Thursday, 11 October 2012

My philosophy of life

Life is sweet, brother, who would wish to die? A gypsy speaking to George Borrow

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, 
The earth, and every common sight, 
To me did seem 
Apparelled in celestial light, 
The glory and the freshness of a dream. 
It is not now as it hath been of yore;— 
Turn wheresoe'er I may, 
By night or day, 
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
William Wordsworth

He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute. St. Augustine
Life is, I am sure, made of poetry. Jorge Luis Borges
God has determined, unless I interfere with His plan, that I should reach that which will be my greatest happiness. He looks on me individually, He calls me by my name, He knows what I can do, what I can best be, what is my greatest happiness, and He means to give it me. Cardinal Newman

The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2

The theologians say the soul has no sex, but I wonder, I very much wonder. Coleridge

All we do our whole lives is go from one little piece of Holy Ground to the next. John Updike, about Salinger, in a review of Franny and Zooey
I have met Frenchmen, Germans and Russians and even heard thanks to Montesquieu that there are Persians but I never met Man.
De Maistre 

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. Leonardo da Vinci

Dicebat Bernardus Carnotensis nos esse quasi nanos, gigantium humeris insidentes, ut possimus plura eis et remotiora videre, non utique proprii visus acumine, aut eminentia corporis, sed quia in altum subvenimur et extollimur magnitudine gigantea.

John of Salisbury

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside awakens. Carl Jung

If the gospels are fictions then the writers are greater than the protagonists. Rousseau

'A nation is not an idea only of local extent, and individual momentary aggregation: but it is an idea of continuity which extends in time as well as in numbers and in space. And this is a choice not of one day, or one set of people, not a tumultary and giddy choirs; it is a deliberate election of the ages and of generations; it is a constitution made by what is ten thousand times better than choice, it is made by the peculiar circumstances, occasions, tempers, dis­positions, and moral and special habitudes of the people, which disclose themselves only in a long space of time....' - Edmund Burke

Things can be done. The people in life who get them done are the ones who know that, and the ones who don't are the rest. Tony Hawks

I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine. Caskie Stinnett

He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute. St. Augustine

It is the great achievement of Christianity in all times and places to have raised the condition of women. W.E. Gladstone

What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?
There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter.
P.G. Wodehouse

Lord (Noel) Annan once recalled an occasion when a fellow peer quoted the famous lament of Sir Ranulph Crewe over the medieval nobility: "Where is Bohun, where's Mowbray, where's Mortimer? Nay, which is more and most of all, where is Plantagenet? They are entombed in the urns and sepulchres of mortality" — whereupon a voice piped up from the Conservative benches saying: "Mowbray is here!" "There, indeed," recalled Annan, "was the premier baron of England, fighting fit and at his place in that hour."

"Reaction. Obstruction, Stagnation" cited by CS Lewis as the motto of the Society for the Prevention of Progress.

Never hire anyone who is going to report directly to you who you do not intuitively just plain like. Charette 

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets his intuition lead him where it wants. Lao-Tzu 

Hatred of Catholicism is the only genuinely religious emotion the English ever experience.

Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition. Rumi

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. –Carl Jung 

In a progressive country change is constant; and the great question is not whether you should resist change which is inevitable, but whether that change should be carried out in deference to the manners, the customs, the laws and the traditions of a people, or whether it should be carried out in deference to abstract principles, and arbitrary and general doctrines. Benjamin Disraeli 

States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
(a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples

UN Dec. of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Art. 8

Liberty does not consist in making others do what you think right. The difference between a free Government and a Government which is not free is principally this—that a Government which is not free interferes with everything it can, and a free Government interferes with nothing except what it must. A despotic Government tries to make everybody do what it wishes, a Liberal Government tries, so far as the safety of society will permit, to allow everybody to do what he wishes. It has been the function of the Liberal Party consistently to maintain the doctrine of individual liberty. It is because they have done so that England is the country where people can do more what they please than in any country in the world. Sir William Harcourt

It is not given to any of us to see more than a fraction of a shadow of the truth. Stanley Baldwin

Can an undying creature debit petty expenses and charge for carriage paid? The soul ties its shoes; the mind washes its hands in a basin. All is incongruous.
Walter Bagehot

An individual European may not even believe that the Christian Faith is true, but what he says and makes and does will all spring out of this history of European culture and depend upon that culture for its meaning. Only a Christian culture could have produced a Nietzsche or a Voltaire. I do not believe that the culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian Faith. And I am convinced of that not merely because I am a Christian myself, but as a student of social biology. T.S. Eliot

[William Trevor’s characters] know that what you are is determined not by a cheery self-assessment of the ‘real you’, still less by what you want for yourself, but by what you have done. Book review

They say I am against reform. I am not against reform. There is a time for everything. And the time for reform is when it can no longer be resisted. Duke of Cambridge

It is only rarely that one can see in a litle boy the promise of a man, but one can almost always see in a little girl the threat of a woman. Alexandre Dumas fils

Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live. Comte Nicolas de Chamfort

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything. Voltaire

The past is attractive because it is drained of fear. Thomas Carlyle

No man can please others who does not please himself. Frederic Harrison

Mrs. Hardcastle: Ay, your times were fine times indeed; you have been telling us of them for many a long year ... all our entertainment your old stories of Prince Eugene and the Duke of Marlborough. I hate such old-fashioned trumpery.Squire Hardcastle: And I love it. I love everything that’s old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine; and I believe, Dorothy (taking her hand), you’ll own I have been pretty fond of an old wife.

Enoch Powell: ‘No, we do not fight for values. I would fight for this country even if it had a communist government.’Mrs. Thatcher (it was just before the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands): ‘Nonsense, Enoch. If I send British troops abroad, it will be to defend our values.’Enoch Powell: ‘No, Prime Minister, values exist in a transcendental realm, beyond space and time. They can neither be fought for, nor destroyed.’

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