God is the great unknown, the ultimate mystery. Spiritual maturity asks that we set aside certainty and learn to hold opposing thoughts in our minds for contemplation rather than taking the easy route of accepting or rejecting ideas without investigation. Keep an open mind as you read the following.
O Lord, forgive three sins that are due to my human limitations. Thou art everywhere, but I worship you here; thou art without form, but I worship you in these forms; thou needest no praise, yet I offer you these prayers and salutations. Lord, forgive three sins that are due to my human limitations.
Used at Opening Ceremonies at Temples
Immanent and Transcendent
Christian terminology employs two phrases—God immanent and God transcendent—which make a similar distinction. Again and again, in Hindu and Christian literature, we find this great paradox restated—that God is both within and without, instantly present and infinitely elsewhere, the dweller in the atom and the abode of all things. But this is the same Reality, the same Godhead, seen in its two relations to the cosmos (…) They imply no kind of duality. Atman and Brahman are one.
Swami Prabhavananda (1893-1976)
and Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986)
Gospel Not in the Bible Alone
God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
German Professor of Theology (Lutheranism)
Not Limited by a Single Belief
Those who cherish God in the sun witness the sun, and those who cherish Him in living things observe a living thing, and those who cherish Him in lifeless things view a lifeless thing, and those who cherish Him as a unique and unequaled being see Him as such. Beware of committing yourself exclusively to a specific belief so that you disbelieve everything else, or else you will miss out on much good—in fact, you will miss out on recognizing the authentic truth. God, the all-present and all-powerful, is not limited to any single belief.
Ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240)
Scholar of Islam and Sufi Mystic
As Old as Man Himself
Deep down in every man, woman and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or another it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.
Big Book of AA
Surrender from Two-ness
Thou must love God as not-God, not-Spirit, not-person, not-image, but as He is, a sheer, pure absolute One, sundered from all two-ness, and in whom we must eternally sink from nothingness to nothingness.
Meister Eckhart (1260-1328)
German Theologian, Philosopher, and Mystic
Whatever You Think
Whatever you think concerning God—know that he is different from that!
Ibn Ata Allah (1259-1310)
Third Murshid of the Shadhili Sufi Order
There is but One God, His name is Truth, He is the Creator, He fears none, he is without hate, He never dies, He is beyond the cycle of births and death, He is self illuminated, He is realized by the kindness of the True Guru. He was True in the beginning, He was True when the ages commenced and has ever been True, He is also True now.
Guru Nanak (1469-1539)
Founder of Sikhism
No Statement Literally True
No statement about God is simply, literally true. God is far more than can be measured, described, defined in ordinary language, or pinned down to any particular thing.
David Jenkins (1925-2016)
Theologian and Bishop of Durham in England
Tiniest House of Time
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours. You will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals: not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables. When you really look for me, you will see me instantly—you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Poet, Indian Mystic and Saint
The principle of any science is invisible, theoretical, as is our idea of Spirit. No one has seen God; no one has seen Life; what we have seen is the manifestation of Life. No one has seen Intelligence; we experience it. No one has ever seen Causation; we can see what It does, we deal with Its effects. We do not see Beauty. The artist feels beauty and depicts it as best he can, and the result of his effort is what we call the beautiful…We do not see Life, we experience living. Causation is invisible.
Ernest Holmes (1887-1960)
Founder of Religious Science
Impregnates All Things
Wherever you look…see that one unique Presence, indivisible and eternal, is manifested in all the universe. That is because God impregnates all things.
Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982)
God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, ‘Ah!
Joseph Campbell (1904-1987)
American Mythologist, Writer and Lecturer
When somebody says to me, “I don’t believe in God,” my first response is, “Tell me about the God you don’t believe in.” Almost always, it’s the God of supernatural theism.
Marcus J. Borg (1942-2015)
New Testament Scholar, Theologian and Author
You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? Because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God.
Indian Yogi and Mystic
Like a Mirror
God is like a mirror. The mirror never changes, but everybody who looks at it sees something different.
Rabbi Harold Kushner (1935)
Prominent American Rabbi and Popular Author
Throbbing with the Life
Every content of the universe is throbbing with the Life of the Lord. Smile with the flowers and the green grass. Smile with the shrubs, ferns and twigs. Develop friendship with all neighbors, dogs, cats, cows, human beings, trees, in fact, with all nature’s creations. You will have a perfect and rich life.
Swami Sivananda Saraswati (1887-1963)
Hindu Spiritual Teacher and Proponent of Yoga
Bee Gathering Honey
Like the bee gathering honey from different flowers, the wise man accepts the essence of different Scriptures and sees only good in all religions.
To Suit Different Aspirants
God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God himself. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion. One may eat a cake with icing either straight or sidewise. It will taste sweet either way.
Indian Yogi and Mystic
Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.
Thich Nhat Hanh (1926)
Vietnamese Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist
God is not a Christian, God is not a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honor my tradition, I walk through my tradition, but I don’t think my tradition defines God, I think it only points me to God.
John Shelby Spong (1931)
American Bishop of the Episcopal Church
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
King James Bible
Variety an Advantage
The varieties of religious belief are an advantage, since all faiths are good, so far as they encourage us to lead a religious life. The more sects there are, the more opportunities there are for making a successful appeal to the divine instinct in all of us.
Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
Hindu Monk and Disciple of Ramakrishna
Mystics Speak the Same Language
Theologians may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language.
Meister Eckhart (1260-1328)
German Theologian, Philosopher and Mystic
Curated from The Little Book of Oneness and Goodness
Author and Mindfulness Teacher
Amazon Author Profile
- Monk of All Faiths: Inspired by The Prophet (fiction)
- Spiritual in My Own Way (memoir)
- Co-Human Harmony: Using Our Shared Humanity to Bridge Divides (nonfiction)
- Experifaith: At the Heart of Every Religion (nonfiction)
- Premature Holiness: Five Weeks at the Ashram (novel)
- The Meditating Psychiatrist Who Tried to Kill Himself (novel)
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