Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Enlightenment

"Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and in passivity, assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know. To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. At the moment of inner enlightenment, there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness. The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance. Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions." - Sosan Zenji, aka Chien-chih Seng-Tsan or Ch'an Seng-ts'an

"To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult. But those with limited views are fearful and irresolute: the faster they hurry, the slower they go. clinging cannot be limited; even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going." - Sosan Zenji, aka Chien-chih Seng-Tsan or Ch'an Seng-ts'an

"If you wish to move in the One Way do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas. Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with full Enlightenment. The wise man strives to no goals but the foolish man fetters himself. There is one Dharma [Truth, Universal Law, elements of existence], not many; distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant. To seek Mind with discriminating mind is the greatest of all mistakes." - Sosan Zenji, aka Chien-chih Seng-Tsan or Ch'an Seng-ts'an

"Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking. All dualities come from ignorant inference. They are like dreams of flowers in air: foolish to try to grasp them. Gain and loss, right and wrong: such thoughts must finally be abolished at once." - Sosan Zenji, aka Chien-chih Seng-Tsan or Ch'an Seng-ts'an

"To come directly into harmony with this reality just simply say when doubt arises, “Not two.” In this “not two” nothing is separate, nothing is excluded. No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth. And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space; in it a single thought is ten thousand years." - Sosan Zenji, aka Chien-chih Seng-Tsan or Ch'an Seng-ts'an

"Jung equates the unconscious with the soul, and so when we try to live fully consciously in an intellectually predictable world, protected form all mysteries and comfortable with conformity, we lose our everyday opportunities for the soulful life. The intellect wants to know; the soul likes to be surprised. Intellect, looking outward, wants enlightenment and the pleasure of a burning enthusiasm. The soul, always drawn inward, seeks contemplation and the more shadowy, mysterious experience of the underworld." - Thomas Moore

"Enlightenment is intimacy with all things." -

"Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky." -

"Borrowing knowledge of reality from all sources, taking the best from every study, Science of Mind brings together the highest enlightenment of the ages. " - Ernest Shurtleff Holmes

"You will have to learn ways of relaxing in the present. Enlightenment is not an effort to achieve something. It is a state of effortlessness. It is a state of no-action. It is a state of tremendous passivity, receptivity. You are not doing anything, you are not thinking anything, you are not planning for anything, you are not doing yoga exercises, and you are not doing any technique, any method -- you are simply existing, just existing. And in that very moment... the sudden realization that all is as it should be. That's what enlightenment is!" - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"Whether or not enlightenment is possible at the moment of death, the practices that prepare one for this possibility also bring one closer to the bone of life." - Joan Halifax, fully Roshi Joan Jiko Halifax

"They themselves are makers of themselves by virtue of the thoughts which they choose and encourage; that mind is the master weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness. " - James Allen

"Three typical historic philosophies of education were considered from this point of view. The Platonic was found to have an ideal formally quite similar to that stated, but which was compromised in its working out by making a class rather than an individual the social unit. The so-called individualism of the eighteenth- century enlightenment was found to involve the notion of a society as broad as humanity, of whose progress the individual was to be the organ. But it lacked any agency for securing the development of its ideal as was evidenced in its falling back upon Nature. The institutional idealistic philosophies of the nineteenth century supplied this lack by making the national state the agency, but in so doing narrowed the conception of the social aim to those who were members of the same political unit, and reintroduced the idea of the subordination of the individual to the institution." - John Dewey

"The progress of human enlightenment can go no further than in picturing people not as vicious, but as mistaken." - Kenneth Burke

"Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky." - Dōgen, aka Dōgen Kigen, Eihei Dōgen, titled as Dōgen Zenji NULL

"Studying the Buddha way is studying oneself. Studying oneself is forgetting oneself. Forgetting oneself is being enlightened by all things. Being enlightened by all things is to shed the body-mind of oneself, and those of others. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this traceless enlightenment continues endlessly. " - Dōgen, aka Dōgen Kigen, Eihei Dōgen, titled as Dōgen Zenji NULL

"In Buddhism, practice and enlightenment are identical. You can experience this practice within enlightenment even now by assuming a beginner’s mind and devoting yourself to the way; this is the entirety of intrinsic enlightenment. Why do we recommend in the instructions for practice not having any expectation of enlightenment? Because practice is already the intrinsic realization that points directly to your true self. Enlightenment is practice, so it has no end; practice is enlightenment, so it has no beginning." - Dōgen, aka Dōgen Kigen, Eihei Dōgen, titled as Dōgen Zenji NULL

"Charity has no label, compassion no religion, wisdom no dogma, empathy no rules. Integrity needs no laws, enlightenment no temples. Living in total harmony with Tao is beyond culture, oneness with Tao beyond philosophy. Emptiness and silence cannot be defined. The Way has no name, for it is Tao." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"Looking for enlightenment is like looking for a flashlight when all you need the flashlight for is to find the flashlight." - Lew Welch, fully Lewis Barrett Welch, Jr.

"At the very time when we have been boasting of our enlightenment and knowledge and understanding, there is this tragic breakdown in personal relationships." - Martyn Lloyd-Jones, fully David Martyn Lloyd Jones

"Your own body is a sanctuary and celestial mansion... in the monastery of your heart and body, you have a temple where all buddhas unite... the very basis of his [marpa's] teaching is that this meditation be practiced in solitude... for a life that leads to enlightenment is more precious than a billion worlds filled with gold... having embraced the spirit rather than the letter, I forgot how to play with words... measuring the infinitude of non-duality, he will loose his arrows throughout the world. Those whom he will strike are the faithful ones. that which he will kill is their clinging to self." - Milarepa, fully Jetsun Milarepa NULL

"God desired, however, that there should be a [theurgic] way for man to free himself from the physical restrictions [of the natural world]. In this manner, he would then be able [through the use of theurgy] to attain things as a result of spiritual rules rather than those of physical law. He would thus be able to attain enlightenment and a perception of the spiritual....In attaining this, man would also be able to better elevate all existence to its preferred good state [of unity]. He would be able to accomplish this both below and on high, both in the Roots and in the Branches." - Moshe Chayim Luzzatto, also Moses Hayyim Luzzato, known by Hebrew acronym RaMCHal

"If one can attain enlightenment through love it is one of the most beautiful experiences, far more beautiful than to attain enlightenment through meditation because meditation is a single note, solo, there is no orchestra in it. Love is an orchestra, two beings playing together. It is far richer." - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"Enlightenment is not something like an achievement; one cannot achieve it. One has to disappear for it to happen. It is a happening and it happens only in the absence of the ego. And whenever you are doing something the ego becomes more and more strengthened. The ego is a doer, and enlightenment happens in a state of nondoing. It is simply the realization of who you are; it is not a question of achievement. You are already it! Just an awakening, just a turning in!" - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"In a single moment, in one stroke, you can become enlightened. It is not a gradual process, because enlightenment is not something that you have to invent. It is something that you have to discover. It is already there. It is not something that you have to manufacture. If you have to manufacture it, of course, it will take time; but it is already there. Close your eyes and see it there. Be silent and have a taste of it. Your very nature is what I call enlightenment. Enlightenment is not something alien, outside you. It is not somewhere else in time and space. It is you, your very core." - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"The idea of enlightenment is to remain in the present moment. I call it meditation — not to go into the past, which is no more, not to go into the future, which is not yet — because if you go into past and future, you are going to miss the present moment, which is the only reality. Just be here, now. And if you are here and now, enlightenment comes of its own accord. It is not a goal that you have to reach. It is not somewhere far away, so that you have to travel a path to it. It comes to you, you never go to it. It is not your doing, it is a happening." - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"But nobody’s approval can make anything real. Even if the whole world denies your enlightenment you will still be enlightened, there will be no difference. Or vice versa: even if the whole world approves your enlightenment and you are not enlightened, all that approval is not going to make you enlightened." - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"The education that exists in the world is not true education. True education will be a help towards enlightenment because it will make you more meditative, more silent, more aware, more inward-looking. The education that exists in the world makes you more ambitious, outward-looking, more egoistic, more superficial. It gives you all kinds of wrong values. It is a kind of poisoning. It does not help you, in any way, to be yourself. It is destructive. It helps you to be somebody else, and that’s its very destructive foundation. It is a poisoning, but so slow that you never become aware. It begins the day you are born and it goes on slowly slowly destroying you, distracting you from your nature." - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"The succession of thoughts appears in time, but the gap between two of them is outside time. The gap itself is normally unobserved. The chance of enlightenment is missed. " - Paul Brunton, born Hermann Hirsch, wrote under various pseudonyms including Brunton Paul, Raphael Meriden and Raphael Delmonte

"On What the Bleep: I think there's an awful lot of what we might call flaky pop science, where people look at modern physics, because it's a sort of wonderland of abstract ideas and they look at quantum mechanics and black holes and at a very superficial level think that it opens the way to spiritual enlightenment without fully understanding what these subjects are about." - Paul Davies

"The members of the Japanese enlightenment of the early 1870's, Fukuzawa among them, now reasoned as follows: Japan can keep its independence only if it becomes stronger. It can become stronger only with the help of science. It will use science effectively only if it does not just practice science but also believes in the underlying ideology. To many traditional Japanese this ideology-the scientific worldview- was barbaric. But, so the followers of Fukuzawa argued, it was necessary to adopt barbaric ways, to regard them as advanced, to introduce the whole of Western civilization in order to survive. Having been thus prepared, Japanese scientists soon branched out as their Western colleagues had done before and falsified the uniform ideology that had started the development. The lesson I draw from this sequence of events is that a uniform 'scientific view of the world' may be useful for people doing science... However, it is a disaster for outsiders (philosophers, fly-by-night mystics, prophets of a new age, the (“educated public"), who, being undisturbed by the complexities of research, are liable to fall for the most simpleminded and most vapid tale." - Paul Feyerabend, fully Paul Karl Feyerabend

"The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is science, especially in the schools of America. I am one of those scientists who feel that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending it from deliberate attack from organized ignorance. We even have to go out on the attack ourselves, for the sake of reason and sanity. Of course, excellent organizations already exist for raising funds and deploying them in service of reason, science and enlightenment values. But the money that these organizations can raise is dwarfed by the huge resources of religious foundations such as the Templeton Foundation, not to mention the tithe-bloated, tax-exempt churches." - Richard Dawkins

"How can the spirit of the Enlightenment and the Reformation be extended now to all men?" - Richard Wright, fully Richard Nathaniel Wright

"Along with the consciousness of the cosmos there occurs an intellectual enlightenment or illumination which alone would place the individual on a new plane of existence " - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"Cosmic Consciousness ... is a higher form of consciousness than that possessed by the ordinary man. This last is called Self Consciousness and is that faculty upon which rests all of our life (both subjective and objective) which is not common to us and the higher animals, except that small part of it which is derived from the few individuals who have had the higher consciousness above named. To make the matter clear it must be understood that there are three forms or grades of consciousness. (1) Simple Consciousness, which is possessed by say the upper half of the animal kingdom. By means of this faculty a dog or a horse is just as conscious of the things about him as a man is; he is also conscious of his own limbs and body and he knows that these are a part of himself. (2) Over and above this Simple Consciousness, which is possessed by man as by animals, man has another which is called Self Consciousness. By virtue of this faculty man is not only conscious of trees, rocks, waters, his own limbs and body, but he becomes conscious of himself as a distinct entity apart from all the rest of the universe. It is as good as certain that no animal can realize himself in that way. ... The animal is, as it were, immersed in his consciousness as a fish in the sea, he cannot, even in imagination, get outside of it for one moment so as to realize it. ... Cosmic Consciousness is a third form which is as far above Self Consciousness as is that above Simple Consciousness. With this form, of course, both simple and self consciousness persist (as simple consciousness persists when self consciousness is acquired), but added to them is the new faculty ... The prime characteristic of cosmic consciousness is, as its name implies, a consciousness of the cosmos, that is, of the life and order of the universe ... Along with the consciousness of the cosmos there occurs an intellectual enlightenment or illumination which alone would place the individual on a new plane of existence " - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"There occurs an intellectual enlightenment or illumination which alone would place the individual on a new plane of existence ... To this is added a state of moral exaltation, an indescribable feeling of elevation, elation and joyousness ... With these come, what may be called, a sense of immortality, a consciousness of eternal life, not a conviction that he shall have this, but the consciousness that he has it already." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"Only through the conscious action of the working masses in city and country can it be brought to life, only through the people's highest intellectual maturity and inexhaustible idealism can it be brought safely through all storms and find its way to port." - Rosa Luxemburg, aka Rosalia Luxemburg, "Bloody Rosa"

"I gambled on having the strength to live two lives, one for myself and one for the world." - Ruth Benedict, born Ruth Fulton

"Perhaps the day will come when all the things bestowed upon mankind for its benefit and liberation will become corrupted into their very antithesis. Mankind, instead of assuring its members their legitimate rights of development ... will serve them the tear-drenched bread of slaves and the worm-wood of bitterness.... At such time, science, too, will become solely destructive ... will frantically blind itself with its own brightness ....Mankind will vainly exhaust its strength in a blind upsurge of uncurbed desires." - Samson Raphael Hirsch

"Whenever a human being, through the commission of a crime, has become exiled from good, he needs to be reintegrated with it through suffering. The suffering should be inflicted with the aim of bringing the soul to recognize freely some day that its infliction was just." - Simone Weil

"Pride is utter poverty of soul disguised as riches, imaginary light where in fact there is darkness." - John Climacus, fully Saint John Climacus, aka John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites

"Of thoughts, feelings, memories, and beliefs held together by a sense of identity—and no longer mistakenly take it to be the truth of who you are or feel compelled to follow its directives. In" - Stephan Bodian

"The individual mirrors in his individuation the preordained social laws of exploitation, however mediated." - Theodor W. Adorno, born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund

"In life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: hit the line hard." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment." - Thich Nhất Hanh

"There may be a time when a country will have to wake up from a vision of happiness, when they have to realize that theirs is not the perfect idea, that there are many aspects that do not correspond to the reality of what is there, the real need and aspirations of the people." - Thich Nhất Hanh

"And beyond the Wegknies, between hill and mountain wall between the rusty colored pines, through whose branches sunbeams fell, it happened and went wonderful that Castorp, left by Joachim, who overtook lovely sick that he with male kicks her passing by, and in the moment when he to the right of her was, with a hatless bow and spoken in a low voice, 'Good morning,' she respectfully (why actually: respectfully) welcomed and answer from her received: courtesy not more astonished head tilt, she thanked, also said in turn good morning in his own language, with her ??eyes smiled, - and all this was something else, something thoroughly and blissful but the look on his boots, it was a stroke of luck and a turn of events for good and very best, quite unprecedented way and almost the comprehension border, it was the salvation." - Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann

"I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide." - Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann

"Looking up at the stars, I know quite well That, for all they care, I can go to hell, But on earth indifference is the least We have to dread from man or beast. How should we like it were stars to burn With a passion for us we could not return? If equal affection cannot be, Let the more loving one be me. Admirer as I think I am Of stars that do not give a damn, I cannot, now I see them, say I missed one terribly all day. Were all stars to disappear or die, I should learn to look at an empty sky And feel its total dark sublime, Though this might take me a little time." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"The past is not dead. Indeed, it is often not even past." - Will Durant, fully William James "Will" Durant