The Spiritual Life Annie Besant The author demonstrates that the spiritual path is primarily a matter of devotion to love of humanity, coupled with a realization that the Divine One is present everywhere.
"If God is all-pervading and everywhere, Divinity must be in the marketplace as much as in the desert, in the bank as much as in the jungle, in the court of law as much as in the solitary mountain."
"Expansion of consciousness is the hallmark of human evolution. As consciousness expands, taking more and more within its limits, humankind thus rising will increase in power, wisdom and love."
"Whether we read the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, or the New Testament, we find ourselves in exactly the same atmosphere as regards the meaning and nature of the spiritual life: it is that which knows the oneness."
"All of us, if we only think of it, are at work to carve our own life into a perfect image, the image of the Divine manifest in humanity."
"The basis of all emotions on the side of progress is love, and this is the power we must cultivate."
"No effort for human good is wasted, no good work fails. The form in which the work is embodied may crumble, but the life remains."
"Our essential nature is divine, and the effort to realize it helps its growth and manifestation. Pure, passionless, peaceful, it is 'the Star that shines within,' and that Star is our Self."
"God is expressed in the universe, which is His living garment." Baruch Spinoza, 'Short Studies'
"God is always an artist. There is nothing, however small, no animal seen only in the microscope that is not perfect in its beauty. The more closely you examine it, the more exquisite does it become. With minute diatoms that you can only see through the microscope, every minute shell is sculptured with patterns geometrically perfect – for whom? For the satisfaction of that sense of perfection, which is one of the divine elements in God and humans alike."
"According to the Upanishads, the oldest scripture, there are two paths for finding the Self. They may be trodden separately, but must finally blend into one for the perfection of humanity. One is the path of knowledge, and it leads to liberation; the other is the path of devotion, and that, joined to right knowledge, leads to that service which is humanity's greatest glory to attain."
"Out of the One Eternal Source of Life – the Self of all – come the various sparks that are spiritual Intelligences in every grade of evolution."
"Be glad in the darkness as well as in the light, by the sure faith in – though not yet the vision of – that Flame which burns ever within, That from the light of which we can never be separated, for it is in truth our very Self."
"There must be knowledge and recognition of the One on whom all worlds are built, the Self eternal and unchanging that throws out universes, as a spider throws out webs, and draws them in again (Mundakopanishad, i. I. 7). One must recognize the one Existence which is at the root of all, supreme...the One without a second."
"Only as we serve and love those around us will the eyes of the Spirit begin to open."
"Humans, as well as all other parts of the universe, live and move and have their being in the One."
"The beatific vision is the sight of the one life in everything, and all things as expressions of that life."
"According to an old Eastern book, 'the man who sees the One Self in everything, and all things in the Self, he sees, verily, he sees.' All else is blindness. The sense of separation, while necessary for evolution, is fundamentally a mistake. The separateness is only like the branch that grows out of a trunk, the unity of the life of the tree passes into every branch and makes them all a oneness."
"We are brothers and sisters in our bodies by the interactions of physical molecules. We are brothers and sisters in our minds by that interaction of mental images and mental pictures with which every one of us is constantly affecting others. We are brothers and sisters in our spirits, above all."
"As salt in water, as butter in milk, the One Life is in all, invisible to the eye but immanent in everything."
"The many are but rays of the One, manifested centers of consciousness, channels of the One, each in its own measure."
"While the consciousness identifies itself with forms, it appears to be multiple; when it identifies itself as life, it stands forth as one."
"There is but one life, without beginning and without ending."
"All Nature is one. The expression of the one Divine Will is Nature."
"The world is the thought of God, the expression of the Divine Mind."