Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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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.

1 "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

2 "Love is filled with itself, and where love has come it inundates and transforms all other feelings."

3 "God is in the least of creatures, even in a fly." Meister Eckhart, debate at Paris, circa 1302

4 "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

5 "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

6 "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."

7 "What comes to us from God looks back to God from us." Plato

8 "That all-sufficient life, primal, life in One, who can regard it without longing, disdainful of all else?" Plotinus

9 "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, a realm clean of wrong; there the soul has understanding, there it is free." Plotinus

10 "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

11 "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

12 "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

13 "Every creature is on its way to the highest perfection. In each there is movement from mortality toward Being." Meister Eckhart

14 "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

15 "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

16 "Awareness of the One comes not by knowing but by a Presence passing knowledge." Plotinus

17 "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

18 "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

19 "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."

20 "True possession of God lies in the heart, not in thinking about Him…grasp the God that is Being, above all thinking." Meister Eckhart

21 "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

22 "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."

23 "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

24 "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

25 "Between God and man alone there is no difference, no separation, but Oneness." Meister Eckhart

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite