Inside the Great Mystery that is,
we don't really own anything.
What is this competition we feel then,
before we go, one at a time, through the same gate?

Rumi, Furuzanfar #1616, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.182.

Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? Speak if you have understanding. (...) Have you ever commanded the day to break, assigned the dawn its place? (...) Have you ever penetrated to the sources of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? (...) Can you dispatch the lightning on a mission and have it answer you, "I am ready?" (...) Who gave understanding to the mind? (...) Who provides food for the raven when his young cry out to God and wander about without food? (...) Do you know the season when the mountain goats give birth?(...) Who is wise enough to give an account of the heavens? (...) The Book of Job, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.209.

As God is not comprehended under any form, or likeness, or particular conception, so the soul also, if it is to be united to Him, must not be under the power of any particular form or conception. St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel. P.137

Whenever the world faces grave problems, the Lord takes human incarnation and comes to fulfill the needs and desires of mankind. However, when the Lord comes in human form, few recognize Him. It was the same with Ram and Krishna, Christ and Mohammed. Only those to whom the Lord wishes to reveal Himself realize that He is in fact more than just a normal human. He will put suspicion in our minds and hearts and it is our duty to pray to Him for the wisdom to know Him. Teachings of Babaji, P.9.

Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully and then do what you wish to do. Gita 18:63

In the end the contemplative suffers the anguish of realizing that he NO LONGER KNOWS WHAT GOD IS.  He may or may not mercifully realize that, after all, this is a great gain, because "God is not a WHAT," not a "thing."  That is precisely one of the essential characteristics of the contemplative experience.  It sees that there is no "what" that can be called God.  There is "no such thing" as God because God is neither a "what" nor a "thing" but a pure "WHO."  He is the "Thou" before whom our
inmost "I" springs into awareness.  He is the I Am before whom with our own most personal and inalienable voice we echo "I am." Merton, Thomas. New Seeds of Contemplation. P. 13. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn

Our life in Christ is all-sufficient.  What we have been calling the "contemplative life" is a life of awareness that one thing is necessary, that Jesus is alone necessary and that to live for him and in him is all sufficient.  To live in him pacifies everything.  To live in him takes care of everything.  To live in him answers all questions even though we don't quite understand or hear the answers. This we have to believe in our own life.  If we are living in Christ we are, so to speak, face to face with the Father, but we do not know it, and we cannot see him.  We have to be content to be face to face with him in a way that we cannot understand or see.  But we must realize that Jesus, working in us, is carrying out the Father's work and manifesting the Father
to us. Merton, Thomas.  Contemplation in a World of Action. P. 252. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn

By thinking I cannot obtain a conception of Him, even though I think hundreds of thousands of times. Guru Nanak, Japji, quoted in Smart, Hecht (eds): Sacred Texts of the World, P.330.

The Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao. Tao Te Ching.

Those who love and believe in God without knowing God are the ones who best know God. Kitaro Nishida, An Inquire into the Good, P. 176.

The Most Ancient One is at the same time the most Hidden of the hidden. He is separated from all things, and is at the same time not separated from all things. For all things are united in Him, and He unites Himself with all things. (...). Zohar. Quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.101.

When a man burns with religious fervor and cleaves to God, He withdraws from him, so that the man learns to strengthen himself more and more in his attachment to the divine. Ba'al Shev Tov, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.261.

There is Buddha for those who don't know what he is, really. There is no Buddha, for those who know what he is, really. Zen saying, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World Wisdom, P.103.

God was showing me through this experience that no further effort is needed once you have convinced Him that you want Him more than all the gifts of the world. Then He takes away the screen of mystery and comes to you as Christ or Krishna, or Babaji, or as any great incarnation in whose form you desire to behold Him. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.190.

God's mysterious and momentous secret is not wrested from him by man's intellectual acumen or willful determination; nor is it stolen from him by the clandestine night raids of aggressive occultism or the Promethean pilfering of Pentecostalism.  Neither is formidable self-control, flawless psychophysical development, or prolonged periods of meditative "sitting" necessarily the surest enticement or inevitable prelude to divine disclosures.  According to the New Testament, it is only a man of contrite and humble heart whom God will not resist.  It is up to God to reveal himself.  It is obvious from the records of mankind that God has never
revealed himself except to a man or a woman or a child of prayer.  And a man of prayer is a man who lives by faith.  Without faith there is no prayer, and without prayer there is no faith; at least, there is not enough faith to keep a man alive to God and open to the graceful possibilities of his own deification. McNamara, William. The Human Adventure. P. 168. Submitted to Merton-L Discussion Group by Gary Horn.

No man can really see God except through human manifestations. Whenever we try to think of God as He is, in His absolute perfection, we invariably meet with the most miserable failure, because as long as we are men, we cannot conceive Him as anything higher than man. The time will come when we shall transcend our human nature and know Him as He is. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.184.

You are the God of gods - by Solomon Ibn Gabirol, 11th Century.

Without having clarity of mind, a mere desire to see God is just like groping in the dark. I found out that the human mind has its boundaries and can visualize only according to its limited resources. No human being can possibly explain what God is, or conceive of God mentally. Swami Rama (2001). Living with the Himalayan Masters, P.64.

If you wish to be granted a mental vision of the divine you must first embrace a peaceful and quiet way of life, and devote your efforts to acquiring a knowledge of both yourself and God. If you do this and achieve a pure state untroubled by any passion, there is nothing to prevent your intellect from perceiving, as it were in a light breeze (cf. 1 Kgs. 19:12. LXX), Him who is invisible to all; (...) St. Theognostos (VIII Century of the C.E. ?), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.360.

Make sure that you do not rely only on human traditions in celebrating the divine mysteries, but let God's grace inwardly and invisibly fill you with the knowledge of higher things. St. Theognostos (VIII Century of the C.E. ?), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.363.

Since no one really knows anything about God, those who think they do are just troublemakers. Rabia (c.717-801), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.27.

Last update: 2008/10/28

See the related subjects: Faith, God's Attributes