The human soul is hospitable, and will entertain conflicting sentiments and contradictory opinions with much impartiality.
When your property or possessions sustain some damage or loss, work on yourself to accept the Almighty’s judgment with love. Realize you were born without any belongings and you will eventually leave the world without belongings. You need not identify with your possessions since they are not an integral part of you.
If you are angry at someone, try to avoid looking at him while you are angry and you will calm down much faster.
Set aside an amount of money that you will give away if you become angry. Be sure it is a sufficient amount of money to make you think twice before becoming angry.
When a person feels sad because someone did not show him respect or give him approval, he can say to himself, “What will I really gain if this person does show me respect or does approve of me? What do I really lose by his insulting me?” The answer is: Nothing! Both honor and humiliation are very temporary states, and rarely make practical differences in our lives. So why upset yourself because someone failed to honor you? If a person will internalize the truth of this concept, he will never feel sad about lack of honor or approval.
The pang that wrings the heart to-day, time’s touch will heal to-morrow.
Death stamps the characters and conditions of men for eternity. As death finds them in this world, so will they be in the next.
Freedom does not consist in the dream of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives or systematically making them work towards definite ends. This holds good in relation both to the laws of external nature and to those which govern the bodily and mental existence of men themselves - two classes of laws which we can separate from each other at most only in thought but not in reality. Freedom of the will therefore means nothing but the capacity to make decisions with knowledge of the subject.
The freer a man’s judgment is in relation to a definite question, the greater is the necessity with which the content of this judgment will be determined; while the uncertainty, founded on ignorance, which seems to make an arbitrary choice among many different and conflicting possible decisions, shows precisely by this that it is not free, that it is controlled by the very object it should itself control. Freedom therefore consists in the control over ourselves and over external nature, an control founded on knowledge of natural necessity; it is therefore necessarily a product of historical development.
Inside the souls of wealthy men bleak famine lives while minds of stature struggle trapped in starving bodies. How then can man distinguish man, what test can he use? The test of wealth? That measure means poverty of mind; of poverty? The pauper owns one thing, the sickness of his condition, a compelling teacher of evil; by nerve in war? Yet who, when a spear is cast across his face, will stand to witness his companion’s courage? We can only toss our judgments random on the wind.
The great scientific discoveries of the past hundred years have been as child's play compared with the titanic forces that will be released when man applies himself to the understanding and mastery of his own nature.
A man knows how to mix pleasures with business, is never entirely possessed by them; he either quits or resumes them at his will; and in the use he makes of them he rather finds a relaxation of mind than a dangerous charm that might corrupt him.
The surest method of arriving at a knowledge of God's eternal purposes about us is to be found in the right use of the present moment. Each hour comes with some little faggot of God's will fastened upon its back.
There is a great deal of self-will in the world, but very little genuine independence of character.
If you adorn yourself with the highest virtue, the whole world will follow you.
No man can expect to find a friend without faults; nor can he propose himself to be so to another. Without reciprocal mildness and temperance there can be no continuance of friendship. Every man will have something to do for his friend, and something to bear with in him. The sober man only can do the first; and for the latter, patience is requisite. It is better for a man to depend on himself than to be annoyed with either a madman or a fool.
Perfection is immutable. But for things imperfect, change is the way to perfect them. It gets the name of willfulness when it will not admit of a lawful change to the better. Therefore constancy without knowledge cannot be always good. In things ill it is not virtue, but an absolute vice.
Knowledge will not be acquired without pains and application. It is troublesome and deep digging for pure waters; but when once you come to the spring, they rise up and meet you.
Faults will turn to good, provided we use them to our own humiliation, without slackening in the effort to correct ourselves. Discouragement serves no possible purpose; it is simply the despair of wounded self-love. The real way of profiting by the humiliation of one’s own faults is to face them in their true hideousness, without ceasing to hope in God, while hoping nothing from self.
It is only in beholding and loving God that we can learn forgetfulness of self, measure duly the nothingness which has dazzled us, and accustom ourselves thankfully to decrease beneath that great Majesty which absorbs all things. Love God and you will be humble; love God and you will throw off the love of self; love God and you will love all that He gives you to love for love of Him.