Gems From The East: A Birthday Book

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Gems From The East: A Birthday Book

By H.P. Blavatsky


"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
"Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind."
— TENNYSON (In Memoriam)
1 The most precious gift received by man on earth is desire for wisdom.

2 In health and wealth man is never in want of friends. True friends, however, are those who remain when they are needed.

3 Of all the animals on earth, man alone has the faculty of causing moral trouble.

4 Man contains three kinds of evil: the evil caused by his (lower) nature; the evil done by man to man; and the evil caused by man to himself.

5 A great man is he who is proof against flattery, vanity, injustice, and the love of pomp and power.

6 The wise man is he who can either take or leave those so-called necessities of life with which other people are intemperate.

7 To hold on with fortitude in one condition, and sobriety in the other, is a proof of a great soul and an impregnable virtue.

8 Let every action be done with perfect gravity, humanity, freedom, and justice, and perform it as though that action were your last.

9 A man can rarely be unhappy by being ignorant of another's thoughts; but he that does not attend to the motions of his own is certainly unhappy.

10 Do not let accidents disturb, or outward objects engross your thoughts; but keep your mind quiet and disengaged, to be ready to learn something good.

11 Manage all your actions, words, and thoughts accordingly, since you can at any moment quit life.

12 What matters dying? If the gods are in being, you can suffer nothing, for they will do you no harm.

13 And if the gods are not, or take no care of mortals — why, then, a world without gods is not worth a man's while to live in.

14 The being of the gods, and their concern in human affairs, is beyond dispute.

15 Remember that life is wearing off, and a smaller part of it is left daily.

16 Depend not upon external supports, nor beg your tranquillity of another. In a word, never throw away your legs to stand upon crutches.

17 If you examine a man that has been well-disciplined and purified by philosophy, you will find nothing that is unsound, false, or foul in him.

18 Life moves in a very narrow compass; yes, and men live in a small corner of the world too.

19 Poor transitory mortals know little even of themselves, much less of those who died long before their time.

20 Death and generation are both mysteries of nature, and resemble each other; the first does but dissolve those elements the latter had combined.

21 Do not suppose you are hurt, and your complaint ceases. Cease your complaint, and you are not hurt.

22 That which does not make man worse, does not make his life worse; as a result, he hath no harm either within or without.

23 At present your nature is distinct; but ere long you will vanish into the whole: you will be returned into that universal reason which gave you your being.

24 Do but return to the principles of wisdom, and those who take you now for a monkey or a wild beast will make a god of you.

25 Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to throw away. Death stands at your elbow. Be good for something, while you live, and it is in your power.

26 He that is so anxious about being talked of when he is dead, does not consider that all who knew him will quickly be gone.

27 If you depend too servilely upon the good word of other people, you will be unworthy of your own nature.

28 Whatever is good has that quality from itself; it is finished by its own nature, and commendation is no part of it.

29 Do not run riot; keep your intentions honest, and your convictions sure.

30 He that does a memorable action, and those who report it, are all but short-lived things.

31 Put yourself frankly into the hands of Fate, and let her spin you out what fortune she pleases.



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