The Lord alone is real; everything else is unreal. Everything else should be rejected for the sake of the Lord. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! Serve the Lord and Him alone. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.186
"This world is transitory, The Name of God is the true reality. Everything in this world is destructible, transient, ephemeral. So you must all repeat God's Name (...)" The Teachings of Babaji, P.108.
"When I think of the Supreme Being as inactive, neither creating, nor preserving, nor destroying, I call Him Brahman or Purusha, the impersonal God. When I think of Him as active, creating, preserving, destroying, I call Him Shakti or Maya or Prakrti, the personal God. But distinction between them does not mean a difference. The personal and the impersonal are the same Being, in the same way as milk and its whiteness, or the diamond and its lustre, or the serpent and its undulations. It is impossible to conceive of the one without the other. The Divine Mother and Brahman are one." Ramakrishna, quoted in: Rolland, Romain. (1994). The Life of Ramakrishna. P.60-61.
(...) Ramakrishna expressly maintains that it is absurd to pretend that the world in unreal so long as we form a part of it, and receive from it for the maintenance of our own identity the unquenchable conviction (although hidden in our own lantern) of its reality. Even the saint who comes down from Samadhi (ecstasy) to the plane of ordinary life is forced to return to the envelope of his 'differentiaited' ego, however attenuated and purified. He is flung back into the world of relativity. "So far as his ego is relatively real to him, so far will this world also be real; but when his ego has been purified, he sees the whole world of phenomena as the manifold manifestation of the Absolute to the senses." Quoted in: Rolland, Romain. (1994). The Life of Ramakrishna. P.65.
What Aristotle gave to Christian thought in the thirteenth century was its "turning to the world," its respect for nature, for the physical, for the concrete reality of the universe. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.204.
One who has experienced the baffling, humbling and liberating clarity of this immediate sense of what it means to be has in that very act experienced something of the presence of God. For God is present in me in the act of my own being, an act which proceeds directly form His will and is His gift. My act of being is a direct participation in the Being of God. God is pure Being, this is to say He is the pure and infinite Act of total Reality. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.221.
To assume that my superficial ego - this cramp of the imagination - is my real self is to begin by dishonoring myself and reality. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.265.
Right, on the eightfold path, doesn't mean right versus wrong so much as it means seeing versus not seeing. It refers to being in touch with Reality as opposed to being deluded by our own prejudices, thoughts, and beliefs. Jack Maguire. (2001). Essential Buddhism. P.92.
Wealth, fame and the other things of this life all lack substance, for there is nothing clear and distinct about them. They possess a specious resemblance to reality, but change from day to day. We ourselves give them substance when in our thoughts we shape fantasies about things that serve no real purpose. With our fertile imagination we exceed the basic needs of the body to the point of impossible luxury; (...). St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.237.
Evil does not exist by nature, nor is any man naturally evil, for God made nothing that was not good. When in the desire of his heart someone conceives and gives form to what in reality has no existence, then what he desires begins to exist. We should therefore turn our attention away from the inclination to evil and concentrate it on the remembrance of God; for good, which exists by nature, is more powerful than our inclination to evil. The one has existence while the other has not, except when we give it existence through our actions. St. Diadochos of Photiki (circa 400-486 CE), quoted in Philokalia, Vol. I., P.253.
We enter reality by Christ see it as he sees it have the Mind of Christ. Then we can attend to everything or withdraw from things for solitude, according to the grace of the moment, and in all we will be safe and find food for our spirits and be growing in Christ and God. Christ came that we may have life and have it to the full. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.248.
No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existence. ( ) You cannot wander anywhere that will not aid you. Anything you can touch God brought it into the classroom of your mind. Differences exist, but not in the city of love. Thus my vows and yours, I know they are the same. ( ) So magnificently sovereign is our Lover; never say, on the other side of this river a different king rules. For how could that be true for nothing can oppose Infinite strength. No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existence. The holy water my souls brow needs is unity. Love opened my eye and I was cleansed by the purity of each form. St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.36.
Last updated: 2008/10/29
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