To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.
The vital force in business life is the honest desire to serve. Business, it is said, is the science of service. He profits most who serves best. At the very bottom of the wish to render service must be honesty of purpose, and, as I go along through life, I see more and more that honesty in word, thought, and work means success. It spells a life worth living and in business clean success.
Art and science create a balance to material life and enlarge the world of living experience. Art leads to a more profound concept of life, because art itself is a profound expression of feeling.
Moral philosophy is nothing else but the science of what is good and evil in the conversation and society of mankind. God and evil are names that signify our appetites and aversions, which in different tempers, customs and doctrines of men are different.
Mortifications have their reward in a state of consciousness that corresponds, on a lower level, to spiritual beatitude. The artist - and the philosopher and the man of science are also artists - knows the bliss of aesthetic contemplation, discovery and non-attached possession. The goods of the intellect, the emotions and the imagination are real goods; but they are not the final good, and when we treat them as ends in themselves, we fall into idolatry. Mortification of will, desire and action is not enough; there must also be mortification in the fields of knowing, thinking feeling and fancying.
We may, if we like, by our reasonings unwind things to that black and jointless continuity of space and moving clouds of swarming atoms which science calls the only real world. But all the while the world we feel and live in will be that which our ancestors and we, by slowly cumulative strokes of choice, have extricated out of this, like sculptors, by simply rejecting certain portion of the given stuff. Other sculptors, other statues from the same stone! Other minds, other worlds from the same monotonous and inexpressive chaos! My world is but one in a million alike embedded, alike real to those who may abstract them.
Both the saint and the scientist must possess the same qualities in order to attain their ideals. But these qualities are selfless devotion, a meticulous love of truth, infinite patience, thoroughness, and a depth of mind which does not resent criticism. Without these qualities neither of the two can reach his goal. It is my firm belief that the goal which both science and religion reach by different routes is one and the same.
New ideas have a hard time in science. They tend to be suppressed by arrogance - condemnation by acknowledged leaders in the field... Dogmatism restrains, iconoclasm liberates. Vanity, powermongering, avariciousness, pride, dedication, love, industry, sadism and most other attributes of people apply to science and to scientists as well.
The man who is a drunkard has no intellectual freedom. Science declares that alcohol seeks the intellectual faculties, clogs the brain cells, distorts the reason, vitiates the mind, shatters the nerve centres, and he who is diseased with inebriety cannot enjoy intellectual freedom.
If we crave for the goal that is worthy and fitting for man, namely, happiness of life - and this is accomplished by philosophy alone and by nothing else, and philosophy, as I said, means for us desire for wisdom, and wisdom the science of truth in things, and of things some are properly so called, others merely share the name - it is reasonable and most necessary to distinguish and systematize the accidental qualities of things.
Courtesy is a science of the highest importance. It is, like grace and beauty in the body, which charm at first sight, and lend on to further intimacy and friendship, opening a door that we may derive instruction from the example of others, and at the same time enabling us to benefit them by our example, if there by anything in our character worthy of imitation.