Man seeks to worship what is established beyond dispute, so that all men would agree at once to worship it. . . . This craving for community of worship is the chief misery of every man individually and of all humanity from the beginning of time.
The followers of different religions quarrel about truth because they have never experienced it. Most of them don’t even try to experience it; they are much happier quarreling, fighting, and killing each other.
Her Episcopalian friends were persuading her to their wishy-washy way of worship. They really believed you could get to heaven without any shouting.
God says do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for eternity in hell. That, sir, is not free will.
I came to the conclusion long ago that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and while I hold by my own religion, I should hold other religions as dear as Hinduism. . . . Our innermost prayer should be that a Hindu should become a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, and a Christian a better Christian.
Mike Wallace: All is well?
Jack Kerouac: Yeah. We’re all in heaven, now, really.
Wallace: You don’t sound happy.
Kerouac: Oh, I’m tremendously sad. I’m in great despair.
Kerouac: It’s a great burden to be alive. A heavy burden, a great big heavy burden. I wish I were safe in heaven, dead.
Wallace: But you are in heaven, Jack. You just said we all were.
Kerouac: Yeah. If I only knew it. If I could only hold on to what I know.
[I said to Suzuki Roshi,] “I could listen to you for a thousand years and still not get it. Could you just please put it in a nutshell? Can you reduce Buddhism to one phrase?” . . . He was not a man you could pin down, and he didn’t like to give his students something definite to cling to. He had often said not to have “some idea” of what Buddhism was. But Suzuki did answer. He looked at me and said, “Everything changes.”
The fact that astronomies change while the stars abide is a true analogy of every realm of human life and thought, religion not least of all. No existent theology can be a final formulation of spiritual truth.
There are some questions that can’t be answered by Google.
I could never work out whether we were to view religion as a life-insurance policy or a life sentence. I can understand a wrathful God who’d just as soon dangle us all from a hook. And I can understand a tender, unprejudiced Jesus. But I could never quite feature the two of them living in the same house. You wind up walking on eggshells, never knowing which . . . is home at the moment.
Those who turn to God for comfort may find comfort, but I do not think they will find God.
If the Buddha . . . had been asked whether he believed in God, he would probably have winced slightly and explained — with great courtesy — that this was not an appropriate question.
Was there ever a more horrible blasphemy than the statement that all the knowledge of God is confined to this or that book? How dare men call God infinite, and yet try to compress Him within the covers of a little book!
God is the Nameless Name with a Thousand Names.
In truth everything and everyone / Is a shadow of the Beloved, / And our seeking is His seeking / And our words are His words. . . . / We search for Him here and there, / While looking right at Him. / Sitting by His side, we ask: / “O Beloved, where is the Beloved?”
There is a really deep well inside of me. And in it dwells God. Sometimes I am there, too. But more often stones and grit block the well, and God is buried beneath. Then he must be dug out again.