Affectation

A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.

Late-learning would seem to mean the pursuit of exercises for which one is too old.

Every one of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self..We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves. Contemplation is not and cannot be a function of this external self. There is an irreducible opposition between the deep transcendent self that awakens only in contemplation, and the superficial, external self which we commonly identify with the first person singular. Our reality, our true self, is hidden in what appears to us to be nothingness... We can rise above this unreality and recover our hidden reality... God Himself begins to live in me not only as my Creator but as my other and true self.

He wanted to know how they prayed to God in El Dorado. We do not pray to him at all, said the reverend sage. We have nothing to ask of him. He has given us all we want, and we give him thanks continually.

The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark.

It seems unspeakably important that all persons among us, and especially the student and the writer, should be pervaded with Americanism. Americanism includes the faith that national self-government is not a chimera, but that, with whatever inconsistencies and drawbacks, we are steadily establishing it here. It includes the faith that to this good thing all other good things must in time be added. When a man is heartily imbued with such a national sentiment as this, it is as marrow in his bones and blood in his veins. He may still need culture, but he has the basis of all culture. He is entitled to an imperturbable patience and hopefulness, born of a living faith. All that is scanty in our intellectual attainments, or poor in our artistic life, may then be cheerfully endured: if a man sees his house steadily rising on sure foundations, he can wait or let his children wait for the cornice and the frieze. But if one happens to be born or bred in America without this wholesome confidence, there is no happiness for him; he has his alternative between being unhappy at home and unhappy abroad; it is a choice of martyrdoms for himself, and a certainty of martyrdom for his friends.