New York is Babylon : Brooklyn is the truly Holy City. New York is the city of envy, office work, and hustle; Brooklyn is the region of homes and happiness.... There is no hope for New Yorkers, for their glory in Their skyscraping sins; but in Brooklyn there is the wisdom of the lowly.
Continually one faces the horrible matter of making decisions. The solution is, as far as possible, to avoid conscious rational decisions and choices; simply to do what you find yourself doing; to float in the great current of life with as little friction as possible; to allow things to settle themselves, as indeed they do with the most infallible certainty.
Standing by the crib of one's own baby, with that world - old pang of compassion and protectiveness toward this so little creature that has all its course to run, the heart flies back in yearning and gratitude to those who felt just so toward one's self. Then for the first time one understands the homely succession of sacrifices and pains by which life is transmitted and fostered down the stumbling generations of men.
Truth is what every man sees lurking at the bottom of his own soul, like the oyster shell housewives put in the kitchen kettle to collect the lime from the water. By and by each man's iridescent oyster shell of Truth becomes coated with the lime of prejudice and hearsay.
Everybody thinks of others as being excessively human, with all the frailties and crotchets appertaining to that curious condition. But each of us also seems to regard himself as existing on a detached plane of observation, exempt (save in moments of avid crisis) from the strange whims of humanity en masse.
The human mind appears suddenly and inexplicably out of some unknown and unimaginable void. It passes half its known life in the mental chaos of sleep. Even when awake it is a victim of its own ill-adjustment, of disease, of age, of external suggestion, of nature's compulsions; it doubts its own sensations and trusts only in instruments and averages.