— Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (340–402)
The fact that astronomies change while the stars abide is a true analogy of every realm of human life and thought, religion not least of all. No existent theology can be a final formulation of spiritual truth.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick, The Living of These Days, 1956
You need not think alike to love alike.
— Dávid Ferenc (1510-1579)
Religion is not something separate and apart from ordinary life. It is life—life of every kind viewed from the standpoint of meaning and purpose: life lived in the fuller awareness of its human quality and spiritual significance.
The fugitive kind are those who continue to ask the unanswered questions that haunt the hearts of people as opposed to those who accept prescribed answers, which aren't really answers at all.
— Tennessee Williams
La vie est la fleur dont l'amour est le miel. (Life is the flower of which love is the honey.)
— Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr (also attributed to Victor Hugo)
Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Only one heart had to find its true position and travel on from there and all the rest would follow, for no matter how isolated the one felt itself to be, in the deeps of all life all were united and no one could move accurately without all ultimately moving with it...
— A Far-Off Place, p.304, Laurens van der Post
"Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be."
“The incarnation is true, not of Christ exclusively, but of Man universally, and God everlastingly. He bends into the human to dwell there; and humanity is the susceptible organ of the divine”
God might best be thought of (perceived) as self-giving unfolding event and that we form part of that unfolding (consciously or unconsciously) - there's your interacting aspect. This is, indeed, a concept of God for me but it is one which allows countless narrative lines (i.e. our individual lives and, therefore, our story) to wander through it. The trick is to find ways such that the only one of those paths that we walk (our life and not another's) is walked in such a fashion that we can begin to see how meaning-ful it is - in fact how meaning-ful is every life.
"God is ... an unfathomable river of cosmic energy to be supped from like liquid light, while you still take complete responsibility for your own life and choices. ... [God is] simply the idea of universal love and compassion, coursing through all things at all times everywhere. ... this eternal divine consciousness, this grand and unquenchable, vibrating pulse of existence spanning all spheres and organisms and dimensions for all time everywhere..."
"The human soul, far from fixed, linear and predisposed to suspicion and doubt, is instead a fluxive, malleable, infinitely evolving thing, matching the insane, kaleidoscopic sweep of life itself. To lock the human heart into a cage of timid ideology or rigid sexual conduct, to forcibly limit its capacity for love is one of the most oppressive things you can ever do. "
"Anything we take in the Universe, because it has in itself that which is All in All, includes in its own way, the entire soul of the world, which is entirely in any part of it."
"The single spirit doth simultaneously temper the whole together; this is the single soul of all things; all are filled with God."
"When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart."
— John Bunyan
"Prayer, springing from a deep place in the heart, may bring healing and unity as nothing else can."
— Quaker Advices and Queries
"To navigate this ancient way of prayer is to “put out into the deep,” as Luke says, let down our nets for our catch. Paradoxically, we discover that it is we ourselves who are caught and held in this net…"
"What awakens in this awareness is the sanctity of the other, and to see how all things are reflections of this mystery that we call God. We’re simply one with all that is, the way that God is one with all that is. And the illusion that we can possibly or have ever been separate from God falls away."
"When you are praying, do not shape within yourself any image of the Deity, and do not let your intellect be stamped with the impress of any form; but approach the Immaterial in an immaterial manner, and then you will understand."
— Evagrius Ponticus
"The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao"
— Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching
“Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.”
“If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.”
— Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question.”
“When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash - at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the "newness," the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.”