gratitude

No matter how ruined man and his world may seem to be, and no matter how terrible man's despair may become, as long as he continues to be a man his very humanity continues to tell him that life has a meaning.

We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest.

I change my mind about the problem of free will every time I think about it, and therefore cannot offer any view with even moderate confidence; but my present opinion is that nothing that might be a solution has yet been described. This is not a case where there are several possible candidate solutions and we don’t know which is correct. It is a case where nothing believable has (to my knowledge) been proposed by anyone in the extensive public discussion of the subject.

But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then you are not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then you are unworthy of the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward and the spirit of a sycophant.

Forgot the blush that virgin fears impart to modest cheeks, and borrowed one from art.

We are no longer happy as soon as we wish to be happier.

Mahomet now proceeded to execute the great object of his religious aspirations, the purifying of the sacred edifice from the symbols of idolatry, with which it was crowded. All the idols in and about it, to the number of three hundred and sixty, were thrown down and destroyed. Among these, the most renowned was Hobal, an idol brought from Balka, in Syria, and fabled to have the power of granting rain. It was, of course, a great object of worship among the inhabitants of the thirsty desert. There were statues of Abraham and Ishmael also, represented with divining arrows in their hands ; an outrage on their memories, said Mahomet, being symbols of a diabolical art which they had never practiced. In reverence of their memories, therefore, these statues were demolished. There were paintings, also, depicting angels in the guise of beautiful women. The angels, said Mahomet, indignantly, are no such beings. There are celestial hour is provided in paradise for the solace of true believers ; but angels are ministering spirits of the Most High, and of too pure a nature to admit of sex. The paintings were accordingly obliterated. Even a dove, curiously carved of wood, he broke with his own hands, and cast upon the ground, as savoring of idolatry.

There is probably no act, for instance, which does good to anyone without doing harm to someone else, and vice versa.

I could isolate, consciously, little. Everything seemed blurred, yellow-clouded, yielding nothing tangible. Her inept acrostics, maudlin evasions, theopathies every recollection formed ripples of mysterious meaning. Everything seemed yellow-ly blurred, illusive, lost.

There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance. Awareness of all the most dangerous kinds of vanity, both in others and in ourselves. A good mind. A modest certainty about the meaning of things. Gratitude for the gift of life and the courage to take responsibility for it. Vigilance of spirit.

There are times when we must sink to the bottom of our misery to understand truth, just as we must descend to the bottom of a well to see the stars in broad daylight.

You know how impossible it is, in short, to have a free nation if it is a military nation and under military orders

A man convinced of his own merit will accept misfortune as an honor, for thus can he persuade others, as well as himself, that he is a worthy target for the arrows of fate.

In the adversity of our best friends we often find something which does not displease us.

The reason that lovers never weary each other is because they are always talking about themselves.

What causes us to like new acquaintances is not so much weariness of our old ones, or the pleasure of change, as disgust at not being sufficiently admired by those who know us too well, and the hope of being admired more by those who do not know so much about us.

When we exaggerate the tenderness of our friends towards us, it is often less from gratitude than from a desire to exhibit our own merit.

When we seek reconciliation with our enemies, it is commonly out of a desire to better our own condition, a being harassed and tired out with a state of war, and a fear of some ill accident which we are willing to prevent.

Now the hungry lion roars, and the wolf behowls the moon; whilst the heavy ploughman snores, all with weary task fordone. Now the wasted brands do glow, whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, puts the wretch that lies in woe in remembrance of a shroud. Now it is the time of night, that the graves, all gaping wide, every one lets forth his sprite, in the church-way paths to glide. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act v, Scene 1

Through the years of my trance communications and research, two control personalities... have always been identified with my work, and they have never ceased to maintain their independent and separate selves. It is interesting to note that they have always welcomed every form of scientific investigation into the nature of their own being and the mechanisms of my supernormal functioning; but up to the present any efforts to dislodge them or to reduce them to aspects of my own consciousness have led to no change in their attitude, position, or state of being. The control personalities still maintain the roles they have always played in relation to me, since my trance work began. I have reached a point in my development where I can live in harmony with myself and at peace with those personalities, for I am now able to regard them as the finer aspects of my true self. Whatever their origin may be, I do not, at present, have at my command the means of knowing; but for the time being, I am content to accept the controls as aspects of a constructive principle upon which my entire life has been built.