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A Dictionary of New Epigrams


We need a more encompassing word than tranquility, a word that implies that a person has only comfortable emotions. It would be a word that means you have peace of mind and are in control of what you feel, and that you have satisfaction with your personal situation and an emotional comfort with your inner feelings. A contentment with the way the world has been, is and will be. I guess that tranquility will do; it carries all those implications.

You can never be tranquil if your mind dwells on your body, its health, beauty and prowess, or on the problems of the world because they all beyond anything but momentary influence.

A forest may seem a quiet, loving place to visit, but to the trees it is a lifelong struggle with sun and shade, heat and cold, flood and drought, insects and toxins, and most of all other trees trying to grab the good stuff.

You are not responsible for the functioning of the Universe, so be content with it, and what it does, and get in step with its rhythms.

Peace only comes to the non-living, to the dead, but living is far more interesting than oblivion. We have no choice but to struggle.

Peace is impossible to the living, but tranquility isn’t too difficult.

It appears most people believe that the world is a conflict of opposite forces; that view comes from any push being resisted by a counter-force, but from the conflict of forces a flow results, and that flow itself will be resisted. The world is loaded with an infinity of unexplored possibilities, but they aren’t noticed until some force is applied to some relevant aspect, anything. And then there is a perceptible opposition that is resisting.

It seems tranquil people never make the news. Even George Vaillant’s book  Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study found only one person from the Harvard class of 1939 to be living a tranquil life at age eighty. Although most were living lives of monetary and physical comfort. Even so, tranquility is available to everyone.

We would be more tranquil ourselves if we didn’t worry about other people’s choices.

Harmony is the interplay of conflicting forces, and can be interesting and enjoyable if the result is within an comprehensible and understood pattern.

You may create tranquility in yourself and others by paying close attention to the pleasant and helpful actions of others, and giving yawning indifference to their dangerous and destructive activities. This is the exact opposite of what the media sends us.

Being courageous, constructive, and kind are the fruits of tranquility.

Tranquility is the opposite of drunken, pill- and media-induced stuporousness; it is an enjoyable participation in the present moment.

Happiness is dependent on external things and can’t be a chosen condition. One can laugh at things, often comic insults, but that is in control of the comic and the situation, and not oneself. Tranquility can be chosen at any moment of consciousness, and one can put oneself into an appropriate mental arrangement with the local situation.

Tranquility is not had by owning a fancy home and car, but by having a good relationship with one’s habits.

The only way one can gain anything is by controlling the precursors, and that is done by creating habits that react properly to the precursors.

Personal tranquility is secure when one accepts contentment with the world, and that includes its most horrid aspects.

Choose to be tranquil, look at reality clearly, and participate.