„Sufism is a religion if one wishes to learn religion from it. But it is beyond religion, for it is the light, the sustenance of every soul, raising the mortal being to immortality.“

—  Hazrat Inayat Khan, Context: The religion of the Sufi is not separate from the religions of the world. People have fought in vain about the names and lives of their saviors, and have named their religions after the name of their savior, instead of uniting with each other in the truth that is taught. This truth can be traced in all religions, whether one community calls another pagan or infidel or heathen. Such persons claim that theirs is the only scripture, and their place of worship the only abode of God. Sufism is a name applied to a certain philosophy by those who do not accept the philosophy; hence it cannot really be described as a religion; it contains a religion but is not itself a religion. Sufism is a religion if one wishes to learn religion from it. But it is beyond religion, for it is the light, the sustenance of every soul, raising the mortal being to immortality. Vol. I, The Way of Illumination, Section I - The Way of Illumination, Part III : The Sufi.
Hazrat Inayat Khan Foto
Hazrat Inayat Khan2
sufischer Mystiker 1882 - 1927

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Robert Anton Wilson Foto

„Comparative religion and philosophy show that the Thinker can regard itself as mortal, as immortal, as both mortal and immortal (the reincarnation model) or even as non-existent (Buddhism).“

—  Robert Anton Wilson, buch Prometheus Rising
Prometheus Rising (1983), Context: Comparative religion and philosophy show that the Thinker can regard itself as mortal, as immortal, as both mortal and immortal (the reincarnation model) or even as non-existent (Buddhism). It can think itself into living in a Christian universe, a Marxist universe, a scientific-relativistic universe, or a Nazi universe—among many possibilities. As psychiatrists and psychologists have often observed (much to the chagrin of their medical colleagues), the Thinker can think itself sick, and can even think itself well again. The Prover is a much simpler mechanism. It operates on one law only: Whatever the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves. To cite a notorious example which unleashed incredible horrors earlier in this century, if the Thinker thinks that all Jews are rich, the Prover will prove it. It will find evidence that the poorest Jew in the most run-down ghetto has hidden money somewhere. Ch. 1 : The Thinker & The Prover, p. 25

Henry Ward Beecher Foto

„Christ, then, raised men from religion as a bondage to religion as a freedom.“

—  Henry Ward Beecher American clergyman and activist 1813 - 1887
The Nature Of Liberty (1873), Context: "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." — John XV 15 This is unquestionably a contrast between an enforced and a free religious condition. It is a transfer from a life compelled by fear, through conscience, to a life that is inspired and made spontaneous by love. The strength of the phrase does not come out in that term servant. It is slave in the original. To be sure, the condition represented by the term slave was not at that time marked so sharply by the contrast of its misery with surrounding circumstances, as it is in our own day; nevertheless, it was a condition to be deprecated; and throughout the Scripture it is spoken of both as a misfortune and a disgrace. Our Savior looked upon his disciples as if they had, as Jews, and as worshipers after the manner of their fathers, been tied up in a kind of bondage. He was a member of the Jewish commonwealth, and was of the Jewish church; he had never separated himself from any of its ordinances or observances, but was walking as the fathers walked; and his disciples were bound not only to the Mosaic ritual, but to him as a kind of Rabbi; as a reform teacher, but nevertheless a teacher under the Jewish scheme. And so they were servants — slaves; they were rendering an enforced obedience. But he said to them, "Henceforth I shall not call you my servants — persons obeying me, as it were, from compulsion, from a sense of duty, from the stress of a rigorous conscience; I shall now call you friends." And he gives the reason why. A servant is one who receives orders, and is not admitted to conference. He does not know about his lord's affairs. His lord thinks first about his own affairs, and when he has consummated his plans, he gives his directions; so that all the servant has to do is to obey. But a friend sits in counsel with his friend, and bears a part in that friend's thinking and feeling, and in the determinations to which he comes; and Christ said to his disciples "Ycu come into partnership with me hereafter, and you stand at friends, on a kind of equality with me. There is to be liberty between you and me hereafter." Christ, then, raised men from religion as a bondage to religion as a freedom. I do not like the word religion; but we have nothing else to take its place. It signifies, in the original, to bind, to tie. Men were bound. They were under obligations, and were tied up by them. Christianity is something more than religion— that is, religion interpreted in its etymological sense, and as it is popularly esteemed. Christianity is religion developed into its last form, and carries men from necessity to voluntariness — from bondage to emancipation. It is a condition of the highest and most normal mental state, and is ordinarily spontaneous and free. This is not an accidental phrase.

Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi Foto
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Foto

„No religion has mandated killing others as a requirement for its sustenance or promotion.“

—  A. P. J. Abdul Kalam 11th President of India, scientist and science administrator 1931 - 2015
In: Philosophy & Social Action (2003)

John Gray Foto
Sri Aurobindo Foto

„It is the one religion which insists every moment on the truth which all religions acknowledge that He is in all men and all things and that in Him we move and have our being. It is the one religion which enables us not only to understand and believe this truth but to realise it with every part of our being.“

—  Sri Aurobindo Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru and poet 1872 - 1950
The Uttarpara Address (1909), Context: That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion, because it is the universal religion which embraces all others. If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and a limited purpose. This is the one religion that can triumph over materialism by including and anticipating the discoveries of science and the speculations of philosophy. It is the one religion which impresses on mankind the closeness of God to us and embraces in its compass all the possible means by which man can approach God. It is the one religion which insists every moment on the truth which all religions acknowledge that He is in all men and all things and that in Him we move and have our being. It is the one religion which enables us not only to understand and believe this truth but to realise it with every part of our being. It is the one religion which shows the world what the world is, that it is the Lila of Vasudeva. It is the one religion which shows us how we can best play our part in that Lila, its subtlest laws and its noblest rules. It is the one religion which does not separate life in any smallest detail from religion, which knows what immortality is and has utterly removed from us the reality of death.

Мустафа Кемаль Ататюрк Foto

„I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea.“

—  Мустафа Кемаль Ататюрк Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and the first President of Turkey 1881 - 1938
He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow-men. Quoted in Atatürk: The Biography of the founder of Modern Turkey, by Andrew Mango; "In a book published in 1928, Grace Ellison quotes [Atatürk], presumably in 1926-27", Grace Ellison Turkey Today (London: Hutchinson, 1928)

John Donne Foto
Julia Ward Howe Foto

„What is it that passes for religion? In some countries magic passes for religion, and that is one thing I wish, in view particularly of the ethnic faiths, could be made very prominent— that religion is not magic.“

—  Julia Ward Howe American abolitionist, social activist, and poet 1819 - 1910
What is Religion? (1893), Context: What is it that passes for religion? In some countries magic passes for religion, and that is one thing I wish, in view particularly of the ethnic faiths, could be made very prominent— that religion is not magic. I am very sure that in many countries it is supposed to be so. You do something that will bring you good luck. It is for the interests of the priesthood to cherish that idea. Of course the idea of advantage in this life and in another life is very strong, and rightly very strong in all human breasts. Therefore, it is for the advantage of the priesthoods to make it to be supposed that they have in their possession certain tricks, certain charms, which will give you either some particular prosperity in this world or possibly the privilege of immortal happiness. Now, this is not religion. This is most mischievous irreligion, and I think this Parliament should say, once for all, that the name of God and the names of his saints are not things to conjure with.

Leopold Zunz Foto

„Translation: A religion, which is not able or no more able to raise to the height of acquired science, is a dead religion.“

—  Leopold Zunz German Reform Rabbi 1794 - 1886
Eine Religion, welche nicht oder nicht mehr fähig ist, sich auf die Höhe der erworbenen Wissenschaft zu erheben, ist eine tote Religion. Quoted in Lippische Mitteilungen aus Geschichte und Landeskunde, Volume 75, p. 127

Hazrat Inayat Khan Foto

„Religion is a need of the human soul.“

—  Hazrat Inayat Khan Indian Sufi 1882 - 1927
Context: Religion is a need of the human soul. In all periods and at every stage of the evolution of humanity there has been a religion which people followed, for at every period the need for religion has been felt. The reason is that the soul of man has several deep desires, and these desires are answered by religion. The first desire is the search for the ideal. There comes a time when man seeks for a more complete justice than he finds among men, and when he seeks for someone on whom he can rely more surely than he can on his friends in the world. There comes a time when man feels a desire to open his heart to a Being who is above human beings and who can understand his heart. Vol. IX - The Unity of Religious Ideals, Part I : Seeking for the Ideal http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/IX/IX_5.htm.

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„If there is one thing which a comparative study of religions places in the clearest light, it is the inevitable decay to which every religion is exposed. It may seem almost like a truism, that no religion can continue to be what it was during the lifetime of its founder and its first apostles.“

—  Max Müller German-born philologist and orientalist 1823 - 1900
Chips from a German Workshop (1866), Context: If there is one thing which a comparative study of religions places in the clearest light, it is the inevitable decay to which every religion is exposed. It may seem almost like a truism, that no religion can continue to be what it was during the lifetime of its founder and its first apostles. Yet it is but seldom borne in mind that without constant reformation, i. e. without a constant return to its fountan-head, every religion, even the most perfect, nay the most perfect on account of its very perfection, more even than others, suffers from its contact with the world, as the purest air suffers froln the mere fact of its being breathed. Whenever we can trace back a religion to its first beginnings, we find it free from many of the blemishes that offend us in its later phases. The founders of the ancient religions of the world, as far as we can judge, were minds of a high stamp, full of noble aspirations, yearning for truth, devoted to the welfare of their neighbors, examples of purity and unselfishness. What they desired to found upon earth was but seldom realized, and their sayings, if preserved in their original form, offer often a strange contrast to the practice of those who profess to be their disciples. As soon as a religion is established, and more particularly when it has become the religion of a powerful state, the foreign and worldly elements encroach more and more on the original foundation, and human interests mar the simplicity and purity of the plan which the founder had conceived in his own heart, and matured in his communings with his God. Even those who lived with Buddha misunderstood his words, and at the Great Council which had to settle the Buddhist canon, Asoka, the Indian Constantine had to remind the assembled priests that "what had been said by Buddha, that alone was well said;" and that certain works ascribed to Buddha, as, for instance, the instruction given to his son, Râhula, were apocryphal, if not heretical. Preface (Scribner edition, 1872) <!-- New York, Scribner p xxiii - xxiv -->

Taisen Deshimaru Foto

„Religions remain what they are. Zen is meditation. Meditation is the foundation of every religion.“

—  Taisen Deshimaru Japanese Buddhist monk 1914 - 1982
Context: Religions remain what they are. Zen is meditation. Meditation is the foundation of every religion. People today feel an intense need to go back to the source of religious life, to the pure essence in the depths of themselves which they can discover only through actually experiencing it. They also need to be able to concentrate their minds in order to find the highest wisdom and freedom, which is spiritual in nature, in their efforts to deal with the influences of every description imposed upon them by their environment. Human wisdom alone is not enough, it is not complete. Only universal truth can provide the highest wisdom. Take away the word Zen and put Truth or Order of the Universe in its place. Online interview http://www.zen-deshimaru.com/EN/sangha/deshimaru/q-r/0101.htm

Abdul Sattar Edhi Foto

„My religion is humanitarianism, which is the basis of every religion in the world.“

—  Abdul Sattar Edhi Pakistani philanthropist, social activist, ascetic and humanitarian 1928 - 2016
quote published in Pakistan Studies Journal Pakistaniaat ( Vol. 3 No.2 of 2011 http://pakistaniaat.org/index.php/pak/article/view/129/129/). Retrieved on July 20, 2016

Swami Vivekananda Foto
Gerhard Richter Foto
Cora L. V. Scott Foto

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