Henri-Frédéric Amiel

(27 September 1821 – 11 May 1881) Swiss moral philosopher, poet, and critic.

The growth and development of the soul is more important than power and glory.
Civilization is first of all a moral thing. Without truth, respect for duty, love of neighbor, virtue, everything is destroyed. The morality of a society is alone the basis of civilization.
We should separate the religion that was taught by Jesus from the religion whose subject is Jesus. Then we will understand the real meaning of the New Testament and follow It.
A person who becomes close to God understands that God lives within him. Angelus, a mystical poet of the seventeenth century, said, “I see God with the same eye with which He sees me.”
All beginnings are mysteries, the mystery of creation.
In the important questions of life, we are always alone. Our deepest inner thoughts cannot be understood by others. The best part of the drama that goes on deep in our soul is a monologue, or, better to say, a very sincere conversation between God, our conscience, and ourself.
Childhood is blessed by heaven because it brings a piece of paradise into the cruelties of life. All these thousands of everyday births are fresh additions of innocence and purity, which fight against the end of mankind, and against our spoiled nature, and against our complete immersion into sin.
I am filled with a great thought: that of the greatness of my soul, its unity with God. My soul is not united with God in submission, but through its ability to understand Him, and through Him, to be eternal.
Every desire abates, and every vice grows after it is satisfied.
Material results are the manifestations of unseen forces: an artillery shell that comes to us was shot from an unseen cannon at an unknown time. In the same way, all important events originate in a thought.
Fire purifies everything in the material world; love purifies everything in the spiritual world.
Pay bad people with your goodness; fight their hatred with your kindness. Even if you do not achieve victory over other people, you will conquer yourself.
The manner of one’s death can he in accord with the manner of one’s life, and therefore it can be a moral action. An animal simply dies, but a human should return his soul to its creator.
The process of life should be the birth of a soul. This is the highest alchemy, and this justifies our presence on earth. This is our calling and our virtue.
It is difficult enough to plug your ears in a big hall full of dancing people; now imagine that you are in an asylum. For one who destroys in himself his religious conscience, all of the religious activity of other people will produce a similar impression. But it is dangerous to think that you are more clever than the majority of religious mankind.
Let us be truthful. This is the mystery of rhetoric and virtue, this is the biggest mystery, this is the highest achievement in art and the major law of life.
In the long run, there is only one subject worthy of study, and this is the different forms of transformation of the spirit. All other subjects and studies can be brought to these basic things.
Do not wish for too much, nor think that the things you wish for are the only right or necessary things. You should wish only for those things for which God wishes.
Be as you are, as you have to be, and the rest is God’s business.
We should do only one thing: give ourselves into the hands of God, whatever our ultimate fate. Allow that which should happen to happen. What will happen will be good.