THE WISE DOG
One day there passed by a company of cats a wise dog.
And as he came near and saw that they were very intent and heeded him not, he stopped.
Then there arose in the midst of the company a large, grave cat and looked upon them and said, “Brethren, pray ye; and when ye have prayed again and yet again, nothing doubting, verily then it shall rain mice.”
And when the dog heard this he laughed in his heart and turned from them saying, “O blind and foolish cats, has it not been written and have I not known and my fathers before me, that that which raineth for prayer and faith and supplication is not mice but bones.”
The Madman: His Parables and Poems by Kahlil Gibran
Book 3, VII (3/3)
For it is not lawful, that anything that is of another and inferior kind and nature, be it what it will, as either popular applause, or honour, or riches, or pleasures; should be suffered to confront and contest as it were, with that which is rational, and operatively good. For all these things, if once though but for a while, they begin to please, they presently prevail, and pervert a man’s mind, or turn a man from the right way.
Do thou therefore I say absolutely and freely make choice of that which is best, and stick unto it.
Now, that they say is best, which is most profitable. If they mean profitable to man as he is a rational man, stand thou to it, and maintain it; but if they mean profitable, as he is a creature, only reject it; and from this thy tenet and conclusion keep off carefully all plausible shows and colours of external appearance, that thou mayest be able to discern things rightly.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
The decisions at its place of reaching the great judgment — the river of the ordeal — let the just live and consign to darkness the hearts that are evil.