Benevolence is not in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth. It is a business with men as they are, and with human life as drawn by the rough hand of experience. It is a duty which you must perform at the call of principle; though there be no voice of eloquence to give splendor to your exertions, and no music of poetry to lead your willing footsteps through the bowers of enchantment. It is not the impulse of high and ecstatic emotion. It is an exertion of principle. :You must go to the poor man’s cottage, though no verdure flourish around it, the gentleness of its murmurs. If you look for the romantic simplicity of fiction you will be disappointed; but it is your duty to persevere in spite of every discouragement. Benevolence is not merely a feeling but a principle; not a dream of rapture for the fancy to indulge in, but a business for the hand to execute.
It is not solutions that make ideas attractive. It is unsolved possibilities.
Art is a staple of mankind - never a by-product of elitism. So urgent, so utterly linked with the pulse of feeling that it becomes the singular sing of life when every other aspect of civilization fails... Like hunger and sex, it is a disposition of the human cell - a marvelous fiction of the brain which recreates itself as something as mysterious as mind. Art is consistent with every aspect of every day in the life of every people.
Nothing is more free than the imagination of man; and though it cannot exceed that original stock of ideas furnished by the internal and external senses, it has unlimited power of mixing, compounding, separating, and dividing these ideas, in all the varieties of fiction and vision. It can feign a train of events, with all the appearance of reality, ascribe to them a particular time and place, conceive them as existent, and paint them out of itself with every circumstance, that belongs to any historical fact, which it believes with the greatest certainty.
Truth is the most powerful thing in the world, since even fiction itself must be governed by it, an can only please by its resemblance. The appearance of reality is necessary to make any passion agreeably represented, and to be able to move others we must be moved ourselves, or at least seem to be so, upon some probably grounds.
The degradation of our society today stems mainly from the lack of awareness of what is within us. Being ignorant of our true nature, we seek external solutions to the problems rooted within. In our search for security and prosperity we have abandoned ourselves and are constantly drifting away from human values and virtues.
Poverty is not merely the lack of adequate financial resources. It entails a more profound kind of deprivation, a denial of full participation in the economic, social, and political life of society and an inability to influence decisions that affect one’s life. It means being powerless in a way that assaults not only one’s pocketbook but also one’s fundamental human dignity. Therefore, we should seek solutions that enable the poor to help themselves through such means as employment. Paternalistic programs which do too much for and too little with the poor are to be avoided.
One wonders whether a generation that demands satisfaction of all its needs and instant solutions of the world's problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive - it will stand in awe of nature, and submit to the tutelage of medicine men.
All temporal or human authority stems directly from spiritual and/or divine authority. But authority is the negation of freedom. God, or rather the fiction of God, is the consecration and the intellectual and moral source of all slavery on earth, and the freedom of mankind will never be complete until the disastrous and insidious fiction of a heavenly master is annihilated.
Our first work must be the annihilation of everything as it now exists. The old world must be destroyed and replaced by a new one. When you have freed your mind from the fear of God, and that childish respect for the fiction of right, then all the remaining changes that bind you-property, marriage, morality, and justice-will snap asunder like threads... Any dictatorship can have only one aim; self-perpetuation.