inclination

Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.

A good inclination is but the first rude draught of virtue; but the finishing strokes are from the will, which, if well-disposed, will by degrees perfect; if ill-disposed, will by the super-induction of ill habits quickly deface.

Devotion is really neither more or less than a general inclination and readiness to do that which we know to be acceptable to God. To be truly devout, we must not only do God’s will, but we must do it cheerfully.

A mind that questions everything, unless strong enough to bear the weight of its ignorance, risks questioning itself and being engulfed in doubt. If it cannot discover the claims to existence of the objects of its questioning -- and it would be miraculous if it so soon succeeded in solving so many mysteries -- it will deny them all reality, the mere formulation of the problem already implying an inclination to negative solutions. But in so doing it will become void of all positive content and, finding nothing which offers it resistance, will launch itself perforce into the emptiness of inner revere.

One cannot long remain so absorbed in contemplation of emptiness without being increasingly attracted to it. In vain one bestows on it the name of infinity; this does not change its nature. When one feels such pleasure in non-existence, one's inclination can be completely satisfied only by completely ceasing to exist.

Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.

The man who is eager to reform himself has no time or inclination to criticise others.

One secret act of self-denial, one sacrifice of inclination to duty, is worth all the mere good thoughts, warm feelings, passionate prayers in which idle people indulge themselves.

Man may act according to that principle or inclination which for the present happens to be strongest, and yet act in a way disproportionate to, and violate his real proper nature.

In the care of the sick we demand the physician be free from error, but in the conduct of life it is not only the philosopher whom we expect to be free from error, but all men alike, including those who give little attention to virtue. Clearly there is no explanation for this other than that the human being is born with an inclination toward virtue; all men speak of themselves as having virtue and being good.

It is a great thing for a person to still have an evil inclination because then he is able to serve Hashem with the evil inclination itself. That is, to take all of the fire in his heart and channel it towards service of Hashem. For example, to pray with fiery passion of the heart, etc. For, if there is no evil inclination in a person his service cannot be complete.

The natural inclination of a child is to take pleasure in the use of the mind no less than of the body. The child's primary business is learning. It is also the primary entertainment. To retain that orientation into adulthood, so that consciousness is not a burden but a joy, is the mark of the successfully developed human being.

I myself consider that gravity is merely a certain natural inclination with which parts are imbued by the architect of all things for gathering themselves together into a unity and completeness by assembling into the form of a globe. It is easy to believe that the Sun, Moon and other luminaries among the wandering stars have this tendency also, so that by its agency they retain the rounded shape in which they reveal themselves, but nevertheless go round their orbits in various ways. If then the Earth also performs other motions, as for example the one about the centre, they must necessarily be like those which are similarly apparent in many external bodies in which we find an annual orbit.

We see that God has implanted in all things a natural desire to exist with the fullest measure of existence that is compatible with their particular nature. To this end they are endowed with suitable faculties and activities; and by means of these there is in them a discernment that is natural and in keeping with the purpose of their knowledge, which ensures their natural inclination serving its purpose and being able to reach its fulfilment in that object towards which it is attracted by the weight of its own nature.

For a while I gave myself up entirely to the intense enjoyment of picturing machines and devising new forms. It was a mental state of happiness about as complete as I have ever known in life. … When natural inclination develops into a passionate desire, one advances towards his goal in seven−league boots. In less than two months I evolved virtually all the types of motors and modifications of the system which are now identified with my name, and which are used under many other names all over the world. It was, perhaps, providential that the necessities of existence commanded a temporary halt to this consuming activity of the mind.

That which distinguishes him from the figurative artist is the fact that in his creations he frees himself from individual sentiments and from particular impressions which he receives from outside, and that he breaks loose from the domination of the individual inclination within him. It is therefore equally wrong to think that the non-figurative artist creates through ‘the pure intention of his mechanical process,’ that he makes ‘calculated abstractions,’ and that he wishes to ’suppress sentiment not only in himself but also in the spectator.’ It is a mistake to think that he retires completely into his system. That which is regarded as a system is nothing but constant obedience to the laws of pure plastics, to necessity, which art demands from him. It is thus clear that he has not become a mechanic, but that the progress of science, of technique, of machinery, of life as a whole, has only made him into a living machine, capable of realizing in a pure manner the essence of art. In this way, he is in his creation sufficiently neutral, that nothing of himself or outside of him can prevent him from establishing that which is universal. Certainly his art is art for art’s sake … for the sake of the art which is form and content at one and the same time.

If you have overcome your inclination and not been overcome by it, you have reason to rejoice.

Young people are threatened... by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire.

The point is to develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition and to guide the child over to important fields for society. Such a school demands from the teacher that he be a kind of artist in his province.

It is a great thing for a person to still have an evil inclination because then he is able to serve Hashem with the evil inclination itself. That is, to take all of the fire in his heart and channel it towards service of Hashem. For example, to pray with fiery passion of the heart, etc. For, if there is no evil inclination in a person his service cannot be complete.