There is only one thing that arouses animals more than pleasure, and that is pain. Under torture you are as if under the dominion of those grasses that produce visions. Everything you have heard told, everything you have read returns to your mind, as if you were being transported, not toward heaven, but toward hell. Under torture you say not only what the inquisitor wants, but also what you imagine might please him, because a bond (this, truly, diabolical) is established between you and him.
This is an age of intellectual sauces, of essence, of distillation. We have conclusions without deductions, abridgments of history and abridgments of science without leading facts. We have animals for literature, Cabinet Encyclopaedias, Family Libraries, Diffusion Societies, and heaven knows what else! What is all this for? Not to add knowledge to the learned, but to tell points to the ignorant, without giving them the trouble to acquire the links. Oh! it is sad work. And the result will be injurious to all classes.
This is before the coming of a new Heaven and a new Earth, in the which shall reign the Prince of Peace forever and forever, as the Old shall be passed away, for lo on earth there is nothing great but man in man there is nothing great but mind. . . . .
Thoughts give birth to a creative force that is neither elemental nor sidereal. Thoughts create a new heaven, a new firmament, a new source of energy, from which new arts flow. When a man undertakes to create something, he establishes a new heaven, as it were and from it the work that he desires to create flows into him. For such is the immensity of man that he is greater than heaven and earth.
Today is Christmas Eve. Whether or not Christ was born exactly on this date is not important. But chronological accuracy has nothing to do with tonight's event. A grand genius had been born who preached truth and love; who suffered because of his mission; and on account of his sufferings the world has become better, if not saved. Only it gives me nausea to see how some people abuse his name to commit numerous crimes. If he is in heaven, he will certainly protest! (24 December 1886)
We are sometimes made aware of a kindness long passed, and realize that there have been times when our friends' thoughts of us were of so pure and lofty a character that they passed over us like the winds of heaven unnoticed when they treated us not as what we were, but as what we aspired to be. -- from A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers