The Lord alone is real; everything else is unreal. Everything else should be rejected for the sake of the Lord. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! Serve the Lord and Him alone. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.186

"This world is transitory, The Name of God is the true reality. Everything in this world is destructible, transient, ephemeral. So you must all repeat God's Name (...)"  The Teachings of Babaji, P.108.

"When I think of the Supreme Being as inactive, neither creating, nor preserving, nor destroying, I call Him Brahman or Purusha, the impersonal God. When I think of Him as active, creating, preserving, destroying, I call Him Shakti or Maya or Prakrti, the personal God. But distinction between them does not mean a difference. The personal and the impersonal are the same Being, in the same way as milk and its whiteness, or the diamond and its lustre, or the serpent and its undulations. It is impossible to conceive of the one without the other. The Divine Mother and Brahman are one." Ramakrishna, quoted in: Rolland, Romain. (1994). The Life of Ramakrishna. P.60-61.

(...) Ramakrishna expressly maintains that it is absurd to pretend that the world in unreal so long as we form a part of it, and receive from it for the maintenance of our own identity the unquenchable conviction (although hidden in our own lantern) of its reality. Even the saint who comes down from Samadhi (ecstasy) to the plane of ordinary life is forced to return to the envelope of his 'differentiaited' ego, however attenuated and purified. He is flung back into the world of relativity. "So far as his ego is relatively real to him, so far will this world also be real; but when his ego has been purified, he sees the whole world of phenomena as the manifold manifestation of the Absolute to the senses." Quoted in: Rolland, Romain. (1994). The Life of Ramakrishna. P.65.

What Aristotle gave to Christian thought in the thirteenth century was its "turning to the world," its respect for nature, for the physical, for the concrete reality of the universe. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.204.

One who has experienced the baffling, humbling and liberating clarity of this immediate sense of what it means to be has in that very act experienced something of the presence of God. For God is present in me in the act of my own being, an act which proceeds directly form His will and is His gift. My act of being is a direct participation in the Being of God. God is pure Being, this is to say He is the pure and infinite Act of total Reality.  Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.221.

To assume that my superficial ego - this cramp of the imagination - is my real self is to begin by dishonoring myself and reality. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.265.

Right, on the eightfold path, doesn't mean right versus wrong so much as it means seeing versus not seeing. It refers to being in touch with Reality as opposed to being deluded by our own prejudices, thoughts, and beliefs. Jack Maguire. (2001). Essential Buddhism. P.92.

Wealth, fame and the other things of this life all lack substance, for there is nothing clear and distinct about them. They possess a specious resemblance to reality, but change from day to day. We ourselves give them substance when in our thoughts we shape fantasies about things that serve no real purpose. With our fertile imagination we exceed the basic needs of the body to the point of impossible luxury; (...). St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.237.

Evil does not exist by nature, nor is any man naturally evil, for God made nothing that was not good. When in the desire of his heart someone conceives and gives form to what in reality has no existence, then what he desires begins to exist. We should therefore turn our attention away from the inclination to evil and concentrate it on the remembrance of God; for good, which exists by nature, is more powerful than our inclination to evil. The one has existence while the other has not, except when we give it existence through our actions. St. Diadochos of Photiki (circa 400-486 CE), quoted in Philokalia, Vol. I., P.253.

We enter reality by Christ – see it as he sees it – have the Mind of Christ. Then we can attend to everything or withdraw from things for solitude, according to the grace of the moment, and in all we will be safe and find food for our spirits and be growing in Christ and God. Christ came that we may have life and have it to the full. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.248.

No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existence. (…) You cannot wander anywhere that will not aid you. Anything you can touch – God brought it into the classroom of your mind. Differences exist, but not in the city of love. Thus my vows and yours, I know they are the same. (…) So magnificently sovereign is our Lover; never say, “on the other side of this river a different king rules.” For how could that be true – for nothing can oppose Infinite strength. No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existence. The holy water my soul’s brow needs is unity. Love opened my eye and I was cleansed by the purity of each form. St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.36.

I know nothing about miracles, and I wonder whether nature admits exceptions to her laws, unless we agree that everything is a miracle. As to my mind, there is no such thing. There is consciousness in which everything happens. It is quite obvious and within the experience of everybody. You just do not look carefully enough. Look well, and see what I see. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.4.


There is nothing in the present event itself that makes it stand out as real. It may be simple, periodic occurrence, like the striking of the clock. In spite of our knowing that the successive strokes are identical, the present stroke is quite different from the previous one and the next (…). A thing focused in the now is with me, for I am ever present; it is my own reality that I impart to the present event. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.7.


Things and thoughts have been changing all the time. But the feeling that what is now is real has never changed (…). Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.7.


Causation means succession in time of events in space, the space being physical or mental. Time, space, causation are mental categories, arising and subsiding with the mind. (…) The real world is beyond the mind’s ken; we see it through the net of our desires, divided into pleasures and pain, right or wrong, inner or outer. To see the universe as it is, you must step beyond the net. (…) Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.9-10.


For everything there are innumerable causal factors. But the source of all that is, is the Infinite Possibility, the Supreme Reality, which is in you and which throws its power and light and love on every experience. (…) Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.11.


I do not negate the world. I see it as appearing in consciousness, which is the totality of the known in the immensity of the unknown. The world can be said to appear, but not to be. The appearance may last very long on some scale of time, and be very short on another, but ultimately it comes to the same. Whatever is time bound is momentary and has no reality. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.16.


(…) You have no reason to believe that my world is identical with yours. My world is real, true, as it is perceived, while yours appears and disappears, according to the state of your mind. (…) Your world is personal, private, unshareable, intimately your own. Nobody can enter it, see as you see, hear as you hear, feel your emotions and think your thoughts. In your world you are truly alone, enclosed in ever changing dream, which you take for life. My world is an open world, common to all, accessible to all. In my world there is community, insight, love, real quality, the individual is the total, the totality – in the individual. All are one and the One is all. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.17.


My world is just like yours. I see, I hear, I feel, I think, I speak and act in a world I perceive, just like you. But with you it is all, with me it is almost nothing. Knowing the world to be a part of myself, I pay it no more attention than you pay to the food you have eaten. While being prepared or eaten, the food is separate from you and your mind is on it; once swallowed, you become totally unconscious of it. I have eaten up the world and I need not think of it any more. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That.  P.24.


(…) the supreme state (…) is entirely one and indivisible, a single solid block of reality. The only way of knowing it is to be it. The mind cannot reach it. To perceive it does not need the senses; to know it, does not need the mind. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That.  P.36.


There are the two – the person and the witness, the observer. When you see them as one, and go beyond, you are in the supreme state. It is not perceivable, because it is what makes perception possible. It is beyond being and not being. It is neither the mirror nor the image in the mirror. It is what is – the timeless reality, unbelievably hard and solid. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That.  P.36.


(…) as long as you cling to the idea that only what has name and shape exists, the Supreme will appear to you non-existing. When you understand that names and shapes are hollow shells without any content whatsoever, and what is real is nameless and formless, pure energy of life and light of consciousness, you will be at peace – immersed in the deep silence of reality. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That.  P.37.


The world and the mind are states of being. The supreme is not a state. It pervades all states, but it is not a state of something else. It is entirely uncaused, independent, complete in itself, beyond time and space, mind and matter. (…) it leaves no traces. There is nothing to recognize it by. It must be seen directly, by giving up all search for signs and approaches. When all names and forms have been given up, the real is with you. You need not seek it. Plurality and diversity are the play of the mind only. Reality is one. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That.  P.38.


Imagination based on memories is unreal. The future is not entirely unreal. (…) The unexpected and unpredictable is real. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That.  P.47.


Everything is subjective, but the real is objective. (…) It does not depend on memories and expectations, desires and fears, likes and dislikes. All is seen as it is. (…) It is solid, steady, changeless, beginningless and endless, ever new, ever fresh. (…) Desirelessness and fearlessness will take you there. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That.  P.63.


A man who moves with the earth will necessarily experience days and nights. He who stays with the sun will know no darkness. My world is not your world. As I see it, you all are on a stage performing. There is no reality about your comings and goings. And your problems are so unreal! Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That.  P.73.


(…) Fullness and emptiness are relative terms. The Real is really beyond – beyond not in relation to consciousness, but beyond all relations of whatever kind. The difficulty comes with the word ‘state.’ The Real is not a state of something else – it is not a state of mind or consciousness or psyche – nor is it something that has a beginning and an end, being and not being. All opposites are contained in it – but it is not in the play of opposites. You must not take it to be the end of a transition. It is itself, after the consciousness as such is no more. (…)Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That.  P.78.

Last updated: 2013/06/03

See the related subjects: Awareness, God's Name, Presence