For Halloween, I’ve been reading the original novel Dracula by Irish author Bram Stoker.
I found a few good quotations by the character Dr. Van Helsing that I wanted to share:
“All men are mad in some way or the other, and inasmuch as you deal discreetly with your madmen, so deal with God’s madmen too, the rest of the world.”
I like this quote because it has a certain Buddhist truth to it. Everyone suffers from some kind of mental problem or neurosis. So we have to learn to recognize this in other people. That helps us have goodwill toward them.
“But yet we see around us every day the growth of new beliefs, which think themselves new, and which are yet but the old, which pretend to be young, like the fine ladies at the opera”
This reminds me that the same patterns of thought which we call “new” have existed much longer than we think. These “cycles” are part of human civilization.
“Let me tell you, my friend, that there are things done today in electrical science which would have been deemed unholy by the very man who discovered electricity, who would themselves not so long before been burned as wizards”
On the other hand, human civilization is making progress. 😉
As for faith:
“I heard once of an American who so defined faith, ‘that faculty which enables us to believe things which we know to be untrue.’ For one, I follow that man”
But Dr. Van Helsing is also a bit old-fashioned and patriarchal too:
“Ah, that wonderful Madam Mina! She has man’s brain, a brain that a man should have were he much gifted, and a woman’s heart”