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2006-07-28 18:18

  We might try our lives by a thousand simple tests; as, for instance, that the same sun which ripens my beans illumines at once a system of earths like ours.  If I had remembered this it would have prevented some mistakes.  This was not the light in which I hoed them.  The stars are the apexes of what wonderful triangles!

  What distant and different beings in the various mansions of the universe are contemplating the same one at the same moment!  Nature and human life are as various as our several constitutions.  Who shall say what prospect life offers to another?  Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?  We should live in all the ages of the world in an hour;ay, in all the worlds of the ages.  History, Poetry, Mythology! —— I know of no reading of another's experience so startling and informing as this would be.

  The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.  What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?

  You may say the wisest thing you can, old man —— you who have lived seventy years, not without honor of a kind —— I hear an irresistible voice which invites me away from all that.  One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels.

  I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. We may waive just so much care of ourselves as we honestly bestow elsewhere.  Nature is as well adapted to our weakness as to our strength.  The incessant anxiety and strain of some is a well-nigh incurable form of disease.  We are made to exaggerate the importance of what work we do; and yet how much is not done by us! or, what if we had been taken sick?  How vigilant we are! determined not to live by faith if we can avoid it; all the day long on the alert, at night we unwillingly say our prayers and commit ourselves to uncertainties.  So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre.  All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.  Confucius said, "To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge." When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men at length establish their lives on that basis.






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