“Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it.”
“Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law.”
“Nunc fluens facit tempus,
nunc stans facit aeternitatum.
(The now that passes produces time, the now that remains produces eternity.)”
“Balance out the good things and the bad that have happened in your life and you will have to acknowledge that you are still way ahead. You are unhappy because you have lost those things in which you took pleasure? But you can also take comfort in the likelihood that what is now making you miserable will also pass away.”
“Indeed, the condition of human nature is just this; man towers above the rest of creation so long as he realizes his own nature, and when he forgets it, he sinks lower than the beasts. For other living things to be ignorant of themselves, is natural; but for man it is a defect.”
“All fortune is good fortune; for it either rewards, disciplines, amends, or punishes, and so is either useful or just.”
“If I have fully diagnosed the cause and nature of your condition, you are wasting away in pining and longing for your former good fortune. It is the loss of this which, as your imagination works upon you, has so corrupted your mind. I know the many disguises of that monster, Fortune, and the extent to which she seduces with friendship the very people she is striving to cheat, until she overwhelms them with unbearable grief at the suddenness of her desertion”
“Love binds people too, in matrimony's sacred bonds where chaste lovers are met, and friends cement their trust and friendship. How happy is mankind, if the love that orders the stars above rules, too, in your hearts.”
“And it is because you don't know the end and purpose of things that you think the wicked and the criminal have power and happiness.”
“The greatest misery in adverse fortune is once to have been happy.”
“So dry your tears. Fortune has not yet turned her hatred against all your blessings. The storm has not yet broken upon you with too much violence. Your anchors are holding firm and they permit you both comfort in the present, and hope in the future.”
“Men who give up the common goal of all things that exist, thereby cease to exist themselves. Some may perhaps think it strange that we say that wicked men, who form the majority of men, do not exist; but that is how it is. I am not trying to deny the wickedness of the wicked; what I do deny is that their existence is absolute and complete existence. Just as you might call a corpse a dead man, but couldn't simply call it a man, so I would agree that the wicked are wicked, but could not agree that they have unqualified existence.”
“No man is rich who shakes and groans
Convinced that he needs more.”
“Human perversity, then, makes divisions of that which by nature is one and simple, and in attempting to obtain part of something which has no parts, succeeds in getting neither the part- which is nothing- nor the whole, which they are not interested in.”
“So it follows that those who have reason have freedom to will or not to will, although this freedom is not equal in all of them. [...] human souls are more free when they persevere in the contemplation of the mind of God, less free when they descend to the corporeal, and even less free when they are entirely imprisoned in earthly flesh and blood.”
“He is in no real danger. He merely suffers from a lethargy, a sickness that is common among the depressed. He has forgotten who he really is, but he will recover, for he used to know me, and all I have to do is cloud the mist that beclouds his vision.”
“Man is so constituted that he then only excels other things when he knows himself.”
“لماذا ، يا أهلَ الفناء ، تبحثون عن السعادة خارج أنفسكم وهي كامنةٌ فيها ؟!”
“كلُّ قدرٍ هو قدرً سعيد لو أنك تلقيته بثباتٍ ورباطة جأش”
“There is no danger: he is suffering from drowsiness, that disease which attacks so many minds which have been deceived.”
“But by the same logic as men become just through the possession of justice, or wise through the possession of wisdom, so those who possess divinity necessary become divine. Each happy individual is therefore divine. While only God is so by nature, as many as you like may become so by participation.”
“Among wise men there is no place at all left for hatred. For no one except the greatest of fools would hate good men. And there is no reason at all for hating the bad. For just as weakness is a disease of the body, so wickedness is a disease of the mind. And if this is so, since we think of people who are sick in body as deserving sympathy rather than hatred, much more so do they deserve pity rather than blame who suffer an evil more severe than any physical illness.”
“And so sovereign Providence has often produced a remarkable effect--evil men making other evil men good. For some, when they think they suffer injustice at the hands of the worst of men, burn with hatred for evil men, and being eager to be different from those they hate, have reformed and become virtuous. It is only the power of God to which evils may also be good, when by their proper use He elicits some good result.”
“Then, when she saw me not only answering nothing, but mute and utterly incapable of speech, she gently touched my breast with her hand, and said: 'There is no danger; these are the symptoms of lethargy, the usual sickness of deluded minds. For awhile he has forgotten himself; he will easily recover his memory, if only he first recognises me. And that he may do so, let me now wipe his eyes that are clouded with a mist of mortal things.”
“You are the greatest comfort for exhausted spirits. By the weight of your tenets and the delightfulness of your singing you have so refreshed me that I now think myself capable of facing the blows of Fortune. You were talking of cures that were rather sharp. The thought of them no longer makes me shudder; in fact I'm so eager to hear more, I fervently beg you for them.'
'I knew it,' She replied. 'Once you began to hang onto my words in silent attention, I was expecting you to adopt this attitude, or rather, to be more exact, I myself created it in you. The remedies still to come are, in fact, of such a kind that they taste bitter to the tongue, but grow sweet once they are absorbed.
But you say you are eager to hear more. You would be more than eager to hear if you knew the destination I am trying to bring you to.'
I asked what it was and she told me that it was true happiness.
'Your mind dreams of it,' she said, 'but your sight is clouded by shadows of happiness and cannot see reality.'
I begged her to lead on and show me the nature of true happiness without delay.
'For you,' she said, 'I will do so gladly.”
“И тъй, не е за чудене, че в бурното море на живота ни блъскат силни ветрове, нас, на които преди всичко е писано да не се нравим на порочните хора.”
“Verily this is the very crown of my misfortunes, that men's opinions for the most part look not to real merit, but to the event; and only recognise foresight where Fortune has crowned the issue with her approval.”
“For in every ill turn of fortune the most unhappy sort of unfortunate man is the one who has been happy”
“Että oli onnellinen, se on kaikista kohtalon tuottamista vastoinkäymisistä kaikkein viheliäisin onnettomuuksien laji.”
“And a special thanks for not burning up the whole ship. Including yourself, you daft bum-rag.”
“The essential principle of totalitarianism is to make laws that are impossible to obey.”
“What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re turning you into Microsoft. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.”
“How wonderful it would be if everything could always be as clear and simple as it used to be when you were twelve years old, or twenty years old. If there really were only two colors in the world: black and white. But even the most honest and ingenuous cop, raised on the resounding ideal of the stars and stripes, has to understand sooner or later that there's more than just Darkness and Light out on the streets. There are understandings, concessions, agreements. Informers, traps, provocations. Sooner or later the time comes when you have to betray your own side, plant bags of heroin in pockets, and beat people on the kidneys—carefully, so there are no marks.”
“It was so important to him, and he made it important to me: poetry, and language, and how we use it to remind ourselves of how our lives should be lived . . .”
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