Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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John of the Cross

1542 – 1591 CE

Mystic, religious poet, major Counter-Reformation influence, and Roman Catholic saint; John of the Cross became one of the best Spanish writers of all times. While imprisoned and tortured by conservative Carmelites opposed to reform, he wrote one of his most famous poems (Spiritual Canticle) on scraps of paper secretly given to him by his jailer. After a dramatic escape, he became a friend, supporter and confessor of Teresa of Ávila and founded the first monastery of friars following her principles. In the Christian mystical tradition of the Desert Fathers, Plotinus, and Meister Eckhart; he taught a perspective above sectarian in-fighting, rigid dogmatic views, and unthinking allegiance.

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Quotes by John of the Cross (11 quotes)

“To arrive at being everything, desire to be nothing.”

Themes: Desire One Taste

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“In suffering, the soul practices and acquires virtue, and becomes pure, wiser, and more cautious.”

Themes: Suffering

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“They can be like the sun, words. They can do for the heart what light can for a field.”

Themes: Books

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“Happiness is not a destination, it's a method of travel.”

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“Where there is no love, put love, and you will draw out love.”

Themes: Love

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“Those who interrupt their spiritual practices are like those who let a bird escape from their hand, it’s very difficult to catch again.”

Themes: Perseverance

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“If someone wishes to be sure of the road they’re traveling on, they must close their eyes and travel in the dark.”

Themes: Wu Wei Paradox

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“The higher he ascends, the darker is the wood; it is the shadowy cloud that clarified the night, and so the one who understood remains always unknowing,”

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“Have a great love for those who contradict and fail to love you, for in this way love is begotten in a heart that has no love.”

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“Spiritual seekers often have numerous imperfections that could be called spiritual lust—not because the lust is spiritual but because it proceeds from spiritual things. Never content with what they experience, they continually look to hear sermons and talks, read books, learn maxims. Peevish and unhappy, they strive after the superficial while neglecting genuine spiritual practice.”

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“If a person possess all things, they cannot be content—the greater their possessions, the less will be their contentment, for the heart cannot be satisfied with possessions, but rather only in detachment from all things.”

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