Many / One

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Spiritual Genius, The Mastery of Life's Meaning
Winifred Gallagher
The author interviews several people who are spiritual geniuses, those who are masters of Life's meaning and how to express this in their life experiences.

1 "Once a person truly awakens to the hidden holiness that underlies and unifies creation, his or her inevitable behavioral response is goodness, or treating others as the 'self' that all share."

2 "I understand God in terms of love, compassion, justice. The Qur'an says everything in the world has been created for a just purpose." Riffat Hassan, Muslim Feminist teacher

3 "Things are more integrated, unified, whole than they seem to us." Huston Smith

4 "Because we have free will, we can choose to behave in ways that either enhance or hinder the movement of creation toward perfect completion in the divine."

5 "Mind has great power, and its nature is the same for all beings. So, at a very deep level, one person's enlightenment is enlightenment for all." Tenzin Palmo, English Buddhist nun

6 "When you talk about God, you're talking about what connects everything to everything else." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

7 "Find the divine in everything. There has to be a part of you that knows that, at the end of the day, it's all working for God." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

8 "That God is one means there's a oneness at the core of all being in whom everything…converges." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

9 "God doesn't just hear our prayers but prays them through us as well. There's a huge transformation when you forget your self and realize that your hands and eyes are God's. Once you're with, or the same as, God, you aren't praying for your own needs, because you have none." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

10 "We're each part of something that's much bigger and better than what meets the eye, and if we keep that in mind, our hearts will be in the right place. Life will be all right, because its ups and downs will be seen as what they are – threads in a great fabric whose beauty depends on bright and dark colors."

11 "The sacred isn't just 'up there' or in some afterlife but down here, right now."

12 "God is the holy one of all being through whom everything is connected to everything else." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

13 "Reality is not only more unified but better than it seems to us. As God told the medieval mystic Dame Julian of Norwich, 'You will see for yourself that every sort of thing will be all right."

14 "We're all cast in the divine image, whether we're Eskimos or Hottentots, so we're more alike than otherwise." Huston Smith

15 "Spiritual genius is the uniquely human ability to seek life's meaning. It's the voice inside us that keeps asking What's it all about? Who am I? How can I make a difference? This inclination to wonder why we exist is not rarefied, but a basic human trait… We're born with a craving to know our larger purpose."

16 "Pray to make your question clearer, then the answer will come." Bette Edl, American Franciscan hermit

17 "The Christian 'unio mystico', Jewish 'devekut', Muslin 'fana', Hindu 'samadhi', and Zen 'Kensho' manifest the same intense consciousness of ultimate reality's underlying unity and goodness."

18 "The whole world is much more globally connected. That means we're aware of our neighbors as being fully human just as they are, not as we think they should be. We can't go backwards from this point. We've got to move forward." Bette Edl, American Franciscan hermit

19 "Plotinus speaks of the One as 'that fountain always on'." Huston Smith

20 "Do you see what people appear to be, or the sacred presence coming through them? Dr. Tony Campolo, American Baptist minister

21 "Everything a person does affects all being." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

22 "God loves us a billion times more than a mother! Far beyond anything we can experience in our minds and intellects!" Karunamayi, Hindu spiritual mother

23 "Everything is here for a reason and connected to everything else."

24 "I do think we're all connected. When a part of society does something special, there are ripples." Rosalie Bertell, Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart

25 "Physics, biology, and other sciences increasingly reveal a complementary picture of the universe as a vast web of interrelationships."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite