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The interior is what is hidden beneath the surface.
- But it is not only of space in the Church which we ought to be jealous, but also of the interior of the house of God in us, so that it might not become a house of merchandise, or a den of robbers.
- Ambrose, Commentary on John 2:16, Exposition of the Psalms of David 118 (PL 15 1457B)
- The trick is to maintain a kind of naïve amazement at each instant of experience—but, as Montaigne learned, one of the best techniques for doing this is to write about everything. Simply describing an object on your table, or the view from your window, opens your eyes to how marvelous such ordinary things are. To look inside yourself is to open up an even more fantastical realm.
- Sarah Bakewell, How to Live (2010), p. 37
- What a wonderful power the machine gives you. But is it going to dominate you? This statement of what the need and want is must come from you, not from the machine, and not from the government that’s teaching you, not even from the clergy. It has to come from one’s own inside. And the minute you let that drop, and take what the dictation of the time is, instead of the dictation of your own eternity, you have capitulated to the devil, and you’re in hell.
- Joseph Campbell, Transformations of Myth Trough Time, 47:25
- The truest direction comes from inside.
- [Scripture], by which, “as in a glass, we may survey ourselves, and know what manner of persons we are,” (James 1. 23) discovers ourselves to us; pierces into the inmost recesses of the mind; strips off every disguise; lays open the inward part; makes a strict scrutiny into the very soul and spirit; and critically judges of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. iv. 12) It shows us with what exactness and care we are to search and try our spirits, examine ourselves, and watch our ways, and keep our hearts, in order to acquire this important self-science; which it often calls us to do. “Examine yourselves; prove your own selves; know you not yourselves? Let a man examine himself.” (1 Cor. xi. 28)
- John Mason, A Treatise on Self-Knowledge (1745)
- Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
- Where there have been powerful governments, societies, religions, public opinions, in short wherever there has been tyranny, there the solitary philosopher has been hated; for philosophy offers an asylum to a man into which no tyranny can force it way, the inward cave, the labyrinth of the heart.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, trans. Hollingdale, “Schopenhauer as educator,” § 3.3, p. 139
- The master of a private dwelling will not allow any untidiness or unseemliness to be seen in the house, such as a couch upset, or the table littered with rubbish, or vessels of price thrown away into dirty corners, while those which serve ignobler uses are thrust forward for entering guests to see. He has everything arranged neatly and in the proper place, where it stands to most advantage; and then he can welcome his guests, without any misgivings that he need be ashamed of opening the interior of his house to receive them. The same duty, I take it, is incumbent on that master of our "tabernacle," the mind; it has to arrange everything within us, and to put each particular faculty of the soul, which the Creator has fashioned to be our implement or our vessel, to fitting and noble uses.
- Gregory of Nyssa, On Virginity, Chapter 18
- Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves.
- Oh dear Pan and all the other Gods of this place, grant that I may be beautiful inside.
- What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours—that is what you must be able to attain.
- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, 6
- Princes have but their titles for their glories;
An outward honour for an inward toil.
- Shakespeare, Brakenbury in Richard III, Act 1, Scene 4
- Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside.
- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
- We would think a man insane who, instead of covering his house with a roof and putting windows in his window frames, goes out in stormy weather, and scolds the wind, the rain, and the clouds. But we all do the same when we scold and blame the evil in other people instead of fighting the evil which exists in us. It is possible to get rid of the evil inside of us, as it is possible to make a roof and windows for our house. This is possible. But it is not possible for us to destroy evil in this world, just as we cannot order the weather to change and the clouds to disappear. If, instead of teaching others, we would educate and improve ourselves, then there would be less evil in this world, and all people would live better lives.
- When Jesus talks about the poor he simply means personalities, just as when he talks about the rich he simply means people who have not developed their personalities. Jesus moved in a community that allowed the accumulation of private property just as ours does, and the gospel that he preached was not that in such a community it is an advantage for a man to live on scanty, unwholesome food, to wear ragged, unwholesome clothes, to sleep in horrid, unwholesome dwellings, and a disadvantage for a man to live under healthy, pleasant, and decent conditions. Such a view would have been wrong. ... What Jesus meant, was this. He said to man, ‘You have a wonderful personality. Develop it. Be yourself. Don’t imagine that your perfection lies in accumulating or possessing external things. Your perfection is inside of you. If only you could realise that, you would not want to be rich. Ordinary riches can be stolen from a man. Real riches cannot. In the treasury-house of your soul, there are infinitely precious things, that may not be taken from you. And so, try to so shape your life that external things will not harm you. And try also to get rid of personal property. It involves sordid preoccupation, endless industry, continual wrong. Personal property hinders Individualism at every step.’
- Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, ¶ 22