Tragedy

O that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! that we should with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!

O, my oblivion is a very Antony, and I am all forgotten.

Small things make base men proud.

A great poet has seldom sung of lawfully wedded happiness, but of free and secret love; and in this respect, too the time is coming when there will no longer be one standard of morality for poetry and another for life. To anyone tender of conscience, the ties formed by a free connection are stronger than the legal ones.

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.

The higher mental development of woman, the less possible it is for her to meet a congenial male who will see in her, not only sex, but also the human being, the friend, the comrade and strong individuality, who cannot and ought not lose a single trait of her character.

The Key Of Destiny - There are a few great laws that govern all thinking, just as there are a few fundamental laws in chemistry, in physics, and in mechanics, for example. We know that thought control is the Key of Destiny, and in order to learn thought control we have to know and understand these laws, just as the chemist has to understand the laws of chemistry, and the electrician has to know the laws of electricity. One of the great mental laws is the Law of Substitution. This means that the only way to get rid of a certain thought is to substitute another one for it. You cannot dismiss a thought directly. You can do so only by substituting another one for it. On the physical plane this is not the case. You can drop a book or a stone by simply opening your hand and letting it go; but with thought this will not work. If you want to dismiss a negative thought, the only way to do so is to think of something positive and constructive. It is as though in order, let us say, to drop a pencil, it were necessary to put a pen or a book or a stone into your hand, when the pencil would fall away. If I say to you, "Do not think ofthe Statue of Liberty," of course, you immediately think of it. If you say, "I am not going to think of the Statue of Liberty," that is thinking of it. But now, having thought of it, if you become interested in something else, say, by turning on the radio, you forget all about the Statue of Liberty - and this is a case of substitution. It sometimes happens that negative thoughts seem to besiege you in such force that you cannot overcome them. That is what is called a fit of depression, or a fit of worry, or perhaps even a fit of anger. In such a case the best thing is to go and find someone to talk to on any subject, or to go to a good movie or play, or read an interesting book, say a good novel or biography or travel book, or something of the kind. If you sit down to fight the negative tide you will probably succeed only in amplifying it. Turn your attention to something quite different, refusing steadfastly to think of or rehearse the difficulty, and, later on, after you have completely gotten away from it, you can come back with confidence and handle it by spiritual treatment.

There is the type of man who has great contempt for "im­mediacy," who tries to cultivate his interiority, base his pride on something deeper and inner, create a distance between himself and the average man. Kierkegaard calls this type of man the "introvert." He is a little more concerned with what it means to be a person, with individuality and uniqueness. He enjoys solitude and with­draws periodically to reflect, perhaps to nurse ideas about his secret self, what it might be. This, after all is said and done, is the only real problem of life, the only worthwhile preoccupation of man: What is one's true talent, his secret gift, his authentic vocation? In what way is one truly unique, and how can he express this unique­ness, give it form, dedicate it to something beyond himself? How can the person take his private inner being, the great mystery that he feels at the heart of himself, his emotions, his yearnings and use them to live more distinctively, to enrich both himself and man­kind with the peculiar quality of his talent? In adolescence, most of us throb with this dilemma, expressing it either with words and thoughts or with simple numb pain and longing. But usually life suck us up into standardized activities. The social hero-system into which we are born marks out paths for our heroism, paths to which we conform, to which we shape ourselves so that we can please others, become what they expect us to be. And instead of working our inner secret we gradually cover it over and forget it, while we become purely external men, playing successfully the standardized hero-game into which we happen to fall by accident, by family connection, by reflex patriotism, or by the simple need to eat and the urge to procreate.

Song in the Manner of Housman: O woe, woe, people are born and die, we also shall be dead pretty soon therefore let us act as if we were dead already. The bird sits on the hawthorn tree but he dies also, presently. Some lads get hung, and some get shot. Woeful is this human lot. Woe! woe, etcetera... London is a woeful place, Shropshire is much pleasanter. Then let us smile a little space upon fond nature's morbid grace. Oh, Woe, woe, woe, etcetera...

There is natural ignorance and there is artificial ignorance. I should say at the present moment the artificial ignorance is about eighty-five per cent.