Truth can be found everywhere, even on the lips of drunkards, in the noisiest of taverns.
Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me.
Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I’ll listen submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don’t understand.
How else but through a broken heart may Christ enter in?
Nobody can deny but religion is a comfort to the distressed, a cordial to the sick, and sometimes a restraint on the wicked; therefore whoever would argue or laugh it out of the world without giving some equivalent for it ought to be treated as a common enemy.
If the question could be put to a popular vote, I do not believe a single state would vote for the coming of Jesus to reign here as he reigns in heaven. I do not believe a single county, city, ward in this city, or a single precinct in this country would vote for his coming. . . . The Republican party would vote for the biggest blackguard on earth rather than for him. The Democrats would vote solidly against him. Even the Prohibitionists wouldn’t want him here. I see some of you shaking your heads. Well, shake ’em. I’m talking facts.
What is religion? That which is never spoken.
Dogma can in no way limit a limitless God.
It is good to be born in a church, but it is bad to die there. It is good to be born a child, but bad to remain a child. Churches, ceremonies, symbols are good for children; but when the child is grown up, he must burst, either the church or himself. . . . The end of all religion is the realization of God.
God is not a continent, like Antarctica, lying off somewhere, inert, without relation to human life till some Scott or Amundsen or Byrd finds him. God is not a mountain peak to which travelers must go and which they climb step by step. God is like the air we breathe or the earth beneath our feet. To discover God is simply to awaken to reality. It is like a plant discovering the sun and the rain that drew it from the earth or like children discovering the parents who gave them birth and love and nurture.
I studiously avoided all so-called holy men. I did so because I had to make do with my own truth, not accept from others what I could not attain on my own. I would have felt it as a theft had I attempted to learn from the holy men and to accept their truth for myself. Neither in Europe can I make any borrowings from the East, but must shape my life out of myself — out of what my inner being tells me, or what nature brings to me.
Perhaps the most lasting pleasure in life is the pleasure of not going to church.
Whilst you live, a little religion seems enough; but believe me, it requires a great deal when you come to die.
My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.
There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham.
In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness. . . . This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud. . . . I have the immense joy of being a member of a race in which God became incarnate. . . . There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.