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Interfaith studies
spirituality quotations

Interfaith studies

This ~ Interfaith studies page ~ is a follow-up to one detailing what we have identified, (or presumed to identify?), as being a range of "Central" spiritual insights, (such as Charity, Purity of Heart, Humility and Meekness), from Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Taoist scriptural - and related - sources.

Our "Central" spiritual insights index page

The Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Taoist mysticism quotations on this page, taken together with the profound quotations set out on our "Central" spiritual insights pages, lead us to see, in ways, more realism in the expression "complementary religion" than in the expression "comparative religion".

Interfaith studies
Spirituality & Mysticism Quotations

Buddhist       Islamic       Hindu


Sikh       Taoist       Jewish

Christian quotations


  ...who love Jesus for Jesus' sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him no less in tribulation and anguish of heart than in the greatest consolation.
  And if He should never give them his comfort, yet would they always praise Him and give Him thanks.
  Oh, how much is the pure love of Jesus able to do, when it is not mixed with any self-interest or self-love!

Thomas a Kempis
Of the Imitation of Christ Bk. 2 Ch. 11 v. 2-3

  ...we have those who have been illumined by God and guided by the true Light. They do not practice the ordered life in expectation of reward. They do not want to acquire anything with the aid of reward, nor do they hope that they will some day reap some reward because of it. No, they do what they do in the ordered life out of love.
  They are not so concerned about the outcome, about how soon a particular behaviour will turn out, how soon, and so on. Their concern is rather that things will work out well, in peace and inner ease. And if sometimes some less important rules have to be neglected, they are not lost in despair.
  They know, of course, that order and rectitude are better and nobler than the lack of it. So they want to keep the rules, but they also know that their salvation and happiness are not dependent on the observance of rules. Therefore they are not as anxious as others.

From the Theologia Germanica

Spiritual Insight

  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

St. James
James 1:5

  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8

On a Contented Life

  Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful of nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; and if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

St. Paul
Phillipians 4:4-9

  Learn to despise exterior things and to give thyself to the interior, and thou shalt see that the kingdom of God will come into thee.

Thomas a Kempis
Of the Imitation of Christ Bk. 2 Ch. 1 v. 1

The Golden Rule

  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Luke 6:31

On Virtue v Respectability

  When we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

St. Paul
Romans 7:5-6

  In truth, sublime words make not a man holy and just; but a virtuous life maketh him dear to God.
  I had rather feel compunction than know its definition.
  If thou didst know the whole Bible by heart and the sayings of all the philosophers, what would it profit it thee without the love of God and His grace.

Thomas a Kempis
Of the Imitation of Christ Bk. 1 Ch. 1 v. 3

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Islamic quotations


  "O God!, if I worship Thee in fear of Hell, burn me in Hell; and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise; but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, withold not Thine everlasting Beauty!"


Spiritual Insight

  The knowledge of men of external sense is a muzzle
To stop them sucking milk of that sublime knowledge.
But God drops into the heart a single pearl-drop
Which is not bestowed on oceans or skies!

Book 1 Story 5

The Golden Rule

  None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.

Number 13 of "Imam Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths"

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Jewish quotations

Spiritual Insight

  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
He keepeth the paths of judgement, and preserveth the way of the saints.
Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgement, and equity; yea, every good path.
When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant to thy soul;
Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.

Book of Proverbs 2:6-11

On a Contented Life

  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

Book of Proverbs 14:12-14

The Golden Rule

  What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary.

Talmud, Shabbat 31a

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Hindu quotations


  A sacrifice which is offered without desire for gain and according to rule, in saying, "Sacrifice must be done," with a resolved mind, is "good". But the sacrifice which is offered for the obtaining of reward and for ostentation, know, O best of Bharatas! that this is of the nature of "passion".

Bhagavad Gita 17:11?

Spiritual Insight

  Learn this (knowledge) by (becoming the disciples and ministers of religious teachers). The wise, who see the truth, will teach thee knowledge. When thou hast known it, thou wilt not come again to this trouble ( of mind), O son of Pandu! for thou wilt see all things, without exception, in thyself and then in Me.

Bhagavad Gita 4:34-36

On a Contented Life

  The man who, having abandoned all desires, goes onward without attachments, free from selfishness and vanity attains to peace. This is the Brahma state, O son of Pritha! he who has attained it is troubled no more.

Bhagavad Gita 2:71

The Golden Rule

  This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.

Mahabharata 5:1517

Human Existence

  The entire universe is truly the Self. There exists nothing at all other than the Self. The enlightened person sees everything in the world as his own Self, just as one views earthenware jars and pots as nothing but clay.

Atma Bodha

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Buddhist quotations

On Virtue v Respectability

  The dull, who delight in petty rules,
Who are greedily attached to mortality,
Who have not, under countless Buddhas,
Walked the profound and mystic way.

From The Lotus Gospel

The Golden Rule

  Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

Udana-Varga 5:18

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Sikh quotations

On a Contented Life

  When the light of the soul blends with the Universal Light,
And the human mind commingles
With the mind of all things,
Then our petty being,
With its violence, doubt and sorrow disappears.
Through the grace of the Guru
Such spiritual union taketh place
Blessed are they in whose hearts resideth the Lord.

Sri Rag page 21

The Golden Rule

  Don't create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone.

Guru Arjan Devji 259

On Virtue v Respectability

  Pilgrimages, penances, compassion and almsgiving
Bring a little merit, the size of a sesame seed.
But he who hears and believes and loves the Name
Shall bathe and be made clean
In a place of pilgrimage within him.

From a hymn attributed to Guru Nanak

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Taoist quotations

Spiritual Insight

  When water is still, it is like a mirror, reflecting the beard and the eyebrows. It gives the accuracy of the water-level, and the philosopher makes it his model. And if water thus derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind? The mind of the Sage being in repose becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

Chuang Tzu
Chap 13

  The universe is very beautiful, yet it says nothing. The four seasons abide by a fixed law, yet they are not heard. All creation is based upon absolute principles, yet nothing speaks.
  And the true Sage, taking his stand upon the beauty of the universe, pierces the principles of created things. Hence the saying that the perfect man does nothing, the true Sage performs nothing, beyond gazing at the universe.
  For man's intellect, however keen, face to face with the countless evolutions of things, their death and birth, their squareness and roundness, can never reach the root.
  There creation is, and there it has ever been.

Chuang Tzu
Chap 22

On a Contented Life

  "Fishes," replied Confucius, "are born in water, Man is born in TAO. If fishes get ponds to live in, they thrive. If man gets TAO to live in, he may live his life in peace."
  Hence the saying "All that a fish wants is water; all that a man wants is TAO."

Chuang Tzu
Chap 6

  Keep your body under proper control, your gaze concentrated upon ONE, - and the peace of God will descend upon you. Keep back your knowledge, and concentrate your thoughts upon ONE, and the holy spirit shall abide within you. Virtue shall beautify you, TAO shall establish you, aimless as a new born calf which recks not how it came into the world.

Chuang Tzu
Chap 22

The Golden Rule

  Regard your neighbor's gain as your gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.

Tai Shang Kan Yin P'ien

On Virtue v Respectability

  Every addition to or deviation from nature belongs not to the ultimate perfection of all. He who would attain to such perfection never loses sight of the natural conditions of his existence. With him the joined is not united, nor the separated apart, nor the long in excess, nor the short wanting. For just as a duck's legs, though short cannot be lengthened without pain to the duck, and a crane's legs though long, cannot be shortened without misery to the crane, so that which is long in man's moral nature cannot be cut off, nor that which is short be lengthened.
  All sorrow is thus avoided.

Chuang Tzu
Chap 8

  "Ceremonial is the invention of man. Our original purity is given to us from God. It is as it is, and cannot be changed. Wherefore the true Sage models himself upon God, and holds his original purity in esteem. He is independent of human exigencies. Fools however reverse this. They cannot model themselves upon God, and have to fall back on man. They do not hold original purity in esteem. Consequently they are ever suffering the vicissitudes of morality, and never reaching the goal. Alas! you, Sir, were early steeped in deceit, and are late in hearing the great doctrine."

Chuang Tzu
Chap 31

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Many of our visitors seem to find the content of one of our pages -

Which is about Human Nature, (and 'Very Possibly' related matters)

- to be particularly fascinating!!!

There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee.
William Shakespeare

"…can we possibly refuse to admit that there exist in each of us the same generic parts and characteristics as are found in the state? For I presume the state has not received them from any other source. It would be ridiculous to imagine that the presence of the spirited element in cities is not to be traced to individuals, wherever this character is imputed to the people, as it is to the natives of Thrace, and Scythia, and generally speaking, of the northern countries; or the love of knowledge, which would be chiefly attributed to our own country; or the love of riches, which people would especially connect with the Phoenicians and the Egyptians.
From Plato's most famous work ~ The Republic ~ detailing conversations entered into by his friend, and teacher, Socrates

Please click for more detail . . .

Pythagoras was a prominent figure in the intellectual life of the Greek world of the sixth century B.C.
Alongside his genuine contributions to mathematics and geometry Pythogoras is also considered to have recognised that there was evidently a "Tripartite" complexity to Human Nature:-
 Pythagoras who, according to Heraclides of Pontus, the pupil of Plato and a learned man of the first rank, came, the story goes, to Philus and with a wealth of learning and words discussed certain subjects with Leon the ruler of the Philasians. And Leon after wondering at his talent and eloquence asked him to name the art in which he put most reliance. But Pythagoras said that for his part he had no acquaintance with any art, but was a philosopher. Leon was astonished at the novelty of the term and asked who philosophers were and in what they differed from the rest of the world.

 Pythagoras, the story continues, replied that the life of man seemed to him to resemble the festival which was celebrated with most magnificent games before a concourse collected from the whole of Greece. For at this festival some men whose bodies had been trained sought to win the glorious distinction of a crown, others were attracted by the prospect of making gains by buying or selling, whilst there was on the other hand a certain class, and that quite the best class of free-born men, who looked neither for applause no gain, but came for the sake of the spectacle and closely watched what was done and how it was done: So also we, as though we had come from some city to a kind of crowded festival, leaving in like fashion another life and nature of being, entered upon this life, and some were slaves of ambition, some of money; there were a special few who, counting all else as nothing, ardently contemplated the nature of things. These men he would call "lovers of wisdom" (for that is the meaning of the word philo-sopher).

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In all districts of all lands, in all the classes of communities thousands of minds are intently occupied, the merchant in his compting house, the mechanist over his plans, the statesman at his map, his treaty, & his tariff, the scholar in the skilful history & eloquence of antiquity, each stung to the quick with the desire of exalting himself to a hasty & yet unfound height above the level of his peers. Each is absorbed in the prospect of good accruing to himself but each is no less contributing to the utmost of his ability to fix & adorn human civilization.
In William H. Gilman (ed.) The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol II, 1822-1826, 305

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In what is perhaps Ralph Waldo Emerson's most famous essay - 'History' - we read such things as:-
… There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel; what at any time has be-fallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent.

Of the works of this mind history is the record. Its genius is illustrated by the entire series of days. Man is explicable by nothing less than all his history. Without hurry, without rest, the human spirit goes forth from the beginning to embody every faculty, every thought, every emotion, which belongs to it in appropriate events. But the thought is always prior to the fact; all the facts of history preexist in the mind as laws. Each law in turn is made by circumstances predominant, and the limits of nature give power to but one at a time. …

… We are always coming up with the emphatic facts of history in our private experience, and verifying them here. All history becomes subjective; in other words, there is properly no history; only biography. Every mind must know the whole lesson for itself, -- must go over the whole ground. What it does not see, what it does not live, it will not know. …

… In old Rome the public roads beginning at the Forum proceeded north, south, east, west, to the centre of every province of the empire, making each market-town of Persia, Spain, and Britain pervious to the soldiers of the capital: so out of the human heart go, as it were, highways to the heart of every object in nature, to reduce it under the dominion of man. A man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and fruitage is the world. His faculties refer to natures out of him, and predict the world he is to inhabit, as the fins of the fish foreshow that water exists, or the wings of an eagle in the egg presuppose air. He cannot live without a world. …

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"History is for human self-knowledge ... the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is."
R. G. Collingwood

To access our page about Human Nature, (and 'Very Possibly' related matters), - please click here:-

Human Nature (and the Courses of History?)