Religious Thought 085

The world is just a set of false impressions. Give them up. Give up the illusion. Give up the world. And live freely.
- Ashtavakra Gita 9:8

Let me tell you about the middle path. Dressing in rough and dirty garments, letting your hair grow matted, abstaining from eating any meat or fish, does not cleanse the one who is deluded. Mortifying the flesh through excessive hardship does not lead to a triumph over the senses. All self-inflicted suffering is useless as long as the feeling of self is dominant. You should lose your involvement with yourself and then eat and drink naturally, according to the needs of your body. Attachment to your appetites--whether you deprive or indulge them--can lead to slavery, but satisfying the needs of daily life is not wrong. Indeed, to keep a body in good health is a duty, for otherwise the mind will not stay strong and clear. This is the middle path.
- Discourse II

A group of religious leaders came to Rabi'a. She asked one of them: 'Why do you worship the Lord?' He replied: 'There are seven levels of hell, which I regard with great fear and dread; I wish to avoid passing through them.' She asked another man the same question. He replied: 'There are many levels of paradise, where there is much joy; I wish to dwell in one of the levels.' Rabi'a said: 'It is wrong to worship God from fear of punishment, or from hope of reward.'
- Attar, "Rabi'a"

When we are at peace, we find the freedom to be most fully who we are, even in the worst of timesWe empty ourselves so that God may more fully work within us.
- Joseph Cardinal Benardin

We cannot learn from general principles: there may be exceptions.
- Johanan, Talmud: Kiddushin

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