Consciousness is sometimes compared with light. An increase of consciousness is likened to an increase of light. But we shall see eventually than an increase of consciousness does not mean only that we see with greater clearness what was formally obscure. The quality is changed. For the moment, the man who experiences it himself is changed. It is not merely the quantity of consciousness that is altered, but its very nature.
The most intelligent men, like the strongest, find their happiness where others would find only disaster: in the labyrinth, in being hard with themselves and with others, in effort; their delight is self-mastery; in them asceticism becomes second nature, a necessity, an instinct.
The most spiritual human beings, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in severity towards themselves and others, in attempting; their joy lies in self-constraint: with them asceticism becomes nature, need, instinct.
Whatever has value in our world now does not have value in itself, according to its nature - nature is always value-less, but has been given value at some time, as a present - and it was we who gave and bestowed it.
When one speaks of humanity, the idea is fundamental that this is something that separates and distinguishes man from nature. In reality, however, there is no such separation: ‘natural’ qualities and those called properly ‘human’ are indivisibly grown together. Man, in his highest and most noble capacities, is wholly nature and embodies its uncanny dual character. Those of his abilities which are awesome and considered inhuman are perhaps the fertile soil out of which alone all humanity... can grow.
By watching yourself in your daily life with alert interest, with the intention to understand rather than to judge, in full acceptance of whatever may emerge, because it is there, you encourage the deep to come to the surface and enrich your life and consciousness with its captive energies. This is the great work of awareness; it removes obstacles and releases energies by understanding the nature of life and mind. Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence.
If one lives with Nature a little while, he soon recognizes the harmony of creation... Each of us is, therefore, an instrument of God. When one thinks of his humble self in this light, life takes on a more profound meaning.
If the physician understands things exactly and sees and recognizes all illnesses in the macrocosm outside man, and if he has a clear idea of man and his whole nature, then and only then is he a physician. Then he may approach the inside of man; then he may examine his urine, take his pulse, and understand where each thing belongs. This would not be possible without profound knowledge of the outer man, who is nothing other than heaven and earth.
In the destiny of every moral being there is an object more worthy of God than happiness. It is character. And the grand aim of man's creation is the development of grand character - and grand character is, by its very nature, the product of probationary discipline.
Wisdom's task is to investigate all that nature has to show.
Programmes of a political nature are important and products of social quality that can be effective only if the underlying structure of social values is right. The social values are right only if the individual values are right. The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outside from there.
"Waste not, want not," is the law of nature.
It is not by running hither and thither outside of itself that the soul understands morality and right conduct: it learns them of its own nature, in its contact with itself, in its intellectual grasp of itself, seeing deeply impressed upon it the images of its primal state.
Conceit is to nature what paint is to beauty; it is not only needless, but it impairs what it would improve.
The measure of a man is not determined by his show of outward strength or the volume of his voice or the thunder of his action. It is to be seen rather in terms of the strength of his inner self in terms of the nature and depth of his commitments the sincerity of his purpose and his willingness to continue "growing up."
It is undoubtedly true that some people mistake sycophancy for good nature, but it is equally true that man more mistake impertinence for sincerity.
To start from self does not mean to be selfish. It means to start from premises based on human life and the rest of nature, rather than premises that are the artificial products of the Corporate State, such as power or status. It is not an ‘ego trip’ but a radical subjectivity designed to find genuine values in a world whose official values are false and distorted. It is not egocentricity, but honesty, wholeness, genuineness in all things. It starts from self because human life is found as individual units, not as corporations and institutions; its intent is to start from life.
Marriage is not a union merely between two creatures - it is a union between two spirits; and the intention of that bond is to perfect the nature of both, by supplementing their deficiencies with the force of contrast, giving to each sex those excellencies in which it is naturally deficient; to the one, strength of character and firmness of moral will; to the other, sympathy, meekness, tenderness; and just so solemn and glorious as these ends are for which the union was intended, just so terrible are the consequences if it be perverted and abused; for there is no earthly relationship which has so much power to ennoble and exalt.
Education comes to us from nature, from men, or from things. The inner growth of our organs and faculties is the education of nature, the use we learn to make of this growth is the education of men, what we gain by our experience of our surroundings is the education of things. Thus we are each taught by three masters. If their teaching conflicts, the scholar is ill-educated and will never be at peace with himself; if their teaching agrees, he goes straight to his goal, he lives at peace with himself, he is well-educated.
The fundamental principle of all morals, on the basis of which I have reasoned in all my writings... is that man is naturally good, loving justice and order; that there is absolutely no original perversity in the human heart, and that the first movements of nature are always right.