In the hour of death the only adequate consolation is that one has not evaded life, but has endured it. What a man shall accomplish or not accomplish, does not lie in his power to decide; he is not the One who will guide the world; he has only to obey... The point consists precisely in loving his neighbor, or, what is essentially the same thing, in living equally for every man. Every other point of view is a contentious one, however advantageous and comfortable and apparently significant this position may be... yet in the hour of death, he will confidently dare say to his soul: “I have done my best; whether I have accomplished anything, I do not know; whether I have helped anyone, I do not know; but that I have lived for them, that I do know, and I know it from the fact that they insulted me. And this is my consolation, that I shall not have to take the secret with me to the grave, that I, in order to have good and undisturbed and comfortable days in life, have denied my kinship to other men, kinship with the poor, in order to live in aristocratic seclusion, or with the distinguished, in order to live in secret obscurity.
Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
Power should not be concentrated in the hands of so few, and powerlessness in the hands of so many.
Those who speak ill of me are really my good friends. When, being slandered, I cherish neither enmity nor preference. There grows within me the power of love and humility, which is born of the Unborn.
Every desire for power, ability, wisdom, harmony, life, greatness will impress itself upon the subconscious and will cause the thing desired to be produced in the great within. What is produced in the within will come forth into expression in the personality; therefore, by knowing how to impress the subconscious, man may give his personal self any quality desired, in any quantity desired. What man may desire to become, that he can become, and the art of directing and impressing the subconscious is the secret. The perpetual awakening of the great within will produce a greatness, because to the powers and the possibilities of the great within there is no limit, neither is there any end.
The superstition in which we were brought up never loses its power over us, even after we understand it.
It is not the truth which a man possesses, or believes he possesses, but the earnest effort which he puts forth to reach the truth, which constitutes the worth of a man. For it is not by the possession, by the search after truth that he enlarges his power, wherein alone consists his ever-increasing perfection. Possession makes one content, indolent, proud.
We hold the power and bear the responsibility.
All the Actions, that we have any Idea of, reducing themselves, as has been said, to these two, viz. Thinking and Motion, so far as a Man has a power to think, or not to think; to move or not to move, according to the preference or direction of his own mind, so far is a Man Free. Wherever any performance or forbearance are not equally in a Man’s power; wherever doing or not doing, will not equally follow upon the preference of his mind directing it, there he is not Free, though perhaps the Action may be voluntary.
All virtue lies in a power of denying our own desires where reason does not authorize them.
The most precious of all possessions, is power over ourselves; power to withstand trial, to bear suffering, to front danger; power over pleasure and pain; power to follow convictions, however resisted by menace and scorn; the power of calm reliance in scenes of darkness an storms. He that has not a mastery over his inclinations; he that knows not how to resist the importunity of present pleasure or pain, for the sake of what reason tells him is fit to be done, wants the true principle of virtue and industry, and is in danger of never being good for anything.
The greater your real strength and power, the quieter it will be exercised.
Power is regarded by all men as the greatest of temporal advantages. The support given to Power, therefore, is an obligation; and, consequently, the protection given by governors to subjects, a positive duty.
Ability involves responsibility. Power to its last particle is duty.
Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison to the second. By that law of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal. This implies a strong and constantly operating check on population from the difficulty of subsistence. This difficulty must fall somewhere and must necessarily be severely felt by a large portion of mankind.
Poetry is enthusiasm with wings of fire; it is the angel of high thoughts, that inspires us with the power of sacrifice.
It is not enough to begin; continuance is necessary. Mere enrollment will not make one scholar; the pupil must continue in the school through the long course, until he masters every branch. Success depends upon staying power. The reason for failure in most cases is lack of perseverance.
Custom is a violent and treacherous school mistress. She, by little and little, slyly and unperceived, slips in the foot of her authority; but having by this gentle and humble beginning, with the benefit of time, fixed and established it, she then unmasks a furious and tyrannic countenance, against which we have no more the courage or the power so much as to lift up our eyes.
In truth, knowledge is a great and very useful quality; those who despise it give evidence enough of their stupidity. But yet I do not set its value at that extreme measure that some attribute to it, like Herillus the philosopher, who placed in it the sovereign good, and held that it was in its power to make us wise and content. That I do not believe, nor what others have said, that knowledge is the mother of all virtue, and all vice is produced by ignorance. If that is true, it is subject to a long interpretation.
Other passions have objects to flatter the, and seem to content and satisfy them for a while; there is power in ambition, pleasure in luxury, and pelf in covetousness; but envy can gain nothing but vexation.