Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Mystic Way - A Psychological Study in Christian Origins
Evelyn Underhill

1 "Life immanent and life transcendent, the Temporal and the Eternal order, are the complementary expressions of a Reality which is one."

2 "Deity, in so far as it is apprehended by human intuition and love, appears to us as a vast, all-encompassing, all-penetrating Reality, which is both transcendent and immanent, static and dynamic, changeless yet changeful, ineffable yet personal."

3 "We live and are in God, we are of His substance, we have heaven and hell in ourselves; what we make of ourselves, that we are." Jacob Boehme, 'The Threefold Life of Man'

4 "Only by love can man enter into direct communion with Reality; only by its dynamic power will he raise up the temple in which that Reality can make its home."

5 "Knowledge of ourselves, which we too easily confuse with knowledge of our sins, means accurate consciousness of our powers as well as of our deficiencies. It means the bringing of all the levels of our nature into the field of consciousness: a complete review of the available material."

6 "We are like coals, burned on the hearth of Infinite Love." Ruysbroeck, 'De Septem gradibus amoris', ch. 14

7 "Man's will and work are themselves a part of the divine energy."

8 "The movement which He (Christ) initiated…is in essence a genuinely biological rather than a merely creedal or intellectual development of the race. In it, we see life exercising her sovereign power of spontaneous creation: breaking out on new paths."

9 "Throughout the whole course of this struggle [of life] we observe on the side of spirit – or, if you like it better, on the psychic side of life – an unmistakable instinct for transcendence: 'an internal push, which has carried life by more and more complex forms to higher and higher destinies.' (Bergson, 'L'Evolution creatrice')."

10 "The glory of that One Reality [is] ablaze in the humblest of growing things."

11 "The natural things of the earth – the wheat, the vine, all growing living creatures – are already entinctured with Spirit, radiant of the divine loveliness, 'full of Thy glory', and hence….may become lenses that focus and distribute the flashes of the Uncreated Light."

12 "The destiny to which our human spirit tends is 'freedom': that high level of being, upon which life achieves reality and becomes the self-creative auxiliary of the divine."

13 "There are no breaks in the World of Becoming; Life, though it be instinct with spontaneity, though it cut new paths for its branching stream in fresh, unimaginable directions, behave in a thousand incalculable ways, ever remains one."

14 "Divine Love is not a single thread that links creature and Creator; but rather a web that knits up the many with the One."

15 "Be thou drunken in love, for love is all that exists." Jalalu'ddin, 'Divan'

16 "They who see but One in all the changing manifoldness of this universe, unto them belongs eternal truth: unto none else, unto none else." Katha Upanishad

17 "You need not call Him from a distance, your opening and His entering are but one moment."

18 "Man, said St. Bernard [of Clairvaux] is 'a capacity for the Infinite.'"

19 "The holy spark of the divine nature within (humanity) has a natural, strong, and almost infinite tendency or reaching after that eternal Light and Spirit of God from whence it came forth. It came forth from God, it came out of God, it partakes of the divine nature, and therefore it is always in a state of tendency and return to God." William Law, 'The Spirit of Prayer'

20 "The action of 'grace', the spirit of love leading life to its highest expression, is continuous from the first travail of creation even until now."

21 "When Angela of Foligno says, 'I had comprehension of the whole world, both here and beyond the sea, and the Abyss and all things else; and therein I beheld naught save the divine power in a manner which is verily indescribable, so that through greatness of marvelling the soul cried with a loud voice, saying 'This whole world is full of God' – when we read this, an intuition deep within us replies that it can here recognise the accent of truth."

22 "The movement of the self towards transcendence, its achievement of 'divine humanity', is an organic process."

23 "The living water never ceased to flow. No doubt many of those through whom it passed are unknown to us. But enough are known, through their lives and their writing, to enable us to establish the continuance and ever richer, deeper growth of the life-force at work within humanity: the development of the new 'seed' within the world, destined to serve the interests of the Divine Plan."

24 "I am God, says Love; for Love is God and God is Love. And this soul is God by condition of Love." Ruysbroeck, 'The Mirror of Simple Souls'

25 "We feel, interpenetrating and supporting us, the action of a surging, creative Spirit, which transcends all its material manifestations."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite