We are not human beings having
a spiritual experience.  We are
spiritual beings having a
human experience.

Teilhard de Chardin

 spirit 2
for the purposes of these pages, "soul" and
"spirit" are treated as synonyms.


Sadly, some people wait until they have a heart attack or ulcers, or have a teenage child who gets into trouble, or until their spouse leaves them, or the like, to attend to their soul needs.  The disastrous experience pushes them to it.  But you don't have to wait for disaster.  You can open yourself to the possibility of nourishing your soul, and you can make it a priority.  Take careful stock of the way you spend your life energies doing things that are not so nourishing.  Often, in the middle adult years especially, people find that they have been busy being productive in some task-oriented way, some way in which their souls were excluded.  The responsibilities of everyday life--taking the kids to school, paying the bills, doing the grocery shopping, all the stuff that life requires of mature adults--expand to fill the entire life.

Jean Shinoda Bolen

No great spiritual event befalls those who do not summon it.

Elbert Hubbard
The paralyzing effect of fear makes us as helpless as babies and blinds us to the truth that God didnít send us here to be powerless spectators, but to become powerful initiators.  We are spiritual beings having an earthly experience, and we have the power to break the cycle of negativity that is fueling a very dangerous world.  Itís not only possible, itís why we are here.

Susan L. Taylor

Unrest of spirit is a mark of life.

Karl Menninger


Whether you know it or not, one of the most important relationships in
your life is with your Soul.  Will you be kind and loving to your Soul,
or will you be harsh and difficult?  Many of us unknowingly damage
our Souls with our negative attitudes and actions or by simple neglect.
By making the relationship with your Soul an important part of your
life, however, by honoring it in your daily routine, you give your life
greater meaning and substance.  Use your experiences--all of
them--as opportunities to nourish your Soul!

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross


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I believe that humans will not merely endure:  they will prevail.
They are immortal, not because they alone among creatures have
an inexhaustible voice, but because they have souls,
spirits capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.

William Faulkner



Man gets tired
Spirit don't
Man surrenders
Spirit won't
Man crawls
Spirit flies
Spirit lives when man dies

Man seems
Spirit is
Man dreams
The spirit lives
Man is tethered
Spirit is free
What spirit is, man can be

Mike Scott
(from The Waterboys' This Is the Sea)

I believe that each of us was put on this earth to fulfill his or
her potential for humanity, and the soul is that part of us that
makes us truly human. The soul is what makes a human being
a human being and not simply another creature on God's earth.
The soul is not a physical entity, but instead refers to everything
about us that is not physical--our values, memories, identity,
sense of humor.  Since the soul represents the parts of the human
being that are not physical, it cannot get sick, it cannot die, it
cannot disappear.  In short, the soul is immortal.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

Everything science has taught me--and continues to teach me--
strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual
existence after death.  Nothing disappears without a trace.

Wernher von Braun


All you need is deep within you waiting to unfold
and reveal itself.  All you have to do is
be still and take time to seek what is within,
and you will surely find it.

Eileen Caddy


Delve within; within is the fountain of good,
and it is always ready to bubble up, if you always delve.

Marcus Aurelius

spirit 2

Spirituality is an inner fire, a mystical sustenance that feeds our souls.
The mystical journey drives us into ourselves, to a sacred flame
at our center.  The purpose of the religious experience is to develop
the eyes by which we see this inner flame, and our capacity to live
its mystery.  In its presence, we are warmed and ignited.
When too far from the blaze, we are cold and spiritually
lifeless.  We are less than human without that heat.
Our connection to God is life itself.

Marianne Williamson

You don't have a soul.  You are a soul.
You have a body.

C.S. Lewis

It's not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life
that ultimately nourish our souls.  It's the knowing that we can
be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth,
that the bedrock of our very being is firm.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers


We can bring our spiritual practice into the streets, into our
communities, when we see each realm as a temple, as
a place to discover that which is sacred.

Jack Kornfield

A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all.  No person
can serve two masters.  Your life is shaped by the end you
live for.  You are made in the image of what you desire.

Thomas Merton

Spirituality doesn't look like sitting down and meditating.  Spirituality
looks like folding the towels in a sweet way and talking kindly to the
people in the family even though you've had a rough day.

Sylvia Boorstein


The soulóyour soulóknows all there is to know all the time.
Thereís nothing hidden to it, nothing unknown.  Yet knowing is
not enough.  The soul seeks to experience.  You can know
yourself to be generous, but unless you do something which
displays generosity, you have nothing but a concept.  You can
know yourself to be kind, but unless you do someone a kindness,
you have nothing but an idea about yourself.  It is your soulís only
desire to turn its grandest concept about itself into its greatest experience.

Neale Donald Walsch
Conversations with God



My whole attitude to life is spiritual--a feeling of identification with all nature,
all mankind, all life, the whole of the past, the whole of the future.

Fenner Brockway


Our spirit is a being of nature quite indestructible and its activity continues
from eternity to eternity.  It is like the sun, which seems to set only
to our earthly eyes, but which, in reality, never sets,
but shines on unceasingly.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


When I use the word spirituality, I don't necessarily mean religion;
I mean whatever it is that helps you feel connected to something
that is larger than yourself.

Dean Ornish



The balance and peace we seek for ourselves and our society wonít be achieved
through mental effort alone.  Mind and spirit are meant to travel together,
with spirit leading the way.  Until we make a conscious commitment to understand
and embrace our spiritual nature, we will endure the ache of living without
the awareness and guidance of the most essential part of ourselves.

Susan L. Taylor


We collect data, things, people, ideas, "profound experiences,"
never penetrating any of them. . . But there are other times.
There are times when we stop.  We sit still.  We lose ourselves
in a pile of leaves or its memory.  We listen and breezes
from a whole other world begin to whisper.

James Carroll


Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself.  I mean, do not
be disturbed because of your imperfections, and always rise up
bravely from a fall.  I am glad that you make a daily new beginning;
there is no better means of progress in the spiritual life than to be
continually beginning afresh, and never to think
that we have done enough.

St. Francis de Sales


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Soul is what gives us the life energy that carries us through the mundane
of the daily life to the most meaningful dimensions of life.  The problem is
not that we didn't get enough soul to make life meaningful; the problem is
that the soul is what we are required to nurture in ourselves.
All we get is the raw material to make one.

Joan Chittister
Seeing with Our Souls

The spiritual life is, at root, a matter of seeing.  It is all of life seen from a certain
perspective.  It is waking, sleeping, dreaming, eating, drinking, working, loving,
relaxing, recreating, walking, sitting, standing, and breathing. . . . spirit suffuses
everything; and so the spiritual life is simply life, wherever and whatever,
seen from the vantage point of spirit.

John Shea


Because we reside within Godís spirit and Godís spirit resides within us,
we are, quite literally, surrounded by and infused with the divineóthough
we may frequently fail to recognize Godís presence.  And this surrounding,
infusing spirit of God is fully and irreversibly committed to the well being
of creation and to its ongoing transformation.  Furthermore, the divine spirit
is intimately and actively involved in your life, in my life, and in every life.

Gary Egeberg



In this noisy, restless, bewildering age, there is a great need for quietness
of spirit.  Even in our communion with God we are so busy presenting our
problems, asking for help, seeking relief that we leave no moments
of silence to listen for Godís answers.
  By practice we can learn to submerge our spirits beneath the turbulent
surface waves of life and reach that depth of our being where all is still,
where no storms can reach us.  Here only can we forget the
material world and its demands on us.

Alice Hegan Rice


Itís tempting, when faced with a flaw of the spirit or other growth issue,
to pray for and expect immediate change.  Sometimes it happens.  But how lost
and confused we feel if our prayers donít bring the instant relief we seek.
During such times, itís good to remember that all facets of our natureówhether
traits we love about ourselves or those we want to improveóare part of our
God-created being.  Even our less-than-desirable parts are there for a reason
and contain His lessons for us.  When change seems to come slowly, donít
give up hope.  Consider that the timetable for your growth is in the Lordís hands.
Continue your daily communion with God and trust your spirit to be healed in His time.



The spirit of the human being is an inward flame, a lamp
the world blows upon but never puts out.

Margot Asquith

The fact that you are here means your spirit is ready to grow.  Go
ahead and ask yourself now, ďWho am I?Ē  Then sit quietly and listen
as your question reaches out.  Open your mind to the possibility
that you are a co-creator, that you are God-in-training.

Bernie Siegel
No Endings, Only Beginnings

Spirit understand adversity as opportunity.  Spirit is able to work for the
good in all things.  As I encounter difficult transitions in which I doubt the
good that is unfolding, I remind myself there is a higher plan in motion with
which I can consciously cooperate.  As I face my resistance to change, as
I choose to align myself with events as they are unfolding, I find in my
acceptance a sense of tranquility, a promise of safety.
Change embraces me as I myself embrace change.

Julia Cameron
Transitions:  Prayers and
Declarations for a Changing Life

Are you aware that your spirit needs to be fed?  Did you know that
your spirit would be delighted to partake in a feast of spiritual food?
How about a plate full of prayer?  Or maybe a few hours of succulent
self-reflection.  Perhaps a piping-hot selection of spiritual literature,
served by the side of a lake or under a tree, would satisfy your spiritual
hunger.  Can you imagine feasting for a few hours on spiritually
uplifting music?  What about some forgiveness ŗ la mode, topped
with compassion?  You cannot imagine how much your spirit would enjoy it.

Iyanla Vanzant

No one can give a definition of the soul.  But we know what it feels like.
The soul is the sense of something higher than ourselves, something that
stirs in us thoughts, hopes, and aspirations which go out to the world of
goodness, truth and beauty.  The soul is a burning desire to breathe in
this world of light and never to lose it--to remain children of light.

Albert Schweitzer
Reverence for Life


The consciences of religious leaders and religious media people can
be sensitive to the physical starvation of people around the world, for
which they are to be commended, but they seem so often to be
totally insensitive to the much more devastating spiritual starvation
of people in their neighborhood, for whom they are immediately
responsible.  Rarely do you hear clergy talk about spirituality, or
teach their people the ways of prayer and how to develop a deeper
intimacy with God. . . . The world of the spirit is the substance of religion
and the pilgrim's path through that world is devoid of expert guides.

Joseph F. Girzone
Never Alone


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From the standpoint of our spiritual development, it might be important for us
to realize that we came from an unknown somewhere; we brought with us an
attained state of consciousness; and while we are here, we are expanding that
consciousness.  From some perspectives, it may seem that we are making
giant strides, but from the greater overview, our quantity of spiritual knowledge
is smaller than Ptolemy's knowledge of astronomy!

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

The most intimate motions within the depths of our souls are not
completely our own.  For they belong also to our friends, to humankind,
to the universe, and the Ground of all being, the aim of our life.

Paul Tillich
The Shaking of the Foundations


Let a person only approach his or her own self with a deep respect, even
reverence for all that the creative soul, the God-mystery within us, puts forth.
Then we shall all be sound and free. . . . The creative spontaneous soul
sends forth its promptings of desire and aspiration in us.  These promptings
are our true fate, which is our business to fulfill.  A fate dictated from outside,
from theory or from circumstance, is a false fate.

D.H. Lawrence
Phoenix II

The danger is not lest the soul should doubt whether there is any bread,
but lest, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry.

Simone Weil

For all my good intentions, there are days when things go wrong or I fall
into old habits.  When things are not going well, when I'm grumpy or mad,
I'll realize that I've not been paying attention to my soul
and I've not been following my best routine.

Robert Fulghum
Handbook for the Soul


Let there be many windows in your soul,
That all the glory of the universe may beautify it.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox



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(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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