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Spirituality

  • ... I'm just into spirituality. I believe that in a previous life I used to be Shirley MacLaine.

  • The divorce of our so-called spiritual life from our daily activities is a fatal dualism.

  • A mystic is a spiritual realist, a person for whom the Invisible is a matter of more or less firsthand experience.

  • The spiritual journey is what the soul is up to while we attend to daily living.

  • Contact with the sacred occurs in the stillness of the heart and mind. If there is any real destination to the spiritual quest, it is this point of silence, the middle of the spiral, the center of the self. ... The only map that does the spiritual traveler any good is one that leads to the center.

  • Spiritual energy brings compassion into the real world. With compassion, we see benevolently our own human condition and the condition of our fellow beings. We drop prejudice. We withhold judgment.

  • Spiritual empowerment is evidenced in our lives by our willingness to tell ourselves the truth, to listen to the truth when it's told to us, and to dispense truth as lovingly as possible, when we feel compelled to talk from the heart.

  • Spiritual love is a position of standing with one hand extended into the universe and one hand extended into the world, letting ourselves be a conduit for passing energy.

  • The spiritual quest is that part of life which is the path within the path. Spirituality is the sacred center out of which all life comes, including Mondays and Tuesdays and rainy Saturday afternoons in all their mundane and glorious detail. ... The spiritual journey is the soul's life commingling with ordinary life. The fabric tears: the soul sees Monday, Monday sees the soul.

  • To work in the world lovingly means that we are defining what we will be for, rather than reacting to what we are against.

  • Spiritual life is contractual.

  • Once you understand that God is the center of the universe, it's all very simple. Not a day goes by that I don't say, 'Thank you. I'm truly blessed.'

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Bill Adler, ed., The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey ()
  • We were not human beings going through spiritual experiences; we were spiritual beings going through human experiences, in order to grow.

  • The tension between the call to the desert and to the market place arises not from the greater presence of God in one or the other but from our varying psychological needs to apprehend him in different ways.

  • Yield all and trust all.

  • In all ages and cultures there is a yearning and a pull, against mortal gravity, to a more authentic reality in which we drown, with which we merge, in which we lose the discrete boundaries of self. That reality is felt to be a power, a stream, pure nothingness, pure Being. It is God, it is consciousness, it is the human self perfected.

  • Spiritual truth is truth in whatever age, but the tasks of its service change as society changes.

  • ... there is a hard clear rationality about Quakers — and, indeed, all mysticism, which, once experienced, makes other ways appear indirect, childish, and crude.

  • ... to the true servant of God every place is the right place and every time is the right time.

    • Catherine of Siena,
    • 1378, in Vida D. Scudder, ed., St. Catherine of Siena As Seen in Her Letters ()
  • All roads that lead to God are good.

  • Let there be many windows to your soul, / ... Not the narrow pane / Of one poor creed can catch the radiant rays / That shine from countless sources.

  • We cannot take a single step toward heaven. It is not in our power to travel in a vertical direction. If however we look heavenward for a long time, God comes and takes us up.

  • [We are not] to take one step, even in the direction of what is good, beyond that to which we are irresistibly impelled by God, and this applies to action, word, and thought.

  • The traditional metaphor for a spiritual investigation is that of the voyage or the journey. From this image I must dissociate myself. I do not consider myself a voyager, I have preferred to stand still.

  • Each generation has to reinvent spirituality.

    • Susan Sontag,
    • 1964, in David Rieff, ed., As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh ()
  • All we are asked to bear we can bear.

  • It really takes a hero to live any kind of spiritual life without religious belief.

  • Some keep the Sabbath going to Church — / I keep it, staying at Home — / With a Bobolink for a Chorister — / And an Orchard, for a Dome — ...

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1860, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • The spiritual world is not unlike the natural world: only diversity will save it.

    • Margot Adler,
    • "Inner Space," in Robin Morgan, ed., Sisterhood Is Forever ()
  • The spirituality of my childhood is the one I would most like to have restored. It was pure and fresh and honest. I read God everywhere!

  • Ah! My noble lineage! Have I come from God? Perhaps I have, for there is a part of me that seems to remember stars I cannot reach.

  • Spirituality is basically our relationship with reality.

  • Everything which is of strife makes the vision of the truth more difficult; everything which tends to controversy makes the grasping of the truth harder. The spirit of man should be like a lake unruffled by wind or storm. Under such conditions a lake will reflect perfectly the mountains which are around it and the sky above it. With an unruffled surface it will give a perfect reflection of these. If the wind sweeps over it or the storm ruffles it, its reflections are disturbed; they are not clear. The images will be seen, but not clearly. And so it is with the division of light and the human spirit. If the spirit is ruffled, then the Divine Image cannot mirror itself thereon.

  • No circumstances can ever make or mar the unfolding of the spiritual life. Spirituality does not depend upon the environment; it depends upon one's attitude towards life.

    • Annie Besant,
    • "The Spiritual Life in the World," The Spiritual Life ()
  • In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.

    • Mother Teresa,
    • in Becky Benenate and Joseph Durepos, eds., No Greater Love ()
  • We cannot find God in noise or agitation. Nature: trees, flowers, and grass grow in silence. The stars, the moon, and the sun move in silence. What is essential is not what we say but what God tells us and what He tells others through us. In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls. In silence we are granted the privilege of listening to His voice.

    • Mother Teresa,
    • in Becky Benenate and Joseph Durepos, eds., No Greater Love ()
  • The fruit of silence is prayer; the fruit of prayer is faith; the fruit of faith is love; the fruit of love is service; the fruit of service is peace.

  • I can do only one thing, like a little dog follow closely the Master's footsteps. Pray that I be a cheerful dog.

    • Mother Teresa,
    • in Brian Kolodiejchuk, ed., Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light ()
  • ... the whole meaning of our existence and the one consuming desire of the heart of God is that we should let ourselves be loved ...

  • ... I feel the divine presence holding us all together in the web of creation.

  • We want the unprovable, we want love, truth and beauty, and we can only find these on the spiritual plane.

    • Lily H. Montagu,
    • 1928, in Ellen M. Umansky and Dianne Ashton, eds., Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality ()
  • True shamans live in a world that is alive with what is to rationalist sight unseen, a world pulsing with intelligence.

  • ... there have been too many events in my life, and in the lives of my friends, which have defied any kind of scientific explanation. Science does not have appropriate tools for the dissection of the spirit.

    • Jane Goodall,
    • in Jane Goodall with Phillip Berman, Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey ()
  • Science demands objective factual evidence — proof; spiritual experience is subjective and leads to faith.

    • Jane Goodall,
    • in Jane Goodall with Phillip Berman, Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey ()
  • ... there came without warning a flowing into me of that which I have come to associate with the gods. I went to the open door and looked up at the mountains with something akin to awe. It forced me out into the open where I could look up to the sacred high places on which humans do not dwell. Then it left me — perhaps to return to those sacred places.

    • Edith Warner,
    • in Peggy Pond Church, The House at Otowi Bridge ()
  • ... in my opinion, the Divine is revealed to all men once at least in their lives.

  • Inner hunger is a divine discontent that keeps us moving forward.

  • ... we are not human beings learning to be spiritual; we are spiritual beings learning to be human.

  • Spirituality leaps where science cannot yet follow, because science must always test and measure, and much of reality and human experience is immeasurable.

  • Spirituality promotes passivity when the domain of spirit is defined as outside the world. When this world is the terrain of spirit, we ourselves become actors in the story, and this world becomes the realm in which the sacred must be honored and freedom created.

  • ... the deeper one is drawn into God, the more one must 'go out of oneself'; that is, one must go to the world in order to carry the divine life into it.

    • Edith Stein,
    • 1928, in Dr. L. Gelber and Romaeus Leuven, O.C.D., eds., The Collected Works of Edith Stein, vol. 5 ()
  • Spiritual life is like a moving sidewalk. Whether you go with it or spend your whole life running against it, you're still going to be taken along.

    • Bernadette Roberts,
    • in Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins, The Feminine Face of God ()
  • ... my heart never delighted in earthly things, for they did not fill the emptiness in my spirit. For this reason, the world died for me in my youngest years, before I really came to know it.

    • María de Ágreda,
    • c. 1645, in Clark Colahan, trans., The Visions of Sor MarÍa de Ágreda ()
  • The impulse to worship is impossible to eradicate. Even the most prosaic have to worship something.

  • The dramatic action that we need to create a way of life on Earth that really works will be taken not through personal, social, or political action, but through spiritual action.

  • Spiritual warrior's pledge: Not for myself alone, but that all the people may live.

  • ... all true spiritual teachings attempt to lead ultimately to the same thing: an understanding of the mysteries of the universe and the role we each play in it.

  • Spirituality is rooted in desire. We long for something we can neither name nor describe, but which is no less real because of our inability to capture it with words.

  • None of this is a matter of life and death. It is much more important than that.

  • One can become as intellectually arrogant about spirituality as about empirical science.

  • ... I think the world is in the mess it's in because we are spiritually ignorant.

  • Spirituality refers to ways of transcending the personal self and connecting with the universal.

  • Spirituality isn't an escape from the world, but an expansion of the world. The spiritual dimension enriches and sustains us — it does not limit or deny us. Spirituality is a celebration of love and life.

  • To say 'divine feminine' is redundant.

    • Rachel Bagby,
    • 1988, in Nina Boyd Krebs, Changing Woman Changing Work ()
  • More than half the people in the world are spiritual orphans. They do not know where they came from or where they are going.

  • My love has made a room for me / That looks upon eternity.

  • In the United States today, we seem to be concerned with our souls in unprecedented numbers and in new and diverse ways. The flourishing spiritual bouquet includes traditional domesticated blooms as well as surprising hybrids and sturdy wildflowers. New reflections on the nature of spiritual things, on our own souls, and on what it means to be both divinely human and humanly divine are joining and sometimes replacing more codified beliefs. Organized religions have much to offer us, but we've discovered that ultimately we are responsible for our own souls. We thus find ourselves reinventing the wheel, but it is a wheel of our own making, and we like this.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations on the Soul ()
  • ... spirituality is an intelligence in its own right, one that adds luster, meaning and consequential depth or mystery to our lives, just as does analytical or musical ability.

  • Spirituality which inspires activism and, similarly, politics which move the spirit — which draw from the deep-seated place of our greatest longings for freedom — give meaning to our lives.

  • The spiritual quest begins, for most people, as a search for meaning.

  • Call it God, the Goddess, a Higher Power, Earth, the Life Force, quantum physics, the Tao, we long for a personal connection with some force greater than ourselves.

  • The goal of feminist spirituality has never been the simple substitution of Yahweh-with-a-skirt. Rather, it seeks, in all its diversity, to revitalize relational, body-honoring, cosmologically grounded spiritual possibilities for women and all others.

  • Religion is a bridge to the spiritual, but the spiritual lies beyond religion.

  • The sacred lives beyond labels and judgment, in the wood-of-no-names.

  • The spiritual path, then, is simply the journey of living our lives. Everyone is on a spiritual path; most people just don't know it.

  • Spiritual wisdom is now available to everyone, disseminated to the masses as never before in world history. Finally, a few trips to the library, and we have a pretty good sense of what all the masters said. They all said the same things. There is a mass discovery that Jesus is truth, the Torah is truth, Mohammed is truth, Krishna is truth, Buddha is truth, and so on. They are all truth and they are all among us now.

  • We live in an age of instant gratification. Spirituality represents the opposite to this in giving no immediate feedback but requiring, instead, a disciplined approach leading to long and silent growth.

  • I am not my body. I am not my work or my role. I am not my gender. I am not my nationality. I am not a human being ... I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

    • Anonymous,
    • in Christina Baldwin, Life's Companion ()
  • Ecstasies inspire and awaken the soul; they convince the mind absolutely of the existence of another form of living.

    • Anonymous,
    • in Sir Francis Younghusband, Modern Mystics ()
  • What man calls conversion is often only the discovery of the Great Friend. What man calls religion is the knowledge of the Great Friend. What man calls holiness is the imitation of the Great Friend.

    • Anonymous,
    • two anonymous women who wrote the book, in A.J. Russell, ed., God Calling ()
  • ... religion's for those who believe in hell and a spiritual belief is for those who've been there.

  • Attempting to find or make meaning is perhaps the central task of the spiritual life.

  • One of the fascinating paradoxes of being human is that we are inescapably physical beings who yearn for transcendence.

  • The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.