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 "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

2 "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."

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

4 "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

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

6 "The story line in all religions tells of a happy ending that blossoms as a result of ordeals necessarily confronted and surmounted. These trials add to the ultimate glory." Huston Smith

7 "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."

8 "The world's apparent brokenness conceals a hidden unity." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

9 "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

10 "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."

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

12 "Once one has truly realized the mind's true nature…you just see incredibly expansive interconnection." Tenzin Palmo, English Buddhist nun

13 "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."

14 "I believe people are sacramental – the means by which God communicates God's nature to us." Dr. Tony Campolo, American Baptist minister

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

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

17 "The awareness that comes out of prayer and the stillness of listening to the Spirit is releasing an energy for a new beginning. For now, we're in that place where we're groaning with all creation to be born anew." Bette Edl, American Franciscan hermit

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

19 "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."

20 "There's only oneness." Karunamayi, Hindu spiritual mother

21 "We can choose to develop awareness,…. which allows us to be responsible agents instead of helpless victims." Tenzin Palmo, English Buddhist nun

22 "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

23 "I just have to hold people in my prayer and love them and smile and treat them as if they're doing the best they can." Bette Edl, American Franciscan hermit

24 "God is in everything! Do you hear me? In everything!..... we're WITHIN the divine! God is the one through whom being is made!" Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

25 "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."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite