Many / One

A database of 11,000+ illuminated guiding quotations in 40 categories from 600+ inspired books by our most brilliant and influential authors.
Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Mysticism
Evelyn Underhill
This is a classic work in the field of spiritual consciousness studies. Underhill writes of the awakening, purification and training of the self in its ascent of the path which leads to the blessedness of the Unitive life.

1 "The simple vision of pure love, which is marvellously penetrating, does not stop at the outer husk of creation: it penetrates to the divinity which is hidden within." Malaval, 'De l'Oraison Ordinaire'

2 "The spirit of God breathes us out from Himself that we may love."

3 "The end and object of 'inward alchemy' will be the raising of the whole self to the condition in which conscious and permanent union with the Absolute takes place."

4 "I have ascended higher than myself, and lo! I have found the Word above me still. My curiosity has led me to descend below myself also, and yet I have found Him still at a lower depth. If I have looked without myself, I have found that He is beyond that which is outside of me; and if within, He was at an inner depth still. And thus have I learned the truth of the words I have read, 'In Him we live and move and have our being.'" St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 'Cantica Canticorum, Sermon lxxiv

5 "This meaning, this secret plan of Creation, flames out, had we eyes to see, from every department of existence."

6 "Every visible and invisible creature is a theophany or appearance of God." Erigena

7 "Nothing is to be seen but a ground which rests upon itself, everywhere one Being, one Life."

8 "More and more, as we study and collate all the available evidence, this fact – this law – is borne in on us: that the general movement of human consciousness, when it obeys its innate tendency to transcendence, is always the same. There is only one road from Appearance to Reality."

9 "The 'sense of God' is not a metaphor. Innumerable declarations prove it to be a consciousness as sharp as that which other men have of colour, heat, or light."

10 "The rippling tide of love flows secretly from God into the soul, and draws it mightily back into its source." Mechthild of Magdeburg

11 "All…are called to their origin." Rulman Merswin

12 "The object of the mystic's contemplation is always some aspect of the Infinite Life: of God, the one Reality."

13 "This One is…not merely the Reality of all that is, but also a living and personal Object of Love."

14 "Natural magnetism…will draw the pilgrim irresistibly along the road from the Many to the One."

15 "The manifestation of the Eternal Light is renewed without interruption in the hiddenness of the spirit."

16 "This universe is free, self-creative. The divine action floods it: no part is more removed from the Godhead than any other part."

17 "Under the spur of love life draws near to Life."

18 "Love flings open a door, in order that the larger Life may rush in, and it and the soul be one thing."

19 "Divine Love, immanent in the soul, spurs on that soul to union with the transcendent and Absolute Light – at once the source, the goal, the life of created things."

20 "The quest of the Absolute is no long journey, but a realization of something which is implicit in the self and in the universe."

21 "Everywhere one Being, one Life – this is the goal of activity; the final state of equilibrium towards which the self is moving, or rather struggling, in the dimness and anguish of the Dark Night….The Dark Night is therefore an aspect or incident of the transition from multiplicity to Unity; of that mergence and union of the soul with the Absolute which is the whole object of the mystical evolution of man."

22 "Do but fix your eyes joyously upon yourself, and watch how God plays the game of love within your loving soul." Suso, 'Leban', cap. vi

23 "The Power of God exceeds and fills all." St. Angela of Foligno

24 "Whoever in Love's city enters, finds but room for One, and but in One-ness, Union." Jalalu'd Din, 'Wisdom of the East Series'

25 "No transmutation without fire, say the alchemists: No cross, no crown, says the Christian. All the great experts of the spiritual life agree – whatever their creeds, their symbols, their explanations – in describing this stress, tribulation, and loneliness, as an essential part of the way from the Many to the One; bringing the self to the threshold of that completed life which is to be lived in intimate union with Reality."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite