Tell me where I can escape death: discover for me the country, show me the men to whom I must go, whom death does not visit. Discover to me a charm against death. If I have not one, what do you wish me to do? I cannot escape from death, but shall I die lamenting and trembling? . . . Therefore if I am able to change externals according to my wish, I change them: but if I cannot, I am ready to tear the eyes out of him who hinders me.
The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mood of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change for happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.
The common dogma of fundamentalists is fear of modern knowledge, inability to cope with the fast change in a scientific-technological society, and the real breakdown in apparent moral order in recent years.... That is why hate is the major fuel, fear is the cement of the movement, and superstitious ignorance is the best defence against the dangerous new knowledge. ... When you bring up arguments that cast serious doubts on their cherished beliefs you are not simply making a rhetorical point, you are threatening their whole Universe and their immortality. That provokes anger and quite frequently violence. ... Unfortunately you cannot reason with them and you even risk violence in confronting them. Their numbers will decline only when society stabilizes, and adapts to modernity.
The common good of a collective -- a race, a class, a state -- was the claim and justification of every tyranny ever established over men. Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equaled the carnage perpetrated by disciples of altruism? Does the fault lie in men's hypocrisy or in the nature of the principle? The most dreadful butchers were the most sincere. The believed in the perfect society reached through the guillotine and the firing squad. Nobody questioned their right to murder since they were murdering for an altruistic purpose. It was accepted that man must be sacrificed for other men. Actors change, but the course of the tragedy remains the same. A humanitarian who starts with the declarations of love for mankind and ends with a sea of blood. It goes on and will go on so long as men believe that an action is good if it is unselfish. That permits the altruist to act and forces his victims to bear it. The leaders of collectivist movements ask nothing of themselves. But observe the results.
The genius of Republican liberty, seems to demand on one side, not only that all power should be derived from the people; but, that those entrusted with it should be kept in dependence on the people, by a short duration of their appointments; and, that, even during this short period, the trust should be placed not in a few, but in a number of hands. Stability, on the contrary, requires, that the hands, in which power is lodged, should continue for a length of time, the same. A frequent change of men will result from a frequent return of electors, and a frequent change of measures, from a frequent change of men; whilst energy in Government requires not only a certain duration of power, but the execution of it by a single hand.
The great difference between those who succeed and those who fail does not consist in the amount of work done by each but in the amount of intelligent work. Many of those who fail most ignominiously do enough to achieve grand success but they labor haphazardly at whatever they are assigned, building up with one hand to tear down with the other. They do not grasp circumstances and change them into opportunities. They have no faculty for turning honest defeats into telling victories. With ability enough and ample time, the major ingredients of success, they are forever throwing back and forth an empty shuttle and the real web of their life is never woven.
The mind holds a specific image of who we currently are, not who we are yet to become. Subconscious fears change since it can't fathom life as the new-self. In that, it will fight, create stories, excuses and limiting theories on why one should remain where they are. Why would it do such a thing? Because it's what it knows. It knows it exists in the current reality and has no guarantees that it will exist in the new one. It also knows you (its host) is alive with the current reality and has no guarantees if you will be alive if you make the transition to the new one. Just trust in that you're enabling in the divine will of the universe to unfold in order to move the world forward. Yes, your work will elevate the level of human consciousness. That is how important you are!
The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who Is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And if he is not romantic personally, he is apt to spread discontent among those who are.
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure , the process is its own reward.