The reason we’re here is to exercise personal responsibility, to evolve the higher self and to influence that development in others.
More than all, and above all Washington was master of himself. If there be one quality more than another in his character which may exercise a useful control over the men of the present hour, it is the total disregard of self when in the most elevated positions for influence and example.
Illusion and self-deception stand in the way of an honest, penetrating and fearless self-appraisal. Though it would appear that we have access to the innermost core of our individual being, and that there is nothing in the world with which we are on more intimate terms than our own self, the self remains an elusive object of knowledge and understanding.
It is dangerous to abandon one’s self to the luxury of grief; it deprives one of courage, and even of the wish for recovery.
It is dangerous to abandon one's self to the luxury of grief; it deprives one of courage, and even the wish for recovery.
Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer - into selflessness which links us with all humanity.
[Paraphrase] Self consciousness, while glorious for what is has done, is at the same time baneful, because it precludes man from entering the Cosmic Conscious life, which leads to the infinite - which alone can explain God.
Learn to look with an equal eye upon all beings, seeing the one Self in all.
In other living creatures ignorance of self is nature; in man it is vice.
All censure of a man’s self is oblique praise.
When a person who was self conscious only, enters into cosmic consciousness - he knows without learning certain things... that the universe is not a dead machine but a living presence... that in its essence and tendency it is infinitely good... that individual existence is continuous beyond what is called death.
He who beholds in all beings in the self and the self in all beings, he never turns away from it. When to a man who understands, the self has become all things, what sorrow, what trouble can there be to him who once beheld that unity?
There are two lives to each of us, the life of our actions, and the life of our minds and hearts. History reveals men's deeds and their outward characters, but not themselves. There is a secret self that has its own life, unpenetrated and unguessed.
From self alone expect applause.
Life in this world is a very important reality, but it is not the ultimate reality... True growth in this world always calls for a dying to my own sinfulness, individualism and selfishness so that I might come closer to my true self in relationship to all others and to God. Thus, in the end, life and death are not diametrically opposed. Life involves a dying and dying is a way of life.
Those who believe in the theory of rebirth would say that we are here because of our past actions. It can also be said that the essence of life is the search for happiness and the fulfillment of one’s desires. All living beings strive to sustain their lives so that they might achieve happiness. As to why the self, wishing for happiness, came into being, Buddhism answers: This self has existed from beginningless time. It has no end but for it to ultimately achieve full enlightenment.
Most of us are like snowflakes trying to be like each other, yet knowing full well that no two snowflakes are ever identical. If we were to devote the same amount of energy in trying to discover the true self that lies buried deep within our own nature, we would all work harmoniously with life instead of forever fighting it.
Ultimately there can be no freedom for self unless it is vouchsafed for others; there can be no security where there is fear, and democratic society presupposes confidence and candor in the relations of men with one another and eager collaboration for the larger ends of life instead of the pursuit of petty, selfish or vainglorious aims.
If we look only to self even in spiritual things, it is still selfishness, though possibly on a somewhat higher plane than before.
What our deepest self craves is not mere enjoyment, but some supreme purpose that will enlist all our powers and will give unity and direction to our life. We can never know the profoundest joy without a conviction that our life is significant - not a meaningless episode. The loftiest aim of human life is the ethical perfecting of mankind - the transfiguration of humanity.