Wikiquote:Quote of the day/2011
This page lists all "Quotes of the Day" that were chosen for 2011
- January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December
- All we do our whole lives is go from one little piece of Holy Ground to the next. ~ J. D. Salinger
- Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not. ~ Isaac Asimov
- He who looks on a true friend looks, as it were, upon a kind of image of himself: wherefore friends, though absent, are still present; though in poverty, they are rich; though weak, yet in the enjoyment of health; and, what is still more difficult to assert, though dead, they are alive. ~ Cicero
- The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things by this Prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt.
The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this and the Prophecies of the Old Testament, not to gratify mens curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event, and his own Providence, not the Interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of things predicted many ages before will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by Providence. ~ Isaac Newton
- In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity. ~ Konrad Adenauer
- Your thought advocates fame and show. Mine counsels me and implores me to cast aside notoriety and treat it like a grain of sand cast upon the shore of eternity. Your thought instills in your heart arrogance and superiority. Mine plants within me love for peace and the desire for independence. Your thought begets dreams of palaces with furniture of sandalwood studded with jewels, and beds made of twisted silk threads. My thought speaks softly in my ears, "Be clean in body and spirit even if you have nowhere to lay your head." Your thought makes you aspire to titles and offices. Mine exhorts me to humble service. ~ Khalil Gibran
- We have inherited an incredibly beautiful and complex garden, but the trouble is that we have been appallingly bad gardeners. We have not bothered to acquaint ourselves with the simplest principles of gardening. By neglecting our garden, we are storing up for ourselves, in the not very distant future, a world catastrophe as bad as any atomic war, and we are doing it with all the bland complacency of an idiot child chopping up a Rembrandt with a pair of scissors. ~ Gerald Durrell
- Some would be sages if they did not believe they were so already. ~ Baltasar Gracián
- The individual is defined only by his relationship to the world and to other individuals; he exists only by transcending himself, and his freedom can be achieved only through the freedom of others. ~ Simone de Beauvoir
- All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. ~ John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
- We are closer to God when we are asking questions than when we think we have the answers. ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel
- The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered. ~ Edmund Burke
- Ill can he rule the great, that cannot reach the small. ~ Edmund Spenser
- To relate oneself in the spirit of reverence for life to the multiform manifestations of the will-to-live which together constitute the world is ethical mysticism. All profound world-view is mysticism, the essence of which is just this: that out of my unsophisticated and naïve existence in the world there comes, as a result of thought about self and the world, spiritual self-devotion to the mysterious infinite Will which is continuously manifested in the universe. ~ Albert Schweitzer
- Those whose conduct gives room for talk
Are always the first to attack their neighbors. ~ Molière
- We are told we must choose — the old or the new. In fact, we must choose both. What is a life if not a series of negotiations between the old and the new? It seems to me that one should always be seeking to talk oneself out of these stark oppositions. ~ Susan Sontag
- I think all the heretics I have known have been virtuous men. They have the virtue of fortitude or they would not venture to own their heresy; and they cannot afford to be deficient in any of the other virtues, as that would give advantage to their many enemies; and they have not like orthodox sinners, such a number of friends to excuse or justify them. Do not, however mistake me. It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic. ~ Benjamin Franklin
- "Elohim," the name for the creative power in Genesis, is a female plural, a fact that generations of learned rabbis and Christian theologians have all explained as merely grammatical convention. The King James and most other Bibles translate it as "God," but if you take the grammar literally, it seems to mean "goddesses." Al Shaddai, god of battles, appears later, and YHWH, mispronounced Jehovah, later still. ~ Robert Anton Wilson
- I cannot consent to place in the control of others one who cannot control himself. ~ Robert E. Lee
- If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. ... It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.
We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America. ~ Barack Obama
- The gods of the valley are not the gods of the hills, and you shall understand it. ~ Ethan Allen
- Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a prince's part to pardon. ~ Francis Bacon
- There is no such thing as natural law, the expression is nothing more than a silly anachronism … There is no such thing as right, except when there is a law to forbid a certain thing under pain of punishment. Before law existed, the only natural thing was the strength of the lion, or the need of a creature who was cold or hungry, to put it in one word, need. ~ Stendhal
- Defer not till tomorrow to be wise,
Tomorrow's sun to thee may never rise.
~ William Congreve
- Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible; Shakespeare's plays, for instance, seem to hang there complete by themselves. But when the web is pulled askew, hooked up at the edge, torn in the middle, one remembers that these webs are not spun in midair by incorporeal creatures, but are the work of suffering human beings, and are attached to the grossly material things, like health and money and the houses we live in. ~ Virginia Woolf
- Yes, we hope to seed a new, rich earth.
We hope to breed a race of men whose power
Dwells in hearts as open as all Space
Itself, who ask for nothing but the light
That rinses the heart of hate so that the stars
Above will be below when man has Love.
~ Philip José Farmer ~
- I suppose every child has a world of his own — and every man, too, for the matter of that. I wonder if that's the cause for all the misunderstanding there is in Life? ~ Lewis Carroll
- Perhaps the only misplaced curiosity is that which persists in trying to find out here, on this side of death, what lies beyond the grave. ~ Colette
- It is never to be expected in a revolution that every man is to change his opinion at the same moment. There never yet was any truth or any principle so irresistibly obvious that all men believed it at once. Time and reason must cooperate with each other to the final establishment of any principle; and therefore those who may happen to be first convinced have not a right to persecute others, on whom conviction operates more slowly. The moral principle of revolutions is to instruct, not to destroy. ~ Thomas Paine
- I have marched in many a battle host, but I have also planted seeds and reaped the harvest with my own hands. And I have learned there is greater honor in a field well plowed than in a field steeped in blood. ~ Lloyd Alexander
- Attunement could occur through any of the great religions, but would be tied exclusively to none of them. A person could be attuned to an "integral spirituality" while still be a practicing Christian, Buddhist, New-Age advocate, or Neopagan. This would be something added to one's religion, not subtracted from it. The only thing it would subtract (and there's no way around this) is the belief that one's own path is the only true path to salvation. ~ Ken Wilber
- Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. ~ Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
- When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets. ~ James Joyce
- Rights are always asserted in a tone of contention; and when this tone is adopted, it must rely upon force in the background, or else it will be laughed at. ~ Simone Weil
- Getting up and criticising the other fellow because he's in and you are not seems to me a futile waste of time. Especially as you know in your heart that you would be doing more or less the same thing if you were in his place. ~ Hartley Shawcross, Baron Shawcross
- For my part I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance. ~ Adlai Stevenson
- I believe with all my heart that our first priority must be world peace, and that use of force is always and only a last resort, when everything else has failed, and then only with regard to our national security. ~ Ronald Reagan
- In no victory do they glory so much as in that which is gained by dexterity and good conduct without bloodshed. In such cases they appoint public triumphs, and erect trophies to the honour of those who have succeeded; for then do they reckon that a man acts suitably to his nature, when he conquers his enemy in such a way as that no other creature but a man could be capable of, and that is by the strength of his understanding. ~ Thomas More
- There is no wealth but life. Life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration. That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest numbers of noble and happy human beings; that man is richest, who, having perfected the functions of his own life to the utmost, has also the widest helpful influence, both personal, and by means of his possessions, over the lives of others. ~ John Ruskin
- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. ~ Ecclesiastes
- Let nothing be called natural
In an age of bloody confusion,
Ordered disorder, planned caprice,
And dehumanized humanity, lest all things
Be held unalterable!
~ Bertolt Brecht
- I was sixteen years old when the first World War broke out, and I lived at that time in Hungary. From reading the newspapers in Hungary, it would have appeared that, whatever Austria and Germany did was right and whatever England, France, Russia, or America did was wrong. A good case could be made out for this general thesis, in almost every single instance. It would have been difficult for me to prove, in any single instance, that the newspapers were wrong, but somehow, it seemed to me unlikely that the two nations located in the center of Europe should be invariably right, and that all the other nations should be invariably wrong. History, I reasoned, would hardly operate in such a peculiar fashion, and it didn't take long until I began to hold views which were diametrically opposed to those held by the majority of my schoolmates. ~ Leó Szilárd
- It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity, and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, "You toil and work and earn bread, and I'll eat it." No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle. ~ Abraham Lincoln
He could not be captured,
He could not be bought,
His running was rhythm,
His standing was thought;
With one eye on sorrow
And one eye on mirth,
He galloped in heaven
And gambolled on earth.
And only the poet
With wings to his brain~ Eleanor Farjeon ~
Can mount him and ride him
Without any rein,
The stallion of heaven,
The steed of the skies,
The horse of the singer
Who sings as he flies.
- Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. ~ Paul of Tarsus
- Religion will not regain its old power until it can face change in the same spirit as does science. Its principles may be eternal, but the expression of those principles requires continual development. ~ Alfred North Whitehead
- Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education. ~ Henry Adams
- I understand Being in all and over all, as there is nothing without participation in Being, and there is no being without Essence. Thus nothing can be free of the Divine Presence. ~ Giordano Bruno
- The Great Spirit does not toil within the bounds of human time, place, or casualty.
The Great Spirit is superior to these human questionings. It teems with many rich and wandering drives which to our shallow minds seem contradictory; but in the essence of divinity they fraternize and struggle together, faithful comrades-in-arms.
The primordial Spirit branches out, overflows, struggles, fails, succeeds, trains itself. It is the Rose of the Winds. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
- Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grave.
Ooh, the more I get of you,
Stranger it feels, yeah.
And now that your rose is in bloom,
A light hits the gloom on the grave.
- I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery — the great sin and shame of America! "I will not equivocate; I will not excuse;" I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgement is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just. ~ Frederick Douglass
- We are beginning to see the influence of dream upon reality and reality upon dream. ~ Anaïs Nin
- The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky, —
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat — the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay ~
- There can be no rainbow without a cloud and a storm. ~ John Heyl Vincent
- God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless. ~ Chester W. Nimitz
- If there is victory in overcoming the enemy, there is a greater victory when a man overcomes himself. ~ José de San Martín
- God manifests himself to us in the first degree through the life of the universe, and in the second degree through the thought of man. The second manifestation is not less holy than the first. The first is named Nature, the second is named Art. ~ Victor Hugo
- Every great poem is in itself limited by necessity, — but in its suggestions unlimited and infinite. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Science cannot be stopped. Man will gather knowledge no matter what the consequences — and we cannot predict what they will be. Science will go on — whether we are pessimistic, or are optimistic, as I am. I know that great, interesting, and valuable discoveries can be made and will be made… But I know also that still more interesting discoveries will be made that I have not the imagination to describe — and I am awaiting them, full of curiosity and enthusiasm. ~ Linus Pauling
- My social and political interests are part of my career. I cannot separate them. My songs reflect the human condition. The role of art isn't just to show life as it is, but to show life as it should be. ~ Harry Belafonte
- I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos. Look at the sun. If there is no sun, then we cannot exist. So nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred. Trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals. ~ Mikhail Gorbachev
- Those who try to combat the production of shoddy pictures are enemies of the best art today. Those woodland lakes in a thousand sitting-rooms with gold-tinted wallpaper belong to the profoundest inspirations of art. It always feels tragic to see people labouring to saw off the branch they are sitting on. ~ Asger Jorn
- The idea of "crime" in existing criminology is artificial, for what is called crime is really an infringement of "existing laws", whereas "laws" are very often a manifestation of barbarism and violence. Such are the prohibiting laws of different kinds which abound in modern life. The number of these laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm. On the other hand, unquestionable crimes escape the field of vision of criminology, either because they have not recognized the form of crime or because they surpass a certain scale. In existing criminology there are concepts: a criminal man, a criminal profession, a criminal society, a criminal sect, and a criminal tribe, but there is no concept of a criminal state, or a criminal government, or criminal legislation. Consequently what is often regarded as "political" activity is in fact a criminal activity. ~ P. D. Ouspensky
- This is a haunted world. It hath no breeze
But is the echo of some voice beloved:
Its pines have human tones; its billows wear
The color and the sparkle of dear eyes.
Its flowers are sweet with touch of tender hands
That once clasped ours. All things are beautiful
Because of something lovelier than themselves,
Which breathes within them, and will never die. —
Haunted, — but not with any spectral gloom;
Earth is suffused, inhabited by heaven.
~ Lucy Larcom
- Most men judge only by their senses and let themselves be persuaded by what they see... On top of that, insufferable vanity has convinced humans that nature has been made only for them, as though the sun, a huge body four hundred and thirty-four times as large as the earth, had been lit only to ripen our crab apples and cabbages. … Do people really think that because the sun gives us light every day and year, it was made only to keep us from bumping into walls? No, no, this visible god gives light to man by accident, as a king's torch accidentally shines upon a working man or burglar passing in the street. ~ Cyrano de Bergerac
- I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law. ~ Aristotle
- You cannot avoid making judgements but you can become more conscious of the way in which you make them. This is critically important because once we judge someone or something we tend to stop thinking about them or it. Which means, among other things, that we behave in response to our judgements rather than to that to which is being judged. People and things are processes. Judgements convert them into fixed states. This is one reason that judgements are often self-fulfilling. ~ Neil Postman
- It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? for the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. Growth is exciting; growth is dynamic and alarming. Growth of the soul, growth of the mind; how the observation of last year seems childish, superficial; how this year — even this week — even with this new phrase — it seems to us that we have grown to a new maturity. It may be a fallacious persuasion, but at least it is stimulating, and so long as it persists, one does not stagnate. ~ Vita Sackville-West
- Where storm-born shadows hide and hunt
I knew thee, in thy glorious youth,
And loved thy vast face, white as truth;
I stood where thunderbolts were wont
To smite thy Titan-fashioned front,
And heard dark mountains rock and roll;
I saw the lightning's gleaming rod
Reach forth and write on heaven's scroll
The awful autograph of God!
~ Joaquin Miller
- I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. ~ Douglas Adams # All is well, practice kindness, heaven is nigh. ~ Jack Kerouac
- I believe the root of all happiness on this earth to lie in the realization of a spiritual life with a consciousness of something wider than materialism; in the capacity to live in a world that makes you unselfish because you are not overanxious about your own comic fallibilities; that gives you tranquility without complacency because you believe in something so much larger than yourself. ~ Hugh Walpole
- With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample a kingdom down.
~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy
- Beware the March of Ideas? ~ Neil Gaiman
- One can start from the perspective of a religious naturalist or from the perspective of the world religions and arrive at the same place: a moral imperative that this Earth and its creatures be respected and cherished. ~ Ursula Goodenough
- That truth-is-stranger-than-fiction factor keeps getting jacked up on us on a fairly regular, maybe even exponential, basis. I think that's something peculiar to our time. I don't think our grandparents had to live with that. ~ William Gibson
- None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
~ Wilfred Owen
- Reason is Life's sole arbiter, the magic Laby'rinth's single clue:
Worlds lie above, beyond its ken; what crosses it can ne'er be true. ~ Sir Richard Francis Burton
- When we dead awaken. ... We see that we have never lived. ~ Henrik Ibsen
- The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven —
All's right with the world!
~ Robert Browning
- The Night has a thousand eyes,
And the Day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.
~ Francis William Bourdillon ~
- I believe that love is the main key to open the doors to the "growth" of man. Love and union with someone or something outside of oneself, union that allows one to put oneself into relationship with others, to feel one with others, without limiting the sense of integrity and independence. ~ Erich Fromm
- Almighty Freedom! give my venturous song
The force, the charm that to thy voice belong;
Tis thine to shape my course, to light my way,
To nerve my country with the patriot lay,
To teach all men where all their interest lies,
How rulers may be just and nations wise:
Strong in thy strength I bend no suppliant knee,
Invoke no miracle, no Muse but thee.
~ Joel Barlow ~
- Our whole evolution has reached a stage where nearly every man is either ruler or ruled; sometimes he is both. By this the attitude of dependence has been greatly strengthened, for a truly free man does not like to play the part of either the ruler or the ruled. He is, above all, concerned with making his inner values and personal powers effective in a way as to permit him to use his own judgment in all affairs and to be independent in action. ~ Rudolf Rocker
- In the Name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate, Who manifests Himself through everything, the revelation of a clear knowing to whomsoever He wishes, peace be upon you, my son. This praise belongs to Allah Who manifests Himself on the head of a pin to whom He wishes, so that one testifies that He is not, and another testifies that there is none other than He. But the witnessing in the denying of Him is not rejected, and the witnessing in the affirming of Him is not praised. ~ Mansur Al-Hallaj
- Today, there are too many points of view of equal value and prestige, each showing the relativity of the other, to permit us to take any one position and to regard it as impregnable and absolute. Only this socially disorganized intellectual situation makes possible the insight, hidden until now by a generally stable social structure and the practicability of certain traditional norms, that every point of view is particular to a social situation. ~ Karl Mannheim
- I saw an angel close by me, on my left side, in bodily form. This I am not accustomed to see, unless very rarely. Though I have visions of angels frequently, yet I see them only by an intellectual vision, such as I have spoken of before. It was our Lord's will that in this vision I should see the angel in this wise. He was not large, but small of stature, and most beautiful — his face burning, as if he were one of the highest angels, who seem to be all of fire: they must be those whom we call cherubim. ~ Teresa of Ávila
- I am like a tree,
From my top boughs I can see
The footprints that led up to me.
~ R. S. Thomas ~
- But my God, how beautiful Shakespeare is, who else is as mysterious as he is; his language and method are like a brush trembling with excitement and ecstasy. But one must learn to read, just as one must learn to see and learn to live. ~ Vincent van Gogh
- Fate with jealous eye does see
Two perfect loves, nor lets them close:
Their union would her ruin be,
And her tyrranic power depose.
And therefore her decrees of steel
Us as the distant Poles have placed
(Though Love's whole world on us doth wheel)
Not by themselves to be embraced,
Unless the giddy heaven fall,
And earth some new convulsion tear;
And, us to join, the world should all
Be cramped into a planisphere.
As lines (so loves) oblique may well
Themselves in every angle greet:
But ours so truly parallel,
Though infinite, can never meet.
Therefore the love which us doth bind,
But Fate so enviously debars,
Is the conjunction of the mind,
And opposition of the stars.
~ Andrew Marvell
- I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail. ~ Abraham Maslow
- My success and my misfortunes, the bright and the dark days I have gone through, everything has proved to me that in this world, either physical or moral, good comes out of evil just as well as evil comes out of good. My errors will point to thinking men the various roads, and will teach them the great art of treading on the brink of the precipice without falling into it. It is only necessary to have courage, for strength without self-confidence is useless. ~ Giacomo Casanova
- We do not want our world to perish. But in our quest for knowledge, century by century, we have placed all our trust in a cold, impartial intellect which only brings us nearer to destruction. We have heeded no wisdom offering guidance. Only by learning to love one another can our world be saved. Only love can conquer all. ~ Dora Russell
- You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
~ Maya Angelou ~
- At the door of life, by the gate of breath,
There are worse things waiting for men than death;
Death could not sever my soul and you,
As these have severed your soul from me.
~ Algernon Swinburne ~
- I believe neither in what I touch nor what I see. I only believe in what I do not see, and solely in what I feel. ~ Gustave Moreau
- When I die, I want to die in a Utopia that I have helped to build. ~ Henry Kuttner
- Life by life and love by love
We passed through the cycles strange,
And breath by breath and death by death
We followed the chain of change.
Till there came a time in the law of life
When o’er the nursing sod,
The shadows broke and soul awoke
In a strange, dim dream of God.
~ Langdon Smith ~
- Wisdom entereth not into a malicious mind, and science without conscience is but the ruin of the soul. ~ François Rabelais
- Oh Master of the Beautiful,
Creating us from hour to hour,
Give me this vision to the full
To see in lightest things thy power!
This vision give, no heaven afar,
No throne, and yet I will rejoice,
Knowing beneath my feet a star,
Thy word in every wandering voice.
~ Æ ~
- I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong. ~ Leo Rosten
- I don't know what God is, or what God had in mind when the universe was set in motion. In fact, I don't know if God even exists, although I confess that I sometimes find myself praying in times of great fear, or despair, or astonishment at a display of unexpected beauty. There are some ten thousand religious sects — each with its own cosmology, each with its own answer for the meaning of life and death. Most assert that the other 9,999 not only have it completely wrong but are instruments of evil, besides. None of the ten thousand has yet persuaded me to make the requisite leap of faith. In the absence of conviction, I've come to terms with the fact that uncertainty is an inescapable corollary of life. An abundance of mystery is simply part of the bargain — which doesn't strike me as something to lament. Accepting the essential inscrutability of existence, in any case, is surely preferable to its opposite: capitulating to the tyranny of intransigent belief. And if I remain in the dark about our purpose here, and the meaning of eternity, I have nevertheless arrived at an understanding of a few modest truths: Most of us fear death. Most of us yearn to comprehend how we got here, and why — which is to say, most of us ache to know the love of our creator. And we will no doubt feel that ache, most of us, for as long as we happen to be alive. ~ Jon Krakauer
- There is no act, however virtuous, for which ingenuity may not find some bad motive. ~ Thomas Jefferson
- It is necessary that I climb very high because of my love for you, and upon the heights there is silence. ~ James Branch Cabell
- I am a being of Heaven and Earth,
of thunder and lightning,
of rain and wind,
of the galaxies,
of the suns and the stars
and the void through which they travel.
The essence of nature,
eternal, divine that all men seek to know to hear,
known as the great illusion time,
and the all-prevailing atmosphere.
And now you know my background.
~ eden ahbez ~
- It is well for the heart to be naive and for the mind not to be. ~ Anatole France
- Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it
And from the nave build haunted heaven. Thus,
The conscience is converted into palms,
Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle. That's clear. But take
The opposing law and make a peristyle,
And from the peristyle project a masque
Beyond the planets. Thus, our bawdiness,
Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,
Is equally converted into palms,
Squiggling like saxophones. And palm for palm,
Madame, we are where we began.
~ Wallace Stevens ~
- Instead … of saying that Man is the creature of Circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that Man is the architect of Circumstance. It is Character which builds an existence out of Circumstance. Our strength is measured by our plastic power. From the same materials one man builds palaces, another hovels, one warehouses, another villas. ~ George Henry Lewes
- We painters use the same license as poets and madmen. ~ Paolo Veronese
- Society, in the aggregate, is no fool. It is astonishing what an amount of "eccentricity" it will stand from anybody who takes the bull by the horns, too fearless or too indifferent to think of consequences. ~ Dinah Craik
- Therapy isn't curing somebody of something; it is a means of helping a person explore himself, his life, his consciousness. My purpose as a therapist is to find out what it means to be human. Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, "This is me and the world be damned!" Leaders have always been the ones to stand against the society — Socrates, Christ, Freud, all the way down the line. ~ Rollo May
- Art at its greatest is fantastically deceitful and complex. ~ Vladimir Nabokov
- The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
~ William Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream
- However great the work that God may achieve by an individual, he must not indulge in self-satisfaction. He ought rather to be all the more humbled, seeing himself merely as a tool which God has made use of. ~ Vincent de Paul
- What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease. ~ Sun Tzu
- It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment, or the courage, to pay the price … One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return of love. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying. ~ Morris West
- The same energy of character which renders a man a daring villain would have rendered him useful to society, had that society been well organized. ~ Mary Wollstonecraft
- “The secret is not to dream … The secret is to wake up. Waking up is harder. I have woken up and I am real. I know where I come from and I know where I'm going. You cannot fool me anymore. Or touch me. Or anything that is mine.”
I'll never be like this again, she thought, as she saw the terror in the Queen's face. I'll never again feel as tall as the sky and as old as the hills and as strong as the sea. I've been given something for a while, and the price of it is that I have to give it back.
And the reward is giving it back, too. No human could live like this. You could spend a day looking at a flower to see how wonderful it is, and that wouldn't get the milking done. No wonder we dream our way through our lives. To be awake, and see it all as it really is … no one could stand that for long. ~ Terry Pratchett in The Wee Free Men
- If all the parts of the universe are interchained in a certain measure, any one phenomenon will not be the effect of a single cause, but the resultant of causes infinitely numerous. ~ Henri Poincaré
- Harmonizing opposites by going back to their source is the distinctive quality of the Zen attitude, the Middle Way: embracing contradictions, making a synthesis of them, achieving balance. ~ Taisen Deshimaru
- I shall endeavor to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality. ~ Joseph Addison
- Language is the dynamics of the spiritual realm. One word of command moves armies; the word Liberty entire nations. ~ Novalis
- It’s no accident many accuse me of conducting public affairs with my heart instead of my head. Well, what if I do? … Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either. ~ Golda Meir
- Every hand and every hour should be devoted to rescue the world from its insanity of guilt, and to assuage the pangs of human hearts with balm and anodyne. To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is Godlike. ~ Horace Mann
- Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. ~ Karl Marx
- One might compare the relation of the ego to the id with that between a rider and his horse. The horse provides the locomotor energy, and the rider has the prerogative of determining the goal and of guiding the movements of his powerful mount towards it. But all too often in the relations between the ego and the id we find a picture of the less ideal situation in which the rider is obliged to guide his horse in the direction in which it itself wants to go. ~ Sigmund Freud
- You cannot rely upon what you have been taught. All you have learned from history is old ways of making mistakes. There is nothing that history can tell you about what we must do tomorrow. Only what we must not do. ~ Edwin H. Land
- Is there a greater tragedy imaginable than that, in our endeavour consciously to shape our future in accordance with high ideals, we should in fact unwittingly produce the very opposite of what we have been striving for? ~ Friedrich Hayek
- It is frightfully difficult to know much about the fairies, and almost the only thing known for certain is that there are fairies wherever there are children. ~ J. M. Barrie
- I do not preach universal salvation, what I say is that I cannot exclude the possibility that God would save all men at the Judgment. ~ Karl Barth
- Silence is difficult and arduous, it is not to be played with. It isn't something that you can experience by reading a book, or by listening to a talk, or by sitting together, or by retiring into a wood or a monastery. I am afraid none of these things will bring about this silence. This silence demands intense psychological work. You have to be burningly aware of your snobbishness, aware of your fears, your anxieties, your sense of guilt. And when you die to all that, then out of that dying comes the beauty of silence. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
- People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned. ~ Florence Nightingale
- If any such lover be in earth which is continually kept from falling, I know it not: for it was not shewed me. But this was shewed: that in falling and in rising we are ever preciously kept in one Love. ~ Julian of Norwich
- What ideas individuals may attach to the term "Millennium" I know not; but I know that society may be formed so as to exist without crime, without poverty, with health greatly improved, with little, if any misery, and with intelligence and happiness increased a hundredfold; and no obstacle whatsoever intervenes at this moment except ignorance to prevent such a state of society from becoming universal. ~ Robert Owen
- There seems to be a kind of order in the universe, in the movement of the stars and the turning of the earth and the changing of the seasons, and even in the cycle of human life. But human life itself is almost pure chaos. Everyone takes his stance, asserts his own rights and feelings, mistaking the motives of others, and his own. ~ Katherine Anne Porter
- Whatever is in any way beautiful hath its source of beauty in itself, and is complete in itself; praise forms no part of it. So it is none the worse nor the better for being praised. ~ Marcus Aurelius
- While all brutal forces clash with themselves, all moral forces make mighty harmony together. ~ Henri Barbusse
- Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance. ~ Bertrand Russell
- To make a discovery is not necessarily the same as to understand a discovery. ~ Abraham Pais
- Kindness is not without its rocks ahead. People are apt to put it down to an easy temper and seldom recognize it as the secret striving of a generous nature; whilst, on the other hand, the ill-natured get credit for all the evil they refrain from. ~ Honoré de Balzac
- Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. ~ Alexander Pope
- How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? ~ Arthur Conan Doyle in The Sign of the Four
- Climbing the dusty hill, some fair effigies that once stood for symbols of human destiny have been broken; those I still have with me show defects in this broad light. Yet enough is left, even by experience, to point distinctly to the glories of that destiny; faint, but not to be mistaken streaks of the future day. I can say with the bard,
"Though many have suffered shipwreck, still beat noble hearts."
Always the soul says to us all, Cherish your best hopes as a faith, and abide by them in action. Such shall be the effectual fervent means to their fulfilment. ~ Margaret Fuller
- Magic words and incantations are as fatal to our science as they are to any other. Methods, when classified and separated, acquire their true bearing and perspective as a means to an end, not as ends in themselves. We seek to find peace of mind in the word, the formula, the ritual. The hope is illusion. ~ Benjamin N. Cardozo
- I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.
~ Theodore Roethke ~
- Over and over, people try to design systems that make tomorrow's work easy. But when tomorrow comes it turns out they didn't quite understand tomorrow's work, and they actually made it harder. ~ Ward Cunningham
- This is a test. Take notes. This will count as 3/4 of your final grade. Hints: remember, in chess, kings cancel each other out and cannot occupy adjacent squares, are therefore all-powerful and totally powerless, cannot affect each other, produce stalemate. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion; the sect of Atman worships the divine spark of life within Man; in effect saying, "Thou art God." Provisos of equal time are not served by one viewpoint having media access to two hundred million people in prime time while opposing viewpoints are provided with a soapbox on the corner. Not everyone tells the truth. ~ Harlan Ellison in "The Deathbird"
- What I am interested in is the relationship between the blundering human being and God. I belong to no church, but I have a religious faith; it's an attempt to express that, among other things, that I try to do. Whether he confesses to being religious or not, everyone has a religious faith of a kind. I myself am a blundering human being with a belief in God who made us and we got out of hand, a kind of Frankenstein monster. Everyone can make mistakes, including God. I believe God does intervene; I think there is a Divine Power, a Creator, who has an influence on human beings if they are willing to be open to him. ~ Patrick White
- Religious and philosophical beliefs are, indeed, as dangerous as fire, and nothing can take from them that beauty of danger. But there is only one way of really guarding ourselves against the excessive danger of them, and that is to be steeped in philosophy and soaked in religion. ~ G. K. Chesterton
- No one can want to destroy without having some idea, true or false, of the order of things that should, according to him or her, replace what presently exists. ~ Mikhail Bakunin
- It is time to explain myself — let us stand up.
What is known I strip away,
I launch all men and women forward with me into the Unknown.
The clock indicates the moment — but what does eternity indicate?
~ Walt Whitman in Song of Myself ~
- With uncertainty in one scale, courage and self-confidence should be thrown into the other to correct the balance. The greater they are, the greater the margin that can be left for accidents. ~ Carl von Clausewitz
- Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
And all were in the wrong.
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
~ John Godfrey Saxe ~
- Have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order to avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything. ~ Sydney Smith
- Be aware of wonder. And then remember the Dick and Jane books and the first word you learned — the biggest word of all — LOOK. ~ Robert Fulghum
- Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind that looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10000 years ago. ~ John Maynard Keynes
- Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. ~ Thomas Mann
- A time will come when people will think I am a myth, or rather something the newspapers have made up. ~ Paul Gauguin
- Every generation of humans believed it had all the answers it needed, except for a few mysteries they assumed would be solved at any moment. And they all believed their ancestors were simplistic and deluded. What are the odds that you are the first generation of humans who will understand reality? ~ Scott Adams
- I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in.
~ Cole Porter ~
- Children are tough, though we tend to think of them as fragile. They have to be tough. Childhood is not easy. We sentimentalize children, but they know what's real and what's not. They understand metaphor and symbol. ~ Maurice Sendak
- It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying — or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity — but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one's bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes. ~ William Styron
- I am not a critic; to me criticism is so often nothing more than the eye garrulously denouncing the shape of the peephole that gives access to hidden treasure. ~ Djuna Barnes
- All hatred driven hence,
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting,
And that its own sweet will is Heaven’s will;
She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.
~ William Butler Yeats ~
- In moments of great peril it is easy to muster a powerful response to moral stimuli; but for them to retain their effect requires the development of a consciousness in which there is a new priority of values. ~ Che Guevara
- When established identities become outworn or unfinished ones threaten to remain incomplete, special crises compel men to wage holy wars, by the crudest means, against those who seem to question or threaten their unsafe ideological bases. ~ Erik Erikson
- The mocker is never taken seriously when he is most serious. ~ James Joyce in Ulysses
- In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power...
Green Lantern's light!
~ Green Lantern
- Waterloo will wipe out the memory of my forty victories; but that which nothing can wipe out is my Civil Code. That will live forever. ~ Napoleon I of France
- Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I've gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each "I", everyone of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you'll have to swallow a world. ~ Salman Rushdie
Ole Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise,
If we didn't fire our muskets 'til we looked 'em in the eyes.
We held our fire 'til we seed their faces well,
Then we opened up our squirrel guns an' really gave 'em ...well!
Yeah, they ran through the briars an' they ran through the brambles
An' they ran through the bushes where the rabbits couldn't go.
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.
~ Jimmy Driftwood ~
- Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own; therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr
- That government is best which makes itself unnecessary. ~ Wilhelm von Humboldt
- You will hear thunder and remember me,
And think: she wanted storms. The rim
Of the sky will be the colour of hard crimson,
And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.
~ Anna Akhmatova ~
- A thousand graces diffusing
He passed through the groves in haste,
And merely regarding them
As He passed
Clothed them with His beauty.
~ John of the Cross ~
- Properly speaking, there is no such thing as revenge. Revenge is an act which you want to commit when you are powerless and because you are powerless: as soon as the sense of impotence is removed, the desire evaporates also. ~ George Orwell
- All of us, without being taught, have attained to a belief in some sort of divinity, though it is not easy for all men to know the precise truth about it, nor is it possible for those who do know it to tell it to all men. ~ Julian
- The lunatics end up in charge of everything. Sane, normal people don't need power trips. ~ James P. Hogan
- Think not the bigotry of another is any excuse for your own. ~ John Wesley
The heart of God through his creation stirs,
We thrill to feel it, trembling as the flowers
That die to live again, — his messengers,
To keep faith firm in these sad souls of ours.
The waves of Time may devastate our lives,
The frosts of age may check our failing breath,
They shall not touch the spirit that survives
Triumphant over doubt and pain and death.
~ Celia Thaxter ~
- And space, what it is like? Is it mechanical,
Newtonian? A frozen prison?
Or the lofty space of Einstein, the relation
Between movement and movement? No reason to pretend
I know. I don't know, and if I did,
Still my imagination is a thousand years old.
~ Czesław Miłosz ~
- The truth is too simple: one must always get there by a complicated route. ~ George Sand
- Every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with a meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created. ~ Hermann Hesse
- You can only be young once but you can be immature forever. ~ Dave Barry
- Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. ~ Thomas Jefferson in the US Declaration of Independence
- Fight any instinct to be humorless, for humorlessness is the worst of all absurdities. ~ Jean Cocteau
- We need a little more compassion, and if we cannot have it then no politician or even a magician can save the planet. ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
- Any social organization does well enough if it isn't rigid. The framework doesn't matter as long as there is enough looseness to permit that one man in a multitude to display his genius. Most so-called social scientists seem to think that organization is everything. It is almost nothing — except when it is a straitjacket. It is the incidence of heroes that counts, not the pattern of zeros. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road
- People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
- If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we will fight them to the uttermost. Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold. ~ William Jennings Bryan
- When from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection. ~ Marcel Proust
- "In God We Trust." … It is simple, direct, gracefully phrased: it always sounds well — In God We Trust. I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true. And in a measure it is true — half the nation trusts in Him. That half has decided it. ~ Mark Twain
- I have to say, I think that we are in some kind of final examination as to whether human beings now, with this capability to acquire information and to communicate, whether we're really qualified to take on the responsibility we're designed to be entrusted with. And this is not a matter of an examination of the types of governments, nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with economic systems. It has to do with the individual. Does the individual have the courage to really go along with the truth? ~ Buckminster Fuller
- Men willingly believe what they wish. ~ Julius Caesar
- I have been an anarchist all my life. I hope I have remained one. I should consider it very sad indeed had I to turn to a General and rule men with a military rod. They have come to me voluntarily, they are ready to stake their lives in our antifascist fight. I believe, as I always have, in freedom. The freedom which rests on the sense of responsibility. I consider discipline indispensable, but it must be inner discipline, motivated by a common purpose and a strong feeling of comradeship. ~ Buenaventura Durruti
- It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. ~ J. K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- What I mean is, lots of time you don't know what interests you most till you start talking about something that doesn't interest you most. I mean you can't help it sometimes. What I think is, you're supposed to leave somebody alone if he's at least being interesting and he's getting all excited about something. I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It's nice. ~ J. D. Salinger in The Catcher in the Rye
- Never give up! it is wiser and better
Always to hope, than once to despair.
~ Martin Farquhar Tupper ~
- If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. ~ Nelson Mandela
- It is very good to copy what one sees; it is much better to draw what you can't see any more but is in your memory. It is a transformation in which imagination and memory work together. You only reproduce what struck you, that is to say the necessary. ~ Edgar Degas
- Books have led some to learning and others to madness, when they swallow more than they can digest. ~ Petrarch
- Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated. ~ Ernest Hemingway
- Do not disturb my circles! ~ Archimedes
- The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is beside the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech. ~ Anthony Kennedy
- God give us men. The time demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and willing hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking;
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking.
~ Josiah Gilbert Holland ~
- It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations — past and present — are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual's hunger, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia. Thus, we are up against the paradox that the individual who is more complex, unpredictable, and mysterious than any communal entity is the one nearest to our understanding; so near that even the interval of millennia cannot weaken our feeling of kinship. If in some manner the voice of an individual reaches us from the remotest distance of time, it is a timeless voice speaking about ourselves. ~ Eric Hoffer
- The philosopher is Nature's pilot. And there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift: to be in heaven is to steer. ~ George Bernard Shaw
- I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. ~ Hilaire Belloc
The World is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with the warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
~ Gerard Manley Hopkins ~
- Destiny is something not be to desired and not to be avoided. A mystery not contrary to reason, for it implies that the world, and the course of human history, have meaning. ~ Dag Hammarskjöld
- I love the whirling of the dervishes.
I love the beauty of rare innocence.
You don't need no crystal ball,
Don't fall for a magic wand.
We humans got it all,
We perform the miracles.
~ Kate Bush ~
- The Potter books in general are a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry, and I think it's one of the reasons that some people don't like the books, but I think that it's a very healthy message to pass on to younger people that you should question authority and you should not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth. ~ J. K. Rowling
- There is sorrow in the world, but goodness too; and goodness that is not greenness, either, no more than sorrow is. ~ Herman Melville in The Confidence-Man
- Life is a wave, which in no two consecutive moments of its existence is composed of the same particles. ~ John Tyndall
- Much of what we see in the universe … starts out as imaginary. Often you must imagine something before you can come to terms with it. ~ Clifford D. Simak
- I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together — unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction — towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren. ~ Barack Obama
- 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. ~ Wendell Berry
Like an Aeolian harp that wakes
No certain air, but overtakes
Far thought with music that it makes:
Such seem'd the whisper at my side:
"What is it thou knowest, sweet voice?" I cried.
"A hidden hope," the voice replied:
So heavenly-toned, that in that hour
From out my sullen heart a power
Broke, like the rainbow from the shower,
- Simply having rules does not change the things that people want to do. You have to change incentives. ~ Jimmy Wales
Sun-swept beaches with a light wind blowing
From the immense blue circle of the sea,
And the soft thunder where long waves whiten —
These were the same for Sappho as for me.
Two thousand years — much has gone by forever,
Change takes the gods and ships and speech of men —
But here on the beaches that time passes over
The heart aches now as then.
~ Sara Teasdale ~
When the rain came down — I was standing in the green
My soul was touched by every tree that my eyes could see
I am in peace, in love, in harmony — when the rain comes
When the rain came down — melded with my tears
When the rain came down — flow away the fears
When the rain came down — bigger than the sea
When the rain came down — then came me.
~ Happy Rhodes ~
- What modernity requires is not that you cease living according to your faith, but that you accept that others may differ and that therefore politics requires a form of discourse that is reasonable and accessible to believer and non-believer alike. This religious restraint in politics is critical to the maintenance of liberal democracy. ~ Andrew Sullivan
- Standing in the presence of the Unknown, all have the same right to think, and all are equally interested in the great questions of origin and destiny. All I claim, all I plead for, is liberty of thought and expression. That is all. I do not pretend to tell what is absolutely true, but what I think is true. I do not pretend to tell all the truth.
I do not claim that I have floated level with the heights of thought, or that I have descended to the very depths of things. I simply claim that what ideas I have, I have a right to express; and that any man who denies that right to me is an intellectual thief and robber. That is all. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
- How can we escape from the trap that the terrorists have set us? Only by recognizing that the war on terrorism cannot be won by waging war. We must, of course, protect our security; but we must also correct the grievances on which terrorism feeds. Crime requires police work, not military action. ~ George Soros
- It is the nature of the noble and the good and the wise that they impart to us of their nobility and their goodness and their wisdom while they live, making it natural for us to breathe the air they breathe and giving us confidence in our own untested powers. And the same influence in more ethereal fashion they continue to exert after they are gone. ~ Felix Adler
- Art is the one form of human energy in the whole world, which really works for union, and destroys the barriers between man and man. It is the continual, unconscious replacement, however fleeting, of oneself by another; the real cement of human life; the everlasting refreshment and renewal. ~ John Galsworthy
- True spirituality rejects no new light, no added means or materials of our human self-development. It means simply to keep our centre, our essential way of being, our inborn nature and assimilate to it all we receive, and evolve out of it all we do and create. ~ Sri Aurobindo
- From time to time there appear on the face of the earth men of rare and consummate excellence, who dazzle us by their virtue, and whose outstanding qualities shed a stupendous light. Like those extraordinary stars of whose origins we are ignorant, and of whose fate, once they have vanished, we know even less, such men have neither forebears nor descendants: they are the whole of their race. ~ Jean de La Bruyère
- I have never knew what it was to sacrifice my own judgment to gratify any party and I have no doubt of the time being close at hand when I will be rewarded for letting my tongue speak what my heart thinks. I have suffered myself to be politically sacrificed to save my country from ruin and disgrace and if I am never again elected I will have the gratification to know that I have done my duty. ~ Davy Crockett
- I ask no more from mortals
Than your beautiful face implies,—
The beauty the artist beholding
Interprets and sanctifies.
Who says that men have fallen,
That life is wretched and rough?
I say, the world is lovely,
And that loveliness is enough.
~ Robert Williams Buchanan ~
- The person who will bear much shall have much to bear, all the world through. ~ Samuel Richardson
- Some of us awake in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens, of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas, of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone, and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests; and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates into that world of wonder which was ours before we were wise and unhappy. ~ H. P. Lovecraft
- Bureaucracy and social harmony are inversely proportional to each other. ~ Leon Trotsky
- Parliament is a potent engine, and its enactments must always do something, but they very seldom do what the originators of these enactments meant. - Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
- In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:
And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by God's permission, on every errand:
Peace!...This until the rise of morn!
~ Al-Qur'an ~ Sura 97 : Al-Qadr as translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
- Gibbon observes that in the Arabian book par excellence, in the Koran, there are no camels; I believe if there were any doubt as to the authenticity of the Koran, this absence of camels would be sufficient to prove it is an Arabian work. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
- We live in a world we ourselves create. ~ Johann Gottfried Herder
- Spread love everywhere you go; first of all in your house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. ~ Mother Teresa
- There are fixed points throughout time where things must stay exactly the way they are. This is not one of them. This is an opportunity! Whatever happens here will create its own timeline, its own reality, a temporal tipping point. The future revolves around you, here, now, so do good! ~ The Doctor in Doctor Who : Cold Blood
- Love does not dominate, it cultivates. And that is more. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common. ~ John Locke
The Muslim Anarchist Charter rejects absolutely:
all forms of violence and political coercion;
all forms of racism and prejudice, including Islamophobia, homophobia and neurelitism.
~ Yakoub Islam ~
- At his best, things do not happen to the artist; he happens to them. ~ William Saroyan
- If you're up against a smart opponent, make him think himself to death. ~ C. J. Cherryh
- The great work of the present for every man, and every organization of men, who would improve social conditions, is the work of education — the propagation of ideas. It is only as it aids this that anything else can avail. ~ Henry George ~
- The warm sun kissed the earth
To consecrate thy birth,
And from his close embrace
Thy radiant face
Sprang into sight,
A blossoming delight.
~ Sarah Orne Jewett ~
- A degree of silence envelops Washington’s actions; he moved slowly; one might say that he felt charged with future liberty, and that he feared to compromise it. It was not his own destiny that inspired this new species of hero: it was that of his country; he did not allow himself to enjoy what did not belong to him; but from that profound humility what glory emerged! Search the woods where Washington’s sword gleamed: what do you find? Tombs? No; a world! Washington has left the United States behind for a monument on the field of battle. ~ François-René de Chateaubriand
- Whether religion is a divisive or reconciling force depends on our certainty or our humility as we practice our faith in our politics. If we believe that we know God's truth and that we can embody that truth in a political agenda, we divide the realm of politics into those who are on God's side, which is our side, and those with whom we disagree, who oppose the side of God. This is neither good religion nor good politics. It is not consistent with following a Lord who reached out to a variety of people — prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers. If politics is the art of compromise, certainty is not really politics, for how can one compromise with God's own truth? Reconciliation depends on acknowledging that God's truth is greater than our own, that we cannot reduce it to any political platform we create, no matter how committed we are to that platform, and that God's truth is large enough to accommodate the opinions of all kinds of people, even those with whom we strongly disagree. ~ John Danforth
- The Immortal Principle was first called water by Thales. Anaximenes called it air. The Pythagoreans called it number and were thus the first to see the Immortal Principle as something nonmaterial. Heraclitus called the Immortal Principle fire and introduced change as part of the Principle. He said the world exists as a conflict and tension of opposites. He said there is a One and there is a Many and the One is the universal law which is immanent in all things. Anaxagoras was the first to identify the One as nous, meaning "mind."
Parmenides made it clear for the first time that the Immortal Principle, the One, Truth, God, is separate from appearance and from opinion, and the importance of this separation and its effect upon subsequent history cannot be overstated. ~ Robert M. Pirsig
- It is a part of the poet's work to show each man what he sees but does not know he sees. ~ Edith Sitwell
- Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle! ~ Peter Sellers
- As soon as men live entirely in accord with the law of love natural to their hearts and now revealed to them, which excludes all resistance by violence, and therefore hold aloof from all participation in violence — as soon as this happens, not only will hundreds be unable to enslave millions, but not even millions will be able to enslave a single individual. ~ Leo Tolstoy
- The idea does not belong to the soul; it is the soul that belongs to the idea. ~ Charles Sanders Peirce
This enemy attacked not just our people, but all freedom-loving people everywhere in the world. The United States of America will use all our resources to conquer this enemy. We will rally the world. We will be patient, we will be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination.… we will not allow this enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms. ~ George W. Bush
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. … The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. ~ Barack Obama
- The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself — the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us — that's where it's at. ~ Jesse Owens
- Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter
Longer than sun or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant sisters the Pleiades.
~ Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass ~
- The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war. ~ Sydney J. Harris
- I do not argue with obstinate men. I act in spite of them. ~ Agatha Christie
- We have come by curious ways
To the Light that holds the days;
We have sought in haunts of fear
For that all-enfolding sphere:
And lo! it was not far, but near.
We have found, O foolish-fond,
The shore that has no shore beyond.
Deep in every heart it lies
With its untranscended skies;
For what heaven should bend above
Hearts that own the heaven of love?
~ Alfred Noyes ~
- It's a strange courage
you give me, ancient star:
Shine alone in the sunrise
toward which you lend no part!
~ William Carlos Williams ~
- It is always observable that silence propagates itself, and that the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find any thing to say. ~ Samuel Johnson
- On this hapless earth
There's small sincerity of mirth,
And laughter oft is but an art
To drown the outcry of the heart.
~ Hartley Coleridge ~
- I have a conscience and a religious faith, and I know that our liberties were not won without suffering, and may be lost again through our cowardice. ~ Upton Sinclair
- No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their affairs they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most, terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet, across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. ~ H. G. Wells
- Work. Finish. Publish. ~ Michael Faraday
- Agnosticism is not properly described as a "negative" creed, nor indeed as a creed of any kind, except in so far as it expresses absolute faith in the validity of a principle which is as much ethical as intellectual. This principle may be stated in various ways, but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
- The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well. ~ Horace Walpole
- The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews. ~ William Faulkner
- Quick now, here, now, always —
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
~ T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets ~
- We must not conclude merely upon a man's haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country. It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty, — to oppress without control or the restraint of laws all who are poorer or weaker than themselves. It is not, I say, unfrequent to see such instances, though at the same time I esteem it a justice due to my country to say that it is not without shining examples of the contrary kind; — examples of men of a distinguished attachment to this same liberty I have been describing; whom no hopes could draw, no terrors could drive, from steadily pursuing, in their sphere, the true interests of their country; whose fidelity has been tried in the nicest and tenderest manner, and has been ever firm and unshaken.
The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people. ~ Samuel Adams
- The superior man examines his heart, that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may have no cause for dissatisfaction with himself. That wherein the superior man cannot be equaled is simply this — his work which other men cannot see. ~ 孔夫子 (Confucius)
- At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. ~ Book of Daniel
- There is a certain cloud,
impregnated with a
There is my body —
in it an ocean formed of His glory.
All the creation,
All the universes,
All the galaxies,
Are lost in it.
~ Rumi ~
- THE OCTOBER COUNTRY … that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coalbins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain… ~ Ray Bradbury
- The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire. ~ Ferdinand Foch
- The theater needs continual reminders that there is nothing more debasing than the work of those who do well what is not worth doing at all. ~ Gore Vidal
- The unrestricted competition so commonly advocated does not leave us the survival of the fittest. The unscrupulous succeed best in accumulating wealth. ~ Rutherford B. Hayes
- There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance. Awareness of all the most dangerous kinds of vanity, both in others and in ourselves. A good mind. A modest certainty about the meaning of things. Gratitude for the gift of life and the courage to take responsibility for it. Vigilance of spirit. ~ Václav Havel
- Modern life demands, and is waiting for, a new kind of plan, both for the house and the city. ~ Le Corbusier
- One may think there is a gate to go through
and look a long time for it
without finding it
One may find it and
it may not open
If it opens one may be through it
As one goes through it
one sees that the gate one went through
was the self that went through it
no one went through a gate
there was no gate to go through
no one ever found a gate
no one ever realized there was never a gate
~ Ronald David Laing ~
- Give me the judgment of balanced minds in preference to laws every time. Codes and manuals create patterned behavior. All patterned behavior tends to go unquestioned, gathering destructive momentum. ~ Frank Herbert in Chapterhouse : Dune
- Cease speaking of enemies when an achievement can kindle a great light. Solitude will transmit the message better than the murmurs of crowds. ~ Nicholas Roerich
- I distrust all dead and mechanical formulas for expressing anything connected with human affairs and human personalities. Putting human affairs in exact formulas shows in itself a lack of the sense of humor and therefore a lack of wisdom. 林語堂 ~ 林語堂 Lin Yutang
- Children understand very well that in each woman, in each man, in each child, there is capacity of waking up, of understanding, and of loving. Many children have told me that they cannot show me anyone who does not have this capacity. Some people allow it to develop, and some do not, but everyone has it. This capacity of waking up, of being aware of what is going on in your feelings, in your body, in your perceptions, in the world, is called Buddha nature, the capacity of understanding and loving. Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
- Everywhere the need exists for maternal sympathy and help, and thus we are able to recapitulate in the one word motherliness that which we have developed as the characteristic value of woman. Only, the motherliness must be that which does not remain within the narrow circle of blood relations or of personal friends; but in accordance with the model of the Mother of Mercy, it must have its root in universal divine love for all who are there, belabored and burdened. ~ Edith Stein
- Get up in one of our industrial centres today and say that two and two make four, and if there is any financial interest concerned in maintaining that two and two make five, the police will bash your head in. ~ Albert Jay Nock
- Art is a mystery.
A mystery is something immeasurable.
In so far as every child and woman and man may be immeasurable, art is the mystery of every man and woman and child. In so far as a human being is an artist, skies and mountains and oceans and thunderbolts and butterflies are immeasurable; and art is every mystery of nature. Nothing measurable can be alive; nothing which is not alive can be art; nothing which cannot be art is true: and everything untrue doesn’t matter a very good God damn... ~ E. E. Cummings
- The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is — to live dangerously! ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
- In many matters children — not ensnared by dogmatism, passion, or erudition — judge far truer than adults. ~ Adolf Freiherr Knigge
- You will travel far, my little Kal-El. But we will never leave you … even in the face of our deaths … the richness of our lives shall be yours. All that I have, all that I've learned, everything I feel … all this, and more … I bequeath you, my son. You will carry me inside you all the days of your life. You will make my strength your own, and see my life through your own eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father, and the father the son. This is all I can send you, Kal-El. ~ Marlon Brando as "Jor-El" in Superman: The Movie
- I have no objection to any person’s religion, be it what it may, so long as that person does not kill or insult any other person, because that other person don’t believe it also. But when a man’s religion becomes really frantic; when it is a positive torment to him; and, in fine, makes this earth of ours an uncomfortable inn to lodge in; then I think it high time to take that individual aside and argue the point with him. ~ Herman Melville in Moby-Dick
- Every writer wants to be believed. But every writer knows he is spurious; every fiction writer would rather be credible than authentic. ~ John le Carré
- Knowledge is humanistic in quality not because it is about human products in the past, but because of what it does in liberating human intelligence and human sympathy. Any subject matter which accomplishes this result is humane, and any subject matter which does not accomplish it is not even educational. ~ John Dewey
- Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
~ Robert Frost ~
- I've opened the way for others to make fortunes, but a fortune for myself was not what I was after. ~ Daniel Boone
- Life is short, even for those who live a long time, and we must live for the few who know and appreciate us, who judge and absolve us, and for whom we have the same affection and indulgence. The rest I look upon as a mere crowd, lively or sad, loyal or corrupt, from whom there is nothing to be expected but fleeting emotions, either pleasant or unpleasant, which leave no trace behind them. We ought to hate very rarely, as it is too fatiguing; remain indifferent to a great deal, forgive often and never forget. ~ Sarah Bernhardt
- It was no longer sounds only that made the music:
he spoke, and as no tree listens I listened, and language
came into my roots
out of the earth,
into my bark
out of the air,
into the pores of my greenest shoots
gently as dew
and there was no word he sang but I knew its meaning.
~ Denise Levertov ~
- It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake. ~ Geoffrey Chaucer
- Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. ~ Napoleon Hill
- Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer. ~ Alfred Whitney Griswold
- My attitude was always to keep open, to keep scanning. I think that's how things work in nature. Many people are close-minded, rigid, and that's not my inclination. ~ Jonas Salk
- Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you? ~ Fanny Brice
- When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead,
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said —
Feed your head! Feed your head! ~
~ Grace Slick ~
- Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF! ~ Charity slogan for UNICEF
- Hasten slowly, and without losing heart,
Put your work twenty times upon the anvil.
~ Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux ~
- All great human deeds both consume and transform their doers. Consider an athlete, or a scientist, or an artist, or an independent business creator. In the service of their goals they lay down time and energy and many other choices and pleasures; in return, they become most truly themselves. A false destiny may be spotted by the fact that it consumes without transforming, without giving back the enlarged self.~ Lois McMaster Bujold
- The great mystery is not that we should have been thrown down here at random between the profusion of matter and that of the stars; it is that from our very prison we should draw, from our own selves, images powerful enough to deny our own nothingness. ~ André Malraux
- Oh, Death was never enemy of ours!
We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum.
No soldier's paid to kick against His powers.
We laughed, — knowing that better men would come,
And greater wars: when each proud fighter brags
He wars on Death, for lives; not men, for flags.
~ Wilfred Owen ~
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For this brave old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded.
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox ~
- If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere. ~ Zig Ziglar
- Death is for a long time. Those of shallow thought say that it is forever. There is, at least, a long night of it. There is the forgetfulness and the loss of identity. The spirit, even as the body, is unstrung and burst and scattered. One goes down to death, and it leaves a mark on one forever. ~ R. A. Lafferty ~
- Nothing is too small. I counsel you, put down in record even your doubts and surmises. Hereafter it may be of interest to you to see how true you guess. We learn from failure, not from success! ~ Bram Stoker ~
- Since, in the long run, every planetary society will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring — not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive. ~ Carl Sagan ~
- All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end. ~ Neil Gaiman in American Gods
- There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where's evil? It's that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. ~ Kurt Vonnegut
- A law of nature is not a formula drawn up by a legislator, but a mere summary of the observed facts — a "bundle of facts." Things do not act in a particular way because there is a law, but we state the "law" because they act in that way. ~ Joseph McCabe
- Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul. ~ Augustine of Hippo
- Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit. It is never a narrowing of the mind or a restriction of the human spirit or the country's spirit. ~ Jawaharlal Nehru
- We need not think alike to love alike. ~ Ferenc Dávid
- Some anarchists have claimed not merely that we would be better off without a state, but that any state necessarily violates people's moral rights and hence is intrinsically immoral. Our starting point then, though nonpolitical, is by intention far from nonmoral. Moral philosophy sets the background for, and boundaries of, political philosophy. What persons may and may not do to one another limits what they may do through the apparatus of a state, or do to establish such an apparatus. ~ Robert Nozick
- Let us have Men, Men who will say a word to their souls and keep it — keep it not when it is easy, but keep it when it is hard — keep it when the storm roars and there is a white-streaked sky and blue thunder before, and one's eyes are blinded and one's ears deafened with the war of opposing things; and keep it under the long leaden sky and the gray dreariness that never lifts. Hold unto the last: that is what it means to have a Dominant Idea, which Circumstance cannot break. And such men make and unmake Circumstance. ~ Voltairine de Cleyre
- There are people. There are stories. The people think they shape the stories, but the reverse is often closer to the truth. ~ Alan Moore
- I am trying to do two things: dare to be a radical and not a fool, which is a matter of no small difficulty. ~ James A. Garfield
- For most of my life, one of the persons most baffled by my own work was myself. ~ Benoît Mandelbrot
- I know as a writer how valuable a tool is the wastebasket. Perhaps God throws away many experiments before He finds the right expression. Perhaps we are the discards — or we could be the part He keeps. This mystery is what keeps us all going, to see what happens in the next chapter. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
- For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every sky has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously. ~ George Gissing
- I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. ~ John Milton in Areopagitica
- Individual things are nothing but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner. ~ Baruch Spinoza
- Man is an evasive beast, given to cultivating strange notions about himself. He is humiliated by his simian ancestry, and tries to deny his animal nature, to persuade himself that he is not limited by its weaknesses nor concerned in its fate. ~ Upton Sinclair
- Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. ~ Eugène Ionesco
- Acting funny, but I don't know why,
'Scuse me while I kiss the sky.
~ Jimi Hendrix ~
- There stood a man with his sword drawn, and his face all over with blood. Then said Mr. Great-Heart, Who art thou? The man made answer, saying, I am one whose name is Valiant-for-truth. I am a pilgrim, and am going to the Celestial City. ~ John Bunyan
- It is hard to have patience with people who say "There is no death" or "Death doesn't matter." There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say that birth doesn't matter. ~ C. S. Lewis
- A sound heart is a safer guide than an ill-trained conscience. ~ Mark Twain
- December will be magic again.
Take a husky to the ice
While Bing Crosby sings White Christmas.
He makes you feel nice.
December will be magic again.
~ Kate Bush ~
- Jesus was an anarchist savior. That's what the Gospels tell us. ~ Ivan Illich
- Truth shall prevail — don't you know Magna est veritas … Yes, when it gets a chance. There is a law, no doubt — and likewise a law regulates your luck in the throwing of dice. It is not Justice — the servant of men, but accident, hazard, Fortune — the ally of patient Time — that holds an even and scrupulous balance. ~ Joseph Conrad
- Someday, somehow, I am going to do something useful, something for people. They are, most of them, so helpless, so hurt and so unhappy. ~ Edith Cavell
- Once a man has tasted freedom he will never be content to be a slave. That is why I believe that this frightfulness we see everywhere today is only temporary. Tomorrow will be better for as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life. ~ Walt Disney
- There is no royal road to learning; no short cut to the acquirement of any art. ~ Anthony Trollope
- Being able to do as one pleases is the natural goal of the libertarian, but having nothing to do is not. While it may be correct to say that the human species is badly prepared for having nothing to do, it is quite a different matter to say that it is badly prepared for the freedom to do as one pleases. People who are able to do as they please may work very hard, given the opportunity to do interesting work. ~ Noam Chomsky
- Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame. ~ Gautama Buddha in The Dhammapada
- When we ask for the abolition of the State and its organs we are always told that we dream of a society composed of men better than they are in reality. But no; a thousand times, no. All we ask is that men should not be made worse than they are, by such institutions! ~ Peter Kropotkin
- THE BLUNDER is to estimate,—
“Eternity is Then,”
We say, as of a station.
Meanwhile he is so near,
He joins me in my ramble,
Divides abode with me,
No friend have I that so persists
As this Eternity.
~ Emily Dickinson ~
- There are metaphysical problems, which cannot be disposed of by declaring them meaningless. For, as I have repeatedly said, they are "beyond physics" indeed and demand an act of faith. We have to accept this fact to be honest. There are two objectionable types of believers: those who believe the incredible and those who believe that "belief" must be discarded and replaced by "the scientific method." ~ Max Born
- It seems to me that understanding that our theories are the source of all our conflicts would go a long way in helping people with different belief systems to get along. ~ Michael Gazzaniga
- Life's an awfully lonesome affair. You can live close against other people yet your lives never touch. You come into the world alone and you go out of the world alone yet it seems to me you are more alone while living than even coming and going. ~ Emily Carr
- There’s a day to ride thumb on a thunderhead
There’s a day to make fantasy real
There’s a day to deny and a day to decry
and a day for the man the wind at his heels.
~ Mike Scott ~
- A good cause can become bad if we fight for it with means that are indiscriminately murderous. A bad cause can become good if enough people fight for it in a spirit of comradeship and self-sacrifice. In the end it is how you fight, as much as why you fight, that makes your cause good or bad. ~ Freeman Dyson
- Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~ Arthur C. Clarke
- Scrooge was better than his word. … He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One! ~ Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol
- Nature can afford to be prodigal in everything, the artist must be frugal down to the last detail. Nature is garrulous to the point of confusion, let the artist be truly taciturn. ~ Paul Klee
- And the evil is done in hopes that evil surrenders
but the deeds of the devil are burned too deep in the embers
and a world of hunger in vengeance will always remember
So please be reassured, we seek no wider war,
we seek no wider war.
~ Phil Ochs ~
- Men are divided in opinion as to the facts. And even granting the facts, they explain them in different ways. ~ Edwin Abbott Abbott ~
- The God of Peace, the God of Truth will shortly seal this truth, and confirm this witness, and make it evident to the whole world, that the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience, is most evidently and lamentably contrary to the doctrine of Christ Jesus the Prince of Peace. ~ Roger Williams
- By enlarging your knowledge of things, you will find your knowledge of self is enlarged. ~ Charles de Lint
- Mere political reform will not cure the manifold evils which now afflict society. There requires a social reform, a domestic reform, an individual reform. ~ Samuel Smiles
- For poetry the idea is everything; the rest is a world of illusion, of divine illusion. Poetry attaches its emotion to the idea; the idea is the fact. The strongest part of our religion today is its unconscious poetry. ~ Matthew Arnold
- A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear.
War is over,
If you want it —
War is over now.
~ John Lennon & Yoko Ono ~
- The force which makes for war does not derive its strength from the interested motives of evil men; it derives its strength from the disinterested motives of good men. ~ Norman Angell ~
- Let me tell you the secret that has lead me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity. ~ Louis Pasteur
- We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about "and." ~ Arthur Stanley Eddington
- Yes, the springtime was in need of you. Often a star
waited for you to espy it and sense its light.
A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past,
or as you walked below an open window,
a violin gave itself to your hearing.
All this was trust. But could you manage it?
Were you not always distraught by expectation,
as if all this were announcing the arrival
of a beloved?
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~
- I am not all that is. I am Life fighting Nothingness. I am not Nothingness, I am the Fire which burns in the Night. I am not the Night. I am the eternal Light; I am not an eternal destiny soaring above the fight. I am free Will which struggles eternally. Struggle and burn with Me. ~ Romain Rolland
- Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars. ~ George Marshall
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