Inspirational Human Beings – Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer starts off my mini-series of “Inspirational Human Beings”.


Albert Schweitzer’s worldview, conceptualised as “Reverence for Life”, is composed of three elements: (i) resignation, (ii) an affirmative attitude to life, (iii) ethics.

Albert Schweitzer“The world does not consist of phenomena only; it is also alive. […] In dedicating myself to the service of whatever lives, I find an activity that has meaning and purpose. […] By playing an active role, man enters into a spiritual relationship with this world that is quite different: he does not see his existence in isolation. On the contrary, he is united with the lives that surround him; he experiences the destinies of others as his own.”

(Sources: Schweitzer, A. (1998) Out of My Life and Thought. The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore & London, pp.232-233; Photo c/o International Albert-Schweitzer-Association – http://www.schweitzer.org)

Schweitzer sees “resignation” as a way of dealing with the challenges of physical-plane life. He writes:

“True resignation consists in this: that man, feeling his subordination to the course of world events, makes his way toward inward freedom from the fate that shapes his external existence. Inward freedom gives him the strength to triumph over the difficulties of everyday life and to become a deeper and more inward person, calm and peaceful. Resignation, therefore, is the spiritual and ethical affirmation of one’s own existence. Only he who has gone through the trial of resignation is capable of accepting the world.”

[Source: Schweitzer, A. (1998) Out of My Life and Thought. The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore & London, p.233.]

Useful link: International Albert-Schweitzer-Association

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