven’t experienced it, it’s not true.
  • Listen, my friend. He who loves understands.
  • Forgiveness is a game only saints play Kabir.
  • Listen to me, my Friend! My beloved Lord is within.
  • I laugh when I hear the fish in the water is thirsty.
  • When you really look for me you will see me instantly.
  • Now I have no caste, no creed, I am no more what I am!
  • My Beloved One gleams like the lightning flash in the sky.
  • All darkness vanished, when I saw the Lamp within my heart.
  • I do not quote from the scriptures; I simply see what I see.
  • What is a holy person? The one who is aware of others’ suffering.
  • Only in the heart can one experience the divine presence of truth.
  • My heart is so intoxicated with love that I have no wish to speak.
  • Student, tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath.
  • Listen to me brother! bring the vision of the Beloved in your heart
  • Wear a crown of flowers on your head, let its roots reach your heart
  • For millions of years you have slept. This morning, will you not wake?
  • The purpose of labor is to learn; when you know it, the labor is over.
  • When the bride is one with her lover, who cares about the wedding party?
  • As the bee collecteth honey with great zest, so the fool collecteth wealth.
  • The fish in the water that is thirsty needs serious professional counseling
  • The flute of the infinite is played without ceasing, and its sound is love.
  • The apple blossom exists to create fruit; when that comes, the petal falls.
  • But if a mirror ever makes you sad you should know that it does not know you.
  • Sing such a song with all of your heart that you’ll never have to sing again.
  • Do what you do with another human being, but never put them out of your heart.
  • Plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is, Believe in the Great Sound!
  • When you feel most alive, find out why, This is one guest you won’t greet twice.
  • As the river surrenders itself to the ocean, what is inside me moves inside you.
  • Listen to your own Self. If you listen to that Self within, then you find the Truth.
  • Are you looking for the Holy One? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours.
  • I went in search of a bad person; I found none as I, seeing myself, found me the worst.
  • I felt in need of a great pilgrimage, so I sat still for three days and God came to me.
  • If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive, do you think ghosts will do it after?
  • Just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things, and stand firm in that which you are.
  • The instruction of the foolish is a waste of knowledge; soap cannot wash charcoal white.
  • Lift the veil that obscures the heart, and there you will find what you are looking for.
  • Be strong then, and enter into your own body; there you have a solid place for your feet.
  • Faith,Waiting in the heart of a seed, Promises a miracle of life which cannot prove at once.
  • All know that the drop merges into the ocean but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.
  • A learned man’s knowledge will be of no avail to him if he doesn’t have control over his tongue
  • If you make love with the divine now, in the next lifeyou will have the face of satisfied desire.
  • Reading books everyone died, none became any wise. One who reads the word of Love, only becomes wise.
  • Do not praise yourself not slander others: There are still many days to go and any thing could happen.
  • The external forces conceal from the eyes the deep meaning of existence; True faith resides in the heart.
  • The Lord is in me, the Lord is in you,as life is in every seed, put false pride away and seek the Lord within.
  • Seeking Why run around sprinkling holy water? There’s an ocean inside you, and when you’re ready you’ll drink.
  • The truth of love is the truth of the universe: it is the lamp of the soul that reveals the secrets of darkness
  • The world will die, but I shall not die.If God dies, then I will die;If he does not die, then why should I die?
  • The stone neither speaks nor gives anything. Therefore its service is fruitless and its worship is of no avail.
  • If you want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth. Listen to the secret sound, the real sound, which is inside you.
  • A diamond was laying in the street covered with dirt. Many fools passed by. Someone who knew diamonds picked it up.
  • Don’t open your diamonds in a vegetable market. Tie them in bundle and keep them in your heart, and go your own way.
  • Do you believe there is some place that will make thesoul less thirsty? In that great absence you will find nothing.
  • I’ve burned my own house down, the torch is in my hand.Now I’ll burn down the house of anyone who wants to follow me.
  • Though One Brahman is the Cause of the Many. … Behold but One in all things it is the second that leads you astray.
  • I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty. I laugh when I hear that people go on pilgrimage to find God.
  • What is found now is found then. If you find nothing now, you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.
  • Look at you, you madman! Screaming you are thirsty and dying in a desert, when all around you there is nothing but water!
  • I am not a Hindu, Nor a Muslim am II am this body, a playOf five elements a dramaOf the spirit dancing With joy and sorrow.
  • There’s a moon in my body, but I can’t see it! A moon and a sun. A drum never touched by hands, beating, and I can’t hear it!
  • Admire the diamond that can bear the hits of a hammer. Many deceptive preachers, when critically examined, turn out to be false.
  • God, provide me with enough sustenance that my family is taken care of, that neither I remain hungry, nor does my guest go unfed.
  • If it were possible to meet the Beloved while laughing and in a state of comfort, why should one suffer the anguish of separation?
  • Path presupposes distance; If He be near, no path needest thou at all. Verily it maketh me smile To hear of a fish in water athirst!
  • Do not keep the slanderer away, treat him with affection and honor: Body and soul, he scours all clean, babbling about this and that.
  • Love does not grow on trees or brought in the market, but if one wants to be “LOVED” one must first know how to give (unconditional) LOVE.
  • Nada is found within. It is a music without strings which plays in the body. It penetrates the inner and outer and leads you away from illusion.
  • The savor of wandering in the ocean of deathless life has rid me of all my asking: As the tree is in the seed, so all diseases are in this asking.
  • Many have died; you also will die. The drum of death is being beaten. The world has fallen in love with a dream. Only sayings of the wise will remain.
  • I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty. You wander restlessly from forest to forest while the Reality is within your own dwelling.
  • Listen to the secret sound, the real sound, which is inside you. The one no one talks of speaks the secret sound to himself, and he is the one who has made it all.
  • Music without words means leaving behind the mind. And leaving behind the mind is meditation. Meditation returns you to the source. And the source of all is sound.
  • When the Guest is being searched for, it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that does all the work. Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.
  • Be quiet in your mind, quiet in your senses, and also quiet in your body. Then, when all these are quiet, don’t do anything. In that state truth will reveal itself to you.
  • I don’t think there is such a thing as an intelligent mega-rich    For who with a fine mind can look  out upon this world and  hoard what can nourish  a thousand  souls.
  • Within the body there is played Music unending, though without stringed instruments  That music of the Word pervades the entire creation  Who listens to it is freed from all illusion
  • Go over and over your beads, paint weird designs on your forehead, wear your hear matted, long, and ostentatious, but when deep inside you there is a loaded gun, how can you have God?
  • There is no river at all, and no boat, and no boatman. There is not even a rope to tow the boat, and no one to pull it.  There is no earth, no sky, no time, no thing, no shore, no ford!
  • The Beloved is inside you and also inside me. You know the tree is hidden inside the seed. Let your arrogance go. None of us has gone far. Inside love there is more power than we realize.
  • Do not go to the garden of flowers! O friend! go not there;  In your body is the garden of flowers.  Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there gaze on the infinite beauty.
  • Take a pitcher full of water and set it down in the water-now it has water inside and water outside. We mustn’t give it a name, lest silly people start talking again about the body and the soul.
  • Men have always looked before and after, and rebelled against the existing order. But for their divine discontent, men would not have been men, and there would have been no progress in human affairs.
  • I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty. You don’t grasp the fact that what is most alive of all is inside your own house; and so you walk from one holy city to the next with a confused look!
  • As long as a human being worries about when he will die, and what he has that is his, all of his works are zero. When affection for the I-creature and what it owns is dead, then the work of the Teacher is over.
  • One love it is that pervades the whole world, few there are who know it fully: They are blind who hope to see it by the light of reason, that reason which is the cause of separation – The house of reason is very far away!
  • The man who is kind and who practices righteousness, who remains passive against the affairs of the world, who considers all creatures on earth as his own self, he attains the Immortal Being; the true God is ever with him.
  • Be strong then, and enter into your own body; there you have a solid place for your feet.  Think about it carefully!   Don’t go off somewhere else!    …just throw away all thoughts of   imaginary things,   and stand firm in that which you are.
  • As long as I talked unceasingly about the Lord,The Lord stayed away, kept at a distance.But when I silenced my mouth, sat very stillAnd fixed my mind at the doorway of the Lord,I was linked to the music of the Word,And all my talking came to an end.
  • It is time to put up a love-swing! Tie the body and then tie the mind so that they swing between the arms of the Secret One you love, Bring the water that falls from the clouds to your eyes, and cover yourself inside entirely with the shadow of night.
  • He is the real Guru Who can reveal the form of the formless before your eyes; who teaches the simple path, without rites or ceremonies; Who does not make you close your doors, and hold your breath, and renounce the world; Who makes you perceive the Supreme.

 

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (quotes)

  • Trinity!! Higher than any being, any divinity, any goodness!
  • That meek darkness be thy mirror, and thy whole remembrance.
  • Indeed the inscrutable One is out of the reach of every rational process.
  • Amid the wholly unsensed and unseen they completely fill our sightless minds
  • Amid the deepest shadow they pour overwhelming light on what is most manifest.
  • Lead us up beyond unknowing and light, up to the farthest, highest peak of mystic scripture,
  • Look that nothing live in thy working mind, but a naked intent stretching into God.
  • In world rife with plague, fires, and prejudice, one woman has the heart and faith to crusade against injustice.
  • where the mysteries of God’s Word lie simple, absolute and unchangeable in the brilliant darkness of a hidden silence.
  • He was not. He will not be. He did not come to be. He is not in the midst of becoming. He will not come to be. No. He is not.
  • No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.
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  • An extremely introverted old Jew, the lonely son of his racist next-door neighbor, and the salvation found through their forced friendship.
  • He suffers no change, corruption, division, privation or flux; none of these things can either be identified with or attributed to Him.
  • Entering the darkness that surpasses understanding, we shall find ourselves brought, not just to brevity of speech, but to perfect silence and unknowing.
  • Of God Himself can no man think. And therefore I would leave all that thing that I can think, and choose to my love that thing that I cannot think.
  • Since the unknowing of what is beyond being is something above and beyond speech, mind, or being itself, one should ascribe to it an understanding beyond being.
  • We must not dare to resort to words or conceptions concerning that hidden divinity which transcends being, apart from what the sacred scriptures have divinely revealed”
  • Emptied of all knowledge, man is joined in the highest part of himself, not with any created thing, nor with himself, nor with another, but with the one who is altogether
  • We pray that we may come unto this Darkness which is beyond light, and without seeing and without knowing, to see and to know That which is above vision and above knowledge.
  • Thus evil has no being, nor any inherence in things that have being. Evil is nowhere qua evil; and it arises not through any power but through weakness. … in a word, evil is weakness, impotence, and deficiency of knowledge…
  • That divine Darkness is the unapproachable light in which God dwells. Into this Darkness, rendered invisible by its own excessive brilliance and unapproachable by the intensity of its transcendent flood of light, come to be all those who are worthy to know and to see God.
  • The fact is that the more we take flight upward, the more our words are confined to the ideas we are capable of forming; so that now as we plunge into that darkness which is beyond intellect, we shall find ourselves not simply running short of words but actually speechless and unknowing.
  • Unknowing, or agnosia, is not ignorance or absence of knowledge as ordinarily understood, but rather the realization that no finite knowledge can fully know the Infinite One, and that therefore He is only truly to be approached by agnosia, or by that which is beyond and above knowledge.
  • We make assertions and denials of what is next to it, but never of it, for it is both beyond every assertion, being the perfect and unique cause of all things, and, by virtue of its pre-eminently simple and absolute nature, free of every limitation, beyond every limitation; it is also beyond every denial
  • … Even so, we say that the air is darkened around us by a deficiency and absence of the light; while yet the light is itself always light and illumines the darkness. Therefore, evil inheres not in the devils or in us, as evil, but only as a deficiency and lack of the perfection of our proper virtues.
  • I pray we could come to this darkness so far above light! If only we lacked sight and knowledge so as to see, so as to know, unseeing and unknowing, that which lies beyond all vision and knowledge. For this would be really to see and to know: to praise the Transcendent One in a transcending way, namely through the denial of all beings
  • I pray we could come to this darkness so far above light! If only we lacked sight and knowledge so as to see, so as to know, unseeing and unknowing, that which lies beyond all vision and knowledge. For this would be really to see and to know: to praise the Transcendent One in a transcending way, namely through the denial of all beings.
  • He is super-essentially exalted above created things, and reveals Himself in His naked Truth to those alone who pass beyond all that is pure or impure, and ascend above the topmost altitudes of holy things, and who, leaving behind them all divine light and sound and heavenly utterances, plunge into the Darkness where truly dwells, as the Oracles declare, that ONE who is beyond all.
  • And, as in the case of sensible images, if the artist look without distraction upon the archetypal form, not distracted by sight of anything else, or in any way divided in attention, he will duplicate, if I may so speak, the very person that is being sketched, whoever he may be, and will shew the reality in the likeness, and the archetype in the image, and each in each, save the difference of substance;
  • Even those who seem to be “devils,” derive their existence from the Good, and are naturally good], and desire the Beautiful and Good in desiring existence, life, and consciousness, … And they are called evil through the deprivation and the loss whereby they have lapsed from their proper virtues. Hence they are evil only insofar as they lack [true] existence; and in desiring evil, they desire non-existence. 
  • L eave the senses and the workings of the intellect, and all that the sense and the intellect can perceive, and all that is not and that is; and through unknowing reach out, so far as this is possible, toward oneness with him who is beyond all being and knowledge. In this way, through an uncompromising, absolute, and pure detachment from yourself and from all things, transcending all things and released from all, you will be led upwards toward that radiance of the divine darkness that is beyond all being.
  • T he higher we soar in contemplation, the more limited become our expressions of that which is purely intelligible; even as now, when plunging into the Darkness which is above the intellect, we pass not merely into brevity of speech, but even into absolute silence, of thoughts as well as of words … and, according to the degree of transcendence, so our speech is restrained until, the entire ascent being accomplished, we become wholly voiceless, inasmuch as we are absorbed in Him who is totally ineffable.
  • In diligent exercise of mystical contemplation, leave behind the senses and the operations of the intellect, and all things sensible and intellectual, and all things in the world of being and non-being, that you may arise by unknowing towards the union, as far as is attainable, with Him who transcends all being and all knowledge. For by the unceasing and absolute renunciation of yourself and of all things you may be borne on high, through pure and entire self-abnegation, into the superessential Radiance of the Divine Darkness.
  • Do thou, dear Timothy, in the diligent exercise of mystical contemplation, leave behind the senses and the operations of the intellect, and all things sensible and intellectual, and all things in the world of being and non-being, that thou mayest arise by unknowing towards the union, as far as is attainable, with Him who transcends all being and all knowledge. For by the unceasing and absolute renunciation of thyself and of all things, thou mayest be borne on high, through pure and entire self-abnegation, into the superessential radiance of the divine Darkness.
  • He is neither number nor order; nor greatness nor smallness; nor equality nor inequality; nor similarity nor dissimilarity; neither is He still, nor moving, nor at rest; neither has He power nor is power, nor is light; neither does He live nor is He life; neither is He essence, nor eternity nor time; nor is He subject to intelligible contact; nor is He science nor truth, nor a king, nor wisdom; neither one nor oneness, nor godhead nor goodness; nor is He spirit according to our understanding, nor a son, nor a father; nor anything else known to us or to any other of the beings or creatures that are or are not; …
  • We say that the cause of all things, who is Himself above all things, is neither without being nor without life, nor without reason nor without intelligence; nor is He a body nor has He form or shape, or quality or quantity or mass; He is not localised or visible or tangible; He is neither sensitive nor sensible; He is subject to no disorder or disturbance arising from material passion; He is not subject to failure of power, or to the accidents of sensible things; He needs no light; He suffers no change or corruption or division, or privation or flux; and He neither has nor is anything else that belongs to the senses.
  • Thus the divine Bartholomew says that Theology is both much and very little, and that the Gospel is great and ample, and yet short. His sublime meaning is, I think, that the beneficent cause of all things says much, and says little, and is altogether silent, as having neither (human) speech nor (human) understanding, since He is essentially above all created things, and manifests Himself unveiled, and as He truly is to those only who pass beyond all that is either pure or impure, who rise above the highest height of holy things, who abandon all divine light and sound and heavenly speech, and are absorbed into that darkness where, as the Scripture says, He truly is, who is beyond all things.
  • How can He who is beyond all things be also above the very principle of divinity and of goodness? By divinity and goodness must be understood the essence of the gift which makes us good and divine, or that unapproachable semblance of the supreme goodness and divinity whereby we also are made good and divine. For since this is the principle of deification and sanctification for those who are so deified and sanctified, then He. who is the essential principle of all principles (and therefore the principle of divinity and goodness) is above that divinity and goodness by means of which we are made good and divine: moreover, since He is inimitable and incomprehensible, He is above imitation and comprehension as He is above those who imitate and partake of Him.
  • Darkness is destroyed by light, especially by much light; ignorance is destroyed by knowledge, especially by much knowledge. You must understand this as implying not privation, but transcendence and so you must say with absolute truth, that the ignorance which is of God is unknown by those who have the created light and the knowledge of created things, and that His transcendent darkness is obscured by any light, and itself obscures all knowledge. And if any one, seeing God, knows what he sees, it is by no means God that he so sees, but something created and knowable. For God abides above created intellect and existence, and is in such sense unknowable and non-existent that He exists above all existence and is known above all power of knowledge. Thus the knowledge of Him who is above all that can be known is for the most part ignorance.
  • The divine darkness is the inaccessible light in which God is said to dwell. And since He is invisible by reason of the abundant outpouring of supernatural light, it follows that whosoever is counted worthy to know and see God, by the very fact that he neither sees nor knows Him, attains to that which is above sight and knowledge, and at the same time perceives that God is beyond all things both sensible and intelligible, saying with the Prophet, “Thy knowledge is become wonderful to me; it is high, and I cannot reach to it. In like manner, St Paul, we are told, knew God, when he knew Him to be above all knowledge and understanding; wherefore he says that His ways are unsearchable and His judgments inscrutable, His gifts unspeakable, and His peace passing all understanding; as one who had found Him who is above all things, and whom he had perceived to be above knowledge, and separate from all things, being the Creator of all.
  • But see that none of the uninitiated hear these things. I mean those who cleave to created things, and suppose not that anything exists after a supernatural manner, above nature; but imagine that by their own natural understanding they know Him who has made darkness His secret place. But if the principles of the divine mysteries are above the understanding of these, what is to be said of those yet more untaught, who call the absolute First Cause of all after the lowest things in nature, and say that He is in no way above the images which they fashion after various designs; of whom they should declare and affirm that in Him as the cause of all, is all that may be predicated positively of created things; while yet they might with more propriety deny these predicates to Him, as being far above all; holding that here denial is not contrary to affirmation, since He is infinitely above all notion of deprivation, and above all affirmation and negation.
  • “Divinity above all knowledge, whose goodness passes understanding . . . direct our way to the summit of thy mystical oracles, most incomprehensible, most lucid and most exalted, where the simple and pure and unchangeable mysteries of theology are revealed in the darkness, clearer than light, of that silence in which secret things are hidden; a darkness that shines brighter than light, that invisibly and intangibly illuminates with splendours of inconceivable beauty the soul that sees not. Let this be my prayer; but do thou, diligently giving thyself to mystical contemplation, leave the senses, and the operations of the intellect, and all things sensible and intelligible, and things that are and things that are not, that thou mayest rise as may be lawful for thee, by ways above knowledge to union with Him who is above all knowledge and all being; that in freedom and abandonment of all, thou mayest be borne, through pure, entire and absolute abstraction of thyself from all things, into the supernatural radiance of the divine darkness.
  • We desire to abide in this most luminous darkness, and without sight or knowledge, to see that which is above sight or knowledge, by means of that very fact that we see not and know not. For this is truly to see and know, to praise Him who is above nature in a manner above nature, by the abstraction of all that is natural; as those who would make a statue out of the natural stone abstract all the surrounding material which hinders the sight of the shape lying concealed within, and by that abstraction alone reveal its hidden beauty. It is needful, as I think, to make this abstraction in a manner precisely opposite to that in which we deal with the Divine attributes; for we add them together, beginning with the primary ones, and passing from them to the secondary, and so to the last; but here we ascend from the last to the first, abstracting all, so as to unveil and know that which is beyond knowledge, and which in all things is hidden from our sight by that which can be known, and so to behold that supernatural darkness which is hidden by all such light as is in created things.
  • Because in proportion as we ascend higher our speech is contracted to the limits of our view of the purely intelligible; and so now, when we enter that darkness which is above understanding, we pass not merely into brevity of speech, but even into absolute silence, and the negation of thought. Thus in the other treatises our subject took us from the highest to the lowest, and in the measure of this descent our treatment of it extended itself; whereas now we rise from beneath to that which is the highest, and accordingly our speech is restrained in proportion to the height of our ascent; but when our ascent is accomplished, speech will cease altogether, and be absorbed into the ineffable. But why, you will ask, do we add in the first and begin to abstract in the last? The reason is that we affirmed that which is above all affirmation by comparison with that which is most nearly related to it, and were therefore compelled to make a hypothetical affirmation; but when we abstract that which is above all abstraction, we must distinguish it also from those things which are most remote from it. Is not God more nearly life and goodness than air or a stone; must we not deny more fully that He is drunken or enraged, than that He can be spoken of or understood?
  • Again, ascending, we say that He is neither soul nor intellect; nor has He imagination, nor opinion or reason; He has neither speech nor understanding, and is neither declared nor understood; He is neither number nor order, nor greatness nor smallness, nor equality nor likeness nor unlikeness; He does not stand or move or rest; He neither has power nor is power; nor is He light, nor does He live, nor is He life; He is neither being nor age nor time; nor is He subject to intellectual contact; He is neither knowledge nor truth. nor royalty nor wisdom; He is neither one nor unity, nor divinity, nor goodness; nor is He spirit, as we understand spirit; He is neither sonship nor fatherhood nor anything else known to us or to any other beings, either of the things that are or the things that are not; nor does anything that is, know Him as He is, nor does He know anything that is as it is; He has neither word nor name nor knowledge; He is neither darkness nor light nor truth nor error; He can neither be affirmed nor denied; nay, though we may affirm or deny the things that are beneath Him, we can neither affirm nor deny Him; for the perfect and sole cause of all is above all affirmation, and that which transcends all is above all subtraction, absolutely separate, and beyond all that is.
  • It was not without a deeper meaning that the divine Moses was commanded first to be himself purified, and then to separate himself from the impure; and after all this purification heard many voices of trumpets, and saw many lights shedding manifold pure beams: and that he was thereafter separated from the multitude and together with the elect priests came to the height of the divine ascents. Yet hereby he did not attain to the presence of God Himself; he saw not Him (for He cannot be looked upon), but the place where He was. This, I think, signifies that the divinest and most exalted of visible and intelligible things are, as it were, suggestions of those that are immediately beneath Him who is above all, whereby is indicated the presence of Him who passes all understanding, and stands, as it were, in that spot which is conceived by the intellect as the highest of His holy places; then that they who are free and untrammelled by all that is seen and all that sees enter into the true mystical darkness of ignorance, whence all perception of understanding is excluded, and abide in that which is intangible and invisible, being wholly absorbed in Him who is beyond all things, and belong no more to any, neither to themselves nor to another, but are united in their higher part to Him who is wholly unintelligible, and whom, by understanding nothing, they understand after a manner above all intelligence.
  • The fact is that the more we take flight upward, the more our words are confined to the ideas we are capable of forming; so that now as we plunge into that darkness which is beyond intellect, we shall find ourselves not simply running short of words but actually speechless and unknowing.
  • Since it is the Cause of all beings, we should posit and ascribe to it all the affirmations we make in regard to beings, and, more appropriately, we should negate all these affirmations, since it surpasses all being.
  • We make assertions and denials of what is next to it, but never of it, for it is both beyond every assertion, being the perfect and unique cause of all things, and, by virtue of its preeminently simple and absolute nature, free of every limitation, beyond every limitation; it is also beyond every denial.
  • The divine darkness is the inaccessible light in which God is said to dwell. And since He is invisible by reason of the abundant outpouring of supernatural light, it follows that whosoever is counted worthy to know and see God, by the very fact that he neither sees nor knows Him, attains to that which is above sight and knowledge, and at the same time perceives that God is beyond all things both sensible and intelligible, saying with the Prophet, Thy knowledge is become wonderful to me; it is high, and I cannot reach to it. In like manner, St Paul, we are told, knew God, when he knew Him to be above all knowledge and understanding; wherefore he says that His ways are unsearchable and His judgments inscrutable, His gifts unspeakable, and His peace passing all understanding; as one who had found Him who is above all things, and whom he had perceived to be above knowledge, and separate from all things, being the Creator of all.
  • Divinity above all knowledge, whose goodness passes understanding . . . direct our way to the summit of thy mystical oracles, most incomprehensible, most lucid and most exalted, where the simple and pure and unchangeable mysteries of theology are revealed in the darkness, clearer than light, of that silence in which secret things are hidden; a darkness that shines brighter than light, that invisibly and intangibly illuminates with splendours of inconceivable beauty the soul that sees not. Let this be my prayer; but do thou, diligently giving thyself to mystical contemplation, leave the senses, and the operations of the intellect, and all things sensible and intelligible, and things that are and things that are not, that thou mayest rise as may be lawful for thee, by ways above knowledge to union with Him who is above all knowledge and all being; that in freedom and abandonment of all, thou mayest be borne, through pure, entire and absolute abstraction of thyself from all things, into the supernatural radiance of the divine darkness.
  • It was not without a deeper meaning that the divine Moses was commanded first to be himself purified, and then to separate himself from the impure; and after all this purification heard many voices of trumpets, and saw many lights shedding manifold pure beams: and that he was thereafter separated from the multitude and together with the elect priests came to the height of the divine ascents. Yet hereby he did not attain to the presence of God Himself; he saw not Him (for He cannot be looked upon), but the place where He was. This, I think, signifies that the divinest and most exalted of visible and intelligible things are, as it were, suggestions of those that are immediately beneath Him who is above all, whereby is indicated the presence of Him who passes all understanding, and stands, as it were, in that spot which is conceived by the intellect as the highest of His holy places; then that they who are free and untrammelled by all that is seen and all that sees enter into the true mystical darkness of ignorance, whence all perception of understanding is excluded, and abide in that which is intangible and invisible, being wholly absorbed in Him who is beyond all things, and belong no more to any, neither to themselves nor to another, but are united in their higher part to Him who is wholly unintelligible, and whom, by understanding nothing, they understand after a manner above all intelligence.
  • We desire to abide in this most luminous darkness, and without sight or knowledge, to see that which is above sight or knowledge, by means of that very fact that we see not and know not. For this is truly to see and know, to praise Him who is above nature in a manner above nature, by the abstraction of all that is natural; as those who would make a statue out of the natural stone abstract all the surrounding material which hinders the sight of the shape lying concealed within, and by that abstraction alone reveal its hidden beauty. It is needful, as I think, to make this abstraction in a manner precisely opposite to that in which we deal with the Divine attributes; for we add them together, beginning with the primary ones, and passing from them to the secondary, and so to the last; but here we ascend from the last to the first, abstracting all, so as to unveil and know that which is beyond knowledge, and which in all things is hidden from our sight by that which can be known, and so to behold that supernatural darkness which is hidden by all such light as is in created things.
  • Because in proportion as we ascend higher our speech is contracted to the limits of our view of the purely intelligible; and so now, when we enter that darkness which is above understanding, we pass not merely into brevity of speech, but even into absolute silence, and the negation of thought. Thus in the other treatises our subject took us from the highest to the lowest, and in the measure of this descent our treatment of it extended itself; whereas now we rise from beneath to that which is the highest, and accordingly our speech is restrained in proportion to the height of our ascent; but when our ascent is accomplished, speech will cease altogether, and be absorbed into the ineffable. But why, you will ask, do we add in the first and begin to abstract in the last? The reason is that we affirmed that which is above all affirmation by comparison with that which is most nearly related to it, and were therefore compelled to make a hypothetical affirmation; but when we abstract that which is above all abstraction, we must distinguish it also from those things which are most remote from it. Is not God more nearly life and goodness than air or a stone; must we not deny more fully that He is drunken or enraged, than that He can be spoken of or understood?
  • We say that the cause of all things, who is Himself above all things, is neither without being nor without life, nor without reason nor without intelligence; nor is He a body nor has He form or shape, or quality or quantity or mass; He is not localised or visible or tangible; He is neither sensitive nor sensible; He is subject to no disorder or disturbance arising from material passion; He is not subject to failure of power, or to the accidents of sensible things; He needs no light; He suffers no change or corruption or division, or privation or flux; and He neither has nor is anything else that belongs to the senses.
  • Again, ascending, we say that He is neither soul nor intellect; nor has He imagination, nor opinion or reason; He has neither speech nor understanding, and is neither declared nor understood; He is neither number nor order, nor greatness nor smallness, nor equality nor likeness nor unlikeness; He does not stand or move or rest; He neither has power nor is power; nor is He light, nor does He live, nor is He life; He is neither being nor age nor time; nor is He subject to intellectual contact; He is neither knowledge nor truth. nor royalty nor wisdom; He is neither one nor unity, nor divinity, nor goodness; nor is He spirit, as we understand spirit; He is neither sonship nor fatherhood nor anything else known to us or to any other beings, either of the things that are or the things that are not; nor does anything that is, know Him as He is, nor does He know anything that is as it is; He has neither word nor name nor knowledge; He is neither darkness nor light nor truth nor error; He can neither be affirmed nor denied; nay, though we may affirm or deny the things that are beneath Him, we can neither affirm nor deny Him; for the perfect and sole cause of all is above all affirmation, and that which transcends all is above all subtraction, absolutely separate, and beyond all that is.
  • Darkness is destroyed by light, especially by much light; ignorance is destroyed by knowledge, especially by much knowledge. You must understand this as implying not privation, but transcendence and so you must say with absolute truth, that the ignorance which is of God is unknown by those who have the created light and the knowledge of created things, and that His transcendent darkness is obscured by any light, and itself obscures all knowledge. And if any one, seeing God, knows what he sees, it is by no means God that he so sees, but something created and knowable. For God abides above created intellect and existence, and is in such sense unknowable and non-existent that He exists above all existence and is known above all power of knowledge. Thus the knowledge of Him who is above all that can be known is for the most part ignorance.
  • How can He who is beyond all things be also above the very principle of divinity and of goodness? By divinity and goodness must be understood the essence of the gift which makes us good and divine, or that unapproachable semblance of the supreme goodness and divinity whereby we also are made good and divine. For since this is the principle of deification and sanctification for those who are so deified and sanctified, then He. who is the essential principle of all principles (and therefore the principle of divinity and goodness) is above that divinity and goodness by means of which we are made good and divine: moreover, since He is inimitable and incomprehensible, He is above imitation and comprehension as He is above those who imitate and partake of Him.

 

 

Bulleh Shah (quotes)

  • Seek the spirit, forget the form.
  • It’s not me, it’s he himself He amuses his own self.
  • Seek your master, say your prayers and surrender to God.
  • You alone exist; I do not, O Beloved! You alone exist, I do not!
  • Hide not behind the veil, my love, I long to have a glimpse of you.
  • How long can the truth be veiled? The spirit is all there is to know.
  • It’s all in the One contained, understand that one and forget the rest.
  • You have read thousands of books of knowledge, have you ever tried to read your ownself.
  • Repeating the name of the Beloved, I have become the Beloved myself.. Whom shall I call the Beloved now?
  • Tear down the mosque, the temple, everything in sight. But don’t break a human heart. For that is where God resides.
  • If I speak, you speak with me: If I am silent, you are in my mind. If I sleep, you sleep with me:  If I walk, you are along my path.
  • If I search for you for you inside, then I think you are confined. If I search for you outside, then who is contained within me? You are everything, you are in everything, you are known to be free from everything. You are me and I am you, so who is poor Bullha?
  • Yes, yes; you’ve read thousands of books but you’ve never tried to read your own self; you rush into your temples, into your mosques, but you have never tried to enter your own heart; futile are all your battles with the devil for you have never tried to fight your own desires.
  • Not a believer in the mosque am I, Nor a disbeliever with his rites am I. I am not the pure amongst the impure, I am neither Moses nor Pharaoh. Bulleh, I know not who I am. Not in the holy books am I, Nor do I dwell in bhang or wine, Nor do I live in a drunken haze, Nor in sleep or waking known. Bulleh, I know not who I am. Not in happiness or in sorrow am I found. I am neither pure nor mired in filthy ground. Not of water nor of land, Nor am I in air or fire to be found. Bulleh, I know not who I am. Not an Arab nor Lahori, Not a Hindi or Nagouri, Nor a Muslim or Peshawari, Not a Buddhist or a Christian. Bulleh, I know not who I am. Secrets of religion have I not unravelled, I am not of Eve and Adam. Neither still nor moving on, I have not chosen my own name! Bulleh, I know not who I am. From first to last, I searched myself. None other did I succeed in knowing. Not some great thinker am I. Who is standing in my shoes, alone? Bulleh, I know not who I am.

 

 

Emanuel Swedenborg (quotes)

  • The sky is an enormous man.
  • Love in its essence is spiritual fire.
  • Conscience is God’s presence in humans.
  • A heavenly society is a harmony of many.
  • Man knows that love is, but not what it is.
  • The divine essence itself is love and wisdom.
  • Man is an organ of life, and God alone is life.
  • love to shine forth from every part of the face.
  • What is true is true, and what is false is false.
  • In a word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young.
  • less is he acquainted with its nature and quality.
  • Two consorts in heaven are not two, but one angel.
  • So far any one shuns evils, so far as he does good.
  • Self-love and the love of the world constitute hell.
  • The activity of love and faith is what makes heaven.
  • He who is in evil, is also in the punishment of evil.
  • Love comes into being through useful service to others.
  • A life of kindness is the primary meaning of divine worship.
  • Goodness shapes our will, and truth shapes our understanding.
  • Man knows that there is love, but he does not know what love is.
  • All union is effected by love, and love is not love without trust.
  • We all have spirits present with us who are feeling the way we are.
  • All religion relates to life, and the life of religion is to do good
  • Charity is to will and do what is just and right in every transaction.
  • Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man.
  • This Divine truth flows into heaven from the Lord from His Divine love
  • Angelic happiness is in service, from service, and according to service.
  • Faith is knowing and thinking truths. Charity is willing and doing them.
  • The Lord casts no one down in Hell, but the spirit casts himself hither.
  • You are what you love, and you love whatever you give your attention to.
  • The inner self is as distinct from the outer self as heaven is from earth.
  • All in heaven take joy in sharing their delights and blessings with others.
  • it who have lived in the good of charity in accordance with their religion.
  • Angels never attack, as infernal spirits do. Angels only ward off and defend.
  • One’s distance from Heaven is in proportion to the measure of one’s self-love.
  • True charity is the desire to be useful to others with no thought of recompense.
  • Charity alone, or love and compassion, is what joins [the Lord and a person] together.
  • Heaven is such that all who have lived well, of whatever religion, have a place there.
  • Angels from the Lord lead and protect us every moment and every moment of every moment.
  • We are all spirits inwardly. This is what’s alive in the body, not the body on its own.
  • People are unaware that spirits even exist, let alone that angels are present with them.
  • Sacred scripture is like a mirror in which we see God, although each in a different way.
  • spiritual life, and to use the divine things, which are in their religion, as the means.
  • The end of creation is that all things may return to the Creator and be united with Him.
  • To have dominion by religion, is to have dominion over men’s souls, thus over their very
  • Worship does not consist in prayers and in external devotion, but in a life of kindness.
  • will be shown, that heaven and hell are from the human race, and that therefore the human
  • I have often talked with angels on this subject, and they have invariably declared that in
  • Man, before he is being regenerated, does not even know that any internal man exists, much
  • The more one is absorbed in so-called philosophy, the greater one’s delusion and blindness.
  • The human race is the seminary of heaven, will appear from a subsequent article, in which it
  • and thus of being conjoined to God by faith and love, and to be conjoined to God is to live to
  • Angels from their wisdom go still further. They say that not only every thing good and true is
  • This I can declare: things that are in heaven are more real than things that are in the world.
  • Love consists in desiring to give what is our own to another and feeling his delight as our own
  • Peace holds within itself trust in the Lord, the trust that He governs all things and provides all
  • First of all it must be known who the God of heaven is, since upon that all the other things depend.
  • Every single moment of a person’s life, both of the understanding and of the will, is a new beginning.
  • If love is not married to wisdom (or if goodness is not married to truth), it cannot accomplish anything.
  • A man who knows all goods and all truths, as many as can be known, but does not shun evils, knows nothing.
  • We do need to realize, though, that it is the quality of our love that determines the quality of this life.
  • Peace has in it trust in the Lord, that He governs all things, provides all things, and leads to a good end.
  • Every man is received in heaven who receives heaven in himself while in the world, and he is excluded who does not.
  • The nature of heaven is to provide a place there for all who lead good lives, no matter what their religion may be.
  • A man after death, is not a natural but a spiritual man; nevertheless he still appears in all respects like himself.
  • A spiritual church first becomes a church when it acts as bidden by charity, charity being the true teaching of faith.
  • Love consists in this – that its own should be another’s; to feel the joy of another as joy in oneself, that is loving.
  • What a man thinks in his spirit in the world, that he does after his departure from the world when he becomes a spirit.
  • Charity itself consists in acting justly and faithfully in whatever office, business and employment a person is engaged in.
  • Heaven is not located on high, but where the good of love is, and this resides within a person, wherever he or she might be.
  • for every man’s soul is in a spiritual body after it has cast off the material coverings which it carried about in the world.
  • A person who knows all that is good and all that is true — as much as can be known — but does not resist evils, knows nothing.
  • Our love is our life itself. What our love is like determines how we live and therefore everything about what we are as human beings.
  • This publication provides a cradle-to-grave, systematic procedure you can initiate in order to protect your properties and facilities.
  • Goodness and love mould the form into their own image, and cause the joy and beauty of love to shine forth from every part of the face.
  • When Sam Blades starts work at Shimmering Dreams who allow you to downloads your dreams onto your Cell Phone. is it as good as it seems?
  • No one’s character is completely like another’sthis infinite variety is like a mirror in which we can see the infinity of God the Creator.
  • A work of great importance to deep thinkers as its last chapter offers an updated philosophy – to explain the issues of our new millennium.
  • Man, before he is being regenerated, does not even know that any internal man exists, much less is he acquainted with its nature and quality.
  • Angels from their wisdom go still further. They say that not only every thing good and true is from the Lord, but every thing of life as well.
  • The essence of love is that what is ours should belong to someone else. Feeling the joy of someone else as joy within ourselves-that is loving.
  • Anyone can see that intending and not acting when we can is not really intending, and loving and not doing good when we can is not really loving.
  • Charity is like warmth in springtime or summer that causes grass, plants, and trees to grow. Without charity, or spiritual warmth, nothing grows.
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  • The human race is the basis on which heaven is founded, because man was last created, and that which is last created is the basis of all that precedes.
  • All our longings for what is loving and true reach out into heaven. They put us in touch with angels who are feeling the same way and unite us with them.
  • Peace holds within itself trust in the Lord, the trust that He governs all things and provides all things, and that He leads towards an end that is good.
  • So far as the Angels are recipients of that spiritual heat and light they are loves and wisdoms, not loves and wisdoms for themselves, but from the Lord.
  • The Divine of the Lord in heaven is love, for the reason that love is receptive of all things of heaven, such as peace, intelligence, wisdom and happiness
  • God loves every one of us but cannot directly benefit us; he can benefit us only indirectly through each other. For this reason he inspires us with his love
  • Hell and Heaven are near man, yes, in him; and every man after death goes to that Hell or heaven in which he was, or to his spirit, during his abode in the world.
  • Everything good or true that the angels inspire in us is God’s, so God is constantly talking to us. He talks very differently, though, to one person than to another.
  • It can in no sense be said that heaven is outside of any one; it is within … and a man, also, so far as he receives heaven, is a recipient, a heaven, and an angel.
  • To will and not to do when there is opportunity is in reality not to will; and to love what is good and not to do it, when it is possible, is in reality not to love it
  • He who assists a poor or needy villain does evil to his neighbor…for through the assistance which he renders he…supplies him with the means of doing evil to others.
  • I have seen a thousand times that Angels are human form, or men, for I have conversed with them as man to man, sometimes with one alone, sometimes with many in company.
  • The act of exploring what the men are, and moreover the separation of the good from the evil, is visitation; and the good are then removed, and the evil are left behind.
  • for heaven is within us, and people who have heaven within them come into heaven. The heaven within us is our acknowledgment of the Divine and our being led by the Divine.
  • The church of the Lord is spread over all the globe, and is thus universal; and all those are in it who have lived in the good of charity in accordance with their religion.
  • Times of happiness, bliss, and sheer delight intensify as the higher levels of our minds are opened within us One our life on earth is over, these levels keep rising forever.
  • For those who trust in the Divine all things are moving towards an everlasting state of happiness, and no matter what happens at any time to them, it contributes to that state.
  • To have dominion by religion, is to have dominion over men’s souls, thus over their very spiritual life, and to use the Divine things, which are in their religion, as the means
  • The spiritual idea of distances of space is the same as of distances of good or distances of truth, which are affinities and likenesses according to states of goodness and truth.
  • A person’s life from infancy to old age is nothing else than an advance from the world towards heaven, the last stage of which is death; the actual transition from one life to the next.
  • Justice is following the divine design in all that one does, and bringing back into the divine design things that have fallen away from that design. Justice is the divine design itself.
  • For the judgment was accomplished not only upon all the men of the Christian church, but also upon all who are called Mohammedans, and, moreover, upon all the Gentiles in the whole world.
  • Charity means love towards the neighbor and compassion, for anyone who loves his neighbor as himself also has as much compassion for him in his suffering as he does for himself in his own.
  • All the ancient churches were churches representative of spiritual things; the rites, and also the statutes, according to which their worship was established, consisted of pure correspondence.
  • In heaven there are two distinct loves, love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, in the inmost or third heaven love to the Lord, in the second or middle heaven love towards the neighbor.
  • For the spiritual sense of the Word treats everywhere of the spiritual world, that is, of the state of the church in the heavens, as well as in the earth; hence the Word is spiritual and Divine.
  • And as the divine that goes forth from the Lord is the good of love and the truth of faith, the angels are angels and are heaven in the measure in which they receive good and truth from the Lord.
  • For in every particular of the Word there is an internal sense which treats of things spiritual and heavenly, not of things natural and worldly, such as are treated of in the sense of the letter.
  • Man is so created that as to his internal he cannot die; for he is capable of believing in God, and thus of being conjoined to God by faith and love, and to be conjoined to God is to live to eternity.
  • There are angels that receive more interiorly the Divine that goes forth from the Lord, and others that receive it less interiorly; the former are called celestial angels, and the latter spiritual angels
  • This new church is the crown of all the churches that have ever existed on this planet because it will worship the one God, who can be seen, within whom is the God that cannot be seen, like a soul in a body.
  • Man was so created by the Lord as to be able while living in the body to speak with spirits and angels, as in fact was done in the most ancient times; for, being a spirit clothed with a body, he is one with them
  • The human race is the seminary of heaven, will appear from a subsequent article, in which it will be shown, that heaven and hell are from the human race, and that therefore the human race is the seminary of heaven.
  • It is no proof of a man’s understanding to be able to affirm whatever he pleases; but to be able to discern that what is true is true, and that what is false is false, this is the mark and character of intelligence.
  • True wisdom is seeing what is beneficial to your eternal life, and managing your life according to that. You do this when you not only know these things and grasp them with your understanding, but also will and do them.
  • That honors and possessions are also bestowed by the devil, is known; because for that reason he is called the prince of the world. Now as it is unknown when honors and possessions are blessings, and when they are curses.
  • I have often talked with angels on this subject, and they have invariably declared that in heaven they are unable to divide the Divine into three, because they know and perceive that the Divine is One and this One is in the Lord.
  • The angels taken collectively are called heaven, for they constitute heaven; and yet that which makes heaven in general and in particular is the Divine that goes forth from the Lord and flows into the angels and is received by them.
  • In the spiritual body moreover, man appears such as he is with respect to love and faith, for everyone in the spiritual world is the effigy of his own love, not only as to the face and the body, but also as to the speech and the actions
  • Seen in its own right, a loving person’s inner spirit is an angel of heaven, and while we are living in the body we are also in the company of angels, even though we are not aware of it; and once we are released from the body we join them.
  • Angels can recognize the nature of our unique essence on the basis of nothing more than a brief conversation with us. From hearing the tone of our voice angels sense what we love; and from hearing what we say, angels sense our level of understanding.
  • Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return. It is the joy of our life to do them. When we do good things from this inner desire, there is kindness in everything we think, say, want and do.
  • What could be sweeter to us than to hear and persuade ourselves that we can be saved, even if we live like a savage beast? Even non-Christians see that this is false, and many of them shudder at Christian teachings when they observe how Christians live.
  • That all who have ever been born men from the beginning of creation, and are deceased, are either in heaven or in hell, follows from those things which have been said and shown in the preceding article, namely, that Heaven and Hell are from the human race.
  • I am well aware that many will say that no one can possibly speak with spirits and angels so long as he lives in the body; and many will say that it is all fancy, others that I relate such things in order to gain credence, and others will make other objections.
  • In the Christian world… it is believed that angels were created at the beginning, and that heaven was formed of them; and that the Devil or Satan was an angel of light, who, becoming rebellions, was cast down with his crew, and that this was the origin of hell.
  • God created us in such a way that our inner self is in the spiritual world and our outer self is in the physical world. This was so that the spiritual part of us, which belongs in heaven, could be planted in the physical part the way a seed is planted in the ground.
  • Moreover, no one is judged from the natural man, thus not so long as he lives in the natural world, for man is then in a natural body; but everyone is judged in the spiritual man, and therefore when he comes into the spiritual world, for man is then in a spiritual body.
  • That every man after the life in the world lives to eternity, is evident from this, that man is then spiritual, and no longer natural, and that the spiritual man, separated from the natural, remains such as he is to eternity, for man’s state cannot be changed after death.
  • Some hells present an appearance like the ruins of houses and cities after conflagrations, in which infernal spirits dwell and hide themselves. In the milder hells there is an appearance of rude huts, in some cases contiguous in the form of a city with lanes and streets.”
  • One can see how great the delight of heaven must be from the fact that it is the delight of everyone in heaven to share his delights and blessings with others; and as such is the character of all that are in the heavens it is clear how immeasurable is the delight of heaven.
  • Wherefore the brain must be looked upon as the universal and general sensory and at the same time as the universal and general motory organ of the body and finally as the universal and general laboratory of the animal spirits and the blood or of the essential juices of life.
  • Others work among the spirits that have just arrived in the world of spirits. Again others raise the children who have died in infancy. Swedenborg ensures the parents of these infants that ‘All children whether born within or outside of the church, are adopted by the Lord and become Angels’.”
  • In the world it is little comprehended what love is; and yet it is man’s very life. That this is little comprehended is evident from the common saying “What is love?” What it is, is not known for the reason that love is not manifest to the understanding, and the understanding is the receptacle of the light of heaven.
  • The life of any one can by no means be changed after death; an evil life can in no wise be converted into a good life, or an infernal into an angelic life: because every spirit, from head to foot, is of the character of his love, and therefore, of his life; and to convert this life into its opposite, would be to destroy the spirit utterly.
  • Marriages on earth–because they are the seminaries of the human race and of the angels of heaven also; because, likewise, they proceed from a spiritual origin, that is, from the marriage of good and truth; and since, in addition, the Lord’s divine proceeding principally flows into conjugal love–are most holy in the estimation of the angels.
  • Every one may know that to will and not to do, when there is opportunity, is in reality not to will; and that to love what is good and not to do it, when it is possible, is in reality not to love it. Will, which stops short of action, and love, which does not do the good that is loved, is a mere thought separate from will and love, which vanishes and comes to nothing.
  • It is amazing but true that it is easy for any of us to rebuke someone else who is intending to do something evil and say, Don’t do that—that’s a sin! And yet it is difficult for us to say the same thing to ourselves. The reason is that saying it to ourselves requires a movement of the will, but saying it to someone else requires only a low level of thought based on things we have heard.
  • People who have intended and loved what is evil in the world intend and love what is evil in the other life, and then they no longer allow themselves to be led away from it. This is why people who are absorbed in evil are connected to hell and actually are there in spirit; and after death they crave above all to be where their evil is. So after death, it is we, not the Lord, who cast ourselves into hell.
  • Man, when he is re-born, passes through the ages as he who is born; and the preceding state is always as an egg in respect to the subsequent one, thus he is continually conceived and born: and this not only when he lives in the world, but also when he comes into another life to eternity: and still when he cannot be further perfected, then to be as an egg to those things which remain to be manifested, which are indefinite.”
  • I asked, What does a religion need to be like in order to save people?” They said, We are going to divide this question into a number of subquestions. Before we have come to conclusions on these we will not be able to give a reply to your question. The points for discussion will be the following. (1) Is religion anything? (2) Does salvation exist or not? (3) Is one religion more effective than another? (4) Do heaven and hell exist?”
  • When they enter the church, and even more when they climb the stairs into the pulpit, I know that the people meant by Lucifer in Isaiah—the people of Babylon, especially those who named themselves the Society of Jesus—are overcome with passion. For many of them that passion comes from a hellish love. They raise their voices more vehemently and draw sighs from their chests more deeply than those whose passion comes from a heavenly love. There”
  • A life of faith without love is like sunlight without warmth—the type of light that occurs in winter, when nothing grows and everything droops and dies. Faith rising out of love, on the contrary, is like light from the sun in spring, when everything grows and flourishes. Warmth from the sun is the fertile agent. The same is true in spiritual and heavenly affairs, which are typically represented in the Word by objects found in nature and human culture.”
  • There are two loves that have been deeply rooted in the human race for a long time now: love for dominating everyone, and love for possessing everyone’s wealth. If the reins are let out on the first type of love, it rushes on until it wants to be the God of all heaven. If the reins are let out on the second type of love, it rushes on until it wants to be the God of the whole world. All other forms of love for evil are ranked below these two and serve as their army.”
  • Men live a moral life, either from regard to the Diving Being, or from regard to the opinion of the people in the world; and when a moral life is practised out of regard to the Divine Being, it is a spiritual life. Both appear alike in their outward form; but in their inward, they are completely different. The one saves a man, but the other does not; for he that leads a moral life out of regard to the Divine Being is led by him, but he who does so from regard to the opinion of people in the world is led by himself.
  • If we would accept heaven’s life, we need by all means to live in the world and to participate in its duties and affairs. In this way, we accept a spiritual life by means of our moral and civic life; and there is no other way a spiritual life can be formed within us, no other way our spirits can be prepared for heaven. This is because living an inner life and not an outer life at the same time is like living in a house that has no foundation, that gradually either settles or develops gaping cracks or totters until it collapses.
  • Since the Bible is a divine revelation, every single part of it is divine. Anything that comes from the divine could be no other way. Everything that comes from the divine goes down through the heavens all the way to people on earth. In heaven it is adapted to the wisdom of the angels there, and on earth it is adapted to the understanding of the people there. So the Bible has an inner, spiritual meaning for angels and an outer, material-level meaning for people on earth. That is why our connection to heaven happens through the Bible.
  • It is important to note, however, that these two loves can be more prevalent among commoners than among the great; more prevalent among the poor than among the wealthy; more prevalent among subjects than among royalty. The latter in each case are born into power and wealth. Over time, the latter come to view their power and wealth much the way people at a somewhat lower level—commanders, governors, admirals, or even impoverished farm workers—view their own households and possessions. It is not the same, though, when monarchs wish to exercise power over nations that are not their own.”
  • The opposite happens if we remain earthly. Then we greatly desire to rule heaven from our world. All who have a love for power that comes from loving themselves are like this. If we are examined inwardly, it is discovered that we do not believe in any god, but only in ourselves. After death, we believe that we are a god who has greater power than others. This is the kind of insanity that exists in hell. It falls to such a depth that some there say they are God the Father, some say they are God the Son, and others say they are God the Holy Spirit. Some Jews there say they are the Messiah.
  • It is recognized that non-Christians live lives that are just as moral as the lives of Christians—many of them, in fact, live more moral lives. A moral life may be lived either to satisfy the Divine or to satisfy people in this world. A moral life that is lived to satisfy the Divine is a spiritual life. The two look alike in outward form, but inwardly they are totally different. One saves us, the other does not. This is because if we live a moral life to satisfy the Divine we are being led by the Divine; while if we live a moral life to satisfy people in this world, we are being led by ourselves.
  • It is recognized that non-Christians live lives that are just as moral as the lives of Christians—many of them, in fact, live more moral lives. A moral life may be lived either to satisfy the Divine or to satisfy people in this world. A moral life that is lived to satisfy the Divine is a spiritual life. The two look alike in outward form, but inwardly they are totally different. One saves us, the other does not. This is because if we live a moral life to satisfy the Divine we are being led by the Divine; while if we live a moral life to satisfy people in this world, we are being led by ourselves.”
  • In the Protestant Christian world, active repentance, which is examining ourselves, recognizing and admitting to our sins, praying to the Lord, and starting a new life, is extremely difficult to practice, for a number of reasons that will be covered later. Therefore here is an easier kind of repentance: When we are considering doing something evil and are forming an intention to do it, we say to ourselves, I am thinking about this and I am intending to do it, but because it is a sin, I am not going to do it. This counteracts the enticement that hell is injecting into us and keeps it from making further inroads.
  • Goodwill has something in common with each of these categories of love, because goodwill is by definition a love for usefulness of all kinds. Goodwill wants to do what is good for our neighbor, and goodness is the same as usefulness. Each of the categories of love just mentioned have usefulness as their goal: love for heaven has the goal of being useful in spiritual ways; love for the world has the goal of being useful in earthly ways, which could also be called forms of civil service; and love for ourselves has the goal of being useful in physical ways, which could also be labeled benefits at home for ourselves and our loved ones.”
  • There is one God, in whom there is the Divine Trinity, and he is the Lord Jesus Christ. This can be briefly illustrated in the following way: It is a certain and established truth that God is one, and his essence cannot be divided; and also that there is a Trinity. Since God is One, and his essence cannot be divided, it follows that God is one Person. And since he is one Person, the Trinity is in that Person. It is clear that this Person is the Lord Jesus Christ from the fact that he was conceived from God the Father (Luke 1:34, 35), and thus as to his soul and life itself he is God. Therefore, as he himself said, “he and the Father are one.” (John 10:30).
  • It is evident that there are three means for the formation of faith in man: the first is, approaching the Lord; the second, learning truths from the Word; and the third, living in conformity to them. Now these three means being each distinct from the other, it follows that they may be separated; as for instance, a person may approach the Lord, and yet be acquainted with no truths concerning God and the Lord, except such as are historical; so another may be acquainted with abundance of truths derived from the Word, and yet not live in conformity with them; but in such cases, where the three means are separated, that is, where one is without the other, there can be no faith profitable to salvation.
  • The angels also said, When people arrive in this world from the physical one and hear that they are in another world, they gather together in many places to form groups. They ask where heaven and hell are, and also where God is. After they have been taught, they start arguing, disputing, and fighting about whether God exists. This is a result of the great number of materialists in the physical world today. When the topic of religion comes up, materialists start to debate about it with one another and with other groups. The ensuing proposition and debate rarely results in an affirmation of the faith that God exists. Materialists associate more and more with the evil, because only from God can one do something good with a love for what is good.
  • People who do not examine themselves are like people with a sickness that closes off their capillaries and therefore corrupts their blood, causing their limbs to go to sleep and atrophy, and resulting in severe chronic diseases because their humors, and therefore the blood that arises from them, are viscous, sticky, irritating, and acidic. People who do examine themselves, however, including the intentions of their will, are like people who are healed from these diseases and regain the vitality they felt when they were young. People who examine themselves in the right way are like ships from Ophir completely filled with gold, silver, and precious stones; before they examined themselves, though, they were like barges loaded down with unclean freight, carting away the filth and excrement from city streets. . . .
  • When someone’s body can no longer perform its functions in the natural world in response to the thoughts and affections of its spirit (which it derives from the spiritual world), then we say that the individual has died. This happens when the lungs’ breathing and the heart’s systolic motion have ceased. The person, though, has not died at all. We are only separated from the physical nature that was useful to us in the world. The essential person is actually still alive. I say that the essential person is still alive because we are not people because of our bodies but because of our spirits. After all, it is the spirit within us that thinks, and thought and affection together make us the people we are. We can see, then, that when we die we simply move from one world into another. This is why in the inner meaning of the Bible, “death” means resurrection and a continuation of life.
  • Some people believe it is hard to lead the heaven-bound life that is called “spiritual” because they have heard that we need to renounce the world and give up the desires attributed to the body and the flesh and “live spiritually.” All they understand by this is spurning worldly interests, especially concerns for money and prestige, going around in constant devout meditation about God, salvation, and eternal life, devoting their lives to prayer, and reading the Word and religious literature. They think this is renouncing the world and living for the spirit and not for the flesh. However, the actual case is quite different, as I have learned from an abundance of experience and conversation with angels. In fact, people who renounce the world and live for the spirit in this fashion take on a mournful life for themselves, a life that is not open to heavenly joy, since our life does remain with us [after death]. No, if we would accept heaven’s life, we need by all means to live in the world and to participate in its duties and affairs. In this way, we accept a spiritual life by means of our moral and civic life; and there is no other way a spiritual life can be formed within us, no other way our spirits can be prepared for heaven. This is because living an inner life and not an outer life at the same time is like living in a house that has no foundation, that gradually either settles or develops gaping cracks or totters until it collapses.

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Quotes about Swedenborg

  • The real importance of Swedenborg lies in the doctrines he taught, which are the reverse of the gloom and hell-fire of other breakaway sects. He rejects the notion that Jesus died on the cross to atone for the sin of Adam, declaring that God is neither vindictive nor petty-minded, and that since he is God, he doesn’t need atonement. It is remarkable that this common-sense view had never struck earlier theologians. God is Divine Goodness, and Jesus is Divine Wisdom, and Goodness has to be approached through Wisdom. Whatever one thinks about the extraordinary claims of its founder, it must be acknowledged that there is something very beautiful and healthy about the Swedenborgian religion. Its founder may have not been a great occultist, but he was a great man. Colin Wilson
  • His rare science and practical skill, and the added fame of second sight and extraordinary religious knowledge and gifts, drew to him queens, nobles, clergy, ship-masters and people about the ports through which he was wont to pass in his many voyages. The clergy interfered a little with the importation and publication of his religious works, but he seems to have kept the friendship of men in power. He was never married. He had great modesty and gentleness of bearing. His habits were simple; he lived on bread, milk and vegetables; he lived in a house situated in a large garden… He is described…as a man of a quiet, clerical habit, not averse to tea and coffee, and kind to children… A colossal soul, he lies vast abroad on his times, uncomprehended by them, and requires a long focal distance to be seen; suggests, as Aristotle, Bacon, Selden, & Humboldt, that a certain vastness of learning, or quasi omnipresence of the human soul in nature, is possible. Ralph Waldo Emerson in Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • .. exaggerates the circumstance of marriage… and fancies a wiser choice in heaven. But of progressive souls, all loves and friendships are momentary. Do you love me? means, Do you see the same truth?… I know how delicious is this cup of love,—I existing for you, you existing for me; but it is a child’s clinging to his toy… For God is the bride or bridegroom of the soul. Heaven is not the pairing of two, but the communion of all souls. We meet, and dwell an instant under the temple of one thought, and part, as though we parted not, to join another thought in other fellowships of joy. So far from there being anything divine in the low and proprietary sense of Do you love me? It is only when you leave and lose me by casting yourself on a sentiment which is higher than both of us, that I draw near and find myself at your side; and I am repelled if you fix your eye on me and demand love. In fact, in the spiritual world we change sexes every moment. You love the worth in me… but it is not me, but the worth, that fixes the love; and that worth is a drop of the ocean of worth that is beyond me. Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Hafez (quotes)

Principles for living

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Love

  • Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.
  • We are People who need to love, because Love is the soul’s life, Love is simply creation’s greatest joy.
  • Let tenderness pour from your eyes, the way sun gazes warmly on earth.
  • Words have no language which can utter the secrets of love; and beyond the limits of expression is the expounding of desire.
  • The Earth would die if the sun stopped kissing her.
  • Oh, you who are trying to learn the marvel of Love through the copy book of reason, I’m very much afraid that you will never really see the point.
  • I once asked a bird, how is it that you fly in this gravity of darkness? She responded, ‘love lifts me.
  • The heart is a thousand-stringed instrument that can only be tuned with love.
  • Let’s get loose with Compassion. Let’s drown in the delicious ambience of Love.
  • What is the root of all these words? One thing: Love. But a love so deep and sweet it needed to express itself with scents, sounds, colors that never before existed.
  • Time is a factory where everyone slaves away earning enough love to break their own chains.
  • Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly and wants to rip to shreds all your erroneous notions of the truth that make you fight within yourself, dear one, and with others, causing the world to weep on too many fine days… The Beloved sometimes wants to do us a great favor: Hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.
  • Everyone, whether he is self-denying or self-indulgent, is seeking after the Beloved. Every place may be the shrine of love, whether it be mosque or synagogue.
  • The sun will stand as your best man and whistle when you have found the courage to marry forgiveness when you have found the courage to marry Love.
  • What is this precious love and laughter budding in our hearts? It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up!
  • When all your desires are distilled; You will cast just two votes: To love more and be happy.
  • The tide of my love has risen so high, let me flood over.
  • This sky where we live is no place to lose your wings so love, love, love.
  • One regret dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough.
  • Only a Perfect One who is always laughing at the word two can make you know of Love.
  • We don’t need sugar, flour or rice or anything else. We just want to see our dear ones.
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Love for God

  • God and I have built an immense fire together. We keep each other happy and warm.
  • When no one is looking, I swallow deserts and clouds and chew on mountains knowing they are sweet bones! When no one is looking and I want to kiss God, I just lift my own hand to my mouth.
  • Start seeing everything as God, but keep it a secret.
  • God disguised as myriad things, and playing a game of tag has kissed you and said, You’re it. I mean you’re really it. Now it does not matter what you believe or feel. For something wonderful, something major-league wonderful, is someday going to happen.
  • Your life within God’s arms, Your dance within God’s arms, Is already Perfect!
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Being an instrument for God

  • I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through. Listen to this music.
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Many religions, One God

  • I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew. The Truth has shared so much of Itself with me that I can no longer call myself a man, a woman, an angel, or even a pure Soul. Love has befriended me so completely it has turned to ash and freed me of every concept and image my mind has ever known.
  • I am in love with every church, and mosque, and temple, and any kind of shrine because I know it is there, that people say the different names, of the One God.
  • The great religions are the ships, Poets the life boats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.
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Prayer

  • I should not make any promises right now, but I know if you pray somewhere in this world, something good will happen.
  • For I have learned that every heart will get what it prays for most.
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Kindness

  • It happens all the time in heaven, and some day it will begin to happen again on earth – that men and women who are married, and men and men who are lovers, And women and women who give each other Light, often will get down on their knees and while so tenderly holding their lover’s hand, with tears in their eyes, will sincerely speak, saying, my dear, How can I be more loving to you; How can I be more kind?
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Friendship

  • Thou learnest no secret until thou knowest friendship, since to the unsound no heavenly knowledge enters.
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Listening

  • Speak but little, and that little only when thy own purposes require it. Heaven has given thee two ears but only one tongue, which means: listen to two things, but be not the first to propose one.
  • Everyone Is God speaking. Why not be polite and Listen to Him?
  • How do I listen to others? As if everyone were my master speaking to me his cherished last words.
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Self-love

  • Remember for just one minute of the day, it would be best to try looking upon yourself more as God does, for She knows your true royal nature.
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Happiness

  • Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.
  • I am happy even before I have a reason.
  • I caught the happy virus last night, when I was out singing beneath the stars. It is remarkably contagious – So kiss me.
  • When all your desires are distilled; You will cast just two votes: To love more and be happy.
  • Happiness is right in front of you.
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Aliveness

  • Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.
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Gratitude

  • Join me in the pure atmosphere of gratitude for life.
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Say “yes” to life

  • I rarely let the word NO escape from my mouth, because it is so plain to my soul that God has shouted, Yes! Yes! Yes! To every luminous movement in existence.
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Embrace the experience of life

  • We have come into this exquisite world to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light!
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Strength

  • Run my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings. Run like hell my dear, from anyone likely to put a sharp knife into the sacred, tender vision of your beautiful heart.
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Right speech

  • What we speak becomes the house we live in.
  • For a day, just for one day, talk about that which disturbs no one and bring some peace into those beautiful eyes.
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The heart

  • Be kind to your sleeping heart. Take it out into the vast fields of light…And let it breathe.
  • The heart is a thousand-stringed instrument that can only be tuned with love.
  • Carry your heart through this world like a life-giving sun.
  • Your heart and my heart are very, very old friends.
  • An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.
  • There are different wells within your heart. Some fill with each good rain, Others are far too deep for that.
  • Only heart to heart can speak the bliss of mystic knowers.
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Letting go of the past

  • What do sad people have in common? It seems they have all built a shrine to the past and often go there and do a strange wail and worship. What is the beginning of Happiness? It is to stop being so religious like that.
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Letting go of attachment to outcome

  • How seek the way which leadeth to our wishes? By renouncing our wishes. The crown of excellence is renunciation.
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Grace

  • Now is the time to know that all that you do is sacred… Now is the time for you to deeply compute the impossibility that there is anything but grace.
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Laughter

  • When you can make others laugh with jokes that belittle no one and your words always unite, Hafez will vote for you to be God.
  • Sing because this is a food our starving world needs. Laugh because that is the purest sound.
  • What is this precious love and laughter budding in our hearts? It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up!
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Courage

  • Come in, my dear from that harsh world that has rained elements of stone upon your tender face. Every soul should receive a toast from us for bravery!
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Truth

  • I have a thousand brilliant lies for the question: How are you? I have a thousand brilliant lies for the question: What is God? If you think that the Truth can be known from words; if you think that the Sun and the Ocean can pass through that tiny opening called the mouth, someone should start laughing!  Someone should start wildly laughing now!
  • The Truth has shared so much of Itself with me That I can no longer call myself A man, a woman, an angel, Or even pure Soul.
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Reality and illusion

  • Listen; this world is the lunatic’s sphere, Don’t always agree it’s real, even with my feet upon it and the postman knowing my door. My address is somewhere else.
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The divine order of the universe

  • This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.
  • It is written on the gate of heaven: Nothing in existence is more powerful than destiny. And destiny brought you here, to this page, which is part of your ticket-as all things are-to return to God.
  • Your life within God’s arms, your dance within God’s arms, is already Perfect!
  • The world is like an eye, a beard, a spot of beauty and eyebrow, where each thing is neatly in place.
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Surrender and acceptance

  • We have not come here to take prisoners but to surrender ever more deeply to freedom and joy.
  • Be content with what thou hast received, and smooth thy frowning forehead, for the door of choice is not open either to thee or me.
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Sacredness

  • Now is the time to know that all that you do is sacred.
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Hope

  • Come, for the house of hope is built on sand: bring wine, for the fabric of life is as weak as the wind.
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Awakening

  • What is this precious love and laughter budding in our hearts? It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up!
  • An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.
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Greatness

  • Greatness is always built on this foundation: the ability to appear, speak and act, as the most common man.
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Inner being

  • I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.  
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Fortune

  • Don’t be surprised at Fortune’s turns and twists: That wheel has spun a thousand yarns before.
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Mystery

  • Grieve not because thou understand-not life’s mystery; behind the veil is concealed many a delight.
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Beauty

  • How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all of its beauty? It felt the encouragement of Light against its being; otherwise we all remain too frightened.
  • The beauty of You delights me. The sight of You amazes me. For the Pearl does this… and the Ocean does that.
  • The world is a bride of surpassing beauty-but remember that this maiden is never bound to anyone.
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Things that can limit us

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Obstacles

  • You yourself are your own obstacle, rise above yourself.
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Worry

  • Now that all your worry has proved such an unlucrative business, why not find a better job?
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Fear

  • Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.
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Pleasure and addiction

  • Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins that may buy you just a moment of pleasure, But then drag you for days like a broken man behind a farting camel.
  • There is no pleasure without a tincture of bitterness.
  • Dear Ones, Beware of the tiny gods frightened men Create To bring anaesthetic relief to their sad days.
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Grief

  • Do not surrender your grief so quickly Let it cut more deeply Let it ferment and season you as few human or divine ingredients can Something is missing in my heart tonight That has made my eyes so soft and my voice so tender and my need of God so absolutely clear.
  • Grieve not; though the journey of life be bitter, and the end unseen, there is no road which does not lead to an end.
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Self-judgement

  • It is not easy to stop thinking ill of others. Usually one must enter into a friendship with a person who has accomplished that great feat himself. Then something might start to rub off on you of that true elegance.
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Loneliness

  • You ache with loneliness one night so much you weep and I say ‘here is a rope tie it around me Hafez will be your companion for life’.
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Thoughts on …

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Wine

  • Oh Cup-bearer, set my glass afire with the light of wine!
  • The only friends who are free from cares are the goblet of wine and a book. Give me wine…that I may for a time forget the cares of the world.
  • Come, for the house of hope is built on sand: bring wine, for the fabric of life is as weak as the wind.
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Art and poetry

  • True art awakens the Extraordinary Ovation.
  • A poet is someone who can pour light into a spoon, then raise it to nourish your beautiful parched, holy mouth.
  • The great religions are the ships, Poets the life boats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.
  • Art is the conversation between lovers. Art offers an opening for the heart. True art makes the divine silence in the soul Break into applause.
  • Art is, at last, the knowledge of where we are standing – where we are standing in this Wonderland. When we rip off all our clothes and this blind man’s patch, veil, that got tied across our brow.
  • Art is the conversation between lovers.
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More thoughts

  • Light will someday split you open.
  • Now is the time to understand That all your ideas of right and wrong Were just a child’s training wheels to be laid aside When you finally live with veracity and love.
  • On the holy boughs of the Celestial Tree High up in the heavenly fields, beyond terrestrial desire My soul-bird a warm nest has built.
  • On the neck of a young man sparkles no gem so gracious as enterprise.
  • People say that the soul, on hearing the song of creation, entered the body, but in reality the soul itself was the song.
  • Pulling out the chair beneath your mind and watching you fall upon God What else is there for Hafez to do that is any fun in this world!
  • The small man builds cages for everyone he knows While the sage, who has to duck his head when the moon is low, keeps dropping keys all night long for the beautiful rowdy prisoners.
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Rajneesh (quotes)

Principles for living

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Be yourself

  • Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that’s what maturity is all about.
  • Being is so significant that it is irreplaceable. You are just yourself. Do something that comes out of you—not to assert, but to express! Sing your song, dance your dance, rejoice in being whatever nature has chosen you to be.
  • Becoming whole is becoming authentic, becoming yourself – whosoever you are, whatsoever you are. Accept your limitations, accept your imperfections. That’s what it means to be a human being.
  • Just be yourself and remember you cannot be anything else, whatsoever you do. All effort is futile. You have to be just yourself.
  • Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost.
  • My whole teaching is: Just be what you are and don’t care a bit about the world. Then you will feel a tremendous relaxation and a deep peace within your heart. That is your original face, relaxed, without tensions, without pretensions, without hypocrisies, without the so- called disciplines of how you should behave.
  • One has just to be oneself. That’s my basic message. The moment you accept yourself as you are, all burdens, all mountainous burdens, simply disappear. Then life is a sheer joy, a festival of lights.
  • The freedom from something is not true freedom. The freedom to do anything you want to do is also not the freedom I am talking about. My vision of freedom is to be yourself.
  • You are being taught everything, but you are not being taught to be yourself. This is the ugliest form of society possible, because it makes everybody miserable.
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Reveal all of yourself

  • You have to drop all your defenses, only then is intimacy possible. We are all hiding a thousand and one things, not only from others but from ourselves.
  • Whatsoever you hide goes on growing, and whatsoever you expose, if it is wrong it disappears, evaporates in the sun, and if it is right it is nourished.
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Live your own life and the path where it leads

  • If you are clean inside, having no wounds of inferiority, then who cares what people expect of you? You have never fulfilled anybody’s expectations. You have been simply living your life according to your own insight, intuition, intelligence.
  • One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind.
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Creative expression

  • Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence.
  • Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things.
  • Destroying something, any idiot can do. Creating needs intelligence.
  • To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.
  • You become more divine as you become more creative. All the religions of the world have said God is the creator. I don’t know whether he is the creator or not, but one thing I know: the more creative you become, the more godly you become. When your creativity comes to a climax, when your whole life becomes creative, you live in God. So he must be the creator because people who have been creative have been closest to him. Love what you do. Be meditative while you are doing it – whatsoever it is!
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Live life as an art

  • A really spiritual person will live life as an art, will create a deep harmony between the body and the consciousness. And this is the greatest art there is. His life will be a joy to see.
  • You will find meaning in life only if you create it. It is a poetry to be composed. It is a song to be sung.  It is a dance to be danced.
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Love

  • A single moment of love is equal to the whole eternity of love.
  • Become loving. When you are in the embrace, become the embrace.  Become the kiss.  Forget yourself so totally that you can say, I am no more.  Only love exists.  Then the heart is not beating, but love is beating.  Then the blood is not circulating, but love is circulating.  Then eyes are not seeing, love is seeing.  Then hands are not moving to touch, love is moving to touch.  Become love and enter everlasting life.  
  • Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.
  • Falling in love you remain a child; rising in love you mature. By and by love becomes not a relationship, it becomes a state of your being. Not that you are in love – now you are love.
  • Giving love is the real beautiful experience, because then you are an emperor. Getting love is a very small experience. It is the experience of beggar.
  • I am not anti-life as other religions are. I am absolutely for life, and life in its essence means love.
  • I love, because my love is not dependent on the object of love. My love is dependent on my state of being. So whether the other person changes, becomes different, friend turns into a foe, does not matter, because my love was never dependent on the other person. My love is my state of being. I simply love.
  • If love can not keep you together, nothing else can keep you together. And if love cannot keep you together, than anything that can keep you together is dangerous.
  • If you live with love, through love, you will live a great life, because love makes everything great.
  • If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.
  • If you remain always far, love will die. If you remain always near, love will die. Love can survive only in a continuous flowing relationship.
  • In love the other is important; in lust you are important.
  • It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love, or how you love, it matters only that you love.
  • Love brings freedom. Loyalty brings slavery.
  • Love cannot be taught, it can only be caught.
  • Love in its purest form is a sharing of joy. It asks nothing in return, it expects nothing. Love is a spiritual phenomenon; lust is physical. Ego is psychological; love is spiritual.
  • Love is a bird and it loves to be free. It needs the whole sky to grow.
  • Love is a wine; you have to taste it, you have to drink it, you have to become drunk with it, only then do you know what it is.
  • Love is authentic only when it gives freedom. Love is true only when it respects the other person’s individuality, his privacy.
  • Love is happy when it is able to give something. The ego is happy when it is able to take something.
  • Love is just like a breeze: it comes, but you should not close your doors to keep the breeze inside.
  • Love is not manageable, it is simply something that happens, and the moment you try to manage it everything misfire.
  • Love is the goal, life is the journey.
  • Love is the ultimate, the end. You love for love’s own sake. It is not a means to anything else, it is its own end.
  • Love is true only when it does not interfere in the privacy of the other person. It respects his individuality, his privacy.
  • Love is true only when it is spontaneous, unplanned, unpracticed, uncultivated, un-thought.
  • Love is ultimate, the highest health, because love makes one whole. When you love a master by and by you completely forgot about love.
  • Love knows how to forgive. Love cannot hurt and cannot be violent.
  • Love lives in waiting – dies in meeting, becomes ordinary.
  • Love means the art of being with others. Meditation means the art of being with yourself. Both are two aspects of the same coin.
  • Love needs two things: it has to be rooted in freedom and it has to know the art of trust.
  • Love never dies through separation, never. If it dies at all, it dies through too much togetherness; never by separation.
  • Love so much that the song arises in your being — the song of gratitude. Be grateful and sing the song of gratitude so that you can become more and more capable of love.
  • Lovers are mirrors to each other. Love makes you aware of your original face.
  • Lovers, the followers of the path of love, make love their undercurrent. They eat, but they eat with love. They walk, but they walk with love — because the earth is holy ground. They sit under a tree; they sit with love — because the tree is divine. They look at somebody; they look with love — because there also is divinity. Everywhere they see their beloved, in each movement they remember their beloved. It becomes their constant remembrance.
  • Real love is not an escape from loneliness, real love is an overflowing aloneness. One is so happy in being alone that one would like to share.
  • Real love makes you more of an individual. It does not efface your individuality, it gives you individuality. Real love is very respectful.
  • Millions of people are suffering: they want to be loved but they don’t know how to love. And love cannot exist as a monologue; it is a dialogue, a very harmonious dialogue.
  • Once I was on a journey and someone asked me which word in a man’s vocabulary was the most valuable. My reply was, Love.
  • People say love is blind because they do not know what love is, I say unto you, only love has eyes; other than love everything is blind.
  • These are the only two real emotions and love. If you don’t love, you will be in fear. If you are in fear, you cannot love. If you love, fear is impossible.
  • When you love, love as if the person is a god, not less than that. Never love a woman as a woman and never love a man as a man.
  • Whenever you plan for love, whenever deliberateness enters into it it becomes phony and false.
  • You cannot think about love. Either you can love, or you cannot, but you cannot think about it.
  • You will find your way to the object you love, so be very cautious about your object of love because that is going to decide your destiny. Your love is your destiny. Love something superb; love something of the supra-existence; love something of the divine, and you will find your way.
  • Your real being only flowers with unconditional love. Ambition is against love. Anything that is against love is against you and your real life.
  • The society is ill; individuals are victims. Society needs therapy; individuals simply need love. The society is the patient and needs hospitalization.
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Love in relationships

  • Love in itself, or just having a relationship with someone, is not going to give you happiness, unless you bring happiness with you.
  • Even if they can find a lover they demand perfection, and the love is destroyed because of that demand.
  • If you love a person, you accept the total person. With all the defects. Because those defects are a part of the person. Never try to change a person you love, because the very effort to change says that you love half, and the other half of the person is not accepted. When you love, you simply love.
  • Love can never possess. Love is giving freedom to the other. Love is an unconditional gift, it is not a bargain.
  • Love the person, but give the person total freedom. Love the person, but from the very beginning make it clear that you are not selling your freedom.
  • Never try to change a person you love, because the very effort to change says that you love half, and the other half of the person is not accepted.
  • No relationship can truly grow if you go on holding back. If you remain clever and go on safeguarding and protecting yourself, only personalities meet, and the essential centers remain alone. Then only your mask is related, not you. Whenever such a thing happens, there are four persons in the relationship, not two. Two false persons go on meeting, and the two real persons remain worlds apart.
  • So the second thing to remember is never to demand perfection. You have no right to demand anything from anybody. If somebody loves you, be thankful, but don’t demand anything—because the other has no obligation to love you.
  • The ultimate state of love is freedom, absolute freedom, and any relationship that destroys freedom is not worthwhile.
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Self-love

  • If you cannot love yourself, you don’t know even the taste of love or what love means.
  • I also teach you to love yourself first. It has nothing to do with ego. In fact, love is such a light that the darkness of the ego cannot exist in it at all. If you love others, if your love is focused on others, you will live in darkness. Turn your light toward yourself first, become a light unto yourself first. Let the light dispel your inner darkness, your inner weakness. Let love make you a tremendous power, a spiritual force.
  • If you cannot enjoy your own company, who else is going to enjoy it?
  • If you love yourself, you love others. If you hate yourself, you hate others. In relationship with others, it is only you mirrored.
  • Love and respect yourself and never compromise for anything. And then you will be surprised how much growth starts happening of its own accord.. as if rocks have been removed and the river has started flowing.
  • Respect your life. Out of that respect you will start respecting life in others.
  • Respect your uniqueness, and drop comparison. Relax into your being.
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Self-acceptance

  • Accept yourself as you are. And that is the most difficult thing in the world, because it goes against your training, education, your culture.
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The beauty of imperfection

  • I love this world because it is imperfect. It is imperfect, and that’s why it is growing; if it was perfect it would have been dead. Growth is possible only if there is imperfection. I would like you to remember again and again, I am imperfect, the whole universe is imperfect, and to love this imperfection, to rejoice in this imperfection is my whole message.
  • Perfect people don’t exist. And perfect people, if they existed, would be very boring. It is imperfection that keeps life interesting.
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Self-worth

  • Just see how much respect God has paid to you. You are a masterpiece – unrepeatable, incomparable, utterly unique.
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Embrace your uniqueness

  • Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique, incomparable. You are you, I am I. I have to contribute my potential to life; you have to contribute your potential to life. I have to discover my own being; you have to discover your own being.
  • Respect your uniqueness, and drop comparison. Relax into your being.
  • There has never been a person like you before, there is nobody else like you right now in the whole world, and there will never be anybody like you.
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Self-acceptance

  • My whole love and respect is for the person who accepts himself totally, as he is. He has courage. He has courage to face the whole pressure of the society which is bent upon splitting him into divisions – into good and bad, into saint and sinner. He is really a brave, courageous being who stands against the whole history of man, of morality, and declares to the skies his reality, whatever it is.
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Work with love

  • If you work without love, you are working like a slave. When you work with love, you work like an emperor. Your work is your joy, your work is your dance.
  • If you clean the floor with love, you have done an invisible painting. Live each moment in such delight that it gives you something inner.
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Making a difference

  • Help the world to become better. Don’t leave the world just the same as you have found it – make it a little better, make it a little more beautiful.
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Happiness

  • Happiness is an art that one has to learn. It has nothing to do with your doing or not doing.
  • Happiness is not conditional; nothing is needed to be happy. Only to be alive is needed — and that you are, you already are.
  • Instead of pleasing, learn the art of happiness.
  • Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy.  Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance.  Look at the flowers – for no reason.  It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.
  • You can become happy just by deciding to be happy.
  • Your heaven and your happiness is always somewhere else; it is never where you are. Real happiness is always HERE, it is always NOW.
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Joy and bliss

  • Always remember to judge everything by your inner feeling of bliss.
  • If you are sad you are wrong; if you are joyful you are right.
  • In relationship be blissful, in alone-ness be aware, and they will help each other, like two wings of a bird.
  • Joy is not dependent on circumstances; it is your own. It is not a titillation produced by things; it is a state of peace, of silence- a meditative state. It is spiritual.
  • The experience of bliss will give you an insight into the very phenomenon of beauty. Not only does it make you beautiful, it suddenly transforms the whole world. The whole world becomes beautiful because the world reflects you, it is a mirror.
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Embrace life

  • The real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death.
  • Don’t postpone anything beautiful for tomorrow. Live intensely, live totally, here and now.
  • Experience life in all possible ways — good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light, summer-winter. Experience all the dualities. Don’t be afraid of experience, because the more experience you have, the more mature you become.
  • I live my life based on 2 principles. One, I live as if today was my last day on earth. Two, I live today as if I am going to live forever.
  • Be a drunkard, drunk with life, with the wine of existence. Don’t remain sober. The sober person remains dead.
  • Life is not a problem. To look at it as a problem is to take a wrong step. It is a mystery to be lived, loved, experienced.
  • Life is a mystery, and there is nothing to explain. Everything is just open, it is in front of you. Encounter it! Meet it! Be courageous!
  • Life is not given to you to murder, to destroy. Life has been given to you to create, and to rejoice, and to celebrate.
  • Life is not logic, life is not philosophy. Life is a dance, a song, a celebration! It is more like love and less like logic.
  • Never sacrifice your life for anything! Sacrifice everything for life! Life is the ultimate goal.
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Celebrate and appreciate life

  • Celebration is my attitude, unconditional to what life brings.
  • I love life. That’s why I give teachings of celebration, celebrate everything. From body to soul, physical to spiritual, sex to superconsciousness, everything is divine for me.
  • Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated!
  • Life is not given to you to murder, to destroy. Life has been given to you to create, and to rejoice, and to celebrate.
  • Respect life, revere life. There is nothing more holy than life, nothing more divine than life.
  • Take hold of your own life. See that the whole existence is celebrating. These trees are not serious, these birds are not serious. The rivers and the oceans are wild, and everywhere there is fun, everywhere there is joy and delight. Watch existence, listen to the existence and become part of it.
  • We have to change this world by celebrating, by dancing, by singing, by music, by meditation, by love, not by struggle.
  • If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.
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Freedom

  • Freedom is our most precious treasure. Don’t lose it for anything.
  • Freedom is a ladder: one side of the ladder reaches hell, the other side touches heaven. It is the same ladder; the choice is yours.
  • It cannot be called freedom, a freedom which can choose only the right and not the wrong; then that is not freedom.
  • Love brings freedom. Loyalty brings slavery.
  • People love freedom – but nobody wants responsibility. And they come together, they are inseparable.
  • The freedom from something is not true freedom. The freedom to do anything you want to do is also not the freedom I am talking about. My vision of freedom is to be yourself.
  • The greatest freedom is to be free of one’s own mind.
  • The person who can be happy alone is really an individual. If your happiness depends on the other, you are a slave; you are not yet free, you are in bondage.
  • The ultimate state of love is freedom, absolute freedom, and any relationship that destroys freedom is not worthwhile.
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Meaning

  • Life has no meaning. Rejoice! It has no meaning. Dance, sing, enjoy! It has no meaning. You need not be serious. It is a cosmic joke.
  • Life in itself has no meaning. Life is an opportunity to create meaning.
  • Life in itself is so beautiful that to ask the question of the meaning of life is simply nonsense.
  • Life is a purposeless play, a play of infinite forces-beautiful if you don’t have an achiever’s mind, ugly if you have ambition to become something.
  • The people who ask what is the meaning of life are the people who have missed life, who are alive because they are still breathing; otherwise they are dead.
  • You will find meaning in life only if you create it. It is a poetry to be composed. It is a song to be sung.  It is a dance to be danced.
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Purpose

  • Each person comes into this world with a specific destiny – he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally – you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The whole intends to do something through you.
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God within

  • God cannot be an object. It is the deepest depth of your own being. How can you see it.
  • God is your very being. So the first thing is, don’t think about enlightenment as a goal.
  • Don’t look for God in the sky; look within your own body.
  • The moment you die consciously, in meditation, God is born – because you disappear as an ego. Then what is left? A stillness, a tremendously potential stillness, a silence that is pregnant – pregnant with the whole. When you disappear, boundaries disappear. You melt and merge with everybody else.
  • You are gods who have forgotten who they are.
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Inner wisdom

  • Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way.
  • Never obey anyone’s command unless it is coming from within you also.
  • You just listen to your own heart – that is your only teacher. In the real journey of life, your own intuition is your only teacher.
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Think for yourself

  • Intelligence is dangerous. Intelligence means you will start thinking on your own; you will start looking around on your own. You will not believe in the scriptures; you will believe only in your own experience.
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Surrender

  • Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by God’s decree.
  • Linguistically, surrender means surrender to somebody, but spiritually surrender simply means trust, relaxing. It is an attitude rather than an act, you live through trust.
  • The ultimate meditation is surrender to reality. The more you fight, the more you are in conflict with it, the more you will be a loser. In deep surrender, the ego disappears. And when the ego is not there, for the first time you become aware of that which has always been there.
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Trust

  • If you want to learn anything, learn trust – nothing else is needed. If you are miserable, nothing else will help – learn trust. If you don’t feel any meaning in life and you feel meaningless, nothing will help – learn trust. Trust gives meaning because trust makes you capable of allowing the whole descend upon you.
  • The person who trusts can relax into existence. The person who cannot trust remains tense, remains anxious, afraid.
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Inner peace

  • If you really want peace on earth, create peace in your heart, in your being. That is the right place to begin with and then spread.
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Calmness, relaxation and letting go of effort

  • Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand–relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it.
  • Life is not a tension anywhere except in the minds of humanity.
  • The existence loves you, otherwise you would not be here. Relax into your being, you are cherished by the whole.
  • Take it easy, and remember easy is right.
  • Zen is not effort. Effort is tension, effort is work, effort is to achieve something. Zen is not something to achieve. You are already that. Just relax, relax so deeply that you become a revelation to yourself.
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Living in the present

  • Intelligence is the capacity to be in the present. The more you are in the past or are in the future, the less intelligent you are. Intelligence is the capacity to be here-now, to be in this moment and nowhere else. Then you are awake.
  • NOW is the only reality – all else is either memory or imagination.
  • Once you have tasted the juice of the present, you don’t care about dangers. Once you are in tune with life then nothing matter. Life all there is.
  • That is the simple secret of happiness. Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind; don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet. To live in the memories, to live in the imagination, is to live in the non-existential. And when you are living in the non-existential, you are missing that which is existential. Naturally you will be miserable, because you will miss your whole life.
  • Fools are more healthy then the so-called wise. Thy live in the moment and they know that thy are fools, so thy are not worried about what others think about them.
  • Tomorrow-drop that word from your vocabulary! Tomorrow does not exist, it cannot exist: it is not in the nature of things. Only this day exists.
  • Tomorrow never comes, it is always today.
  • You are daydreaming about the future because you have not tasted the present. Start tasting the present. Find out a few moments where you are simply delighting. Looking at the trees, just be the look. Listening to the birds, just be a listening ear. Let them reach to your deepest core. Let their song spread all over your being.
  • Your heaven and your happiness is always somewhere else; it is never where you are. Real happiness is always HERE, it is always NOW.
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Letting go of the past

  • A person who lives moment to moment, who goes on dying to the past, is never attached to anything. Attachment comes from the accumulated past. If you can be unattached to the past every moment, then you are always fresh, young, just born. You pulsate with life and that pulsation gives you immortality. You are immortal, only unaware of the fact. Osho  
  • Don´t be unnecessarily burdened by the past. Go on closing the chapters that you have read; there is no need to go back again and again.
  • Die each moment so that you are renewed each moment.
  • There is only one courage and that is the courage to go on dying to the past, not to collect it, not to accumulate it, not to cling to it.
  • We all cling to the past and because we cling to the past we become unavailable to the present.
  • Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind; don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet.
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Awareness

  • Meditation means awareness. Whatsoever you do with awareness is meditation.
  • Awareness functions almost like magic.
  • Awareness is the greatest alchemy there is. Just go on becoming more and more aware. You will find your life changing for the better in every possible dimension. It will bring great fulfilment.
  • Awareness without love is too cold. Love without awareness is too hot. The middle way is slowly showing itself as we wear out all our extremes from having had the nerve to experiment.
  • Darkness is an absence of light. Ego is an absence of awareness.
  • Desire disappears as you become more and more aware. When awareness is one hundred percent, there is no desire at all.
  • Doing brings ego. Ego is the shadow of action. And there is only one thing that is not-doing, and that is awareness, watchfulness.
  • Once your awareness becomes a flame, it burns up the whole slavery that the mind has created.
  • Remember one thing: meditation means awareness. Whatsoever you do with awareness is meditation. Action is not the question, but the quality that you bring to your action. Walking can be a meditation if you walk alertly. Sitting can be a meditation if you listen with awareness. Just listening to the inner noise of your mind can be a meditation if you remain alert and watchful.
  • Life repeats itself mindlessly — unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel.
  • Be ordinary but bring a quality of awareness to your ordinary life. Bring God to your ordinary life. Sleep, eat, love, pray, meditate, but don’t think that you are making or doing something special—and then you will be special.
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Being

  • A mature mind is one who understands the impossibility of knowing the ultimate, and with this understanding there is a new dimension: the dimension of being.
  • Don’t try to become. Within these two words, be and becoming, your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance.
  • Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.
  • Let those who want, come to the well of your being, to your silence.
  • The existence loves you, otherwise you would not be here. Relax into your being, you are cherished by the whole.
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Being the witness

  • Attachment is the food for the mind to continue. Non-attached witnessing is the way to stop it without any effort to stop it. And when you start enjoying those blissful moments, your capacity to retain them for longer periods arises.
  • I’m simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I’m saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you. Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes. It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say this is good, this is bad, you have already jumped onto the thought process.  It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise, that you are not the mind, that you are the witness, a watcher.   And this process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty.  That’s the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment that you become for the first time an unconditioned, sane, really free human being.
  • Sadness comes, joy comes, and everything passes by. What remains always is the witness. The witness is beyond all polarities.
  • Witness that you are not the body. Witness that you are not the mind. Witness that you are only the witness.
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Mind and no-mind

  • Mind is repetitive, mind always moves in circles. Mind is a mechanism: you feed it with knowledge, it repeats the same knowledge, it goes on chewing the same knowledge again and again. No-mind is clarity, purity, innocence. No- mind is the real way to live, the real way to know, the real way to be.
  • Mind is the illusion that which is not but appears, and appears so much that you think that you are the mind.
  • Mind: A beautiful servant, a dangerous master.
  • No thought, no mind, no choice — just being silent, rooted in yourself.
  • Paradise is within you, in your state of no-mind. And hell is also within you, in your very mind.
  • The first thing to remember is how to drop thoughts and become thoughtless — thoughtless but alert.
  • The greatest freedom is to be free of one’s own mind.
  • Thoughts are shadows, don’t fight with them.
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Perceive without labelling

  • Thoughts can create such a barrier that even if you are standing before a beautiful flower, you will not be able to see it. Your eyes are covered with layers of thought. To experience the beauty of the flower you have to be in a state of meditation, not in a state of mentation. You have to be silent, utterly silent, not even a flicker of thought – and the beauty explodes, reaches to you from all directions. You are drowned in the beauty of a sunrise, of a starry night, of beautiful trees.
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Go inwards

  • Go inwards. Find your inner space, and suddenly, you will find an explosion of light, of beauty, of ecstasy – as if suddenly thousands of roses have blossomed within you and you are full of their fragrance.
  • Find ecstasy within yourself. It is not out there. It is in your innermost flowering. The one you are looking for is you.
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Silence

  • Only silence communicates the truth as it is.
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Meditation

  • Intelligence comes from meditation, intelligence comes from rebellion, intelligence does not come from memory.
  • Meditation is the way to stop the very idea of time as flux. Meditation is a total stillness. Nothing moves.
  • Meditation means awareness. Whatsoever you do with awareness is meditation.
  • Love means the art of being with others. Meditation means the art of being with yourself. Both are two aspects of the same coin.
  • Dropping the mask and bringing out your original face is the whole alchemy of meditation.
  • My meditation is simple. It does not require any complex practices. It is simple. It is singing. It is dancing. It is sitting silently
  • Not going anywhere is meditation, just being where you are; there is no other “where” – just being there where you are, just occupying only that space where you are.
  • Our mind is a constant traffic of thoughts, and it is always rush hour, day in, day out. Meditation means to watch the movement of thoughts in the mind.
  • To be alone and to be drunk with your own aloneness is what meditation is all about.
  • The meditation I am talking about is not a meditation on something. If you light a lamp and remove all the objects surrounding it, the lamp will still go on giving light. In the same way, if you remove all objects from your consciousness, all thoughts, all imagination, what will happen? – only consciousness will remain.
  • You exist in time, but you belong to   You are a penetration of eternity into the world of time.  You are  deathless, living in a body of death- Your consciousness knows no death, no  birth. It is only your body that is born and dies.  But you are not aware of  your consciousness.  You are not conscious of your consciousness.  And that is the whole art of meditation; becoming conscious of consciousness itself.
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Aloneness

  • It is beautiful to be alone, it is also beautiful to to be in love, to be with people. And they are complementary, not contradictory.
  • Relationship is the need of those who cannot be alone. Two alone persons relate, communicate, commune, and yet they remain alone.
  • The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person–without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.
  • The person who can be happy alone is really an individual. If your happiness depends on the other, you are a slave; you are not yet free, you are in bondage.
  • To be alone and to be drunk with your own aloneness is what meditation is all about.
  • To me spirituality needs an honest individuality. It does not allow any kind of dependence. It creates a freedom for itself, whatever the cost. It is never in the crowd but alone, because the crowd has never found any truth. The truth has been found only in people’s aloneness.
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Truth

  • A borrowed truth is the greatest lie in the world. Truth can only be true when it is based on your own experience, utterly your own experience.
  • Only silence communicates the truth as it is.
  • The real can be known only through the illusion. You cannot know the truth directly. First you have to know that which is not true. First you have to encounter the untrue. Through that encounter you become capable of knowing the truth. If you know the false as the false, truth will dawn upon you.
  • When it comes to deciding between your love and your truth, truth has to be the decisive factor.
  • Remember it is not only you who are seeking truth – truth is also seeking you.
  • Truth is not something outside to be discovered, it is something inside to be realized.
  • Truth is not to be found outside. No teacher, no scripture can give it to you. It is inside you and if you wish to attain it, seek your own company. Be with yourself.
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Self-discovery and knowledge

  • Discover yourself, otherwise you have to depend on other people’s opinions who don’t know themselves.
  • Your whole idea about yourself is borrowed.
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Knowing and not needing to know

  • All your knowledge is dust. Knowing is your purity, knowledge is dust.
  • Don’t go on with borrowed knowledge. Otherwise you will forget that you are ignorant, and you will remain ignorant.
  • Don’t try to understand life. Live it! Don’t try to understand love. Move into love. Then you will know and that knowing will come out of your experiencing.
  • Accept the fact that we are strangers; that we don´t know who you are, that you don´t know who I am. I myself don´t know who I am, so how can you know?
  • It is better to be ignorant; at least the ignorance is yours. It is authentic, it is real, sincere and honest!
  • Knowledge is borrowed; knowing is yours, your own. It is authentic knowledge is information, knowing is transformation.
  • Life is a mystery, and there is nothing to explain. Everything is just open, it is in front of you. Encounter it! Meet it! Be courageous!
  • The less people know, the more stubbornly they know it.
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Potential

  • The only authentic responsibility is towards your own potential. Values have not to be imposed on you. They should grow with your awareness, in you.
  • When I say that you are Gods and Goddesses I mean that your possibility is infinite, your potentiality is infinite.
  • When the potential becomes the actual, only then is man fulfilled.
  • You need either to create something or to discover something. Either bring your potential to actuality or go inwards to find yourself, but do something with your freedom.
  • Man is born only as a potential. He can become a thorn for himself and for others, he can also become a flower for himself and for others.
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Growth

  • You will come closer and closer to perfection, but you will never be perfect. Perfection is not the way of existence. Growth is the way.
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Evolution

  • Man is not born perfect. He is born as a process. He has to seek and search and explore. He has to become, because his being arises only through becoming. Becoming is his being. He can only be if he is on the move. Evolution is intrinsic to man’s nature, evolution is his very soul. And those who take themselves for granted remain unfulfilled. Those who think they are born complete remain unevolved. Then the seed remains the seed. It never becomes a tree and never knows the joys of spring and the sunshine and the rain, and the ecstasy of bursting into millions of flowers. That explosion is the fulfilment, that explosion is what existence is all about—exploding into millions of flowers. When the potential becomes the actual, only then is man fulfilled.
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Change

  • If we want to change the society, we have to change the individual.
  • You can go on changing the outer for lives and you will never be satisfied. Unless the inner changes, the outer can never be perfect.
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Learning

  • It’s not a question of learning much. On the contrary.It’s a question of UNLEARNING much.
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Balance

  • The greatest art is to attain a balance, a balance between all opposites, a balance between all polarities. Imbalance is the disease and balance is health. Imbalance is neurosis, and balance is well-being.
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Self-discipline

  • All true discipline is self-discipline. And self-discipline is never against freedom—in fact, it is the ladder to freedom. Only disciplined people become free, but their discipline is not obedience to others: their discipline is obedience to their own voice. And they are ready to risk anything for it.
  • What is discipline? Discipline means creating an order within you. As you are, you are a chaos.
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Experimentation

  • Intelligence never grows by imitation: Intelligence grows by experimentation. Intelligence grows by taking challenges.
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Dance

  • Anywhere everywhere! Anything anyhow! just dance!
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Playfulness

  • Take life easily, lovingly, playfully, non-seriously. Seriousness is a disease, the greatest disease of the soul and playfulness the greatest health.
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Responsibility

  • Nobody is responsible except you. Nobody can make you angry, and nobody can make you happy.
  • People can live tremendously rich, blissful, ecstatic lives. But the first thing is, we have to accept our responsibility.
  • People love freedom – but nobody wants responsibility. And they come together, they are inseparable.
  • You feel good, you feel bad, and these feelings are bubbling from your own unconsciousness, from your own past. Nobody is responsible except you. Nobody can make you angry, and nobody can make you happy.
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Friendship

  • Friendship is a relationship, friendliness is a state of your being. You are simply friendly; to whom, that is not the point. . .
  • Friendship is the purest love. It is the highest form of Love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving.
  • Never ask, Who is my real friend? Ask, Am I a real friend to somebody? That is the right question. Always be concerned with yourself.
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Focus

  • Nobody has the power to take two steps together; you can take only one step at a time.
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Laughter

  • Only laughter makes a man rich, but the laughter has to be blissful.
  • Don’t be serious about seriousness. Laugh about it, be a little foolish.
  • One just needs a little alertness to see and find out: Life is really a great cosmic laughter.
  • Peace has to dance and silence has to sing. And unless your innermost realization becomes a laughter, something is still lacking. Something still has to be done.
  • The whole play of existence is so beautiful that laughter can be the only response to it. Only laughter can be the real prayer, gratitude.
  • When you really laugh for those few moments you are in a deep meditative state. Thinking stops. It is impossible to laugh and think together.
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The sacredness of the ordinary

  • Zen is not bothered about anything superhuman; its whole concern is how to make ordinary life a blessing.
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Embrace life as a game

  • This world is just a game. Winners lose and losers win the game is still the same. This life is just a play. Those who say dont know and those who know dont say.
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Feel more

  • Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more.
  • Whatever you feel, you become. It is your responsibility.
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Courage

  • Bravery does not mean being fearless. It means to be full of fear but still not being dominated by it.
  • Courage is a love affair with the unknown.
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Immerse yourself in what you do

  • It is not a question of which part you follow, it is a question of whether you go totally into it or not. To be total in your action brings joy. Even an ordinary, trivial action done with total intensity brings a glow to your being, a fulfillment, a fullness, a deep contentment. And anything done halfheartedly, however good the thing may be, is going to bring misery.
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Do what you love

  • It is not a question of money, power, and prestige; it is a question of what intrinsically you want to do. Do it, irrespective of the results, and your boredom will disappear.
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Giving

  • Forget about getting, simply give; and I guarantee you, you will get much.
  • Love is happy when it is able to give something. The ego is happy when it is able to take something.
  • Sharing is the most precious religious experience. Sharing is good.
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The world is a mirror to what we are inside

  • Life is a mirror, it reflects your face. Be friendly, and all of life will reflect friendliness.
  • When you are different the whole world is different. It is not a question of creating a different world. It is only a question of creating a different you.
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Patience

  • Don’t be so short of trust, and don’t be in a hurry. If I say something, wait, search, and you will find the way.
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You are not the body

  • Much is being missed because of fear. We are too attached to the body and we go on creating more and more fear because of that attachment. The body is going to die, the body is part of death, the body is death — but you are beyond the body. You are not the body; you are the bodiless. Remember it. Realize it. Awaken yourself to this truth — that you are beyond the body. You are the witness, the seer.
  • Witness that you are not the body. Witness that you are not the mind. Witness that you are only the witness.
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The sacredness of the body

  • The body has to be looked after: one has to be very caring about the body and very loving to the body.  And then, its very spontaneity purifies it, makes it holy.
  • Don’t look for God in the sky; look within your own body.
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Principles

  • No dead principles can help, but only living consciousness. Be absolutely unprincipled and just follow life.
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Human challenges and shortcomings

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The need for comfort

  • A comfortable, convenient life is not a real life – the more comfortable, the less alive. The most comfortable life is in the grave.
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Fear

  • Don’t pay much attention to fear, because that is dangerous. If you pay much attention to fear you are feeding it, and it will grow.
  • Man is always exploited through fear.
  • These are the only two real emotions and love. If you don’t love, you will be in fear. If you are in fear, you cannot love. If you love, fear is impossible.
  • Wherever you are afraid, try to explore, and you will find death hiding somewhere behind. All fear is of death. Death is the only fear source.
  • You have to face your fear. And do the same with anger, do the same with jealousy, do the same with hatred. And a significant point to remember is: if you witness anything—fear, anger, hate—if you simply watch them as they arise, without any judgment or condemnation, they will disappear, leaving a tremendous amount of energy that you can use for creativity.
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The fear of death

  • Wherever you feel death, feel it. Don’t escape. Death is beautiful; death is the greatest mystery, more mysterious than life.
  • Wherever you are afraid, try to explore, and you will find death hiding somewhere behind. All fear is of death. Death is the only fear source.
  • Whoever may have died right now, each death is your death, because each death is a reminder that you are not going to be here forever.
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Illusion

  • With me, illusions are bound to be shattered. I am here to shatter all illusions. Yes, it will irritate you, it will annoy you – that’s my way of functioning and working. I will sabotage you from your very roots! Unless you are totally destroyed as a mind, there is no hope for you.
  • Mind is the illusion that which is not but appears, and appears so much that you think that you are the mind.
  • The real can be known only through the illusion. You cannot know the truth directly. First you have to know that which is not true. First you have to encounter the untrue. Through that encounter you become capable of knowing the truth. If you know the false as the false, truth will dawn upon you.
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Comparing

  • Drop comparing and life is really beautiful. Drop comparing and you can enjoy life to the full.
  • From the very beginning you are being told to compare yourself with others. This is the greatest disease; it is like a cancer that goes on destroying your very soul because each individual is unique, and comparison is not possible. I am just myself and you are just yourself. There is nobody else in the world you can be compared with.
  • One who thinks in terms of superiority will always remain inferior because these are two aspects of the same coin.
  • Only people suffering from inferiority complex want to impress others. A really superior person never compares himself with anybody else.
  • To be a happy person, one has to drop all comparison. Drop all these stupid ideas of being superior and inferior. You are neither superior nor inferior. You are simply yourself! There exists no one like you, no one with whom you can be compared. Then, suddenly, you are at home.
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Worry

  • We remain unnecessarily worried. All worries are futile because that which is going to happen is going to happen.
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Choice

  • To choose is to choose a prison; to choose is to choose a bondage. To choose is wrong, to be choiceless is to be right.
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Problems

  • This very moment you can drop all problems because they are your creation.
  • You are a great problem-creator. Just understand this and suddenly problems disappear.
  • You don’t have any problems. Only this much has to be understood. This very moment you can drop all problems because they are your creations.
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Pain and suffering

  • Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you. You’ll see that no one else other than you was responsible. The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival.
  • To avoid pain, they avoid pleasure. To avoid death, they avoid life.
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Attachment

  • All of our miseries are nothing but attachment. Our whole ignorance and darkness is a strange combination of a thousand and one attachments. And we are attached to things which will be taken away by the time of death, or even perhaps before. You may be very much attached to money but you can go bankrupt tomorrow. You may be very much attached to your power and position… but they are like soap bubbles. Today they are here, tomorrow not even a trace will be left.  
  • Be aware – deep down you are really attached to your negative emotions. They are your ego.
  • Don’t cling to anything. Clinging is the cause of our being unconscious.
  • Drop the idea that attachment and love are one thing. They are enemies. It is attachment that destroys all love.
  • Misery is nothing but the shadow of attachment. And hence all stagnancy. The attached person becomes a stagnant pool — sooner or later he will stink. He flows no more.
  • One day you will disappear on a funeral pyre – just into nothingness, as smoke. Don’t get attached to anything.
  • Remember: no attachment should grow, no clinging should grow. They are all against your independence, your freedom, your individuality.
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Ego

  • Misery nourishes your ego — that’s why you see so many miserable people in the world. The basic, central point is the ego.
  • Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever people say is about themselves. But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center. That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people are saying about you.
  • The ego exists because we go on pedalling desire, because we go on striving to get something, because we go on jumping ahead of ourselves.
  • The ego is an island in the ocean of Hell. You want to get rid of the Hell but you don’t want to get rid of that island. Then there is trouble.
  • The ego is just a useful fiction. Use it, but don’t be deceived by it.
  • The moment you drop the search, you drop the ego also.
  • When your ego is no more, only then will you know who you are.
  • In the East, all the religions preach egolessness. So in the East, everybody is against the ego from the very beginning.
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Mistakes

  • Commit as many mistakes as possible, remembering only one thing: don’t commit the same mistake again. And you will be growing.
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Possessiveness

  • Possessiveness destroys love. And they should not be possessed, because that again destroys your love.
  • People are not things, you cannot have ownership.
  • The person who enjoys his life has no desire to possess, because he knows the real things of life which are worth enjoying cannot be purchased.
  • To possess anything is to be possessed by it. The more you possess, the more slavery you create around yourself.
  • Whatsoever you possess will not give you contentment. The mind, the ego, will always feel unfulfilled.
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Excessive seriousness

  • Don’t be serious about seriousness. Laugh about it, be a little foolish. Don’t condemn foolishness; it has its own beauties.
  • Just look at life with more playful eyes. Don’t be serious. Seriousness becomes like a blindness. Don’t pretend to be a thinker, a philosopher. Just simply be a human being.
  • A serious person can never be innocent, and one who is innocent can never be serious.
  • Take life easily, lovingly, playfully, non-seriously. Seriousness is a disease, the greatest disease of the soul and playfulness the greatest health.
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Desire

  • It is always death that comes before your desires are fulfilled. Even if you live for a thousand years your desires are not going to be fulfilled.
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Expectation

  • Don’t expect, and there will be no frustration. Frustration is just a shadow which follows expectation.
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Sadness

  • Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.
  • Sadness is silent, it is yours. It is coming because you are alone. It is giving you a chance to go deeper into your aloneness. Rather than jumping from one shallow happiness to another shallow happiness and wasting your life, it is better to use sadness as a means for meditation. Witness it. It is a friend! It opens the door of your eternal aloneness.
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Tears

  • Never be ashamed of your tears. Be proud that you are still natural. Be proud that you can express the inexpressible through your tears.
  • Eyes which have lost their tears have lost their most beautiful, their most glorious treasure.
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Judgement and fault-finding

  • Be less of a judge and you will be surprised that when you become a witness and you don’t judge yourself, you stop judging others too. And that makes you more human, more compassionate, more understanding.
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Anger

  • Don’t be angry at life. It is not life that is frustrating you, it is you who are not listening to life.
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The need for approval and the fear of disapproval

  • The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.
  • The only thing that matters in life is your own opinion about yourself, nobody can destroy your dignity then, because it is not dependent on anybody’s opinion.
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Sin

  • That which makes you miserable is the only sin. That which takes you away from yourself is the only thing to be avoided.
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Adversity

  • A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.
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Beliefs

  • All beliefs suffocate and all beliefs help you not to be really alive. They deaden your being.
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Seeking

  • Man is almost mad—mad because he is seeking something which he has already got; mad because he’s not aware of who he is; mad because he hopes, desires and then ultimately, feels frustrated. Frustration is bound to be there because you cannot find yourself by seeking; you are already there. The seeking has to stop, the search has to drop.
  • Remember it is not only you who are seeking truth – truth is also seeking you.
  • The moment you drop the search, you drop the ego also.
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Fame

  • Fame is foolish, it is pointless, meaningless. Even if the whole world knows you, how does it make you richer? How does it make your life more blissful? How does it help you to be more understanding, to be more aware? To be more alert, to be more alive?
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Jealousy

  • If jealousy disappears and love still remains, then you have something solid in your life which is worth having.
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Resolutions

  • I resolve never to make any resolutions because all resolutions are restrictions for the future. All resolutions are imprisonments.
  • I’ll never make any resolutions. Drop all resolutions! Let life be a natural spontaneity. The only golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
  • Resolution is struggle. Resolution is ego. Resolution is saying, I cannot live spontaneously.
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Ignorance

  • It is better to be ignorant; at least the ignorance is yours. It is authentic, it is real, sincere and honest!
  • Only a blind man can easily define what light is. When you do not know, you are bold. Ignorance is always bold; knowledge hesitates. And the more you know, the more you feel that the ground underneath is dissolving. The more you know, the more you feel how ignorant you are.
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Guilt

  • To create guilt, all that you need is a very simple thing: start calling mistakes, errors sins. They are simply mistakes, human.
  • Your politicians, priests, parents, they all are guilt-creators, because that is the only way that you can be controlled and manipulated.
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Judging things as good and bad

  • To come to know that nothing is good, nothing is bad, is a turning point; it is a conversion. You start looking in; the outside reality loses meaning. The social reality is a fiction, a beautiful drama; you can participate in it, but then you don’t take it seriously. It is just a role to be played; play it as beautifully, as efficiently, as possible. But don’t take it seriously, it has nothing of the ultimate in it.
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Old age

  • Old age is your own creation: it can be a misery, it can be a celebration; it can be simply a despair, and it can also be a dance. It all depends how deeply ready you are to accept existence, whatsoever it brings.
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Thoughts on …

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Enlightenment

  • Enlightenment is finding that there is nothing to find. Enlightenment is to come to know that there is nowhere to go. Enlightenment is the understanding that this is all, that this is perfect, that this is it. Enlightenment is not an achievement, it is an understanding that there is nothing to achieve, nowhere to go. You are already there – you have never been away. You cannot be away from there. God has never been missed. Maybe you have forgotten, that’s all. Maybe you have fallen asleep, that’s all.
  • Enlightenment will be now the beginning, not the end. Beginning of a non- ending process in all dimensions of richness.
  • My enlightenment has freed me from everything, including enlightenment.
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Heaven and hell are choices

  • Hell is our creation, and we create hell by trying to do the impossible. Heaven is our nature, it is our spontaneity. It is where we always are.
  • Freedom is a ladder: one side of the ladder reaches hell, the other side touches heaven. It is the same ladder; the choice is yours.
  • If you suffer it is because of you, if you feel blissful it is because of you. Nobody else is responsible – only you and you alone. You are your hell and your heaven too.
  • Life is absolutely balanced between the positive and the negative. Now it is your choice which side you want to be – in heaven or in hell.
  • You are creating your own hell.
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Religion

  • Humanity will never be religious unless all organized religions disappear and religion becomes an individual commitment towards existence.
  • Life exists without rules; games cannot exist without rules. Only false religion has rules, because false religion is a game.
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Parenthood

  • If you are a parent, open doors to unknown directions to the child so he can explore. Don’t make him afraid of the unknown, give him support.
  • The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” and so in you the child your mother lives on and through your family continues to live… so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die.
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Women

  • A woman is one of the most beautiful phenomena in the world; not to be compared with anything else. The woman is the masterpiece of god.
  • A woman is to be loved, not understood. That is the first understanding.
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Feminine energy

  • The feminine is more powerful than the masculine, the soft is more powerful than the hard, the water is more powerful than the rock.
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Sexuality

  • I am not saying renounce sex, I am saying transform it. It need not remain just biological: bring some spirituality to it. While making love, meditate too. While making love, be prayerful. Love should not be just a physical act; pour your soul into it.
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More thoughts

  • Be a lotus flower. Be in the water, and do not let the water touch you.
  • Be like an alone peak high in the sky. Why should you hanker to belong? You are not a thing! Things belong!
  • Be realistic: Plan for a miracle.
  • Easy is right. Begin right and you are easy. . . . Easy is right means natural is right, effortlessness is right, egolessness is right.
  • I don’t want followers, obedient people. I want intelligent friends, fellow travelers.
  • If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee.
  • If whatsoever you have been living can be conveyed by words, that means you have not lived at all.
  • If you have no conditions you can enjoy life infinitely. If you have conditions, because of them you become incapable.
  • It does not matter if you are a rose or a lotus or a marigold. What matters is that you are flowering.
  • Just get out of your own way.
  • Life is a garden. It is an opportunity. You can grow weeds, you can grow roses; it all depends on you.
  • Many people have come and left, and it has been always good because they emptied some space for better people. It is a strange experience, that those who have left me have always left places for a better quality of people. I have never been a loser
  • Never belong to a crowd; Never belong to a nation; Never belong to a religion; Never belong to a race. Belong to the whole existence. Why limit yourself to small things? When the whole is available.
  • No, I don’t want to give my people sticks. I want to give them eyes.
  • Nobody else can destroy you except you; nobody else can save you except you. You are the Judas and you are the Jesus.
  • Only idiots are not controversial.
  • That’s why children look so beautiful because they are yet full of hope, full of dreams, and they have not yet known frustration.
  • The word devil is very beautiful, if you read it backwards it becomes lived. That which is lived becomes divine and that which is not lived becomes the devil.
  • They say: Think twice before you jump. I say: Jump first and then think as much as you want!
  • You should live in the world but remain untouched by it. You should remain in the world, but the world should not remain in you.
  • Your honesty, Your love, Your compassion should come from your inner being, not from teachings and scriptures.
  • Your life sparks fires from within your innermost temple. No one can reach there but you, it is your inner sanctum. You are your own master there, only you can reach and ignite the fire.
  • The knowledgeable person lives with a question mark ‘?’ and the man of awe and wonder lives with an exclamation mark.
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