The True Peace
The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made be btween two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.
My Journey into the Mother
I saw the visions described in the scriptures. Sometimes I saw the universe filled with sparks of fire. Sometimes I saw all the quarters glittering with light, as if the world were a lake of mercury. Sometimes I saw the world as if it were made of liquid silver. Sometimes, again, I saw all the quarters illumined as if with the light of Roman candles. So you see my experiences tally with those described in the scriptures.
Truth is One
People worship God according to their tastes and temperaments. The mother cooks the same fish differently for her children, that each one may have what suits his stomach. For some she cooks the rich dish of pilau. But not all the children can digest it. For those with weak stomachs she prepares soup. Some, again, like fried fish or pickled fish. It depends on one's taste.... I see people who talk about religion constantly quarreling with one another. Hindus, Mussulmans, Brahmos, Saktas, Vaishnavas, Saivas all quarrel with one another. They haven't the intelligence to understand that He who is called Krishna is also Siva and the Primal Shakti, and that it is He, again, who is called Jesus and Allah. "There is only one Rama and He has a thousand names." Truth is one; only It is called by different names. All people are seeking the same Truth; the variance is due to climate, temperament, and name. A lake has many ghats. From one ghat the Hindus take water in jars and call it jal. From another ghat the Mussulmans take water in feather bags and call it pani. From a third the Christians take the same thing and call it "water" Suppose someone says that the thing is not jal but pani, or that it is not pani but water, or that it is not water but jal. It would indeed be ridiculous. But this very thing is at the root of the friction among sects, their misunderstandings and quarrels. This is why people injure and kill one another, and shed blood, in the name of religion. But this is not good. Everyone is going toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and longing of heart.
- Ramakrishna, From The Essential Mystics
"Once, a few weeks after I came to the woods, for an hour I doubted whether the near neighborhood of man was not essential to a serene and healthy life. To be alone was somewhat unpleasant. But, in the midst of a gentle rain, while these thoughts prevailed, I was suddenly sensible of such sweet and beneficent society in Nature, in the very pattering of the drops, and in every sight and sound around my house, an infinite and unaccountable friendliness all at once, like an atmosphere, sustaining me, as made the fancied advantages of human neighborhood insignificant, and have never thought of them since. Every little pine-needle expanded and swelled with sympathy and befriended me. I was so distinctly made aware of the presence of something kindred to me, that I thought no place could ever be strange to me again."
-Henry David Thoreau in Walden.
"I arose on he morning of the Sabbath, I felt a love to all mankind, wholly peculiar in its strength and sweetness, far beyond all that I had ever felt before. The power of that love seemed inexpressible. I thought, if I were surrounded by enemies, who were venting their malice and cruelty upon me, in tormenting me, it would still be impossible that I should cherish any feelings towards them but those of love, and pity, and ardent desires for their happiness. I never before felt so far from a disposition to judge and censure others as I did that morning. I realized also, in an unusual and very lively manner, how great a part of Christianity lies in the performance of our social and relative duties to one another. The same joyful sense continued throughout the day-a sweet love to God and all mankind."
-Mrs. Edwards quoted by William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience.
"In one quarter of an hour I saw and knew more than if I had been many years together at an university. For I saw and knew the being of all things, the Byss and the Abyss, and the eternal generation of the holy Trinity, the descent and original of the world and of all creatures through the divine wisdom. I knew and saw in myself all the three worlds, the external and visible world being a procreation or extern birth from both the internal and spiritual worlds; and I saw and knew the whole working essence, in the evil and in the good, and the mutual original and existence; and likewise how the fruitful bearing womb of eternity brought forth. So that I did not only greatly wonder at it, but did also exceedingly rejoice, albeit I could very hardly apprehend the same in my external man and set it down with the pen. For I had a thorough view of the universe as in a chaos, wherein all things are couched and wrapt up but it was impossible for me to explicate the same."
- Jacob Boehme quoted by William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience.
"Jesus has come to take up his abode in my heart. It is not so much a habitation, an association, as a sort of fusion. Oh, new and blessed life! Life which becomes each day more luminousŠThe wall before me, dark a few moments since, is splendid at this hour because the sun shines on it. Wherever its rays fall they light up a conflagration of glory; the smallest speck of glass sparkles, each grain of sand emits fire; even so there is a royal song of triumph in my heart because the Lord is there. My days succeed each other; yesterday a blue sky; to-day a clouded sun; a night filled with strange dreams; but as soon as the eyes open, and I regain consciousness and seem to begin life again, it is always the same figure before me, always the same presence filling my heart ŠFormerly the day was dulled by the absence of the Lord. I used to wake invaded by all sorts of sad impressions, and I did not find him on my path. To-day he is with me; and the light cloudiness which covers things is not an obstacle to my communion with him. I feel the pressure of his hand, I feel something else which fills me with a serene joy, shall I dare to speak it out? Yes, for it is the true expression of what I experience. The Holy Spirit is not merely making me a visit; it is no mere dazzling apparition which may from one moment to another spread its wings and leave me in my night, it is a permanent habitation. He can depart only if he takes me with him. More than that; he is not other than myself: he is one with me. It is not a juxtaposition, it is a penetration, a profound modification of my nature, a new manner of my being."
-Wilfred Monod quoted by William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience.
"In mystic states we both become one with the Absolute and we become aware of our oneness. This is the everlasting and triumphant mystical tradition, hardly altered by differences of clime or creed. In Hinduism, in Neoplatonism, in Sufism, in Christian Mysticism, in Whitmanism, we find the same recurring note, so that there is about mystical utterances and eternal unanimity which ought to make a critic stop and think, and which brings it about that the mystical classics have, as has been said, neither birthday nor native land, Perpetually telling of the unity of man with God, their speech antedates languages, and they do not grow old."
-William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience.
"I watched the sky above me. As I gazed at it, I felt an immense nostalgia, as if voices from afar were calling to meŠ
The voices seemed to emanate from each of the tiny stars that lit the sky. A feeling of sadness and pain I cannot put into words overtook me, and I surrendered to it gently as if it were natural to feel what I felt. As to what had really happened to me during the course of the night, my mind never once tried to analyze it. The proximity of the silent darkness spoke comforting words to my heart, and I felt the friendliness of the trees and the grass surrounding the camp. The invisible presence of the stillness resurrected an intense sense of home and comfort within me.
Soon the bird of dawn sang, announcing to the spirits and to all nocturnal species that it was time to find refuge. I had never seen the shy secretive bird of dawn, but my brother once told me that it looked like an owl with flaming eyes.
I listened to its melody while my eyes remained locked onto the dark scintillating sky. I was so aware of the life of everything around me that it felt as if the entire bush were filled with heavy traffic. The trees were gallantly oscillating as if in response to the cold breeze of the dawn, and this breeze seemed a carrier of countless life forms, including spirits who were returning to their point of origin."
-Malidoma Some in Of Water and the Spirit.
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