You must attend to this matter. While being completely law-abiding, some people are imprisoned, treated harshly and even killed without cause so that many people suffer. Therefore your aim should be to act with impartiality. It is because of these things envy, anger, cruelty, hate, indifference, laziness or tiredness that such a thing does not happen. Therefore your aim should be: "May these things not be in me." And the root of this is non-anger and patience. Those who are bored with the administration of justice will not be promoted; (those who are not) will move upwards and be promoted. Whoever among you understands this should say to his colleagues: "See that you do your duty properly. Such and such are Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions." Great fruit will result from doing your duty, while failing in it will result in gaining neither heaven nor the king's pleasure. Failure in duty on your part will not please me. But done properly, it will win you heaven and you will be discharging your debts to me.
The moment you stop seeking pleasure in worldly things and become a true master of yourself, you will experience the essential reality of the Self. Then you will no longer have to seek God. God himself will come to you. This is the Divine law.
For pain is perhaps but a violent pleasure? Who could determine the point where pleasure becomes pain, where pain is still a pleasure? Is not the utmost brightness of the ideal world soothing to us, while the lightest shadows of the physical world annoy?
To kill a relative of whom you are tired, is something; but to inherit his property afterwards that is a real pleasure!
Happiness is not mere pleasure not the outcome of wealth. It is the result of active work rather than passive enjoyment of pleasure.
Angels made no complaint about any of the creatures that were created during the six days of Creation, except about Man. This is because he was created in God's image and consists of Upper and Lower together. When the angels saw it, they were startled and bewildered. How would the pure, spiritual soul descend from its sublime degree, and come and dwell in the same abode with this filthy, beastly body? (...) The answer that came to them is is that there is already a tower filled abundantly, and empty of guests. To fill it with guests, we need the existence of this human, made of Upper and lower together (...) Know that this tower, filled abundantly, implies all the pleasure and the goodness for which He has created the creatures.
When we examine the acts of an individual, we shall find them compulsory. He is compelled to do them and has no freedom of choice. In a sense, he is like a stew cooking on a stove; it has no choice but to cook. And it must cook because Providence has harnessed life with two chains: pleasure and pain (...) there is no difference here between man and animal. And if that is the case, there is no free choice whatsoever, but a pulling force, drawing them toward any bypassing pleasure and rejecting them from painful circumstances. And Providence leads them to every place it chooses by means of these two forces [i.e. pleasure and pain], without asking their opinion in the matter.
The thought of creation itself dictates the presence of an excessive will to receive in the souls, to fit the immense pleasure that the Creator thought to bestow upon them. For the great delight and the great desire to receive must go hand in hand.
One should receive pleasures that bring contentment to the Creator. This means that the creature will want to bestow upon the Creator, and will have fear of the Creator, of receiving for oneself, since reception of pleasure - when one receives for one's own benefit - removes him from cleaving to the Creator.
A good, skillful worker is one who does not consider the reward, but enjoys his work. If, for example, a skillful tailor knows that the clothing fits its owner at every point, it gives him pleasure, more than the money he receives.
As they say, art is pleasure, invention is treasure, and this nation has got to recognise that. If they can spend a fortune on dead sheep and formaldehyde, then it can spend a bit more of that money on inventors.
What is intoxicating about bad taste is the aristocratic pleasure of offensiveness.
To love intelligent women is the pleasure of a pederast.
There, all is order and beauty only,
Splendor, peace, and pleasure.
Constantine declared his own will equivalent to a canon of the Church. According to Justinian, the Roman people had formally transferred to the emperors the entire plenitude of its authority, and, therefore, the emperors pleasure, expressed by edict or by letter, had force of law. Even in the fervent age of its conversion the empire employed its refined civilization, the accumulated wisdom of ancient sages, the reasonableness and subtlety of Roman law, and the entire inheritance of the Jewish, the pagan, and the Christian world, to make the Church serve as a gilded crutch of absolutism. Neither an enlightened philosophy, nor all the political wisdom of Rome, nor even the faith and virtue of the Christians availed against the incorrigible tradition of antiquity. Something was wanted, beyond all the gifts of reflection and experience a faculty of self government and self control, developed like its language in the fibre of a nation, and growing with its growth. This vital element, which many centuries of warfare, of anarchy, of oppression, had extinguished in the countries that were still draped in the pomp of ancient civilization, was deposited on the soil of Christendom by the fertilising stream of migration that overthrew the empire of the West.
The ultimate source of energy, the sun is ready to set. The leaves of the blooming lotus flower in the pond are losing their lustre. A bumblebee, sitting on that lotus is enjoying the romantic pleasure and murmuring passionate songs.
Now the activity of the practical virtues is exhibited in political or military affairs, but the actions concerned with these seem to be unleisurely. Warlike actions are completely so (for no one chooses to be at war, or provokes war, for the sake of being at war; any one would seem absolutely murderous if he were to make enemies of his friends in order to bring about battle and slaughter); but the action of the statesman is also unleisurely, and-apart from the political action itself-aims at despotic power and honours, or at all events happiness, for him and his fellow citizens-a happiness different from political action, and evidently sought as being different. So if among virtuous actions political and military actions are distinguished by nobility and greatness, and these are unleisurely and aim at an end and are not desirable for their own sake, but the activity of reason, which is contemplative, seems both to be superior in serious worth and to aim at no end beyond itself, and to have its pleasure proper to itself (and this augments the activity), and the self-sufficiency, leisureliness, unweariedness (so far as this is possible for man), and all the other attributes ascribed to the supremely happy man are evidently those connected with this activity, it follows that this will be the complete happiness of man, if it be allowed a complete term of life.
After these matters we ought perhaps next to discuss pleasure. For it is thought to be most intimately connected with our human nature, which is the reason why in educating the young we steer them by the rudders of pleasure and pain; it is thought, too, that to enjoy the things we ought and to hate the things we ought has the greatest bearing on virtue of character. For these things extend right through life, with a weight and power of their own in respect both to virtue and to the happy life, since men choose what is pleasant and avoid what is painful; and such things, it will be thought, we should least of all omit to discuss, especially since they admit of much dispute.
What a difference is there between a deed whose pleasure passes away leaving behind it the pangs of pain and punishment and the deed whose oppressive harshness comes to an end leaving behind Divine rewards !
A story gives delight to read
Though it be fabulous indeed.
Then should a story that is true,
And told in skilful manner too,
Give pleasure that is full twofold.
The first is in the tale as told;
The second is to know full well
That all is true the tale may tell.
The notion of the free play of the mind upon all subjects being a pleasure in itself, being an object of desire, being an essential provider of elements without which a nation's spirit, whatever compensations it may have for them, must, in the long run, die of inanition, hardly enters into an Englishman's thoughts.
Who mourns makes grief his master.
Who drinks makes pleasure his master.
The sophist sneers: Fool, take
Thy pleasure, right or wrong!
The pious wail: Forsake
A world these sophists throng!
Be neither saint nor sophist-led, but be a man.
Indeed, faithful is the one who - when pleased and glad, his pleasure does not make him enter into sin and falsehood; and when unhappy and angry, his anger does not oust him from the world of righteousness; and when he gains power, his power does not make him commit excess, nor opression, nor make him go for a thing upon which he does not have any right.
Everything that gives pleasure has its reason. To scorn the mobs of those who go astray is not the means to bring them around.