“The holy person of our time, it seems, is not a figure like Gotama or Jesus or Mohammed, a person who could found a world religion, but a figure like Gandhi, a person who passes over by sympathetic understanding from one’s own religion to other religions and comes back again with new insight to one’s own. Passing over and coming back, so it seems, is the spiritual adventure of our time.”

John S. Dunne, The Way Of All The Earth: Experiments in Truth and Religion, “Preface,” Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1978, p. ix, ISBN: 0-268-01928-2

 “Christ could be borna thousand times in Galilee –but all in vain until He is born in me”

                                                                                                      Angelus Silesius (Translator:  Frederick Franck)

 That art thou
Tat tvam asi

When Svetaketu was twelve years old, he was sent to a teacher with whom he studied until he was twenty-four. After learning all the Vedas, he returned home full of conceit in the belief that he was consummately well-educated, and very censorious.
His father said to him, “Svetaketu, my child, you are so full of your learning and so censorious, have you asked for that knowledge by which we hear the unhearable, by which we perceive what cannot be perceived and know what cannot be known?”
“What is that knowledge, sir?” asked Svetaketu.
His father replied, “As by knowing one lump of clay all that is made of clay is known – so, my child, is that knowledge, knowing which we know all.”
“But surely these venerable teachers of mine are ignorant of this knowledge; for if they possessed it they would have imparted it to me. Do you, sir, therefore, give me that knowledge?”

“So be it,” said the father… And he said, “Bring me a fruit of the nyagrodha tree.”
“Here it is, sir.”
“Break it.”
“It is broken, sir.”
“What do you see there?”
“Some seeds, sir, exceedingly small.”
“Break one of these.”
“It is broken, sir.”
“What do you see there?”
“Nothing at all.”
The father said, “My son, that subtle essence which you do not perceive there – in that very essence stands the being of the huge nyagrodha tree. In that which is the subtle essence of all that exists has its self. That is the True, that is the Self, and thou Svetaketu art That.”

“Pray, sir”, said the son, “tell me more.”
“Be it so, my child”, the father replied; and he said, “Place this salt in water, and come to me tomorrow morning.”
The son did as he was told.
Next morning the father said, “Bring me the salt you put in the water.”
The son looked for it, but could not find it, for the salt, of course, had dissolved.
Tha father said, “Taste some of the water from the surface of the vessel. How is it?”
“Taste some from the middle. How is it?”
“Taste some from the bottom. How is it?”
The father said, “Throw the water away and then come back to me again.”
The son did so; but the salt was not lost, for the salt existed forever.
Then the father said, “Here likewise in this body of yours, my son, you do not perceive the True; but there, in fact, it is. In that which is the subtle essence, all that exists has its self. That is the True, that is the Self, and thou, Svetaketu, art That.”

The Chandogya Upanishad

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings, who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme soul of the universe, the limitless being — I am that.

Amritbindu Upanishad

Though God is everywhere present, yet He is only present to thee in the deepest and the most central part of thy soul. The natural senses cannot possess God or unite thee to Him; nay, thy inward faculties of understanding, will and memory can only reach after God, but cannot be the place of His habitation in thee. But there is a root or depth of thee from whence all these faculties come forth, as lines from a centre, or as branches from the body of a tree. This depth is called the centre, the fund or bottom of the soul. This depth is the unity, the eternity – I had almost said the Infinity – of thy soul; for it is so infinite that nothing can satisfy it or give it rest but the Infinity of God.

William Law

God within and God without – these are two abstract notions, which can be entertained and expressed in words. But the facts to which these notions refer cannot be realized and experienced except in the ‘deepest and the most central part of thy soul’. And this is true no less for God without than for God within. Though the two abstract notions have to be realized (to use a spatial metaphor) in the same place, the intrinsic nature of the realization of God within is qualitatively different from that of the realization of God without, and each in turn is different from that of the realization of the Ground as simultaneously within and without – as the Self of the perceiver and at the same time (in the words of the Bhagvad-Gita) as ‘That by which all this world is pervaded’.

Aldous Huxley’s commentary on the above quote of William Law
The Perennial Philosophy

“The man who wishes to know the ‘That’ which is ‘thou’ may set to work in one of the three ways. He may begin by looking inwards into his own particular thou and by a process of ‘dying to self’ – self in reasoning, self in willing, self in feeling – come at last to a knowledge of the Self, the Kingdom of God that is within. Or else he may begin with the thous existing outside of him, and may try to realize their essential unity with God and, through God, with one another and with his own being. Or, finally (and this is doubtless the best way), he may seek to approach the ultimate That both from within and from without, so that he comes to realize God experimentally as at once the principle of his own thou and of all other thous, animate and inanimate. The completely illumined human being knows, with Law, that God is ‘present in the deepest and the most central part of his soul’; but he is also and at the same time one of those who, in the words of Plotinus,

‘see all things, not in the process of becoming, but in Being, and see themselves in the other. Each being contains in itself the whole intelligible world. Therefore, All is everywhere. Each is there All, and All is each. Man as he now is has ceased to be the All. But when he ceases to be an individual, he raises himself again and penetrates the whole world.'”

Aldous Huxley’s commentary on the Svetaketu story
The Perennial Philosophy

“The more God is in all things, the more He is outside them. The more He is within, the more He is without. “


“The Atman is that by which the universe is pervaded, but which nothing pervades; which causes all things to shine, but which all things cannot make to shine.”


“The nature of the one Reality must be known by one’s own clear perception; it cannot be known through a pundit (learned man). Similarly the form of the moon can only be known through one’s own eyes. How can it be known through others?”


“Liberation cannot be achieved except by the perception of the identity of the individual spirit with the universal Spirit.”


“The Atman is the Witness of the individual mind and its operations”


“Who but the Atman is capable of removing the bonds of ignorance, passion, and self-interested action?”


“The wise man is one who understands that the essence of Brahman and of Atman is Pure Consciousness, and who realizes their absolute identity.”


“It is ignorance that causes us to identify ourselves with the body, the ego, the senses, or anything that is not the Atman.”


“The truth of Brahman may be understood intellectually. But (even in those who so understand) the desire for personal separateness is deep-rooted and powerful, for it exists from  beginningless time. It creates the notion, ‘I am the actor, I am he who experiences.’ This notion is the cause of bondage to conditional existence, birth and death. It can be removed only by the earnest effort to live constantly in union with Brahman. By the sages, the eradication of this notion and the craving for personal separateness is called Liberation.”


“When a man follows the way of the world, or the way of the flesh, or the way of tradition, knowledge of Reality cannot arise in him.”


“Do not ask whether the Principle is in this or that; is is in all beings. It is on this account that we apply to it the epithets of supreme, universal total … It has ordained that all things should be limited, but is Itself unlimited, infinite. As to what pertains to manifestation, the Principle causes the succession of its phases, but is not this succession. It is the author of causes and effects, but is not the causes and effects. It is the author of condensations and dissipations (birth and death, changes in state), but is not itself condensations and dissipations. All proceeds from It and is under its influence. It is in all things, but is not identical with beings, for it is neither differentiated nor limited.”

Chuang Tzu

“Those who vainly reason without understanding the truth are lost in the jungle of Vijnanas (The various forms of relative knowledge), running about here and there and trying to justify their view of ego-substance.

The self realized in your inmost consciousness appears in its purity; this is the Tathagata-garbha (literally, Buddha-womb), which is not the realm of those given over to mere reasoning…

Pure in its own nature and free from category of finite and infinite, Universal Mind is the undefined Budha-womb, which is wrongly apprehended by sentient beings.”

Lankavatara Sutra

“One Nature, perfect and pervading, circulates in all natures,
One Reality, all-comprehensive, contains within itself all realities,
The one Moon reflects itself wherever there is a sheet of water,
And all the moons in the waters are embraced in the one Moon.
The Dharma-body (the Absolute) of all the Buddhas enters into my own being.
And my own being is found in union with theirs …
The inner light is beyond praise and blame;
Like space it knows no boundaries,
Yet it is even here, within us, ever retaining its serenity and fullness.
It is only when you hunt for it that you lose it;
You cannot take hold of it, but equally you cannot get rid of it,
And while you can do neither, it goes on its own way.
You remain silent and it speaks; you speak and it is dumb;
The great gate of charity is wide open, with no obstacles before it.”

Yung-chia Ta-shih

“Behold but One in all things; it is the second that leads you astray.”


“My Me is God, nor do I recognize any other Me except my God Himself.”

St Catharine of Genoa

“In those respects in which the soul is unlike God, it is also unlike itself.”

St Bernard

“I went from God to God, until they cried from me in me, “O thou I!”

Bayazid of Bistun

“To gauge the soul we must gauge it with God, for the Ground of God and the Ground of the Soul are one and the same.”


“The spirit possesses God essentially in naked nature, and God the spirit.”


“For though she sink all sinking in the oneness of divinity, she never touches bottom. For it is of the very essence of the soul that she is powerless to plumb the depths of her creator. And here one cannot speak of the soul anymore, for she has lost her nature yonder in the oneness of divine essence. There she is no more called soul, but is called immeasurable being.”


“The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine that they should see God, as if He stood there and they here. This is not so. God and I, we are one in knowledge.”


“O my God, how does this happen in this poor old world that Thou art so great and yet nobody finds Thee, that Thou callest so loudly and nobody hears Thee, that Thou art so near and nobody feels Thee, that Thou givest Thyself to everybody and nobody knows Thy name? Men flee from Thee and say that they cannot find Thee; they turn their backs and say they cannot see Thee; they stop their ears and say they cannot hear Thee.”

Hans Denk

“that Every Man was enlightened by the Divine Light of Christ, and I saw it shine through all; And that they that believed in it came out of Condemnation and came to the Light of Life, and became the Children of it; And that they that hated it and did not believe in it, were condemned by it, though they made a profession of Christ. This I saw in the pure Openings of Light, without the help of any Man, neither did I then know where to find it in the Scriptures, though afterwards, searching the scriptures, I found it”

George Fox in Fox’s Journal

“There is something nearer to us than Scriptures, to wit, the Word in the heart from which all Scriptures come.”

William Penn

“Goodness needeth not to enter into the soul, for it is there already, only it is unperceived.”

Theologica Germanica

“When the Ten Thousand things are viewed in their oneness, we return to the Origin and remain where we have always been.”

Sen T’sen

“The Beloved is all in all, the lover merely veils him;
The Beloved is all that lives, the lover a dead thing.”

Jalal-uddin Rumi

“They are on the way to truth who apprehend God by means of divine, Light by the light.”


“There is a spirit in the soul, untouched by time and flesh, flowing from the Spirit, remaining in the Spirit, itself wholly spiritual. In this principle is God, ever verdant, ever flowering in all the joy and glory of His actual Self. Sometimes I have called this principle the Tabernacle of the soul, sometimes a spiritual Light, anon I say it is the Spark. But now I say that it is more exalted over this and that than the heavens are exalted over the earth. So now I name it in a nobler fashion… It is free of all names and void of all forms. It is one and simple, and no man can in any wise behold it.”

Back to top 


1. Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy, Flamingo

2. Bhagvad Gita

  • Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, (Los Angeles, 1944)
  • Swami Nikhilananda (Los Angeles, 1944)
  • Franklin Edgerton (Cambridge, Mass., 1944)

3. William Law

  • Serious Call
  • The Spirit of Prayer
  • The Spirit of Love
  • Selected Mystical Writings of William Law, by
    Stephen Hobhouse (London, 1939)
  • William Law and Eighteenth Century Quakerism, by
    Stephen Hobhouse (London, 1927)
  • Characters and Characteristics of William Law, by
    Alexander Whyte (London, 1907)
  • Notes and Materials for an adequate biography of William Law, by
    Christopher Walton (London, 1856)

4. Chandogya Upanishad

  • The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, by
    R. E. Hume (New York, 1931)
  • The Ten Principal Upanishads, by
    Shree Purohit & W. B. Yeats (London, 1937)
  • The Himalayas of Soul, by
    J. Mascaro (Londosn, 1938)

5. Eckhart, Meister

  • Works, by C. B. Evans (London, 1924)
  • Meister Eckhart, A Modern Translation, by
    R. B. Blakney (New York, 1941)

6. Plotinus

  • The Essence of Plotinus, by
    G. H. Turnbull (New York, 1934)

7. Shankara Viveka Chudamani

8. Chuang Tzu

  • Chuang Tzu, Mystic, Moralist,and Social Reformer, by
    Herbert Giles (Shanghai, 1936)
  • Musings of a Chinese Mystic, (london, 1920)
  • Chinese Philosophy in Classical Times, by
    E. R. Hughes (London, 1943)
  • The Cloud of Unknowing, by
    Justice McCann (London, 1924)

9. Lankaavtara Sutra

10. St Bernard of Clairvaux

  • The Steps of Humility (Cambridge, Mass., 1940)
  • On the Love of God(New York, 1937)
  • Selected Letters(London, 1904)
  • Mystical Doctrine of St Bernard, by
    Etienne Gilson (London & New York, 1940)

11. Ruysbroeck, Jan Van

  • The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage(London, 1916)
  • Studies by Evelyn Underhill(London, 1915) and
    Wautier d’Aygalliers (London, 1925)

12. George Fox Journal (London, 1911)

13. Theologica Germanica Winkworth’s translation (London, 1927)

14. Evelyn Underhill

  • Mysticism(London, 1924)
  • The Mystics of the Church (London, 1925)

15. Jalal-uddin Rumi

  • Masnavi, by E.H. Winfield (London, 1898)

16. Patanjali Yoga Aphorisms (New York 1899)