Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 28 and February 29

February 28

Art is a means of unifying people.

If beautiful art does not express moral ideas which unite people, then it is not art, but only entertainment. People need to be entertained in order to distance themselves from disappointment in their lives.
Immanuel Kant

It is possible to imagine that art could die, but it is not possible to imagine that real art could live if it became a slave of wealth that laughed at the poor.

Art is one of the most powerful means of convincing people of anything, both good and bad; therefore, you must be very careful in its use.

An artist is one of two things: he is either a high priest, or a more or less smart entertainer.
Giuseppi Mazzini

Meditations or discussions about art are the most useless pastimes known. Those who really know art know that art can speak well with its own language, and that to speak about art with words is useless. Most people who speak about art do not understand or feel real art.

February 29

To move, you must know where to go, in terms both of everyday motion and of your whole life. In order to live a good life, you must know where life leads.

Perfection is of God. To wish for perfection is of man.
— Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Life is not given to us that we might live idly without work. No, our life is a struggle and a journey. Good should struggle with evil; truth should struggle with falsehood; freedom should struggle with slavery; love should struggle with hatred. Life is movement, a walk along the way of life to the fulfillment of those ideas which illuminate us, both in our intellect and in our hearts, with divine light.
— After Giuseppe Mazzini

The ideal is within you, and the obstacle to reaching this ideal is also within you. You already possess all the material from which to create your ideal self.
— Thomas Caryle
We should believe that the goodness which exists in us and in this world will be fulfilled. This is the major condition to make it happen.

Friday, February 27, 2015

February 27

A charity is only then a charity when it involves sacrifice.

Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire.
— James 5:3

In money—in the money itself, in its acquisition, in its possession—there is something immoral.

A truly kind person cannot be rich. A rich person, without question, is not a kind one.
— Chinese Proverb

Then said Jesus unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

— Matthew 19:23-24

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 26

After a long conversation, stop and try to remember what you have just discussed. Don’t be surprised if many things, sometimes even everything you have discussed, were meaningless, empty and trivial, and sometimes even bad.  

A stupid person should keep silent. But if he knew this, he would not be a stupid person.
Muslih-Ud-Din Saadi

Only speak when your words are better than your silence.
Arabic Proverb

For every time you regret that you did not say something, you will regret a hundred times that you did not keep your silence.

Kind people are never involved in arguments, and those who like to argue are never kind. Truthful words are not always pleasant, and pleasant words are not necessarily truthful.

If you want to be a clever person, you have to learn how to ask cleverly, how to listen attentively, how to respond quietly, and how to stop talking when there is nothing more to say.

Many stupid things are uttered by people whose
only motivation is to say something original.

If you have time to think before you start talking, think, Is it necessary to speak? Will what I have to say harm anyone?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February 25

To pray is to accept and to remember the laws of the limitless being, God, and to measure all your deeds past, present, and future — according to His laws.

Before you start praying, ask yourself whether at that moment you can concentrate; otherwise, do not pray at all. Those who make a habit out of prayer do not pray sincerely.
The Talmud

If you ask for support from God, then you will learn how to find it in yourself. He does not change us, but we change ourselves by getting closer to Him. All ask from Him, as if He should help us, but in the end we give these things to ourselves.
Jean Jacques Rousseau

From the ancient times, it has been known that prayer is a human necessity.
People use different rituals during prayer, special addresses in special circumstances, in special places, in the ways they present their message to God and ask Him to be kind.

But let there be this constant: during a prayer, forget about all external worldly things and address the divine part of your soul. Use this divine part to gain communication with that of which it is a part and when you feel yourself close to God, you deliver your soul to Him, and show Him all your deeds and wishes. Prayer does not happen according to the requirements of the world, but according to the divine part of your soul.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 24

For a truth to be heard, it must be spoken with kindness. Truth is kind only when it is spoken through your heart with sincerity. You should know that when a message you convey to another person is not understood by him, at least one of  the following things is true: what you have said is not true, or you have conveyed it without kindness.

The only way to tell the truth is to speak with kindness. Only the words of a loving man can be heard.
Henry David Thoreau

To tell the truth is the same as to be a good tailor, or to be a good farmer, or to write beautifully. To be good at any activity requires practice: no matter how hard you try, you cannot do naturally what you have not done repeatedly. In order to get accustomed to speaking the truth, you should tell only the truth, even in the smallest of things.

We lie to other people so often that we get used to it, and we start to lie to ourselves.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Truth cannot make a person unkind, or too self-assured; the manifestations of truth telling are humility and simplicity.

Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23

The existing design of life corresponds neither to the requirements of conscience nor to the requirements of intellect.

Imagine a flock of pigeons in a wheat field. Imagine that ninety-nine of them, instead of pecking the corn they need and using it as they need it, start to collect all they can into one big heap. Imagine that they do not leave much corn for themselves, but save this big heap of corn on behalf of the vilest and worst in their flock. Imagine that they all sit in a circle and watch this one pigeon, who squanders and wastes this wealth. And then imagine that they rush at a weak pigeon who is the most hungry among them who darest to take one grain from the heap without permission, and they punish him. If you  can  imagine  this,  then  you  can  understand the day-to-day behavior of mankind.
William Paley

I see people arguing with each other, preparing different traps for each other, lying and betraying each other. I cannot see without tears that the foundations of Good and Evil are forgotten, or in some cases completely unknown.

People are rational creatures. Why do they seem capable of using violence so much more easily than reason in their interactions with each other?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

February 22

All that is written about God, and all that people say about Him, still falls short of the mark. Certain things, which every person can understand about God, can never be expressed, things necessary for everyone, and things which cause the love of God.
After Angelus Silesius

An intellect which can be understood is not all eternal intellect; a being which can be named is not an eternal being.

There is a force which resides in all things, without which there is no heaven and no earth. This force cannot be perceived. People try to describe its qualities, to give it different names, such as "intellect" or "love," but the being itself has no name. It is very remote from us, and it is closest to us.
— After Lao-Tzu

God is the limitless being which accepts only truth.
Matthew Arnold

Those people who ask where God is are crazy; God is everywhere, in all of nature and in the soul of each person. There are many different religions, but there is only one God. If a person cannot understand himself, how can he understand God?
Indian Wisdom

If your eyes become blinded by the sun, you do not say that the sun does not exist. In the same way, you should not say that God does not exist if your intellect is lost in trying to understand him.

After Angelus Silesius

Saturday, February 21, 2015

February 21

There was a time when people ate each other. They no longer do so, but they still eat animals. The time will come when more and more people will drop this terrible habit.

It is a mistake to believe that we need obey no moral in our attitude to the animals, that we have no moral responsibilities to them. This way lies complete vulgarity and rudeness.
Arthur Schopenhauer

The killing and eating of animals is a prejudice accepted by those who think that animals were given to people by God to eat, so that there is nothing wrong in killing them. This is not true. It may be written in some books that it is not a sin to kill an animal, but it is written in our own hearts more clearly than in any books that we should take pity on animals in the same way as we do on each other. And we all know this, if we do not deaden the voice of our conscience inside of us.

Friday, February 20, 2015

February 20

Humankind goes on without stopping. This movement forward is necessary for you as an individual as well. If you want to serve God, you should be a worker for the spiritual progress of humanity.

The way of life of any people depends on their faith. Faith, with time, becomes more simple, more clear, and closer to the real truth, and in accordance with the simplifying and clarifying of faith, people become more and more united.

If you think it is ever warranted to stop on the path of further understanding, you are very far from the truth. The life which we received was given to us not that we might just admire it, but that we should ever look for new truth hidden from us.
After John Milton

Mankind makes progress when its faith progresses. And if there is any progress in religion, it is not in the discovery of something new, but in the purifying of the truths which have been revealed and explained to us.

We should not substitute real religious progress with other types of progress: technical, scholarly, and artistic. These technical, scholarly, and artistic achievements can certainly coexist with religious backwardness, as happens in our time.

If you want to serve God, you should work on the side of religious progress in the fight against prejudice, toward a better understanding of the clear and pure religion.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

February 19

It is a sin not to be engaged in work, even if it is not necessary for you to make your living with everyday work.

One of the best and purest joys is having a rest after labor.
— Immanuel Kant

Work all the time. Do not think that work is a disaster for you, and do not seek praise or reward for your work.
— Marcus Aurelius

The  most outstanding gifts  can be  destroyed by idleness.
— Michel De Montaigne

Nothing can make a person feel more noble than work. Without work, a person cannot have human dignity. It is because of this that idle people are so much concerned by the superficial, outer expression of their importance; they know that without this, other people would despise them.

When we accept truth and repent our sins, we understand that nobody can have special rights, advantages, or privileges in this life. There is no end is to fight with nature for our life and for the lives of other people.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 18

Personality is a mask which disguises the divine being which lives in every person. The more one rejects personality, the more this divine beginning is manifested.

You must love only God, and you must hate only yourself.
— Blaise Pascal

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my father.
— John 10:17-18

Only those people who deny their own personality can understand the religious teaching.
— The Talmud

He who wants to save his soul, will lose it; and he who wants to lose his life for me and the gospel, will save it.
— Mark 8:35

Those who do not see the meaning of their life in temporary things, in their names and bodies, those people know the truth of life.
— DHAMMAPADA, a book of Buddhist Wisdom

Only when we forget about ourselves, when we get out of the thoughts of ourselves, can we fruitfully communicate with others, listen to them and influence them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 17

All people of the world have an equal right to the privileges of this world.

Equality cannot be reached, as some people think, only by civil measures. It can be reached only by love of God and people, and this love can be reached, not by civil measures, but only as the result of spiritual learning.

They say that equality is not possible, because some people will always be stronger or smarter than others. But it is exactly because of this, said Lichtenberg, precisely because some people are stronger and smarter than others, that the principle of equality is necessary. The advantages of the rich over the poor demonstrate not only inequality of force and intellect, but inequality of civil rights.

Christ revealed to humanity those things which their best selves already knew: that people are equal because the same spirit lives in all of them . . . Learn from the small children, behave like children, and treat all people on an equal basis, with love and tenderness.

Monday, February 16, 2015

February 16

The younger and the more primitive a person is, the more he or she believes that life is material and that it exists only in the body. The older and wiser a person becomes, the more he or she understands that all life originates from the spirit.

Look at the sky, and at the earth, and think that all things pass. All of the mountains and rivers you see, and all the forms of life, and all creations of nature, all pass. Then you will understand the truth; you will see what remains, what does not pass.
— Buddhist Wisdom

Remember that you are not mortal; only your body is mortal. What is alive is not your body but the spirit living in your body. An unseen force guides your body, just as an unseen force guides the world.
— After Marcus Tullius Cicero

A person can understand his real destination in life only after he manages to liberate himself from the sensual, material world.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

February 15

There is simplicity of nature, and there is simplicity of wisdom. Both of them evoke love and respect.

The greatest truth is the most simple one.

When people speak in a very elaborate and sophisticated way, they either want to tell a lie, or to admire themselves. You should not believe such people. Good speech is always clear, clever, and understood by all.

Simplicity is the consequence of refined emotions.
— Jean D’Alembert

Words can unite people. Therefore, try to speak very clearly, and tell only the truth, for nothing can unite people more than truth and simplicity.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

February 14

A holy spirit lives within you.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
— John 3:3

Intellect can be enlightened only in a kind person. A person can be kind only when he has an enlightened intellect. One helps the other.
— Chinese Wisdom

A merchant married a princess, and he built a palace for her, bought luxurious dresses for her, and brought her hundreds of servants to make her happy. But the princess was bored. She was missing something, and she constantly thought about her royal origin. Thus it is with a human soul: you can surround it with all the pleasures on earth, but it will still be missing its home, the beginning which is called God, the place from which it has originated.
— After the Talmud

Even if people do not know what real kindness is, they nevertheless have it within them.
— Confucius

God lives in every one of us. When a person remembers this, the thought of it can save him from evil, and help him to do good.

Friday, February 13, 2015

February 13

Religion is a philosophy which can be understood by anyone.

A person can please God only with the godliness of his life. If an outwardly faithful person is not good, clear, and humble in his life, then he presents a big lie, he serves God falsely.
— After Immanuel Kant

Religion is simple wisdom which is directed to the heart and understood by the intellect.

Religion can enlighten philosophical meditations; philosophical meditations can strength religion. Therefore, try to communicate both with truly religious people and truly good philosophers, alive and dead.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

February 12

It is obvious for everyone that death expects us all in the long run; but nevertheless we live our lives as if there will be no death.

If only God is among us, and eternity exists, then everything is different. We can distinguish good from evil, light from darkness, and despair disappears.
— Erasmus

One of the key questions we face is whether our lives end after death. Whether we believe in eternity or not determines our actions. Therefore, it is crucial that we determine what is mortal in us, and what is eternal, and that we cherish those things eternal. Most people do exactly the opposite.
— After Blaise Pascal

The more deeply you understand life, the less you grieve over the destruction caused by death.

Whatever name you give to the origin of man, this spiritual quality of humans to understand, feel and exist, it is holy, it is divine, and, therefore, it should be eternal.
— Marcus Tullius Cicero

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February 11

A person’s life is good only to the extent that it fulfills the expectations of the will of God.

Evil, in the form of suffering and death, is everywhere apparent to a person who accepts the law of his material, animal existence as the major law of his life. Only when a man lowers himself to the state of an animal does death and suffering scare him. The only road open for him to escape that fear is the road of fulfillment of the law of God, the law which is expressed in love. There is no death and no suffering for a man who lives according to the law of God.

Be as you are, as you have to be, and the rest is God’s business.
— Henri Amiei

The fulfillment of our duties and the satisfaction of our personal pleasures are two different things. Duties have their own laws, and even if we try to mix our duties with our pleasures, they will separate themselves.
— After Immanuel Kant

We know the law of God, both as it is presented to us by the different religions of the world and as our own conscience, when it is not obscured by passion and prejudice, and we can easily understand the applications of this law to our life, for all real good stems from its requirements.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 10

The higher the opinion a person has of himself, the more unstable is his position; the lower he moves in his self-esteem, the firmer he stands.

To be strong, you have to be like water: if there are no obstacles, it flows; if there is an obstacle it stops; if a dam is broken, then it flows further; if a vessel is square, then it has a square form; if a vessel is round, then it has a round form. Because it is so soft and flexible, it is the most necessary and the strongest thing.
— Lao-Tzu

The more a person analyzes his inner self, the more insignificant he seems to himself. This is the first lesson of wisdom. Let us be humble, and we will become wise. Let us know our weakness, and it will give us power.
— William Ellery Channing

Water does not stay on a mountaintop, but flows into the valley. In the same manner, real virtue does not remain with those people who want to be higher than the others; but virtue stays only with people who are humble.
— After the Talmud

Try to find out your potential. After you know it, do not be afraid to underestimate it. Be cautious not to exaggerate it.

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 9

The material evil caused by war is big, but it is incomparably small in comparison with the perversion or the understanding of good and bad which happens during the war, and which is put into the souls of people who do not think.

A child meets another child with a smile, displaying his friendly attitude and joy. This same behavior lives in all sincere people. But very often, a man from one nation already hates a man from another nation, and is ready to cause him sufferings and even death, even before he meets him. Those who create these feelings in nations commit a terrible crime.

The most powerful weapon known is the weapon of blessing. Therefore, a clever person relies on it. He wins with peace, not with war.
— Lao-Tzu

War creates a state in which power and glory is at the end too often received by the most undeserving and vicious people.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

February 8

Why do people like to blame others so much? He who casts blame on another person is quick to think that he would not do the very same thing. It is the same with people who like to listen to the fault-finding of their neighbors.

When two people have a dispute, both are to blame. And therefore, a dispute will stop only when at least one person understands that he or she is guilty.

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Stop blaming other people, and you will feel what an alcoholic feels when he stops drinking, or what a smoker feels when he stops smoking. You will feel that you have brought relief to your soul.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

February 7

Perfecting the self is both an inner and an outer work: You cannot improve yourself without communicating with other people, influencing them, and being influenced by them.

Three temptations torture people: sexual desire, pride and lust for wealth. All the misfortunes of mankind come from these three cravings. Without them; people would live in happiness. But how can we get rid of these terrible illnesses? . . . Work on yourself and improve yourself; this is the answer. Start the improvement of this world from within.
— F. Robert De Lamennais

“Be perfect, as your heavenly Father,” Christ said. This does not mean that Christ asked people to be as good as God, only that everyone should strive for perfection.

Pure perfection can be found only in God; one’s life consists of becoming closer to God. And when a person knows that good is good and that evil is evil, then he or she gets closer to good, and moves farther from evil.
— Confucius

There is nothing more harmful to you than improving only your material, animal side of life. There is nothing more beneficial, both for you and for others, than activity directed to the improvement of your soul.

Friday, February 6, 2015

February 6

Sexual desire is the most all consuming of desires. This desire is never sated, for the more it is satisfied, the more it grows.

Very often people are made proud by their control over their own desires, and by the force and passion with which they master them. What a strange delusion!

Many people worry, and suffer, because they have been involved in so many bad things in their lives. In truth, though, good things often happen in spite of our wishes, and sometimes even in opposition to our wishes, and often after our excitement and suffering over unworthy things.

Remember how passionately you yearned in the past for many of the things which you hate or despise now.

Remember how many things you lost trying to satisfy your former desires. The same thing could happen now, with the desires which excite you at present. Try to tame your present desires, calm them, this is most beneficial, and most achievable.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

February 5

All events, whether in the lives of human individuals, or human societies, have their beginnings in thought. Therefore, to fully understand other people and other societies, we must look beyond previous events to the thoughts which gave rise to them.

Perhaps it is even more important to know what one should not think about than what one should think about.

Our thoughts, depending on whether they are good or bad, can bring us either to paradise or to hell; this happens, neither in heaven nor under the earth, but here, in this life.
— Lucy Malory

A thought seems to be free and independent, but a human being has something stronger than thought, something which could guide our thoughts.

In order to change the nature of things, either within or in others, one should change, not the events, but those thoughts which created those events.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 4

A man is free only when he lives in truth, and the truth may be perceived only by the intellect.

If you throw some nuts and cookies on a road, you will eventually see children come, pick them up, and start to argue and fight for them. Adults would not fight for such things. And even children would not pick up the nuts’ empty shells.
For a wise man, the wealth, the glory, and the rewards of this world are like sweets or empty shells on a road. Let the children pick them up and fight for them. Let them kiss the hands of the rich men, the rulers, and their servants. For the wise one, all these are but empty shells.
— Epictetus

A distinctive feature of a thinking person is submission to his fate, as opposed to the shameful struggle with it that is a characteristic feature of animals.
— Marcus Aurelius

We are not free in this world, subdued by our passions and by the emotions of other people to the degree that we forget the requirements of our intellects. If we really want to become free, we can be so only through our intellect.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February 3

Kindness is for your soul as health is for your body: you do not notice it when you have it.

A person becomes happy to the same extent to which he or she gives happiness to other people.
— Jeremy Bentham

The will of God for us is to live in happiness and to take an interest in the lives of others.
— John Ruskin

Love is real only when a person can sacrifice himself for another person. Only when a person forgets himself for the sake of another, and lives for another creature, only this kind of love can be called true love, and only in this love do we see the blessing and reward of life. This is the foundation of the world.

Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2

There are two different states of human existence exist: first, to live without thinking of death; second, to live with the thought that you approach death with every hour of your life.

The more you transform your life from the material to the spiritual domain, the less you become afraid of death. A person who lives a truly spiritual life has no fear of death.

When you have doubts about what to do, just imagine that you might die at the end of that same day, and then all your doubts will disappear, and you will see clearly what your conscience tells you, and what is your true personal wish.

A man condemned to immediate execution will not think about the growth of his estate, or about achieving glory, or about the victory of one group over another, or about the discovery of a new planet. But one minute before his death a man may wish to console an abused person, or help an old person to stand up, or to put a bandage on someone’s injury, or to repair a toy for a child.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 1

It is not possible to explain the origin of the spiritual from the material.

A man consists of body and soul. Thus often, especially in his youth, he is interested only in his body, but nevertheless, the most essential part of every man is not his body, but his soul. It is your soul that you must take care of, not your body. You must learn this over time, and remember that your real life is in your spirit, that is, in your soul. Save it from everyday dirt and do not let your flesh guide it; subdue your body to your soul, and then you will fulfill your destiny and live a happy life.
— After Marcus Aurelius

The heart of the matter is whether we believe or disbelieve in the existence of a spiritual realm. All people are divided into two groups, those who are alive and those who are dead, in other words, those who believe and those who don’t.
An unbeliever says: “What is spirit! . . . What I ate and what I enjoyed, this is what I possess, this is material and real! And such :1 person, without thinking much, takes care only of the outer things, arranging in order only his own mean, dirty affairs; he becomes a liar, a snob, a slave, and does not feel any higher needs: freedom, truth, and love. Such a person keeps away from the light of the intellect, because in fact he is dead, and this light gives life only to living things, and hardens and rots the dead things.
— Alexandr Arkhangelsky

The difference between the spiritual realm and the material is equally clear and obvious, both for a child and a wise man; further speculations are not necessary.