This page lists quote of the day proposals specifically for dates in the month of August, and quotes proposed should ideally have some relation to the day, or persons born on it, though sometimes exceptions can be made, usually for notable quotes that relate to recent events, such as the death of prominent individuals. Developing ideas of people or works to quote on specific days can be explored through the Wikipedia page: List of historical anniversaries. The numeric section heading of each date is also a direct link to the Wikipedia list of births, deaths, and other events which occured on that date.
Called or uncalled, God is there. ~ Ancient proverb, said to be Spartan, popularized by Carl Jung
selected by Kalki
This is a translation of the Latin phrase Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. which Jung used as an inscription on his house, and also on his tomb. It is also commonly translated as " Called or uncalled, God is present." or sometimes "Invoked or not invoked...", "Bidden or unbidden", or "Summoned or not summoned..." God is present.
From without, no wonderful effect is wrought within ourselves, unless some interior, responding wonder meets it. That the starry vault shall surcharge the heart with all rapturous marvelings, is only because we ourselves are greater miracles, and superber trophies than all the stars in universal space. ~ Herman Melville (born 1 August 1819)
And now we meet in an abandoned studio
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago
And you remember the jingles used to go
Oh, oh — You were the first one.
Oh, oh — You were the last one.
Video killed the radio star.
~ The Buggles ~
People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. ~ Ingmar Bergman (recent death)
All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. ~ Herman Melville in Moby-Dick (born 1 August 1819)
In this world of lies, Truth is forced to fly like a sacred white doe in the woodlands; and only by cunning glimpses will she reveal herself, as in Shakespeare and other masters of the great Art of Telling the Truth, — even though it be covertly, and by snatches. ~ Herman Melville
It is — or seems to be — a wise sort of thing, to realise that all that happens to a man in this life is only by way of joke, especially his misfortunes, if he have them. And it is also worth bearing in mind, that the joke is passed round pretty liberally & impartially, so that not very many are entitled to fancy that they in particular are getting the worst of it. ~ Herman Melville
When are you people going to learn? It's not about who's right or wrong. No denomination's nailed it yet, and they never will because they're all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn't matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains need to wake up. I have issues with anyone who treats faith as a burden instead of a blessing. You people don't celebrate your faith; you mourn it. ~ "Serendipity" in Dogma, by Kevin Smith
The moment always comes when, having collected one's ideas, certain images, an intuition of a certain kind of development — whether psychological or material — one must pass on to the actual realization. ~ Michelangelo Antonioni (recent death)
Now, it is true that the nature of society is to create, among its citizens, an illusion of safety; but it is also absolutely true that the safety is always necessarily an illusion. Artists are here to disturb the peace. ~ James Baldwin
One writes out of one thing only — one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art. ~ James Baldwin
We have heard much of Faraday's gentleness and sweetness and tenderness. It is all true, but it is very incomplete. You cannot resolve a powerfulnature into these elements, and Faraday's character would have been less admirable than it was had it not embraced forces and tendencies to which the silky adjectives "gentle" and "tender" would by no means apply. Underneath his sweetness and gentleness was the heat of a volcano. He was a man of excitable and fiery nature; but through high self-discipline he had converted the fire into a central glow and motive power of life, instead of permitting it to waste itself in useless passion. "He that is slow to anger" saith the sage, "is greater than the mighty, and he that ruleth his own spirit than he that taketh a city." Faraday was not slow to anger, but he completely ruled his own spirit, and thus, though he took no cities, he captivated allhearts.
You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was Dostoevsky and Dickens who taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who ever had been alive. Only if we face these open wounds in ourselves can we understand them in other people. An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritualhistorian. His role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are. He has to tell, because nobody else can tell, what it is like to be alive.
When I talk of the purpose of life, I am thinking not only of human life, but of all life on Earth and of the life which must exist upon other planets throughout the universe. It is only of life on Earth, however, that one can speak with any certainty. It seems to me that all life on Earth, the sum total of life upon the Earth, has purpose. ~ Clifford D. Simak (born 3 August 1904)
Somewhere, he thought, on the long backtrack of history, the human race had accepted an insanity for a principle and had persisted in it until today that insanity-turned-principle stood ready to wipe out, if not the race itself, at least all of those things, both material and immaterial, that had been fashioned as symbols of humanity through many hard-won centuries. ~ Clifford D. Simak (born 3 August 1904)
There is a plan, it seems to me, that reaches out of the electron to the rim of the universe and what this plan may be or how it came about is beyond my feeble intellect. But if we are looking for something on which to pin our faith — and, indeed, our hope — the plan might well be it. I think we have thought too small and have been too afraid. ~ Clifford D. Simak (born 3 August 1904)
I have tried at times to place humans in perspective against the vastness of universal time and space. I have been concerned with where we, as a race, may be going and what may be our purpose in the universal scheme — if we have a purpose. In general, I believe we do, and perhaps an important one. ~ Clifford D. Simak
I did not want to move. For I had the feeling that this was a place, once seen, that could not be seen again. If I left and then came back, it would not be the same; no matter how many times I might return to this particular spot the place and feeling would never be the same, something would be lost or something would be added, and there never would exist again, through all eternity, all the integrated factors that made it what it was in this magic moment. ~ Clifford D. Simak
Perhaps there was no limit, there might, quite likely, be no such condition as the ultimate; there might be no time when any creature or any group of creatures could stop at any certain point and say, this is as far as we can go, there is no use of trying to go farther. For each new development produced, as side effects, so many other possibilities, so many other roads to travel, that with each step one took down any given road there were more paths to follow. There'd never be an end, he thought — no end to anything. ~ Clifford D. Simak
We came into a homeless frontier, a place where we were not welcome, where nothing that lived was welcome, where thought and logic were abhorrent and we were frightened, but we went into this place because the universe lay before us, and if we were to knowourselves, we must know the universe...
The machine merely acts as an intermediary between the sensitive and the spiritualforce. It is an extension of the sensitive. It magnifies the capability of the sensitive and acts as a link of some sort. It enables the sensitive to perform his function.
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ (born 4 August 1792)
If you divide suffering and dross, you may
Diminish till it is consumed away;
If you divide pleasure and love and thought,
Each part exceeds the whole; and we know not
How much, while any yet remains unshared...
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~
In each human heart terror survives
The ravin it has gorged: the loftiest fear
All that they would disdain to think were true:
Hypocrisy and custom make their minds
The fanes of many a worship, now outworn.
They dare not devise good for man’s estate,
And yet they know not that they do not dare.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~
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 will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you. For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
Those works of art which have scooped up the truth and presented it to us as a living force — they take hold of us, compel us, and nobody ever, not even in ages to come, will appear to refute them. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (recent death)
Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world. I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies. That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.
~ Wendell Berry ~
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
I am speaking of the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage, not because he is duty-bound, but because he loves the world and loves his children; whose work serves the earth he lives on and from and with, and is therefore pleasurable and meaningful and unending; whose rewards are not deferred until "retirement," but arrive daily and seasonally out of the details of the life of their place; whose goal is the continuance of the life of the world, which for a while animates and contains them, and which they know they can never compass with their understanding or desire.
Character does count. For too long we have gotten by in a society that says the only thing right is to get by and the only thing wrong is to get caught. Character is doing what's right when nobody is looking... ~ J. C. Watts
One of the primary tests of the mood of a society at any given time is whether its comfortable people tend to identify, psychologically, with the power and achievements of the very successful or with the needs and sufferings of the underpriviliged. ~ Richard Hofstadter
Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower — but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.
Nine tithes of times Face-flatterer and backbiter are the same.
And they, sweet soul, that most impute a crime
Are pronest to it, and impute themselves,
Wanting the mental range; or low desire
Not to feel lowest makes them level all;
Yea, they would pare the mountain to the plain,
To leave an equal baseness; and in this
Are harlots like the crowd, that if they find
Some stain or blemish in a name of note,
Not grieving that their greatest are so small,
Inflate themselves with some insanedelight,
And judge all nature from her feet of clay,
Without the will to lift their eyes, and see
Her godlike head crowned with spiritualfire,
And touching other worlds.
The HolyThing is here again
Among us, brother, fast thou too and pray,
And tell thy brother knights to fast and pray,
That so perchance the vision may be seen
By thee and those, and all the world be healed.
Wikipedia is first and foremost an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language. Asking whether the community comes before or after this goal is really asking the wrong question: the entire purpose of the community is precisely this goal. ~ Jimmy Wales
Sixteen hours ago an Americanairplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT. It had more than two thousand times the blast power of the British "Grand Slam" which is the largest bomb ever yet used in the history of warfare.
The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold. And the end is not yet. With this bomb we have now added a new and revolutionary increase in destruction to supplement the growing power of our armed forces. In their present form these bombs are now in production and even more powerful forms are in development.
It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East.… The fact that we can release atomic energy ushers in a new era in man's understanding of nature's forces.
It seems that if one is working from the point of view of getting beauty in one's equations, and if one has really a sound insight, one is on a sure line of progress. ~ Paul Dirac (born 8 August 8 1902)
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. ~ Shirley Jackson (in The Haunting of Hill House; died 8 August 1965)
Education, for most people, means trying to lead the child to resemble the typical adult of his society... But for me, education means making creators... You have to make inventors, innovators, not conformists. ~ Jean Piaget
You do not chop off a section of your imaginative substance and make a book specifically for children, for — if you are honest — you have no idea where childhood ends and maturity begins. It is all endless and all one. ~ P. L. Travers (born 9 August 1899)
The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered. ~ Jean Piaget
For me there are no answers, only questions, and I am grateful that the questions go on and on. I don't look for an answer, because I don't think there is one. I'm very glad to be the bearer of a question.
~ P. L. Travers
If you are not ready, and did not know what to do, it could hurt you in different ways. It could knock you down, hard, or throw you against a tree or a wall. It is such a big explosion, it can smash in buildings and knock signboards over, and break windows all over town, but if you duck and cover, like Bert, you will be much safer. ~ Duck and Cover (1951), about protecting yourself from an atomic explosion; the last-ever nuclear attack (so far) occurred on this date
It has occasionally been remarked upon that it is as easy to overlook something large and obvious as it is to overlook something small and niggling, and that the large things one overlooks can often cause problems. ~ Neil Gaiman in Stardust (movie adaptation released 10 August 2007)
We are living in a time of trouble and bewilderment, in a time when none of us can foresee or foretell the future. But surely it is in times like these, when so much that we cherish is threatened or in jeopardy, that we are impelled all the more to strengthen our inner resources, to turn to the things that have no news value because they will be the same to-morrow that they were to-day and yesterday — the things that last, the things that the wisest, the most farseeing of our race and kind have been inspired to utter in forms that can inspire ourselves in turn. ~ Laurence Binyon (born 10 August 1869)
Monsters remain human beings. In fact, to reduce them to a subhuman level is to exonerate them of their acts of terrorism and mass murder — just as animals are not deemed morally responsible for killing. Insisting on the humanity of terrorists is, in fact, critical to maintaining their profound responsibility for the evil they commit.
And, if they are human, then they must necessarily not be treated in an inhuman fashion. You cannot lower the moral baseline of a terrorist to the subhuman without betraying a fundamental value. ~ Andrew Sullivan
The one thing we know about torture is that it was never designed in the first place to get at the actual truth of anything; it was designed in the darkest days of human history to produce false confessions in order to annihilate political and religious dissidents. And that is how it always works: it gets confessions regardless of their accuracy. ~ Andrew Sullivan
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
I do not believe that the tendency is to make men and women brave and glorious when you tell them that there are certain ideas upon certain subjects that they must never express; that they must go through life with a pretence as a shield; that their neighbors will think much more of them if they will only keep still; and that above all is a God who despises one who honestly expresses what he believes. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll (born 11 August 1833)
Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to Joy, and makes royal kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of that wondrous flower, the heart, and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with it, earth is heaven, and we are gods. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
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
The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist. ~ Erwin Schrödinger
Faith plays an important role in an open society. Exactly because our understanding is imperfect, we cannot base our decisions on knowledge alone. We need to rely on beliefs, religious or otherwise, to help us make decisions. But we must remain open to the possibility that we may be wrong so that we can correct our mistakes. Otherwise, we are bound to be wrong. ~ George Soros
It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought — that is to be educated. ~ Edith Hamilton
There are few efforts more conducive to humility than that of the translator trying to communicate an incommunicable beauty. Yet, unless we do try, something unique and never surpassed will cease to exist except in the libraries of a few inquisitive book lovers. ~ Edith Hamilton
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
The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread these principles is to build up a strong and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous and more generoushumanity.
Although I think that life may be the result of an accident, I do not think that of consciousness. Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.
As long as I am mayor of this city the great industries are secure. We hear about constitutional rights, free speech and the free press. Every time I hear these words I say to myself, 'That man is a Red, that man is a Communist.' You never hear a real American talk like that. ~ Frank Hague
Humour is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man's superiority to all that befalls him. ~ Romain Gary
I think, with never-ending gratitude, that the young women of today do not and can never know at what price their right to free speech and to speak at all in public has been earned. ~ Lucy Stone (born 13 August 1818)
It is our hope, that men in proportion as they grow more enlightened, will learn to hold their theories and their creeds more loosely, and will none the less, nay, rather all the more be devoted to the supreme end of practical righteousness to which all theories and creeds must be kept subservient. ~ Felix Adler
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
The divine in man is our sole ground for believing that there is anything divine in the universe outside of man. Man is the revealer of the divine.
At bottom, the world is to be interpreted in terms of joy, but of a joy that includes all the pain, includes it and transforms it and transcends it.
The Light of the World is a light that is saturated with the darkness which it has overcome and transfigured.
One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honour or observation. ~ Walter Scott
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
Come! Let us lay a lance in rest,
And tilt at windmills under a wild sky!
For who would live so petty and unblest
That dare not tilt at something ere he die;
Rather than, screened by safe majority,
Preserve his little life to little end,
And never raise a rebel cry!
Perfection, cosmically, was nothing but perfect Equanimity and Harmony; and in human relations, nothing but perfect Love and Justice. And Perfection began to glow before the eyes of the Western world like a new star, whose light touched with glamour all things as they came forth from Mystery, till to Mystery they were ready to return.
This — I thought is surely what the Western world has dimly been rediscovering. There has crept into our minds once more the feeling that the Universe is all of a piece, Equipoise supreme; and all things equally wonderful, and mysterious, and valuable. We have begun, in fact, to have a glimmering of the artist's creed, that nothing may we despise or neglect — that everything is worth the doing well, the making fair — that our God, Perfection, is implicit everywhere, and the revelation of Him the business of our Art.
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
Call for the grandest of all earthly spectacles, what is that? It is the sun going to his rest. Call for the grandest of all human sentiments, what is that? It is that man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep. ~ Thomas De Quincey (born 15 August 1785)
The aggressive and quite illogical idea of a single religion for all mankind, a religion universal by the very force of its narrowness, one set of dogmas, one cult, one system of ceremonies, one ecclesiastical ordinance, one array of prohibitions and injunctions which all minds must accept on peril of persecution by men and spiritual rejection or eternal punishment by God, that grotesque creation of human unreason which has been the parent of so much intolerance, cruelty and obscurantism and aggressive fanaticism, has never been able to take firm hold of the Indian mentality. ~ Sri Aurobindo (date of birth, and the 60th Independence day of India)
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
The supreme truths are neither the rigid conclusions of logicalreasoning nor the affirmations of credal statement, but fruits of the soul's inner experience. Intellectual truth is only one of the doors to the outer precincts of the temple. And since intellectual truth turned towards the Infinite must be in its very nature many-sided and not narrowly one, the most varying intellectual beliefs can be equally true because they mirror different facets of the Infinite. However separated by intellectual distance, they still form so many side-entrances which admit the mind to some faint ray from a supreme Light. There are no true and false religions, but rather all religions are true in their own way and degree. Each is one of the thousand paths to the One Eternal.
Spirituality is much wider than any particular religion, and in the larger ideas of it that are now coming on us even the greatest religion becomes no more than a broad sect or branch of the one universal religion, by which we shall understand in the future man's seeking for the eternal, the divine, the greater self, the source of unity and his attempt to arrive at some equation, some increasing approximation of the values of humanlife with the eternal and the divine values.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible. ~ T. E. Lawrence (born 16 August 1888)
The world looks with some awe upon a man who appears unconcernedly indifferent to home, money, comfort, rank, or even power and fame. The world feels not without a certain apprehension, that here is some one outside its jurisdiction; someone before whom its allurements may be spread in vain; some one strangely enfranchised, untamed, untrammelled by convention, moving independent of the ordinary currents of human action. ~ Winston Churchill (said about T. E. Lawrence, born 16 August 1888)
Nine-tenths of tactics are certain, and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and that is the test of generals. It can only be ensured by instinct, sharpened by thought practising the stroke so often that at the crisis it is as natural as a reflex. ~ T. E. Lawrence
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
That man is good who does good to others; if he suffers on account of the good he does, he is very good; if he suffers at the hands of those to whom he has done good, then his goodness is so great that it could be enhanced only by greater sufferings; and if he should die at their hands, his virtue can go no further: it is heroic, it is perfect.
I have always supported measures and principles and not men. I have acted fearless and independent and I never will regret my course. I would rather be politically buried than to be hypocritically immortalized. ~ Davy Crockett
Everything of value about me is in my books. Whatever extra there is in me at any given moment isn't fully formed. I am hardly aware of it; it awaits the next book. It will — with luck — come to me during the actual writing, and it will take me by surprise. That element of surprise is what I look for when I am writing. ~ V. S. Naipaul
To this day, if you ask me how I became a writer, I cannot give you an answer. To this day, if you ask me how a book is written, I cannot answer. For long periods, if I didn't know that somehow in the past I had written a book, I would have given up. ~ V. S. Naipaul (born August 17, 1932)
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
The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff. How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where did he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows. Taller than a house the Iron Man stood at the top of the cliff, at the very brink, in the darkness.
The idea of global unity is not new, but the absolute necessity of it has only just arrived, like a sudden radical alteration of the sun, and we shall have to adapt or disappear. If the nations are ever to make a working synthesis of their ferocious contradictions, the plan will be created in spirit before it can be formulated or accepted in politicalfact. And it is in poetry that we can refresh our hope that such a unity is occupying people's imaginations everywhere, since poetry is the voice of spirit and imagination and all that is potential, as well as of the healingbenevolence that used to be the privilege of the gods.
Maybe allpoetry, insofar as it moves us and connects with us, is a revealing of something that the writer doesn’t actually want to say but desperately needs to communicate, to be delivered of. Perhaps it’s the need to keep it hidden that makes it poetic — makes it poetry.
When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults and they enter society, one of the politer names of hell. That is why we dread children, even if we love them. They show us the state of our decay. ~ Brian Aldiss (born 18 August 1925)
What we say is the truth is what everybody accepts … Psychiatry: it's the latest religion. We decide what's right and wrong. We decide who's crazy or not. I'm in trouble here. I'm losing my faith. ~ Madeleine Stowe as "Dr. Kathryn Railly" in Twelve Monkeys (born 18 August 1958)
Tho' the world could turn from you,
This, at least, I learn from you:
Beauty and Truth, tho' never found, are worthy to be sought,
The singer, upward-springing,
Is grander than his singing,
And tranquil self-sufficing joy illumes the dark of thought.
~ Robert Williams Buchanan ~
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 ~
Life was a pleasure; he looked back at its moments, many of them as shrouded in mist as the opposite bank of the Thames. Objectively, many of them held only misery, fear, confusion; but afterward, and even at the time, he had known an exhilaration stronger than the misery, fear, or confusion. A fragment of belief came to him from another epoch: Cogito ergo sum. For him that had not been true; his truth had been: Sentio ergo sum. I feel, so I exist. He enjoyed this fearful, miserable, confused life, and not only because it made more sense than nonlife. He could never explain that to anyone.
How are we to survive? Solemnity is not the answer, any more than witless and irresponsible frivolity is. I think our best chance lies in humor, which in this case means a wry acceptance of our predicament. We don't have to like it but we can at least recognize its ridiculous aspects, one of which is ourselves. ~ Ogden Nash
Let those find fault whose wit's so very small,
They've need to show that they can think at all;
Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls, must dive below.
~ John Dryden ~
Peace is never long preserved by weight of metal or by an armament race. Peace can be made tranquil and secure only by understanding and agreement fortified by sanctions. We must embrace international cooperation or international disintegration. Science has taught us how to put the atom to work. But to make it work for good instead of for evil lies in the domain dealing with the principles of humandignity. We are now facing a problem more of ethics than of physics.
Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:
Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair, or foul, or rain, or shine,
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not heaven itself upon the past has power;
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
~ John Dryden, based on "Ode XXIX" of Horace ~
The gates of hell are open night and day;
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
But to return, and view the cheerful skies,
In this the task and mighty labor lies.
~ John Dryden, translation of Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 126 ~
The Government of the State of Israel and the Palestinian team representing the Palestinian people agree that it is time to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict, recognize their mutual legitimate and political rights, and strive to live in peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement and historic reconciliation through the agreed political process. ~ Oslo Accords, finalized in Oslo, Norway on 20 August 1993.
There probably is no more important quest in all science than the attempt to understand those very particular events in evolution by which brains worked out that special trick that has enabled them to add to the cosmic scheme of things: color, sound, pain, pleasure, and all the other facets of mental experience. ~ Roger Wolcott Sperry
Science traditionally takes the reductionist approach, saying that the collective properties of molecules, or the fundamental units of whatever system you're talking about, are enough to account for all of the system's activity. But this standard approach leaves out one very important additional factor, and that's the spacing and timing of activity — its pattern or form. ~ Roger Wolcott Sperry
The grand design of nature perceived broadly in four dimensions, including the forces that move the universe and created man, with special focus on evolution in our own biosphere, is something intrinsically good that it is right to preserve and enhance, and wrong to destroy and degrade. ~ Roger Wolcott Sperry
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
The barge she sat in, like a burnishd throne, burnd on the water; the poop was beaten gold, purple the sails, and so perfumed, that the winds were love-sick with them, the oars were silver, which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made the water which they beat to follow faster, as amorous of their strokes. For her own person, it beggard all description ~ "Enobarbus" on Cleapatra, in Antony and Cleopatra Act II sc. ii by William Shakespeare
People ask me... "What do you still bring from Hawaii? How does it affect your character, how does it affect your politics?" I try to explain to them something about the Aloha Spirit. I try to explain to them this basic idea that we all have obligations to each other, that we're not alone, that if we see somebody who's in need we should help... that we look out for one another, that we deal with each other with courtesy and respect, and most importantly, that when you come from Hawaii, you start understanding that what's on the surface, what people look like — that doesn't determine who they are.
And that the power and strength of diversity, the ability of people from everywhere … whether they're black or white, whether they're Japanese-Americans or Korean-Americans or Filipino-Americans or whatever they are, they are just Americans, that all of us can work together and all of us can join together to create a better country.
And it's that spirit, that I'm absolutely convinced, is what America is looking for right now. ~ Barack Obama (A quote of a statement about Hawaii, using one of the most famous of Hawaiian words, made by the first US president to be born in Hawaii, for the 50th anniversary of the Statehood of the 50th US State, "The Aloha State.")
By a free country, I mean a country where people are allowed, so long as they do not hurt their neighbours, to do as they like. I do not mean a country where six men may make five men do exactly as they like. ~ Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (died 22 August 1903)
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense. ~ Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury (died 22 August 1903)
I wish to write down my musical dreams in a spirit of utter self-detachment. I wish to sing of my interior visions with the naïve candour of a child. No doubt, this simple musical grammar will jar on some people. It is bound to offend the partisans of deceit and artifice. I foresee that and rejoice at it. ~ Claude Debussy (born 22 August 1862)
The picture-story involves a joint operation of the brain, the eye and the heart. The objective of this joint operation is to depict the content of some event which is in the process of unfolding, and to communicate impressions. Sometimes a single event can be so rich in itself and its facets that it is necessary to move all around it in your search for the solution to the problems it poses — for the world is movement, and you cannot be stationary in your attitude toward something that is moving. Sometimes you light upon the picture in seconds; it might also require hours or days. But there is no standard plan, no pattern from which to work.
I never started to plow in my life
That some one did not stop in the road
And take me away to a dance or picnic.
I ended up with forty acres;
I ended up with a broken fiddle —
And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,
And not a single regret.
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
proposed by Kalki to note ths date as one of the several dates of the Islamic calendar traditionally considered a likely one of the Night of Power, in the last 10 days of Ramadan corresponding to August 2011, in the Gregorian calendar.
It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.
You may think, passer-by, that Fate
Is a pit-fall outside of yourself,
Around which you may walk by the use of foresight
… In time you shall see Fate approach you
In the shape of your own image in the mirror;
Or you shall sit alone by your own hearth,
And suddenly the chair by you shall hold a guest,
And you shall know that guest,
And read the authentic message of his eyes.
Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. ~ Jorge Luis Borges (born 24 August 1899)
If those in charge of our society — politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television — can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves. ~ Howard Zinn (born August 24, 1922)
It is clear that there is no classification of the Universe that is not arbitrary and full of conjectures. The reason for this is very simple: we do not know what kind of thing the universe is. ~ Jorge Luis Borges (date of birth)
A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
Do you want to see what human eyes have never seen? Look at the moon. Do you want to hear what ears have never heard? Listen to the bird's cry. Do you want to touch what hands have never touched? Touch the earth. Verily I say that God is about to create the world. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
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
I would encouragepeople to look around them in their community and find an organization that is doing something that they believe in, even if that organization has only five people, or ten people, or twenty people, or a hundred people. And to look at history and understand that when change takes place it takes place as a result of large, large numbers of people doing little things unbeknownst to one another. And that history is very important for people to not get discouraged. … History is instructive. And what it suggests to people is that even if they do little things, if they walk on the picket line, if they join a vigil, if they write a letter to their local newspaper. Anything they do, however small, becomes part of a much, much larger sort of flow of energy. And when enough people do enough things, however small they are, then change takes place.
My ultimate vocation in life is to be an irritant, someone who disrupts the daily drag of life just enough to leave the victim thinking there's maybe more to it all than the mere hum-drum quality of existence. ~ Elvis Costello
Calmly take what ill betideth;
Patience wins the crown at length
Rich repayment him abideth
Who endures in quiet strength.
Brave the tamer of the lion;
Brave whom conquered kingdoms praise;
Bravest he who rules his passions,
Who his own impatience sways.
~ Johann Gottfried Herder
How transitory all human structures are, nay how oppressive the best institutions become in the course of a few generations. The plant blossoms, and fades: your fathers have died, and mouldered into dust: your temple is fallen: your tabernacle, the tables of your law, are no more: language itself, that bond of mankind, becomes antiquated: and shall a political constitution, shall a system of government or religion, that can be erected solely on these, endure for ever?
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass. A touch here, a push there, and you bring back the reign of Saturn. ~ John Buchan (born 26 August 1875)
Our sufferings have taught us that no nation is sufficient unto itself, and that our prosperity depends in the long run, not upon the failure of our neighbors but their successes. ~ John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir
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
The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved. ~ Confucius
Not curiosity, not vanity, not the consideration of expediency, not duty and conscientiousness, but an unquenchable, unhappy thirst that brooks no compromise leads us to truth. ~ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (born 27 August 1770)
The most futile thing in this world is any attempt, perhaps, at exact definition of character. All individuals are a bundle of contradictions — none more so than the most capable. ~ Theodore Dreiser (born 27 August 1871)
In every science, after having analysed the ideas, expressing the more complicated by means of the more simple, one finds a certain number that cannot be reduced among them, and that one can define no further. These are the primitive ideas of the science; it is necessary to acquire them through experience, or through induction; it is impossible to explain them by deduction. ~ Giuseppe Peano (born 27 August 1858)
For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die. ~ Ted Kennedy (recent death)
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
proposed by Kalki (lines from the Eleventh Doctor, for the date of the opening episode of the autumnal 2011 series: "Let's Kill Hitler!")
Poetry is the universal art of the spirit which has become free in itself and which is not tied down for its realization to external sensuous material; instead, it launches out exclusively in the inner space and the inner time of ideas and feelings.
Certain old men prefer to rise at dawn, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it. ~ The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today... ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
proposed by MosheZadka, expanded from the first Wikiquote Quote of the Day, selected by Nanobug.
Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Moderation, the Golden Mean, the Aristonmetron, is the secret of wisdom and of happiness. But it does not mean embracing an unadventurous mediocrity: rather it is an elaborate balancing-act, a feat of intellectual skill demanding constant vigilance. Its aim is a reconciliation of opposites. ~ Robertson Davies
To which of the warring serpents should I turn with the problem that now faces me?
It is easy, and tempting, to choose the god of Science. Now I would not for a moment have you suppose that I am one of those idiots who scorns Science, merely because it is always twisting and turning, and sometimes shedding its skin, like the serpent that is its symbol. It is a powerful god indeed but it is what the students of ancient gods called a shape-shifter, and sometimes a trickster. ~ Robertson Davies
What is the use of being wise if we are not sometimes merry? The merriment of wise men is not the uninformed, gross fun of ignorant men, but it has more kinship with that than the pinched, frightened fun of those who are neither learned nor ignorant, gentle nor simple, bound nor free. The idea that a wise man must be solemn is bred and preserved among people who have no idea what wisdom is, and can only respect whatever makes them feel inferior. ~ Robertson Davies
The ironist is not bitter, he does not seek to undercut everything that seems worthy or serious, he scorns the cheap scoring-off of the wisecracker. He stands, so to speak, somewhat at one side, observes and speaks with a moderation which is occasionally embellished with a flash of controlled exaggeration. He speaks from a certain depth, and thus he is not of the same nature as the wit, who so often speaks from the tongue and no deeper. The wit's desire is to be funny; the ironist is only funny as a secondary achievement. ~ Robertson Davies
The best among our writers are doing their accustomed work of mirroring what is deep in the spirit of our time; if chaos appears in those mirrors, we must have faith that in the future, as always in the past, that chaos will slowly reveal itself as a new aspect of order.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state, sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
My name is Harrison Bergeron. I am a fugitive, and a public threat. I am an abomination of the able. I am an exception to the accepted. I am the greatest man you have never known. And for the last six years, I have been held prisoner by the state — sentenced, without trial, to torture without end.
They… had hoped to destroy in me any trace of the extraordinary … but the extraordinary, it seems, was simply out of their reach.
So now I stand before you today, beaten, hobbled, and sickened … but, sadly, not broken. And I say to you, that if it is greatness we must destroy, then let us drag our enemy out of the darkness, where it has been hiding. Let us shine a light so, at last, all the world can see!
I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it — but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (born 29 August 1809)
Religion, which should most distinguish us from the beasts, and ought most particularly elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational, and more senseless than beasts. ~ John Locke (born 29 August 1632)
The truth that seems discouraging does in reality only transform the courage of those strong enough to accept it; and, in any event, a truth that disheartens, because it is true, is still of far more value than the most stimulating of falsehoods. ~ Maurice Maeterlinck
Mankind has advanced. Human progress is ceaseless. We can … conclude that building just societies is a fool's errand. We are always, despite our advances, only one sin away from slipping into the abyss of terror and ignorance. But that is not so. Generations upon generations have driven the human race farther and farther from darkness. ~ John McCain
Consciousness expresses itself through creation. This world we live in is the dance of the Creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on. On many an occasion when I am dancing, I have felt touched by something sacred. In those moments, I felt my spirit soar and become one with everything that exists. I become the stars and the moon. I become the lover and the beloved. I become the victor and the vanquished. I become the master and the slave. I become the singer and the song. I become the knower and the known. I keep on dancing and then, it is the eternal dance of creation. The Creator and the creation merge into one wholeness of joy. I keep on dancing — until there is only … the dance. ~ Michael Jackson ~
Poets are never young, in one sense. Their delicate ear hears the far-off whispers of eternity, which coarser souls must travel towards for scores of years before their dull sense is touched by them. A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change.
No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. ~ Mary Shelley (born 30 August 1797, and also relating to the recent landfall of Hurricane Katrina
We are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves — such a friend ought to be — do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures.. ~ Mary Shelley (date of birth)
The animals of the Burgess Shale are holy objects — in the unconventional sense that this word conveys in some cultures. We do not place them on pedestals and worship from afar. We climb mountains and dynamite hillsides to find them. We quarry them, split them, carve them, draw them, and dissect them, struggling to wrest their secrets. We vilify and curse them for their damnable intransigence. They are grubby little creatures of a sea floor 530 million years old, but we greet them with awe because they are the Old Ones, and they are trying to tell us something. ~ Stephen Jay Gould
I have not yet lost a feeling of wonder, and of delight, that this delicate motion should reside in all the things around us, revealing itself only to him who looks for it. I remember, in the winter of our first experiments, just seven years ago, looking on snow with new eyes. There the snow lay around my doorstep — great heaps of protons quietly precessing in the earth's magnetic field. To see the world for a moment as something rich and strange is the private reward of many a discovery.
I happen to have a talent for allocating capital. But my ability to use that talent is completely dependent on the society I was born into. If I’d been born into a tribe of hunters, this talent of mine would be pretty worthless. I can’t run very fast. I’m not particularly strong. I’d probably end up as some wild animal’s dinner.
But I was lucky enough to be born in a time and place where society values my talent, and gave me a good education to develop that talent, and set up the laws and the financialsystem to let me do what I love doing — and make a lot of money doing it. The least I can do is help pay for all that.
Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding-place and let it be free and unashamed. Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. ~ William Saroyan
Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough. ~ William Saroyan
Have no shame in being kindly and gentle, but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret. In the time of your life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it. ~ William Saroyan
The writer is a spiritual anarchist, as in the depth of his soul every man is. He is discontented with everything and everybody. The writer is everybody's best friend and only true enemy— the good and great enemy. He neither walks with the multitude nor cheers with them. The writer who is a writer is a rebel who never stops. ~ William Saroyan
There’s not a war between Muslims and non-Muslims, but between extremists and moderates of all the religions. … What is important is not to live in fear. The most dangerous thing to do is to give up and lose hope. The main enemy is not terrorism or extremism, but ignorance. ~ Queen Rania of Jordan
I was never interested in the obvious, or in the details one takes for granted, and everybody seemed to be addicted to the obvious, being astonished by it, and forever harping about the details which I had long ago weighted, measured, and discarded as irrelevant and useless. If you can measure it, don't. If you can weigh it, it isn't worth the bother. It isn't what you're after. It isn't going to get it. My wisdom was visual and as swift as vision. I looked, I saw, I understood, I felt, "That's that, where do we go from here?"