“For a long enough time we have believed in nothing but the values arising in a mechanized, commercialized, urbanized way of life: I would be as well for us to face the permanent conditions upon which God allows us to live upon this planet. And without sentimentalizing the life of the savage, we might practice the humility to observe, in some of the societies upon which we look down as primitive or backward, the operation of a social-religious-artistic complex which we should emulate upon a higher plane.7”
–T.S. Elliot, Brooding(Click it! It’s a Link!)
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
Give to barrows, trays, and pans
Grace and glimmer of romance;
Bring the moonlight into noon
Hid in gleaming piles of stone;
On the city’s paved street
Plant gardens lined with lilacs sweet;
Let spouting fountains cool the air,
Singing in the sun-baked square;
Let statue, picture, park, and hall,
Ballad, flag, and festival,
The past restore, the day adorn,
And make to-morrow a new morn.
So shall the drudge in dusty frock
Spy behind the city clock
Retinues of airy kings,
Skirts of angels, starry wings,
His fathers shining in bright fables,
His children fed at heavenly tables.
‘T is the privilege of Art
Thus to play its cheerful part,
Man on earth to acclimate,
And bend the exile to his fate,
And, moulded of one element
With the days and firmament,
Teach him on these as stairs to climb,
And live on even terms with Time;
Whilst upper life the slender rill
Of human sense doth overfill.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
What is the moral code of altruism? The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.
Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.
Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: “No.” Altruism says: “Yes.”
–Any Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It, Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World
“…You need to remind yourself continually that every word counts, and to take Twain’s dictum to heart–that the difference between the word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. ‘We are in the lightning business,’ I tell them, ‘You need to remind yourself what not to do, as well, and to recognize when you’ve done something effectively the first time, so as not to say it again, poorly….'”
–Roger Rosenblat, Unless It Moves the Human Heart, The Craft and Art of Writing
“Whatever your eye falls on – for it will fall on what you love – will lead you to the questions of your life, the questions that are incumbent upon you to answer, because that is how the mind works in concert with the eye. The things of this world draw us where we need to go.”
– Mary Rose O’Reilley
“Just as a stone flung into the water becomes the center and cause of many circles, and as sound diffuses itself in circles in the air: so any object, placed in the luminous atmosphere, diffuses itself in circles, and fills the surrounding air with infinite images of itself. And is repeated, the whole everywhere, and the whole in every smallest part.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo’s Notebooks ed. H. Anna Suh
“Just for today
Mikau Usui (1865-1926), the founder of Reiki, espoused five principles that came to be called the five Reiki principles, which he transcribed succinctly as:
Just for today, do not anger. Do not worry and be filled with gratitude. Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.
But successors expanded the form of expression in English, so that a favorite version is:
Just for today, I will not hold anger.
Just for today, I will not cling to worry.
Just for today, I will be grateful for my many blessings.
Just for today, I will do my work diligently.
Just for today, I will be kind to all sentient beings.
Restoring the Zen context of these expressions affirms the notion of the present moment. This is not the now or present moment so favored by New Age thought and so often reduced to psychological justification for doing whatever feels good at the moment….”
–Hermit’s Thatch, Click this to read the remainder of the essay
“One must avoid ambition in order to write. Otherwise something else is the goal: some kind of power beyond the power of language. And the power of language, it seems to me, is the only kind of power a writer is entitled to.”
–Cynthia Ozick, The Paris Review
*found this morning at Anecdotal Evidence