Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Mystical

"All the tensions and contradictions in life are, and ought to be, reflected in one’s philosophy, and one should not attempt to compose them for the sake of neat philosophical construction. Philosophy cannot ever be divorced from the totality of man’s spiritual experience, from his struggles, his insights, his ecstasies, his religious faith and mystical vision." -

"Premature success gives one an almost mystical conception of destiny as opposed to will power - at its worst the Napoleonic delusion." -

"Nominally a great age of scientific inquiry, ours has actually become an age of superstition about the infallibility of science; of almost mystical faith in its nonmystical methods; above all... of external verities; of traffic-cop morality and rabbit-test truth." - Louis Kronenberger

"Our purpose is to consciously, deliberately evolve toward a wise, more liberated and luminous state of being. Deep down, all of us are probably aware that some kind of mystical evolution is our true task. Yet we suppress the notion with considerable force because to admit to it is to admit that most of our political gyrations, religious dogmas, social ambitions and financial ploys are not merely counterproductive but trivial. Our mission is to jettison those pointless preoccupations and take on once again the primordial cargo of inexhaustible ecstasy." - Tom Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins

"Any simple act is very, very great if you do it with love and oneness... The greatest art of life is to feel happy by making someone else happy and thereby realize the mystical thread of life. Be fearless, be disciplined, be meditative, and be self-less. That will make you happy and playful." - Shantananda Saraswathi, fully Swami Shantananda Saraswathi, born Chandrashekar

"The experience of beauty is pure, self-manifested, compounded equally of joy and consciousness, free from admixture of any other perception, the very twin brother of mystical experience, and the very life of it is supersensous wonder... It is enjoyed by those who are competent thereto, in identity, just as the form of God is itself the joy with which it is recognized." - Visvanatha Chakravarti, fully Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura

"Religion is not a method, it is a life, a higher and supernatural life, mystical in its root and practical in its fruits; a communion with good, a calm and deep enthusiasm, a love which radiates, a force which acts, a happiness which overflows." -

"I have sometimes a queer mystical feeling as regards the attitude of people in general. Just as there are physical diseases, so there are diseases of feelings. In a little town like this I feel that on some days everyone goes about hating everyone else. Then something happens and a good feeling comes back. I think the whole of mankind must be like that." - Sherwood Anderson

"Learning is the heart of life - the mystical power that turns a word into a sign, a look into a smile, a house into a home, and a people into a civilization." - Eugene P. Bertin, fully Eugene Peter Bertin

"It is not just as we take it, this mystical world of ours: life's field will yield as we make it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"That which produces effects within another reality must be termed a reality itself, so I feel as if we had no philosophic excuse for calling the unseen or mystical world unreal." - William James

"It is an eternal truth in the political as well as the mystical body, that “where one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.”" -

"Metaphysically, the world has three levels: physical, spiritual and mystical. We find life’s meaning at each level. What gives life meaning is sharing - sharing bread, babies, moments, death, celebrations. It is recognizing that there is no separation between human beings or between human beings and the evolution of the world. Subconsciously and consciously, we are constantly expressing the fact that we are divine." - Naima Jody Sherwood

"In the end we shall have to say that there is no solution of an intellectual kind and that it is part of the general mystical paradox that the mystical revelation transcends the intellect." - W. T. Stace, fully Walter Terence Stace

"The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is." -

"Each mystic brings back confirmation of his own creed… The mystic brings his theological beliefs to the mystical experience; he does not derive them from it." - George Alonzo Coe

"Mystical states are more like states of feeling than like states of intellect." - William James

"This incommunicableness of the transport is the keynote of all mysticism. Mystical truth exists for the individual who has the transport, but for no one else." - William James

"We pass into mystical states from out of ordinary consciousness as from a less into a more, as from a smallness into a vastness, and at the same time as from an unrest to a rest. We feel them as reconciling, unifying states. They appeal to the yes-function more than to the no-function in us. In them the unlimited absorbs the limits and peacefully closes the account." - William James

"All authentic religion originates with mystical experience." - William Johnston

"The higher stages of the mystical life are very ordinary. There is no ecstasy, no rapture, no flash of light, no bells, no incense. I am now my true self." - William Johnston

"In the end, we must always return to our beliefs. From the mundane to the mystical, they inform us about reality and they shape our future lives. And if the ultimate reality remains a mystery, so much the better, for it is the questions that give us meaning, that drive us forward and fill us with transcendent awe." - Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

"Transcendent, mystical, and spiritual experiences have a real biological component. The neurological changes that occur during meditation disrupt the normal processes of the brain – perceptually, emotionally, and linguistically – in ways that make the experience indescribable, awe-inspiring, unifying, and indelibly real. In fact, the intensity of such experiences often gives the practitioner a sense that a different or higher level of reality exists beyond our everyday perceptions of the world." - Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

"When mystical activity is at its height, we find consciousness possessed by the sense of being at once excessive and identical with the self: great enough to be God; interior enough to be me." - Edouard Récéjac

"There is a great deal more to religion than mystical experiences. Religions try to provide answers to the mysteries of life, but they are also concerned with enhancing the quality of life. The great religions encourage and promote compassion and loving-kindness." -

"In the end we shall have to say that there is no solution of an intellectual kind and that it is part of the general mystical paradox that the mystical revelation transcends the intellect." -

"The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is good as dead." - Albert Einstein

"There are a thousand and one gates leading into the orchard of mystical truth. Every human being has his own gate. We must never make the mistake of wanting to enter the orchard by any gate but our own." -

"Mystical experience… is a direct intuition of ultimate reality." -

"Mystical experience… is a direct intuition of ultimate reality." -

"Mystical experience… is a direct intuition of ultimate reality." -

"Prayer should be understood, not as a mere mechanical recitation of formulas, but as a mystical elevation, an absorption of consciousness in the contemplation of a principle both permeating and transcending our world." - Alexis Carrel

"There is a wonderful, mystical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life--happiness, freedom, and peace of mind--are always attained by giving them to someone else." - Author Unknown NULL

"No words mean or can say anything, except one knows, with inexpressible and unsayable immediacy, what the words are pointing at or showing, independently of the words themselves. Such knowledge is what the word `mystical’ means." - F.S.C. Northrop, fully Filmer Stuart Cuckow "F.S.C." Northrop

"The test of real and vigorous thinking, the thinking which ascertains truths instead of dreaming dreams, is successful application to practice. Where that purpose does not exist, to give definiteness, precision, and an intelligible meaning to thought, it generates nothing better than the mystical metaphysics of the Pythagoreans or the Vedas." - John Stuart Mill

"The "morphogenic" relationship of eternity to time is not to be thought of as sequential. Moreover, eternity being by definition outside or beyond temporality, transcendent of all categories, whether of virtue or of reason (being and nonbeing, unity and multiplicity, love and justice, forgiveness and wrath), the term and concept "God" is itself but a metaphor of the unknowing mind, connotative, not only beyond itself, but beyond thought... metaphors are equivalent as alternative signs of the high mystical experience of an absorption of mortal appearance in immortal being; for which another historical figure of speech is the "End of the World."" - Joseph Campbell

"Those who insist that mystical experience is not specifically different from the ordinary life of grace (as such) are certainly right." - Karl Rahner

"The old life was attuned to nature’s rhythm – bound in mystical ties to the sun, moon and stars; to the waving grasses, flowing steams and whispering winds. It is not a question… of the white man “bringing the Indian up to his plan of thought and action.” It is rather a case where the white man had better grasp some of the Indian’s spiritual strength." - Luther Standing Bear, aka Ota Kte or Mochunozhin

"Prayer is called mystical, because of the hidden nature of the conversation: God and the individual speak heart to heart, and what passes between them can be shared with no one else." - Saint Francis de Sales NULL

"The mystical bond of brotherhood makes all men brothers." - Thomas Carlyle

"Mystical experience… is a direct intuition of ultimate reality." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"There are a thousand and one gates leading into the orchard of mystical truth. Every human being has his own gate. We must never make the mistake of wanting to enter the orchard by any gate but our own." -

"The multiplicity is only apparent. This is the doctrine of the Upanishads. And not of the Upanishads only. The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the way. Multiplicity is only apparent, in truth, there is only one mind... Multiplicity is only apparent, in truth, there is only one mind." - Erwin Schrödinger, fully Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger

"We are guided by three orders of truth: real truth, mystical truth, rational truth." - Gustave Le Bon

"Religion is not a method, it is a life, a higher and supernatural life, mystical in its root and practical in its fruits; a communion with good, a calm and deep enthusiasm, a love which radiates, a force which acts, a happiness which overflows. " - Henri Frédéric Amiel

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth." - Henry Beston, born Henry Beston Sheahan

"There is a great deal more to religion than mystical experiences. Religions try to provide answers to the mysteries of life, but they are also concerned with enhancing the quality of life. The great religions encourage and promote compassion and loving-kindness." - Huston Smith, fully Huston Cummings Smith

"Poetic experience is distinct in nature from mystical experience. Because poetry emanates from the free creativity of the spirit, it is from the very start oriented toward expression, and terminates in a word proffered, it wants to speak; whereas mystical because it emanates from the deepest longing of the spirit bent on knowing, tends of itself toward silence and internal fruition. Poetic experience is busy with the created world and the enigmatic and innumerable relations of existents with one another, not with the Principle of Being." - Jacques Maritain

"I firmly believe that all human beings have access to extraordinary energies and powers. Judging from accounts of mystical experience, heightened creativity, or exceptional performance by athletes and artists, we harbor a greater life than we know." - Jean Houston