What is the Science of Salvation?

A collection of quotes and sayings about Truth from the great traditions of the world.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Heavenly Longing

Souls that love truth and God, that long with much hope and faith to put on Christ completely, do not need so much to be put in remembrance by others, nor do they endure, even for a while, to be deprived of the heavenly desire and of the passionate affection to the Lord; but being wholly and entirely nailed to the cross of Christ, they perceive in themselves day by day a sense of spiritual advance towards the spiritual Bridegroom. Being smitten with the heavenly longing, and hungering for the righteousness of the virtues, they have a great and insatiable desire for the shining forth of the Spirit.




St. Macarius the Great
"Spiritual Homilies" (Homily X)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sanctification

Ascetical endeavor is the mother of sanctification. From sanctification the first taste of the perception of Christ's mysteries is born...



St. Isaac the Syrian
"Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Thirty-Six)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Humility and God

He who fears the Lord has humility as his constant companion and, by its remindings, ascends to love and gratitude to God.



St. Maximus the Confessor
"Philokalia"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Path to Salvation

...Know your sins.



St. Theophan the Recluse
"The Path to Salvation"

Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit accomplishes all wonders and miracles. By the same Spirit power is given to one, and to another works of power. You have only to speak with faith, and need have no anxiety as to the fulfilment of the word; the Holy Spirit will care for this.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

To Live With God

To live with God is happiness in misfortune, riches in poverty, glory in dishonor, and consolation in sorrow. Without God there cannot be true repose, peace and consolation.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
"Journey to Heaven"

Monday, December 24, 2007

Love of God

Once the Elder was invited on board a frigate that had come from St. Petersburg. The captain of the frigate was a man quite learned, highly educated; he had been sent to America by Imperial command to inspect all the colonies. With the captain were some 25 officers, likewise educated men. In this company there sat a desert-dwelling monk of small stature, in an old garment, who by his wise conversation brought all his listeners to such a state that they did not know how to answer him. The captain himself related: "We were speechless fools before him!"
Father Herman gave them all one common question: "What do you, gentlemen, love above all, and what would each of you wish for his happiness?" Diverse answers followed. One desired wealth, one glory, one a beautiful wife, one a fine ship which he should command, and so on in this fashion. "Is it not true," said Father Herman at this, "that all your various desires can be reduced to one - that each of you desires that which, in his understanding, he considers best and most worthy of love?" "Yes, it is so," they all replied. "Well, then, tell me," he continued, "can there be anything better, higher above everything, more surpassing everything and in general more worthy of love, than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who created us, perfectly adorned us, gave life to all, supports all, nourishes and loves all, who Himself is love and more excellent than all men? Should not a person then love God high above all and desire and seek Him more than all else?" All began to say: "Well, yes! That is understood! That speaks for itself!"
"And do you love God?" the Elder then asked. All replied: "Of course, we love God. How can one not love God?" "And I, sinful one, for more than forty years have been striving to love God, and cannot say that I perfectly love Him," answered Father Herman; then he began to show how a person should love God. "If we love someone," he said, "we always think of him, strive to please him, day and night our heart is occupied with this subject. Is it thus that you, gentlemen, love God? Do you often turn to Him, do you always think of Him, do you always pray to Him, and fulfill His holy commandments?" It had to be acknowledged that they did not! "For our good, for our happiness," concluded the Elder, "at least let us make a promise to ourselves, that from this day, from this hour, from this very moment we shall strive to love God above all, and fulfill His holy will!" Behold what an intelligent, superb conversation Father Herman conducted in society; without doubt this conversation must have imprinted itself on the hearts of his listeners for their whole life!
Yanovsky
"Life of Monk Herman of Valaam" (1868)

Spiritual State

While bodily pleasures dominate us, it is impossible that a spiritual state should also prevail in us.
Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
"The Cup of Christ"

The Holy Spirit

Concerning the teachings of the Church, whether publicly proclaimed (kerygma) or reserved to members of the household of faith (dogmata), we have received some from written sources, while others have been given to us secretly, through apostolic tradition. Both sources have equal force in true religion. No one would deny either source - no one, at any rate, who is even slightly familiar with the ordinances of the Church. If we attacked unwritten customs, claiming them to be of little importance, we would fatally mutilate the Gospel, no matter what our intentions - or rather, we would reduce the Gospel teachings to bare words.

St. Basil the Great
"On the Holy Spirit"

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Good of Patience

Nothing else can relieve those who labor and toil more than the consolation derived from patience.




St. Cyprian of Carthage
"The Good of Patience"

Confession

...Why should a sinner be ashamed to make known his sins, since they are already known and manifest to God, and to His angels, and even to the blessed in heaven? Confession delivers the soul from death. Confession opens the door to heaven. Confession brings us hope of salvation. Because of this the Scripture says: First tell thy iniquities, that you may be justified (Is. xliii. 26).



St. Ambrose of Milan

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Will of God

If you completely abandon your own will, you will never feel the heavy darkness of despondency.




Elder Leonid of Optina

Pastoral Care

...But since He came in the flesh for the purpose of not only redeeming us by His Passion, but of teaching by His life, giving an example to those who follow Him, He would not be king, but freely went to the gibbet of the Cross. He fled from the exalted glory offered Him and chose the pain of an ignominious death, that His members might learn to flee from the favours of the world, not to fear its terrors, to love adversity for the sake of truth, to shrink in fear from prosperity, for this latter thing often defiles the heart by vainglory, but the other cleanses it by sorrow. In the one, the mind becomes conceited; in the other, even if on occasion it became conceited, it abases itself. In the one, man forgets who he is; in the other, he is recalled, even unwillingly and perforce, to the recollection of what he is.




St. Gregory the Great
"Pastoral Care"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Rancor and Animosity

...When a passion arises, when it is young and feeble, cut it off, lest it stiffen and cause you a great deal of trouble. It is one thing to pluck out a small weed and quite another thing to uproot a great tree.



St. Dorotheos of Gaza
"Discourses and Sayings"
(On Rancor and Animosity)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Commentary on the Divine Liturgy

Because the Holy Scriptures contain divinely-inspired words and praises of God, and because they incite to virtue, they sanctify those who read or chant them.





Nicholas Cabasilas
"A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy"

Saturday, December 15, 2007

On Miracles and Signs

Divine help does not occur with outward brilliance, as our carnal mind might wish, so that the soul will not be harmed from the vainglory of being satisfied with this brilliance. In the works of God, in the very service to the Church, one should always ask for the blessing of God and the help of God. One must believe that only divine, spiritual means can be beneficial for faith and devotion, but never the means suggested by the carnal mind.



Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
"On Miracles and Signs"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Law of God

We Christians acknowledge man to be morally free and the guide of his own personal will and actions and responsible for them before God's truth. Such freedom is a most great gift to man from God, Who seeks from man not a mechanical submission, but a freely given filial obedience of love. The Lord Himself affirmed this freedom, "If anyone wishes to be My disciple, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" (Mt. 16:24).



St. Philaret of New York
"On the Law of God"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Solemn Mysteries

... In beholding the unutterable freshness of the work of salvation, amazed by the abundance of God's mercy, we are brought to venerate Him Who had such compassion for us, Who saved us at so great a price: to entrust our souls to Him, to dedicate our lives to Him, to enkindle in our hearts the flame of His love. Thus prepared, we can enter into contact with the fire of the solemn mysteries with confidence and trust.




Nicholas Cabasilas
"A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy"

Temptations and Faith

What is the source of patience in temptations? Genuine faith in God. Temptations are therefore a means of proving the faithful.




St. Gregory Palamas
"Homilies" (Homily Thirty-Two)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Healing Cup

Entrust your heart in simplicity to Him by Whom all the hairs of your head are numbered: He knows the measure of the healing Cup that you should be given.



Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
"The Cup of Christ"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Writings of the Saints

...Continual study in the writings of the saints fills the soul with incomprehensible wonder and divine gladness.




St. Isaac the Syrian
"Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Thirteen)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Path Of Faith Hindrance

Pride prevents the soul from setting on the path of faith.





Staretz Silouan
"Wisdom from Mount Athos"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Unceasing Prayer to the Theotokos

Having experienced all the difficulties of earthly life, the Intercessor of the Christian race sees every tear, hears every groan and entreaty directed to Her. Especially near to Her are those who labour in the battle with the passions and are zealous for a God-pleasing life. But even in worldly cares She is an irreplaceable helper. "Joy of all who sorrow, and intercessors for the offended, and feeder of the hungry, consolation of travellers, harbour of the storm-tossed, visitation of the sick, protection and intercessor for the infirm staff of old age, Thou are the Mother of God on high, O Most Pure One" (Sticheron of the Service to the Hodigitria). "The hope and intercession and refuge of Christians", "The Mother of God unceasing in prayers" (Theotokion of the Third Tone). "She day and night doth pray for us and the sceptres of kingdoms are confirmed by Her prayers" (daily Nocturne).




St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco
"Orthodox Veneration of the Theotokos"

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Divine Liturgy

The Divine Liturgy is truly a heavenly service upon earth, during which God Himself, in a particular, immediate, and most close manner, is present and dwells with men, being Himself the invisible Celebrant of the service, offering and being offered. There is nothing upon earth holier, higher, grander, more solemn, more life-giving than the Liturgy. The temple, at this particular time, becomes an earthly heaven; those who officiate represent Christ Himself, the Angels, the Cherubim, Seraphim and Apostles. The Liturgy is the continually repeated solemnisation of God's love to mankind, and His all-powerful mediation for the salvation of the whole world...




St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life In Christ"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Don't Go Back To Sleep....Again!

Across the doorsill the breeze at dawn has secrets to tell...dont go back to sleep....people go back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds meet.....you must ask for what you truly want....dont go back to sleep....

Rumi,13th century persian poet and sufi mystic.

Friday, February 16, 2007

True Desire

"One does not really desire something unless one wants it with all one's heart, to the point of sacrificing one's most cherished affections, of risking one's health, one's fortune and one's life."

Eliphas Levi
The Book of Splendours

Monday, February 12, 2007

Finding God

Man's purpose, from the moment he is born, is to find God. However, he cannot find Him unless God finds him first. "In Him we live and move." (Acts 17:28) Unfortunately, the passions have shut the eyes of our soul and we cannot see. But when our very loving God turns an affectionate eye towards us, then we awake as if from sleep and begin to see salvation.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast
"Monastic Wisdom" (Letters...)

Friday, February 9, 2007

Choose the Good

The good is one thing; the sensuously pleasant another;
These two, differing in their ends, both prompt to action.
Blessed are they that choose the good; they that choose
the sensuously pleasant miss the goal.

Both the good and the pleasant present themselves to men.
The wise, having examined both, distinguish the one from
the other. The wise prefer the good to the pleasant; the
foolish, driven by fleshly desires, prefer the pleasant to the good.

Katha Upanishad

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Darkness and Light

"One who, preferring light, prefers darkness also, is in himself an image of the world and, being an image of the world, is continuously, endlessly, the dwelling of creation."

Lao Tzu

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The Ancient Religion

"That which is called the Christian religion existed among the ancients and never did not exist from the beginning of the human race."

St. Augustine
Epistolae Lib. I, XIII, p.3

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The One Thing

Man's purpose, from the moment he is born, is to find God. However, he cannot find Him unless God finds him first. "In Him we live and move." (Acts 17:28) Unfortunately, the passions have shut the eyes of our soul and we cannot see. But when our very loving God turns an affectionate eye towards us, then we awake as if from sleep and begin to seek salvation.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast
"Monastic Wisdom" (Letters...)

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Mysterious

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.

It is the source of all true art and science."

Albert Einstein

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Psalm 23

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Monday, January 29, 2007

Our Daily Bread

"I die daily."

St. Paul
I Corinthians 15:31

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Divine Spark

"The way of wisdom is to count only on oneself; to rely neither on family, nor friends nor possessions, but on that tiny divine spark which lives in each one of us, and which we must nourish and tend so as to achieve, one day, true stability and true happiness."

Ivanoff

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I Am a Child

"I am a child of Earth and starry Heaven,

But my Race is of Heaven."

Orphic Burial Tablets

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dreaming

"A person must control his thoughts in a dream. The training of this alertness will produce awareness of the intermediate dimension. It will produce great benefits for the individual.

Everyone should apply himself to the attainment of this ability of such great value."

Ibn El-Arabi (from Idries Shah, The Sufis)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Asleep and Dreaming

The secret is to be awake.
To be awake is everything.
Keep awake whatever you are doing!
Do not imagine that you are already awake.
No; you are asleep and dreaming.

Gustav Meyrinck
The Green Face

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Rabbi's Tarot

Part III

Alchemy had for its primary project an emotional and a physical transformation, and the alchemist himself had his own body for the only laboratory he worked in. The process, of course, had been known long before the Middle Ages. It had been taught from time immemorial by the Secret Teachings, and there are many disguised allegories about it in the Old and New Testaments.

The beginning of the process is physical digestion. But you have to get ready for that. It is physical digestion that brings about physical transformation.

Physical changes which finally result in the transmutation of the alchemist begin with the chemistry of food.

From The Rabbi's Tarot by Daphna Moore

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Rabbi's Tarot

Part II

...The saints and the mystics who have this experience of occasional union can never sustain it. It came and went in a manner inexplicable to them, and the fact that it went caused them many a heart-burning. It would plunge them into grief, sometimes into despair and into softening of the mind. They could never recover from the fact that their Deity had deserted them. They feared that they had forfeited their right to ascend to that height again.

What really happened was that, for one reason or another, they had raised their vibrations to this point where they could contact the Father, but they could not keep it there, for they did not know how it was done. It was only the result of fortuitous circumstances. They attained it by acutely maltreating the body. The object of the occultist is the same as the mystic.

He finds out how he can remove the gross matter from his body; that allows him to raise the vibration of his body. This Union with the Father is made easier by an effort of the will, or is kind of an effort of the will. Thus the occultist finds out that he can keep it raised as long as he desires it. So with the occultist the result is a psycho-physiological process, a process partly of the self-conscious mind. In the Middle Ages this process of reconstructing the body was called "alchemy."

From The Rabbi's Tarot by Daphna Moore

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Rabbi's Tarot

Part I

...It is the melting of the personality into something which takes possession of it. In it, "all sense of self-consciousness is lost and the personality is fused with the universal consciousness." "So great is this experience," said Carpenter, "that if it happens only once to a man, it changes him for the rest of his life."

Even with the saints this experience was unusual, and they spent their lives in seeking to repeat it by fasting, praying, and depriving their bodies. Even Jesus had not by any means a continuous state of this feeling of "union." He constantly had to go up to the Mount to pray in order to renew it. In the Psalms, David is always complaining that his God has retired from him.

To become One with the Father in permanent union cannot be achieved by aspiration or devotion alone...

From the Rabbi's Tarot by Daphna Moore

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Whole World is Asleep

"Almost the whole world is asleep--only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant, total amazement."

Joe (Joe Versus the Volcano)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Light

Light...travels freely in the vacuum of space; it travels less freely through air, even less freely through water where it is refracted and partially reflected, and it travels even less easily through solids.

But the inverse holds true for sound; it cannot travel at all through a vacuum; it travels fairly well through air, better through water, and it moves best through solids. So, as far as the transmitting medium is concerned, light does the inverse of sound.

Light descends from the subtle regions toward the increasingly denser regions until it reaches solid matter. As it travels, it advances with more and more difficulty. On the other hand, sound originates in the world of matter and diminishes in intensity as it ascends until it completely disappears in the vacuum.

Before sound (the word) which is powerful in the world of matter, there was light, which is powerful in the world of spirit.

Aivanhov, Complete Works-The Second Birth,Volume 1, pp. 153-154.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sound II

Ahat nada - created sound

Anahat nada - uncreated sound

Nada Yoga

Technique of Nada-Yoga -- consists in focusing consciousness on a succession of sounds as they emerge from and retreat into silence.

The four stages in this process correspond to the four stages of tonal manifestation:
vaikhari, madhyama, pashyanti, and para.

Vaikhari is the level of audible sound produced by striking together of two surfaces or by the plucking of a string. (Created Sound)

Madhyama (Sanskrit for medium) is the transition between heard sound and its inner vibration.

Pashyanti is the sound only heard by the spiritually awakened aspirant.

By the time the Para stage is reached (Para from the Sanskrit word for 'transcendental' or 'beyond') the sound has passed far beyond the audible. Para lies deeper than silence, it is an inner decidbel that is experienced as the unrealized root-sound, or sound potential. It is sound with practically no vibration, which has an infinite wavelength. The Yoga scriptures describe Para as without frequency, movement or vibration.

Para is the final stage attained in the deepest contemplation. The Upanishads describe the sound "OM" as the purest manifestation of Para. This refers to OM not chanted, but to OM at its most subtle: the point at which form again touches formlessness.

As the nature of OM becomes Jyotih (innermost light), it becomes the center at which the world of color and sound are ruled by the same law.

At the climax of meditation, light and sound have become identical.

The five elements, the five Karmendriyas (motor or physical senses), the five Jnanendriyas (organs of understanding), the four-fold mind and the three gunas all originate continuously from this single, infinite sound.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sound I

Sphotavada (sound-metaphysics)

Also: Shabda Brahman or Nada Brahman: The whole as vibration - sound

Nada - from Sanskrit root: nad, flowing.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Don't Go Back to Sleep!

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you.

Don't go back to sleep!

You must ask for what you really want.

Don't go back to sleep!

People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch;

The door is round and open.

Don't go back to sleep!

Rumi

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Brahma

"I am That. Thou art That. All this is That."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Messenger of the Thrice-Great

"'Tis true, without falsehood, and most real: that which is above is like that which is below, to perpetrate the miracles of One thing. And as all things have been derived from one, by the thought of one, so all things are born from this thing, by adaptation.

"The Sun is its Father, the Moon is its Mother. Wind has carried it in its belly, the Earth is its nurse. Here is the father of every perfection in the world. His strength and power are absolute when changed into earth; thou wilt separate the earth from fire, the subtle from the gross, gently and with care.

"It ascends from earth to heaven, and descends again to earth to receive the power of the superior and inferior things. By this means, thou wilt have the glory of the world. And because of this, all obscurity will flee from thee. Within this is the power, most powerful of all powers. For it will overcome all subtle things, and penetrate every solid thing.

"Thus the world was created. From this will be, and will emerge, admirable adaptations of which the means are here. And for this reason, I am Hermes Trismegistus [From the Greek, "Messenger of the Thrice-Great"], having the three parts of the philosophy of the world. What I have said of the Sun's (Son's) operation is completed."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Law

"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient..."

St. Paul
I Corinthians 6:12

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The Violent

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."

Jesus Christ
Matthew 11:12

Monday, January 8, 2007

Madness and Blessings

"Our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness."

Plato
Phaedrus

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Wakan-Tanka

"Peace... comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us."

Black Elk

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Mysticism

"Mysticism... the art of establishing one's conscious relation with the Absolute, being an ordered movement toward ever higher levels of reality and ever closer identification with the infinite."

E. Underhill
Mysticism

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Profitable Science

"Thou shalt understand that it is a science most profitable, and passing all other sciences, for to learn to die.

"For a man to know that he shall die, that is common to all men; as much as there is no man that may ever live or he hath hope or trust thereof; but thou shalt find full few that have this cunning to learn to die...

"I shall give thee the mystery of this doctrine; the which shall profit thee greatly to the beginning of a ghostly health, and to a stable fundament of all virtues."

Heinrich Seuse
Horologium sapientiae