materialism

The only cure for materialism is the cleansing of the six sense (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind). If the senses are clogged, one's perception is stifled. The more it is stifled, the more contaminated the sense become. This creates disorder in the world, and that is the greatest evil of all.

A person must know that “Gods glory fills the entire world” (Isiah 6), and “There is no place void of Him” (Tikunei Zohar), and “He fills all worlds and surrounds all worlds” (Zohar)… even in the most defiled places there is godliness, for He gives life to everything as it says, “And you give life to everything” (Nechemia 9). So even if a person is stuck in the lowest of places he cannot excuse himself and say “I cannot serve Hashem here because of all the thickness and materialism that attacks me always,” for even there you can find Him and cling to Him and do complete teshuva, “For it is not far from you” (devarim 30), only that in this place there are many garments.

Wealth makes materialism easier to bear.

Another weakness of materialism was its whole-hearted identification of itself with the principles of elementary mechanics. It was naively scientific. We may call this species of materialism reductive materialism. . . . By its very principle evolutionary materialism is opposed to reductive materialism. It is not finalistic, or teleological, in the old sense . . . but it does not hold that relations in nature are external and that things are machines of atomic complexity. Organization and wholes are genuinely significant.

No, I'm just a man committed to great ideas.

When the past has taught us that we have more within us than we have ever used, our prayer is a cry to the divine to come to us and fill us with its power.

To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other.

Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no worth at all, if not perhaps, results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you will start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.

I was not sure where I was going, and I could not see what I would do when I got [there]. But you saw further and clearer than I, and you opened the seas before my ship, whose track led me across the waters to a place I had never dreamed of, and which you were even then preparing to be my rescue and my shelter and my home.

Man is homo religiosus, by 'nature' religious: as much as he needs food to eat or air to breathe, he needs a faith for living.

In the strict formulation of the law of causality—if we know the present, we can calculate the future—it is not the conclusion that is wrong but the premise.

I am not fond of the Germans by any means but at the present time it is more advantageous to use them than to challenge them. An independent Poland is very dangerous to Soviet Russia: it is an evil which, however, at the present time has also its redeeming features; for while it exists, we may safely count on Germany, because the Germans hate Poland and will at any time make common cause with us in order to strangle Poland. ... Everything teaches us to look upon Germany as our most reliable ally. Germany wants revenge, and we want revolution. For the moment our aims are the same. When our ways part they will be our most ferocious and our great enemies. Time will tell whether a German hegemony or a Communist federation is to arise out of the ruins of Europe.

No revolution is worth anything unless it can defend itself.

The nearer we come to the full military suppression of the bourgeoisie, the more dangerous becomes to us the high flood of petty-bourgeois Anarchism. And the struggle against these elements cannot be waged with propaganda and agitation alone. … The struggle must also be waged by applying force and compulsion.

The specific feature of the present situation in Russia is that the country is passing from the first stage of the revolution—which, owing to the insufficient class-consciousness and organization of the proletariat, placed power in the hands of the bourgeoisie—to its second stage, which must place power in the hands of the proletariat and the poorest sections of the peasants.

There is no answer to the evils of mass unemployment and mass migration into cities, unless the whole level of rural life can be raised, and this requires the development of an agro-industrial culture, so that each district, each community, can offer a colorful variety of occupations to its members.