Comte Maxims

from Henry Dussauze’s The gospel of maternal love (Newcastle, 1910).


Live for others in order to live again in others and by others

Live openly

We weary of thinking, and even of acting; we never weary of loving

Act from affection, think in order to act

In feeling lies the chief value of feeling

We need duties to produce feelings

To pray is at one and the same time to live, to think and to act.

To live with the dead constitutes one of the most precious privileges of humanity

To live in others constitutes a very real mode of existence since it is in others that the better part of our own life is realised

The dead do not cease to love and even to think in us and by us

Consider life as a form of worship

The living are more and more governed by the dead

p. 42:

Man’s only right is to do his duty

Nowadays, as everyone wants to command and has a possible chance of commanding, he generally only submits to force, and seldom yields to reason or love.

The revolutionary principle consists in recognising no other spiritual authority than individual reason, especially concerning essential questions

The indispensable rules regulating the destination of power must be as to their sources, moral not political, and in their application general not special.

In whatsoever hands any given power may be placed, the important point for the public is its useful exercise

In order to secure the true employment of material power we must at once begin by respecting it generally, save in exceptional instances of fraud

p. 54:

Poetry is broader and not less true than science

Positivism represents Matter and even Space under the continuous impulse of fundamental sympathy, as contributing together, actively or passively, to the improvement of universal harmony, in accordance with the gradual providence of the Great Being.

Man becomes more and more religious.

The composite nature of Humanity involves its having as its principle, love, the sole source of voluntary co-operation. The constant supremacy of feeling over thought and action thus becomes the fundamental law of human consensus.

p. 62:

The Great Being is the whole constituted by the beings past, future and present which co-operate willingly in perfecting the order of the world

Our Great Being is formed much more by the dead in the first place then by those to be born than by the livings.

The Supreme existence is more dependent as more complex than any other.

To re-organize without god or king by the systematic worship of Humanity.


Comte’s apartment, La Maison d’Auguste Comte, photograph by Rémy Bourdeau