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Spiritual/Inspirational

Note: the quotations in this section are mainly by men. 
Click here for a compilation of outstanding quotes by women.


Rumi
Silence is the language of God,
all else is poor translation
~ Rumi
(1207-1273)
Muslim Poet & Sufi Mystic


You don't have a soul.

You are a soul.

You have a body.

C. S. Lewis, British Scholar & Novelist (1898-1963)


Victor Grey

The natural world is a gift
that we have the obligation
to treasure and use carefully.

It is our moral responsibility
to protect it from damage,
and to pass it on to our heirs
in good condition.
To do less is to dishonor
the Giver and the gift.

Victor Grey, Author
(1943 - )


Pierre Teilhard deChardinThere is a sensual longing
for communion with others
who have a large vision. 

The immense fulfillment
of the friendship between
those engaged in furthering
the evolution of consciousness
has a quality impossible to describe."     

Pierre Teilhard deChardin
French philosopher & Jesuit Priest
(1881-1955)


James Dillet Freeman

Prayer is spiritual exercise
and every act of prayer
stretches the soul.

James Dillet Freeman (1912-2003)
The "Poet Laureate" of Unity Church

 


Thich Nhat Hanh


People usually consider walking on water or on thin air a miracle.
But I think the real miracle
is not to walk either on water or in thin air,
but to walk on earth.

Every day we are engaged in a miracle
which we don't even recognize:
a blue sky,
white clouds,
green leaves,
the black, curious eyes of a child --
our own two eyes.

All is a miracle.

~Thich Nhat Hanh (1926- )
Vietnamese Buddhist monk


R. D. Laing We live in a moment of history,
where change is so speeded up that
 we begin to see the present only when
it is already disappearing.
 
~Ronnie D. Laing, author
(1927-1989)


Tom Kenyon"It is the state of your vibratory field that determines your experience of any event. In its most simple form, the cultivation of appreciation for the smallest things in your life will give you the greatest results."

I have noticed that when I am in the vibratory field of joy, appreciation and gratitude, I am somehow insulated from the swirling madness of our time. It is as if I am suspended above the conflicts that I was so engrossed in only moments before. And I have also noticed that if these feelings continue long enough, my external circumstances reflect this vibratory field. In other words, reasons to feel joy, appreciation and gratitude pop up all around me through such things as serendipity, and odd coincidences (i.e., synchronicities) that assist me.

When I succumb, however, to the lower vibratory fields of fear, anger and hostility (often after watching or reading too much of the news, or simply indulging in my own bad habits of imagining worst case scenarios), I find myself immersed in a world of conflict. Serendipity and joy disappear, and the world that was so full of magic and possibility evaporates before me.  But I am clear that this is all my own creation.

~ Tom Kenyon


Steve JobsYour time is limited,
so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma,
which is living with the results of
other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise
of other people’s opinions
drown out you own inner voice.
And most important,
have the courage to follow
your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know
what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”

~Steve Jobs, Founder, Apple Computer


Erich FrommCreativity requires
the courage
to let go
of certainties.

~Erich Fromm,
psychologist, psychoanalyst, and humanistic philosopher
(1900– 1980)


Ilene CummingsThe vision to change the cultural conversation
on aging and beauty is ours for the taking. 
We need not get caught in the details on
how this paradigm shift is going to occur --
vision rarely starts with the details.

Dr. Ilene Cummings, Author
The Lavender Lace Bra


Mother Theresa

It is not the magnitude
of our actions
but the amount of love
that is put into them
that matters.

The biggest disease today
is not leprosy or tuberculosis,
but rather the feeling
of being unwanted.

Mother Theresa
1910-1997


Peace Pilgrim

The most important part of prayer
is what we feel, not what we say.
We spend a great deal of time telling God
what we think should be done,
and not enough time
waiting in the stillness
for God to tell us
what to do.

Peace Pilgrim (1908-1981)
Her Life and Works in Her Own Words
(p.76)


Krishnamurti

It is no measure of health
to be well adjusted to a
profoundly sick society.

Jiddu Krishnamurti
(1895-1986)


Amma
“Is God a Man or a Woman ?
The answer to this question is neither—
God is That.

But if you must give God a gender,
God is more female than male,
for he is contained in She.”

—Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)
Spiritual Leader
(1953 - )


Dalai Lama

If you think you are
too small to
make a difference
try sleeping with
a mosquito.

The 14th Dalai Lama
(1935 - )


Charles Caleb ColtonMen spend their lives in anticipations,—in determining to be vastly happy at some period when they have time. But the present time has one advantage over every other—it is our own. Past opportunities are gone, future have not come. We may lay in a stock of pleasures, as we would lay in a stock of wine; but if we defer the tasting of them too long, we shall find that both are soured by age.

Charles Caleb Colton (1780 - 1832), was an
English cleric, writer and collector


Longfellow

We judge ourselves
by what we feel
capable of doing,
while others
judge us
by what
we have already
done.                                        

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American Educator and Poet (1807-1882)


Ralph Waldo Emerson

To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
to know that even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
American Essayist and Poet


Paul Hawken"Inspiration is not garnered from the
litanies of what may befall us;
it resides in humanity’s willingness
to restore, redress, reform,
rebuild, recover,
reimagine, and
reconsider."
~Paul Hawken

Saint GermainThere is no devil in the universe
except mankind's own
inharmonious
thoughts & feelings,
both individual
and enmass.

St. Germain


Albert von Szent-Györgyi

Discovery consists of seeing
what everybody has seen
and thinking what
nobody has
thought."

- Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi.


Lao Tze


Sharon SalzbergLove and concern for all are not things
some of us are born with and others are not.
Rather, they are results of what we do with our minds:
We can choose to transform our minds
so that they embody love,
or we can allow them
to develop habits &
false concepts
of separation.

Sharon Salzberg


Goethe"I have come to the frightening conclusion that
I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration,
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides
whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated,
and a person is humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
If we treat people as they ought to be,
we help them become what they are capable of becoming."

"There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance"

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)


Sir William Osler
"The greater the ignorance,
the greater the dogmatism"
Sir William Osler, M.D.
(1849 –1919)

Only in quiet waters
do things mirror themselves
undistorted.

Only in a quiet mind
is adequate
perception of
the world."

~Hans Margolius (1902-)
German philosopher


Marcel Proust
The voyage of discovery
is not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.

-Marcel Proust
(1871-1922)
French novelist


Howard Thurman
Don't ask yourself what the world needs.     
Ask yourself what makes you come alive,     
and then go do that.     
Because what the world needs    
 is people who have come alive."     

~Howard Thurman (1900-1981)
Professor of Theology,
Author, Philosopher


Albert Einstein"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift,
the rational mind  is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant
and has forgotten the gift."

"Great spirits have always encountered
violent opposition from
mediocre minds."

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


Buckminster FullerYou do not belong to you. You belong to the universe.
The significance of you will remain forever obscure to you,
but you may assume you are fulfilling your significance
if you apply yourself to converting all you experience
to highest advantage to others.

Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.

- Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)
20th century inventor,
mathematician and futurist


Soren Kierkegaard


Jonas Salk

 

I have come to recognize evolution
not only as an active process
that I am experiencing at the time,
but as something I can guide
by the choices I make. 

~Jonas Salk (1914-1995)
Physician and Research Scientist

 


Allen Toffler

Change is not merely necessary to life,
it is life.

Allen Toffler (1928-)
Futurist and Writer



Anais Nin
We don't see things as they are.

We see things as
we are.

- Anais Nin, author
(1903-1977)


Pierre Tielhard ChardinThe day will come when, after harnessing
space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation,
we shall harness for God the energies of love.
And on that day,
for the second time in the history of the world
we shall have discovered fire.

~Tielhard de Chardin (1881-1955)
Visionary French Jesuit, paleontologist, biologist,
and philosopher


Mahatma Gandhi

 

The weak can never forgive.
Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.


Always aim at purifying
your thoughts and everything
will be well.

Mahatma Gandhi
(1869 - 1948)


Dogen
To start from the self and try to understand all things
is delusion.

To let the self be awakened by all things
is enlightenment."

Dogen (1200-1253)
Japanese Zen Buddhist Teacher


buddha
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And the habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care;
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.
 
As the shadow follows the body,
As we think, so we become

--From the Dhammapada
(the sayings of the Buddha)


Michelangelo

The greater danger for most of us lies not
in setting our aim too high and falling short;
but in setting our aim too low,
and achieving our mark
.

— Michelangelo (1475-1564)
    sculptor, painter, architect, and poet


tagore

Death is not extinguishing the light;
it is putting out the lamp
because the Dawn
has come.

Rabindranath Tagore 
(1861-1941)


Desmond TutuThere is no situation that is not transformable. 
There is no person who is hopeless. 
There is no set of circumstances
that cannot be turned about
by ordinary human beings
and their natural capacity
for love of the deepest sort.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches

Szent-Gyorgyi


Discovery consists of seeing
what everybody has seen
and thinking
what nobody
has thought
.

Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi (1893-1986)
Nobel Prize in Medicine 1937 .


PlatoThe souls of people, on their way to Earth-life, pass through a room full of lights; each takes a taper - often only a spark - to guide it in the dim country of this world. But some souls, by rare fortune, are detained longer - have time to grasp a handful of tapers, which they weave into a torch. These are the torch-bearers of humanity - its poets, seers and saints, who lead and lift the race out of darkness, toward the light. They are the law-givers and saviors, the light-bringers, way-showers and truth-tellers, and without them, humanity would lose its way in the dark.                   

~Plato (ca, 427-ca 347 BC) Greek Philosopher


Meister Eckhart

If the only prayer
you ever say
in your whole life
is 'Thank you God',
that would suffice."

—Meister Eckhart (1260-1328)
German theologian, philosopher & mystic


George Washington Carver


I love to think
of nature as an
unlimited
broadcasting
system
through which God
speaks to us every hour,
if only we tune in.

~ George Washington Carver (1864-1943)
Botanist and inventor


Neale Donald WalschThere is no master race.
There is no greatest nation.
There is no one true religion.
There is no inherently perfect philosophy.
There is no always right political party,
morally supreme economic system,
or one and only way to heaven.

Erase these ideas from your memory.
Eliminate them from your experience.
Eradicate them from your culture.
For these are thoughts of division and separation,
and you have killed each other over these thoughts.
Only the truth I give you here will save you:
WE ARE ONE.
Carry this message far and wide, across oceans
and over continents, around the corner and around the world.

~Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God, p. 359


George Bernard Shaw


Imagination
is the beginning
of creation.
You imagine what you desire,
you will what you imagine,
and at last you create
what you will.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish Author

Nelson Mandela
Resentment is like
drinking poison 
and then hoping
it will kill your 
enemies.


- Nelson Mandela (1918-
Former President of South Africa

Alan WattsWe could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. In this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.

~Alan Watts, American writer (1915-1973)


tagore

Death is not extinguishing the light;
it is putting out the lamp
because the Dawn
has come.

Rabindranath Tagore 
(1861-1941)