Using another as a means of satisfaction and security is not love. Love is never security; love is a state in which there is no desire to be secure; it is a state of vulnerability.
The earth has enough for every man’s need, but not for every man’s greed.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
If a person works only for himself he can perhaps be a famous scholar, a great wise man, a distinguished poet, but never a complete, genuinely great man. History calls those the greatest . . . who enobled themselves by working for the universal. Experience praises as the most happy the one who made the most people happy.
So long as you’re struggling, quarreling, there can’t be despair. Despair is one of the supreme sins, because a despairing person ceases to struggle. That makes despair the ultimate defeat; it is death. It has a feeling of completeness to it, closely connected to smugness: the despairing person makes no attempt to move from the point he is at — no attempt to change himself or the world — and this completeness is a mark of dying. Dying is completion.
Most people see the problem of love as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one’s capacity to love. Hence, the problem to them is how to be loved, how to be lovable. In pursuit of this aim, they follow several paths. One, which is especially used by men, is to be successful, to be as powerful and rich as the social margin of one’s position permits. Another, used especially by women, is to make oneself attractive, by cultivating one’s body, dress, etc. Other ways of making oneself attractive, used both by men and women, are to develop pleasant manners, interesting conversation, to be helpful, modest, inoffensive. Many of the ways to make oneself lovable are the same as those used to make oneself successful, “to win friends and influence people.” As a matter of fact, what most people in our culture mean by being lovable is essentially a mixture between being popular and having sex appeal.
There once was a king who was going to put to death many people, but before doing so he offered a challenge. If any of them could come up with something which would make him happy when he was sad, and sad when he was happy, he would spare their lives.
All night the wise men meditated on the matter.
In the morning, they brought the king a ring. The king said that he did not see how the ring would serve to make him happy when he was sad and sad when he was happy.
The wise men pointed to the inscription. When the king read it, he was so delighted that he spared them all.
And the inscription? “This too shall pass.”
When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.