Part IV — World-philosophers


"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime."
  — Aristotle

Or of frustration and palsy of the spirit.

"A healthy body is the guest-chamber of the soul; a sick body is a prison."
  — Bacon

And a body self-dedicated to the Divine's work is the lovely Palace for the soul.
"Reading makes a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man."
  — Bacon

And self-subordination to the Self makes a perfect man.
"I take all knowledge to be my province."
  — Bacon

No knowledge is knowledge that does not reveal the source of all knowledge. And knowledge will fulfill itself when the world takes all knowledge, including that of the Most High, for its province.

"The things taught in schools and colleges are not education, but the means of education."
  — Emerson

Oh that our education system could live up to this minimum!
"Ideas must work through the brains and the arms of good and brave men, or they are no better than dreams."
  — Emerson

And what is needed to have ideas worked out through those brains and arms is a one-pointed will which is affirmation itself and an eternal stranger to negation.

"It is not possible to live pleasantly without living wisely and justly and generously."
  — Epicurus

Alas, pleasant living is all that the world cares for, and not the qualities associated with difficult living: hard work, discipline and self-control.

"The history of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of Freedom."
  — Hegel

We may read into this noble truth the upward march of the human soul from its prison-house of ignorance to its Home of Freedom, Light and Knowledge; and its downward march to the Here-below with the riches gained in the upper sphere, which march makes the two ends meet and become one.

"Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact."
  — William James

Yes, and why worth living? Because life was given to man to manifest the Divine Reality in its every aspect.

"Our minds are not made as large as truth nor suited to the whole extent of things."
  — Locke

How very true! And this recognition posits the question of the greater sources of Knowledge such as the Supermind.

"What is evil? Whatever springs from weakness."
  — Nietzsche

And where from does weakness spring? It springs from man's self-chosen separation from his true self, the divine Reality within him.

"Self-conquest is the greatest of victories."
  — Plato

Our lower self is the formidable wall of separation from our higher or divine Self. This wall pulled down, man becomes his true self.
"We are bound to our bodies like an oyster to its shell."
  — Plato

The simile implies that our consciousness is hardly a whit better than that of the dumb oyster. But true it is that man's frail body can pinion his mighty soul!

"Let us dispense with the emptiness of existence. The great man is not the conqueror, but he who denies the will to live."
  — Schopenhauer

The great man is really the one who conquers that emptiness, filling it with the dynamic Truth of existence. His will to live is his will to fulfil the why of his existence.

"As for me, all I know is that I know nothing."
  — Socrates

When our humility becomes its genuine self, it becomes an open vessel for the gifts of the Omniscient.

"Survival of the fittest."
  — Herbert Spencer

Spencer referred to the struggle to survive in the material life. But how to be the fittest in the spiritual life? By making oneself a conscious instrument of God's Vision and Will.

"Nature abhors a vacuum."
  — Spinoza

The Creation, as a manifestation of the Omnipresence, can nowhere have a vacuum.
"Man is a social animal."
  — Spinoza

Man transformed will be a divinised godhead.

"Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors."
  — Voltaire

An architect who shapes his own life hangs not on his pedigree. His descendants will number their ancestors and count their lineage from him, the seed.
"All the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books."
  — Voltaire

Hence the necessity of more and more revealing books — books that can reveal the yet-unknown truths of man and nations.