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Welcome to Age-of-the-Sage where we present many of the "most awesome Spiritual Insights Quotations
known to Mankind" for our visitors' consideration!!!
The sheer range and power of these impact-FULL Spiritual Insights Quotations allows us to draw our visitors' attention towards a recognition that the very existence, within many celebrated quotations and quotes, of readily identifiable Profound Spiritual Truths has considerable implications for the Faith vs Reason Debate or controversy.
Alongside the many truly profound Spiritual and Poetical Insights Quotations that are about to be presented this page has been structured to attempt to challenge the determined promotion of skepticism about religion as currently pursued by Richard Dawkins and others.
Although we recognise that the content of this page will doubtless be seen as somewhat un-conventional in openly recognising that profound truths exist in many World Religons we would hope, and expect, that it will nevertheless be possible to see our contribution to the Faith versus Reason debate as being consistent with such important teachings as The Sermon on the Mount and The Parable of the Sower.
We further hope, and expect, that all of our visitors who are prepared to see value in Faith, or in Spirituality, will gain confidence in their credibility from a consideration of the content of this page!!!
Whether we realise it or not most people, even though they might consider themselves to be quite un-spiritual and rather un-poetic, have a capacity which allows for a recognition of Profund Truths which have been "somehow encapsulated" within certain spiritual and poetical quotations.
It may even be the case that spiritual and poetic wisdom can help us to realise truths that are otherwise largely beyond our reach:-
We have found it entirely possible to research into the Profund Truths that have been "captured and somehow encapsulated" within certain spiritual and poetical quotations!!!
Some words of background context introduction to the important wisdoms we are attempting to identify as "Central Spiritual Insights" are probably necessary:-
Many commentators have claimed to have discerned a "Perennial Philosophy" of central agreement about "Divine Truths" between the Great Religions of the World across the ages!!!
There is always a small group of men who teach religion from experience. They are called mystics, and these mystics in every religion speak the same tongue and teach the same truth. This is the real science of religion. As mathematics in every part of the world does not differ, so the mystics do not differ.
Aldous Huxley & The Perennial PhilosophyAldous Huxley, in the Introduction to his own, widely celebrated, study into the central agreements about "Divine Truths" between the Great Religions of the World, first published as The Perennial Philosophy in 1945, wrote that:-
"Rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the traditionary lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. A version of this Highest Common Factor in all preceding and subsequent theologies was first committed to writing more than twenty-five centuries ago, and since that time the inexhaustible theme has been treated again and again, from the standpoint of every religious tradition and in all the principal languages of Asia and Europe."In this major anthology, (which has never gone out-of-print since first publication), Huxley accepted the proposition, deriving from Leibniz, a notably eminent scholar who was an early investigator into the Common Ground shared by The World Religions, that Religions concern themselves
"with the one, divine Reality"
"the nature of this one Reality is such that it cannot be directly or immediately apprehended except by those who have chosen to fulfill certain conditions, making themselves loving, pure in heart, and poor in spirit."
It should not be overlooked that Aldous Huxley came from the famously skeptical Huxley family and went against an high-profile and established family tradition in becoming fascinated by faith spirituality!!!
But to return to the faith versus reason debate :-
The results of exhaustive studies conducted by ourselves at Age-of-the-Sage.org into The Perennial Philosophy were such as to lead us to also accept that "the one, divine Reality" is better discerned by those spiritually endowed with Charity, Purity of Heart and Humility. However, we came to believe Meekness to be another spiritual endowment which may well tend to contribute towards heightened powers of discernment.
This suggestion that Meekness is of immense spiritual value may not surprise.
More unexpectedly, perhaps, the outcomes of our comprehensive researches into the mysteries of Deep Spiritual Truth were also such as to suggest that it is appropriate to fully associate 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), with the centralities of The Perennial Philosophy.
Some truly extra-ordinary wisdoms ~ a brief selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" gleaned from Christian sources closely followed by another brief selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources are set out below ~ to be again closely followed by what seems to be a comparable selection of "Central Poetry Insights".
A selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" gleaned from Christian sourcesThese Christian quotations have been selected based on their inherent Spirtual Impact, (rather than whether they might be deemed to be Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox), and come from The King James Bible and from the 'Of the Imitation of Christ'; a fifteenth century devotional work that has long been the second most widely read Christian book after The Bible itself.
"Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources
The Great Poets have also won many profoundly instructive insights.
The following "Central Poetry Insights" quotations could be said to "somehow encapsulate" the same Truths just presented from Christian sources, and from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources.
At this point we hope that we have fulfilled our earlier undertaking to prominently feature
many truly profound, and indeed, truly impact-FULL Spiritual and Poetical Insights Quotations.
Our page-content will now turn to a more explicit coverage of the faith vs reason debate (whilst continuing to attempt to challenge the New Atheism of Richard Dawkins and others).
[A more in-depth coverage of the deep similarities between the Core Mystical Teachings of the major World Religions is available here for those interested]!!!
Prominent "New Atheists", also known as The Four Horsemen.
This evidence as to agreement between The Great Religions as to what is Core Spiritual Truth gives rise to an irresistible opportunity to challenge Richard Dawkins, and the other "New Atheists", who have been so active in praising the value of "Reason" and "Science" and in dismissing Religious Faith.
The Great Faiths tend to prefer "Inspiration" over "Thought":-
Enlightenment is not 'Intellectual'
The Great Poets join with The Great Faiths in tending to show an awareness of the importance of non-rational appreciation of spiritual truths:-
Distrust of the Intellect
A few quotes suggesting that Spiritual Wisdom,
"Knowledge is a function of being."In other words, if you are not suited to knowing something, you can not know it.
From time to time we hear people sincerely describing other persons as being, or having been, "Wise and Good".
"Wisdom has its root in goodness, not goodness its root in wisdom."We find this passage in Aldous Huxley's Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy:-
"In regard to few professional philosophers and men of letters is there any evidence that they did very much in the way of fulfilling the necessary conditions of direct spiritual knowledge. When poets and metaphysicians talk about the subject matter of the Perennial Philosophy, it is generally at second hand. But in every age there have been some men and women who chose to fulfil the conditions upon which alone, as a matter of brute empirical fact, such immediate knowledge can be had; "...
Emerson, (who has been described by one of his biographers as having become "the leading voice of intellectual culture in the United States"), included this passage in his Essay "The Over-Soul":-
..."After its own law and not by arithmetic is the rate of the soul's progress to be computed. The soul's advances are not made by gradation, such as can be represented by motion in a straight line; but rather by ascension of state, such as can be represented by metamorphosis, — from the egg to the worm, from the worm to the fly. The growths of genius are of a certain total character, that does not advance the elect individual first over John, then Adam, then Richard, and give to each the pain of discovered inferiority, but by every throe of growth the man expands there where he works, passing, at each pulsation, classes, populations, of men. With each divine impulse the mind rends the thin rinds of the visible and finite, and comes out into eternity, and inspires and expires its air. It converses with truths that have always been spoken in the world, "...
Huxley concludes his Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy with these words:-
"If one is not oneself a sage or saint, the best thing one can do, in the field of metaphysics, is to study the works of those who were, and who, because they had modified their merely human mode of being, were capable of a more than merely human kind and amount of knowledge."
Despite the fact that World Faith Teachings, (and Great Poets), can be shown to value "Inspiration" over "Thought" atheists often seem to be totally "Intellectually Convinced" of the reasonableness of their own positions!!!
We at Age-of-the-Sage would like to sympathise with
Christopher Hitchens' family and friends in their personal loss.
... And where are we at this moment in time? We are celebrating reason, for as Bertrand Russell stated, “to save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true.”
Most people like to think that they hold a coherent view of the World and of Humanity's place in it.
In this regard it cannot be denied that here seems to be a divergency between deep-seated wellsprings of spiritual-poetic inspiration and feeling, and the more conceptual reasonings of the intellect, that continues to be difficult to reconcile.
The "Enlightenment is not Intellectual" specific and "Distrust of the Intellect" specific quotations sourced from persons of faith and the great poets displayed earlier featured contributions by some undoubted, (and ~ in cases ~ largely, or completely, undoubtable), authorities including A Zen Master, Solomon the Wise (often mooted as the principal author of the Book of Proverbs), Jesus' Parable of the Sower, John Dryden, William Shakespeare, William Cowper and Rumi (the most famous mystical poet in the Islamic World).
Spiritual Authorities would have us believe in "Faith-Related" Truths ~ scientists would have us believe in other Truths which they hold to be "Scientifically Valid".
Could it be that Human Beings are capable of d-e-e-p spirituality notwithstanding the "Rational" theories offered by Science?
Can "worldly" Science be said to value Rational Intellectual Knowledge and the Divines ~ Saints and Sages ~ be said to value Spiritual Wisdom?
Who can doubt that "Enlightenment" is essentially aligned with "Inspiration in association with Reason" rather than being aligned with "Reason" alone?
Religions have comforted and guided most of Mankind for many thousands of years.
Although the "Westernised" world is currently going through a particularly agnostic and atheistic phase we like to think that our Spiritual Insights Quotations related contribution to the Faith vs. Reason Debate or Controversy will help to remind people of the profundities possible to faith.
Inspiration can occasionally trounce Reason!!!
Is "Human Being" more truly Metaphysical than Physical?
Faith and Philosophy!!!
Our Human Nature - Tripartite Soul page
Spirituality and the Wider World!!!
People may well be spiritual, materialistic, ethnic and intellectual!!!
Popular, "Scientific", Rational,
inadequate? ~ Darwinism
Famous "Hornet" cartoon of 1871
(just after Darwin's ~ The Descent of Man)
"You will hear things like, 'Science doesn't know everything.' Well, of course science doesn't know everything. But, because science doesn't know everything, it doesn't mean that science knows nothing. Science knows enough for us to be watched by a few million people now on television, for these lights to be working, for quite extraordinary miracles to have taken place in terms of the harnessing of the physical world and our dim approaches towards understanding it. And as Wittgenstein quite rightly said, 'When we understand every single secret of the universe, there will still be left the eternal mystery of the human heart.'"The mutual inability of Faith and Reason to appreciate each other may, to some degree, be an example of the infamous "Two Cultures" split that ultimately diminishes, and hampers the effectiveness of, both "The Humanities" and "The Sciences".
Stephen Fry quoting Wittgenstein during a Room 101 TV program of March 2001
Religion deals with the truths of the metaphysical world just as chemistry and the other natural sciences deal with the truths of the physical world. The book one must read to learn chemistry is the book of nature. The book from which to learn religion is your own mind and heart. The sage is often ignorant of physical science, because he reads the wrong book - the book within; and the scientist is too often ignorant of religion, because he too reads the wrong book - the book without.
Vivekananda - Religion and Science
More than half a century ago the prominent novelist and speaker C.P. Snow, described a chasm between literary intellectuals and scientists, a gulf that impoverished both sides and impeded efforts to relieve suffering around the world. Science was not understood or respected by then dominant literary culture, to the detriment of all, he said. At some point scientists had ceased to be considered intellectuals, Snow noted, and though any educated person was required to know Shakespeare, almost none were similarly expected to be familiar with the second law of thermodynamics.According to Richard Dawkins:-
"It has become almost a cliche to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics."We live in a Physical World which can be meaningfully investigated, and transformed, by physicists, mathematicians, chemists, biologists and engineers but we also live in a Human World which is perhaps open to being "broadly appreciated" by theologians, economists, historians, poets, philosophers and metaphysicians.
He also said:-If there was "ball-park" agreement about how the Human World "ought" to operate, (thanks mainly to the Humanities), then the Sciences could be brought to bear to effectively seek to attain those aims ~ (alongside inherently desireable advances in such fields as Medicine, Food Production and Global Warming Limitation that we might perhaps hope for from The Sciences in any case).
“Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts.”
An acceptance that there are Non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA), that science and religion each have "a legitimate magisterium, or domain of teaching authority" and these two domains do not overlap, is a view advocated by Stephen Jay Gould.
The lives we lead are "Human" lives, simultaneously Intellectual, Materialistic, Spiritual and Ethnic.
"We need a worldview grounded in science that does not deny the richness of human nature and the validity of modes of knowing other than the scientific. If we can bring our spirituality, the richness and wholesomeness of our basic human values, to bear upon the course of science in human society, then the different approaches of science and spirituality will contribute together to the betterment of humanity." His Holiness the Dalai Lama
(In a comment on "War of the Worldviews: Science vs Spirituality", a faith vs. reason debate or controversy related book written by the scientist Leonard Mlodinow and by the prominent spiritual writer Deepak Chopra.
Leonard Mlodinow has previously co-authored with Stephen Hawking on scientific subjects).
Beneath the revelations of all the great world religions, the teaching of the wise and holy of all faiths and the mystical experiences of every race and age, there lies a basic unity of belief which is the closest approximation man can attain to truth and ultimate reality.
The Perennial Philosophy is an attempt to present this Highest Common Factor of all theologies by assembling passages from the writings of those saints and prophets who have approached a direct spiritual knowledge of the Divine, and who have recorded not only the method of that approach but also the clarity of soul they derived from it.
The following linked pages are intended to more 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).
We have seen it as worthwhile to add another category of quotation ~ where recognition has been given "by the wise and holy of several faiths" to the possibility of Mystical Communion with God ~ as this addition may rather directly tend the range of agreement from Comparative Religion studies about "Core Spiritual Truths" already demonstrated towards actually becoming real evidence of the existence of "Spiritually Discernible" aspects to the one God or Spirit which is central to Mystical Faith.
We have already put "on the record" our hope, and expectation, that it will be possible to see our contribution to the Faith vs Reason debate as being consistent with such Sermons and Parables of Jesus as The Sermon on the Mount and The Parable of the Sower.
We nevertheless have great respect for the Spiritualities that exist at the cores of the Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh, Taoist and Vedic-Hindu faiths and have laid out the above table of links in a manner consistent with our aspiration towards promoting a mutually respectful co-existence of The Great Faiths of the World.
The Faith vs Reason Debate