Monday, January 2, 2012

the true destiny...

This from William Alger, cousin of Horatio, and a Unitarian Minister. He did much fascinating work not least this book, "The Solitudes of Nature and of Man: or the Loneliness of Human Life." I have been reading this book with amazement the last couple of days.

"The true destiny of man is the fruition of the functions of his being, the purest and fullest exercise of his faculties, in their due order, in internal unity and in external harmony. He should therefore seek to perfect himself in the light of the great standards of truth, virtue, beauty, humanity, and God ; and to be contented with himself as reflected by these standards. To seek, instead of this, to see himself flatteringly reflected in the estimation of other people, in whose judgments these standards are often refracted in broken distortions, is the sure way to wretchedness. He who aims at perfection, going out and up in thought and feeling from his defects to its standards, will be happy. He who aims at fame, coming down in thought and feeling from his rich desires to the poor facts, will be miserable. Happiness is the successful pursuit of an aim. Perfection is the grandest of aims, and the only one in which a continuous success is morally possible for all. The happiest of men are the saints and mystics, in whom the social exactions of self are lost in a fruition of the sublimest standard; each wave of force goes out and dies in ecstasyvon a shoreless good. But the selfish plotter feels each wave of force rise and move inward to die, with egotistic disgust, of extinction in the centre. Whoever would live contented and die happy must not pursue public applause, but must give more than is given him, and love without asking a return."



Bill Baar said...

Thanks for this... glad you're back

slt said...

Thank you very kindly Bill. I wish you a wonderful new year. blessings, BU