“Yet here you are not to fall. into the clumsy error of supposing that the things which are beyond the grasp of reason are necessarily unreasonable things. Immediate feeling, so far as it is true, does not oppose but transcends and completes the highest results of thought. It contains within itself the sum of all the processes through which thought would pass in the act of attaining the same goal: supposing thought to have reached–as it has not–the high pitch at which it was capable of thinking its way all along this road.”

Evelyn Underhill

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Wells Cathedral Interior, Somerset, UK (12th Century)

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The interior side view of the main dome of Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey.

The interior side view of the main dome of Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey.

The Principle is Reality in contrast to all that appears as real but which is not reality in the ultimate sense. The Principle is the Absolute compared to which all is relative. It is Infinite while all else is finite. The Principle is One and Unique while manifestation is multiplicity. It is the Supreme Substance compared to which all else is accident. It is the Essence to which all things are juxtaposed as form. It is at once Beyond Being and Being while the order of multiplicity is comprised of existents. It alone is while all else becomes, for It alone is eternal in the ultimate sense while all that is externalized partakes of change. It is the Origin but also the End, the alpha and the omega. It is Emptiness if the world is envisaged as fullness and Fullness if the relative is perceived in the light of its ontological poverty and essential nothingness. 7 These are all manners of speaking of the Ultimate Reality which can be known but not by man as such. It can only be known through the sun of the Divine Self residing at the center of the human soul. But all these ways of describing or referring to the Principle possess meaning and are efficacious as points of reference and support for that knowledge of the Real that in its realized aspect always terminates in the Ineffable and in that silence which is the “reflection”or “shadow”of the non-manifested aspect of the Principle upon the plane of manifestation. From that unitary point of view, the Principle or the Source is seen as not only the Inward but also the Outward, 8 not only the One but also the essential reality of the many which is but the reflection of the One. At the top of that mountain of unitive knowledge there resides but the One; discrimination between the Real and the unreal terminates in the awareness of the non-dual nature of the Real, the awareness which is the heart of gnosis and which represents not human knowledge but God’s knowledge of Himself, the consciousness which is the goal of the path of knowledge and the essence of scientia sacra. 9

— Seyyed Hossein Nasr (SCIENTIA SACRA)

9 This is the view of the Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism and of the transcendent Unity of Being (waḥdat al-wujūd) in Sufism which, because of the myopia of a reason divorced from the sanctifying rays of the Intellect, have been often mistaken for pantheism. See Nasr, Three Muslim Sages (Cambridge, Mass., 1964), pp. 104-108; also Titus Burckhardt, Introduction to Sufi Doctrine (London, 1976), pp. 28-30.

http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Mysticism-Evelyn-Underhill/dp/1420939262

Just in case there are those who refuse to be caught forever by ugliness and seek some alternative, the evil of cruelty makes its claims. Cruelty is something we recognize so easily as a physical activity, yet find so hard to identify in its finer but no less dangerous forms. It is essentially an intentional misuse of power by a strong entity toward a weaker one on the same plant’ of action. For instance, a helpless cripple could scarcely be physically cruel to a strong and healthy person, yet could very well be diabolically cruel mentally to the same person if he were intellectually vulnerable. Cruelty is only possible as a calculated discharge of destructive energy directed at feebler creature unlikely to retaliate effectively. Thus cruelty automatically implies cowardice as well.The motivation of cruelty is commonly again the artificial ego-enlargement resultant from its practice. It makes the little boy feel bigger when he kicks his baby brother. If we can make others frightened of us we seem larger by comparison to their shrinking. That is the secret of cruelty. A false sense of boost because of aggressive action which appears to avoid injurious reprisals. To hurt and kill some helpless and defenseless creature makes cruel people feel enormously powerful by contrast. They may even delude themselves for an instant that they are acting like gods. Taking their pathetic little share of life energy, they are willing to expend this on damaging the lives of weaker beings for the sake of supposing themselves more powerful than they truly are. None cry louder than such cowardly criminals when justified retribution rebounds on them. Nobody hates being hurt more than those who hurt with hate.

We need not always look for evident violence in order to recognize cruelty. It is possible to be extremely cruel in the “nicest and sweetest” ways. Staging little scenes deliberately to humiliate and hurt someone’s feelings while remaining righteously on the side of conventional virtue meanwhile. With the aid of a little intelligence people can contrive all sorts of cruelties yet themselves keep in the clear so far as rule books apply. Attendants in mental hospitals, for instance, have ample opportunity on these lines. So has anyone in charge of children or animals, or whoever is unable to hit back where it hurts most. Let those who think they could not be cruel examine what conscience they have within their own life-frameworks If we are still in human bodies then we are yet capable of cruelty in some degree or another. It is well to see this and convert our energies otherwise as we can.

–William G. Gray (Exorcizing the Tree of Evil)

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Lord, who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am;
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan,
If I were a wealthy man?

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Permission is given to every human being. If one chooses to incline himself to a path of goodness and be righteous, the right is in his hands. If one chooses to incline himself to a path of evil and be wicked, the right is in his hands.

Mishneh Torah by Moses Maimonides

The gift of giving this holiday is to give. When we give, we give of ourselves, we give our very selves. Money is ultimately not that important it is the thought behind it. When loved ones around you… repeatedly give for the sake of reward, they are brown nosing. Giving is about intention, consideration. To give is to seek no reward, you are telling another that you love them. Brown nosing is for the spiteful, shallow and contemptible.
It’s a real shame when loved ones act like brown nosers, they only show their own inner lack, their inner childishness and perhaps their inner ugliness. Brown nosers are often totally oblivious that life exists or can happen any other way. Be glad if you know only one or two brown nosers. Much better to surround yourself with people that actually consider each other….. You know? That silly thing, called love….
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Life is a journey in consciousness. In truth, God is always one and we are always one with God and with each other. The problem is that we don’t know that truth. This is a critical point. We are always one with the ultimate—our work is to achieve an awareness of that truth. This awareness is the ecstatic experience of ultimate love.
This helps us understand the true meaning of the command¬ment “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).
How can we be commanded to have feelings of love toward another person? What if we simply have nothing in common? What if we seriously disagree over many political and social is¬sues? How can we be expected to love people who are so different from ourselves?
The commandment is actually telling us that in reality we are already one, and we can definitely experience that to be true and feel the love. However, to achieve this realization we must act in ways that express and reveal that truth. This is the theme of all the commandments dealing with interpersonal relationships.
This is the same dynamic behind the commandment to love God. We are already one with God. But we need to acknowledge that in what we think, say, and do. Then we will feel it. This is the theme of all the commandments dealing with our relationship to God.

David Aaron (The Secret Life of God: Discovering the Divine within You)

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