Precept Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 71 quotes )
To write out the precepts again, we contend with them, and keep them; we build our humanity, and keep our humanity alive... Thay has named the precepts 'wonderful'... Wonderful because they can protect us, and show us how to live a joyous life, an interesting, adventurous, deep, large life, and how to be with one another, and with animals, plants, and all the Earth and universe. Wonderful because when we practice the precepts, we existentially become humane, we embody loving kindness... Standing in the midst of burning ruins, I was glad that I knew the precepts. Though I kept their tenets imperfectly, even in aspiration I created some invisible good that could not be destroyed... The Five Wonderful Precepts give clear and simple directions to finding that life. In devastation, I have blueprints for making home anew (90-92).--For a Future to Be Possible: Commentaries on the Five Wonderful Precepts
Revelation need not all come at once. It may be incremental. 'Saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more' (2 Nephi 28:30). Patience and perseverance are part of our eternal progression.
I was always exceedingly delighted with that saying of Chrysostom, "The foundation of our philosophy is humility"; and yet more pleased with that of Augustine: "As the orator, when asked, What is the first precept in eloquence? answered, Delivery: What is the second? Delivery: What is the third? Delivery: so if you ask me concerning the precepts of the Christian religion, I will answer, first, second, and third, Humility.
It is quite as difficult to fit one's practice to one's precepts as to fit one's precepts to one's practice. Most people act in one way and preach in another. When the fact is brought to their notice, they assert that it is their weakness, and that their desire is to act up to their principles. That is pretence. People act according to their inclinations and adopt principles; because these are generally at variance with their inclinations they are ill-at-ease and unstable. But when they force themselves to act up to their principles and suppress their inclinations, there is no hope for them - but in heaven.
It was quiet in the cell. Rubashov heard only the creaking of his steps on the tiles. Six and a half steps to the door, whence they must come to fetch him, six and a half steps to the window, behind which night was falling. Soon it would be over. But when he asked himself, For what actually are you dying? he found no answer. It was a mistake in the system; perhaps it lay in the precept which until now he had held to be uncontestable, in whose name he had sacrificed others and was himself being sacrificed: in the precept, that the end justifies the means. It was this sentence which had killed the great fraternity of the Revolution and made them run amuck. What had he once written in his diary? "We have thrown overboard all conventions, our sole guiding principle is that of consequent logic; we are sailing without ethical ballast.
The admirers and followers of the Al Koran insist on the excellent moral precepts interspersed throughout that wild and absurd performance...Would we know, whether the pretended prophet had really attained a just sentiment of morality, let us attend to his narration, and we shall soon find, that he bestows praise upon such instances of treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge, bigotry, as are utterly incompatible with civilised society. No steady rule of right conduct seems there to be attended to: and every action is blamed or praised, so far only as it is beneficial or harmful to the true believers.
Were our pupil's disposition so bizarre that he would rather hear a tall story than the account of a great voyage or a wise discussion; that at the sound of a drum calling the youthful ardour of his comrades to arms he would turn aside for the drum of a troop of jugglers; that he would actually find it no more delightful and pleasant to return victorious covered in the dust of battle than after winning a prize for tennis or dancing; then I know no remedy except that his tutor should quickly strangle him when nobody is looking or apprentice him to make fairy-cakes in some goodly town - even if he were the heir of a Duke - following Plato's precept that functions should be allocated not according to the endowments of men's fathers but the endowments of their souls.
His OFELLUS in the Art of Living in London, I have heard him relate, was an Irish painter, whom he knew at Birmingham, and who had practiced his own precepts of economy for several years in the British capital. He assured Johnson, who, I suppose, was then meditating to try his fortune in London, but was apprehensive of the expence, 'that thirty pounds a year was enough to enable a man to live there without being contemptible. He allowed ten pounds for cloaths and linen. He said a man might live in a garret at eighteen-pence a week; few people would inquire where he lodged; and if they did, it was easy to say, "Sir, I am to be found at such a place." By spending three-pence in a coffee-house, he might be for some hours every day in very good company; he might dine for six-pence, breakfast on bread and milk for a penny, and do without supper. On clean-shirt day he went abroad, and paid visits.
Addison writes with the ease of a gentleman. His readers fancy that a wise and accomplished companion is talking to them; so that ... - MORE Addison writes with the ease of a gentleman. His readers fancy that a wise and accomplished companion is talking to them; so that he insinuates his sentiments and taste into their minds by an imperceptible influence. Johnson writes like a teacher. He dictates to his readers as if from an academical chair. They attend with awe and admiration; and his precepts are impressed upon them by his commanding eloquence. Addison's style, like a light wine, pleases everybody from the first. Johnson's, like a liquor of more body, seems too strong at first, but, by degrees, is highly relished.
Lenin refused to recognise moral norms established by slave-owners for their slaves and never observed by the slave-owners themselves; he called upon the Proletariat to extend the class struggle into the moral sphere too. Who fawns before the precepts established by the enemy will never vanquish that enemy!
The merciful precepts of Christ will at last suffuse the Code and it will glow with their radiance. Crime will be considered an illness with its own doctors to replace your judges and its hospitals to replace your prisons. Liberty shall be equated with health. Ointments and oil shall be applied to limbs that were once shackled and branded. Infirmities that once were scourged with anger shall now be bathed with love. The cross in place of the gallows: sublime and yet so simple.
The precept: “Judge not, that ye be not judged” . . . is an abdication of moral responsibility: it is a moral blank check one gives to others in exchange for a moral blank check one expects for oneself. There is no escape from the fact that men have to make choices; so long as men have to make choices, there is no escape from moral values; so long as moral values are at stake, no moral neutrality is possible. To abstain from condemning a torturer, is to become an accessory to the torture and murder of his victims. The moral principle to adopt in this issue, is: “Judge, and be prepared to be judged.
It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.
Perhaps she had not succeeded in 'inspiring' any wonderful ambitions in her pupils, but she had taught them, more by her own sweet personality than by all her careful precepts, that it was good and necessary in the years that were before them to live their lives finely and graciously, holding fast to truth and courtesy and kindness, keeping aloof from all that savoured of falsehood and meanness and vulgarity. They were, perhaps, all unconscious of having learned such lessons; but they would remember and practice them long after they had forgotten the capital of Afghanistan and the dates of the Wars of the Roses.
Drizzt Do'Urden had followed a line of precepts based upon discipline and ultimate optimism. He fought for a better world because he believed that a better world could and would be made. He had never held any illusions that he would change the world, of course, or even a substantial portion of it, but he always held strongly that fighting to better just his own little pocket of the world was a worthwhile cause.
Literature deals with morality but does not necessarily, does not, qua literature, help you to be more moral, either by precept or example. It makes you more aware. Which is to say that it makes you more human by making life more, not less, difficult. When you become more aware, the area of moral choice is widened. You can be a better man; you can also be a worse. Literature will not determine which. It is the equivalent of neither grace nor good works.