Wikiquote:Quote of the day/2010
This page lists all Quotes of the Day for 2010.
For the image files used with these on the main page see:
- January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December
- The true poet has no choice of material. The material plainly chooses him, not he it. ~ J. D. Salinger
- I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be. ~ Isaac Asimov
- Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music. And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable, ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme, each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will. But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song. ~ J. R. R. Tolkien in The Silmarillion
- 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.
~ R.E.M. ~
- A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection — not an invitation for hypnosis. ~ Umberto Eco
- To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but what he aspires to. ~ Khalil Gibran
- When I take people round to see my animals, one of the first questions they ask (unless the animal is cute and appealing) is, "what use is it?" by which they mean, "what use is it to them?" To this one can reply "What use is the Acropolis?" Does a creature have to be of direct material use to mankind in order to exist? By and large, by asking the question "what use is it?" you are asking the animal to justify its existence without having justified your own. ~ Gerald Durrell
- My intent is to tell the truth as I know it, realizing that what is true for me may be blasphemy for others. ~ Gerry Spence
- I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity. I want this adventure that is the context of my life to go on without end. ~ Simone de Beauvoir
- Corruption never has been compulsory; when the cities lie at the monster's feet there are left the mountains. ~ Robinson Jeffers
- I should esteem it the extreme of imprudence to prolong the precarious state of our national affairs, and to expose the union to the jeopardy of successive experiments, in the chimerical pursuit of a perfect plan. I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man. The result of the deliberations of all collective bodies must necessarily be a compound as well of the errors and prejudices, as of the good sense and wisdom of the individuals of whom they are composed. ~ Alexander Hamilton
- Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe. ~ Edmund Burke
- Conscious faith is freedom.
Emotional faith is slavery.
Mechanical faith is foolishness.
~ G. I. Gurdjieff ~
- 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. ~ Albert Schweitzer
- Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Ours is an age which consciously pursues health, and yet only believes in the reality of sickness. The truths we respect are those born of affliction. We measure truth in terms of the cost to the writer in suffering — rather than by the standard of an objective truth to which a writer's words correspond. Each of our truths must have a martyr. ~ Susan Sontag
- I somehow see what's beautiful
In things that are ephemeral.
I'm my only friend of mine,
And love is just a piece of time
In the world
In the world.
And I couldn't help but fall in love again.
~ Zooey Deschanel ~
- I have always observed that to succeed in the world one should appear like a fool but be wise. ~ Charles de Montesquieu
- Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less. ~ Robert E. Lee
- To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope. ~ Barack Obama
- That which is above comprehension we cannot perceive to be contradictory, nor on the other hand can we perceive its rationality or consistency. ~ Ethan Allen
- Truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction.
~ Lord Byron in Don Juan ~
- Love has always been the most important business in my life, I should say the only one. ~ Stendhal
- True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision. ~ Edith Wharton
- O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion.
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us
An' ev'n Devotion.
~ Robert Burns ~
- If you don't have enemies, you don't have character. ~ Paul Newman
Twas brillig and the slithy toves,
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
- Life on earth is a hand-to-hand mortal combat... between the law of love and the law of hate. ~ José Martí
- Each of us is full of too many wheels, screws and valves to permit us to judge one another on a first impression or by two or three external signs. ~ Anton Chekhov
- Is there not glory enough in living the days given to us? You should know there is adventure in simply being among those we love and the things we love, and beauty, too. ~ Lloyd Alexander
- 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. ~ Ken Wilber
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore —
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over —
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
~ Langston Hughes ~
- I'm not playing by their rules anymore! ~ Bill Murray as "Phil" in Groundhog Day
- Only he who has measured the dominion of force, and knows how not to respect it, is capable of love and justice. ~ Simone Weil
- If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. ~ Charles Lindbergh
- Enforced uniformity confounds civil and religious liberty and denies the principles of Christianity and civility. No man shall be required to worship or maintain a worship against his will. ~ Roger Williams
- Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same... ~ Ronald Reagan
- Extreme justice is an extreme injury: for we ought not to approve of those terrible laws that make the smallest offences capital, nor of that opinion of the Stoics that makes all crimes equal; as if there were no difference to be made between the killing a man and the taking his purse, between which, if we examine things impartially, there is no likeness nor proportion. ~ Thomas More
- Punishment is the last and least effective instrument in the hands of the legislator for the prevention of crime. ~ John Ruskin
- I am a ridiculous man. They call me a madman now. That would be a distinct rise in my social position were it not that they still regard me as being as ridiculous as ever. But that does not make me angry any more. They are all dear to me now even while they laugh at me — yes, even then they are for some reason particularly dear to me. I shouldn't have minded laughing with them — not at myself, of course, but because I love them — had I not felt so sad as I looked at them. I feel sad because they do not know the truth, whereas I know it. Oh, how hard it is to be the only man to know the truth! But they won't understand that. No, they will not understand. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Reason gains all men, by compelling none.
Mercy was always Heaven's distinguished mark:
And he, who bears it not, has no friend there. ~ Aaron Hill ~
- The people who have sufficient passion for the truth to give the truth a chance to prevail, if it runs counter to their bias, are in a minority. How important is this "minority?" It is difficult to say at this point, for, at the present time their influence on governmental decisions is not perceptible. ~ Leó Szilárd
- I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. ~ Abraham Lincoln
- Of what use to destroy the children of evil? It is evil itself we must destroy at the roots. ~ Eleanor Farjeon
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.
- A religious education is an education which inculcates duty and reverence. Duty arises from our potential control over the course of events. Where attainable knowledge could have changed the issue, ignorance has the guilt of vice. And the foundation of reverence is this perception, that the present holds within itself the complete sum of existence, backwards and forwards, that whole amplitude of time, which is eternity. ~ Alfred North Whitehead
- What one knows is, in youth, of little moment; they know enough who know how to learn. ~ Henry Adams
- The Divine Light is always in man, presenting itself to the senses and to the comprehension, but man rejects it. ~ Giordano Bruno
- Where are we going? Do not ask! Ascend, descend. There is no beginning and no end. Only this present moment exists, full of bitterness, full of sweetness, and I rejoice in it all. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
- People have such terrible assumptions about ghosts — you know, phantoms that haunt you, that make you scared, that turn the house upside down. Yin people are not in our living presence but are around, and kind of guide you to insights. Like in Las Vegas when the bells go off, telling you you've hit the jackpot. Yin people ring the bells, saying, "Pay attention." And you say, "Oh, I see now." Yet I'm a fairly skeptical person. I'm educated, I'm reasonably sane, and I know that this subject is fodder for ridicule. ... To write the book, I had to put that aside. As with any book. I go through the anxiety, "What will people think of me for writing something like this?" But ultimately, I have to write what I have to write about, including the question of life continuing beyond our ordinary senses. ~ Amy Tan
- Our world is in profound danger. Mankind must establish a set of positive values with which to secure its own survival.
This quest for enlightenment must begin now.
It is essential that all men and women become aware of what they are, why they are here on Earth and what they must do to preserve civilization before it is too late. ~ Richard Matheson
- All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
~ W. H. Auden ~
- I honor the man who is willing to sink
Half his present repute for the freedom to think,
And, when he has thought, be his cause strong or weak,
Will risk t'other half for the freedom to speak,
Caring naught for what vengeance the mob has in store,
Let that mob be the upper ten thousand or lower. ~ James Russell Lowell ~
- How shall Integrity face Oppression? What shall Honesty do in the face of Deception, Decency in the face of Insult, Self-Defense before Blows? How shall Desert and Accomplishment meet Despising, Detraction, and Lies? What shall Virtue do to meet Brute Force? There are so many answers and so contradictory; and such differences for those on the one hand who meet questions similar to this once a year or once a decade, and those who face them hourly and daily. ~ W. E. B. Du Bois
- A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. ~ George A. Moore
- When the state murders, it assumes an authority I refuse to concede: the authority of perfect knowledge in final things. ~ John Leonard
- A day will come when there will be no battlefields, but markets opening to commerce and minds opening to ideas. A day will come when the bullets and bombs are replaced by votes, by universal suffrage, by the venerable arbitration of a great supreme senate which will be to Europe what Parliament is to England, the Diet to Germany, and the Legislative Assembly to France.
A day will come when a cannon will be a museum-piece, as instruments of torture are today. And we will be amazed to think that these things once existed! ~ Victor Hugo
- If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Virtue refuses facility for her companion ... the easy, gentle, and sloping path that guides the footsteps of a good natural disposition is not the path of true virtue. It demands a rough and thorny road. ~ Michel de Montaigne
- Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art. ~ Frédéric Chopin
- Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny. ~ Carl Schurz
- The proper method for hastening the decay of error, is not, by brute force, or by regulation which is one of the classes of force, to endeavour to reduce men to intellectual uniformity; but on the contrary by teaching every man to think for himself. ~ William Godwin
- I honor my importance and the importance of others. None of us is dispensable, none of us is replacable. In the chorus of life each of us brings a True Note, a perfect pitch that adds to the harmony of the whole. I act creatively and consciously to actively endorse and encourage the expansion of those whose lives I touch. Believing in the goodness of each, I add to the goodness of all. We bless each other even in passing. ~ Julia Cameron
- It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission. ~ Grace Hopper
- A man contains all that is needed to make up a tree; likewise, a tree contains all that is needed to make up a man. Thus, finally, all things meet in all things, but we need a Prometheus to distill it. ~ Cyrano de Bergerac
- It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of reason is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs. ~ Aristotle
- I think it not improbable that man, like the grub that prepares a chamber for the winged thing it never has seen but is to be — that man may have cosmic destinies that he does not understand. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
- Orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it! ~ Yuri Gagarin
I don't believe in hatred anymore.
I hate to think of how it felt before
When anger overwhelms your very soul
It's hard to realize you'll ever know
Love like we do.
~ Edie Brickell ~
Perhaps if only once you did enjoy
The thousandth part of all the happiness
A heart beloved enjoys, returning love,
Repentant, you would surely sighing say,
"All time is truly lost and gone
Which is not spent in serving love."
~ Torquato Tasso ~
- Who knows, my God, but that the universe is not one vast sea of compassion actually, the veritable holy honey, beneath all this show of personality and cruelty? ~ Jack Kerouac
- For those to whom a stone reveals itself as sacred, its immediate reality is transmuted into supernatural reality. In other words, for those who have a religious experience all nature is capable of revealing itself as cosmic sacrality. ~ Mircea Eliade
We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams; —
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
- It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics, and laborers — who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. ~ Andrew Jackson
- I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. ~ James Madison
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.
~ Saint Patrick ~
- I am inventing a language which must necessarily burst forth from a very new poetics, that could be defined in a couple of words: Paint, not the thing, but the effect it produces. ~ Stéphane Mallarmé
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?
- A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm. ~ Henrik Ibsen
In the scenery of spring,
nothing is better, nothing worse;
The flowering branches are
of themselves, some short, some long.
~ Ryōkan ~
- To communicate through silence is a link between the thoughts of man. ~ Marcel Marceau
- Society must be organized in such a way that man's social, loving nature is not separated from his social existence, but becomes one with it. If it is true, as I have tried to show, that love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence, then any society which excludes, relatively, the development of love, must in the long run perish of its own contradiction with the basic necessities of human nature. ~ Erich Fromm
Love is enough: though the World be a-waning
And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining,
Though the sky be too dark for dim eyes to discover
The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder,
Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder,
And this day draw a veil over all deeds passed over,
Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter;
The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter
These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.
~ William Morris ~
- We have come more and more under the dominance of mechanics and sacrificed living humanity to the dead rhythm of the machine without most of us even being conscious of the monstrosity of the procedure. Hence we frequently deal with such matters with indifference and in cold blood as if we handled dead things and not the destinies of men. ~ Rudolf Rocker
I have kept hidden in the instep arch
Of an old cedar at the waterside
A broken drinking goblet like the Grail
Under a spell so the wrong ones can't find it,
So can't get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn't.
(I stole the goblet from the children's playhouse.)
Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
~ Robert Frost ~
- Non-evaluative insight into history does not inevitably lead to relativism, but rather to relationism. Knowledge, as seen in the light of the total conception of ideology, is by no means an illusory experience, for ideology in its relational concept is not at all identical with illusion. Knowledge arising out of our experience in actual life situations, though not absolute, is knowledge none the less. ~ Karl Mannheim
- I perceive the world in fragments. It is somewhat like being on a very fast train and getting glimpses of things in strange scales as you pass by. A person can be very, very tiny. And a billboard can make a person very large. You see the corner of a house or you see a bird fly by, and it's all fragmented. Somehow, in painting I try to make some logic out of the world that has been given to me in chaos. I have a very pretentious idea that I want to make life, I want to make sense out of it. The fact that I am doomed to failure — that doesn't deter me in the least. ~ Grace Hartigan
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
~ R. S. Thomas ~
- Laughter is wine for the soul – laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness. Comedy and tragedy step through life together, arm in arm, all along, out along, down along lea. A laugh is a great natural stimulator, a pushful entry into life; and once we can laugh, we can live. It is the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living. ~ [[Seán O'Casey ~
- History will judge societies and governments — and their institutions — not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless. ~ Cesar Chavez
- To joke in the face of danger is the supreme politeness, a delicate refusal to cast oneself as a tragic hero. ~ Edmond Rostand
My spirit to yours dear brother,
Do not mind because many sounding your name do not understand you,
I do not sound your name, but I understand you,
I specify you with joy O my comrade to salute you, and to salute those who are with you, before and since, and those to come also,
That we all labor together transmitting the same charge and succession,
We few equals indifferent of lands, indifferent of times,
We, enclosers of all continents, all castes, allowers of all theologies,
Compassionaters, perceivers, rapport of men,
We walk silent among disputes and assertions, but reject not the disputers nor any thing that is asserted,
We hear the bawling and din, we are reach'd at by divisions, jealousies, recriminations on every side,
They close peremptorily upon us to surround us, my comrade,
Yet we walk unheld, free, the whole earth over, journeying up and down till we make our ineffaceable mark upon time and the diverse eras,
Till we saturate time and eras, that the men and women of races, ages to come, may prove brethren and lovers as we are.
- I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
~ Edward Everett Hale ~
- If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. ~ Yeshua of Galilee (Jesus Christ)
- Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible. ~ Colin Powell
Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.
Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
- There are seasons, in human affairs, of inward and outward revolution, when new depths seem to be broken up in the soul, when new wants are unfolded in multitudes, and a new and undefined good is thirsted for. There are periods when...to dare, is the highest wisdom. ~ William Ellery Channing
- You can do a lot with diplomacy, but with diplomacy backed up by force you can get a lot more done. ~ Kofi Annan
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.
It was the wise all-seeing soul
Who counselled neither war nor peace:
"Only be thou thyself that goal
In which the wars of time shall cease."
~ Æ ~
- 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. ~ Charles Evans Hughes
- No matter what you or anyone else does, there will be someone who says that there's something bad about it.
- Whenever somebody comes up with a good idea, there's somebody else who has never had a good idea in his life who stands up and says, "Oh, you can't do that..." ~ Tom Clancy
History says don't hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.
So hope for a great sea-change
on the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
and cures and healing wells.
~ Seamus Heaney ~
- I have read that the secret of gallantry is to accept the pleasures of life leisurely, and its inconveniences with a shrug; as well as that, among other requisites, the gallant person will always consider the world with a smile of toleration, and his own doings with a smile of honest amusement, and Heaven with a smile which is not distrustful — being thoroughly persuaded that God is kindlier than the genteel would regard as rational. ~ James Branch Cabell
- Any one who in discussion relies upon authority uses, not his understanding, but rather his memory. Good culture is born of a good disposition; and since the cause is more to be praised than the effect, I will rather praise a good disposition without culture, than good culture without the disposition. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
- It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously. ~ Peter Ustinov # The Anarchists never have claimed that liberty will bring perfection; they simply say that its results are vastly preferable to those that follow authority. ~ Benjamin Tucker
- Many a genius has been slow of growth. Oaks that flourish for a thousand years do not spring up into beauty like a reed. ~ George Henry Lewes
- I share the belief of many of my contemporaries that the spiritual crisis pervading all spheres of Western industrial society can be remedied only by a change in our world view. We shall have to shift from the materialistic, dualistic belief that people and their environment are separate, toward a new consciousness of an all-encompassing reality, which embraces the experiencing ego, a reality in which people feel their oneness with animate nature and all of creation. ~ Albert Hofmann
- Schmendrick stepped out into the open and said a few words. They were short words, undistinguished either by melody or harshness, and Schmendrick himself could not hear them for the Red Bull's dreadful bawling. But he knew what they meant, and he knew exactly how to say them, and he knew that he could say them again when he wanted to, in the same way or in a different way. Now he spoke them gently and with joy, and as did so he felt his immortality fall from him like an armour, or like a shroud. ~ [[Peter S. Beagle in The Last Unicorn ~
- 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. ~ Rollo May
- 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. ~ Wendell Berry ~
- 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. ~ Max Planck
- One need not hope in order to undertake, nor succeed in order to persevere. ~ William the Silent
- It is best to keep one’s own state intact; to crush the enemy’s state is only second best. ~ Sun Tzu
- If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine. ~ Morris West
- It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world. ~ Mary Wollstonecraft
- You can't go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world for people. Otherwise it's just a cage. ~ Terry Pratchett
- Night has fallen and the barbarians haven't come.
And some of our men who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.
Now what's going to happen to us without barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution. ~ Constantine P. Cavafy
- The god of war has gone over to the other side. ~ Adolf Hitler
- Nature does nothing without purpose or uselessly. ~ Joseph Addison
- Before abstraction everything is one, but one like chaos; after abstraction everything is united again, but this union is a free binding of autonomous, self-determined beings. Out of a mob a society has developed, chaos has been transformed into a manifold world. ~ Novalis
- No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.
Nothing is of greater importance in time of war than in knowing how to make the best use of a fair opportunity when it is offered. ~ Niccolò Machiavelli
- If any man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both. ~ Horace Mann
- 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. ~ Søren Kierkegaard, in Either/Or]]
- The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing. Ultimately, after endlessly repeated rebuffs, it succeeds. This is one of the few points in which it may be optimistic about the future of mankind, but in itself it signifies not a little. ~ Sigmund Freud
- Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand
With a grip that kills it. ~ Rabindranath Tagore
- It is possible for a dictator to govern in a liberal way. And it is also possible for a democracy to govern with a total lack of liberalism. Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism. ~ Friedrich Hayek
- It is not enough that we have a guilty defendant. We must have an innocent system as well. - John Ashcroft
Take me to that other place
I know I'm not a hopeless case
What you don't have you don't need it
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
~ Bono ~
- For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. ~ Richard Feynman
Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair, or foul, or rain, or shine,
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not heaven itself upon the past has power;
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
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.
- Is it not the interest of the human race, that every one should be so taught and placed, that he would find his highest enjoyment to arise from the continued practice of doing all in his power to promote the well-being, and happiness, of every man, woman, and child, without regard to their class, sect, party, country or colour? ~ Robert Owen
- I have learned to regard fame as a will-o-the-wisp which, when caught, is not worth the possession; but to please a child is a sweet and lovely thing that warms one's heart and brings its own reward. ~ L. Frank Baum
- I have learned, by some experience, that virtue and patriotism, vice and selfishness, are found in all parties, and that they differ less in their motives than in the policies they pursue. ~ William H. Seward
- There are cloudy moments when one asks himself if men do not deserve all the disasters into which they rush! No — I recover myself — they do not deserve them. But we, instead of saying "I wish" must say "I will." And what we will, we must will to build it, with order, with method, beginning at the beginning, when once we have been as far as that beginning. We must not only open our eyes, but our arms, our wings. ~ Henri Barbusse # The impartiality which, in contemplation, is the unalloyed desire for truth, is the very same quality of mind which, in action, is justice, and in emotion is that universal love which can be given to all, and not only to those who are judged useful or admirable. Thus contemplation not only enlarges the objects of our thoughts, but also the objects of our actions and our affections: it makes us citizens of the universe, not only of one walled city at war with the rest. In this citizenship of the universe consists man's true freedom, and his liberation from the thralldom of narrow hopes and fears. ~ Bertrand Russell
- 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. ~ Lorraine Hansberry
- The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. ~ John Stuart Mill
All seems Infected that th' Infected spy,
As all looks yellow to the Jaundic'd Eye.
~ Alexander Pope ~
- The more we progress the more we tend to progress. We advance not in arithmetical but in geometrical progression. We draw compound interest on the whole capital of knowledge and virtue which has been accumulated since the dawning of time. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle
- Might the simple maxim, that honesty is the best policy be laid to heart! Might a sense of the true aims of life elevate the tone of politics and trade, till public and private honor become identical! ~ Margaret Fuller
How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.
~ Bob Dylan ~
- Be an artist superior to tricks of art. Show frankly, as a saint would do, all your experience, your methods, tools, and means. Welcome all comers to the freest use of the same. And out of this superior frankness and charity, you shall learn higher secrets of your nature, which gods will bend and aid you to communicate. ~ [[Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
- If there must be resolution and explanation, it must be something worth its weight in mystery. Most times, I'd be content with the mystery. ~ Caitlín R. Kiernan
- I am confirmed in my division of human energies. Ambitious people climb, but faithful people build. ~ Julia Ward Howe
- War of any kind is abhorrent. Remember that since the end of World War II, over 40 million people have been killed by conventional weapons. So, if we should succeed in averting nuclear war, we must not let ourselves be sold the alternative of conventional weapons for killing our fellow men. We must cure ourselves of the habit of war. ~ Patrick White
- 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. ~ G. K. Chesterton
- If I am not in the state of grace, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me. ~ Jehanne Darc (Joan of Arc)
- It is a beautiful truth that all men contain something of the artist in them. And perhaps it is the case that the greatest artists live and die, the world and themselves alike ignorant what they possess. ... I think of few heroic actions, which cannot be traced to the artistical impulse. He who does great deeds, does them from his innate sensitiveness to moral beauty. ~ Walt Whitman
- There is a legend about a bird that sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. Dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of the great pain. … Or so says the legend. ~ Colleen McCullough
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.
At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.
~ Thomas Hardy ~
- You can't incent a dead person. No matter what we do, Hawthorne will not produce any more works, no matter how much we pay him. ~ Lawrence Lessig
- Knowledge is meaningful only if it is reflected in action. The human race has found out the hard way that we are what we do, not just what we think. This is true for kids and adults — for schoolrooms and nations. ~ Robert Fulghum
- The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. ~ John Maynard Keynes
- I will keep faith with death in my heart, yet will remember that faith with death and the dead is only wickedness and dark voluptuousness and enmity against humankind, if it is given power over our thought and contemplation. For the sake of goodness and love, man shall let death have no sovereignty over his thoughts. And with that, I wake up. ~ Thomas Mann
- Art hurts. Art urges voyages — and it is easier to stay at home. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks
- Our civil laws will never be supple enough to fit the immense and changing variety of facts. Laws change more slowly than custom, and though dangerous when they fall behind the times are more dangerous still when they presume to anticipate custom. ~ Marguerite Yourcenar
Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above.
Don't fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don't fence me in.
Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don't fence me in.
~ Cole Porter ~
- Apparently the rise of consciousness is linked to certain kinds of privation. It is the bitterness of self-consciousness that we knowers know best. Critical of the illusions that sustained mankind in earlier times, this self-consciousness of ours does little to sustain us now. The question is: which is disenchanted, the world itself or the consciousness we have of it? ~ Saul Bellow
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
And I'll not look for wine.
~ Ben Jonson ~
Everyone's got the same insecurities as you
Believe me it is true
Do not be afraid
To show people the real you.
I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.
- Fiction has to be plausible. All history has to do is happen. ~ Harry Turtledove
- There are some men whom a staggering emotional shock, so far from making them mental invalids for life, seems, on the other hand, to awaken, to galvanize, to arouse into an almost incredible activity of soul. ~ William McFee
- It is as painful perhaps to be awakened from a vision as to be born. ~ James Joyce in Ulysses
- The result of the struggle between the thought and the ability to express it, between dream and reality, is seldom more than a compromise or an approximation. ~ M. C. Escher
- It is an interesting law of romance that a truly strong woman will choose a strong man who disagrees with her over a weak one who goes along. Strength demands intelligence, intelligence demands stimulation, and weakness is boring. It is better to find a partner you can contend with for a lifetime than one who accommodates you because he doesn't really care. ~ Roger Ebert
- The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance and fear. ~ Aung San Suu Kyi
- The Tennessee stud was long and lean
The color of the sun and his eyes were green.
He had the nerve and he had the blood
And there never was a hoss like the Tennessee stud.
~ Jimmy Driftwood ~
- There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet. ... To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- In tradition and in books an integral part of the individual persists, for it can influence the minds and actions of other people in different places and at different times: a row of black marks on a page can move a man to tears, though the bones of him that wrote it are long ago crumbled to dust. In truth, the whole progress of civilization is based upon this power. ~ Julian Huxley
As a white stone in the well's cool deepness,
There lays in me one wonderful remembrance.
I am not able and don't want to miss this:
It is my torture and my utter gladness.
I think, that he whose look will be directed
Into my eyes, at once will see it whole.
~ Anna Akhmatova ~
- Acquaintance, n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. ~ Ambrose Bierce
- We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. ... Bully-worship, under various disguises, has become a universal religion, and such truisms as that a machine-gun is still a machine-gun even when a "good" man is squeezing the trigger ... have turned into heresies which it is actually becoming dangerous to utter. ~ George Orwell
- An intelligent, energetic, educated woman cannot be kept in four walls — even satin-lined, diamond-studded walls — without discovering sooner or later that they are still a prison cell. ~ Pearl S. Buck
- The bulk of the world’s knowledge is an imaginary construction. ~ Helen Keller
- Good laws lead to the making of better ones; bad ones bring about worse. ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau
What though our eyes with tears be wet?
The sunrise never failed us yet.
The blush of dawn may yet restore
Our light and hope and joy once more.
Sad soul, take comfort, nor forget
That sunrise never failed us yet!
~ Celia Thaxter ~
- Before the five senses were opened, and earlier than any beginning
They waited, ready, for all those who would call themselves mortals,
So that they might praise, as I do, life, that is, happiness.
~ Czesław Miłosz
- A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents. ~ Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
- Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists. There is, there has been, there will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It's made up of all those who've consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners — I could list a hundred more professions. Their work becomes one continuous adventure as long as they manage to keep discovering new challenges in it. Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem that they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous "I don't know." ~ Wisława Szymborska
- I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No... not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that... overthrows life. Unbiddable, ungovernable — like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love — like there has never been in a play. ~ Tom Stoppard in Shakespeare in Love
- The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one's self a fool; the truest heroism is, to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Life is not theory. It is reality, with inherent duties to everything and everyone. ~ Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka
- I believe that at every level of society — familial, tribal, national and international — the key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion. We do not need to become religious, nor do we need to believe in an ideology. All that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities. ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
- I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
- There must be understanding between the artist and the people. In the best ages of art that has always been the case. Genius can probably run on ahead and seek out new ways. But the good artists who follow after genius — and I count myself among these — have to restore the lost connection once more. ~ Käthe Kollwitz
- We have to learn to think in a new way. We have to learn to ask ourselves, not what steps can be taken to give military victory to whatever group we prefer, for there no longer are such steps; the question we have to ask ourselves is: what steps can be taken to prevent a military contest of which the issue must be disastrous to all parties? ~ Bertrand Russell
- Universal peace as a result of cumulative effort through centuries past might come into existence quickly — not unlike a crystal that suddenly forms in a solution which has been slowly prepared. ~ Nikola Tesla
- Life's meaning has always eluded me and I guess it always will. But I love it just the same. ~ E. B. White
- No human being is constituted to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and even the best of men must be content with fragments, with partial glimpses, never the full fruition. ~ William Osler
- It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs. ~ Kenneth Clark
- Freedom is not an exchange — it is freedom. ~ André Malraux
- There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism. ~ Walter Benjamin
- Nothing limits intelligence more than ignorance; nothing fosters ignorance more than one's own opinions; nothing strengthens opinions more than refusing to look at reality. ~ Sheri S. Tepper
- God, from a beautiful necessity, is Love in all he doeth,
Love, a brilliant fire, to gladden or consume:
The wicked work their woe by looking upon love, and hating it:
The righteous find their joys in yearning on its loveliness for ever. ~ Martin Farquhar Tupper
- A man who takes away another man's freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.
When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning. ~ Nelson Mandela
- I should like to be famous and unknown. ~ Edgar Degas
- 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 lift your gaze to things eternal! ~ Petrarch
- 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. ~ Ernest Hemingway
- There was no pain when I awoke,
No pain at all. Rest, like a goad,
Spurred my eyes open — and light broke
Upon them like a million swords:
And she was there. There are no words.
Heaven is for a moment's span.
And ever. ~ Stephen Vincent Benét
- There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous. ~ Raymond Chandler
- The three greatest fools of history have been Jesus Christ, Don Quixote . . . and me! ~ Simón Bolívar
- The central task of education is to implant a will and a facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.
- In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. ~ Eric Hoffer
- We are so captivated by and entangled in our subjective consciousness that we have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions. ~ Carl Jung
- I've been sleeping through my life
Now I'm waking up
And I want to stand in the sunshine
I have never been ecstatic
Had a flower but it never bloomed
In the darkness of my wasted youth
It was hiding in the shadows
Learning to become invisible
~ Juliana Hatfield
- Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite. ~ Karl Popper
Now I understand what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free —
They would not listen
They did not know how,
Perhaps they'll listen now.
With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.
Though earth and moon were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.
There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou — THOU art Being and Breath,
And what THOU art may never be destroyed.
~ Emily Brontë ~
- Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable. ~ Milton Friedman
- It is — or seems to be — a wise sort of thing, to realise that all that happens to a man in this life is only by way of joke, especially his misfortunes, if he have them. And it is also worth bearing in mind, that the joke is passed round pretty liberally & impartially, so that not very many are entitled to fancy that they in particular are getting the worst of it. ~ Herman Melville
- One writes out of one thing only — one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art. ~ James Baldwin
- Perhaps there was no limit, there might, quite likely, be no such condition as the ultimate; there might be no time when any creature or any group of creatures could stop at any certain point and say, this is as far as we can go, there is no use of trying to go farther. For each new development produced, as side effects, so many other possibilities, so many other roads to travel, that with each step one took down any given road there were more paths to follow. There'd never be an end, he thought — no end to anything. ~ Clifford D. Simak
- Contrary to the rumours that you've heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-El, to save the planet Earth. ~ Barack Obama
Tis true, my form is something odd
but blaming me, is blaming God.
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you.
~ Joseph Merrick ~
Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new:
That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do:
For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;
Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;
Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rained a ghastly dew
From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue;
Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging through the thunderstorm;
Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the battle-flags were furled
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.
There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapped in universal law.
~ Alfred Tennyson ~
- The real struggle is not between the right and the left but between the party of the thoughtful and the party of the jerks. ~ Jimmy Wales
- No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. ~ Shirley Jackson
- If you are not ready, and did not know what to do, it could hurt you in different ways. It could knock you down, hard, or throw you against a tree or a wall. It is such a big explosion, it can smash in buildings and knock signboards over, and break windows all over town, but if you duck and cover, like Bert, you will be much safer. ~ Duck and Cover
- The one thing we know about torture is that it was never designed in the first place to get at the actual truth of anything; it was designed in the darkest days of human history to produce false confessions in order to annihilate political and religious dissidents. And that is how it always works: it gets confessions regardless of their accuracy. ~ Andrew Sullivan
- Wait until the world is free before you write a creed.
In this creed there will be but one word — Liberty. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
- No external power, no terrorist organization, can defeat us. But we can defeat ourselves by getting caught in a quagmire. ~ George Soros
- Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it. ~ Alfred Hitchcock
- One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honour or observation. ~ Walter Scott
- If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks, glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. I have made all the calculations; fate will do the rest. ~ Napoleon I of France # Some men, like a tiled house, are long before they take fire, but once on flame there is no coming near to quench them. ~ Thomas Fuller
- Most of authors seek fame, but I seek for justice — a holier impulse than ever entered into the ambitious struggles of the votaries of that fickle, flirting goddess. ~ Davy Crockett
I saw the starry Tree
Put forth the blossom Time.
- Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter. ~ Bernard Baruch
- The grand design of nature perceived broadly in four dimensions, including the forces that move the universe and created man, with special focus on evolution in our own biosphere, is something intrinsically good that it is right to preserve and enhance, and wrong to destroy and degrade. ~ Roger Wolcott Sperry
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.
It's over now.
Nothing left to say.
I don't know why,
I don't care how,
It's over anyway.
~ Alicia Witt ~
- A gram of experience is worth a ton of theory. ~ Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
I never started to plow in my life
That some one did not stop in the road
And take me away to a dance or picnic.
I ended up with forty acres;
I ended up with a broken fiddle —
And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,
And not a single regret.
- 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. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
Calmly take what ill betideth;
Patience wins the crown at length
Rich repayment him abideth
Who endures in quiet strength.
Brave the tamer of the lion;
Brave whom conquered kingdoms praise;
Bravest he who rules his passions,
Who his own impatience sways.
- Happiness comes out of contentment, and contentment always comes out of service. ~ Harbhajan Singh Yogi
- Ambiguity of language is philosophy's main source of problems. That is why it is of the utmost importance to examine attentively the very words we use. ~ Giuseppe Peano
- The ironist is not bitter, he does not seek to undercut everything that seems worthy or serious, he scorns the cheap scoring-off of the wisecracker. He stands, so to speak, somewhat at one side, observes and speaks with a moderation which is occasionally embellished with a flash of controlled exaggeration. He speaks from a certain depth, and thus he is not of the same nature as the wit, who so often speaks from the tongue and no deeper. The wit's desire is to be funny; the ironist is only funny as a secondary achievement. ~ Robertson Davies
- Poets are never young, in one sense. Their delicate ear hears the far-off whispers of eternity, which coarser souls must travel towards for scores of years before their dull sense is touched by them. A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. # If you're in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent. ~ Warren Buffett
- The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less. ~ Eldridge Cleaver
- We've traveled halfway 'round the world
To find ourselves again —
September morn —
We danced until the night became a brand new day,
Two lovers playing scenes from some romantic play —
September morning still can make me feel that way.
~ Neil Diamond ~
- To prevent government from becoming corrupt and tyrannous, its organization and methods should be as simple as possible, its functions be restricted to those necessary to the common welfare, and in all its parts it should be kept as close to the people and as directly within their control as may be. ~ Henry George
Your patience may have long to wait,
Whether in little things or great,
But all good luck, you soon will learn,
Must come to those who nobly earn.
Who hunts the hay-field over
Will find the four-leaved clover.
- In hatred as in love, we grow like the thing we brood upon. What we loathe, we graft into our very soul. ~ Mary Renault
- 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. ~ Black Elk
- An opinion, right or wrong, can never constitute a moral offense, nor be in itself a moral obligation. It may be mistaken; it may involve an absurdity, or a contradiction. It is a truth; or it is an error: it can never be a crime or a virtue. ~ Frances Wright
- As for the usefulness of poetry, its uses are many. It is the deification of reality. It should make our days holy to us. The poet should speak to all men, for a moment, of that other life of theirs that they have smothered and forgotten. ~ Edith Sitwell
- Oh, he tells me tears are something to hide
And something to fear
And I try so hard to keep it inside
So no one can hear.
"Hush, hush, keep it down now.
~ Aimee Mann ~
- 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. ~ Leo Tolstoy
- The entire universe is perfused with signs, if it is not composed exclusively of signs. ~ Charles Sanders Peirce
- We have entered the third millennium through a gate of fire. If today, after the horror of 11 September, we see better, and we see further — we will realize that humanity is indivisible. New threats make no distinction between races, nations or regions. A new insecurity has entered every mind, regardless of wealth or status. A deeper awareness of the bonds that bind us all — in pain as in prosperity — has gripped young and old. In the early beginnings of the 21st century — a century already violently disabused of any hopes that progress towards global peace and prosperity is inevitable — this new reality can no longer be ignored. It must be confronted. ~ Kofi Annan
- It is fortunate that each generation does not comprehend its own ignorance. We are thus enabled to call our ancestors barbarous. ~ Charles Dudley Warner
- Everyone in the world is Christ and they are all crucified. ~ Sherwood Anderson
- An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run. ~ Sydney J. Harris
- The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances. ~ Agatha Christie
Thou whose deep ways are in the sea,
Whose footsteps are not known,
To-night a world that turned from Thee
Is waiting — at Thy Throne.
The towering Babels that we raised
Where scoffing sophists brawl,
The little Antichrists we praised —
The night is on them all.
~ Alfred Noyes ~
- What we hoped was that we could stop the coming end of the world. ~ Ken Kesey
- To contribute usefully to the advance of science, one must sometimes not disdain from undertaking simple verifications. ~ Léon Foucault
Hard I strove
To put away my immortality,
Till my collected spirits swell'd my heart
Almost to bursting; but the strife is past.
It is a fearful thing to be a god,
And, like a god, endure a mortal's pain;
To be a show for earth and wondering heaven
To gaze and shudder at! But I will live,
That Jove may know there is a deathless soul
Who ne'er will be his subject. Yes, 'tis past.
The stedfast Fates confess my absolute will, —
Their own co-equal.
- The silence of a wise man is always meaningful. ~ Leo Strauss
- 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. ~ Stephen King
- I have far more confidence in the one man who works mentally and bodily at a matter than in the six who merely talk about it … Nature is our kindest friend and best critic in experimental science if we only allow her intimations to fall unbiased on our minds. Nothing is so good as an experiment which, whilst it sets an error right, gives us (as a reward for our humility in being reproved) an absolute advancement in knowledge. ~ Michael Faraday
- 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. And it cannot be otherwise, for every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority, the cherishing of the keenest scepticism, the annihilation of the spirit of blind faith; and the most ardent votary of science holds his firmest convictions, not because the men he most venerates hold them; not because their verity is testified by portents and wonders; but because his experience teaches him that whenever he chooses to bring these convictions into contact with their primary source, Nature — whenever he thinks fit to test them by appealing to experiment and to observation — Nature will confirm them. The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
- Once one is caught up into the material world not one person in ten thousand finds the time to form literary taste, to examine the validity of philosophic concepts for himself, or to form what, for lack of a better phrase, I might call the wise and tragic sense of life. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
- No one is without Christianity, if we agree on what we mean by that word. It is every individual’s individual code of behavior by means of which he makes himself a better human being than his nature wants to be, if he followed his nature only. Whatever its symbol — cross or crescent or whatever — that symbol is man’s reminder of his duty inside the human race. ~ William Faulkner
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.
And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
- In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practised, and, both by precept and example, inculcated on mankind. ~ Samuel Adams
- It is the way of the superior man to prefer the concealment of his virtue, while it daily becomes more illustrious, and it is the way of the mean man to seek notoriety, while he daily goes more and more to ruin. It is characteristic of the superior man, appearing insipid, yet never to produce satiety; while showing a simple negligence, yet to have his accomplishments recognized; while seemingly plain, yet to be discriminating. He knows how what is distant lies in what is near. He knows where the wind proceeds from. He knows how what is minute becomes manifested. Such a one, we may be sure, will enter into virtue. ~ Confucius
- The truth is that my work — I was going to say my mission — is to shatter the faith of men here, there, and everywhere, faith in affirmation, faith in negation, and faith in abstention in faith, and this for the sake of faith in faith itself; it is to war against all those who submit, whether it be to Catholicism, or to rationalism, or to agnosticism; it is to make all men live the life of inquietude and passionate desire. ~ Miguel de Unamuno
Observe the wonders as they occur around you.
Don't claim them. Feel the artistry
moving through, and be silent.
~ Rumi ~
- Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know. ~ Daniel J. Boorstin
- The ideally non-violent state will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least. ~ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ~
- 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. ~ John Perry Barlow
- Disunion and civil war are at hand; and yet I fear disunion and war less than compromise. We can recover from them. The free States alone, if we must go on alone, will make a glorious nation. ~ Rutherford B. Hayes
- The only real hope of people today is probably a renewal of our certainty that we are rooted in the earth and, at the same time, in the cosmos. This awareness endows us with the capacity for self-transcendence. Politicians at international forums may reiterate a thousand times that the basis of the new world order must be universal respect for human rights, but it will mean nothing as long as this imperative does not derive from the respect of the miracle of Being, the miracle of the universe, the miracle of nature, the miracle of our own existence. Only someone who submits to the authority of the universal order and of creation, who values the right to be a part of it and a participant in it, can genuinely value himself and his neighbors, and thus honor their rights as well. ~ Václav Havel
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
- We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections. ~ Niels Bohr
- One always feels that a merely educated man holds his philosophical views as if they were so many pennies in his pocket. They are separate from his life. Whereas with a cultured man there is no gap or lacuna between his opinions and his life. Both are dominated by the same organic, inevitable fatality. They are what he is. ~ John Cowper Powys
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
All you need is love.
~ John Lennon ~
- I am doing my best to glorify the scamp or vagabond. I hope I shall succeed. For things are not so simple as they sometimes seem. In this present age of threats to democracy and individual liberty, probably only the scamp and the spirit of the scamp alone will save us from being lost in serially numbered units in the masses of disciplined, obedient, regimented and uniformed coolies. The scamp will be the last and most formidable enemy of dictatorships. He will be the champion of human dignity and individual freedom, and will be the last to be conquered. All modern civilization depends entirely upon him. ~ Lin Yutang
- Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be "damned if you do, and damned if you don't." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
- I admit that my visions can never mean to other men as much as they do to me. I do not regret this. All I ask is that my results should convince seekers after truth that there is beyond doubt something worth while seeking, attainable by methods more or less like mine. I do not want to father a flock, to be the fetish of fools and fanatics, or the founder of a faith whose followers are content to echo my opinions. I want each man to cut his own way through the jungle. ~ Aleister Crowley
- In every civilization, however generally prosaic, however addicted to the short-time point of view on human affairs, there are always certain alien spirits who, while outwardly conforming to the requirements of the civilization around them, still keep a disinterested regard for the plain intelligible law of things, irrespective of any practical end. They have an intellectual curiosity, sometimes touched with emotion, concerning the august order of nature; they are impressed by the contemplation of it, and like to know as much about it as they can, even in circumstances where its operation is ever so manifestly unfavourable to their best hopes and wishes. ~ Albert Jay Nock
- We must be ready to dare all for our country. For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. We must acquire proficiency in defense and display stamina in purpose. We must be willing, individually and as a Nation, to accept whatever sacrifices may be required of us. A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
- When the modern corporation acquires power over markets, power in the community, power over the state and power over belief, it is a political instrument, different in degree but not in kind from the state itself. To hold otherwise — to deny the political character of the modern corporation — is not merely to avoid the reality. It is to disguise the reality. The victims of that disguise are the students who instruct in error. Let there be no question: economics, so long as it is thus taught, becomes, however unconsciously, a part of the arrangement by which the citizen or student is kept from seeing how he or she is, or will be, governed. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith
- The liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected. ~ William O. Douglas
- The law of cases of necessity is not likely to be well furnished with precise rules; necessity creates the law, it supersedes rules; and whatever is reasonable and just in such cases, is likewise legal; it is not to be considered as matter of surprise, therefore, if much instituted rule is not to be found on such subjects. ~ William Scott
- To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it. ~ Herman Melville in Moby-Dick
- The cycle of the machine is now coming to an end. Man has learned much in the hard discipline and the shrewd, unflinching grasp of practical possibilities that the machine has provided in the last three centuries: but we can no more continue to live in the world of the machine than we could live successfully on the barren surface of the moon. ~ Lewis Mumford
- I say one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The poet makes himself a seer by an immense, long, deliberate derangement of all the senses. ~ Arthur Rimbaud
- If we must all agree, all work together, we're no better than a machine. If an individual can't work in solidarity with his fellows, it's his duty to work alone. His duty and his right. We have been denying people that right. We've been saying, more and more often, you must work with the others, you must accept the rule of the majority. But any rule is tyranny. The duty of the individual is to accept no rule, to be the initiator of his own acts, to be responsible. Only if he does so will the society live, and change, and adapt, and survive. We are not subjects of a State founded upon law, but members of a society founded upon revolution. Revolution is our obligation: our hope of evolution. ~ Ursula K. Le Guin in The Dispossessed
- Individual societies begin in harmonious adaptation to the environment and, like individuals, quickly get trapped into nonadaptive, artificial, repetitive sequences.
When the individual's behavior and consciousness get hooked to a routine sequence of external actions, he is a dead robot, and it is time for him to die and be reborn. Time to "drop out," "turn on," and "tune in." This period of robotization is called the Kali Yuga, the Age of Strife and Empire... ~ Timothy Leary
- The best doctors found a middle position where they were neither overwhelmed by their feelings nor estranged from them. That was the most difficult position of all, and the precise balance — neither too detached nor too caring — was something few learned. ~ Michael Crichton
- Courage is not the absence of fear but the awareness that something else is more important. ~ Stephen Covey
- The lyf so short, the craft so longe to lerne.
Th’ assay so hard, so sharp the conquerynge,
The dredful joye, alwey that slit so yerne;
Al this mene I be love.
~ Geoffrey Chaucer ~
- Strategy is a system of expedients; it is more than a mere scholarly discipline. It is the translation of knowledge to practical life, the improvement of the original leading thought in accordance with continually changing situations. ~ Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
- No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
- Paradoxically, the man who has failed and one who is at the peak of success are in exactly the same position. Each must decide what he will do next, choose the course that will lead him to the future. ~ Jigoro Kano
- If you're a leader, you don't push wet spaghetti, you pull it. The U.S. Army still has to learn that. The British understand it. Patton understood it. I always admired Patton. Oh, sure, the stupid bastard was crazy. He was insane. He thought he was living in the Dark Ages. Soldiers were peasants to him. I didn't like that attitude, but I certainly respected his theories and the techniques he used to get his men out of their foxholes. ~ Bill Mauldin ~
- As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar, perhaps singular. What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people. ~ John Adams ~
- Standing on the bridge that crosses
The river that goes out to the sea
The wind is full of a thousand voices
They pass by the bridge and me.
~ Loreena McKennitt ~
It's not too near for me
Like a flower I need the rain
Though it's not clear to me
Every season has it's change
And I will see you
When the sun comes out again.
- Being desirous of allaying the dissensions of party strife now existing within our realm, I do hereby dissolve and abolish the Democratic and Republican parties, and also do hereby decree the disfranchisement and imprisonment, for not more than 10, nor less than five, years, to all persons leading to any violation of this our imperial decree. ~ Joshua A. Norton ~
- Follow the voice of your heart, even if it leads you off the path of timid souls. Do not become hard and embittered, even if life tortures you at times. There is only one thing that counts: to live one's life well and happily... ~ Wilhelm Reich ~
- People often ask me, "Will, where do you get your jokes?" I just tell 'em, 'Well, I watch the government and report the facts, that is all I do, and I don't even find it necessary to exaggerate. ~ Will Rogers ~
- I may not be able to say all I think; but I am not going to say anything that I do not think. I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be a sycophant and coward in the streets. ~ Eugene V. Debs ~
- The appearance of a single great genius is more than equivalent to the birth of a hundred mediocrities. ~ Cesare Lombroso ~
- All systems of morality are based on the idea that an action has consequences that legitimize or cancel it. A mind imbued with the absurd merely judges that those consequences must be considered calmly. It is ready to pay up. In other words, there may be responsible persons, but there are no guilty ones, in its opinion. At very most, such a mind will consent to use past experience as a basis for its future actions. ~ Albert Camus ~
- He that made all things for love, by the same love keepeth them, and shall keep them without end. ~ Julian of Norwich ~
- I had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever... A vision of the universe that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how ... rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater than ourselves, that we are not — that none of us — are alone! ... I wish I could share that. I wish, that everyone, if only for one moment, could feel that awe, and humility, and hope. But ... that continues to be my wish. ~ "Ellie Arroway" in Contact based on the novel by Carl Sagan
- 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. ~ Friedrich Schiller ~
- I have seen the truth; I have seen and I know that people can be beautiful and happy without losing the power of living on earth. I will not and cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of mankind. And it is just this faith of mine that they laugh at. But how can I help believing it? I have seen the truth — it is not as though I had invented it with my mind, I have seen it, seen it, and the living image of it has filled my soul for ever. I have seen it in such full perfection that I cannot believe that it is impossible for people to have it. And so how can I go wrong? I shall make some slips no doubt, and shall perhaps talk in second-hand language, but not for long: the living image of what I saw will always be with me and will always correct and guide me. Oh, I am full of courage and freshness, and I will go on and on if it were for a thousand years! Do you know, at first I meant to conceal the fact that I corrupted them, but that was a mistake — that was my first mistake! But truth whispered to me that I was lying, and preserved me and corrected me. But how establish paradise — I don't know, because I do not know how to put it into words. After my dream I lost command of words. All the chief words, anyway, the most necessary ones. But never mind, I shall go and I shall keep talking, I won't leave off, for anyway I have seen it with my own eyes, though I cannot describe what I saw. But the scoffers do not understand that. It was a dream, they say, delirium, hallucination. Oh! As though that meant so much! And they are so proud! A dream! What is a dream? And is not our life a dream? I will say more. Suppose that this paradise will never come to pass (that I understand), yet I shall go on preaching it. And yet how simple it is: in one day, in one hour everything could be arranged at once! The chief thing is to love others like yourself, that's the chief thing, and that's everything; nothing else is wanted — you will find out at once how to arrange it all. And yet it's an old truth which has been told and retold a billion times — but it has not formed part of our lives! The consciousness of life is higher than life, the knowledge of the laws of happiness is higher than happiness — that is what one must contend against. And I shall. If only everyone wants it, it can be arranged at once. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky in The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
- 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. ~ Bahá'u'lláh ~
- The good man, though a slave, is free; the wicked, though he reigns, is a slave, and not the slave of a single man, but — what is worse — the slave of as many masters as he has vices. ~ Augustine of Hippo ~
- The world of today has achieved much, but for all its declared love for humanity, it has based itself far more on hatred and violence than on the virtues that make one human. War is the negation of truth and humanity. War may be unavoidable sometimes, but its progeny are terrible to contemplate. Not mere killing, for man must die, but the deliberate and persistent propagation of hatred and falsehood, which gradually become the normal habits of the people. It is dangerous and harmful to be guided in our life's course by hatreds and aversions, for they are wasteful of energy and limit and twist the mind and prevent it from perceiving truth. ~ Jawaharlal Nehru ~
- A phrase begins life as a literary expression; its felicity leads to its lazy repetition; and repetition soon establishes it as a legal formula, undiscriminatingly used to express different and sometimes contradictory ideas. ~ Felix Frankfurter ~
- 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. ~ Robert Nozick ~
- Make no laws whatever concerning speech, and speech will be free; so soon as you make a declaration on paper that speech shall be free, you will have a hundred lawyers proving that "freedom does not mean abuse, nor liberty license"; and they will define and define freedom out of existence. Let the guarantee of free speech be in every man's determination to use it, and we shall have no need of paper declarations. On the other hand, so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men. ~ Voltairine de Cleyre ~
- 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. ~ Alan Moore ~
- Nobody but radicals have ever accomplished anything in a great crisis. ~ [[James A. Garfield ~
- An extraordinary amount of arrogance is present in any claim of having been the first in "inventing" something. It's an arrogance that some enjoy, and others do not. Now I reach beyond arrogance when I proclaim that fractals had been pictured forever but their true role remained unrecognized and waited for me to be uncovered. ~ Benoît Mandelbrot
- "Man's inhumanity to man" is not the last word. The truth lies deeper. It is economic slavery, the savage struggle for a crumb, that has converted mankind into wolves and sheep. ~ Alexander Berkman
- It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not. ~ André Gide
- Revolutions of ages do not oft recover the loss of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole nations fare the worse. ~ John Milton in Areopagitica
- The ultimate aim of government is not to rule, or restrain, by fear, nor to exact obedience, but contrariwise, to free every man from fear, that he may live in all possible security; in other words, to strengthen his natural right to exist and work without injury to himself or others.
No, the object of government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develop their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing hatred, anger, or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice. In fact, the true aim of government is liberty. ~ Baruch Spinoza
- The battle to save life is still going on. … This battle to save life will eventually be won. … Blind faith in established experience has been shattered, outmoded regulations have been smashed. ~ Ba Jin
- Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
~ William Cowper ~
- When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow — you are not understanding yourself. ~ Bruce Lee
- I am going to my Father’s; and though with great difficulty I have got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who will now be my rewarder. When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side, into which as he went, he said, "Death, where is thy sting?" And as he went down deeper, he said, "Grave, where is thy victory?"
So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side. ~ John Bunyan
- Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival. ~ C. S. Lewis
- When a great genius appears in the world the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~ Jonathan Swift
- Stop the habit of wishful thinking and start the habit of thoughtful wishes. ~ Mary Martin
- 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. ~ Maria Callas ~
- The changing wisdom of successive generations discards ideas, questions facts, demolishes theories. But the artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom: to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition — and, therefore, more permanently enduring. He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation — and to the subtle but invincible, conviction of solidarity that knits together the loneliness of innumerable hearts: to the solidarity in dreams, in joy, in sorrow, in aspirations, in illusions, in hope, in fear, which binds men to each other, which binds together all humanity — the dead to the living and the living to the unborn. ~ Joseph Conrad in The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' ~
- 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 anyone. ~ Edith Cavell
- Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word "understanding." ~ Werner Heisenberg
- Whenever we can trace back a religion to its first beginnings, we find it free from many of the blemishes that offend us in its later phases. The founders of the ancient religions of the world, as far as we can judge, were minds of a high stamp, full of noble aspirations, yearning for truth, devoted to the welfare of their neighbors, examples of purity and unselfishness. What they desired to found upon earth was but seldom realized, and their sayings, if preserved in their original form, offer often a strange contrast to the practice of those who profess to be their disciples. ~ Max Müller
- That which is not just, is not Law; and that which is not Law, ought not to be obeyed. ~ Algernon Sydney
- 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.
~ Gautama Buddha in Dhammapada ~
- Freely we serve,
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall.
~ John Milton in Paradise Lost
- The history of the human race has generated several papers articulating basic moral imperatives, or fundamental principles, of human coexistence that… substantially influenced the fate of humanity on this planet. Among these historic documents, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights … holds a very special, indeed, unique position. It is the first code of ethical conduct that was not a product of one culture, or one sphere of civilization only, but a universal creation, shaped and subscribed to by representatives of all humankind. Since its very inception, the Declaration has thus represented a planetary, or global commitment, a global intention, a global guideline. For this reason alone, this exceptional document — conceived as a result of a profound human self-reflection in the wake of the horrors of World War II, and retaining its relevance ever since — deserves to be remembered today.
~ Václav Havel
- Our All is at Stake, and the little Conveniencys and Comforts of Life, when set in Competition with our Liberty, ought to be rejected not with Reluctance but with Pleasure. ~ George Mason
- An author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere. ~ Gustave Flaubert
- The best of ideas is hurt by uncritical acceptance and thrives on critical examination. ~ George Pólya
- The project of organizing a democratic political movement entails the hope that one's ideas and beliefs are not merely idiosyncratic but speak to vital human needs, interests and desires, and therefore will be persuasive to many and ultimately most people. But this is a very different matter from deciding to put forward only those ideas presumed (accurately or not) to be compatible with what most people already believe. ~ Ellen Willis
- The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms. ~ Muriel Rukeyser
- 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. ~ George Santayana
- Those who have served the cause of the revolution have plowed the sea. ~ Simón Bolívar
- Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the new-born King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations, rise.
Join the triumph of the skies.
With th'angelic hosts proclaim
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
~ Charles Wesley ~
- And I won't be laughing at the lies when I'm gone
And I can't question how or when or why when I'm gone
Can't live proud enough to die when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here. ~ Phil Ochs ~
- We have reversed the usual classical notion that the independent "elementary parts" of the world are the fundamental reality, and that the various systems are merely particular contingent forms and arrangements of these parts. Rather, we say that inseparable quantum interconnectedness of the whole universe is the fundamental reality, and that relatively independent behaving parts are merely particular and contingent forms within this whole. ~ David Bohm
- I was persuaded and am, that God's way is first to turn a soul from its idols, both of heart, worship, and conversation, before it is capable of worship to the true and living God. ~ Roger Williams
- God is not, as in scholasticism, the final subject of all predicates. He is being as unpredicable. The existence of the creature, in so far as it exists, is the existence of God, and the creature’s experience of God is therefore in the final analysis equally unpredicable. Neither can even be described; both can only be indicated. We can only point at reality, our own or God’s. The soul comes to the realization of God by knowledge, not as in the older Christian mysticism by love. Love is the garment of knowledge. The soul first trains itself by systematic unknowing until at last it confronts the only reality, the only knowledge, God manifest in itself. The soul can say nothing about this experience in the sense of defining it. It can only reveal it to others. ~ Kenneth Rexroth
- We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery. ~ Samuel Smiles
- Calm soul of all things! make it mine
To feel, amid the city’s jar,
That there abides a peace of thine,
Man did not make, and cannot mar.
~ Matthew Arnold ~
- Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King.
Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room,
And heav'n and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.
~ Isaac Watts ~
- To each his suff'rings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan,
The tender for another's pain;
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate?
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies.
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.
~ Thomas Gray ~
- One does not ask of one who suffers: What is your country and what is your religion? One merely says: You suffer, that is enough for me... ~ Louis Pasteur
- The external world of physics has … become a world of shadows. In removing our illusions we have removed the substance, for indeed we have seen that substance is one of the greatest of our illusions. ... The sparsely spread nuclei of electric force become a tangible solid; their restless agitation becomes the warmth of summer; the octave of aethereal vibrations becomes a gorgeous rainbow. Nor does the alchemy stop here. In the transmuted world new significances arise which are scarcely to be traced in the world of symbols; so that it becomes a world of beauty and purpose — and, alas, suffering and evil.
The frank realisation that physical science is concerned with a world of shadows is one of the most significant of recent advances. ~ Arthur Stanley Eddington
- Here is my first principle of foreign policy: good government at home. ~ William Ewart Gladstone
- One makes mistakes; that is life. But it is never a mistake to have loved. ~ Romain Rolland
- At each stage I reach a balance, a conclusion. At the next sitting, if I find that there is a weakness in the whole, I make my way back into the picture by means of the weakness — I re-enter through the breach — and I reconceive the whole. Thus everything becomes fluid again. ~ Henri Matisse
Other Quote of the Day archives
- QOTD by month
- Quote of the day archive 2011
- Quote of the day archive 2009
- Quote of the day archive 2008
- Quote of the day archive 2007
- Quote of the day archive 2006
- Quote of the day archive 2005
- Quote of the day archive 2004
- Quote of the day archive 2003
- Quote of the Day (complete list)
- Quote of the Day proposals (archive of a defunct selection base)