To say I was born into sin is to say I came into this world with a false self. I was born in a mask. I came into existence under a sign of contradiction, being someone I never intended to be and therefore a denial of what I am supposed to be. And thus I came into existence and none existence at the same time because from the very start I was something I was not.


–Thomas Merton




The world was not receptive to my visible exaltation. My third immersion in an image that was perceptible. The flame of the seven authorities was extinguished, the sun of the powers of the Archons set, darkness overcame them, and the world became impoverished. They bound this one with many bonds and nailed him to the cross, and they secured him with four bronze nails. He ripped the temple veil with his other hands. An earthquake shook the earth’s chaos, for the souls of the dead were released and resurrected, and they walked out into the open. They laid aside ignorant jealousy and lack of insight by the dead tombs, and they put on the new person. They had come to know the blessed, perfect one of the eternal incomprehensible Father and the infinite light. That’s what I am.

When I came to my own and united them with me, there was no need for many words. Our thought was one with their thought, so they understood what I was saying. We made a plan for the destruction of the archons, and in this I did the will of the father. That’s what I am.


–2nd discourse of Great Seth




Take emptiness to the limit;

Maintain tranquility in the center.

The ten thousand things –side-by-side they arise.

And by this I see their return.

Things come forth in great numbers;

Each one returns to its root.

This is called tranquility.

“Tranquility” – This means to return to your fate.

To return to your fate is constant;

To know the constant is to be wise.

Not to know the constant is to be reckless and wild;

If you are reckless and wild, your actions will lead to misfortune.

To know the constant is to be all-embracing;

To be all-embracing is to be impartial;

To be impartial is to be kingly;

To be kingly is to be like Heaven.

To be like heaven is to be like one with the Tao;

If you’re one with the Tao, to the end of your days you’ll suffer no harm.

–Tao te chin (chap 16)




“And the Master wrote that belief is not something which is uttered by the mouth, but that which is conceptualized by the intellect, and he labeled ‘stupid people’ those holding to beliefs to which, in their representation, they do not attach any meaning…..

…..the believer must first conceptualize the belief in his mind, but in addition, he has to desire and love this belief so much so that he will be ready to give his life and his possessions for the sake of this belief. When the mind conceptualizes something it yields knowledge, but the assent of the intellectual will [ratzon sichli] yields love which is a necessary condition of faith. Accordingly, a believer is someone who conceptualizes faith and loves it strongly…..”

– David ben Judah Messer Leon (Tehillah le-David)