Aphorisms by Manly P. Hall


It is a thousand times easier to be rich than it is to be wise, for shrewdness will accumulate money, but only inner illumination, resulting from hundreds of lives devoted to truth and integrity can result in perfect wisdom.

Men who think much do little, and with much action is usually small thought.

The universe always has work for those who are qualified to perform it.

Remember that you are an eternal self; that before the world existed you were, and after the world ends you will still be.

It takes many laws to keep a foolish man on the path of purpose, but the wise man needs no law at all... he is law.

It is impossible to escape fact, and it is impossible to make any unreality permanent.

"... you will discover that you are an inevitable Fact and must inevitably accomplish certain things, must inevitably pass through certain experiences, and must inevitably be yourself forever."

"... incarnating souls are drawn into families in order to receive types of experience which they have earned in previous lives."

Children are usually attracted to parents whose level of consciousness is similar to their own, or who offer the opportunities for the payment of certain specific type of Karma.

Each human being is his own priest, and only the obligations he makes to himself are real.

Under our present social psychology, mismating is the general order of things. Successful marriages are the exception.

If the home fails within itself, it is the worst form of stupidity to force uncongenial people to remain under the same roof for the sake of conventions.

For two people to live together, under such conditions, is more dangerous to the spiritual life than an amicable and intelligent termination of the whole affair.

The purpose of philosophy is to bring not arguments but fuller understanding, deeper appreciation, and fuller, more perfect tolerance.

Do not try to convert people... just convert yourself... and things are liable to turn out well in the end.

Developing more and more inward consciousness, the aspirant to spiritual things lives less and less in the material world, demands little from it, and is not deceived by appearances. A man can live spiritually in this generation if he will make spirituality the purpose of his living and will sacrifice to that purpose less worthy aims. Materiality is necessary to spiritual accomplishment. The physical world is the ante-chamber to the Temple of the Mysteries. Those who cannot pass the tests of living can not expect to enter the House of Mysteries.

Life itself is an initiation into the sanctuary of the Divine Mystery.

An individual who cannot achieve where he is cannot achieve anywhere else.

It is not the world we live in that counts; it is the way we live in the world that is important.

As long as accumulation dominates the purpose for living men will remain oppressed by their environment and limited by their times.

Great thinkers seldom arise from the moneyed classes.

It has been well said, if you have a good reputation and wish to keep it, stay out of politics.

Placidity is power, relaxation is length of years, detachment is health.

The Taoists of China, among whom are to be found a host of centenarians, gave us the first key to extensive living; the formula: Do Not Worry

The body is the prison of the Spirit and it is a foolish man who would choose to spend eternity in prison.

The pineal gland controls the flow of mental energy from the Ego to the physical brain.

The law of compensation or Karma, which is simply the principle of cause and effect applied to the individual destinies of men, decrees that as we sew, so shall we reap.

Those who are ready for knowledge need no encouragement, and all the encouragement in the world is useless for those who are not ready.

"... the man does not live who can save ignorant human beings from the rewards of their own stupidity."

"... each individual must live his own life and must find truth his own way."

"... even the gods grow."

"... knowing is the product of thinking."

Illumination should never be regarded as a solution to personal problems in the sense that it brings with it any improvement in the temporal state.

Illumination should never be regarded as the end of the mystical life, but rather the true beginning of it.

Illumination is the proving of that which is believed.

In the end these three men are going to depart this life to a larger universal existence in which banking, surgery, and geology have no significance.

They float along on the surface of the phenomenal existence accepting without question the commonplace as real.

Most people die without discovering what life really is.

Philosophy teaches rather that by the living of the mystical life the human being becomes not great in himself, but only a channel or instrument through which universal Good may flow into the world.

Philosophy teaches man not that he shall be great or that he may possess virtues or high estate.

Religion has the unpleasant habit of meddling in the personal problems of people, when it should be far above all petty concerns, dedicated to great and enduring principles.

Discipline is living up to what one knows, and not forcing oneself to live beyond one's understanding and philosophy.

When the organization of the Earth's surface had been accomplished, waves of Life descended from the ethers and took upon themselves physical form. It is the descent of spirit beings into the Earth's material nature that constituted " the fall." This fall was not the result of sin but the soul's quest for experience.

Aspiration in the human heart is man yearning for the higher life that faded out when he assumed the illusion of material existence. The fallen angel is preparing to ascend again.

Genius is the present evidence of past effort.

The soul is allotted to a body according to its merits and flows into form at the time of the quickening.

The law which pulls the spiritual entity back to the physical life is Karma.

The doctrine of reincarnation teaches that man lives on this Earth not once but many times, returning until he has perfected himself in every lesson that this world has to teach.

There is only one religion in the world; but there are many theologies which have risen up as competitive organizations, each claiming to be holier than the other.

The work of restoring the Secret Doctrine is now the great task which confronts the students of comparative religions.

The great body of the world may be properly called a whole, on account of the perpetuity of its duration though it is nothing more than a flowing eternity.

Spirituality actually means that the individual lives or exists upon the level of his spiritual nature or is possessed by the divinity within him

One should not think of philosophy as an abstract science of the ancients, but as an ever practical guide to the daily decisions of life. Each individual must have some kind of standard within himself to inspire toward realization of the One, the doing of the beautiful, and the achievement of the Good.

The beginning of the path is the realization of the reality of things unseen, and the consummation of life is to be one with that sovereign and perfect knowledge which religion has called the " Light of Ages."

The difference between religion and philosophy is that religion is satisfied to worship, philosophy seeks to understand. Religions are paths to the heart, philosophies paths of the minds. Emotion is the dominant factor in religion but plays a small part in philosophy.

The finite may not know the infinite, but may move toward it.

Ethics may be defined as that branch of philosophy which applies the great truths of life to the social relationships of the individual.

Philosophy may be defined as the perfect science, the science of perfection.

The world of God and the world of man are not separated by any distance other than the interval of understanding.

Thinking is not merely an exercise of the mind, it is a directing of the mind.

Philosophy is the science of becoming.
Life is ever becoming but it never becomes.

To the Buddhist that Nirvana which is the end of the finite is the beginning of the infinite.

The term ' Buddha' means inwardly enlightened.

The cycle of reincarnation carries the entity no higher between lives, than the higher mental body which is the apex of personality.

No matter how much a man may suffer, if this suffering results in experience, it is worth all that it costs.

The fifth root race, of which we are a part, is well on its way along the ascending path which leads to liberation from the consciousness of form.

Form is actually a condition of the mind: in fact; it is part of the Will-borne who meditated matter into being that they might organize it into form.

Each new major chain in the consciousness of living things demands a new environment in which to perfect itself.

What we call matter is form, a compound of energies and activated matter.

Consciousness, intelligence, and force are referred to as Creator, Preserver, destroyer.

Matter is the least degree of Spirit, and Spirit is the highest degree of matter.

A body or form is ensouled matter, or, matter ensouled by Spirit.

Motion is evidence of life.

Only the gods are conscious, for only the divine beings are free from the limitations of the intellect and are azonic, that is, unlimited by boundaries of vehicles as we know them.

In religious systems the godhead is almost invariably depicted as a trinity in unity. God is life. Life in the spiritual world is called consciousness; Life in the mental world is called intelligence; Life in the material world is called force.
The real is invisible in itself but is manifested in every atom of creation.

Creation is geometrical or mathematical and is completely patterned.

These forms exist whether they be electrons or suns, are temporary manifestations of eternal forces. These forces exist whether they manifest or not.

When more profoundly considered however, creation is the building of shells by which great forces are limited or circumscribed or intensified into prescribed areas.

Creation as a process is a term employed to signify the process of objectification of the flow of invisible forces into visible manifestations. Creation is not technically the beginning of anything. It is merely the ever existing forces assuming temporary patterns. These patterns remain for a certain time and then dissolve again. The term for this dissolution is either disintegration or decay, but neither disintegration nor decay signifies the end of anything. It is merely the breaking up of the pattern of elements which are in themselves immortal.

Life is an endless unfoldment to the real. It is consciousness growing up through experience, with its beginning in the unmeasurable past, and its ultimates in the immeasurable future.



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