Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30

It seems that it is impossible to live without discovering the purpose of your life. And the first thing which a person should do is to understand the meaning of life. But the majority of people who consider themselves to be educated are proud that they have reached such a great height that they cease to care about the meaning of existence.

The real purpose of our existence is to understand this limitless life existing in this world.

A person may not know the purpose of his life, but he should know how to live.

A worker at a big plant may not necessarily know the purpose of his labor, but if he is a good worker, he should know how to do well what he should do.

Every living being has sensory organs which reveal to its place in the world. For a human, the primary sense is the intellect.

If you do not know your place in the world, the meaning of your life, you should know that there is something to blame; and it is not the social system, or your intellect, but the way in which you directed your intellect. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 29

A person can fulfill his purpose in life equally as well in illness as in health.

If we meditate upon the existence of life after death, then all illnesses would seem to be taking us closer to the movement from one life to another, a transfer more desirable than understandable. During these pains we can understand and explain for ourselves what will happen to us, and prepare for the new state of our next existence.

Usually people think that it is possible to serve God and humanity only when you are healthy. This is not true. Very often it is to the contrary. Christ served God and all mankind when he suffered on the cross, and even then he forgave those who killed him. Every person can do likewise. You cannot say which state is better, a healthy or ill state, in the service of God and humankind.

For yourself, and for yourself only, it is necessary to have health and peace. But to serve God it is not necessary, and sometimes even the opposite is true.

Very often, when I have dealt with terminally ill people, I have learned that the most important thing is not hiding the approaching death from the patient, but on the contrary, explaining to him his own divine, spiritual nature, which grows in him and which cannot be destroyed by death.

Illnesses almost always destroy one’s physical power, and they release the power of one’s soul. For a person who concentrates his consciousness in the spiritual domain, illnesses do not diminish his goodness, but on the contrary, they increase it. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28

Work is the necessary condition of happiness. First, favorite and free work; secondly, the physical work which arouses your appetite and afterward gives you tranquil and sound sleep.

Manual labor does not exclude intellectual activity, but improves its quality and even helps it.

Constant idleness should be included in the tortures of hell, but it is, on the contrary, considered to be one of the joys of paradise.
— Charles De Montesquieu

When a person sets to work, even if it is the most unqualified, primitive, simple work, the human soul calms down. As soon as a person starts to work, all the demons leave him and cannot approach him. A man becomes a man.
— Thomas Carlyle

Work is necessary. If you want a good disposition of your spirit, work until you become tired. But not too much. Not until you become exhausted. A good spiritual disposition can be destroyed by excessive work as well as by idleness. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27

A bad mood is often the reason for blaming others; but very often blaming others causes bad feelings in us; the more we blame others, the worse we feel.

One of our most common and widespread prejudices is that every person has a fixed, special characteristic, that there are kind people and evil, clever people and stupid people, and cold or hot people. But people are not like this; we can say about a person only that he is more often cold than hot. We always divide people like this, but it is no less wrong.

If there is animosity between two people, both are to blame. Any number you multiply by zero, however big, will equal zero. If there is animosity, then, it is the animosity of two people toward each other, and it exists in both of them.

Try to understand and remember that a person always tries to do what is best for himself. And if he is right when he does the best thing for himself, it is good; but if he is mistaken, it is bad, because suffering will follow after such a mistake.

If you remember this, then you will never be upset by anybody, you will never reproach anybody, and you will never be an enemy to anybody. 
— After Epictetus

If you are living with another person, make an agreement that as soon as either of you starts to blame the other, you will end the argument.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

April 26

The understanding of the existence of God is accessible to everybody; the complete understanding of the essence of God is not accessible to any person.

All the nations of the world name and respect God. Different people give him different names, and put different clothes on him; but there is only one God under all these different manifestations.
— Jean Jacques Rousseau

Faith in God is as natural to men as their ability to walk on two feet. This faith can be modified, and it can even disappear in some individuals; but as a rule, it is necessary for intellectual life in society.
— After George Lightenberg

There are some statements which cannot be fathomed: God exists or he does not exist; the soul exists in the body, or we do not have a soul; the world was created or the world was not created.
— Blaise Pascal

Live in God, live together with God, by understanding Him in you, and you do not try to define Him with words.

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25

A person can understand himself as a material or spiritual being. When you understand yourself as a spiritual being, then you are free.

What is “love of God,” if it is not the effort to add part of yourself to the higher creative flow of energy in this world? Divine force exists in everything, but the greatest manifestation of it in this world is in humanity, and in order to put it to work, one must understand it and accept it.

If a person does not believe himself capable of doing the best things in the world, then he starts to create the worst things.

I know that the sky knows everything, and that its laws are constant. I know that it sees everything, and it gets into everything, and it is present in everything. The heavens can get into the depths of all human hearts in the same way that the daylight can lighten a dark room. We should try to reflect this heavenly light.
— Chinese Wisdom

April 24

In any struggle true bravery lies within those who know that God is their ally.

Whatever happens, do not lose faith. Nothing bad can happen to you as a human being.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
— John 16:33

Everything is indefinite, misty, and transient; only virtue is clear, and it cannot be destroyed by any force.
— Marcus Tullius Cicero

Only a person who renounces his personality becomes truly powerful. As soon as one denies his personality, it is not he but God who acts through him.

Once upon a time, a Roman Empress lost her precious jewelry. It was announced across the empire, that whoever found her lost stones before thirty days would receive a big reward, but any who returned the jewelry after thirty days would be executed. Samuel, a Jewish rabbi, found the precious stones, but he returned them after thirty days had passed. “Have you been abroad?” the Roman Empress asked him. “No, I was at home.” “Maybe you did not know what was proclaimed?” “No, I knew,” said Samuel. “Then why did you not return these things before the expiry of the thirty says? Now you have to be executed.” “I wanted to show you that I returned your lost jewelry, not because of fear of your punishment, but because of fear of God.”

April 23

Real goodness is always simple.

Simplicity is so attractive and so profitable that it is strange that so few people lead truly simple lives.

Do not seek happiness elsewhere. Give thanks to God, who made necessary things simple, and complicated things unnecessary.
— Gregory Skovoroda

Most of our spending is done to forward our efforts to look like others.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every great thing is done in a quiet, humble, simple way; to plow the land, to build houses, to breed cattle, even to think — you cannot do such things when there are thunder and lightning around you. Great and true things are always simple and humble.

No one looks less simple than those people who artificially strive to seem so. Artificial simplicity is the most unpleasant of all artificial things.

April 22

The greatest knowledge is self-knowledge. He who understands himself will understand God.

Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believeth not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejected me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that this commandment is life everlastasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me unto me, so I speak.
— John 12:44-50

Without purity of soul, how can you say, I will glorify God? That light, like a morning star, which lives in the heart of every person, this light is our salvation.
— Wabana Purana, Indian Wisdom

A person can transform his personality, his inner self, from the domain of suffering and subduing into the domain which is always steady and joyful, that is, the domain of understanding his spiritual and divine essence.

April 21

In the future, the order of the social life of the Christian world will be changed by the replacement of violence and its fears with love and blessing.

Thus I command you, to love one another.
— John 15:17-19

It is a mistake to think that there are times when you can safely address a person without love. You can work with objects without love — cutting wood, baking bricks, making iron — but you cannot work with people without love. In the same way as you cannot work with bees without being cautious, you cannot work with people without being mindful of their humanity. It is the quality of people as it is the quality of people as it is of bees: if you are not very cautious with them, then you harm both yourself and them. It cannot be otherwise, because mutual love is the major law of our existence.

Until I can see that the major commandment of Christ — love your enemies — is being fulfilled, I will continue to believe that many people are not real Christians, but only pretend to be Christians.
— Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

The worst mistake which was ever made in this world was the separation of political science from ethics.
— Percy Bysshe Shelly

You should live so that it is possible to create the kingdom of love on earth. You should live a life based not on violence but on love. 

April 20

For a person who leads a spiritual, self-sacrifice brings a bliss that far transcends the pleasure who lives by the self-indulgent satisfaction of his animal passions.

He who is kind does good for other people. And if a person suffers while he does kind deeds, he becomes an even better person.
— Jean De La Bruyere

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
— Matthew 10:37

There is no higher blessing for a blessing for a person than to do charitable work for the benefit and well-being of others.
— Lucy Malory

Just as fire blows out candles, good deeds for the benefit and well-being of others destroy a selfish life.

The dark spot in the sunlight that falls on us is the shadow created by our own personalities. We live for ourselves only when we live for others. It may seem strange, but try it, and you will see it from your own experience.

April 19

A man who does not understand the benefit of suffering does not live a clever and true life.

Mankind has never achieved greatness but through suffering.
— F. Robert De Lamennais

Without suffering, spiritual growth cannot happen. Suffering often accompanies death, but suffering is also a useful, beneficial condition of life. It is said that God loves those who experience suffering.

Religion gives a person the understanding of the meaning of his existence and his destination.
— Anatole France

A person who lives a spiritual life cannot help but see that suffering brings him closer to God. Seen in this light, suffering loses its bitter side and becomes bliss.

Friday, April 18, 2014

April 18

What is important is not the quantity of your knowledge, but its quality. You can know many things without knowing that which is most important.

Ignorance in itself is neither shameful nor harmful. Nobody can know everything. But pretending that you know what you actually do not know is both shameful and harmful.

There are two types of ignorance: the pure, natural ignorance into which all people are born, and the ignorance of the so-called wise. You will see that many among those who call themselves scholars do not know real life, and they despise simple people and simple things.

The truth should often overcome thousands of obstacles, until it is accepted.

The scholar who thinks but does not create is like the cloud which does not give rain.

Vague and complex terminology was created by false scholars. Real, truthful knowledge does not need vague terms.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17

Christianity is the study of the divine beginning in a person.

Christianity is a very simple thing: love other persons, as you love God. Be as perfect as your father in heaven. Live in the spirit of God, making the best things, in the best possible way, for the best purposes. Even a small child can understand these ideas, and even a great mind cannot improve upon them.

Without the clear understanding of the meaning of one’s life, without faith, a person can at any minute deny good and start worshipping evil.

A person cannot have complete understanding of the meaning of life. A person can only know its direction.

The essence of all religious teachings is love. What is special in Christianity is teachings about love, the clear and exact statement of the major condition of love: nonresistance to evil and violence.

If you want to be quiet and strong, work and improve your faith.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16

To accept the dignity of another person is an axiom. It has nothing to do with subduing, supporting, or giving charity to other people.

The smallest detail can benefit the strengthening of character. Do not say that small details are not important; only a person with high morals can see their importance.

Some of the most religious people in Russia have an interesting habit: they make a low bow to persons to whom they are introduced for the first time. They say they do this to acknowledge the divine spirit that every person has within himself. This is not a widespread tradition, but its foundations are very deep.

A man is humble. He can hardly say: I exist, I can think.

A person should know that he performs true charity not in front of other persons, but before the eternal law of God.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15

The consequences of our nations cannot be known to us, because they ripple outward limitlessly in a limitless world.

Our efforts to penetrate the mystery of God are futile. It is enough to follow the divine law.

A saint lives with his inner life; he denies outer life.

Our most important actions are those consequences which we will not see.

Great deeds have very remote consequences.

If you can see all of the consequences of your actions, then your actions are of no use.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14

We cannot hope to obtain any sort of perfection in a society which is divided into two parts: rich people who rule the world and poor people who obey their orders.

We came to strange conclusions in this world: we say that we live in society but at the same time we live lonely lives.

If there are millionaires, there should be paupers.

If you have an income without working hard, then someone worked hard without receiving an income.

It is worse to be an oppressive master than an obedient slave. Excessive wealth is worse than poverty.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 13

We understand the divine, spiritual beginning of our life both with our intellect and with our love.

A man is wise who does three things: first, he does by himself these things which he advises others to do, secondly, he does not do anything that contravenes the truth; and thirdly, he is patient with the weaknesses of those who surround him.

Great thoughts come directly from the heart.

Investigate everything: believe only in those things which exist in accordance with intellect.

A clever person cannot be evil. A kind person is always clever. Improve your kindness by exercising your intellect, and improve your intellect by exercising your kindness and love.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April 12

At a certain level of self-awareness, a person understands something supernatural in himself.

God exists because we exist. You can call it any other name, but there is no doubt that the superior life which created us, exists. And you can call the source of this life God, or give it any other name.

God exists only for those who look for Him. Start looking: you will find Him in you and yourself in Him.

Looking for God is like pulling a net in the water. When you pull the net, it is heavy and full of water, and yet when you pull it out, there is nothing in it. When you seek God with your intellect and your actions, God exists in you, and as soon as you decide that you have found God, and stop and become satisfied, you have lost him.

It is surprising that I could not see a very simple truth: behind and above this world and our lives, there is someone who knows why this world exists and why we exist in this world. And our lives are as bubbles in boiling water, which appear, rise to the surface, pop, and disappear.

The unity of all living beings exists in this world where everybody and everything quietly seeks God. It is only unbelieving atheists who see eternal silence.

Just because a person does not understand God, he has no right to draw the conclusion that God does not exist.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11

Everything is connected more closely in the spiritual world than in the material world. Every lie brings multiple lies, every cruelty brings more cruelty.

Very often people are proud of the purity of their conscience only because their memory is too short.

Drop after drop, Water fills the vessel, in the same way those who want to be good, become filled with goodness.

Many of our vices exist only because they are supported by other vices; therefore, if we destroy our major vices, many others will disappear an once, in the same way as branches fall when you
cut the trunk of a tree.

Be attentive to the appearance of evil. There is an inner voice in your soul which always tells you about approaching evil. You feel unpleasant, you feel ashamed. Believe in this voice; stop and seek to improve yourself, and then you will defeat evil.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 10

The holy spirit which exists in people is liberated more and more. This will change our existing world order.

Real science shows us how to apply our religious faith to our outer lives. Art shows us how to apply it to our feelings.

The further any purpose the faster we should work toward it.

The longer I live, the more things I must complete.

The more we understand our divine nature, the more its rules should be fulfilled in our actions.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 9

Love of goodness and faith in immortality are inseparable.

Nobody can say that he knows what the afterlife will be. Our beliefs are based not on logical proofs but on moral ones and therefore I cannot say that God exists and I am immortal, but I can say that God exists and that my “self” is immortal. This means that my faith in God is so closely connected with my nature that this faith cannot be separated from me.

The animal beginning disappears, the veil is taken from the future, the darkness disperses. It is then that we feel our immortality.

We live in this world like a child who enters a room where a clever person is speaking. The child did not hear the beginning of the speech, and he leaves before the end, and there are certain things which he hears but does not understand.

In the same way, the great speech of God started many, many centuries before we started learning, and it will continue for many centuries after we turn to dust. We hear only part of it, and we do not understand the biggest part of what we hear, but nevertheless, a bit vaguely, we understand something great, something important.

If you truly love goodness (God), then you cannot have doubts in your immortality.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 8

People think that if they call mass murder “war,” then mass murder will stop being a murder, a crime.

One can deny Christ in various ways: one can blaspheme rudely, or mock his greatness. But such ways are not dangerous; religion is too precious for people, and this mockery cannot cleave them from it.

But there is another way to deny Christ: this is when you call Him your master, and you claim to follow His commandments, but you suppress any free thought by quoting his words, and disguise all stupidities, all mistakes, and all sins of the people in his name. This second way is the truly dangerous one.

It is not true that a war against a foreign nation can be sacred. It is not true that the earth wants blood. The earth wants pure water from the sky for its rivers, pure dew from its clouds, but not blood. War is cursed by God, as are those who participate in it.

And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.

Rather, it is your crimes that separate you from God, and it is your sins that make him hide his face so that he will not hear you. For your hands are stained With blood, your fingers with guilt; your lips speak falsehood, and your tongue utters deceit.
— ISAIAH 59:2-3

Murder is always a crime, no matter whom, and how it is justified.

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7

To repay evil with goodness is easier, wiser and more natural than to repay evil with evil.

Repay evil with goodness.

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
— LUKE 23:33-34

Conquer rage with humility, conquer evil with goodness, conquer greed with generosity, and conquer lies with truth.

When we treat our neighbors as they deserve to be treated, we make them even worse; when we treat them as if they were who we wish they were, we improve them.

Those who take joy in repaying an evil with goodness will always try to experience this joy again.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April 6

People involve themselves in countless activities which they consider to be important, but they forget about one activity which is more important and necessary than any other, and which includes all other things: the improvement of their soul.

The biggest happiness is when at the end of year you feel better than at the beginning.

“Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect." This means that you should try to find the presence of the Holy Spirit in your soul.

To improve ourselves, to move toward that goal, perfection, that puts no less a demand on us for being unattainable, requires solitude, removal from the concerns of everyday life. And yet constant solitude renders self-improvement impossible, if not pointless. A balance must be struck between meditating in solitude and then applying this to your everyday life.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

April 5

It is difficult to avoid working in life without either sinning, committing violence, being a party to violence, or by flattering and pleasing the agents of violence.

Being poor is better than living in luxury and serving the rich. Do not stand at the door of a rich man asking for favors if you hope to lead a good life.

A dress presented to you as a gift by the king may be beautiful, but your own simple dress is better. Different meals from the tables of the rich may be good, but a loaf of simple bread from your own table always tastes much better.

To those people who do not work the land, the soil says: if you do not work me, by applying physical labor with both of your hands, then you will stand in front of the doors of others asking for help; you will always be fated to use the leftovers of the rich.

You will find that people unwilling to work will either take advantage of others or be humiliated by them.

Friday, April 4, 2014

April 4

Life should and can be limitless joy. Life in this world is not a vale of tears, not a trial, but a thing that surpasses our imagination. Life could be limitless joy, if we would only take it for what it is, in the way it is given to us.

A person’s unfriendly attitude to other people makes life unhappy, both for that person and for those who surround him. A friendly mood and loving attitude are as an oil which lubricates the wheels of life, making them move easily and smoothly.

Try to live your life and be happy with your destiny, acquiring inner peace by love and good deeds.

The secret of happiness? Enjoy small pleasures.

Do not seek pleasure everywhere, but always be
ready to find it.

A truly wise man is always joyful.

The best way to live joyfully is to believe that life was given for joy. When joy disappears, look for your mistake.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April 3

When I die, only one of two things can happen: either this essence which I understand as myself will transform into a different being, or I will stop being a separate individual and become a part of God. Either possibility is good.

Death is the destruction of this body with which I understand the world in this life. It is the destruction of the glass through which I look at the world. And we do not know whether this glass will be replaced by another; or whether the essence which looks through the window will integrate with the world. We cannot know this.

There is a certain limit to the appropriate length of any time in this world. Just as the fruits and vegetables are limited by the seasons of the year, everything should have its beginning, its life, and its ending, after which it should pass away. Wise people willingly submit to this order.

All that I know about God brings me to the following conclusion: all that He did for us were the best things possible.

You should live your life so that you are not afraid of death, and at the same time do not wish to die.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 2

The only real life is one lived close to God. This does not happen by itself; you must make an effort to make this happen, and this effort will bring you joy.

A habit is never good, even a habit of doing good deeds. Good deeds, after they become habits, are no longer acts of virtue. Real good is only achieved with effort.

When you carry your burden, you should know that it is good for you to have it. Make the best of this burden and take from it everything which is necessary for your intellectual life, as your stomach takes from food everything necessary for your flesh, or as fire burns brighter after you put some wood on it.

Be attentive to what you do; never consider anything unworthy of your attention.

Spiritual effort and the joy that comes from understanding life go hand in hand like physical exertion and rest. Without physical exertion, there is no joy in rest; without spiritual effort, there can be no joyful understanding of life.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1

Science can be divided into an infinite number of disciplines, and the amount of knowledge that can be pursued in each discipline is limitless. The most critical piece of knowledge, then, is the knowledge of what is essential to learn and what isn't.

A huge amount of knowledge is accumulated at present. Soon our abilities will be too weak, and our lives too short to study this knowledge. We have vast treasures of knowledge at our disposal but after we study them, we often do not use them at all. It would be better not to have this burden, this unnecessary knowledge, which we do not really need.

Too-voracious reading, begun at too early an age, fill our minds with undigested material. Our memory can become the master of our feelings and our fate; and when it does, an intellectual effort is required to reinforce our feelings with primeval innocence, to find ourselves amidst the dusty heaps of foreign thoughts and viewpoints, in order to start feeling by ourselves, and I am ready lo say in order lo live on our own.

Beware of false knowledge. All evil comes from it. Knowledge is limitless. Therefore, there is a minuscule difference between those who know a lot and those who know very little.