Let us cherish sympathy. By attention and exercise it may be improved in every man. It prepares the mind for receiving the impressions of virtue; and without it there can be no true politeness. Nothing is more odious than that insensibility which wraps a man up in himself and his own concerns, and prevents his being moved with either the joys or the sorrows of another.
Whoever sets out to persuade men to accept a new idea, or one which seems to be new, not just as an idea, but as a truth that is felt, should know beforehand that the human mind is not a blank sheet, on which one an write with ease, and should not therefore grieve or despair when he finds that people do not pay attention to him.
He is the wisest and happiest man who, by constant attention of thought discovers the greatest opportunity of doing good, and breaks through every opposition that he may improve these opportunities.
There are two principal points of attention necessary for the preservation of this constant spirit of prayer which unites us with God; we must continually seek to cherish it, and we must avoid everything that tends to make us lose it.
Habit has great power. We can become used to almost everything. We can become so used to a life of suffering that we are no longer aware that our suffering is not the way life should be lived. This tendency to lack a feeling of suffering is the biggest obstacle to becoming elevated through suffering. Since we do not feel the suffering, we do not pay attention to it and do not hear its message.. To overcome this, we must obtain an awareness that whenever things are not as they should be it is a message that we should improve ourselves in some area.
There are usually no benefits from becoming angry at others. Your anger does not help you and the subject of your anger usually pays less attention to what you are saying than if you would have said it tactfully and patiently. Becoming angry merely causes harm to your health and makes you feel miserable.
When, in our pain, we turn our attention to life’s purpose, we take up pain as a thread through the labyrinth... But when we deny pain, we are denying life itself. When we flee from pain that we cannot escape, we are fleeing from an opportunity to grow.
The Divine Mind communicates with the human mind through the imagination. A prayer, therefore, should be offered in the form of a mental image. Man must visualize the thing he desires, he must use his imaginative powers to form his petition in terms clearly outlined in his own mind. The profound concentration of attention and thought which this form of prayer requires fills also the heart with deep earnestness and devotion. Man must pray whole-heartedly as well as wholemindedly; he must believe in his heart that his well-being depends completely upon his prayer.
It would truly be a fine thing if men suffered themselves to be guided by reason, that they should acquiesce in the true remonstrances addressed to them by the writings of the learned and the advice of friends. But the greater part are so disposed that the words which enter by one ear do incontinently go out of the other, and begin again by following the custom. The best teacher one can have is necessity.
By watching yourself in your daily life with alert interest, with the intention to understand rather than to judge, in full acceptance of whatever may emerge, because it is there, you encourage the deep to come to the surface and enrich your life and consciousness with its captive energies. This is the great work of awareness; it removes obstacles and releases energies by understanding the nature of life and mind. Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence.