Humanity

[A] remarkably close relation… exists between humanity’s dreams and humanity’s religions.

If one starts out to dominate the natural world, one cannot stop short at that reputedly “rational animal” who, however rational, is also animal - and by all accounts creation’s most problematic animal. “Man against nature” becomes “man against humanity” in this sense too, that it contains the obvious directive that what is “natural” within the human species must be brought under control.

The spiritual development of humanity as a whole is like a pyramid, or a mountain peak, where all angles of ascent tend to converge the higher they climb.

If the instinctual and repressed kindness of mankind were suddenly let loose upon the earth, sooner than we think would we be members one of another, sitting around one family hearth-stone, and singing the song of the new humanity.

Death is the radical refutation of man’s power and a stark reminder of the necessity to relate to a meaning which lies beyond the dimension of human time. Humanity without death would be arrogance without end. Nobility has its root in humanity, and humanity derived much of its power from the thought of death.

Our existence seesaws between animality and divinity, between that which is more and that which is less than humanity.

It is for artists to remind humanity of the unconquerable and to assert the eternity of ideas.

God always interior to man, and unyielding, He, the true conscience to the false; a prohibition to the spark to extinguish itself; an order to the ray to remember the sun; an injunction to the soul to recognize the real absolute when it is confronted with the fictitious absolute; humanity imperishable; that splendid phenomenon, the most beautiful perhaps of our interior wonders.

`Mind’ and `matter’ appear as two aspects of our unitary mind-bodies. There is no separate supernatural realm: all phenomena are part of one natural process of evolution. There is no basic cleavage between science and religion; they are both organs of evolving humanity… This earth is one of the rare spots in the cosmos where mind has flowered. Man is a product of nearly three billion years of evolution, in whose person the evolutionary process has at last become conscious of itself and its possibilities. Whether he likes it or not, he is responsible for the whole further evolution of our planet.

The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself… not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps trans-humanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature… I believe in trans-humanism: once there are enough people who can truly say that, the human species will be on the threshold of a new kind of existence, as different from ours as ours is from that of Peking man. It will at last be consciously fulfilling its real destiny.

The belief in progress, not as an ideal but as an indisputable fact, not as a task for humanity but as a law of Nature, has been the working faith of the West for about a hundred and fifty years.

It would be a pious act to share our clothes and food even with the wicked. For it is to the humanity in a man that we give, and not to his moral character.

Prayer is a way of increasing our sensitivity to the spiritual aspects of life. From this point of view, it is very much like exercise. A man’s muscles become responsive by training... The soul is stretched and enlarged by prayer just as the body is stretched and enlarged by physical exercise... Prayer is a way of aspiration. It is a way of lifting ourselves, of getting a higher look, of transcending self. For when a man looks at life only from inside himself, or only from within the walls of his home, or profession, seeing the world as though it were all in terms of his special interests, then he is “too full of himself to have any room for God.” But in prayer, he... relates his own little life and his own little needs and life of humanity. He lifts himself up by prayer, and achieves a high spiritual stature.

If God truly is the Absolute, then he is all these in one: Nirvana, insofar as he is the goal of the path of liberation; Dharma, insofar as he is described as the law of the cosmos and humanity; Emptiness, insofar as he constantly escapes all affirmative specifications; Primordial Buddha, insofar as he is the origin of all that is. Could one not, after all the explanations of emptiness, nirvana and dharmakaya in comparison with the Christian understanding of the Absoulte, despite all the divergences, also speak of convergence between Christianity and Buddhism?

In resentment there is no chance of release but only imprisonment in a painful past and the gradual stifling of all serenity, indeed, of all humanity.

Banish wisdom, throw away knowledge, and the people will benefit a hundredfold! Banish “humanity,” throw away righteousness, and the people will become conscientious and full of love! Banish skill, throw away profit and thieves and robbers will disappear!

Would you like to liberate yourself from the lower realms of life? Would you like to save the world from degradation and destruction it seems destined for? Then step away from the shallow mass movements and quietly go to work on your own self-awareness. If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself... Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.

The wake of Moses, of Buddha, of Confucius, of Lao Tse, of Christ, probably exert a greater influence over humanity today than when these men were pondering over its fate and happiness. No man ever disappears completely if he strives to do good and expects no reward outside of the joy of having contributed to the progress of mankind.

In Totalitaria, jails and concentration camps by the score are built in order to provoke fear and awe among the population… In these centers of fear, nobody is really corrected; he is, as it were, expelled from humanity, wasted, killed – but too quickly, lest the terrorizing influence be diminished. The truth of the matter is that these jails are built not for real criminals, but rather for their terrorizing effect on the bystanders, the citizens of Totalitaria.

In all ages, literature aims at the interpretation of the universe and a deep perception of humanity by means of language.