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There is but one cause of human failure, and that is man’s lack of faith in his true self.
The sanest and best of us are of one clay with lunatics and prison inmates, and death finally runs the robustest of us down
To change one’s life: start immediately - do it flamboyantly. No exceptions (no excuses).
Much of what we call evil is due entirely to the way men take the phenomenon. It can so often be converted into a bracing and tonic good by a simple change of the sufferer’s inner attitude from one of fear to one of fight . . . Since you make them evil or good by your own thoughts about them, it is the ruling of your thoughts which proves to be your principal concern.
Happiness! happiness! Religion is only one of the ways in which men gain that gift. Easily, permanently, and successfully, it often transforms the most intolerable misery into the profoundest and most enduring happiness.
experience shows that there are times in every one’s life when one can be better counseled by others than by one’s self. Inability to decide is one of the commonest symptoms of fatigued nerves; friends who see our troubles more broadly, often see them more wisely than we do; so it is frequently an act of excellent virtue to consult and obey a doctor, a partner, or a wife.
‘Love your enemies!’ Mark you, not simply those who happen not to be your friends, but your enemies, your positive and active enemies. Can there in general be a level of emotion so unifying, so obliterative of differences between man and man . . . they (the effects) might conceivably transform the world.
All at once, without warning of any kind, I found myself wrapped in a flame-coloured cloud . . . Directly afterwards there came upon me a sense of exultation, of immense joyousness, accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination quite impossible to describe. Among other things, I did not merely come to believe, I saw that the universe is not composed of dead matter, but is, on the contrary, a living Presence; I became conscious in myself of eternal life. It was not a conviction that I would have eternal life, but a consciousness that I possessed eternal life then.
This act is prayer, by which term I understand no vain exercise of words, no merer repetition of certain sacred formulae, but the very movement itself of the soul, putting itself in a personal relation of contact with the mysterious power of which it feels the presence - it may be even before it has a name by which to call it. Wherever this interior prayer is lacking, there is no religion .
It is as if there were in the human consciousness a sense of reality, a feeling of objective presence, a perception of what we may call ’somethere there’, more deep and more general than of the special and particular ’senses’ by which the current psychology supposes existent realities to be originally revealed.
Our state of mind is never precisely the same. Every thought we have of a given fact is, strictly speaking, unique, and only bears a resemblance of kind with our other thoughts of the same fact . . . Experience is remolding us every moment, and our mental reaction on every given thing is really a resultant of our experience of the whole world up to that date.
No one can make clear to another who has never had a certain feeling, in what the quality or worth of it consists. One must have musical ears to know the value of a symphony; one must have been in love one’s self to understand a lover’s state of mind. Lacking the heart or ear, we cannot interpret the musician or the lover justly.