Men Who Have Walked With God Sheldon Cheney The story of mysticism through the ages, from Lao-Tse and the Buddha to William Blake, with excerpts from their writings and sayings.
"Love is like a fisherman's hook….He who is caught by it is held by the strongest of bonds – yet the being drawn in by it is pleasant….Therefore look only to this hook, for in being caught you will be blessed. The more you are caught the more you are made free." Meister Eckhart
"Endless, ceaseless, continuous, The One if we try to name it, is lost in nothingness – which yet is filled: for this is the form of the formless, the shape of the shapeless, the look of the invisible….In the unfolding of Tao the unseeable is imaged." Lao-Tse
"Such is the organic cosmos; do but survey it and you will perchance hear something like this: 'I am fashioned by a God. From that God I issued perfect, lacking nothing, fitted for that which I am to do. In myself I contain all that exists, every plant and every living creature, and all created objects, and all beings of the spirit realm, and risen souls, and all men who trust in the Good….Everything within me strives toward the Good. Every part of my diversity, in its own measure, attains. From that Centre, that Good, the heavens depend, and my own soul, and the Divinity that is in my every part, and all that lives and grows." Plotinus
"The Soul is an utterance and an image of Divine Intelligence, a stream of life sent forth by Divine Spirit for the increase of Being." Plotinus
"In each of us there is something of this Entity. Wherever you may be, you have only to open to this omnipresent Good the faculty in you which is capable of drawing from it: your share flows to you." Plotinus
"The core of God is my core, the ground of my soul is God's ground…In all you do, act from this core." Meister Eckhart
"Between God and man alone there is no difference, no separation, but Oneness." Meister Eckhart
"That all-sufficient life, primal, life in One, who can regard it without longing, disdainful of all else?" Plotinus
"The whole spiritual realm may be described as a kind of Light with the One in repose at its summit, as its King….we are always brought back to God." Plotinus
"Every creature is on its way to the highest perfection. In each there is movement from mortality toward Being." Meister Eckhart
"I have said often that there is a part of the soul that is untouched by time or mortality: it proceeds out of the Spirit and remains eternally in the Spirit and is divine. In this part..of the soul God Himself unfolds perpetually, in all the bliss and glory that are His. Here is felicity so ravishing, so inconceivably intense, that no one can describe it….Here God glows and flames without ceasing, in all His abundance and sweetness and rapture." Meister Eckhart
"Our life apart from God is but a mimicry….To hold aloof is loneliness and degradation. There with the Supreme is the soul's peace,..in a realm clean of wrong; there the soul has understanding, there it is free." Plotinus
"True possession of God lies in the heart, not in thinking about Him…grasp the God that is Being, above all thinking." Meister Eckhart
"God is in the least of creatures, even in a fly." Meister Eckhart, debate at Paris, circa 1302
"[This Universe is] a majestic organism, complete within itself, the minutest part related to the whole, a marvellous artistry shown not only in the stateliest parts but in those of such littleness you would not have thought Providence would bother about them; and the wonder of the efficiency in each separate animal form, the exquisite design of fruits and leaves, the abundance and the delicacy and the diversity of flowers: all this issues not once, then ending, but is ceaselessly renewed as the Transcendent Life moves over our earth." Plotinus
"All that exists is one, and..God is in all, is All…All are one, united in One, in divine fellowship."
"The One is, in truth, beyond all statement: whatever you say would limit It. The All-transcending has no name….But if we do not grasp It by knowledge, that does not mean that we do not seize It at all." Plotinus
"The heart, having returned, blissful, from the Divine experience, will not rest until it has nourished other men, until it has shown them the way of love, the way to the Divine embrace."
"Take note of the heavens and the earth, how they move in effortless order, of the sun and moon that unfailingly return with their brightness, and of the stars that preserve their courses without exertion. There are, too, the birds and the beasts, which need not be told to flock,…and the trees grow naturally upward. Conform to this natural rhythm, follow this Way, and you will attain to wisdom." Lao-Tse
"The one who is wise takes his stand upon the beautiful orderliness of the world. He moves in accordance with the one constitution of all things." Lao-Tse
"Love is filled with itself, and where love has come it inundates and transforms all other feelings."
"The artist divines something out of his awareness of, his identification with, the One, the centre of life, the rhythmic universal order; and he communicates the sense of that order to the listener or beholder. But, say Pythagoras and Lao-Tse alike, we can all be artists in living, in 'the art of being in the world'. We too can identify ourselves with the One, can attune ourselves to the cosmic rhythm."
"It is not by casting about here and there, outside itself, that the soul will understand morality and ethical conduct. It knows them of its own nature, as welling out of itself." Plotinus
"The passion for the essence of Good or of Beauty is a movement toward the centre, and it entails discipline, purification, contemplation, and entry into a spiritual communion. There is, moreover, when transcending Love has been attained, a return movement of the spirit, so that signs of the Eternal are detected in people and creatures and the manifestations of nature."
"The Source…is the orb complete,..God is through it all, not something of God here and something there, nor all of God at any one spot; rather an instantaneous Presence, everywhere, everything fully held by Him, everything full of His life." Plotinus