Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Divinity

"At the beginning of the spiritual journey, many of us pushed away our humanity in an attempt to embrace our divinity... we've been learning to accept rather than reject our human qualities, creating a new partnership between the mundane and transcendent parts of ourselves." - Ram Dass, aka Baba Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert

"In the great body of the world the divine murmur finds as many; veins whereby it may come at us as there are creatures over which the very divinity rules." - Saint Gregory, aka Pope Gregory I, St. Gregory the Dialogist, "Gregory the Great" NULL

"There is no distinction between Thy divinity, Thy unity, Thy eternity, and Thy existence; for it is all one mystery." - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"There is surely a piece of divinity in us, something that was before the elements, and owes no homage unto the sun." -

"A good Conscience is the best Divinity." - Thomas Fuller

"Love is an alchemical process in which we are the material to be transmuted. And all love invokes one or another divinity who gives love its fathomless depth." - Thomas Moore

"Some authors today argue that romantic love is such an illusion that we need to distrust it and keep our wits about us so that we are not led astray. But warnings like this betray a distrust of the soul. We may need to be cured by love of our attachment to life without fantasy. Maybe one function of love is to cure us of an anemic imagination, a life emptied of romantic attachment and abandoned to reason. Love releases us into the realm of divine imagination, where the soul is expanded and reminded of its unearthly cravings and needs. We think that when a lover inflates his loved one he is failing to acknowledge her flaws - "Love is blind." But it may be the other way around. Love allows a person to see the true angelic nature of another person, the halo, the aureole of divinity." - Thomas Moore

"There is a heroism in crime as well as in virtue. Vice and infamy have their altars and their religion. This makes nothing in their favor, but is a proud compliment to man’s nature. Whatever he is or does, he cannot entirely efface the stamp of the divinity on him. Let him strive ever so, he cannot divest himself of his natural sublimity of thought and affection, however he may pervert or deprave it to ill." - William Hazlitt

"It has become a conviction with me that psychology may in the long run do much to change the conception of the fundamental nature of the religious life, which, on the whole, is now too generally made a matter of doctrine. It is too intellectual At the doors of most churches one is met by required beliefs in a particular conception of God, in a speculative theory about the divinity of Christ, definite ideas concerning sin and salvation, the efficacy of ordinances, and the claims of supernatural revelation. What people are really seeking is access to refreshing fountains of life, sources of strength and guidance. They crave association with people and institutions which may convey to them a sense of what is most worthwhile in life and what may furnish impulsion toward real and enduring values. They know pretty well what those values are when allowed to let their own deepest desires express themselves. " -

"Divinity reveals herself in all things... everything has Divinity latent within itself. For she enfolds and imparts herself even unto the smallest beings, and from the smallest beings, according to their capacity. Without her presence nothing would have being, because she is the essence of the existence of the first unto the last being." - Giordano Bruno, born Filippo Bruno

"The solution to the problem of the day is the awakening of the consciousness of humanity to the divinity within." - Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

"Divinity is not something supernatural that ever and again invades the natural order in a crashing miracle. Divinity is not in some remote heaven, seated on a throne. Divinity is love... Wherever goodness, beauty, truth, love, are - there is the divine. " - Harry Emerson Fosdick

"This divine knowledge of God never deals with particular things. This sublime knowledge can be received only by a person who has arrived at union with God, for it is itself that very union. It consists in a certain touch of the divinity produced in the soul, and thus it is God Himself who is experienced and tasted there… This knowledge savors of the divine essence and of eternal life... Since this knowledge is imparted to thesoul suddenly, without exercise of free will, a person does not have to be concerned about desiring it or not. He should simply remain humble and resigned about it, for God will do His work at the time and in the manner he wishes... God does not bestow these favors on a possessive soul, since He gives them out of a very special love for the recipient. For the individual receiving them is one who loves God with great detachment." - John Yepes “Saint John of the Cross”

"Put bluntly, there is an archaic God, a magic God, a mythic God, a mental God, and an integral God. Which God do you believe in? An archaic God sees divinity in any strong instinctual force. A magic God locates divine power in the human ego and its magical capacity to change the animistic world with rituals and spells. A mythic God is located not on this earth but in a heavenly paradise not of this world, entrance to which is gained by living according to the covenants and rules given by this God to his peoples. A mental God is a rational God, a demythologized Ground of Being that underlies all forms of existence. And an integral God is one that embraces all of the above. Which of those Gods is the most important? According to an integral view, all of them, because each "higher" stage actually builds upon and includes the lower, so the lower stages are more fundamental and the higher stages are more significant, but leave out any one of them and you're in trouble. You are, that is, less than integral, less than comprehensive, less than inclusive in your understanding of God." - Ken Wilber, fully Kenneth Earl Wilber II

"If therefore my work is negative, irreligious, atheistic, let it be remembered that atheism - at least in the sense of this work - is the secret of religion itself; that religion itself, not indeed on the surface, but fundamentally, not in intention or according to its own supposition, but in its heart, in its essence, believes in nothing else than the truth and divinity of human nature." - Ludwig Feuerbach, fully Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach

"We believe in the dignity of every life, the possibility of every mind, the divinity of every soul. This is our true North." - Elizabeth Dole, fully Mary Elizabeth Alexander Hanford "Liddy" Dole

"Infinite God, age after age, throughout all cycles, wills through His Infinite Mercy to effect His presence amidst mankind by stooping down to human level in the human form, but His physical presence amidst mankind not being apprehended, He is looked upon as an ordinary man of the world. When He asserts, however, His Divinity on earth by proclaiming Himself the Avatar of the Age, He is worshipped by some who accept Him as God; and glorified by a few who know him as God on Earth. But it invariably falls to the lot of the rest of humanity to condemn Him, while He is physically in their midst. Thus it is that God as man, proclaiming Himself as the Avatar, suffers Himself to be persecuted and tortured, to be humiliated and condemned by humanity for whose sake His Infinite Love has made him stoop so low, in order that humanity, by its very act of condemning God's manifestation in the form of Avatar should, however, indirectly, assert the existence of God in His Infinite Eternal state." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"Any such negation of life would make man inhuman. Divinity is not devoid of humanity. Spirituality must make man more human. It is a positive attitude of releasing all that is good, noble, and beautiful in man. It also contributes to all that is gracious and lovely in the environment. Spirituality does not require the external renunciation of worldly activities or the avoiding of duties and responsibilities. It only requires that, while performing the worldly activities or discharging the responsibilities arising from the specific place and position of the individual, the inner spirit should remain free from the burden of desires." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"His divinity depends on His power to share Himself with whatever is able to receive Him. If He was not sharing Himself, He would not be God." - Meister Eckhart, formally Meister von Hochheim

"‘In the future to come…“a New Torah will come forth from Me.” At that time there will also be the revelation of Divinity in the world, in ultimate completion and without any concealment at all, as it says, “the glory of God shall be revealed and all flesh shall see together for the mouth of God has spoken.” For it will be seen in a revealed fashion that the existence of “all flesh” [that is, physicality] is the Godly power that brings it into being ex-nihilo [out of no-thing], the power of Atzmuss, and consequently there is no difference between higher and lower, since they are One…’" - Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe

"Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment." - Morihei Ueshiba

"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter." - Morihei Ueshiba

"If therefore my work is negative, irreligious, atheistic, let it be remembered that atheism -- at least in the sense of this work -- is the secret of religion itself; that religion itself, not indeed on the surface, but fundamentally, not in intention or according to its own supposition, but in its heart, in its essence, believes in nothing else than the truth and divinity of human nature." - Paul Johann Feuerbach, fully Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach

"A poet participates in the eternal, the infinite, and the one… defeats the curse which binds us… redeems from decay the visitations of the divinity in man." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Is it my fault if belief in Divinity has become a suspected opinion; if the bare suspicion of a Supreme Being is already noted as evidence of a weak mind; and if, of all philosophical Utopias, this is the only one which the world no longer tolerates? Is it my fault if hypocrisy and imbecility everywhere hide behind this holy formula?" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

"The solution to the problem of the day is the awakening of the consciousness of humanity to the divinity within. " - Inayat Khan, aka Hazrat Inayat Khan, fully Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

"The nature, at once divisible and indivisible, which we affirm to be soul has not the unity of an extended thing: it does not consist of separate sections; its divisibility lies in its presence at every point of the recipient, but it is indivisible as dwelling entire in the total and entire in any part. To have penetrated this idea is to know the greatness of the soul and its power, the divinity and wonder of its being, as a nature transcending the sphere of Things." - Plotinus NULL

"The world will, sooner or later, be compelled to go to the Divine presence not to human presence for its new heart. Mankind has not holiness enough to entice any heart from its sins has not love enough to persuade, nor power enough to alarm. It is the conception of an ever-present God ; it is the sublime divinity of Jesus ; it is communion with these charac ters ; it is a belief in the infinite love, and power, and justice, and in the all-pervading presence of Deity, that can give to this world noble, converted hearts, and can bear earth along toward the new birth the new genius of human life." - David Swing, aka Professor Swing

"Those alone are dear to Divinity who are hostile to injustice." - Pythagoras, aka Pythagoras of Samos or Pythagoras the Samian NULL

"When going to the temple to adore Divinity neither say nor do anything in the interim pertaining to the common affairs of life." - Pythagoras, aka Pythagoras of Samos or Pythagoras the Samian NULL

"The world cannot show us a more exalted character than that of a truly religious philosopher, who delights to turn all things to the glory of God; who, in the objects of his sight, derives improvement to his mind; and in the glass of things temporal, sees the image of things spiritual. He who seeks philosophy in divinity, seeks the dead among the living; and he that seeks divinity in philosophy, seeks the living among the dead." - Ralph Venning

"The manifestation of the Divinity must be understood to be in greater degree in those who are honored, respected, and obeyed by a large following, than in those who have gained no such influence." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"It is essential that in a society, divine thoughts and power should co-exist. Simple Faith, not backed by material forces, is weak and Strength without touch of Divinity is monstrous." - Pandurang Shastri Athavale, fully Pandurang Vaijnath Shastri Athavale

"The life is not in believing there is a divinity somewhere, but in knowing it. To know the Word of the Truth, and to have its spirit generated in the mind and heart, is to have its pure offspring-its Son­-begotten within, consciously crying "Father" with certitude. This reveals the boundless radiance of the infinite face of the real Divinity, beaming on him who sees it its equipoise of "Mercy and Truth"" - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"This immensity is indescribable and because of it the soul is dying of love." - Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez NULL

"A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities will keep him from the commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those worth committing." - Samuel Butler

"For divinity, indeed, the father and fabricator of all things, is more ancient than the sun and the heavens, more excellent than time and eternity, and every flowing nature, and is a legislator without law, ineffable by voice, and invisible by the eyes. Not being able, however, to comprehend his essence, we apply for assistance to words and names, to animals and figures of gold, and ivory and silver, to plants and rivers, to the summits of mountains, and to streams of water; desiring, indeed, to understand his nature, but through imbecility calling him by the names of such things as appear to us to be beautiful. And in thus acting we are affected in the same manner as lovers, who are delighted with surveying the images of the objects of their love, and with recollecting the lyre, the dart, and the seat of these, the circus in which they ran, and every thing, in short, which excites the memory of the beloved object. What then remains for me to investigate and determine respecting statues? only to admit the subsistence of deity. But if the art of Phidias excites the Greeks to the recollection of divinity, honour to animals the Egyptians, a river others, and fire others, I do not condemn the dissonance: let them only know, let them only love, let them only be mindful of the object they adore." - Maximus of Tyre, fully Cassius Maximus Tyrius NULL

"Love to faults is always blind; Always is to joy inclin’d, Lawless, wing’d and unconfin’d, And breaks all chains from every mind. Deceit to secrecy confin’d, Lawful, cautious and refin’d; To anything but interest blind, And forges fetters for the mind." - William Blake

"One can become whole only by the responsible acceptance of one's partiality." - Wendell Berry

"Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"If I am aware of the nature of my reactions, and movement of my reactions, naturally that awareness will result in freedom from the reaction." - Vimala Thakar

"The faithful Achates; phrase often applied to a friend or a relative who remains faithful at all events — Achates was Aeneas' most faithful friend." - Virgil, also Vergil, fully Publius Vergilius Maro NULL

"To tame the natural world is the first step, and the second step is to achieve the ideal." - Victor Hugo

"The Siblings of Destiny meet together, and eat and spend, but these resources do not diminish; they continue to increase." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"The more you study Buddhism, the more you should understand. You shouldn't become more confused. Recognize the truth and open up your "mine of wisdom."" - Hsuan Hua, aka An Tzu and Tu Lun

"Discharge my followers; let them hence away, from Richard's night to Bolingbrooke's fair day. Richard II, Act iii, Scene 2" -

"The heart of animals is the foundation of their life, the sovereign of everything within them, the sun of their microcosm, that upon which all growth depends, from which all power proceeds." - William Harvey

"Modern war is so expensive that we feel trade to be a better avenue to plunder; but modern man inherits all the innate pugnacity and all the love of glory of his ancestors." - William James

"Our Italy Shines o'er with civil swords; Sextus Pompeius Makes his approaches to the port of Rome; Equality of two domestic powers Breeds scrupulous faction; the hated, grown to strength, Are newly grown to love; the condemned Pompey, Rich in this father's honor, creeps apace Into the hearts of such as have not thrived Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten; And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge By any desperate change." -

"It has become a conviction with me that psychology may in the long run do much to change the conception of the fundamental nature of the religious life, which, on the whole, is now too generally made a matter of doctrine. It is too intellectual At the doors of most churches one is met by required beliefs in a particular conception of God, in a speculative theory about the divinity of Christ, definite ideas concerning sin and salvation, the efficacy of ordinances, and the claims of supernatural revelation. What people are really seeking is access to refreshing fountains of life, sources of strength and guidance. They crave association with people and institutions which may convey to them a sense of what is most worthwhile in life and what may furnish impulsion toward real and enduring values. They know pretty well what those values are when allowed to let their own deepest desires express themselves." - Edward Scribner Ames