Small crimes always precede great crimes. Whoever has been able to transgress the limits set by law may afterwards violate the most sacred rights; crime, like virtue, has its degrees, and never have we seen timid innocence pass suddenly to extreme licentiousness.
The great inequality in manner of living, the extreme idleness of some, and the excessive labor of others, the easiness of exciting and gratifying our sensual appetites, the too exquisite foods of the wealthy which overheat and fill them with indigestion, and, on the other hand, the unwholesome food of the poor, often, bad as it is, insufficient for their needs, which induces them, when opportunity offers, to eat voraciously and overcharge their stomachs; all these, together with sitting up late, and excesses of every kind, immoderate transports of every passion, fatigue, mental exhaustion, the innumerable pains and anxieties inseparable from every condition of life, by which the mind of man is incessantly tormented; these are too fatal proofs that the greater part of our ills are our own making, and that we might have avoided them nearly all by adhering to that simple, uniform and solitary manner of life which nature prescribed.
Evolutionism, purporting to explain all and everything solely and exclusively by natural selection for adaption and survival, is the most extreme product of the materialistic utilitarianism of the nineteenth-century. The inability of twentieth-century thought to rid itself of this imposture is a failure which may well cause the collapse of the Western civilization.
I know of nothing more opposite to revolutionary attitudes than commercial ones. Commerce is naturally adverse to all the violent passions; it loves to temporize, takes delight in compromise, and studiously avoids irritation. It is patient, insinuating, flexible, and never has recourse to extreme measures until obliged by the most absolute necessity. Commerce renders men independent of one another, gives them a lofty notion of their personal importance, leads them to seek to conduct their own affairs, and teaches how to conduct them well; it therefore prepares men for freedom, but preserves them from revolutions.
Learning to forgive is much more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it at the object of one’s anger, the more so when the provocation is extreme. For it is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.
The evolution of consciousness requires a wide range of opportunities and a playing field that affords almost unlimited options for development. If human life represents a learning process, then society is the ideal school that affords an extremely wide range of options for numerous levels of consciousness to develop, progress, define, identify, and grasp endless subtleties as well as learn more gross lessons. The ego is extremely tenacious and therefore often seems to require extreme conditions before it lets go of a positionality. It often takes the collective experience of millions of people over many centuries to learn even what appears upon examination to be a simple and obvious truth, namely, that peace is better than war or love is better than hate.
Extreme rationalism may be defined as the failure of reason to understand itself.
In extreme youth, in our most humiliating sorrow, we think we are alone. When we are older we find that others have suffered too.
In a moment of extreme danger things can be done which have previously been thought impossible. Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas.
I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress...It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitude is right, there’s no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.
Extreme justice is often extreme injustice.
Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.
Our senses will not admit anything extreme. Too much noise confuses us, too much light dazzles us, too great distance or nearness prevents vision, too great prolixity or brevity weakens an argument, too much pleasure gives pain, too much accordance annoys.
We should manage our fortune as we do our health - enjoy it when good, be patient when it is bad, and never apply violent remedies except in an extreme necessity.
Men love to hear of their power, but have an extreme disrelish to be told their duty.
Are we only able to see who we actually are at life’s beginnings and endings? Do only extreme circumstances reveal ordinary truths? Are we otherwise blind to our genuine selves? This is the key lesson of life: to find our authentic selves, and to see the authenticity in others.
The most important preliminary to the task of arranging one's life so that one may live fully and comfortably within one's daily budget of 24 hours is the calm realization of the extreme difficulty of the task, of the sacrifices and the endless effort which it demands.
Every extreme attitude is a flight from the self.
Assassination is an extreme form of censorship.
Extremes, though contrary, have the like effect; extreme heat mortifies, like extreme cold; extreme love breeds satiety, as well as extreme hatred.