Always and everywhere silence

From pure sensation to the intuition of beauty, from pleasure and pain to love and the mystical ecstasy and death—all the things that are fundamental, all the things that, to the human spirit, are most profoundly significant, can only be experienced, not expressed. The rest is always and everywhere silence. After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

~ Aldous Huxley

Turmoil

It’s the pursuit of these things, and your attempts to avoid them, that leave you in such turmoil. And yet they aren’t seeking you out; you are the one seeking them. Suspend judgement about them. And at once they will lie still, and you will be freed from fleeing and pursuing.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Happiness must ensue

But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to “be happy.” Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically. As we see, a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy, last but not least, through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in a given situation.

~ Viktor Frankl

Busy idleness

Some men are preoccupied even in their leisure. In a country house, upon a couch, in the midst of solitude, though they are inaccessible to others, they are troublesome to themselves; their life cannot be called leisurely but rather a busy idleness.

~ Seneca

Responsibleness

Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.

~ Viktor Frankl

Life is ample

But life is ample, of course, for men who keep themselves detached from involvement. None of their time is transferred to others, none is frittered away in this diretion and that, none is committed to Fortune, none perishes of neglect, none is squandered in lavishness, none is idle: All of it, so to speak, produces income. A very little is therefore amply sufficient, and hence, when his last day comes, the philosopher goes to meet his death with a steady step.

~Seneca

One you can finish

The worker must be stronger than his project; loads larger than the bearer must necessarily crush him. Certain careers, moreover, are not so demanding in themselves as they are prolific in begetting a mass of other activities. Enterprises which give rise to new and multifarious activites should be avoided; you must not commit yourself to a task from which there is no free egress. Put your hand to one you can finish or at least hope to finish; leave alone those that expand as you work at them and do not stop where you intended they should.

~ Seneca, On Tranquility

The privilege of a serene and untroubled mind

The days of our present come one by one, and each day minute by minute; but all the days of the past will appear at your bidding and allow you to examine them and linger over them at your will. Busy men have no time for this. Excursions into all the parts of its past are the privilege of a serene and untroubled mind; but the minds of the preoccupied cannot turn or look back, as if constricted by a yoke. And so their life vanishes into an abyss.

~ Seneca