Spiritual Enlightenment Quotes – the 10 Best

Bold? Brash? Ridiculous? Maybe, but here’s my attempt at highlighting the ten best spiritual enlightenment quotes. Just to be clear, these are quotes that pass a sense, a feeling of that which is beyond words: enlightenment, awakening, self-realization.

If you’re looking for the law of attraction, inspiring quotes about peace, love, or harmony, there are plenty of other lists for that.

The Mighty List – Spiritual Enlightenment Quotes – the 10 Best

1.“Many people are afraid to empty their own minds lest they plunge into the Void. Ha! What they don’t realize is that their own Mind is the Void.” ~ Huang Po

2. “There finally arrived a stage wherein both that which I have called the Self and that which had the value of Divinity were dissolved in a Somewhat, still more transcendent. There now remained nought but pure Being that could be called neither the Self nor God. No longer was “I” spreading everywhere through the whole of an illimitable and conscious Space, nor was there a Divine Presence all about me, but everywhere only Consciousness with no subjective nor objective element. Here, both symbols and concepts fail. But now I know that within and surrounding all there is a Core or Matrix within which are rooted all selves and all Gods, and that from this lofty Peak, veiled in the mists of timeless obscurity and surrounded by thick, impenetrable Silence, all worlds and all beings, all spaces and all times lie suspended in utter dependence. On that highest Peak I could Know no more, for the Deeps of deepest Darkness, and the SILENCE enshrouded in manifold sheaths of Silence rolled over me, and selfconsciousness was blown out. But o’er this I heard as the faintest shadow of a breath of consciousness a Voice, as it were, from out a still vaster BEYOND.” ~ Franklin Merrell-Wolff (excerpted from “A Mystical Unfoldment“)

3. “When I look inside and see that I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I look outside and see that I am everything, that is love. And between these two, my life flows.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

4. “The awareness / presence / consciousness paradigm that people take to be enlightenment is not enlightenment. They are forms of identification which can lead to a much better life as a human being and have implications for the way a human being leads life, but they are not enlightenment. Enlightenment is the source that allows consciousness / awareness / presence to manifest as an appearance. Enlightenment is before all things.” ~ Eddie Traversa

5. “By stages I became aware that when I’d awakened a few hours earlier, it hadn’t been from a state of ordinary unconsciousness at all. It was as if I’d emerged freshly made (complete with all the memories that constitute my personal identity) from a vast blackness that was somehow radiant, a kind of infinitely concentrated aliveness or ‘pure consciousness’ that had no separation within it, and therefore no space or time.

“There was absolutely no sense of personal continuity…. My impression is that my personal consciousness was actually ‘snuffed out’ (the root meaning, according to some scholars, of the word ‘nirvana’) and then recreated by a kind of focusing-down from the infinite eternity of that radiant dark pure consciousness. An old nursery rhyme conveys it better than any high philosophy:

Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of Everywhere into here.

“Moreover that wonderful ‘eternal life of everywhere’ was still there, right behind my eyes—or more accurately, at the back of my head—continually recreating my whole personal body-mind consciousness afresh, instant by instant, now! and now! and now! That’s no mere metaphor for a vague sensation; it was so palpably real that I put my hand up to probe the back of my skull, half wondering if the doctors had sawn part of it away to open my head to infinity. Yet it wasn’t in the least a feeling of being damaged; it was more like having had a cataract taken off my brain, letting me experience the world and myself properly for the first time—for that lovely dark radiance seemed to reveal the essence of everything as holy.” ~ John Wren-Lewis

Spiritual Enlightenment Quotes
Photo by Shawn Nevins

6. “The truth is that you, and everyone else, never will have an experience. Who you really are is not an experience. The self you identify with is the ‘experience.’ Your real Self observes it. Your real Self just IS—is all there is. So as Pulyan said, after death ‘Nothing of you remains.'” ~ Bob Cergol

7. “There is a silence within, a silence that descends from without; a silence that stills existence and a silence that engulfs the entire universe. There is a silence of the self and its faculties of will, thought, memory, and emotions. There is a silence in which there is nothing, a silence in which there is something; and finally, there is the silence of no-self and the silence of God.” ~ Bernadette Roberts

8. “All rests with the aspirant. The Source is as unavoidable as air – the very ‘space’ you now take in. How close is the place you peer out from? How far from it could you stray? To ‘see’ it where do you look? To ‘know’ it where do you go?” ~ Bart Marshall

9. “What thing is this that strives to BE
An individuality?
— It’s just an echo of the other side
In which all things here do abide.

From the other side your being came;
On this side came identity.
From the other side there comes the call
‘Your self is here, not there at all.’

On the other side of ‘I am this’
Is ‘I am not,’ and ‘I am nothing.’
But in that nothing is your Being
And in that Being—everything.”
~ Bob Cergol (excerpted from the poem “The Other Side” which appears in Beyond Mind, Beyond Death and yes, I realize that my spiritual enlightenment quotes have two from Bob Cergol. Suggestions for a replacement are welcome!)

10. “I am a mirror facing the Absolute,
There is nothing to face, until we turn our backs
Upon the void…. Upon projections….
Upon particularization, Upon seeming….
Until we realize we are not turning away
From a void or from confusion or meaninglessness,
Until we realize that we do not realize….
Except that the Absolute has a mirror
Which it turns upon itself,

I have had enough of my adventure,
Into endless possibilities of my self….”
~ Richard Rose (excerpted from the poem “The Mirror” in Carillon)

5 thoughts on “Spiritual Enlightenment Quotes – the 10 Best”

  1. A couple of my favorite quotes on this theme:

    “A true encounter with the Absolute/God reveals that no one is doing the experiencing, only the absolute revealing itself to the absolute. Nothing exists, yet there is the appearance of existence. Realization is alone (all-one). But everyone fears alone, so they run to spiritual practice, patterns, lovers, food, booze, any distraction to avoid the only true fear. The fear of no self (often called emptiness) is the fear that “I” do not exist. Fear of no self is not the fear of death, but the fear that you as a human being do not exist at all. That is where all the “spiritual groups” get caught, they are looking for what’s in it for “them” or “us.” Realization is one and alone for there is no other. Everything that tells you that you are separate from anything else falls away. Thus you are alone, with the appearance of others. The initial glimpse of this is so terrifying to ego it responds with the emotions of meaninglessness and despair. But as soon as the mind falls away, those emotions go too and all that is left is What Is, and the marvelous curiosity about the dream and what is going to happen next.” [Howdie Mickoski]

    “The human being is a perceptual event unfolding across the stage of space and time and paradoxically space and time are part of the unfolding. The entangled play of perceiver and perceived unfolds the dynamic intimacy of perception. All of this is the luminous potency of pure mystery. Mystery’s capacity for knowingness is mistaken as subjectivity and mystery’s luminous display is mistaken for “existent” objects and the tension between these creates the feeling Being. But, in truth, subject and object are not two and not even One.” [Traktung Yeshe Dorje]

  2. Why Aren’t We Screaming Drunks?

    by Hafiz (Daniel Ladinsky)

    The sun once glimpsed God’s true nature
    And has never been the same.

    Thus that radiant sphere
    Constantly pours its energy
    Upon this earth
    As does He from behind
    The veil.

    With a wonderful God like that
    Why isn’t everyone a screaming drunk?

    Hafiz’s guess is this:

    Any thought that you are better or less
    Than another man

    Breaks the wine
    ~ Daniel Ladinsky

    Holding/Allowing the neutrality that keeps the vessel both whole and empty to experience the never ending flow of love energy seems a conundrum. ???

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