“A love that merely enables man to ‘enjoy himself,’ to remain at peace
in a life of inert comfort and to bring into being of himself is not to
be regarded as true love. It does not represent a renewal, a progress,
a step forward in building the kingdom of God.

True love leads a man to fulfilment, not by drawing things to himself
but by forcing him to transcend himself and to become something greater
than himself. True spiritual love takes the isolated individual, exacts
from him labor, sacrifice, and the gift of himself. It demands that he
‘lose his life’ in order to find it again on a higher level–in Christ.”

–Thomas Merton

[The seeker]then abides in the world, but he does not make the world his wish as other people do, he does not compete for it as other people compete, he does not aim to indulge in its pleasures, and he does not find joy in its companionship.
It becomes minor in his eyes. He casts it aside. He relaxes from the weariness of pursuing [worldly things] and makes himself relax from all such weariness. When you see him, he is always strong, energetic, content, self sufficient, non-worrying, dignified. His face radiates the brightness of worshippers and his heart [contains] the light of ascetics. He has no need for the world apart from hsi basic nourishment. He is better than others.

–Al-Shaqiq al-Balkhi

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