Inter-  Faiths  Dialogue

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A dervish was sweeping the courtyard. Abu Sa'id saw him and said, "Be like the dust ball that rolls before the broom and not like the rock left behind.'
One must be like the dust, which has no will of its own but goes wherever the broom (the spiritual master) commands not like the rock, which asserts its own will and resists the direction of the guide.

Islam / Sufism
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.157 

D o everything you do in order to come close to your Lord in your worship and prayers. Think that each deed may be your last act, each prayer your last prostration, that you may not have another chance. If you do this, it will be another motivation for becoming heedful and also for becoming sincere and truthful.

Islam / Sufism
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.159 

I have seen nothing more conducive to righteousness than solitude. He who is alone sees nothing but God, and if he sees nothing but God, nothing moves him but the will of God.

Islam / Sufism
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.211 

T o completely trust in God is to be like a child who knows deeply that even if he does not call for the mother, the mother is totally aware of his condition and is looking after him.

Islam / Sufism
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.172 

D eliver yourself from the fetters of lust and passion. God did not create you to be their captive; they should be your servants, under your control for the journey that is before you, to be your steed and your weapon, so that you may use them to pursue your happiness, and when you have not more need of them, then cast them under your feet.

Islam / Sufism
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.247 

A n hour of contemplation is better than a year of prayer.

Hadith, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.92 

G od was asked why creation came into being. I was a hidden treasure. I longed to be known, so I created all of creation.

Hadith, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.92 

E ach faculty of ours delights in that for which it was created: lust delights in accomplishing desire, anger in taking vengeance, the eye in seeing beautiful objects, and the ear in hearing harmonious sounds. The highest function of the soul is the perception of truth.

Islam / Sufism
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.59 

K now, 0 beloved, that man was not created in jest
or at random, but marvelously made
and for some great end.

Islam / Sufism
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.5 

W hen I prayed with my heart, everything around me seemed delightful and marvelous. The trees, the grass, the birds, the earth, the air, the light seemed to be telling me that they existed for man's sake, that they witnessed to the love of God for man, that everything proved the love of God for man, that all things prayed to God and sang his praise.
Sometimes my understanding, which had been so stupid before, was given so much light that I could easily grasp and dwell upon matters of which up to now I had not been able even to think at all. Sometimes that sense of a warm gladness in my heart spread throughout my whole being and I was deeply moved as the fact of the presence of God everywhere was brought home to me. Sometimes by calling upon the name of Jesus I was overwhelmed with bliss, and now I knew the meaning of the words "The kingdom of God is within you.'
The Prayer of my heart gave me such consolation that I felt there was no happier person on earth than I, and I doubted if there could be greater and fuller happiness in the kingdom of Heaven. Not only did I feel this in my own soul, but the whole outside world also seemed to me full of charm and delight. Everything drew me to love and thank God: people, trees, plants, animals. I saw them all as my kinsfolk, I found in all of them the magic of the Name of Jesus.

Christianity / Orthodoxy
Unknown, from The Way of a Pilgrim, translated by R. M. French (New York: Seabury Press, 1965) 

Y our enjoyment of the world is never right, till every morning you awake in Heaven; see yourself in your Father's Palace; and look upon the skies, the earth, and the air as Celestial Joys: having such a reverend esteem of all, as if you were among the Angels. The bride of a monarch, in her husband's chamber, hath no such causes of delight as you. You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars: and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God, as misers do in gold, and Kings in scepters, you never enjoy the world.
Till your spirit filleth the whole world, and the stars are your jewels; till you are as familiar with the ways of God in all Ages as with your walk and table; till you are intimately acquainted with that shady nothing out of which the world was made; till you love men so as to desire their happiness, with a thirst equal to the zeal of your own; till you delight in God for being good to all: you never enjoy the world. Till you more feel it than your private estate, and are more present in the hemisphere, considering the glories and the beauties there, than in your own house; till you remember how lately you were made, and how wonderful it was when you came into it; and more rejoice in the palace of your glory, than if it had been made but today morning.
Yet further, you never enjoy the world aright, till you so love the beauty of enjoying it, that you are covetous and earnest to persuade others to enjoy it…. The world is a mirror of infinite beauty, yet no man sees it. It is a Temple of Majesty, yet no man regards it. It is a region of Light and Peace, did not men disquiet it. It is the Paradise of God. It is more to man since he is fallen than it was before. It is the place of Angels and the Gate of Heaven. When Jacob waked out of his dream, he said "God is here, and I wist it not. How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the House of God and the Gate of Heaven.

Thomas Traherne, taken from Thomas Traherne: Centuries, Poems, and Thanksgivings, edited by H. M. Margoliuth (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1958) 

C onsolation, peace, joy, beauty, and riches, all that can give delight, all this is shown to the mind illuminated in God, in spiritual similitudes and without measure. And through this vision and touch of God, love continues active. For such a just man has built up in his soul, in rest and in work, a veritable life which shall endure forever… Thus this man is just, and he goes toward God by inward love, in eternal work, and he goes in God by his fruitive inclination in eternal rest. And he dwells in God; and yet he goes out toward all creatures, in a spirit of love toward all things, in virtue and in works of righteousness. And this is the supreme summit of the inner life.

John Ruusbroec, adapted from the translation by Evelyn Underhill in Mysticism (London: Methuen, 1911). 

A ll Glory to you, most high, omnipotent, and good Lord
Praise and honor forever, and every blessing.
To you alone, most high One, should these be given
And no man is worthy of naming you.
Glory to you, my Lord, for all your creatures
Especially our brother, the sun,
Who is the day, and by whom you give us light:
He is beautiful and radiant with great splendor
And bears witness to you, most high One.
Glory to you, my Lord, for sister moon and the stars
You have made in heaven clear, precious, and beautiful.
Glory to you, my Lord, for brother wind
And for air and cloud and serene sky
And all the different weathers
By which you sustain all creatures.
Glory to you, my Lord, for sister water
Who is very useful and humble
And precious and pure.
Glory to you, my Lord, for brother fire
By whom you illumine night
And he is beautiful and joyful and robust and full of power.
Glory to you, my Lord, for our sister mother earth
Who sustains and governs us And produces different fruits
And brightly colored flowers and grass.
Glory to you, my Lord,
For those who forgive for love of you
And bear sickness and ordeals.
Happy are those who bear them in peace
For they will be crowned by you, most high Lord.
Glory be to you, my Lord,
For our sister bodily death
From whom no living man can escape.

Christianity / Catholicism
Saint Francis of Assisi, translated from the Italian by Andrew Harvey in teaching of the Christian Mystics. 

L ord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
0 divine Master, grant that
I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

Christianity / Catholicism
Saint Francis of Assisi, translated from the Italian by Andrew Harvey in teaching of the Christian Mystics. 

I magine if all the tumult of the body were to quiet down, along with all our busy thoughts about earth, sea, and air; if the very world should stop, and the mind cease thinking about itself, go beyond itself, and be quite still; if all the fantasies that appear in dreams and imagination should cease, and there be no speech, no sign: Imagine if all things that are perishable grew still - for if we listen they are saying, "We did not make ourselves; he made us who abides forever" - imagine, then, that they should say this and fall silent, listening to the very voice of him who made them and not to that of his creation; so that we should hear not his word through the tongues of men, nor the voice of angels, nor the clouds' thunder, nor any symbol, but the very Self which in these things we love, and go beyond ourselves to attain a flash of that eternal wisdom that abides above all things: And imagine if that moment were to go on and on, leaving behind all other sights and sounds but this one vision that ravishes and absorbs and fixes the beholder in joy; so that the rest of eternal life were like that moment of illumination that leaves us breathless:
Would this not be what is bidden in scripture, Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord?

Saint Augustine, from Eknath Easwaran's anthology God Makes the Rivers to Flow, copyright 1991, Nilgiri Press, Tornales, CA 94971. 

T he Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and join theirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

St. Paul, Romans 8:16-23 (AV), taken from the 1611 King James Version of the Bible 

I n free space there is neither right nor left. In the same way, there is reward and punishment only in this, and not in the Messianic world.

Judaism / Hassidism
Martin Buber’s ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.116 

E xcept a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

John 3:5-8 (AV), taken from the 1611 King James Version of the Bible 

V erily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter there.

Mark 10:13-15 (AV), taken from the 1611 King James Version of the Bible 

T hus sang a Vedantist: I never had fear or doubt. Death never came to me. I never had a father or mother, for I was never born. Where are my foes? - for I am All. I am Existence, Knowledge, Bliss Absolute. I am It. I am It."

"Vedanta: Voice of Freedom", Vedanta Society of St. Louis, 205 S. Skinker Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63105. 

I lived bewildered,
In illusion.

But now I am awake,
Flawless and serene,
Beyond the world.

From my light
The body and the world arise.

So all things are mine,
Or nothing is.

Now I have given up
The body and the world,
I have a special gift.

I see the infinite Self.

As a wave,
Seething and foaming,
Is only water

So all creation,
Streaming out of the Self,
Is only the Self.

Consider a piece of cloth.
It is only threads!

So all creation,
When you look closely,
Is only the Self.
Like the sugar
In the juice of the sugarcane,
I am the sweetness
In everything I have made.

When the Self is unknown
The world arises,
Not when it is known.

But you mistake
The rope for the snake.

When you see the rope,
The snake vanishes.

My nature is light,
Nothing but light.

When the world arises
I alone am shining.

When the world arises in me,
It is just an illusion:
Water shimmering in the sun,
A vein of silver in mother-of-pearl,
A serpent in a strand of rope.

From me the world streams out
And in me it dissolves,
As a bracelet melts into gold,
A pot crumbles into clay,
A wave subsides into water.

I adore myself,
How wonderful I am!

I can never die.

The whole world may perish,
From Brahma to a blade of grass,
But I am still here.

Indeed how wonderful!
I adore myself.

For I have taken form
But I am still one.

Neither coming or going,
Yet I am still everywhere….

I am the infinite ocean.

When thoughts spring up,
The wind freshens, and like waves
A thousand worlds arise.

But when the wind falls,
The trader sinks with his ship.

On the boundless ocean of my being
He founders,
And all the worlds with him.

But 0 how wonderful!

I am the unbounded deep
In whom all living things
Naturally arise,
Rush against each other playfully,
And then subside.

From The Heart of Awareness: A translation by Thomas Byrom. 

I imagine into being the whole world, moving and unmoving, through the power of my Maya,
Yet that same Maya is not separate from me; this is the highest truth …
In me this whole world is moven in all directions, 0 Mountain.
I am the Lord and the Cosmic Soul; I am myself the Cosmic Body.
I am Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra, as well as Gauri, Brahmi, and Vaishnavi.
I am the sun and the stars and I am the Lord of the stars.
I am the various species of beasts and birds; I am also the outcaste and thief.
I am the evil doer and the wicked deed; I am the righteous person and the virtuous deed.
I am certainly female and male, and asexual as well.
And whatever thing, anywhere, you see or hear,
That entire thing I pervade, ever abiding inside it and outside.
There is nothing at ail, moving or unmoving, that is devoid of me;
For if it were, it would be a nonentity, like the son of a barren woman.
Just as a single rope may appear variously as a serpent or wreath,
So also I may appear in the form of the Lord and the like; there is no doubt in this matter.
The world cannot appear without an underlying basis.
Accordingly, the world comes to be only through my own being and in no other way.

The Song of the Goddess: Translation, Annotation, and Commentary by C. Mackenzie Brown, the State University of New York Press (0 1998, State University of New York. 

N OW BE ATTENTIVE while I explain the highest kind of devotion.
One who constantly listens to my virtues and recites my names,
Who is firmly intent on me, a treasury of auspicious qualities,
Whose concentration is ever steady like a continuous flow of oil,
Who has no ulterior motive at all in these actions,
Having no desire for liberation in any form-whether living in my presence, sharing my powers, merging into me, or dwelling in my heaven
Who knows absolutely nothing better than serving me,
Cherishing the notion of servant and master and thus not aspiring even for liberation,
Who enthusiastically thinks of me alone with supreme affection,
Knowing me truly as never separate from oneself, not acknowledging any difference,
Who thinks of beings as embodiments of myself, loving other selves as one's own Self;
Who makes no false distinctions, realizing the universality of pure consciousness,
My omnipresent essence manifested in all beings everywhere at all times,
Who honors and respects even the lowest outcaste, 0 Lord,
Discarding any sense of difference and thus wishing harm to no one,
Who is eager to see my sacred sites and to see my devotees,
And is eager to listen to scriptures that describe the mantras and rites used in worshipping me, 0 Ruler,
Whose heart is overwhelmed with love for me, whose body ever thrills with joy,
Whose eyes are filled with tears of love, and whose voice falters,
Who, with such enraptured feelings, 0 Mountain Chief, worships
Me as ruler, womb of the world, and cause of all causes,
Who performs my splendrous rites, both the regular and the occasional, always with devotion and without miserly regard for cost,
Who longs to sec my festivals and to participate in them,
Ever impelled by such desires arising spontaneously, 0 Mountain,
Who sings on high my names while dancing,
Unselfconscious and forgetful of the body,
Who accepts the fruits of past karma as what must bc,
Unconcerned with thoughts of preserving the body,
Such a person practices devotion deemed supreme,
In which there is no thought of anything except me, the Goddess.
The person in whom such supreme devotion truly arises, 0 Mountain,
Then dissolves into my essential nature of pure consciousness.

The Song of the Goddess: Translation, Annotation, and Commentary by C. Mackenzie Brown, the State University of New York Press (0 1998, State University of New York. 

W hen appearances and names are put away and all discrimination ceases, that which remains is the true and essential nature of things and, as nothing can be predicated as to the nature of essence, it is called the "Suchness" of Reality. This universal, undifferentiated, inscrutable, "Suchness- is the only Reality but it is variously characterized as Truth, Mind-essence, transcendental Intelligence, Noble Wisdom, etc.

Buddhism / Mahayana
Ch.IV, p.299, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 

B ut whatsoever there is of feeling, perception, mental formations, or consciousness : all these phenomena he regards as impermanent, subject to pain, as infirm, as an ulcer, a thorn, a misery, a burden, an enemy, a disturbance, as empty and void of an Ego; and turning away from these things, he directs his mind towards the abiding, thus: This, verily, is the Peace, this is the Highest, namely the end of all formations, the forsaking of every substratum of rebirth, the fading away of craving, detachment, extinction, Nibbana. And in this state he reaches the cessation of passions.

Anguttara Nikaya, IX. 36 

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