A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul

A man who does not understand the benefit of suffering does not live a clever and true life.

An artist is one of two things: he is either a high priest, or a more or less smart entertainer. —GIUSEPPE MAZZINI

A real truth, a real faith, needs neither worldly support nor an outer glamour, nor does it need to be forcefully introduced to others. God has time; for Him thousands of years pass as one. Those who feel the need to spread their faith through violence and force either lack faith in God, or in themselves. September

Constant idleness should be included in the tortures of hell, but it is, on the contrary, considered to be one of the joys of paradise.

Do not be interested in the quantity of people who respect and admire you, but in their quality. If bad people dislike you, so much the better. —LUCIUS ANNAEUS SENECA

Everything is indefinite, misty, and transient; only virtue is clear, and it cannot be destroyed by any force. —MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO

False faith is the major cause of most of our misfortunes. The purpose of a human life is to bring the irrational beginning of our life to a rational beginning. In order to succeed in this, two things are important: (1) to see all irrational, unwise things in life and direct your attention to them and study them; (2) to understand the possibility of a rational, wise life. The major purpose of all teachers of mankind was the understanding of the irrational and rational beginnings in our life. We should be ready to change our views at any time, and slough off prejudices, and live with an open and receptive mind. A sailor who sets the same sails all the time, without making changes when the wind changes, will never reach his harbor. —HENRY GEORGE Accept the teaching of Christ as it is, clear and simple; then you will see that we live among big lies.

If there is something great in you, it will not appear on your first call. It will not appear and come to you easily, without any work and effort. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON

If you feel that you are not free, look for the reason inside you.

Imagine a flock of pigeons in a corn field. Imagine that ninety-nine of them, instead of pecking the corn they need and using it as they need it, start to collect all they can into one big heap. Imagine that they do not leave much corn for themselves, but save this big heap of corn on behalf of the vilest and worst in their flock. Imagine that they all sit in a circle and watch this one pigeon, who squanders and wastes this wealth. And then imagine that they rush at a weak pigeon who is the most hungry among them who darest to take one grain from the heap without permission, and they punish him. If you can imagine this, then you can understand the day-to-day behavior of mankind. —WILLIAM PALEY

Improve your kindness by exercising your intellect, and improve your intellect by exercising your kindness and love.

It is better to know several basic rules of life than to study many unnecessary sciences. The major rules of life will stop you from evil and show you the good path in life; but the knowledge of many unnecessary sciences may lead you into the temptation of pride, and stop you from understanding the basic rules of life.

Kind people help each other even without noticing that they are doing so, and evil people act against each other on purpose. —CHINESE PROVERB

Neglecting your health can prevent you from serving people, and too much attention to your body and its health can bring the same results. In order to find the middle way, you should take care of your body only to the extent that doing so helps you to serve others, and does not stop you from serving them. No illness can prevent a person from what he has to do. If you cannot work, then give your love to people. Illnesses of the mind are much more dangerous than illnesses of the body. —MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO

Only during a period of war does it become obvious how millions of people can be manipulated. People, millions of people, are filled with pride while doing things which those same people actually consider stupid, evil, dangerous, painful, and criminal, and they strongly criticize these things—but continue doing them.

Pay bad people with your goodness; fight their hatred with your kindness. Even if you do not achieve victory over other people, you will conquer yourself. —HENRI AMIEL

Read the best books first, otherwise you’ll find you do not have time.
- Henry David Thoreau

Real science studies and makes accessible that knowledge which people at that period of history think important, and real art transfers this truth from the domain of knowledge to the domain of feelings.

The difference between real material poison and intellectual poison is that most material poison is disgusting to the taste, but intellectual poison, which takes the form of cheap newspapers or bad books, can unfortunately sometimes be attractive.

The egoist feels lonely, surrounded by threatening and alien events; all his desires are sunk in his own concerns. A kind person lives in a world of beneficent events, whose goodness matches his own. —ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER

The only real science is the knowledge of how a person should live his life. And this knowledge is open to everyone.

There is only one real knowledge: that which helps us to be free. Every other type of knowledge is mere amusement. —VISHNU PURANA,

Those who don’t believe in the spiritual foundations of their faith, who only pay lip service to the outer shell of their religious rituals, cannot be tolerant of others.

To accept the dignity of another person is an axiom. It has nothing to do with subduing, supporting, or giving charity to other people.

To improve ourselves, to move toward that goal, perfection, that puts no less a demand on us for being unattainable, requires solitude, removal from the concerns of everyday life. And yet constant solitude renders self-improvement impossible, if not pointless. A balance must be struck between meditating in solitude and then applying this to your everyday life.

We expect rewards for goodness, and punishments for the bad things which we do. Often, they are not immediately

We should always try to find those things which do not separate us from other people but which unite us. To work against each other, to be angry and turn your back on each other, is to work against nature. —MARCUS AURELIUS

What a great treasure can be hidden in a small, selected library! A company of the wisest and the most deserving people from all the civilized countries of the world, for thousands of years, can make the results of their studies and their wisdom available to us. The thought which they might not even reveal to their best friends is written here in clear words for us, people from another century. Yes, we should be grateful for the best books, for the best spiritual achievements in our lives. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON

When you carry your burden, you should know that it is good for you to have it. Make the best of this burden and take from it everything which is necessary for your intellectual life, as your stomach takes from food everything necessary for your flesh, or as fire burns brighter after you put some wood on it. —MARCUS AURELIUS

When you seek God with your intellect and your actions, God exists in you, and as soon as you decide that you have found God, and stop and become satisfied, you have lost him. —FYODOR STRAKHOV