Society

Still, it rarely happens that men live according to the guidance of reason. Instead, their lives are so constituted that they are usually envious and burdensome to one another. They can hardly, however, live a solitary life; hence, that definition which makes man a social animal has been quite pleasing to most. And surely we do derive, from society of our fellow men, many more advantages than disadvantages.”

— Benedict de Spinoza, Ethics

Sad and Noble Truth

[The crucifix] stood there, crowning the rock, as it still stands on so many highway sides, vainly preaching to passers-by, an emblem of sad and noble truths: that pleasure is not an end, but an accident; that pain is the choice of the magnanimous; that it is best to suffer all things and do well.”

— Robert Louis Stevenson, Olalla

Creation and Recreation

Never before had I so realized the miracle of the continued race, the creation and recreation, the weaving and changing and handing down a fleshly elements. That a child should be born of its mother, that it should grow and clothe itself (we know not how) with humanity, and put on inherited looks, and turn its head with the manner of one ascendant, and offer its hand with a gesture of another, are wonders dulled for us by repetition.”

— Robert Louis Stevenson, Olalla