Various Thoughts and Quotations

It is a pity that loss is always what shows us the true value of what we had. Be conscious every day of your blessings, and never take them for granted, because some day, without warning, they may vanish.

The presence of arrogance is the surest sign of the absence of intelligence.

The one thing that you should spend your whole life studying is yourself, for self-knowledge is endless; and without knowing yourself, conflict will be a predominant theme in your life, and misery your companion. 

It is a common mistake to assume that a smart person is an intelligent person. An intelligent person is bound to be smart, but a smart person is not bound to be intelligent. Intelligence is not the ability to accumulate knowledge and use or apply it with accuracy; it is the capacity to understand, from moment to moment, yourself in relationship with other people and with all other livings beings, to know yourself momently, which requires an alert, attentive, and open mind, one that does not measure its observations with reference to its own biases and body of knowledge. Conversely, intelligence is the capacity to understand the inability of knowledge to help you to know yourself and others in relationship, and to solve problems of relationship. ‘Life is action in relationship;’ it is always new and changing. Moment to moment you are always new and changing, as are all other living beings. Knowledge is always old, and always at risk of obsolescence. It is intelligent observation of relationship in action that helps you to respond to challenges of relationship, to live well, and to understand life. The swift and accurate application of knowledge to a task or to a technical problem may show you to be smart, but it is indicative of no intelligence. How you conduct yourself in relationship with others says volumes about your intelligence or your lack of it; in this respect, how smart you may be is completely irrelevant.

Thales, the Greek philosopher, was once asked, ‘What is easy?’ He replied, ‘To give advice to another.’ When asked, ‘What is difficult?’ He replied, ‘To know oneself.’

Nothing is more important than truth. It is the basis of all right relationship. Without it, we live in delusion.

See beauty in every leaf, and you will see beauty everywhere.

No guru, no book or scripture, can give you self-knowledge: it comes when you are aware of yourself in relationship. To be, is to be related; not to understand relationship is misery, strife. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

The following of authority is the denial of intelligence. To accept authority is to submit to domination, to subjugate oneself to an individual, to a group, or to an ideology, whether religious or political; and this subjugation of oneself to authority is the denial, not only of intelligence, but also of individual freedom. Compliance with a creed or a system of ideas is a self-protective reaction. The acceptance of authority may help us temporarily to cover up our difficulties and problems; but to avoid a problem is only to intensify it, and in the process, self-knowledge and freedom are abandoned. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

It is never too late in life to cultivate good habits. You can begin to improve and enrich your life at any time; and good habits are the steps that move you towards the realization of the improvement and enrichment of it.

Do not hurry; do not rest. – Goethe

The ignorant man is not the unlearned, but he who does not know himself, and the learned man is stupid when he relies on books, on knowledge, and on authority to give him understanding. Understanding comes only through self-knowledge, which is awareness of one’s total psychological process. Thus education, in the true sense, is the understanding of oneself, for it is within each one of us that the whole of existence is gathered. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

One man may see more than a million – George Berkeley

If people knew how hard I worked to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all. – Michelangelo

Pursue your passion with earnestness, and you are bound to excel in your field of endeavor; success will be the fruit of your labor, and the road to it will be the one on which you love most to travel. Make up your mind to do something, and do it.

The amount of ugliness in the world will never be greater than the amount of beauty in it. The world, as nature always reminds us, is full of extraordinary beauty.

Every single day you are writing the history of your own life with your actions, and with your words. If you do your best to make every day as great a day as possible, through your actions and through your words, you will make the history of your life a great one. It is entirely up to you.

You cannot discover what you are capable of doing if you give in to idleness. Work hard, and never give up. Only you can walk yourself down the path to accomplishment.

If you never leave your comfort zone, you will never expand your comfort zone. To expand its boundaries you must stretch its boundaries and go beyond them. Push yourself, and you will move forward into new territories of life with increased strength, and will find yourself feeling more and more confident in all you do. Never underestimate your strength. We are all stronger than we may realize.

The kind of heart you have is revealed by your actions and by your words. Think before you speak, think before you act, and have a good heart.

‘I COULD likewise have been glad, if you had applied your self a little more to the Study of the English Language, than I fear you have done; the Neglect whereof is one of the most general Defects among the Scholars of this Kingdom, who seem to have not the least Conception of a Stile, but run on in a flat Kind of Phraseology, often mingled with barbarous Terms and Expressions, peculiar to the Nation: Neither do I perceive that any Person either finds or acknowledges his Wants upon this Head, or in the least desires to have them supplyed.  Proper Words in proper Places, makes the true Definition of a Stile.’ – Jonathan Swift  

It is a matter of the simplest demonstration, that no man can be really appreciated but by his equal or superior.  His inferior may over-estimate him in enthusiasm ; or, as is more commonly the case, degrade him, in ignorance ; but he cannot form a grounded and just estimate. – John Ruskin

There is nothing in the world more difficult than to write with the easy and forthright simplicity of talk, as anyone may see who tries for himself—or even compares the letter-writing with the conversation of his friends. – G. H. Mair

In the very best styles, as Southey’s, you read page after page, understanding the author perfectly, without once taking notice of the medium of communication; it is as if he had been speaking to you all the while. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I give, and I think I am right in doing so, the palm to Jacques Amyot over all French writers, not only for the simplicity and purity of his vocabulary, in which he surpasses all others, nor for his industry in so long a task, nor for the depth of his learning which has enabled him to expound so happily a writer so thorny and crabbed.  I am above all grateful to him for having selected and chosen a book so worthy and so suitable a present to his country. We dunces were lost had not this book [Plutarch’s Lives] plucked us out of the mire. Thanks to it, we dare to speak and to write.  By it ladies are in position to give lessons to schoolmasters. It is our very breviary. – Michel de Montaigne