As yet, we Americans have hardly begun to think of the details of execution in any art. We do not aim at perfection of detail even in engineering, much less in literature. In the haste of our national life, most of our intellectual work is done at a rush, is something inserted in the odd moments of the engrossing pursuit. The popular preacher becomes a novelist; the editor turns his paste-pot and scissors to the compilation of a history; the same man must be poet, wit, philanthropist, and genealogist. We find a sort of pleasure in seeing this variety of effort, just as the bystanders like to see a street-musician adjust every joint in his body to a separate instrument, and play a concerted piece with the whole of himself. To be sure, he plays each part badly, but it is such a wonder he should play them all! Thus, in our rather hurried and helter-skelter training, the man is brilliant, perhaps; his main work is well done; but his secondary work is slurred. The book sells, no doubt, by reason of the author’s popularity in other fields; it is only the tone of our national literature that suffers. There is nothing in American life that can make concentration cease to be a virtue. Let a man choose his pursuit, and make all else count for recreation only. Goethe’s advice to Eckermann is infinitely more important here than it ever was in Germany: “Beware of dissipating your power; strive constantly to concentrate them. Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but it is sure to repent of every ill-judged outlay.”
My dream of politics all my life has been that it is the common business, that it is something we owe to each other to understand and discuss with absolute frankness.
Only mediocrity of enjoyment is allowed to man
Every way of classifying a thing is but a way of handling it for some particular purpose.
Our self-feeling in this world depends entirely on what we back ourselves to be and do.
The best argument I know for an immortal life is the existence of a man who deserves one.
The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.
There are two lives, the natural and the spiritual, and we must lose the one before we can participate in the other.
Plutarch tells us of an idle and effeminate Etrurian who found fault with the manner in which Themistocles had conducted a recent campaign. "What," said the hero in reply, "have you, too, something to say about war, who are like the fish that has a sword, but no heart?" He is always the severest censor on the merits of others who has the least worth of his own.
When asked how he could tell the difference, the saint said that you can only tell which is which by the way you feel after the creature has left your company. If you are appalled, he said, then it was a devil who had visited you. If you feel lightened, it was an angel.
I am not an expert at praying, as you know. But can you please help me? I am in desperate need of help. I don't know what to do. I need an answer. Please tell me what to do...
Listen to me. Someday you're gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You'll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing.
The Yogic scriptures say that God responds to the sacred prayers and efforts of human beings in any way whatsoever that mortals choose to worship - just so long as those prayers are sincere.
When I sit in my silence and look at my mind, it is only questions of longing and control that emerge to agitate me, and this agitation is what keeps me from evolving forward.
Whenever I would feel such happiness my guilt alarm went off.
Your father only has one foot on this earth. And really, really long legs.
But tough!" said God excitedly. "You can imagine what this mother can do or endure."
I sometimes think my style is suggestive rather than direct. The reader must often use his imagination or lose the most subtle part of my thought.
Thou askest me to take things seriously? After what thou didst last night? When thou needest to kill a man and instead did what you did? You were supposed to kill one, not make one! When we have just seen the sky full of airplanes of a quantity to kill us back to our grandfathers and forward to all unborn grandsons including all cats, goats and bedbugs. Airplanes making a noise to curdle the milk in your mother's breasts as they pass over darkening the sky and roaring like lions and you ask me to take things seriously. I take them too seriously already.
There is a Life Stream that flows to you, and this is a Stream of clarity, a Stream of wellness, a Stream of abundance - and in any moment, you are allowing it or not. What someone else does with the Stream, or not, does not have anything to do with how much of it will be left for you.