Principles of Life


Albetano, an ancient Roman philosopher, is recorded as having said: ‘The angry man always thinks he can do more than he can.’

When a man is intoxicated with alcohol, he is not in control of himself. He may even go so far as to bang his head on a stone, unmindful of the fact that it may not be the stone that breaks but his own head. This is because, in his besotted state, he wrongly gauges his own abilities and proceeds to do things which can have unfavourable consequences.

Human Potential

In the Ohio University of the U.S.A. there is a department known as the Disaster Research Centre. It was established in 1963, and has so far studied over one hundred different calamities affecting human beings on a vast scale. It was discovered that at moments of crisis, an extraordinary new potential develops in people which saves them from succumbing to disasters and their aftermath. In 1961, for example, Texas was struck by a severe coastal tempest, but less than half of the inhabitants opted to vacate the area.

The Order of Nature

Try closing your room, going away, and returning after a few weeks. What do you find on your return? A thick layer of dust all over the room. This is so unpleasant that you don’t feel like sitting in the room until it has been dusted. Equally unpleasant is the dust blown in your face by a high wind, you find yourself longing for the wind to drop, so that there should be no more irritating dust.

Hasten Slowly

A young man once came to a venerable master and asked, ‘How long will it take to reach enlightenment?’ The master said, ‘Ten years.’ The young man blurted out, ‘So long!’ The master said, ‘No, I was mistaken. It will take you twenty years.’ The young man asked, ‘Why do you keep adding to it!’ The master answered, ‘Come to think of it, in your case it will probably be 30 years.’ (Philip Kapleau, Readers Digest, 1983)