"It is in the midst of difficulties that man develops his intelligence because, in order to overcome them, he must observe, think and become clear-sighted. Nature has put difficulties here and there in life to develop her children's intelligence, but the children do not develop: they waste their time and energy crying, complaining, getting angry and upset, instead of trying to understand and look for solutions. Obviously when they are exhausted they calm down, but the difficulties are still there; their energies are gone but their problems remain. What a weird method!
I ask someone, 'How long did you cry? - three hours. - Did you solve the problem? - No. - Well, next time, cry just ten minutes. As you would miss not crying, do it, but no more than ten minutes; and once the ten minutes is over, start thinking!' "
"Is there a law against being stronger than your enemy? Is there anything to forbid you from picking up your aggressor by the scruff of his neck and asking him, ‘do you want me to smash you to the ground?’ If you did this he would soon see how strong you were. And then, if you put him gently on his feet again instead of throwing him violently to the ground, he would begin to respect you. Would this not be much better than always allowing yourself to be defeated and ill-treated? You must be stronger than your enemies, capable with a single word, gesture, or glance, of paralysing them and making them feel so small and vulnerable that they beat a retreat. If you cannot be a winner on the physical plane, you can at least try to be a winner on the mental plane. Would this not be far better than allowing dishonest, cruel, evil people to destroy you?”
“When you feel anxious or irritated, instead of fretting or going round worrying others, just calm down. Start by controlling your breathing, then say a word with love, do something with love, send a loving thought, and you will see that what was brewing inside you and turning sour has been washed away. In asking love for help, you have opened a spring within you, and now you can leave love to do its purifying work. You see, it is quite easy, you only have to open up your heart to let love come flooding in. Try it, and you will wonder why you never tried it before. We hear love spoken of, and we make fun of it, and play around with it, instead of using it as the most effective means of salvation.”
"Meditation has become fashionable lately. More and more people meditate, or so it would seem. But what can such meditation without any preparation bring them? How can they meditate if they do not have a high ideal, if they have not relinquished their whims, their debauched living, their disordered thoughts and desires, their wine and their tobacco? They say they meditate. And what is the subject of their meditation? Money, power, a man or woman they might seduce? They cannot meditate on celestial subjects because they do not have an ideal with which to tear themselves away from ordinary, animal life, and to pull them up to heaven. Be quite clear on this: you cannot meditate unless you have conquered certain weaknesses and understood certain truths. And not only are you not able to, it is even dangerous to try."
"Disciples who do not know how to behave towards their master because they are unaware of what role a master can play in their lives, prevent their master from being as useful to them as he could be, as he would like to be, and they thus hamper their own progress. It is up to disciples to discover what their relationship should be with their master, how they should regard him and behave towards him. It is not up to the master to make recommendations on this subject. A true master is content with simply giving his teaching; he leaves his disciples free. He will never say: 'You must respect me, admire me, obey me.' No, never. First of all because it would be useless to do so, since respect, admiration or obedience cannot be imposed. Secondly because the master does not need to; he has other sources of joy and satisfaction. It is up to disciples to find the best attitude to adopt towards their master for the sake of their evolution."
"History has known so many revolutions! How many times have human beings experienced changes! And yet the situation has not really improved. Why? Because in spite of these changes, people have not freed themselves from the vicious circle of their lusts and badly controlled instincts. No situation will really improve if mentalities do not improve. People have to leave the region of their lower appetites for changes to become true improvements. If they continue to utilise the same defective materials with the same polluted elements, whatever combinations they may consider, human beings will keep on living in the same disorder and tribulation."