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I imagined that unity of being could be reached within the customary state of consciousness. I believed, in other words, that a radical change of being could take place as one was, merely through some adjustments. This is probably what most of us think, for we do not realize that in order to change anything in ourselves everything else must change, lest by trying to change one thing we create wrong results in other directions. Change of being is not a patchwork process. All sorts of minor modifications are no doubt possible in people without necessarily harmful results. Dr. Maurice Nicoll (1884)
The effect of this scheme is to make the world a complex system of degrees of reality, within which every single thing is from one point of view, real and existent, and from another, unreal and non-existent. . . The lower existence is unreal in comparison with the higher right through the universe. . . Unless the whole of things is a disconnected mass of particulars and therefore not a universe at all, it is impossible to think of every single thing as on the same plane of reality. . . . We secure the relative reality of every single fact and at the same time the absolute reality of the universe is a rational system when we hold the manifold appearances of the world to belong to successive orders of reality.' Joannes Scotus Erigena (1265)
If you understand, you can make use of it on the road, like a dragon reaching the water, like a tiger in the mountains. If you don't understand, then the worldly truth will prevail, and you will be like a ram caught in a fence, like a fool watching over a stump waiting for a rabbit. Yuan-Wu (1063)
Those who have the gale of the Holy Spirit go forward even in sleep. Brother Lawrence (1611)
He knows that intelligent contact with cosmic conscious minds assists self conscious individuals in the ascent to the higher plane. He therefore hopes, by bringing about, or at least facilitating this contact, to aid men and women in making the almost infinitely important step in question. Richard Maurice Bucke (1837)
In society as it is now constituted, all the established rules have so many mechanical duties, while real duty consists in obeying the laws of our own being. Victor Cherbuliez (1829)
A thinker erects an immense building, a system, a system which embraces the whole of existence and world-history etc. -- and if we contemplate his personal life, we discover to our astonishment this terrible and ludicrous fact, that he himself personally does not live in this immense high-vaulted palace, but in a barn alongside of it, or in a dog kennel, or at the most in the porter's lodge. If one were to take the liberty of calling his attention to this by a single word, he would be offended. For he has no fear of being under a delusion, if only he can get the system completed . . . . . by means of the delusion. Soren Kierkegaard (1813)
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. Thomas Merton (1915)
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... Thomas Merton (1915)
For a humble man is not afraid of failure. In fact he is not afraid of anything, even of himself, since perfect humility implies perfect confidence in the power of God, before Whom no other power has any meaning and for Whom there is no such thing as an obstacle. Thomas Merton (1915)
If you think you are behaving well then you are wrong, because seeing your own behavior as good is itself a form of pride. Alauddin Al-Attar (1119)
How can he remember well his ignorance, which his growth requires, who has so often to use his knowledge? Henry David Thoreau (1817)
Shade said to Shadow, "A little while ago, you were moving, and now you are standing still. A little while ago, you were sitting down, and now you are getting up. Why all this indecision?"
Shadow replied, "Don't I have to depend on others to be what I am? Don't others also have to depend on something else to be what they are? My dependence is like that of the snake on his skin, or of the cicada on his wing. How can I tell why I do this, or why I do that?"
Chuane Tsu (350)
Do not sit at home, do not go to the forest,
But recognize mind wherever you are.
When one abides in complete and perfect enlightenment,
Where is Samsara and where is Nirvana?
Buddha (560 B.C.E.)
Though one should live through all the time from Adam and all the time to come before the judgment day doing good works, yet he who, energising in his highest, purest part, crosses from time to eternity, verily in the sight of God this man conceives and does far more than anyone who lives throughout all past and future time, because this now includes the whole of time. One master says that in crossing over time into the now each power of the soul will surpass itself. . . . Meister Eckhart (1260)
Everything is wrong in the world, everything in a state of confusion, because man has not this truth, and so remains unfinished. Dr. Maurice Nicoll (1884)
For if Life were questioned a thousand years and asked: "Why Live?" and if there were an answer, it could be no more than this: "I live only to live!" And that is because Life is its own reason for being, springs from its own source, and goes on and on, without ever asking why--just because it is life. Thus, if you ask a genuine person, that is, one who acts (uncalculatingly) from his heart: "Why are you doing that?" --he will reply in the only possible way: "I do it because I do it!" Meister Eckhart (1260)
They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you."
He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine this moment."
Gospel Of Thomas (110)
The religious life is not on the other side of the river. It is on this side, the side of the whole travail of man. The truth is in everyday life. J. Krishnamurti (1895)
Men esteem Truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man. In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God Himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all ages. Henry David Thoreau (1817)
Who would claim that they are living according to God who throughout whole days or even months and years do not sigh out to God and do not aspire to God? A clear sign of death is not breathing. If this breathing is prayer, not to pray is a sign of death. The spiritual life, by which we are children of God, is rooted in love. . . . Who loves without wanting to see the person he loves?
God asks nothing of the highest soul but attention.
The stakes are high for real prayer.
You must gamble yourself
and be willing to lose.
When you have done this,
and your self shakes off
what you believed your self to be,
then no prayer remains,
only a sparkle of the eyes.
Knower and known are one.
If you penetrate the center of time and space,
you can bypass the addictions of the world:
You can become the world yourself.
Mahmud Shabistari (1250)
New Testament: 'whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God'. I Cor. 10.21 (57)
Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, do all as if for me. Bhaghavad-Gita (500 B.C.E.)
Practice not doing and everything will fall into place. Tao Te Ching (650)
"God is intelligence occupied with knowing itself. "- Meister Eckhart
"Go sweep out the chamber of your heart. Make it ready to be the dwelling place of the Beloved. When you depart out, He will enter it. In you, void of yourself, will He display His beauties. "- Mahmud Shabistari
"Origen says the soul's quest of God comes by self-observation. If she knew herself she would know God also. "- Meister Eckhart
"He who knows others is wise; He who knows himself is enlightened. "- Lao Tse
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. "- American Indian
""Is there anything that I can do to make myself enlightened?" "As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning." "Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?" "To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise." "- Anthony De Mello
"If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao's Gift!), If you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get, If you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood, You will be destroyed by the very thing you seek. To know when to stop, To know when you can get no further by your own action, This is the right beginning! "- Lao Tse
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