“It is every one’s duty to investigate the mysteries and wonderful secrets which the Creator has infused into all things.”
–Basilius Valentinus (a.k.a. Basil Valentine, German 15th Century Alchemist and Canon of the Benedictine Priory of Sankt Peter in Erfurt, Germany)
“But the important thing is not the finding, it is the seeking, it is the devotion with which one spins the wheel of prayer and scripture, discovering the truth little by little. If this machine gave you the truth immediately, you would not recognize it, because your heart would not have been purified by the long quest.”
–Umberto Eco (Italian Writer and Semiologist, 1932- )
“The teaching that the Quest cannot and should not be separated from life in the world is a sound one.
Therefore, it is part of philosophy and is not some eccentric enterprise to be undertaken by those who wish to escape from the world, or who, being unable to escape, consider themselves as belonging to a class apart from others in their environment – superior to them, different from them, and holier than them. They also come to consider the Quest as an artificial system of living, devoid of spontaneity and naturalness – something to be labored at by making themselves abnormal and inhuman. One of the consequences of this attitude is that they tend to overlook their everyday responsibilities and thus get into difficulties. Philosophy has consistently opposed this tendency. Unfortunately, in the reaction from it, there has arisen a fresh confusion in the minds of another group of students who do not understand the beautiful and adequate balance which true philosophy advocates. These students, swayed by such teachers as Krishnamurti, become so enthused by the notion of making spiritual progress through learning from experiences and action alone that they follow Krishnamurti’s advice and throw away prayer, meditation, and moral striving, as well as study under personal teachers. This limits them to a one-sided progress and therefore an unbalanced one. Total truth can only be got by a total approach; as Light on the Path points out, each of these forms of approach is but one of the steps and all steps are needed to reach the goal.
The whole of his being must be involved in the effort if the whole of truth is to be found. Otherwise the result will be emotional alone, or intellectual alone, or adulterated with egoistic ideas and feelings.”
–Paul Brunton (a.k.a. Raphael Hurst, English Philosopher, Traveler, Spiritual Teacher and Author, 1898-1981)
“You do not even have to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has not choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
–Franz Kafka (Czech Writer, 1883-1924)
“He is ready to seek the Eternal who has discernment and dispassion; who has restfulness and the other graces.”
–Shankara (a.k.a. Adi Shankaracharya, Indian Sage, Spiritual Teacher and Author of the Crest-Jewel of Discrimination, Dates Uncertain, but c. A.D. 686-718 or 788-821)
“Unite yourself to the cosmos, and the thought of transcendence will disappear. Transcendence belongs to the profane world. When all trace of transcendence vanishes, the true person ‐ the Divine Being ‐ is manifest. Empty yourself and let the Divine function.”
–Morihei Ueshiba (Japanese Martial Artist and Founder of Aikido, 1883-1969)
“Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.” Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.” For the soul walks upon all paths. The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.”
–Kahlil Gibran (Lebanese Poet and Philosopher, 1883-1931)
Whatever your faith or beliefs, there are some words of wisdom that transcend them all.
“1. Adeptship is attainable by the purification of the body in all respects. Purification of the material body can be effected by things generated along with it by Nature; that of the electric body by patience in all circumstances; and that of the magnetic body (chitta, spiritualized Atom, Heart) by regulation of the breath, which is called mantra, the purifier of the mind.
2. The eight bondages or snares are:
Pride of Family
Removal of the eight bondages leads to magnanimity of the Heart.
3. When this love becomes developed in man it makes him able to understand the real position of his own Self as well as of others surrounding him.
4. When this love, the heavenly gift of Nature, appears in the heart, it removes all causes of excitation from the system and cools it down to a perfectly normal state; and, invigorating the vital powers, expels all foreign matters- the germs of diseases-by natural ways (perspiration and so forth). It thereby makes man perfectly healthy in body and mind, and enables him to understand properly the guidance of Nature.
5. Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions. Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love.
6. The world illusion, maya, is individually called avidya, literally, “not-knowledge,” ignorance, delusion. Maya or avidya can never be destroyed through intellectual conviction or analysis, but solely through attaining the interior state of nirbikalpa Samadhi.
7. Firmness of moral courage when attained removes all the obstacles in the way of salvation. These obstacles are of eight sorts, viz., hatred, shame, fear, grief, condemnation, race distinction, pride of pedigree, and a narrow sense of respectability, which are the meannesses of the human heart.
8. The Holy Sound Pranava Sabda appears spontaneously through the culture of Sraddha the energetic tendency of heart’s natural love, Veerya the moral courage, Smiriti the true conception and Samadhi the true concentration.
9. It has been clearly demonstrated in the foregoing pages that “Love is God,” not merely as the noblest sentiment of a poet but as an aphorism containing an eternal truth.”
–Sri Yukteswar (a.k.a. Swami Sriyukteswar Giri, a.k.a. Sriyuktesvara, a.k.a. Priyanath Karar, Bengali Educator, Yogi and Guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, 1855-1936)
“You yourself are the lodging wherein God dwells, and the closet and hiding-place wherein He is hidden.”
–Saint John of The Cross (Spanish Christian Mystic and Poet, 1542-1591)
“Everyone has in him something divine, something his own, a chance of perfection and strength in however small a sphere which God offers him to take or refuse. The task is to find it, develop it and use it. The chief aim of education should be to help the growing soul to draw out that in itself which is best and make it perfect for a noble use.”
–Sri Aurobindo (a.k.a. Aurobindo Ghose, Indian Nationalist Leader, Mystic, Philosopher and Creator of Purna (Integral) Yoga, 1872-1950)