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Look within. Let neither the special quality of anything, nor its value, escape you.
I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.
Ceremony was but devised at first
To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Recanting goodness, sorry ere ’tis shown;
But where there is true friendship, there needs none.
He that loves to be flattered is worthy o’ the flatterer.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
A man can understand what is similar to something already existing in himself.
We can only give what we have.
On a Drop of Dew
See how the orient dew,
Shed from the bosom of the morn
Into the blowing roses,
Yet careless of its mansion new,
For the clear region where ’twas born
Round in itself incloses:
And in its little globe’s extent,
Frames as it can its native element.
How it the purple flow’r does slight,
Scarce touching where it lies,
But gazing back upon the skies,
Shines with a mournful light,
Like its own tear,
Because so long divided from the sphere.
Restless it rolls and unsecure,
Trembling lest it grow impure,
Till the warm sun pity its pain,
And to the skies exhale it back again.
So the soul, that drop, that ray
Of the clear fountain of eternal day,
Could it within the human flow’r be seen,
Remembering still its former height,
Shuns the sweet leaves and blossoms green,
And recollecting its own light,
Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express
The greater heaven in an heaven less.
In how coy a figure wound,
Every way it turns away:
So the world excluding round,
Yet receiving in the day,
Dark beneath, but bright above,
Here disdaining, there in love.
How loose and easy hence to go,
How girt and ready to ascend,
Moving but on a point below,
It all about does upwards bend.
Such did the manna’s sacred dew distill,
White and entire, though congealed and chill,
Congealed on earth : but does, dissolving, run
Into the glories of th’ almighty sun.
Modest doubt is call’d the beacon of the wise.
I am fully qualified to work as a doorkeeper,
and for this reason:
What is inside me, I don’t let out:
What is outside me, I don’t let in.
If someone comes in, he goes right out again —
He has nothing to do with me at all.
I am a Doorkeeper of the Heart, not a lump of wet clay.
Man is nothing but contradiction; the less he knows it the more dupe he is.
It is dangerous to abandon one’s self to the luxury of grief, for it deprives one of courage and even the wish for recovery.
Great men are the true men, the men in whom Nature has succeeded.
I prefer those men of genius who awaken in me the sense of truth, and who increase the sum of one’s inner liberty.
It is not at all necessary to be great, as long as we are in harmony with the order of the universe.
No varnish can hide the grain of the wood… the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.
Your disposition will be suitable to that which you most frequently think about, for the spirit is, as it were, tinged with the color and complexion of its own thoughts.
Instead of every man directing his energies to freeing himself, to transforming his conception of life, people seek for an external united method of gaining freedom, and continue to rivet their chains faster and faster.
By faith it appears that in order to understand the meaning of life I must renounce my reason, the very thing for which alone a meaning is required.
This fault in us I find,
The error of our eye directs our mind:
What error leads must err; O, then conclude
Minds sway’d by eyes are full of turpitude.