In Praise of Virtue

Cultivating virtue, generosity, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, resolve, universal love, equanimity, compassion.
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Nicholas
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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If men used as much care in uprooting vices and implanting virtues as they do in discussing problems, there would not be so much evil and scandal in the world, or such laxity in religious organizations.

Imitation of Christ, Croft-Bolton translation
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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All persons can change and improve their life through keeping good company and
exercising their innate power of self-control, and through meditation on God, the Source of their being.
Even a little taste of goodness will stimulate one’s spiritual appetite for the Everlasting Sweetness.
Swami Yogananda
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Russell Kirk ponders on the demise of both the study & practice of virtue:

https://kirkcenter.org/kirk-essays/virt ... be-taught/
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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An excerpt from Kirk's essay:
ln this essay I shall venture first to offer you a renewed apprehension of what “virtue” means; and then to suggest how far it may be possible to restore an active virtue in our public and our private life. If we lack virtue, we will not long continue to enjoy comfort—not in an age when Giant ldeology and Giant Envy swagger balefully about the world.

The concept of virtue, like most other concepts that have endured and remain worthy of praise, has come down to us from the Greeks and the Hebrews. ln its classical signification, “virtue” means the power of anything to accomplish its specific function; a property capable of producing certain effects; strength, force, potency. Thus one refers to the “deadly virtue” of the hemlock. Thus also the word “virtue” implies a mysterious energetic power, as in the Gospel According to Saint Mark: “Jesus, immediately knowing that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?” Was it, we may ask, that virtue of Jesus which scorched the Shroud of Turin?

Virtue, then, meant in the beginning some extraordinary power. The word was applied to the sort of person we might now call “the charismatic leader.” By extension, “virtue” came to imply the qualities of full humanity: strength, courage, capacity, worth, manliness, moral excellence. And presently “virtue” came to signify, as well, moral goodness: the practice of moral duties and the conformity of life to the moral law; uprightness; rectitude.
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Whene’er a noble deed is wrought
Whene’er is spoken a noble thought
Our hearts, in glad surprise,
To higher levels rise.

The tidal wave of deeper souls
Into our inmost being rolls,
And lifts us unawares
Out of all meaner cares.

Honor to those whose words or deeds
Thus help us in our daily needs,
And by their overflow
Raise us from what is low!
Longfellow reminds that simply knowing about noble karma inspires & encourages us in the same direction.
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Truth is the summit of being; justice is the application of it to affairs. All individual natures stand in a scale,
according to the purity of this element in them. The will of the pure runs down from them into other natures,
as water runs down from a higher into a lower vessel; this natural force is no more to be withstood than any
other natural force. A healthy soul stands united with the Just and the True, as the magnet arranges itself
with the pole, so that he stands to all beholders like a transparent object betwixt them and the sun, and
whoso journeys towards the sun, journeys towards that person.
Emerson
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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The great division of our affections is into the selfish and the benevolent. If the character of virtue, therefore, cannot be ascribed indifferently to all our affections, when under proper government and direction, it must be confined either to those which aim directly at our own private happiness, or to those which aim directly at that of others. If virtue, therefore, does not consist in propriety, it must consist either in prudence or in benevolence. Besides these three, it is scarce possible to imagine that any other account can be given of the nature of virtue.
Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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It is the part of a good man to do great and noble deeds though he risks everything in doing them.
Plutarch
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Edmund Burke
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.
J.S. Mill
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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252. Easily seen is the fault of others, but one’s
own fault is difficult to see. Like chaff one
winnows another’s faults, but hides one’s own,
even as a crafty fowler hides behind sham branches.
253. He who seeks another’s faults, who is ever
censorious—his cankers grow. He is far from
destruction of the cankers.
Buddha
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Because those who have faith in the right Dharma and those who damage it are constantly in competition, and good and evil people are in conflict with each other, ignorant and deluded people easily become shallow admirers of the heterodox teachings and those who follow the pure and correct teaching frequently encounter unjust persecutions.
Forest of Pearls vol. 1:79
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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If we permit the “three roots” of evil
—greed, hate and delusion—to take a firm hold in our
hearts, then their outgrowths will spread far and wide
like a jungle creeper, suffocating much healthy and
noble growth all around. But if we protect ourselves
against these three roots, our fellow beings too will be
safe. They will be safe from our reckless greed for
possessions and power, from our unrestrained lust
and sensuality, from our envy and jealousy; safe from
the disruptive consequences of our hate and enmity
which may be destructive or even murderous; safe
from the outbursts of our anger and from the resulting
atmosphere of antagonism and conflict which may
make life unbearable for them.
Nyanaponika Maha Thera
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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The whole duty of man is embraced in the two principles of abstinence and patience: temperance in prosperity, and patient courage in adversity.
Seneca
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Moral courage is a virtue of higher cast and nobler origin than physical. It springs from a consciousness of virtue, and renders a man in the pursuit or defence of right, superior to the fear of reproach, opposition, or contempt.
S. G. Goodrich
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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If, however, fear or uncertainty should arise, we
know the refuge where it can be allayed: our good
deeds. By taking this refuge, confidence
and courage will grow within us—confidence
in the protecting power of our good deeds done in the
past; courage to perform more good deeds right now,
despite the discouraging hardships of our present life.
For we know that noble and selfless deeds provide the
best defence against the hard blows of destiny, that it is
never too late but always the right time for good actions.
Nyanaponika
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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The will turned away from the unchangeable and universal good, and turned to its own, or some outward or inferior good, sins. It turns to its own, when it would be in its own power; to an outward, when it strives to know what belongs to others, or not to itself; to an inferior, when it loves the pleasures of the body; and thus man, becoming proud, curious, fleshly, passes over into another life, which, in comparison of the former, is death.
St Augustine
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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Fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
Shakespeare
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Re: In Praise of Virtue

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All the virtues you preserve, but
That which cuts at their very roots,
This anger, you have not yet abandoned.
Who is a greater fool than you?

Done is an ignoble deed
By another—so you get angry.
Aren’t you just like him?
Who wants to copy the very same act?
Visuddhimagga
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