From Note Book 4 of ‘In Woods of God-Realization’

We cannot regard, thought as merely a product, a thing of which the characteristics are due to the nature of the mechanical antecedents out of which it has arisen; when we do so, we are at once confronted with the problem, how are we to conceive the nature of these antecedents? By supposition they are not in thought, but external to it, and therefore never to be reached in thought.

Reflection upon Self, in which the individual consciousness transcends its own individuality, is not explicable through the notion of mechanical composition.

* * * *
The secret of success in Society is a certain heartiness and sympathy. A man who is not happy in company, cannot find any word in his memory that will fit the occasion.

We consecrate a great deal of nonsense because it was allowed by great men.

* * * *
Every statute (smriti) stands there to say, yesterday we agreed so and so, but how feel ye this article today?

Every statute is a currency which we stamp with our own portrait: it soon becomes unrecognisable, and in process of time must return to the mint.

* * * *
Any laws but those which men make for themselves are laughable.

Of all debts men are the least willing to pay the taxes. What a satire is this on Governments?

* * * *
To educate the wise man the State exists and with the appearance of the wise man the State expires. The appearance of Character makes the State unnecessary. The wise man is the State.

He needs no army, fort, or navy who loves men too well; no tribe or feast or palace to draw friends to him; no vantage ground, no favourable circumstances. He needs no library, for he has not done thinking; no Church, for he is a prophet; no statute book, for he is the law-giver; no money, for he is value; no road, for he is at home where he is.

* * * *
Worldly riches and honours are the fig leaves with which the shamed soul attempts to hide its nakedness.

Senators and Presidents have climbed so high with pain enough not because they think the place specially agreeable but as an apology for real worth and to vindicate their manhood in our eyes.

* * * *
Like one class of forest animals, they have nothing but a prehensile tail; climb they must or crawl, cannot walk erect.

If a man found himself so rich-natured that he could make life serene around him by the dignity and sweetness of his behaviour, could he afford to circumvent the favour of the caucus and the Press, and covet relations so hollow and pompous as those of a politician?

We want the great genius only for joy; for one star more in our constellation, for one tree more in our grove. But he thinks we wish to belong to him as he wishes to occupy us. He greatly mistakes us.

Life is made up of the intermixture and reaction of the two amicable powers – the end and the means, the gamester and the game – whose marriage appears beforehand monstrous, as each denies and tends to abolish the other.

* * * *
Every man is a channel through which heaven floweth.

* * * *
As soon as a person is no longer related to our present well-being, he is concealed, or dies, as we say.

* * * *
Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the windows sound and well, in some new and strange disguise.

The angels, from the sound of the voice, know a man’s love; from the articulation of the sound, his wisdom; and from the sense of his words, his science.

* * * *
The Universe suffers under a magnetic sleep, and only reflects the mind of the magnetizer.

* * * *
In the shipwreck some cling to running rigging, some to cask and barrel, some to spars, some to mast; the pilot chooses with science, I plant myself here; all will sink before this; “he comes to land who sails with me.”

Rectitude only, rectitude forever and ever is the saving position.

* * * *
The reply of Socrates to him who asked whether he should choose a wife still remains reasonable. “That whether he should choose one or not, he would repent it.”

Things seem to say one thing, and say the reverse. The appearance is immoral, the result is moral.

All the sweets and all the terrors of human lot lay in his mind as truly but as softly as the landscape lies on the eyes.

* * * *
The biography or history of geniuses is like making a question concerning the paper on which a king’s message is written.

* * * *
Napolean Bonaparte wrought everything, especially, without any scruple as to the means.

All the sentiments which embarrass men’s pursuit of these objects, he set aside. The sentiments were for women and children.

* * * *
It is an advantage within certain limits, to have renounced the dominion of Since what was an impassable bar to us, and still is to others, becomes a convenient weapon for our purposes; just as the river which was a formidable barrier, winter transforms into the smoothest of roads. Napoleon renounced once for all sentiments and affections. But he has not lost his native sense and sympathy with things.

* * * *
The land and sea seem to presuppose him. He came unto his own, and they received him. He marched always on the enemy at an angle, so as always to bring two men against one at the point of engagement.

A man not embarrassed by any scruples – and of a perception which did not suffer itself to be baulked or misled by any pretences of others, or any superstition, or any heat or haste of his own.

He asked counsel of no one.

“I have conducted the campaign without consulting anyone. I should have done no good, if I had been under the necessity of conforming to the notions of another person.”

He knew no impediments to his will. Woe to what thing or person stood in his way. He fought sixty battles. Each victory was a new weapon. My power would fall, were I not to support it by new achievements.
Conquest has made me what I am, and conquest must maintain me. He felt with every wise man that as much life is needed for conservation as for creation.

Before he fought a battle, Bonaparte thought little about what he should do in case of success, but a great deal about what he should do in case of a reverse of fortune.

To his Secretary:—
During the night, enter my chamber as seldom as possible. Do not awake me when you have any good news to communicate; with that there is no hurry. “But when you bring bad news, rouse me instantly, for then there is not a moment to be lost.

He directed to leave all letters unopened for three weeks and then observed with satisfaction how large a part of the correspondence had thus disposed of itself and no longer required an answer.

Napoleon’s power consists simply in the exercise of common sense on each emergency, instead of abiding by rules and customs.
The lesson he teaches is that which vigour always teaches – that there is always room for it.

To what heaps of cowardly doubts is not that man’s life an answer.

Bonaparte knew better than the society; and moreover, knew that he knew better.

The only defect of common folk is that they dare not trust their presentiments.

Bonaparte relied on his own sense, and did not care a bean for other people’s. The world treated his novelties just as it treats everybody’s novelties – made infinite objection; mustered all the impediments: but he snapped his fingers at their objections.