Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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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.

1 "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."

2 "As salt in water, as butter in milk, the One Life is in all, invisible to the eye but immanent in everything."

3 "The basis of all emotions on the side of progress is love, and this is the power we must cultivate."

4 "Only as we serve and love those around us will the eyes of the Spirit begin to open."

5 "The beatific vision is the sight of the one life in everything, and all things as expressions of that life."

6 "There is no separateness in the universe, but only the appearance of separation. The One without a second who alone exists, who is the one Reality, THAT is the Self of each, the One Life."

7 "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."

8 "The many are but rays of the One, manifested centers of consciousness, channels of the One, each in its own measure."

9 "There is but one life, without beginning and without ending."

10 "The very heart of the universe is love."

11 "The way to tread the Path that leads to the Place of Peace is to endeavor to identify our consciousness with the True Self, to see as it sees, to judge as it judges."

12 "All Nature is one. The expression of the one Divine Will is Nature."

13 "God is expressed in the universe, which is His living garment." Baruch Spinoza, 'Short Studies'

14 "Humans, as well as all other parts of the universe, live and move and have their being in the One."

15 "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."

16 "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."

17 "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."

18 "Our destiny is one: the perfection of a divine humanity that is one in origin and one in training."

19 "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."

20 "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."

21 "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."

22 "As we think, thoughts go out to mold the thoughts and lives of others. As we think thoughts of love and gentleness, the whole reservoir of love in the world is filled to overflowing. As we contribute to this, so we contribute to forming public opinion that molds humanity's ideas more than we dream. Everyone has a share in this."

23 "The world is the thought of God, the expression of the Divine Mind."

24 "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."

25 "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."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite