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Jewels in the Lotus: insights, inspirations, and illuminations from the rich heritage of the world’s wisdom traditions, which is the common inheritance of the family of man.

He Knows No Change

          He knows no change who knows the true, And on it keeps his eye, Who always still the unseen doth view; Only the false and the apparent die.   Things change, but change not far From what they are not but to what they are, Or rather 'tis our ignorance that dies; Forever lives the knowledge of the wise. — Henry David Thoreau ...

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The Banner of Becoming

What a handful of dust is man to think such thoughts! Or is he, perchance, a prince in misfortune, whose speech at times betrays his birth? I like to think that, if men are machines, they are machines of a celestial pattern, which can rise above themselves, and, to the amazement of the watching gods, acquit themselves as men. I like to think that this singular race of indomitable, philosophising, poetical b ...

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Purity and Corruption

          By the sun and his midday brightness; by the moon, which rises after him; by the day, which reveals his splendour; by the night, which veils him! By the heaven and Him that moulded it and inspired it with knowledge of sin and piety: blessed shall be the man who has kept it pure, and ruined he that has corrupted it! — The Qu'ran ...

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One-Pointedness

There are six forces -hearing, pondering, mindfulness, awareness, effort and intimacy.  These forces affect the nine stages of thought that lead to one-pointedness of mind. First, by the force of hearing, thought focuses upon the object of meditation.  Merely hearing from another the precepts for focusing the mind, however, only tethers the mind to the object of meditation — it does not by itself cultivate ...

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Dying to the Self

Lord, 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; And where there is sadness, joy;   Oh Divine Maker! 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 th ...

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Vocalism

          Vocalism, measure, concentration, determination, and the divine power to speak words; Are you full-lung'd and limber-lipp'd from long trial? from vigorous practice? from physique? Do you move in these broad lands as broad as they? Come duly to the divine power to speak words? For only at last after many years, after chastity, friendship, procreation, prudence, and nakednes ...

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Mindfulness

          All consciousness is a kind of attention.  It begins the moment we awake from sleep, though it is partially present in our dreams.  It began in our infancy when we first took notice of forms around us.  At that time, though extremely limited, it was pure and uncomplicated by any self-conscious notions and associations.  These associations were necessary to link up objects ...

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The Sense of Wonder

          The sense of wonder certainly deprives the mind of those penultimate certainties that we had up till then taken for granted - and to that extent wonder is a form of disillusionment, though even that has its positive aspect, since it means being freed from an illusion; and it becomes clear that what we had taken for granted was not ultimately self-evident.  But further than ...

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The Thought-Factor in Achievement

          All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts. In a justly ordered universe, where loss of equipoise would mean total destruction, individual responsibility must be absolute. A man's weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own, and not another man's; they are brought about by himself, and not by another; and t ...

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Infinitude and Incompletion

          Much sorrow of man comes from his efforts, in imperfect understanding of his own nature, to crowd his universal life into his personal experience, to grasp and realize with the functions of the finite the suggestions of the infinite.  He is thus led to make too much of the joys and sorrows and circumstances of the person.  Conscious of universal instincts, his mistake lies ...

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