What is a miracle? The natural law of a unique event.
One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.
There is no such thing as an average man. Each one of us is a unique individual. Each one of us expresses his humanity and his divinity in some distinctly different way. The beauty and the bloom of each human soul is a thing apart - a separate holy miracle under God, never once repeated throughout all the millenniums of time.
Love at its highest point - love, sublime, unique, invincible - leads us straight to the brink of the great abyss, for it speaks to us directly of the infinite and of eternity. It is eminently religious.
Love rests on the preservation of our species; art is our instinctive instrument for the preservation of the individual, of the unique man, woman and child, and the means of evolution of us all into something able and worthy of survival on the living earth.
To truly serve, purpose must be connected to our unique authenticity. That is why money cannot serve as our purpose. It can be a goal, but not a purpose.
Although the universe dwarfs man by its size and power, yet he can rest secure in the unique gift of spirit wherewith he can observe and discuss it all.
Men wiser and more learned than I have discerned in history a plot, a rhythm, a predetermined pattern. These harmonies are concealed from me. I can see only one emergency following upon another as wave follows upon wave, only one great fact with respect to which, since it is unique, there can be no generalizations, only one safe rule for the historian: that they should recognize in the development of human destinies the play of the contingent and the unforeseen.
Prayer is an expression of man’s inner yearning for a response in the awful silence of the universe. It is a unique process of discovery whereby the searching ego affirms itself in the very moment of self-negation, and thus discovers its own worth and justification as a dynamic factor in the life of the universe.
It takes courage to experience the freedom that comes with autonomy, courage to accept intimacy and directly encounter other persons, courage to take a stand in an unpopular cause, courage to choose authenticity over approval and to choose it again and again, courage to accept the responsibility for your own choices, and, indeed, courage to be the unique person you really are.
As painful as shame is, it does seem to be the guardian of many of the secret, unexplored aspects of our beings. Repressed shame must be experienced if we are to come to terms with the good, the bad, and the unique of what we are.
An individual does not comprehend his or her self as a linear sequence – a succession of roles or a trajectory of “socialize” beings, learning and then acting out (or deviating from) a set of socially appropriate rules of behavior. Moreover, identity in old age is not merely the sum of the parts, whether roles, achievements, losses, or social norms. Instead, people dynamically integrate a wide range of experience – unique situations, structural forces, values, cultural pathways, knowledge of an entire life span – to construct a current and viable identity.
Man is unique in that he knows nothing. He can learn nothing without being taught. He can neither speak nor walk nor eat, in fact he can do nothing by natural instinct alone except weep.
The present is always unique, never a mere exemplification of general formulas. It carries an irreducible preciousness, a freight of meaning greater than the general essence which later on knowledge can abstract from it.
The roots of ultimate insights are found not on the level of discursive thinking, but on the level of wonder and radical amazement, in the depth of awe, in our sensitivity to the mystery, in our awareness of the ineffable. It is the level on which the great things happen to the soul, where the unique insights of art, religion, and philosophy come into being.
Because God is One, all our lives have various and unique places in the harmony of the divine life. And because God attains and wins and finds this uniqueness, all our lives win in our union with him the individuality which is essential to their true meaning.
So far as we live and strive at all, our lives are various, are needed for the whole, and are unique. No one of our lives can be substituted for another; no one of us finite beings can take another’s place. And all of this is true just because the Universe is one significant whole.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
A wonderful realization will be the day you realize that you are unique in all the world. There is nothing that is an accident. You are a special combination for a purpose-and don't let them tell you otherwise, even if they tell you that purpose is an illusion. (Live an illusion if you have to). You are that combination so that you can do what is essential for you to do. Don't ever believe that you have nothing to contribute. The world is an incredible unfulfilled tapestry. And only you can fulfill that tiny space that is yours.
[Plato's ideal society] guarantees to all people the right to an education that diagnoses and perfects their unique talents, plus a work role that conveys a sense of self-esteem, saving them from the neuroses of megalomania and the lust for power. It forbids privilege and sexism and all other criteria irrelevant to merit. It eliminates conflict of interest from those who hold office and gives the masses a potent checklist they can use to hold their rulers to account. Best of all, it eliminates all traces of "might makes right" and serves as a pattern laid up in heaven to rank actual societies in terms of what corrupts them. Society becomes more corrupt as the struggle for power becomes more brutal.