A COLLECTION OF INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ON TOPICS SUCH AS INDIVIDUALITY, SUFFERING, THE MEANING OF LIFE, THE NATURE OF MAN, MORTALITY, SPIRITUALITY, THE AFTERLIFE:
I have chosen the way of the egoist or religious person and regard external duties as secondary compared to the duties one has towards his own self… (I have) the sense that my soul constitutes in miniature scale a piece of human evolution, and basically (believe) every change inside us is as important as war and peace are for the outside world.
When man strives towards self-realization using his natural gifts, he performs the utmost and most sensible deed he is capable of performing.
Everybody’s life is a road towards themselves.
“Mankind” -the majority of people- was always against those who desired to do positive things, because the masses are neither good or evil; first and foremost they are inactive, and there is nothing else they hate more than any appeal that is made to their conscience. To reach higher levels, to overcome egoism and apathy will always be the task of distinct people and not of the masses.
Every human act which does not lead to the realization of the Self becomes an additional barrier between the ego and the Self. The greatest human achievement means nothing if it does not lead the human, and humanity, to the Self.
We are not a field of blind external powers, but of the talents, the weaknesses and hereditary elements we carry within us. The aim of a purposeful life is to hear this inner voice and follow it as faithfully as possible. The most important thing is to know yourself-this doesn’t mean you have to judge yourself or change yourself, but to do as much as you can in order to give your life the shape your senses foretold.
Trusting yourself is the beginning of the process…Anyone saying no to themselves is unable to say yes to God.
Say yes to yourself, to your emotions, to your destiny! There is no other way. Where it exactly leads I do not know, I only know that it leads to life, to reality, to a burning necessity. The burden may seem unbearable and you may want to kill yourself; this ending is possible to anyone, very often this thought makes one (such as myself) feel better. But to avoid this path on purpose, betraying your destiny and nature, having become the same as everyone else-this you cannot do. You wouldn’t last very long and your despair would become even greater than it is now.
…the first and foremost of all my concerns was never the state, society or church; it is the the exceptional man, the personality, the unique, non-conformed person.
A person who belongs to the masses is a stranger to me and to a large degree suspicious…what I love in man is his potential as a person.
A person is not of any particular importance; a person is a possibility, a road that leads to the spirit.
In every man the spirit takes shape, the whole world suffers, a saviour is crucified.
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
One who knows does not speak.
One who speaks does not know.
He closes his mouth, seals his ears.
He subdues his sharpness, releases his worries.
He blends himself with the light,
he becomes one with the dust.
The whole world can see the beautiful as the beautiful only because of the ugly.
The whole world can recognize the good as the good only because of the bad.
Something and nothing create each other.
The difficult and the easy complement each other.
The long and the short define each other.
The high and the low counterbalance each other.
Before and after follow each other.
Therefore the sage acts without action, teaches without words.
The myriad creatures keep on going without an end,
creating life without possessing it,
performing deeds without expectations,
fulfilling the mission without claiming a victory,
because the sage does not ask for praise,
therefore the praise remains with him for ever.
Knowing ignorance is best.
Thinking one knows is foolish.
Only by being a fool can one avoid becoming a fool.
The sage does not think he knows, therefore he is not a fool.
He who knows others is resourceful;
he who knows himself is enlightened.
He who surpasses others has power;
he who surpasses himself is strong.
He who is content is rich.
He who keeps going has will.
He who maintains his own position will last long.
He who dies, yet whose natural character remains,
will live a long life.
A man of great virtue is not aware of virtue;
that is the reason why he has virtue.
A man of little virtue does not miss virtue;
that is the reason why he has no virtue.
The great virtue is when one does not do anything,
yet everything is done.
The little virtue is when one does everything,
yet something remains undone.
The tortured will seek for the snug.
The bent will seek for the straight.
The hollow will seek for the full.
The worn will seek for the new.
The minor will seek for the major.
The affluent will seek for the perplexed.
Therefore the virtuous man considers unity as the only model for the world.
He does not flaunt himself, therefore he is brilliant.
He does not consider himself right, therefore he is incontestable.
He does not require his fame, therefore he is meritorious.
He does not stick to his own knowledge, therefore he grows.
Only because he does not fight can no one under Heaven fight with him.
The ancient saying ‘The tortured will be made snug’ is very well put.
It truly enables one to preserve the unity.
One who renounces learning has no sorow.
Between the ‘yea’ and the ‘nay’, is there much difference?
Between the good and the bad, is there great distance?
Should one fear what other people fear?
If one does not cultivate one’s virtue, it is like letting the land lie waste.
Everyone seeks the things that taste good, the joy in life.
I alone am detached and expressionless, like a newborn baby that has not yet learned knowledge or worry.
Everyone wishes for more than they need but I seek to avoid it.
I have the mind of a fool, but pure.
Everyone shows their intelligence; I show only stupidity.
Everyone tries to find profit with sharpness; I alone do not find it.
Others’ desire has no end; like the sea, they drift without reaching a goal.
Everyone thinks that they are someone; I only think of myself as no one.
I behave differently to all the others, and only treasure being nourished by the mother of all creatures.
Wisdom cannot be taught. The wisdom a wise man is trying to teach always sounds like insanity.
It is the fate of some people to perceive life in general as grief and pain, not only intellectually, with a kind of literary-aesthetic pessimism, but physically and as a matter of fact. These people, to whom I unfortunately belong, have a greater talent in feeling pain than feeling joy- breathing and sleeping, eating and digesting and all the simple vital functions cause them pain and fatigue, rather than satisfaction.
A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear,
A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief,
Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,
In word, or sigh , or tear
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
How heavy the days are.
There’s not a fire that can warm me,
Not a sun to laugh with me,
Everything cold and merciless,
And even the beloved, clear
Stars look desolately down,
Since I learned in my heart that
Love can die.
The dark waves in my life, which I fear, come…with a certain regularity…from time to time there rises in my soul, without external cause, the dark wave. A shadow runs over the world, like the shadow of a cloud. Joy sounds false, and music stale. Depression pervades everything, dying is better than living. Like an attack this melancholy comes from time to time, I don’t know at what intervals, and slowly covers my sky with clouds. It begins with an unrest in the heart, with a premonition of anxiety, probably with my dreams at night. People, houses, colours, sounds that otherwise please me become dubious and seem false. Music gives me a headache. All my mail becomes upsetting and contains hidden arrows. At such times, having to converse with people is torture, and immediately leads to scenes. Because of times like this, one does not own guns; for the same reason, one misses them…
From the moment of my birth, the angels of anxiety, worry, and death stood at my side, followed me out when I played, followed me in the sun of springtime and in the glories of summer. They stood at my side in the evening when I closed my eyes, and intimidated me with death, hell, and eternal damnation. And I would often wake up at night and stare widely into the room: Am I in Hell?
You brothers, who are mine,
Poor people, near and far,
Longing for every star,
Dream of relief from pain,
You, stumbling dumb
At night, as pale stars break,
Lift your thin hands for some
Hope, and suffer, and wake,
Poor muddling commonplace,
You sailors who must live
Unstarred by hopelessness,
We share a single face.
Give me my welcome back.
Fate the lacemaker
implacably at work,
holding upon her knees the
cushion of our lives
and stuffing it with pins
A bird of prey is clinging to my inner being. Its claws have ripped into my heart. Its beak has driven itself into my chest and the beating of its wings has darkened my sanity.
And very often it seems to me that reality appears rather much as the world is seen on a bleak Monday morning.
And there is a time, glorious too in its own way, when one scarcely exists, when one is a complete void. I mean, when boredom seems the very stuff of life.
Life swings...to and fro between pain and boredom, and these two are in fact its ultimate constituents.
There is much to be said for contentment and painlessness, for these bearable and submissive days, on which neither pain nor pleasure is audible, but pass by whispering and on tip-toe. But the worst of it is that it is just this contentment that I cannot endure. After a short time it fills me with irrepressible hatred and nausea. In desperation I have to escape and throw myself on the road to pleasure, or, if that cannot be, on the road to pain.
While common man
looks to blame other people
and blame fate,
looks for the fault
Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor and limited that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul.
I know how beautiful the world is…it is more beautiful for me than for any other person; colours fuse more delicately, the air flows more blissfully, the light hovers more tenderly. And I know that I must pay for this with the days when life is unbearable…What I never wish, not even in the worst hours, is a middling ground between good and bad, a lukewarm, bearable center. No, rather an exaggeration of the curve-a worse torment and, because of it, the blessed moments even richer in their brilliance.
Be always restless, unsatisfied, unconforming. Whenever a habit becomes convenient, smash it!
Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.
I wouldn’t want to live just for the sake of living; I wouldn’t want to love for the sake of women only. In order to cope with life I need the detour of art, in order to be able to bear life I need the unique and complicated pleasure of existing as an artist.
The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realise its own ends through him. As a human being, he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is 'man' in a higher sense - he is 'collective man' - one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic life of mankind.
My happiness and unhappiness are both unbearable; I am full of inarticulate voices and darknesses; I wallow, all blood and tears, in this warm trough of my flesh.
The unhappiness that I need and long for...is of the kind that will let me suffer with eagerness and die with lust. That is the unhappiness, or happiness, that I am waiting for.
You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation...and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.
A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.
In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant . . . . My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known - no wonder, then, that I return the love.
He who takes upon himself the sins of the world is the king of the world.
It is difficult to shoot one arrow after another through a narrow keyhole from a great distance. It is more difficult to take a hair split a hundredfold and with it strike and pierce a similar hair. But it is even more difficult to attain to the insight that all life is suffering.
With agony we have to foresee our destiny and welcome every horror that crosses our path. Agony erodes all things which belong to this transient world and reveals all delusions; it wipes away our mediocrities…In order to get to know ourselves as much as possible, we have to experience agony at the highest level, to the point of death and annihilation. Agony builds character and demolishes all finite things inside us; it educates in an infinite manner.
There is only one thing I dread, not to be worthy of my sufferings.
The way towards innocence, towards the uncreated, towards God doesn’t lead you backwards but forward…deeper into guilt, deeper into the evolution of the human kind.
He shall be the greatest who can be the loneliest, the most hidden, the most deviating, the human being beyond good and evil.
Solitude is the way destiny chooses to lead man to his own self.
We have to stay alone, utterly alone, so we can withdraw within our deeper self. It is undoubtebly a road of bitter grief. But this is the only way to overcome loneliness, and stop feeling alone, because it is then we realize that our deepest self is spirit, God, the indivisible.
I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.
The solitude of the artist or the gifted person is for me something inevitable, regardless if someone is happy and successful…It is the price we pay for our superiority over the masses.
The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realise its own ends through him. As a human being, he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is 'man' in a higher sense - he is 'collective man' - one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic life of mankind. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being.
(Carl Gustav Jung)
Because in his own suffering the creative man experiences the profound wounds of his collectivity and his time, he carries deep within him a regenerative force capable of bringing forth a cure not only for himself but also for the community.
We live not only our own lives but, whether we know it or not, also the life of our time.
(Laurens van der Post)
Beneath the world of men and transcendent Divinity there exists art. Art is the will to truth made physically manifest-it is more real than reality-it is a dialogue triumphant over Time.
I cannot see things as they are. I see too deeply and I see too much.
The ever increasing intensity of despair depends upon the degree of consciousness or is proportionate to this increase: the greater the degree of consciousness, the more intensive the despair.
To be acutely conscious is a disease, a real, honest-to-goodness disease.
If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against…Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day.
I possess inner “humility”…because I know very well that the end I will come to is not Victory-it is Nothing. I have no delusions, and that’s why I have no ego…And if I appear to have a big ego…and if I fiercely keep to myself, this is just a mask, so I don’t have to come in contact with people who “don’t know” and self-complacently head towards their Nothing.
This is the only thing I’m fighting to accomplish: to know all of the above and not be panic-stricken. On the contrary: to know everything and from this bitterness derive all the joy, good spirit, endurance, silence and hard work my body and soul can endure.
Faith and despair go hand in hand, they complement each other. Where there is no despair, there is no true faith.
Reality is something we can never be satisfied with under any circumstances, something we should never look up to…because it is something accidental, it belongs to life’s waste. There is no other way of changing it than by not accepting it, by showing that we are stronger.
…if reality doesn’t take the form we want it is our fault: whatever we haven’t desired as much as we should we call non-existent; desire it, give it your blood, your sweat and tears, and it will become real. Reality is nothing more than a chimera which has kneeled down to our desire and pain…
Behold...I am that which must always overcome itself.
The soul that, living, did not attain its Divine Right cannot repose in the nether world.
Every human existence that is not conscious of itself as spirit or conscious of itself before God as spirit, every human existence that does not rest transparently in God but vaguely rests in and merges in some abstract universality (state, nation, etc.) or, in the dark about his self, regards his capacities merely as powers to produce without becoming deeply aware of their source, regards his self, if it is to have intrinsic meaning, as an indefinable something, every such existence, whatever it achieves, be it the most amazing, whatever it explains, be it the whole of existence, however intensively it enjoys life aesthetically, every such existence is nevertheless despair.
As far as my work is concerned, I have jeopardized my life for it, and my sanity has almost abandoned me.
(Vincent Van Gogh)
Unhappiness will never end.
(Vincent Van Gogh)
I will say nothing against the course of my existence. But at bottom it has been nothing but pain and burden, and I can affirm that during the whole of my 75 years, I have not had four weeks of genuine well-being. It is but the perpetual rolling of a rock that must be raised up again forever.
(Johan Wolfgang von Goethe)
To perceive is to suffer.
Even though I am always uncertain about my private life and position, I have created a sort of membrane around me which protects me like glass and is basically nothing more than the faith that even turbulance and pain are positive functions and the place where I see myself standing is my natural function and fate.
We have to embrace life’s harshness and the implacable element of death within us without disdain, and experience despair to its very core. Only then, only when we embrace the harshness, the absence of meaning in nature, will we be able to face this wretched absence of meaning and impose our own meaning. This is man’s biggest accomplishment, and the only thing that is worth doing. Anything else animals can do better.
Most people don’t suffer from this absence of meaning more than a maggot does. But it is those people who suffer and search for meaning that create a meaning for mankind.
We are all murderers and prostitutes -no matter to what culture, society, class, nation one belongs, no matter how normal, moral, or mature, one takes oneself to be.
We insist that life must have a meaning-but it can have no more meaning than the one we are willing to give it. And because men cannot achieve this by themselves, religions and philosophies attempt to give a comforting answer to this question. All the answers they eventually give say the same thing: the more we are able to love, and dedicate ourselves to something, the more meaning our life has.
…“meaning” is the unity of reality’s many faces, the power of the human spirit to sense the unity and the harmony within the world’s confusion.
Man positively needs general ideas and convictions that will give a meaning to his life and enable him to find a place for himself in the universe. He can stand the most incredible hardships when he is convinced that they make sense; he is crushed when, on top of all his misfortunes, he has to admit that he is taking part in a “tale told by an idiot”.
To the extent that a man is untrue to the law of his own being and does not rise to personality, he has failed to realize his life's meaning.
You must consider what you are, seeking to know yourself, which is the most difficult task conceivable.
We are all born originals- why is it so many of us die copies?
Believe that your life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
It might be said that the essential difference between a man of genius and an ‘ordinary man’ is that the man of genius has a greater power to focus steadily upon his real values, while the ordinary man is always losing sight of his aims and objectives, changing from hour to hour, almost from minute to minute.
It is a sad thought that most people take their triviality for granted; accept that they will remain fundamentally unchanged for the rest of their lives.
Whenever I am deeply moved by poetry or music or scenery, I realise I am living in a meaning universe that deserves better of me than the small-minded sloth in which I habitually live. And I suddenly realise the real deadliness of this lukewarm contentment that looks as harmless as ivy on a tree. It is systematically robbing me of life, embezzling my purpose and vitality. I must clearly focus on this immense meaning that surrounds me, and refuse to forget it; contemptuously reject all smaller meanings that try to persuade me to focus on them instead.
Man’s evolution depends on motive and purpose. Without purpose, even a cultured man can sink to the level of an animal.
Man’s experience of himself is at all times a simultaneuous experience of greatness and misery, god and worm. He is free to give primacy to either of these experiences.
The value of the artist lies in the fact that he asserts a sense of order, of the power of the human spirit, into the sordid conflict of our everyday lives…Life is inconceivable without this vision of purpose.
It is the sense of meaning that spurs man to make the efforts necessary to evolution. While he believes that his boredom and pessimism are telling him the truth about the universe he refuses to make an effort.
A man with a passionately held belief is almost invincible, while the strongest man becomes a moral coward without a deeply held conviction.
Man does not exist. The creature we call man is halfway house between the animals and the truly human.
We are strangely inefficient machines, utilising only a fraction of our powers, and the reason for this is our short sightedness…Death reveals to us that our lives have been one long miscalculation based on triviality.
Man may be regarded as a dual being, continually at war with himself. One of his selves is cautious, limited, materialistic, confined to the present. He is a born slave and coward; his creed is: Security at all costs…Man’s other self is geared entirely to purpose and evolution…He knows about the miseries and insecurities of human existence, about weakness and contingency. But he does not believe in them, since he is certain that freedom is an absolute power…
Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.
What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
Everyman has his own destiny: The only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him.
Habit and routine are great veils over our existence. As long as they are securely in place, we need not consider what life means; its meaning seems sufficiently incarnate in the triumph of the daily habit.
Don’t you ever say that an emotion is meaningless or not worth the effort! (Emotions) are all good, extremely good, even hatred, even envy, jealousy, bitterness. We live with nothing more than these poor, beautiful emotions, and every emotion we reject is a star that doesn’t shine.
There is nothing that will cure the senses but the soul, and nothing that will cure the soul but the senses.
What is meant by happiness? To live every unhappiness. What is meant by light? To gaze with undimmed eyes on all darknesses.
Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.
To reach satisfaction in all,
Desire its possession in nothing.
To come to the knowledge of all,
Desire the knowledge of nothing.
To arrive at being all,
Desire to be nothing.
To come to the pleasure you have not,
You must go by a way in which you
To come to the knowledge you have not,
You must go by a way in which you
To come to the possession you have not,
You must go by a way in which you
To come to be what you are not,
You must go by a way in which you
When you turn towards something,
You cease to cast yourself upon the all.
For to go from the all to the all,
You must leave yourself in all.
And when you come to the possession
You must possess it without wanting
In this nakedness the spirit find its rest,
For when it covets nothing,
Nothing raises it up,
And nothing weighs it down,
Because it is in the center of its humility.
(St John of the Cross)
In order to arrive at what you do not know,
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess,
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not,
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know.
And what you own is what you do not own.
And where you are is where you are not.
The way towards God always involves an inversion: from outwardness one must pass to inwardness, from multiplicity to unity, from dispersion to concentration, from egoism to detachment, from passion to serenity.
Where there is discord may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. Where there is despair, may we bring hope.
(Saint Francis of Assisi)
Nothing is important, nothing is unimportant, life is a game of shadows and the reflection of things upon our souls have a deep, mystical reality.
There are, and always have been, those who cannot help but see that the world and its experiences are in the nature of a symbol, and that it really reflects something that lies hidden in the subject himself, in his own transubjective reality.
To see a World in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.
What would logic and sobriety be without the experience of intoxication, what would sensual pleasure be if death wasn’t lurking behind it and what would love be without the lethal hatred between the two sexes?
Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.
The way up and down are the same.
(Hippolytus of Rome)
Really, the fundamental, ultimate mystery - the only thing you need to know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets - is this: that for every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside, and although they are different, they go together.
In knowing ourselves to be unique in our personal combination –that is, ultimately limited- we possess also the capacity for becoming conscious of the infinite.
By Light shall ye look upon yourselves, and behold All Things that are in Truth One Thing only, whose name hath been called No Thing...
Only in the light of consciousness can man know. And this act of cognition, of conscious discrimination, sunders the world into opposites, for experience of the world is only possible through opposites.
To aspire to the heights without knowledge of the depths is to build one’s house over a yawning abyss by which it can be swallowed at any moment.
Light and dark are no enemies
But one companion.
Our goal is to clearly distinguish life’s opposites, first of all as opposites and afterwards as the poles of a unity.
Polarity is inherent in all living things.
(Carl Gustav Jung)
This world is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.
What you loved and what you strove for,
What you dreamed and what you lived through,
Do you know if it was joy or suffering?
G sharp and A flat, E flat or D sharp,
Are they distinguishable to the ear?
Sunrise is only another sunset.
…it can become doubtful to me whether I have seen, heard and smelled anything after all, whether everything that I took to be true is not merely an image cast outward, the image of my own inner life.
A strong and authentic truth must be able to reverse itself. When something is true, its opposite must be true as well. Because truth is only a brief stereotyped expression of a glance from a particular position-but every position has its opposite.
The life of the senses isn’t worth a penny more than the life of the spirit-and vice versa. To caress a woman or to write a poem is one and the same.
Do what you will, this world's a fiction and is made up of contradiction
Nothing is more real than nothing.
Truth has a million faces, but there is only one truth.
One thing I only know, and that is that I know nothing.
If you think “I know well”, little truth you know.
The first necessity for obtaining self-knowledge is to become profoundly conscious of ignorance: to feel with every fibre of the heart that one is ceaselessly self-deceived.
Every knowledge and every increase in knowledge doesn’t end in a full stop but in a questionmark. Every plus in knowledge means a new plus in our questions and to each one of them an answer is given by a new question.
Someone who constantly worships abstract intellect and loathes nature, who is always a revolutionary and never a conservative, would strike me as extremely virtuous, stable and of strong character, but at the same time this kind of behaviour would seem to me as equally destructive, repulsive and absurd just like someone who wants to eat or sleep all the time. Nevertheless, all parties and movements, either political, intellectual, religious or scientific are based on the belief that this kind of behaviour is possible and natural.
The bourgeois often compares creative and imaginative people with madmen. He correctly suspects that he would go insane if he had to deal with his inner self as intensely as the artist, the religious person and the philosopher do.
Sometimes we have a strong feeling that the Great Man wants something from us and has set us very special tasks. Our response to this experience can help us to acquire the strength to swim against the stream of collective prejudice by taking our own soul seriously into account.
Turning off the electric light he continued the conversation with himself…what did he fear? It was not fear or dread. It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too.
Hail nothing, full of nothing, nothing is with thee.
Nothingness lies coiled in the heart of a being- like a worm.
(Jean Paul Sartre)
Are you willing to be sponged out, erased,
Are you willing to be made nothing?
dipped into oblivion?
If not, you will never really change.
In a certain sense there is nothing more productive than Nothingness, or rather, than confrontation with Nothingness.
Out of an ocean of nothingness, with fearful struggle, the work of man rises slowly like a small island.
Nothing that is can fall into nothingness! The eternal lives on in all it has created.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
How many individuals are there? That is how many truths there will be. There is no objective truth at all.
Truth is subjectivity.
Man is a thinker.
He is that what he thinks.
When he thinks fire
he is fire.
When he thinks war,
he will create war.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty face from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle,
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Birth, and copulation, and death. That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks: Birth, and copulation, and death. I've been born, and once is enough.
I remember looking at dog-shit on the pavement and suddenly I realized, there it is-this is what life is like. Strangely enough it tormented me for months, till I came to, as it were, accept that here you are, existing for a second, brushed off like flies on a wall…I think of life as meaningless; but we give meaning during our own existence. We create certain attitudes which give it meaning while we exist, though they in themselves are meaningless, really.
In reality, the issue…is always one: the strange grief and, if I may be excused, the shit of human life and the surprising fact that this pitiful life can nevertheless be beautiful and brilliant.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
(Jalal ad-Din Rumi)
That human life must be some kind of mistake is sufficiently proved by the simple observation that man is a compound of needs which are hard to satisfy; that their satisfaction achieves nothing but a painless condition in which in he is only given over to boredom; and that boredom is a direct proof that existence is in itself valueless, for boredom is nothing other than the sensation of the emptiness of existence…we take no pleasure in existence except when we are striving after something- in which case distance and difficulties make our goal look as if it would satisfy us (an illusion which fades when we reach it)…
A donkey turning a millstone walked a hundred miles.
When it was set loose it found itself in the same place.
Some people travel long but go nowhere.
At twilight they have seen no cities or villages.
(The Gospel of Philip)
Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake.
…All is chaos and I, the maggot, have to create order!
We, as human beings, are all miserable persons, heartless, small, insignificant. But within us a superior essence drives us ruthlessly upward.
Life is absurd, inhuman, idiotic but also wonderful… We have to accept the harshness of life and the inevitability of death without lamenting, but by draining every single drop of anguish. Only when man accepts the repulsiveness and absurdity of nature will he be able to face this hideous absurdity by imposing a meaning on it.
Tenacity and acumen are privileged spectators of this inhuman show in which absurdity, hope and death carry on their dialogue.
My Lord…you let people reach the bottom of Hell, and from then onwards begins salvation. Is it there, my Lord, at the bottom of Hell, the door which leads to Heaven?
You’ve got to get down into the pit of the self, the real pit, and then you have to find your own way to climb out of it. And it can’t be anyody else’s way. It has to be yours.
Voyages are accomplished inwardly.
We can understand each other, but we can only interpret our own selves.
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man’s;
I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.
I am he who will create God.
"Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."
What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever. Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again.
Blowing toward the south,
Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues swirling along;
And on its circular courses the wind returns. All the rivers flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow,
There they flow again.
All things are wearisome;
Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one might say,
"See this, it is new"?
Already it has existed for ages
Which were before us.
There is no remembrance of earlier things;
And also of the later things which will occur,
There will be for them no remembrance
Among those who will come later still.
With clarity and quiet, I look upon the world and say: All that I see, hear, taste, smell, and touch are the creations of my mind.
I impose order on disorder and give a face - my face - to chaos.
Never acknowledge the limitations of man. Smash all boundaries! Deny whatever your eyes see. Die every moment, but say: Death does not exist.
My eye is without hope or illusion and gazes on all things clearly. Life is a game, a performance given by the five actors of my body.
I am a weak, ephemeral creature made of mud and dream. But I feel all the powers of the universe whirling within me.
Without faith it is impossible to live.
Faith is against understanding, faith is on the other side of death.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the Law. Love under Will.
I have found little that is “good” about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all.
Truly I speak to you, a polluted river is man.
To unite with a river without being polluted, one must transform into an ocean.
I teach you the Superman: he is the ocean - your contempt drowns inside him.
Humanity is such a lump of mud, each one of us is such a lump of mud. What is our duty? To struggle so that a small flower may blossom from the dunghill of our flesh and mind.
Jesus said: "Let him who seeks
continue seeking until he finds.
When he finds,
he will become troubled.
When he becomes troubled,
he will be astonished,
and he will rule over the All."
(The Gospel of Thomas)
Those who follow the part of themselves that is great become great men; those who follow the part of themselves that is little become little men.
There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.
The worth of man lies in his consciousness of the Absolute.
I must know thee, Unknown one,
Thou who searchest out the depths of my soul,
And blows like a storm through my life.
Thou art inconceivable and yet my kinsman!
I must know thee and even serve thee.
We see our lives and work in their true light only when we see them under the eye of eternity, for all that we create becomes a permanent possession of our eternal being. A wise person thinks and acts with his or her eternal destiny always in mind…Eternity is our true home. We have never known and will never know another.
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you children of the Most High.
God, the maker of all things, the great Self, always dwelling in heart of man, is perceived by the heart, the soul, the mind;- they who know it become immortal.
Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate’er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in all of us,
Where truth abides in fullness.
Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Learn that man infinitely transcends man.
We dream of voyages across the universe; but is not the universe in us? The depths of the spirit are unkown to us. The mysterious way goes toward the interior. It is in us if it is anywhere, that eternity is to be found with its worlds.
I say to you…if you do not find the thing for which you are seeking, in your own self, much less will you find it outside your self. Understand the glorious strength resident in your own selves. Why trouble to enquire from another? In Man…there are things more glorious than are to be found elsewhere in the whole world.
Neither time nor space exists for the man who knows the eternal.
There are three kinds of souls, three kinds of prayers. One: I am a bow in your hands, Lord. Draw me lest I rot. Two: Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break. Three: Overdraw me, and who cares if I break!
I tried to find him on the Christian cross,
but He was not there; I went to the Temple
of the Hindus and to the old pagodas, but I
could not find a trace of Him anywhere.
I searched on the mountains and in the valleys
but neither in the heights nor in the depths
was I able to find Him. I went to the
Caaba In Mecca, but He was not there either.
I questioned the scholars and philosophers
but He was beyond their understanding.
I then looked into my heart and it was
There where he dwelled that I saw Him;
He was nowhere else to be found.
There is no God any more divine than Yourself.
What hinders men from seeing and hearing God, is their own hearing, seeing and willing; by their own wills they separate themselves from the will of God. They see and hear within their own desires, which obstructs them from seeing and hearing God. Terrestrial and material things overshadow them, and they cannot see beyond their own human nature.
Can you walk on water? You have done no better than a straw. Can you fly in the air? You have done no better than a bluebottle. Conquer your heart; then you may become somebody.
(Ansari of Herat)
God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.
We can assert with certainty that the universe is all center, or that the center of the universe is everywhere and its circumference nowhere.
God is an intelligible sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.
The awakened Sage is not merely a rare oddity, living alone in a cave in India or perched on a mountain top in Tibet. The awakened Sage-or simply awakened Human-is actually the nature of our very own consciousness, even here and now, in the deepest forms and highest waves.
What is important to me is to realize what I was born for, to understand what the divinity wants me to do, what is important is to discover the truth which is my own truth, to find the idea for which I will be willing to live and die for.
…The whole secret is this: to be able to find an idea, to place it on a throne above yourself, to have no other aim but to live and die for this idea. This way your actions become noble and your life has unity; and death in your eyes becomes immortality…
If you direct your heart
onto one point,
nothing will be impossible.
The only way to progress and become whole is to untangle our own nature as accurately as possible…The world would prefer to see us comformed and weak instead of being independent, and for every man that stands out from mediocrity this superiority will become the cause of a battle which will last for the rest of his life.
I have one major rule: everybody is right. More specifically, everybody- including me- has some important pieces of the truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace.
…man’s value is only this: to live and die like a lad and not expect any reward…and the toughest thing is this: the certainty that there is no reward shouldn’t frighten you, but on the contrary it should make you glad, proud and courageous…
Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here? What is this thing called the world? …And if I am compelled to take part in it, where is the director? I want to see the director…
Our whole business in this life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen.
My raison d'etre consists in coming to terms with that indefinable Being we call "God".
(Carl Gustav Jung)
God works through men…He is the immortal part and leader of mankind. He has motives, he has characteristics, he has an aim…The finding of him is salvation from the purposelessness of life.
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing
would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through
narrow chinks of his cavern.
Live in search of God and there will be no life without God.
In order to be happy, man must have a center; now, this center is above all the certitude of the One. The greatest calamity is the loss of the center and the abandonment of the soul to the caprices of the periphery. To be man is to be at the center; it is to be center.
Who knows God becomes God.
Love, and do as thou wilt.
I carry my own church about under my hat…
Bricks and mortar won’t make a staircase to heaven…
I believe…that the human heart is the best temple.
(Arthur Conan Doyle)
I have never lived without religion and I wouldn’t be able to live without religion, but I have lived without a church for the whole of my life.
If you can live with imagination, then you don’t need religion, because with imagination you can understand that after death man becomes one with the universe.
“Time and the world, money and power belong to the small people and the shallow people. To the rest, to the real men, belongs nothing. Nothing but death.”
Ye are gods.
He who knows himself, knows the All.
One can grasp God only on a personal level. Each person has a life and a God. An advocate and a critic. Priests and rituals are nothing else but crutches which support a soul that is unable to live and feel.
Man cannot live without a stable faith in something indestructible within him, although this indestructible element as well as faith may constantly remain hidden from him. One of the ways with which this constant concealment can be manifested is the belief in a personal God.
I have one longing only: to grasp what is hidden behind appearances, to ferret out that mystery which brings me to birth and then kills me, to discover if behind the visible and unceasing stream of the world an invisible and immutable presence is hiding.
All things are in the universe and the universe in all things.
Man is not something definite, clearly determined once and for all; (man is) something that evolves, an experiment, a hint from the future, nature’s nostalgia and quest for new forms and possibilities.
But every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect...That is why every man, as long as he lives and fulfills the will of nature, is wondrous, and worthy of consideration.
It is very dangerous to go into eternity with possibilities which one has oneself prevented from becoming realities. A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it.
Great things are done when men and mountains meet;
This is not done by jostling in the street.
An unexamined life is not worth living.
The only reality is the one we carry inside us. What makes most people’s lives so artificial and unworthy is that they falsely regard outside images as reality and they never allow their own inner world speak.
I don’t believe it is my responsibility to explain if life has a meaning, I believe though that I am responsible for my own, unique life.
I have always supported the individual, the personality and don’t believe in general rules which could serve the individual. Rules and recipes don’t even exist for the individual; they exist for crowds, herds, nations, collective bodies.
My first and foremost declaration of faith is the unity which exists above and beyond all opposites…The person I seek and in whom I hope, is someone who can live both alone and in the world of people, who has the ability to act and to reflect.
My life should be, as I imagine, transcendental, a gradual progression, it should cover one space after the other, just like music completes certain parts and leaves them behind without getting tiresome, without losing its vigilance…every time the end of a life-chapter approaches there is a sense of decay and death, which afterwards leads to a new space, an awakening, a new beginning.
You are not a miserable and momentary body; behind your fleeting mask of clay, a thousand-year-old face lies in ambush. Your passions and your thoughts are older than your heart or brain.
Your skull is a pit of blood round which the shades of the dead gather in myriad flocks to drink of you and be revived.
Here I was, a miserable worm crawling through the snot and spit of creation, a cockroach on a junk pile, a fly caught on a honey pot…I was the toad that fell into the milk bowl and, fearful of death, created such a storm, churning the milk with such terror that it turned to butter.
There's nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don't live up until their death. They don't honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can't hear it. Most people's deaths are a sham. There's nothing left to die.
A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror.
I wander through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
A mark in every face I meet,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
Our noisy years seem moments in the being of the eternal silence.
The brightest face of despair is God, the brightest face of hope is God.
Eternal and almighty is the theatre of life, without substance but eternally moving, eternally resisting death.
...man is sicker, less secure, less stable, less firmly anchored than any other animal...How could such a brave and resourceful animal but be the most precarious, the most profoundly sick of all the sick beasts on earth?
You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape.
…Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself.
…Man will only attain existence when he is what he purposes to be.
At bottom, we are something that ought not to be; therefore we cease to be.
He who looks at himself, risks to meet himself. The mirror does not flatter, it shows accurately what is reflected in it, namely that face that we never show the world because we hide it by the persona, the mask of the actor. This is the first test of courage on the inner path, a test, which is enough to frighten most people, because the encounter with oneself belongs to those unpleasant things, one avoids as long as one can project the negative onto the environment.
When it is a force that disturbs our tranquility and shatters our superficiality, evil is in the service of good…By stirring up the depths, evil serves the expansion of consciousness by not allowing good to become static, complacent. By drawing good forth in active combat with itself, evil forces an expansion of the good. It provides the tension needed for growth.
…man knows that he is wretched. He is therefore wretched, because he is so; but he is really great because he knows it.
So far as we do evil or good, we are human; an it is better, in a paradoxical way, to do evil than to do nothing; at least, we exist. It is true to say that the glory of man is his capacity for salvation; it is also true to say that his glory is his capacity for damnation. The worst that can be said of most of our malefactors, from statesmen to thieves, is that they are not men enough to be damned.
God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.
Sleep is good
Death even better
Best of all is never to be born
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Best of all for all things upon earth is it not to be born nor to behold the splendors of the Sun; next best to traverse as soon as possible the gates of Hades.
There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.
They tell us that suicide is the greatest piece of cowardice... that suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.
The advocates for suicide tell us that it is quite permissible to quit our house when we are weary of it. Agreed- but most men would rather lie in a ramshackle house than sleep in the open fields.
I consider suicides respectable, kindred spirits…not only do they have the courage to plant a bullet in their head, they also have the courage to provoke the discontent and disdain of teachers and moralists, something which makes me like them even more.
The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets successfully through many a bad night.
When a man…cannot and is not allowed –because of his nature, upbringing and circumstances- to commit suicide, even if sometimes his imagination tempts him to choose this way out, he will never be able to kill himself- suicide will simply remain something forbidden. Nevertheless, a man who chooses to put an end to an unbearable life, has in my opininon every right to do it, just as other people have the right to die normally. I have personally felt that the death of many suicides was more natural and justifiable than many normal deaths.
What is the greatest experience you can live? It is the hour of the great contempt. The hour in which your happiness, too, arouses your disgust, and even your reason and your virtue.
Look down on me, you will see a fool. Look up at me, you will see your Lord. Look straight at me, you will see yourself.
Each of us is part heroine or hero and part coward, part parent and part child, part saint and part thief.
(Robert A. Johnson)
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god .
So speaks God:
“Whoever searches for me finds me
Whoever finds me knows me
Whoever knows me loves me
Whoever loves me I love
Whoever I love I kill.”
(Sidna Ali, Muslim mystic of the 9th c.)
I am the heat of the sun, and the wetness of the rain. I am the life of living and the death of dying. I am immortality. I am what is, and I am what is not.
(The Bhagavad Gita)
I am the first and the last. I am the honored one and the scorned one. I am the whore, and the holy one.
(Thunder, Perfect Mind-Gnostic poem, 100 A.D.)
I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
I am the dust in the sunlight, I am the ball of the sun…
I am the mist of morning, the breath of evening…
I am the spark in the stone, the gleam of gold in the metal…
The rose and the nightingale drunk with its fragrance.
I am the chain of being, the circle of the spheres,
The scale of creation, the rise and the fall.
I am what is and is not…
I am the soul in all.
He who wants the things of this life
Craves for this life.
He who wants the things of this life, but cannot have them,
Craves for death.
But he who has quenched desire
Craves for neither life nor death.
The two are the same to him,
And he passes from one to the other
Without fear or agitation,
As from joy to joy.
I feel inside me terrible, dark, misanthropic forces; with great effort
I keep them balanced, because I think very few people exist in this world who have so profoundly felt the horror of life and death. No illusion fools me, no naivety makes me forgetful, I do not have any hopes.
He who is conscious of honor and glory,
Yet keeps to disgrace,
Resembles the Valley of the World.
(Tao Teh Ching)
We fight because we like fighting, we sing even though there is no ear to hear us. We work even though there is no master to pay us our wages when night falls. We do not work for others, we are the masters. This vineyard of earth is ours, our own flesh and blood.
Like the body, honours are a source of torments.
Man is not body. The heart, the spirit, is man. And this spirit is an entire star, out of which he is built. If therefore a man is perfect in his heart, nothing in the whole light of Nature is hidden from him.
Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
(R. W. Raymond)
Happiness equals love, full stop. Whoever loves is happy.
Every living knowledge, every knowledge which has an immediate impact on life, has only one objective. This objective is acknowledged by thousands of people and is expressed in thousands of different ways-it is however one truth. It is the awareness of life, of this intimate wonder, of the hidden god we all carry inside us: the awareness of the ability to abolish…all pairs of opposites. The Hindus call it Atman, the Chinese call it Tao, the Christians call it Grace.
He who sees the infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the ratio, sees only himself.
When one sees Eternity in things that pass away and Infinity in finite things, then one has pure knowledge. But if one merely sees the diversity of things, with their divisions and limitations, then one has impure knowledge. And if one selfishly sees a thing as if it were everything, independent of the ONE and the many, then one is in the darkness of ignorance.
(The Bhagavad Gita)
Man has everything locked up within him- every power and energy that exists in the infinite spaces; and all evolution is but the bringing out of these locked-up powers, the unfolding as a flower unfolds, of what is within.
(G. de Purucker)
False-imagination teaches that such things as light and shade, long and short, black and white are different and are to be discriminated; but they are not independent of each other; they are only different aspects of the same thing, they are terms of relation, not of reality. Conditions of existence are not of a mutually exclusive character; in essence things are not two but one.
The perception which combines good and evil, beautiful and ugly, and all opposite pairs into a single unity, is a truth which is esoteric, mystical and accessible only to the initiated (very often not even to them); it isn’t an external truth, perceived and understood by everyone.
All is One.
For our God is not an abstract thought, a logical necessity, a high and harmonious structure made of deductions and speculations… He is both man and woman, mortal and immortal, dung and spirit. He gives birth, fecundates, slaughters - death and eros in one - and then he begets and slays once more, dancing spaciously beyond the boundaries of a logic which cannot contain the antinomies.
I am the worker of the abyss. I am the spectator of the abyss. I am both theory and practice. I am the law. Nothing beyond me exists.
We are one. From the blind worm in the depths of the ocean to the endless arena of the Galaxy, only one person struggles and is imperiled: You. And within your small and earthen breast only one thing struggles and is imperiled: the Universe.
It is not God who will save us - it is we who will save God, by battling, by creating, and by transmuting matter into spirit.
As your guide have your inner truth and as refuge yourself only.
All the gods and demons that ever existed are inside us as possibilties, as wishes, as solutions.
The evil that men do lives after them.
Even evil must not be a triumphant or degrading enemy, but a power collaborating in the whole.
…I think God and the Devil are one!
As there is oil in sesame seed
and a spark in flint
thus your Beloved is in your body.
Wake it if you can.
As the pupil is in the eye
so is the creator in the body.
The fool does not know this secret
and runs outside
looking for it in vain.
That what you seek
is in the four corners of the earth.
It is inside,
you do not see it,
because it lives behind the veils of illusion.
I am the old dragon found everywhere on
the globe of earth
father and mother, young and old, very strong and very weak,
death and resurrection, visible and invisible, hard and soft;
I descend into the Earth and ascend into the Heavens…
I contain the light of nature;
I am the dark and the light,
I come forth from heaven and earth;
I am known but do not exist…
(Theatrum Chemicum- Aurelia Occulta)
When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter the Kingdom.
(Gospel of Thomas)
How else could it have occurred to man to divide the cosmos, on the analogy of day and night, summer and winter, into a bright day-world and a dark night-world peopled with fabulous monsters, unless he had the prototype of such a division in himself, in the polarity between the conscious and the invisible and unknowable unconscious?
All that is above
Also is below
Grasp this and rejoice
(Kircher, ‘Oedipus Aegyptiacus’)
Knowing good and evil, you will be as gods
It is possible for a man to attain totality, to become whole, only with the co-operation of the spirit of darkness...
When we must deal with problems, we instinctively resist trying the way that leads through obscurity and darkness. We wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely forget that these results can only be brought about when we have ventured into and emerged again from the darkness. But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer.
Ascend above any height, descend further than any depth; receive all sensory impressions of the created: water, fire, dryness and wetness. Think that you are present everywhere: in the sea, on earth and in heaven; think that you were never born and that you are still in the embryonic state: young and old, dead and in the hereafter. Understand everything at the same time: time, place, things, quality and quantity.
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
I am the shining morning star.
(Jesus, Revelation 12:16)
How you have fallen from heaven, you morning star, son of the dawn! How you have been cut down to the ground, you conqueror of nations!
The Christ-symbol lacks wholeness in the modern psychological sense, since it does not include the dark side of things...
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
Everything requires for its existence its opposite, or it fades into nothingness.
After so many injuries
have been done to the human race,
I flow forth,
by divine decree
and assisted by the Art,
as a healing giving medicine.
He who is able to, drink out of me.
He who wants, purify himself in me.
He who dares, jump into my depths.
Drink, brother, and live.
(Chymische Hochzeit, Christiani Rosencreutz)
Lucifer, Lucifer stretch your tail,
and lead me away, full speed through the narrow passage,
the valley of the death,
to the brilliant light, the palace of the gods.
Thine own consciousness, shining, void, and inseparable from the Great Body of Radiance, hath no birth, nor death, and is the Immutable Boundless Light.
(Padmasambhava, The Tibetan Book of the Dead)
A heart untouched by sadness and happiness-this is perfect peace.
There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in our heart.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.
(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
I may not hope from outward forms to win
The passion and the life whose fountains are within.
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
There are moments when we see
Behind the opaque curtain of Life,
When the infinite One
Shines through the skin of the beloved
And we recognize the game we are in,
The journey we are on,
The powerful beings that we are
And the truth that is worth living for.
The sages say that spirit is a circle
Whose circumference is boundless
And whose center is everywhere.
The source of our radiant core,
Being beyond time.
Shining toroidal sphere of Soul.
Thou art always in a love energy circuit,
Inter-reflecting, inter-lacing, connecting
Every other being and thing in the Cosmos.
All are cells in the Body of God,
Each individual, part of the All
That is all of the All.
One in all
All in one-
If only this is realized
No more worry about your not being perfect
There is one God, one man, one brotherhood, one truth; these are our corner-stones, upon these we erect our structure.
God is the infinite and all-pervading Spirit, formless, immutable, eternal and incomprehensible to all save itself.
Man is an individualized manifestation of God in self-imposed conditions; a center in the Infinite Essence around which the spirit vibrates and through which it flows forth and reveals itself in the world of forms and things.
The one Brotherhood is humanity, the sum total of all the individualized centers of the divine activity, which, while appearing separately, are one in life and essence.
Truth is the full, self-conscious realization of God within its individualized manifestations and the illumination that comes to each therein.
God comprehends all truth; and man, as God individualized, can comprehend all truth through God in him.
(Will L. Garver)
Truth is one; men call it by many names.
…God, the one, dwells within each of us…each human being is related to us, is our brother…an awareness of this divine unity reveals all divisions into races, rich and poor…to be nothing more than spectre and illusion.
The only thing that burns in hell is the part of you that won't let go of your life: your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away, but they're not punishing you, they're freeing your soul. If you're frightened of dying and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. If you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels freeing you from the earth.
Look about you: All these bodies that you see shall rot. There is no salvation. Look at them well: They live, work, love, hope. Look again: Nothing exists!
Nothing exists! Neither life nor death.
You hear that I suffered, yet I suffered not; that I suffered not, yet I did suffer; that I was pierced and yet I was not wounded; hanged, and I was not hanged, that blood flowed from me, yet it did not flow.
(The Acts of Thomas)
When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul laughs for what it has found.
For all Men in Eternity, Rivers, Mountains, Cities, Villages
All are Human, & when you enter into their Bosoms you walk
In Heavens & Earths, as in your own Bosom you bear your Heaven
And Earth & all you behold; tho’ it appears Without, it is Within,
In your Imagination, of which this World of Mortality is but a Shadow.
The birth of a Wise Man is God’s will…He has no relationship with happiness and therefore no relationship with unhappiness…no misfortune finds him, nothing hurts him, no man is against him, no spirit punishes him. He floats in life to find rest in death. He has no worries. He makes no plans.
When we dream that we are dreaming then we start to awaken.
…I live in my dreams. Other people live in their dreams as well, but not their own, that’s the difference.
When we dream we do not know that we are dreaming…Only after we are awake do we know we have dreamed. Finally there comes a great awakening, and then we know life is a great dream. But the stupid think they are awake all the time, and believe they know it distinctly.
I dream, therefore I am.
We carry in us every moment our past and our potential. We are now what we were and what we can be. We are only prevented from seeing this by our belief in time, our belief that somehow the past, the present and the future are separate.
God made the rivers to flow. They feel no weariness, they cease not from flowing. They fly swiftly like birds in the air.
May the stream of my life flow into the river of righteousness. Loose the bonds of sin that bind me. Let not the thread of my song be cut while I sing; and let not my work end before its fulfilment.
(Rig Veda II. 28)
If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.
Good and evil are enemies. Good and evil are partners, good and evil are One, and this One does not exist.
The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.
The kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart-not something that comes upon the earth or after death.
To be. No more. This is all. This is the joy supreme.
…the world is Hell, and men are on the one hand the tormented souls and on the other the devils in it.
Life is paradise; we are living in paradise but don’t realize it.
What is hell? I believe hell is the misery of not being able to love- and for this you don’t need eternity; one day, even one moment is enough.
Of course it's possible to love a human being if you don't know them too well.
Hell is other people.
If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.
Boring damned people. All over the earth. Propagating more boring damned people. What a horror show. The earth swarmed with them.
Faustus: Where are you damned?
Mephistophilis: In hell.
Faustus: How comes it, then, that thou art out of hell?
Mephistophilis: Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it.
Humanity, you never had it to begin with.
Masses are always breeding grounds of psychic epidemics.
I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I've been knocking from the inside!
Light the lamp within you...knock on yourself as upon a door and walk upon yourself as on a straight road. For if you walk on the road, it is impossible for you to go astray.
(The Teachings of Silvanus)
The world of imagination is the world of eternity… The world of imagination is infinite and eternal, whereas the world of generation, or vegetation, is finite and temporal. There exists in that eternal world the permanent realities of every thing which we see reflected in this vegetable glass of nature. All things are comprehended in their eternal forms in…the human imagination.
Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
If a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.
Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
(Martin Luther King, Jr.)
(Ancient Greek aphorism)
Truth is lived, not taught.
Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free
This above all, -to thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
It is not only the most difficult thing to know oneself, but the most inconvenient one, too.
(Henry W. Shaw)
Life is impossible without truth. Perhaps truth is life itself.
The kingdom of Heaven is within You.
The ways to the One are as many as the lives of men.
The world has been accused of being awful because someone slept badly or ate too much. The world has been glorified because someone just kissed a girl.
Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.
(Henry Van Dyke)
One is devoured by Time, not because one lives in Time, but because one believes in its reality, and therefore forgets or despises eternity.
The hardest thing of all and the only thing worth learning is patience. The whole of nature, evolution, peace, everything that blossoms and is beautiful in this world needs patience, demands time, silence, trust and faith…
Patience is the companion of wisdom.
I shall wonder in this world until I attain liberation; but then I shall go and reach my Home.
(Chandogya Upanisad 6.12-14)
Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.
You will be thankful
You will be glad that things happened just as they did,
That they are just as they are.
You will be thankful in the harbour,
If only you can endure to the end.
If I have even just a little sense,
I will go along the Great Way,
And my only fear will be of turning from it.
Such is the life of gods and of godlike man; a liberation from all earthly bounds, a life that takes no pleasure in earthly things, a flight of the alone to the alone.
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the Sun? I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. . . . The dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the Sun. . . . Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the Sun: but if a man live many years and rejoice in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many.
I see all human beings
Behind their masks
Those smiling, calm faces
Pale corpses, restlessly hurrying
Along the winding path,
Which leads to
Lord what was I? A worm dust vapour nothing
What was my life? A dream, a daily dying
What was my flesh? My soul's uneasy clothing
What was my time? A minute's ever flying.
My time, my flesh, my life and I
What were we Lord, but vanity?
(James Bell grave, Kensal Green cemetery)
This is what is sad when one contemplates human life, that so many live out their lives in quiet lostness . . . they live, as it were, away from themselves and vanish like shadows. Their immortal souls are blown away, and they are not disquieted by the question of its immortality, because they are already disintegrated before they die.
Normally we do not like to think about death. We would rather think about life. Why reflect on death? When you start preparing for death you soon realize that you must look into your life...and come to face the truth of your self. Death is like a mirror in which the true meaning of life is reflected.
Your dead do not lie in the ground. They have become birds, trees, air. You sit under their shade, you are nourished by their flesh, you inhale their breathing. They have become ideas and passions, they determine your will and your actions.
Since we are psychic beings and not entirely dependent upon space and time, we can easily understand the central importance of the resurrection idea: we are not completely subjected to the powers of annihilation because our psychic totality reaches beyond the barrier of space and time. Through the progressive integration of the unconscious we have a reasonable chance to make experiences of an archetypal nature providing us with a feeling of continuity before and after our existence. The better we understand the archetype, the more we participate in its life and the more we realize its eternity or timelessness.
What man shall live and not see death?
The aim of all life is death.
We come from a dark abyss, we end in a dark abyss, and we call the luminous interval life. As soon as we are born the return begins, at once the setting forth and the coming back; we die in every moment. Because of this many have cried out: The goal of life is death! But as soon as we are born we begin the struggle to create, to compose, to turn matter into life; we are born in every moment. Because of this many have cried out: The goal of ephemeral life is immortality!
There is only a single supreme idea on earth: the concept of the immortality of the human soul; all other profound ideas by which men live are only an extension of it.
A man should be able to say he has done his best to form a conception of life after death, or to create some image of it-even if he must confess his failure. Not to have done so is a vital loss.
(Carl Gustav Jung)
I look forward to dying because I think living on earth, on this plane, is one part of existence and death is another part, and that we are constantly learning through the process.
First we must realize that we are asleep; second we must awaken. When we are awake we must die; when we die we can be born.
We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
Do not stand on my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in the circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Death-the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.
There will come a time, when the mighty ocean will dry up, vanish, and be no more. There will come a time, when the mighty earth will be devoured by fire, perish, and be no more. But yet there will be no end to the suffering of beings, who, obstructed by ignorance and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening through this round of rebirths.
One man believes he is the slayer, another believes he is the slain. Both are ignorant; there is neither slayer nor slain. You were never born; you will never die. You have never changed; you can never change. Unborn, eternal, immutable, immemorial, you do not die when the body dies. Realizing that which is indestructible, eternal, unborn, and unchanging, how can you slay or cause another to be slain?As a man abandons his worn-out clothes and acquires new ones, so when the body is worn out a new one is acquired by the Self, who lives within.The Self cannot be pierced with weapons or burned with fire; water cannot wet it, nor can the wind dry it. The Self cannot be pierced or burned, made wet or dry. It is everlasting and infinite, standing on the motionless foundation of eternity. The Self is unmanifested, beyond all thought, beyond all change.
(The Bhagavad Gita)
A man acts according to the desires to which he clings. After death he goes to the next world bearing in his mind the subtle impressions of his deeds; and, after reaping there the harvest of those deeds, he returns again to this world of action. Thus he who has desire continues subject to rebirth.
He who lacks discrimination, whose mind is unsteady and whose heart is impure, never reaches the goal, but is born again and again. But he who has discrimination, whose mind is steady and whose heart is pure, reaches the goal and, having reached it, born no more.
Death is the hardest thing from the outside and as long as we are outside of it. But once inside you taste of such completeness and peace and fulfillment that you don't want to return.
(Carl Gustav Jung)
Cast a cold eye, on life, on death.
Horseman pass by!
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
All say, “How hard it is that we have to die”-a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
When you are born, you cry, and the world rejoices. When you die, you rejoice, and the world cries.
(Tibetan Buddhist saying)
Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.
The secret source of humour itself is not joy, but sorrow.
Perhaps… a humorous person is hiding inside me…But this humorous person isn’t fully developed, he hasn’t suffered enough.
Humour is an affirmation of man's dignity, a declaration of man's superiority to all that befalls him.
Transcendence restores humour…Too many representatives of too many movements - even many very good movements, such as feminism, environmentalism, meditation, spiritual studies - seem to lack humor altogether. In other words, they lack lightness, they lack a distance from themselves, a distance from the ego and its grim game of forcing others to conform to its contours.
May we hear the cosmic joke
And see the ridiculousness
of life and the world.
If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide.
We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
Man is not condemned to death, but to life.
Man lives freely only by his readiness to die.
We all labor against our own cure;
for death is the cure of all diseases.
(Sir Thomas Browne)
I praise my death, the free death which comes to me because I desire it.
I was not afraid to die, but to die without having been enlightened.
(Comte de Saint-Germain, La Tres Sainte Trinisophie)
What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
It is worth dying to find out what life is.
Death is the protest of the spirit against the unwillingness of the formed to accept transformation- the protest against stagnation.
The last to be overcome is death, and the knowledge of life is the knowledge of death.
Those who feel that they have plenty of time get busy at the time of death and find it is too late.
Against death I need no weapons because there is no such thing as death. There is only this: the fear of death.
Do you think death scares me? What can the boogyman do to me. Carry me from this futile life to the eternal one-there’s nothing more he can do.
Death doesn't exist. You only reach a new level of vision, a new realm of consciousness, a new unknown world.
If I must die,
I will encounter darkness as a bride
And hug it in mine arms.
No one takes my life from me
But I lay it down of my own accord.
The first sign of beginning knowledge is the wish to die.
...there is nothing but a spiritual world; what we call the sensory world is the evil in the spiritual one.
Some of us feel such a desperate weariness, a weariness from which nothing remains to set us free, except death.
I live, but there's no life in me
And in such a hopeful way
I die because I do not die.
(St. John of the Cross)
Death is the veil which those who live call life:
They sleep, and it is lifted.
Death never takes the wise man by surprise. He is always ready to go.
(John De La Fontaine)
And come he slow or come he fast, it is but Death who comes at last.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
(St. John, 12)
Our goal is death,
Our belief a belief in what perishes,
No great distance of time defies
Our fleeting faces…
We hate nothing that exists, not even death,
Suffering and dying
Do not horrify our souls,
As long as we learn more deeply to love.
While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.
(Leonardo da Vinci)
…learning to die and dying are valuable functions, like all other functions are-just as long as they are performed with respect towards the meaning and sanctity of life.
Will we ever learn to hope in death instead of being frightened of death?
I once set out from a dark point, the Womb, and now I proceed to another dark point, the Tomb.
(Women) give birth astride a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.
One day you are born
you die the next-
autumn breezes blow.
(Chikamasa, Samurai warrior)
He is not here; but far away
The noise of life begins again,
And ghastly thro’ the drizzling rain
On the bald street breaks the blank day.
(Alfred Lord Tennyson)
Men are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of the seriousness of your sufferings, except by our death. So long as you are alive, your case is doubtful; you have a right only to their skepticism.
No matter how many times I am told: you cannot understand the meaning of life, do not think about it and live, I cannot do so because I have already done it for too long. Now I cannot help seeing day and night chasing me and leading me to my death. This is all I can see because it is the only truth. All the rest is a lie.
Our body is a ship that sails on deep blue waters. What is our goal? To be shipwrecked!
…The true man is not a sheep, a watchdog, a wolf, a shepherd. He is a king and carries his kingdom with him and moves on, and knows where he is going; he reaches the edge of the abyss, throws away his paper crown, strips off his kingdom and like a diver, naked, joins his hands and plunges head-first into chaos and vanishes.
When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are
filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they
weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over
again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die
like a hero going home.
(Mohican Chief Aupumut)
The wise man seeks death throughout his life, and therefore death is not frightening to him.
Death is one of two things. Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from one place to another.
To fear death is nothing other than to think oneself wise when one is not. For it is to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not even turn out to be the greatest blessings of human beings. And yet people fear it as if they knew for certain it is the greatest evil.
It is very probable that only what we call consciousness is contained in space and time, and that the rest of the psyche, the unconscious, exists in a state of relative spacelessness and timelessness. For the psyche this means a relative eternality and a relative non-seperation from other psyches, or a oneness with them.
I sought my death, and found it in my womb;
I looked for life, and saw it was a shade;
I trod the earth, and knew it was my tomb;
And now I die, and now I was but made;
The glass is full, and now my glass is run;
And now I live, and now my life is done.
My soul that I believed was one
Unfolds upon a thousand wings.
Transformed into a motley universe,
I die to myself and merge with the whole world.
Everything die, everything, good riddance.
Only the eternal mother remains,
We came from her,
And her finger writes our names
Delighted on the fleeting air.
Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep-
He hath awakened from the dream of life-
‘Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit’s knife
Invulnerable nothings.-We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.
He has outsoared the shadow of our night;
Envy and calumny and hate and pain,
And that unrest which men miscall delight,
Can touch him not and torture not again;
From the contagion of the world’s slow stain
He is secure, and now can never mourn
A heart grown cold, a head grown grey in vain;
Nor, when the spirit’s self has ceased to burn,
With sparkless ashes load an unlamented urn…
Now all is over-let the piper play “Hatil mitulidh” (“We return no more”).
I hope the exit is joyful, and I hope never to return.
Truly the blessed gods have proclaimed a most beautiful secret:
Death comes not as a curse, but as a blessing to men.
Death is the key which unlocks the door of true happiness.
I have already died all deaths,
And I am going to die all deaths again,
Die the death of the wood in the tree,
Die the stone death in the mountain,
Earth death in the sand,
Leaf death in the crackling summer grass
And the poor bloody human death.
I will be born again, flowers,
Tree and grass I will be born again,
Fish and deer, bird and butterfly,
And out of every form,
Longing will drag me up the stairways
To the last suffering,
Up to the suffering of men.
O quivered tensed bow,
When the raging fist of longing
Commands both poles of life
To bend to each other!
Yet often, and many times over,
You will hunt me down from death to birth
On the painful track of the creations,
The glorious track of the creations.
As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavour,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiment of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.
Don’t be downcast, soon the night will come,
When we can see the cool moon laughing in secret
Over the faint countryside,
And we rest, hand in hand.
Don’t be downcast, the time will soon come
When we can have rest. Our small crosses will stand
On the bright edge of the road together,
And rain fall, and snow fall,
And the winds come and go.
My sledge and hammer lies
My bellows too have lost
My fire’s extinct my coals
And in the dust my vice
My days are spent my glass
My nails are drove my work
(St Britius’ Church, Brize Norton)
A branch broken and split
Dangling year after year
Creaking it’s song to the wind
With neither leaves nor bark
Bear, won, worn out by a long life
And a long death
It’s song echoes cracking and persistent
Stubbornly it resounds with secret anguish
For yet another summer , yet another winter