Absence

Respect is not fear and awe; it denotes, in accordance with the root of the word (respicere = to look at), the ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his unique individuality. Respect, thus, implies the absence of exploitation. I want the loved person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose of serving me.

To speak of love is not "preaching," for the simple reason that it means to speak of the ultimate and real need of every human being. That this need has been obscured does not mean it does not exist. To analyze the nature of love is to discover its general absence today and to criticize the social conditions which are responsible for this absence. To have faith in the possibility of love as a social and not only exceptional-individual phenomenon, is a rational faith based on the insight into the very nature of man.

Freedom is not only the absence of external restraints. It also is the absence of irresistible internal compulsions, unmanageable passions and uncensorable appetites. From the need to resist, manage and censor the passions there flows the need to do so in the interest of some ends rather than others. Hence freedom requires reflective choice about the ends of life.

Love is the total absence of fear. Love asks no questions. Its natural state is one of extension and expansion, not comparison and measurement.

What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but absence of self-criticism.

Under certain given circumstances, and only under those circumstances, an agglomeration of men presents new characteristics very different from those of the individuals composing it. The sentiments and ideas of all the persons in the gathering take one and the same direction, and their conscious personality vanishes. A collective mind is formed, doubtless transitory, but presenting very clearly defined characteristics. The gathering has thus become what, in the absence of a better expression, I will call an organized crowd, or, if the term is considered preferable, a psychological crowd. It forms a single being and is subject to the law of the mental unity of crowds.

The secret of life is balance, and the absence of balance is life’s destruction.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate with the good, that it may prevail. I try to increase the power God has given me to see the best in everything and every one, and make that Best a part of my life.

Absolute liberty is absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to himself.

Understanding transforms, it does not sublimate. If you understand, anger disappears and the same energy becomes compassion. Not that you sublimate: anger simply disappears, and the energy that was involved, invested in anger, is released and becomes compassion. When you understand hate, hate disappears and the same energy becomes love. Love is not against hate -- it is absence of hate.

In this game he had acquired a great deal of muddled knowledge, more than one approximation and less than one certitude. And absence of energy, a curiosity that was too sharp to be crushed immediately, a lack of order in his ideas, a weakening of his spiritual boundaries, which were promptly twisted, an excessive passion for running along forked roads and wearying of the path as soon as he had started on it, mental indigestion demanding varied dishes, quickly tiring of the foods he desired, digesting almost all, but badly, was his state

Grief at the absence of a loved one is happiness compared to life with a person one hates.

Sorrow causes more absence of mind and confusion than so-called levity.

Distance sometimes endears friendship, and absence sweeteneth it—for separation from those we love shows us, by the loss, their real value and dearness to us.

The difference between play and what is regarded as serious employment should be not a difference between the presence and absence of imagination, but a difference in the materials with which imagination is occupied.

The human being is uniquely graced with the ability to search the soul and reflect, For what purpose am I alive? Does my life have a meaning, a reason? Is there a need for my existence? Will anything on earth be impaired by my disappearance? Would my absence create a vacuum in the world? And if we say that there would be a void and an impairment in the world, and that this means that my life has value beyond its simple existence, is it incumbent upon me to fulfill a purpose in this life? Do I exist that I might build or restore?

We seem, as it were, to have conquered and peopled half the world in a fit of absence of mind.

Virtue does not consist in the absence of the passions, but in the control of them.

The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.

Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate. To hate alone is the road to disaster. To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.