What I must do is all that concerns me. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.
What importance can we attach to the things of this world? Friendship? It disappears when the one who is liked comes to grief, or the one who likes becomes powerful. Love? it is deceived, fleeting, or guilty. Fame? You share it with mediocrity or crime. Fortune? Could that frivolity be counted a blessing? All that remains are those so-called happy days that flow past unnoticed in the obscurity of domestic cares, leaving man with the desire neither to lose his life nor to begin it over.
What is a scientist? We give the name scientist to the type of man who has felt experiment to be a means guiding him to search out the deep truth of life, to lift a veil from its fascinating secrets, and who, in this pursuit, has felt arising within him a love for the mysteries of nature, so passionate as to annihilate the thought of himself.
What is all wisdom save a collection of platitudes. Take fifty of our current proverbial sayings-- they are so trite, so threadbare. None the less they embody the concentrated experience of the race, and the man who orders his life according to their teachings cannot be far wrong. Has any man ever attained to inner harmony by pondering the experience of others? Not since the world began! He must pass through fire.
What is it about genus arboretum that socks us in the figurative solar plexus We see a logging truck go cruising down the road, stacked with a bunch of those fresh-cut giants, we feel like we lost a brother. Next thing you know, we're in The Brick, we're flopping money down on the bar. Wood. We're under a roof. Wood. We're walking the floors. Wood. Grabbing a pool cue. That's wood. Our friends in the forest carry a set of luggage from the mythical baggage carousel. Tree of life, tree of knowledge, family tree, Buddha's Bodhi tree. Page one of life, in the beginning. Genesis 322. Adam and Eve. They're kicking back in the garden of Eden and boom, they get an eviction notice. Why is that Lest they should also take of the tree of life, eat and live forever. A definitive Yahweh no-no. Be good to yourself, go out and plant a wet one on a tree.
What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.