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December 28, 2009

the beloved alone

Creation forgotten,
Creator only known,
Attention turned inward
In love with the Beloved alone.

St John of the Cross

Posted by amin at 1:01 PM

December 27, 2009

the desert

Where is my dwelling place? Where I can never stand.
Where is my final goal, toward which I should ascend?
It is beyound all place. What should my quest then be?
I must, transcending God, into the desert flee.

Angelus Silesius

Posted by amin at 11:51 AM

December 25, 2009

the maddness of art

It is glory--to have been tested, to have had our little quality and cast our little spell. . . A second chance--that's the delusion. There never was to be but one. We work in the dark--we do what we can--we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the maddness of art.

Henry James

Posted by amin at 2:02 PM

December 16, 2009

man's hidden treasures

Whatever is God to a man, that is his heart and soul; and conversely, God is the manifested inward nature, the expressed self of a man,--religion the solemn unveiling of a man's hidden treasures, the revelation of his intimate thoughts, the open confession of his love-secrets.


Posted by amin at 12:16 AM

December 15, 2009

the mystical

That's what it finally comes down to: to see everything, all elements equal, in life; even the mystical, even death. No one thing may extent beyond a second, each must rein its neighbor in. Then each has its own meaning and, what is most important: their sum will be a harmonious whole full of peace and security and equilibrium.

Only then does the mystical have its rightful place: if one does not grant it power different from the other forces. But the gullible seize on it as the secret cause of all that happens, and those who think they are above it are shattered by the violence of its incursions.

Rilke - Diaries of a Young Poet

Posted by amin at 1:00 PM

December 10, 2009

perennial philosophy

The Perennial Philosophy is characterized by three deep convictions born of direct experience. First, underlying everything in the phenomenal world is a changeless reality, which most religions call God. Second, this changeless reality is present in every living creature and can be personally discovered by following certain strenuous disciplines that remove the layers of conditioning that cover it. And third, this discovery is the real goal of life. Whatever else we may accomplish, nothing will satisfy us until we realize God in our own consciousness.

One of the hallmarks of the Perennial Philosophy is the recognition that nothing separates us from God but self-will, the deep clinging to oneself as something separate from the rest of creation. The whole of the spiritual life is a systematic attempt to remove this illusion of separateness once and for all. The task sounds bleak until we see, through a living example, that this "zero" is what allows the infinitude of God to burst forth through the human personality. Meister Eckhart says inimitably, "God expects but one thing from you: that you should come out of yourself in so far as you are a created being and let God into you." And again: "God is bound to act, to pour himself into you, as soon as he finds you ready."

Eknath Easwaran

Posted by amin at 2:00 PM

December 5, 2009

there shall no man see me, and live

11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.

13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

Exodus 33:11-23

Posted by amin at 12:09 PM

December 4, 2009

the sphere of the infinite

Oneness of mind and will with the divine mind and will is not the future hope and aim of religion, but its very beginning and birth in the soul. To enter on the religious life is to terminate the struggle. In that act which constitutes the beginning of the religious life- call it faith, or trust, or self-surrender, or by whatever name you will- there is involved the identification of the finite with a life which is eternally realized. It is true indeed that the religious life is progressive; but understood in the light of the foregoing idea, religious progress is not progress towards, but within the sphere of the Infinite. It is not the vain attempt by endless finite additions or increments to become possessed of infinite wealth, but it is the endeavor, by the constant exercise of spiritual activity, to appropriate that infinite inheritance of which we are already in possession. The whole future of the religious life is given in its beginning, but it is given implicitly. The position of the man who has entered on the religious life is that evil, error, imperfection, do not really belong to him: they are excrescences which have no organic relation to his true nature: they are already virtually, as they will be actually, suppressed and annulled, and in the very process of being annulled they become the means of spiritual progress. Though he is not exempt from temptation and conflict, yet in that inner sphere in which his true life lies, the struggle is over, the victory already achieved. It is not a finite but an infinite life which the spirit lives. Every pulse-beat of its existence is the expression and realization of the life of God.

John Caird - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Posted by amin at 1:35 PM

December 3, 2009

an intuition of the absolute balance

There is, apart from mere intellect, in the make-up of every superior human identity, a wondrous something that realizes without argument, frequently without what is called education (though I think it the goal and apex of all education deserving the name), an intuition of the absolute balance, in time and space, of the whole of this multifariousness, this revel of fools, and incredible make-believe and general unsettledness, we call the world; a soul-sight of that divine clue and unseen thread which holds the whole congeries of things, all history and time, and all events, however trivial, however momentous, like a leashed dog in the hand of the hunter. [Of] such soul-sight and root-centre for the mind mere optimism explains only the surface.


Posted by amin at 9:33 PM