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Know thyself and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the gods and the universe

(An expansion of the inscription "Know Thyself" on the ancient Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi)

Mystery has been defined as “something that is a secret, something where there is no clear explanation, something difficult to understand or explain or something unexplainable or unsolvable.” Notice that this definition suggests that mysteries can be either resolvable or beyond resolution. Of course most dictionary definitions are not primarily concerned with existential mystery.

A.H. Almaas writes: "So there is a mystery of existence. There is a participation in the mystery of existence. The way to participate in the mystery of existence is to know who you are. And to know who you are is to start from where you are and to be open and relaxed and curious about what you might be."

"The absolute is knowable in the sense that anything else is knowable. We can experience it and know many things about it . . . We can know much about it, but the more we know the more we realize how much we do not know, and how mysterious it is. In other words, our knowledge of it, regardless how deep and exhaustive, never exhausts its truth, never encapsulates it.  . . . It is the inexhaustible mystery."

Relevant to us are the words from teachers and sages that point to a variety of perspectives about the mysteries we encounter as we move along the path of spiritual growth.




There is a mystery within all beings bursting to reveal itself, in the ones who become quiet enough to discover it. In this discovery a benevolent force shines spontaneously from your presence towards all beings, and this light cannot help but illuminate the world.

~ Mooji


Aesthetics wander shrine to shrine, looking for what can only come from visiting the soul. Study the mystery you embody.

~ Lalla (14th century)


Thinking has value in the organizing of the known, but it is not the tool with which to approach the Great Mystery. The Great Mystery can only be approached from silence. It is, in fact, the Silence itself.

~ Wu Hsin

The more honest and authentic we are, the more deply we go into the mystery of our own being.

~ Adyashanti


When you stop searching and let the impersonal consciousness take over, then it lets you in on the mystery of its own source and you will know that things have no substance.

~ Ramesh Balsekar


There is no greater mystery than this, that we keep seeking reality though in fact we are reality.

~ Ramana Maharshi


Life is a mystery. You cannot understand it unless you surrender, for your intellect cannot grasp its expansive and infinite nature, its real meaning and fullness. Bow down low and be humble; then you will know life's meaning.

~ Amma


The whole purpose of your life is to make yourself ready to understand what God is, what your fellow man is, what the nature of man is, what life is. Now coming to a still greater secret of life I want to answer the question: ... how can we grow to read and understand the message that life speaks through all its names and forms? The answer is that by the opening of the eyes you can see, things ... so by the opening of the heart, you can understand things. As long as the heart is closed, you cannot understand things. The secret is that, when the ears ... and the eyes ... of the heart are open, all planes of the world are open, all names are open, ... all secrets, all mysteries ... are unfolded. "

~ Hazrat Inayat Khan 


Every blade of grass, every insect, ant, and golden bee, all so amazingly know their path, though they have not intelligence, they bear witness to the mystery of God and continually accomplish it themselves.

~ Fyodor Dostoevsky


God writes spiritual mysteries on our hearts where they wait silently for discovery.

~ Rumi


Love is the individual, collective and universal soul. Love is God. Love is truth. Love is beauty. Love is peace. Love is self. To truly know yourself, to surrender to the truth of yourself, is to surrender to love. Love is the Mystery.

~ Gangaji


Consciously celebrating the blessings of life is part of an integrated spiritual practice. It is a form of bowing to the mystery.

~ Miranda Macpherson


Love is that flame that once kindled burns everything, and only the mystery and the journey remain.

~ Rumi


What science cannot declare, art can suggest; what art suggests silently, poetry speaks aloud; but what poetry fails to explain in words, music can express. Whoever knows the mystery of vibrations indeed knows all things.

~ Hazrat Inayat Khan


You are an incredible mystery that you will never figure out. To be this mystery consciously is the greatest joy.

~ Adyashanti


People who’ve had any genuine spiritual experience always know that they don’t know. They are utterly humbled before mystery. They are in awe before the abyss of it all, in wonder at eternity and depth, and a Love, which is incomprehensible to the mind.

~ Richard Rohr


In the sweet territory of silence we touch the mystery. It's the place of reflection and contemplation, and it's the place where we can connect with the deep knowing, to the deep wisdom way. 

~ Angeles Arrien


Not believing your own thoughts, you’re free from the primal desire: the thought that reality should be different than it is. You realize the wordless, the unthinkable. You understand that any mystery is only what you yourself have created. In fact, there’s no mystery. Everything is as clear as day. It’s simple, because there really isn’t anything. There’s only the story appearing now. And not even that.

~ Byron Katie


The world is but a mental image of the individual. How this happens is a mystery. One can only say that just as sleep is the cause of dreams, maya or the basic ignorance is the cause of creation. . . .Dreams are nullified when the person becomes ajñani [one aware of the Truth]. At that stage one gets rid of [transcends] the night-dream as well as the day-dream.

~ Sai Baba of Shirdi


It is the basic principle of spiritual life that we learn the deepest things in unknown territory. Often it is when we feel most confused inwardly and are in the midst of our greatest difficulties that something new will open. We awaken most easily to the mystery of life through our weakest side. The areas of our greatest strength, where we are the most competent and clearest, tend to keep us away from the mystery.

~ Jack Kornfield


To know the whole world is nothing when it is compared to knowing your own inner mystery of life.

~ Osho


O brother, I will tell you the mystery of mysteries. Know, then, that the painting and the Painter are one! When your faith is made perfect, you will never see yourself, except in Him.

~ Fariduddin Attar


Some things will always remain a mystery at this level of consciousness, and it is right that they should. So do not try to solve all the mysteries. Give the universe a chance. It will unfold itself in due course. Enjoy the experience of becoming.

~ Neale Donald Walsch


Are you willing just to be

witness to this mystery

in love and reverie...?

~ Kirtana


To live a meaningful life where we continue unfolding, we must learn to befriend the empty spaces where we are not controlling the course. This allows for shedding of old identities, structures and ways of being both internal and external that are no longer true. Ultimately, we are invited to surrender everything – that’s how grace, or the hand of the divine mystery can spring forth abundantly from within us.

~ Miranda Macpherson


One cannot look at the mystery.

One can only look from the mystery

Because one is the mystery.

~ Wu Hsin


Our Knowledge Never Encapsulates the Mystery The absolute is knowable in the sense that anything else is knowable. We can experience it and know many things about it ........ We can know much about it, but the more we know the more we realize how much we do not know, and how mysterious it is. In other words, our knowledge of it, regardless how deep and exhaustive, never exhausts its truth, never encapsulates it. It is knowable, for if it is unknowable then this is its determination, but it cannot be fully knowable, otherwise it will be determinable. It is the inexhaustible mystery. 

~ A.H. Almaas


To become spiritual, you must die to self, and come alive in the Lord. Only then will the mysteries of God fall from your lips. To die to self through self-discipline causes suffering but brings you everlasting life.

~ Rumi


Whenever we moderns pause for a moment, and enter the silence, and listen very carefully, the glimmer of our deepest nature begins to shine forth, and we are introduced to the mysteries of the deep, the call of the within, the infinite radiance of a splendor that time and space forgot

~ Ken Wilber


Notice the mystery that births everything into being...birthed you into being. Vast, powerful and pure, it wants to know itself. Wants you to know I AM.

~ Miranda Macpherson


Meditation has only one meaning, and that is going beyond the mind and becoming a witness. In your witnessing is the miracle - the whole mystery of life

~ Osho


And so, instead of trying to 'fix' our lives, instead of trying to neatly resolve the unresolveable and quickly complete the epic story of a fictitious 'me', we simply relax into utter not knowing, unravelling in the warm embrace of mystery, sinking deeply into the moment, savouring it fully, in all its uniqueness and wonder. And then, perhaps without any effort, without any struggle or stress, without 'you' being involved at all, the true answers will emerge in their own sweet time.

~ Jeff Foster


We really cannot know what is right or wrong, we can only open. Surrender to this mystery.

~ Gangaji


There is no mystery whatever - only inability to perceive the obvious.

~ Wei Wu Wei


If one raised one's eyes from this world of illusion .... and looked up, ... and asked God to tell one secret and the mystery of His creation, one would hear in answer .... that everything and every being ... is put in its own place, ... and each is busy carrying out that work ... which has to be done in the whole scheme of nature. Life is a symphony; and the action of every person in this symphony .... is the playing of his particular part .... in the music.

~ Hazrat Inayat Khan


God has graced every tradition with insight into the divine mystery, from the most primitive to the most sophisticated-each has a gift to bring to the world.

~ Bede Griffiths


You look for clues.

You search for the key

That will unlock the mystery.

You gaze into the entrails of chickens

You map the movements of the stars

You count your breaths

You chant your pet name for God

You consult cards

You add up numbers

You have endless sex

You fast

You take drugs

You study scripture

You read tea leaves

You talk to spirits

You twist your body into fascinating shapes

You guru hop

You attend seminars and retreats

You exercise

You buy books

You listen to tapes

You pray with all your might

Ram Tzu knows this…

When you are done with those

There you are.

~ Ram Tzu


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