Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Spiritual Genius, The Mastery of Life's Meaning
Winifred Gallagher
The author interviews several people who are spiritual geniuses, those who are masters of Life's meaning and how to express this in their life experiences.

1 "Everything a person does affects all being." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

2 "The Christian 'unio mystico', Jewish 'devekut', Muslin 'fana', Hindu 'samadhi', and Zen 'Kensho' manifest the same intense consciousness of ultimate reality's underlying unity and goodness."

3 "Because we have free will, we can choose to behave in ways that either enhance or hinder the movement of creation toward perfect completion in the divine."

4 "God loves us a billion times more than a mother! Far beyond anything we can experience in our minds and intellects!" Karunamayi, Hindu spiritual mother

5 "The awareness that comes out of prayer and the stillness of listening to the Spirit is releasing an energy for a new beginning. For now, we're in that place where we're groaning with all creation to be born anew." Bette Edl, American Franciscan hermit

6 "We're all cast in the divine image, whether we're Eskimos or Hottentots, so we're more alike than otherwise." Huston Smith

7 "God is in everything! Do you hear me? In everything!..... we're WITHIN the divine! God is the one through whom being is made!" Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

8 "Spiritual genius is the uniquely human ability to seek life's meaning. It's the voice inside us that keeps asking What's it all about? Who am I? How can I make a difference? This inclination to wonder why we exist is not rarefied, but a basic human trait… We're born with a craving to know our larger purpose."

9 "Physics, biology, and other sciences increasingly reveal a complementary picture of the universe as a vast web of interrelationships."

10 "We're each part of something that's much bigger and better than what meets the eye, and if we keep that in mind, our hearts will be in the right place. Life will be all right, because its ups and downs will be seen as what they are – threads in a great fabric whose beauty depends on bright and dark colors."

11 "Despite the chaos and confusion around us, everything is all right."

12 "When you talk about God, you're talking about what connects everything to everything else." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

13 "All religions are equally valid means to the same end: awakening the selfless, unconditional love that…is unreservedly given to all without expectations."

14 "All religions have forms of mysticism which emphasize direct awareness of and communion with the sacred. Hindu samadhi and Zen satori, Jewish devekut and Christian unio mystico, all describe intense consciousness of ultimate reality's underlying unity and goodness."

15 "Pray to make your question clearer, then the answer will come." Bette Edl, American Franciscan hermit

16 "The story line in all religions tells of a happy ending that blossoms as a result of ordeals necessarily confronted and surmounted. These trials add to the ultimate glory." Huston Smith

17 "I understand God in terms of love, compassion, justice. The Qur'an says everything in the world has been created for a just purpose." Riffat Hassan, Muslim Feminist teacher

18 "God is the holy one of all being through whom everything is connected to everything else." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

19 "There's only oneness." Karunamayi, Hindu spiritual mother

20 "Islam teaches justice and respect for the human being and does not condone oppression."

21 "Plotinus speaks of the One as 'that fountain always on'." Huston Smith

22 "The world's apparent brokenness conceals a hidden unity." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

23 "God is the self of the universe, so in finding your true inner self, you find God." Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

24 "I believe people are sacramental – the means by which God communicates God's nature to us." Dr. Tony Campolo, American Baptist minister

25 "The sacred isn't just 'up there' or in some afterlife but down here, right now."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite