Self-sacrifice

Self-preservation is the first law of nature; self-sacrifice the highest rule of grace.

Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing.

It is not by reason, but most often in spite of it, that area created those sentiments that are the mainsprings of all civilization – sentiments such as honor, self-sacrifice, religious faith, patriotism, and the love of glory.

The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities. Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith.

Sentiment and nobility and love are immortal... Tenderness and loyalty, and patience, and self-sacrifice, and devotion to duty - these are life’s natural aspirations.

Self-sacrifice is the real miracle out of which all reported miracles grow.

Loyalty means nothing unless it has at its heart the absolute principle of self-sacrifice.

Happiness is a rebound from hard work. One of the follies of man is to assume that he can enjoy mere emotion. As well try to eat beauty. Happiness must be tricked. She loves to see men work. She loves sweat, weariness, self-sacrifice. She will not be found in the palaces, but lurking in cornfields and factories, and hovering over littered desks. She crowns the unconscious head of the busy child.

'Every man has a price.' This is not true. but for every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. To win over certain people to something, it is only necessary to give it a gloss of love of humanity, nobility, gentleness, self-sacrifice - and there is nothing you cannot get them to swallow. To their souls, these are the icing, the tidbit: other kinds of soul have others.

For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice - no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.

Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.

Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery.
Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacriice.
The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of love.

When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing –
When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – When you see that men
get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them
against you – When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – You may
know that your society is doomed.

Light was the symbol I tried to give them...The Cross was the symbol they adopted. The pain of self-sacrifice was obvious to them. The subjective reward--incomprehensible. Thus they changed it all. I told them of many mansions. They chose this mansion or that--scoured each other off the earth, to set one heaven in place of the heaven of those they defeated. Holy wars! Is such a thing conceivable to God as a holy war? Alas. The words--the images--the effort is still uncomprehended. I said Light. I said truth. I said Freedom. I meant enlightenment. Yet nearly every church that uses my name is a wall against light and a rampart against enlightenment, using fear, not love, to chain the generations in terror and pain and ignorance . . . And now--this is called civilization, and in my name, also!

Is Humanism a religion, perhaps, the next great religion? Yes, it must be so characterized, for the word, religion, has become a symbol for answers to that basic interrogation of human life, the human situation, and the nature of things---which every human being, in some degree and in some fashion, makes. What can I expect from life? What kind of universe is it? Is there, as some say, a friendly Providence in control of it? And, if not, what then? The universe of discourse of religion consists of such questions, and the answers relevant to them. Christian theism and Vedantic mysticism are but historic frameworks in relation to which answers have in the past been given to these poignant and persistent queries. But there is nothing sacrosanct and self-certifying about these frameworks. What Humanism represents is the awareness of another framework, more consonant with wider and deeper knowledge about man and his world. The Humanist movement is engaged in formulating answers, with what wisdom it can achieve, to these basic questions. It would be absurd to expect complete novelty in either framework or answers. Many people throughout the ages have had a shrewd suspicion that established beliefs were insecurely based. Humanism at its best represents a growth and a maturing of its perspective...I fear that the orthodox idea of religion is something static and given---once for all. The Humanist thinks of his answers as responsible ones, that is, responsible to the best thought and knowledge on the subjects involved. He [they are] is always ready for honest debate... I want to contrast the perspective of Humanism with that of traditional rationalism...There is no Humanist who does not appreciate with respect and admiration the moving story of the Gospels. Seen as one of the culminations of Judaism in the setting of the Roman Empire, it speaks to us of nobility of soul, human love, pity, and comradeship; and this among everyday people fired by moral and religious leadership of high quality. The heroic and the earthly touch meet, and mingle; and so it has been ever since... What have the intervening centuries made possible? The gradual disentangling of ethical principle and example from both the early framework of belief and the later ecclesiastical development of power and dogma which supervened. But the notes of love and self-sacrifice remain as perennial chords. This also, is greatly human. The older rationalism was on the defensive. And so it expressed itself too often in negative terms: not this; not that; not God; not revelation; not personal immortality. What Humanism signified was a shift from negation to construction. There came a time when naturalism no longer felt on the defensive. Rather, supernaturalism began, it its eyes, to grow dim and fade out despite all the blustering and rationalizations of its advocates.

Human child birth is an act which transforms the woman into an almost lifeless, bloodstained heap of flesh, tortured, tormented and driven frantic by pain.

The great Sufi poet and philosopher Rumi once advised his students to write down the three things they most wanted in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness. Better to live a life of single-pointed focus, he taught. But what about the benefits of living harmoniously among extremes? What if you could somehow create an expansive enough life that you could synchronize seemingly incongruous opposites into a worldview that excludes nothing?

Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another.