The submergence of self in the pursuit of an ideal, the readiness to spend oneself without measure, prodigally, almost ecstatically, for something intuitively apprehended as great and noble, spend oneself one knows not why - some of us like to believe that this is what religion means.
A man in earnest finds means, or if he cannot find, creates it.
It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds, and these invaluable means of communication are in the reach of all. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.
And all your dreams and other such like folly, to deep oblivion let them be consigned; for they arise but from your melancholy, by which your health is being undermined. A straw for all the meaning you can find in dreams! They aren’t worth a hill of beans, for no one knows what dreaming really means.
Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.
The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us.
Science has given to this generation the means of unlimited disaster or of unlimited progress. There will remain the greater task of directing knowledge lastingly towards the purpose of peace and human good.
We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.
War is a continuation of policy by other means. It is not merely a political act but a real political instrument.
(Mathematical Division of Things, is never made in Minima; but Things may be Physically divided into their least parts; as when Concrete Matter is so far divided that it departs into Physical Monades, as it was in the first State of its Materiality...) Moreover the consideration of this Infinite Divisibility of every thing, into parts always less, is no unnecessary or unprofitable Theory, but a thing of great moment; viz. that thereby may be understood the Reasons and Causes of Things; and how all Creatures from the highest to the lowest are inseparably united with one another, by means of Subtiler Parts interceding or coming in between, which are the Emanations of one Creature into another, by which also they act one upon another at the greatest distance; and this is the Foundation of all Sympathy and Antipathy which happens in Creatures: And if these things be well understood of any one, he may easily see into the most secret and hidden Causes of Things, which ignorant Men call occult Qualities.
All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work. Work is not a curse; it is the prerogative of intelligence, the only means to manhood, and the measure of civilization.
Grand and manifold as were its phases, there is yet no difficulty in understanding the character of Washington. He was no Veiled Prophet. He never acted a part. Simple, natural, and unaffected, his life lies before us - a fair and open manuscript. He disdained the arts which wrap power in mystery in order to magnify it. He practiced the profound diplomacy of truthful speech - the consummate tact of direct attention. Looking ever to the All-Wise Disposer of events, he relied on that Providence which helps men by giving them high hearts and hopes to help themselves with the means which their Creator has put at their service. There was no infirmity in his conduct over which charity must fling its veil; no taint of selfishness from which purity averts her gaze; no dark recess of intrigue that must be lit up with colored panegyric; no subterranean passage to be trod in trembling, lest there be stirred the ghost of a buried crime.
In painting you must give the idea of the true by means of the false.
We never seem to know what anything means till we have lost it. The full significance of those words, property, ease, health - the wealth of meaning that lies in the fond epithets, parent, child friend, we never know till they are taken away; till in place of the bright, visible being, comes the awful and desolate shadow where nothing is - where we stretch our hands in vain, ands strain our eyes upon dark and dismal vacuity.
Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those we have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these things.
One watch set right will do to set many by; one that goes wrong may be the means of misleading a whole neighborhood; and the same may be said of example.
It is arrogance to think that the earthbound have any true grasp of the complex meaning, or meanings, of life; we have not yet gathered all the data. Our own significance, our ultimate potential and our ensemble of possible destinies will be understood only by finding and studying the other intelligent creatures of space. Thus, a prime task for us is to seek these other intelligent civilizations and join them in shared knowledge. We now have the means to do so, and if we are as noble as we think, we will proceed vigorously with this enterprise.
He that resolves upon any great and good end, has, by the very resolution, scaled the chief barrier to it. He will find such resolution removing difficulties, searching out or making means, giving courage for despondency, and strength for weakness and like the star to the wise men of old, ever guiding him nearer and nearer to perfection.
It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curious of inquiry. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.
Those who rage today against the ideals of reason and of individual freedom, and seek to impose an insensate state of slavery by means of brutal force, rightly see in the Jews irreconcilable opponents.