Today, there is nothing wrong with the day to come
You may retort with the question: "How am I to know whether my sufferings are real or imaginary?" Here is the rule for such matters: We are tormented either by things present, or by things to come, or by both. As to things present, the decision is easy. Suppose that your person enjoys freedom and health, and that you do not suffer from any external injury. As to what may happen to it in the future, we shall see later on. To-day there is nothing wrong with it.
Let us, then, look carefully into the matter. It is likely that some troubles will befall us; but it is not a present fact. How often has the unexpected happened! How often has the expected never come to pass! And even though it is ordained to be, what does it avail to run out to meet your suffering? You will suffer soon enough, when it arrives; so look forward meanwhile to better things. What shall you gain by doing this? Time. There will be many happenings meanwhile which will serve to postpone, or end, or pass on to another person, the trials which are near or even in your very presence.
- Letter XIII. On Groundless Fears -
Be the change that you want to see in the world.
Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
Cultivate your intelligence, dear students, but also take care that it does not subordinate itself to everything else, and that the accessory does not become the main one. May your heart not be the fool of your mind. Pascal said: "The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing"; yet this deep word is not of absolute accuracy. For if the heart has its reasons, Reason knows them and recognizes itself in them.
The whole work of Reason consists in subordinating Intelligence to the Heart.
What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp the unconditional meaningfulness of life in rational terms.