Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31

Any work of false art praised by critics is a door through which “hypocrites of art” enter our minds.

The creation and sale of most art today is pure prostitution. The comparison is true in every detail. Real art can only rarely be created even by a real artist; like a child in a mother’s womb, it is the ripened fruit of his prior life. False art, though, can be ceaselessly produced by crafts men, according to the dictates of a market. Like a faithful wife who loves her husband, real art does not need any excess decoration; like a prostitute, false art demands to be decorated.

True art comes out of an artist’s urgent need to express the feelings that have formed inside him, just as a mother needs to give birth to her baby. False art answers only to profit. Real art brings new feelings into our life, as a woman brings a new person into the world.

False art corrupts; it makes a person dissipated, distracts him, weakens his spiritual power. Everyone must understand this, in order that they shun the terrible proliferation of this dirty, dissipated type of art which is, on its face, prostitution.

You cannot sell your talent, your genius; as soon as you do, you are a prostitute. You can sell your work, but not your soul.
— John Ruskin

Until they throw away the money changers out of the temple of art, it will never be a real temple. But the time will come when these salesmen will be sent away from the temple of art.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

August 30

Those who are on top of the mountain can see the sunrise sooner than those who live in the valley. So, too, with those who achieve spiritual heights: they can see the heavenly sunrise sooner than those who live a material life. But the time will come when the sun will rise so high in the sky that everyone will see it.

We should hope that the day will come when all people perceive that the life of a man is great only in its service to his brothers, for he is united with them by God.
— Edward Brown

Powerful forces are at work in this world. No one can stop them. We see their signs in a new understanding of religion, a new respect for people, a new feeling of brotherhood.
— William Ellery Channing

As soon as the higher ideal is put before us, all false ideals will fade away as the stars fade away when they meet the sun.

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29

If, in his soul, a person understands God, he understands his connection to all the world’s people.

Do not be proud, no matter what high position you occupy in life. In you and in me and in every other person lives the same God, the same life force; you look down on me in vain; we are all equal beings.
— Indian Wisdom

I am filled with a great thought: that of the greatness of my soul, its unity with God. My soul is not united with God in submission, but through its ability to understand Him, and through Him, to be eternal.
— Henri Amiel

We are all children of the same father, and it is unnatural not to love our brothers.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 28

Faith is the foundation on which all else rests; it is the root of all knowledge.

There are two types of faith in this world. The first is faith in things other people say, faith in people; there are many varieties of this type of faith. The second is faith in God; this type of faith is unvarying, and it is necessary for all people.

Faith is the necessary property of the soul. Feel the essential meaninglessness of those things which are well-known to you, and the greatness of things which are unknown but important.

Cleave to the teachings of Christ completely, and let go of other teachings, just as a sailor reads his compass, though other signs around him might contradict it.

People who believe they do not have faith are wrong; they simply don’t realize it, or don’t want it, or cannot express it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27

The best and the most important object for every person is his inner self, his spiritual being.

A person who knows all sciences but does not know himself is a poor and ignorant person. He who does not know anything except for his inner spiritual self is an enlightened person.

When you feel the desire for power, you should stay in solitude for some time.
— Henry David Thoreau

The way to fame goes through the palaces, the way to happiness goes through the markets, the way to virtue goes through the deserts.
— Chinese Proverb

A person always has a place to be safe from all of his misfortunes, and this place is his soul.

If you could only know who you are, all your troubles would seem utterly unnecessary and trivial.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26

Justice is achieved not in striving for justice, but with love.

In order to hit the mark, you should aim farther than it stands, so you will achieve it; in order to be just, you should make a self-sacrifice, be unjust to yourself.

Not a single person can be completely just in all his deeds, but a just person can be completely different from an unjust one with his efforts, in the same way as a truthful man is different from a liar, with his efforts to speak only truth.

There is only one law of life which is really precious: though you meet all the time with injustice, remain humble.
— Marcus Aurelius

You cannot be completely just. One time you do too little, the other time you do too much. There is only one way not to sin against justice; always to change things, to improve things, to make them better.

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25

Work is the condition of existence in the material, physical world. If Robinson had not worked, he would have frozen to death and died from hunger, and everybody can see this. So labor is the necessary condition for the spiritual life as well, but not all people can see this clearly, though it is as obvious as the necessity of physical labor for the body.

If any would not work, neither should he eat.
— 2 Thessalonians 3:10

If you are doing nothing, it means you are doing bad things.

Those who do nothing, do bad things. Those who do nothing, have many associates and supporters. The brain of a lazy and idle person is the favorite stopping place of the devil.

Nature does not stop in its development, and it executes all kinds of idleness.
— Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

You should never be ashamed of any work, even the lowest and dirtiest, but you should be shamed only of the dirtiest moral state, that is the idleness of your body, which is the necessary result of the consumption of the labor of others.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 24

People move, inconspicuously but ceaselessly, toward the kingdom of God, which will be achieved by unification in love.

Every single individual person, as well as all mankind together will change, and will go on to higher stages without stopping in their development, the limit of which is God himself. And this time is coming.
— F. Robert De Lamennais

No, the word of all-powerful God has not been told completely. And his thought has not been understood completely in all its depth. He created and he creates, and he will create, for many eternal centuries after us; this the human mind cannot embrace.
— Giuseppi Mazzini

I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.
— Luke 12:49 and 51

The constant struggle between flesh and spirit will never be finished. This struggle is eternal and the essence of life. The purpose of life is loving, the penetration of everything with love. It is the slow and gradual change from evil to good, it is the creation of the real life, the life filled with love.

The human world is always on the way to perfection, and the understanding of this process of perfection is one of mankind’s biggest joys, and this joy is accessible to every person.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 23

If people were completely virtuous, they would never step aside from the truth.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
— John 3:19-21

Don’t be afraid of a person in any position, in low or high standing, whether he is a scholar or an ignorant person. If you respect all people, you should love all people, and fear no one.
— William Ellery Channing

The consequences of any good thing which you have done in your life will die as soon as you step aside from the truth. The high spirit which lives in you and which is united with you is looking all the time for good and evil.
— Manu

Truth can be understood only by waiting and watching, and when you get one truth, two more will appear before you.
— John Ruskin

The truth is harmful only to evildoers. Those who do good; love the truth.

Friday, August 22, 2014

August 22

It is dangerous to disseminate the idea that our life is purely the product of material forces and it depends entirely on these forces.

There are no people who can more confuse the notions of good and evil than the scholars of our time. Their science makes good progress in the study of the material world, but in the inner, spiritual life of humanity, it becomes an unnecessary and sometimes harmful thing.

False science and false religion express their dogmas in highly elevated language to make simple people think that they are mysterious, important, and attractive. But this mysterious language is not a sign of wisdom. The wiser a person is, the simpler the language he uses to express his thoughts.
— Lucy Malory

The teaching about your inner life is the most useful one.

In our time science has started to give diplomas for idleness.

The real purpose of science is the understanding of truth of this life. Its false purpose is the justification of evil in this world. These are the judicial sciences, political sciences, and especially theology, the science of religion.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 21

A fruitful prayer is the establishment in your conscious mind of the understanding of life’s meaning, and you can experience this state during the best minutes of your life.

Prayer is understood as an inner formal religious service, a service to ask and achieve some compassion for yourself from the higher force; this is a misconception. On the other hand, the desire of our heart to please God with all our actions – this is the spirit of real prayer which should always exist in us.
— Immanuel Kant

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. . . .
— Matthew 6:7-9

One hour of honest, serious thinking is more precious than weeks spent in empty talks.

You should pray every hour. The most necessary and the most difficult form of prayer is to remember — in spite of the numerous distractions of life — your obligations to God, to his law. You become scared, you become upset, you become embarrassed, you become too involved or distracted by something. But you should always remember who you are and what you should do. This is what a real prayer should be about. This is difficult in the beginning, but with time you can work and create this habit.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20

Anyone who is engaged in really important things is very simple because he does not have time to create unnecessary things.

Every desire abates, and every vice grows after it is satisfied.
— Henri Amiel

Every new desire is the beginning of a new wish, the beginning of a new sadness.
— Voltaire

Pleasure, luxury — these things you call happiness, but I think that to wish nothing is the happiness of God, and when you wish to have only small things, then you make yourself closer to this divine and high happiness.
— Socrates

Nature requires small things; the existing law requires many excessive things.
— Lucius Annaeus Seneca

People can live without need and without jealousy only when they lead a life of moderation.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 19

Life is constant movement, and therefore goodness in life is not a certain state, but the direction of movement. This direction is not in serving yourself, but God.

Some people seek goodness in power, others find it in science, others in dissipation. Those people who are really close to goodness understand that real goodness for one is when all people have this goodness and share it among themselves.
— Blaise Pascal

Happiness is a thing which a person wishes only for himself; goodness is a thing which a person wishes for himself and for others. Happiness can be achieved by struggle; goodness, on the contrary, by being humble.

Real goodness is to serve God.

You should do goodness without choosing to whom. Good things, once done, will never disappear, even if you forget about them. There is only one way to be happy, and this is a sure way: to do goodness and to share this goodness with others.

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18

Christianity is true because it can answer the most distant, abstract questions, and at the same time, it can solve all practical issues of life as well. It established the kingdom of God in the spiritual life of every individual, and in the spiritual life of humanity in general.

Christ was sent to this world to bring good news. This was his major work. But do they teach this thing in his name? He wanted to change slavery into freedom. Is this taught in his name? Were they fulfilled, the things which he wanted to fulfill? Did poor people hear the good news? Have the broken hearted been cured? Can the blind people see? Have all the shackles been taken from the prisoners? Are the inmates set free? No. Christ is still on his cross, waiting for his apostles. They should come as soon as possible, because the suffering is terrible, and his eyes are tired of looking to the east and waiting for the sunrise of the time of the lord.
— F. Robert De Lamennais

Religion is true not because it was taught by the saints, but the saints taught it because it is true.
— Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Only religion destroys egoism and selfishness, so that one starts to live life not only for himself. Only religion gives us the meaning of life, only religion creates equality among people, only religion sets a person free from outer pressures. We must believe those spiritual doctrines which provide a very simple and practical guide for every one of us.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17

Kindness is a necessary addition to everything.

All the best qualities of mankind are meaningless and worthless without kindness, and even the worst vices can be easily forgiven with kindness.

There is a natural kindness which comes from our external attributes, from our inheritance, audience, good or bad indigestion, success, etc. This kind of kindness is very pleasant, both for the person who experiences it and for the people around him. And there is another type kindness which comes from inner, spiritual work. This kindness is less attractive, but although the first kindness can easily change or be transformed into hatred, the second kind of kindness will never disappear and will constantly grow.

The goodness which you do gives you pleasure, but not satisfaction. No matter how much goodness you do, you should wish to do more and more.
— Confucius

Kindness is the major quality of the soul. If a person is not kind, it is because he was subjected to some lie, passion, or temptation which violated his natural state.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 16

We are spiritually connected on all sides, not only with people but with all living creatures.

Someone told me once that every person has an element of good and an element of bad within him, and that either the good or the bad can be manifested according to the person’s mood. We possess within us two different ways of understanding this world. One is the feeling of being divided, distanced, and alienated from each other; in this state, all things seem gloomy to us. We feel nothing except jealousy, indifference, and hatred. I would like to call the opposite way of understanding the understanding of universal unification. In this state, all people seem very close to us, and all are equal among themselves. This state, therefore, arouses compassion and love in us.
— Arthur Schopenhauer

All people have the same origin, are bound by the same law, and were created for the same purpose. Therefore, we should have one faith, one purpose to our actions, one banner under which we live and fight.
— Giuseppi Mazzini

We should always try to find those things which do not separate us from other people but which unite us. To work against each other, to be angry and turn your back on each other is to work against nature.
— Marcus Aurelius

Try to understand the unity of all living things. Try to serve and suffer with all living beings.

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15

All other arguments against meat eating, no matter how strong they are, are meaningless in relation to the fact that animals have the same life spirit that exist in us. We should feel that by taking an animal life we commit something close to suicide. No other argument against meat eating is necessary for those who have this inner feeling.

Eating a lot of meat can make your body stronger, but it weakens your mind.
— Plutarch

It is very important not to kill children’s natural taste by forcing them to become meat eaters, not only for their health, but for the sake of their character. We do not know the reason, but we know that people who eat a lot of meat are usually cruel.
— Jean Jacques Rousseau

We cannot close our eyes to those people who eat meat for the satisfaction of their pampered tastes.

The logical arguments against meat eating are not strong enough. Logic is good, but in some cases it falls short. But know this: the more compassion a person shows other living creatures, the kinder and better he is. To kill animals whether for sport or for fuel, is very cruel.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 14

People have become too accustomed to the use of force. Life without violence seems impossible for them to imagine.

Two ways exist to guide human activity. One is to force a person to act against his wishes; the other is to guide a person’s wishes, to persuade him with reasoning. One is the way of violence: it is used by ignorant people, and it leads to complete disappointment. The other is supported by experience, and is always successful.
—Abraham Comb

Without faith in God, you can force people to act, but you cannot convince them. You can become a tyrant, but not a teacher.
—Giuseppi Mazzini

People are wise beings; they possess the ability to live according to the dictates of their intellect, and sooner or later, they will evolve from a state of violence to a state of complete harmony and understanding. And every act of violence makes this time more distant from today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 13

To be wise, you must follow your intellect, even though such a way of life is often attacked.

The heavens do not approve when we sin, and the earth does not approve when we are virtuous.
—The Talmud

Do not be interested in the quantity of people who respect and admire you, but in their quality. If bad people dislike you, so much the better.
—Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Human intellect is a divine lamp, and its light penetrates to the depth of things.
—Eastern Wisdom

You should not be upset by the sight of wisdom being criticized. Wisdom would not be real wisdom if it did not reveal the stupidity of a bad life, and people would not be people if they endured this revelation without criticism.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 12

The burden, the cross, which every man has to carry exists of two planes: a longer vertical plane, which is the will of God; and a much shorter, horizontal plane, which is man’s own will. If you orient your will so that it parallels the direction of God’s will, then you will have no cross to carry, no burden.

Real happiness can be built only by harmonizing your life with the will of God.
—Lucy Malory

He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.
—Luke 11:23

If you want to fulfill the will of God, all will be good; if you want to fulfill your own will, and it does not coincide with the will of God, all will be evil.

The only way to know God and to believe in eternity is to unite your own will with the will of God.

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11

A person dies as he lives his spiritual life, alone.

What you do, you possess. You must believe that eternal goodness exists that is within you, and that it grows and develops as long as you live.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

You alone plan to commit a sin, you alone plan to do evil; and you alone can escape sin and purify your thoughts. Only your inner self can damn you, and only your inner self can save you.
—Dhammapada, a book of Buddhist Wisdom

A person may ask God or other people for help, but only his good life can help him, and this he must do on his own.

Every person has a depth to his inner life, an essence that cannot be explained. Sometimes you want to explain this essence to people, but you will see that it isn’t possible to explain it to another person so that he understands.

—Hence the need for your own channel of communication with God. Establish this channel and do not seek anything else.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10

You make your decisions in the present, and the present exists out of time; it is a tiny moment where two periods — the past and the future — meet. In the present you are always free to make your choice. 

A wise man was asked what was the most important time, person, and thing in life. He answered, “The most important time is the present time, because at this time a person has power over himself. The most important person is the one with whom you deal at present, because there is no guarantee that you will ever be able to deal with any other person in the world. The most important thing is to love this person, because everyone is sent into this world with the sole purpose of loving other people.”

Only when we use every minute of our life will we know that we are eternal.
—Harriet Martineau

A most dangerous temptation is the temptation to prepare to live, instead of living. The future does not belong to you. Therefore, remember to live the best way you know NOW. The only perfection necessary is perfection in love, which can be reached only in the present. It’s why we came into this world.

The present is the moment in which the divine nature of life is revealed. Let us respect our present time; God exists in this time.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

August 9

The majority of evils people commit are the result, not of an evil will, but of the dissemination of evil thoughts which people accept and follow uncritically.

Material results are the manifestations of unseen forces; an artillery shell that comes to us was shot from an unseen cannon at an unknown time. In the same way, all important events originate in a thought.
—Henry Amiel

Our actions are neither as good nor as vicious as our desires.
—Luc De Vauvenargues

Think only good thoughts, and with time they will become good deeds.

Thoughts which create evil actions are much worse than the acts themselves. You can stop doing a bad thing, and repent, and not repeat it. But bad thoughts are repeated again and again, and cause other bad actions; bad thoughts follow one after another.

Think good thoughts, and your thoughts will be turned into good actions. Everything begins in thought. Guiding your thoughts is one of the keys self-perfection. If you suffer misfortunes in your life, look for their cause, not in your actions, but in the thoughts which inspired them, and try to improve those thoughts. If you are inspired by an event in your life, look for its origins in your previous thoughts which caused the event.

Friday, August 8, 2014

August 8

The opinion of a revered writer or thinker can have a deep influence on society; it can also be a big obstacle to understanding real truth.

Divine truth may be revealed in the speech of children, or in the ravings and nightmares of madmen; or in the ordinary conversions of simple people. And weak and false thoughts may be found in books which have come to be considered great, or even sacred.

Many statements which are accepted as truth because they have been passed down to us by tradition look like truth only because we have never tested them, never thought about in a more precise way.

For the majority of mankind, religion is a habit, or, more precisely, tradition is their religion. Though it seems strange, I think that the first step to moral perfection is your liberation from the religion in which you were raised. Not a single person has come to perfection except by following this way.
—Henry David Thoreau

A thought which is expressed in the Old Testament, or in the New Testament, or in the Koran or in the Indian divine book the Upanishads, does not become a truth because it is expressed in a book which is considered to be holy. If we think that every word in every holy book is true, then we have created an idol.

Any important thought, no matter where it comes from, should be discussed; and every thought, no matter who said it, should be given attention.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 7

Vanity has no limits.

A person filled with vanity is so involved with himself that there is no room inside him for anyone or anything else.

As rules go, “You should behave just as other people behave.” Is among the most dangerous; it almost always results in your behaving badly.
—Jean De La Bruyére

Real virtue never looks back on its shadow, fame.
—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

It’s not wise to be interested in fame and the appreciation of others, because no two people’s opinions about what is good are the same.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 6

The intellect is the only fit guide for human life.

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

—Luke 11:34-35

A man who lives an intellectual life is like a man who carries a lantern in front of him to light his way. Such a person will never come to a dark place, because the light of his intellect moves before him. There is no fear of death in this kind of life, because the lantern which moves before you lights your way to your last minute, and you follow it to the end as calmly and quietly as you have all of your life.

Some people live and act according to their own thoughts, and some according to the thoughts of others; this is a crucial distinction between people. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 5

For the most part, false and harmful opinions are distributed and supported by influence. We are too likely to accept the views and thoughts of other people without trying to investigate them deeper and further ourselves. Unimportant people are those who accept other people’s thoughts without developing them themselves.

Your thought is easily influenced by the presence of another soul; a person can be completely free only when he is alone.

Nothing is more harmful than a bad example set by others. They bring into our life notions which never would have occurred to us without an example.

Do not allow yourself to be infected by the mood or spirit of those who abuse you; do not step onto their path.
—Marcus Aurelius

A person can easily grow accustomed to living a lie, especially if he sees everyone around him living in the same way.

False ideas which gain currency can easily be recognized by the loud fanfare with which they are accustomed. Real truth does not need any outer embellishments.

The possibility of influencing others causes a person with morals to be more strict about his words and actions which could influence other people.

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4

Self-abnegation is not the rejection of your entire self, just the rejection of your animal being.

Every person has within himself the capability to understand the life of all humanity. This capability is hidden deep in the soul, but it exists, and sooner or later, a person will find it.

—Edward Carpenter

The greatest bliss a person can know is the state of complete freedom and happiness that can only come thru self-sacrifice and love.

Deny your personality, and you will come to understand the highest good in life: love.

Real life starts with self sacrifice.
—Thomas Carlyle

The more a person gives to other people, and the less he asks for himself, the better for him. The less he gives to others, and the more he wants for himself, the worse for him. Our contemporaries think it the reverse.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 3

We expect rewards for goodness, and punishment for the bad things we do. Often, they are not immediately forthcoming. Both evil and good exist in the life of the spirit, though, which is outside time, and though we may not see clear indications of reward or punishment with our conscience.

You should be in a hurry to do good works, even small ones, and to avoid sin. One good thing leads to another. The reward for virtue is virtue, and the punishment for vice is more vice.
—The Talmud

The worst punishment is the understanding that you failed to properly use those good things which were given to you. Do not expect a big punishment. There can be no harder punishment than this — remorse.

You seek the cause of evil, and it is only in yourself.

—Jean Jacques Rousseau 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August 2

If you are a material being, then death is the end of everything. But if you are a spiritual being, then the body limits you spiritual being, and death is only a change.

Our body limits the spiritual divine spark which we call our soul. In the way that a vessel gives form to the liquid or gas which is put into it, our body gives form to our spiritual being. If the vessel is broke, that which was in it no longer retains the form it had and flows out. Does it receive a new form? Is it united with other beings? We know nothing of this. After death the soul becomes something different, something indescribable.

Death is one step in a continuous development.
—Theodore Parker

Our last day does not bring destruction, only a change.
—Marcus Tullius Cicero

Death is a liberation of the soul from the material personality in which it existed in this world.

For those who live a spiritual life, there is no death.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August 1

The intellect can liberate a person; the less of an intellectual life one has, the less liberated one is.

If you wish to do no evil then there is not a single good deed which you cannot do.
—Chinese Wisdom

A wise person lives in accordance with his desires, because he wants only that which is attainable. Such a person is free.

Diogenes said, “A wise man becomes free when he is ready to die at any moment.” He wrote to the Persian king, “You cannot enslave truly free people, just as you cannot enslave a fish. You may capture them, but you cannot force them to serve; they prefer to die as captives. So, what would it profit you to imprison them?” This is speech of a really free man, a man who recognizes his own freedom.

We have created a way which is contrary to mankind’s moral and physical nature, and yet we want to be free while living this kind of life.

Freedom cannot be achieved by looking for it, but in looking for truth. Freedom should not be a purpose, but a consequence.

Freedom cannot be granted to you by others. Each person can liberate only himself.