Arise Awake

Never mind failures; they are quite natural, they are the beauty of life – these failures.  What would life be without them?  It would not be worth having if it were not for struggles.  Where would be the poetry of life?  Never mind the struggles, the mistakes.  I never heard a cow tell lie, but it is only cow – never mind these failures, these little backslidings; hold the ideal a thousand times and if you fail a thousand times, make the attempt once more.

from “Arise Awake Messages of Swami Vivekananda”


The Savage Mind

Bergson dis­cerned the importance of the part which, in view of its logical struc­ture, the notion of species was to play in the critique of totemism. But there is every reason to fear that, had he been forced to make his analysis more specific, he would have restricted it to the sub­jective and practical aspect of the relation between man and the natural world, of the kind exemplified by someone asking what there is for lunch today and being wholly satisfied with the answer ‘veal’. In fact the importance of the notion of species is to be explained not so much by a propensity on the part of the practising agent to dissolve it into a genus for biological and utilitarian reasons (which would amount to extending to man the famous dictum that it is grass in general which attracts the herbivore) as by its pre­sumptive objectivity : the diversity of species furnishes man with the most intuitive picture at his disposal and constitutes the most direct manifestation he can perceive of the ultimate discontinuity of reality. It is the sensible expression of an objective coding.

from Claude Lévi-Strauss “The Savage Mind”


The Two Sources of Morality and Religion

An indifferent schoolmaster, mechanically teaching a science created by men of genius, may awaken in one of his pupils the vocation he himself has never possessed, and change him unconsciously into an emulator of those great men, who are invisible and present in the message he is handing on.

from Henri Bergson “The Two Sources of Morality and Religion”


Beyond Good and Evil

217.  Let us be careful in dealing with those who attach great importance to being credited with moral tact and subtlety in moral discernment!  They never forgive us if they have once made a mistake before us (or even with regard to us) – they inevitably become our instinctive calumniators and detractors, even when they still remain our “friends.” – Blessed are the forgetful: for they “get the better” even of their blunders.

from Friedrich Nietzsche “Beyond Good and Evil (Translated by Helen Zimmern)”