“The greatest Teacher

is everywhere and in all of us.

The essence of spiritual practice

is love and compassion”

–Miriam Baum

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(50) Jesus said, “If they say to you (plur.), ‘Where are you from?’ say to them, ‘It is from light that we have come – from the place where light, of its own accord alone, came into existence and [stood at rest]. And it has been shown forth in their image.’ If they say to you, ‘Is it you?’ say ‘We are its offspring, and we are the chosen of the living father.’ If they ask you, ‘What is the sign of your father within you?’ say to them, ‘It is movement and repose.'”

–Gospel of Thomas (Layton translation)

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“We have come out of the light where the light came of itself. It rested appearing in their image. ”


–From the canonical Mandaean Prayer book Qulasta

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“In the name of Life we pray for eternal Life and the Gnosis of Life. We praise Their dignified visage, which is resulted and spread by Their essence.”

–Modern Mandaean translation of the above

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A muddy brook can easily muddy another brook. But can a muddy brook muddy the sea? The sea shall gladly take the mud and spread it in its bed, and give the muddy brook clear water in return.

You can defile, or sterilise, a square foot of the earth – perhaps a mile. Who can defile or sterilise the Earth? The earth accepts all men’s and beast’s impurities and gives them in return sweet fruits and fragrant flowers, and grains and grasses in abundance.

A sword can surely wound the flesh. But can it wound the air, however keen of edge and strong the arm behind it?

It is the pride of mean and narrow self, begot of blind and lustful ignorance that can insult and be insulted, and would avenge the insult with an insult and wash away the filth with filth.

The pride-ridden and self-intoxicated world shall heap up injuries on your heads. It shall unleash on you the blood-thirsty hounds of its tattered laws, its putrid creeds, and mouldy honours. It shall proclaim you enemies of order and agents of chaos and doom. It shall bestrew your roads with snares and bedeck your beds with nettles. It shall sow curses in your ears and spit contempt upon your faces.

Let not your heart be faint. But like the Sea be broad and deep, and give a blessing unto him that gives you but a curse.

And like the Earth be generous and calm, and turn impurities of men’s hearts into pure health and beauty.

And like the Air be fee and supple. The sword that would wound you would finally tarnish and rust. The arm that would harm you would finally weary and halt.

The world, not knowing you, cannot contain you. Therefore shall it receive you with a snarl. But you, knowing the world, can contain it. Therefore must you allay its wrath with kindliness, and drown its calumny in loving Understanding.

And Understanding shall carry the day.

–the book of Mirdad

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Moderation is the key to mastery. One approaches it slowly. It is not difficult if we are gentle. We cannot force ourselves into a moderate lifestyle, because force and moderation are contradictory terms. Rather we can embrace moderation in increments, and the excess baggage of our lives will slowly melt away.

–God is a verb (Rabbi David cooper)

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