Christian Spirituality & Mysticism Quotations
Jesus was born two thousand years ago in Judea and even in his
youthful years astonished many scholars and holy men with his
understanding and discourse upon religious matters.
from The New Testament &
Thomas a Kempis' ~ Of the Imitation of Christ
It was only when in his thirties that Jesus began a period of
teaching upon which the various forms of Christianity are
After Jesus' death several disciples made written records
based upon his life and teachings and continued to spread the
faith that they had been taught by Jesus. These written records,
and also later documents such as Epistles or letters written by
these disciples to faith communities they were attempting to
nurture, are contained in the New Testament of the Holy Bible.
The New Testament is divided up into several books amongst which
are the Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John,
and also the Epistles of St. Paul, St John, and St. James.
Alongside a number of selections from the New Testament that
are about to be presented are several quotations from the - Of
the Imitation of Christ.
The "Imitation of Christ" being a celebrated devotional work, attributed to Thomas à Kempis and dating from fifteenth century A. D.,
which has long been the second most widely-read Christian book after The Bible itself.
Sets of quotations and quotes that seem to recognise a pronounced emphasis on such
aspects of Spirituality and Mysticism as a Disdain for Materialism, a Distrust of the Intellect, a Preference for
Divine Inspiration, Charity, Purity of Heart, Humility and Meekness from each of these major World Religions
( Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh, Taoist and Vedic or Hindu ) can be accessed through our series of "Central" Spiritual Insights pages.
Please be prepared for some "soul-force" that might be held to reside within many of these quotations!!!
Disdain for material things
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples
also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him
deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever
will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his
life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For
what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and
lose his own soul?
Some have Me in their mouths, but little in their
There are others who, being enlightened in their understanding
and purified in their affection, always breathe after things
eternal, are unwilling to hear of earthly things, and grieve to
be subject to the necessities of nature; and such as these
perceive what the Spirit of Truth speaketh in them.
For it teacheth them to despise the things of the earth and to
love heavenly things; to disregard the world, and all the day and
night to aspire after heaven.
Thomas à Kempis
Of the Imitation of Christ ~ Bk. 3 Ch. 4 v. 4
Distrust of Intellect
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain
deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the
world, and not after Christ.
St. Paul ~ Colossians 2:8
If thou reliest more upon thine own reason or industry than
upon the virtue that subjects to Jesus Christ, thou wilt seldom
and hardly become an enlightened man; for God wishes us to be
perfectly subject to Himself, and to transcend all reason by
Thomas à Kempis
Of the Imitation of Christ ~ Bk. 1 Ch. 4 v. 13
Spiritual Insights are possible!
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not
the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that
come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even
the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our
glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they
known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as
it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have
entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared
for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his
Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things
of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit
of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man,
but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of
the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the
things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we
speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which
the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with
spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the
Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he
know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
St. Paul ~ 1 Corinthians 2: 6-14
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and
every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that
loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
St. John ~ 1 John 4:7-8
Purity of heart
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my
presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own
salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in
you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things
without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and
harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke ...
St. Paul ~ Philippians 2: 12-15
Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even
Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
And whomsoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that
shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Jesus ~ Matthew 23: 10 -12
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear,
slow to speak, and slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh
not the righteousness of God.
St. James ~ Epistle of James 1: 19 -20
Communion with God
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I
in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may
believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me
I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in
them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and
that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved
them, as thou hast loved me.
Jesus ~ John 17: 21 -23
The following linked pages are intended to fully demonstrate a degree of
Common Ground between the Inner-most Spiritual Teachings of several major World Religions on Charity, Purity of
Heart, Humility, Meekness, A Disdain for Materialism
(compared to the Spiritual), A Distrust of the Intellect (compared to Divine Inspiration) and A Yearning
for Divine Edification (or A Thirst for Spiritual Enlightenment).
These quotations are presented on a series of very brief pages where each faith is considered individually.
We have seen it as worthwhile to add
another category of quotation ~ where recognition has been given to the possibility of Mystical Communion with God ~ as this
addition may rather directly tend the range of agreement about "Core Spiritual Truths" already demonstrated
towards actually becoming something of a proof of the Existence of the one God or Spirit which is the focus of Mystical
The Parable of the Sower
- The Parable of the Sower is, perhaps, the most "Enlightenment" related teaching of Jesus!!!
Its content can be viewed as suggesting that human behaviors have several potential tendencies - other than Spirituality:-
Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the
lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said:
"Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came
up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the
plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying
thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times."
Then Jesus said, "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear." ...
... Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows
the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and
takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive
it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of
the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of
this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop - some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.
He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant
to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear."
Jesus' teaching ~ as set out in St Mark's gospel Chapter 4
The Parable of the Sower actually features in three of the four, primary, "Canonical" Gospels - such that it is possible to attempt to derive deeper
meaning by presenting the following alternative ending ~
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the
light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open."
~ as set out in St Luke's gospel Chapter 8
This "Parable of the Sower" could be said to suggest that Enlightenment does not appear to be Intellectual but may
principally arise from keeping to spiritual teachings!!!
Many of our visitors seem to find the content of one of our pages -
Which is about Human Nature, (and 'Very Possibly' related matters)
- to be particularly fascinating!!!
There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee.
"…can we possibly refuse to admit that there exist in each
of us the same generic parts and characteristics as are found in
the state? For I presume the state has not received them from any
other source. It would be ridiculous to imagine that the presence
of the spirited element in cities is not to be traced to
individuals, wherever this character is imputed to the people, as
it is to the natives of Thrace, and Scythia, and generally
speaking, of the northern countries; or the love of knowledge,
which would be chiefly attributed to our own country; or the love
of riches, which people would especially connect with the
Phoenicians and the Egyptians.
From Plato's most famous work ~ The Republic ~ detailing conversations entered into by his friend, and teacher, Socrates
Pythagoras was a prominent figure in the intellectual life of the Greek world of the sixth century B.C.
Alongside his genuine contributions to mathematics and geometry Pythogoras is also considered to have recognised that there was
evidently a "Tripartite" complexity to Human Nature:-
Pythagoras who, according to Heraclides of Pontus, the pupil of Plato and a learned man
of the first rank, came, the story goes, to Philus and with a wealth of learning and words
discussed certain subjects with Leon the ruler of the Philasians. And Leon after wondering
at his talent and eloquence asked him to name the art in which he put most reliance. But
Pythagoras said that for his part he had no acquaintance with any art, but was a philosopher.
Leon was astonished at the novelty of the term and asked who philosophers were and in what
they differed from the rest of the world.
Pythagoras, the story continues, replied that the life of man seemed to him to resemble
the festival which was celebrated with most magnificent games before a concourse collected
from the whole of Greece. For at this festival some men whose bodies had been trained sought
to win the glorious distinction of a crown, others were attracted by the prospect of making
gains by buying or selling, whilst there was on the other hand a certain class, and that quite
the best class of free-born men, who looked neither for applause no gain, but came for the sake
of the spectacle and closely watched what was done and how it was done: So also we, as though
we had come from some city to a kind of crowded festival, leaving in like fashion another life
and nature of being, entered upon this life, and some were slaves of ambition, some of money;
there were a special few who, counting all else as nothing, ardently contemplated the nature
of things. These men he would call "lovers of wisdom" (for that is the meaning of the word
In all districts of all lands, in all the classes of communities thousands of minds are intently occupied, the merchant in his compting house, the mechanist over his plans, the statesman
at his map, his treaty, & his tariff, the scholar in the skilful history & eloquence of antiquity, each stung to the quick with the desire of exalting himself to a hasty & yet unfound
height above the level of his peers. Each is absorbed in the prospect of good accruing to himself but each is no less contributing to the utmost of his ability to fix & adorn human
In William H. Gilman (ed.) The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol II, 1822-1826, 305
In what is perhaps Ralph Waldo Emerson's most famous essay - 'History' - we read such things as:-
… There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is
an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once
admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole
estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has
felt, he may feel; what at any time has be-fallen any man, he can
understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to
all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign
Of the works of this mind history is the record. Its genius is
illustrated by the entire series of days. Man is explicable by
nothing less than all his history. Without hurry, without rest,
the human spirit goes forth from the beginning to embody every
faculty, every thought, every emotion, which belongs to it in
appropriate events. But the thought is always prior to the fact;
all the facts of history preexist in the mind as laws. Each law
in turn is made by circumstances predominant, and the limits of
nature give power to but one at a time. …
We are always coming up with the emphatic facts of history in
our private experience, and verifying them here. All history
becomes subjective; in other words, there is properly no history;
only biography. Every mind must know the whole lesson for itself,
-- must go over the whole ground. What it does not see, what it
does not live, it will not know.
In old Rome the public roads beginning at the Forum
proceeded north, south, east, west, to the centre of every
province of the empire, making each market-town of Persia, Spain,
and Britain pervious to the soldiers of the capital: so out of
the human heart go, as it were, highways to the heart of every
object in nature, to reduce it under the dominion of man. A man
is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and
fruitage is the world. His faculties refer to natures out of him,
and predict the world he is to inhabit, as the fins of the fish
foreshow that water exists, or the wings of an eagle in the egg
presuppose air. He cannot live without a world.
"History is for human self-knowledge ... the only clue to what man can do is what man has done.
The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is."
R. G. Collingwood
To access our page about Human Nature, (and 'Very Possibly' related matters), - please click here:-