„Anything which may take possession of one’s soul shares its sublimity with all other things, and is for this reason at the same time something ordinary. Without such a dialectic clarification of our consciousness all adoration is idol worship.“
„But it is not alone the harmony of music which has such a power over the mind. The harmony of colors, every art and science, has the same power. Even the most common craft, and the most prosaic of all prose, the chase after the dollar, may take possession of a man’s soul and prostrate him in adoration before its idol.“
— Joseph Dietzgen german philosopher 1828 - 1888
„There is but one thing needful — to possess God. All our senses, all our powers of mind and soul, all our external resources, are so many ways of approaching the divinity, so many modes of tasting and of adoring God. We must learn to detach ourselves from all that is capable of being lost, to bind ourselves absolutely only to what is absolute and eternal, and to enjoy the rest as a loan, as a usufruct…. To worship, to comprehend, to receive, to feel, to give, to act: this our law, our duty, our happiness, our heaven.“
— Henri-Frédéric Amiel Swiss philosopher and poet 1821 - 1881
16 July 1848 Only one thing is necessary: to possess God — All the senses, all the forces of the soul and of the spirit, all the exterior resources are so many open outlets to the Divinity; so many ways of tasting and of adoring God. We should be able to detach ourselves from all that is perishable and cling absolutely to the eternal and the absolute and enjoy the all else as a loan, as a usufruct…. To worship, to comprehend, to receive, to feel, to give, to act: this our law, our duty, our happiness, our heaven. As translated in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
„One conclusion was forced upon my mind at that time, and my impression of its truth has ever since remained unshaken. It is that our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the flimsiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness, definite types of mentality which probably somewhere have their field of application and adaptation. No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded. How to regard them is the question,—for they are so discontinuous with ordinary consciousness. Yet they may determine attitudes though they cannot furnish formulas, and open a region though they fail to give a map. At any rate, they forbid a premature closing of our accounts with reality.“
— William James American philosopher, psychologist, and pragmatist 1842 - 1910
Lectures XVI and XVII, "Mysticism"
„An empty book is like an infant's soul, in which anything may be written. It is capable of all things, but containeth nothing.“
— Thomas Traherne English poet 1637 - 1674
First Century, sect. 1.
„Humanity may endure the loss of everything: all its possessions may be torn away without infringing its true dignity; — all but the possibility of improvement.“
— Johann Gottlieb Fichte German philosopher 1762 - 1814
"The Vocation of the Scholar" (1794), as translated by William Smith, in The Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1889), Vol. I, Lecture IV, p. 188.
„Love and the gracious heart are a single thing...
one can no more be without the other
than the reasoning mind without its reason.“
— Dante Alighieri Italian poet 1265 - 1321
Chapter XVI (tr. Mark Musa)
— Richard Maurice Bucke prominent Canadian psychiatrist in the late 19th century 1837 - 1902
Context: Cosmic Consciousness … is a higher form of consciousness than that possessed by the ordinary man. This last is called Self Consciousness and is that faculty upon which rests all of our life (both subjective and objective) which is not common to us and the higher animals, except that small part of it which is derived from the few individuals who have had the higher consciousness above named. To make the matter clear it must be understood that there are three forms or grades of consciousness. (1) Simple Consciousness, which is possessed by say the upper half of the animal kingdom. By means of this faculty a dog or a horse is just as conscious of the things about him as a man is; he is also conscious of his own limbs and body and he knows that these are a part of himself. (2) Over and above this Simple Consciousness, which is possessed by man as by animals, man has another which is called Self Consciousness. By virtue of this faculty man is not only conscious of trees, rocks, waters, his own limbs and body, but he becomes conscious of himself as a distinct entity apart from all the rest of the universe. It is as good as certain that no animal can realize himself in that way. … The animal is, as it were, immersed in his consciousness as a fish in the sea, he cannot, even in imagination, get outside of it for one moment so as to realize it. … Cosmic Consciousness is a third form which is as far above Self Consciousness as is that above Simple Consciousness. With this form, of course, both simple and self consciousness persist (as simple consciousness persists when self consciousness is acquired), but added to them is the new faculty … The prime characteristic of cosmic consciousness is, as its name implies, a consciousness of the cosmos, that is, of the life and order of the universe … Along with the consciousness of the cosmos there occurs an intellectual enlightenment or illumination which alone would place the individual on a new plane of existence — would make him almost a member of a new species. To this is added a state of moral exaltation, an indescribable feeling of elevation, elation and joyousness, and a quickening of the moral sense, which is fully as striking and more important both to the individual and to the race than is the enhanced intellectual power. With these come, what may be called, a sense of immortality, a consciousness of eternal life, not a conviction that he shall have this, but the consciousness that he has it already. First Words
„All of us, in words that contradict each other, express at bottom the same exalted impulse. What sets us against one another is not our aims — they all come to the same thing — but our methods, which are the fruit of our varied reasoning.“
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry French writer and aviator 1900 - 1944
Context: No man can draw a free breath who does not share with other men a common and disinterested ideal. Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction. There is no comradeship except through union in the same high effort. Even in our age of material well-being this must be so, else how should we explain the happiness we feel in sharing our last crust with others in the desert? No sociologist's textbook can prevail against this fact. Every pilot who has flown to the rescue of a comrade in distress knows that all joys are vain in comparison with this one. And this, it may be, is the reason why the world today is tumbling about our ears. It is precisely because this sort of fulfilment is promised each of us by his religion, that men are inflamed today. All of us, in words that contradict each other, express at bottom the same exalted impulse. What sets us against one another is not our aims — they all come to the same thing — but our methods, which are the fruit of our varied reasoning. Let us, then, refrain from astonishment at what men do. One man finds that his essential manhood comes alive at the sight of self-sacrifice, cooperative effort, a rigorous vision of justice, manifested in an anarchist's cellar in Barcelona. For that man there will henceforth be but one truth — the truth of the anarchists. Another, having once mounted guard over a flock of terrified little nuns kneeling in a Spanish nunnery, will thereafter know a different truth — that it is sweet to die for the Church. If, when Mermoz plunged into the Chilean Andes with victory in his heart, you had protested to him that no merchant's letter could possibly be worth risking one's life for, Mermoz would have laughed in your face. Truth is the man that was born in Mermoz when he slipped through the Andean passes. Ch. IX Barcelona and Madrid (1936)<!-- * L’expérience nous montre qu’aimer ce n’est point nous regarder l’un l’autre mais regarder ensemble dans la même direction. /** Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.-->
„Human consciousness is conditioned in a dialectical interplay between subject and object, in which man actively shapes the world he lives in at the same time as it shapes him.“
— Anthony Giddens British sociologist 1938
(describing Marx’s view), p. 21.
„The one Reality takes manifold names and forms as a result of human ignorance. It is one and the same Thing that a Bhakta calls God, a Jnani calls Brahman, a Shakta calls Shakti, an Atheist calls Nature, a Scientist calls Force or Energy, a Christian calls Father in Heaven, a Mussulman calls Allah, some others call Infinity or Truth and a Vedantin calls Atman or Self. Whatever different names there may be, the fact remains that the Thing is one and the same. The difference is only in names. The Absolute Thing, which is beyond name and form, is birthless, growthless, decayless, deathless, sexless, All-pervading, All-knowing, All-blissful, without beginning, without end, changeless, beyond time, space and causation. The One Thing or the Ocean of Consciousness by Itself is ever the same — One only without a second.“
— Swami Narayanananda Indian guru 1902 - 1988
„The slave is doomed to worship time and fate and death, because they are greater than anything he finds in himself, and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour.“
— Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970
„All things that are in the world are linked together, one way or the other. Not a single thing comes into being without some relationship to every other thing. Scientific intellect thinks here in terms of natural laws of necessary causality; mythico-poetic imagination perceives an organic, living connection; philosophic reason contemplates an absolute One. But on a more essential level, a system of circuminsession has to be seen here, according to which, on the field of Śūnyatā, all things are in a process of becoming master and servant to one another. In this system, each thing is itself in not being itself, and is not itself in being itself. Its being is illusion in its truth and truth in its illusion. This may sound strange the first time one hears it, but in fact it enables us for the first time to conceive of a force by virtue of which all things are gathered together and brought into relationship with one another, a force which, since ancient times, has gone by the name of "nature" (physis).“
— Keiji Nishitani Japanese philosopher 1900 - 1990
„A man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.“
— Andrew Carnegie American businessman and philanthropist 1835 - 1919