Remember, in our inmost being, we are all completely lovable because spirit is love. Beyond what anyone can make you think or feel about yourself, your unconditioned spirit stands, shining with a love nothing can tarnish.Deepak Chopra
The Spiritual Works of Mercy are oriented toward the soul. Though ideally applicable for all faithful, not everyone is considered capable or obligated to perform the first three Spiritual Works of Mercy before they possess the proper tact, knowledge or canonical training to do so. The remaining four Spiritual Works of Mercy are considered to be an obligation of all faithful to practice unconditionally.
The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy and their Holy Scripture references are:
Admonish the Sinner
(Proverbs 27:17, Luke 15:7; 17:3 2 Timothy 4:2 )
Instruct the Ignorant
(Matthew 28:19-20 Mark 16:14-18 Luke 24:47-49 John 20:21 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:1-5 )
Counsel the Doubtful
(Matthew 13:18-23 Mark 4:13-20; 9:14-29 Luke 8:11-15 John 14:27)
Bear Wrongs Patiently
(Matthew 5:38-48 Luke 6:27-36 1 Peter 2:18-19)
Forgive Offenses Willingly
(Matthew 6:14-15; 18:15-35 Mark 11:25 Luke 11:1-4; 17:1-4 )
Comfort the Afflicted
(Psalms 9:8-11; 22:23-27, Psalms 27:4-5; 30:2-4, Psalms 46:2; 55:22, Psalms 56; 71:20-22, Psalms 116; 119:49-50 Jeremiah 29:11-14 Lamentations 3:21-24, 31-33 Nahum 1:7-8 Matthew 11:28-30 John 14:15-18, 27; 16:22-23
2 Corinthians 5:17 1 Peter 5:5-11 Revelation 21:4
Pray for the Living and the Dead
(2 Maccabees 38-46)
No thought has any power. You have power. And when you identify and believe in the thought you give power to the thought.
Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thoughts!
Let silence take you to the core of life.
Contact and unity with the soul bring understanding and answers your questions. God has so designed us that within each of us there is a special classroom, an inner sanctum, designed for inner communion. Within this classroom, your master teacher expects and awaits you. Seek the presence of this Master Within. No one can enter this classroom except you. The Master is always there.
-Lonnie C. Edwards (Spiritual Laws that govern the Universe)
Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique, incomparable. You are you, I am I. I have to contribute my potential to life; you have to contribute your potential to life. I have to discover my own being; you have to discover your own being.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
The Maitreyi-Yajnavalkya dialogue includes a discussion of love and the essence of whom one loves, suggesting that love is a connection of the soul and the universal self (related to an individual):
Lo, verily, not for love of a husband is a husband dear, but for the love of the soul a husband is dear.
Not for the love of the wife is a wife dear, but for love of the soul a wife is dear.
— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.4.2–4
Truly, it is not due to the love of a husband
that a husband becomes dear,
but due to the love of God
that a husband becomes dear.
Truly, it is not due to the love of a wife
that a wife becomes dear,
but due to the love of God
that a wife becomes dear.
Truly, it is not due to the love of all things
that all things become dear,
but due to the love of God
that all things become dear.
Know then that the body is merely a garment.
Go seek the wearer, not the cloak.
Svarüpa of the Ätmä
Lord Yama then describes the svarüpa of the Ätmä,
Tr. – That is not comprehensible by sound, touch, is form-less, un-decaying, tasteless, not subject to time, odourless, beginning less and without end. It is distinct from Mahat and is ever constant. Knowing this one becomes free from the jaws of death. (I.3.15)
-Katha Upanishad, Chapter 1, Verse 3.15
You are a soul carrying about a corpse.
God and I in space alone
And nobody else in view.
“And where are the people, O Lord!” I said.
“The earth below and the sky o’erhead
And the dead whom once I knew?”
“That was a dream,” God smiled and said,
“A dream that seemed to be true,
There were no people, living or dead,
There was no earth and no sky o’erhead
There was only Myself–and you.”
“Why do I feel no fear,” I asked,
“Meeting you here in this way,
For I have sinned I know full well,
And there is heaven and there is hell,
And is this the judgment day?”
“Nay, those were dreams,” the great God said,
“Dreams that have ceased to be.
There are no such things as fear or sin,
There is no you–you have never been–
There is nothing at all but Me.”
-Edna Wheeler Wilcox
Once you know that death happens to the body and not to you, you just watch your body falling off like a discarded garment. Once you know that the body alone dies and not the continuity of memory and the sense of “I am” reflected in it, you are afraid no longer.
There never was any journey. I am, as I always was.
Make no small plans for they have no power to stir the soul.
Kaṭhopaniṣhad explains the differences in role of senses, mind, intellect, body and soul with the help of the model of a chariot:
ātmānagvaṁ rathinaṁ viddhi śharīraṁ rathameva tu
buddhiṁ tu sārathiṁ viddhi manaḥ pragrahameva cha
indriyāṇi hayānāhurviṣhayānsteṣhu gocharān
ātmendriyamanoyuktaṁ bhoktetyāhurmanīṣhiṇaḥ (1.3.3-4) [v21]
The Upanishad says there is a chariot, which has five horses pulling it; the horses have reins in their mouths, which are in the hands of a charioteer; a passenger is sitting at the back of the chariot. Ideally, the passenger should instruct the charioteer, who should then control the reins and guide the horses in the proper direction. However, in this case, the passenger has gone to sleep, and so the horses are running away.
In this analogy, the chariot is the body, the horses are the five senses, the reins in the mouth of the horses is the mind, the charioteer is the intellect, and the passenger seated behind is the soul residing in the body. The senses (horses) desire pleasurable things. The mind (reins) is not exercising restraint on the senses (horses). The intellect (charioteer) submits to the pull of the reins (mind). So in the materially bound state, the bewildered soul does not direct the intellect in the proper direction. Thus, the senses decide the direction where the chariot will go. The soul experiences the pleasures of the senses vicariously, but these do not satisfy it. Seated on this chariot, the soul (passenger) is moving around in this material world since eternity.
However, if the soul wakes up to its higher nature and decides to take a proactive role, it can exercise the intellect in the proper direction. The intellect will then govern the lower self—the mind and the senses—and the chariot will move in the direction of eternal welfare. In this way, the higher self (soul) must be used to control the lower self (senses, mind, and, intellect).
வானிற் பறக்கின்ற புள்ளெலாநான்
All birds flying in the sky, I am
மண்ணிற் றிரியும் விலங்கெலாநான்
All beasts roaming the sands, I am
கானிழல் வளரு மரமெலாநான்
All shady trees growing in forests, I am
காற்றும் புனலுங் கடலுமேநான்.
Winds, floods, seas, I am
விண்ணிற் றெரிகின்ற மீனெலாநான்
All stars that burn in the sky, I am
வெட்ட வெளியின் விரிவெலாநான்
All the expanse of empty space, I am
மண்ணிற் கிடக்கும் புழுவெலாநான்
All worms that lie on land, I am
வாரியி லுள்ள வுயிரெலாநான்.
All life forms inside water, I am
கம்ப னிசைத்த கவியெலாநான்
All poems written by Kamban, I am
காருகர் தீட்டு முருவெலாநான்
All imagery created by painters, I am
இம்பர் வியக்கின்ற மாட கூடம்
Mansions and halls that induce awe in people
எழினகர் கோபுரம் யாவுமேநான்.
Towers of the beautiful city, I am
Inside the sweet music of women, I am
இன்பத் திரள்க ளனைத்துமேநான்
All accumulations of joy, I am
புன்னிலை மாந்தர்தம் பொய்யெலாநான்
All lies of wretched people, I am
பொறையருந் துன்பப் புணர்ப்பெலாநான்.
All bonds of pain and impatience, I am
மந்திரங் கோடி யியக்குவோனான்
Operator of a million spells, I am
இயங்கு பொருளி னியல்பெலாநான்
All nature of things that operate, I am
தந்திரங் கோடி சமைத்துளோனான்
Creator of a million tricks, I am
சாத்திர வேதங்கள் சாற்றினோனான்.
Teacher of Sastras and Vedas, I am
அண்டங்கள் யாவையு மாக்கினோனான்
Maker of all universes, I am
அவைபிழை யாமே சுழற்றுவோனான்
Spinner of them flawlessly, I am
கண்டநற் சக்திக் கணமெலாநான்
All star formations that limit energies, I am
காரண மாகிக் கதித்துளோனான்.
The cause and the knower, I am
நானெனும் பொய்யை நடத்துவோனான்
Conductor of the illusion called me, I am
ஞானச் சுடர்வானிற் செல்லுவோனான்
Traveler in the bright sky of wisdom, I am
ஆன பொருள்க ளனைத்தினு மொன்றாய்
Unifying everything created
அறிவாய் விளங்கு முதற்சோதி நான்.
The first light of knowledge, I am
Only what is your own at the start will remain your own in the end.
Re-examine all that you have been told. Dismiss that which insults your soul.
You have learnt so much, and read a thousand books.
Have you ever read your self?
You have gone to mosque and temple.
Have you ever visited your soul?
You are busy fighting Satan.
Have you ever fought your ill intentions?
You have reached into the skies,
But have you reached what’s in your heart?
We are all born with a divine fire in us. Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness.
-APJ Abdul Kalam
Says the canvas to the artist, “You paint my body, I paint your soul”.
The first piece, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the Universe and all its powers and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells the Great Spirit and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”
–Black Elk Oglala Sioux
“We gain enlightenment like the moon reflecting in the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the whole sky are reflected in a drop of dew in the grass.”
In ancient India there was a King called Janaka, who was also a sage. One day Janaka was taking a nap
on his flower-strewn bed with his servants fanning him and his soldiers standing guard outside his door.
As he dozed off, he had a dream in which a neighboring King defeated him in battle, took him prisoner,
and had him tortured. As soon as the torture began, Janaka woke with a start to find himself lying on his
flower-strewn bed with his servants fanning him and his soldiers on guard.
Once again he dozed off and had the same dream. And once again he woke up to find himself safe and
comfortable in his palace.
Now Janaka began to be disturbed by several thoughts: While he was asleep, the world of his dreams
had seemed so real. Now that he was awake, the world of the senses seemed real. Which of these two
worlds is the real one, he wanted to know.
None of the philosophers, scholars, and seers he consulted could give him an answer. And for many
years he searched in vain, till one day a man called Ashtavakra knocked at the door of the palace. Now,
Ashtavakra means “entirely deformed or crooked,” and he got that name because that is exactly what his
body had been from birth.
At first the King was not disposed to take this man seriously. “How can a misshapen man like you be the
carrier of a wisdom denied to my seers and scholars?” he asked.
“Right from my childhood, all avenues have been closed to me – so I avidly pursued the path of wisdom,”
was Ashtavakra’s reply.
“Speak, then,” said the King.
So this is what Ashtavakra said: “O King, neither the waking state nor the dream state is real. When you
are awake, the world of dreams does not exist and when you dream the world of the senses does not
exist. Therefore, neither is real.”
“If both the waking and the dream states are unreal, then what is real?” asked the King.
“There is a state beyond these two. Discover that. It alone is real.”
Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot.