He who recognizes no higher logic than that of the shilling may become a very rich man, and yet remain a very poor creature, for riches are no proof of moral worth, and their glitter often serves only to draw attention to the worthlessness of their possessor, as the glowworm's light reveals the grub.
The wise men of old have sent most of their morality down to the stream of time in the light skiff of apothegm or epigram; and the proverbs of nations, which embody the common sense of nations, have the brisk concussion of the most sparkling wit.
In our thinking we must preserve an open and enquiring mind, an ability to see things through the eyes of our opponents, a skill for understanding the motives and thoughts of those whom we oppose. Yet we must act in the light of the best knowledge and reason available to us at the moment.
I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thought; a sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused, whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean of the living air, and the blue sky, and in the mind of man - a motion and a spirit, that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thought, and rolls through all things.
It is no advantage to be near the light if the eyes are closed.
For there are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely, by reasoning and experience. Reasoning draws a conclusion and makes us grant the conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, nor does it remove doubt so that the mind may rest on the intuition of truth, unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience; since many have the arguments relating to what can be known, but because they lack experience they neglect the arguments, and neither avoid what is harmful nor follow what is good. For if a man who has never seen fire should prove by adequate reasoning that fire burns and injures things and destroys them, his mind would not be satisfied thereby, nor would he avoid fire, until he placed his hand or some combustible substance in the fire, so that he might prove by experience that which reasoning taught. But when he has had actual experience of combustion his mind is made certain and rests in the full light of truth. Therefore reasoning does not suffice, but experience does.
There is the laughter which is born out of the pure joy of living, the spontaneous expression of health and energy - the secret laughter of the child. This is a gift of God. There is the warm laughter of the kindly soul which heartens the discouraged, gives health to the sick and comfort to the dying... There is, above all, the laughter that comes from the eternal joy of creation, the joy of making the world new, the joy of expressing the inner riches of the soul - laughter that triumphs over pain and hardship in the passion for an enduring ideal, the joy of bringing the light of happiness, of truth and beauty into a dark world. This is divine laughter par excellence.
Earnestness is the devotion of all the faculties. It is the cause of patience; gives endurance; overcome pain; strengthens weakness; braves dangers; sustains hope; make light of difficulties, and lessens the sense of weariness in overcoming them.
The mind in proportion as it is cut off from free communication with nature, with revelation, with God, with itself, loses its life, just as the body droops when debarred from the air and the cheering light from heaven.