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Rumi, Shakespeare, Huai Nan Tzu, St Matthew, John Smith the Platonist and Gampopa: On The False Light

Rumi, Shakespeare, Huai Nan Tzu, St Matthew, John Smith the Platonist and Gampopa: On The False Light
Photo: Little monk at Choni Monastery, Tibet; 1932.


Since there is many a devil who hath the face of Adam, it is not well to give your hand to every hand...

The vile man will steal the language of dervishes, that he may thereby chant a spell over (fascinate and deceive) one who is simple.



All that glitters is not gold.

(Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice)

A white bone much resembles ivory; most men fail to distinguish the one from the other. So with men. The specious kind appears to have goodness, but it is not really so.

(Huai Nan Tzu)

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

(St Matthew, VII. 15)

All the light and knowledge that may seem to rise in unhallowed minds, is but like those flames that arise from our culinary fires, that are soon quenched in their own smoke; or like those foolish fires that do but flit to and fro upon the surface of this earth Where they were first brought forth; and serve not so much to enlighten as to defile us; nor to direct the wandering traveler into his way, but to lead him farther out of it. While we lodge any vice in us, this will be perpetually twisting itself into the thread of our finestspun speculations; it will be continually climbing up into the bed of reason; like the wanton ivy twisting itself about the oak, it will twine about our judgments and understandings, till it has sucked out the life and spirit of them.

(John Smith the Platonist)

A mere glimpse of Reality may be mistaken for complete realization.



Source and Recommended Reading:

'A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom: An Encyclopedia of Humankind's Spiritual Truth'
By Whitall N. Perry  (Author)

Purchase Book:



Truly magisterial, this compendium of spiritual wisdom is organized according to the traditional religious concept of spiritual ascent--or, in Christian terms, the sequence of death, resurrection, and eternal life. Hundreds of selected passages represent many faiths and philosophical traditions, with insight from some of the world's greatest minds, including Black Elk, Confucius, Eckart, Muhammad, Philo, Rumi, and Shakespeare. The material itself is divided into three sections that correspond to the ascent, with the opening quotations treating suffering, sin, and obedience before giving way to the middle section's preoccupation with action, combat and judgment. Finally, the third set of quotations climbs aloft to investigate the subjects of truth, eternity, the shattering of forms, and the cosmos.
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