Necessity

Discontent is the first necessity of progress.

Granted that ritual in any realm from courtesy to worship can become formal, empty, and stiff. Nevertheless, with all its dangers it is an absolute necessity. We cannot… train children in the spirit of religion if the appropriate activities of worship and devotion are forgotten.

The inability to act spontaneously, to express what one genuinely feels and thinks, and the resulting necessity to present a pseudo-self to others and oneself, are the root of the feeling of inferiority and weakness.

The purpose of life is undoubtedly to know oneself. We cannot do it unless we learn to identify ourselves with all that lives. The sum total of that life is God. Hence the necessity of realizing God living within every one of us… The instrument of this knowledge is boundless, selfless service.

There’s a moment when the choice to act moves beyond a discussion of motives, for even an awareness of our own motives can become a form of necessity that lets our responsibility off the hook. And the moment of faith is a moment when no part of us is excused. With no ifs, no buts, no conditions, no escape clauses, all we are is challenged to rise to the choice and shoulder the responsibility for our answer.

Responsibility, not to a superior, but to one’s conscience, the awareness of a duty not exacted by compulsion, the necessity to decide which of the things one values are to be sacrificed to others, and to beat the consequences of one’s own decision, are the very essence of any morals which deserve the name.

Death is the radical refutation of man’s power and a stark reminder of the necessity to relate to a meaning which lies beyond the dimension of human time. Humanity without death would be arrogance without end. Nobility has its root in humanity, and humanity derived much of its power from the thought of death.

Morals is its own religion, exercises its own authority, and feels its own necessity.

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity.

Without necessity nothing budges, the human personality least of all. It is tremendously conservative, not to say torpid. Only acute necessity is able to rouse it. The developing personality obeys no caprice, no command, no insight, only brute necessity.

Joy is a constituent of life, a necessity of life; it is an element of life’s value and life’s power. As every man has need of joy, so too, every man has a right to joy… It is a condition of religious living.

Weapons are tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the utmost restraint. Peace is the highest value.

While the right to talk may be the beginning of freedom, the necessity of listening is what makes the right important.

The necessity of establishing some form of government [is] to supply the defect of moral virtue.

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

We have not so much the privilege of intelligence, viewed as something above and against nonhuman nature, but the responsibility and necessity to convert our intelligence to the earth. We need to learn how to use intelligence to mend the distortions we have created and how to convert intelligence into an instrument that can cultivate the harmonies and balances of the ecological community and bring these to a refinement.

As for the necessity of coining new names for God, it is incomprehensible that philosophy and civilization can be enriched by ceasing to think of God as Life, Truth, Beauty, and Love, and beginning to think of Him as a blind and whirling space-time configuration dancing dizzily in an Einstein universe, plunging forward along a path of which He is ignorant, toward a goal of which He knows nothing whatever.

The very idea of redemption implies a spiritual necessity.

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure. I believe that restlessness is discontent, and discontent is merely the first necessity of progress.

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.