Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual.. . . Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude – the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high.


When one prays while looking abroad and asking for some foreign addition to come through some foreign virtue, the prayer soon loses itself in endless mazes of natural and supernatural, and mediation and the miraculous. A prayer that craves a particular commodity – instead of all good – is vicious.
Prayer should be the the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. Prayer is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good.
But prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness.
As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg. He will see prayer in all action.


Sin is turning one’s desire in the wrong direction; it is imitating the wrong model, or imitating only enviously and rivalrously. Surely the ultimate religious admonition is to do the will of God, which is to take God’s will as the model for one’s own, to desire what God desires. However fraught with uncertainty and clumsiness our effort to do so, it is that effort that gives our lives both dignity and ontological substantiation. If, on the other hand, one’s neighbor’s desire becomes the model for one’s own, then one desires something that he and his model cannot both possess, whether it be his neighbour’s wife, his house, his field, his servants, his ox or his ass, his professional renown or political prestige, his social preeminence, or his apparent success at having renounced desire.
The failure to desire what God desires, the theme of the first commandment, is therefore the theological summation of the human predicament. The irresistible impulse to desire what our fellow fallen creatures desire, the theme of the last commandment, is the anthropological summation of that same predicament. Sin is the turning of our imitative desire from God, and, for Christians, from Christ who is the icon of the invisible God, to material objects or amulets of social prestige made desirable by the desires of others with whom we must compete in trying to acquire them.
The deviation of desire is the biblical equivalent of Pandora’s box. The “sins” of the world are a catalogue of the predictable behaviors of those swept up into mimetic intrigue and the soap opera it eventually produces. These sins include envy, lust, pride, greed, jealousy, avarice, and covetousness, each one famishing further a craving it cannot satisfy and swirling the sinner ever deeper into a vortex of luring, lying, swindling, pandering, betrayal, and violence. To sin is to succumb to the entangled nexus of rivalistic desires and thereby to fall ever more inextricably under the power of sin.