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Interreligious dialogue : The Ways > About the Way

Onelittleangel > The Ways > About the Way
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W e have no freedom to achieve our goal
Until from Self and fools we free the soul.
To be admitted past the veil you must
Be dead to all the crowd considers just
Once past the veil you understand the Way
From which the crowd's glib courtier blindly stray
If you have any will, leave women's stories,
And even if this search for hidden glories
Proves blasphemy at last, be sure our quest
Is not mere talk but an exacting test.
The fruit of love's great tree is poverty
Whoever knows this knows humility





Islam / Sufism 4527 | 
The Conference of the Birds 







A s the path of the birds in the air or of fishes in the water is
invisible, even so is the path of the possessors of wisdom.





Hinduism 4285 | 
Mahabharata 12.6763 







T o every one of you We have appointed a right way and an open road.




Islam 3965 | 
V, 50-3 







A man cannot learn this by running away, by shunning things and shutting himself up in an external solitude; but he must practice a solitude of the spirit, wherever or with whomever he is. He must learn to break through things and to grasp his God in them and to form Him in himself powerfully in an essential manner. This is like someone who wants to learn to write. If he is to acquire the art, he must certainly practice it hard and long, however disagreeable and difficult this may be for him and however impossible it may seem. If he will practice it industriously and assiduously, he learns it and masters the art.




Christianity 3818 | 
Treatise C.6, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, p. 252-254 







O n what does this true possession of God depend, so that we may truly have Him? This true possession of God depends on ... an inward directing of the reason and intention toward God, not on a constant contemplation in an unchanging manner, for it would be impossible to nature to preserve such an intention, and very laborious, and not the best thing either.




Christianity 3816 | 
Treatise C.6, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, p. 252-254 







A s Antony, the great servant of God, said, "Holiness is achieved when the intellect is in its natural state." And again he said: "The soul realizes its integrity when its intellect is in that state in which it was created." And shortly after this he adds: "Let us purify our mind, for I believe that when the mind is completely pure and is in its natural state, it gains penetrating insight…" So spoke the renowned Antony, according to the Life of Antony by Athanasios the Great.




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3373 | 
On Watchfulness and Holiness: ("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 194, text 179) 







T o have a body is to suffer. Does anyone with a body know peace? Those who understand this detach themselves from all that exists and stop imagining or seeking anything. The sutras say, "To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss." When you seek nothing, you're on the Path.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 3247 | 
The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. Trans. Red Pine. New York: North Point Press, 1987. The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. Trans. Red Pine. New York: North Point Press, 1987, pp. 5-7 







G od has made different religions and creeds to suit different aspirants.




Hinduism 3189 | 
Mahendranath Gupta. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. Trans. Swami Nikhilananda. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1942, 1948, 1958, p. 316 







O Lord, let others ask for every kind of gift, with more and more prayers; I ask for one gift with but one prayer: "Grant me a pure heart!" How blessed are the pure of heart. By the power of their faith they see God within themselves; they see Him above and below, in all things, at all times. They become the instruments of this Divine Play, as God guides them everywhere and leads them to everything.

A pure heart and good will! The one foundation of every spiritual state! … The pure heart could well say to every soul: "Look at me carefully. It is I who generate that love which always chooses the better part. I produce that mild but effective fear which arouses such a dread of wrong-doing that it can easily be avoided. I impart that excellent understanding which reveals the greatness of God and the merit of virtue. And it is also I who causes that passionate and holy yearning which keeps the soul resolute in virtue and in expectation of God."

Yes, 0 Pure Heart, you can invite everyone to gather round you and enrich themselves with your inexhaustible treasures. There is not one single kind of spiritual practice, not one path to holiness, which does not find its source in you.





Christianity / Catholicism 3095 | 
Ramiere, Rev. H., trans. Abandonment. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1887 







I knew nothing.
I did not know what to seek,
I did not know where to go.
Whom was I to ask, where was I to wander?
What path to follow?
What instructions to pursue whereby I might find my Beloved?

Seeking Him I reached the mosque,
But all I found were vain discussions on sacraments and ceremonials.

My heart told me to go to a seminary;
Maybe there I might meet my Lord.
But all I met there were noisy debates and scholars puffed with eloquence.

I was advised to go visit the temple.
I found nothing there but idols being worshiped and gongs being sounded.
Disgusted, I sought a stone to strike against my head.

For nowhere could I find that callous Beloved of mine.

Then I went on a pilgrimage to all the holy sights.
Maybe I would find Him there.
So I stopped at many holy places and bowed before many deities,
But it brought me no comfort.
And when I found myself helpless I left the towns and its temples to wander in the jungle.

In the wilderness I wept and shed hot tears.
I asked myself, "How long must I bear this agony of separation?"
But there was nowhere to go, no place to find shelter from my pain.

For days I roamed in the forest a poor man, a pilgrim, a homeless fakir
In the mountains too, I struggled.
I was empty, hungry~ thirsty-in a miserable plight, without a morsel to appease my hunger, without a drop to quench my thirst.

I laid myself out in a field, the burning sun was overhead.
My mind filled with the desire to see Him
But all was in vain-
The Lord would not show Himself to me.
I shed tears of blood that sparkled like rubies in the sands.

When I reached a state of total despair, hoping that death might rescue me from this pain, He, my careless Beloved,
Came to me.
Like a mother rushing to her sick child,
He came to me, sat by my side, and placed my head upon His lap.
Kind words came from His lips:

"Now see whatever you want to see,
I will reveal to you all the secrets of my heart.
Remember, first We test our lover.
We torment him, oppress him, and force him to shed tears.
Then We bring him to us.
When all his thoughts are of the Beloved,
We allow him to come near, shower him with grace, and hold him in our arms.
Thus he becomes perfect."

As these words reached my ears
I came back to life, gained consciousness, and was free of all pain.
Then I cast one look at His radiant face
And the mystery of all creation lay bare before me.
In one moment the good and bad actions of lifetimes vanished.

From separation I passed into Unity;
All the illusions of life disappeared like a phantom show.

Now, wherever I cast my glance, I see Him and none other. The Muslim, the Hindu, and the Jew Have all become the same to me they have all merged in the Glory of my one Beloved.

So says Nazir.





Islam / Sufism 3071 | 
Behari, Bankey Sufis, Mystics and Yogis of India. Bombay: Bharativa Vidya Bhavan, 1982, pp. 183-188 







O ne day a man asked a sheikh how to reach God. “the Way to God” the sheikh replied, “are many as they are created beings. But the shortest and easiest is to serve others, not to bother others, and to make others happy.




Islam / Sufism 2987 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.198 







A sceticism for the sake of the world brings relief to the body; asceticism for the sake of the hereafter brings relief to the heart; and turning one's face toward the Divine brings relief to the Spirit.




Islam 2923 | 
Hadith, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.92 







T here are as many ways to God as there are created souls.




Islam 2921 | 
Hadith, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.92 







T he journey from this world to the next (to give up worldly things for spiritual things) is easy for the believer. The journey from the creatures to the Creator is hard. The journey from the self to God is very hard. And to be able to abide in God is harder still.




Islam / Sufism 2865 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.38 







I t is impossible to tell men what way they should take. For one way to serve God is by the teachings, another by Prayer, another way by fasting, and still another by eating. Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.




Judaism / Hassidism 2760 | 
Martin Buber’s ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.54 







T o give oneself up to indulgence in Sensual Pleasure the base, common, vulgar, unholy, unprofitable, and also to give oneself up to Self-mortification, the painful, unholy, unprofitable; both these two extremes the Perfect One has avoided and found out the Middle Path which makes one both to see and to know, which leads to peace, to discernment, to enlightenment, to Nibbana.




Buddhism 2470 | 
Samyutta Nikaya, 56 







H e who disobeys [the Principle of Nature] violates virtue. He who destroys humanity is a robber. He who promotes evil lacks [moral] capacity. But he who puts his moral nature into practice and brings his physical existence into complete fulfillment can match [Heaven and Earth].




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2353 | 
Chang Tsai, Cheng-meng, ch 17, THE WESTERN INSCRIPTION, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 30 







B ecause of calmness, one's desires will be appeased, and because of harmony, one's impetuousness will disappear. Peace, calmness, and moderation-these are the height of virtue.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2326 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch.17, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







T he way of the sage is nothing but humanity, righteousness, the Mean, and correctness. Preserve it and it will be ennobling. Practice it and it will be beneficial. Extend it and it will match Heaven and Earth. Is it not easy and simple? Is it hard to know? (If so), it is because we do not preserve, practice, and extend it.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2322 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch. 6, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







T he Master" (1) said, "What is there in the world to think about or to deliberate about? In the world there are many different roads but the destination is the same. There are a hundred deliberations but the result is one. What is there in the world to think about or to deliberate about?




Confucianism 2268 | 
Books Of Changes, APPENDED REMARKS," PT. 2, Ch. 5, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 13. 
The idea of a hundred roads to the same destination is a direct expression of the spirit of synthesis which is extremely strong in Chinese philosophy. It is the Confucian version of Chuang Tzu's doctrine of following two courses at the same time





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