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Top 10 Russian Authors and Their Masterpieces

Top 10 Russian Authors and Their Masterpieces

1. Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910)

  • Anna Karenina (1875–7)—“All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
  • War and Peace (1865–9)—“The strongest of all warriors are these two—time and patience.”

2. Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881)

  • Crime and Punishment (1866)—“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”
  • The Brothers Karamazov (1880)—“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

3. Anton Chekhov (1860–1904)

  • The Three Sisters (1901)—“Man must work by the sweat of his brow whatever his class, and that should make up the whole meaning and purpose of his life and happiness and contentment.”
  • Uncle Vanya (1897)—“When a woman isn’t beautiful, people always say, ‘You have lovely eyes, you have lovely hair.”
  • The Cherry Orchard (1904)—“To begin to live in the present, we must first atone for our past and be finished with it, and we can only atone for it by suffering, by extraordinary, unceasing exertion.”

4. Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837)

  • Eugene Onegin (1833)
    “A woman’s love for us increases
    The less we love her, sooth to say—
    She stoops, she falls, her struggling ceases;
    Caught fast, she cannot get away.”
  • Boris Godunov (1825)
    “Pimen [writing in front of a sacred lamp]:
    One more, the final record, and my annals
    Are ended, and fulfilled the duty laid
    By God on me a sinner. Not in vain
    Hath God appointed me for many years
    A witness, teaching me the art of letters;
    A day will come when some laborious monk
    Will bring to light my zealous, nameless toil,
    Kindle, as I, his lamp, and from the parchment
    Shaking the dust of ages will transcribe
    My true narrations.”

5. Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852)

  • Taras Bulba (1835)—“Turn around, son! What a funny figure you are! Are those priests’ cassocks you are wearing? And do they all go about like that at the academy?” With these words old Bulba greeted his two sons who had been studying at the Kiev college and had come home to their father.”
  • Dead Souls (1842)—“As you pass from the tender years of youth into harsh and embittered manhood, make sure you take with you on your journey all the human emotions! Don’t leave them on the road, for you will not pick them up afterwards!”

6. Mikhail Sholokhov (1905–1984)

  • And Quiet Flows the Don (1934)—“The grass grows over the graves, time overgrows the pain. The wind blew away the traces of those who had departed; time blows away the bloody pain and the memory of those who did not live to see their dear ones again—and will not live, for brief is human life, and not for long is any of us granted to tread the grass.”

7. Mikhail Bulgakov (1891–1940)

  • The Master and Margarita (1966-67)—“The tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes never! You’re asked an unexpected question, you don’t even flinch, it takes just a second to get yourself under control, you know just what you have to say to hide the truth, and you speak very convincingly, and nothing in your face twitches to give you away. But the truth, alas, has been disturbed by the question, and it rises up from the depths of your soul to flicker in your eyes and all is lost.”

8. Ivan Turgenev (1818–1883)

  • Fathers and Sons (1862)—“Nature is not a temple, but a workshop, and man’s the workman in it.”
  • On the Eve (1860)—“No matter how often you knock at nature’s door, she won’t answer in words you can understand—for Nature is dumb. She’ll vibrate and moan like a violin, but you mustn’t expect a song.”

9. Maxim Gorky (1868–1936)

  • The Lower Depths (1902)—“Everybody, my friend, everybody lives for something better to come. That’s why we want to be considerate of every man—Who knows what’s in him, why he was born and what he can do?”

10. Mikhail Lermontov (1814–1841)

  • A Hero of our Time (1840)—“The love of savages isn’t much better than the love of noble ladies; ignorance and simple-heartedness can be as tiresome as coquetry.”
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Posted in Hobbies and Pursuits Music, Arts, and Culture

Mighty in Deeds and Not in Words

The Wisdom of Deeds Will Be Necessary for the World to Come

Wisdom of Deeds Will Be Necessary The man sweeping the synagogue paused for a moment. He looked at die flowers lying about in disorder. “What waste!” he said to himself. Those roses had adorned the pulpit at a wedding an hour before. Now all was over and they were waiting to be discarded.

The attendant leaning on his sweeper was lost in thought when suddenly he heard a strange sound. One of the roses replied to him.

“Do you call this a waste?” the flower protested. “What is life anyway, yours or mine, but a means of service? My mission was to create some fragrance and beauty, and when I have fulfilled it, my life has not been wasted. And what greater privilege is there than to adorn a bride’s way to her beloved, what greater privilege than to help glorify the moment when a bride and groom seal their faith in each other by entering the covenant of marriage?”

Our listed flower paused for a moment to watch the man’s face, and then continued her discourse.

Roses are like people. They live in deeds, not in time.

My glory was but for a brief hour, but you should have seen the joy in the bride’s eye, “I like to believe that I had something to do with it, by creating a suitable setting for the moment of her supreme happiness. So do not grieve for me. My life has been worthwhile”

Having spoken her little piece, the rose was once more silent. The attendant, startled from his reverie and a little wiser, pushed the sweeper again and continued with his work.

If only the people who agonize about their financial obligation would think about the riches they do possess, they would stop troubling. Would you sell both your eyes for a one hundred thousand dollars … or your two legs … or your hands … or your hearing? Add up what you do have, and you will find that you will not sell them for all the gold in the planet. The best things in life are yours, if you can acknowledge the economic value of yourself.

Be Not Careless in Deeds

Be Not Careless in Deeds In all cases and constitutions, in all habits of body, at every point of life, and under possibly every circumstance, cool air, drinking cold water bountifully, and bathing the whole body, or at least the private parts with tepid or icy cold water, agrees absolutely well, and produces the happiest and most providential effects. Therefore, it is strongly connected with a detestation of oppression of every kind; and forms a taste for liberty and laws.

The great majority of psychiatrists not only hold that dementia consists in the constipation of such encompassing mental powers as memory, judgment, conception, etc., but also believe—in company with most psychologists—that an average mental test measures one of these powers. The Lebanese-American scholar, statistician, and essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in Antifragile,

While in the past people of rank or status were those and only those who took risks, who had the downside for their actions, and heroes were those who did so for the sake of others, today the exact reverse is taking place. We are witnessing the rise of a new class of inverse heroes, that is, bureaucrats, bankers, Davos-attending members of the I.A.N.D. (International Association of Name Droppers), and academics with too much power and no real downside and/or accountability. They game the system while citizens pay the price.

At no point in history have so many non-risk-takers, that is, those with no personal exposure, exerted so much control.

The chief ethical rule is the following: Thou shalt not have antifragility at the expense of the fragility of others.

In all matters of opinion and science, the case it diametrical: The divergence among men is there oftener found to lie in generals than in particulars; and to be less in reality than in appearance. The reliable harvest of my daily life is as impalpable and untellable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little stardust caught a section of the rainbow, which I have clutched. If the flash should reach so low as the earth, and a person should regrettably be in the place of its detonation, he is broadly struck dead in a moment, and feels the most instant of all kinds of death. Mighty in deeds and not in words.

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Boredom is a Sickness of the Soul

The Only Unhappiness is a Life of Boredom

The Only Unhappiness is a Life of Boredom Have you ever been bored? When we have nothing in particular to do, and have time on our hands, a strange unrest seizes us, and we feel our life to be futile and meaningless.

Nearly all unhappiness in life comes from the inclination to blame someone else. Let us always hope well of a cause that is good in itself, and beneficial to human race. The pathology of the case up until now remains concealed in darkness. At that profundity the bottom, which had no pressure of water above it, and had a substantial pressure below, would not sink nor fall from the tube, but in reality swam at that depth upon the water? There is no one rationality why all these states got into trouble. Much is already being done, but more is needed. It is called the sewer serene, a disquiet in which the eye is, to all appearance, as capable of seeing as in the profound state; but, notwithstanding, the individual remains for life in gross darkness.

Boredom is not an uncommon human experience. It is a divine judgment against our uncreative life. The Lord placed us in this world for a purpose. We have tasks waiting to be done. In us, there is the energy of hand and heart and mind, craving for release, for action. Yet we allow the tasks to remain undone, and our energies to be untapped. Our feeling of boredom is an indication of God’s displeasure with what we are making of ourselves. This unrest of the soul calls for no special cure except work, work that will serve someone in the world, work that will give us the most priceless of all joys—the satisfaction of being useful, of being creative.

God has woven many safeguards, for our own wellbeing, into the fabric of our natures. In the face of peril, we are pervaded by an emotion of fear. When our bodies need sustenance, we feel a sensation of hunger. Because the Lord wanted us to live with mates in the family of life, He gave us the sexual urge. These pressures in our nature are the controls the Lord has set upon us to steer us die way He wishes us to go. Boredom is just such a control.

The Lord did not want us to stagnate through idleness. We each have a job we can do, and should do. It may be a rigorous job, and initially it may appear hard, even beyond us. Nevertheless, let us put our hand and heart to it, and if we suffer from any feeling of boredom, it will fade before we know it, as morning mist fades at the oncoming sun.

Boredom is One of the Greatest Tortures of Life

Boredom is One of the Greatest Tortures of Life Humans defend their territory covetously—trapping, snaring, poisoning, shooting offhanded, and putting the dogs on the contention. The Japanese have a term, kenzoku, which translated literally means ‘family.’ The connotation suggests a bond between people who have made an interchangeable commitment and who possibly therefore share a similar fate. It implies the presence of the deep connection of friendship, of lives lived as comrades from the distant past. The air upon the Italian desolate coast, still open and dry the soil, is incessantly found grievous; while universally through Europe the most thickly settled cities are reckoned the most healthful.

Normally, people believe that defeat is characterized by a general bustle and a vehement rush. Bustle and rush are the signs of victory, not of defeat. Victory is a thing of action. Every participant in victory sweats and puffs, carrying the stones for the building of the house. But defeat is a thing of tiredness, of incoherence, of boredom. Above all of futility. Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari wrote in his best selling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,

Nobody would doubt that all the new technologies will enhance again the collective power of humankind, but the question we should be asking ourselves is what’s happening on the individual level. We have enough evidence from history that you can have a very big step forward, in terms of collective power, coupled with a step backwards in terms of individual happiness, individual suffering. We need to ask ourselves about the new technologies emerging at present, not only how are they going to impact the collective power of humankind, but also how are they going to impact the daily life of individuals.

This gives rise to a tremendous stirring, one based not on hope but on experience. When the Dutch, smith bole, cut down the clove trees of the island of ternate, of which it was full, in order to raise the cost of cloves in Europe, this produced such a shift in the air, that the island from being exceedingly salubrious, became sickly and unhealthy to an uttermost degree. At least you would ultimately know how mystifying the hole is. Yet what is inside is the only origin of happiness.

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Generousness Brings Enjoyment, and Discipline Happiness

The Prose of Everyday Life

Young couples occasionally look back with nostalgia on the romantic beginnings of their love. The bonds, which now link them to each other, are real and deep, yet they remember the earlier exhilaration, when each encounter was an adventure, long anticipated, and long remembered. They sometimes feel as though all the sparkle, all the poetry has gone out of their lives.

The Prose of Everyday Life Their complaint is in some sense true, but they do not fully understand the meaning of the change, which has taken place in their lives. The excitation was a necessary stimulant to courtship. It was necessary to overcome the resistance to the loss of independence, which is in some respects inevitable when two lives are to be merged into one. A tree, in the early stages of its transplantation needs special nurture, and so do young people at the time of the most radical change in their lives.

That stimulant recedes when it has accomplished its purpose. Indeed its persistence might become a hindrance, since some young people whose pursuit of each other has ended with the prize won; now have other things to do. They must begin the prose of everyday life. They must begin to share the rigors of living, to face common tasks, to help each other in their climb towards the new horizons opening in their life together.

The thin kindling wood gives off a brilliant flame, but that flame cannot last, and does not give out warmth. Its function is to ignite the heavy log, which will burn with less sparkle, less glitter, but with the most glowing steadiness. The fire of later years is not as brilliant as the blaze, which burned at the beginning, but it is firmer, surer, and warmer.

It was made of clay, effortlessly chipped, and coarsely painted. The universal arrangement is the time-honored one of a thoughtfulness of the anatomy of the cerebellum from a descriptive point of view, followed by a segment on experimentation, with, in the end, a detailed account of the diagnostic of affections of this portion of the brain, and a discourse of the relation of the brain to motility.

Happiness is Simple-minded Than Suffering

Happiness is Simple-minded Than Suffering Let us not permit the kindling wood to flare up and burn itself out in a beautiful but brief exhibit of flame, without being sure it ignites the thicker log for the more enduring fire.

Would not this require vast strength to effect? Pretty standardized is the force that the muscles of the arm exert in raising the whole length of the arm, and the weight of the hand beside. Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the mindset, we bring to life. An affirmative mental attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a medium, a spark that creates extraordinary results. Our reputation is an instrument, then-not, hopefully, for creating or maintaining our self-esteem but for pragmatic pilot age through daily life, a good one smoothing out the travel somewhat, a bad one causing doors to slam in our face and testing our self-confidence in ourselves. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche writes in Mastery,

Do not talk about giftedness, inborn talents! One can name great men of all kinds who were very little gifted. They acquired greatness, became ‘geniuses’ (as we put it), through qualities the lack of which no one who knew what they were would boast of: they all possessed that seriousness of the efficient workman which first learns to construct the parts properly before it ventures to fashion a great whole; they allowed themselves time for it, because they took more pleasure in making the little, secondary things well than in the effect of a dazzling whole.

Given these and other benefits, I can think of very few grounds entrepreneurs would skip physical exercise to work on their business. The research says that exercise is working on their business. This is why happiness is simple-minded than suffering, which is incessantly working so hard. The unicorn of happiness is allergic to advice and Little Me’s elaborate schemes are not interesting to her. She is a free roamer with no fixed terminus or shape; her hooves are in the Tao.

Nonetheless, when the lights diffuse to the corporeal matter, then the light becomes seeable and is revealed to the senses because of the heaviness of the corporeal matter. Many people find this to be one of the most difficult aspects of the mindfulness practice. They were all grateful that he was the one who was hit by the bus and not them.

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Lead with Your Presence by Animating and Engaging People

Lead with Your Presence by Animating and Engaging People

In the military, officer candidates are drilled on the power and practice of the manner of a leader-focused, attentive, and engaged. Command presence is not about control, it is about connection; it is not about power, it is about partnership. Leaders with command presence convey character.

Davy Crockett had command presence. “Crockett seemed to be the leading spirit. He was everywhere,” wrote Enrique Esparza, eyewitness to the Alamo, in a newspaper article following the legendary siege. Great leaders are all about spirit-being, not just doing. They focus on being there, everywhere, not in absentia. And, when they are there, they are all there-focused, attentive, engaged.

Great leaders hunt for genuine encounters. They upset the pristine and proper by inviting vocal customers to boardroom meetings. They spend time in the field and on the floor where the action is lively, not in carefully contrived meetings where the action is limp. They thrive on keeping things genuine and vibrant.

Leadership is being (Spirit)

Leadership is the act of influencing another to achieve important goals. It is not about rank or authority. Authority is the last resort of the inept. Leadership is about being-the conveyance of spirit. “You don’t have to know that Susan is the leader,” a manager said of his leader, “You can feel it the second she walks into the room. A warm connection reaches out of who she is and pulls you in. Some people might call it charisma, I call it caring.”

Spirit-full leaders let go of proving who they are in exchange for being who they are. They are givers whose curious interest in others drives them to be completely absorbed in whoever is on the other end of their conversations. They are patient listeners eager to learn, not anxious to make a point.

Great leaders are passion givers. They embrace the concept embedded in the word and pass it on to others. They show their excitement in the moment and optimism for the future, regardless of how much sleep they got the evening before or their worry over hiccups in the balance sheet. Great leaders are pathfinders who light the way with their positive faith. They would rather facilitate than challenge. They cultivate confidence rather than breed caution.

Leadership is Being There

Leaders are present. They don’t just lead by wandering around; they lead by staying engaged. They don’t just know the facts and figures; they know the stories and struggles. Because they make it their business to do their homework on customers and associates, they can affirm on sight without benefit of cue card or staff whispers. They call associates at home to congratulate them on something important to the associate. They thank customers for their business with sincerity and obvious gratitude. They hold meetings on other’s turf.

Great leaders bring perpetual energy and intensity to encounters. They are always wide awake. When it comes to their role, they are never lazy, disinterested, or indifferent. They care enough to bring their best. They show up in life with completed staff work.

At the annual managers meeting, Macy’s Director of Stores, Randy Scalise, gave out 15 awards to outstanding performers in the Northeast region. On the outside, the awards ceremony looked normal-applause, handshakes, an award presentation, and photos. What was unique was how many stories Randy told about his personal experiences with the award winners. He was an important customer for many of them—he had been there, up close and personal.

Great leaders are passion givers

Leadership is Being All There

The myth of leadership is that of a knight in shining armor without warts or clay feet rushing in to charismatically compel people to greatness through the sheer power of his persona. Real leaders are superior and inadequate, strong, and weak.

“He gives us so much courage,” a senior leader said of Doug Borror, CEO of Dominion Homes, and a large home-builder in Dublin, Ohio. “Doug is not perfect. But, he works hard to be the best he can be. When he makes a mistake, he owns it; he forgives himself so to speak. And he is willing to confess in public. That encourages us to reach for higher goals, knowing that if we fall short reaching for the moon, we’ll still end up among the stars.

Real leaders are real role models-not “be perfect like me” models. They are open about their struggles and invite followers to enlist. Positioning leaders as perfect models is unfair to leaders and disempowers associates. Real leaders stumble and blunder, just like normal people. Greatness comes through self-forgiveness as you “get back on the horse.” Real leaders serve as role models best when they reveal their vulnerability and demonstrate their humanity. When leaders own their mistakes, they signal to all that concealment and CYA antics are deviations from corporate custom.

Davy Crockett held no official position at the Battle of the Alamo. His command was expressed solely through his presence-one that cultivated confidence and promoted passion. Coronal Jim Bowie wrote, “David Crockett has been animating the men to do their duty.” Command presence is the embodiment of animation. And animation is what separates maintenance managers from truly great leaders.

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Posted in Education and Career Life Hacks and Productivity

The Treasures Hidden in the Heavens of Nature are so Rich

Hidden Treasures Waiting to Be Claimed by Man

Hidden Treasures Waiting to Be Claimed by Man The peanut is one of the humble products in the granary of nature. However, in the hands of a scientist such as George Washington Carver, it was revealed infinitely rich in all kinds of possibilities. From peanuts, he made a dozen beverages, mixed pickles, instant and dry coffee, tan remover, wood filler, paper, ink, shaving cream, linoleum, and synthetic rubber. Things are not always what they seem at first. By exploring beneath the surface, we often discover that what we judged of little worth really contains hidden treasures waiting to be claimed by man.

We have often dismissed life as valueless because we did not probe it deeply enough. In our friends, in our children, in ourselves, lie dormant all kinds of strength we little suspect. We need to undertake voyages of discovery to lay bare the hidden continents of life’s possibilities. The recent popularization of such hobbies as painting and sculpture has startled many of us with the revelation of talent among seemingly ungifted people. In emergencies, we have all revealed powers of body and mind of which we were seldom aware. We are all richer than we realize.

Who ever imagined what stupendous energies lay stored up in a single atom of uranium? There are levels of being whose depths we must seek throughout all our lives. He who only lives on the surface enjoys but the outer crust; he who reaches beneath the surface begins to claim his hidden treasures.

Still less ought the common operations of buying and selling to be to interpose with on correspondent evidence. Have you ever rebelled because you thought your life was too drab? Dig more deeply. Seek its potentialities. By the alchemy of your probing, your life will often turn from grey to gold. Happiness and high performance come to you when you prefer to live your life coherent with your highest values and your deep convictions.

The bodily feelings of the infant are obscure, indefinite, and almost ineffable. Why not acquire a standard of work experience that must be met, or, as many employers now do, ask likely employees to answer some questions or solve presented coding problems? We need to control the coyote population, but what few recognize is that coursing hounds are one of our most efficacious methods.

Good Nature is One of the Richest Fruits of Life

Good Nature is One of the Richest Fruits of Life This view of things, recommending itself uniformly to the intelligence activity of thinkers and to the tendency of those significant classes in European society to whose real or conjectural interests democracy is adverse, has had no trouble in establishing itself; and in self-opinionated speculations “the tyranny of the majority” is now broadly speaking included among the evils against which society requires to be on its guard.

Fire increases the bulk of all bodies, cold contracts them; fire tends to disperse their substance, cold condenses them, and strengthens their reciprocal cohesiveness. After the two back surgeries that were alleged to fix it, he was left in agonizing pain. In this way, goodwill protects you from the unskillful excesses of both your ill will and your love—and protects everyone around you as well. The Austrian psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl wrote in his treatise Man’s Search for Meaning:

Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can be fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.

Judges instruct the jury that if a man knows the departure between right and wrong he cannot be considered harebrained. There are no instructions for living lying beside our provenance. Again, to take some other approach, the words that discharge defects are not misleading. What could be more ridiculous than over-intellectualizing ‘happiness’, of all things, anyway? He would return one more time with the same mercurial demeanor and again he left.

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Posted in Faith and Religion

Faithfully Plant Seed in the Spring for a Noble Harvest

Originative Thought Shapes Your Destiny

Youth has been called the springtime of a man’s life. It is an appropriate comparison, as spring is the time when nature mobilizes all her energies for new adventures, and youth is like that too. It is the time when every fiber of one’s being is glowing with vitality, and the readiness for bold new tasks. It is the time for the dreams and visions that beckon us.

Nevertheless, spring is not merely the time for adventure; it is also the time of preparation, the time of planting and sowing. In spring, the world awakens to make ready for the harvest of tomorrow. Events, too, have stirred his way. Youth also has this task of preparing its strength to bring into the world the ripened fruits of maturity.

Originative Thought Shapes Your Destiny We now shall turn over the several faults in the constitution at this period of life; and the diseases rising from them. Each of us has the capacity to render some service to our fellow man. Be they much or little, distinguished or humble, the good deeds we perform are the fruits, which our lives were expected to produce for humanity. Nevertheless, our capacities will remain asleep in our souls unless they are encouraged to develop, for they are the seeds the Lord placed in our beings at birth, and we must prepare the soil for them to germinate and yield the fullness of their promise. Evangelos Christou, Professor of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida, wrote,

Validity in psychology can be seen as resting on three different possible foundations. One is on logic, the second is on experiment, and the third is on meaning. If your psychology rests on logic, then it’s going to be deductive. … If your psychology rests on experiment, it’s going to be more physicalistic and empirical, potentially behaviouristic. But if it rests on meaning, then psyche can be the focus.

One of the questions, which every young person ought to ask himself, is, “Will I develop sufficiently to yield some precious fruit at the time of my harvest?” Am I storing up a fund of knowledge about man and the world to draw upon in later years? Am I imbibing the thoughts of great masters from whom I may find guidance in my own tasks in life? Do I offer my mind the stimulation of diverse ideas, the exhilaration of the uninhibited search for truth? This is how we prepare the garden of our lives so that the precious seeds imbedded there shall germinate and come to fruition.

Being a Good-luck Charm

Being a Good-luck Charm No material can possess all of these qualities and thus some compromises must be made. From this it appears, that a body reduced to powder can be thrown but to a very small distance, the resistivity being cracking, because the bodies in motion are but small a fowler who shoots with minuscule shot, is reasonable that the charge can carry it but a short way, if compared to the distance to which a bullet would go.

If the facts sometimes seem obscure, it is because they are cloaked in a “disguise” in order to outflow the censor. The key to deputation is finding people that know the functionality of requisite tasks, but that also know how to conform to particular procedures.

Next are considered in order the following topics: The objectiveness of mental contents, rational contents, and selfhood, and the all-embracing philosophic implications of the respective theories. Real, constructive mental power lies in the originative thought that shapes your destiny, and your hour-by-hour mental behavior produces power for change in your life. Formulate a train of thought on which to ride. The nobility of your living as well as your happiness depends upon the centering in which that train of thought is going.

Their ship’s company remaining healthy has amply rewarded those who have had the doggedness to make their men practice it for their trouble. If it becomes otherwise, it is uncorrupted. In proportionality as our inwards life fails, we go more incessantly and urgently to the post-office. So much for being a good-luck charm.

Barren men whose lives contain no nourishment for the fruit of the human soul are pathetic indeed. They are as pathetic as the barren trees, as the barren earth, which can only produce weeds.

O God, do Thou watch over our youth and guide it to make the ways of its spring a prelude to a bounteous harvest.

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The Twelve Apostles: Jesus’ Dearest and Closest Companions

The Twelve Apostles in Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper

The Gospels record that Jesus had many disciples, from whom he chose a dozen to be his hand-picked affiliates. He called this group “the Twelve.”

The term apostle comes from the Greek word “apostolos” which means, “one who is sent out.” The twelve apostles abandoned of their home, family, and all else for the sake of spreading the “Good News.” To the twelve apostles, Jesus gave the power to cast out evil, to heal, and to preach his teachings.

Jesus instilled in his apostles commitment to one particular task: to announce the “Good News,” the news of the coming kingdom of God. Jesus said to the apostles, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”

The apostles lived in poverty, carried no money, accepted any hospitality and generosity offered to them, and shared the nomadic way of life with Jesus. They thus were able to focus unhindered to their task as his selected messengers. No apostle looked back to his old life with regret.

The list of the disciples of Jesus who comprised the Twelve appears in all three synoptic gospels in the Bible:

The lists are matching:

  • Peter/Simon (sometimes called Cephas) and his brother Andrew,
  • James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
  • Philip,
  • Bartholomew (Nathanael in John’s gospel),
  • Matthew (or Levi) the tax collector,
  • Thomas Didymus (” the Twin”),
  • James, the son of Alphaeus,
  • Simon the Zealot,
  • Thaddaeus, the son of James, sometimes called Lebbaeus, and
  • Judas Iscariot.

The Twelve were a set group who remained closest to Jesus. After the death of Judas Iscariot, the group of twelve was maintained by choosing Matthias because he accompanied Jesus throughout his entire ministry. Until their deaths, the new twelve continued to carry out Jesus’ work.

The Twelve Apostles: Jesus' Dearest and Closest Companions The number twelve corresponded to that of the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. This was a purposeful choice: Jesus assured the Twelve that at the time of reckoning, their reward would be to sit on twelve thrones and to judge the twelve tribes.

Jesus’ specially chosen disciples—his Twelve Apostles—carried his Word to the people, building the foundation of early Christianity. Nevertheless who were the men who dedicated their lives and their souls to this sacred task?

The Twelve Apostles series is a wonderful introduction to Jesus’ dearest and closest companions, and the important mission that bound them into an everlasting brotherhood.

  1. Apostle Peter
  2. Apostle Andrew
  3. Apostle James the Elder
  4. Apostle John the Evangelist
  5. Apostle Matthew
  6. Apostle Philip
  7. Apostle Bartholomew
  8. Apostle Jude Thaddeus
  9. Apostle Simon, the Zealot
  10. Apostle James the Younger
  11. Apostle Thomas
  12. Apostles Judas and Matthias
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St. Thomas Aquinas on God and Causation

St. Thomas Aquinas receiving the Holy Spirit (in the shape of a dove), by Andrea di Bartolo (c. 1368-1428)

The view that God does not work directly in the world, but through secondary causes, can be attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas.

In his unfinished work Summa Theologica (1265-74), philosopher, priest, and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) refers to God as the “Primary Cause” of all of creation, which God then sustains through his presence.

The inhabitants of God’s creation—including humankind—are his “Secondary Causes.” The idea of “causation” is not always as linear as the example of creator followed by creation suggests. The “chicken and the egg” causality dilemma (which came first, the chicken or the egg?) means different things to different people. A literal reading of Genesis makes it clear that the chicken (God) came first; but in evolution it is the egg that first appeared. In Summa Theologica (1265-74), St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “All intermediate causes are inferior in power to the first cause … .”

According to Rene Descartes (1596-1650), a primary cause is able to “cause itself” and is not dependent upon anything before it for its existence. For Aquinas, creation was the radical “causing” of the universe—it was not a change to the universe, or to space or time; it was not an altering of existing materials. If anything had already existed to aid in or be added to the causing of the universe, then God would not have been the maker of it. As the initiator of the first, primary cause, God is responsible for the means by which all subsequent secondary causes are enabled and sustained. These secondary causes are truly causal, and are variable and arbitrary according to the whims and vagaries of its agents, whether they are humans, or the laws of nature, or the mechanjcs of physics. For Aquinas, humans cause their own actions and God influences the actions of humans, and neither impinges upon the freedom of the other.

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The Horizon is out There Somewhere

The Horizon is Only the Limit of Our Sight

The Horizon is out There Somewhere I look out upon the far horizon. Where does it end? The line drawn by my eye is only imaginary. It will recede as I come near it. Space, like time, is continuous, and there are no sharp interruptions to differentiate one thing from another.

In addition, is it not likewise with my life? I look back into my past. I cannot tell where it began. I am familiar with some of my ancestors, but my life did not begin with them, it stretches far back into time beyond my reckoning. A long line of generations labored to produce me.

The peculiarity of my walk, of my smile, may go back to one, and the bent of my mind to another. The sound of my voice may carry an echo of some unknown benefactor who passed something of himself on to me. The seed that develops in me was planted in a faraway past, and as I reap the harvest, I know that other hands made it possible.

Equally long is the line of my spiritual ancestors. The love of life, and the sense of kinship I feel for my fellow man is but a simple expression of my spirit, but men achieved it after groping and suffering. The first man who rubbed two stones to produce fire is my ancestor, and so is the first man who discovered the glow of friendship in the clasp of two hands. The men who explored the seas and the mountains and who brought up the hidden riches of the earth are my ancestors. They enriched me with the fruit of their discoveries, as well as with the spirit of their daring. Rethinking assumptions about who contributes to a culture is a prescribed shift, she adds, considering that people under the age of 15, one usual definition of childhood, make up about a one-third of most ethnic groups.

I am what I am because of the first amoeba, which developed into a more complex form, impelled by the divine imperative to grow. A thousand sunsets have shaped my sense of beauty; and a thousand soft voices have taught me to be kind. Waters from a thousand springs have quenched my thirst. I look out upon my world and act in it with all that is mine, with every experience, and with everything that entered into it.

In addition, it really does have an impact, which is why we develop this mental attitude to begin with to make sure that it truly animates our thoughts, words, and deeds in a way that leads to a happiness that is harmless for all. He cautions that this is a long-term dedication and does not produce quick results.

Overcoming the Fearfulness of Suffering

Overcoming the Fearfulness of Suffering Perhaps happiness did not have to be about the big, traverse circumstances, about having everything in your life in place. Maybe it was about stringing in concert a bunch of humble pleasures. Means of preserving the wellness of seamen. The Russian Novelist Leo Tolstoy writes in A Calendar of Wisdom,

To tell the truth is the same as to be a good tailor, or to be a good farmer, or to write beautifully. To be good at any activity requires practice: no matter how hard you try, you cannot do naturally what you have not done repeatedly. In order to get accustomed to speaking the truth, you should tell only the truth, even in the smallest of things.

The limitation in number, for instance, of beer and spirit houses, for the accurate function of interpreting them more difficult of access, and diminishing the occasions of enticement, not simply exposes all to an trouble because there are some by whom the adeptness would be abused, but is suited only to a state of society in which the toiling classes are confessedly treated as children or savages, and placed under an instruction of restraint, to fit them for futurity admission to the privileges of exemption. The men and women had well-disposed faces.

As I think of the long line stretching far into the past, I also cast my glance forward. The line into the future is just as unbroken. It moves through me into generations yet unborn. In addition, as I think of this I am comforted. For I am a point in that line, and die course of existence travels through me. I have inherited from all the past and I will bequeath to all the future. In the movement of that line lies the secret of immortality and I am a part of it.

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