„Four things a man must learn to do
If he would make his record true:
To think without confusion clearly;
To love his fellow-men sincerely;
To act from honest motives purely;
To trust in God and Heaven securely.“
"Four Things," Poems, vol. 1 (vol. 9 of The Works of Henry Van Dyke) (1920).
„Man … always acts either self-loving, just for the hell of it, or God-loving, just for the heaven of it; his reasons, his appetites are secondary motivations.“
— W. H. Auden, libro Forewords and Afterwords
Assessing St. Augustine's perspectives in "Augustus to Augustine", p. 37
Forewords and Afterwords (1973)
Contexto: Man … always acts either self-loving, just for the hell of it, or God-loving, just for the heaven of it; his reasons, his appetites are secondary motivations. Man chooses either life or death, but he chooses; everything he does, from going to the toilet to mathematical speculation, is an act of religious worship, either of God or of himself.
Lastly by the classical apotheosis of Man-God, Augustine opposes the Christian belief in Jesus Christ, the God-Man. The former is a Hercules who compels recognition by the great deeds he does in establishing for the common people in the law, order and prosperity they cannot establish for themselves, by his manifestation of superior power; the latter reveals to fallen man that God is love by suffering, i. e. by refusing to compel recognition, choosing instead to be a victim of man's self-love. The idea of a sacrificial victim is not new; but that it should be the victim who chooses to be sacrificed, and the sacrificers who deny that any sacrifice has been made, is very new.
„Most important, you learn never to trust a man, even if he seems honest and sincere. You learn how men deceive themselves and how impossible it is to help them without injuring yourself.“
— Jack Abbott, libro In the Belly of the Beast
In the Belly of the Beast (1981)
„Man knows so little about his fellows. In his eyes all men or women act upon what he believes would motivate him if he were mad enough to do what the other man or woman is doing.“
— William Faulkner, libro Light in August
Fuente: Light in August (1932), Chapter 2
„A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper.“
— Ludwig von Mises, libro Liberalism
Ch. 1 : The Foundations of Liberal Policy § 11 : The Limits of Governmental Activity http://mises.org/liberal/ch1sec11.asp
Contexto: A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper. He must free himself from the habit, just as soon as something does not please him, of calling for the police.
— Lloyd Kenyon, 1st Baron Kenyon British Baron 1732 - 1802
King v. Waddington (1800), 1 East, 158.
„I believe that none can "save" his fellow man by making a choice for him. To help him, he can indicate the possible alternatives, with sincerity and love, without being sentimental and without illusion.“
— Erich Fromm German social psychologist and psychoanalyst 1900 - 1980
Contexto: I believe that none can "save" his fellow man by making a choice for him. To help him, he can indicate the possible alternatives, with sincerity and love, without being sentimental and without illusion. The knowledge and awareness of the freeing alternatives can reawaken in an individual all his hidden energies and put him on the path to choosing respect for "life" instead of for "death."
— Joseph Lewis American activist 1889 - 1968
An Atheist Manifesto
„The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.“
— Robert G. Ingersoll Union United States Army officer 1833 - 1899
Fuente: The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child (1877)
Contexto: Only a few years ago there was a great awakening of the human mind. Men began to inquire by what right a crowned robber made them work for him? The man who asked this question was called a traitor. Others asked by what right does a robed hypocrite rule my thought? Such men were called infidels. The priest said, and the king said, where is this spirit of investigation to stop? They said then and they say now, that it is dangerous for man to be free. I deny it. Out on the intellectual sea there is room enough for every sail. In the intellectual air there is space enough for every wing.
The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.
„People think God is a man. People think God has got ears, nose, teeth and he rises daily in the morning, brushes his teeth and washes his mouth. And he is an old man and he has a beard. All these things people think. But no, God is energy. God is perfect and pure energy.“
— Prem Rawat controversial spiritual leader 1957
Central Hall, Westminster, London, UK, November 2, 1971
„The nature of a Divine Being is seen more clearly in deeds which are loving than in deeds which are marvelous. He does not need miracle to make us love him or to prove that he is more than man. The unanswerable argument for his religion is that wherever he is sincerely followed men’s lives are changed.“
— Leslie Weatherhead English theologian 1893 - 1976
Fuente: The Christian Agnostic (1965), p.112
„It is in love that religion exists and not in ceremony, in the pure and sincere love in the heart. Unless a man is pure in body and mind, his coming into a temple and worshipping Shiva is useless.“
— Swami Vivekananda Indian Hindu monk and phylosopher 1863 - 1902
Address at the Rameswaram Temple on Real Worship
Contexto: It is in love that religion exists and not in ceremony, in the pure and sincere love in the heart. Unless a man is pure in body and mind, his coming into a temple and worshipping Shiva is useless. The prayers of those that are pure in mind and body will be answered by Shiva, and those that are impure and yet try to teach religion to others will fail in the end. External worship is only a symbol of internal worship; but internal worship and purity are the real things. Without them, external worship would be of no avail. Therefore you must all try to remember this.
People have become so degraded in this Kali Yuga that they think they can do anything, and then they can go to a holy place, and their sins will be forgiven. If a man goes with an impure mind into a temple, he adds to the sins that he had already, and goes home a worse man than when he left it.
„If we would We must self forgo if God we would attain, his grace must in us grow and ease us from all pain God discern,
The world we must despise,
His love and hate must learn,
See all things with His eyes.
And we must self forgo
If God we would attain,
His grace must in us grow
And ease us from all pain.
So shall we sing His praise
And be at one with Him,
In peace our voices raise
In the celestial hymn,
That with quadruple harmony
And all mellifluous melody,
In Heaven resounds eternally.“
— John Ruysbroeck Flemish mystic 1293 - 1381
Fuente: The Seven Steps of the Ladder of Spiritual Love, p. 124-5
„A man is not really a true man until he owns his own home, and they that own their homes are made more honorable and honest and pure, true and economical and careful, by owning the home.“
— Russell Conwell American academic administrator 1843 - 1925
Acres of Diamonds (1915)
„He must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings in order to acquire a proper relationship to individual fellow-men and to the community.“
— Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
"Education for Independent Thought" in The New York Times, 5 October 1952. Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions (1954)
Contexto: It is not enough to teach a man a specialty. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise he—with his specialized knowledge—more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person. He must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings in order to acquire a proper relationship to individual fellow-men and to the community. These precious things are conveyed to the younger generation through personal contact with those who teach, not—or at least not in the main—through textbooks. It is this that primarily constitutes and preserves culture. This is what I have in mind when I recommend the "humanities" as important, not just dry specialized knowledge in the fields of history and philosophy.
„He knows that freedom to think and act, without withholding that right from any other, evolves humanity — Therefore he gives his best energy to inspiring men and women to think and to act, each for himself.“
— Alice Moore Hubbard American activist 1861 - 1915
An American Bible (1912)
Contexto: Elbert Hubbard sees, too, that just so long as there is one woman who is denied any right that man claims for himself, there is no free man; that no man can be a superior, true American so long as one woman is denied her birthright of life, liberty and happiness.
He knows that freedom to think and act, without withholding that right from any other, evolves humanity — Therefore he gives his best energy to inspiring men and women to think and to act, each for himself. He pleads for the rights of children, for so-called criminals, for the insane, the weak, and all those who having failed to be a friend to themselves, need friendship most. The Golden Rule is his rule of life.
His work is to emancipate American men and women from being slaves to useless customs, outgrown mental habits, outgrown religion, outgrown laws, outgrown superstitions. He would make each human being rely upon himself for health, wealth and happiness.
„One free man will say with truth what he thinks and feels amongst thousands of men who by their acts and words attest exactly the opposite. It would seem that he who sincerely expressed his thought must remain alone, whereas it generally happens that every one else, or the majority at least, have been thinking and feeling the same things but without expressing them.“
— Leo Tolstoy Russian writer 1828 - 1910
Fuente: Patriotism and Christianity http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Patriotism_and_Christianity (1896), Ch. 17
Contexto: One free man will say with truth what he thinks and feels amongst thousands of men who by their acts and words attest exactly the opposite. It would seem that he who sincerely expressed his thought must remain alone, whereas it generally happens that every one else, or the majority at least, have been thinking and feeling the same things but without expressing them.
And that which yesterday was the novel opinion of one man, to-day becomes the general opinion of the majority.
And as soon as this opinion is established, immediately by imperceptible degrees, but beyond power of frustration, the conduct of mankind begins to alter.
Whereas at present, every man, even, if free, asks himself, "What can I do alone against all this ocean of evil and deceit which overwhelms us? Why should I express my opinion? Why indeed possess one? It is better not to reflect on these misty and involved questions. Perhaps these contradictions are an inevitable condition of our existence. And why should I struggle alone with all the evil in the world? Is it not better to go with the stream which carries me along? If anything can be done, it must be done not alone but in company with others."
And leaving the most powerful of weapons — thought and its expression — which move the world, each man employs the weapon of social activity, not noticing that every social activity is based on the very foundations against which he is bound to fight, and that upon entering the social activity which exists in our world every man is obliged, if only in part, to deviate from the truth and to make concessions which destroy the force of the powerful weapon which should assist him in the struggle. It is as if a man, who was given a blade so marvelously keen that it would sever anything, should use its edge for driving in nails.
We all complain of the senseless order of life, which is at variance with our being, and yet we refuse to use the unique and powerful weapon within our hands — the consciousness of truth and its expression; but on the contrary, under the pretext of struggling with evil, we destroy the weapon, and sacrifice it to the exigencies of an imaginary conflict'.
„He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.“
— Thomas Paine English and American political activist 1737 - 1809
1790s, First Principles of Government (1795)
Contexto: An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
„Man discerns three great things in the All: he finds there his body, he finds there his soul—and then there is the rest of the world. Between these things there is an unceasing commerce, and sometimes even a confusion arises; but always after a certain time has elapsed, these three things come to be clearly distinguished from one another.“
— Paul Valéry French poet, essayist, and philosopher 1871 - 1945
Socrates, p. 128
Eupalinos ou l'architecte (1921)