Agitation

we seem to have developed the misconception that awakening involves assassinating the ego and dropping its body in the ocean of the Self. But the ego isn’t your archenemy, it’s merely a function, a diligent worker that goes about its self-appointed task of monitoring your survival and holding on to control. When you wake up, you see the ego for what it is—a collection of thoughts, feelings, memories, and beliefs held together by a sense of identity—and no longer mistakenly take it to be the truth of who you are or feel compelled to follow its directives.

It is of little use for us to pay lip-loyalty to the mighty men of the past unless we sincerely endeavor to apply to the problems of the present precisely the qualities which in other crises enabled the men of that day to meet those crises.

The law is more easily understood by few than many words. For all words are subject to ambiguity, and therefore multiplication of words in the body of the law is multiplication of ambiguity. Besides, it seems to imply (by too much diligence) that whosoever can evade the words is without the compass of the law.

The foundation on which all [our State constitutions] are built is the natural equality of man, the denial of every pre-eminence but that annexed to legal office and particularly the denial of apre-eminence by birth.

Businesses, are, in reality, quasi-religious sects. When you go to work in one, you embrace A New Faith. And if they are really big businesses, you progress from faith to a kind of mystique. Belief in the product, preaching the product, in the end the product becomes the focus of a transcendental experience. Through “the product” one communes with the vast forces of life, nature, and history that are expressed in business.

And I am not so sure this last one is true:

Every man meets his Waterloo at last.

The old Hindoo saw, in his dream, the human race led out to its various fortunes. - First, men were in chains that went back to an iron hand - then he saw them led by threads from the brain, which went upward to an unseen hand. The first was despotism, iron, and ruling by force. - The last was civilization, ruling by ideas.

The period of Catholic ascendancy was on the whole one of the most deplorable in the history of the human mind.... The spirit that shrinks from enquiry as sinful and deems a state of doubt a state of guilt, is the most enduring disease that can afflict the mind of man. Not till the education of Europe passed from the monasteries to the universities, not till Mohammedan science, and clasical free thought, and industrial independence broke the sceptre of the Church, did the intellectual revival of Europe begin.

A bourgeois revolution is a revolution which does not go beyond the limits of the bourgeois, i.e., capitalist, social and economic system. A bourgeois revolution expresses the need for the development of capitalism, and far from destroying the foundations of capitalism, it does the opposite, it broadens and deepens them.

The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class shall represent and repress them in parliament.

There is no need to suppose that human beings differ very much one from another; but it is true that the ones who come out on top are the ones who have been trained in the hardest school.

When I tried this morning, after an hour or so of unhappy thinking, to dip back into my meditation, I took a new idea with me: compassion. I asked my heart if it could please infuse my soul with a more generous perspective on my mind's workings. Instead of thinking that I was a failure, could I perhaps accept that I am only a human being--and a normal one, at that?

It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.

Riches are the savings of many in the hands of one.

Why should a Socialist be discouraged on the eve of the greatest triumph in all the history of the Socialist movement? It is true that these are anxious, trying days for us all — testing days for the women and men who are upholding the banner of labor in the struggle of the working class of all the world against the exploiters of all the world; a time in which the weak and cowardly will falter and fail and desert. They lack the fiber to endure the revolutionary test; they fall away; they disappear as if they had never been. On the other hand, they who are animated by the unconquerable spirit of the social revolution; they who have the moral courage to stand erect and assert their convictions; stand by them; fight for them; go to jail or to hell for them, if need be — they are writing their names, in this crucial hour — they are writing their names in faceless letters in the history of mankind.