companions

Our companions please us less from the charms we find in their conversation, than from those they find in ours.

For life is the best thing we have in this existence. And if we should desire to believe in something, it should be a beacon within. This beacon being the sun, sea, and sky, our children, our work, our companions and, most simply put, the embodiment of love.

Whenever I give moral instruction, I first try to demonstrate the inherent power and quality of human nature... the wonderful virtues which all human beings can acquire... God has implanted in every person the capacity to attain the very highest level of virtue. But people cannot grow in virtue on their own. We need (soul) companions to guide and direct us on the way of righteousness ... We are each capable of achieving the same degree of moral goodness.

I have become so accustomed to think scientifically that I am afraid even to imagine that there may be something else beyond the outer covering of life. I feel like a man condemned to death, whose companions have been hanged and who has already become reconciled to the thought that the same fate awaits him.

Possibly the most interesting first impression of my life came from the world of dreams… Suddenly I began to find a strange meaning in old fairy-tales; woods, rivers, mountains, became living beings; mysterious life filled the night; with new interests and new expectations I began to dream again of distant travels; and I remembered many extraordinary things that I had heard about old monasteries. Ideas and feelings which had long since ceased to interest me suddenly began to assume significance and interest. A deep meaning and many subtle allegories appeared in what only yesterday had seemed to be naive popular fantasy or crude superstition. And the greatest mystery and the greatest miracle was that the thought became possible that death may not exist, that those who have gone may not have vanished altogether, but exist somewhere and somehow, and that perhaps I may see them again. I have become so accustomed to think scientifically that I am afraid even to imagine that there may be something else beyond the outer covering of life. I feel like a man condemned to death, whose companions have been hanged and who has already become reconciled to the thought that the same fate awaits him; and suddenly he hears that his companions are alive, that they have escaped and that there is hope also for him. And he fears to believe this, because it would be so terrible if it proved to be false, and nothing would remain but prison and the expectation of execution.

Rabbi Nehorai said: “Go as a voluntary exile to a place of Torah, and do not say that the Torah will follow you, for it is your companions who will make it your permanent possession. Do not rely upon your own understanding.”

Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life.

It is a consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery.

We think in youth that our bodies are identical to ourselves and have the same interests, but discover later in life that they are heartless companions who have been accidentally yoked with us, and who are as likely as not, in our extreme sickness or old age, to treat us with less mercy than we would have received at the hands of the worst bandits.

To live among such excellent helps as our libraries afford, to have so many silent wise companions whenever we please.

You knock at the door of Reality. You shake your thought wings, loosen your shoulders, and open.

Where grief is fresh, any attempt to divert it only irritates.

I am mad, I am going under, I must follow the advice of a friend, and pay no heed to myself.

Much faith will yield unto us here our heaven, but any faith, if true, will yield us heaven hereafter.

The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal - every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open - this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude. Where is the mother who would willingly forget the infant that perished like a blossom from her arms, though every recollection is a pang? Where is the child that would willingly forget the most tender of parents, though to remember be but to lament? Who, even in the hour of agony, would forget the friend over whom he mourns? Who, even when the tomb is closing upon the remains of her he most loved, when he feels his heart, as it were, crushed in the closing of its portal, would accept of consolation that must be bought by forgetfulness? No, the love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul. If it has its woes, it has likewise its delights; and when the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection, when the sudden anguish and the convulsive agony over the present ruins of all that we most loved are softened away in pensive meditation on all that it was in the days of its loveliness - who would root out such a sorrow from the heart? Though it may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the bright hour of gaiety, or spread a deeper sadness over the hour of gloom, yet who would exchange it even for the song of pleasure, or the burst of revelry? No, there is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh, the grave! The grave! It buries every error - covers every defect - extinguishes every resentment! From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections.

We don't have the wisdom required to hear what is truly necessary to hear right action, right understanding, right livelihood. We inadvertently break things even as we try to fix them. Our busy-ness becomes a kind of violence because it destroys the root of inner wisdom that makes work fruitful. On one level, suffering comes because we inadvertently bring harm to the world that we're trying to help whether we're raising money to pay the bills, serving the homeless, or feeding the hungry. Having been in non-profit worlds for twenty-five years, I can say that the faster we go, the more we unintentionally mishandle the ones we love. They become an object of our ambition rather than the subject of our heart's attention, which requires a certain amount of time and company as well as money.

When it appears that a work has been carried out sumptuously, the owner will be the person to be praised for the great outlay which he has authorized; when delicately, the master workmen will be approved for his execution; but when proportions and symmetry lend it an imposing effect, then the glory of it will belong to the architect.

I was crazy about goal keeping. In Russia and the Latin countries, that gallant art had been always surrounded with a halo of singular glamour. Aloof, solitary, impassive, the crack goalie is followed in the streets by entranced small boys. He vies with the matador and the flying ace as an object of thrilled adulation. His sweater, his peaked cap, his knee-guards, the gloves protruding from the hip pocket of his shorts, set him apart from the rest of the team. He is the lone eagle, the man of mystery, the last defender. Photographers, reverently bending one knee, snap him in the act of making a spectacular dive across the goal mouth to deflect with his fingertips a low, lightning-like shot, and the stadium roars in approval as he remains for a moment or two lying full length where he fell, his goal still intact.

The women are never at a loss, God provides for them, let us run.

But delightful though it is to indulge in righteous indignation, it is misplaced if we agree with the lady's-maid that high birth is a form of congenital insanity, that the sufferer merely inherits the diseases of his ancestors, and endures them, for the most part very stoically, in one of those comfortably padded lunatic asylums which are known, euphemistically, as the stately homes of England.