You darkness, that I come from, I love you more than all the fires that fence in the world, for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone, and then no one outside learns of you. But the darkness pulls in everything: shapes and fires, animals and myself, how easily it gathers them! - powers and people - and it is possible a great energy is moving near me. I have faith in nights.
As a piece of rope, when burnt, retains its form, but cannot serve to bind, so is the ego which is burnt by the fire of supreme Knowledge.
Brahman and bhakti are identical. If you accept the one, you must accept the other. It is like fire and its power to burn. If you see the fire, you must recognize its power to burn also. You cannot think of fire without its power to burn, nor can you think of the power to burn without fire. You cannot conceive of the sun's rays without the sun, nor can you conceive of the sun without its rays. You cannot think of the milk without the whiteness, and again, you cannot think of the whiteness without the milk. Thus one cannot think of Brahman without ?akti, or of ?akti without Brahman. One cannot think of the Absolute without the Relative, or of the Relative without the Absolute.
Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.
Only when his heart becomes purified through the practice of spiritual disciplines does man attain to wisdom. He then becomes convinced of the existence of God through realizing Him in his own soul. There is, however, something greater than this attainment. To become convinced that fire hides hidden in the wood is one thing, but greater is it to light the fire, cook food, and satisfy one’s hunger.
Spiritual discipline is necessary. You want to eat rice; suppose you sit down somewhere and say, 'Wood contains fire and fire cooks rice.' Can saying it cook the rice? You must get two pieces of wood and by rubbing them together bring out the fire.
What is the use of sowing a boiled paddy grain? It will never bring forth a shoot. Likewise, if a man is boiled in the fire of Knowledge, he will not be used for new creation. He is liberated.
When a house is on fire, at first a few things inside burn. Then comes the great commotion. Just so, the fire of Knowledge at first destroys such enemies of spiritual life as passion, anger, and so forth. Then comes the turn of ego.
When an unbaked pot is broken, the potter can use the mud to make a new one; but when a baked one is broken, he cannot do the same any longer. So when a person dies in a state of ignorance, he is born again; but when he becomes well baked in the fire of true knowledge and dies a perfect man, he is not born again.
The fire of hope almost went out; we have to rekindle it,
Brother: this council fire was kindled by you. It was at your request that we came together at this time. We have listened with attention to what you have said. You requested us to speak our minds freely. This gives us great joy; for we now consider that we stand upright before you, and can speak what we think. All have heard your voice, and all speak to you now as one man. Our minds are agreed.
Jonathan is that brilliant little fire that burns within us all, that lives only for those moments when we reach perfection.
The secret of a joyful life is to live dangerously. A joyful life is an active life - it is not a dull static state of so-called happiness. Full of the burning fire of enthusiasm, anarchic, revolutionary, energetic, daemonic, Dionysian, filled to overflowing with the terrific urge to create - such is the life of the man who risks safety and happiness for the sake of growth and happiness. [quoting F. W. Sanderson]
Those who are given to quarrelling with themselves always lack comfort, and through their infirmities they are prone to feed on such bitter things as will most nourish that disease which troubles them ... We must not judge of ourselves always according to present feeling ... We must beware of false reasoning, such as: because our fire does not blaze out as others, therefore we have no fire at all. By false conclusions we may come to sin against the commandment in bearing false witness against ourselves.
They never reason, or, if they do, they either draw correct inferences from wrong premises or wrong inferences from correct premises; and they always poke the fire from the top.
Presently our fire being exhausted and the enemy pressing on with spear and javelin, the position became untenable; the tent was nearly battered down by clubs, and had we been entangled in its folds, we should have been killed without the power of resistance.
Gluttony is the source of all our infirmities, and the fountain of all our diseases. As a lamp is choked by a superabundance of oil, a fire extinguished by excess of fuel, so is the natural health of the body destroyed by intemperate diet.
The fineness and strength essential to our best being, and to make us do our work, come by the hammer and the fire, by the thorn in the flesh, the trouble and pain in our life, which may act in us as the fire acts in the iron, welding the fiber afresh.
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns;
Love is the fire and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals;
The metal in this furnace wrought are men's defiled souls.
In your persistent questioning, "Who do you say that I am?"
You are the one who loves me into endless life.
You open up the way of risk. You go ahead of me along the way of holiness, where happy are they who die of love, where the ultimate response is martyrdom.
Day by day you transfigure the "no" in me into "Yes". You ask me, not for a few scraps, but for the whole of my existence. You are the one who prays in me by day and night. My stammerings are prayer: simply calling you by your name, Jesus, fills our communion to the full.
You are the one who, every morning, slips on my finger the ring of the prodigal son, the ring of festival.
So why have I wavered so long? You have been seeking me unwearyingly. Why did I hesitate once again, asking for time to deal with my own affairs? Once I had set my hand to the plough, why did I look back? Without realizing it, I was making myself unfit to follow you.
Yet, though I had never seen you, I loved you.
You kept on saying: Live the little bit of the gospel you have grasped. Proclaim my life. Light fire on the earth... You, follow me...
Until one day I understood: you were asking me to commit myself to the point of no return.