Often lack of wisdom can result in deeds lacking compassion. The philosopher Karl Popper was asked in an interview if he believed in evil. No, he answered, but I believe in stupidity. His reply struck me as remarkably Buddhist: often in Buddhist teachings, the wise are associated with righteousness and the foolish or ignorant with evil-doing. As sweet as honey is an evil deed, so thinks the fool... Lack of wisdom blinds men to attitudes and actions that deny the basic humanity that should unite all peoples, regardless of race, language, creed or class. Once set on a course which emphasizes differences and exacerbates conflict, there is little room left for compassion. Wisdom can thus be seen as important not just for making compassion effective, but for generating compassion itself.
It is a commonplace that all religion expresses itself in mythological or metaphorical terms; it says one thing and means another; it uses imagery to convey truth. But the crucial fact about religion is not that it is metaphor, but that it is unconscious metaphor. No one can express any thought without using metaphors, but this does not reduce all philosophy and science to religion, because the scientist knows that his metaphors are merely metaphors and that the truth is something other than the imagery by which it is expressed, whereas in religion the truth and the imagery are identified. To repeat the Creed as a religious act it is necessary not to add "All this I believe in a symbolical or figurative sense": to make that addition is to convert religion into philosophy.
The love of nature is religion and that religion is poetry; these three things are one thing. This is the unspoken creed of haiku poets.
To love justice, to long for the right,
to love mercy,
to pity the suffering, to assist the weak,
to forget wrongs and remember benefits,
to love the truth, to be sincere,
to utter honest words, to love liberty,
to wage relentless war
against slavery in all its forms,
to love family and friend,
to make a happy home,
to love the beautiful in art, in nature,
to cultivate the mind,
to be familiar with the mighty thoughts
that genius has expressed,
the noble deeds of all the world;
to cultivate courage and cheerfulness,
to make others happy,
to fill life with the splendor of generous acts,
the warmth of loving words;
to discard error, to destroy prejudice,
to receive new truths with gladness,
to cultivate hope,
to see the calm beyond the storm,
the dawn beyond the night,
to do the best that can be done
and then be resigned.
This is the religion of reason,
the creed of science.
This satisfies the brain and the heart.
The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.
It is not merely that we want to see the game played fairly. We also want to see the rules changed, so that there shall be both less opportunity and less temptation to cheat, and less chance for some few people to gain a pro?t to which either they are not entitled at all, or else which is so enormous as to be greatly in excess of what they deserve, even though their services have been great. We wish to do away with the pro?t that comes from the illegitimate exercise of cunning and craft. We also wish to secure a measurable equality of opportunity, a measurable equality of reward for services of similar value. To do all this, two, mutually supplementary movements are necessary. On the one hand, there must be - I think there now is - a genuine and permanent moral awakening, without which no wisdom of legislation or administration really means anything; and, on the other hand, we must try to secure the social and economic legislation without which any improvement due to purely moral agitation is necessarily evanescent.
Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to, convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.
I never told my own religion nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another's creed. I am satisfied that yours must be an excellent religion to have produced a life of such exemplary virtue and correctness. For it is in our lives, not from our words, that our religion must be judged.
No instance exists of a person’s writing two languages perfectly. That will always appear to be his native language which was most familiar to him in his youth.
The people are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
The principle of rotation... in the body of [bank] directors... breaks in upon the espirit de corps so apt to prevail in permanent bodies; it gives a chance for the public eye penetrating into the sanctuary of those proceedings and practices, which the avarice of the directors may introduce for their personal emolument, and which the resentments of excluded directors, or the honesty of those duly admitted, might betray to the public; and it gives an opportunity at the end of the year, or at other periods, of correcting a choice, which on trial, proves to have been unfortunate.
To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other.
I believe in the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist of doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.
Hearses coffins, long funeral processions, and all the dark emblems of mortality, were reflected, as it were, on the sky, from the terrible works of pestilence and famine which were going on the earth beneath it.
In truth until within the last ten or twelve years an Irish author never thought of publishing in his own country, and the consequence was that our literary men followed the example of our great landlords; they became absentees, and drained the country of its intellectual wealth precisely as the others exhausted it of its rents. Thus did Ireland stand in the singular anomaly of adding some of her most distinguished names to the literature of Great Britain, whilst she herself remained incapable of presenting anything to the world beyond a school-book or a pamphlet; and even of the latter it is well known that if the subject of it were considered important, and its author a man of any talent or station in society, it was certain to be published in London.
What the Puritans gave the world was not thought, but action.
No real English gentleman, in his secret soul, was ever sorry for the death of a political economist.
Oh dear white children, casual as birds, playing among the ruined languages, so small beside their large confusing words.