It is not we who choose to awaken ourselves, but God who chooses to awaken us.
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.
Only when we see ourselves in our true human context, as members of a race which is intended to be one organism and “one body,” will we begin to understand the positive importance not only of the successes but of the failures and accidents in our lives. My successes are not my own. The way to them was prepared by others. The fruit of my labors is not my own: for I am preparing the way for the achievements of another. Nor are my failures my own. They may spring from failure of another, but they are also compensated for by another’s achievement. Therefore the meaning of my life is not to be looked for merely in the sum total of my own achievements. It is seen only in the complete integration of my achievements and failures with the achievements and failures of my own generation, and society, and time.
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
The deep secrecy of my own being is often hidden from me by my own estimate of what I am. My idea of what I am is falsified by my admiration for what I do. And my illusions about myself are bred by contagion from the illusions of other men. We all seek to imitate one another’s imagined greatness.
If in spite of these facts we wish to maintain that mysticism is ultimately the source and essence of all religion, we shall have on our hands a set of problems very similar to those which beset the mystical theory of ethics. We shall have to maintain that mystical consciousness is latent in all men but is in most men submerged below the surface of consciousness. Just as it throws up into the upper consciousness influences which appear in the form of ethical feelings, so must its influences appear there in the form of religious impulses. And these in turn will give rise to the intellectual constructions which are the various creeds... The general conclusion regarding the relations between mysticism on the one hand and the area of organized religions (Christian, Buddhist, etc.) on the other is that mysticism is independent of all of them in the sense that it can exist without any of them. But mysticism and organized religion tend to be associated with each other and to become linked together because both look beyond earthly horizons to the Infinite and Eternal, and because both share the emotions appropriate to the sacred and the holy.
All Religions are One -
AS the true method of Knowledge is Experiment, the true faculty of knowing must be the faculty which experiences. This faculty I treat of:
That the Poetic Genius is the True Man, and that the Body or Outward Form of Man is derived from the Poetic Genius. Like-wise that the Forms of all things are derived from their Genius, which by the Ancients was call’d an Angel and Spirit and Demon.
As all men are alike in Outward Form; so, and with the same infinite variety, all are alike in the Poetic Genius.
No man can think, write, or speak from his heart, but he must intend Truth. Thus all sects of Philosophy are from the Poetic Genius, adapted to the weaknesses of every individual.
As none by travelling over known lands can find out the unknown; so, from already acquired knowledge, Man could not acquire more; therefore an universal Poetic Genius exists.
The Religions of all Nations are derived from each Nation’s different reception of the Poetic Genius, which is everywhere call’d the Spirit of Prophecy.
The Jewish and Christian Testaments are an original derivation from the Poetic Genius. This is necessary from the confined nature of bodily sensation.
As all men are alike, tho’ infinitely various; so all Religions: and as all similars have one source the True Man is the source, he being the Poetic Genius.
Nature in darkness groans and men are bound to sullen contemplation in the night: restless they turn on beds of sorrow; in their inmost brain feeling the crushing wheels, they rise, they write the bitter words of stern philosophy and knead the bread of knowledge with tears and groans.
The busy bee has no time for sorrow.
With sweet may dews my wings were wet, and phoebus fir'd my vocal rage; he caught me in his silken net, and shut me in his golden cage. He loves to sit and hear me sing, then, laughing, sports and plays with me; then stretches out my golden wing, and mocks my loss of liberty.
It is the business of a comic poet to paint the vices and follies of human kind.
Mountains interpos'd make enemies of nations, who had else, like kindred drops, been mingled into one.
The human cry, so the Bible asserts, evokes divine resolve. There is a divine resolve to transform the economic situation of the slaves. It is, at the same time, inescapably, a divine resolve to delegitimate Pharaoh and to wrest social initiative away from the empire.
?What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.
The people didn't really want to be saints of self-deprivation and hatred of the world. They knew that the world would sooner or later deprive them of all it had given them, but still they liked it.
Until we end our violence against the earth- a matter ignored by most pacifists, as the issue of military violence is ignored by most conservationists-how can we hope to end our violence against each other? The earth, which we all have in common, is our deepest bond, and our behavior toward it cannot help but be an earnest of our consideration for each other and for our descendants.
He timidly attacked the life he led.
She refers to a phenomenon of movie-going which I have called certification. Nowadays when a person lives somewhere, in a neighborhood, the place is not certified for him. More than likely he will live there sadly and the emptiness which is inside him will expand until it evacuates the entire neighborhood. But if he sees a movie which shows his very neighborhood, it becomes possible for him to live, for a time at least, as a person who is Somewhere and not Anywhere.
A man who has decided upon self-destruction is far removed from mundane affairs, and to sit down and write his will would be, at that moment, an act just as absurd as winding up one’s watch, since together with the man, the whole world is destroyed; the last letter is instantly reduced to dust and, with it, all the postmen; and like smoke, vanishes the estate bequeathed to a nonexistent progeny.
I had once been splintered into a million beings and objects. Today I am one, tomorrow I shall splinter again. And thus everything in the world decants and modulates. That day I was on the crest of a wave. I knew that all my surroundings were notes of one and the same harmony, knew - secretly - the source and the inevitable resolution of the sounds assembled for an instant, and the new chord that would be engendered by each of the dispersing notes. My soul's musical ear knew and comprehended everything.