Saturday, August 29, 2009

From Balthasar Gracian's "Art of Worldly Wisdom"

"A man without passion, the pledge of great loftiness of spirit which by its very superiority redeems a man from the yoke of vagrant and vulgar externals. There is no greater mastery than the mastery of self, and its passions, for it amounts to the triumph of free will, but even where passion overcomes the individual, it must not dare to touch his office, especially if it be a high one; this is the best way to spare yourself grief, and yet the shortest way to a good reputation."

"Think, and most about that which is most important: all the fools get lost because they do not think: they never see the half of things, and knowing neither their loss, nor their profit, they make small effort in either direction. Some make much of what is of little importance, or little of what is of much importance, always judging wrong. Most do not lose their heads because they have none. There are matters which should be considered with every faculty, and then be treasured in the depths of the mind. An intelligent man thinks about everything, though with discrimination, digging deepest where there are prospect and treasure; knowing always that more lies buried than he knows; but such means does what is apprehended become what is comprehended".

Friday, August 28, 2009

From Balthasar Gracian, "The Art of Worldly Wisdom"

"Wisdom, backed by courage make great: because immortal, they immortalize: each is as great as his mind, and to him who knows, everyting is possible. A man without knowledge, a world in darkness. Understanding and will, they are the eyes and hands, without courage the mind is dead".

"A man at his best. You are not so born: strive daily to develop yourself in your person, in your calling, until perfection is attained: the fullness of your every gift, of your every faculty. You will know it in the improvement of your taste, in the clarification of your thinking, in the maturity of your judgment, in the control of your will. Some never attain the perfect, something always lacking and others are late in coming to themselves. The man complete, wise in speech, wise in action, is admitted; he is welcomed into that rare fellowship of those who understand".

"The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart." (Friedrich Nietzsche)