November 5

Thought is the clarification of truth, and thus bad thoughts are only thoughts that have not been fully followed through.

1

That which is still calm can maintain its calmness. That which has not yet appeared can be easily prevented. That which is still weak can be easily broken. That which is still small can be easily scattered.

Take care of things before they come into being. Establish order before disorder breaks out.

The thick tree originated from a thin twig. A nine-storied tower began with the laying of small bricks. A journey of a thousand kilometers begins with a single step. Pay attention to your thoughts for they are the source of actions.

— After Lao-Tzu

2

Observe yourself first thing in the morning and say to yourself: it may happen that today I will collide with a man who is impudent, ungrateful, shameless, tiresome or embittered, for anyone who cannot tell the difference between good and evil is possessed by such vices. But if I myself know firmly what is good and what is evil, I understand that for me evil is only the bad deed for which I myself am responsible, and thus no wrongdoer can harm me, for no one can force me to do evil against my own will. And if I also remember how close to me every other person is, not by flesh and blood, but by the spirit, which in every one of us comes from God and constitutes that essence of ours that is higher than the flesh, then I cannot feel angry or annoyed at a being which is so close to me, for we have been created for each other, called to help each other, like a pair of hands, or a pair of legs, like eyes and teeth, which are always working in concert to help each other. This is why it is repulsive to our nature to turn away from a neighbor who has insulted us. And yet, everyone who hates another because of a grievance sins against this.

— Marcus Aurelius

3

O, you, the seeker of wisdom, master your thoughts if you want to reach your goal! Focus the gaze of your soul onto that one pure light that is free from passion.

— Brahmin wisdom

4

In order for a flame to provide constant illumination it is necessary to place the lamp somewhere where it will be protected from the wind. If the flame is exposed to the wind, it will flicker and cast deceptive shadows, dark and strange. And, likewise, bad thoughts cast such shadows onto the white surface of your soul.

— Brahmin wisdom

5

In the bustle of the world and amid the excitement of temptations we have no time to search for means of counteracting our desires.

Set your goals when you are alone and free from temptations. Only then will you have the strength to resist the enticements of your temptations.

— Bentham

6

Contemplation is the path to immortality, light-mindedness is the path to death. Those who are awake in contemplation never die, the light-minded and ignorant are akin to the dead.

Awaken yourself—and then, self-protected and alert, you will be immutable.

— Buddhist wisdom (Dhammapada)


We cannot drive away a bad thought after it has arisen in our mind, but we can note that the thought is bad and we can call to mind the kinds of thoughts that will weaken or destroy it. A thought has arisen about the failings of a neighbor: I cannot drive it away, but, having realized that the thought is bad, can recall that it is not right to find fault in others, that I myself have my failings, and that the same God is within him that is within me, and thus I cannot help but love him.