In Praise of Virtue

Cultivating virtue, generosity, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, resolve, universal love, equanimity, compassion.
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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You cannot not live life.
Biker in Sturgis, SD rally.
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Virtue is inseparable from good art. It is taken for granted that a work reveals
the artist's soul as well as his mind. But what is more important, the work of
art must by its order mirror the hierarchical order of the world, which is a
moral order. Whether by intuition or by convention, the artist must know
how to convey this reality.
Jacques Barzun
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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It is one of the few consolations in this not
entirely disconsolate world, that not only Evil, but the Good also
may have a strong infectious power that will show itself
increasingly if only we have the courage to put it to the test.

"Thus it is our own mind that should be established in all the
Roots of the Good; it is our own mind that should be soaked
by the rain of truth; it is our own mind that should be purified
from all obstructive qualities; it is our own mind that should
be made vigorous by energy." Gaṇḍavyūha Sūtra.
Nyanaponika Thera
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Here is a warning about ignoring virtue and indulging constantly in vice:
All things are bound up in the gods and deeply rooted in them, and through this cause they are preserved in being; if anything fall away from the gods and become utterly isolated from them, it retreats into non-being and is obliterated, since it is wholly bereft of the principles which maintained its unity.
Proclus Elements, #144
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

’Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free Government. Who that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric.
George Washington
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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When a noble disciple contemplates upon the Enlightened
One, at that time his mind is not enwrapped in lust, nor in
hatred, nor in delusion. At such a time his mind is rightly
directed towards the Perfect One (Tathāgata). And with a
rightly directed mind the noble disciple gains enthusiasm
for the goal, enthusiasm for the Dhamma, gains the delight
derived from the Dhamma. In him thus delighted, joy arises;
to one who is joyful, body and mind become calm; calmed in
body and mind, he feels at ease; and if at ease, the mind fi nds
concentration. Such a one is called a noble disciple who among
humanity gone wrong, has attained to what is right; who
among a humanity beset by troubles, dwells free of troubles.
AN 6:10
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Praise of virtue also implies condemnation of vices:
Politics, however they make the intellect active, sagacious, and inventive, within a certain sphere, generally extinguish its thirst for universal truth, paralyze sentiment and imagination, corrupt the simplicity of the mind, destroy that confidence in human virtue which lies at the foundation of philanthropy and generous sacrifices, and end in cold and prudent selfishness.
William E. Channing (1780-1842)
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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To see a man fearless in dangers, untainted with lusts, happy in adversity, composed in a tumult, and laughing at all those things which are generally either coveted or feared, all men must acknowledge that this can be from nothing else but a beam of divinity that influences a mortal body.
Seneca
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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It is more important to want to do good than to know the truth.
Petrarch, "On His Own Ignorance and That of Many Others"
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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He who in the present state
Vanquishes as much as possible
A corporeal life, through the exercise of
The cathartic virtues,
Passes in reality into
The fortunate islands of the soul,
And lives surrounded with
The bright splendours of truth
And wisdom proceeding from
The sun of good.
Thomas Taylor, Essay on the Eleusian and Bacchic Mysteries
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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In the present stages of spiritual experience, the believer's interior comfort, and his exterior lustre, greatly depend on the position of his heart toward the uncreated sun of righteousness. How obscure and benighted are our views, and how languid our exercise of grace, when an unbelieving, a worldly, or a careless spirit, interrupts our walk with God! But, if the out-goings of our souls are to him, and if the in-pourings of his blessed influence be felt, we glow, we kindle, we burn, we shine.
Augustus M. Toplady (d. 1778)
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Most of people’s activities are valueless, if not downright destructive. Dominated by desire and fear, ceasing to do evil precedes beginning to do good. Hence the need for stopping all activities for a time, to investigate one’s urges and their motives.
Nisargadatta (d. 1981)
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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The Demon of commerce is preparing with his extended savage arm to crush the votaries of truth, and depopulate the divine retreats of philosophy. Rise then ye liberal few, and vindicate the dignity of ancient wisdom. Bring truth from her silent and sacred concealments, and vigorously repel the growing empire of barbaric taste, which bids fair to extinguish the celestial fire of philosophy and to bury the divine light of mind, in the sordid gloom of sense....

There yet remains an inheritance for the lovers of wisdom in the regions of intellect, those fortunate islands of truth, where all is tranquil and serene, beyond the power of chance, and the reach of change. Let us then fly from hence my friends, to those delightful realms, for there, while connected with body, we may find a retreat from the storms and tempests of a corporeal life. Let us build for ourselves the raft of virtue, and departing from this region of sense, like Ulysses from the charms of Calypso, direct our course by the light of ideas, those bright intellectual stars, through the dark ocean of a material nature, until we arrive at our father's land. For there having divested ourselves of the torn garments of mortality, as much as our union with body will permit, we may resume our natural appearance: and may each of us at length recover the ruined empire of his soul.
Thomas Taylor
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face.
Don't trust that idea.
Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.
Dickens
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Ajay0
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Living virtuously is equal to living in accordance with one's experience of the actual course of nature.
~ Chrysippus
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost.~ Buddha AN 10.1

If you do right, irrespective of what the other does, it will slow down the mind. ~ Rajini Menon
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Great intellect and too much knowledge are a two-edged weapon in life, and instruments for evil as well as for good. When combined with Selfishness, they will make of the whole of Humanity a footstool for the elevation of him who possesses them, and a means for the attainment of his objects; while, applied to altruistic humanitarian purposes, they may become the means of the salvation of many.
Blavatsky
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Brahma Das
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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The... It is said, maṇinā bhūṣitaḥ sarpaḥ kim asau na bhayaṅkaraḥ. Snake. Some snakes are decorated with jewel on the hood. So this materialist, however qualified he may be, just like jewel on the head. The śāstra says, "Do you think that a snake coming to you with a jewel on head is not dangerous or ferocious?" He's as dangerous, as ferocious, as the serpent without jewel. Similarly, any materialistic person, however educated he may be, so-called educated, he is simply a snake, dangerous. That's all. He has no qualification. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. One cannot have good qualities unless one is advanced in Kṛṣṇa [God] consciousness.
-A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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231. Let a man guard himself against irritability
in bodily action; let him be controlled in deed.
Abandoning bodily misconduct, let him practice
good conduct in deed.
232. Let a man guard himself against irritability
in speech; let him be controlled in speech.
Abandoning verbal misconduct, let him practice
good conduct in speech.
233. Let a man guard himself against irritability
in thought; let him be controlled in mind.
Abandoning mental misconduct, let him practice
good conduct in thought.
234. The wise are controlled in bodily action,
controlled in speech and controlled in thought.
They are truly well-controlled.
From Buddha's Dhammapada
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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We believe in relieving the starvation of the soul, as much if not more than the emptiness of the stomach; for gratitude does more good to the man who feels it, than to him for whom it is felt.
Blavatsky
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