Is the grim watchword of Nature. Millions are dying for sheer lack, of plasticity to modify themselves with change of conditions. (Especially in India – Ed.)

Irritability or the response to external stimulus is an attribute of all living animals, and as “function always precedes structure,” irritability is the basis of mind.

The intellect of man cannot be regarded as the crowning marvel of the “great riddles of life”. A marvel is no greater for its bigness. Life is one continuous marvel, without break or end. Cf. egg-cell or germ-cell; the recognition of self and non-self which in one form or another is the attribute of all life, is not wanting among the protozoa.

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The sensorium or brain has no teacher (informer) save the ingoing or sensory nerves or senses; it has no servants save the outgoing or motor nerves (or muscles).

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By the repetition of conscious actions the character is formed. That which we do today voluntarily and even laboriously, the force of habit will cause us to repeat to-morrow easily, involuntarily and whether we will or not. This formation of character by action is the “higher heredity.” By means of habits each creature builds up in some fashion its own life. In such way each is the “architect of his own fortunes.” In such manner “the vanished yesterdays” are the tyrants of to-morrow.

Just as in successive development there comes a stage (sensorium) when the whole past is reflected in man’s intellectual knowledge, so higher still comes a stage in Evolution when the whole universe is embraced in man’s Unity—feeling, love Sarvoham.

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The mind must neglect or suppress all sensations which it cannot weave into action. The dog sees nothing that, does not belong to its little world. The man in search of mushrooms “tramples down oak trees in his walks”.

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The experience of others must be expressed in terms of your own before it becomes wisdom.
Wisdom is knowing what one ought to do next.
Virtue is doing it.

Character-building is equal to the formation of a higher (= second nature, habit) heredity of wisdom and virtue.

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As volition passes over into action, so does science into art, knowledge into power, wisdom into virtue.

The homing instinct of the fur-seal concluding its long swim of three thousand miles by a return on a little island hidden in the arctic fogs, to the very spot from which it was driven by the ice six months before, excites our astonishment and it is never too late or too early in its arrival.

The intellect = the choice among responses to external conditions. Complex conditions permit a variety of responses. Varying conditions demand a change of response. This demand is met by the intellect. The intellect rises with a complex or changing environment.

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“The goodness and the severity of God” are in Science one and the same thing.

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The power of safe and accurate response to external conditions is the essential feature of sanity. The inability to adopt action to need is a character of insanity. Insanity, except as protected by human altruism means death.

The learning which ends in self and does not spend itself on action, makes us neither virtuous nor happy. Such learning is a weariness of the flesh. “Thought without action” ends in intense fatigue of the soul, pessimism.

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Genuine love works itself out in self-spending, in doing something for the help or pleasure of those beloved.

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Religious sentimentalism, whatever the form it may take, if dissociated from action, has only evil effects. Appeal to the emotions for emotion’s sake has been a great factor in human deterioration. Much that has been called ” degeneration ” in modern social life is due to the prominence of sensory impressions over motor movement

A round of sensations, emotions called up by literature, music, art, religion, which may not have any direct bearing on human conduct, leave an aggregate influence on the idle brain which is always evil.
The remedy for the evils of ennui, reverie, narcotism and evil thought, is to be found in action. Better beat a big drum and make night hideous with unmusical song than settle down to the dry rot of reverie or the wet rot of emotional regret Something to do and the-evil to act furnishes the remedy for all forms of social or personal discontent!

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There are no “Occult” or “latent powers” of the mind except those which have become useless in changed conditions or which belong to the process of disintegration.

One does not increase the strength of a rope by intwisting its strands.

Some of the most remarkable exhibitions of “mind-reading” may be paralleled by retriever dogs, whose reason for existence is found in the hyperesthesia of the sense of smell. Hyperesthesia of more than one of the senses would be to most animals a source of confusion and danger rather than safety, therefore, such animals have not survived.