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The World's Religions The World's Religions by Huston Smith
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“Never during its pilgrimage is the human spirit completely adrift and alone. From start to finish its nucleus is the Atman, the god-within... underlying its whirlpool of transient feelings, emotions, and delusions is the self-luminous, abiding point of the transpersonal god. As the sun lights the world even when cloud-covered, “the Immutable is never seen but is the Witness; it is never heard but is the Hearer; it is never thought but is the Thinker; it is never known but is the Knower. There is no other witness but This, no other knower but This." from the Upanishad”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions
“What a strange fellowship this is, the God seekers in every land, lifting their voices in the most disparate ways imaginable to the God of all life. How does it sound from above? Like bedlam, or do the strains blend in strange ethereal harmony? Does one faith carry the lead or do the parts share in counterpoint and antiphony where not in full throated chorus?

We cannot know. All we can do is to listen carefully and with full attention to each voice in turn as it addresses the divine.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions
“The only power that can effect transformations of the order (of Jesus) is love. It remained for the 20th century to discover that locked within the atom is the energy of the sun itself. For this energy to be released, the atom must be bombarded from without. So too, locked in every human being is a store of love that partakes of the divine- the imago dei, image of god…And it too can be activated only through bombardment, in its case, love’s bombardment. The process begins in infancy, where a mother’s initially unilateral loving smile awakens love in her baby and as coordination develops, elicits its answering smile… A loving human being is not produced by exhortations, rules and threats. Love can only take root in children when it comes to them- initially and most importantly from nurturing parents. Ontogenetically speaking, love is an answering phenomenon. It is literally a response.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions
“Among the languages of American Indians there is no word for ‘art,’ because for Indians everything is art.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“If it is possible to be homesick for the world, even places one has never been and knows one will never see, this book is the child of such homesickness.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions
“Without attention, the human sense of wonder and the holy will stir occasionally, but to become a steady flame it must be tended.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“The disciples of Jesus “found themselves thinking that if divine goodness were to manifest itself in human form, this (he) is how it would behave… he invited people to see differently instead of telling them what to do or believe…he located the authority of his teaching in his hearer’s hearts, not in himself or God-as-removed.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions
“If I were asked under what sky the human mind…has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions to some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant—I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human a life…again I should point to India. Max Müller”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“Science makes major contributions to minor needs, Justice Holmes was fond of saying, adding that religion, however small its successes, is at least at work on the things that matter most.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“Lincoln Steffens has a fable of a man who climbed to the top of a mountain and, standing on tiptoe, seized hold of the Truth. Satan, suspecting mischief from this upstart, had directed one of his underlings to tail him; but when the demon reported with alarm the man’s success—that he had seized hold of the Truth—Satan was unperturbed. “Don’t worry,” he yawned. “I’ll tempt him to institutionalize it.” That”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“To find meaning in the mystery of existence is life’s final and fascinating challenge.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“The game can be won or lost, but not the player himself. If he has worked hard, he has improved his game and indeed his faculties; this happens in defeat fully as much as in victory. As the contestant is related to his total person, so is the finite self of any particular lifetime related to its underlying Atman.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“If I were asked under what sky the human mind…has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions to some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant—I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human a life…again I should point to India. Max Müller On”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“No individual is solely reflective, emotional, active, or experimental, and different life situations call for different resources to be brought into play. Most people will, on the whole, find travel on one road more satisfactory than on others and will consequently tend to keep close to it; but Hinduism encourages people to test all four and combine them as best suits their needs.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“To try to extinguish the drive for riches with money is like trying to quench a fire by pouring butter over it.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“Detachment from the finite self or attachment to the whole of things—we can state the phenomenon either positively or negatively. When it occurs, life is lifted above the possibility of frustration and above ennui—the third threat to joy—as well, for the cosmic drama is too spectacular to permit boredom in the face of such vivid identification.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“Hinduism advises such people not to try to think of God as the supreme instance of abstractions like being or consciousness, and instead to think of God as the archetype of the noblest reality they encounter in the natural world.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“A great anatomist used to close his opening lecture to beginning medical students with words that apply equally to our own undertaking. “In this course,” he would say, “we shall be dealing with flesh and bones and cells and sinews, and there are going to be times when it’s all going to seem terribly cold-blooded. But never forget. It’s alive!” II.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“We should witness all things non-reactively, especially our moods and emotions, neither condemning some nor holding on to others.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“Heaven and earth are my inner and outer coffins. The sun, moon, and stars are my drapery, and the whole creation my funeral procession. What more do I want?”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“Such power as I possess for working in the political field has derived from my experiments in the spiritual field.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“We are limited in joy, knowledge, and being, the three things people really want.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“The point of the story is that the universe is one gigantic Wishing Tree, with branches that reach into every heart. The cosmic process decrees that sometime or other, in this life or another, each of these wishes will be granted—together, of course, with consequences.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“The word "my" always implies a distinction between the possessor and what is possessed; when I speak of my book or my jacket, I do not suppose that I am those things. But I also speak of my body, my mind, or my personality, giving evidence thereby that in some sense I consider myself as distinct from them as well. What is this "I" that possesses my body and mind, but is not their equivalent?”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions
“Do not seek after truth. Merely cease to hold opinions.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“We are told that we are not to resist evil but to turn the other cheek. The world assumes that evil must be resisted by every means available. We are told to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. The world assumes that friends are to be loved and enemies hated. We are told that the sun rises on the just and the unjust alike. The world considers this undiscriminating; it would like to see clouds over evil people and is offended when they go unpunished. We are told that outcasts and harlots enter the kingdom of God before many who are perfunctorily righteous. Again unfair, the world thinks; respectable people should head the procession. We are told that the gate to salvation is narrow. The world would prefer it to be broad. We are told to be as carefree as birds and flowers. The world counsels prudence. We are told that it is more difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom than for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye. The world admires wealth. We are told that the happy people are those who are meek, who weep, who are merciful and pure in heart. The world assumes that it is the rich, the powerful, and the well-born who are happy. The great Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev said that a wind of freedom blows through these teachings that frightens the world and makes us want to deflect them by postponement—not yet, not yet! H.G. Wells was evidently right: Either there was something mad about this man, or our hearts are still too small for his message.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions
“You can find God in the world of everyday affairs as readily as anywhere.11”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“Everything I do for my private wellbeing adds another layer to my ego, and in thickening it insulates me more from God. Conversely, every act done without thought for myself diminishes my self-centeredness until finally no barrier remains to separate me from the Divine. The”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“Historical figures lose their center when they become anxious over the outcome of their actions.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated
“people approach the goal from different directions, so there must be multiple trails to the common destination.”
Huston Smith, The World's Religions, Revised and Updated

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