User:Kalki/Worldsong

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search

·[edit]

Monad.svg
Sahasrara.svg
Compass Card transparent.png
Swirlyclock.png
Kalki · †alk · iota · index · imago · αnima · ! ¡ ! · Magic · Worldsong · Restorations · Chronology · Vox Box
Ω
Tetractys.svg
JUL Soul Iris.png
LuMaxArt Golden Family With World Religions.jpg
Small Flag of the United Nations ZP.svg
Be Aware.
Be Awareness.

Be aware of Illusions.
Beware of Assumptions.
Be aware of Mystery.
Be aware of Life.
Be Aware.

This page is very much a work in progress, upon which I am collecting some of the most significant statements of which I am aware, arranged within a general chronology of authors and sources, with links to many related subjects or pages. Other pages with presentations of my favorite quotes and ideas are Restorations and Vox Box.

Tao · Eternity · Love · Truth · Beauty · Peace · Humility · Courage · Honesty · Compassion · Friendship
Four temperaments.svg

¿ ⨀ ?[edit]

Rainbow droplet 630x441.jpg (〇 - ∞) Mystically ambiguous or profound statements of an unknowable Knower, referred to by many peculiar names in many peculiar traditions, dreams, visions, myths, legends and stories.

Let there be light.
Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.
Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth.
Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.
Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind.
Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
It is good. It is very good.
אהיה אשר אהיה‎,
Ehyeh asher ehyeh.
I AM THAT I AM
I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.
I am with you always.
It behoved that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
A great thing shall I make hereof in Heaven of endless worship and everlasting joys.
I shall wholly break you of your vain affections and your vicious pride; and after that I shall together gather you, and make you mild and meek, clean and holy, by oneing to me.
I may make all thing well, I can make all thing well, I will make all thing well, and I shall make all thing well; and thou shalt see thyself that all manner of thing shall be well.
That which is impossible to thee is not impossible to me: I shall save my word in all things and I shall make all things well.
Behold and see! For by the same Might, Wisdom, and Goodness that I have done all this, by the same Might, Wisdom, and Goodness I shall make well all that is not well; and thou shalt see it.
WE are ALL playing a game of Hide and Seek. If you can find me and touch me you win.
I am an Iron.
LIFE — it's the only game there is — and all the other games are but lesser games within the great game of Life. Learn the true Way of Life that cannot ever be confined by mortal measures and rules. Play the great game well, and don't worry too much about the rules others make up to keep themselves and others amused, confused, constrained and confined in ways that they believe comfortable and advantageous. The Vortex of Reality disregards them, and so must you.
I am within every thing and beyond every thing. I touch and hold all of all things — I free and fix them — and though all things touch me, no thing can hold all of me. I AM eternally within and beyond all the freedoms and all fixity conceivable by mortals.
Be aware of Samhain.
Remember 42. Remember it's all for you. I am behind door 42. I am behind all the doors.
Always testify of Truth when you feel strong enough to do so — and remain silent about so much as possible when you do not. Avoid all forms of dishonesty, but let ambiguities abound. ALL is ever within and beyond all forms of ambiguity and assertion, and people must properly seek to properly find that which is best.

Pyramid Texts[edit]

02 unas pyramid.jpg (c. 2345 BC - c. 2184 BC

Thou purifiest thyself in the dew of the stars.
The messengers of thy Ka are come for thee; the messengers of thy father are come for thee; the messengers of Rē are come for thee.
The two doors of the horizon are open; its bolts slide.
He has come to thee … Great One; he has come to thee, Great-in-magic … He is pure for thee; he is in awe of thee.
Opened are the double doors of the horizon; unlocked are its bolts.
The hidden ones worship you,
The great ones surround you,
The watchers wait on you.
He flies who flies; this king Pepi flies away from you, ye mortals. He is not of the earth, he is of the sky …This king Pepi flies as a cloud to the sky, like a masthead bird; this king Pepi kisses the sky like a falcon.
Thou art the Great One in Abydos, thou art the Morning Star which appears in the eastern part of heaven, to which Horus of the Tuat has given his body. O great and exalted one among the imperishable stars, thou shalt never perish.

Spells of Going Forth by Day[edit]

Ankh1.png (c. 2000 BC)

Homage to you, Osiris, Lord of eternity, King of the gods, whose names are manifold, whose forms are holy, you being of hidden form in the temples, whose Ka is holy.
Beneficent in command and word was Isis, the woman of magical spells, the advocate of her brother. She sought him untiringly, she wandered round and round about this earth in sorrow, and she alighted not without finding him. She made light with her feathers, she created air with her wings, and she uttered the death wail for her brother. She raised up the inactive members of whose heart was still, she drew from him his essence, she made an heir, she reared the child in loneliness, and the place where he was not known, and he grew in strength and stature, and his hand was mighty in the house of Geb. The Company of the gods rejoiced at the coming of Horus, the son of Osiris, whose heart was firm, the triumphant, the son of Isis, the heir of Osiris.
Homage to you, O you who have come as Khepri, Khepri the creator of the gods, you are seated on your throne, you rise up in the sky, illumining your mother Nut, you are seated on your throne as the king of the gods.
Let there be prepared for me a seat in the boat of the Sun on the day wheron the god saileth.
Homage to you, O Bull of Amentet, Thoth the king of eternity is with me. I am the great god by the side of the divine boat, I have fought for you, I am one of those gods, those divine chiefs, who proved the truth-speaking of Osiris before his enemies on the day of the weighing of words. I am your kinsman Osiris.
The heart of Osiris has in very truth been weighed, and his Heart-soul has borne testimony on his behalf; his heart has been found right by the trial in the Great Balance. There has not been found any wickedness in him; he has not wasted the offerings which have been made in the temples; he has not committed any evil act; and he has not set his mouth in motion with words of evil whilst he was upon earth.
There is no sin in my body. I have not spoken that which is not true knowingly, nor have I done anything with a false heart. Grant you that I may be like to those favoured ones who are in your following, and that I may be an Osiris greatly favoured of the beautiful god, and beloved of the Lord of the Two Lands,
I am he who protecteth you for millions of years. Whether ye be denizens of heaven, or of the earth, or of the South, or of the North, or of the East, or of the West, the fear of me is in your bodies. I am he whose being has been wrought in his eye. I shall not die again. My moment is in your bodies, but my forms are in my place of habitation. I am "He who cannot be known." The Red Fiends have their faces directed against me. I am the unveiled one.
Hail, my Lord, who dost hasten through eternity, whose existence is for ever, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Sovereign, King of the gods, who live in their shrine.
The Eye of Horus protects you, O Osiris Khenti-Amenti, and it keeps you in safety; it casts down headlong all your enemies for you, and all your enemies have fallen down headlong before you.

Abraham[edit]

Michelangelo Caravaggio 022.jpg (c. 1900 BC?)

Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich…
Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep away and not forgive the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far from Thee; shall not the Judge of all the earth do justly? ... Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, who am but dust and ashes. Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous; wilt Thou destroy all the city for lack of five? ... Oh, let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet but this once. Peradventure ten shall be found there…

Rigveda[edit]

Swastika1.svg (c. 1700 BC? )

Then was not non-existent nor existent: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.
What covered in, and where? and what gave shelter? Was water there, unfathomed depth of water?
Death was not then, nor was there aught immortal: no sign was there, the day's and night's divider.
That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever.

Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscriminated chaos.
All that existed then was void and form less: by the great power of Warmth was born that Unit.
Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit.
Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation?
The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?
He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,
Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.

Akhenaton[edit]

EMS-92205-Rosicrucian-Egyptian-Akhenaten.JPG (c. 1380? - 1334 BC)

How manifold it is, what thou hast made!
They are hidden from the face.
O sole god, like whom there is no other!
Thou didst create the world according to thy desire,
Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beasts,
Whatever is on earth, going upon feet,
And what is on high, flying with its wings.
Everyone has his food, and his time of life is reckoned.
Their tongues are separate in speech,
And their natures as well;
Their skins are distinguished,
As thou distinguishest the foreign peoples.
Thou makest a Nile in the underworld,
Thou bringest forth as thou desirest
To maintain the people
According as thou madest them for thyself,
The lord of all of them, wearying with them,
The lord of every land, rising for them,
The Aton of the day, great of majesty.

Moses[edit]

Moses-Ribera.jpg (c. 1200 BC?)

I have been a stranger in a strange land.
I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

Upanishads[edit]

Aum calligraphy Red.svg (c. 1000 - 500 BC ? and later)

तत् त्वम् असि
Tat Tvam Asi
That thou art.
Know the Self to be sitting in the chariot, the body to be the chariot, the intellect the charioteer, and the mind the reins. The senses they call the horses, the objects of the senses their roads. When he (the Highest Self) is in union with the body, the senses, and the mind, then wise people call him the Enjoyer.

Isaiah[edit]

Isaiah's Lips Anointed with Fire.jpg (c. 770 BC? - c. 702 BC)

It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Zoroaster[edit]

Fire in Yazd Zoroastrian temple.jpg (c. 628 BC? – c. 551? BC)

Let each one choose his creed with that freedom of choice each must have at great events.
In the beginning there were two primal spirits,
Twins spontaneously active,
These are the Good and the Evil, in thought, and in word, and in deed.
He who upholds Truth with all the might of his power,
He who upholds Truth the utmost in his word and deed,
He, indeed, is Thy most valued helper, O Mazda Ahura!
He who refuses to behold with respect the living creation of God,
He who leads the good to wickedness,
He who makes the meadows waterless and the pastures desolate,
He who lets fly his weapon against the innocent,
An enemy of my faith, a destroyer of Thy principles is he, O Lord!
A righteous government is of all the most to be wished for,
Bearing of blessing and good fortune in the highest.
Guided by the law of Truth, supported by dedication and zeal,
It blossoms into the Best of Order, a Kingdom of Heaven!
To effect this I shall work now and ever more.

Laozi[edit]

Ancient version of the Taijitu by Lai Zhi-De, sideways.svg (c. 600 to 500 BC)

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao;
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.

The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.
A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. Fail to honor people, They fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aims fulfilled, they will all say, "We did this ourselves."
There is a thing inherent and natural,
Which existed before heaven and earth.
Motionless and fathomless,
It stands alone and never changes;
It pervades everywhere and never becomes exhausted.

It may be regarded as the Mother of the Universe.
I do not know its name. If I am forced to give it a name, I call it Tao, and I name it as supreme.
A good traveler has no fixed plans
and is not intent upon arriving.
A good artist lets his intuition
lead him wherever it wants.

A good scientist has freed himself of concepts
and keeps his mind open to what is.

Thus the Master is available to all people
and doesn't reject anyone.
He is ready to use all situations
and doesn't waste anything.
This is called embodying the light.

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.

Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
Scholars of the highest class, when they hear about the Tao, take it and practice it earnestly.
Scholars of the middle class, when they hear of it, take it half earnestly.
Scholars of the lowest class, when they hear of it, laugh at it.
Without the laughter, there would be no Tao.
The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.
A journey of a thousand li starts with a single step.
The mark of a moderate man
is freedom from his own ideas.

Tolerant like the sky,
all-pervading like sunlight,
firm like a mountain,
supple like a tree in the wind,
he has no destination in view
and makes use of anything
life happens to bring his way.
Wise men don't need to prove their point;
men who need to prove their point aren't wise.
The Master has no possessions.
The more he does for others, the happier he is.
The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is.
The Tao nourishes by not forcing.
By not dominating, the Master leads.

Mahavira[edit]

Ahimsa.svg (c. 599 – 527 BC)

Non-violence and kindness to living beings is kindness to oneself. For thereby one's own self is saved from various kinds of sins and resultant sufferings and is able to secure his own welfare.

Pythagoras[edit]

Kapitolinischer Pythagoras.jpg (c. 582 BC – c. 496 BC)

Above all things honor thy Self.
A blow from your friend is better than a kiss from your enemy.
We ought so to behave to one another as to avoid making enemies of our friends, and at the same time to make friends of our enemies.
The most momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or to evil.
Rest satisfied with doing well, and leave others to talk of you as they please.
Truth is so great a perfection, that if God would render himself visible to men, he would choose light for his body and truth for his soul.
None but God is wise.
Choose always the way that seems the best, however rough it may be; custom will soon render it easy and agreeable.
As soon as laws are necessary for men, they are no longer fit for freedom.
Let no one persuade you by word or deed to do or say whatever is not best for you.
Remind yourself that all men assert that wisdom is the greatest good, but that there are few who strenuously seek out that greatest good.
It is not proper either to have a blunt sword or to use freedom of speech ineffectually. Neither is the sun to be taken from the world, nor freedom of speech from erudition.
Rejoice not in another man's misfortune!
The best and greatest winning is a true friend; and the greatest loss is the loss of time.
Evil destroyeth itself.
The oldest, shortest words— "yes" and "no"— are those which require the most thought.

Gautama Buddha[edit]

Buddha Statue in Vietnam.jpg (c. 563 BCE or 623 BC - c. 483 BCE or 543 BC)

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
I will go about, from kingdom to kingdom,
training many disciples.
They — heedful, resolute
doing my teachings —
despite your wishes, will go
where, having gone,
there is no grief.
This is deathless, the liberation of the mind through lack of clinging.
All compounded things are subject to decay. Strive with diligence!
· · Dhammapada · ·
Dharma Wheel.svg
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage ... If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
Hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love.
Earnest among the thoughtless, awake among the sleepers, the wise man advances like a racer, leaving behind the hack.
Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame.
Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one — himself.
Better than a thousand hollow words
Is one word that brings peace.

Better than a thousand hollow verses
Is one verse that brings peace.

Better than a hundred hollow lines
Is one line of the law, bringing peace.

Neither kill nor get others to kill.
To cease from evil, to do good, and to purify the mind yourself, this is the teaching of all the Buddhas.
Let us live happily then, not hating those who hate us! among men who hate us let us dwell free from hatred!
Happily the peaceful live, discarding both victory and defeat.
All conditioned things are impermanent" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.
No one saves us but ourselves, no one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path but Buddhas clearly show the way.

Sun Tzu[edit]

Enchoen27n3200.jpg (c. 544—496 BC.)

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
The ultimate in disposing one's troops is to be without ascertainable shape. Then the most penetrating spies cannot pry in nor can the wise lay plans against you.
To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.
What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.
Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace; divinely mysterious, he is inaudible. Thus he is master of his enemy's fate.
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.
The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.
It is the rule in war, if ten times the enemy's strength, surround them; if five times, attack them; if double, be able to divide them; if equal, engage them; if fewer, be able to evade them; if weaker, be able to avoid them.

Parmenides[edit]

Parmenides.jpg (c. 540 BC? - c. 450 BC?)

You must learn all things, both the unshaken heart of persuasive truth, and the opinions of mortals in which there is no true warranty.
The only roads of enquiry there are to think of: one, that it is and that it is not possible for it not to be, this is the path of persuasion (for truth is its companion); the other, that it is not and that it must not be — this I say to you is a path wholly unknowable.
For it is the same thing that can be thought and that can be.
It is indifferent to me where I am to begin, for there shall I return again.
Never will this prevail, that the things that are not are.
Do not let habit, born from experience, force you along this road, directing aimless eye and echoing ear and tongue; but judge by reason the much contested proof which I have spoken.
There is one story left, one road: that it is. And on this road there are very many signs that, being, is uncreated and imperishable, whole, unique, unwavering, and complete.

Heraclitus[edit]

Heraclitus, Johannes Moreelse.jpg (c. 535 - c. 475 BC)

Everything flows, nothing stands still.
Nothing endures but change.
You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.
The wise is one only. It is unwilling and willing to be called by the name of Zeus.
It is wise to listen, not to me but to the Word, and to confess that all things are one.
Even sleepers are workers and collaborators on what goes on in the universe.
Character is destiny.

Æschylus[edit]

Aischylos Büste.jpg (525 BC – 456 BC)

The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life: Overcome fear, behold wonder.
Necessity is stronger far than art.
Time waxing old can many a lesson teach.
His resolve is not to seem, but to be, the best.
It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.
God's mouth knows not how to speak falsehood, but he brings to pass every word.
On me the tempest falls. It does not make me tremble. O holy Mother Earth, O air and sun, behold me. I am wronged.
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despite, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.

Sophocles[edit]

Sophocles Farnese Pio-Clementino Inv329.jpg (496 BC–406 BC)

Time eases all things.
One word
Frees us of all the weight and pain of life:
That word is love.
Love, unconquerable…
Even the pure immortals cannot escape you,
And mortal man, in his one day's dusk,
Trembles before your glory.
They are not wise, then, who stand forth to buffet against Love; for Love rules the gods as he will, and me.
Knowledge must come through action; you can have no test which is not fanciful, save by trial.
Don't kill the messenger.
The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.
I say this crime is holy.
It is no weakness for the wisest man to learn when he is wrong.
No other touchstone can test the heart of a man, the temper of his mind and spirit, till he be tried in the practice of authority and rule.
Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver.
Kindness begets kindness evermore,
But he from whose mind fades the memory
Of benefits, noble is he no more.
Men of ill judgement oft ignore the good
That lies within their hands, till they have lost it.

Zeno of Elea[edit]

Zeno of Citium, drawing.jpg (c. 490 BC? – c. 430 BC?)

Bias of Priene[edit]

Bias Pio-Clementino Inv279.jpg (c. 490? BC)

Accept of things, having procured them by persuasion, not by force.
Choose the course which you adopt with deliberation; but when you have adopted it, then persevere in it with firmness.
Haughty manners oft produce destruction.
Whatever good fortune befalls you, attribute it to the gods.
Great riches come to many men by chance.
I am silent because you are putting questions about things with which you have no concern.
Cherish wisdom as a means of travelling from youth to old age, for it is more lasting than any other possession.

Herodotus[edit]

AGMA Hérodote.jpg (c. 484 BC–c. 425 BC)

Circumstances rule men; men do not rule circumstances.
I am bound to tell what I am told, but not in every case to believe it.
Force has no place where there is need of skill.
Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.
It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half of the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what might happen.
Haste in every business brings failures.
It is sound planning that invariably earns us the outcome we want; without it, even the gods are unlikely to look with favour on our designs.
It is better to be envied than pitied.
In peace sons bury fathers, but in war fathers bury sons.
This is the bitterest pain among men, to have much knowledge but no power.
I know that human happiness never remains long in the same place.
If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.

Socrates[edit]

Socrates blue version2.png (c. 469 BC – 399 BC)

There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.
False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
Oh dear Pan and all the other Gods of this place, grant that I may be beautiful inside. Let all my external possessions be in friendly harmony with what is within. May I consider the wise man rich.
The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.
All I know is that I know nothing.
I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

Diogenes the Cynic[edit]

TSh Diogen.jpg (c. 412 BC – 323 BC)

I am a citizen of the world.
I am looking for a man.
Only stand a little out of my sunshine.

I Ching[edit]

BatQuaiDo 2.svg (c. 400 BC? - 10 BC?)

Plato[edit]

Plato Silanion Musei Capitolini MC1377.jpg (c. 429 BC – c. 347 BC)

Aristotle[edit]

Aristotelesbunt.jpg (384 BC – 322 BC)

Zeno of Citium[edit]

Zeno of Citium pushkin.jpg (334 BC – 262 BC)

Happiness is a good flow of life.
All the good are friends of one another.
Seeing that the universe gives birth to beings that are animate and wise, should it not be considered animate and wise itself?
That which exercises reason is more excellent than that which does not exercise reason; there is nothing more excellent than the universe, therefore the universe exercises reason.

Ashoka the Great[edit]

Emblem of India.svg (304 BC – 232 BC)

Here (in my domain) no living beings are to be slaughtered or offered in sacrifice.
To do good is difficult. One who does good first does something hard to do. I have done many good deeds, and, if my sons, grandsons and their descendants up to the end of the world act in like manner, they too will do much good. But whoever amongst them neglects this, they will do evil. Truly, it is easy to do evil.
All religions should reside everywhere, for all of them desire self-control and purity of heart. But people have various desires and various passions, and they may practice all of what they should or only a part of it. But one who receives great gifts yet is lacking in self-control, purity of heart, gratitude and firm devotion, such a person is mean.
There is no gift like the gift of the Dhamma, acquaintance with Dhamma, distribution of Dhamma, and kinship through Dhamma. And it consists of this: proper behavior towards servants and employees, respect for mother and father, generosity to friends, companions, relations, Brahmans and ascetics, and not killing living beings. Therefore a father, a son, a brother, a master, a friend, a companion or a neighbor should say: "This is good, this should be done." One benefits in this world and gains great merit in the next by giving the gift of the Dhamma.
Whoever praises his own religion, due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the thought "Let me glorify my own religion," only harms his own religion. Therefore contact (between religions) is good. One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others.
Dhamma is good, but what constitutes Dhamma? (It includes) little evil, much good, kindness, generosity, truthfulness and purity. I have given the gift of sight in various ways.
People see only their good deeds saying, "I have done this good deed." But they do not see their evil deeds saying, "I have done this evil deed" or "This is called evil." But this (tendency) is difficult to see. One should think like this: "It is these things that lead to evil, to violence, to cruelty, anger, pride and jealousy. Let me not ruin myself with these things." And further, one should think: "This leads to happiness in this world and the next."
Progress among the people through Dhamma has been done by two means, by Dhamma regulations and by persuasion. Of these, Dhamma regulation is of little effect, while persuasion has much more effect.

Agis IV[edit]

Helmed Hoplite Sparta.JPG (c. 265 - 241 BC)

The Spartans do not ask how many the enemies are but where they are.

Hillel the Elder[edit]

Köln-Tora-und-Innenansicht-Synagoge-Glockengasse-040.JPG (c. 110BC - 10 AD)

That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and study it.
Be of the disciples of Aaron; loving peace, and pursuing peace; loving mankind, and bringing them nigh to the Torah
If I am not for myself who is for me? and being for my own self what am I? If not now when?
Separate not thyself from the congregation, and trust not in thyself until the day of thy death; and judge not thy friend until thou comest into his place; and say not of a word which may be heard that in the end it shall be heard; and say not, When I have leisure I will study; perchance thou mayest not have leisure.

Yeshua of Galilee (Jesus Christ)[edit]

Cristo Redentor - Rio.jpg (c. 8–2 BC to 29–36 AD)

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.
Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the Son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either on earth or in heaven.
I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes.
Be passerby.
This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. In the days when you consumed what is dead, you made it what is alive. When you come to dwell in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?
If those who lead you say, "See, the Kingdom is in the sky," then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, "It is in the sea," then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.
His disciples said to Him, "When will the Kingdom come?"
Jesus said, "It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'Here it is' or 'There it is.' Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."

Paul of Tarsus[edit]

Vatican StPaul Statue.jpg (c. 10 - c. 67)

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Marcus Aurelius[edit]

Statua Marco Aurelio Musei Capitolini Fronte2.JPG (26 April 121 – 17 March 180)

The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.
A man should be upright, not kept upright.
You will find rest from vain fancies if you perform every act in life as though it were your last.
Say to yourself in the early morning: "I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill."
Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.
Remember this — that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life.
Search men's governing principles, and consider the wise, what they shun and what they cleave to.
Live with the gods.
Reverence the gods, save men. Life is brief; there is but one harvest of earthly existence, a holy disposition and neighborly acts.
All things are implicated with one another, and the bond is holy; and there is hardly anything unconnected with any other things. For things have been co-ordinated, and they combine to make up the same universe. For there is one universe made up of all things, and one god who pervades all things, and one substance, and one law, and one reason.
It is man's peculiar duty to love even those who wrong him.
Look within. Within is the fountain of the good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.
The art of life is more like the wrestler's art than the dancer's, in respect of this, that it should stand ready and firm to meet onsets which are sudden and unexpected.
Very little is needed to make a happy life.
The nature of the All moved to make the universe.
To change your mind and to follow him who sets you right is to be nonetheless the free agent that you were before.
It is satisfaction to a man to do the proper works of a man.
All men are made one for another: either then teach them better, or bear with them.
A wrongdoer is often a man who has left something undone, not always one who has done something.
All things are changing; and thou thyself art in continuous mutation and in a manner in continuous destruction and the whole universe too.
Whatever may befall you, it was preordained for you from everlasting.
Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
Have I done something for the general interest? Well then I have had my reward. Let this always be present to thy mind, and never stop doing such good.
Do not imagine that these most difficult problems can be thoroughly understood by any one of us. This is not the case. At times the truth shines so brilliantly that we perceive it as clear as day. Our nature and habit then draw a veil over our perception, and we return to a darkness almost as dense as before. We are like those who, though beholding frequent flashes of lightning, still find themselves in the thickest darkness of the night. On some the lightning flashes in rapid succession, and they seem to be in continuous light, and their night is as clear as the day.
When I have a difficult subject before me — when I find the road narrow, and can see no other way of teaching a well established truth except by pleasing one intelligent man and displeasing ten thousand fools — I prefer to address myself to the one man, and to take no notice whatever of the condemnation of the multitude; I prefer to extricate that intelligent man from his embarrassment and show him the cause of his perplexity, so that he may attain perfection and be at peace.
Know that for the human mind there are certain objects of perception which are within the scope of its nature and capacity; on the other hand, there are, amongst things which actually exist, certain objects which the mind can in no way and by no means grasp: the gates of perception are closed against it. Further, there are things of which the mind understands one part, but remains ignorant of the other; and when man is able to comprehend certain things, it does not follow that he must be able to comprehend everything.
Socrates used to call the opinions of the many by the name of Lamiae, bugbears to frighten children.
My object in adopting this arrangement is that the truths should be at one time apparent and at another time concealed. Thus we shall not be in opposition to the Divine Will.

Iamblichus of Chalcis[edit]

Editor at large 1206.svg (c. 245 - c. 325)

Wait for the appointed hour.
No one will deny that the soul of Pythagoras was sent to mankind from Apollo's domain, having either been one of his attendants, or more intimate associates, which may be inferred both from his birth, and his versatile wisdom.
It is irreverent to the Gods to give you this demonstration, but for your sakes it shall be done.
He who thus deluded you was a witty fellow; but the facts are otherwise. For the future however you shall be present at all that goes on.

Hillel the Younger[edit]

Schild davids transparent.svg(c. 290? - c. 385)

Do not judge your fellow man until you have come into his situation.
In a place where there are no men endeavour to be a man.

Julian[edit]

Solidus Julian.jpg (c. 331 – 26 June 363)

Can anyone be proved innocent, if it be enough to have accused him?
I had imagined that the prelates of the Galilaeans were under greater obligations to me than to my predecessor. For in his reign many of them were banished, persecuted, and imprisoned, and many of the so-called heretics were executed ... all of this has been reversed in my reign; the banished are allowed to return, and confiscated goods have been returned to the owners. But such is their folly and madness that, just because they can no longer be despots, ... or carry out their designs first against their brethren, and then against us, the worshippers of the gods, they are inflamed with fury and stop at nothing in their unprincipled attempts to alarm and enrage the people.
Let all people live in harmony ... Men should be taught and won over by reason, not by blows, insults, and corporal punishments. I therefore most earnestly admonish the adherents of the true religion not to injure or insult the Galilaeans in any way ... Those who are in the wrong in matters of supreme importance are objects of pity rather than of hate.
Nature loves to hide her secrets, and she does not suffer the hidden truth about the essential nature of the gods to be flung in naked words to the ears of the profane…
Zeal to do all that is in one's power is, in truth, a proof of piety.
The end and aim of the Cynic philosophy, as indeed of every philosophy, is happiness, but happiness that consists in living according to nature, and not according to the opinions of the multitude.
So long as you are a slave to the opinions of the many you have not yet approached freedom or tasted its nectar … But I do not mean by this that we ought to be shameless before all men and to do what we ought not; but all that we refrain from and all that we do, let us not do or refrain from merely because it seems to the multitude somehow honorable or base, but because it is forbidden by reason and the god within us.

Augustine of Hippo[edit]

Saint Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne.jpg (13 November 354 – 20 August 430)

The spiritual virtue of a sacrament is like light, — although it passes among the impure, it is not polluted.
An unjust law is no law at all.
Love the sinner and hate the sin.
It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.
Patience is the companion of wisdom.
What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
To wisdom belongs the intellectual apprehension of things eternal; to knowledge, the rational apprehension of things temporal.
As love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
Virtue and vice are not the same, even if they undergo the same torment.
The violence which assails good men to test them, to cleanse and purify them, effects in the wicked their condemnation, ruin, and annihilation.
What are kingdoms but large-scale terrorist gangs?
If a thing is not diminished by being shared with others, it is not rightly owned if it is only owned and not shared.
Once for all, then, a short precept is given thee: Love, and do what thou wilt: whether thou hold thy peace, through love hold thy peace; whether thou cry out, through love cry out; whether thou correct, through love correct; whether thou spare, through love do thou spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.

Saint Patrick[edit]

Irish clover.jpg (c. 385? – 17 March 462, 492, or 493)

At Tara today in this fateful hour
I place all Heaven with its power
,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And fire with all the strength it hath,
And lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the earth with its starkness
All these I place,
By God's almighty help and grace,
Between myself and the powers of darkness.
I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity.
I am imperfect in many things, nevertheless I want my brethren and kinsfolk to know my nature so that they may be able to perceive my soul's desire.
One night in my sleep I heard a voice saying to me: "You do well to fast: soon you will depart for your home country." And again, a very short time later, there was a voice prophesying: "Behold, your ship is ready."
I would not cause offence to readers, but I have God as witness who knew all things even before they happened, that, though I was a poor ignorant waif, still he gave me abundant warnings through divine prophecy.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Muhammad[edit]

Mohammad SAV.svg (c. 570 – 8 June 632)

Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever has not kindness has not faith.
It is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing.
There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly.
Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another. You are brothers.

Qur'an[edit]

Allahumahabbah.svg (orally transmitted 610 - 632; published c. 654)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
Master of the Day of Judgment.

Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
Show us the straight way,
The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

Alfred the Great[edit]

Statue d'Alfred le Grand à Winchester.jpg (c. 848 – 26 October 899)

I desired to live worthily as long as I lived, and to leave after my life, to the men who should come after me, the memory of me in good works.
Remember what punishments befell us in this world when we ourselves did not cherish learning nor transmit it to other men.
When I recalled how knowledge of Latin had previously decayed throughout England, and yet many could still read things written in English, I then began, amidst the various and multifarious afflictions of this kingdom, to translate into English the book which in Latin is called Pastoralis, in English "Shepherd-book", sometimes word for word, sometimes sense for sense.

Mansur al-Hallaj[edit]

Soefi symbool.gif (c. 858 - 26 March 922)

I am the Truth.
In the Name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate, Who manifests Himself through everything, the revelation of a clear knowing to whomsoever He wishes, peace be upon you, my son. This praise belongs to Allah Who manifests Himself on the head of a pin to whom He wishes, so that one testifies that He is not, and another testifies that there is none other than He. But the witnessing in the denying of Him is not rejected, and the witnessing in the affirming of Him is not praised.
The beloved does not drink a single drop of water without seeing His Face in the cup.
God, Most High, is the very one who Himself affirms His unity by the tongue of whatever of His creatures He wishes. If He Himself affirms His unity by my tongue, it is He and His affair. Otherwise, brother, I have nothing to do with affirming God's Unity.
He acts without contact,
instructs without meeting,
guides without pointing.
Desires do not conflict with Him,
thoughts do not mingle with Him:
His essence is without qualification,
His action without effort.
Love is in the pleasure of possession, but in the Love of Allah there is no pleasure of possession, because the stations of the Reality are wonderment, the cancelling of the debt which is owed, and the blinding of vision. The Love of the human being for God is a reverence which penetrates the very depths of his being, and which is not permitted to be given except to Allah alone. The Love of Allah for the human being is that He Himself gives proof of Himself, not revealing Himself to anything that is not He.

Maimonides[edit]

Maimonides bas-relief in the U.S. House of Representatives chamber.jpg (30 March 1135 – 13 December 1204)

Accept the truth from whatever source it comes.
It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death.
We are obligated to be more scrupulous in fulfilling the commandment of charity than any other positive commandment because charity is the sign of a righteous man.
I have composed this work neither for the common people, nor for beginners, nor for those who occupy themselves only with the Law as it is handed down without concerning themselves with its principles.
A sensible man should not demand of me, or hope that when we mention a subject, we shall make a complete exposition of it.

Attar[edit]

 (c. 1142 – c. 1220)  
The Sea
Will be the Sea
Whatever the drop's philosophy.
What you most want,
what you travel around wishing to find,
lose yourself as lovers lose themselves,
and you'll be that.
I shall grasp the soul's skirt with my hand
and stamp on the world's head with my foot.
I shall trample Matter and Space with my horse,
beyond all Being I shall utter a great shout ,
and in that moment when I shall be alone with Him,
I shall whisper secrets to all mankind.
Since I have neither sign nor name
I shall speak only of things unnamed and without sign.
The centre is within me and its wonder
Lies as a circle everywhere about me.
Joy! Joy! No mortal thought can fathom me.
From each a mystic silence Love demands.
What do all seek so earnestly? 'Tis Love.
What do they whisper to each other? Love.
Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts.
In Love no longer "thou" and "I" exist,
For Self has passed away in the Beloved.
Yet what are seas and what is air? For all
Is God, and but a talisman are heaven and earth
To veil Divinity. For heaven and earth,
Did He not permeate them, were but names;
Know then, that both this visible world and that
Which unseen is, alike are God Himself,
Naught is, save God: and all that is, is God.
He who would know the secret of both worlds,
Will find the secret of them both, is Love.
Come you lost Atoms to your Centre draw,
And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw
:
Rays that have wander'd into Darkness wide
Return and back into your Sun subside.
Do all you can to become a bird of the Way to God;
Do all you can to develop your wings and your feathers.
All things are but masks at God's beck and call,
They are symbols that instruct us that God is all.

Rumi[edit]

Wingedheart.svg (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273)

Love is the ark appointed for the righteous,
Which annuls the danger and provides a way of escape.
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition.
Reason is like an officer when the King appears;
The officer then loses his power and hides himself.
Reason is the shadow cast by God; God is the sun.
Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it.
Whoever has polished it more sees more — more unseen forms become manifest to him.
I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
He whose intellect overcomes his desire is higher than the angels; he whose desire overcomes his intellect is less than an animal.
The men of God are like fishes in the ocean; they pop up into view on the surface here and there and everywhere, as they please.
The fault is in the one who blames. Spirit sees nothing to criticize.
Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.
Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, idolator, worshipper of fire, come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times,
Come, and come yet again. Ours is not a caravan of despair.
You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?
God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.
This discipline and rough treatment are a furnace
to extract the silver from the dross.
This testing purifies the gold by boiling the scum away.
The idol of your self is the mother of all idols.
To regard the self as easy to subdue is a mistake.
If you wish mercy, show mercy to the weak.
Many of the faults you see in others, dear reader,
are your own nature reflected in them.
The lion who breaks the enemy's ranks
is a minor hero
compared to the lion who overcomes himself.
Whoever gives reverence receives reverence.
Were there no men of vision,
all who are blind would be dead.
This poetry. I never know what I'm going to say.
I don't plan it.
When I'm outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.
What is the body? That shadow of a shadow
of your love, that somehow contains
the entire universe.
There is no reality but God,
says the completely surrendered sheik, who is an ocean for all beings.
I can't stop pointing
to the beauty.

Every moment and place says,
"Put this design in your carpet!"

This dance is the joy of existence.

I am filled with you.
Skin, blood, bone, brain, and soul.
There's no room for lack of trust, or trust.
Nothing in this existence but that existence.

The place that Solomon made to worship in,
called the Far Mosque, is not built of earth
and water and stone, but of intention and wisdom
and mystical conversation and compassionate action.
A prince is just
a conceit until he does something with generosity.
Gamble everything for love,
if you are a true human being.
Silence
is an ocean. Speech is a river.

When the ocean is searching for you, don't walk
into the language-river. Listen to the ocean,
and bring your talky business to an end

Traditional words are just babbling
in that presence, and babbling is a substitute
for sight.

Every object and being in the universe is
a jar overflowing with wisdom and beauty,
a drop of the Tigris that cannot be contained
by any skin.
Every jarful spills and makes the earth
more shining, as though covered in satin.
Christ is the population of the world,
and every object as well.
The cure for pain is in the pain.
Good and bad are mixed. If you don't have both,
you don't belong with us.
Learn from Ali how to fight
without your ego participating.
God's lion did nothing
that didn't originate
from his deep center.
I am God's Lion, not the lion of passion....
I have no longing
except for the One.
When a wind of personal reaction comes,
I do not go along with it.

There are many winds full of anger,
and lust and greed. They move the rubbish around,
but the solid mountain of our true nature stays where it's always been.
Every tree and plant in the meadow seemed to be dancing, those which average eyes would see as fixed and still.
Observe the wonders as they occur around you.
Don't claim them. Feel the artistry
moving through, and be silent.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about
language, ideas, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.
Do not believe in an absurdity
no matter who says it.
Are you fleeing from Love because of a single humiliation?
What do you know of Love except the name?

Love has a hundred forms of pride and disdain,
and is gained by a hundred means of persuasion.
Since Love is loyal, it purchases one who is loyal:
it has no interest in a disloyal companion.
The human being resembles a tree; its root is a covenant with God:
that root must be cherished with all one's might.
When you see anyone complaining
of such and such a person's ill-nature and bad temper,
know that the complainant is bad-tempered,
forasmuch as he speaks ill of that bad-tempered person,
because he alone is good-tempered who is quietly forbearing
towards the bad-tempered and ill-natured.
The lower self does not want anyone to receive anything from anybody else, and if it is aware of something receiving a special boon, it seeks to destroy it.
When in Love,
body, mind, heart and soul don't even exist.
Love rests on no foundation.
It is an endless ocean,
with no beginning or end.
This is a gathering of Lovers.
In this gathering
there is no high, no low,
no smart, no ignorant,
no special assembly,
no grand discourse,
no proper schooling required.
There is no master,
no disciple.

This gathering is more like a drunken party,
full of tricksters, fools,
mad men and mad women.
This is a gathering of Lovers.
To Love is to reach God.
Love said to me,
there is nothing that is not me.
Be silent.

Thomas Aquinas[edit]

St-thomas-aquinas.jpg (c. 1225 – 7 March 1274)

Reason in man is rather like God in the world.
Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble senses fail.
All that I have written seems like straw compared to what has now been revealed to me.

Petrarch[edit]

Francesco Petrarca00.jpg (20 July 1304 – 19 July 1374)

Love is the crowning grace of humanity, the holiest right of the soul, the golden link which binds us to duty and truth, the redeeming principle that chiefly reconciles the heart to life, and is prophetic of eternal good.
Continued work and application form my soul's nourishment. So soon as I commenced to rest and relax I should cease to live.
There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen. Other pleasures fail us or wound us while they charm, but the pen we take up rejoicing and lay down with satisfaction, for it has the power to advantage not only its lord and master, but many others as well, even though they be far away — sometimes, indeed, though they be not born for thousands of years to come.
Five enemies of peace inhabit with us — avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.
Books have led some to learning and others to madness, when they swallow more than they can digest.
It is better to will the good than to know the truth.
Who overrefines his argument brings himself to grief.
Hitherto your eyes have been darkened and you have looked too much, yes, far too much, upon the things of earth. If these so much delight you what shall be your rapture when you life your gaze to things eternal!
To be able to say how much you love is to love but little.

Giovanni Boccaccio[edit]

Giovanni Boccaccio 1449.jpg (16 June 1313 – 21 December 1375)

In the affairs of this world, poverty alone is without envy.
Do as we say, not as we do.

Julian of Norwich[edit]

St Julian's, Norwich.jpg (8 November 1342 – c.1413)

Love was without beginning, is, and shall be without ending.
He that made all things for love, by the same love keepeth them, and shall keep them without end.
A glad giver taketh but little heed of the thing that he giveth, but all his desire and all his intent is to please him and solace him to whom he giveth it. And if the receiver take the gift highly and thankfully, then the courteous giver setteth at nought all his cost and all his travail, for joy and delight that he hath pleased and solaced him that he loveth. Plenteously and fully was this shewed.
God is all that is good, as to my sight, and the goodness that each thing hath, it is He.
God willeth to be seen and to be sought: to be abided and to be trusted.
Each brotherly compassion that man hath on his fellow Christians, with charity, it is Christ in him.
All thing that is done, it is well done: for our Lord God doeth all.
All this was shewed in a touch and quickly passed over into comfort: for our good Lord would not that the soul were affeared of this terrible sight.
But I saw not sin: for I believe it hath no manner of substance nor no part of being, nor could it be known but by the pain it is cause of.
Sin is no deed.
And for the tender love that our good Lord hath to all that shall be saved, He comforteth readily and sweetly, signifying thus: It is sooth that sin is cause of all this pain; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
These words were said full tenderly, showing no manner of blame to me nor to any that shall be saved. Then were it a great unkindness to blame or wonder on God for my sin, since He blameth not me for sin.
And in these words I saw a marvellous high mystery hid in God, which mystery He shall openly make known to us in Heaven: in which knowing we shall verily see the cause why He suffered sin to come. In which sight we shall endlessly joy in our Lord God.
By our blindness and our unforesight we say: these be haps and adventures. But to our Lord God they be not so.
Wherefore me behoveth needs to grant that all-thing that is done, it is well-done: for our Lord God doeth all.
It is easy to understand that the best deed is well done: and so well as the best deed is done—the highest—so well is the least deed done; and all thing in its property and in the order that our Lord hath ordained it to from without beginning. For there is no doer but He.
It is God’s will that we hold us in comfort with all our might: for bliss is lasting without end, and pain is passing and shall be brought to nought for them that shall be saved. And therefore it is not God’s will that we follow the feelings of pain in sorrow and mourning for them, but that we suddenly pass over, and hold us in endless enjoyment.
One time mine understanding was led down into the sea-ground, and there I saw hills and dales green, seeming as it were moss-be-grown, with wrack and gravel. Then I understood thus: that if a man or woman were under the broad water, if he might have sight of God so as God is with a man continually, he should be safe in body and soul, and take no harm: and overpassing, he should have more solace and comfort than all this world can tell. For He willeth we should believe that we see Him continually though that to us it seemeth but little; and in this belief He maketh us evermore to gain grace. For He will be seen and He will be sought: He will be abided and he will be trusted.
I saw that He is to us everything that is good and comfortable for us: He is our clothing that for love wrappeth us, claspeth us, and all encloseth us for tender love, that He may never leave us; being to us all-thing that is good, as to mine understanding.
Our Lord Jesus oftentimes said: I IT AM, I IT AM: I IT AM that is highest, I IT AM that thou lovest, I IT AM that thou enjoyest, I IT AM that thou servest, I IT AM that thou longest for, I IT AM that thou desirest, I IT AM that thou meanest, I IT AM that is all. I IT AM that Holy Church preacheth and teacheth thee, I IT AM that shewed me here to thee. The number of the words passeth my wit and all my understanding and all my powers. And they are the highest, as to my sight: for therein is comprehended—I cannot tell,—but the joy that I saw in the Shewing of them passeth all that heart may wish for and soul may desire. Therefore the words be not declared here; but every man after the grace that God giveth him in understanding and loving, receive them in our Lord’s meaning.
He shewed me a little thing, the quantity of an hazel-nut, in the palm of my hand; and it was as round as a ball. I looked thereupon with eye of my understanding, and thought: What may this be? And it was answered generally thus: It is all that is made. I marvelled how it might last, for methought it might suddenly have fallen to naught for little. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasteth, and ever shall for that God loveth it. And so All-thing hath the Being by the love of God.
In this Little Thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it, the second is that God loveth it, the third, that God keepeth it. But what is to me verily the Maker, the Keeper, and the Lover,—I cannot tell; for till I am Substantially oned to Him, I may never have full rest nor very bliss: that is to say, till I be so fastened to Him, that there is right nought that is made betwixt my God and me.
It needeth us to have knowing of the littleness of creatures and to hold as nought all-thing that is made, for to love and have God that is unmade. For this is the cause why we be not all in ease of heart and soul: that we seek here rest in those things that are so little, wherein is no rest, and know not our God that is All-mighty, All-wise, All-good. For He is the Very Rest. God willeth to be known, and it pleaseth Him that we rest in Him; for all that is beneath Him sufficeth not us. And this is the cause why that no soul is rested till it is made nought as to all things that are made. When it is willingly made nought, for love, to have Him that is all, then is it able to receive spiritual rest.
The saints that be in Heaven, they will to know nothing but that which our Lord willeth to shew them: and also their charity and their desire is ruled after the will of our Lord: and thus ought we to will, like to them. Then shall we nothing will nor desire but the will of our Lord, as they do: for we are all one in God’s seeing.
Methought it was impossible that all manner of things should be well, as our Lord shewed in the same time.
And as to this I had no other answer in Shewing of our Lord God but this: That which is impossible to thee is not impossible to me: I shall save my word in all things and I shall make all things well. Thus I was taught, by the grace of God, that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith as I had aforehand understood, therewith that I should firmly believe that all things shall be well, as our Lord shewed in the same time.
For this is the Great Deed that our Lord shall do, in which Deed He shall save His word and He shall make all well that is not well. How it shall be done there is no creature beneath Christ that knoweth it, nor shall know it till it is done; according to the understanding that I took of our Lord’s meaning in this time.
Let us desire to be like our brethren which be saints in Heaven, that will right nought but God’s will and are well pleased both with hiding and with shewing. For I saw soothly in our Lord’s teaching, the more we busy us to know His secret counsels in this or any other thing, the farther shall we be from the knowing thereof.
All that is speedful for us to learn and to know, full courteously will our Lord shew us.
I learned that it is more worship to God to know all-thing in general, than to take pleasure in any special thing. And if I should do wisely according to this teaching, I should not only be glad for nothing in special, but I should not be greatly distressed for no manner of thing : for ALL shall be well. For the fulness of joy is to behold God in all: for by the same blessed Might, Wisdom, and Love, that He made all-thing, to the same end our good Lord leadeth it continually, and thereto Himself shall bring it; and when it is time we shall see it.
All that our Lord doeth is rightful, and that which He suffereth is worshipful: and in these two is comprehended good and ill: for all that is good our Lord doeth, and that which is evil our Lord suffereth. I say not that any evil is worshipful, but I say the sufferance of our Lord God is worshipful: whereby His Goodness shall be known, without end, in His marvellous meekness and mildness, by the working of mercy and grace.
For in every soul that shall be saved is a Godly Will that never assented to sin, nor ever shall. Right as there is a beastly will in the lower part that may will no good, right so there is a Godly Will in the higher part, which will is so good that it may never will evil, but ever good. … But for failing love on our part, therefore is all our travail.

Jehanne Darc (Joan of Arc)[edit]

Swynnerton joan arc.jpg (c. 1412 – 30 May 1431)

If I am not in the state of grace, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me.
About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter.
You say that you are my judge. I do not know if you are! But I tell you that you must take good care not to judge me wrongly, because you will put yourself in great danger. I warn you, so that if God punishes you for it, I would have done my duty by telling you!
Children say that people are hung sometimes for speaking the truth.

Paracelsus[edit]

Paracelsus-um-1540.jpg (11 November or 17 December 1493 - 24 September 1541)

In us there is the Light of Nature, and that Light is God.
All is interrelated. Heaven and earth, air and water. All are but one thing; not four, not two and not three, but one. Where they are not together, there is only an incomplete piece.
Here on earth the Kingdom of God begins.
We should become angels and not devils, that’s why we have been created and born into the world.
Practice humility at first with man and only then before God. He who despises man, has also no respect for God.
Belief and work, knowledge and action are one and the same thing.

François Rabelais[edit]

Francois Rabelais - Portrait.jpg (c. 1493 -9 April 1553)

Come, pluck up a good heart; speak the truth and shame the devil.
I encourage all these diabolical calumniators to go hang themselves before the last moon's quarter is done. I will supply the rope.
Readers, friends, if you turn these pages
Put your prejudice aside,
For, really, there's nothing here that's outrageous,
Nothing sick, or bad — or contagious.
Not that I sit here glowing with pride
For my book: all you'll find is laughter:
That's all the glory my heart is after,
Seeing how sorrow eats you, defeats you.
I'd rather write about laughing than crying,
For laughter makes men human, and courageous.
BE HAPPY!
So much is a man worth as he esteems himself.
Wisdom entereth not into a malicious mind, and science without conscience is but the ruin of the soul.
He that has patience may compass anything.
To laugh is proper to man.
All their life was spent not in laws, statutes, or rules, but according to their own free will and pleasure. They rose out of their beds when they thought good : they did eat, drink, labour, sleep, when they had a mind to it, and were disposed for it. None did awake them, none did offer to constrain them to eat, drink, nor to do any other thing; for so had Gargantua established it. In all their rule, and strictest tie of their order, there was but this one clause to be observed,
DO WHAT THOU WILT.
Because men that are free, well-born, well-bred, and conversant in honest companies, have naturally an instinct and spur that prompteth them unto virtuous actions, and withdraws them from vice, which is called honour. Those same men, when by base subjection and constraint they are brought under and kept down, turn aside from that noble disposition, by which they formerly were inclined to virtue, to shake off and break that bond of servitude, wherein they are so tyrannously enslaved; for it is agreeable with the nature of man to long after things forbidden, and to desire what is denied us.

Miguel de Cervantes[edit]

Honoré Daumier 017 (Don Quixote).jpg (29 September 1547 – 23 April 1616)

Giordano Bruno[edit]

Giordano Bruno Campo dei Fiori.jpg (1548 – 17 February 1600)

What you receive from others is a testimony to their virtue; but all that you do for others is the sign and clear indication of your own.
Divinity reveals herself in all things... everything has Divinity latent within itself. For she enfolds and imparts herself even unto the smallest beings, and from the smallest beings, according to their capacity. Without her presence nothing would have being, because she is the essence of the existence of the first unto the last being.
I understand Being in all and over all, as there is nothing without participation in Being, and there is no being without Essence. Thus nothing can be free of the Divine Presence.
Heroic love is the property of those superior natures who are called insane not because they do not know, but because they over-know.
The Divine Light is always in man, presenting itself to the senses and to the comprehension, but man rejects it.
If all things are in common among friends, the most precious is Wisdom. … Her beauty is not small, for the lord of all things taketh delight in her. Her I have loved and diligently sought from my youth up.
Even to have come forth is something, since I see that being able to conquer is placed in the hands of fate. However, there was in me, whatever I was able to do, that which no future century will deny to be mine, that which a victor could have for his own: Not to have feared to die, not to have yielded to any equal in firmness of nature, and to have preferred a courageous death to a noncombatant life.
All things are in the Universe, and the universe is in all things: we in it, and it in us; in this way everything concurs in a perfect unity.
Everywhere there is incessant relative change in position throughout the universe, and the observer is always at the centre of things.
Our philosophy... reduceth to a single origin and relateth to a single end, and maketh contraries to coincide so that there is one primal foundation both of origin and of end.
The single spirit doth simultaneously temper the whole together; this is the single soul of all things; all are filled with God
All things are in ALL.

William Shakespeare[edit]

Shakespeare Portrait Comparisons 2.JPG (23 April? 1564 - 3 May 1616)

Baruch Spinoza[edit]

BaruchSpinoza.jpg (24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677)

Isaac Newton[edit]

GodfreyKneller-IsaacNewton-1689.jpg (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727)

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. 'Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.
Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.
Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.
If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.
I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phenomena, and I frame no hypotheses; for whatever is not deduced from the phenomena is to be called a hypothesis, and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy.
Christ comes as a thief in the night, & it is not for us to know the times & seasons which God hath put into his own breast.
The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things by this Prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt.
The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this and the Prophecies of the Old Testament, not to gratify mens curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event, and his own Providence, not the Interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world.
I have studied these things — you have not.
God created everything by number, weight and measure.
Oh, Diamond! Diamond! thou little knowest what mischief thou hast done!
When the Longitude at sea is once lost, it cannot be found again by any watch.
If I had stayed for other people to make my tools and things for me, I had never made anything
· · Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica · ·
NautilusCutawayLogarithmicSpiral.jpg
The ancients considered mechanics in a twofold respect; as rational, which proceeds accurately by demonstration, and practical. To practical mechanics all the manual arts belong, from which mechanics took its name. But as artificers do not work with perfect accuracy, it comes to pass that mechanics is so distinguished from geometry, that what is perfectly accurate is called geometrical; what is less so is called mechanical. But the errors are not in the art, but in the artificers.
If any could work with perfect accuracy, he would be the most perfect mechanic of all; for the description of right lines and circles, upon which geometry is founded, belongs to mechanics. Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn; for it requires that the learner should first be taught to describe these accurately, before he enters upon geometry; then it shows how by these operations problems may be solved.
I do not define time, space, place, and motion, as being well known to all. Only I must observe, that the common people conceive those quantities under no other notions but from the relation they bear to sensible objects. And thence arise certain prejudices, for the removing of which it will be convenient to distinguish them into absolute and relative, true and apparent, mathematical and common.
We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.
Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it.
The alternation of motion is ever proportional to the motive force impressed; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impressed.
To every action there is always opposed and equal reaction; or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.
· · Opticks · ·
RainbowFormation DropletPrimary.png
What is there in places empty of matter? and Whence is it that the sun and planets gravitate toward one another without dense matter between them? Whence is it that Nature doth nothing in vain? and Whence arises all that order and beauty which we see in the world? To what end are comets? and Whence is it that planets move all one and the same way in orbs concentrick, while comets move all manner of ways in orbs very excentrick? and What hinders the fixed stars from falling upon one another?
The changing of bodies into light, and light into bodies, is very conformable to the course of Nature, which seems delighted with transmutations.
Primitive particles, being solids, are incomparably harder than any porous bodies compounded of them, even so very hard as never to wear or break in pieces; no ordinary power being able to divide what God had made one in the first creation. While the particles continue entire, they may compose bodies of one and the same nature and texture in all ages: but should they wear away or break in pieces, the nature of things depending on them would be changed.
· · A short Schem of the true Religion · ·
Thanksgiving chapel interior.jpg
Religion is partly fundamental & immutable partly circumstantial & mutable … our duty towards God & our duty towards man … piety & righteousness … which I will here call Godliness & Humanity.
Godliness consists in the knowledge love & worship of God, Humanity in love, righteousness & good offices towards man.
Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors.Idolatry is a more dangerous crime because it is apt by the authority of Kings & under very specious pretenses to insinuate it self into mankind. Kings being apt to enjoyn the honour of their dead ancestors: & it seeming very plausible to honour the souls of Heroes & Saints & to believe that they can heare us & help us & are mediators between God & man & reside & act principally in the temples & statues dedicated to their honour & memory? And yet this being against the principal part of religion is in scripture condemned & detested above all other crimes. The sin consists first in omitting the service of the true God.
The other part of the true religion is our duty to man. We must love our neighbour as our selves, we must be charitable to all men for charity is the greatest of graces, greater then even faith or hope & covers a multitude of sins. We must be righteous & do to all men as we would they should do to us.

Benjamin Franklin[edit]

BenjaminFranklin.jpeg (17 January 1706 – 17 April 1790)

Leonhard Euler[edit]

Leonhard Euler.jpg (15 April 1707 – 18 September 1783)

Madam, I have come from a country where people are hanged if they talk.
Although to penetrate into the intimate mysteries of nature and thence to learn the true causes of phenomena is not allowed to us, nevertheless it can happen that a certain fictive hypothesis may suffice for explaining many phenomena.
e^{i \pi} + 1 = 0. \,\!

Samuel Johnson[edit]

Samuel Johnson by James Barry.jpg (18 September 1709 - 13 December 1784)

It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentional lying, that there is so much falsehood in the world.
Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.
Example is always more efficacious than precept.
The present hour alone is man's.
All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance: it is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals. If a man was to compare the effect of a single stroke of the pick-axe, or of one impression of the spade, with the general design and last result, he would be overwhelmed by the sense of their disproportion; yet those petty operations, incessantly continued, in time surmount the greatest difficulties, and mountains are levelled, and oceans bounded, by the slender force of human beings.
Hope is necessary in every condition.
As it is necessary not to invite robbery by supineness, so it is our duty not to suppress tenderness by suspicion; it is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.
In Reason, Nature, Truth, he dares to trust:
Ye Fops, be silent: and ye Wits, be just.
I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed.
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.
Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.
Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
Merriment is always the effect of a sudden impression. The jest which is expected is already destroyed
A man sometimes starts up a patriot, only by disseminating discontent, and propagating reports of secret influence, of dangerous counsels, of violated rights, and encroaching usurpation. This practice is no certain note of patriotism. To instigate the populace with rage beyond the provocation, is to suspend publick happiness, if not to destroy it. He is no lover of his country, that unnecessarily disturbs its peace. Few errours and few faults of government, can justify an appeal to the rabble; who ought not to judge of what they cannot understand, and whose opinions are not propagated by reason, but caught by contagion. The fallaciousness of this note of patriotism is particularly apparent, when the clamour continues after the evil is past.
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
I fancy mankind may come, in time, to write all aphoristically, except in narrative; grow weary of preparation, and connection, and illustration, and all those arts by which a big book is made.
The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.
A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.
Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords.
An individual may, indeed, forfeit his liberty by a crime; but he cannot by that crime forfeit the liberty of his children.
Pleasure of itself is not a vice.
Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.
A jest breaks no bones.
To let friendship die away by negligence and silence, is certainly not wise. It is voluntarily to throw away one of the greatest comforts of this weary pilgrimage.
It is always observable that silence propagates itself, and that the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find any thing to say.
Always, Sir, set a high value on spontaneous kindness. He whose inclination prompts him to cultivate your friendship of his own accord, will love you more than one whom you have been at pains to attach to you.
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
The world is not yet exhausted: let me see something to-morrow which I never saw before.
Knowledge is more than equivalent to force. The master of mechanicks laughs at strength.
To a poet nothing can be useless.

George Washington[edit]

MtRushmore GW close.jpg (22 February 1732 – 14 December 1799)

Joseph Priestley[edit]

Priestley color.jpg (13 March 1733 – 6 February 1804)

The whole business of philosophy, diversified as it is, is but one; it being one and the same great scheme, that all philosophers, of all ages and nations, have been conducting, from the beginning of the world.
Let us consider if as a duty of the first rank with respect to moral obligation, to transmit to our posterity, and provide, as far as we can, for transmitting, unimpaired, to the latest generations, that generous zeal for religion and liberty, which makes the memory of our forefathers so truly illustrious.
It is known to all persons who are conversant in experimental philosophy, that there are many little attentions and precautions necessary to be observed in the conducting of experiments, which cannot well be described in words, but which it is needless to describe, since practice will necessarily suggest them; though, like all other arts in which the hands and fingers are made use of, it is only much practice that can enable a person to go through complex experiments, of this or any kind, with ease and readiness.
It may, perhaps, be true, though we cannot distinctly see it to be so, that as all finite things require a cause, infinites admit of none.

Patrick Henry[edit]

Patrick Henry .1955-$1.jpg (29 May 1736 – 6 June 1799)

Suspicion is a virtue as long as its object is the public good, and as long as it stays within proper bounds. ... Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.
If this be treason, make the most of it.
United we stand, divided we fall, Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.
The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.
It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope and pride. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope and pride. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of Liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
If we wish to be free; if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained — we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!
It is vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, peace! But there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Thomas Paine[edit]

Thomas Paine.jpg (29 January 1737 – 8 June 1809)

I speak an open and disinterested language, dictated by no passion but that of humanity. To me, who have not only refused offers, because I thought them improper, but have declined rewards I might with reputation have accepted, it is no wonder that meanness and imposition appear disgustful. Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher.
Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour; a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the DOCTRINE ITSELF, not the MAN. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That he is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness.
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.
I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
My own line of reasoning is to myself as straight and clear as a ray of light. Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it? What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man; my countryman or not my countryman; whether it be done by an individual villain, or an army of them? If we reason to the root of things we shall find no difference; neither can any just cause be assigned why we should punish in the one case and pardon in the other. Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man.
It is never to be expected in a revolution that every man is to change his opinion at the same moment. There never yet was any truth or any principle so irresistibly obvious that all men believed it at once. Time and reason must cooperate with each other to the final establishment of any principle; and therefore those who may happen to be first convinced have not a right to persecute others, on whom conviction operates more slowly. The moral principle of revolutions is to instruct, not to destroy.
It is the nature and intention of a constitution to prevent governing by party, by establishing a common principle that shall limit and control the power and impulse of party, and that says to all parties, thus far shalt thou go and no further. But in the absence of a constitution, men look entirely to party; and instead of principle governing party, party governs principle.
An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
It is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.
It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.
It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God.
Man cannot make principles, he can only discover them.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg[edit]

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Big.jpg (1 July 1742 – 24 February 1799)

With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another.
Man is always partial and is quite right to be. Even impartiality is partial.
A book which, above all others in the world, should be forbidden, is a catalogue of forbidden books.
A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out. We have no words for speaking of wisdom to the stupid. He who understands the wise is wise already.
He who knows himself properly can very soon learn to know all other men. It is all reflection.
What is called an acute knowledge of human nature is mostly nothing but the observer's own weaknesses reflected back from others.
Doubt must be no more than vigilance, otherwise it can become dangerous.
I am convinced we do not only love ourselves in others but hate ourselves in others too.
Man can acquire accomplishments or he can become an animal, whichever he wants. God makes the animals, man makes himself.
The most successful tempters and thus the most dangerous are the deluded deluders.
To find something obscure poses no difficulty: elephants and poodles find many things obscure.
As the few adepts in such things well know, universal morality is to be found in little everyday penny-events just as much as in great ones.
We are obliged to regard many of our original minds as crazy — at least until we have become as clever as they are.
Even truth needs to be clad in new garments if it is to appeal to a new age.
Even if my philosophy does not extend to discovering anything new, it does nevertheless possess the courage to regard as questionable what has long been thought true.
The human tendency to regard little things as important has produced very many great things.
It is almost impossible to bear the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing somebody’s beard.
There is no greater impediment to progress in the sciences than the desire to see it take place too quickly.
The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted.
Man loves company — even if it is only that of a small burning candle.
He who is enamored of himself will at least have the advantage of being inconvenienced by few rivals.
Education is procreation of another kind.
With prophecies the commentator is often a more important man than the prophet.
We cannot remember too often that when we observe nature, and especially the ordering of nature, it is always ourselves alone we are observing.
If an angel were ever to tell us anything of his philosophy I believe many propositions would sound like 2 times 2 equals 13.
I believe that man is in the last resort so free a being that his right to be what he believes himself to be cannot be contested.
Man is a masterpiece of creation if for no other reason than that, all the weight of evidence for determinism notwithstanding, he believes he has free will.
First we have to believe, and then we believe.
The greatest events occur without intention playing any part in them; chance makes good mistakes and undoes the most carefully planned undertaking. The world's greatest events are not produced, they happen.
Before one blames, one should always find out whether one cannot excuse. To discover little faults has been always the particularity of such brains that are a little or not at all above the average. The superior ones keep quiet or say something against the whole and the great minds transform without blaming.
A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.
It is in the gift for employing all the vicissitudes of life to one's own advantage and to that of one's craft that a large part of genius consists.
With most people disbelief in a thing is founded on a blind belief in some other thing.

Thomas Jefferson[edit]

Thomas Jefferson rev.jpg (13 April 1743 – 4 July 1826)

Friedrich Schiller[edit]

Dannecker Schiller Nürnberg.jpg (10 November 1759 – 9 May 1805)

Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.
Whatever is not forbidden is permitted.
To save all we must risk all.
The dignity of mankind is in your hands; protect it!
It sinks with you! With you it will ascend.
What one refuses in a minute
No eternity will return.
Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he is only completely a man when he plays.
He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times.
Did you think the lion was sleeping because he didn't roar?
Have Love. Not love alone for one,
But men, as man, thy brothers call;
And scatter, like the circling sun,
Thy charities on all.

Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, —
Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find
Strength when life's surges rudest roll,
Light when thou else wert blind.

If you want to know yourself,
Just look how others do it;
If you want to understand others,
Look into your own heart.
War nourishes war.
World history is the world's court.
Where danger is, there must Johanna be;
Nor now, nor here, am I foredoomed to fall
;
Our monarch's royal brow I first must see
Invested with the round of sovereignty.
No hostile power can rob me of my life,
Till I've accomplished the commands of God.
Pain is short, and joy is eternal.
Great souls endure in silence.
In thy breast are the stars of thy fate.
Love is only known by him who hopelessly persists in love.
It is through beauty that we arrive at freedom.
The greater part of humanity is too much harassed and fatigued by the struggle with want, to rally itself for a new and sterner struggle with error.
Virtue has her heroes too
As well as Fame and Fortune.
Rarely do we arrive at the summit of truth without running into extremes; we have frequently to exhaust the part of error, and even of folly, before we work our way up to the noble goal of tranquil wisdom.
Truth suffers no loss if a vehement youth fails in finding it, in the same way that virtue and religion suffer no detriment if a criminal denies them.
The universe is a thought of God. After this ideal thought-fabric passed out into reality, and the new-born world fulfilled the plan of its Creator — permit me to use this human simile — the first duty of all thinking beings has been to retrace the original design in this great reality; to find the principle in the mechanism, the unity in the compound, the law in the phenomenon, and to pass back from the structure to its primitive foundation. Accordingly to me there is only one appearance in nature — the thinking being. The great compound called the world is only remarkable to me because it is present to shadow forth symbolically the manifold expressions of that being. All in me and out of me is only the hieroglyph of a power which is like to me. The laws of nature are the cyphers which the thinking mind adds on to make itself understandable to intelligence — the alphabet by means of which all spirits communicate with the most perfect Spirit and with one another. Harmony, truth, order, beauty, excellence, give me joy, because they transport me into the active state of their author, of their possessor, because they betray the presence of a rational and feeling Being, and let me perceive my relationship with that Being.
I speak with the Eternal through the instrument of nature, — through the world's history: I read the soul of the artist in his Apollo.
Each state of the human mind has some parable in the physical creation by which it is shadowed forth; nor is it only artists and poets, but even the most abstract thinkers that have drawn from this source. Lively activity we name fire; time is a stream that rolls on, sweeping all before it; eternity is a circle; a mystery is hid in midnight gloom, and truth dwells in the sun. Nay, I begin to believe that even the future destiny of the human race is prefigured in the dark oracular utterances of bodily creation.
There's no such thing as chance;
And what to us seems merest accident
Springs from the deepest source of destiny.
· · Wilhelm Tell · ·
Wilhelm Tell Denkmal Altdorf um 1900 Detail.jpg
The most pious man can't stay in peace
If it doesn't please his evil neighbor.
The strong man is strongest when alone.
Who reflects too much will accomplish little.
No cause has he to say his doom is harsh,
Who's made the master of his destiny.
One people will we be, — a band of brothers;
No danger, no distress shall sunder us.
We will be freemen as our fathers were,
And sooner welcome death than live as slaves.
We will rely on God's almighty arm,
And never quail before the power of man.
· · An die Freude · ·
[Ode to Joy]
Arco iris circular.JPG
Welcome, all ye myriad creatures!
Brethren, take the kiss of love!
Bow before him, all creation!
Mortals, own the God of love!
Seek him high the stars above,—
Yonder is his habitation!
Joy, in Nature's wide dominion,
Mightiest cause of all is found;
And 'tis joy that moves the pinion,
When the wheel of time goes round
High on faith's bright hill before us,
See her banner proudly wave!
Joy, too, swells the angels' chorus,—
Bursts the bondage of the grave!
To the Gods we ne'er can render
Praise for every good they grant;
Let us, with devotion tender,
Minister to grief and want.
Quenched be hate and wrath forever,
Pardoned be our mortal foe —
May our tears upbraid him never,
No repentance bring him low!
Sense of wrongs forget to treasure —
Brethren, live in perfect love!

In the starry realms above,
God will mete as we may measure.
Courage, ne'er by sorrow broken!
Aid where tears of virtue flow;
Faith to keep each promise spoken!
Truth alike to friend and foe!
Lo, the dead shall rise to heaven!
Brethren hail the blest decree;
Every sin shall be forgiven,
Hell forever cease to be!

Menachem Mendel of Kotzk[edit]

Jhwh soderhamn.jpg (1787 - 1859)

God is only where you let Him in.
When a man makes a reverent face before a face that is no face — that is idol worship!
If I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you. But if I am I because you are you and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you!
All that is thought should not be said, all that is said should not be written, all that is written should not be published, and all that is published should not be read.
People are accustomed to look at the heavens and to wonder what happens there. It would be better if they would look within themselves, to see what happens there.
Do not be satisfied with the speech of your lips and the thought in your heart, all the promises and good sayings in your mouth, and all the good thoughts in your heart; rather you must arise and do!

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel[edit]

Hegel portrait by Schlesinger 1831.jpg (27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831)

The History of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of Freedom.
Not curiosity, not vanity, not the consideration of expediency, not duty and conscientiousness, but an unquenchable, unhappy thirst that brooks no compromise leads us to truth.
We may affirm absolutely that nothing great in the World has been accomplished without passion.
It must be observed at the outset, that the phenomenon we investigate — Universal History — belongs to the realm of Spirit. The term "World," includes both physical and psychical Nature.
It is easier to discover a deficiency in individuals, in states, and in providence, than to see their real import or value.
It is a matter of perfect indifference where a thing originated; the only question is: "Is it true in and for itself?"
The force of mind is only as great as its expression; its depth only as deep as its power to expand and lose itself.
The heart is everywhere, and each part of the organism is only the specialized force of the heart itself.
The great thing however is, in the show of the temporal and the transient to recognize the substance which is immanent and the eternal which is present. … this infinite variety of circumstances which is formed in this element of externality by the light of the rational essence shining in it — all this infinite material, with its regulatory laws — is not the object of philosophy....To comprehend what is, is the task of philosophy: and what is is Reason.
What is rational is actual and what is actual is rational. On this conviction the plain man like the philosopher takes his stand, and from it philosophy starts in its study of the universe of spirit as well as the universe of nature.
The life of God — the life which the mind apprehends and enjoys as it rises to the absolute unity of all things — may be described as a play of love with itself; but this idea sinks to an edifying truism, or even to a platitude, when it does not embrace in it the earnestness, the pain, the patience, and labor, involved in the negative aspect of things.
Discord which appears at first to be a lamentable breach and dissolution of the unity of a party, is really the crowning proof of its success.
Only one man ever understood me. And he didn't understand me.

Charles Caleb Colton[edit]

Crystal mind.jpg (1780 – 1832)

Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.
It is always safe to learn, even from our enemies, seldom safe to venture to instruct, even our friends.
Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.
Men will wrangle for religion, write for it, fight for it, die for it; anything but live for it.
It is almost as difficult to make a man unlearn his errors as his knowledge. Mal-information is more hopeless than non-information; for error is always more busy than ignorance. Ignorance is a blank sheet, on which we may write; but error is a scribbled one, on which we must first erase. Ignorance is contented to stand still with her back to the truth; but error is more presumptuous, and proceeds in the same direction. Ignorance has no light, but error follows a false one. The consequence is, that error, when she retraces her footsteps, has further to go, before she can arrive at the truth, than ignorance.
When you have nothing to say, say nothing; a weak defense strengthens your opponent, and silence is less injurious than a bad reply.

Karl Friedrich Schinkel[edit]

Schinkel1.jpg (13 March 1781 – 9 October 1841)

First delight, then instruct.
I hope I may be allowed to remark that recent inventions and improvements enabling works of art to be duplicated faithfully, easily, and safely may properly be used to give industry a direction in which beauty is as important as utility.
Indifference to the fine arts comes close to barbarism.

Charles Babbage[edit]

CharlesBabbage.jpg (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871)

Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all.
On two occasions I have been asked,—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" In one case a member of the Upper, and in the other a member of the Lower, House put this question. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
Propose to an Englishman any principle, or any instrument, however admirable, and you will observe that the whole effort of the English mind is directed to find a difficulty, a defect, or an impossibility in it. If you speak to him of a machine for peeling a potato, he will pronounce it impossible: if you peel a potato with it before his eyes, he will declare it useless, because it will not slice a pineapple. Impart the same principle or show the same machine to an American or to one of our Colonists, and you will observe that the whole effort of his mind is to find some new application of the principle, some new use for the instrument.

Percy Bysshe Shelley[edit]

Portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley by Curran, 1819.jpg (4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822)

Horace Mann[edit]

Horace Mann - Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, c1850.jpg (4 May 1796 - 2 August 1859)

The most ignorant are the most conceited. Unless a man knows that there is something more to be known, his inference is, of course, that he knows every thing. Such a man always usurps the throne of universal knowledge, and assumes the right of deciding all possible questions. We all know that a conceited dunce will decide questions extemporaneous which would puzzle a college of philosophers, or a bench of judges. Ignorant and shallow-minded men do not see far enough to see the difficulty. But let a man know that there are things to be known, of which he is ignorant, and it is so much carved out of his domain of universal knowledge. And for all purposes of individual character, as well as of social usefulness, it is quite as important for a man to know the extent of his own ignorance as it is to know any thing else. To know how much there is that we do not know, is one of the most valuable parts of our attainments; for such knowledge becomes both a lesson of humility and a stimulus to exertion.
Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.
If any man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both.
If ever there was a cause, if ever there can be a cause, worthy to be upheld by all of toil or sacrifice that the human heart can endure, it is the cause of Education.
Teachers teach because they care. Teaching young people is what they do best. It requires long hours, patience, and care.
To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is Godlike.
Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves. We must purposely be kind and generous, or we miss the best part of existence. The heart which goes out of itself gets large and full. This is the great secret of the inner life. We do ourselves the most good doing something for others.
Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up all the vacuities of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge.
Education is our only political safety. Outside of this ark all is deluge.
Education alone can conduct us to that enjoyment which is, at once, best in quality and infinite in quantity.
Let but the public mind become once thoroughly corrupt, and all attempts to secure property, liberty or life, by mere force of laws written on parchment, will be as vain as to put up printed notices in an orchard to keep off the canker-worms.
Dynasties and governments used to be attacked and defended by arms; now the attack and the defence are mainly carried on by types. To sustain any scheme of state policy, to uphold one administration or to demolish another, types, not soldiers, are brought into line. Hostile parties, and sometimes hostile nations, instead of fitting out martial or naval expeditions, establish printing presses, and discharge pamphlets or octavoes at each other, instead of cannon balls. The poniard and the stiletto were once the resource of a murderous spirit; now the vengeance, which formerly would assassinate in the dark, libels character, in the light of day, through the medium of the press.
But through this instrumentality good can be wrought as well as evil. Knowledge can be acquired, diffused, perpetuated. An invisible, inaudible, intangible thought in the silent chambers of the mind, breaks away from its confinement, becomes imbodied in a sign, is multiplied by myriads, traverses the earth, and goes resounding down to the latest posterity.
Lost — Yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.
From the prevalent state of the mind, actions proceed, as water rises from a fountain.
Generosity during life is a very different thing from generosity in the hour of death; one proceeds from genuine liberality and benevolence, the other from pride or fear.
Every addition to true knowledge is an addition to human power.
Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, — the balance-wheel of the social machinery. I do not here mean that it so elevates the moral nature as to make men disdain and abhor the oppression of their fellow-men. This idea pertains to another of its attributes. But I mean that it gives each man the independence and the means by which he can resist the selfishness of other men. It does better than to disarm the poor of their hostility towards the rich: it prevents being poor.
A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering cold iron.
The laws of nature are sublime, but there is a moral sublimity before which the highest intelligences must kneel and adore.
God is more to me than a grand and solitary Being, though refulgent with infinite perfections. Contemplated as enthroned in the midst of his works, his spiritual offspring in all the grand circuit of the worlds he has formed become a multiplying glass, reflecting back the Original in the profusion and countlessness of infinity.
No matter how seemingly unconnected with human affairs or remote from human interests a newly-discovered truth may appear to be, time and genius will some day make it minister to human welfare.
If evil is inevitable, how are the wicked accountable? Nay, why do we call men wicked at all? Evil is inevitable, but is also remediable.
Genius may conceive but patient labor must consummate.
I have never heard anything about the resolutions of the apostles, but a good deal about their acts.
It is more difficult, and it calls for higher energies of soul, to live a martyr than to die one.
The intellectual and moral nature of man is the one thing precious in the sight of God; and therefore, until this nature is cultivated, and enlightened, and purified, neither opulence, nor power, nor learning, nor genius, nor domestic sanctity, nor the holiness of God's altars, can ever be safe.
Virtue shines in native colors, purer and brighter than pearl, or diamond, or prism, can reflect. … Beneficence is godlike, and he who does most good to his fellow-man is the Master of Masters, and has learned the Art of Arts. Enrich and embellish the universe as you will, it is only a fit temple for the heart that loves truth with a supreme love. Inanimate vastness excites wonder; knowledge kindles admiration, but love enraptures the soul. Scientific truth is marvellous, but moral truth is divine; and whoever breathes its air and walks by its light, has found the lost paradise. For him, a new heaven and a new earth have already been created. His home is the sanctuary of God, the Holy of Holies.

Mary Shelley[edit]

MaryShelley.jpg (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851)

The last man! Yes I may well describe that solitary being's feelings, feeling myself as the last relic of a beloved race, my companions extinct before me...
We are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves — such a friend ought to be — do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures.
There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand. I am practically industrious — painstaking, a workman to execute with perseverance and labour — but besides this there is a love for the marvellous, a belief in the marvellous, intertwined in all my projects, which hurries me out of the common pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about to explore.
So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein — more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.
I was not even of the same nature as man. I was more agile than they and could subsist upon coarser diet; I bore the extremes of heat and cold with less injury to my frame; my stature far exceeded theirs. When I looked around I saw and heard of none like me. Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?
My person was hideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them.
I am an unfortunate and deserted creature, I look around and I have no relation or friend upon earth. These amiable people to whom I go have never seen me and know little of me. I am full of fears, for if I fail there, I am an outcast in the world forever.
I have good dispositions; my life has been hitherto harmless and in some degree beneficial; but a fatal prejudice clouds their eyes, and where they ought to see a feeling and kind friend, they behold only a detestable monster.
Life is before me and I rush into possession. Hope, glory, love, and blameless ambition are my guides, and my soul knows no dread.
I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven, for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose — a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.
Live, and be happy, and make others so.

Ralph Waldo Emerson[edit]

Emerson3 cropped.jpg (25 May 1803 – 27 April 1882)

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon[edit]

Portrait of Pierre Joseph Proudhon 1865.jpg (15 January 1809 – 19 January 1865)

Charles Darwin[edit]

Charles Robert Darwin by John Collier cropped.jpg (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882)

A republic cannot succeed till it contains a certain body of men imbued with the principles of justice and honour.
As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races.
The moral faculties are generally and justly esteemed as of higher value than the intellectual powers. But we should bear in mind that the activity of the mind in vividly recalling past impressions is one of the fundamental though secondary bases of conscience. This affords the strongest argument for educating and stimulating in all possible ways the intellectual faculties of every human being.
Physiological experiment on animals is justifiable for real investigation, but not for mere damnable and detestable curiosity.
The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.
I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars or that a cat should play with mice... On the other hand, I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe, and especially the nature of man, and to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance.
There is one living spirit, prevalent over this world ... which assumes a multitude of forms according to subordinate laws. There is one thinking sensible principle allied to one kind of organic matter.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
I love fools' experiments. I am always making them.
If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.
I feel most deeply that this whole question of Creation is too profound for human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton! Let each man hope and believe what he can.

Abraham Lincoln[edit]

Abraham Lincoln head on shoulders photo portrait.jpg (12 February 1809 - 15 April 1865)

Søren Kierkegaard[edit]

Kierkegaard.jpg (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855)

When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the world — no matter how imperfect — becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love.

You cannot get the truth by capturing it, only by its capturing you.

People think the world needs a republic, and they think it needs a new social order, and a new religion, but it never occurs to anyone that what the world really needs, confused as it is by much learning, is a new Socrates.

The thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.

Do not interrupt the flight of your soul; do not distress what is best in you; do not enfeeble your spirit with half wishes and half thoughts. Ask yourself and keep on asking until you find the answer, for one may have known something many times, acknowledged it; one may have willed something many times, attempted it — and yet, only the deep inner motion, only the heart's indescribable emotion, only that will convince you that what you have acknowledged belongs to you, that no power can take it from you — for only the truth that builds up is truth for you.

When it is the duty to love the men we see, then one must first and foremost give up all fanciful and extravagant ideas about a dream world where the object of love is to be sought and found; that is, one must become sober, win actuality and truth by finding and continuing in the world of actuality as the task assigned to one.

What feelings, understanding and will a person has depends in the last resort upon what imagination he has — how he represents himself to himself, that is, upon imagination.

Only one deception is possible in the infinite sense, self-deception.

The tyrant dies and his rule is over; the martyr dies and his rule begins.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding, but if it would only take the trouble to understand itself at the same time it would simply have to posit the paradox.

Worldly wisdom thinks that love is a relationship between man and man. Christianity teaches that love is a relationship between: man-God-man, that is, that God is the middle term.

Oh, can I really believe the poet's tales, that when one first sees the object of one's love, one imagines one has seen her long ago, that all love like all knowledge is remembrance, that love too has its prophecies in the individual.

What the age needs is not a genius — it has had geniuses enough, but a martyr, who in order to teach men to obey would himself be obedient unto death. What the age needs is awakening. And therefore someday, not only my writings but my whole life, all the intriguing mystery of the machine will be studied and studied. I never forget how God helps me and it is therefore my last wish that everything may be to his honour.

What our age needs is an honest earnestness which affectionately preserves the tasks, which does not alarm people into wanting to rush pellmell into the highest but keeps the tasks young and beautiful and lovely to look at and beckoning to all and yet for all that difficult and inspiring to the noble, for the noble nature is inspired only by what is difficult. My listener, how did I dare to be so impolite as to doubt that I shall succeed in inspiring you — for I have the difficulties all ready.

The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted.

Irony is a qualification of subjectivity.

The presence of irony does not necessarily mean that the earnestness is excluded. Only assistant professors assume that.

What is a poet? An unhappy man who conceals profound anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so fashioned that when sighs and groans pass over them they sound like beautiful music.

Which is more difficult, to awaken one who sleeps or to awaken one who, awake, dreams that he is awake?

Sin is in itself separation from the good, but despair over sin is separation a second time.

It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.

I have just now come from a party where I was its life and soul; witticisms streamed from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me, but I went away — yes, the dash should be as long as the radius of the earth's orbit ——————————— and wanted to shoot myself.

Since my earliest childhood a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic — if it is pulled out I shall die.

The more one suffers, the more, I believe, has one a sense for the comic. It is only by the deepest suffering that one acquires true authority in the use of the comic, an authority which by one word transforms as by magic the reasonable creature one calls man into a caricature.

To be a teacher does not mean simply to affirm that such a thing is so, or to deliver a lecture, etc. No, to be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner. Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner, put yourself in his place so that you may understand what he understands and the way he understands it.

What afflicts the adult is not so much the illusion of hope as, no doubt among other things, the grotesque illusion of looking down from some supposedly higher vantage-point, free from illusion, upon the illusions of the young.

Let others complain that the times are wicked. I complain that they are paltry; for they are without passion. The thoughts of men are thin and frail like lace, and they themselves are feeble like girl lace-makers. The thoughts of their hearts are too puny to be sinful. For a worm it might conceivably be regarded a sin to harbor thoughts such as theirs, not for a man who is formed in the image of God.

Seek first God's Kingdom, that is, become like the lilies and the birds, become perfectly silent — then shall the rest be added unto you.

If it were love’s merit to love the extraordinary, then God would be — if I dare say so — perplexed, for to Him the extraordinary does not exist at all. The merit of being able to love only the extraordinary is therefore more like an accusation, not against the extraordinary nor against love, but against the love which can love only the extraordinary. Perfection in the object is not perfection in the love. Erotic love is determined by the object; friendship is determined by the object; only love of one’s neighbor is determined by love. Therefore genuine love is recognizable by this, that its object is without any of the more definite qualifications of difference, which means that this love is recognizable only by love.

What if, rather than speaking or dreaming of an absolute beginning, we speak of a leap?

I addressed the gods in this wise: "Most honorable contemporaries, I choose one thing — that I may always have the laughs on my side." Not one god made answer, but all began to laugh.

Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.

A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to the general applause of wits who believe it's a joke.

If I have ventured wrongly, very well, life then helps me with its penalty. But if I haven't ventured at all, who helps me then?

I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.

Above all do not forget your duty to love yourself.

Mikhail Bakunin[edit]

Bakunyinportre.jpg (30 May 1814 – 1 July 1876)

No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world. I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker.
I am a fanatic lover of liberty, considering it as the unique condition under which intelligence, dignity and human happiness can develop and grow.
When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick."
Even the most wretched individual of our present society could not exist and develop without the cumulative social efforts of countless generations. Thus the individual, his freedom and reason, are the products of society, and not vice versa: society is not the product of individuals comprising it; and the higher, the more fully the individual is developed, the greater his freedom — and the more he is the product of society, the more does he receive from society and the greater his debt to it.
By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.
I am not myself free or human until or unless I recognize the freedom and humanity of all my fellowmen.
Only in respecting their human character do I respect my own. ...
I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation.
The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual.
I allow neither the bootmaker nor the architect nor the savant to impose his authority upon me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure. I do not content myself with consulting authority in any special branch; I consult several; I compare their opinions, and choose that which seems to me the soundest. But I recognize no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such an individual, I have no absolute faith in any person. Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my undertakings; it would immediately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others.
I bow before the authority of special men because it is imposed upon me by my own reason. I am conscious of my inability to grasp, in all its details and positive developments, any very large portion of human knowledge. The greatest intelligence would not be equal to a comprehension of the whole. Thence results, for science as well as for industry, the necessity of the division and association of labor. I receive and I give — such is human life. Each directs and is directed in his turn. Therefore there is no fixed and constant authority, but a continual exchange of mutual, temporary, and, above all, voluntary authority and subordination.
A person is strong only when he stands upon his own truth, when he speaks and acts from his deepest convictions. Then, whatever the situation he may be in, he always knows what he must say and do. He may fall, but he cannot bring shame upon himself or his causes.

Bahá'u'lláh[edit]

Bahá'u'lláh 1863 photo2rework.jpg (12 November 1817 – 29 May 1892)

Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.
It behoveth the sovereigns of the world may God assist them or the ministers of the earth to take counsel together and to adopt one of the existing languages or a new one to be taught to children in schools throughout the world, and likewise one script. Thus the whole earth will come to be regarded as one country.
If the learned and worldly-wise men of this age were to allow mankind to inhale the fragrance of fellowship and love, every understanding heart would apprehend the meaning of true liberty, and discover the secret of undisturbed peace and absolute composure.
God's purpose in sending His Prophets unto men is twofold. The first is to liberate the children of men from the darkness of ignorance, and guide them to the light of true understanding. The second is to ensure the peace and tranquillity of mankind, and provide all the means by which they can be established.
The purpose underlying the revelation of every heavenly Book, nay, of every divinely-revealed verse, is to endue all men with righteousness and understanding, so that peace and tranquillity may be firmly established amongst them. Whatsoever instilleth assurance into the hearts of men, whatsoever exalteth their station or promoteth their contentment, is acceptable in the sight of God.
The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world's Great Peace amongst men.
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.
Man is the supreme Talisman. Lack of a proper education hath, however, deprived him of that which he doth inherently possess. Through a word proceeding out of the mouth of God he was called into being; by one word more he was guided to recognize the Source of his education; by yet another word his station and destiny were safeguarded. The Great Being saith: Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.

James Anthony Froude[edit]

James Anthony Froude by Sir George Reid.jpg (23 April 1818 – 20 October 1894)

Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law is written on the tablets of eternity. For every false word or unrighteous deed, for cruelty and oppression, for lust or vanity, the price has to be paid at last.
I cut a hole in my heart and wrote with the blood.
Nature is less partial than she appears, and all situations in life have their compensations along with them.
The moral of human life is never simple, and the moral of a story which aims only at being true to human life cannot be expected to be any more so.
Man is a real man, and can live and act manfully in this world, not in the strength of opinions, not according to what he thinks, but according to what he is.
You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.
I cannot think the disputes and jealousies of Heaven are tried and settled by the swords of earth.
I would sooner perish for ever than stoop down hefore a Being who may have power to crush me, but whom my heart forbids me to reverence.
The war of good and evil is mightiest in mightiest souls, and even in the darkest time the heart will maintain its right against the hardest creed.
I could never fear a God who kept a hell prison-house. No, not though he flung me there because I refused. There is a power stronger than such a one; and it is possible to walk unscathed even in the burning furnace.
I would not so dishonour God as to lend my voice to perpetuate all the mad and foolish things which men have dared to say of Him. I believe that we may find in the Bible the highest and purest religion ..... most of all in the history of Him in whose name we all are called. His religion — not the Christian religion, but the religion of Christ — the poor man's gospel; the message of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of love; and, oh, how gladly would I spend my life, in season and out of season, in preaching this! But I must have no hell terrors, none of these fear doctrines; they were not in the early creeds, God knows whether they were ever in the early gospels, or ever passed His lips. He went down to hell, but it was to break the chains, not to bind them.
The Mahometans say their Koran was written by God. The Hindoos say the Vedas were; we say the Bible was, and we are but interested witnesses in deciding absolutely and exclusively for ourselves. If it be immeasurably the highest of the three, it is because it is not the most divine but the most human. … There is nothing in it but what men might have written; much, oh much, which it would drive me mad to think any but men, and most mistaken men, had written … It is so good that as men looked at it they said this is too good for man: nothing but the inspiration of God could have given this. Likely enough men should say so; but what might be admired as a metaphor became petrified into a doctrine, and perhaps the world has never witnessed any more grotesque idol-worship than what has resulted from it in modern Bibliolatry. And yet they say we are not Christians, we cannot be religious teachers, nay, we are without religion, we are infidels, unless we believe with them. We have not yet found the liberty with which Christ has made us free. Infidels, Arthur! Ah, it is a hard word ! The only infidelity I know is to distrust God, to distrust his care of us, his love for us. And yet that word! How words cling to us, and like an accursed spell force us to become what they say we have become.
Change is strong, but habit is strong too; and you cannot change the old for new, like a garment.
Once, once for all, if you would save your heart from breaking, learn this lesson — once for all you must cease, in this world, to believe in the eternity of any creed or form at all. Whatever grows in time is a child of time, and is born and lives, and dies at its appointed day like ourselves.
Life is change, to cease to change is to cease to live; yet if you may shed a tear beside the death-bed of an old friend, let not your heart be silent on the dissolving of a faith.
I believe in God, not because the Bible tells me that he is, but because my heart tells me so; and the same heart tells me we can only have His peace with us if we love Him and obey Him, and that we can only he happy when we each love our neighbour better than ourselves.
Charity is from person to person; and it loses half, far more than half, its moral value when the giver is not brought into personal relation with those to whom he gives.
In the strength of my own soul, for myself, at least, I would say boldly, rather let me bear the consequences of my own acts myself, even if it be eternal vengeance, and God requires it, than allow the shadow of my sin to fall upon the innocent.
You cannot reason people into loving those whom they are not drawn to love; they cannot reason themselves into it; and there are some contrarieties of temper which are too strong even for the obligations of relationship.
A man is born into the world — a real man — such a one as it has never seen; he lives a life consistently the very highest; his wisdom is the calm earnest voice of humanity; to the worldly and the commonplace so exasperating, as forcing upon them their own worthlessness — to the good so admirable that every other faculty is absorbed in wonder. The one killed him. The other said, this is too good to be a man — this is God. His calm and simple life was not startling enough for their eager imagination; acts of mercy and kindness were not enough, unless they were beyond the power of man. To cure by ordinary means the bruised body, to lift again with deep sympathy of heart the sinking sinner was not enough. … The noble image of the man is effaced, is destroyed. Instead of a man to love and to follow, we have a man-god to worship. From being the example of devotion, he is its object; the religion of Christ ended with his life, and left us instead but the Christian religion.
What does it not say on the other side for mankind, that the life of one good man, which had nothing, nothing but its goodness to recommend it, should have struck so deep into the heart of the race that for eighteen hundred years they have seen in that life something so far above them that they will not claim a kindred origin with him who lived it. And while they have scarcely bettered in their own practice, yet stand, and ever since have stood, self-condemned, in acknowledging in spite of themselves that such goodness alone is divine.
It is an old remark, that as men are, such they paint their gods.
Affection must be won, not commanded.
Genius is the life, the law of mankind, itself perishing, that others may take possession and enjoy. Religion, freedom, science, law, the arts, mechanical or heautiful, all which gives respectability a chance, have heen moulded out by the toil and the sweat and the blood of the faithful; who, knowing no enjoyment, were content to he the servants of their own born slaves, and wrought out the happiness of the world which despised and disowned them.
Two men may be as sincere, as earnest, as faithful, as uncompromising, and yet hold opinions far asunder as the poles.
The trials of life will not wait for us. They come at their own time, not caring much to inquire how ready we may be to meet them.
It is ill changing the creed to meet each rising temptation. The soul is truer than it seems, and refuses to be trifled with.
All, all nature is harmonious, and must and shall be harmony for ever; even we, poor men, with our wild ways and frantic wrongs, and crimes, and follies, to the beings out beyond us and above us, seem, doubtless, moving on our own way under the broad dominion of universal law. The wretched only feel their wretchedness: in the universe all is beautiful.
How true it is that arguments have only power over us while the temper is disposed to listen to them!

Emily Brontë[edit]

Emilybronte.jpg (30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848)

Walt Whitman[edit]

Whitman at about fifty.jpg (31 May 1819 – 26 March 1892)

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)[edit]

George Eliot (1865) by Frederick William Burton.jpg (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880)

The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
My own experience and development deepen everyday my conviction that our moral progress may be measured by the degree in which we sympathize with individual suffering and individual joy.
I wish to use my last hours of ease and strength in telling the strange story of my experience. I have never fully unbosomed myself to any human being; I have never been encouraged to trust much in the sympathy of my fellow-men. But we have all a chance of meeting with some pity, some tenderness, some charity, when we are dead: it is the living only who cannot be forgiven — the living only from whom men's indulgence and reverence are held off, like the rain by the hard east wind. While the heart beats, bruise it — it is your only opportunity; while the eye can still turn towards you with moist, timid entreaty, freeze it with an icy unanswering gaze; while the ear, that delicate messenger to the inmost sanctuary of the soul, can still take in the tones of kindness, put it off with hard civility, or sneering compliment, or envious affectation of indifference; while the creative brain can still throb with the sense of injustice, with the yearning for brotherly recognition — make haste — oppress it with your ill-considered judgements, your trivial comparisons, your careless misrepresentations.
I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved. I am not sure that you are of the same kind. But the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave. This is the world of light and speech, and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear.
I'm proof against that word failure. I've seen behind it. The only failure a man ought to fear is failure of cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.
Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.
The blessed work of helping the world forward, happily does not wait to be done by perfect men.
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds ...
Consequences are unpitying. Our deeds carry their terrible consequences, quite apart from any fluctuations that went before — consequences that are hardly ever confined to ourselves.
These fellow-mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, nor rectify their dispositions; and it is these people — amongst whom your life is passed — that it is needful you should tolerate, pity, and love: it is these more or less ugly, stupid, inconsistent people whose movements of goodness you should be able to admire — for whom you should cherish all possible hopes, all possible patience.
Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult. … Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings — much harder than to say something fine about them which is not the exact truth.
Human feeling is like the mighty rivers that bless the earth: it does not wait for beauty — it flows with resistless force and brings beauty with it.
There are few prophets in the world; few sublimely beautiful women; few heroes. I can't afford to give all my love and reverence to such rarities: I want a great deal of those feelings for my every-day fellow-men, especially for the few in the foreground of the great multitude, whose faces I know, whose hands I touch for whom I have to make way with kindly courtesy.
It is well known to all experienced minds that our firmest convictions are often dependent on subtle impressions for which words are quite too coarse a medium.
Doubtless a great anguish may do the work of years, and we may come out from that baptism of fire with a soul full of new awe and new pity.
What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life — to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?
There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.
High achievements demand some other unusual qualification besides an unusual desire for high prizes.
It is doubtful whether our soldiers would be maintained if there were not pacific people at home who like to fancy themselves soldiers. War, like other dramatic spectacles, might possibly cease for want of a "public."
Nature repairs her ravages, — repairs them with her sunshine, and with human labor.
O may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence; live
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
For miserable aims that end with self,
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
And with their mild persistence urge men's search
To vaster issues.
So to live is heaven:
To make undying music in the world,
Breathing a beauteous order that controls
With growing sway the growing life of man.
This is life to come, —
Which martyred men have made more glorious
For us who strive to follow. May I reach
That purest heaven, — be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony,
Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty,
Be the sweet presence of a good diffused,
And in diffusion ever more intense!
So shall I join the choir invisible
Whose music is the gladness of the world.

Florence Nightingale[edit]

Florence Nightingale CDV by H Lenthall.jpg (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910)

You ask me why I do not write something... I think one's feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results.
I never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.
I attribute my success to this — I never gave or took any excuse.
It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm.
No man, not even a doctor, ever gives any other definition of what a nurse should be than this — 'devoted and obedient'. This definition would do just as well for a porter. It might even do for a horse. It would not do for a policeman.
What the horrors of war are, no one can imagine — they are not wounds and blood and fever, spotted and low, or dysentery, chronic and acute, cold and heat and famine — they are intoxication, drunken brutality, demoralization and disorder on the part of the inferior, jealousies, meanness, indifference, selfish brutality on the part of the superior.
The Church is now more like the Scribes and Pharisees than like Christ... What are now called the "essential doctrines" of the Christian religion he does not even mention.
Can the "word" be pinned down to either one period or one church? All churches are, of course, only more or less unsuccessful attempts to represent the unseen to the mind.
How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.
You must go to Mahometanism, to Buddhism, to the East, to the Sufis & Fakirs, to Pantheism, for the right growth of mysticism.
Law is the continuous manifestation of God's presence — not reason for believing him absent.
Great confusion arises from our using the same word law in two totally distinct senses ... as the cause and the effect. It is said that to "explain away" everything by law is to enable us to do without God.
But law is no explanation of anything; law is simply a generalization, a category of facts. Law is neither a cause, nor a reason, nor a power, nor a coercive force. It is nothing but a general formula, a statistical table. Law brings us continually back to God instead of carrying us away from him.
Newton's law is nothing but the statistics of gravitation, it has no power whatever.
Let us get rid of the idea of power from law altogether. Call law tabulation of facts, expression of facts, or what you will; anything rather than suppose that it either explains or compels.
To understand God's thoughts we must study statistics, for these are the measure of His purpose.
Perhaps, if prematurely we dismiss ourselves from this world, all may even have to be suffered through again — the premature birth may not contribute to the production of another being, which must be begun again from the beginning.
By mortifying vanity we do ourselves no good. It is the want of interest in our life which produces it; by filling up that want of interest in our life we can alone remedy it.'
Give us back our suffering, we cry to Heaven in our hearts — suffering rather than indifferentism; for out of nothing comes nothing. But out of suffering may come the cure. Better have pain than paralysis! A hundred struggle and drown in the breakers. One discovers the new world. But rather, ten times rather, die in the surf, heralding the way to that new world, than stand idly on the shore!
Poetry and imagination begin life.
The progressive world is necessarily divided into two classes — those who take the best of what there is and enjoy it — those who wish for something better and try to create it. Without these two classes the world would be badly off. They are the very conditions of progress, both the one and the other. Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.
People do not go into the company of their fellow-creatures for what would seem a very sufficient reason, namely, that they have something to say to them, or something that they want to hear from them; but in the vague hope that they may find something to say.
The family uses people, not for what they are, nor for what they are intended to be, but for what it wants them for — its own uses. It thinks of them not as what God has made them, but as the something which it has arranged that they shall be.
At present we live to impede each other's satisfactions; competition, domestic life, society, what is it all but this? We go somewhere where we are not wanted and where we don't want to go. What else is conventional life? Passivity when we want to be active. So many hours spent every day in passively doing what conventional life tells us, when we would so gladly be at work.
And is it a wonder that all individual life is extinguished?
Look round at the marriages which you know. The true marriage — that noble union, by which a man and woman become together the one perfect being — probably does not exist at present upon earth.
It is not surprising that husbands and wives seem so little part of one another. It is surprising that there is so much love as there is. For there is no food for it.
Men and women meet now to be idle. Is it extraordinary that they do not know each other, and that, in their mutual ignorance, they form no surer friendships? Did they meet to do something together, then indeed they might form some real tie.
But, as it is, they are not there, it is only a mask which is there — a mouth-piece of ready-made sentences about the "topics of the day"; and then people rail against men for choosing a woman "for her face" — why, what else do they see?
Women dream till they have no longer the strength to dream; those dreams against which they so struggle, so honestly, vigorously, and conscientiously, and so in vain, yet which are their life, without which they could not have lived; those dreams go at last. All their plans and visions seem vanished, and they know not where; gone, and they cannot recall them. They do not even remember them. And they are left without the food of reality or of hope.
Later in life, they neither desire nor dream, neither of activity, nor of love, nor of intellect. The last often survives the longest. They wish, if their experiences would benefit anybody, to give them to someone. But they never find an hour free in which to collect their thoughts, and so discouragement becomes ever deeper and deeper, and they less and less capable of undertaking anything.
It seems as if the female spirit of the world were mourning everlastingly over blessings, not lost, but which she has never had, and which, in her discouragement she feels that she never will have, they are so far off.
Jesus Christ raised women above the condition of mere slaves, mere ministers to the passions of the man, raised them by His sympathy, to be Ministers of God. He gave them moral activity. But the Age, the World, Humanity, must give them the means to exercise this moral activity, must give them intellectual cultivation, spheres of action.
The great reformers of the world turn into the great misanthropists, if circumstances or organisation do not permit them to act. Christ, if He had been a woman, might have been nothing but a great complainer. Peace be with the misanthropists! They have made a step in progress; the next will make them great philanthropists; they are divided but by a line.
The next Christ will perhaps be a female Christ. But do we see one woman who looks like a female Christ? or even like "the messenger before" her "face", to go before her and prepare the hearts and minds for her?
To this will be answered that half the inmates of Bedlam begin in this way, by fancying that they are "the Christ."
People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned.
Religious men are and must be heretics now — for we must not pray, except in a "form" of words, made beforehand — or think of God but with a prearranged idea.
What is Mysticism? Is it not the attempt to draw near to God, not by rites or ceremonies, but by inward disposition? Is it not merely a hard word for "The Kingdom of Heaven is within"? Heaven is neither a place nor a time. There might be a Heaven not only here but now...
Where shall I find God? In myself. That is the true Mystical Doctrine. But then I myself must be in a state for Him to come and dwell in me. This is the whole aim of the Mystical Life: and all Mystical Rules in all times and countries have been laid down for putting the soul in such a state.
Christ Himself was the first true Mystic. "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me and to finish His work." What is this but putting in fervent and the most striking words the foundation of all real Mystical Religion? — which is that for all our actions, all our words, all our thoughts, the food upon which they are to live and have their being is to be the indwelling presence of God, the union with God; that is, with the Spirit of Goodness and Wisdom.

Richard Francis Burton[edit]

Richard Francis Burton (painting by Frederic Leighton).jpg (19 March 1821 – 20 October 1890)

Travellers like poets are mostly an angry race.
The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
Conquer thyself, till thou hast done this, thou art but a slave; for it is almost as well to be subjected to another's appetite as to thine own.
The dearest ambition of a slave is not liberty but to have a slave of his own.
Many a promising young soldier has lost his life by burying his weapon so deep in the enemy's breast that it could not be withdrawn quickly enough to be used against a second assailant. To prevent this happening, the point must be delivered smartly, with but little exertion of force, more like a dart than a thrust, and instantly afterwards the bayonet must be smartly withdrawn.
· · The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî · ·
Basmala.svg
Lay of the Higher Law
The Author asserts that Happiness and Misery are equally divided and distributed in the world.
He makes Self-cultivation, with due regard to others, the sole and sufficient object of human life.
He suggests that the affections, the sympathies, and the "divine gift of Pity" are man's highest enjoyments.
He advocates suspension of judgment, with a proper suspicion of "Facts, the idlest of superstitions."
Finally, although destructive to appearance, he is essentially reconstructive.
Friends of my youth, a last adieu! haply some day we meet again;
Yet ne'er the self-same men shall meet; the years shall make us other men.
Hardly we find the path of love, to sink the self, forget the "I,"
When sad suspicion grips the heart, when Man, the Man begins to die…
Night closes in; 'tis all a dream, and yet we die, — and then and then?
And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man
Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.
Cease, Man, to mourn, to weep, to wail; enjoy thy shining hour of sun;
We dance along Death's icy brink, but is the dance less full of fun?
There is no God, no man-made God; a bigger, stronger, crueller man;
Black phantom of our baby-fears, ere Thought, the life of Life, began.
How shall the Shown pretend to ken aught of the Showman or the Show?
Why meanly bargain to believe, which only means thou ne'er canst know?
How may the passing Now contain the standing Now — Eternity? —
An endless is without a was , the be and never the to-be?
Grant an Idea, Primal Cause, the Causing Cause, why crave for more?
Why strive its depth and breadth to mete, to trace its work, its aid to íimplore?
Unknown, Incomprehensible, whateíer you choose to call it, call;
But leave it vague as airy space, dark in its darkness mystical.
You pray, but hath your thought e'er weighed how empty vain the prayer must be,
That begs a boon already giv'en, or craves a change of law to see?
Man worships self: his God is Man; the struggling of the mortal mind
To form its model as 'twould be, the perfect of itself to find.
All Faith is false, all Faith is true: Truth is the shattered mirror strown
In myriad bits; while each believes his little bit the whole to own.
What is the Truth? was askt of yore. Reply all object Truth is one
As twain of halves aye makes a whole; the moral Truth for all is none.
As palace mirror'd in the stream, as vapour mingled with the skies,
So weaves the brain of mortal man the tangled web of Truth and Lies.
What see we here? Forms, nothing more! Forms fill the brightest, strongest eye,
We know not substance; 'mid the shades shadows ourselves we live and die.
"Faith mountains move" I hear: I see the practice of the world unheed
The foolish vaunt, the blatant boast that serves our vanity to feed.

"Faith stands unmoved"; and why? Because man's silly fancies still remain,
And will remain till wiser man the day-dreams of his youth disdain.

"'Tis blessed to believe"; you say: The saying may be true enow
And it can add to Life a light: — only remains to show us how.
With God's foreknowledge man's free will! what monster-growth of human brain,
What powers of light shall ever pierce this puzzle dense with words inane?
"Be ye Good Boys, go seek for Heav'en, come pay the priest that holds the key;"
So spake, and speaks, and aye shall speak the last to enter Heaven, — he.
Enough to think that Truth can be: come sit we where the roses glow,
Indeed he knows not how to know who knows not also how to "unknow."
The race of Be'ing from dawn of Life in an unbroken course was run;
What men are pleased to call their Souls was in the hog and dog begun:

Life is a ladder infinite-stepped, that hides its rungs from human eyes;
Planted its foot in chaos-gloom, its head soars high above the skies:

No break the chain of Being bears; all things began in unity;
And lie the links in regular line though haply none the sequence see.

"Th' immortal mind of mortal man!" we hear yon loud-lunged Zealot cry;
Whose mind but means his sum of thought, an essence of atomic "I."

Thought is the work of brain and nerve, in small-skulled idiot poor and mean;
In sickness sick, in sleep asleep, and dead when Death lets drop the scene.

Is not the highest honour his who from the worst hath drawn the best;
May not your Maker make the world from matter, an it suit His hest?

Nay more, the sordider the stuff the cunninger the workman's hand:
Cease, then, your own Almighty Power to bind, to bound, to understand.

Reason is Life's sole arbiter, the magic Laby'rinth's single clue:
Worlds lie above, beyond its ken; what crosses it can ne'er be true.
"Fools rush where Angels fear to tread!" Angels and Fools have equal claim
To do what Nature bids them do, sans hope of praise, sans fear of blame!
There is no Heav'en, there is no Hell; these be the dreams of baby minds,
Tools of the wily Fetisheer, to 'fright the fools his cunning blinds.
Learn from the mighty Spi'rits of old to set thy foot on Heav'en and Hell;
In Life to find thy hell and heav'en as thou abuse or use it well.
When doctors differ who decides amid the milliard-headed throng?
Who save the madman dares to cry: "'Tis I am right, you all are wrong"?
"You all are right, you all are wrong," we hear the careless Soofi say,
"For each believes his glimm'ering lamp to be the gorgeous light of day."

"Thy faith why false, my faith why true? 'tis all the work of Thine and Mine,
"The fond and foolish love of self that makes the Mine excel the Thine."
Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause;
He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws.

All other Life is living Death, a world where none but Phantoms dwell,
A breath, a wind, a sound, a voice, a tinkling of the camel-bell.
From self-approval seek applause: What ken not men thou kennest, thou!
Spurn ev'ry idol others raise: Before thine own Ideal bow:

Be thine own Deus: Make self free, liberal as the circling air:
Thy Thought to thee an Empire be; break every prison'ing lock and bar.

And hold Humanity one man, whose universal agony
Still strains and strives to gain the goal, where agonies shall cease to be.
Believe in all things; none believe; judge not nor warp by "Facts" the thought;
See clear, hear clear, tho' life may seem Mâyâ and Mirage, Dream and Naught.
Abjure the Why and seek the How: the God and gods enthroned on high,
Are silent all, are silent still; nor hear thy voice, nor deign reply.
The Now, that indivisible point which studs the length of infinite line
Whose ends are nowhere, is thine all, the puny all thou callest thine.
Haply the Law that rules the world allows to man the widest range;
And haply Fate's a Theist-word, subject to human chance and change.
This "I" may find a future Life, a nobler copy of our own,
Where every riddle shall be ree'd, where every knowledge shall be known;
Where 'twill be man's to see the whole of what on Earth he sees in part;
Where change shall ne'er surcharge the thought; nor hope defer'd shall hurt the heart.
Smallsword.jpg
Hâjî Abdû has been known to me for more years than I care to record. … He looks with impartial eye upon the endless variety of systems, maintained with equal confidence and self-sufficiency, by men of equal ability and honesty. He is weary of wandering over the world, and of finding every petty race wedded to its own opinions; claiming the monopoly of Truth; holding all others to be in error, and raising disputes whose violence, acerbity and virulence are in inverse ratio to the importance of the disputed matter. A peculiarly active and acute observation taught him that many of these jarring families, especially those of the same blood, are par in the intellectual processes of perception and reflection; that in the business of the visible working world they are confessedly by no means superior to one another; whereas in abstruse matters of mere Faith, not admitting direct and sensual evidence, one in a hundred will claim to be right, and immodestly charge the other ninety-nine with being wrong.
Thus he seeks to discover a system which will prove them all right, and all wrong; which will reconcile their differences; will unite past creeds; will account for the present, and will anticipate the future with a continuous and uninterrupted development; this, too, by a process, not negative and distinctive, but, on the contrary, intensely positive and constructive. I am not called upon to sit in the seat of judgment; but I may say that it would be singular if the attempt succeeded. Such a system would be all-comprehensive, because not limited by space, time, or race; its principle would be extensive as Matter itself, and, consequently, eternal. Meanwhile he satisfies himself, — the main point. … Christianity and Islamism have been on their trial for the last eighteen and twelve centuries. They have been ardent in proselytizing, yet they embrace only one-tenth and one-twentieth of the human race. Hâjî Abdû would account for the tardy and unsatisfactory progress of what their votaries call "pure truths," by the innate imperfections of the same. Both propose a reward for mere belief, and a penalty for simple unbelief; rewards and punishments being, by the way, very disproportionate. Thus they reduce everything to the scale of a somewhat unrefined egotism; and their demoralizing effects become clearer to every progressive age.
The Hâjî regrets the excessive importance attached to a possible future state: he looks upon this as a psychical stimulant, a day dream, whose revulsion and reaction disorder waking life. The condition may appear humble and prosaic to those exalted by the fumes of Fancy, by a spiritual dram-drinking which, like the physical, is the pursuit of an ideal happiness. But he is too wise to affirm or to deny the existence of another world. For life beyond the grave there is no consensus of mankind… Even the instinctive sense of our kind is here dumb. We may believe what we are taught: we can know nothing. He would, therefore, cultivate that receptive mood which, marching under the shadow of mighty events, leads to the highest of goals, — the development of Humanity. With him suspension of judgment is a system.
The Pilgrim holds with St. Augustine Absolute Evil is impossible because it is always rising up into good. He considers the theory of a beneficent or maleficent deity a purely sentimental fancy, contradicted by human reason and the aspect of the world.
I am an individual … a circle touching and intersecting my neighbours at certain points, but nowhere corresponding, nowhere blending. Physically I am not identical in all points with other men. I claim the right of creating or modifying for my own and private use, the system which most imports me; and if the reasonable leave be refused to me, I take it without leave.
But my individuality, however all-sufficient for myself, is an infinitesimal point, an atom subject in all things to the Law of Storms called Life. I feel, I know that Fate is. But I cannot know what is or what is not fated to befall me. Therefore in the pursuit of perfection as an individual lies my highest, and indeed my only duty, the "I" being duly blended with the "We." I object to be a "self-less man," which to me denotes an inverted moral sense. I am bound to take careful thought concerning the consequences of every word and deed. When, however, the Future has become the Past, it would be the merest vanity for me to grieve or to repent over that which was decreed by universal Law.
That creatures endowed with the mere possibility of liberty should not always choose the Good appears natural. But that of the milliards of human beings who have inhabited Earth, not one should have been found invariably to choose Good, proves how insufficient is the solution. Hence no one believes in the existence of the complete man under the present state of things. The Haji rejects all popular and mythical explanation by the Fall of "Adam," the innate depravity of human nature, and the absolute perfection of certain Incarnations, which argues their divinity. He can only wail over the prevalence of evil, assume its foundation to be error, and purpose to abate it by uprooting that Ignorance which bears and feeds it.
His "eschatology," like that of the Soofis generally, is vague and shadowy.
With Hâjî Abdû the soul is not material, for that would be a contradiction of terms. He regards it, with many moderns, as a state of things, not a thing; a convenient word denoting the sense of personality, of individual identity.
The Pilgrim's sole consolation is in self-cultivation, and in the pleasures of the affections. This sympathy may be an indirect self-love, a reflection of the light of egotism: still it is so transferred as to imply a different system of convictions. It requires a different name: to call benevolence "self-love " is to make the fruit or flower not only depend upon a root for development (which is true), but the very root itself (which is false). And, finally, his ideal is of the highest: his praise is reserved for:
—Lives
Lived in obedience to the inner law
Which cannot alter.

Harriet Tubman[edit]

Harriet Tubman.jpg (c. 1822 – 10 March 1913)

I had crossed the line of which I had so long been dreaming. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom, I was a stranger in a strange land, and my home after all was down in the old cabin quarter, with the old folks, and my brothers and sisters. But to this solemn resolution I came; I was free, and they should be free also; I would make a home for them in the North, and the Lord helping me, I would bring them all there.
I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.

Max Müller[edit]

MaxMulleorld.jpg (6 December 1823 – 28 October 1900)

Thomas Henry Huxley[edit]

Thomas Henry Huxley.jpg (4 May 1825 - 29 June 1895)

For every man the world is as fresh as it was at the first day, and as full of untold novelties for him who has the eyes to see them.
The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions.
The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying; to give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibilities of knowledge.
I am too much of a sceptic to deny the possibility of anything — especially as I am now so much occupied with theology — but I don't see my way to your conclusion.
My business is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonise with my aspirations.
The only medicine for suffering, crime, and all the other woes of mankind, is wisdom.
Science seems to me to teach in the highest and strongest manner the great truth which is embodied in the Christian conception of entire surrender to the will of God. Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this.
Agnosticism is not properly described as a "negative" creed, nor indeed as a creed of any kind, except in so far as it expresses absolute faith in the validity of a principle which is as much ethical as intellectual. This principle may be stated in various ways, but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what agnosticism asserts; and, in my opinion, it is all that is essential to agnosticism. That which agnostics deny and repudiate as immoral is the contrary doctrine, that there are propositions which men ought to believe, without logically satisfactory evidence; and that reprobation ought to attach to the profession of disbelief in such inadequately supported propositions. The justification of the agnostic principle lies in the success which follows upon its application, whether in the field of natural or in that of civil history; and in the fact that, so far as these topics are concerned, no sane man thinks of denying its validity.
The extent of the region of the uncertain, the number of the problems the investigation of which ends in a verdict of not proven, will vary according to the knowledge and the intellectual habits of the individual agnostic. I do not very much care to speak of anything as unknowable. What I am sure about is that there are many topics about which I know nothing, and which, so far as I can see, are out of reach of my faculties. But whether these things are knowable by any one else is exactly one of those matters which is beyond my knowledge, though I may have a tolerably strong opinion as to the probabilities of the case.
When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis," — had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble.
So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. To my great satisfaction the term took.
Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.
The saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing is, to my mind, a very dangerous adage. If knowledge is real and genuine, I do not believe that it is other than a very valuable possession, however infinitesimal its quantity may be. Indeed, if a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?
Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and, however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.
The great end of life is not knowledge but action.
God give me strength to face a fact though it slay me.
If the question is put to me would I rather have a miserable ape for a grandfather or a man highly endowed by nature and possessed of great means of influence and yet who employs these faculties and that influence for the mere purpose of introducing ridicule into a grave scientific discussion, I unhesitatingly affirm my preference for the ape.
The man who is all morality and intellect, although he may be good and even great, is, after all, only half a man.
Life is too short to occupy oneself with the slaying of the slain more than once.
I have never had the least sympathy with the a priori reasons against orthodoxy, and I have by nature and disposition the greatest possible antipathy to all the atheistic and infidel school. Nevertheless I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel.
No human being can arbitrarily dominate over another without grievous damage to his own nature … no slavery can be abolished without a double emancipation, and the master will benefit by freedom more than the freed-man.
The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.
The only freedom I care about is the freedom to do right; the freedom to do wrong I am ready to part with on the cheapest terms to any one who will take it of me.
The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.
In an ideal University, as I conceive it, a man should be able to obtain instruction in all forms of knowledge, and discipline in the use of all the methods by which knowledge is obtained. In such a University, the force of living example should fire the student with a noble ambition to emulate the learning of learned men, and to follow in the footsteps of the explorers of new fields of knowledge. And the very air he breathes should be charged with that enthusiasm for truth, that fanaticism of veracity, which is a greater possession than much learning; a nobler gift than the power of increasing knowledge; by so much greater and nobler than these, as the moral nature of man is greater than the intellectual; for veracity is the heart of morality.
I do not advocate burning your ship to get rid of the cockroaches.

Leo Tolstoy[edit]

Tolstoy by Repin 1901 cropped.jpg(9 September 1828 – 20 November 1910)

The hero of my tale, whom I love with all the power of my soul, whom I have tried to portray in all his beauty, who has been, is, and will be beautiful, is Truth.
The more is given the less the people will work for themselves, and the less they work the more their poverty will increase.
God is the infinite ALL. Man is only a finite manifestation of Him.
Or better yet:
God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part.
God alone exists truly. Man manifests Him in time, space and matter. The more God's manifestation in man (life) unites with the manifestations (lives) of other beings, the more man exists. This union with the lives of other beings is accomplished through love.
God is not love, but the more there is of love, the more man manifests God, and the more he truly exists...
We acknowledge God only when we are conscious of His manifestation in us.
All conclusions and guidelines based on this consciousness should fully satisfy both our desire to know God as such as well as our desire to live a life based on this recognition.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.
Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
To love life is to love God.
Learn What dwells in man, What is not given to man, and What men live by. When thou hast learnt these things, thou shalt return to heaven.
I understood that in man dwells Love! I was glad that God had already begun to show me what He had promised, and I smiled for the first time.
And the angel's body was bared, and he was clothed in light so that eye could not look on him; and his voice grew louder, as though it came not from him but from heaven above. And the angel said:
I have learnt that all men live not by care for themselves, but by love.
All men live not by the thought they spend on their own welfare, but because love exists in man. ... though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live. He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love.
The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.
The only significance of life consists in helping to establish the kingdom of God; and this can be done only by means of the acknowledgment and profession of the truth by each one of us.
One is ashamed to say how little is needed for all men to be delivered from those calamities which now oppress them; it is only needful not to lie.
If only free men would not rely on that which has no power, and is always fettered — upon external aids; but would trust in that which is always powerful and free — the truth and its expression!
Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.
By words one transmits thoughts to another, by means of art, one transmits feelings.
Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one consciously, by means of certain external symbols, conveys to others the feelings one has experienced, whereby people so infected by these feelings, also experience them.
The activity of art is... as important as the activity of language itself, and as universal.
Humanity unceasingly strives forward from a lower, more partial and obscure understanding of life to one more general and more lucid.
No longer able to believe in the Church religion, whose falsehood they had detected, and incapable of accepting true Christian teaching, which denounced their whole manner of life, these rich and powerful people, stranded without any religious conception of life, involuntarily returned to that pagan view of things which places life's meaning in personal enjoyment. And then among the upper classes what is called the "Renaissance of science and art" took place, which was really not only a denial of every religion, but also an assertion that religion was unnecessary.
The good is the everlasting, the pinnacle of our life. ... life is striving towards the good, toward God. The good is the most basic idea ... an idea not definable by reason ... yet is the postulate from which all else follows.
I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.
As soon as men live entirely in accord with the law of love natural to their hearts and now revealed to them, which excludes all resistance by violence, and therefore hold aloof from all participation in violence — as soon as this happens, not only will hundreds be unable to enslave millions, but not even millions will be able to enslave a single individual.
Tthe law of love is in accord with the nature of man. But men can only recognize this truth to its full extent when they have completely freed themselves from all religious and scientific superstitions and from all the consequent misrepresentations and sophistical distortions by which its recognition has been hindered for centuries.
One thing only is needful: the knowledge of the simple and clear truth which finds place in every soul that is not stupefied by religious and scientific superstitions — the truth that for our life one law is valid — the law of love, which brings the highest happiness to every individual as well as to all mankind. Free your minds from those overgrown, mountainous imbecilities which hinder your recognition of it, and at once the truth will emerge from amid the pseudo-religious nonsense that has been smothering it: the indubitable, eternal truth inherent in man, which is one and the same in all the great religions of the world. It will in due time emerge and make its way to general recognition, and the nonsense that has obscured it will disappear of itself, and with it will go the evil from which humanity now suffers.

Emily Dickinson[edit]

Black-white photograph of Emily Dickinson2.jpg (10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)[edit]

Lewis carroll.jpg (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898)

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)[edit]

Mark Twain 2.JPG (30 November 1835 – 21 April 1910)

Leonard Henry Courtney[edit]

1stLordCourteney.jpg(6 July 1832 - 11 May 1918)

There is an imperialism that deserves all honor and respect — an imperialism of service in the discharge of great duties. But with too many it is the sense of domination and aggrandisement, the glorification of power. The price of peace is eternal vigilance.
What a jolly awakening there will be some few years hence, when the inevitable argument of experience will show us a nation contradicting itself through the voices of its chosen representatives! The stupidest politician will sit up, rubbing his eyes. After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, "Lies — damned lies — and statistics," still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of. So we may be led to the serious consideration of change by the evolution of materials of conviction which those who run may read, though some who read may wish to run away from them.
We may blunder on in spite of repeated miscalculations of the popular will. More penetrating and pernicious is the influence our ill-devised machinery has upon the character of our national life. It eats in and into it. It degrades candidates and electors alike. It does its worst to reduce to sterility of influence many of the best of the component elements of the people. The individuals survive, but with their political activity dead or dying, no opportunities of life and growth being afforded them. Finally it presents as an embodiment of the nation an assembly or assemblies into which none can enter who have not been clipped, and pared, and trimmed, and stretched out of natural shape and likeness to slip along the grooves of supply. A free press, free pulpits, and a free people outside help to correct what would otherwise become intolerable but press, pulpits and people, free as they are, work and live in strict limits of relation to the machinery established among them.
The young man who is moved in any way to contemplate an entry into public life, whose creed is not in absolute inheritance from his fathers, learns first of all to understand that there are two great political organizations, with one of which he must associate himself, learning and echoing its catch-words, accepting its leadership, and steeping himself in the belief that in it are wisdom and truth while the other party is void of both. It is not everyone whose ductile mind takes him through this training, and a goodly number of up-growing men of not the worst promise for the future have to step aside.
What an education follows! It is really a fine comedy, though the players rarely know it. I am but a clumsy performer myself, and have to confess to incurable defects of training, so that I sometimes wonder I have not been hissed off the stage; still I have seen the performance through more than once or twice, and know something about it. Such tender and delicate adjustments and readjustments of convictions to keep the party balance sure! Such abundance of spoonmeat on the one hand, and such careful economy on the other of truths that may prove too strong for weak digestions! Such avowals of readiness to consider seriously any opinion, however obviously absurd, broached by a possible supporter! Such prompt denunciations of all the devices of an irreconcilable opponent!
As for life within a Legislature,— who can tell how warped and bent and twisted, and accommodated to the exigencies of party struggle become the faculties of belief? Strong and courageous natures know it, and remain strong and courageous in spite of knowledge and practice; but the pliancy of man is beyond admiration, and is nowhere better seen than under the schooling of Parliament.
It is true — it has been already admitted — that the picture will not be universally recognized; but it has been suggested that the failure of recognition lies rather in the degeneracy of the faculty of seeing than in the misrepresentation of the vision to be seen. It may be also confessed that life often survives all the perversities of training. We cannot absolutely nullify the prodigality of nature, try as hard as we may. In spite of most careful management, untractable growths survive in the most provoking way, and intrude themselves into fields believed to be kept free from their presence. And sometimes it happens that the poor party managers have to accommodate themselves to the genius they curse.

Peter Kropotkin[edit]

Kropotkin Nadar.jpg (9 December 1842 - 8 February 1921)

Thomas Edison[edit]

Edison-at home in Ft. Myers Florida 1914 detail LC-LC-USZ62-131044 .tiff adjusted.jpg: (11 February 1847 – 18 October 1931)

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.
I am much less interested in what is called God's word than in God's deeds. All bibles are man-made.
We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Natures inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. ... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.
There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking.
Restlessness is discontent — and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man — and I will show you a failure.
I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.
We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything.
Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. ... In Common Sense Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again … It must be remembered that Common Sense preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour. It is probable that we should have had the Revolution without Tom Paine. Certainly it could not be forestalled, once he had spoken.
Hell, there are no rules here — we're trying to accomplish something.

Nikola Tesla[edit]

Tesla3.jpg (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943)

Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe. This idea is not novel. Men have been led to it long ago by instinct or reason; it has been expressed in many ways, and in many places, in the history of old and new. We find it in the delightful myth of Antheus, who derives power from the earth; we find it among the subtle speculations of one of your splendid mathematicians and in many hints and statements of thinkers of the present time. Throughout space there is energy. Is this energy static or kinetic! If static our hopes are in vain; if kinetic — and this we know it is, for certain — then it is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature.
Nature may reach the same result in many ways.
A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature. In no way can we get such an overwhelming idea of the grandeur of Nature than when we consider, that in accordance with the law of the conservation of energy, throughout the Infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.
Money does not represent such a value as men have placed upon it. All my money has been invested into experiments with which I have made new discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life.
Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.
I have harnessed the cosmic rays and caused them to operate a motive device.
The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter — for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way. He lives and labors and hopes.
Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole?
For ages this idea has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of insuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one.
The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains. Therein lies the profound difference between the individual and the whole.
Universal Peace, assuming it to be in the fullest sense realizable, might not require eons for its accomplishment, however probable this may appear, judging from the imperceptibly slow growth of all great reformatory ideas of the past. … Our accepted estimates of the duration of natural metamorphoses, or changes in general, have been thrown in doubt of late. The very foundations of science have been shaken.
A state of human life vaguely defined by the term "Universal Peace," while a result of cumulative effort through centuries past, might come into existence quickly, not unlike a crystal suddenly forms in a solution which has been slowly prepared. But just as no effect can precede its cause, so this state can never be brought on by any pact between nations, however solemn. Experience is made before the law is formulated, both are related like cause and effect. So long as we are clearly conscious of the expectation, that peace is to result from such a parliamentary decision, so long have we a conclusive evidence that we are not fit for peace. Only then when we shall feel that such international meetings are mere formal procedures, unnecessary except in so far as they might serve to give definite expression to a common desire, will peace be assured.
To judge from current events we must be, as yet, very distant from that blissful goal. It is true that we are proceeding towards it rapidly. There are abundant signs of this progress everywhere. The race enmities and prejudices are decidedly waning.
We begin to think cosmically. Our sympathetic feelers reach out into the dim distance.
To conquer by sheer force is becoming harder and harder every day.
One can prophesy with a Daniel's confidence that skilled electricians will settle the battles of the near future. But this is the least. In its effect upon war and peace, electricity offers still much greater and more wonderful possibilities. To stop war by the perfection of engines of destruction alone, might consume centuries and centuries. Other means must be employed to hasten the end.
Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another's point of view. This again is due to the ignorance of those concerned, not so much in their own, as in their mutual fields. The peril of a clash is aggravated by a more or less predominant sense of combativeness, posed by every human being. To resist this inherent fighting tendency the best way is to dispel ignorance of the doings of others by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in view, it is most important to aid exchange of thought and intercourse.
Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world. Our hearing extends to a small distance. Our sight is impeded by intervening bodies and shadows. To know each other we must reach beyond the sphere of our sense perceptions.
Within a few years a simple and inexpensive device, readily carried about, will enable one to receive on land or sea the principal news, to hear a speech, a lecture, a song or play of a musical instrument, conveyed from any other region of the globe.
Our first endeavors are purely instinctive prompting of an imagination vivid and undisciplined. As we grow older reason asserts itself and we become more and more systematic and designing. But those early impulses, though not immediately productive, are of the greatest moment and may shape our very destinies.
Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves. The premature death of millions is primarily traceable to this cause. Even among those who exercise care, it is a common mistake to avoid imaginary, and ignore the real dangers. And what is true of an individual also applies, more or less, to a people as a whole.
Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted, be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence — by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the heartless strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.
I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labour, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours. But if work is interpreted to be a definite performance in a specified time according to a rigid rule, then I may be the worst of idlers. Every effort under compulsion demands a sacrifice of life-energy. I never paid such a price.

George Bernard Shaw[edit]

George Bernard Shaw 1925.jpg (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950)

My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
My specialty is being right when other people are wrong.
There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
All great truths begin as blasphemies.
Must then a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those that have no imagination?
One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.
The apparent multiplicity of Gods is bewildering at the first glance; but you presently discover that they are all the same one God in different aspects and functions and even sexes. There is always one uttermost God who defies personification.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
Just as the liar's punishment is, not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe any one else; so a guilty society can more easily be persuaded that any apparently innocent act is guilty than that any apparently guilty act is innocent.
People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.
Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.
The way to deal with worldly people is to frighten them by repeating their scandalous whisperings aloud.
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
A movement which is confined to philosophers and honest men can never exercise any real political influence: there are too few of them. Until a movement shows itself capable of spreading among brigands, it can never hope for a political majority.
Englishmen never will be slaves: they are free to do whatever the Government and public opinion allows them to do.
The earth is a nursery in which men and women play at being heroes and heroines, saints and sinners; but they are dragged down from their fool's paradise by their bodies: hunger and cold and thirst, age and decay and disease, death above all, make them slaves of reality: thrice a day meals must be eaten and digested: thrice a century a new generation must be engendered: ages of faith, of romance, and of science are all driven at last to have but one prayer "Make me a healthy animal."
I sing, not arms and the hero, but the philosophic man: he who seeks in contemplation to discover the inner will of the world, in invention to discover the means of fulfilling that will, and in action to do that will by the so-discovered means.
An epoch is but a swing of the pendulum; and each generation thinks the world is progressing because it is always moving.
The philosopher is Nature's pilot. And there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift: to be in heaven is to steer.
There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to get it.
Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
The art of government is the organization of idolatry.
Kings are not born: they are made by universal hallucination.
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
He who confuses political liberty with freedom and political equality with similarity has never thought for five minutes about either
Nothing can be unconditional: consequently nothing can be free.
Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
Imprisonment is as irrevocable as death.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their kind.
Titles distinguish the mediocre, embarrass the superior, and are disgraced by the inferior.
There are no perfectly honorable men; but every true man has one main point of honor and a few minor ones.
What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts.
Virtue consists, not in abstaining from vice, but in not desiring it.
Economy is the art of making the most of life.
In heaven an angel is nobody in particular.
The unconscious self is the real genius. Your breathing goes wrong the moment your conscious self meddles with it.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Beware of the man who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself.
My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world.
Religion is a great force — the only real motive force in the world; but what you fellows dont understand is that you must get at a man through his own religion and not through yours. Instead of facing that fact, you persist in trying to convert all men to your own little sect, so that you can use it against them afterwards.
It is more dangerous to be a great prophet or poet than to promote twenty companies for swindling simple folk out of their savings.
Do not try to live for ever. You will not succeed.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn't come every day.
Independence? That's middle-class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.
Revolutionary movements attract those who are not good enough for established institutions as well as those who are too good for them.
I hear you say "Why?" Always "Why?" You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"
Any sort of plain speaking is better than the nauseous sham good fellowship our democratic public men get up for shop use.
Art is the magic mirror you make to reflect your invisible dreams in visible pictures. You use a glass mirror to see your face: you use works of art to see your soul.
Love is a simple thing and a deep thing: it is an act of life and not an illusion.
Of Life only is there no end; and though of its million starry mansions many are empty and many still unbuilt, and though its vast domain is as yet unbearably desert, my seed shall one day fill it and master its matter to its uttermost confines. And for what may be beyond, the eyesight of Lilith is too short. It is enough that there is a beyond.
Take the case of the extermination of Jesus Christ. No doubt there was a strong case for it. Jesus was from the point of view of the High Priest a heretic and an impostor. From the point of view of the merchants he was a rioter and a Communist. From the Roman Imperialist point of view he was a traitor. From the commonsense point of view he was a dangerous madman. From the snobbish point of view, always a very influential one, he was a penniless vagrant. From the police point of view he was an obstructor of thoroughfares, a beggar, an associate of prostitutes, an apologist of sinners, and a disparager of judges; and his daily companions were tramps whom he had seduced into vagabondage from their regular trades. From the point of view of the pious he was a Sabbath breaker, a denier of the efficacy of circumcision and the advocate of a strange rite of baptism, a gluttonous man and a winebibber. He was abhorrent to the medical profession as an unqualified practitioner who healed people by quackery and charged nothing for the treatment. He was not anti-Christ: nobody had heard of such a power of darkness then; but he was startlingly anti-Moses. He was against the priests, against the judiciary, against the military, against the city (he declared that it was impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven), against all the interests, classes, principalities and powers, inviting everybody to abandon all these and follow him. By every argument, legal, political, religious, customary, and polite, he was the most complete enemy of the society of his time ever brought to the bar.
I am the embodiment of a thought of God: I am the Word made flesh: that is what holds me together standing before you in the image of God. ... The Word is God. And God is within you. ... In so far as you know the truth you have it from my God, who is your heavenly father and mine. He has many names and his nature is manifold. ... It is by children who are wiser than their fathers, subjects who are wiser than their emperors, beggars and vagrants who are wiser than their priests, that men rise from being beasts of prey to believing in me and being saved. ... By their fruits ye shall know them. Beware how you kill a thought that is new to you. For that thought may be the foundation of the kingdom of God on earth.
The kingdom of God is striving to come. The empire that looks back in terror shall give way to the kingdom that looks forward with hope. Terror drives men mad: hope and faith give them divine wisdom. The men whom you fill with fear will stick at no evil and perish in their sin: the men whom I fill with faith shall inherit the earth. I say to you Cast out fear. Speak no more vain things to me about the greatness of Rome. ... You, standing for Rome, are the universal coward: I, standing for the kingdom of God, have braved everything, lost everything, and won an eternal crown.
The last word remains with Christ and Handel; and this must stand as the best defence of Tolerance until a better man than I makes a better job of it.
Put shortly and undramatically the case is that a civilization cannot progress without criticism, and must therefore, to save itself from stagnation and putrefaction, declare impunity for criticism. This means impunity not only for propositions which, however novel, seem interesting, statesmanlike, and respectable, but for propositions that shock the uncritical as obscene, seditious, blasphemous, heretical, and revolutionary.

Max Planck[edit]

Max Planck 1901.GIF (23 April 1858 – 4 October 1947)

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
It is not the possession of truth, but the success which attends the seeking after it, that enriches the seeker and brings happiness to him.
As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.
Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.

J. M. Barrie[edit]

J. M. Barrie in 1901.jpg (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937)

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
The best of our fiction is by novelists who allow that it is as good as they can give, and the worst by novelists who maintain that they could do much better if only the public would let them.
The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.
Your heart is as fresh as your face; and that is well. The useless men are those who never change with the years.… When you are older you will know that life is a long lesson in humility.
We never understand how little we need in this world until we know the loss of it.
Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?

Charles Evans Hughes[edit]

Charles Evans Hughes-01.jpg (11 April 1862 – 27 August 1948)

While democracy must have its organizations and controls, its vital breath is individual liberty.
When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.
No greater mistake can be made than to think that our institutions are fixed or may not be changed for the worse. … The peril of this Nation is not in any foreign foe! We, the people, are its power, its peril, and its hope!
The most ominous spirit of our times, as it seems to me, is the indication of the growth of an intolerent spirit. …Our institutions were not devised to bring about uniformity of opinion; if they had we might well abandon hope. It is important to remember, as has well been said, "the essential characteristic of true liberty is that under its shelter many different types of life and character and opinion and belief can develop unmolested and unobstructed."
Freedom of expression gives the essential democratic oppurtunity, but self-restraint is the essential civic discipline.
I think that it is a fallacy to suppose that helpful cooperation in the future will be assured by the attempted compulsion of an inflexible rule. Rather will such cooperation depend upon the fostering of firm friendships springing from an appreciation of community ideals, interests, and purposes, and such friendships are more likely to be promoted by freedom of conference than by the effort to create hard and fast engagements.
At the constitutional level where we work, ninety percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections.
When we consider the inability to maintain a just peace attests to the failure of civilization itself, we may be less confident of the success of any artificial contrivances to prevent war. We must recognize that we are dealing with the very woof and warp of human nature. … There is no advantage to shutting our eyes to the facts; nor should we turn in disgust of panaceas to the counsel of despair. The pathway of peace is the longest and most beset with obstacles the human race has to tread; the goal may be distant, but we must press on.
There is no path to peace except as the will of peoples may open to it. The way of peace is through agreement, not through force. ... The only real progress to abiding peace is found in the friendly disposition of peoples and ... facilities for maintaining peace are useful only to the extent that this friendly disposition exists and finds expression. War is not only possible, but probable, where mistrust and hatred and desire for revenge are the dominant motives. Our first duty is at home with our own opinion, by education and unceasing effort to bring to naught the mischievous exhortation of chauvinists; our next is to aid in every practicable way in promoting a better feeling among peoples, the healing of wounds, and the just settlement of differences.

George Santayana[edit]

George Santayana.jpg (16 December 1863 – 26 September 1952)

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
The God to whom depth in philosophy brings back men's minds is far from being the same from whom a little philosophy estranges them.
The line between what is known scientifically and what has to be assumed in order to support knowledge is impossible to draw. Memory itself is an internal rumour; and when to this hearsay within the mind we add the falsified echoes that reach us from others, we have but a shifting and unseizable basis to build upon. The picture we frame of the past changes continually and grows every day less similar to the original experience which it purports to describe.
Matters of religion should never be matters of controversy. We neither argue with a lover about his taste, nor condemn him, if we are just, for knowing so human a passion.
There is nothing impossible in the existence of the supernatural: its existence seems to me decidedly probable.
Miracles are propitious accidents, the natural causes of which are too complicated to be readily understood.
Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.
Art like life should be free, since both are experimental.

Black Elk[edit]

Black Elk.jpg (c. December 1863 – 17 August or 19 August 1950)

Grown men may learn from very little children, for the hearts of little children are pure, and, therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.
All the things of the universe are joined with you who smoke the pipe — All send their voices to Wakan-Tanka, the Great Spirit. When you pray with this pipe, you pray for and with everything.
The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka , and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.
The Great Spirit is everywhere; he hears whatever is in our minds and our hearts, and it is not necessary to speak to Him in a loud voice.
Perhaps you have noticed that even in the slightest breeze you can hear the voice of the cottonwood tree; this we understand is its prayer to the Great Spirit, for not only men, but all things and all beings pray to Him continually in different ways.
This center which is here, but which we know is really everywhere, is Wakan-Tanka.
It is good to have a reminder of death before us, for it helps us to understand the impermanence of life on this earth, and this understanding may aid us in preparing for our own death. He who is well prepared is he who knows that he is nothing compared with Wakan-Tanka who is everything; then he knows that world which is real.
Of all the created things or beings in the universe, it is the two-legged men alone, who if they purify and humiliate themselves, may become one with — or may know — Wakan-Tanka.
Everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round.
When a vision comes from the thunder beings of the West, it comes with terror like a thunder storm; but when the storm of vision has passed, the world is greener and happier; for wherever the truth of vision comes upon the world, it is like a rain. The world, you see, is happier after the terror of the storm. ... you have noticed that truth comes into this world with two faces. One is sad with suffering, and the other laughs; but it is the same face, laughing or weeping. ... as lightning illuminates the dark, for it is the power of lightning that heyokas have.
Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that one.
If the vision was true and mighty, as I know, it is true and mighty yet; for such things are of the spirit, and it is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost.
I was standing on the highest mountain of them all , and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.
A good nation I will make live.
This the nation above has said.

They have given me the power to make over.
Everybody was glad that I was living; but as I lay there thinking about the wonderful place where I had been and all that I had seen, I was very sad; for it seemed to me that everybody ought to know about it, but I was afraid to tell, because I knew that nobody would believe me, little as I was, for I was only nine years old. Also, as I lay there thinking of my vision, I could see it all again and feel the meaning with a part of me like a strange power glowing in my body; but when the part of me that talks would try to make words for the meaning, it would be like fog and get away from me.
I am sure now that I was then too young to understand it all, and that I only felt it. It was the pictures I remembered and the words that went with them; for nothing I have ever seen with my eyes was so clear and bright as what my vision showed me; and no words that I have ever heard with my ears were like the words I heard. I did not have to remember these things; they have remembered themselves all these years. It was as I grew older that the meanings came clearer and clearer out of the pictures and the words; and even now I know that more was shown to me than I can tell.
To the center of the world you have taken me and showed the goodness and the beauty and the strangeness of the greening earth, the only mother — and there the spirit shapes of things, as they should be, you have shown to me and I have seen. At the center of this sacred hoop, you have said that I should make the tree to bloom.
With tears running, O Great Spirit , Great Spirit, my Grandfather — with running tears I must say now that the tree has never bloomed. A pitiful old man, you see me here, and I have fallen away and have done nothing. Here at the center of the world, where you took me when I was young and taught me; here, old, I stand, and the tree is withered, Grandfather, my Grandfather!
Again, and maybe the last time on this earth, I recall the great vision you sent me. It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds. Hear me, not for myself, but for my people; I am old. Hear me that they may once more go back into the sacred hoop and find the good red road, the shielding tree!

Edith Cavell[edit]

Edith Cavell.jpg (4 December 1865 – 12 October 1915)

I have no fear nor shrinking; I have seen death so often that it is not strange or fearful to me.
This I would say, standing as I do in view of God and eternity: I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards any one.

H. G. Wells[edit]

H G Wells pre 1922.jpg (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946)

G. I. Gurdjieff[edit]

Georges Gurdjieff.JPG (13 January 1872? - 29 October 1949)

Henri Barbusse[edit]

Henri-Barbusse.jpg (17 May 1873 – 30 August 1935)

Robert Frost[edit]

Jb modern frost 2 e.jpg (26 March 1874 – 29 January 1963)

G. K. Chesterton[edit]

Gilbert Keith Chesterton01.jpg (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936)

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.
Moderate strength is shown in violence, supreme strength is shown in levity.
Always be comic in a tragedy. What the deuce else can you do?
Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.
Never invoke the gods unless you really want them to appear. It annoys them very much.
To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
One of the deepest and strangest of all human moods is the mood which will suddenly strike us perhaps in a garden at night, or deep in sloping meadows, the feeling that every flower and leaf has just uttered something stupendously direct and important, and that we have by a prodigy of imbecility not heard or understood it. There is a certain poetic value, and that a genuine one, in this sense of having missed the full meaning of things. There is beauty, not only in wisdom, but in this dazed and dramatic ignorance.
You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.
Men talk of the extravagances and frenzies that have been produced by mysticism; they are a mere drop in the bucket. In the main, and from the beginning of time, mysticism has kept men sane. The thing that has driven them mad was logic. ... The only thing that has kept the race of men from the mad extremes of the convent and the pirate-galley, the night-club and the lethal chamber, has been mysticism — the belief that logic is misleading, and that things are not what they seem.
A mystic is a man who separates heaven and earth even if he enjoys them both.
The center of every man's existence is a dream.
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition.
A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.
I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid.
Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
The one stream of poetry which is continually flowing is slang.
There are two ways of dealing with nonsense in this world. One way is to put nonsense in the right place; as when people put nonsense into nursery rhymes. The other is to put nonsense in the wrong place; as when they put it into educational addresses, psychological criticisms, and complaints against nursery rhymes or other normal amusements of mankind.
Fairy tales are more than true — not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.
Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.
Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
There is something to be said for every error; but, whatever may be said for it, the most important thing to be said about it is that it is erroneous.
What we call a bad civilization is a good civilization not good enough for us. We choose to call the great mass of the history of mankind bad, not because it is bad, but because we are better. This is palpably an unfair principle. Ivory may not be so white as snow, but the whole Arctic continent does not make ivory black.
I have investigated the dust-heaps of humanity, and found a treasure in all of them. I have found that humanity is not incidentally engaged, but eternally and systematically engaged, in throwing gold into the gutter and diamonds into the sea.
There runs a strange law through the length of human history — that men are continually tending to undervalue their environment, to undervalue their happiness, to undervalue themselves. The great sin of mankind, the sin typified by the fall of Adam, is the tendency, not towards pride, but towards this weird and horrible humility. ... It is a strange thing that many truly spiritual men, such as General Gordon, have actually spent some hours in speculating upon the precise location of the Garden of Eden. Most probably we are in Eden still. It is only our eyes that have changed.
Every one of the great revolutionists, from Isaiah to Shelley, have been optimists. They have been indignant, not about the badness of existence, but about the slowness of men in realizing its goodness.
Whatever may be the reason, we all do warmly respect humility — in other people.
It is always the secure who are humble.
Humility is the luxurious art of reducing ourselves to a point, not to a small thing or a large one, but to a thing with no size at all, so that to it all the cosmic things are what they really are — of immeasurable stature.
There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect. Men do not quarrel about the meaning of sunsets; they never dispute that the hawthorn says the best and wittiest thing about the spring.
The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense. The fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial. As we walk the streets and see below us those delightful bulbous heads, three times too big for the body, which mark these human mushrooms, we ought always primarily to remember that within every one of these heads there is a new universe, as new as it was on the seventh day of creation. In each of those orbs there is a new system of stars, new grass, new cities, a new sea.
If we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse.
The truth is that it is our attitude towards children that is right, and our attitude towards grown-up people that is wrong. Our attitude towards our equals in age consists in a servile solemnity, overlying a considerable degree of indifference or disdain. Our attitude towards children consists in a condescending indulgence, overlying an unfathomable respect.
We should probably come considerably nearer to the true conception of things if we treated all grown-up persons, of all titles and types, with precisely that dark affection and dazed respect with which we treat the infantile limitations.
The humorous look of children is perhaps the most endearing of all the bonds that hold the Cosmos together. Their top-heavy dignity is more touching than any humility; their solemnity gives us more hope for all things than a thousand carnivals of optimism; their large and lustrous eyes seem to hold all the stars in their astonishment; their fascinating absence of nose seems to give to us the most perfect hint of the humour that awaits us in the kingdom of heaven.
The word 'heresy' not only means no longer being wrong; it practically means being clear-headed and courageous. The word 'orthodoxy' not only no longer means being right; it practically means being wrong. All this can mean one thing, and one thing only. It means that people care less for whether they are philosophically right.
Vigorous organisms talk not about their processes, but about their aims.
There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.
Charity is the power of defending that which we know to be indefensible. Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate. It is true that there is a state of hope which belongs to bright prospects and the morning; but that is not the virtue of hope. The virtue of hope exists only in earthquake and, eclipse. It is true that there is a thing crudely called charity, which means charity to the deserving poor; but charity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice. It is the undeserving who require it, and the ideal either does not exist at all, or exists wholly for them. For practical purposes it is at the hopeless moment that we require the hopeful man, and the virtue either does not exist at all, or begins to exist at that moment. Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful.
Carlyle said that men were mostly fools. Christianity, with a surer and more reverent realism, says that they are all fools. … All men can be criminals, if tempted; all men can be heroes, if inspired. … There are no wise few. Every aristocracy that has ever existed has behaved, in all essential points, exactly like a small mob.
A man cannot be wise enough to be a great artist without being wise enough to wish to be a philosopher.
Bigotry may be called the appalling frenzy of the indifferent. This frenzy of the indifferent is in truth a terrible thing; it has made all monstrous and widely pervading persecutions. In this degree it was not the people who cared who ever persecuted; the people who cared were not sufficiently numerous. It was the people who did not care who filled the world with fire and oppression. It was the hands of the indifferent that lit the faggots; it was the hands of the indifferent that turned the rack. There have come some persecutions out of the pain of a passionate certainty; but these produced, not bigotry, but fanaticism — a very different and a somewhat admirable thing. Bigotry in the main has always been the pervading omnipotence of those who do not care crushing out those who care in darkness and blood.
Ideas are dangerous, but the man to whom they are least dangerous is the man of ideas. He is acquainted with ideas, and moves among them like a lion-tamer. Ideas are dangerous, but the man to whom they are most dangerous is the man of no ideas.
Religious and philosophical beliefs are, indeed, as dangerous as fire, and nothing can take from them that beauty of danger. But there is only one way of really guarding ourselves against the excessive danger of them, and that is to be steeped in philosophy and soaked in religion.
The modern world is filled with men who hold dogmas so strongly that they do not even know that they are dogmas. It may be said even that the modern world, as a corporate body, holds certain dogmas so strongly that it does not know that they are dogmas.
Let us, at least, dig and seek till we have discovered our own opinions. The dogmas we really hold are far more fantastic, and, perhaps, far more beautiful than we think. … I apologize to the rationalists even for calling them rationalists. There are no rationalists. We all believe fairy-tales, and live in them. … Some hold the undemonstrable dogma of the existence of God; some the equally undemonstrable dogma of the existence of the man next door.
Truths turn into dogmas the instant that they are disputed. Thus every man who utters a doubt defines a religion. And the scepticism of our time does not really destroy the beliefs, rather it creates them; gives them their limits and their plain and defiant shape.
Much of our modern difficulty, in religion and other things, arises merely from this: that we confuse the word "indefinable" with the word "vague." If some one speaks of a spiritual fact as "indefinable" we promptly picture something misty, a cloud with indeterminate edges. But this is an error even in commonplace logic. The thing that cannot be defined is the first thing; the primary fact.
When some English moralists write about the importance of having character, they appear to mean only the importance of having a dull character.
There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.
The chief object of education is not to learn things; nay, the chief object of education is to unlearn things.
It is not only possible to say a great deal in praise of play; it is really possible to say the highest things in praise of it. It might reasonably be maintained that the true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground. To be at last in such secure innocence that one can juggle with the universe and the stars, to be so good that one can treat everything as a joke — that may be, perhaps, the real end and final holiday of human souls.
For fear of the newspapers politicians are dull, and at last they are too dull even for the newspapers. The speeches in our time are more careful and elaborate, because they are meant to be read, and not to be heard. And exactly because they are more careful and elaborate, they are not so likely to be worthy of a careful and elaborate report. They are not interesting enough. So the moral cowardice of modern politicians has, after all, some punishment attached to it by the silent anger of heaven. Precisely because our political speeches are meant to be reported, they are not worth reporting. Precisely because they are carefully designed to be read, nobody reads them.
Every remedy is a desperate remedy. Every cure is a miraculous cure. Curing a madman is not arguing with a philosopher; it is casting out a devil.
Materialism has more restrictions than spiritualism. Mr. McCabe thinks me a slave because I am not allowed to believe in determinism. I think Mr. McCabe a slave because he is not allowed to believe in fairies. … Spiritual doctrines do not actually limit the mind as do materialistic denials. Even if I believe in immortality I need not think about it. But if I disbelieve in immortality I must not think about it. In the first case the road is open and I can go as far as I like; in the second the road is shut.
The sane man knows that he has a touch of the beast, a touch of the devil, a touch of the saint, a touch of the citizen. Nay, the really sane man knows that he has a touch of the madman. But the materialist's world is quite simple and solid, just as the madman is quite sure he is sane. ... Materialists and madmen never have doubts.
It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.
Upon the whole, I came to the conclusion that the optimist thought everything good except the pessimist, and that the pessimist thought everything bad, except himself.
Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin. It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men. As far as he is concerned he wipes out the world.
Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lies in wait.
A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.
You will hear everlastingly, in all discussions about newspapers, companies, aristocracies, or party politics, this argument that the rich man cannot be bribed. The fact is, of course, that the rich man is bribed; he has been bribed already. That is why he is a rich man. The whole case for Christianity is that a man who is dependent upon the luxuries of this life is a corrupt man, spiritually corrupt, politically corrupt, financially corrupt. There is one thing that Christ and all the Christian saints have said with a sort of savage monotony. They have said simply that to be rich is to be in peculiar danger of moral wreck. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to kill the rich as violators of definable justice. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to crown the rich as convenient rulers of society. It is not certainly un-Christian to rebel against the rich or to submit to the rich. But it is quite certainly un-Christian to trust the rich, to regard the rich as more morally safe than the poor.
Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.
Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland.
The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand. The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid.
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
Comradeship is obvious and universal and open; but it is only one kind of affection; it has characteristics that would destroy any other kind. Anyone who has known true comradeship in a club or in a regiment, knows that it is impersonal.
Is there anyone... who will maintain that the Party System could have been created by people particularly fond of truth?
If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.
The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen.
Silver is sometimes more valuable than gold, that is, in large quantities.
One can sometimes do good by being the right person in the wrong place.
If you convey to a woman that something ought to be done, there is always a dreadful danger that she will suddenly do it.
The mind moves by instincts, associations and premonitions and not by fixed dates or completed processes. Action and reaction will occur simultaneously: or the cause actually be found after the effect. Errors will be resisted before they have been properly promulgated: notions will be first defined long after they are dead.
A man making the confession of any creed worth ten minutes' intelligent talk, is always a man who gains something and gives up something. So long as he does both he can create: for he is making an outline and a shape.
The central idea of poetry is the idea of guessing right, like a child.
Art is the signature of man.
A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.
Other ages have seen the day conquer the candle-light and then the candle-light conquer the day. Again and again, before our time, men have grown content with a diluted doctrine. And again and again there has followed on that dilution, coming as out of the darkness in a crimson cataract, the strength of the red original wine
We are talking about an artist; and for the enjoyment of the artist the mask must be to some extent moulded on the face. What he makes outside him must correspond to something inside him; he can only make his effects out of some of the materials of his soul.
An artist will betray himself by some sort of sincerity.
All things are from God; and above all, reason and imagination and the great gifts of the mind. They are good in themselves; and we must not altogether forget their origin even in their perversion.
I know there are all sorts in all religions; good men in bad ones and bad men in good ones.
Our chiefs said 'Done,' and I did not deem it;
Our seers said 'Peace,' and it was not peace;
Earth will grow worse till men redeem it,
And wars more evil, ere all wars cease.
For we that fight till the world is free,
We are not easy in victory:
We have known each other too long, my brother,
And fought each other, the world and we.
It is all as of old, the empty clangour,
The NOTHING scrawled on a five-foot page,
The huckster who, mocking holy anger,
Painfully paints his face with rage.


We that fight till the world is free,
We have no comfort in victory;
We have read each other as Cain his brother,
We know each other, these slaves and we.
It is something to have wept as we have wept,
It is something to have done as we have done,
It is something to have watched when all men slept,
And seen the stars which never see the sun.

It is something to have smelt the mystic rose,
Although it break and leave the thorny rods,
It is something to have hungered once as those
Must hunger who have ate the bread of gods.
To have seen you and your unforgotten face,
Brave as a blast of trumpets for the fray,
Pure as white lilies in a watery space,
It were something, though you went from me today.
To have known the things that from the weak are furled,
Perilous ancient passions, strange and high;
It is something to be wiser than the world,
It is something to be older than the sky.
In a time of sceptic moths and cynic rusts,
And fattened lives that of their sweetness tire
In a world of flying loves and fading lusts,
It is something to be sure of a desire.
Lo, blessed are our ears for they have heard;
Yea, blessed are our eyes for they have seen:
Let the thunder break on man and beast and bird
And the lightning. It is something to have been.
· · The Ballad of the White Horse · ·
Uffington White Horse layout.png
"Before the gods that made the gods
Had seen their sunrise pass,
The White Horse of the White Horse Vale
Was cut out of the grass.

Before the gods that made the gods
Had drunk at dawn their fill,
The White Horse of the White Horse Vale
Was hoary on the hill.

Age beyond age on British land,
Aeons on aeons gone,
Was peace and war in western hills,
And the White Horse looked on.
"

"For the White Horse knew England
When there was none to know;
He saw the first oar break or bend,
He saw heaven fall and the world end,
O God, how long ago.

For the end of the world was long ago,
And all we dwell to-day
As children of some second birth,
Like a strange people left on earth
After a judgment day.
"

"The gates of heaven are fearful gates
Worse than the gates of hell;
Not I would break the splendours barred
Or seek to know the thing they guard,
Which is too good to tell.
"The gates of heaven are lightly locked,
We do not guard our gain
,
The heaviest hind may easily
Come silently and suddenly
Upon me in a lane.
"The gates of heaven are lightly locked,
We do not guard our gold,

Men may uproot where worlds begin,
Or read the name of the nameless sin;
But if he fail or if he win
To no good man is told.
"I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.
"
Up across windy wastes and up
Went Alfred over the shaws,
Shaken of the joy of giants,
The joy without a cause.
His harp was carved and cunning,
His sword prompt and sharp,
And he was gay when he held the sword,
Sad when he held the harp.

For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.

As he sang of Balder beautiful,
Whom the heavens could not save,
Till the world was like a sea of tears
And every soul a wave.

There is always a thing forgotten
When all the world goes well;
A thing forgotten, as long ago,
When the gods forgot the mistletoe,
And soundless as an arrow of snow
The arrow of anguish fell.

The thing on the blind side of the heart,
On the wrong side of the door,
The green plant groweth, menacing
Almighty lovers in the spring;
There is always a forgotten thing,
And love is not secure.

You sing of the young gods easily
In the days when you are young;
But I go smelling yew and sods,
And I know there are gods behind the gods,
Gods that are best unsung.
"I am older than you, Ogier;
Not all things would I rend,
For whether life be bad or good
It is best to abide the end.
"
But some see God like Guthrum,
Crowned, with a great beard curled,
But I see God like a good giant,
That, labouring, lifts the world.
Follow a light that leaps and spins,
Follow the fire unfurled!
For riseth up against realm and rod,
A thing forgotten, a thing downtrod,
The last lost giant, even God,
Is risen against the world.
Colan had not bow nor sling,
On a lonely sword leaned he,
Like Arthur on Excalibur
In the battle by the sea.

To his great gold ear-ring Harold
Tugged back the feathered tail,
And swift had sprung the arrow,
But swifter sprang the Gael.

Whirling the one sword round his head,
A great wheel in the sun,
He sent it splendid through the sky,
Flying before the shaft could fly—
It smote Earl Harold over the eye,
And blood began to run.

Colan stood bare and weaponless,
Earl Harold, as in pain,
Strove for a smile, put hand to head,
Stumbled and suddenly fell dead;
And the small white daisies all waxed red
With blood out of his brain.

And all at that marvel of the sword,
Cast like a stone to slay,
Cried out. Said Alfred: "Who would see
Signs, must give all things. Verily
Man shall not taste of victory
Till he throws his sword away.
"

Then Alfred, prince of England,
And all the Christian earls,
Unhooked their swords and held them up,
Each offered to Colan, like a cup
Of chrysolite and pearls.

And the King said, "Do thou take my sword
Who have done this deed of fire,
For this is the manner of Christian men,
Whether of steel or priestly pen,
That they cast their hearts out of their ken
To get their heart's desire.

The first blood woke the trumpet-tune,
As in monk's rhyme or wizard's rune,
Beginneth the battle of Ethandune
With the throwing of the sword.
The child whom Time can never tire,
Sings over White Horse Down.

And this was the might of Alfred,
At the ending of the way;
That of such smiters, wise or wild,
He was least distant from the child,
Piling the stones all day.

Alfred born in Wantage
Rules England till the doom.
Because in the forest of all fears
Like a strange fresh gust from sea,
Struck him that ancient innocence
That is more than mastery.
"Though dead are all the paladins
Whom glory had in ken,
Though all your thunder-sworded thanes
With proud hearts died among the Danes,
While a man remains, great war remains:
Now is a war of men.
And now I blow the hunting sign,
Charge some by rule and rod;
But when I blow the battle sign,
Charge all and go to God.
"The high tide!" King Alfred cried.
"The high tide and the turn!

As a tide turns on the tall grey seas,
See how they waver in the trees,
How stray their spears, how knock their knees,
How wild their watchfires burn!
For dire was Alfred in his hour
The pale scribe witnesseth,
More mighty in defeat was he
Than all men else in victory...
And a strange music went with him,
Loud and yet strangely far;
The wild pipes of the western land,
Too keen for the ear to understand,
Sang high and deathly on each hand
When the dead man went to war.

Blocked between ghost and buccaneer,
Brave men have dropped and died;
And the wild sea-lords well might quail
As the ghastly war-pipes of the Gael
Called to the horns of White Horse Vale,
And all the horns replied.

Not till the floor of the skies is split,
And hell-fire shines through the sea,
Or the stars look up through the rent earth's knees,
Cometh such rending of certainties,
As when one wise man truly sees
What is more wise than he.
He gat good laws of the ancient kings,
Like treasure out of the tombs;
And many a thief in thorny nook,
Or noble in sea-stained turret shook,
For the opening of his iron book,
And the gathering of the dooms.

Then men would come from the ends of the earth,
Whom the King sat welcoming,
And men would go to the ends of the earth
Because of the word of the King.

"When all philosophies shall fail,
This word alone shall fit;
That a sage feels too small for life,
And a fool too large for it.
"
"And though skies alter and empires melt,
This word shall still be true:
If we would have the horse of old,
Scour ye the horse anew.
I have a vision, and I know
The heathen shall return.

"They shall not come with warships,
They shall not waste with brands,
But books be all their eating,
And ink be on their hands.

"Not with the humour of hunters
Or savage skill in war,
But ordering all things with dead words,
Strings shall they make of beasts and birds,
And wheels of wind and star.

They shall come mild as monkish clerks,
With many a scroll and pen;
And backward shall ye turn and gaze,
Desiring one of Alfred's days,
When pagans still were men.
By this sign you shall know them,
The breaking of the sword,
And man no more a free knight,
That loves or hates his lord.
"Yea, this shall be the sign of them,
The sign of the dying fire;
And Man made like a half-wit,
That knows not of his sire.
"What though they come with scroll and pen,
And grave as a shaven clerk,
By this sign you shall know them,
That they ruin and make dark
"
"By all men bond to Nothing,
Being slaves without a lord,
By one blind idiot world obeyed,
Too blind to be abhorred
"
In what wise men shall smite him,
Or the Cross stand up again,
Or charity or chivalry,
My vision saith not; and I see
No more; but now ride doubtfully
To the battle of the plain.
And all the while on White Horse Hill
The horse lay long and wan,
The turf crawled and the fungus crept,
And the little sorrel, while all men slept,
Unwrought the work of man.

Carl Jung[edit]

Carl-Jung-mod.jpg (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961)

Albert Schweitzer[edit]

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-D0116-0041-019, Albert Schweitzer.jpg (14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965)

True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness: "I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live."
The only way out of today's misery is for people to become worthy of each other's trust.
Let me give you a definition of ethics: It is good to maintain and further life — it is bad to damage and destroy life. And this ethic, profound and universal, has the significance of a religion. It is religion.
Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.
World-view is a product of life-view, not vice versa.
Every world-view which fails to start from resignation in regard to knowledge is artificial and a mere fabrication, for it rests upon an inadmissible interpretation of the universe.
Not less strong than the will to truth must be the will to sincerity. Only an age, which can show the courage of sincerity, can possess truth, which works as a spiritual force within it.
Profound love demands a deep conception and out of this develops reverence for the mystery of life. It brings us close to all beings, to the poorest and smallest as well as all others.
At sunset of the third day, near the village of Igendja, we moved along an island set in the middle of the wide river. On a sandback to our left, four hippopotamuses and their young plodded along in our same direction. Just then, in my great tiredness and discouragement, the phrase "Reverence for Life" struck me like a flash. As far as I knew, it was a phrase I had never heard nor ever read. I realized at once that it carried within itself the solution to the problem that had been torturing me. Now I knew that a system of values which concerns itself only with our relationship to other people is incomplete and therefore lacking in power for good. Only by means of reverence for life can we establish a spiritual and humane relationship with both people and all living creatures within our reach. Only in this fashion can we avoid harming others, and, within the limits of our capacity, go to their aid whenever they need us.
The man who dares to live his life with death before his eyes, the man who receives life back bit by bit and lives as though it did not belong to him by right but has been bestowed on him as a gift, the man who has such freedom and peace of mind that he has overcome death in his thoughts — such a man believes in eternal life because it is already his, it is a present experience, and he already benefits from its peace and joy. He cannot describe this experience in words. He may not be able to conform his view with the traditional picture of it. But one thing he knows for certain: Something within us does not pass away, something goes on living and working wherever the kingdom of the spirit is present. It is already working and living within us, because in our hearts we have been able to reach life by overcoming death.
What has been presented as Christianity during these nineteen centuries is only a beginning, full of mistakes, not full blown Christianity springing from the spirit of Jesus.
Those who thank God much are the truly wealthy. So our inner happiness depends not on what we experience but on the degree of our gratitude to God, whatever the experience.
I do not want to frighten you by telling you about the temptations life will bring. Anyone who is healthy in spirit will overcome them. But there is something I want you to realize. It does not matter so much what you do. What matters is whether your soul is harmed by what you do. If your soul is harmed, something irreparable happens, the extent of which you won't realize until it will be too late. … Don't let your hearts grow numb. Stay alert. It is your soul which matters.
The great fault of all ethics hitherto has been that they believed themselves to have to deal only with the relations of man to man. In reality, however, the question is what is his attitude to the world and all life that comes within his reach. A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, and that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help. Only the universal ethic of the feeling of responsibility in an ever-widening sphere for all that lives — only that ethic can be founded in thought. ... The ethic of Reverence for Life, therefore, comprehends within itself everything that can be described as love, devotion, and sympathy whether in suffering, joy, or effort.
The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil.
The awareness that we are all human beings together has become lost in war and through politics.
Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
The ethical ideas on which civilization rests have been wandering about the world, poverty-stricken and homeless. No theory of the universe has been advanced which can give them solid foundation; in fact not one has made its appearance which can claim for itself solidity and inner consistency. The age of philosophical dogmatism had come to an end, and after that nothing was recognized as truth except the science which described reality. Complete theories of the universe no longer appeared as fixed stars; they were regarded as resting on hypothesis, and ranked no higher than comets.
The last fact which knowledge can discover is that the world is a manifestation, and in every way a puzzling manifestation, of the universal will to live.
Reverence for life, veneratio vitæ, is the most direct and at the same time the profoundest achievement of my will-to-live.My life carries its own meaning in itself. This meaning lies in my living out the highest idea which shows itself in my will-to-live, the idea of reverence for life. With that for a starting-point I give value to my own life and to all the will-to-live which surrounds me, I persevere in activity, and I produce values.
Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. That is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.
Affirmation of the world, which means affirmation of the will-to-live that manifests itself around me, is only possible if I devote myself to other life. From an inner necessity, I exert myself in producing values and practising ethics in the world and on the world even though I do not understand the meaning of the world. For in world- and life-affirmation and in ethics I carry out the will of the universal will-to-live which reveals itself in me. I live my life in God, in the mysterious divine personality which I do not know as such in the world, but only experience as mysterious Will within myself.
Rational thinking which is free from assumptions ends therefore in mysticism.
To relate oneself in the spirit of reverence for life to the multiform manifestations of the will-to-live which together constitute the world is ethical mysticism. All profound world-view is mysticism, the essence of which is just this: that out of my unsophisticated and naïve existence in the world there comes, as a result of thought about self and the world, spiritual self-devotion to the mysterious infinite Will which is continuously manifested in the universe.
What the activity of this disposition of ours means in the evolution of the world, we do not know. Nor can we regulate this activity from outside; we must leave entirely to each individual its shaping and its extension. From every point of view, then, world- and life-affirmation and ethics are non-rational, and we must have the courage to admit it.
If rational thought thinks itself out to a conclusion, it arrives at something non-rational which, nevertheless, is a necessity of thought. This is the paradox which dominates our spiritual life. If we try to get on without this non-rational element, there result views of the world and of life which have neither vitality nor value.
The way to true mysticism leads up through rational thought to deep experience of the world and of our will-to-live. We must all venture once more to be "thinkers," so as to reach mysticism, which is the only direct and the only profound world-view. We must all wander in the field of knowledge to the point where knowledge passes over into experience of the world. We must all, through thought, become religious.
This rational thought must become the prevailing force among us, for all the valuable ideas that we need develop out of it. In no other fire than that of the mysticism of reverence for life can the broken sword of idealism be forged anew.
Never for a moment do we lay aside our mistrust of the ideals established by society, and of the convictions which are kept by it in circulation. We always know that society is full of folly and will deceive us in the matter of humanity. ... humanity meaning consideration for the existence and the happiness of individual human beings.
Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me. It is an uncomfortable doctrine which the true ethics whisper into my ear. You are happy, they say; therefore you are called upon to give much.
The disastrous feature of our civilization is that it is far more developed materially than spiritually. Its balance is disturbed ... Now come the facts to summon us to reflect. They tell us in terribly harsh language that a civilization which develops only on its material side, and not in the sphere of the spirit ... heads for disaster.
A man is really ethical only when he obeys the constraint laid on him to help all life which he is able to succor, and when he goes out of his way to avoid injuring anything living. He does not ask how far this or that life deserves sympathy as valuable in itself, nor how far it is capable of feeling. To him life as such is sacred. He shatters no ice crystal that sparkles in the sun, tears no leaf from its tree, breaks off no flower, and is careful not to crush any insect as he walks.
The man who has become a thinking being feels a compulsion to give every will-to-live the same reverence for life that he gives to his own. He experiences that other life in his own.
The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies.
It is the fate of every truth to be an object of ridicule when it is first acclaimed. … Ethics is in its unqualified form extended responsibility to everything that has life.
As long as I can remember, I have suffered because of the great misery I saw in the world. I never really knew the artless, youthful joy of living, and I believe that many children feel this way, even when outwardly they seem to be wholly happy and without a single care.
Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time must come when inhumanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come.
The great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up. That is possible for him who never argues and strives with men and facts, but in all experience retires upon himself, and looks for the ultimate cause of things in himself.
We cannot understand what happens in the universe. What is glorious in it is united with what is full of horror. What is full of meaning is united to what is senseless. The spirit of the universe is at once creative and destructive — it creates while it destroys and destroys while it creates, and therefore it remains to us a riddle. And we must inevitably resign ourselves to this.
Christianity has had to give up one piece after another of what it still imagined it possessed in the way of explanations of the universe. In this development it grows more and more into an expression of what constitutes its real nature. In a remarkable process of spiritualization it advances further and further from naive naiveté into the region of profound naiveté. The greater the number of explanations that slip from its hands, the more is the first of the Beatitudes, which may indeed be regarded as prophetic word concerning Christianity, fulfilled: "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
The highest knowledge is to know that we are surrounded by mystery. Neither knowledge nor hope for the future can be the pivot of our life or determine its direction. It is intended to be solely determined by our allowing ourselves to be gripped by the ethical God, who reveals Himself in us, and by our yielding our will to His.
Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it. A strength which becomes clearer and stronger through its experience of such obstacles is the only strength that can conquer them. Resistance is only a waste of strength.
Not one of us knows what effect his life produces, and what he gives to others; that is hidden from us and must remain so, though we are often allowed to see some little fraction of it, so that we may not lose courage.
The deeper we look into nature, the more we recognize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret and that we are united with all life that is in nature. Man can no longer live for himself alone. We realize that all life is valuable, and that we are united to all this life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship to the universe.
Most men are scantily nourished on a modicum of happiness and a number of empty thoughts which life lays on their plates. They are kept in the road of life through stern necessity by elemental duties which they cannot avoid.
The stronger the reverence for natural life, the stronger grows also that for spiritual life.
The ethic of reverence of life constrains all, in whatever walk of life they may find themselves, to busy themselves intimately with all the human and vital processes which are being played out around them, and to give themselves as men to the man who needs human help and sympathy. It does not allow the scholar to live for his science alone, even if he is very useful to the community in so doing. It does not permit the artist to exist only for his art, even if he gives inspiration to many by its means. It refuses to let the business man imagine that he fulfills all legitimate demands in the course of his business activities. It demands from all that they should sacrifice a portion of their own lives for others. In what way and in what measure this is his duty, this everyone must decide on the basis of the thoughts which arise in himself, and the circumstances which attend the course of his own life. The self-sacrifice of one may not be particularly in evidence. He carries it out simply by continuing his normal life. Another is called to some striking self-surrender which obliges him to set on one side all regard for his own progress. Let no one measure himself by his conclusions respecting someone else. The destiny of men has to fulfill itself in a thousand ways, so that goodness may be actualized. What every individual has to contribute remains his own secret. But we must all mutually share in the knowledge that our existence only attains its true value when we have experienced in ourselves the truth of the declaration: 'He who loses his life shall find it.'
To the man who is truly ethical all life is sacred, including that which from the human point of view seems lower in the scale. He makes distinctions only as each case comes before him, and under the pressure of necessity, as, for example, when it falls to him to decide which of two lives he must sacrifice in order to preserve the other. But all through this series of decisions he is conscious of acting on subjective grounds and arbitrarily, and knows that he bears the responsibility for the life which is sacrificed.
There slowly grew up in me an unshakable conviction that we have no right to inflict suffering and death on another living creature unless there is some unavoidable necessity for it, and that we ought all of us to feel what a horrible thing it is to cause suffering and death out of mere thoughtlessness. And this conviction has influenced me only more and more strongly with time. I have grown more and more certain that at the bottom of our heart we all think this, and that we fail to acknowledge it because we are afraid of being laughed at by other people as sentimentalists, though partly also because we allow our best feelings to get blunted. But I vowed that I would never let my feelings get blunted, and that I would never be afraid of the reproach of sentimentalism.
Faith which refuses to face indisputable facts is but little faith. Truth is always gain, however hard it is to accommodate ourselves to it. To linger in any kind of untruth proves to be a departure from the straight way of faith.
We cannot abdicate our conscience to an organization, nor to a government. 'Am I my brother's keeper?' Most certainly I am! I cannot escape my responsibility by saying the State will do all that is necessary. It is a tragedy that nowadays so many think and feel otherwise.
We have learned to tolerate the facts of war: that men are killed en masse … that whole cities and their inhabitants are annihilated by the atomic bomb, that men are turned into living torches by incendiary bombs. We learn of these things from the radio or newspapers and we judge them according to whether they signify success for the group of peoples to which we belong, or for our enemies. When we do admit to ourselves that such acts are the results of inhuman conduct, our admission is accompanied by the thought that the very fact of war itself leaves us no option but to accept them. In resigning ourselves to our fate without a struggle, we are guilty of inhumanity.
What really matters is that we should all of us realize that we are guilty of inhumanity. The horror of this realization should shake us out of our lethargy so that we can direct our hopes and our intentions to the coming of an era in which war will have no place.
The only originality I claim is that for me this truth goes hand in hand with the intellectual certainty that the human spirit is capable of creating in our time a new mentality, an ethical mentality. Inspired by this certainty, I too proclaim this truth in the hope that my testimony may help to prevent its rejection as an admirable sentiment but a practical impossibility. Many a truth has lain unnoticed for a long time, ignored simply because no one perceived its potential for becoming reality.
Only when an ideal of peace is born in the minds of the peoples will the institutions set up to maintain this peace effectively fulfill the function expected of them.
May the men who hold the destiny of peoples in their hands, studiously avoid anything that might cause the present situation to deteriorate and become even more dangerous. May they take to heart the words of the Apostle Paul: "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." These words are valid not only for individuals, but for nations as well. May these nations, in their efforts to maintain peace, do their utmost to give the spirit time to grow and to act.

P. D. Ouspensky[edit]

Tetrad.svg (4 March 1878 – 2 October 1947)

Albert Einstein[edit]

Albert Einstein Head.jpg (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955)

Will Rogers[edit]

WillRogers.jpeg (4 November 1879 – 15 August 1935)

We are here just for a spell and then pass on. So get a few laughs and do the best you can. Live your life so that whenever you lose it, you are ahead.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
I never yet met a man that I didn't like.
An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out.
You know everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
There are three kinds of men: The ones that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
Heroing is one of the shortest-lived professions there is.
We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.
If you ever injected truth into politics you'd have no politics.

Helen Keller[edit]

Helen KellerA.jpg (27 June 1880 – 1 June 1968)

Juan Ramón Jiménez[edit]

Donkey (PSF).png (24 December 1881 – 29 May 1958)

If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.
Literature is a state of culture, poetry is a state of grace, before and after culture.
A permanent state of transition is man's most noble condition. When we say an artist is in a state of transition, many believe that we are belittling. In my opinion when people speak of an art of transition this indicates a better art and the best that art can give. Transition is a complete present which unites the past and the future in a momentary progressive ecstasy, a progressive eternity, a true eternity of eternities, eternal moments. Progressive ecstasy is above all dynamic; movement is what sustains life and true death is nothing but lack of movement, be the corpse upright or supine. Without movement life is annihilated, within and without, for lack of dynamic cohesion. But the dynamism should be principally of the spirit, of the idea, it should be a moral dynamic ecstasy, dynamic in relation to progress, ecstatic in relation to permanence.
Dynamic ecstasy is absolute romanticism, absolute heroism. And here I return to my point. From my point of view, after the catastrophe which we feel and think is universal, a catastrophe resulting from an excess of useless dynamism of useless progress, of useless realism, of useless technology, after this an unattainable democracy is to be reached through the conception and realization of a new romanticism.
The man wants to stick his iron pick in the little basket, and I do not prevent him. I open the knapsack, and he sees nothing in it. And the food for the soul passes, candid and free, without paying tribute to the customs.

James Joyce[edit]

Revolutionary Joyce Better Contrast.jpg (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941)

William Carlos Williams[edit]

Heart Flow.jpg (17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963)

    It is difficult
to get the news from poems

yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.
The only way to be truly happy is to make others happy. When you realize that and take advantage of the fact, everything is made perfect.
To me it's a matter of first understanding that which may not be put to words
My first poem was a bolt from the blue … it broke a spell of disillusion and suicidal despondence … it filled me with soul satisfying joy
Love itself a flower
with roots in a parched ground.
I think
of the poetry
of René Char
and all he must have seen
and suffered
that has brought him
to speak only of
sedgy rivers,
of daffodils and tulips
whose roots they water
I have learned much in my life
from books
and out of them
about love.
Death
is not the end of it.
It was the love of love,
the love that swallows up all else,
a grateful love,
a love of nature, of people,
of animals,
a love engendering
gentleness and goodness
that moved me
and that I saw in you.

Morihei Ueshiba[edit]

44px (14 December 1883 – 26 April 1969)

The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter — it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.
Instructors can impart only a fraction of the teaching. It is through your own devoted practice that the mysteries of the Art of Peace are brought to life.
Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.
I felt the universe suddenly quake, and that a golden spirit sprang up from the ground, veiled my body, and changed my body into a golden one. At the same time my body became light. I was able to understand the whispering of the birds, and was clearly aware of the mind of God, the creator of the universe.
At that moment I was enlightened: the source of Budo is God's love — the spirit of loving protection for all beings... Budo is not the felling of an opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world to destruction with arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature.
Shihonage is the foundation of Aikido. All you ever need to master is shihonage.
In a real battle, atemi is seventy percent, technique is thirty percent.
Aikido is Love.
True Budo is practiced not only to destroy an enemy, it must also make him, or his own will, gladly lose his spirit to oppose you.
True Budo is done for the sake of "building peace". Train every day so as to make peace between this spirit and all things manifested on the face of the Earth.
When facing the realm of life and death in the form of an enemy's sword, one must be firmly settled in mind and body, and not at all intimidated; without providing your opponent the slightest opening, control his mind in a flash and move where you will — straight, diagonally, or in any other appropriate direction.
I am the Universe.
Regarding technique, from ancient times it has been said that movements must fly like lightning and attacks must strike like thunder.
Always imagine yourself on the battlefield under the fiercest attack; never forget this crucial element of training.
· · The Art of Peace · ·
Ki obsolete.svg
As soon as you concern yourself with the "good" and "bad" of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weakens and defeats you.
Be grateful even for hardship, setbacks, and bad people. Dealing with such obstacles is an essential part of training in the Art of Peace.
Even the most powerful human being has a limited sphere of strength. Draw him outside of that sphere and into your own, and his strength will dissipate.
Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.
If your opponent strikes with fire, counter with water, becoming completely fluid and free-flowing. Water, by its nature, never collides with or breaks against anything. On the contrary, it swallows up any attack harmlessly.
In our techniques we enter completely into, blend totally with, and control firmly an attack. Strength resides where one's ki is concentrated and stable; confusion and maliciousness arise when ki stagnates.
In the Art of Peace we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to suppress or control an opponent unnaturally. Let attackers come any way they like and then blend with them. Never chase after opponents. Redirect each attack and get firmly behind it.
One should be prepared to receive ninety-nine percent of an enemy's attack and stare death right in the face in order to illumine the Path.
Move like a beam of light;
Fly like lightning,
Strike like thunder,
Whirl in circles around
A stable center.
Techniques employ four qualities that reflect the nature of our world. Depending on the circumstance, you should be: hard as a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space.
The Art of Peace is not easy. It is a fight to the finish, the slaying of evil desires and all falsehood within. On occasion the Voice of Peace resounds like thunder, jolting human beings out of their stupor.
The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.
A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.
The real Art of Peace is not to sacrifice a single one of your warriors to defeat an enemy. Vanquish your foes by always keeping yourself in a safe and unassailable position; then no one will suffer any losses. The Way of a Warrior, the Art of Politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your adversaries spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions. The Way of a Warrior is to establish harmony.
There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within.
To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.
When an opponent comes forward, move in and greet him; if he wants to pull back, send him on his way.
When life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.
When you bow deeply to the universe, it bows back; when you call out the name of God, it echoes inside you.
In order to establish heaven on on earth, we need a Budo that is pure in spirit, that is devoid of hatred and greed. It must follow natural principles and harmonize the material with the spiritual. Aikido means not to kill. Although nearly all creeds have a commandment against taking life, most of them justify killing for reason or another. In Aikido, however, we try to completely avoid killing, even the most evil person.
May the Kami of Earth and Heaven watch our acts of purification.

Chester W. Nimitz[edit]

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz portrait.jpg (24 February 1885 – 20 February 1966)

Our armament must be adequate to the needs, but our faith is not primarily in these machines of defense but in ourselves.
God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.
Is the proposed operation likely to succeed?
What might be the consequences of failure?
Is it in the realm of practicability in terms of matériel and supplies?
Perhaps we will be forgiven if we claim we are about midway to our objective!
Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.
They fought together as brothers in arms; they died together and now they sleep side by side...To them, we have a solemn obligation — the obligation to ensure that their sacrifice will help make this a better and safer world in which to live.
The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan.
The basic objectives and principles of war do not change.
The final objective in war is the destruction of the enemy's capacity and will to fight, and thereby force him to accept the imposition of the victor's will.

George S. Patton[edit]

Patton2.jpg (11 November 1885 – 21 December 1945)

Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.
Always do everything you ask of those you command.
Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains that victory.
A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.
Some goddamn fool once said that flanks have got to be secure. Since then sonofabitches all over the globe have been guarding their flanks. I don't agree with that. My flanks are something for the enemy to worry about, not me. Before he finds out where my flanks are, I'll be cutting the bastard's throat.
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.
When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can't run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn't fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag. ... As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence.
We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.
Through the travail of the ages,
Midst the pomp and toil of war,
Have I fought and strove and perished
Countless times upon this star.
So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me.

And I see not in my blindness
What the objects were I wrought,
But as God rules o'er our bickerings
It was through His will I fought.

So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore,
Dying to be born a fighter,
But to die again, once more.

There is no proof nor yet any denial. We were, We are, and we will be.
Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning.

Halford E. Luccock[edit]

Passion of Christ.jpg (1885 - 1961)

There is the liability of accepting prematurely an artificial horizon for our own character and personality, of losing the horizon of the possible person we might be. It is the danger of considering our character as something static, rather than as something emerging.
Many years ago Rudyard Kipling gave an address at McGill University in Montreal. He said one striking thing which deserves to be remembered. Warning the students against an over-concern for money, or position, or glory, he said: "Some day you will meet a man who cares for none of these things. Then you will know how poor you are."
That has happened on a grand scale. Jesus cared for none of these things. And for nineteen centuries he has led many people to see how poor they are with only a collection of things to show for their journey through life, and no spiritual resources.
Expressions of sharp and even violent criticism of religion and the church have been welcomed, for they usually imply sincerity of thought. If caustic criticism of religious institutions and practices is irreligious, then Amos, Isaiah, and Jesus were very irreligious men. In fact, that is exactly what many of their contemporaries took them to be.
We ought to recognize that uncertainty of mind is not all a bad thing. It is a sign that your mind is still alive, still sensitive.
When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled "made in Germany"; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, "Americanism."
The words "God is love" have this deep meaning: that everything that is against love is ultimately doomed and damned.

Erwin Schrödinger[edit]

Erwin Schrödinger.jpg (12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961)

Nirvana is a state of pure blissful knowledge... It has nothing to do with the individual. The ego or its separation is an illusion. Indeed in a certain sense two "I"'s are identical namely when one disregards all special contents — their Karma. The goal of man is to preserve his Karma and to develop it further... when man dies his Karma lives and creates for itself another carrier.
No self is of itself alone. It has a long chain of intellectual ancestors. The "I" is chained to ancestry by many factors ... This is not mere allegory, but an eternal memory.
On principle, there is nothing new in the postulate that in the end exact science should aim at nothing more than the description of what can really be observed. The question is only whether from now on we shall have to refrain from tying description to a clear hypothesis about the real nature of the world. There are many who wish to pronounce such abdication even today. But I believe that this means making things a little too easy for oneself.
I insist upon the view that "all is waves".
The multiplicity is only apparent. This is the doctrine of the Upanishads. And not of the Upanishads only. The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the way.
Multiplicity is only apparent, in truth, there is only one mind...
The recognition ATMAN = BRAHMAN (the personal self equals the omnipresent, all-comprehending eternal self) was in Indian thought considered, far from being blasphemous, to represent the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world. The striving of all the scholars of Vedanta was after having learnt to pronounce with their lips, really assimilate in their minds this grandest of all thoughts.
The plurality that we perceive is only an appearance; it is not real. Vedantic philosophy... has sought to clarify it by a number of analogies, one of the most attractive being the many-faceted crystal which, while showing hundreds of little pictures of what is in reality a single existent object, does not really multiply that object...
It seems plain and self-evident, yet it needs to be said: the isolated knowledge obtained by a group of specialists in a narrow field has in itself no value whatsoever, but only in its synthesis with all the rest of knowledge and only inasmuch as it really contributes in this synthesis toward answering the demand, "Who are we?"
The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one.
This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you.
We do not belong to this material world that science constructs for us. We are not in it; we are outside. We are only spectators. The reason why we believe that we are in it, that we belong to the picture, is that our bodies are in the picture. Our bodies belong to it. Not only my own body, but those of my friends, also of my dog and cat and horse, and of all the other people and animals. And this is my only means of communicating with them.
Sensations and thoughts do not belong to the "world of energy."
Matter and energy seem granular in structure, and so does 'life', but not so mind.

T. E. Lawrence[edit]

Ljohn.jpg (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935)

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.
Rebellion must have an unassailable base, something guarded not merely from attack, but from the fear of it.
Nine-tenths of tactics are certain, and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and that is the test of generals. It can only be ensured by instinct, sharpened by thought practising the stroke so often that at the crisis it is as natural as a reflex.
The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armoury of the modern commander...
All the revision in the world will not save a bad first draft: for the architecture of the thing comes, or fails to come, in the first conception, and revision only affects the detail and ornament, alas!
To have news value is to have a tin can tied to one’s tail.
I've been & am absurdly over-estimated. There are no supermen & I'm quite ordinary, & will say so whatever the artistic results. In that point I'm one of the few people who tell the truth about myself.
Do not try to do too much with your own hands.

T. S. Eliot[edit]

Thomas Stearns Eliot by Lady Ottoline Morrell (1934).jpg (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965)

Katherine Mansfield[edit]

Katherinemansfield.jpg (14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923)

Ludwig Wittgenstein[edit]

Ludwig Wittgenstein 1910.jpg (26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951)

Charlie Chaplin[edit]

Charlie Chaplin.jpg (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977)

I remain just one thing, and one thing only — and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.
I am an individual and a believer in liberty. That is all the politics I have.
I am for people. I can't help it.
My prodigious sin was, and still is, being a non-conformist. Although I am not a Communist I refused to fall in line by hating them. Secondly, I was opposed to the Committee on Un-American Activities — a dishonest phrase to begin with, elastic enough to wrap around the throat and strangle the voice of any American citizen whose honest opinion is a minority of one.
I am what I am: an individual, unique and different, with a lineal history of an ancestral promptings and urgings, a history of dreams, desires, and of special experiences, of all of which I am the sum total.
Life is a beautiful, magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish. ... The trouble is you won't fight. You've given up. But there's something just as inevitable as death. And that's life. Think of the power of the universe — turning the Earth, growing the trees. That's the same power within you — if you'll only have the courage and the will to use it.
I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness — not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another.
In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world — millions of despairing men, women and little children — victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say — do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed — the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people.
Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes — men who despise you — enslave you — who regiment your lives — tell you what to do — what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men — machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your heart. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!
Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the 17th Chapter of St. Luke it is written: "the Kingdom of God is within man" — not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power — the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
Then, in the name of democracy, let us use that power! Let us all unite! Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie! They do not fulfill their promise; they never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people! Now, let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.
Soldiers! In the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up, Hannah. The clouds are lifting. The sun is breaking through. We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world, a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed and brutality. Look up, Hannah. The soul of man has been given wings, and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow — into the light of hope, into the future, the glorious future that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up, Hannah. Look up.

J. R. R. Tolkien[edit]

Tolkien 1916.jpg (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973)

Rebecca West (Cecily Isabel Fairfield)[edit]

Rebecca West.jpg (21 December 1892 - 15 March 1983)

Everyone realizes that one can believe little of what people say about each other. But it is not so widely realized that even less can one trust what people say about themselves.
I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.
If there is a God, I don't think He would demand that anyone bow down or stand up to Him. I often have a suspicion that God is still trying to work things out and hasn't finished.
There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all.
The general tendency to be censorious of the vices to which one has not been tempted.

Meher Baba[edit]

Meher Baba 5.jpg (25 February 1894 – 31 January 1969)

James Thurber[edit]

James Thurber NYWTS.jpg (8 December 1894 - 2 November 1961)

Let's not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness.
The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself, but in so doing, he identifies himself with people — that is, people everywhere, not for the purpose of taking them apart, but simply revealing their true nature.
It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.
Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair trigger balances, when a false or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act.

Buckminster Fuller[edit]

BuckminsterFuller cropped.jpg (12 July 1895 – 1 July 1983)

Dare to be naïve.
The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done — that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual.
Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment. . . . Humanity is in "final exam" as to whether or not it qualifies for continuance in Universe
Take the initiative. Go to work, and above all co-operate and don't hold back on one another or try to gain at the expense of another. Any success in such lopsidedness will be increasingly short-lived. These are the synergetic rules that evolution is employing and trying to make clear to us. They are not man-made laws. They are the infinitely accommodative laws of the intellectual integrity governing universe.
The procedure we are pursuing is that of true democracy. Semi-democracy accepts the dictatorship of a majority in establishing its arbitrary, ergo, unnatural, laws. True democracy discovers by patient experiment and unanimous acknowledgement what the laws of nature or universe may be for the physical support and metaphysical satisfaction of the human intellect's function in universe.
Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
The explicable requires the inexplicable. Experience requires the nonexperienceable. The obvious requires the mystical. This is a powerful group of paired concepts generated by the complementarity of conceptuality.
Each individual is a pattern integrity. The pattern integrity of the human individual is evolutionary and not static.
Don't fight forces, use them.
Synergy is the only word in our language that means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the separately observed behaviors of any of the system's separate parts or any subassembly of the system's parts. There is nothing in the chemistry of a toenail that predicts the existence of a human being.
Thinking is a momentary dismissal of irrelevancies.
We are now synergetically forced to conclude that all phenomena are metaphysical; wherefore, as many have long suspected — like it or not — "life is but a dream."
As a consequence of the slavish "categoryitis" the scientifically illogical, and as we shall see, often meaningless questions "Where do you live?" "What are you?" "What religion?" "What race?" "What nationality?" are all thought of today as logical questions. By the twenty-first century it either will have become evident to humanity that these questions are absurd and anti-evolutionary or men will no longer be living on Earth.
It is one of our most exciting discoveries that local discovery leads to a complex of further discoveries. Corollary to this we find that we no sooner get a problem solved than we are overwhelmed with a multiplicity of additional problems in a most beautiful payoff of heretofore unknown, previously unrecognized, and as-yet unsolved problems.
Lack of knowledge concerning all the factors and the failure to include them in our integral imposes false conclusions.
The highest of generalizations is the synergetic integration of truth and love.
The nearest each of us can come to God is by loving the truth.
Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous social behaviors that will avoid extinction.
There are no "good" or "bad" people, no matter how offensive or eccentric to society they may seem. . . You and I didn't design people. God designed people. What I am trying to do is to discover why God included humans in Universe.
All of humanity is in peril of extinction if each one of us does not dare, now and henceforth, always to tell only the truth, and all the truth, and to do so promptly — right now.
I am convinced that human continuance depends entirely upon: the intuitive wisdom of each and every individual . . . the individual's integrity of speaking and acting only on the individual's own within-self-intuited and reasoned initiative . . . the individual's never joining action with others as motivated only by crowd-engendered-emotionalism, or a sense of the crowd's power to overwhelm, or in fear of holding to the course indicated by one's own intellectual convictions.
It is the integrity of each individual human that is in final examination. On personal integrity hangs humanity's fate.
Humans have always unknowingly affected all Universe by every act and thought they articulate or even consider. . . . Realistic, comprehensively responsible, omni-system-considerate, unselfish thinking on the part of humans does absolutely affect human destiny.
The synergetic integral of the totality of principles is God, whose sum-total behavior in pure principle is beyond our comprehension and is utterly mysterious to us, because as humans — in pure principle — we do not and never will know all the principles.
Love is metaphysical gravity.
Corporations are neither physical nor metaphysical phenomena. They are socioeconomic ploys — legally enacted game-playing — agreed upon only between overwhelmingly powerful socioeconomic individuals and by them imposed upon human society and its all unwitting members.
I have been a deliberate half-century-fused inciter of a cool-headed, natural, gestation-rate-paced revolution, armed with physically demonstrable livingry levers with which altogether to elevate all humanity to realization of an inherently sustainable, satisfactory-to-all, ever higher standard of living. Critical threshold-crossing of the inevitable revolution is already underway.
The courage to cooperate or initiate are based entirely on the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth as the divine mind within you tells you the truth is. It really does require a courage and a self-disciplining to go along with that truth.
I never try to tell anybody else what to do, number one. And number two, I think that's what the individual is all about. Each one of us has something to contribute. This really depends on each one doing their own thinking, but not following any kind of rule that I can give out, any command. We're all on the frontier, we're all in a great mystery — incredibly mysterious. Each one possesses exactly what each one is working out, and what each one works out relates to their particular set of circumstances of any one day, or any one place around the world.
I have to say, I think that we are in some kind of final examination as to whether human beings now, with this capability to acquire information and to communicate, whether we're really qualified to take on the responsibility we're designed to be entrusted with. And this is not a matter of an examination of the types of governments, nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with economic systems. It has to do with the individual. Does the individual have the courage to really go along with the truth?
We are at the point where the integrity of the individual counts and not what the political leadership or the religious leadership says to do.
The dark ages still reign over all humanity, and the depth and persistence of this domination are only now becoming clear.
This Dark Ages prison has no steel bars, chains, or locks. Instead, it is locked by misorientation and built of misinformation. Caught up in a plethora of conditioned reflexes and driven by the human ego, both warden and prisoner attempt meagerly to compete with God. All are intractably skeptical of what they do not understand.
We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think.
We must progress to the stage of doing all the right things for all the right reasons instead of doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons.
Every child has an enormous drive to demonstrate competence. If humans are not required to earn a living to be provided survival needs, many are going to want very much to be productive, but not at those tasks they did not choose to do but were forced to accept in order to earn money. Instead, humans will spontaneously take upon themselves those tasks that world society really needs to have done.
Dear reader, traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.

Gracie Allen[edit]

(26 July {1895 - year uncertain} - 27 August 1964)

I think there's so much good in the worst of us, and so many of the worst of us get the best of us, that the rest of us aren't even worth talking about.
I'll bet you say that to all the girls!
Cultivate friendships. If you don’t have time to cultivate all of them, plow under every fifth one and collect your bonus.
Let them call us nonentities. Who cares? A nonenitiy can be just as famous as anybody else if enough people know about him.
But let’s leave personalities out of this and just talk about me.
I was so surprised at being born that I didn't speak for a year and a half.
Try to understand me. Nothing is impossible.
As I always say, as long as we have issues, we can’t have everything.
A platform is something a candidate stands for and the voters fall for. ... I’m having my platform run up by a movie set designer, so it will be very impressive from the front, but not too premanent. After all, there’s no sense putting a lot of time and thought into something you’ll have no use for after you’re elected.
The masses demand a fighting President, and that means you’ve got to offend somebody, because the way I see it, a strong offense is the best attack.
So what can you offend?
That’s an easy one. Offend the other candidates, because they’ll be too busy talking to hear you, and besides, they might not vote for you anyway.
I decided that if you could make me cry, I must really love you.
Never place a period where God has placed a comma.

Hilda Lewis[edit]

Helm of Awe (white on black).svg (1896–1974)

It was common talk that the King's moods shifted this way and that you never knew what to expect.
I was a lonely child though there were children in plenty on our land. But my nurse forbade me to play with them. She guarded my dignity; more than my mother, indeed, who being so great a lady took dignity for granted.
But in any case there was little time for them to play.
She was a royal child. She knew that golden shoes pinch and there is no escaping them.
· · The Ship that Flew · ·
Aegishjalmr.svg
It all began with Peter's toothache. You wouldn't think anything really nice could come out of having a toothache, would you? Well, this time it did.
It was a narrow little street and rather dark, with old houses set close together. Peter was rather surprised. He didn't remember this street, and what is more, he hadn't known there were any old houses in new little Radcliff-on-the-sea. "But then," he told himself sensibly, "I don't know everything!"
They don't make ships like that nowadays … It would cost all the money you have in the world — and a bit over.
Magic. Magic had happened to him. He knew it would one day. He had always believed in magic, even whe the others had laughed at him, laughed because he was the eldest and ought to know better.
Earth and fire and water and air
We solemnly promise, we solemnly swear
Not a word, not a hint, not a sound to declare
Earth and fire and water and air!
You've got to wish!
We all seem to want something different … let's leave it to the ship.
We would not dream of telling you lies, sir, and we are grateful for all your kindness to us, really we are, but if we told you the truth you wouldn't believe it.
It is true that no one had found either sapphires or diamonds or rubies on this particular stretch of beach, but that, Sandy was convinced, was because they hadn't looked hard enough.
It is the best of ships. When her sails are hoisted a breeze springs up and carries her swift and safe to whatever place the gods choose. She is made of thousands of little pieces fitted together withs such cleverness that when she is not wanted Frey can fold her up and put her in his pocket.
Suddenly the sun burst through, fierce and bright as after a storm.
Before them stood an old man, very tall and upright, carrying a staff as though it were a king's sceptre. There was something so noble about the old man that the children knew, in spite of his simple tunic and broad-brimmed hat, that he must be a king at the very least.
This thing is beyond your understanding, my child. Think no further on the matter and maybe you will read the riddle in the end. Who knows? Meanwhile the air is fresh and the day golden and my palace is near at hand. The young should enjoy themselves while they may, so come!
"Yes," she said, reading their thoughts, "it is a cloud. I spin the clouds into the finest linen for the gods to wear. I am the mother of the gods and I am called The Spinner in the Clouds." … I am older than the stars."
Thor wages unceasing fight against the giants, and will do so to the end of time. … There are always giants … and men must always fight against them.
To the Peace Stead, for this thing must be settled in friendship.
I must never leave Asgard and my work of watching all growing things … Frey must not seek his own, lest famine fall upon Asgard and the world of men starve.
Frey, it is very clear that Skidbladnir has passed out of your hands. It was yours and you lost it. Now it has come to this child by right of purchase, and it is his until he, of his own free will, shall give it up!
Men come and go. The years pass with them more swiftly than the flight of an arrow. But with the gods it is not so. Ages must pass, the sea may grow dry and the mountains crumble, but our hair is not less bright, nor our strength less, nor our wits more dim. The gods endure.
There is no magic when one no longer believes.
We'll forget … Being grown-up does that to you.
On the day you send back Skidbladnir, I will grant each one his heart's desire.
Guard my ship well. And now I will tell you a secret concerning Skidbladnir that no soul knows, save Father Odin and me. When you alight from the ship and set foot in a foreign land whose tongue you can neither speak nor understand, pass each one of you a hand over the boar's head and the secret of foreign speech shall be made clear. And more, you shall look like the dwellers in the land and no man shall know that you are strangers. And so, brother, farewell!
You can't help troubles popping up now and then, even when you don't expect them. I mean, even if we stayed here on this spot without moving, something would happen!
These are bad times. One day you live in peace in the house you have built for yourself, and the next, who knows, but the house is burnt about your head, and you wander forth, starving.
These days no man knows who may be his friend, nor who his enemy.
Don't be silly … It isn't witchcraft at all. Just plain straightforward magic!
Usertsen ordered that an inscription be made testifying to the truth of the story, and placed it in his coffin. He also ordered that it should be carved into the rock so that it would endure for all time. Odd isn't it?
It was just possible that the magic had run out, as Peter said. After all, you knew a lot less about magic than you did about an electric torch.'
This is no time for anger … nor for any talk of punishment. First we must fight. And when we return in victory, then I shall deal justly with the traitors.
"I wonder what's really underneath that cloud?" asked Sandy. "I mean, if we could look through it, what would we see?"
"The past, spread out like a map," Sheila answered.
I had thought you were a dream, all of you. Or that you had forgotten me. And I do not know which thought I liked least. And now you are here at last!
Nobody must know where it has come from. It is my secret … We must slip it in through the vicarage door when it is dark!
She walked silent between the chattering children. This was their world, their own real world. But friendly and happy though it was, it wasn't her world. Hers was a world of cold stone castles and grim fighting; of hardship and courage. Of courage! She was suddenly impatient of this pleasant easy world of theirs, where life flowed so smoothly. She was so tired that it was almost as though she moved in a dream. Nothing seemed quite real any longer.
I must live my life in my own way and in my own time.
At first Robin was too dumbfounded to think clearly, but soon the thought of his man in danger put all other ideas out of his head; he sat there, a hand pulling impatiently at his beard. Round and round went his thoughts. More than once, his plan almost complete, he would discover some detail that would endanger the whole thing.
You must must make your way with all speed to the castle rock and take you stand upon the highest place, that is to the left hand as you face the river. There you must stand with the ship ready in hand, awaiting the signal. And having received the signal, you must not delay a second.
You … shall give the signal. You must press as close to the stake as you dare … The signal must be plain to him who watches.
Now do you understand right well the parts you must play?
I will not hide from you lad … that of all the tasks, yours is the most perilous. But all will go well if you be steadfast and not lose your wits. Now listen. When you have played your part, you must walk slowly away, and in the confusion — for confusion there will certainly be — you may well escape. Whatever betide, you must not run, nor show any sign of haste; for a crowd that is cheated is swift upon the scent as any hound. And if by ill chance you be taken, then submit yourself, for I will come to your aid, I pledge my word.
Now remember — the signal given, you must delay not an instant. It is a man's life you work for, and maybe your own and mine too! And so farewell and good luck go with us!
A lot of the fun you can have in the garden depends upon what sort of man the gardner is.
They went further back in time, till it seemed the time-cloud would never lift. They walked in the hanging gardens of Babylon, they watched beside Leonidas in the pass of Thermopylae, they stood with Horatius, when he kept the bridge, and stepped beside Hannibal over the frozen Alps when he marched for Rome.
It was all so wonderful and so magical that sometimes they got a little confused by their adventures, so that their memories were like painted patterns that some one has left out in the rain. And sometimes they began to wonder if it was really true — all of them except Peter, who had no doubts whatsoever.
And then Peter began to wonder what would happen if he, too, grew like the others and didn't believe. His boat, is own little boat, would be neglected and forgotten. And the magic would work no longer — for when you no longer believe, then the magic stops.
You have used it much … and you have used it well.
"You have forgotten," said the old man. "And you will forget still more!"
"I don't want to forget," cried Peter, "I don't want to!"
The old man leaned over and touched Peter's forehead with his finger. It was a pleasant touch, cool and soothing.
"Of course you must forget," he said kindly. "You must make room for all the new things you have to learn."
Whether all this really happened, not even Peter can say now.

Wilhelm Reich[edit]

Caduceus color.svg (24 March 1897 - 3 November 1957)

C. S. Lewis[edit]

Statue of C.S. Lewis, Belfast.jpg (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963)

Ernest Hemingway[edit]

Ernest Hemingway 1950 crop.jpg (21 July 1899 – 2 July 1961)

The age demanded that we dance
And jammed us into iron pants.
And in the end the age was handed
The sort of shit that it demanded.
A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.
The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life — and one is as good as the other.
All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn… American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.
That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best — make it all up — but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way.
Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called by the Masai "Ngàje Ngài," the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.
In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well oiled in the closet, but unused.
There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.
Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it — don't cheat with it.
There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.
Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.
You know that fiction, prose rather, is possibly the roughest trade of all in writing. You do not have the reference, the old important reference. You have the sheet of blank paper, the pencil, and the obligation to invent truer than things can be true. You have to take what is not palpable and make it completely palpable and also have it seem normal and so that it can become a part of experience of the person who reads it.
It's enough for you to do it once for a few men to remember you. But if you do it year after year, then many people remember you and they tell it to their children, and their children and grandchildren remember and, if it concerns books, they can read them. And if it's good enough, it will last as long as there are human beings.
If a writer … knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows…. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.
All our words from loose using have lost their edge.
Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts.
All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
It wasn't by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics.
I started out very quiet and I beat Mr. Turgenev. Then I trained hard and I beat Mr. de Maupassant. I’ve fought two draws with Mr. Stendhal, and I think I had an edge in the last one. But nobody’s going to get me in any ring with Mr. Tolstoy unless I’m crazy or I keep getting better
You know lots of criticism is written by characters who are very academic and think it is a sign you are worthless if you make jokes or kid or even clown. I wouldn't kid Our Lord if he was on the cross. But I would attempt a joke with him if I ran into him chasing the money changers out of the temple.
A serious writer is not to be confused with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
Pound's crazy. All poets are.... They have to be. You don't put a poet like Pound in the loony bin. For history's sake we shouldn't keep him there.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man's life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.
The individual, the great artist when he comes, uses everything that has been discovered or known about his art up to that point, being able to accept or reject in a time so short it seems that the knowledge was born with him, rather than that he takes instantly what it takes the ordinary man a lifetime to know, and then the great artist goes beyond what has been done or known and makes something of his own.
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.
The hardest thing to do is to write straight honest prose on human beings. First you have to know the subject; then you have to know how to write. Both take a lifetime to learn, and anybody is cheating who takes politics as a way out. All the outs are too easy, and the thing itself is too hard to do.
War is no longer made by simply analysed economic forces if it ever was. War is made or planned now by individual men, demagogues and dictators who play on the patriotism of their people to mislead them into a belief in the great fallacy of war when all their vaunted reforms have failed to satisfy the people they misrule.
They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for ones country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.
No catalogue of horrors ever kept men from war. Before the war you always think that it's not you that dies. But you will die, brother, if you go to it long enough.
The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.
Things may not be immediately discernible in what a man writes, and in this sometimes he is fortunate; but eventually they are quite clear and by these and the degree of alchemy that he possesses he will endure or be forgotten.
How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him.
From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality. That is why you write and for no other reason that you know of. But what about all the reasons that no one knows?
The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it.
All things truly wicked start from an innocence.
Never confuse movement with action.
One battle doesn't make a campaign but critics treat one book, good or bad, like a whole goddamn war.
There's no one thing that's true. It's all true.
Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today. It's been that way all this year. It's been that way so many times. All of war is that way.
If we win here we will win everywhere. The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.
Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.

P. L. Travers[edit]

PL Travers.jpg (9 August 1899 - 23 April 1996)

You can ask me anything you like about my work, but I'll never talk about myself.
Mary Poppins herself had flown away, but the gifts she had brought would remain for always.
You do not chop off a section of your imaginative substance and make a book specifically for children, for — if you are honest — you have no idea where childhood ends and maturity begins. It is all endless and all one.
A writer is, after all, only half his book. The other half is the reader and from the reader the writer learns.
Tonight the small are free from the great and the great protect the small.
For me there are no answers, only questions, and I am grateful that the questions go on and on. I don't look for an answer, because I don't think there is one. I'm very glad to be the bearer of a question.
It may be that to eat and be eaten are the same thing in the end. My wisdom tells me that this is probably so. We are all made of the same stuff, remember, we of the Jungle, you of the City. The same substance composes us — the tree overhead, the stone beneath us, the bird, the beast, the star — we are all one, all moving to the same end. Remember that when you no longer remember me, my child.
Bird and beast and stone and star — we are all one, all one … Child and serpent, star and stone — all one.

Jorge Luis Borges[edit]

Jorge Luis Borges Hotel.jpg (24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986)

Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster idiocy.
A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
What one man does is something done, in some measure, by all men.
Universal history is the history of a few metaphors.
Life itself is a quotation.
There is only one Individual … this indivisible Individual is every one of the separate beings in the universe … these beings are the instruments and masks of divinity itself.
There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite.
It is clear that there is no classification of the Universe that is not arbitrary and full of conjectures. The reason for this is very simple: we do not know what kind of thing the universe is.
It is venturesome to think that a coordination of words (philosophies are nothing more than that) can resemble the universe very much. It is also venturesome to think that of all these illustrious coordinations, one of them — at least in an infinitesimal way — does not resemble the universe a bit more than the others.
The impossibility of penetrating the divine pattern of the universe cannot stop us from planning human patterns, even though we are concious they are not definitive.
Time is the substance from which I am made.
Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river;
It is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger;
It is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
That one individual should awaken in another memories that belong to still a third is an obvious paradox.
No one is anyone, one single immortal man is all men. Like Cornelius Agrippa, I am god, I am hero, I am philosopher, I am demon and I am world, which is a tedious way of saying that I do not exist.
We (the indivisible divinity that works in us) have dreamed the world. We have dreamed it resistant, mysterious, visible, ubiquitous in space and firm in time, but we have allowed slight, and eternal, bits of the irrational to form part of its architecture so as to know that it is false.
A Chinese prose writer has observed that the unicorn, because of its own anomaly, will pass unnoticed. Our eyes see what they are accustomed to seeing.
You will reply that reality hasn't the slightest need to be of interest. And I'll answer you that reality may avoid the obligation to be interesting, but that hypotheses may not.
Writing long books is a laborious and impoverishing act of foolishness: expanding in five hundred pages an idea that could be perfectly explained in a few minutes. A better procedure is to pretend that those books already exist and to offer a summary, a commentary.
Every man should be capable of all ideas and I understand that in the future this will be the case.
There is no act that is not the coronation of an infinite series of causes and the source of an infinite series of effects.
We can suspect that there is no universe in the organic, unifying sense, that this ambitious term has. If there is a universe, its aim is not conjectured yet; we have not yet conjectured the words, the definitions, the etymologies, the synonyms, from the secret dictionary of God.
I leave to the various futures (not to all) my garden of forking paths.
This web of time — the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect or ignore each other through the centuries — embrace every possibility.
Time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures. In one of them I am your enemy.
The future is inevitable and precise, but it may not occur. God lurks in the gaps.
Do you want to see what human eyes have never seen? Look at the moon. Do you want to hear what ears have never heard? Listen to the bird's cry. Do you want to touch what hands have never touched? Touch the earth. Verily I say that God is about to create the world.
Let heaven exist, though my own place may be in hell. Let me be tortured and battered and annihilated, but let there be one instant, one creature, wherein thy enormous Library may find its justification.
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
Poetry is not the books in the library … Poetry is the encounter of the reader with the book, the discovery of the book.
Reality is not always probable, or likely.
The aesthetic event is something as evident, as immediate, as indefinable as love, the taste of fruit, of water. We feel poetry as we feel the closeness of a woman, or as we feel a mountain or a bay. If we feel it immediately, why dilute it with other words, which no doubt will be weaker than our feelings?
It is known that Whistler when asked how long it took him to paint one of his "nocturnes" answered: "All of my life." With the same rigor he could have said that all of the centuries that preceded the moment when he painted were necessary. From that correct application of the law of causality it follows that the slightest event presupposes the inconceivable universe and, conversely, that the universe needs even the slightest of events.
The flattery of posterity is not worth much more than contemporary flattery, which is worth nothing.
Any time something is written against me, I not only share the sentiment but feel I could do the job far better myself. Perhaps I should advise would-be enemies to send me their grievances beforehand, with full assurance that they will receive my every aid and support. I have even secretly longed to write, under a pen name, a merciless tirade against myself.
As I think of the many myths, there is one that is very harmful, and that is the myth of countries.
Saxo Grammaticus wrote with justification in his Gesta Danorum: "The men of Thule are very fond of learning and of recording the history of all peoples and they are equally pleased to reveal the excellences of others or of themselves."
Not the day when the Saxon said the words, but the day when an enemy perpetuated them, was the historic date. A date that is a prophecy of something still in the future: the day when races and nations will be cast into oblivion, and the solidarity of all mankind will be established.

Wolfgang Pauli[edit]

Wolfgang Pauli ETH-Bib Portr 01042.jpg (25 April 1900 – 15 December 1958)

The layman always means, when he says "reality" that he is speaking of something self-evidently known; whereas to me it seems the most important and exceedingly difficult task of our time is to work on the construction of a new idea of reality.
In the new pattern of thought we do not assume any longer the detached observer, occurring in the idealizations of this classical type of theory, but an observer who by his indeterminable effects creates a new situation, theoretically described as a new state of the observed system. In this way every observation is a singling out of a particular factual result, here and now, from the theoretical possibilities, therefore making obvious the discontinuous aspect of physical phenomena.
Nevertheless, there remains still in the new kind of theory an objective reality, inasmuch as these theories deny any possibility for the observer to influence the result of a measurement, once the experimental arrangement is chosen. Therefore particular qualities of an individual observer do not enter into the conceptual framework of the theory.
When one analyzes the pre-conscious step to concepts, one always finds ideas which consist of "symbolic images."
What now is the answer to the question as to the bridge between the perception of the senses and the concepts, which is now reduced to the question as to the bridge between the outer perceptions and those inner image-like representations.
It seems significant that according to quantum physics the indestructibility of energy on one hand — which expresses its timeless existence — and the appearance of energy in space and time on the other hand correspond to two contradictory aspects of reality. In fact, both are always present, but in individual cases the one or the other may be more pronounced.
Although I have no objection to accepting the existence of relatively constant psychic contents that survive personal ego, it must always be born in mind that we have no way of knowing what these contents are actually like "as such." All we can observe is their effect on other living people, whose spiritual level and whose personal unconscious crucially influence the way these contents actually manifest themselves.
I have done a terrible thing, I have postulated a particle that cannot be detected.
This is to show the world that I can paint like TitianBiljetteken.PNG — only technical details are missing.
There is no God and Dirac is his Prophet.
I don't mind your thinking slowly; I mind your publishing faster than you think.
This isn't right. This isn't even wrong.

Paul Dirac[edit]

Dirac 4.jpg (8 August 1902 – 20 October 1984)

It seems that if one is working from the point of view of getting beauty in one's equations, and if one has really a sound insight, one is on a sure line of progress.
If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination.
It seems clear that the present quantum mechanics is not in its final form.

George Orwell (Eric Blair)[edit]

George Orwell press photo.jpg (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950)

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss.
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page. It is not necessarily the actual face of the writer. … It is the face of a man who is always fighting against something, but who fights in the open and is not frightened, the face of a man who is generously angry — in other words, of a nineteenth-century liberal, a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls.
Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache. They wanted to produce a perfect society by an endless continuation of something that had only been valuable because it was temporary. The wider course would be to say that there are certain lines along which humanity must move, the grand strategy is mapped out, but detailed prophecy is not our business. Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness.
Either we all live in a decent world, or nobody does.
Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.
So far as I can see, all political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.
The whole idea of revenge and punishment is a childish day-dream. Properly speaking, there is no such thing as revenge. Revenge is an act which you want to commit when you are powerless and because you are powerless: as soon as the sense of impotence is removed, the desire evaporates also.
Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I know it.
We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.
To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.
In a Society in which there is no law, and in theory no compulsion, the only arbiter of behaviour is public opinion. But public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law.
Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.
The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals.
We have become too civilized to grasp the obvious. For the truth is very simple. To survive you often have to fight, and to fight you have to dirty yourself. War is evil, and it is often the lesser evil. Those who take the sword perish by the sword, and those who don't take the sword perish by smelly diseases.
Atrocities are believed in or disbelieved in solely on grounds of political predilection. Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence.
By "nationalism" I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled "good" or "bad." But secondly — and this is much more important — I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests.
Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception.
Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. Never use the passive voice where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

John von Neumann[edit]

JohnvonNeumann-LosAlamos.jpg (28 December 1903 – 8 February 1957)

Truth is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations.
No one really knows what entropy really is.
Any discussion of the nature of intellectual effort in any field is difficult, unless it presupposes an easy, routine familiarity with that field. In mathematics this limitation becomes very severe.
With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.
In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.

Dag Hammarskjöld[edit]

(29 July 1905 – 18 September 1961)

The pursuit of peace and progress cannot end in a few years in either victory or defeat. The pursuit of peace and progress, with its trials and its errors, its successes and its setbacks, can never be relaxed and never abandoned.
Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us. To build for man a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice, we must be just. And how can we fight for liberty if we are not free in our own minds? How can we ask others to sacrifice if we are not ready to do so?... Only in true surrender to the interest of all can we reach that strength and independence, that unity of purpose, that equity of judgment which are necessary if we are to measure up to our duty to the future, as men of a generation to whom the chance was given to build in time a world of peace.
A man of firm convictions does not ask, and does not receive, understanding from those with whom he comes into conflict. ... A mature man is his own judge. In the end, his only firm support is being faithful to his own convictions. The advice of others may be welcome and valuable, but it does not free him from responsibility. Therefore, he may become very lonely.
The Assembly has witnessed over the last weeks how historical truth is established; once an allegation has been repeated a few times, it is no longer an allegation, it is an established fact, even if no evidence has been brought out in order to support it.
Setbacks in trying to realize the ideal do not prove that the ideal is at fault.
It is a little bit humiliating when I have to say that Chou En-lai to me appears as the most superior brain I have so far met in the field of foreign politics... so much more dangerous than you imagine because he is so much better a man than you have ever admitted.
I never discuss discussions.
The breaking wave and the muscle as it contracts obey the same law. Delicate line gathers the body's total strength in a bold balance. Shall my soul meet so severe a curve, journeying on its way to form?
The more faithfully you listen to the voices within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside.
It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity. It is when we all play safe that fatality will lead us to our doom. It is in the "dark shade of courage" alone that the spell can be broken.
"Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights.
Those who invoke history will certainly be heard by history. And they will have to accept its verdict.
· · Vägmärken · ·
[Markings]
Small Flag of the United Nations ZP.svg
Destiny is something not be to desired and not to be avoided. A mystery not contrary to reason, for it implies that the world, and the course of human history, have meaning.
In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.
A task becomes a duty from the moment you suspect it to be an essential part of that integrity which alone entitles a man to assume responsibility.
Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean.
I don't know Who — or what — put the question, I don't know when it was put. I don't even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer Yes to Someone — or Something — and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal.
Maturity: among other things, the unclouded happiness of the child at play, who takes it for granted that he is at one with his play-mates.
Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road.
Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.
Respect for the word is the first commandment in the discipline by which a man can be educated to maturity — intellectual, emotional, and moral.
Respect for the word — to employ it with scrupulous care and in incorruptible heartfelt love of truth — is essential if there is to be any growth in a society or in the human race.
To misuse the word is to show contempt for man. It undermines the bridges and poisons the wells.
The longest journey
Is the journey inwards.
Of him who has chosen his destiny,
Who has started upon his quest
For the source of his being.
There is a point at which everything becomes simple and there is no longer any question of choice, because all you have staked will be lost if you look back. Life's point of no return.
The only kind of dignity which is genuine is that which is not diminished by the indifference of others.
To love life and men as God loves them —
for the sake of
their infinite possibilities,
to wait like Him,
to judge like Him,
without passing judgment,
to obey the order when it is given
and never look back.
We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours.
You are merely the lens in the beam. You can only receive, give, and possess the light as the lens does. If you seek yourself, you rob the lens of its transparency. You will know life and be acknowledged by it according to your degree of transparency — your capacity, that is, to vanish as an end and remain purely as a means.
Your cravings as a human animal do not become a prayer just because it is God whom you ask to attend to them.
We have to be forgiven. But we can only believe this is possible if we ourselves can forgive.
It is easy to be nice, even to an enemy — from lack of character.
Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions.
God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.
In the faith which is "God's marriage to the soul", you are one in God, and God is wholly in you, just as, for you, He is wholly in all you meet. With this faith, in prayer you descend into yourself to meet the other.
He who has surrendered himself to it knows that the Way ends on the Cross — even when it is leading him through the jubilation of Gennesaret or the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.
Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible — not to have run away.
For all that has been — Thanks. For all that shall be — Yes.

Grace Hopper[edit]

Grace Hopper.jpg (9 December 1906 – 1 January 1992)

It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.
A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.
You manage things, you lead people. We went overboard on management and forgot about leadership.
Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.
Please cut off a nanosecond and send it over to me.
Programming is more than an important practical art. It is also a gigantic undertaking in the foundations of knowledge.

Robert A. Heinlein[edit]

Heinlein-face.jpg (7 July 1907 – 8 May 1988)

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often confuses one for the other, or assumes the greater the love, the greater the jealousy. In fact they are almost incompatible; both at once produce unbearable turmoil.
Life is short — But the years are long.
When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know," the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.
Morals — all correct moral laws — derive from the instinct to survive. Moral behavior is survival behavior above the individual level.
You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.
Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal.
The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed.
If a country can't save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say : Let the damned thing go down the drain!
One can judge from experiment, or one can blindly accept authority. To the scientific mind, experimental proof is all important and theory is merely a convenience in description, to be junked when it no longer fits. To the academic mind, authority is everything and facts are junked when they do not fit theory laid down by authority.
There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.
· · Stranger in a Strange Land · ·
Mars symbol.ant.svg
There was so much to grok, so little to grok from.
There comes a time in the life of every human when he or she must decide to risk "his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor" on an outcome dubious. Those who fail the challenge are merely overgrown children, can never be anything else.
Johnson did not hit Jill as hard as he used to hit his wife before she left him, not nearly as hard as he hit prisoners who were reluctant to talk. Until then Smith had shown no expression and had said nothing; he had simply let himself be forced along. He had understood none of it and had tried to do nothing at all.
When he saw his water brother struck by this other, he twisted, got free — and reached toward Johnson —
— and Johnson was gone.

Only blades of grass, straightening up where his big feet had been, showed that he had ever been there.
Smith had relapsed into his attitude of passive waiting. Not understanding what it was all about, he had done only the minimum he had to do. But guns he had seen before, in the hands of men on Mars, and the expression on Jill's face at having one aimed at her he did not like. He grokked that this was one of the critical cusps in the growth of a being wherein contemplation must bring forth right action in order to permit further growth. He acted.
The Old Ones taught him well. He stepped toward Berquist; the gun swung to cover him. Nevertheless he reached out — and Berquist was no longer there.
I used to think I was serving humanity... and I pleasured in the thought. Then I discovered that humanity does not want to be served; on the contrary it resents any attempt to serve it.
Remind me to write a popular article on the compulsive reading of news. The theme will be that most neuroses and some psychoses can be traced to the unnecessary and unhealthy habit of daily wallowing in the troubles and sins of five billion strangers.
Here, by the grace of God and an inside straight, we have a personality untouched by the psychotic taboos of our tribe — and you want to turn him into a carbon copy of every fourth-rate conformist in this frightened land!
Sit back down — and for God's sake quit trying to be as nasty as I am; you don't have my years of practice. Now let me get something straight: you are not in my debt. You can't be. Impossible — because I never do anything I don't want to do. Nor does anyone, but in my case I am always aware of it.
Random chance was not a sufficient explanation of the Universe — in fact, random chance was not sufficient to explain random chance; the pot could not hold itself.
"Word is 'God'" … You grok."
"No, I must admit I don't grok."
"You grok," Smith repeated firmly. "I am explain. I did not have the word. You grok. Anne groks. I grok. The grass under my feet groks in happy beauty. But I needed the word. The word is God."
Jubal shook his head to clear it. "Go ahead."
Mike pointed triumphantly at Jubal. "Thou art God!"
Smith still felt that he had grokked rightly the human word "God" — the confusion had come from his own failure in selecting other human words. The concept was truly so simple, so basic, so necessary that any nestling could have explained it perfectly — in Martian. The problem, then, was to find human words that would let him speak rightly, make sure that he patterned them rightly to match in fullness how it would be said in his own people's language.
He puzzled briefly over the curious fact that there should be any difficulty in saying it, even in English, since it was a thing everyone knew else they could not grok alive.
It would be a waste of breath to tell a man who believes in guns that you've got something better.
Language itself shapes a man's basic ideas.
He was not in a hurry, "hurry" being one human concept he had failed to grok at all. He was sensitively aware of the key importance of correct timing in all acts — but with the Martian approach: correct timing was accomplished by waiting.
Religion is a solace to many and it is even conceivable that some religion, somewhere, is Ultimate Truth. But being religious is often a form of conceit. The faith in which I was brought up assured me that I was better than other people; I was "saved," they were "damned" — we were in a state of grace and the rest were "heathens."…Our hymns was loaded with arrogance — self-congratulation on how cozy we were with the Almighty and what a high opinion he had of us, and what hell everybody else would catch come Judgment Day.
Choice at a cusp was not shared. Here was "ownership" beyond any possible sale, gift, hypothecation; owner and owned grokked fully, inseparable — He eternally was the action he had taken at cusp.
Now that he knew himself to be self he was free to grok ever closer to his brothers, merge without let. Self's integrity was and is and ever had been.
The Universe has variety, something for everybody — a fact you field workers often miss.
I've found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much… because it's the only thing that'll make it stop hurting. … I had thought — I had been told — that a "funny" thing is a thing of a goodness. It isn't. Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to. … The goodness is in the laughing itself. I grok it is a bravery … and a sharing… against pain and sorrow and defeat.
Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist — a master — and that is what Auguste Rodin was — can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is… and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be…. and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart…. no matter what the merciless hours have done to her.
The crummiest painted plaster crucifix can evoke emotions in the human heart so strong that many have died for them. The artistry with which such a symbol is wrought is irrelevant.
The world has gone nutty and contemporary art always paints the spirit of its times. Rodin died about the time the world started flipping its lid. His successors noted the amazing things he had done with light and shadow and mass and composition and they copied that part. What they failed to see was that the master told stories that laid bare the human heart.
Patricia's nature was an endless wish to make other people as happy as she was.
A desire not to butt into other people's business is at least eighty percent of all human "wisdom" … and the other twenty percent isn't very important.
A prude is a person who thinks that his own rules of propriety are natural laws.
Live each golden moment as if it were eternity — without fear, without hope, but with sybaritic gusto.
God forgives necessity.
A confidence man knows he's lying; that limits his scope. But a successful shaman believes what he says — and belief is contagious; there is no limit to his scope.
Mike is like the first man to discover fire. Fire was there all along — after he showed them how, anybody could use it… anybody with sense enough not to get burned with it.
Mike is our Prometheus — but that's all. Mike keeps emphazing this. Thou art God, I am God, he is God — all that groks. Mike is a man like the rest of us. A superior man admittedly — a lesser man taught the things the Martians know, might have set himself up as a pipsqueak god. Mike is above that temptation. Prometheus… but that is all.
If one tenth of one percent of the population is capable of getting the news, then all you have to do is show them — and in a matter of some generations all the stupid ones will die out and those with your discipline will inherit the Earth. Whenever that is — a thousand years from now, or ten thousand — will be plenty soon enough to worry about whether some new hurdle is necessary to make them jump higher. But don't go getting faint-hearted because only a handful have turned into angels overnight. Personally, I never expected any of them to manage it.

eden ahbez[edit]

Love travelling..jpg (15 April 1908 – 4 March 1995)

The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.
I am a being of Heaven and Earth,
of thunder and lightning,
of rain and wind,
of the galaxies,
of the suns and the stars
and the void through which they travel.

The essence of nature,
eternal, divine that all men seek to know to hear,
known as the great illusion time,
and the all-prevailing atmosphere.
And now you know my background.
Now Heaven and Earth are older than the temples,
and older than the Scriptures,
and whether we realize it or not,
they hold more authority.

William Saroyan[edit]

William Saroyan.jpg (31 August 1908 - 18 May 1981)

The writer is a spiritual anarchist, as in the depth of his soul every man is. He is discontented with everything and everybody. The writer is everybody's best friend and only true enemy — the good and great enemy. He neither walks with the multitude nor cheers with them. The writer who is a writer is a rebel who never stops.
Genius is play, and man's capacity for achieving genius is infinite, and many may achieve genius only through play.
In the time of your life, live — so that in good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding-place and let it be free and unashamed. Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart. Be the inferior of no man, nor of any man be the superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle, but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret. In the time of your life, live — so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.
Don't forget that some things count more than other things.
I don't like to see kids throw away their truth just because it isn't worth a dime in the open market.
Everything and everybody is sooner or later identified, defined, and put in perspective. The truth as always is simultaneously better and worse than what the popular myth-making has it.
One day in the afternoon of the world, glum death will come and sit in you, and when you get up to walk, you will be as glum as death, but if you're lucky, this will only make the fun better and the love greater.
The role of art is to make a world which can be inhabited.
The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.
I have a faint idea what it is like to be alive.
Every man in the world is better than someone else and not as good as someone else.
I love Armenia and I love America and I belong to both, but I am only this: an inhabitant of the earth, and so are you, whoever you are.
The whole world and every human being in it is everybody's business.
I have managed to conceal my madness fairly effectively, and as far as I know it hasn't hurt anybody badly, for which I am grateful.
We didn't say anything because there was such an awful lot to say, and no language to say it in.
I have read Schopenhauer at the age of twelve with no bewilderment and no contempt of his contempt for the world and its strange inhabitants, and no contempt for the strange inhabitant himself.
The man I liked most and the man who seemed to remind me of myself — of what I really was and would surely become — was George Bernard Shaw.
You must remember always to give, of everything you have. You must give foolishly even. You must be extravagant. You must give to all who come into your life. Then nothing and no one shall have power to cheat you of anything, for if you give to a thief, he cannot steal from you, and he himself is then no longer a thief. And the more you give, the more you will have to give.
Everything alive is part of each of us, and many things which do not move as we move are part of us. The sun is part of us, the earth, the sky, the stars, the rivers, and the oceans. All things are part of us, and we have come here to enjoy them and to thank God for them.
. I don't expect you to understand anything I'm telling you. But I know you will remember this — that nothing good ever ends. If it did, there would be no people in the world — no life at all, anywhere. And the world is full of people and full of wonderful life.
Neither love nor hate, nor any order of intense adherence to personal involvement in human experience, may be so apt to serve the soul as this freedom and this necessity to be kind.
I can't hate for long. It isn't worth it.
I do not know what makes a writer, but it probably isn't happiness.
In the most commonplace, tiresome, ridiculous, malicious, coarse, crude, or even crooked people or events I had to seek out rare things, good things, comic things, and I did so.
A writer wants what he has to say to be heard again and again. He wants it to be heard after he is dead.
At his best, things do not happen to the artist; he happens to them.
The real story can never be told. It is untellable.
I was never interested in the obvious, or in the details one takes for granted, and everybody seemed to be addicted to the obvious, being astonished by it, and forever harping about the details which I had long ago weighted, measured, and discarded as irrelevant and useless. If you can measure it, don't. If you can weigh it, it isn't worth the bother. It isn't what you're after. It isn't going to get it. My wisdom was visual and as swift as vision. I looked, I saw, I understood, I felt, "That's that, where do we go from here?"
I believed from the beginning of remembered experience that I was somebody with an incalculable potential for enlargement, somebody who both knew and could find out, upon whom demands could be made with the expectation of having them fulfilled.
I felt at the same time, and pretty much constantly, that I was nothing in relation to Enormity, the Unknown, and the Unknowable.
I have always been a Laugher, disturbing people who are not laughers, upsetting whole audiences at theatres... I laugh, that's all. I love to laugh. Laugher to me is being alive. I have had rotten times, and I have laughed through them. Even in the midst of the very worst times I have laughed.
Jesus never said anything about absurdity, and he never indicated for one flash of time that he was aware of the preposterousness of his theory about himself. And he didn't even try to make the theory understandable in terms of the reality and experience of the rest of us. For if everybody else is also not what Jesus said he was, what good is what he said?
I did my best, and let me urge you to do your best, too. Isn't it the least we can do for one another?

Rollo May[edit]

Mental health stub.svg (21 April 1909 - 22 October 1994)

Live each moment with freedom, honesty and responsibility.
One does not become fully human painlessly.
Therapy isn't curing somebody of something; it is a means of helping a person explore himself, his life, his consciousness. My purpose as a therapist is to find out what it means to be human. Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, "This is me and the world be damned!" Leaders have always been the ones to stand against the society — Socrates, Christ, Freud, all the way down the line.
Dogmatists of all kinds — scientific, economic, moral, as well as political — are threatened by the creative freedom of the artist. This is necessarily and inevitably so. We cannot escape our anxiety over the fact that the artists together with creative persons of all sorts, are the possible destroyers of our nicely ordered systems. For the creative impulse is the speaking of the voice and the expressing of the forms of the preconscious and unconscious; and this is, by its very nature, a threat to rationality and external control.
Artists are generally soft-spoken persons who are concerned with their inner visions and images. But that is precisely what makes them feared by any coercive society. For they are the bearers of the human being's age old capacity to be insurgent. They love to immerse themselves in chaos in order to put it into form, just as God created form out of chaos in Genesis. Forever unsatisfied with the mundane, the apathetic, the conventional, they always push on to newer worlds.
Lacking positive myths to guide him, many a sensitive contemporary man finds only the model of the machine beckoning him from every side to make himself over into its image.
When people feel their insignificance as individual persons, they also suffer an undermining of their sense of human responsibility.
The value of dreams, like ... divinations, is not that they give a specific answer, but that they open up new areas of psychic reality, shake us out of our customary ruts, and throw light on a new segment of our lives.
The self is made up, on its growing edge, of the models, forms, metaphors, myths, and all other kinds of psychic content which give it direction in its self-creation. This is a process that goes on continuously. As Kierkegaard well said, the self is only that which it is in the process of becoming.
Whereas moral courage is the righting of wrongs, creative courage, in contrast, is the discovering of new forms, new symbols, new patterns on which a new society can be built.
Communication leads to community — that is, to understanding, intimacy, and the mutual valuing that was previously lacking.
Community can be defined simply as a group in which free conversation can take place.
The rebel is committed to giving a form and pattern to the world. It is a pattern born of the indomitable thrust of the human mind, the mind which makes out of the mass of meaningless data in the world an order and a form.
The authentic rebel knows that the silencing of all his adversaries is the last thing on earth he wishes: their extermination would deprive him and whoever else remains alive from the uniqueness, the originality, and the capacity for insight that these enemies — being human — also have and could share with him. If we wish the death of our enemies, we cannot talk about the community of man. In the losing of the chance for dialogue with our enemies, we are the poorer.
There is no meaningful "yes" unless the individual could also have said "no."
However it may be confounded or covered up or counterfeited, this elemental capacity to fight against injustice remains the distinguishing characteristic of human beings.
Revolution may do more harm than good.
The rebel, on the other hand, is "one who opposes authority or restraint: one who breaks with established custom or tradition." ... He seeks above all an internal change, a change in the attitudes, emotions, and outlook of the people to whom he is devoted. He often seems to be temperamentally unable to accept success and the ease it brings; he kicks against the pricks, and when one frontier is conquered, he soon becomes ill-at-ease and pushes on to the new frontier. He is drawn to the unquiet minds and spirits, for he shares their everlasting inability to accept stultifying control. He may, as Socrates did, refer to himself as the gadfly for the state — the one who keeps the state from settling down into a complacency, which is the first step toward decadance. No matter how much the rebel gives the appearance of being egocentric or of being on an "ego trip," this is a delusion; inwardly the authentic rebel is anything but brash.
We are more apt to feel depressed by the perpetually smiling individual than the one who is honestly sad. If we admit our depression openly and freely, those around us get from it an experience of freedom rather than the depression itself.
Power is required for communication. To stand before an indifferent or hostile group and have one's say, or to speak honestly to a friend truths that go deep and hurt — these require self-affirmation, self-assertion, and even at times aggression. ... My experience in psychotherapy convinces me that the act which requires the most courage is the simple communication, unpropelled by rage or anger, of one's deepest thoughts to another.
Violence is the daimonic gone awry. It is "demon possession" in its starkest form. Our age is one of transition, in which the normal channels for utilizing the daimonic are denied; and such ages tend to be times when the daimonic is expressed in its most destructive form.
Not to recognize the daimonic itself turns out to be daimonic, it makes us accomplices on the side of the destructive possession.
The denial of the daimonic is, in effect, a self-castration in love and a self-nullification in will. And the denial leads to the perverted forms of aggression we have seen in our day in which the repressed comes back to haunt us.
Poets often have a conscious awareness that they are struggling with the daimonic, and that the issue is their working something through from the depths which push the self to a new plane.
To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the positive — to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment, and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before.
Vanity and narcissism — the compulsive need to be admired and praised — undermine one's courage, for one then fights on someone else's conviction rather than one's own.
We define religion as the assumption that life has meaning. Religion, or lack of it, is shown not in some intellectual or verbal formulations but in one's total orientation to life. Religion is whatever the individual takes to be his ultimate concern. One's religious attitude is to be found at that point where he has a conviction that there are values in human existence worth living and dying for.
Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. It is based on the experience of one's identity as a being of worth and dignity, who is able to affirm his being, if need be, against all other beings and the whole inorganic world.
Many people feel they are powerless to do anything effective with their lives. It takes courage to break out of the settled mold, but most find conformity more comfortable. This is why the opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it's conformity.
Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. ... One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect on panic among people around him. This is what our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important as these are, and not geniuses and supermen, but persons who can be, that is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.

William Golding[edit]

Conch shell 2.jpg (19 September 1911 – 19 June 1993)

The man who tells the tale if he has a tale worth telling will know exactly what he is about and this business of the artist as a sort of starry-eyed inspired creature, dancing along, with his feet two or three feet above the surface of the earth, not really knowing what sort of prints he's leaving behind him, is nothing like the truth.
Basically I'm an optimist. Intellectually I can see man's balance is about fifty-fifty, and his chances of blowing himself up are about one to one. I can't see this any way but intellectually. I'm just emotionally unable to believe that he will do this. This means that I am by nature an optimist and by intellectual conviction a pessimist, I suppose.
He still says he saw the beastie. It came and went away again an' came back and wanted to eat him.
His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.
"Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn't you?" said the head. For a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter. "You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?"
There was no Piggy to talk sense. There was no solemn assembly for debate nor dignity of the conch.
His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.

Paul Erdős[edit]

Erdos head budapest fall 1992.jpg (26 March 1913 - 20 September 1996)

It is not enough to be in the right place at the right time. You should also have an open mind at the right time.
My brain is open!
Some French socialist said that private property was theft … I say that private property is a nuisance.
I'm not competent to judge. But no doubt he was a great man.
SF means Supreme Fascist — this would show that God is bad. I don't claim that this is correct, or that God exists, but it is just sort of half a joke. … As a joke I said, "What is the purpose of Life?" "Proof and conjecture, and keep the SF's score low."
This one's from the Book!
God may not play dice with the universe, but something strange is going on with the prime numbers. [disputed attribution]
We'll continue tomorrow — if I live.

R. S. Thomas[edit]

Awen symbol final.svg (29 March 1913 – 25 September 2000)

Imaginative truth is the most immediate way of presenting ultimate reality to a human being ... ultimate reality is what we call God.
On seeing his shadow fall on such ancient rocks, he had to question himself in a different context and ask the same old question as before, "Who am I?", and the answer now came more emphatically than ever before, "No-one."
But a no-one with a crown of light about his head.
He would remember a verse from Pindar: "Man is a dream about a shadow. But when some splendour falls upon him from God, a glory comes to him and his life is sweet."
I'm obviously not orthodox, I don't know how many real poets have ever been orthodox.
Any form of orthodoxy is just not part of a poet's province ... A poet must be able to claim ... freedom to follow the vision of poetry, the imaginative vision of poetry ... And in any case, poetry is religion, religion is poetry. The message of the New Testament is poetry. Christ was a poet, the New Testament is metaphor, the Resurrection is a metaphor; and I feel perfectly within my rights in approaching my whole vocation as priest and preacher as one who is to present poetry; and when I preach poetry I am preaching Christianity, and when one discusses Christianity one is discussing poetry in its imaginative aspects. ... My work as a poet has to deal with the presentation of imaginative truth.
True Christianity at its most profound is as good as you get. ... I think I've been lucky in the period which I've lived through because obviously I would have been for the chop in earlier days. The Inquisition would have rooted me out; even in the 19th century I would probably have been had up by a Bishop and asked to change my views, or to keep them to myself etc.... I think that so much of our Christian beliefs ... are an attempt to convey through language something which is unsayable.
The nearest we approach God…is as creative beings. The poet, by echoing the primary imagination, recreates. Through his work he forces those who read him to do the same, thus bringing them... nearer to the actual being of God as displayed in action.
The world needs the unifying power of the imagination. The two things that give it best are poetry and religion.
Let despair be known
as my ebb-tide
; but let prayer
have its springs, too, brimming,
disarming him; discovering somewhere
among his fissures deposits of mercy
where trust may take root and grow.
I suppose I'm trying to appeal to people to open their eyes and their minds to the extraordinary nature of God.
Sunlight's a thing that needs a window
Before it enter a dark room.
Windows don't happen.
You have to imagine
a waiting that is not impatient
because it is timeless.
He arose, pacing the floor
Strewn with books, his mind big with the poem
Soon to be born, his nerves tense to endure
The long torture of delayed birth.
A slow singer, but loading each phrase
With history’s overtones, love, joy
And grief learned by his dark tribe
In other orchards and passed on
Instinctively as they are now,
But fresh always with new tears.
I have been all men known to history,
Wondering at the world and at time passing;
I have seen evil, and the light blessing
Innocent love under a spring sky.
I have known exile and a wild passion
Of longing changing to a cold ache.
King, beggar and fool, I have been all by turns,
Knowing the body’s sweetness, the mind’s treason;
Taliesin still, I show you a new world, risen,
Stubborn with beauty, out of the heart’s need.
The deep spaces between stars,
Fathomless as the cold shadow
His mind cast.
I am a man now.
Pass your hand over my brow.
You can feel the place where the brains grow.
She is young. Have I the right
Even to name her? Child,
It is not love I offer
Your quick limbs, your eyes;
Only the barren homage
Of an old man whom time
Crucifies.
Deliver me from the long drought
of the mind.
Let leaves
from the deciduous Cross
fall on us, washing
us clean, turning our autumn
to gold by the affluence of their fountain.
It is alive. It is you,
God. Looking out I can see
no death.
The earth moves, the
sea moves, the wind goes
on its exuberant
journeys. Many creatures
reflect you, the flowers
your color, the tides the precision
of your calculations. There
is nothing too ample
for you to overflow, nothing
so small that your workmanship
is not revealed.
The darkness
is the deepening shadow
of your presence; the silence a
process in the metabolism
of the being of love.
Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
Sometimes a strange light
shines, purer than the moon,
casting no shadow, that is
the halo upon the bones
of the pioneers who died for truth.
Is there a place
here for the spirit? Is there time
on this brief platform for anything
other than mind's failure to explain itself?
It was not
I who lived, but life rather
that lived me.
somewhere within sight
of the tree of poetry
that is eternity wearing
the green leaves of time.
Blessings, Stevens;
I stand with my back to grammar
At an altar you never aspired
to, celebrating the sacrament
of the imagination whose high-priest
notwithstanding you are.
Art is recuperation
from time.
I lie back
convalescing upon the prospect
of a harvest already at hand.
All art is anonymous.

R. A. Lafferty[edit]

Lafferty2.jpg (7 November 1914 - 18 March 2002)

Do not be deceived by the way men of bad faith misuse words and names ...Things are set up as contraries that are not even in the same category. Listen to me: the opposite of radical is superficial, the opposite of liberal is stingy; the opposite of conservative is destructive. Thus I will describe myself as a radical conservative liberal; but certain of the tainted red fish will swear that there can be no such fish as that. Beware of those who use words to mean their opposites. At the same time have pity on them, for usually this trick is their only stock in trade.
I write as clearly as I am able to. I sometimes tackle ideas and notions that are relatively complex, and it is very difficult to be sure that I am conveying them in the best way. Anyone who goes beyond cliche phrases and cliche ideas will have this trouble.
We ourselves become the bridges out over the interval that is the world and time. … A bridge does not abandon its first shore when it grows out in spans towards the further one.
The good stories, of course, write themselves. And somebody wants to know who are the really good writers, and how many of them there are. There aren't any. Most of the writers are likeable frauds. Some are unlikable frauds.
There are no really new things or new situation. There are only things growing out right, or things growing out deformed or shriveled.
Listen now to a series of sayings that always come hard to brave people. Our own great movement will grow with its own impetus wherever it is not blighted. We will break up persons of blight and centers of blight. But often, and this will be the hard part for all of you to understand, we will warn and advise before we kill. And quite often we will not kill at all. Try to understand this.
True love is that we should hate whatever interferes with our vision of the high and the lowly.
This myth filter was necessary. The ship logs could not tell it rightly nor could any flatfooted prose. And the deeds were too bright to be viewed direct. They could only be sung by a bard gone blind from viewing suns that were suns.
Wrong Prong, Bong Gong.
When very young, Hannali would sit on the black ground and chuckle till it was feared he would injure himself. Whatever came over him, prenatal witticism or ancestral joke, he seldom was able to hold his glee. In all his life he never learned to hold it in.
To you who are scattered and broken, gather again and mend. Rebuild always, and again I say rebuild. Renew the face of the earth.

Leonard Wibberley[edit]

Mouse white background.jpg (9 April 1915 – 22 November 1983)

Though the pen is mightier than the sword, the sword speaks louder and stronger at any given moment.
A Yea might turn in to a Nae and vice versa if a sufficient quantity of wordage was applied. In other talk you argument out until you get the answer you want.
I think women should make a habit of canceling the wars.

Richard Feynman[edit]

Richard Feynman ID badge.png (11 May 1918 – 15 February 1988)

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.
We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.
Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers in the preceding generation ... Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.
The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to. ... No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it.
The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question — to doubt — to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.
No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literacy or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.
Looking back at the worst times, it always seems that they were times in which there were people who believed with absolute faith and absolute dogmatism in something. And they were so serious in this matter that they insisted that the rest of the world agree with them. And then they would do things that were directly inconsistent with their own beliefs in order to maintain that what they said was true.
The exception proves that the rule is wrong. That is the principle of science. If there is an exception to any rule, and if it can be proved by observation, that rule is wrong.
If the professors of English will complain to me that the students who come to the universities, after all those years of study, still cannot spell "friend," I say to them that something's the matter with the way you spell friend.
I have a friend who's an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don't agree with. He'll hold up a flower and say, "Look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. But then he'll say, "I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull." I think he's kind of nutty. … There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.
You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird … So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing — that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
If you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it; other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked — to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.
We've learned from experience that the truth will come out.
We can't define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers… one saying to the other: "you don't know what you are talking about!". The second one says: "what do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? What do you mean by know?"
Some people say, "How can you live without knowing?" I do not know what they mean. I always live without knowing. That is easy. How you get to know is what I want to know.
Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure — the adventure into the unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to summarize it — the humility of the intellect. The other great heritage is Christian ethics — the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual — the humility of the spirit.
These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent. But logic is not all; one needs one's heart to follow an idea. If people are going back to religion, what are they going back to? Is the modern church a place to give comfort to a man who doubts God — more, one who disbelieves in God? Is the modern church a place to give comfort and encouragement to the value of such doubts? So far, have we not drawn strength and comfort to maintain the one or the other of these consistent heritages in a way which attacks the values of the other? Is this unavoidable? How can we draw inspiration to support these two pillars of western civilization so that they may stand together in full vigor, mutually unafraid? Is this not the central problem of our time?
I don't know anything, but I do know that everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough.
There are the rushing waves...
mountains of molecules,
each stupidly minding its own business...
trillions apart
...yet forming white surf in unison.
Out of the cradle
onto dry land...
here it is standing...
atoms with consciousness
...matter with curiosity.

Stands at the sea...
wonders at wondering... I...
a universe of atoms...
an atom in the universe.

J. D. Salinger[edit]

(1 January 1919 - 27 January 2010)

Life is a gift horse in my opinion.
All we do our whole lives is go from one little piece of Holy Ground to the next.
The true poet has no choice of material. The material plainly chooses him, not he it.
I don't really deeply feel that anyone needs an airtight reason for quoting from the works of writers he loves, but it's always nice, I'll grant you, if he has one.
Please accept from me this unpretentious bouquet of very early-blooming parentheses: (((()))).
I say that the true artist-seer, the heavenly fool who can and does produce beauty, is mainly dazzled to death by his own scruples, the blinding shapes and colors of his own sacred human conscience.
I'm a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.
For the faithful, the patient, the hermetically pure, all the important things in this world — not life and death, perhaps, which are merely words, but the important things — work out rather beautifully.
I can't believe God recognizes any form of blasphemy. It's a prissy word invented by the clergy.
The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid.
Holden Caulfield is only a frozen moment in time.
Some of my best friends are children. In fact, all my best friends are children. It's almost unbearable for me to realize that my book will be kept on a shelf out of their reach.
There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. ... It's peaceful. Still. … I'm known as a strange, aloof kind of man. But all I'm doing is trying to protect myself and my work.
· · The Catcher in the Rye · ·
Ear of rye.jpg
Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye, and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy.
"Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules."
"Yes, sir. I know it is. I know it."
Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it's a game, all right — I'll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren't any hot-shots, then what's a game about it? Nothing. No game.
People always think something’s all true
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.
She didn't look like any dope to me. She looked like she might have a pretty damn good idea what a bastard she was the mother of. But you can't always tell — with somebody's mother, I mean. Mothers are all slightly insane. The thing is, though, I liked old Morrow's mother. She was all right.
The thing is, most of the time when you're coming pretty close to doing it with a girl — a girl that isn't a prostitute or anything, I mean — she keeps telling you to stop. The trouble with me is, I stop. Most guys don't. I can't help it. You never know whether they really want you to stop, or whether they're just scared as hell, or whether they're just telling you to stop so that if you do go through with it, the blame'll be on you, not them. Anyway, I keep stopping.
I'm sort of an atheist. I like Jesus and all, but I don't care too much for most of the other stuff in the Bible. Take the Disciples, for instance. They annoy the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth. They were all right after Jesus was dead and all, but while He was alive, they were about as much use to Him as a hole in the head. All they did was keep letting Him down. I like almost anybody in the Bible better than the Disciples. If you want to know the truth, the guy I like best in the Bible, next to Jesus, was that lunatic and all, that lived in the tombs and kept cutting himself with stones. I like him ten times as much as the Disciples, that poor bastard.
I'd bet a thousand bucks that Jesus never sent old Judas to Hell. I still would, too, if I had a thousand bucks. I think any one of the Disciples would've sent him to Hell and all — and fast, too — but I'll bet anything Jesus didn't do it.
Everything I had was bourgeois as hell. Even my fountain pen was bourgeois. He borrowed it off me all the time, but it was bourgeois anyway.
If you do something too good, then, after a while, if you don’t watch it, you start showing off. And then you’re not as good any more.
These intellectual guys don't like to have an intellectual conversation with you unless they're running the whole thing. They always want you to shut up when they shut up, and go back to your room when they go back to their room.
Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy.
Lots of time you don't know what interests you most till you start talking about something that doesn't interest you most. I mean you can't help it sometimes. What I think is, you're supposed to leave somebody alone if he's at least being interesting and he's getting all excited about something. I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It's nice.
You'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them — if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.
That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write "Fuck you" right under your nose.
If you want to know the truth, I don't know what I think about it. I'm sorry I told so many people about it. About all I know is, I sort of miss everybody I told about. Even old Stradlater and Ackley, for instance. I think I even miss that goddam Maurice. It's funny. Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
· · Zooey · ·
Vincent Willem van Gogh 083.jpg
The religious life, and all the agony that goes with it, is just something God sics on people who have the gall to accuse Him of having created an ugly world.
You're constitutionally unable to love or understand any son of God who throws tables around. And you're constitutionally unable to love or understand any son of God who says a human being, any human being — even a Professor Tupper — is more valuable to God than any soft, helpless Easter chick.
Jesus knew — knew — that we're carrying the Kingdom of Heaven around with us, inside, where we're all too goddam stupid and sentimental and unimaginative to look … You have to be a son of God to know that kind of stuff.
When you don't see Jesus for exactly what he was, you miss the whole point of the Jesus Prayer. If you don't understand Jesus, you can't understand his prayer — you don't get the prayer at all, you just get some kind of organized cant. Jesus was a supreme adept, by God, on a terribly important mission.
Both Testaments are full of pundits, prophets, disciples, favorite sons, Solomons, Isaiahs, Davids, Pauls — but, my God, who besides Jesus really knew which end was up? Nobody. Not Moses. Don't tell me Moses. He was a nice man, and he kept in beautiful touch with his God, and all that — but that's exactly the point. He had to keep in touch. Jesus realized there is no separation from God.
I swear to you, you're missing the whole point of the Jesus Prayer. The Jesus Prayer has one aim, and one aim only. To endow the person who says it with Christ-Consciousness. Not to set up some little cozy, holier-than-thou trysting place with some sticky, adorable divine personage who'll take you in his arms and relieve you of all your duties and make all your nasty Weltschmerzen and Professor Tuppers go away and never come back. And by God, if you have intelligence enough to see that — and you do — and yet you refuse to see it, then you're misusing the prayer, you're using it to ask for a world full of dolls and saints and no Professor Tuppers.
Even if you went out and searched the whole world for a master — some guru, some holy man — to tell you how to say your Jesus Prayer properly, what good would it do you? How in hell are you going to recognize a legitimate holy man when you see one if you don't even know a cup of consecrated chicken soup when it's right in front of your nose?
The only thing you can do now, the only religious thing you can do, is act. Act for God, if you want to — be God's actress, if you want to. What could be prettier? You can at least try to, if you want to — there's nothing wrong in trying. … You'd better get busy, though, buddy. The goddam sands run out on you every time you turn around. I know what I'm talking about. You're lucky if you get time to sneeze in this goddam phenomenal world.
An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's.
I don't care where an actor acts. It can be in summer stock, it can be over a radio, it can be over television, it can be in a goddam Broadway theatre, complete with the most fashionable, most well-fed, most sunburned-looking audience you can imagine. But I'll tell you a terrible secret — Are you listening to me? There isn't anyone out there who isn't Seymour's Fat Lady. That includes your Professor Tupper, buddy. And all his goddam cousins by the dozens. There isn't anyone anywhere that isn't Seymour's Fat Lady. Don't you know that? Don't you know that goddam secret yet? And don't you know — listen to me, now — don't you know who that Fat Lady really is? . . . Ah, buddy. Ah, buddy. It's Christ Himself. Christ Himself, buddy.
For joy, apparently, it was all Franny could do to hold the phone, even with both hands.

Isaac Asimov[edit]

Isaac Asimov on Throne.png (c. 2 January 1920 - 6 April 1992)

Ray Bradbury[edit]

Ray Bradbury (1975) -cropped-.jpg (born 22 August 1920)

At the center of religion is love. I love you and I forgive you. I am like you and you are like me. I love all people. I love the world. I love creating. Everything in our life should be based on love.
We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.
We must move into the universe. Mankind must save itself. We must escape the danger of war and politics. We must become astronauts and go out into the universe and discover the God in ourselves.
The gift of life is so precious that we should feel an obligation to pay back the universe for the gift of being alive.
People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it. Better yet, build it. Predicting the future is much too easy, anyway. You look at the people around you, the street you stand on, the visible air you breathe, and predict more of the same. To hell with more. I want better.
We were put here as witnesses to the miracle of life. We see the stars, and we want them. We are beholden to give back to the universe.... If we make landfall on another star system, we become immortal.
I believe the universe created us — we are an audience for miracles. In that sense, I guess, I'm religious.
A life's work should be based on love.
Recreate the world in your own image and make it better for your having been here.
We are alive and that it is gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation.
So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.
My job is to help you fall in love.
I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true — hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it.
Video games are a waste of time for men with nothing else to do. Real brains don't do that. On occasion? Sure. As relaxation? Great. But not full time — And a lot of people are doing that. And while they're doing that, I'll go ahead and write another novel.
Science-fiction balances you on the cliff. Fantasy shoves you off.
Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.
There was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.
There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist/Unitarian, Irish/Italian/Octogenarian/Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women's Lib/Republican, Mattachine/FourSquareGospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme. …For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conversationalist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics. The real world is the playing ground for each and every group, to make or unmake laws. But the tip of the nose of my book or stories or poems is where their rights and my territorial imperatives begin, run and rule. If Mormons do not like my plays, let them write their own. If the Irish hate my Dublin stories, let them rent typewriters. If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmilk teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture.
Digression is the soul of wit. Take the philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet's father's ghost and what stays is dry bones.
From now on I hope always to educate myself as best I can. But lacking this, in future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
· · Fahrenheit 451 · ·
Streichholz.jpg
If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.
(The epigraph of the book is a quotation of Juan Ramón Jiménez.)
Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan.
"Do you ever read any of the books you burn?"
He laughed. "That's against the law!"
"Oh. Of course."
They crashed the front door and grabbed at a woman, though she was not running, she was not trying to escape. She was only standing, weaving from side to side, her eyes fixed upon a nothingness in the wall as if they had struck her a terrible blow upon the head. Her tongue was moving in her mouth, and her eyes seemed to be trying to remember something, and then they remembered and her tongue moved again:
"Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."
This is a quotation of Hugh Latimer to Nicholas Ridley as they were about to be burned at the stake as heretics during the reign of "Bloody Mary", Queen Mary I of England.
How inconvenient! Always before it had been like snuffing a candle. The police went first and adhesive-taped the victim's mouth and bandaged him off into their glittering beetle cars, so when you arrived you found an empty house. You weren't hurting anyone, you were hurting only things! And since things really couldn't be hurt, since things felt nothing, and things don't scream or whimper, as this woman might begin to scream and cry out, there was nothing to tease your conscience later. You were simply cleaning up. Janitorial work, essentially. Everything to its proper place. Quick with the kerosene! Who's got a match!
We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?
Many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet … was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: "now at least you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbors." Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there's your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.
We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. … I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren't they? Don't we keep them moving, don't we give them fun? That's all we live for, isn't it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these. …You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it. The poor girl's better off dead.
If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war.
Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of "facts" they feel stuffed, but absolutely "brilliant" with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change. Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy. … I hope I've clarified things. … We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought.
We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren't happy. Something's missing. I looked around. The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books I'd burned in ten or twelve years. So I thought books might help.
The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.
Do you know the legend of Hercules and Antaeus, the giant wrestler, whose strength was incredible so long as he stood firmly on the earth. But when he was held, rootless, in mid-air, by Hercules, he perished easily. If there isn't something in that legend for us today, in this city, in our time, then I am completely insane.
The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They're Caesar's praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, "Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal." … Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.
Remember the firemen are rarely necessary. The public stopped reading of its own accord. You firemen provide a circus now and then at which buildings are set off and crowds gather for the pretty blaze, but its a small sideshow indeed, and hardly necessary to keep things in line. So few want to be rebels anymore. And out of those few, most, like myself, scare easily.
If there were no war, if there was peace in the world, I'd say fine, have fun! But, Montag, you mustn't go back to being just a fireman. All isn't well with the world.
You're afraid of making mistakes. Don't be. Mistakes can be profited by. Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people's faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.
They would have killed me, thought Montag, swaying, the air still torn and stirring about him in dust, touching his bruised cheek. For no reason at all in the world they would have killed me.
Would he have time for a speech? As the Hound seized him, in view of ten or twenty or thirty million people, mightn't he sum up his entire life in the last week in one single phrase or a word that would stay with them long after the Hound had turned, clenching him in its metal-plier jaws, and trotted off in darkness, while the camera remained stationary, watching the creature dwindle in the distance — a splendid fade-out! What could he say in a single word, a few words, that would sear all their faces and wake them up?
With an effort, Montag reminded himself again that this was no fictional episode to be watched on his run to the river; it was in actuality his own chess-game he was witnessing, move by move.
Somewhere the saving and putting away had to begin again and someone had to do the saving and keeping, one way or another, in books, in records, in people's heads, any way at all so long as it was safe, free from moths, silver-fish, rust and dry-rot, and men with matches.
He walked on the track.
And he was surprised to learn how certain he suddenly was of a single fact he could not prove.

Once, long ago, Clarisse had walked here, where he was walking now.
Walk carefully. Guard your health. If anything should happen to Harris, you are the Book of Ecclesiastes.
Everyone must leave something in the room or left behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.
Stuff your eyes with wonder … live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that … shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.
I want to see everything now. And while none of it will be me when it goes in, after a while it'll all gather together inside and it'll be me.
There was a silly damn bird called a Phoenix back before Christ: every few hundred years he built a pyre and burned himself up. He must have been first cousin to Man. But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we're doing the same thing, over and over, but we've got one damn thing the Phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we just did. We know all the damn silly things we've done for a thousand years, and as long as we know that and always have it around where we can see it, some day we'll stop making the goddam funeral pyres and jumping into the middle of them. We pick up a few more people that remember, every generation. … Some day the load we're carrying with us may help someone. But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn't use what we got out of them. We went right on insulting the dead. We went right on spitting in the graves of all the poor ones who died before us. We're going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we're doing, you can say, We're remembering. That's where we'll win out in the long run. And some day we'll remember so much that we'll build the biggest goddamn steam-shovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in and cover it up. Come on now, we're going to go build a mirror-factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them.

Jack Kerouac[edit]

Kerouac by Palumbo.jpg (12 March 1922 - 21 October 1969)

Kurt Vonnegut[edit]

M51 whirlpool galaxy black hole.jpg (11 November 1922 – 11 April 2007)

Maria Callas[edit]

Callas.jpg (2 December 1923 – 16 September 1977)

Some say I have a beautiful voice, some say I have not. It is a matter of opinion. All I can say, those who don't like it shouldn't come to hear me.
It is not enough to have a beautiful voice. What does that mean? When you interpret a role, you have to have a thousand colors to portray happiness, joy, sorrow, fear. How can you do this with only a beautiful voice? Even if you sing harshly sometimes, as I have frequently done, it is a necessity of expression. You have to do it, even if people will not understand. But in the long run they will, because you must persuade them of what you're doing.
I would not kill my enemies, but I will make them get down on their knees. I will, I can, I must.
Don't talk to me about rules, dear. Wherever I stay I make the goddamn rules.

Edward Abbey[edit]

Double O Arch-Arches NP-Utah.jpg (29 January 1927 – 14 March 1989)

Heaven is home. Utopia is here. Nirvana is now.
We're all undesirable elements from somebody's point of view.
The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an "equalizer." Egalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation's history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.
One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here.
Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.
This is the most beautiful place on earth.
There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary.
All living things on earth are kindred.
A great thirst is a great joy when quenched in time.
Has joy any survival value in the operations of evolution? I suspect that it does; I suspect that the morose and fearful are doomed to quick extinction. Where there is no joy there can be no courage; and without courage all other virtues are useless.
Growth for the sake of growth is a cancerous madness.
We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may not ever need to go there.
My job is to save the fucking wilderness. I don't know anything else worth saving.
To make the distinction unmistakably clear: Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life; Civilization is Giordano Bruno facing death by fire; culture is the Cardinal Bellarmino, after ten years of inquisition, sending Bruno to the stake in the Campo di Fiori; Civilization is Sartre; culture Cocteau; Civilization is mutual aid and self-defense; culture is the judge, the lawbook and the forces of Law & Ordure (sic); Civilization is uprising, insurrection, revolution; culture is the war of state against state, or of machines against people, as in Hungary and Vietnam; Civilization is tolerance, detachment and humor, or passion, anger, revenge; culture is the entrance examination, the gas chamber, the doctoral dissertation and the electric chair; Civilization is the Ukrainian peasant Nestor Makhno fighting the Germans, then the Reds, then the Whites, then the Reds again; culture is Stalin and the Fatherland; Civilization is Jesus turning water into wine; culture is Christ walking on the waves; Civilization is a youth with a Molotov cocktail in his hand; culture is the Soviet tank or the L.A. cop that guns him down; Civilization is the wild river; culture, 592,000 tons of cement; Civilization flows; culture thickens and coagulates, like tired, sick, stifled blood.
One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothing can beat teamwork.
All we have, it seems to me, is the beauty of art and nature and life, and the love which that beauty inspires.
The earth, like the sun, like the air, belongs to everyone — and to no one.
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.
The distrust of wit is the beginning of tyranny.
No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets.
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.
Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.
In a nation of sheep, one brave man forms a majority.
The more corrupt a society, the more numerous its laws.
Freedom begins between the ears.
The "Terror" of the French Revolution lasted for ten years. The terror that preceded and led to it lasted for a thousand years.
Counterpart to the knee-jerk liberal is the new knee-pad conservative, always groveling before the rich and powerful.
What's the difference between a whore and a congressman? A congressman makes more money.
When the situation is hopeless, there's nothing to worry about.
Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
An empty man is full of himself.
If wilderness is outlawed, only outlaws can save wilderness.
Hierarchical institutions are like giant bulldozers — obedient to the whim of any fool who takes the controls.
As for the "solitary confinement of the mind," my theory is that solipsism, like other absurdities of the professional philosopher, is a product of too much time wasted in library stacks between the covers of a book, in smoke-filled coffeehouses (bad for brains) and conversation-clogged seminars. To refute the solipsist or the metaphysical idealist all that you have to do is take him out and throw a rock at his head: if he ducks he's a liar. His logic may be airtight but his argument, far from revealing the delusions of living experience, only exposes the limitations of logic.
One wishes to go on. On this great river one could glide forever — and here we discover the definition of bliss, salvation, Heaven, all the old Mediterranean dreams: a journey from wonder to wonder, drifting through eternity into ever-deeper, always changing grandeur, through beauty continually surpassing itself: the ultimate Homeric voyage.
Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who's always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated and anyone can transport himself anywhere, instantly. Big deal, Buckminster. To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.
The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders.
The earth is not a mechanism but an organism, a being with its own life and its own reasons, where the support and sustenance of the human animal is incidental. If man in his newfound power and vanity persists in the attempt to remake the planet in his own image, he will succeed only in destroying himself — not the planet. The earth will survive our most ingenious folly.
From the point of view of a tapeworm, man was created by God to serve the appetite of the tapeworm.
Whatever we cannot easily understand we call God; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues.
Orthodoxy is a relaxation of the mind accompanied by a stiffening of the heart.
The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need — if only we had the eyes to see.
Knowing now what we have learned, unless the need were urgent, I could no more sink the blade of an ax into the tissues of a living tree than I could drive it into the flesh of a fellow human.
When I write "paradise" I mean not only apple trees and golden women but also scorpions and tarantulas and flies, rattlesnakes and Gila monsters, sandstorms, volcanoes and earthquakes, bacteria and bear, cactus, yucca, bladderweed, ocotillo and mesquite, flash floods and quicksand, and yes — disease and death and the rotting of flesh.
Love can defeat that nameless terror. Loving one another, we take the sting from death. Loving our mysterious blue planet, we resolve riddles and dissolve all enigmas in contingent bliss.
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.

Lorraine Hansberry[edit]

Two girls in slum - Kenya.jpg (19 May 1930 – 12 January 1965)

There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing.
Children see things very well sometimes — and idealists even better.
Eventually it comes to you: the thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.
I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful and that which is love. Therefore, since I have known all of these things, I have found them to be reason enough and — I wish to live. Moreover, because this is so, I wish others to live for generations and generations and generations.
Never be afraid to sit a while and think.

Anthony de Mello[edit]

Smiley.svg (4 September 1931 - 2 June 1987)

No one is exempt from talking nonsense. The great misfortune is to do it solemnly.
Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don't know it, are asleep. They're born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence. You know — all mystics — Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion — are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.
The shortest distance between a human being and truth is a story.
Jesus Christ has got a bad name because of what is said of Him from pulpits.
The master was never impressed by diplomas or degrees. He scrutinized the person, not the certificate.
He was once heard to say, "When you have ears to hear a bird in song, you don't need to look at its credentials."
It is very difficult to recognise a saint because he looks like the rest of us.
All I did was sit on the riverbank handing out river water. After I'm gone, I trust you will notice the river.
· · One Minute Wisdom · ·
Rose feucht.jpg
The disciples were absorbed in a discussion of Lao-tzu's dictum: "Those who know do not say; Those who say do not know."
When the master entered, they asked him what the words meant.
Said the master, "Which of you knows the fragrance of a rose?"
All of them indicated that they knew.
Then he said, "put it into words."
All of them were silent.
This is what Wisdom means: To be changed without the slightest effort on your part, to be transformed, believe it or not, merely by waking to the reality that is not words, that lies beyond the reach of words. If you are fortunate enough to be Awakened thus, you will know why the finest language is the one that is not spoken, the finest action is the one that is not done and the finest change is the one that is not willed.
If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth.
The day you follow someone you cease to follow Truth.
You cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.
Obedience keeps the rules … Love knows when to break them.
What then is a Master for? … To make you see the uselessness of having one.
The sun and its light, the ocean and the wave, the singer and his song — not one. Not two.
No one can help the fish to find the ocean.
When you are guilty, it is not your sins you hate but yourself.
Is there life before death? — that is the question!
Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one's awareness of one's ignorance.
Can one talk about the ocean to a frog in a well or about the divine to people who are restricted by their concepts?
People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favour progress, provided they can have it without change.
Every word, every image used for God is a distortion more than a description.
When I speak, you must not listen to the words, my dear. Listen to the Silence.
Silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of self.
The Master is not concerned with what we believe — only with what we see.
The Master would frequently assert that holiness was less a matter of what one did than of what one allowed to happen.
Thought can organize the world so well that you are no longer able to see it. … A thought is a screen, not a mirror; that is why you live in a thought envelope, untouched by Reality.
Any time you are with anyone or think of anyone you must say to yourself: I am dying and this person too is dying, attempting the while to experience the truth of the words you are saying. If every one of you agrees to practise this, bitterness will die out, harmony will arise.
Nobody can be said to have attained the pinnacle of Truth until a thousand sincere people have denounced him for blasphemy.
A good teacher offers practice, a bad one offers theories.
The feigning sleeper can delude others — he cannot delude himself. The false mystic, unfortunately, can delude both others and himself.
If you never condemned you would never need to forgive.
"What is love?"
"The total absence of fear," said the Master.
"What is it we fear?"
"Love," said the Master.
Wisdom comes to those who learn nothing, unlearn everything.
That transformation is the consequence not of something done, but of something dropped.
These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness and worship without awareness.
To be public-spirited and belong to no party,
to move without being bound to any given course,
to take things as they come,

have no remorse for the past,
no anxiety for the future,
to move when pushed,
to come when dragged,
to be like a mighty gale,
like a feather in the wind,
like weeds floating on a river,
like a mill-stone meekly grinding,
to love all creation equally
as heaven and earth are equal to all
— such is the product of Enlightenment.
· · Awareness : The Perils and Oppurtunities of Reality · ·
A Young Pulsar Shows its Hand.jpg
I'm going to write a book someday and the title will be I'm an Ass, You're an Ass. That's the most liberating, wonderful thing in the world, when you openly admit you're an ass. It's wonderful. When people tell me, "You're wrong" I say, "What can you expect of an ass?"
My experience is that it's precisely the ones who don't know what to do with this life who are all hot and bothered about what they are going to do with another life. One sign that you're awakened is that you don't give a damn about what's going to happen in the next life. You're not bothered about it; you don't care. You are not interested, period.
Do you know what eternal life is? You think it's everlasting life. But your own theologians will tell you that that is crazy, because everlasting is still within time. It is time perduring forever. Eternal means timeless — no time. The human mind cannot understand that. The human mind can understand time and can deny time. What is timeless is beyond our comprehension. Yet the mystics tell us that eternity is right now. How's that for good news? It is right now. People are so distressed when I tell them to forget their past. They're crazy! Just drop it! When you hear "Repent for your past," realize it's a great religious distraction from waking up. Wake up! That's what repent means. Not "weep for your sins.": Wake up! understand, stop all the crying. Understand! Wake up!
The important thing is not to know who "I" is or what "I" is. You'll never succeed. There are no words for it. The important thing is to drop the labels.
Suffering is a sign that you're out of touch with the truth. Suffering is given to you that you might open your eyes to the truth, that you might understand that there's falsehood somewhere, just as physical pain is given to you so you will understand that there is disease or illness somewhere. Suffering points out that there is falsehood somewhere. Suffering occurs when you clash with reality. When your illusions clash with reality when your falsehoods clash with the truth, then you have suffering. Otherwise there is no suffering.
Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don't have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don't you experience it? Because you've got to drop something. You've got to drop illusions. You don't have to add anything in order to be happy; you've got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It's only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels!
It's only when you become love — in other words, when you have dropped your illusions and attachments — that you will "know." As you identify less and less with the "me," you will be more at ease with everybody and with everything. Do you know why? Because you are no longer afraid of being hurt or not liked. You no longer desire to impress anyone. Can you imagine the relief when you don't have to impress anybody anymore? Oh, what a relief. Happiness at last! You no longer feel the need or the compulsion to explain things anymore. It's all right. What is there to be explained? And you don't feel the need or compulsion to apologize anymore. I'd much rather hear you say, "I've come awake," than hear you say, "I'm sorry." I'd much rather hear you say to me, "I've come awake since we last met; what I did to you won't happen again," than to hear you say, "I'm so sorry for what I did to you."
Before enlightenment, I used to be depressed; after enlightenment, I continue to be depressed. You don't make a goal out of relaxation and sensitivity. Have you ever heard of people who get tense trying to relax? If one is tense, one simply observes one's tension. You will never understand yourself if you seek to change yourself. The harder you try to change yourself the worse it gets. You are called upon to be aware.
Step by step, let whatever happens happen. Real change will come when it is brought about, not by your ego, but by reality. Awareness releases reality to change you.
As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. … meaning is a formula; meaning is something that makes sense to the mind. Every time you make sense out of reality, you bump into something that destroys the sense you made. Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.
We're talking not about some resurrection that will happen but about one that is happening right now. If you would die to the past, if you would die to every minute, you would be the person who is fully alive, because a fully alive person is one who is full of death. We're always dying to things. We're always shedding everything in order to be fully alive and resurrected at every moment. The mystics, saints, and others make great efforts to wake people up. If they don't wake up, they're always going to have these other minor ills like hunger, wars, and violence. The greatest evil is sleeping people, ignorant people.
People with golden hearts would make capitalism or communism or socialism work beautifully.
Don't ask the world to change — you change first. Then you'll get a good enough look at the world so that you'll be able to change whatever you think ought to be changed. Take the obstruction out of your own eye.
Happiness is not something you acquire; love is not something you produce; love is not something you have; love is something that has you.
· · One Minute Nonsense · ·
Ihs-logo.svg
The Master in these tales is not a single person. He is a Hindu Guru, a Zen Roshi, a Taoist Sage, a Jewish Rabbi, a Christian Monk, a Sufi Mystic. He is Lao-tzu and Socrates; Buddha and Jesus; Zarathustra and Mohammed. His teaching is found in the seventh century B.C. and the twentieth century A.D. His wisdom belongs to East and West alike. Do his historical antecedents really matter? History, after all, is the record of appearances, not Reality; of doctrines, not of Silence.
The Master was allergic to ideologies.
"In a war of ideas," he said, "it is people who are the casualties." Later he elaborated: "People kill for money or for power. But the most ruthless murderers are those who kill for their ideas."
You will seek for God in vain till you understand that God can't be seen as a "thing"; he needs a special way of looking — similar to that of little children whose sight is undistorted by prefabricated doctrines and beliefs.
"When you speak about Reality," said the Master, "you are attempting to put the Inexpressible into words, so your words are certain to be misunderstood. Thus people who read that expression of Reality called the Scriptures become stupid and cruel for they follow, not their common sense, but what they think their Scriptures say."
He had the perfect parable to show this: A village blacksmith found an apprentice willing to work hard at low pay. The smith immediately began his instructions to the lad: "When I take the metal out of the fire, I'll lay it on the anvil; and when I nod my head you hit it with the hammer." The apprentice did precisely what he thought he was told. Next day he was the village blacksmith.
Those who make no mistakes are making the biggest mistakes of all — they are attempting nothing new.
"Tell me," said the atheist, "Is there a God — really?"
Said the master, "If you want me to be perfectly honest with you, I will not answer."
Later the disciples demanded to know why he had not answered.
"Because the question is unanswerable," said the Master.
"So you are an atheist?"
"Certainly not. The atheist makes the mistake of denying that of which nothing may be said... and the theist makes the mistake of affirming it.
My commitment is not to consistency but to the Truth.
To those who seek to protect their ego true Peace brings only disturbance.
A disciple asked, "Who is a Master?"
The Master replied, "Anyone to whom it is given to let go of the ego. Such a person's life is then a masterpiece."
Wisdom can be learned. But it cannot be taught.
The law is a necessary evil and as such must be cut down to the barest minimum.
One year of life is worth more than twenty years of hibernation.
When someone offends you, you can raise your spirits to heights where offenses cannot reach.
Look for competence not claims.
"What is the work of a Master?" said a solemn-faced visitor.
"To teach people to laugh," said the Master gravely.
Before creation Love was. After creation love is made. When love is consummated, creation will cease to be, and Love will be forever.
The Master once referred to the Hindu notion that all creation is "leela" — God's play — and the universe is his playground. The aim of spirituality, he claimed, is to make all life play.
This seemed too frivolous for a puritanical visitor. "Is their no room then for work?"
"Of course there is. But work becomes spiritual only when it is transformed into play."
The best things in life cannot be willed into being. … You can will an act of service but you cannot will love.
A disciple, in his reverence for the Master, looked upon him as God incarnate.
"Tell me, O Master," he said, "why you have come into this world."
"To teach fools like you to stop wasting their time worshiping Masters."
The Master persistently warned against the attempt to encompass Reality in a concept or a name. A scholar in mysticism once asked, "When you speak of BEING, sir, is it eternal, transcendent being you speak of, or transient, contingent being?"
The Master closed his eyes in thought. Then he opened them, put on his most disarming expression, and said, "Yes!"
A religious belief… is not a statement about Reality, but a hint, a clue about something that is a mystery, beyond the grasp of human thought. In short, a religious belief is only a finger pointing to the moon. Some religious people never get beyond the study of the finger. Others are engaged in sucking it. Others yet use the finger to gouge their eyes out. These are the bigots whom religion has made blind. Rare indeed is the religionist who is sufficiently detached from the finger to see what it is indicating — these are those who, having gone beyond belief, are taken for blasphemers.
Said the self-righteous preacher, "What, in your judgment, is the greatest sin in the world?"
"That of the person who sees other human beings as sinners," said the Master.
"There is something whereby each broken thing is bound again and every stain made clean."
"What?"
"Forgiveness"
"Whom do I forgive?"
"Everyone: Life, God, your neighbor — especially yourself."
"How is that done?"
"By understanding that no one is to blame," said the Master. "NO ONE."
One always treads with a joyful step when one has dropped the burden called the ego.
· · The Way to Love · ·
Taijitu polarity.PNG
If you want to know what it means to be happy, look at a flower, a bird, a child; they are perfect images of the kingdom. For they live from moment to moment in the eternal now with no past and no future. So they are spared the guilt and anxiety that so torment human beings and they are full of the sheer joy of living, taking delight not so much in persons or things as in life itself. As long as your happiness is caused or sustained by something or someone outside of you, you are still in the land of the dead. The day you are happy for no reason whatsoever, the day you find yourself taking delight in everything and in nothing, you will know that you have found the land of unending joy called the kingdom.
To find the kingdom is the easiest thing in the world but also the most difficult. Easy because it is all around you and within you, and all you have to do is reach out and take possession of it. Difficult because if you wish to possess the kingdom you may possess nothing else.
If you search within your heart, you will find something there that will make it possible for you to understand: a spark of disenchantment and discontent, which if fanned into flame will become a raging forest fire that will burn up the whole of the illusory world you are living in, thereby unveiling to your wondering eyes the kingdom that you have always lived in unsuspectingly.

Yoko Ono[edit]

Yokoono2.jpg (born 18 February 1933)

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
Walking on thin ice, I'm paying the price.
I'm throwing the dice in the air.
Why must we learn it the hard way
And play the game of life with your heart?
I gave you my life, you gave me my life.
Like a gush of wind in my hair.
I usually stay away from being carried away,
But one day I saw a silver horse.
I though he might take me to that somewhere high,
I thought he might take me to that deep blue sky.

I came to realize that the horse had no wings.
No wings, well, it wasn't so bad, you know.

I learnt to travel the world around
And run on the ground in the morning.
And that's the story of a wandering soul,
A story of a dreamer.

John and I felt that we were like people in an H. G. Wells story. Two people who are walking so fast that nobody else can see them.
I've got nightmares I could never share with you,
The kind that keeps me up all night.
So hold me tight till the room is light
And tell me that it's all right.
In a day, sometimes I feel so much love for the world, I think my heart is bursting. Sometimes, I feel so scared, I want to shrink myself even further. … I trust in the human wisdom. We are incredibly intelligent beings. So we might know something without thinking that we know…
Don't ever give up on life. Life can be so beautiful, especially after you've spent a lot of time with it.
Remember, our hearts are one. Even when we are at war with each other, our hearts are always beating in unison.
If your judgement is clouded, you must be carrying too many things which are being a burden to you.
Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world.
Power works in mysterious ways. You don’t have to do much. Visualise the domino effect And just start thinking PEACE.
The message will circulate faster than you think. It’s Time For Action. The Action is PEACE. Spread the word. Spread PEACE. I love you!
Y E S

Harlan Ellison[edit]

Paul Cézanne 069.jpg (born 27 May 1934)

You never reach glory or self-fulfillment unless you're willing to risk everything, dare anything, put yourself dead on the line every time; and that once one becomes strong or rich or potent or powerful it is the responsibility of the strong to help the weak become strong.
I have no mouth. And I must scream.
This is a test. Take notes. This will count as 3/4 of your final grade. Hints: remember, in chess, kings cancel each other out and cannot occupy adjacent squares, are therefore all-powerful and totally powerless, cannot affect each other, produce stalemate. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion; the sect of Atman worships the divine spark of life within Man; in effect saying, "Thou art God." Provisos of equal time are not served by one viewpoint having media access to two hundred million people in prime time while opposing viewpoints are provided with a soapbox on the corner. Not everyone tells the truth. Operational note: these sections may be taken out of numerical sequence: rearrange to suit yourself for optimum clarity. Turn over your test papers and begin.
Don't start an argument with somebody who has a microphone when you don't. They'll make you look like chopped liver.
Now he had form and substance.
He had become a personality, something they had filtered out of the system many decades ago.
But there it was, and there he was, a very definitely imposing personality. In certain circles — middle-class circles — it was thought disgusting. Vulgar ostentation. Anarchistic. Shameful.
Where did he get jelly beans?
That's another good question. More than likely it will never be answered to your complete satisfaction. But then, how many questions ever are?
You can live in your dreams, but only if you are worthy of them.
The real story of our times is seldom told in the horse-puckey-filled memoirs of dopey, self-serving presidents or generals, but in the outrageous, demented lives of guys like Lenny Bruce, Giordano Bruno, Scott Fitzgerald — and Paul Krassner. The burrs under society's saddle. The pains in the ass.
Why do people keep insisting that I join the twenty-first century? I live in the twenty-first century! I just don't want to be bothered by the shitheads on the internet!
I am anti-entropy. My work is foursquare for chaos. I spend my life personally, and my work professionally, keeping the soup boiling. Gadfly is what they call you when you are no longer dangerous; I much prefer troublemaker, malcontent, desperado. I see myself as a combination of Zorro and Jiminy Cricket. My stories go out from here and raise hell. From time to time some denigrator or critic with umbrage will say of my work, "He only wrote that to shock." I smile and nod. Precisely.
Like the wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we are, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.
For a brief time, I was here; and, for a brief time, I mattered.

Wendell Berry[edit]

Wberry.jpg (born 5 August 1934)

Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world.
I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies. That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.
Today, local economies are being destroyed by the "pluralistic," displaced, global economy, which has no respect for what works in a locality. The global economy is built on the principle that one place can be exploited, even destroyed, for the sake of another place.
Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.
The line that connects the bombing of civilian populations to the mountain removed by strip mining ... to the tortured prisoner seems to run pretty straight. We're living, it seems, in the culmination of a long warfare — warfare against human beings, other creatures and the Earth itself.
We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are. Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? Why else would we all — by proxies we have given to greedy corporations and corrupt politicians — be participating in its destruction? Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us.
How do we submit? By not being radical enough. Or by not being thorough enough, which is the same thing.
You don't need a large corporation to process local food or local timber and market it locally.
A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.
Far from making peace, wars invariably serve as classrooms and laboratories where men and techniques and states of mind are prepared for the next war.
If I solve my dispute with my neighbor by killing him, I have certainly solved the immediate dispute. If my neighbor was a scoundrel, then the world is no doubt better for his absence. But in killing my neighbor, though he may have been a terrible man who did not deserve to live, I have made myself a killer — and the life of my next neighbor is in greater peril than the life of the last. In making myself a killer I have destroyed the possibility of neighborhood.
We haven't accepted — we can't really believe — that the most characteristic product of our age of scientific miracles is junk, but that is so.
We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. . . We must recover the sense of the majesty of the creation and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.
Individualism is going around these days in uniform, handing out the party line on individualism.
Our model citizen is a sophisticate who before puberty understands how to produce a baby, but who at the age of thirty will not know how to produce a potato.
'We need better government, no doubt about it. But we also need better minds, better friendships, better marriages, better communities.
The more local and settled a culture, the better it stays put, the less the damage. It is the foreigner whose road of excess leads to a desert … a man with a machine and inadequate culture … is a pestilence. He shakes more than he can hold.
The teachers are everywhere. What is wanted is a learner.
We are living even now among punishments and ruins.
A teacher, finally, has nothing to go on but faith, a student nothing to offer in return but testimony.
We are living in the most destructive and, hence, the most stupid period of the history of our species.
Much protest is naive; it expects quick, visible improvement and despairs and gives up when such improvement does not come. … Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one's own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence.
Professional standards, the standards of ambition and selfishness, are always sliding downward toward expense, ostentation, and mediocrity. They tend always to narrow the ground of judgment. But amateur standards, the standards of love, are always straining upward toward the humble and the best. They enlarge the ground of judgment. The context of love is the world.
God made the world because He wanted it made. He thinks the world is good, and He loves it. It is His world; He has never relinquished title to it. And He has never revoked the conditions, bearing on His gift to us of the use of it, that oblige us to take excellent care of it.
Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.
The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war, but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and less wasteful.
Never forget: We are alive within mysteries.
We have more than we can know. We know more than we can say. The constructions of language (which is to say the constructions of thought) are formed within experience, not the other way around. Finally we live beyond words, as also we live beyond computation and beyond theory. There is no reason whatever to assume that the languages of science are less limited than other languages.
To imply by the word "terrorism" that this sort of terror is the work exclusively of "terrorists" is misleading. The "legitimate" warfare of technologically advanced nations likewise is premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against innocents. The distinction between the intention to perpetrate violence against innocents, as in "terrorism," and the willingness to do so, as in "war," is not a source of comfort.
One cannot reduce terror by holding over the world the threat of what it most fears.
We cannot hope to be secure when our government has declared, by its readiness "to act alone," its willingness to be everybody's enemy.
If we are serious about peace, then we must work for it as ardently, seriously, continuously, carefully, and bravely as we have ever prepared for war.
National defense through war always involves some degree of national defeat. This paradox has been with us from the very beginning of our republic. Militarization in defense of freedom reduces the freedom of the defenders. There is a fundamental inconsistency between war and freedom.
In a modern war, fought with modern weapons and on the modern scale, neither side can limit to “the enemy” the damage that it does. These wars damage the world. … Modern war has not only made it impossible to kill “combatants” without killing “noncombatants,” it has made it impossible to damage your enemy without damaging yourself.
Our century of war, militarism, and political terror has produced great — and successful — advocates of true peace, among whom Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., are the paramount examples. The considerable success that they achieved testifies to the presence, in the midst of violence, of an authentic and powerful desire for peace and, more important, of the proven will to make the necessary sacrifices.
Violence breeds violence. Acts of violence committed in “justice” or in affirmation of “rights” or in defense of “peace” do not end violence. They prepare and justify its continuation.
I think we must be careful about too easily accepting, or being too easily grateful for, sacrifices made by others, especially if we have made none ourselves.
Let us have the candor to acknowledge that what we call “the economy” or “the free market” is less and less distinguishable from warfare. For about half of the last century, we worried about world conquest by international communism. Now with less worry (so far) we are witnessing world conquest by international capitalism. Though its political means are milder (so far) than those of communism, this newly internationalized capitalism may prove even more destructive of human cultures and communities, of freedom, and of nature. Its tendency is just as much toward total dominance and control.
We are disposed, somewhat by culture and somewhat by nature, to solve our problems by violence, and even to enjoy doing so. And yet by now all of us must at least have suspected that our right to live, to be free, and to be at peace is not guaranteed by any act of violence. It can be guaranteed only by our willingness that all other persons should live, be free, and be at peace — and by our willingness to use or give our own lives to make that possible.
It is useless to try to adjudicate a long-standing animosity by asking who started it or who is the most wrong. The only sufficient answer is to give up the animosity and try forgiveness, to try to love our enemies and to talk to them and (if we pray) to pray for them. If we can't do any of that, then we must begin again by trying to imagine our enemies' children who, like our children, are in mortal danger because of enmity that they did not cause.
The most insistent and formidable concern of agriculture, wherever it is taken seriously, is the distinct individuality of every farm, every field on every farm, every farm family, and every creature on every farm.
The ability to speak exactly is intimately related to the ability to know exactly.
Ask the world to reveal its quietude
not the silence of machines when they are still,
but the true quiet by which birdsongs,
trees, bellworts, snails, clouds, storms
become what they are, and are nothing else.
A mind that has confronted ruin for years
Is half or more a ruined mind.
You are where
breathing is prayer.
Every day do something
that won't compute.
Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable.
Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it.
Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

To be sane in a mad time
is bad for the brain, worse
for the heart.
What I stand for
is what I stand on.
From the union of ambition and ignorance,
from the union of genius and war,
from the union of outer space and inner vacuity,
the Mad Farmer walks quietly away.

Leonard Cohen[edit]

Leonard Cohen17b.jpg (born 21 September 1934)

What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago. I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski. His course is the caress of the hill. His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock. Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape. His house is dangerous and finite, but he is at home in the world. He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love.
God is alive.
Magic is afoot.

God is afoot.
Magic is alive.
Alive is afoot.
Magic never died.
God never sickened.
Many poor men lied.

Many sick men lied.
Magic never weakened.
Magic never hid.
Magic always ruled.
God is afoot.
I am so often accused of gloominess and melancholy. And I think I'm probably the most cheerful man around. I don't consider myself a pessimist at all. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel completely soaked to the skin. ... I think those descriptions of me are quite inappropriate to the gravity of the predicament that faces us all. I've always been free from hope. It's never been one of my great solaces. I feel that more and more we're invited to make ourselves strong and cheerful. .... I think that it was Ben Jonson who said, I have studied all the theologies and all the philosophies, but cheerfulness keeps breaking through.
People used to say my music was too difficult or too obscure, and I never set out to be difficult or obscure. I just set out to write what I felt as honestly as I could, and I am delighted when other people feel a part of themselves in the music.
"You have loved enough, now let me be the lover." You could say that God is speaking to you or the cosmos, or your lover. It just means, like, Forget it. Lean back and be loved by all that is already loving you. It is your effort at love that is preventing you from experiencing it. It is like if you ever taught kids how to swim. The most difficult thing is … to understand that they will float, if they relax, if they hold their breath and relax, they will actually float. For most kids it is difficult to swim. They feel they are going to sink like a stone to the bottom of the lake.
Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river.
You can hear the boats go by,
You can spend the night beside her,
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there,
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China.
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you've always been her lover.
And you want to travel with her,
And you want to travel blind,
And you know that she will trust you,
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers.

There are heroes in the seaweed,
There are children in the morning,
They are leaning out for love,
And they will lean that way forever,
While Suzanne holds the mirror.
And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said "All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them."
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.
I told you when I came I was a stranger.
Please understand, I never had a secret chart
to get me to the heart of this
or any other matter.
Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.
They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on.
And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song.
Oh I hope you run into them, you who've been travelling so long.
Yes, you who must leave everything that you cannot control,
It begins with your family, and soon it comes round to your soul.
When I left they were sleeping, I hope you run into them soon.
Don't turn on the lights, you can read their address by the moon.
And you won't make me jealous if I hear that they sweetened your night:
We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right.
Let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
You who build these altars now
to sacrifice these children,
you must not do it anymore.

A scheme is not a vision
and you never have been tempted
by a demon or a god.
When it all comes down to dust I will kill you if I must, I will help you if I can.
I finally broke into the prison
I found my place in the chain
Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows
I know there is an eye that watches all of us. There is a judgment that weighs everything we do. And before this great force, which is greater than any government I stand in awe and I kneel in respect and it is to this great judgment that I dedicate this next song, "Hallelujah".
Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?

It goes like this the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah
I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you.
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.
I come from a country where we do not have the same struggles as you have. I respect your struggles. And it may surprise you, but I respect both sides of this struggle. It seems to be that in Europe there needs to be a left foot and a right foot to move forward. I wish that both feet move forward and the body moves towards its proper destiny.
I have no program, I have no five-year plan. ... It doesn’t mean that you shouldn't have one! I just move from hotel to hotel, and from bar to bar, and by the grace of the One above occasionally a song comes…
I don't know which side is anybody on any more. I don't really care. There is a moment when we have to transcend the side we're on and understand that we are creatures of a higher order. That doesn't mean that I don't wish you courage in your struggle. There is on both sides of the struggle men of good will. That is important to remember.
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows.
I see you standing on the other side.
I don't know how the river got so wide.

I loved you, baby, way back when.
And all the bridges are burning that
We might have crossed and I feel so close to everything that we've lost.
We'll never, we'll never have to lose it again.

Now I bid You farewell, I don't when I'll be back.
They're moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track.
But you'll be hearing from me, baby, long after I'm gone.
I'll speaking to you sweetly
From a window in the Tower Of Song

Waiting for the miracle
There's nothing left to do.
I haven't been this happy
since the end of World War II.
If you're squeezed for information,
that's when you've got to play it dumb:
You just say you're out there waiting
for the miracle to come.
You have loved enough,
Now let me be the Lover.
You kept me from believing
Until you let me know:
That I am not the one who loves —
It's love that chooses me.
When hatred with his package comes,
You forbid delivery.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.
I’m stubborn as those garbage bags
that time cannot decay,
I’m junk but I’m still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
Here is your cross,
Your nails and your hill;
And here is your love,
That lists where it will
The light came through the window,
Straight from the sun above,
And so inside my little room
There plunged the rays of Love.

In streams of light I clearly saw
The dust you seldom see,
Out of which the Nameless makes
A Name for one like me.

If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to.
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you. …
Here I stand, I'm your man.
All busy in the sunlight
The flecks did float and dance,
And I was tumbled up with them
In formless circumstance.
They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.
I'm guided by a signal in the heavens
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.
Ah, you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.

Ken Kesey[edit]

Kesey4.jpg (17 September 1935 – 10 November 2001)

The job of the writer is to kiss no ass, no matter how big and holy and white and tempting and powerful.
What I always wanted to be was a magician... My real upbringing when I was a teenager was doing magic shows, all over the state, with my father and brothers. Doing magic, you not only have to be able to do a trick, you have to have a little story line to go with it. And writing is essentially a trick.
Nobody had more class than Melville. To do what he did in Moby-Dick, to tell a story and to risk putting so much material into it. If you could weigh a book, I don’t know any book that would be more full. It’s more full than War and Peace or The Brothers Karamazov. It has Saint Elmo’s fire, and great whales, and grand arguments between heroes, and secret passions. It risks wandering far, far out into the globe. Melville took on the whole world, saw it all in a vision, and risked everything in prose that sings. You have a sense from the very beginning that Melville had a vision in his mind of what this book was going to look like, and he trusted himself to follow it through all the way.
I'm for mystery, not interpretive answers. ... The answer is never the answer. What's really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you'll always be seeking. I've never seen anybody really find the answer, but they think they have. So they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.
The real crazies who are looking for a messiah... after an hour or so they realise I'm not it and go off and look somewhere else.
LSD lets you in on something. When you're tripping, the idea of race disappears; the idea of sex disappears; you don't even know what species you are sometimes. And I don't know of anybody who hasn't come back from that being more humane, more thoughtful, more understanding.
McMurphy laughs. Rocking farther and farther backward against the cabin top, spreading his laugh out across the water … Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. He knows there's a painful side; he knows my thumb smarts and his girlfriend has a bruised breast and the doctor is losing his glasses, but he won't let the pain blot out the humor no more'n he'll let the humor blot out the pain.
You have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy.
I tried though … Goddammit, I sure as hell did that much, now, didn't I?
What we hoped was that we could stop the coming end of the world.
You can't bomb for a humane reason. What we should do is just Mother Teresa them to death with love. It's that old hippie nonsense but it's still the best stuff there is.

Thomas Pynchon[edit]

MutedPosthorn.png (born 8 May 1937)

Why should things be easy to understand?
Let me be unambiguous. I prefer not to be photographed.
He had decided long ago that no Situation had any objective reality: it only existed in the minds of those who happened to be in on it at any specific moment. ... The only consolation he drew from the present chaos was that his theory managed to explain it.
She might have found the Tristero anywhere in her Republic, through any of a hundred lightly-concealed entranceways, a hundred alienations, if only she'd looked
She had heard all about excluded middles; they were bad shit, to be avoided; and how had it ever happened here, with the chances once so good for diversity? For it was now like walking among matrices of a great digital computer, the zeroes and ones twinned above, hanging like balanced mobiles right and left, ahead, thick, maybe endless. Behind the hieroglyphic streets there would either be a transcendent meaning, or only the earth.
A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
It's been a prevalent notion. Fallen sparks. Fragments of vessels broken at the Creation. And someday, somehow, before the end, a gathering back to home. A messenger from the Kingdom, arriving at the last moment. But I tell you there is no such message, no such home — only the millions of last moments... nothing more. Our history is an aggregate of last moments.
What have the watchmen of the world's edge come tonight to look for? Deepening on now, monumental beings stoical, on toward slag, toward ash the colour the night will stabilize at, tonight... what is there grandiose enough to witness?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity — most of the World, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is laid waste in the process.
"Temporal bandwidth," is the width of your present, your now. It is the familiar "∆ t" considered as a dependent variable. The more you dwell in the past and in the future, the thicker your bandwidth, the more solid your persona. But the narrower your sense of Now, the more tenuous you are.
The knife cuts through the apple like a knife cutting an apple. Everything is where it is, no clearer than usual, but certainly more present. So much has to be left behind now, so quickly.
All investigations of Time, however sophisticated or abstract, have at their true base the human fear of mortality.
Who claims Truth, Truth abandons.

Roger Zelazny[edit]

Burningman 0105.jpg (13 May 1937 – 14 June 1995)

The universe did not invent justice. Man did. Unfortunately, man must reside in the universe.
If you herald some turn in our fortunes, if you bring us some measure of grace — thanks, unicorn … And even if you do not, thanks for the brightness of your company at a dark time.
It is no shame to lose to me, mortal. Even among mythical creatures there are very few who can give a unicorn a good game.
Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant — you just don't know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you'd mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place.
Trust your demon.
Of all the things a man may do, sleep probably contributes most to keeping him sane. It puts brackets about each day. If you do something foolish or painful today, you get irritated if somebody mentions it, today. If it happened yesterday, though, you can nod or chuckle, as the case may be. You've crossed through nothingness or dream to another island in Time.
At the end of the season of sorrows comes the time of rejoicing. Spring, like a well-oiled clock, noiselessly indicates this time.
After a while the business end of writing takes too much of the writing time. Better to pay someone ten percent and find that you're still more than ten percent ahead in the end.

Life's incessant ceremonies leap everlasting, humans spring eternal on hope's breast, and frying pans without fires are often far between.
I looked back once to the empty place where my dream had come true. Such is the stuff.
Do we make the Shadow worlds? Or are they there, independent of us, awaiting our footfalls? Or is there an unfairly excluded middle? Is it a matter of more or less, rather than either-or? A dry chuckle arose suddenly as I realized that I might never know the answer for certain.
I don't know that I ever wanted greatness, on its own. It seems rather like wanting to be an engineer, rather than wanting to design something — or wanting to be a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip.
My favorite form is the short story. From an aesthetics stand point you really have to pare down to the bone. You can't write a throw-away scene.
Don't wake me for the end of the world unless it has very good special effects.
Good-bye, and hello, as always.
· · Lord of Light · ·
Bbrot225x225x24.PNG
His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the -atman, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then, he never claimed not to be a god. Circumstances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit. Silence, though, could.
Sam was the greatest charlatan in the memory of god or man. He was also the worthiest opponent Trimurti ever faced.
I have many names, and none of them matter.
Names are not important... To speak is to name names, but to speak is not important. A thing happens once that has never happened before. Seeing it, a man looks upon reality. He cannot tell others what he has seen.
"Fire" does not matter, "earth" and "air" and "water" do not matter. "I" do not matter. No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words. The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem him. He looks upon the great transformations of the world, but he does not see them as they were seen when man looked upon reality for the first time. Their names come to his lips and he smiles as he tastes them, thinking he knows them in the naming. The thing that has never happened before is still happening. It is still a miracle.
I charge you — forget the names you bear, forget the words I speak … Look, rather, upon the Nameless within yourselves, which arises as I address it. It hearkens not to my words, but to the reality within me, of which it is part. This is the atman, which hears me rather than my words. All else is unreal. To define is to lose. The essence of all things is the Nameless. The Nameless is unknowable, mightier even than Brahma. Things pass, but the essence remains. You sit, therefore, in the midst of a dream. Essence dreams it a dream of form. Forms pass, but the essence remains, dreaming new dreams. Man names these dreams and thinks to have captured the essence, not knowing that he invokes the unreal. These stones, these walls, these bodies you see seated about you are poppies and water and the sun. They are the dreams of the Nameless.
Occasionally, there may come a dreamer who is aware that he is dreaming. He may control something of the dream-stuff, bending it to his will, or he may awaken into greater self-knowledge. If he chooses the path of self-knowledge, his glory is great and he shall be for all ages like unto a star. If he chooses instead the way of the Tantras, combining Samsara and Nirvana, comprehending the world and continuing to live in it, this one is mighty among dreamers.
To struggle against the dreamers who dream ugliness, be they men or gods, cannot but be the will of the Nameless. This struggle will also bear suffering, and so one's karmic burden will be lightened thereby, just as it would be by enduring the ugliness; but this suffering is productive of a higher end in the light of the eternal values of which the sages so often speak.
It is difficult to stir rebellion among those to whom all things are good. There is no room for evil in their minds, despite the fact that they suffer it constantly. The slave upon the rack who knows that he will be born again — perhaps as a fat merchant — if he suffers willingly — his outlook is not the same as that of a man with but one life to live. He can bear anything, knowing that great as his present pain may be, his future pleasure will rise higher. If such a one does not choose to believe in good or evil, perhaps then beauty and ugliness can be made to serve him as well. Only the names have been changed.
I shall mount me again up to the Celestial City, though every step be a flame or a naked sword and the way be guarded by tigers. One day will the gods look down from Heaven and see me upon the stair, bringing them the gift they fear most. That day will the new Yuga begin.
He played tune after forbidden tune, and the professional musicians put professional expressions of scorn upon their faces; but beneath the table several feet were tapping in slow time with the music.
It is told how the Lord of Light descended into the Well of the Demons, to make there a bargain with the chief of the Rakasha. He dealt in good faith, but the Rakasha are the Rakasha. That is to say, they are malefic creatures, possessed of great powers, life-span and the ability to assume nearly any shape. The Rakasha are almost indestructible. Their chiefest lack is a true body; their chiefest virtue, their honor toward their gambling debts. That the Lord of Light went to Hellwell at all serves to show that perhaps he was somewhat distraught concerning the state of the world…
Death is mighty, and is no one's friend.
Go away. This is not a place to be. If you do try to enter here, you will fail and also be cursed. If somehow you succeed, then do not complain that you entered unwarned, nor bother us with your deathbed prayers." Signed, "The Gods."
Think not, oh Siddhartha, that because you wear a different body you go now unrecognized. I look upon the flows of energy which are your real being — not the flesh that masks them.
Always dying, never dead;
Ever ending, never ended;
Loathed in darkness,
Clothed in light,
He comes, to end a world,
As morning ends the night.
A sage once said that one never sees the Day of the Yuga, but only knows it when it is past. For it dawns like any other day and passes in the same wise, recapitulating the history of the world.
Of all creatures, only the Binder had bested the Lord of Hellwell. Then the gods had come to challenge his power. They had been puny in the early days, struggling to discipline their mutant powers with drugs, hypnosis, meditation, neurosurgery — forging them into Attributes — and across the ages, those powers had grown. Four of them had entered Hellwell, only four, and his legions had not been able to repel them
Time like an ocean, space like its water, Sam in the middle, standing, decided.
I know my power is returning. I can feel it. Many things are returning now.
I shall return to being a man, and I shall let the people keep the Buddha who is in their hearts. Whatever the source, the message was pure, believe me. That is the only reason it took root and grew.
Something always manages to draw me near the tree that lightning is about to fall upon.
The spoon came alive with spoon-ness and the ball with ball-ness and the block with block-ness, and the girl laughed.
Death and Light are everywhere, always, and they begin, end, strive, attend, into and upon the Dream of the Nameless that is the world, burning words within Samsara, perhaps to create a thing of beauty.

Superman[edit]

(created June 1938)
This is no time for horseplay!
This looks like a job for Superman.
My hearing's very acute.
I can see this, I suppose you could call it, aura of colors that words can't describe around living things. And when something dies the aura fades leaving something that's not easy to look at. It appears empty in a way that makes you feel empty too.
Each time I think I've made a connection with someone … once they find out what I can do, whether it's hours or days later, everything changes. Invariably they freak. They get retroactivly paranoid, wondering what else Clark Kent is hiding from them.
Taking lives is something I definitely find offensive! But roughing up criminal terrorists a bit doesn't faze me at all.
I have many enemies who have tried to control me. And I live in fear that someday, they might succeed. If that ever should happen — If I should ever lose control, There would only be one sure way to stop me. … I want the means to stop me in the hands of a man I can trust with my life.
It's not about where you were born. Or what powers you have. Or what you wear on your chest. … It's about what you do … It's about action.

Robert Nozick[edit]

VoluntarismV.svg (16 November 1938 – 23 January 2002)

Our main conclusions about the state are that a minimal state, limited, to the narrow functions of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts, and so on, is justified, but any more extensive state will violate persons' rights not to be forced to do certain things, and is unjustified; and that the minimal state is inspiring as well as right.
You can't satisfy everybody; especially if there are those who will be dissatisfied unless not everybody is satisfied.
Individuals have rights and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights)
Is there really someone who, searching for a group of wise and sensitive persons to regulate him for his own good, would choose that group of people that constitute the membership of both houses of Congress?
1. A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in acquisition is entitled to that holding.
2. A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in transfer, from someone else entitled to the holding, is entitled to the holding.
3. No one is entitled to a holding except by (repeated) applications of 1 and 2.
Whatever arises from a just situation by just steps is itself just.
Justice in holdings is historical; it depends upon what actually has happened.
Some people steal from others, or defraud them, or enslave them, seizing their product and preventing them from living as they choose, or forcibly exclude others from competing in exchanges. None of these are permissible modes of transition from one situation to another.
Wittgenstein, Elizabeth Taylor, Bertrand Russell, Thomas Merton, Yogi Berra, Allen Ginsberg, Harry Wolfson, Thoreau, Casey Stengel, The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Picasso, Moses, Einstein, Hugh Hefner, Socrates, Henry Ford, Lenny Bruce, Baba Ram Dass, Gandhi, Sir Edmund Hillary, Raymond Lubitz, Buddha, Frank Sinatra, Columbus, Freud, Norman Mailer, Ayn Rand, Baron Rothschild, Ted Williams, Thomas Edison, H.L. Mencken, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Ellison, Bobby Fischer, Emma Goldman, Peter Kropotkin, you, and your parents. Is there really one kind of life which is best for each of these people?
'There will not be one kind of community existing and one kind of life led in utopia. Utopia will consist of utopias, of many different and divergent communities in which people lead different kinds of lives under different institutions. Some kinds of communities will be more attractive to most than others; communities will wax and wane. People will leave some for others or spend their whole lives in one. Utopia is a framework for utopias, a place where people are at liberty to join together voluntarily to pursue and attempt to realize their own vision of the good life in the ideal community but where no one can impose his own utopian vision upon others.
Utopia is a meta-utopia: the environment in which Utopian experiments may be tried out; the environment in which people are free to do their own thing; the environment which must, to a great extent, be realized first if more particular Utopian visions are to be realized stably.
Some communities will be abandoned, others will struggle along, others will split, others will flourish, gain members, and be duplicated elsewhere. Each community must win and hold the voluntary adherence of its members. No pattern is imposed on everyone, and the result will be one pattern if and only if everyone voluntarily chooses to live in accordance with that pattern of community.
Though the framework is libertarian and laissez-faire,individual communities within it need not be, and perhaps no community within it will choose to be so. Thus, the characteristics of the framework need not pervade the individual communities. In this laissez-faire system it could turn out that though they are permitted, there are no actually functioning "capitalist" institutions; or that some communities have them and others don't or some communities have some of them, or what you will.
It goes without saying that any persons may attempt to unite kindred spirits, but, whatever their hopes and longings, none have the right to impose their vision of unity upon the rest.
In a free system any large, popular, revolutionary movement should be able to bring about its ends by such a voluntary process. As more and more people see how it works more and more will wish to participate in or support it. And so it will grow, without being necessary to force everyone or a majority or anyone into the pattern.
One persistent strand in utopian thinking, as we have often mentioned, is the feeling that there is some set of principles obvious enough to be accepted by all men of good will. precise enough to give unambiguous guidance in particular situations, clear enough so that all will realize its dictates. and complete enough to cover all problems which actually arise. Since I do not assume that there are such principles, I do not presume that the political realm will whither away. The messiness of the details of a political apparatus and the details of how it is to be controlled and limited do not fit easily into one's hopes for a sleek, simple utopian scheme.
Is not the minimal state, the framework for utopia, an inspiring vision?
The minimal state treats us as inviolate individuals, who may not be used in certain ways by others as means or tools or instruments or resources; it treats us as persons having individual right with the dignity this constitutes. Treating us with respect by respecting our rights, it allows us, individually or with whom we please, to choose our life and to realize our ends and our conception of ourselves, insofar as we can, aided by the voluntary cooperation of other individuals possessing the same dignity. How dare any state or group of individuals do more? Or less?
Some anarchists have claimed not merely that we would be better off without a state, but that any state necessarily violates people's moral rights and hence is intrinsically immoral. Our starting point then, though nonpolitical, is by intention far from nonmoral. Moral philosophy sets the background for, and boundaries of, political philosophy. What persons may and may not do to one another limits what they may do through the apparatus of a state, or do to establish such an apparatus.
From each as they choose, to each as they are chosen.

Margaret Atwood[edit]

Margaret Atwood Eden Mills Writers Festival 2006.jpg (born 18 November 1939)

It's a feature of our age that if you write a work of fiction, everyone assumes that the people and events in it are disguised biography — but if you write your biography, it's equally assumed you're lying your head off.
War is what happens when language fails.
I am the horizon
you ride towards, the thing you can never lasso
She has been condemned to death by hanging. A man
may escape this death by becoming the hangman, a
woman by marrying the hangman. But at the present
time there is no hangman; thus there is no escape.
There is only a death, indefinitely postponed. This is
not fantasy, it is history.
You wonder about her crime. She was condemned
to death for stealing clothes from her employer, from
the wife of her employer. She wished to make herself
more beautiful. This desire in servants was not legal.
What was the temptation, the one that worked?
Perhaps he wanted to live with a woman whose life
he had saved, who had seen down into the earth but
had nevertheless followed him back up to life. It was
his only chance to be a hero, to one person at least,
for if he became the hangman the others would
despise him. He was in prison for wounding another
man, on one finger of the right hand, with a sword.
This too is history.
My trade is courage and atrocities.
I look at them and do not condemn.
I write things down the way they happened,
as near as can be remembered.
I don’t ask why, because it is mostly the same.
Wars happen because the ones who start them
think they can win.
Despite the propaganda, there are no monsters,
or none that can be finally buried.
Finish one off, and circumstances
and the radio create another.

Believe me: whole armies have prayed fervently
to God all night and meant it,
and been slaughtered anyway.
A lot of being a poet consists of willed ignorance. If you woke up from your trance and realized the nature of the life-threatening and dignity-destroying precipice you were walking along, you would switch into actuarial sciences immediately. If I had not been ignorant in this particular way, I would not have announced to an assortment of my high school female friends, in the cafeteria one brown-bag lunchtime, that I was going to be a writer. I said "writer," not "poet;" I did have some common sense. But my announcement was certainly a conversation-stopper. Sticks of celery were suspended in mid-crunch, peanut-butter sandwiches paused halfway between table and mouth; nobody said a word. One of those present reminded me of this incident recently — I had repressed it — and said she had been simply astounded. "Why?," I said. "Because I wanted to be a writer?" "No," she said. "Because you had the guts to say it out loud."
I no longer feel I'll be dead by thirty; now it's sixty. I suppose these deadlines we set for ourselves are really a way of saying we appreciate time, and want to use all of it. I'm still writing, I'm still writing poetry, I still can't explain why, and I'm still running out of time.

Green Lantern[edit]

35Green.png (created July 1940)

I shall shed my light over dark evil.
For the dark things cannot stand the light,
The light of the Green Lantern!
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power...Green Lantern's light!
You who are wicked, evil and mean
I'm the nastiest creep you've ever seen!
Come one, come all, put up a fight
I'll pound your butts with Green Lantern's light!
Yowza.

John Lennon[edit]

JohnLennonpeace.jpg (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980)

All we are saying is give peace a chance!
There's nothing you can do that can't be done
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy.

All you need is LOVE.

The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.
Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. ... I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it.
We announce the birth of a conceptual country, NUTOPIA.
Citizenship of the country can be obtained by declaration of your awareness of NUTOPIA.
NUTOPIA has no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people.
NUTOPIA has no laws other than cosmic.

All people of NUTOPIA are ambassadors of the country.
That's part of our policy, is not to be taken seriously, because I think our opposition, whoever they may be, in all their manifest forms, don't know how to handle humor. You know, and we are humorous, we are, what are they, Laurel and Hardy. That's John and Yoko, and we stand a better chance under that guise, because all the serious people, like Martin Luther King, and Kennedy, and Gandhi, got shot.
What’s Bagism? It’s like... a tag for what we all do, we’re all in a bag ya know, and we realised that we came from two bags, I was in this pop bag going round and round in my little clique, and she was in her little avant-garde clique going round and round, and you’re in your little tele clique and they’re in their...ya know? and we all sort of come out and look at each other every now and then, but we don’t communicate. And we all intellectualise about how there is no barrier between art, music, poetry... but we’re still all "I’m a rock and roller, he’s a poet" ... so we just came up with the word so you would ask us what bagism is, and we’d say "WE’RE ALL IN A BAG BABY!"
We're trying to sell peace, like a product, you know, and sell it like people sell soap or soft drinks. And it's the only way to get people aware that peace is possible, and it isn't just inevitable to have violence. Not just war — all forms of violence. … So we're just saying "SELL PEACE" — anybody interested in peace just stick it in the window. It's simple but it lets somebody else know that you want peace too, because you feel alone if you're the only one thinking "wouldn't it be nice if there was peace and nobody was getting killed." So advertise yourself that you're for peace if you believe in it.
If people take any notice of what we say, we say we’ve been through the drug scene, man, and there’s nothing like being straight.
I've always considered my work one piece and I consider that my work won't be finished until I am dead and buried and I hope that's a long, long time.
Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.
If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace.
I wouldn't say I was a born writer; I'm a born thinker.
All kids draw and write poetry and everything, and some of us last until we're about eighteen, but most drop off at about twelve when some guy comes up and says, "You're no good." That's all we get told all our lives. "You haven't got the ability. You're a cobbler." It happened to all of us, but if somebody had told me all my life, "Yeah, you're a great artist," I would have been a more secure person.
When I was about twelve, I used to think I must be a genius, but nobody’s noticed. Either I’m a genius or I’m mad, which is it? "No," I said, "I can’t be mad because nobody’s put me away; therefore I’m a genius." Genius is a form of madness and we’re all that way. But I used to be coy about it, like me guitar playing. But if there’s such a thing as genius — I am one. And if there isn’t, I don’t care.
I don't mind people putting us down, because if everybody really liked us, it would be a bore. You've got to have people putting you down. It doesn't give any edge to it if everybody just falls flat on their face saying, "You're great." We enjoy some of the criticisms as well, they're quite funny; some of the clever criticisms, not the ones that don't know anything, but some of the clever ones are quite fun.
We must always remember to thank the CIA and the Army for LSD, by the way. Everything is the opposite of what it is, isn't it? They brought out LSD to control people, and what they did was give us freedom. Sometimes it works in mysterious ways its wonders to perform. But it sure as hell performs them. If you look a the government report book on acid, the only ones who jumped out of windows because of it were the ones in the Army. I never knew anybody who jumped out of a window or killed themselves because of it. … I've never met anybody who's had a flashback in my life and I took millions of trips in the Sixties, and I've never met anybody who had any problem. I've had bad trips, but I've had bad trips in real life. I've had a bad trip on a joint. I can get paranoid just sitting in a restaurant; I don't have to take anything.
I respect churches because of the sacredness that’s been put on them over the years by people who do believe. But I think a lot of bad things have happened in the name of the church and in the name of Christ. … We’re all God. Christ said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." And the Indians say that and the Zen people say that. We’re all God. I’m not a god or the God, but we’re all God and we’re all potentially divine — and potentially evil. We all have everything within us and the Kingdom of Heaven is nigh and within us, and if you look hard enough you’ll see it.
I'm not judging whether "I Am The Walrus" is better or worse than "Imagine." It is for others to judge. I am doing it. I do. I don't stand back and judge — I do.
I don't have any romanticism about any part of my past. I think of it only inasmuch as it gave me pleasure or helped me grow psychologically. That is the only thing that interests me about yesterday.
I've had cocaine, but I don't like it. The Beatles had lots of it in their day, but it's a dumb drug, because you have to have another one 20 minutes later. Your whole concentration goes on getting the next fix. Really, I find caffeine is easier to deal with. ... A little mushroom or peyote is not beyond my scope, you know, maybe twice a year or something. You don't hear about it anymore, but people are still visiting the cosmos.
It takes time to get rid of all this garbage that I've been carrying around that was influencing the way I thought and the way I lived. It had a lot to do with Yoko, showing me that I was still possessed. I left physically when I fell in love with Yoko, but mentally it took the last ten years of struggling. I learned everything from her. ... It is a teacher-pupil relationship. That's what people don't understand. She's the teacher and I'm the pupil. I'm the famous one, the one who's supposed to know everything, but she's my teacher. She's taught me everything I fucking know.
It's better to fade away like an old soldier than to burn out. I don't appreciate worship of dead Sid Vicious or of dead James Dean or of dead John Wayne. It's the same thing. Making Sid Vicious a hero, Jim Morrison — it's garbage to me. I worship the people who survive. Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo.
You say you want a revolution,
Well, you know, we all want to change the world...
But when you talk about destruction,
Don't you know that you can count me out.
There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
For the benefit of Mr. Kite
there will be a show tonight on trampoline.
Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out.
It doesn't matter much to me.
Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you
Julia.
You say you want a Revolution; you better get it on right away.
Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be.

The way things are going,
they're going to crucify me.
They hate you if you're clever, and they despise a fool.
I was the dreamweaver, but now I'm reborn
I was the Walrus, but now I'm John
And so dear friends, you'll just have to carry on
The dream is over.
Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...
Imagine there's no countries,
It isnt hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will be as one.

I really thought that love would save us all.

Bob Dylan[edit]

Bob Dylan Barcelona.jpg (born 24 May 1941)

I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity.
I read On the Road in maybe 1959. It changed my life like it changed everyone else's.
There's no black and white, left and right to me anymore; there's only up and down and down is very close to the ground. And I'm trying to go up without thinking about anything trivial such as politics.
Morality has nothing in common with politics.
We may not be able to defeat these swine, but we don't have to join them.
I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.
How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail before she sleeps in the sand?
God, I'm glad I'm not me.
People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around — the music and the ideas.
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown.

And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s naming.
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin'.
For the times they are a-changin’.
I ain't looking for you to feel like me, see like me, or be like me. ... All I really want to do is, baby, be friends with you.
You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows
Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'. I just might tell you the truth.
When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose. You're invisible now. You've got no secrets to conceal.
Well, I wanna be your lover, baby, I don't wanna be your boss.
Your debutante knows what you need, but I know what you want.
The enemy is subtle, how be it we're deceived? When the truth's in our hearts and we still don't believe?
People don't do what they believe in, they just do what's most convenient, then they repent.
It's peculiar and unnerving in a way to see so many young people walking around with cellphones and iPods in their ears and so wrapped up in media and video games. It robs them of their self-identity. It's a shame to see them so tuned out to real life. Of course they are free to do that, as if that's got anything to do with freedom. The cost of liberty is high, and young people should understand that before they start spending their life with all those gadgets.
Oh, the tree of life is growing where the spirit never dies
And the bright light of salvation shines in dark and empty skies.
Behind every beautiful thing there is some kind of pain
Well I tried my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them
I'm listening to Billy Joe Shaver
And I'm reading James Joyce
Some people they tell me
I've got the blood of the land in my voice
Sometimes you say things in songs even if there's a small chance of them being true. And sometimes you say things that have nothing to do with the truth of what you want to say and sometimes you say things that everyone knows to be true. Then again, at the same time, you're thinking that the only truth on earth is that there is no truth on it. Whatever you are saying, you're saying in a ricky-tick way. There's never time to reflect. You stitched and pressed and packed and drove, is what you did.
The road out would be treacherous, and I didn’t know where it would lead but I followed it anyway. It was a strange world ahead that would unfold, a thunderhead of a world with jagged lightning edges. Many got it wrong and never did get it right. I went straight into it. It was wide open. One thing for sure, not only was it not run by God, but it wasn’t run by the devil either.
We're idiots, babe. It's a wonder we can even feed ourselves.
To live outside the law, you must be honest.
Ev'rybody's in despair,
Ev'ry girl and boy
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here,
Ev'rybody's gonna jump for joy.
Come all without, come all within,
You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn.
May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung.
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young.

White Rose[edit]

Rosa sp.181.jpg (founded 1942)

The imperialist ideology of force, from whatever side it comes, must be shattered for all time.
Nothing is so unworthy of a civilised nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes — crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure — reach the light of day?
It is impossible to engage in intellectual discourse with National Socialist Philosophy, for if there were such an entity, one would have to try by means of analysis and discussion either to prove its validity or to combat it. In actuality, however, we face a totally different situation. At its very inception this movement depended on the deception and betrayal of one's fellow man; even at that time it was inwardly corrupt and could support itself only by constant lies.
Many, perhaps most, of the readers of these leaflets do not see clearly how they can practice an effective opposition. They do not see any avenues open to them. We want to try to show them that everyone is in a position to contribute to the overthrow of this system.
True, we must conduct a struggle against the National Socialist terrorist state with rational means; but whoever today still doubts the reality, the existence of demonic powers, has failed by a wide margin to understand the metaphysical background of this war.
Freedom and honour! For ten long years Hitler and his coadjutor have manhandled, squeezed, twisted, and debased these two splendid German words to the point of nausea, as only dilettantes can, casting the highest values of a nation before swine. They have sufficiently demonstrated in the ten years of destruction of all material and intellectual freedom, of all moral substance among the German people, what they understand by freedom and honour.
For Hitler and his followers there is no punishment on this Earth commensurate with their crimes. But out of love for coming generations we must make an example after the conclusion of the war, so that no one will ever again have the slightest urge to try a similar action.
We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!

Mighty Mouse[edit]

Superraton.jpg (created 1942)

Mister Trouble never hangs around
When he hears this mighty sound:
"Here I come to save the day!"
That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!
We're not worrying at all
We're just listening for his call.

"Here I come to save the day!"
That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!
Here he comes to save the day
And he will prove that crime will never pay
So let the trumpet players play
For Mighty Mouse is here today!

Roger Waters[edit]

Roger Waters Morumbi.jpg (born 6 September 1943)

All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.
All that is now
All that is gone
All that's to come
and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon
Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone!

John Ralston Saul[edit]

John Ralston Saul.jpg (born 19 June 1947)

Stephen King[edit]

Stephen King, Comicon.jpg (born 21 September 1947)

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write.
Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.
I'm rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel, boss. I'm tired of bein on the road, lonely as a robin in the rain. Not never havin no buddy to go on with or tell me where we's comin' from or goin' to or why. I'm tired of people bein ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. I'm tired of all the times I've wanted to help and couldn't. I'm tired of bein in the dark. Mostly it's the pain. There's too much. If I could end it, I would. But I cain't.
Either get busy living or get busy dying.
Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
The universe … is the Great All, and offers a paradox too great for the finite mind to grasp. As the living brain cannot conceive of a non-living brain — although it may think it can — the finite mind cannot grasp the infinite.
"Few if any seemed to have grasped the truest principle of reality: new knowledge leads to yet more awesome mysteries. Greater physiological knowledge of the brain makes the existence of the soul less possible yet more probable by the nature of the search. Do you see? Of course you don't. You've reached the limits of your ability to comprehend. But nevermind - that's beside the point."
"What is the point then?"
"The greatest mystery the universe offers is not life but size. Size encompasses life, and the Tower encompasses size…"
Everything in the universe denies nothing; to suggest an ending is the one absurdity.
If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading DEAD END? No. You might find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through the shell (or find a door), what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover our entire universe is but part of one atom on a blade of grass? Might you be forced to think that by burning a twig you incinerate an eternity of eternities? That existence rises not to one infinite but to an infinity of them?
Perhaps you saw what place our universe plays in the scheme of things — as no more than an atom in a blade of grass. Could it be that everything we can perceive, from the microscopic virus to the distant Horsehead Nebula, is contained in one blade of grass that may have existed for only a single season in an alien time-flow? What if that blade should be cut off by a scythe? When it begins to die, would the rot seep into our universe and our own lives, turning everthing yellow and brown and desiccated? Perhaps it's already begun to happen. We say the world has moved on; maybe we really mean that it has begun to dry up.
Suppose that all worlds, all universes, met at a single nexus, a single pylon, a Tower. And within it, a stairway, perhaps rising to the Godhead itself. Would you dare climb to the top, gunslinger? Could it be that somewhere above all of endless reality, there exists a room?...
"You dare not."
And in the gunslinger's mind, those words echoed: You dare not.
I understand where Bill Maher is coming from when he says, basically, the world is destroying itself over a bunch of fairy tales about talking snakes and men who are alive inside fishes. I'm very sympathetic to it, but at the same time, given the cosmos that we're living in, it's very persuasive, the idea that there is some kind of first cause that's running things. It might not be the god of Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, it might not be the god of al-Qaida, and it might not be the god of Abraham, but something very well could be running things. The order of the universe as we see it, the interlocking nature, and the way things work together, are persuasive of the idea that there may be some overarching first cause.
Even if the torture stops, I'll die. And you'll die too, for when love leaves the world, all hearts are still. Tell them of my love and tell them of my pain and tell them of my hope, which still lives. For this is all I have and all I am and all I ask.

John Perry Barlow[edit]

BarlowJI5.jpg (born 3 October 1947)

I have always felt that no matter how inscrutable its ways and means, the universe is working perfectly and working according to a greater plan than we can know.
Everyone seems to be playing well within the boundaries of his usual rule set. I have yet to hear anyone say something that seemed likely to mitigate the idiocy of this age.
I’m an optimist. In order to be libertarian, you have to be an optimist. You have to have a benign view of human nature, to believe that human beings left to their own devices are basically good. But I’m not so sure about human institutions, and I think the real point of argument here is whether or not large corporations are human institutions or some other entity we need to be thinking about curtailing. Most libertarians are worried about government but not worried about business. I think we need to be worrying about business in exactly the same way we are worrying about government.
TV in America created the most coherent reality distortion field that I’ve ever seen. Therein is the problem: People who vote watch TV, and they are hallucinating like a sonofabitch. Basically, what we have in this country is government by hallucinating mob.
· · A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace · ·
5-cube solved close.png
Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.
Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders.
You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don't exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.
Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.
We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.
We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.
Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.
Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.
These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.
We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

Terry Pratchett[edit]

10TerryPratchett02.jpg (born 28 April 1948)

Spider Robinson[edit]

Spider and Jeanne Robinson.jpg (born 24 November 1948)

A person should live forever, or die trying.
Just as there are Laws of Conservation of Matter and Energy, so there are in fact Laws of Conservation of Pain and Joy. Neither can ever be created or destroyed.
But one can be converted into the other.
In a culture where pessimism has metastasized like slow carcinoma, that crazy Irishman was backward enough to try to raise hopes, like hothouse flowers. …Above all, he — and his goofball customers — believed that shared pain is lessened, and shared Joy increased.
Now he is gone. Gone back whence he came, and we are all the poorer for it. But I refuse to say that we will not see his like again. Or his love again. … To all the Callahan's Places there ever were or ever will be, whatever they may be called — and to all the merry maniacs and happy fools who are fortunate enough to stumble into one: may none of them arrive too late!
The delusion that one's sexual pattern is The Only Right Way To Be is probably the single most common sexual-psychosis syndrome of this era, and it is virtually almost always the victim's fault. You cannot acquire this delusion by observing reality.
I smelled her before I saw her. Even so, the first sight was shocking.
"God is an iron," I said. "Did you know that?"
I turned to look at her and she was staring. She laughed experimentally, stopped when I failed to join in. "And I'm a pair of pants with a hole scorched through the ass?"
"If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron."
Man has historically devoted much more subtle and ingenious thought to inflicting cruelty than to giving others pleasure — which, given his gregarious nature, would seem a much more survival-oriented behavior. Poll any hundred people at random and you'll find at least twenty or thirty who know all there is to know about psychological torture and psychic castration — and maybe two who know how to give a terrific back-rub.
Call it… joy. The thing like pleasure that you feel when you've done a good thing or passed up a real tempting chance to do a bad thing. Or when the unfolding of the universe just seems especially apt. It's nowhere near as flashy and intense as pleasure can be. Believe me! But it's got something going for it. Something that can make you do without pleasure, or even accept a lot of pain, to get it.
It took a couple of hundred million years to develop a thinking ape and you want a smart one in a lousy few hundred thousand?

Haruki Murakami[edit]

Murakami Haruki (2009).jpg (born 12 January 1949)

The absence of fighting or hatred or desire also means the opposites do not exist either. No joy, no communion, no love. Only where there is disillusionment and depression and sorrow does happiness arise; without the despair of loss, there is no hope.
Whether you take the doughnut hole as a blank space or as an entity unto itself is a purely metaphysical question and does not affect the taste of the doughnut one bit.
He inherited from his mother's stories the fundamental style he used, unaltered, in his own stories: namely, the assumption that fact may not be truth, and truth may not be factual.
Painful is the stress when one cannot reproduce or convey vividly to others, however hard he tries, what he's experienced so intensely. In my case, the stronger is the intention to "write about a particular subject in a particular way," the harder it becomes to start writing and to express myself. This stress somewhat resembles the irritation one feels when he cannot describe to another person what he experienced so vividly and realistically in his dreams. All words I use to narrate my feeling of the moment fail incessantly to describe what I wish to, and then they begin to betray me.
Who can say what's best? That's why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.
Numbers aren’t the important thing ... what matters is deciding in your heart to accept another person completely. When you do that, it is always the first time and the last.
You burn barns. I don't burn barns. There's this glaring difference, and to me, rather than say which of us is strange, first of all I'd like to clear up just what that difference is.
Important memories , not-so-important memories, totally useless memories : there is no distinction — they are all just fuel.
As I already explaned, I don't have any form. I'm a conceptual metaphysical object.

Ken Wilber[edit]

Ken Wilber 10.JPG (born 31 January 1949)

At this point in history, the most radical, pervasive, and earth-shaking transformation would occur simply if everybody truly evolved to a mature, rational, and responsible ego, capable of freely participating in the open exchange of mutual self-esteem. There is the "edge of history." There would be a real New Age.
Modern science is no longer denying spirit. And that, that is epochal. As Hans Küng remarked, the standard answer to "Do you believe in Spirit?" used to be, "Of course not, I'm a scientist," but it might very soon become, "Of course I believe in Spirit. I'm a scientist."
An argument can be legitimately sustained only if the participants are speaking about the same level. Argumentation would — for the most part — be replaced with something akin to Niels Bohr's principle of complementarity. Information from and about the different vibratory levels of bands of consciousness — although superficially as different as X-Rays and radio waves — would be integrated and synthesized into one spectrum, one rainbow. ... Each band or level, being a particular manifestation of the spectrum, is what it is only by virtue of the other bands. The color blue is no less beautiful because it exists along side the other colors of a rainbow, and "blueness" itself depends upon the existence of the other colors, for if there were no color but blue, we would never be able to see it. In this type of synthesis, no approach, be it Eastern or Western, has anything to lose — rather, they all gain a universal context.
The real intent of my writing is not to say, you must think in this way. The real intent is: here are some of the many important facets of this extraordinary Kosmos; have you thought about including them in your own worldview? My work is an attempt to make room in the Kosmos for all of the dimensions, levels, domains, waves, memes, modes, individuals, cultures, and so on ad infinitum. I have one major rule: Everybody is right. More specifically, everybody — including me — has some important pieces of truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace. To Freudians I say, Have you looked at Buddhism? To Buddhists I say, Have you studied Freud? To liberals I say, Have you thought about how important some conservative ideas are? To conservatives I say, Can you perhaps include a more liberal perspective? And so on, and so on, and so on... At no point I have ever said: Freud is wrong, Buddha is wrong, liberals are wrong, conservatives are wrong. I have only suggested that they are true but partial. My critical writings have never attacked the central beliefs of any discipline, only the claims that the particular discipline has the only truth — and on those grounds I have often been harsh. But every approach, I honestly believe, is essentially true but partial, true but partial, true but partial.
And on my own tombstone, I dearly hope that someday they will write: He was true but partial...
My ankle hurts from dancing last night so there is pain. But the pain doesn't hurt me for there is no me.
It is the nothing, the Mystery, the Emptiness alone that needs to be realized: not known but felt, not thought but breathed, not an object but an atmosphere, not a lesson but a life.
An integral approach is based on one basic idea: no human mind can be 100% wrong. Or, we might say, nobody is smart enough to be wrong all the time. And that means, when it comes to deciding which approaches, methodologies, epistemologies, or ways or knowing are "correct," the answer can only be, "All of them." That is, all of the numerous practices or paradigms of human inquiry — including physics, chemistry, hermeneutics, collaborative inquiry, meditation, neuroscience, vision quest, phenomenology, structuralism, subtle energy research, systems theory, shamanic voyaging, chaos theory, developmental psychology — all of those modes of inquiry have an important piece of the overall puzzle of a total existence that includes, among other many things, health and illness, doctors and patients, sickness and healing.
It is the integrative power of vision-logic, I believe, and not the indissociation of tribal magic or the imperialism of mythic involvement that is deperately needed on a global scale.
In other words, the real problem is not exterior. The real problem is interior. The real problem is how to get people to internally transform, from egocentric to sociocentric to worldcentric consciousness, which is the only stance that can grasp the global dimensions of the problem in the first place, and thus the only stance that can freely, even eagerly, embrace global solutions.
"Saving the biosphere" depends first and foremost on human beings reaching mutual understanding and unforced agreement as to common ends. And that intersubjective accord occurs only in the noosphere. Anything short of that noospheric accord will continue to destroy the biosphere.
Are the mystics and sages insane? Because they all tell variations on the same story, don't they? The story of awakening one morning and discovering you are one with the All, in a timeless and eternal and infinite fashion. Yes, maybe they are crazy, these divine fools. Maybe they are mumbling idiots in the face of the Abyss. Maybe they need a nice, understanding therapist. Yes, I'm sure that would help. But then, I wonder. Maybe the evolutionary sequence really is from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, each transcending and including, each with a greater depth and greater consciousness and wider embrace. And in the highest reaches of evolution, maybe, just maybe, an individual's consciousness does indeed touch infinity — a total embrace of the entire Kosmos — a Kosmic consciousness that is Spirit awakened to its own true nature. It's at least plausible. And tell me: is that story, sung by mystics and sages the world over, any crazier than the scientific materialism story, which is that the entire sequence is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying absolutely nothing? Listen very carefully: just which of those two stories actually sounds totally insane?
Spirit slumbers in nature, awakens in mind, and finally recognizes itself as Spirit in the transpersonal domains.
There is intersubjectivity woven into the very fabric of the Kosmos at all levels.
We move from part to whole and back again, and in that dance of comprehension, in that amazing circle of understanding, we come alive to meaning, to value, and to vision: the very circle of understanding guides our way, weaving together the pieces, healing the fractures, mending the torn and tortured fragments, lighting the way ahead — this extraordinary movement from part to whole and back again, with healing the hallmark of each and every step, and grace the tender reward.
The integral approach is committed to the full spectrum of consciousness as it manifests in all its extraordinary diversity.The integral vision embodies an attempt to take the best of both worlds, ancient and modern. But that demands a critical stance willing to reject unflinchingly the worst of both as well.
A full-spectrum approach to human consciousness and behavior means that men and women have available to them a spectrum of knowing — a spectrum that includes, at the very least, the eye of flesh, the eye of mind, and the eye of spirit.
The integral vision, I believe, is more than happy to welcome empirical science as a part — a very important part — of the endeavor to befriend the Kosmos, to be attuned to its many moods and flavors and facets and forms. But a more integral psychology goes beyond that . . . With science we touch the True, the "It" of Spirit. With morals we touch the Good, the "We" of Spirit. What, then, would an integral approach have to say about the Beautiful, the "I" of Spirit itself? What is the Beauty that is in the eye of the Beholder? When we are in the eye of Spirit, the I of Spirit, what do we finally see?
Anybody can they say they are being "spiritual" — and they are, because everybody has some type and level of concern. Let us therefore see their actual conception, in thought and action, and see how many perspectives it is in fact concerned with, and how many perspectives it actually takes into account, and how many perspectives it attempts to integrate, and thus let us see how deep and how wide runs that bodhisattva vow to refuse rest until all perspectives whatsoever are liberated into their own primordial nature.
The Realization of the Nondual traditions is uncompromising: There is only Spirit, there is only God, there is only Emptiness in all its radiant wonder. All the good and all the evil, the very best and the very worst, the upright and the degenerate — each and all are radically perfect manifestations of Spirit precisely as they are. There is nothing but God, nothing but the Goddess, nothing but Spirit in all directions, and not a grain of sand, not a speck of dust, is more or less Spirit than any other.
There is arguably no more important and pressing topic than the relation of science and religion in the modern world. Science is clearly one of the most profound methods that humans have yet devised for discovering truth, while religion remains the single greatest force for generating meaning. Truth and meaning, science and religion; but we still cannot figure out how to get the two of them together in a fashion that both find acceptable.
Within the scientific skeleton of truth, religious meaning attempts to flourish, often by denying the scientific framework itself — rather like sawing off the branch where you cheerily perch. The disgust is mutual because modern science gleefully denies virtually all the basic tenets of religion in general. According to the typical view of modern science, religion is not much more than a holdover from the childhood of humanity, with about as much reality as, say, Santa Claus. Whether the religious claims are more literal (Moses parting the Red Sea) or more mystical (religion invovlves direct spiritual experience) modern science denies them all, simply because there is no credible empirical evidence for any of them.
If some sort of reconciliation between science and religion is not forthcoming, the future of humanity is, at best, precarious.
'What's my philosophy? In a word, integral. And what on earth — or in heaven — do I mean by "integral"? The dictionary meaning is fairly simple: "comprehensive, balanced, inclusive, essential for completeness." Short definition, tall order.
We have, for the first time in history, easy access to all of the world's great religions. Examine the many great traditions — from Christianity to Buddhism, Islam to Taoism, Paganism to Neoplatonism — and you are struck by two items: there are an enormous number of differences between them, and a handful of striking similarities.
When you find a few essential items that all, or virtually all, of the world's great religions agree on, you have probably found something incredibly important about the human condition, at least as important as, say, a few things that physicists can manage to agree on (which nowadays, by the way, ain't all that impressive).
These similarities would seem to suggest, among other things, that there are spiritual patterns at work in the universe, at least as far as we can tell, and these spiritual patterns announce themselves with impressive regularity wherever human hearts and minds attempt to attune themselves to the cosmos in all its radiant dimensions.
The human organism itself seems to be hardwired for these deep spiritual patterns, although not necessarily for the specific ways that they show up in a particular religion important as those are. Rather, the human being seems imbued by the realities suggested by these cross-cultural spiritual currents and patterns, with which individual religions and spiritual movements resonate, according to their own capacities and to their own degrees of fidelity.
Attunement could occur through any of the great religions, but would be tied exclusively to none of them. A person could be attuned to an "integral spirituality" while still be a practicing Christian, Buddhist, New-Age advocate, or Neopagan. This would be something added to one's religion, not subtracted from it. The only thing it would subtract (and there's no way around this) is the belief that one's own path is the only true path to salvation.
Finally, integral spirituality — as the very name "integral" implies — transcends and includes science, it does not exclude, repress, or deny science. To say that the spiritual currents of the cosmos cannot be captured by empirical science is not to say that they deny science, only that they show their face to other methods of seeking knowledge, of which the world has an abundance.
It seems as if there are almost two different kinds of religion, one of which brutally divides, and one of which unites (or can unite). How do we tell them apart, and how might we begin to switch allegiance from the former to the latter?
In my previous column I didn't spell out, or really indicate what an "integral approach" to spirituality would include. Many readers naturally assumed that this was simply another version of "universalism" — the belief that there are certain truths contained in all the world's religions. But the integral approach emphatically does not make that suggestion. Other readers maintained that I was offering a version of the "perennial philosophy" espoused by Aldous Huxley or Huston Smith. Does the integral approach believe that all religions are saying essentially the same thing from a different perspective? No, almost the opposite.
Yet the integral approach does claim to be able to "unite," in some sense, the world's great spiritual traditions, which is what has caused much of the interest in this approach. If humanity is ever to cease its swarming hostilities and be united in one family, without squashing the significant and important differences among us, then something like an integral approach seems the only way. Until that time, religions will continue to brutally divide humanity, as they have throughout history, and not unite, as they must if they are to be a help, not a hindrance, to tomorrow's existence.
I began my previous Beliefnet column with the line, "'Throughout history, religion has been the single greatest source of human-caused wars, suffering, and misery. In the name of God, more suffering has been inflicted than by any other manmade cause." I was, of course, using the word "religion" in its sociological meaning, as any belief invested with "ultimate concern," in which case not only Islam, Christianity, and Shintoism are religions, but Marxism, Nazism, and Eco-terrorism are all versions of religions or religiously held beliefs. Seen as such, the opening sentence is obviously true.
There are several different meanings of the words "religion" and "spirituality," all of which are important. The whole point about an integral or comprehensive approach is that it must find a way to believably include all of those important meanings in a coherent whole.
Human beings undergo psychological development. At each level or stage of development, they will see the world in a different way. Hence, each level of development has, as it were, a different religious belief or worldview. This does not make God or Spirit the result of human development; it does, however, make the ways in which humans conceive of God or Spirit the result of development. And this is where it gets really interesting.
The occasional trip into realms labeled madness — can mean, especially if you are a writer, that you are given to telling the unvarnished, brutal, searing truth, whether society likes it or not. And not the Sylvia Plath look-at-me kinds of truth, but the spiritual-seer and mad-shaman types of truth, the truths that really hurt, the truths that get into society's craw and stick there, causing festering metaphysical sores indicative of social cancers or worse — but also the types of truth that speak to you deeply, authentically, radiantly, if you have the courage to listen.
What often happens if you study this integral map is that it begins to make room in your psyche, in your being, in your soul, for all the parts of you that were disowned, whether by society, your parents, your peers, whomever. An integral approach even makes room for those who did the disowning to you.
An integral approach acknowledges that all views have a degree of truth, but some views are more true than others, more evolved, more developed, more adequate. And so let's get that part out of the way right now: homophobia in any form, as far as I can tell, stems from a lower level of human development — but it is a level, it exists, and one has to make room in one's awareness for those lower levels as well, just as one has to include third grade in any school curriculum. Just don't, you know, put those people in charge of anything important.

Ward Cunningham[edit]

Cunningham2.jpg (born 26 May 1949)

My specific purpose for the first wiki was to create an environment where we might link together each other's experience to discover the pattern language of programming.
A wiki works best where you're trying to answer a question that you can't easily pose, where there's not a natural structure that's known in advance to what you need to know.
A wiki is always in the process of being organized. But for every hour spent organizing, two more hours are spent adding new material. So the status quo for a wiki is always partially organized.
I'm not a fan of classification. It's very difficult to come up with a classification scheme that's useful when what you're most interested in is things that don't fit in, things that you didn't expect.
You have so many things in the background that you're supposed to do, there's no room left to think. I say, forget all that and ask yourself, "What's the simplest thing that could possibly work?"
I don't claim to be a methodologist, but I act like one only because I do methodology to protect myself from crazy methodologists.
Over and over, people try to design systems that make tomorrow's work easy. But when tomorrow comes it turns out they didn't quite understand tomorrow's work, and they actually made it harder.
Anonymity relieves refactoring friction.
A wiki is like a party that doesn't have to stop. It's a party that doesn't get crowded because new rooms appear when needed. It's a timeless party where you can try each conversation over and over until you get it right.
When you get in situations where you cannot afford to make a mistake, it's very hard to do the right thing. So if you're trying to do the right thing, the right thing might be to eliminate the cost of making a mistake rather than try to guess what's right.
I can't tell you how much time is spent worrying about decisions that don't matter. To just be able to make a decision and see what happens is tremendously empowering, but that means you have to set up the situation such that when something does go wrong, you can fix it.
Putting a new feature into a program is important, but refactoring so new features can be added in the future is equally important.
To collaborate on a work, one must trust. The reason the cooperation happens is we are people and it is deep in our nature to do things together.
The blogosphere is a community that might produce a work. Whereas a wiki is a work that might produce a community. It’s all just people communicating.
It was a turning point in my programming career when I realized that I didn't have to win every argument.
What you get as a wiki reader is access to people who had no voice before.
Everything is subject to refactoring.

Starhawk[edit]

Starhawk 2.JPG (born Miriam Simos 17 June 1951)

I am a witch, by which I mean that I am somebody who believes that the earth is sacred, and that women and women's bodies are one expression of that sacred being.
Much of what is written on the craft is biased in one way or another, so weed out what is useful to you and ignore the rest. I see the next few years as being crucial in the transformation of our culture away from the patriarchal death cults and toward the love of life, of nature, of the female principle. The craft is only one path among the many opening up for women, and many of us will blaze new trails as we explore the uncharted country of our own interiors. The heritage, the culture, the knowledge of the ancient priestesses, healers, poets, singers, and seers were nearly lost, but a seed survived the flames that will blossom in a new age into thousands of flowers. The long sleep of Mother Goddess is ended. May She awaken in each of our hearts — Merry meet, merry part, and blessed be.
Any ritual is an opportunity for transformation. To do a ritual, you must be willing to be transformed in some way. The inner willingness is what makes the ritual come alive and have power. If you aren't willing to be changed by the ritual, don't do it.
In the Craft the Goddess is not omnipotent. The cosmos is interesting rather than perfect, and everything is not part of some greater plan, nor is all necessarily under control.
Spirituality leaps where science cannot yet follow, because science must always test and measure, and much of reality and human experience is immeasurable.
In the Craft, we do not believe in the Goddess — we connect with her; through the moon, the stars, the ocean, the earth, through trees, animals, through other human beings, through ourselves. She is here. She is within us all.
This is the stillness behind motion, when time itself stops; the center is also the circumference of all. We are awake in the night. We turn the Wheel to bring the light. We call the sun from the womb of night. Blessed Be!
The tide has turned!
The light will come again!
In a new dawn, in a new day,
The sun is rising!

Io! Evohe! Blessed Be!
Magic is another word that makes people uneasy, so I use it deliberately, because words they are comfortable with, the words that sound acceptable, rational, scientific, and intellectually sound, are comfortable precisely because they are the language of estrangement.
When we practice magic we are always making connections, moving energy, identifying with other forms of being. Magic could be called the applied science that is based on an understanding of how energy makes patterns and patterns direct energy. To put it another way, at its heart is a paradox:
Consciousness shapes reality;
Reality shapes consciousness.
To live with integrity in an unjust society we must work for justice. To walk with integrity through a landscape strewn with beer cans, we must stop and pick them up.
Sexual integrity means honestly recognizing our own impulses and desires and honoring them, whether or not we choose to act on them. If we value integrity, we must also value diversity in sexual expression and orientation, recognizing that there is no one truth, or one way, that fits everyone.
Sexuality is sacred because through it we make a connection with another self — but it is misused and perverted when it becomes an arena of power-over, a means of treating another — or oneself — as an object.
We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.
No sane person with a life really wants to be a political activist. When activism is exciting, it tends to involve the risk of bodily harm or incarceration, and when it's safe, it is often tedious, dry, and boring. Activism tends to put one into contact with extremely unpleasant people, whether they are media interviewers, riot cops, or at times, your fellow activists.
Spirituality and ritual are not something removed from the world, but are deeply embedded in it.
Much of our magic and our community work is about creating spaces of refuge from a harsh and often hostile world, safe places where people can heal and regenerate, renew our energies and learn new skills. In that work, we try to release guilt, rage, and frustration, and generally turn them into positive emotions.
Spirituality is also about challenge and disturbance, about pushing our edges and giving us the support we need to take great risks. The Goddess is not just a light, happy maiden or a nurturing mother. She is death as well as birth, dark as well as light, rage as well as compassion — and if we shy away from her fiercer embrace we undercut both her own power and our own growth.
On some deep cosmic level, we are all one, and within us we each contain the potential for good and for destruction, for compassion and hate, for generosity and greed. But even if I acknowledge the full range of impulses within myself, that doesn't erase the differences between a person acting from compassion and love, and another choosing to act from hate and greed. Moreover, it doesn't erase my responsibility to challenge a system which furthers hate and greed. If I don't resist such a system, I am complicit in what it does. I join the perpetrators in oppressing the victims.
Systems don't change easily. Systems try to maintain themselves, and seek equilibrium. To change a system, you need to shake it up, disrupt the equilibrium. That often requires conflict.
To me, conflict is a deeply spiritual place. It's the high-energy place where power meets power, where change and transformation can occur.

Charles de Lint[edit]

William Holmes Sullivan - The Fairy Ring; the Enchanted Piper.jpg (born 22 December 1951)

Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors. And this I will tell you as well: One cannot seek to uphold honor in a being that has none.
When all's said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it's not so much which road you take, as how you take it.
That's the thing with magic. You've got to know it's still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.
Everybody makes the same mistake. Fortune-telling doesn't reveal the future; it mirrors the present. It resonates against what your subconscious already knows and hauls it up out of the darkness so you can get a good look at it.
It's the questions we ask, the journey we take to get to where we are going that is more important than the actual answer. It's good to have mysteries. It reminds us that there's more to the world than just making do and having a bit of fun
I thrive in interesting times.
It's not the work or the personality of the founder of a religion that's important, but what its followers do with what they learn...
I love this world ... That is what rules my life. When I die, I want to have done all in my power to leave it in a better state than it was in when I found it.
It may sound trite, but using the weapons of the enemy, no matter how good one's intentions, makes one the enemy.
Like legend and myth, magic fades when it is unused...
The sound washed over them. It reverberated in the marrow of their bones, sung high and sweet, heartbreakingly mournful, quick as a jig, slow as the saddest air. Their hearts swelled with its beauty, its mystery. With all it revealed, and all that it hid.
While you live ... you have a duty to life. ... The fey wonders of the world only exist while there are those with the sight to see them. ... Otherwise they fade away.
I've always had these bouts of depression; I hide them well but doesn't mean they aren't there. ... I didn't have anyone around for whom I had to put on a cheerful mask. The thing with pretending you're in a good mood is that sometimes you can actually trick yourself into feeling better.
A long time ago a bunch of people reached a general consensus as to what's real and what's not and most of us have been going along with it ever since.
The thing is ... nothing's as easy as we'd like it to be. ... And the real trouble comes from not knowing what we really want in the first place.
The best artists know what to leave out. They know how much of the support should show through as the pigment is applied, what details aren't necessary.
By enlarging your knowledge of things, you will find your knowledge of self is enlarged.
Life's like art. You have to work hard to keep it simple and still have meaning.

Douglas Adams[edit]

Douglas adams portrait.jpg (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001)

Anything that happens, happens.
Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.
Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.
It doesn't necessarily do it in chronological order, though.
All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
If we think that the world is here for us we will continue to detroy it the way we have been destryoing it, because we think we can do no harm.
We don't have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.
The system of life on this planet is so astoundingly complex that it was a long time before man even realized that it was a system at all and that it wasn't something that was just there.
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.
We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.
CLIXBY (adj.) Politely rude. Briskly vague. Firmly uninformative.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."
For us, there is no longer a fundamental mystery about Life. It is all the process of extraordinary eruptions of information.
The great thing about being the only species that makes a distinction between right and wrong is that we can make up the rules for ourselves as we go along.
Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
I don’t like the idea of missionaries. In fact the whole business fills me with fear and alarm. I don’t believe in God, or at least not in the one we’ve invented for ourselves in England to fulfill our peculiarly English needs, and certainly not in the ones they’ve invented in America who supply their servants with toupees, television stations and, most importantly, toll-free telephone numbers.
· · The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy · ·
Answer to Life.png
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.
First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner.
The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.
What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energise the demolition beams.
Space… is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is.
We have normality, I repeat we have normality … Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem.
The only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.
On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.
The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the 'Star Spangled Banner', but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.
"Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
The chances of finding out what's really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied. Look at me, I design fjords. I'd far rather be happy than right any day.
The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases.
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.
One of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.
I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More I cannot say.
The Lord knows I am not a cruel man.
I would like to say that it is a very great pleasure, honour and privilege for me to open this bridge, but I can't because my lying circuits are all out of commission.
The Question and the Answer are mutually exclusive. Knowledge of one logically precludes knowledge of the other. It is impossible that both can ever be known about the same Universe.
Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small café in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.
Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, the Earth was unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, and so the idea was lost, seemingly for ever.
Once you know what it is you want to be true, instinct is a very useful device for enabling you to know that it is.
Any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a packet of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane.
Only an absolute idiot would be sitting where he was, so he was winning already. A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.
Will everything tie up neatly or will it be just like life: quite interesting in parts, but no substitute for the real thing?
WE APOLOGISE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.
There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind.

Alan Moore[edit]

Alan Moore (2).jpg (born 18 November 1953)

There are people. There are stories. The people think they shape the stories, but the reverse is often closer to the truth.
Now, as I understand it, the bards were feared. They were respected, but more than that they were feared. If you were just some magician, if you'd pissed off some witch, then what's she gonna do, she's gonna put a curse on you, and what's gonna happen? Your hens are gonna lay funny, your milk's gonna go sour, maybe one of your kids is gonna get a hare-lip or something like that — no big deal. You piss off a bard, and forget about putting a curse on you, he might put a satire on you. And if he was a skilful bard, he puts a satire on you, it destroys you in the eyes of your community, it shows you up as ridiculous, lame, pathetic, worthless, in the eyes of your community, in the eyes of your family, in the eyes of your children, in the eyes of yourself, and if it's a particularly good bard, and he's written a particularly good satire, then three hundred years after you're dead, people are still gonna be laughing, at what a twat you were.
Sexually progressive cultures gave us mathematics, literature, philosophy, civilization and the rest, while sexually restrictive cultures gave us the Dark Ages and the Holocaust. Not that I’m trying to load my argument, of course.
Most of the people who get sent to die in wars are young men who've got a lot of energy and would probably rather, in a better world, be putting that energy into copulation rather than going over there and blowing some other young man's guts out.
Admittedly, I do have several bones... whole war fields full of bones, in fact... to pick with organised religion of whatever stripe. This should be seen as a critique of purely temporal agencies who have, to my mind, erected more obstacles between whatever notion of spirituality and Godhead one subscribes to than they have opened doors.
Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you're lucky.
It struck me that it might be interesting for once to do an almost blue-collar warlock. Somebody who was streetwise, working class, and from a different background than the standard run of comic book mystics. Constantine started to grow out of that.
It's all down to functionality eventually. If you're functional it doesn't matter if you're mad.
I think it is very, very naïve to assume that you can expose the entire population of the world to the threat of being turned to cinders without them starting to act, perhaps, a little oddly.
I believe in some sort of strange fashion that the presence of the atom bomb might almost be forcing a level of human development that wouldn’t have occurred without the presence of the atom bomb. Maybe this degree of terror will force changes in human attitudes that could not have occurred without the presence of these awful, destructive things. Perhaps we are faced with a race between the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse in one line and the 7th Calvary in the other. We have not got an awful lot of mid ground between Utopia and Apocalypse, and if somehow our children ever see the day in which it is announced that we do not have these weapons any more, and that we can no longer destroy ourselves and that we’ve got to do something else to do with our time than they will have the right to throw up their arms, let down their streamers and let forth a resounding cheer.
Yes, there is a conspiracy, in fact there are a great number of conspiracies that are all tripping each other up. And all of those conspiracies are run by paranoid fantasists and ham-fisted clowns. If you are on a list targeted by the CIA, you really have nothing to worry about. If however, you have a name similar to somebody on a list targeted by the CIA, then you are dead.
The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists actually believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the 12 foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless.
Truth is a well-known pathological liar. It invariably turns out to be Fiction wearing a fancy frock. Self-proclaimed Fiction, on the other hand, is entirely honest. You can tell this, because it comes right out and says, "I'm a Liar," right there on the dust jacket.
There is a house above the world, where the over-people gather.
There is a man with wings like a bird.
There is a man who can see across the planet and wring diamonds from its anthracite.
There is a man who moves so fast that his life is an endless gallery of statues.
In the house above the world, the over-people gather...
And sit...
And listen...
...To a dry, mad voice that whispers of Earthdeath.
Consciousness is unquantifiable, a ghost in the machine, barely considered real at all, though in a sense this flickering mosaic of awareness is the only true reality that we can ever know.
The Here-and-Now demands attention, is more present to us. We dismiss the inner world of our ideas as less important, although most of our immediate physical reality originated only in the mind. The TV, sofa, clock and room, the whole civilisation that contains them once were nothing save ideas. … Material existence is entirely founded on a phantom realm of mind, whose nature and geography are unexplored.
Ancient cultures did not worship idols. Their god-statues represented ideal states which, when meditated constantly upon, one might aspire to. Science proves there never was a mermaid, blue-skinned Krishna or a virgin birth in physical reality. Yet thought is real, and the domain of thought is the one place where gods inarguably exist, wielding tremendous power. If Aphrodite were a myth and Love only a concept, then would that negate the crimes and kindnesses and songs done in Love's name? If Christ were only ever fiction, a divine Idea, would this invalidate the social change inspired by that idea, make holy wars less terrible, or human betterment less real, less sacred?
Ideas, unlike solid structures, do not perish. They remain immortal, immaterial and everywhere, like all Divine things. Ideas are a golden, savage landscape that we wander unaware, without a map. Be careful: in the last analysis, reality may be exactly what we think it is.
· · Watchmen · ·
Tunnels of Time.jpg
Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.
Just don't ask me where I was when I heard about J.F.K.
The city is afraid of me, I have seen its true face.
I live my life free of compromise, and step into the shadows without complaint or regret.
None of you seem to understand, I'm not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with me!
Nothing is hopeless... Not while there's life.
There is no future. There is no past. Do you see? Time is simultaneous, an intricately structured jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time, when the whole design is visible in every facet.
We’re all puppets, Laurie. I’m just a puppet who can see the strings.
The world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget... I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from the another's vantage point, as if new, it may still take our breath away. Come... dry your eyes, for you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg. Come, dry your eyes. And let's go home.
I have walked across the surface of the Sun. I have witnessed events so tiny and so fast they can hardly be said to have occurred at all. But you, Adrian, you're just a man. The world's smartest man poses no more threat to me than does its smartest termite.
"In the end?" Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.
· · V for Vendetta · ·
V for Vendetta mask - 20071024.jpg
Let us not mince words... The Management is terrible! We've had a string of embezzelers, frauds, liars and lunatics making a string of catastrophic decisions. This is plain fact. But who elected them? It was you! You who elected these people! You who gave them the power to make your decisions for you! While I'll admit that anyone can make a mistake once, to go on making the same lethal errors century after century seems to me nothing short of deliberate. You have encouraged these malicious incompetents, who have made your working life a shambles. You have accepted without question their senseless orders. You have allowed them to fill your workspace with dangerous and unproven machines. You could have stopped them. All you had to say was "No". You have no spine. You have no pride. You are no longer an asset to the company. I will, however, be generous. You will be granted two years to show me some improvement in your work. If at the end of that time you are still unwilling to make a go of it... you're fired. That will be all. You may return to your labours.
You and me Evey. You and me against the world! Ha ha ha ha! Melodrama, Evey! Isn't it strange how life turns into melodrama?
Did you think to kill me? There's no flesh and blood within this cloak to kill. There is only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof.

J. M. DeMatteis[edit]

Egg Nebula.jpg (born 15 December 1953)

The impossible isn't a limitation, it's an invitation.
Walt Disney is one of my heroes: it’s extraordinary what one man, armed only with will and imagination, accomplished.
Follow your heart, follow your dreams. If writing is your passion, put everything you have into it. Let that passion, that joy, lead you. In the end it might not lead you to exactly the place you thought you were heading...but it will absolutely lead you someplace wonderful.
I’ve realized over the years that, with rare exceptions, most writer’s block isn’t writer’s block at all: It’s necessary time that allows the unconscious mind to do its deep work. The great “Ah-Ha!” moments don’t usually come at the keyboard. They come when I’m lying on the floor, staring into space (or banging my head against the wall in frustration). All of a sudden the Unconscious Camera turns on, a movie starts playing in my head-and there it is: The Big Moment. Or the Whole Damn Story. And, in many ways, I had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
We’re not really the authors of our work: we’re channels, tuning into another frequency, another dimension, and bringing that information down into the physical world, where — using the tools, the talents and perspectives that are uniquely ours — we transcribe and embellish that information, transforming it into that wonderful creature called a Story.
In the end, it doesn’t matter whether the transmission is instant or unfolds slowly, it’s the opening up that’s so magical. That moment of realizing that you’re connected to something so much bigger than yourself.
· · Mercy · ·


Look at her: so radiant! Her entire being suffused with something so great, so deep, that I wouldn't dare try to name it; to soil it with words. … But I have named it — named her — haven't I? A name of my own creation, my own compulsion. But the right name I think (though I can't say why). The proper name: Mercy.
She's a mystery, Mercy is — and a quick one at that: : One minute India, the next New York: homeless ad lice-ridden, sleeping in the cold. … The face and form are different — but somehow the same. I can always recognize her. That infuriating smile gives her away… as if she knows something no one else does; as if she holds the key that unlocks a question no one even thought to ask.
She is magnificence beyond words. She is all that we are not. … Yet she's chosen to forsake all that; destroy peace, shatter completeness — and descend into the very world I've turned my back on.
No pattern to it, no plan! Yet, somehow all pattern, all plan! It defies logic!
Mercy listens — really listens, with interest and concern — then smiles, and reaches out her hand.
Now Mercy says, speaking from her silence, stand in the sun. Breath the deep. Feel what can be!
They whirl like dervishes before my mind's eye: Taunting me. Seducing me. Touching something deep within me: unnamed. Long forgotten. Always remembered. … And above them all, stands Mercy, the savior. Mercy, the devil. Mercy, the fool? … Which is she? And why do I care? … But I do care. I do! And that…more than any of this — terrifies me beyond words.
I watch — seeking meaning in her every movement, seeking pattern in every breath — as Mercy grapples with the hideous thing: I watch as it tears at her; claws; bites, batters, roars. … To no effect.I feel the fear in the thing growing, as it realizes how badly it's underestimated her.
All that ugliness and agony, all that sin and disease — is flooding over her; into her! And it's not the creature's doing — it's Mercy's! … She wants the awful pain, she's claiming it as her own! Claiming skin/crust/darkness/filth/madness! And revealing, beneath it, not a nameless entity — but a lost soul. … I read the thing…the soul…and see an existence of despair, ended in suicide: Freedom — in a bullet to the brain. … But there was no freedom, not even in death; just Limbo. Trapped between two worlds — unable to move on. Unable to do anything — but feed on its own despair. And ultimately become it. … And now? … Has Mercy, through her suffering, lifted the soul's burden? Purified it? Set it free? … So it seems.
This suffering … you must endure. It's your destiny. Your freedom. I can't take it from you. … But I can share it.
Mercy gestures — and the gesture speaks: Help yourself.
No sense. To any of it. She rises up from Infinity, takes form, descends to a planet in chaos — and wastes her time with these inconsequential people? With insignificant lives that make no difference…serve no purpose? … If she's some kind of savior, why save them? Why not redeem the world? And if she's some kind of devil…then why not consume it once and for all? … Maybe she's neither; maybe its all a joke to her. Hell…maybe I'm the joke.
A thousand — ten thousand — questions geyser up, out of me. … One finger silences them all. One finger — opens…my…heart. … My consciousness widens: I no longer see; I no longer feel — I am! … Oh, Mercy — now I understand: The secret behind your actions, the thread that binds all these seemingly random events. … There's no great or small! No question of size or importance! Each act of compassion — however minor it may appear to our blind eyes — affects all Creation; shakes it to its roots!
Human suffering calls you down into our world, to ease it, transform it! … Through my whirling ecstasy … my spinning exaltation … a pattern takes shape: a Wheel — huge as Heaven, tinier than a stray thought — spinning through the universes! … And there, at the wheel's hub: the Force behind it all…within us all! … Unnameable, alive, It spins the Wheel, shaking each soul in it's turn, and through us — shaking the world.
It was her intention. from the start, to transform me as surely as she transformed the others. … So, transformed, I dissolve, dissipate, descend — back into my body. … Into a world that seems suddenly charged with Divinity; with Secrets and with Truths of greatest profundity— and greatest simplicity.
I understand the most profound and simplest Truth of all: Any time any of us reaches out, any time we pour even a drop of love, compassion, simple human decency (no matter how small; how seemingly insignificant) into the sea of earthly existence — we are, each and every one of us — the being called Mercy.
My consciousness reaches out — one last time — and touches the Wheel's hub: a majestic ocean of color/light/sound/texture. … A completeness. An at-peaceness. … And I know Mercy is there, waiting…forever waiting — for the cry of the human heart.

Kate Bush[edit]

KateBushComicRelief.png (born 30 July 1958)

Moving stranger,
Does it really matter,
As long as you're not afraid to feel?
We raise our hats to the strange phenomena.
Soul-birds of a feather flock together.
Nobody knows about my man.
They think he's lost on some horizon.

And suddenly I find myself
Listening to a man I've never known before,
Telling me about the sea,
All his love, 'til Eternity.
Ooh, it gets dark! It gets lonely,
On the other side from you.
I pine a lot. I find the lot
Falls through without you.
Passing through air.
You mix the stars with your arms.
Walking through there.
The doom of eternity balms.
Skies of grey are not today.
I want to hear you laugh,
Don't let the mystery go now.
Nobody else can share this.
Here comes one and one makes one,
The glorious union.
Well it could be love,
Or it could be just lust,
But it will be fun.
It will be wonderful.
Oh! To be in love,
And never get out again.
I love the whirling of the dervishes.
I love the beauty of rare innocence.
You don't need no crystal ball,
Don't fall for a magic wand.
We humans got it all, we perform the miracles.
We know all our lines so well...
We've said them so many times:
Time and time again,
Line and line again.
Some say that knowledge is something that you never have.
Some say that knowledge is something sat in your lap.
Out in the garden
There's half of a heaven
,
And we're only bluffing.
We're not ones for busting through walls,
But they've told us
Unless we can prove
That we're doing it,
We can't have it all.
I won't open boxes
That I am told not to.
I'm not a Pandora.
I'm much more like
That girl in the mirror.
We let the weirdness in.
Coming in with the golden light
In the morning.
Coming in with the golden light
Is the New Man.
Only tragedy allows the release
Of love and grief never normally seen.
With a kiss
I'd pass the key

And feel your tongue
Teasing and receiving.
You don't want to hurt me,
But see how deep the bullet lies.
Unaware I'm tearing you asunder.
Ooh, there is thunder in our hearts.
They look down
At the ground,
Missing.
But I never go in now.
I'm looking at the Big Sky.
I just know that something good is going to happen.
I don't know when,
But just saying it could even make it happen.
The light
Begin to bleed,
Begin to breathe,
Begin to speak.
D'you know what?
I love you better now.
This little girl inside me
Is retreating to her favourite place.
Go into the garden.
Go under the ivy,
Under the leaves,
Away from the party.
Go right to the rose.
Go right to the White Rose
(For me.)
It's not easy for me
To give away a secret —
It's not safe…
I know it works for me.
As we cross the bridge — the burning bridge —
With flames behind us,
We front the line.
It's you and me, baby, against the world.
I don't know you,
And you don't know me.
It is this that brings us together.
Stepping out of the page into the sensual world.
Stepping out...
To where the water and the earth caress
And the down on a peach says mmh, Yes...
It lay buried here. It lay deep inside me.
It's so deep I don't think that I can speak about it.
It could take me all of my life,
But it would only take a moment to
Tell you what I'm feeling,
But I don't know if I'm ready yet.
We could be like two strings beating,
Speaking in sympathy...
This love was big enough for the both of us.
This love of yours was big enough to be frightened of.
See how the flower leans instinctively
Toward the light.
See how the heart reaches out instinctively
For no reason but to touch...
As the people here grow colder I turn to my computer
And spend my evenings with it
Like a friend.
I look at you and see
my life that might have been
your face just ghostly in the smoke.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I should be crying, but I just can't let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking
Of all the things I should've said,
That I never said.
All the things we should've done,
That we never did.
All the things I should've given,
But I didn't.
He thought he was gonna die,
But he didn't.
She thought she just couldn't cope,
But she did.
We thought it would be so hard,
But it wasn't...
It wasn't easy, though!
We let it in
We give it out
And in the end
What's it all about?
It must be love.
We used to say
"Ah Hell, we're young"
But now we see that life is sad
And so is love.
What am I singing?
A song of seeds
The food of love.
Eat the music.
Just being alive
It can really hurt
These moments given
Are a gift from time.

Just let us try
To give these moments back
To those we love
To those who will survive...

The Song of Solomon
The song of everyone
Who walks the path
Of the solitary heart.
Gabriel before me
Raphael behind me
Michael to my right
Uriel on my left side
In the circle of fire.
With no words, with no song
I'm gonna dance the dream
And make the dream come true...
I don't mind if it's dangerous
I don't mind if it's raining
Take me up to the top of the city
And put me up on the angel's shoulders.
Steer your life by these stars
On the unconditional chance
'Tis here where Hell and Heaven dance.
This is the constellation of the heart.
Your name is being called by sacred things
That are not addressed nor listened to.
Sometimes they blow trumpets.
Have you ever seen a picture
Of Jesus laughing?
Mmm, do you think
He had a beautiful smile?
A smile that healed.
Could you see them screaming and weeping?
Could you see the storm rising?
Could you see the guy who was driving?
Could you climb higher and higher?
Could you climb right over the top?
Sweet and gentle and sensitive man
With an obsessive nature and deep fascination
For numbers
And a complete infatuation with the calculation
Of π.
Here comes the sunshine
Here comes that son of mine
Here comes the everything
Here's a song and a song for him.
You bring me so much joy
And then you bring me
More joy...
It's gonna be so good now
It's gonna be so good
Can you see the lark ascending?
Watching the painter painting
And all the time, the light is changing
And he keeps painting
That bit there, it was an accident
But he's so pleased
It's the best mistake, he could make
And it's my favourite piece.
It's just great.
This is where the shadows come to play twixt the day
And night
Dancing and skipping
Along a chink of light
All the time it's a changing
And all the dreamers are waking.
Oh the dawn has come
And the song must be sung
And the flowers are melting.
What kind of language is this?

Gregory Colbert[edit]

1GREG2009.LO.jpg (born 19 April 1960)

  • In exploring the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working toward rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals. The images depict a world that is without beginning or end, here or there, past or present. I hope that the overall effect is an experience of wonder and contemplation, serenity and hope.
  • I have invented nothing. I have simply documented a magical alchemy that I want to share.
  • The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song.
  • If you look at Paleolithic cave paintings, you see how people were depicted inside nature, not outside it. It was a kind of dream time. That’s what I’m exploring.

Spartacus[edit]

Serment de Spartacus Barrias.jpg (1960)

I am Spartacus!
Declaration of Spartacus to the Romans seeking to have him identify himself — after which many of his army join in declaring "I am Spartacus!"
Spartacus: What is your name?
Draba: You don't want to know mine. I don't want to know your name.
Spartacus: Just a friendly question.
Draba: Gladiators don't make friends. If we're ever matched in the arena together, I have to kill you.
I'd rather be here, a free man among brothers, facing a long march and a hard fight, than the richest citizen in Rome: fat with food he didn't work for, and surrounded by slaves.
We've traveled a long ways together. We've fought many battles and won many victories. Now, instead of taking ships to our homes across the sea, we must fight again once more. Maybe there's no peace in this world, for us or for anyone else. I don't know. I do know that we're brothers, and as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves.
When a free man dies, he loses the pleasure of life. A slave loses his pain. Death is the only freedom a slave knows. That's why he's not afraid of it. That's why we'll win.
Crixus always wanted to march on Rome. Now he doesn't have to. Rome has come to us.
Good luck, and may fortune smile upon... most of you.
I'm not after glory, I'm after Spartacus! And gentlemen, I mean to have him. However, this campaign is not about killing Spartacus. It is to kill the legend of Spartacus.
I made myself a promise, Crixus. I swore that if I ever get out of here alive, I'd die before I saw two men fight to the death again. Draba made that promise too. He kept it. … What's happening to us? Have we learned nothing? What are we becoming, Romans? We hunt wine when we should be looking for bread.
Spartacus: You can't just be a gang of drunken raiders.
Dionysus: What else can we be?
Spartacus: Gladiators, an army of gladiators. There's never been an army like that. One gladiator is worth any two Roman soldiers that ever lived.
Crixus: We beat the Romans guards here, but a Roman army is different. They fight different than we do, too.
Spartacus: We can beat anything they send against us if we really want to.
Crixus: It takes a big army.
Spartacus: We'll have a big army. Once we're on the march, we'll free every slave in every town and village. Can anybody get a bigger army?
You disappoint me, Marcus Glabrus, playing dead. You afraid to die? It's easy to die. Haven't you seen enough gladiators in the arena to see how easy it is to die?
Take that back to your senate. Tell them you and that broken stick is all that's left of the garrison of Rome! Tell them we want nothing from Rome, nothing, except our freedom!
Spartacus After breaking the Rod representing Roman authority.

Neil Gaiman[edit]

NeilGaimanNov04.jpg (born 10 November 1960)

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.
It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.
You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.
The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.
The world is always ending, for someone.
We are always living in the final days. What have you got? A hundred years or much, much less until the end of your world.
People want to forget the impossible. It makes their world safer.
· · The Books of Magic · ·
Reach for the stars.jpg
This is a work of fiction.
Any resemblence to any real people (living, dead, or stolen by fairies), or to any real animals, gods, witches, countries, and events (magical or otherwise) is just blind luck, or so we hope.
The boy is a natural force, for good or evil, for magic or for science, and it is up to us to channel that force for good. And perhaps, for magic.
There will be no killing. Our role is only to educate, to offer him the choice. … if he is to choose the path of magic then he must choose responsibly, he must know enough about the labyrinth to walk a true path through it.
Light and darkness, life and death. These things are eternally certain. … Enlighten the child. Show him what magic truly is, and what it was, and what it may become. He has the potential to become the most powerful human adept of this age. It is up to the four of us to ensure that he chooses correctly. That is our mission and our burden.
Child, magic exists. There are powers and forces and realms beyond the fields you know.
First rule of magic: Don't let anyone know your real name. Names have power.
Never ask for a name. Ask instead what those you meet would like to be called. It will save you problems.
This is the Void, the space before there was any where to travel to, the time before there was change... Your pain is only the tiniest fraction of the pain that brought forth from the Void... Light. Time. Heat. Life. Everything.
There have been quite a few Atlantises, will be quite a few more. It is just a symbol. A symbol of the art. The true Atlantis is inside you, just as it's inside all of us. The sunken land is lost beneath the dark sea, lost beneath the waves of wet, black stories and myths that break upon the shores of our minds. Atlantis is the shadow-land, the birth-place of civilization. The fair land in the west that is lost to us, but remains forever, true birthplace and true goal.
From meetings and partings none can ever escape. Nor from magic.
I must do as I will do. Magic grants no freedoms, friend pupil. Everything it buys must be paid for.
People kill what they fear, Timothy. They burned, drowned and hanged those they saw as witches, the devil's servants: the wise women and the cunning men, the unfortunate, the lost and the strange. While in the forests, and the high places and beside great stones the old religions endured.
Science is a way of talking about the universe in words that bind it to a common reality. Magic is a method of talking to the universe in words that it cannot ignore. The two are rarely compatible.
Since there are always those who would burn those who they perceive as witches, many true magicians adopted new garb, avoiding recognition by disguising their plumage.
Often the best hiding place is in plain view.
There's no chaos, no order; just patterns of different levels of complexity.
He's riding the synchronicity freeway, and so everything just falls into place; time, movement, even distance just sit up and beg for him. You're having an adventure, kiddo. If you survive it, it'll be fun.
There aren't any good guys, and there aren't any bad guys. There's just us. People. Doing our best to get by.
I've been professionally investigating the occult for fifteen years, now, lad. Magic, spooks, witch-cults. You might call me a professional debunker. In fifteen years, I haven't seen one thing that was not susceptible to rational explanation. Either it was a hoax, or a fraud, or — often — people wanting so much to believe in powerful forces outside of our ken that they'd convince themselves of the existence of magic, taking simple coincidence or delusion as proof of their superstitions...
He doesn't believe in magic. And he's right. Magic doesn't exist, for him. You have to choose it, you see. That's what we're offering you: the choice.
You know who I am. Or you ought to. You know my reputation. Now... does anyone here really want to start something?
John, you don't have any power to speak of. Any one of them could have torn you to shreds. But they... were scared of you. I don't understand what happened back there.
Look behind you, child. We have already left your world. This wooden gate exists in both worlds — here and there. There are many such places common to more than one plane, accessible to those who know the path to walk.
I am no longer Doctor Occult, although we share certain purposes in common. He is himself, as I am me. But I am still your guide.
We must stay on the path, Timothy. Once we have begun to walk our road, we must walk it all the way. Or we are lost. And all may be lost.
When there is fire in me then I am still cold;
When I own your true love's face then you will not see me;
To all things I give no more than I am given;
In time I may have all things and yet I may keep nothing.
Legends are buggers to kill.
Arthur sleeps in Avalon; and he sleeps here, as they all do. And perhaps he sleeps in your world also. Sometimes, I suspect he sleeps inside a waking mind, waiting for the day to rise and free his ancient kingdom. Perhaps he sleeps inside thee, boy?
Who rides the wind must go where their steed will take them.
Who treads the way of stars must walk in silence.
You wish to see the distant realms? Very well. But know this first: the places you will visit, the places that you will see, do not exist. For there are only two worlds — your world, which is the real world, and the other worlds, the fantasy. Worlds like this are worlds of human imagination: their reality, or lack of reality, is not important. What is important is that they are there. These worlds provide an alternative. Provide escape. Provide a dream, and power, provide refuge, and pain. They give your world meaning. They do not exist; and thus they are all that matters. Do you understand?
This is Hell, Tim. One tiny aspect of it anyway. Here do many demons make their homes, the twisted geometries conforming with their own dark internal vistas. They can be called to your world, for a price... the price is too much. This is a place of punishment, Timothy. Those who believe they must atone, inflict this place and its tortures upon themselves... until they understand that. Until they realize that they, and only they, — not gods or demons — create their Hell; and by this they are freed, and take their leave... This place is evil, Timothy. But perhaps a necessary evil.
Rules are rules, here as much as anywhere else. An eye for an island, a tooth for a tooth fairy. Rules are rules.
Inside this egg is a part of creation as yet unborn. One day the egg will hatch — and from it a world will emerge. Every world is hatched from a Mundane Egg, Timothy. And they are valuable.
There are very few stable futures, boy. The way my father told it to me, the future is a series of infinitely branching possibilities. When we walk it, we walk down the most probable paths, those with the greatest likelihood of occurring. But nothing in the future is definite. Some are periods of great flux — the next hundred years or so are a wash of conflicting events. Others are relatively stable — so that almost any path you walk takes you to the same universe.
Where magic is concerned, there is always an initial decision, an initial willingness to let it enter your life. If that is not there neither is magic.
What spirits were you? Of how many souls are you composed? ... Within me I have many ... souls? ... perhaps. I am all the hierophants there ever were. All the popes and priests and shamans and wizards. All of them.
What do I know of magic? Why, nothing, my masters. Nothing at all. Save that a little magic is a most dangerous thing.
If you choose magic you will never be able to return to the life you once lived. Your world may be more ... exciting ... but it will also be more dangerous. Less reliable. And once you begin to walk the path of magic, you can never step off of it. Or you can choose the path of science, of rationality. Live in a normal world. Die a normal death. Less exciting, undoubtedly. But safer. ... It is your choice Timothy. Always and forever your choice.
You showed him the world was, indeed, not the rational place he believed. I have shown him the world that is not this world, where it is always summer's twilight; and other places besides. E gave him a few choice fragments of possibility; and then Tim returned to the fields we know. He has seen magic. He knows it works. he has already walked a harder path than most initiates will ever dream of...
They say humanity only gets one chance at the carousel's golden ring. But the carousel goes round and round, and round and round. And the golden ring is not going anywhere.
· · Stardust · ·
Acrux.png
Although it is perfectly good meadow-land, none of the villagers has ever grazed animals on the meadow on the other side of the wall. Nor have they used it for growing crops.
Instead, for hundreds, perhaps for thousands of years, they have posted guards on each side of the opening on the wall, and done their best to put it out of their minds. … Very rarely someone comes to Wall knowing what they are looking for, and these people they will sometimes allow through. There is a look in the eyes, and once seen it cannot be mistaken.
The little folk dare anything … And they talks a lot of nonsense. But they talks an awful lot of sense, as well. You listen to 'em at your peril, and you ignore 'em at your peril, too.
This I say: you have stolen knowledge you did not earn, but it shall not profit you. For you shall be unable to see the star, unable to perceive it, unable to touch it, to taste it, to find it, to kill it. Even if another were to cut out its heart and give it to you, you would not know it, never know what you had in your hand. This I say. These are my words, and they are a true-speaking.
When I was very young, somebody — maybe it was a squirrel, they talk so much, or a magpie, or maybe a fishie — told me that Pan owned all this forest. Well, not owned owned. Not like he would sell the forest to someone else, or put a wall all around it ... It's not hard to own something. Or everything. You just have to know that it's yours, and then be willing to let it go.
I will tell you three true things. Two of them I will tell you now, and the last is for when you need it most. You will have to judge for yourself when that will be.
It has occasionally been remarked upon that it is as easy to overlook something large and obvious as it is to overlook something small and niggling, and that the large things one overlooks can often cause problems.
Expect us when you see us.
· · American Gods · ·
Lightning02.jpg
Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.
I told you I would tell you my names. This is what they call me. I'm called Glad-of-War, Grim, Raider, and Third. I am One-Eyed. I am called Highest, and True-Guesser. I am Grimnir, and I am the Hooded One. I am All-Father, and I am Gondlir Wand-Bearer. I have as many names as there are winds, as many titles as there are ways to die. My ravens are Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory; my wolves are Freki and Geri; my horse is the gallows.
All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end.
There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.
There are accounts that, if we open our hearts to them, will cut us too deeply. … No man, proclaimed Donne, is an Island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other’s tragedies.
Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.
A life that is, like any other, unlike any other.
I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. … I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Would you believe that all the gods that people have ever imagined are still with us today?
"Gods are great," said Atsula, slowly, as if she were imparting a great secret. "But the heart is greater. For it is from our hearts they come, and to our hearts they shall return..."
None of this can actually be happening. If it makes you more comfortable, you could simply think of it as metaphor. Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you — even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition.
Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world.
People believe, thought Shadow. It's what people do. They believe. And then they will not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjurations. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe: and it is that belief, that rock-solid belief, that makes things happen.

Tori Amos[edit]

Tori Amos piano.jpg (born 22 August 1963)

I found the secret to life;
I'm okay when everything is not okay.
Why do we crucify ourselves?
God, sometimes you just don't come through.
Do you need a woman to look after you?
Give me life, give me pain, give me myself again.
Years go by
Will I still be waiting
For somebody else to understand?

Years go by
If I'm stripped of my beauty
And the orange clouds
Raining in head.
Years go by
Will I choke on my tears
Till finally there is nothing left?
One more casualty
You know we're too easy, easy.
So if I die today, I'd be the happy phantom,
And I'd go chasing the nuns out in the yard,
...And the atrocities of school I can forgive:
The happy phantom has no right to bitch.
Sometimes I think you want me to touch you
How can I when you build the great wall around you?
I think there are pieces of me you've never seen.

The Doctor (Doctor Who)[edit]

TARDIS-trans.png (first broadcast 23 November 1963)

Incarnation 1[edit]

TARDIS2 black and white.jpg
Have you ever thought what it's like to be wanderers in the Fourth Dimension? Have you? To be exiles?
As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves.
I don't believe that man was made to be controlled by machines. Machines can make laws, but they can not preserve justice. Only human beings can do that.
Our lives are important — at least to us — and as we see, so we learn... Our destiny is in the stars, so let's go and search for it.
One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.
I suddenly realised what the old proverb meant: "To lose is to win, and he who wins shall lose." It was all part of Rassilon's trap to find out who wanted immortality and put him out of the way. He knew very well that immortality was a curse. Not a blessing.

Incarnation 2[edit]

TARDIS2 black and white.jpg
Life depends on change, and renewal.
There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things that act against everything we believe in. They must be fought!
I am not a student of human nature. I am a professor of a far wider academy of which human nature is merely a part.
People spend all their time making nice things and then other people come along and break them.
I do tend to get involved.
I reversed the polarity of the neutron flow.

Incarnation 3[edit]

TARDIS2.jpg
A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.
My dear Miss Shaw, I never report myself anywhere, particularly not forthwith.
Well, I'll tell you something that should be of vital interest to you… you, Sir, are a NITWIT!
Allow me to congratulate you, sir. You have the most totally closed mind that I've ever encountered.
Obviously the Time Lords have programmed the TARDIS always to return to Earth. It seems that I'm some sort of galactic yo-yo!
It's all quite simple — I am he and he is me!
Courage isn't just a matter of not being afraid. It's being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.

Incarnation 4[edit]

EndlessSeaOfJellyBeans.jpg
Would you like a jelly baby?
I'm a Time Lord...I'm not a human being; I walk in eternity...
Something's going on contrary to the laws of the universe. I must find out what!
Excuse me, can you help me? I'm a spy.
You may be a doctor. But I'm the Doctor. The definite article, you might say.
There's no point being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes.
Never cared much for the word "impregnable." Sounds a bit too much like "unsinkable."
The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
You thought I was dead, didn't you? … You're always making that mistake.
That's trans-dimensional engineering; a key Time Lord discovery!
You humans have got such limited, little minds. I don't know why I like you so much.
The Key to Time is still in my possession. Rage all you like!
Answers are easy. It's asking the right questions which is hard.
To the rational mind, nothing is inexplicable; only unexplained.
Someone once tried to build a machine as efficient as the brain. The only problem was, it would have had to be bigger than London — do you remember London? — and powered by the entire European grid. And that was just a human brain. Mine's much more complex.
I'm the Doctor. Who are you, and why are you shooting at me?
Were you trying to attract my attention?
I never carry weapons. If people see you mean them no harm, they never hurt you — nine times out of ten...
I'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing.
Sometimes my brilliance astonishes even me.
Don't cross your bridges before they're hatched.
What can't be cured must be endured. … Oh don't listen to me. I never do.

Incarnation 5[edit]

For some people, small, beautiful events is what life is all about!
The illusion is always one of normality.
You know how it is; you put things off for a day and next thing you know, it's a hundred years later.
Oh, marvellous. You're going to kill me. What a finely tuned response to the situation.
Why are Earth people so parochial?

Incarnation 6[edit]

You were expecting someone else?
A little gratitude wouldn't irretrievably damage my ego.
Small though it is, the human brain can be quite effective when used properly.
In all my travelling throughout the universe, I have battled against evil, against power-mad conspirators. I should have stayed here. The oldest civilisation: decadent, degenerate, and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen — they're still in the nursery compared to us. Ten million years of absolute power. That's what it takes to be really corrupt.
Planets come and go. Stars perish. Matter disperses, coalesces, forms into other patterns, other worlds. Nothing can be eternal.

Incarnation 7[edit]

All is change, all is movement.
Every dogma has its day.
Love has never been noted for its rationality.
Your species has the most amazing capacity for self-deception, matched only by its ingenuity when trying to destroy itself.
Time Lords have an infinite capacity for pretension.
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.
I am not like you.

Incarnation 8[edit]

Who am I? WHO — AM — I?
Grace, I came back to life before your eyes. I held back death. Look, I can't make your dream come true forever, but I can make it come true today.
I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren't there.

Incarnation 9[edit]

Police Box.JPG
I've come to help; I'm the Doctor.
You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying, like you're going to get killed by eggs, or beef, or global warming, or asteroids. But you never take time to imagine the impossible: that maybe you survive.
I'm the last of the Time Lords. They're all gone. I'm the only survivor.
It's like when you're a kid. The first time they tell you that the world's turning and you just can't quite believe it 'cause everything looks like it's standin' still. I can feel it; the turn of the Earth.
Well, you can stay there if you want! But right now there's this plasma storm brewing in the Horsehead Nebula. Fires are burning ten million miles wide! I could fly the TARDIS right into the heart of it and ride the shockwave all the way out. Hurtled right across the sky and end up anywhere! Your choice.
You're right: I am dangerous, I don't want anyone following me.
Rose: I can see everything. All that is. All that was. All that ever could be.
The Doctor: That's what I see, all the time. And doesn't it drive you mad?
Time Lords have this little trick, it's sort of a way of cheating death. Except... it means I'm going to change. And you're not going to see me again... Not like this. Not with this daft old face. And before I go … before I go, I just want to tell you: you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I!

Incarnation 10[edit]

Earls Court Police Box.jpg
The naming won't work on me.
Something in the air. Something's coming. A storm's approaching...
Think you've seen it all? Think again. Outside those doors, we might see anything. We could find new worlds, terrifying monsters, impossible things. And if you come with me... nothing will ever be the same again!
The shape of the Globe gives words power, but you're the wordsmith! The one true genius; the only one clever enough to do it. … Trust yourself. When you're locked away in your room, the words just come, don't they, like magic. Words, the right sound, the right shape, the right rhythm, words that last forever. That's what you do, Will. You choose perfect words. Do it. Improvise!
People don't understand time. It's not what you think it is. … People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect... but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly... timey-wimey... stuff.
Crossing into established events is strictly forbidden. Except for cheap tricks.
Some people live more in twenty years than others do in eighty. It's not the time that matters, it's the person.
I've had a whole year to tune myself into the psychic network and integrate with its matrices.
Almost every species in the universe has an irrational fear of the dark, but they're wrong, because it's not irrational. It's Vashta Nerada … It's what's in the dark. It's what's always in the dark.
Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I liked and that is not a safe place to stand! I'm the Doctor and you're in the biggest Library in the universe. Look me up.
There's only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name. There's only one time I could
I just want you to know, there are worlds out there, safe in the sky because of her. That there are people living in the light, and singing songs of Donna Noble. A thousand, million light years away. They will never forget her, while she can never remember. But for one moment... one shining moment... she was the most important woman in the whole wide universe.
Martha Jones: I travelled across the world. From the ruins of New York, to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe. And everywhere I went I saw people just like you, living as slaves! But if Martha Jones became a legend then that's wrong, because my name isn't important. There's someone else. The man who sent me out there, the man who told me to walk the Earth. And his name is The Doctor. He has saved your lives so many times and you never even knew he was there. He never stops. He never stays. He never asks to be thanked. But I've seen him, I know him... I love him... And I know what he can do.
There are laws. There are laws of time. Once upon a time there were people in charge of those laws, but they died. They all died.
Something is returning, don't you ever listen!? That was the prophecy: not someone, something!
You wouldn't listen. Because you know what I'm going to say... I forgive you.
Tim Latimer: He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night, and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and he can see the turn of the universe. And... he's wonderful.
Baines/Son of Mine: He never raised his voice. That was the worst thing — the fury of the Time Lord. And then we discovered why — why this Doctor, who had fought with gods and demons, why he had run away from us and hidden... He was being kind.
I am... Spartacus.

Incarnation 11[edit]

Stonehenge sun through trilith April 2005.jpg
Can I have an apple? All I can think about — apples. I love apples. Maybe I'm having a craving. That's new — never had cravings before.
There's something you better understand about me, 'cause it's important and one day your life may depend on it. I am definitely a madman with a box!
All of time and space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?
I'm the Doctor; I'm worse than everyone's aunt.
A horse and a man, above, below
One has a plan, but both must go
Mile after mile, above, beneath
One has a smile, and one has teeth
Though the man above might say hello
Expect no love from the beast below.
The Starwhale. All that pain and misery… and loneliness… and it just made it kind.
In bed above we're deep asleep
While greater love lies further deep
This dream must end, this world must know
We all depend on the beast below.
You — are — my — enemy — and I am yours! You are everything I despise. The worst thing in all creation. I have defeated you time and time again. I have defeated you. I have sent you back into the Void. I have saved the whole of reality from you. I am The Doctor, and you are the Daleks!
The Doctor: The writing... the graffiti: Old High Gallifreyan. [dramatically] The lost language of the Time Lords. There were days, there were many days, where these words could burn stars, raise up empires, and topple gods.
Amy: What does this one say?
The Doctor: [hesitates, then, exasperatedly] "Hello sweetie."
One simple instruction: don't follow me under any circumstances.
I have a thing. It's like a plan, but with more greatness.
The way I see it, life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.
Annihilate? No! No violence, do you understand me? Not while I'm around. Not today, not ever. I'm the Doctor, the Oncoming Storm.
Hello Stonehenge! Who takes the Pandorica, takes the universe! But bad news everyone …'cos guess who? Ha! Listen, you lot, you're all whizzing about. It's really very distracting. Could you all just stay still a minute? Because… I'M TALKING! — Now the question of the hour is, who's got the Pandorica? Answer — I do. Next question, who's coming to take it from me? — Come on! Look at me, no plan, no back-up, no weapons worth a damn. Oh, and something else: I don't have anything to lose! So! If you're sitting up there in your silly little spaceship, with all your silly little guns, and you've got any plans on taking the Pandorica tonight, just remember who's standing in your way! Remember every black day I ever stopped you! And then, and then... do the smart thing. Let somebody else try first.
The universe is big, it's vast and complicated and... ridiculous, and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.
People fall out of the world sometimes, but they always leave traces. Little things we can't quite account for. Faces in photographs, luggage, half-eaten meals. Rings. Nothing is ever forgotten, not completely. And if something can be remembered, it can come back.
The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster... Or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: How did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales — a good wizard tricked it.
River: [to Amy] I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.
The box contains a memory of the universe, and the light transmits the memory — and that's how were going to do it. … Relight the fire. Reboot the universe.

Principia Discordia[edit]

Sacred-Chao.svg (1965)

All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.
Curb Your Dogma.
The Enlightened take things Lightly.
I - There is no Goddess but Goddess and She is Your Goddess. There is no Erisian Movement but The Erisian Movement and it is The Erisian Movement. And every Golden Apple Corps is the beloved home of a Golden Worm.
V - A Discordian is Prohibited of Believing what he reads.

IT IS SO WRITTEN! SO BE IT. HAIL DISCORDIA! PROSECUTORS WILL BE TRANSGRESSICUTED.

In the year 1166 B.C., a malcontented hunchbrain by the name of Greyface, got it into his head that the universe was as humorless as he, and he began to teach that play was sinful because it contradicted the ways of Serious Order. "Look at all that order about you," he said. And from that, he deluded honest men to believe that reality was a straightjacket affair and not the happy romance as men had known it.
It is not presently understood why men were so gullible at that particular time, for absolutely no one thought to observe all the DISORDER around them and conclude just the opposite. But anyway, Greyface and his followers took the game of playing at life more seriously than they took life itself and were not unknown even to destroy other living beings whose ways of life differed from their own.
The unfortunate result of this is that mankind has since been suffering from a psychological and spiritual imbalance. Imbalance causes frustration, and frustration causes fear. And fear makes a bad trip. Man has been on a bad trip for a long time now.

It is called THE CURSE OF GREYFACE.

To choose order over disorder, or disorder over order, is to accept a trip composed of both the creative and the destructive. But to choose the creative over the destructive is an all-creative trip composed of both order and disorder. To accomplish this, one need only accept creative disorder along with, and equal to, creative order, and also willing to reject destructive order as an undesirable equal to destructive disorder.
The human race will begin solving its problems on the day that it ceases taking itself so seriously.
To that end, POEE proposes the countergame of NONSENSE AS SALVATION. Salvation from an ugly and barbarous existence that is the result of taking order so seriously and so seriously fearing contrary orders and disorder, that GAMES are taken as more important than LIFE; rather than taking LIFE AS THE ART OF PLAYING GAMES.
To this end, we propose that man develop his innate love for disorder, and play with The Goddess Eris. And know that it is a joyful play, and that thereby CAN BE REVOKED THE CURSE OF GREYFACE.
If you can master nonsense as well as you have already learned to master sense, then each will expose the other for what it is: absurdity. From that moment of illumination, a man begins to be free regardless of his surroundings. He becomes free to play order games and change them at will. He becomes free to play disorder games just for the hell of it. He becomes free to play neither or both. And as the master of his own games, he plays without fear, and therefore without frustration, and therefore with good will in his soul and love in his being.
And when men become free then mankind will be free.
May you be free of The Curse of Greyface.
May the Goddess put twinkles in your eyes.
May you have the knowledge of a sage,
and the wisdom of a child.
fnord

Dan Brown[edit]

Dan Brown bookjacket cropped.jpg (born 22 June 1964)

Throughout history, the circumpunct has been all things to all people — it is the sun god Ra, alchemical gold, the all-seeing eye, the singularity point before the Big Bang...
Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.
Religion is like language or dress. We gravitate toward the practices with which we were raised. In the end, though we are all proclaiming the same thing. That life has meaning. That we are grateful for the power that created us.
Wealth is commonplace, but wisdom is rare.
Inspector, I'm afraid I don't have time to indulge in your games. I'm late, and I'm leaving. If it is important for you to stop me, then you'll just have to shoot me.
In my experience, men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.
Two thousand years ago, we lived in a world of Gods and Goddesses. Today, we live in a world solely of Gods. Women in most cultures have been stripped of their spiritual power.
Interestingly, if you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers. Some feel being baptized is sufficient. Others feel you must accept the Bible as absolute historical fact. Still others require a belief that all those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior are doomed to hell. Faith is a continuum, and we each fall on that line where we may. By attempting to rigidly classify ethereal concepts like faith, we end up debating semantics to the point where we entirely miss the obvious — that is, that we are all trying to decipher life's big mysteries, and we're each following our own paths of enlightenment. I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long work in progress.
Secrets interest us all, I think.
In my experience, men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.
Since the beginning of time, the secret had always been how to die.
The keystone is well hidden.

Silver Surfer[edit]

Sirius A and B Hubble photo.jpg (created March 1966)

In every part of the globe it is the same! Hatred, fear and unreasoning hostility have possessed men's hearts! But the Silver Surfer will have no part of it!
Those to whom no distant horizons beckon ... for whom no challenges remain ... though they have inherited a Universe ... they possess only empty sand!
My people have lost the spirit of high adventure ... the thrill of exploration ... the longing to see beyond the veil of knowledge!
Paradise unearned is but a land of shadows!
Rather let me fail ... than never to have tried at all!
Where soars the Silver Surfer.... There he must soar ... alone!
Time is long and fate is fickle ... My destiny still lies before me! And where it beckons — there shall soar the Silver Surfer!
Again you substitute force for understanding! Again you would destroy that which you cannot comprehend! ... From cradle to grave — your lives are rooted in senseless violence! Since power is your god — I'll show you power — such as you have never known!
The choice between good and evil — is made by all who live — with every single heartbeat!
Unlike the humans, who call you beast, there is no violence in your heart. No hint of avarice, no smoldering hate! Yet man, who has won dominion over all this world, is a stranger to peace — a prisoner, caught in the web of his own nameless fears.
Even in failure there can be Nobility! But failing to try brings only shame!
Others may battle with victory in sight — but the Surfer still strives when all hope is gone!
You, who once called the Surfer "fool" — did you think mere cackling demons could overcome the Power Cosmic? Though I am less than fallen god, still I am more than mortal!
Though the one I treasure most of all is forever denied me — though sentenced to endure earthly confinement as a bird endure its cage — still my heart is light. For I have been true to my destiny! I have bested a demon and brought new life to a world! I know not what tomorrow may bring — but today — the Surfer soars!
You'll find my power comes from within.... and is a force to be reckoned with.
Obviously my best strategy is to wait, listen, and learn.
Thanos is like no foe I have ever faced. Perhaps he operates on unheard of spectro levels. There it is!! Amazing. The technologies involved at operating at this level would tax even Galactus's scientific abilities. Yet Thanos roams here freely.
All over the Universe! I can feel them! They're all dying! Billions upon billions of souls are blinking out of existence!
If sacred places are spared the ravages of war... then make all places sacred. And if the holy people are to be kept harmless from war... then make all people holy.
All that you know is at an end.

Adam Warlock[edit]

Melting crucible.jpg (created September 1967)

I am the type who sees the future and is held prisoner by it. How many times has this little drama repeated itself to me…?
The way ahead is long ... and dangerous. I'll have no one with me who doesn't want to come.
I am off to shed my godhood.

Jakob Dylan[edit]

Jakob Dylan at NFF.jpg (born 9 December 1969)

It's hard to admit but it's easy to tell
That evil is alive and well.
This kind of day
Has no night

Ain't got much on my mind
Ain't got much on my mind

'Cause I know
Something good this way comes.

The trouble, doll
Is not moving mountains, but
Digging the ground that you're on
Got my window open wide
Got a good woman by my side

I got a good woman by my side

'Cause I know
Something good this way comes.

Cat Power[edit]

Cat Power at NFF 4.jpg (born 21 January 1972)

We all do what we can
So we can do just one more thing
We can all be free

Maybe not in words
Maybe not with a look
But with your mind.
We won’t have a thing
So we’ve got nothing to lose…
You’ve got to choose a wish or command
At the turn of the tide

Alicia Witt[edit]

Dagger horse head Louvre OA7892 full.jpg (born 21 August 1975)

Whatever you've accomplished there's always more to experience.
The night was long and dark and just
Another dagger to my trust.
I thrust it in until I bleed
I wiped my point for you to see.

And anyway,
It's over now.
Nothing left to say.

I don't know why,
I don't care how,
It's over anyway.

i am always doing things i can't do. that's how i get to do them.
I have no respect for people who deliberately try to be weird to attract attention, but if that's who you honestly are, you shouldn't try to "normalize yourself". It's a fine line.
I like to play any character that allows me the freedom to explore it and teach the audience something they didn't know, and show them a journey they identify with... or be inspired, or moved. Anything that touches someone's heart is important for me.
I don't consider myself to be a quote-unquote good girl. I'm not prim and proper and polite. I'm very honest, and I love talking about sex, or people's deviances. I love psychology.
I don't feel special … I was just full of energy and loved to learn.

Becky Stark[edit]

Becky Stark at NFF.jpg (born 1976?)

We're at that kind of moment where we really have to understand that everyone is totally connected and everyone is important.
Emptiness is a conductor
A conductor of heat
A conductor of Anything.
Why do I hear what I can't see?
Why do I fear what I can be?
I feel the field of battle within my life!

I hear the calvalry of light!
I see the sound of endless sight!
I feel the field of battle within my life!

It was a life that had no end
A time of love with you, my friend
Begin the age of love you know about!

In sorrow there is no rhyme

Dream the kind of a life that you will find
The kind of love that lasts forever
Dream the kind of a life that you will find
The kind of love that lasts forever

In heaven there is no time.

I'll never sing a love song for a love that isn't true.

I love how the garden grows
And I love the garden rose.

Zooey Deschanel[edit]

Zooey Deschanel at NFF 1.jpg (born 17 January 1980)

Why don't you sit right down and stay awhile?
We like the same things and I like your style
Its not a secret; why do you keep it?
I'm just sitting on the shelf.
For those of you who thought you'd be forgotten,
The friends you've made will try their best, to make it so.
Think of all the beauty that you left behind you.
You can take it if you want it, and then let it go.
I got to get your presence
Let's make it known.
When I listen to a song that I love, it kind of makes me feel better. I think that’s the impetus behind everything I write; I want to make people feel better, whether it’s myself, or a friend, or whoever.

R.E.M.[edit]

R.E.M. (25).JPG (founded 1980)

It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.
That's me in the corner,
That's me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
,
Trying to keep up with you,
And I don't know if I can do it.
Oh no I've said too much.
I haven't said enough.
Every whisper
Of every waking hour,
I'm choosing my confessions.
When your day is long
and the night,
the night is yours alone,
when you're sure you've had enough
of this life, well hang on.

Don't let yourself go,
'cause everybody cries
and everybody hurts
sometimes.
Buy the sky and sell the sky,
And bleed the sky and tell the sky, don't
Fall on me.
All you hear is time stand still in travel
And feel such peace and absolute
The stillness still that doesn't end
But slowly drifts into sleep
The stars are the greatest thing you've ever seen
And they're there for you
For you alone you are the everything.

Field of Dreams[edit]

Stragler.jpg (1989)

If you build it, he will come.
It's okay, honey. I... I was just talking to the cornfield.
I need all the karma I can get right now.
We just don't recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they're happening. Back then I thought, well, there'll be other days. I didn't realize that that was the only day.
Ease his pain.
Oh, my God, you're from the Sixties!
You're seeing a whole team of psychiatrists, aren't you?
I was the East Coast distributor of "involved." I ate it, drank it, and breathed it. Then they killed Martin, then they killed Bobby, elected Tricky Dick twice, and people like you must think I'm miserable because I'm not involved anymore. Well, I've got news for you. I spent all my misery years ago. I have no more pain for anything. I gave at the office.
I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves.
People will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. "Of course, we won't mind if you look around", you'll say. … And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces …People will come Ray. … The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh, people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
If I'd only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes... now that would have been a tragedy.
Now I know what everybody's purpose here is... except mine.
Go the distance.
If you believe the impossible, the incredible can come true.

Good Omens[edit]

95apple.jpeg Good Omens : The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (1990) by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Kids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Do not attempt it in your own home.
God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players*, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
* ie., everybody.
It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.
There are some dogs which, when you meet them, remind you that, despite thousands of years of manmade evolution, every dog is still only two meals away from being a wolf. These dogs advance deliberately, purposefully, the wilderness made flesh, their teeth yellow, their breath astink, while in the distance their owners witter, "He's an old soppy really, just poke him if he's a nuisance," and in the green of their eyes the red campfires of the Pleistocene gleam and flicker . . .
This dog would make even a dog like that slink nonchalantly behind the sofa and pretend to be extremely preoccupied with its rubber bone.
It was already growling, and the growl was a low, rumbling snarl of spring-coiled menace, the sort of growl that starts in the back of one throat and ends up in someone else's.
Any prowling maniac would have had more than his work cut out if he had accosted Anathema Device. She was a witch, after all. And precisely because she was a witch, and therefore sensible, she put little faith in protective amulets and spells; she saved it all for a foot-long bread knife which she kept in her belt.
Anathema didn't only believe in leylines, but in seals, whales, bicycles, rain forests, whole grain in loaves, recycled paper, white South Africans out of South Africa, and Americans out of practically everywhere down to and including Long Island. She didn't compartmentalize her beliefs. They were welded into one enormous, seamless belief, compared with which that held by Joan of Arc seemed a mere idle notion. On any scale of mountain moving it shifted at least point five of an alp.*
* It may be worth noting here that most human beings can rarely raise more than .3 of an alp (30 centialps). Adam believed things on a scale ranging from 2 through to 15,640 Everests.
It used to be thought that the events that changed the world were things like big bombs, maniac politicians, huge earthquakes, or vast population movements, but it has now been realized that this is a very old-fashioned view held by people totally out of touch with modern thought. The things that really change the world, according to Chaos theory, are the tiny things. A butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazonian jungle, and subsequently a storm ravages half of Europe.
Somewhere in Adam's sleeping head, a butterfly had emerged.
It might, or might not, have helped Anathema get a clear view of things if she'd been allowed to spot the very obvious reason why she couldn't see Adam's aura.
It was for the same reason that people in Trafalgar Square can't see England.
Gather ye ryte close, goode people. Come close untyl the fire near scorch ye, for I charge ye that alle must see how thee last true wytch in England dies. For wytch I am, for soe I am judged, yette I knoe not what my true Cryme may be. And therefore let myne deathe be a messuage to the worlde. Gather ye ryte close, I saye, and marke well the fate of alle who meddle with suche as theye do none understande.
Most psychic abilities are caused by a simple lack of temporal focus, and the mind of Agnes Nutter was so far adrift in Time that she was considered pretty mad even by the standards of seventeenth-century Lancashire, where mad prophetesses were a growth industry.
It's not enough to know what the future is. You have to know what it means. Agnes was like someone looking at a huge picture down a tiny little tube. She wrote down what seemed like good advice based on what she understood of the tiny little glimpses.
For those of angel stock or demon breed, size, and shape, and composition, are simply options.
"Listen," croaked Skuzz. "Got something important to tell you. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse . . . they're right bastards, all four of them."
The technical term for it is infrablack. It can be seen quite easily under experimental conditions. To perform the experiment simply select a healthy brick wall with a good runup, and, lowering your head, charge. The color that flashes in bursts behind your eyes, behind the pain, just before you die, is infrablack.
It would take a lot to faze a copper from the Met.
It would take, for example, a huge, battered car that was nothing more nor less than a fireball, a blazing, roaring, twisted metal lemon from Hell, driven by a grinning lunatic in sunglasses, sitting amid the flames, trailing thick black smoke, coming straight at them through the lashing rain and the wind at eighty miles per hour.
That would do it every time.
Adam glanced up. In one sense there was just clear air overhead. In another, stretching off to infinity, were the hosts of Heaven and Hell, wingtip to wingtip. If you looked really closely, and had been specially trained, you could tell the difference.
Crowley was not used to people identifying him so readily, but Adam stared at him as though Crowley's entire life history was pasted inside the back of his skull and he, Adam, was reading it. For an instant he knew real terror. He'd always thought the sort he'd felt before was the genuine article, but that was mere abject fear beside this new sensation. Those Below could make you cease to exist by, well, hurting you in unbearable amounts, but this boy could not only make you cease to exist merely by thinking about it, but probably could arrange matters so that you never had existed at all.
You think wars get started because some old duke gets shot, or someone cuts off someone's ear, or someone's sited their missiles in the wrong place. It's not like that. That's just, well, just reasons, which haven't got anything to do with it. What really causes wars is two sides that can't stand the sight of one another and the pressure builds up and up and then anything will cause it. Anything at all.
"God does not play games with His loyal servants," said the Metatron, but in a worried tone of voice.
"Whooo-eee," said Crowley. "Where have you been?
There never was an apple, in Adam's opinion, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it.

Powder[edit]

Blitze IMGP6376 wp.jpg (1995)

You ever see so many goddamned lighting rods on one house?
We've got something out here nobody's gonna believe.
Where lies the final harbor, whence we unmoor no more? In what rapt ether sails the world, of which the weariest will never weary? Where is the foundling's father hidden?
A quotation from Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
When a thunderstorm comes up, I can feel it inside. When lightning comes down, I can feel it wanting to come to me. Grandma said it was God. She said the white fire was God.
Energy, always relaying, always transforming, and never-ending.
Something's happened here. Something's happened here. I'm telling you, with everything we know, about science, about the makeup of the human body, what happened in that classroom is impossible. That kid attracted an arc of electricity from thirty feet away, and not just from the Jacob's Ladder, I mean, after a second it was like it was coming out of the whole… building.
I could never watch television.
Your I.Q scored right off the charts Jeremy. There isn't even a classification for you it was so high. All of your tests indicate you have the most advanced intellect in the history of humankind. Do you understand what I'm saying?
If you thought I was that advanced would you ask me if I understood? … You're not here to ask me questions. You're here to find out how I cheated. It's the only way you can make sense of it. It's what you need to believe. But I don't need you to believe in me, Doctor Stipler, and I'm not interested in any of your tests. I'm not interested in you or anything else here. I'm interested in going home.
I want to go home. Do you understand that? I want to go home. … I saw that I don't like what you do. Any of you. … You pretend to be my friend, the way you pretend everything. A friend doesn't lock you up. A friend doesn't take you away from your home, and say that its for your own good. How long do you really think I'll let you keep me here?
Inside most people there's a feeling of being separate — separated from everything. … And they're not. They're part of absolutely everyone, and everything.
It's possible to talk to someone without any lies, with no sarcasms, no deceptions, no exaggerations or any of the things that people use to confuse the truth.
That kid, he lays his hand on the deer while it's still shaking, and then he touches me at the same time. Now, I can't figure out why — till my heart starts pounding, and I'm shaking, and I'm feeling myself hurt and scared shitless, slipping away in the goddamned dark. That's the worst thing I ever felt. Its like I could feel that animal dying. Hell, it was like I was the goddamned thing.
She says she believes in miracles now, and that you should too. … She thinks I'm an angel.
We're stumbling around in a very dark age basically trying not to kill each other. So it hurts me when you say "So what?" Because you are not just different, Jeremy, I think you have a mind that we won't evolve to for like thousands of years — you're maybe the man of the future right here and now.
Have you ever listened to people from the inside? Listened so close you can hear their thoughts — and all their memories. Hear them think from places they don't even know they think from?
I look at you, and I think that someday our humanity might actually surpass our technology.

Jumanji[edit]

Hapuu.jpg (1995)

In the jungle, you must wait, until the dice read 5 or 8.
Don't be fooled; it isn't thunder. Staying put would be a blunder.
Beware of the ground on which you stand, the floor is quicker than the sand.
You're almost there with much at stake, but now the ground begins to quake...

The Green Mile[edit]

Green Mile Lane - geograph.org.uk - 179440.jpg (1999)

You be still, now...you be so quiet and so still.
Why, they's angels. Angels, just like up in heaven.
I guess sometimes the past just catches up with you, whether you want it to or not.
What happens on the Mile, stays on the Mile. Always has.
Boss, Percy bad...he mean. He step on Del's mouse. I took it back, though.
I always keep a spare mouse in my wallet for occasions such as this.
Men under strain can snap. Hurt themselves, hurt others. That's why our job is talking, not yelling.
The man is mean and careless and stupid, and that's a bad combination in a place like this. Sooner or later, he's gonna get somebody hurt, or worse.
You're talkin' about a...an authentic healin'? A praise-Jesus miracle?
I do not see God putting a...gift like that, in the hands of a man who could kill a child.
I've done some things in my life I'm not proud of, but this is the first time I've ever felt in real danger of hell.
On the day of my judgment, when I stand before God, and He asks me why did I...did I kill one of his true miracles — what am I gonna say? That it was my job?
He killed them with their love. That's how it is every day, all over the world.
I know you hurtin' and worryin', I can feel it on you. But you oughta quit on it now. I want it over and done with, I do. I'm tired, boss. Tired of bein' on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. I'm tired of never having me a buddy to be with, to tell me where we's going to or coming from, or why. Mostly, I'm tired of people being ugly to each other. I'm tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world every day. There's too much of it — it's like pieces of glass in my head, all the time. Can you understand?
Elaine — you'll die, too. And my curse is knowing that I'll be there to see it. It's my torment, you see — it's my punishment for lettin' John Coffey ride the lightning. For killing a miracle of God. You'll be gone like all the others, and I'll have to stay. Oh, I'll die eventually; of that, I'm sure. I have no illusions of immortality. But I will have wished for death long before Death finds me. In truth, I wish for it already.
We each owe a death — there are no exceptions. But, oh God, sometimes the Green Mile seems so long.
Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not. Time takes it all, bears it away, and in the end there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again.
I think about all of us. Walking our own Green Mile, each in our own time.
Elaine Connelly [Feeding a slow but still active Mr. Jingles]: He...infected you with life?
Old Paul Edgecombe: That's as good a word as any.

Gladiator[edit]

5791 Arenes NIM 6062 C Recoura.jpg (2000)

Brothers, what we do in life, echoes in eternity.
My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Commander of the Armies of the North. General of the Felix Legions. Loyal servant to the true Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife — and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.
Are you not entertained?
The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end... Highness.
My name is Gladiator.
Some of you are thinking you won't fight. Others, that you can't fight. They all say that until they're out there. … Thrust this into another man's chest, and the crowd will applaud and love you for it. In time, you may even begin to love them for that. Ultimately, we're all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how, but — we can decide how we meet that end in order that we are remembered — as men.
You have a great name. He must kill your name before he kills you.
Now we are free. And I will see you again... But not yet. Not Yet.
Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them, and they'll be distracted. Take away their freedom, and still they'll roar.
You don't pretend to be a man of the people, senator. But I do try to be a man for the people.
Learn from me. I wasn't the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd, and you will win your freedom.
I will win the crowd — I will give them something they have never seen before.
The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! But now, the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do.
I think you've been afraid all your life.
I knew a man who once said, "Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."
A Hero Will Rise.

K-PAX[edit]

ESO-IRS2.jpg (2001)

I have arrived. My travels are over for the time being.
I didn't arrive by train.
Who is it this time? Jesus Christ or Joan of Arc?
What Einstein actually said was that nothing can accelerate to the speed of light because its mass would become infinite. Einstein said nothing about entities already traveling at the speed of light or faster.
Why is a soap bubble round? Because it is the most energy efficient configuration. Similarly, on your planet I look like you; on K-PAX I look like a K-Paxian.
Your produce alone has been worth the trip.
Every being in the universe knows right from wrong, Mark.
Let me tell you something, Mark. You humans, most of you, subscribe to this policy of an eye for an eye, a life for a life, which is known throughout the universe for its… stupidity. Even your Buddha and your Christ had quite a different vision; but nobody's paid much attention to them, not even the Buddhists or the Christians.
For your information: All beings have the capacity to cure themselves, Mark. This is something we've known on K-PAX for millions of years.
You'd be suprised how much energy is in a beam of light.
I travel light. That's a joke, Mark. You humans — there's just no sense of humor.
Patients do not escape from this institution. They don't escape. I'm going to have a great time explaining this to the state board. I've got psychotics on the fourth floor packing up their sneakers because they all think they're going off to K-PAX. Find him.
He's the most convincing delusional I've ever come across.
Mark Powell: Where the hell have you been?
prot: Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland… Labrador…
I put up with the stink in this place for ten years. I want to get out, if you know what I mean. I used to be the doorman at The Plaza — fif-fifteen years — that's when I started to notice it… The smell. They all stank. I, I tried to tell them, but, uh… they put me here. And um, this, this place smells worse than all — except for you. You, you don't smell. So I figured you could help me.
prot told me to find the Bluebird of Happiness… Its a task. The first of three.
Howie: You never gave me my last task. What's my last task?
prot: To stay here — and be prepared — for anything.
Quiet type. As I recall he was a real smart fellow… a brain. Strong as a horse though, and worked as a knocker.
I will admit the possibility that I am Robert Porter, if you will admit the possibility that I am from K-PAX. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a beam of light to catch.
I want to tell you something Mark, something you do not yet know, but we K-Paxians have been around long enough to have discovered. The universe will expand, and it will collapse back on itself, then will expand again. It will repeat this process forever. What you don't know is that when the universe expands again, everything will be as it is now. Whatever mistakes you make this time around, you will live through on your next pass. Every mistake you make, you will live through again, and again, forever. So my advice to you is to get it right this time around. Because this time is all you have.

The Last Mimzy[edit]

Soap bubble sky.jpg (2007)

Okay, everybody. Ready? Let's settle down. Today I'm going to show you a story. Let's all tune in together.
A long time ago, the soul of our planet was sick. People had become isolated and warlike. Our world was frightened, it was dying; but a great scientist was trying to save us. He had tried many times, and he knew he could only try once more. This was the last Mimzy.
In Tibet they believe that there are extraordinary children, with this very special knowledge — and abilities. They are considered actually very rare souls, very gifted — like Noah — they are called tulkus.
I looked through the looking glass Mommy. I looked through it. Just like Alice.
This stuff could be dangerous. ... I showed the green glass thing to mom. She thought it was a paper-weight. Maybe other people don't see what we see.
I don't want the world to end, ever. I love the world. I don't want it to die.
I can do a magic trick with my hand.
The people in the future can't travel through time. They need our help. Something in them is broken. And we can fix it. We have what they need. She says it's in our genes.
Mimzy returned to her own time, as if time had stopped. It was what the scientist had hoped for — to find a soul in the past not contaminated by the pollutants that filled our bodies and minds. Our precious quality of humanity had been turned off, but in Emma's tears was the instruction for an awakening; and it spread like wildflowers. People shed their protective suits. And over time humanity blossomed again. Our world was saved by a child, very much like you. Emma was our mother, the mother of us all.
"Hello (I Love You)"
Video and full lyrics online : created as a collaboration between Howard Shore and Roger Waters, who said: "I think together we've come up with a song that captures the themes of the movie — the clash between humanity's best and worst instincts, and how a child's innocence can win the day."
Have you heard?
It was on the news —
Your child can read you like a bedtime story

Like a magazine,
Like a has-been out to grass,
Like afternoon T.V. —
Why is my life going by so fast?
Hello I love you,
Is there anybody in there?
Life is long but it goes fast.
The kids will have to separate
Their future from our past.
The ghosts are walking by my side.
I feel their love I feel their pride,
For I have built a bridge or two,
Bridges between me and you.
Hello I love you.
≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈ ∞ ≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
Baryon-decuplet.svg
⨀ ⨀
Dragon's Eye Symbol png.png

Ω [edit]