Posted on June 26, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“Man is equipped with these (three) souls out of all the world… By virtue of the animal soul he shares with the animals; his physical soul links him with the plants; his human soul is a bond between him and the angels.”
AVICENNA (980-1037) Persian philosopher
“Peace is only possible if men cease to place their happiness in the possession of things ‘which cannot be shared,’ and if they raise themselves to a point where they adopt an abstract principle superior to their egotisms. In other words, it can only be obtained by a betterment of human morality.”
JULIEN BENDA (1867-1956) French philosopher, psychologist
“They create a desolation and call it peace.”
CALGACUS (c. 85 A.D.) Caledonian tribal chief
“An unjust peace is better than a just war.”
MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO (106-43 B.C.) Roman poet, statesman
“War is an invention of the human mind. The human mind can invent peace.”
NORMAN COUSINS (1912-1990) American editor, writer
“Until you have become really, in actual fact, as brother to everyone, brotherhood will not come to pass.”
FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKI (1821-1881) Russian novelist
“Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that holds out any promise of peace, the courage of supra-national security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide.”
ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879-1955) Swiss-American scientist
“I cannot think of the present state of humanity as that in which it is destined to remain… Only in so far as I can regard this state as the means toward a better, as the transition-point into a higher and more perfect state, has it any value in my eyes.”
JOHANN GOTTLIEB FICHTE (1762-1814) German philosopher
“There was never a good war or a bad peace.”
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1706-1790) American diplomat, publisher
“No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace. For in peace sons bury fathers, but war violates the order of nature, and fathers bury sons.”
HERODOTUS (485-425 B.C.) Greek historian
“Peace at any price.”
ALPHONSE DE LAMARTAINE (1790-1869) French writer
“Free enterprise and the market economy mean war; socialism and planned economy mean peace. We must plan our civilization or we must perish.”
HAROLD LASKI (1893-1950) British political scientist
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”
ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-1865) 16th President of the United States
“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”
HORACE MANN (1796-1859) American educator
“For what can War, but endless war still breed.”
JOHN MILTON (1608-1674) English poet
“One part shall be awarded to the person who shall have done the best work for fraternity among the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the promotion of peace congresses.”
ALFRED NOBEL (1833-1896) Swedish munitions manufacturer, philanthropist
“Morality will conquer war, even as it has conquered human sacrifice, slavery, feuds, head-hunting and cannibalism.”
MAX NORDAU (1849-1923) German writer, physician
“War is peace.”
GEORGE ORWELL (1903-1950) British writer
“Five great enemies to peace inhabit within us: viz., avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride. If those enemies were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.”
PETRARCH (1304-1374) Italian poet
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
GEORGE SANTAYANA (1863-1952) Spanish-born American philosopher
“To robbery, slaughter, plunder they give the lying name of empire; they make a desert and call it peace.”
CORNELIUS TACITUS (c. 55-117 A.D.) Roman historian
“The year is going, let him go; ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out the feud of rich and poor, ring in redress to all mankind. Ring out the shapes of foul disease, ring out the narrowing lust of gold; ring out the thousand wars of old, ring in the thousand years of peace.”
TENNYSON (1809-1892) English poet laureate
“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”
UNITED NATIONS (Established 1945)
“The first peace, which is most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”
Chapter Eighteen of Bhagavad Gita. Infinite Spirit.
Arjuna: Krishna, I want to know the real essence of both renunciation and relinquishment.
Lord Krishna: Giving up actions based on desire, the poets know as “renunciation”; relinquishing all fruit of action, learned men call “relinquishment.”
Some wise men say all action is flawed and must be relinquished; others say action in sacrifice, charity, and penance must not be relinquished.
Arjuna, hear my decision about relinquishment; it is rightly declared to be of three kinds.
Actions in sacrifice, charity, and penance is to be performed, not relinquished—for wise men, they are acts of sanctity (holiness, saintliness, or godliness).
But even these actions should be done by relinquishing to me attachment and the fruit of action—this is my decisive idea.
Renunciation of prescribed action is inappropriate; relinquished in delusion, it becomes a way of dark inertia.
When one passionately relinquishes difficult action from fear of bodily harm, he cannot win the fruit of relinquishment.
But if one performs prescribed action because it must be done, relinquishing attachment and the fruit, his relinquishment is a lucid act.
He does not disdain unskilled action nor cling to skilled action; in his lucidity the relinquisher is wise and his doubts are cut away.
A man burdened by his body cannot completely relinquish actions, but a relinquisher is defined as one who can relinquish the fruits.
The fruit of action haunts men in death if they fail to relinquish all forms, unwanted, wanted, and mixed—but not if men renounce them.
Arjuna, learn from me the five causes for the success of all actions as explained in philosophical analysis.
They are the material basis, the agent, the different instruments, various kinds of behavior, and finally fate, the fifth.
Whatever action one initiates through body, speech, and mind, be it proper or perverse, these five causes are present.
This being so, when a man of poor understanding and misjudgment sees himself as the only agent, he cannot be said to see.
When one is free of individuality and his understanding is untainted, even if he kills these people, he does not kill and is not bound.
Knowledge, its object, and its subject are the triple stimulus of action; instrument, act, and agent are the constituents of action.
Knowledge, action, agent are threefold, differentiated by qualities of nature; hear how this has been explained in the philosophical analysis of qualities.
Know that through lucid knowledge one sees in all creatures a single, unchanging existence, undivided within its divisions.
Know passionate knowledge as that which regards various distinct existences separately in all creatures.
But knowledge that clings to a single thing as if it were the whole, limited, lacking a sense of reality, is known for its dark inertia.
Action known for its lucidity is necessary, free of attachment, performed without attraction or hatred by one who seeks no fruit.
Action called passionate is performed with great effort by an individualist who seeks to satisfy his desires.
Action defined by dark inertia is undertaken in delusion, without concern for consequences, for death or violence, or for manhood.
An agent called pure has no attachment or individualism, is resolute and energetic, unchanged in failure and success.
An agent said to be passionate is anxious to gain the fruit of action, greedy, essentially violent, impure, subject to excitement and grief.
An agent defined by dark inertia is undisciplined, vulgar, stubborn, fraudulent, dishonest, lazy, depressed, and slow to act.
Listen as I tell you without reserve about understanding and resolve, each in three aspects, according to the qualities of nature.
In one who knows activity and rest, acts of right and wrong, bravery and fear, bondage and freedom, understanding is lucid.
When one fails to discern sacred duty from chaos, right acts from wrong, understanding is passionate.
When it thinks in perverse ways, is covered in darkness, imagining chaos to be sacred duty, understanding is darkly inert.
When it sustains acts of mind, breath, and senses through discipline without wavering, resolve is lucid.
When it sustains with attachment duty, desire, and wealth, craving their fruits, resolve is passionate.
When a fool cannot escape dreaming, fear, grief, depression, and intoxication, courage is darkly inert.
Arjuna, now hear about joy, the three ways of finding delight through practice that brings an end to suffering.
The joy of lucidity at first seems like poison but is in the end like ambrosia, from the calm of self-understanding.
The joy that is passionate at first seems like ambrosia when senses encounter sense objects, but in the end it is like poison.
The joy arising from sleep, laziness, and negligence, self-deluding from beginning to end, is said to be darkly inert.
There is no being on earth or among the gods in heaven free from the triad of qualities that are born of nature.
The actions of priests, warriors, commoners, and servants are apportioned by qualities born of their intrinsic being.
Tranquility, control, penance, purity, patience, and honesty, knowledge, judgment, and piety are intrinsic to the action of a priest.
Heroism, fiery energy, resolve, skill, refusal to retreat in battle, charity, and majesty in conduct are intrinsic to the action of a warrior.
Farming, herding cattle, and commerce are intrinsic to the action of a commoner; action that is essentially service is intrinsic to the servant.
Each one achieves success by focusing on his own action; hear how one finds success by focusing on his own action.
By his own action a man finds success, worshipping the source of all creatures’ activity, the presence pervading all that is.
Better to do one’s duty imperfectly than to do another man’s well; doing action intrinsic to his being, a man avoids guilt.
Arjuna, a man should not relinquish action he is born to, even if it is flawed; all undertakings are marred by a flaw, as fire is obscured by smoke.
His understanding everywhere detached, the self mastered, longing gone, one finds through renunciation the supreme success beyond action.
Understand in summary from me how when he achieves success one attains the infinite spirit, the highest state of knowledge.
Armed with his purified understanding, subduing the self with resolve, relinquishing sensuous objects, avoiding attraction and hatred;
Observing solitude, barely eating, restraining speech, body, and mind; practicing discipline in meditation, cultivating dispassion;
Freeing himself from individuality, force, pride, desire, anger, acquisitiveness; unpossessive, tranquil, he is at one with the infinite spirit.
Being at one with the infinite spirit, serene in himself, he does not grieve or crave; impartial toward all creatures, he achieves supreme devotion to me.
Through devotion he discerns me, just who and how vast I really am; and knowing me in reality, he enters into my presence.
Always performing all actions, taking refuge in me, he attains through my grace the eternal place beyond change.
Through reason, renounce all works in me, focus on me; relying on the discipline of understanding, always keep me in your thought.
If I am in your thought, by my grace you will transcend all dangers; but if you are deafened by individuality, you will be lost.
Your resolve is futile (completely ineffective) if a sense of individuality makes you think, “I shall not fight”—nature will compel you to.
You are bound by your own action, intrinsic to your being, Arjuna; even against your will you must do what delusion now makes you refuse.
Arjuna, the lord resides in the heart of all creatures, making them reel magically, as if a machine moved them.
With your whole being, Arjuna, take refuge in him alone—from his grace you will attain the eternal place that is peace.
The knowledge I have taught is more arcane (known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric) than any mystery—consider it completely, then act as you choose.
Listen to my profound words, the deepest mystery of all, for you are precious to me and I tell you for your good.
Keep your mind on me, be my devotee, sacrificing, bow to me—you will come to me, I promise, for you are dear to me.
Relinquishing all sacred duties to me, make me your only refuge; do not grieve, for I shall free you from all evils.
You must not speak of this to one who is without penance and devotion, or who does not wish to hear, or who finds fault in me.
When he shares this deepest mystery with others devoted to me, giving me his total devotion, a man will come to me without doubt.
No mortal can perform service for me that I value more, and no other man on earth will be more dear to me than he is.
I judge the man who studies our dialogue on sacred duty to offer me sacrifice through sacrifice in knowledge.
If he listens in faith, finding no fault, a man is free and will attain the cherished worlds of those who act in virtue.
Arjuna, have you listened with your full powers of reason? Has the delusion of ignorance now been destroyed?
Arjuna: Krishna, my delusion is destroyed, and by your grace I have regained memory; I stand here, my doubt dispelled, ready to act on your words.
Sanjaya: As I heard this wondrous dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, the man of great soul, the hair bristled on my flesh.
By grace of the epic poet Vyasa, I heard the mystery of supreme discipline recounted by Krishna himself, the lord of discipline incarnate.
O King, when I keep remembering this wondrous and holy dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again.
In my memory I recall again and again Krishna’s wondrous form—great is my amazement, King; I rejoice again and again.
Where Krishna is lord of discipline and Arjuna is the archer, there do fortune, victory, abundance, and morality exist, so I think.
(Thank you to Playing For Change @ YouTube)