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

2 "This Life – the divine elan vital – is an energetic spirit, thrusting itself to expression in and through the world."

3 "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

4 "Man [is] the thoroughfare of Life upon her upward pilgrimage; self-creative, susceptible of freedom, able to breathe the atmosphere of Reality, to attain consciousness here and now of the Spiritual World."

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

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

7 "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."

8 "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."

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

10 "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."

11 "As the heightening of mental life reveals to the intellect deeper and deeper levels of reality, so with that movement towards enhancement of the life of spirit….the world assumes not the character of illusion but the character of sacrament; and spirit finds Spirit in the lilies of the field, no less than in the Unknowable Abyss."

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

13 "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'

14 "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')."

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

16 "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."

17 "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."

18 "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'

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

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

21 "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."

22 "Thou art the sky and Thou art the nest as well…..Hidden in the heart of things Thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts, buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness." Rabindranath Tagore, 'Gitanjali'

23 "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."

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

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite