You will be able to overcome desires without excessive difficulty when you become aware of their illusory nature. The pleasure of eating, for example, is really of very short duration. You feel the pleasure for only the short amount of time the food is in your mouth. As soon as you have swallowed the food, it is already forgotten... All physical pleasures are similar. Give the matter sufficient thought and you will realize that even the illusory good lasts only a short time. On the other hand, the negative consequences of physical pleasures can be severe and long lasting. A thinking person will definitely not want to place himself in a situation fraught with dangers for momentary pleasures. By habitually thinking about this truth, one will gradually be able to free himself from the prison of foolishly pursuing physical pleasures.
Propriety of thought and propriety of diction are commonly found together. Obscurity and affection are the two great faults of style. Obscurity of expression generally springs from confusion of ideas; and the same wish to dazzle, at any cost, which produces affection in the manner of a writer, is likely to produce sophistry in his reasoning.
Transiency is stamped on all our possessions, occupations, and delights. We have the hunger for eternity in our souls, the thought of eternity in our hearts, the destination for eternity written on our inmost being, and the need to ally ourselves with eternity proclaimed by the most short-lived trifles of time. Either these things will be the blessing or the curse of our lives. Which do you mean that they shall be for you?
The thought of eternity consoles for the shortness of life.
Our destiny changes with our thought; we shall become what we wish to become, do what we wish to do, when our habitual thought corresponds with our desire.
What keeps persons down in the world, besides lack of capacity, is not a philosophical contempt of riches or honors, but thoughtlessness and improvidence, a love of sluggish torpor, and of present gratification. It is not from preferring virtue to wealth - the goods of the mind to those of fortune - that they take no thought for the morrow; but from want of forethought and stern self-command. The restless, ambitious man too often directs these qualities to an unworthy object; the contented man is generally deficient in the qualities themselves. The one is a stream that flows too often in a wrong channel, and needs to have its course altered, the other is a stagnant pool.
Instead of a gem or a flower, cast the gift of a lovely thought into the heart of a friend.
Every duty brings its peculiar delight, every denial its appropriate compensation, every thought its recompense, every love its elysium, every cross its crown; pay goes with performance as effect with cause. Meanness overreaches itself; vice vitiates whoever indulges it; the wicked wrong their own souls; generosity greatens; virtue exalts; charity transfigures; and holiness is the essence of angelhood. God does not require us to live on credit; he pays us what we earn as we earn it, good or evil, heaven or hell, according to our choice.
If only man could be induced to laugh more they might hate less, and find more serenity here on earth. If they cannot worship together, or accept the same laws, or tolerate the wonderful diversity of thought and behavior and physique with which they have been blessed, at least they can laugh together.
He that hath slight thought of sin never had great thoughts of God.
One wise thought is better than many hands.
What thin partitions sense from thought divide.
The habit of dissipating every serious thought by a succession of agreeable sensations is as fatal to happiness as to virtue; for when amusement is uniformly substituted for objects of moral and mental interest, we lose all that elevates our enjoyments above the scale of childish pleasures.
It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are.
The fountain of beauty is the heart, and every generous thought illustrates the walls of your chamber. If virtue accompanies beauty it is the heart's paradise; if vice be associate with it, it is the soul's purgatory. It is the wise man's bonfire, and the fools furnace.
If you direct your whole thought to work itself, none of the things which invade eyes or ears will reach the mind.
Freedom means mastery of your world. Fear and greed are common sources of bondage. We are afraid, beset by anxiety. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. We seem so helpless over against the forces that move now without apparent thought for men. And our inner freedom is destroyed by greed. We think that if we only had enough goods we should be free, happy, without care. And so there comes the lust for money, and slavery to the world of things. The world can enslave; it can never make us free.
It is a delightful thought that, during the familiarity of constant proximity, the heart gathers up in silence the nutriment of love, as the diamond, even beneath the water, imbibes the light it emits. Time, which deadens hatred, secretly strengthens love.
Too often we fix our minds almost entirely upon what we are going to get and give no thought at all as to what we are going to give in return.
Both in thought and feeling, even though time is real, to realize the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.