Albert Schweitzer Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 110 quotes)
No one can give a definition of the soul. But we know what it feels like. The soul is the sense of something higher than ourselves, something that stirs in us thoughts, hopes, and aspirations which go out to the world of goodness, truth and beauty. The soul is a burning desire to breathe in this world of light and never to lose it--to remain children of light.
But merely accepting authoritarian truth, even if that truth has some virtue, does not bring skepticism to an end. To blindly accept a truth one has never reflected upon retards the advance of reason. Our world rots in deceit. . . . Just as a tree bears the same fruit year after year and at the same time fruit that is new each year, so must all permanently valuable ideas be continually created anew in thought. But our age pretends to make a sterile tree bear fruit by tying fruits of truth onto its branches.
When I look back upon my early days I am stirred by the thought of the number of people whom I have to thank for what they gave me or for what they were to me. At the same time I am haunted by an oppressive consciousness of the little gratitude I really showed them while I was young. How many of them have said farewell to life without having made clear to them what it meant to me to receive from them so much kindness or so much care! Many a time have I, with a feeling of shame, said quietly to myself over a grave the words which my mouth ought to have spoken to the departed, while he was still in the flesh.
I do not believe that we can put into anyone ideas which are not in himalready. As a rule there is in everyone all sorts of good ideas, readylike tinder. But much of this tinder catches fire, or catches itsuccessfully, only when it meets some flame or spark from the outside, from some other person. Often, too, our own light goes out, and isrekindled by some experience we go through with a fellow man. Thus wehave each of us cause to think with deep gratitude of those who havelighted the flame within us. If we had before us those who have thusbeen a blessing to us, and could tell them how it came about, they wouldbe amazed to learn what passed over from their life to ours.
By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive. Impart as much as you can of your spiritual being to those who are on the road with you, and accept as something precious what comes back to you from them. In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.- Albert Schweitzer
In the past we have tried to make a distinction between animals which we acknowledge have some value and other which, having none, can be liquidated when we wish. This standard must be abandoned. Everything that lives has value simply as a living thing, as one of the manifestations of the mystery that is life.