T Nation

Favorite Spiritual Texts..?


OK, I've seen a lot of division here due to religion, and I thought I'd start a thread that could hopefully bring people together and give us all the opportunity to share a piece of wisdom from thier favorite spiritual texts (ANY spiritual text). If posting from a text with extremely varied publication (such as the bible), please include which version it is from, and what you like about that version (if you know).

Here's my favorite quote from "Dhammapada: Wisdom of the Buddha", Chapter IV, "The Wise" (translated by Harischandra Kaviratna):

"Those whose minds are well fixed upon the elements of enlightenment, who, without hankering after anything, glory in renunciation, whose biases are extinguished, who are full of light, they ineed have attained the bliss of nirvana in this very world."


Here's a Zen story I like (You can find it from many different sources):

In a temple in the northern part of Japan two brother monks were dwelling together. The elder one was learned, but the younger one was stupid and had but one eye.

A wandering monk came and asked for lodging, properly challenging them to a debate about the sublime teachings. The elder brother, tired that day from much studying, told the younger one to take his place. "Go and request the dialogue in silence," he cautioned.

So the young monk and the stranger went to the shrine and sat down.

Shortly afterwards the traveler rose and went in to the elder brother and said: "Your young brother is a wonderful fellow. He defeated me."

"Relate the dialogue to me," said the elder one.

"Well," explained the traveler, "first I held up one finger, representing Buddha, the enlightened one. So he held up two fingers, signifying Buddha and his teaching. I held up three fingers, representing Buddha, his teaching, and his followers, living the harmonious life. Then he shook his clenched fist in my face, indicating that all three come from one realization. Thus he won and so I have no right to remain here." With this, the traveler left.

"Where is that fellow?" asked the younger one, running in to his elder brother.
"I understand you won the debate."
"Won nothing. I'm going to beat him up."
"Tell me the subject of the debate," asked the elder one.
"Why, the minute he saw me he held up one finger, insulting me by insinuating that I have only one eye. Since he was a stranger I thought I would be polite to him, so I held up two fingers, congratulating him that he has two eyes. Then the impolite wretch held up three fingers, suggesting that between us we only have three eyes. So I got mad and started to punch him, but he ran out and that ended it!"


lol - excellent! ..who says buddhists don't have a sense of humour?


Dark Lord I Summon Thee
Demanding The Sacred Right To Burn In Hell
Ride Up On Hell's Hot Wind
Face One More Evil Than Thou
Take My Lustful Soul
Drink My Blood As I Drink Yours
Impale Me On The Horns Of Death
Cut Off My Head Release All My Evil

Lucifer Is King Praise Satan

-Bridge of Death from Manowar


Pro 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Pro 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
Pro 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
Pro 1:25 But ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
Pro 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
Pro 1:27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Pro 1:28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
Pro 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Pro 1:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
Pro 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Pro 1:32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

Proverbs Ch1 KJV


Is that from the King James version, book of Proverbs?

excellent quote, btw...


Here's one I like:

A grandson told of his anger at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice.

Grandfather said: "Let me tell you a story." "I, too, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But, hate wears you down and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die.

I have struggled with these feelings many times. It is as if there are two wolves inside me: one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights with everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?" The grandfather solemnly replied, "The one I feed."


Very, very good stuff Pookie. I really liked that.


Here are some good ones from C.S. Lewis

"Reality, in fact, is always something you couldn't have guessed. That's one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It's a religion you couldn't have guessed."

"God has landed on this enemy-occupied world in human form...The perfect surrender and humiliation was undergone by Christ: perfect because He was God, surrender and humiliation because He was man."

"A great many of those who 'debunk' traditional...values have in the background values of their own which they believe to be immune from the debunking process."

"An open mind, in questions that are not ultimate, is useful. But an open mind about the ultimate foundations either of Theoretical or of Practical Reason is idiocy."

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

"[Pain] removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul."

"[God] is not proud...He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him."

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere--'Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,' as Herbert says, 'fine nets and stratagems.' God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous."

"Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself."

"If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will...then we may take it it is worth paying."

"Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self..."

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..."

"Those that hate goodness are sometimes nearer than those that know nothing at all about it and think they have it already."

"The surest way of spoiling a pleasure [is] to start examining your satisfaction."

"The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior."

"Now that I am a Christian I do not have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable."

"All that we call human history--money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery--[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy."


"The One is the invisible spirit. We should not think of it as a god or like a god. For it is greater than a god, because it has nothing over it and no lord above it. It does not exist within anything inferior to it, since everything exists within it alone. It is eternal, since it does not need anything. For it is absolutely complete. It has never lacked anything ikn order to be completed by it. Rather, it is always absolutely complete in ist light. The One is:

Illimitable, since there is nothing before it to limit it,
Unfathomable, since there is nothing before to fathom it,
Immesurable, since there was nothing before to measure it,
Invisible since nothing has seen it,
Eternal, since it exists eternally,
Unutterable, since nothing could comprehend it to utter it,
Unnamable, since there is nothing before it to give it a name."

From The Secred Book of John (translated by Marvin Meyer, based largely on the coptic text of the Nag Hammadi scriptures)


The true way leads along a tight-rope, which is not stretched aloft but just above the ground. It seems designed more to trip one than to be walked along.

Franz Kafka


A vulture was hacking at my feet. It had already torn my boots and stockings to shreds, now it was hacking at the feet themselves. Again and again it struck at them, then circled several times restlessly round me, then returned to continue its work. A gentleman passed by, looked on for a while, then asked me why I suffered the vulture. "I'm helpless," I said.

"When it came and began to attack me, I of course tried to drive it away, even to strangle it, but these animals are very strong, it was about to spring at my face, but I preferred to sacrifice my feet. Now they are almost torn to bits." "Fancy letting yourself be tortured like this!" said the gentleman. "One shot and that's the end of the vulture." "Really ?" I said. "And would you do that?" "With pleasure," said the gentleman, "I've only got to go home and get my gun. Could you wait another half hour?"

"I'm not sure about that," said I, and stood for a moment rigid with pain. Then I said: "Do try it in any case, please." "Very well," said the gentleman, "I'll be as quick as I can." During this conversation the vulture had been calmly listening, letting its eye rove between me and the gentleman. Now I realized that it had understood everything; it took wing, leaned far back to gain impetus, and then, like a javelin thrower, thrust its beak through my mouth, deep into me.

Falling back, I was relieved to feel him drowning irretrievably in my blood, which was filling every depth, flooding every shore.

Franz Kafka


[i]Tetsugen, a devotee of Zen in Japan, decided to publish the sutras, which at that time were available only in Chinese. The books were to be printed with wood blocks in an edition of seven thousand copies, a tremendous undertaking.

Tetsugen began by traveling and collecting donations for this purpose. A few sympathizers would give him a hundred pieces of gold, but most of the time he received only small coins. He thanked each donor with equal gratitude. After ten years Tetsugen had enough money to begin his task.

It happened that at that time the Uji River overflowed. Famine followed. Tetsugen took the funds he had collected for the books and spent them to save others from starvation. Then he began again his work of collecting.

Several years afterwards an epidemic spread over the country. Tetsugen again gave away what he had collected, to help his people. For a third time he started his work, and after twenty years his wish was fulfilled. The printing blocks which produced the first edition of sutras can be seen today in the Obaku monastery in Kyoto.

The Japanese tell their children that Tetsugen made three sets of sutras, and that the first two invisible sets surpass even the last.[/i]


Futile? Life is not futile if you simply live it. It remains futile however as long as you keep watching yourself live it. And that is the old syndrome: keeping a constant eye on oneself and on one?s life, to make sure that the absurd is not showing, that one has company, that one is justified by the presence and support of others.

Thomas Merton
Catholic Monk


Exactly! That's awesome (and a keeper).