120. “In books “we converse with the wise, as in action with fools.” That is, if we know how to select our books. “Some books are to be tasted,” reads a famous passage, “others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested”; all these groups forming, no doubt, an infinitesimal portion of the oceans and cataracts of ink in which the world is daily bathed and poisoned and drowned.”
126. “A knowledge of history may teach us that civilization is a co-operative product, that nearly all peoples have contributed to it; it is our common heritage and debt; and the civilized soul will reveal itself in treating every man or woman, however lowly, as a representative of one of these creative and contributory groups.”
129. “Hence I think it is that democracies change into aristocracies, and these at length into monarchies,′ people at last prefer tyranny to chaos. Equality of power is an unstable condition; men are by nature unequal; and ‘he who seeks equality between unequals seeks an absurdity.’ Democracy has still to solve the problem of enlisting the best energies of men while giving to all alike the choice of those, among the trained and fit, by whom they wish to be ruled.”
130. “When a simpleton abused him, Buddha listened in silence; but when the man had finished, Buddha asked him: “Son, if a man declined to accept a present made to him, to whom would it belong?” The man answered: “To him who offered it.” “My son,” said Buddha, “I decline to accept your abuse, and request you to keep it for yourself.”
134. “The story of the “bondage” in Egypt, of the use of the Jews as slaves in great construction enterprises, their rebellion and escape – or emigration – to Asia, has many internal signs of essential truth, mingled, of course, with supernatural interpolations customary in all the historical writings of the ancient East.”
148. “As to harmonizing the theory of evolution with the Biblical account of creation, I do not believe it can be done, and I do not see why it should be. The story of Genesis is beautiful, and profoundly significant as symbolism: there is no good reason to torture it into conformity with modern theory.”
149. “If race or class war divides us into hostile camps, changing political argument into blind hate, one side or the other may overturn the hustings with the rule of the sword. If our economy of freedom fails to distribute wealth as ably as it has created it, the road to dictatorship will be open to any man who can persuasively promise security to all; and a martial government, under whatever charming phrases, will engulf the democratic world.”
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