The first real mental illumination I remember to have experienced was when I saw that the universe exists in each of its individual atoms - that is, the universe is the result of a few simple processes infinitely repeated. When a drop of water has been mathematically measured, every principle will have been used which would be called form in the measurement of the heavens. All life on the globe is sustained by digestion and assimilation; when by voluntary and traumatic action these stop death follows. The history of an individual mind is the history of the race. Know one thing in its properties and relations and you will know all things.
I cannot teach you the ten principles of service. But a little child and a thief can show you what they are. From the child you can learn three things: He is merry for no particular reason; never for a moment is he idle; when he needs something, he demands it vigorously. The thief can instruct you in seven things: He does his service by night; if he does not finish what he has set out to do, in one night, he devotes the next night to it; he and those who work with him love one another; he risks his life for small gains; what he takes has so little value for him that he gives it up for a very small coin; he endures blows and hardship, and it matters nothing to him; he likes his trade and would not exchange it for any other.
The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Right thinking is a prerequisite to right living... In truth the destiny of any life is determined by what fills that mind.
One of the things I learned the hard way was it does not pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.
Envy destroys peace of mind and happiness. An envious person’s life is full of suffering and resentment. He is never happy with what he himself has.
If forsooth we have failed to achieve happiness by conquering more lands... by traveling faster on the surface of things, why not try digging deeper in our own domain... making our life more significant by making it more profound?
Idleness is the hot-bed of temptation, the cradle of disease, the waster of time, the canker-worm of felicity. To him that has no employment, life in a little while will have no novelty; and when novelty is laid in the grave, the funeral of comfort will soon follow.
The Art of Teaching does not consist only of instruction in the three R's. There is more to teaching than conveying information. Teaching is the continuous process of building character, establishing moral attitudes, creating respect for the good way of life and distaste for the lightheaded and irresponsible mode of existence.
Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.
All the tensions and contradictions in life are, and ought to be, reflected in one’s philosophy, and one should not attempt to compose them for the sake of neat philosophical construction. Philosophy cannot ever be divorced from the totality of man’s spiritual experience, from his struggles, his insights, his ecstasies, his religious faith and mystical vision.
It is when we detect our own weaknesses that we come to pity or despise mankind. The human nature from which we then turn away is the human nature we have discovered in the depths of our own being. The evil is so well screened, the secret so universally kept, that in this case each individual is the dupe of all: however severely we may profess to judge other men, at bottom we think them better than ourselves. On this happy illusion much of our social life is grounded.
Even the best of men get knocked down many times in a lifetime. Occasional knocks aren't anything to be afraid of. In fact, they make the game of life interesting; they are the hazards and the bunkers and sandtraps that force us to keep our mind on the game and play our best.
Man is created by thought; that which he thinks upon in our life becomes in another.
Happy is the man who finds wisdom... Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her.
Man enters and departs his this life crying and weeping. He comes and he leaves in love and ignorance.
Life has neither material nor idealistic secrecy or mystery about it. Life is equal to itself only, hence perceiving its meaning is out of the question... The exaggeration of our mental abilities has given rise to what we perceive as “the problem” of discerning life’s purpose... If it is beyond our powers to disembowel love and beauty - we can only ravish them - it means that they are given to us not for cognition but for reflection. Similarly, the freedom of choice granted to man, a freedom denied the rest of the living species, is man’s task, a duty to exercise and fulfill, not merely an opportune option.
Our whole way of life today is dedicated to the removal of risk. Cradle to grave we are supported, insulated, and isolated from the risks of life - and if we fall, our government stands ready with Band-Aids of every size.
With our finite minds we cannot presume to know if there is a Purpose. We sense, however, the presence of something greater than we can comprehend, a force as yet unknown to us - perhaps even to be unknown. So we accept our situation, learn from it, and do the best we can, resting on faith, despair, or cynicism, depending on the individual. Overriding all this must be an obligation - self-imposed or externally impressed - to do the best one can for others, to relieve suffering and to exercise compassion. We are all in this together, for life is a common, not an individual, endeavor.
Young people imagine there is great value in fame. Those with life experience know that in truth publicity is extremely short-lived. The nature of the world is that every piece of news makes an impression for only a very short time. After those few minutes the impression is erased and quickly forgotten. It is as if it never was.