I was lucky that I met the right mentors and teachers at the right moment.
If intellection and knowledge were mere passion from without, or the bare reception of extraneous and adventitious forms, then no reason could be given at all why a mirror or looking-glass should not understand; whereas it cannot so much as sensibly perceive those images which it receives and reflects to us.
In general I was a good kid. It usually took a lot to make me mad. But once I reached the boiling point, I lost all rational control. Totally without thinking, when my anger was aroused, I grabbed the nearest brick, rock, or stick to bash someone. It was as if I had no conscious will in the matter.
Now, we deny not, but that politicians may sometimes abuse religion, and make it serve for the promoting of their own private interests and designs; which yet they could not do so well neither, were the thing itself a mere cheat and figment of their own, and had no reality at all in nature, nor anything solid at the bottom of it.
Now all the knowledge and wisdom that is in creatures, whether angels or men, is nothing else but a participation of that one eternal, immutable and increased wisdom of God, or several signatures of that one archetypal seal, or like so many multiplied reflections of one and the same face, made in several glasses, whereof some are clearer, some obscurer, some standing nearer, some further off.
I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example.