Obligation

According to the Zen tradition, all beings have the wisdom and virtue of the fully enlightened one. But because of their distorted views, they don’t realize this fact.

Finally, it would be a master stroke if those great powers honestly bent on peace would form a League of Peace, not only to keep the peace among themselves, but to prevent, by force if necessary, its being broken by others. The supreme difficulty in connection with developing the peace work of The Hague arises from the lack of any executive power, of any police power to enforce the decrees of the court. In any community of any size the authority of the courts rests upon actual or potential force: on the existence of a police, or on the knowledge that the able-bodied men of the country are both ready and willing to see that the decrees of judicial and legislative bodies are put into effect.

By the very constitution of our nature moral evil is its own curse.

For such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned, yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves, for they see their own wit at hand, and other men's at a distance. But this proveth rather that men are in that point equal, than unequal. For there is not ordinarily a greater sign of the equal distribution of anything than that every man is contented with his share.

Men condemne the same things in others, which they approve in themselves; on the other side, they publickly commend what they privately condemne; and they deliver their Opinions more by Hear-say, than any Speculation of their own; and they accord more through hatred of some object, through fear, hope, love, or some other perturbation of mind, than true Reason. And therefore it comes to passe, that whole Bodyes of people often doe those things by Generall accord, or Contention, which those Writers most willingly acknowledge to be against the Law of Nature.

The only way to erect such a common power, as may be able to defend them from the invasion of foreigners, and the injuries of one another, and thereby to secure them in such sort as that by their own industry and by the fruits of the earth they may nourish themselves and live contentedly, is to confer all their power and strength upon one man, or upon one assembly of men, that may reduce all their wills, by plurality of voices, unto one will: which is as much as to say, to appoint one man, or assembly of men, to bear their person; and every one to own and acknowledge himself to be author of whatsoever he that so beareth their person shall act, or cause to be acted, in those things which concern the common peace and safety; and therein to submit their wills, everyone to his will, and their judgments to his judgment.

Self-love is no part of morality. Indeed it is exactly its counterpart. It is the sole antagonist of virtue leading us constantly by our propensities to self-gratification in violation of our moral duties to others.

First of all, although men have a common destiny, each individual also has to work out his own personal salvation for himself in fear and trembling. We can help one another to find the meaning of life no doubt. But in the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for "finding himself." If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence. You cannot tell me who I am and I cannot tell you who you are. If you do not know your own identity, who is going to identify you?

If a writer is so cautious that he never writes anything that cannot be criticized, he will never be able to write anything that can be read. If you want to help other people you have got to make up your mind to write things that some men will condemn.

Build your house on granite. By granite I mean your nature that you are torturing to death, the love in your child's body, your wife's dream of love, your own dream of life when you were sixteen. Exchange your illusions for a bit of truth. Throw out your politicians and diplomats! Take your destiny into your own hands and build your life on rock. Forget about your neighbor and look inside yourself! Your neighbor, too, will be grateful. Tell you're fellow workers all over the world that you're no longer willing to work for death but only for life. Instead of flocking to executions and shouting hurrah, hurrah, make a law for the protection of human life and its blessings. Such a law will be part of the granite foundation your house rests on. Protect your small children's love against the assaults of lascivious, frustrated men and women. Stop the mouth of the malignant old maid; expose her publicly or send her to a reform school instead of young people who are longing for love. Don;t try to outdo your exploiter in exploitation if you have a chance to become a boss. Throw away your swallowtails and top hat, and stop applying for a license to embrace your woman. Join forces with your kind in all countries; they are like you, for better or worse. Let your child grow up as nature (or 'God') intended. Don't try to improve on nature. Learn to understand it and protect it. Go to the library instead of the prize fight, go to foreign countries rather than to Coney Island. And first and foremost, think straight, trust the quiet inner voice inside you that tells you what to do. You hold your life in your hands, don't entrust it to anyone else, least of all to your chosen leaders. BE YOURSELF! Any number of great men have told you that.

If you are unwell, don't ask to be healed, instead ask to be restored to that perfection from which you emanated.

Remember that any time you're filled with resentment, you're turning the controls of your emotional life over to others to manipulate.

It is possible, I think, to say that... agriculture formed upon the understanding that it is sinful for people to misuse or destroy what they did not make. The Creation is a unique, irreplaceable gift, therefore to be used with humility, respect, and skill.

Perhaps, to the uninformed, it may appear unaccountable that a man should be able to retain in his memory such a variety of learning; but the close alliance with each other, of the different branches of science, will explain the difficulty.

The hypocritical and the greedy are struck down; the Messenger of Death punishes them with his club. O camel-like mind, you are my breath of life; rid yourself of the pollution of hypocrisy and doubt.

Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness a more humane society will not emerge.

Nothing was ever done so systematically as nothing is being done now.

Nature reserves the right to inflict upon her children the most terrifying jests.

We learn how to close the gap between what we are and what we could become. But what if we are yet to identify what we could become? Frankl noted that the modern person has almost too much freedom to deal with. We no longer live through instinct, but tradition is no guide either. This is the existential vacuum, in which the frustrated will to meaning is compensated for in the urge for money, sex, entertainment, even violence. We are not open to the various sources of meaning, which according to Frankl are: 1 Creating a work or doing a deed. 2 Experiencing something or encountering someone (love). 3. The attitude we take to unavoidable suffering.