Man is greater than a world, than systems of worlds; there is more mystery in the union of soul with the physical than in the creation of a universe.
This divination of the spiritual in the things of sense, and which expresses itself I the things of sense, is precisely what we call Poetry. Metaphysics too pursues a spiritual prey, but in a very different formal object. Whereas metaphysics stands in the line of knowledge and of the contemplation of truth, poetry stands in the line of making and of the delight procured by beauty. The difference is an all-important one, and one that it would be harmful to disregard. Metaphysics snatches at the spiritual in an idea, by the most abstract intellection; poetry reaches it in the flesh, by the very point of the sense sharpened through intelligence... Metaphysics gives chase to essences and definitions, poetry to any flash of existence glittering by the way, and any reflection of an invisible order. Metaphysics isolates mystery in order to know it; poetry, thanks to the balances it constructs, handles and utilizes mystery as an unknown force.
For every grain of sand is a mystery; so is every daisy in summer, and so is every snow-flake in winter. Both upwards and downwards, and all around us, science and speculation pass into mystery at last.
Under the illusion of passing-time we can have no unity. To be is to have the permanent sense of something else... For integration, ideas that halt time are necessary, and these ideas must feed us continually... The mystery of time is in ourselves... The mystic ocean of existence is not to be crossed as something outside ourselves. It is in oneself... Every further stage of ourselves is within us, above us... Outside us is outer truth; within us, inner truth, and both make up All - the WORLD.
Here is a mystery, the stupendous mystery of the Christian religion, the ineffable mystery of three persons in one God. We cannot define it. Every human attempt at definition involves it in deeper mystery. The arithmetic of heaven is beyond us. Yet this is no more mysterious and inexplicable than the trinity of our own nature; body, soul, and spirit; and no man has ever shown that it involved a contradiction or in any way conflicted with the testimony of our senses or with demonstrated truth; and we must accept it by the power of a simple faith, or rush into tritheism on the one hand or unitarianism on the other.
Love is a mystery which, when solved, evaporates. The same holds for music.
Bound only by birth and death, life is both the ultimate mystery and the process of solving it. Life is a dance, a leap into the unknown. After you jump and before you land, is God. God is ecstasy: that state of being when everything comes together, nothing is missing, and it’s all vibrating and electric. Life is an excuse for ecstasy.
Science has led us from knowledge to knowledge but also from mystery to mystery. Mystery alone can lead us on to true spirituality, to accept and be filled with the mystery of life in our existence.
The object of education is to give man the unity of truth... I believe in a spiritual world - not as anything separate from this world - but as its innermost truth. With the breath we draw we must always feel this truth, that we are living in God. Born in this great world, full of the mystery of the infinite, we cannot accept our existence as a momentary outburst of chance drifting on the current of matter toward an eternal nowhere. We cannot look upon our lives as dreams of a dreamer who has no awakening in all time. We have a personality to which matter and force are unmeaning unless related to something infinitely personal, whose nature we have discovered, in some measure, in human love, in the greatness of the good, in the martyrdom of heroic souls, in the ineffable beauty of nature which can never be a mere physical fact nor anything but an expression of personality.
There is a point where in the mystery of existence contradictions meet; where movement is not all movement and stillness is not all stillness; where the idea and the form, the within and the without, are united; where infinite becomes finite, yet not losing its infinity. If this meeting is dissolved, then things become unreal.
A religion without mystery must be a religion without God. In dwelling on divine mysteries, keep thy heart humble, thy thoughts reverent, thy soul holy. Let not philosophy be ashamed to be confuted, nor logic to be confounded, nor reason to be surpassed. What thou canst not prove, approve; what thou canst not comprehend, believe; what thou canst believe, admire and love and obey. so shall thine ignorance be satisfied in thy faith, and thy doubt be swallowed up in thy reverence, and thy faith be as influential as sight. Put out thing own candle, and then shalt thou see clearly the sun of righteousness.
The constants in all religion are the mystery of the universe, the nostalgia of the human spirit for an order beyond the show and flux of things to which it believes itself akin, and the belief that it has evidence of such an order.
The world is full of paradox. For example, [in Buddhism] though no notion of a creator is entertained, great stress is laid upon the need for faith and piety. By faith is meant not trust in a benevolent diety avid for love, praise and obedience, but conviction that beyond the seeming reality misreported by our senses which is inherently unsatisfactory, lies a mystery which, when intuitively unsatisfactory, lies a mystery which, when intuitively perceived, will give our lives undreamed-of meaning and endow the most insignificant object with holiness and beauty.
It is a man listening through a tornado for the Still Small Voice… a soul standing in awe before the mystery of the Universe… a hungry heart seeking for love… Time flowing into Eternity… IT is a man climbing the altar stairs to God.
We have too many men of science, and too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical midgets. We know more about war than we know of peace, more about killing than we know about living.
All the mystery which surrounds life and pervades life is really one mystery. It is God. Called by His name, taken up into His being, it is filled with graciousness. It is not longer cold and hard; it is all warm and soft and palpitating. It is love. And of this personal mystery of love – of God – it is supremely true that only by reverence, only by the hiding of the eyes, can He be seen.
No illumination can sweep all mystery out of the world. After the departed darkness the shadows remain.
God’s love for us is a mystery and a joy, balanced by the mystery and sorrow of our coldness toward Him.
If we ask what literature is about, we have to answer that it is about the mystery of the human heart and its passage through time.
It is the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet, tender joy. The mild serenity of age takes the place of the riotous blood of youth. I bless the rising sun each day, and, as before, my heart sings to meet it, but now I love even more its setting, its long slanting rays and the soft, tender, gentle memories that come with them, the dear images from the whole of my long, happy life - and over all the Divine Truth, softening, reconciling, forgiving! My life is ending, I know that very well, but every day that is left me I feel how my earthly life is in touch with a new infinite, unknown, but approaching life, the nearness of which sets my soul quivering with rapture, my mind glowing and my heart weeping with joy.