The greatest manifestation of your love for the Almighty can be expressed on your day of death. Before your death, you might be thinking about how you have not fulfilled all of your wishes and plans. In the moments before your death you might have complaints against the Almighty, or you might fatalistically accept your death by saying, What can be done? My body is giving in to the laws of nature. The doctors have given up hope.” Both of these attitudes are wrong You now face the greatest challenge of your life. You have the potential to submit yourself to the will of the Almighty with love. This level takes preparation. If a person has not mastered control of his thoughts, he is likely to waste his last moments thinking of petty resentments and desires. Frequently confusion and fear of death swallow up every other thought unless one has prepared for that moment.
Beauty... consists in a certain clarity and due proportion. Now each of these has its roots in the reason, because both the light that makes beauty seen, and the establishing of due proportion among things belong to reason.
It is impossible for any created good to constitute man’s happiness. For happiness is the perfect good, which quiets the appetite altogether since it would not be the last end if something yet remained to be desired. Now the object of the will, that is, of man’s appetite, is the universal good, just as the object of the intellect is the universal true. Hence it is evident that nothing can quiet man’s will except the universal good. This is to be found not in any creature, but in God alone, because every creature has goodness by participation. Therefore God alone can satisfy the will of man.
Man does not choose of necessity... in all particular goods, the reason can consider an aspect of some good, and the lack of some good, which has the aspect of evil; and in this respect, it can apprehend any single one of such goods as to be chosen or to be avoided. The perfect good alone which is Happiness, cannot be apprehended by the reason as an evil, or as lacking in any way. Consequently man wills Happiness of necessity, nor can he will not to be happy, or to be unhappy. Now since choice is not of the end, but of the means... it is not of the perfect good, which is Happiness, but of other particular goods. Therefore man chooses not of necessity, but freely.
Every successful wickedness is, to say the least, a scandal... The only lesson to be derived from the successful misdeeds of the strong is to hold life here and now in no higher esteem than it deserves.
There is no peace except where I am, saith the Lord... As space spreads everywhere, and all things move and change within it, but it moves not nor changes, so I am the space within the soul, of which the space without is but the similitude and mental image; cometh thou to inhabit me, thou hast the entrance to all life - death shall no longer divide thee from whom thou lovest. I am the sun that shines upon all creatures from within - gazest thou upon me thou shalt be filled with joy eternal. Be not deceived. Soon this outer world shall drop off - thou shalt slough it away as a man sloughs his mortal body. Learn even now to spread thy wings in that other world - the world of equality - to swim in the ocean, my child, of me and my love. (Ah! have I not taught thee by the semblance of this outer world, but its alienations and deaths and mortal sufferings - all for this? For joy, ah! joy unutterable!)
When a person realizes he has faults, he is in a much better situation than one who does not realize it since he can now work on improving himself.
Man must now assume the responsibility for his world. He can no longer shove it off on religious power.
Happiness is fundamental in morals only because happiness is not something to be sought for, but is something now attained, even in the midst of pain and trouble, whenever recognition of our ties with nature and with fellow-men releases and informs our action.
We now know that anything which is economically right is also morally right; there can be no conflict between good economics and good morals.
Where do we now meet an original nature? And where is the man who has the strength to be true, and to show himself as he is?
You have a shilling. I have a shilling. We swap. You have my shilling and I have yours. We are no better off. But suppose you have an idea and I have an idea. We swap. Now you have two ideas and I have two ideas. We have increased our stock of ideas 100 per cent.
For... what liberty is; there can no other proof be offered but every man’s own experience, by reflection on himself, and remembering what he useth in his mind, that is, what he himself meaneth when he saith an action... is free. Now he that reflecteth so on himself, cannot but be satisfied... that a free agent is he that can do if he will, and forbear if he will; and that liberty is the absence of external impediments. But to those that out of custom speak not what they conceive, but what they heard, and are not able, or will not take the pains to consider what they think when they hear such words, no argument can be sufficient, because experience and matter of fact are not verified by other men’s arguments, but by every man’s own sense and memory.
Good will, solidarity and wretchedness, and the struggle for a better world have now thrown off their religious garb. The attitude of today’s martyrs is no longer patience but action; their goal is no longer their own immortality in the after-life but the happiness of men who come after them for whom they know how to die.
Consumption, celebrity and the quest for perfection in this world are all subject to the law of diminishing returns: each successive acquisition and achievement will mean less than the one before. Diminishing returns are finally leading to diminished expectations about the promise of finding happiness without caring for our souls. Perhaps we are now ready to reject the hucksters of materialisms that have lured us down so many dead ends, and start again on the road that will lead us back to God.
Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. Truth or falsehood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact. Whatever, therefore, is not susceptible of this agreement or disagreement, is incapable of being true or false, and can never be an object of our reason. Now ‘tis evident our passions, volitions, and actions, are not susceptible of any such agreement or disagreement; being original facts and realities, complete in themselves, and implying no reference to other passions, volitions, and actions. ‘Tis impossible, therefore, they can be pronounced either true or false, and be either contrary or conformable to reason.
Immortality is participation in the eternal now of the divine Ground: survival is persistence in one of the forms of time. Immortality is the result of total deliverance.
Knowledge of what is happening now does not determine the event. What is ordinarily called God’s foreknowledge is in reality a timeless now-knowledge, which is compatible with the freedom of the human creature’s will in time.
The problem with the man is less what act he shall now choose to do, than what being he shall now resolve to become.
I have often seen individuals who simply outgrow a problem which had destroyed others. This ‘outgrowing’, revealed itself on further experience to be the raising of the level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest arose on the person’s horizon, and through the widening of his view, the insoluble problem, lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded out in contrast to a new and strong life-tendency. It was not repressed and made unconscious, but merely appeared in a different light, and so became different itself. What, on a lower level, had led the wildest conflicts and emotions full of panic, viewed from the higher level of the personality, now seemed like a storm in the valley seen from a high mountain top. This does not mean that the thunderstorm is robbed of its reality; it means that instead of being in it, one is now above it.