For purposes of action nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.
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- Action and faith enslave thought, both of them in order not be troubled or inconvenienced by reflection, criticism, and doubt.
- Action is coarsened thought; thought becomes concrete, obscure, and unconscious.
- Will localizes us; thought universalizes us.
- Thought is a kind of opium; it can intoxicate us, while still broad awake; it can make transparent the mountains and everything that exists.
- Our true history is scarcely ever deciphered by others. The chief part of the drama is a monologue, or rather an intimate debate between God, our conscience, and ourselves. Tears, grieves, depressions, disappointments, irritations, good and evil thoughts, decisions, uncertainties, deliberations –all these belong to our secret, and are almost all incommunicable and intransmissible, even when we try to speak of them, and even when we write them down.
- Melancholy is at the bottom of everything, just as at the end of all rivers is the sea. Can it be otherwise in a world where nothing lasts, where all that we have loved or shall love must die? Is death, then, the secret of life? The gloom of an eternal mourning enwraps, more or less closely, every serious and thoughtful soul, as night enwraps the universe.