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All are tending to one and the same goal, at least all aspire to the same goal, from the wise man to the lowest murderer, but only by different ways.

It is an old truth, but there is this new in it: I cannot go far astray. I saw the truth. I saw and know that all could be beautiful and happy, without losing the capacity to live upon the earth.

I will not, I cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of men. I saw the truth, I did not invent it with my mind. I saw, saw, and her living image filled my soul for ever.


We must be willing to be completely ordinary people, which means accepting ourselves as we are without trying to become greater, purer, more spiritual, more insightful. If we can accept our imperfections as they are, quite ordinarily, then we can use them as part of the path. But if we try to get rid of our imperfections, then they will be enemies, obstacles on the road to our ‘self-improvement’…


After so much time and fuss we begin to discover that what we are looking for is what we have always been. That’s all, we just forgot. Separation is an illusion…


What we call the Self is not a soul-like thing, nor is it a state. It is the uninterrupted flow of life. We cannot apprehend it with these faculties we use every day, such as impressions, feelings or memory. All of that belongs to a fractional, objective point of view. We cannot think of it because we are it…


Sufi mystics say: There are three ways to relate to the Divine: One is through Prayer, a step up from that is Meditation or Self Abidance, and a step up from that is Sohbet.

What is meant by Sohbet in this context is difficult to describe. But perhaps most simply, it points to conversation of ‘a totally different nature….’


Our longing for community and purpose is so powerful that it can drive us to join groups, relationships, or systems of belief that, to our diminished or divided self, gives the false impression of belonging. But places of false belonging grant us conditional membership, requiring us to cut parts of ourselves off in order to fit in.

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It soon becomes clear that we cannot readily save anyone, much less ourselves, from the heart’s response to the pain of this world. If we are to remain open to life and capable of engaging with our world rather than succumbing to depression or cynicism, we must learn how to live with a broken heart. It is only through letting our heart break that we discover something unexpected…

Ashland Spirit

For the many of us who don’t have a sense of ‘the village’ in our own lives, the very mention of “community” can feel like that oasis of hope that disappears the moment we get close to it. We speak about it yearningly, like a fairy tale we ache to find ourselves in. And its absence has a great presence in our lives.