It is more important to listen to questions than to answer them. To listen with full intent, with full openness, with a genuine desire to understand not the question only, but the question behind the question, and to be at one with the questioner - this is an engagement very difficult.

Submitting to the laws of any country, living quietly and enjoying privileges and protection under them, makes not a man a member of that society... Nothing can make any man so but his actually entering into it by positive engagement and express promise and compact.

Every political society is composed of other smaller societies of different kinds, each of which has its interests and its rules of conduct: but those societies which everybody perceives, because they have an external and authorized form, are not the only ones that actually exist in the State... Unhappily personal interest is always found in inverse ratio to duty, and increases in proportion as the association grows narrower, and the engagement less sacred; which irrefragably proves that the most general will always the most just also, and that the voice of the people is in fact the voice of God.

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few… My life… lacks this quality of significance and therefore beauty, because there is so little empty space. The space is scribbled on; the time has been filled. There are so few empty pages in my engagement pad, or empty hours in the day, or empty rooms in my life in which to stand alone and find myself. Too many activities, and people, and things. Too many worthy activities, valuable things, and interesting people. For it is not merely the trivial which clutters our lives but the important as well. We can have a surfeit of treasures – an excess of shells, where one or two would be significant.

Realizing that no simple formulas apply to everyone, we develop the courage to live a unique spiritual life, in our own idiosyncratic way. While archetypal patterns exist to guide seekers, in the West individuals can find their won way within these deeper patterns by honoring their unique backgrounds, temperaments, values and creative capacities... We commit ourselves to passionate action in the world, without becoming overly attached to the success or failure of our endeavors... In spiritual maturity, recognizing that such an attitude of indifference stems from a fear of life, we commit to our spouses, professions, and social action, developing compassion and equanimity through a balanced engagement with life.

We are all afraid - for our confidence, for the future, for the world. That is the nature of the human imagination. Yet every man, every civilization has gone forward because of its engagement with what it has set itself to do. The personal commitment and the emotional commitment working together as one, has made the Ascent of Man.

We are all afraid for our confidence, for the future, for the world. That is the nature of the human imagination. Yet every man, every civilization, has gone forward because of its engagement with what it has set itself to do.

Whether our task is fighting poverty, stemming the spread of disease or saving innocent lives from mass murder, we have seen that we cannot succeed without the leadership of the strong and the engagement of all

Pleasure is the least consequential... engagement and meaning are much more important.

Kindness... consists in total engagement and in the loss of consciousness.

Becoming a force of nature doesn’t mean that all of our aspirations must be grand. First steps are often small, and initial visions that focus energy effectively often address immediate problems. What matters is engagement in the service of a larger purpose rather than lofty aspirations that paralyze action. Indeed, it’s a dangerous trap to believe that we can pursue only great visions. [Seeds Are Small.]

By insisting on a long engagement period, a female weeds out casual suitors, and only finally copulates with a male who has proved his qualities of fidelity and perseverance in advance. Feminine coyness is in fact very common among animals, and so are prolonged courtship or engagement periods.

Self-consciousness is not knowledge but a story one tells about oneself.

Concessions to adversaries only end in self-reproach, and the more strictly they are avoided the greater will be the chance of security.

The beard, conformable to the notion of my friend Sir Roger, was for many ages looked upon as the type of wisdom. Lucian more than once rallies the philosophers of his time, who endeavored to rival one another in beards; and represents a learned man who stood for a professorship in philosophy, as unqualified for it by the shortness of his beard.