Book 1 Chapter 1, p. 44
Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536; 1559)
Context: Without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God.
Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.
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Book 1 Chapter 1, p. 44
— Francis of Assisi Catholic saint and founder of the Franciscan Order 1182 - 1226
The Counsels of the Holy Father St. Francis, Admonition 27.
Context: Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.
„One who takes account of his shortcomings will always gain by it; one who is unmindful of them will always suffer. One who is afraid of the Day of Judgment, is safe from the Wrath of Allah. One who takes lessons from the events of life, gets vision, one who acquires vision becomes wise and one who attains wisdom achieves knowledge.“
„There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor.“
— George Santayana 20th-century Spanish-American philosopher associated with Pragmatism 1863 - 1952
— Jordan Peterson Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology 1962
— Estelle Getty actress 1923 - 2008
Estelle Getty, ‘Golden Girls’ Matriarch, Dies at 84, New York Times, July 23, 2008
„Cherish wisdom as a means of travelling from youth to old age, for it is more lasting than any other possession.“
— Bias of Priene ancient Greek philosopher, one of the Seven Sages -600 - -530 BC
The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (c. 230)
„Learning is to a man as the leaves and branches are to a tree, and it can be said that he should not be without it. Learning is not only reading books, however, but is rather something that we study to integrate with our own way of life.
One who is born into the house of a warrior, regardless of his rank or class, first acquaints himself with a man of military feats and achievements in loyalty, and, listening to just one of his dictums each day, will in a month know 30 precepts. Needless to say, if in a year he learns 300 precepts, at the end of that time he will be much the better.
Thus, a man can divide his mind into three parts: he should throw out those thoughts that are evil, take up those ideas that are good, and become intimate with his own wisdom… I would honor and call wise the man who penetrates this principle, though he lacks the knowledge of a single Chinese character. As for those who are learned in other matters, I would avoid them regardless of how deep their knowledge might be. That is how shallow and untalented this monk is.“
— Takeda Shingen Japanese daimyo of the Sengoku period 1521 - 1573
William Scott Wilson, Gregory Lee. Ideals of the Samurai: Writings of Japanese Warriors, 1982. p 95
„I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man. The result of the deliberations of all collective bodies must necessarily be a compound, as well of the errors and prejudices, as of the good sense and wisdom, of the individuals of whom they are composed.“
The Federalist Papers (1787–1788)
Context: I should esteem it the extreme of imprudence to prolong the precarious state of our national affairs, and to expose the Union to the jeopardy of successive experiments, in the chimerical pursuit of a perfect plan. I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man. The result of the deliberations of all collective bodies must necessarily be a compound, as well of the errors and prejudices, as of the good sense and wisdom, of the individuals of whom they are composed.
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„Should you seek might, power, false honor, excess — seek that we would work for you to provide your temporal advantages — we will bring you as close to the throne as you wish, and then turn you over to the consequences of your folly, but our inner sanctuary remains closed to such. But should you want to learn wisdom — want to learn to make mankind more clever, better, free and happy — then be thrice welcomed by us.“
— Adam Weishaupt German philosopher and founder of the Order of Illuminati 1748 - 1830
Die neuesten Arbeiten des Spartacus und Philo in dem Illuminaten-Orden (1794) pp. 9-10.
„If then we would indeed be “filled with wisdom and spiritual understanding;” if we would “walk worthy of the Lord unto all well pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” here let us fix our eyes! “Laying aside every weight, and the sin that does so easily beset us; let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Here best we may learn the infinite importance of Christianity. How little it can deserve to be treated in that slight and superficial way, in which it is in these days regarded by the bulk of nominal Christians, who are apt to think it may be enough, and almost equally pleasing to God, to be religious in any way, and upon any system. What exquisite folly it must be to risk the soul on such a venture, in direct contradiction to the dictates of reason, and the express declaration of the word of God! “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”
LOOKING UNTO JESUS!
Here we shall best learn the duty and reasonableness of an absolute and unconditional surrender of soul and body to the will and service of God.—“We are not our own; for we are bought with a price,” and must “therefore” make it our grand concern to “glorify God with our bodies and our spirits, which are God’s.” Should we be base enough, even if we could do it with safety, to make any reserves in our returns of service to that gracious Saviour, who “gave up himself for us?” If we have formerly talked of compounding by the performance of some commands for the breach of others; can we now bear the mention of a composition of duties, or of retaining to ourselves the right of practising little sins! The very suggestion of such an idea fills us with indignation and shame, if our hearts be not dead to every sense of gratitude.
LOOKING UNTO JESUS!
Here we find displayed, in the most lively colours, the guilt of sin, and how hateful it must be to the perfect holiness of that Being, “who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.” When we see that, rather than sin should go unpunished, “God spared not his own Son,” but “was pleased, to bruise him and put him to grief” for our sakes; how vainly must impenitent sinners flatter themselves with the hope of escaping the vengeance of Heaven, and buoy themselves up with I know not what desperate dreams of the Divine benignity!
Here too we may anticipate the dreadful sufferings of that state, “where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth;” when rather than that we should undergo them, “the Son of God” himself, who “thought it no robbery to be equal with God,” consented to take upon him our degraded nature with all its weaknesses and infirmities; to be “a man of sorrows,” “to hide not his face from shame and spitting,” “to be wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities,” and at length to endure the sharpness of death, “even the death of the Cross,” that he might “deliver us from the wrath to come,” and open the kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
LOOKING UNTO JESUS!
Here best we may learn to grow in the love of God! The certainty of his pity and love towards repenting sinners, thus irrefragably demonstrated, chases away the sense of tormenting fear, and best lays the ground in us of a reciprocal affection. And while we steadily contemplate this wonderful transaction, and consider in its several relations the amazing truth, that “God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all;” if our minds be not utterly dead to every impulse of sensibility, the emotions of admiration, of preference, of hope, and trust, and joy, cannot but spring up within us, chastened with reverential fear, and softened and quickened by overflowing gratitude. Here we shall become animated by an abiding disposition to endeavour to please our great Benefactor; and by a humble persuasion, that the weakest endeavours of this nature will not be despised by a Being, who has already proved himself so kindly affected towards us. Here we cannot fail to imbibe an earnest desire of possessing his favour, and a conviction, founded on his own declarations thus unquestionably confirmed, that the desire shall not be disappointed. Whenever we are conscious that we have offended this gracious Being, a single thought of the great work of Redemption will be enough to fill us with compunction. We shall feel a deep concern, grief mingled with indignant shame, for having conducted ourselves so unworthily towards one who to us has been infinite in kindness: we shall not rest till we have reason to hope that he is reconciled to us; and we shall watch over our hearts and conduct in future with a renewed jealousy, [Pg 243] lest we should again offend him. To those who are ever so little acquainted with the nature of the human mind, it were superfluous to remark, that the affections and tempers which have been enumerated, are the infallible marks and the constituent properties of Love. Let him then who would abound and grow in this Christian principle, be much conversant with the great doctrines of the Gospel.
It is obvious, that the attentive and frequent consideration of these great doctrines, must have a still more direct tendency to produce and cherish in our minds the principle of the love of Christ.“
— William Wilberforce English politician 1759 - 1833
Source: Real Christianity (1797), p. 240-243.
„We are so tiny under the vast sky,
our mankind home
is just a tiny speck
in the immeasurable reaches of a boundless universe,
we find an immense and highly ordered system of galaxies stars and planets,
all moving with great precision,
the heavenly wisdom vibrates in our hearts.“
spirituality and wisdom
„All the great evils which men cause to each other because of certain intentions, desires, opinions, or religious principles, are likewise due to non-existence, because they originate in ignorance, which is absence of wisdom.“
Source: Guide for the Perplexed (c. 1190), Part III, Ch.11
„I eagerly await tomorrow's mail to have news of Russia and Poland. For now, I have to content myself with a few vague rumors which float around. I have heard about new, bloody skirmishes in Poland between the people and troops; I was told that, even in Russia, there was a conspiracy against the czar and the whole royal family.
I am equally passionate about the struggle between the North and the Southern American states. Of course, my heart goes out to the North. But alas! It is the South who acted with the most force, wisdom, and solidarity, which makes them worthy of the triumph they have received in every encounter so far. It is true that the South has been preparing for war for three years now, while the North has been forced to improvise. The surprising success of the ventures of the American people, for the most part happy; the banality of the material well being, where the heart is absent; and the national vanity, altogether infantile and sustained with very little cost; all seem to have helped deprave these people, and perhaps this stubborn struggle will be beneficial to them in so much as it helps the nation regain its lost soul. This is my first impression; but it could very well be that I will change my mind upon seeing things up close. The only thing is, I will not have enough time to examine really closely.“
— Mikhail Bakunin Russian revolutionary, philosopher, and theorist of collectivist anarchism 1814 - 1876
Letter http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_archives/bakunin/letters/toherzenandogareff.html to Aleksandr Ivanovich Herzen and Ogareff from San Francisco (3 October 1861); published in Correspondance de Michel Bakounine (1896) edited by Michel Dragmanov
„The pursuit of success is marked by numerous characteristics; including, perseverance, commitment, education, and wisdom, to name a few. The road to failure can also be described with countless personality traits, including, unreliable, indolence, ignorance, and ineptitude.
However, during my thirty years as an administrator I have witnessed the most significant rationale for failure that cannot be described in a single word. It is a characteristic some people possess, often referred to by psychologists as the, need-to-be-liked-syndrome. Unfortunately, for some, their existence is predicated upon pleasing others, and seeking approval and recognition. They have become an inmate or prisoner to the thoughts and opinions of others.
In other words, they lack self-value, and therefore must receive it from others. When you do not value yourself, then it will be difficult to obtain joy and contentment in one’s life. Remember; you have worth and value.“
„We have Divine Wisdom in the mortal body. Whatever does harm to the body, ruins the House of the Eternal.“
— Paracelsus Swiss physician and alchemist 1493 - 1541