There are so many thoughts in the mind. Thought after thought after thought. But there is one thought that is continuous, though it is mostly sub-conscious: ‘I am the body’. This is the string on which all other thoughts are threaded. Once we identify ourselves with the body by thinking this thought, maya follows. It also follows that if we cease to identify with the body, maya will not affect us anymore.
— Annamalai Swami – Final Talks – p. 14
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Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
Oh you who have devoted yourself to strife,
you have not discerned yourself from others!
Whenever you come upon a form,
you stop and say, “I am this.”
By God, you are not that! . . .
How can you be that?
You are that unique one, happy, beautiful,
and intoxicated with yourself.
You are your own bird, prey, and snare,
your own seat of honor, carpet, and roof.
“Substance” subsists in itself,
those things that derive from it are accidents.
If you are born of Adam,
sit like him and behold his progeny within yourself.
What does the vat contain that is not in the river?
What does the room encompass that is not in the city?
This world is the vat, and the heart the running stream,
this world the room, and the heart the city of wonders.
— Jalalud’din Rumi – Mathnawi IV: 803-811 – “The Sufi Path of Love” (transl. William C. Chittick)
(image source: rumibook.info)
Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. It is this screen of thought that creates the illusion of separateness, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate “other.” You then forget the essential fact that, underneath the level of physical appearances and separate forms, you are one with all that is.
— Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now
(image source: belovingawareness.wordpress.com)