The World's Religions Huston Smith Chapters on Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity, plus chapters on primal religions such as native traditions of the Americas, Australia, Africa and Oceania, with expanded sections on the inner dimensions of these great religions.
"Every religion mixes universal principles with local peculiarities. The former, when lifted out and made clear, speak to what is generically human in us all."
"All of us dwell on the brink of the infinite ocean of life's creative power. We carry it within us: supreme strength, the fullness of wisdom, unquenchable joy. It is never thwarted and cannot be destroyed."
"For nearly two thousand years the first sentence a Chinese child, living in the direct light of Confucius, was taught to read was…'Human beings are by nature good.' We may smile at the undisguised moralizing, but every nation needs it.'"
"When a heart is illumined by true knowledge, it knows that above all these wars of sects and sectarians presides the one indivisible, eternal, all-knowing bliss." Ramakrishna
"Locked in every human being is a store of love that partakes of the divine – the 'imago dei', image of God, it is sometimes called."
"The welfare of everything in creation is affected to some degree by what each individual contributes to or detracts from it."
"The integrating principle of the whole – the Spirit, as it were, of the universe – instinct without contrivance, flows with purpose." George Romanes, Charles Darwin's colleague
"Reality is in fact one and perfect."
"God is being, awareness, and bliss. Utter reality, utter consciousness, and utterly beyond all possibility of frustration."
"In the context of wholeness, the opposites appear as no more than phases in an endless cycling process, for each turns incessantly into its opposite, exchanging places with it. Life…bends back upon itself to come, full circle, to the realization that all is one and all is well."
"Underlying the human self and animating it is a reservoir of being that never dies, is never exhausted, and is unrestricted in consciousness and bliss."
"Twenty-five hundred years ago it took an exceptional man like Diogenes to exclaim, 'I am not an Athenian or a Greek but a citizen of the world.' Today we must all be struggling to make those words our own. We have come to the point in history when anyone who is only Japanese or American, only Oriental or Occidental, is only half human. The other half that beats with the pulse of all humanity has yet to be born."
"The Supreme Being is…everything in his creation. The various forms of creation have some of his spirit within them." Carl Gorman, Navajo (Native American) artist
"The One is none other than the All, the All none other than the One. Take your stand on this, and the rest will follow of its own accord." Seng Ts'an, 'Trust in the Heart'
"The prerequisite of political stability is social justice, for it is in the nature of things that injustice will not endure."
"The career of a soul as it threads its course…is guided by its choices, which are controlled by what the soul wants and wills at each stage of the journey."
"If we could really understand life, if we could really understand ourselves, we would find neither a problem. Humanistic psychology proceeds on the same assumption. When 'awareness of experience is fully operating', Carl Rogers writes, 'human behavior is to be trusted, for in these moments the human organism becomes aware of its delicacy and tenderness towards others.'"
"The will remains free. The lawfulness of things makes the present state the product of prior acts, but within the present the will is influenced but not controlled. People remain at liberty to shape their destinies."
"All life down to its smallest element, can, if rightly approached, be seen as a reflection of the infinite source of holiness, which is God."
"One has lived from an endless past and will live into an endless future. At this very moment one partakes of Eternal Life – blissful, luminous, pure." Ruth Fuller Sasaki, 'Zen – A Religion'
"We live in a world in which there is no chance or accident. Those words are simply covers for ignorance."
"The overwhelming thrust of the Koran is to proclaim the unity, omnipotence, omniscience, and mercy of God."
"Myths plumb depths that the intellect can see only obliquely. Parables and legends present ideals in ways that make hearers long to embody them."
"God is the Cosmic Dancer, whose routine is all creatures and all worlds."
"You can find God in the world of everyday affairs as readily as anywhere."