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Wonderful quotes by Annie Besant

AMONG the many forces which inspire men to activity, none, perhaps, plays a greater part than the feeling we call devotion — together with some feelings that often mask themselves under its name, though fundamentally differing from it in essence. The most heroic self-sacrifices have been inspired by it, while the most terrible sacrifices of others have been brought about by its pseudo-sister, fanaticism. It is as powerful a lever for raising a man as is the other for his degradation. The two sway mankind with overmastering power, and in some of their manifestations show an illusory resemblance; but the one has its roots in knowledge, the other in ignorance; the one bears the fruits of love, the other the poison-apples of hate.

 

A clear understanding of the nature of devotion is necessary, ere we are in a position to weigh its value and to distinguish it from the false Duessa.

 

We must trace it to its origin in human nature, and see in what part of that nature it takes its rise. We must know in order that we may practice; for as knowledge without practice is barren, so practice without knowledge is wasted. Emotion unregulated by knowledge, like a river overflowing its banks, spreads in every direction as a devastating flood, while emotion guided by knowledge is like the same river running in appointed channels and fertilizing the land through which it flows.

 

The Value of Devotion - Annie Besant

AMONG the many forces which inspire men to activity, none, perhaps, plays a greater part than the feeling we call devotion — together with some feelings that often mask themselves under its name, though fundamentally differing from it in essence. The most heroic self-sacrifices have been inspired by it, while the most terrible sacrifices of others have been brought about by its pseudo-sister, fanaticism. It is as powerful a lever for raising a man as is the other for his degradation.

Five lectures given at the European Theosophical Society August 1895. Contents: Purification; Thought Control; Building of Character; Spiritual Alchemy; On the Threshold.

 

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