“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars” — Jack Kerouac
“I speak about it in order to begin somewhere, and also to free you from the delusion that somewhere without or within there is something fixed or in some way established from the outset. Every so-called fixed and certain thing is only relative” — C. G. Jung, ‘Seven Sermons to the Dead’
“But now a great thing in the street
Seems any human nod,
Where shift in strange democracy
The million masks of God.” — G. K. Chesterton
“the freed ship sailed, and the man climbed back
out of the marvelous as he had known it.” — Seamus Heaney
“I’ve spent late nights in hospitals
watching EKG machines,
realising that my heart has a skyline.
And I’ve seen too many people who
assign window washers to their eyes
so they can watch their lives clearly pass them by
which is why I try to make even the most mundane memories
into monuments that mark my time as something more than simple moments” — Shane Koyczan
“Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the point of fear […] Standing on the bare ground,- my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space,- all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of Universal Being circulate through me; I am part and parcel of God” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” — Rumi
“I wanted the proof of a living spirit and I got it.
Don’t ask me at what price” — C. G. Jung
“Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.” — Toni Morrison
“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
“The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.” — Marcus Aurelius
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth. — Raymond Carver
“The aleph was about two to three centimeters in diameter, but all of cosmic space was there, with no diminution in size. Each thing was infinite, because I could clearly see it from every point on the universe” — Jorge Luis Borges
“I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind it is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect.” — Jack Kerouac
“That child is here as well, listening to Chopin; he knows how lovely the music is, having listened to it often, and would happily listen to it again and again. I am crying because there is no other way of showing what I feel: I AM ALIVE. I am alive in every pore and every cell of my body. I am alive. I was never born and never died.
I may have my moments of sadness or confusion, but above me is the great I, who understands everything and laughs at my sufferings. I am crying for what is ephemeral and eternal, because I know that words are much poorer than music, and so I will never be able to describe this moment” — Paulo Coelho
“‘Don’t waste your life trying to hold back the tides of history. History begot Rome, and history someday will bury it. In the meantime, you’ve other fish to fry. Have you forgotten? Are you to be an individual, a trespasser in territory none else has had the wit or nerve to explore, or just another troublesome mosquito to be swatted by the authorities? You’re no longer a king or a warrior, remember, but something new […] who can guess what benefits may result from a new life wholly led?” — Tom Robbins
“Of course it is asking too much. The price of self-destiny is never cheap, and in certain situations it is unthinkable. But to achieve the marvelous, it is precisely the unthinkable that must be thought” — Tom Robbins
“Such is the World’s great harmony, that springs from Order, Union, full Consent of things; Where small and great, where weak and mighty, made to serve, bot suffer; strengthen, no invade; Parts relate to Whole; All served, all serving; nothing stand alone” — Alexander Pope
“left shift – perception multiple dimensions interpenetrating – opening of every point into the world we fall because the world is full of holes space/time fabric infinitely porous – empty – ‘a net is nothing but a lot of holes tied together by a string'” — Diana Slattery
“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…” Timothy Leary
“The new global religion(s) will be at home in contemplative awareness, but awareness that also speaks naturally and natively a digital language of the silicon chip, and sees itself as clearly in virtual reality as in the play of the wind and rain; its global perspective and universal pluralism will be taken for granted, and Spirit will move through cultures of fibre optics as well as through flesh and blood; and all of that will be natural, and normal, and alive: and from within that global network the new voices of transcendence will begin to attract those sensitive to the Divine. From within the informational neural network of a global commons will come the voices indicating liberation” — Ken Wilber
“History as a whole, is a progressive, gradually self-disclosing revelation of the Absolute.” — Friedrich Schelling
“I am here not only to evade for a while the clamor and filth and confusion of the cultural apparatus but also to confront, immediately and directly if it’s possible, the bare bones of existence, the elemental and fundamental, the bedrock which sustains us. I want to be able to look at and into a juniper tree, a piece of quartz, a vulture, a spider, and see it as it is in itself, devoid of all humanly ascribed qualities, anti-Kantian, even the categories of scientific description. To meet God or Medusa face to face, even if it means risking everything human in myself. I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with a nonhuman world and yet somehow survives still intact, individual, separate. Paradox and bedrock.” — Edward Abbey
“We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates… Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.” — Junichiro Tanizaki
“The soul should always stand ajar,
ready to welcome the ecstatic experience” — Emily Dickinson
“LOVE AFTER LOVE
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.” — Derek Walcott
“He looked at his own Soul with a Telescope
What seemed all irregular, he saw and shewed to be beautiful Constellations
And he added to the Consciousness hidden worlds within worlds” — S. T. Coleridge
“But the spirit of the depths stepped up to me and said: ‘What you speak is. The greatness is, the intoxication is, the undignified, sick, paltry dailiness is. It runs in all the streets, lives in all the houses, and rules the day of all humanity. Even the eternal stars are commonplace. It is the great mistress and the one essence of God. One laughs about it, and laughter, too, is. Do you believe, man of this time, that laughter is lower than worship? Where is your measure, false measurer? The sum of life decides in laughter and worship, not your judgement” — C. G. Jung
“consciousness is not an emergent phenomenon that describes human experience (how chauvinistic how naive similar to having the entire universe revolved around this tiny planet) but rather the all-pervasive, multi-dimensional substrate of existence in all its multitudinous forms” — Diana Slattery
“Thou knowest all – I cannot see.
I trust I shall not live in vain,
I know that we shall meet again
In some divine eternity” — Oscar Wilde
“So much of what you had experienced you said, would be counted as sheer lunacy that if it were published you would lose out altogether not only as a scientist, but as a human being, but not I said if you went at it from the Dichtung and Warheit angle, then people could make their own selection as to which was which […] Yes, you said, it was something like that. Perhaps it cannot yet be done. As you talked I grew more and more aware of the immeasurability of the ideas which were filling you. You said they had the shadow of eternity upon them and I could feel the truth of it […] because the Red Book told of a battle between the world of reality and the world of the spirit. You said in that battle you had very nearly been torn asunder but that you had managed to keep your feet on the earth and make an effect on reality. That you said for you was the test of any idea, and that you had no respect for any ideas however winged that had to exist off in space and were unable to make an impression on reality” — Cary Fink to C. G. Jung
“Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable. This, my friends, is the crux of our solitude.” — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“No sooner am I alone than shapes of epic greatness are stationed around me, and serve my Spirit the office which is equivalent to a King’s body guard… I melt into the air with a voluptuousness so delicate that I am content to be alone… I have written this that you might see I have my share of the highest pleasures and that though I may choose to pass my days alone I shall be no Solitary… I am as happy as a Man can be… with the yearning Passion I have for the beautiful, connected and made one with the ambition of my intellect […] Some think me middling, others silly, others foolish — every one thinks he sees my weak side against my will; when in truth it is with my will — I am content to be thought all this because I have in my own breast so great a resource.” — John Keats
“Knee-deep in the cosmic overwhelm, I’m stricken
by the ricochet wonder of it all: the plain
everythingness of everything, in cahoots
with the everythingness of everything else.” — Diane Ackerman
Lepidus: What manner of thing is your crocodile?
Anthony: it is shaped, sir, just like itself, and is as broad as it has breadth; it is just as high as it is, and moves with its own organs; it lives by that which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.
Lepidus: What colour is it of?
Anthony: Of its own colour too.
Lepidus: ‘Tis a strange serpent.
Anthony: ‘Tis so; and the tears of it are wet. — Shakespeare
“True humanity is no inherent and abstract right but an achievement, and only through the fullness of human experience may we be as one with all who have been and all who are yet to be, sharers and brethren and partakers of the mystery of living, reaching to the full of human peace and the full of human joy.” — Henry Beston
“And that because the heart in thee is the heart of all; not a valve, not a wall, not an intersection is there anywhere in nature, but one blood rolls uninterruptedly an endless circulation through all humans, as the water of the globe is all one sea, and truly seen, its tide is one” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“in that deep force, the last fact behind which analysis cannot go, all things find their common origin. It is one light which beams out of a thousand stars. It is one soul which animates all” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Sou is tied to no individual, no culture, no tradition, but rises fresh in every person, beyond every person, and grounds itself in a truth and a glory that bows to nothing in the world of time and place and history. We all must be, and can only be, ‘a light unto ourselves'” — Ken Wilber (quoting Emerson)
“The locking in of chance is an anticipation of eternity… The problem then resides in inscribing this eternity within time. Because, basically, that is what love is: a declaration of eternity to be fulfilled or unfurled as best it can be within time: eternity descending into time.” — Alain Badiou
“For the third time that night – the first was when my spirit flew with the eagle of Baikal, the second was when I heard that childhood tune – time had stopped. I was entirely there, with no past or future, experiencing the music with her, that unexpected prayer, and feeling grateful that I had set off in search of my kingdom.I lay down on the bed, and she continued to play. I fell asleep to the sound of her violin” — Paulo Coelho
“Salvation must be sought in the finite itself, there is nothing infinite apart from finite things; if you seek something transcendental, that will cut you off from this world of relativity, which is the same thing as the annihilation of yourself. You do not want salvation at the cost of your own existence” — D.T. Suzuki
“Suddenly there is nothing between his skin and an incomprehensible star-strewn immensity ablaze with ceaseless creation” — Kay Larson
“What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what can be loved in man is that he is a going across and a down-going.
I love those who do not know how to live except their lives be down-going, for they are those who are going over” — F. W. Nietzsche
“We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree;, but the whole, of which these are shining parts is the soul […] And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their own song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their songs instead” — Neil Gaiman
“Most music tries to control its circumstances, just as most of us do. But there’s another way to live. Accept indeterminacy as a principle, and you see your life in a new light, as a series of seemingly unrelated jewel-like stories within a dazzling setting of change and transformation. Recognize that you don’t know where you stand, and you will begin to watch where you put your feet. That’s when a path appears” — Kay Larson
“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star” — Friedrich Nietzsche
“Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.” — William Shakespeare, Hamlet
“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: the salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.” — Viktor Frankl
“‘Childlikeness’ has to be restored with long years of training in the art of self-fogetfulness. When this is attained, man thinks, yet he does not think. He thinks like showers coming down from the sky; he thinks like the waves rolling on the ocean; he thinks like the stars illuminating the nightly heavens; he thinks like the green foliage shooting forth in the relaxing spring breeze. Indeed, he is the showers, the oceans, the stars, the foliage” — D. T. Suzuki
the brilliant rinse
of summer’s firmament.
What colour is
the underside of skin?
Not so bad, to die,
if we could be opened
into this —
if the smallest chambers
revealed some sky” — from ‘A green Crab’s Shell’, by Mark Doty
“As for men, those myriad little detached ponds with their own swarming corpuscular life, what were they but a way that water has of going about beyond the reach of rivers?” — Loren Eiseley
“Incredible the lodging
But limited the guest” — Emily Dickinson
“Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed” — Blaise Pascal
“We have come to know Man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Aushcwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips” — Viktor Frankl
“If anyone asks you about the houris, show your face, say: like this. If anyone asks you about the moon, climb up on the roof, say: “Like this.” If anyone seeks a fairy, let them see your countenance. If anyone talks about the aroma of musk, untie your hair and say: “Like this.” If anyone asks: “How do the clouds uncover the moon?” untie the front of your robe, knot by knot, say: “Like this.” If anyone asks: “How did Jesus raise the dead?’ kiss me on the lips, say: “Like this.” If anyone asks: “What are those killed by love like?” direct him to me, say: “Like this.” If anyone kindly asks you how tall I am, show him your arched eyebrows, say: “Like this.”
So the whole ghazal (above) is a description of the physical beauty of the lover, but at the same time, it’s a fairly long poem. At the end, it leads us to blind with envy the one who says, “How can a human being reach God?” Give each of us a candle of purity, say: “Like this.” — Fatemeh Keshavarz quoting Rumi
“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes)” — Walt Whitman
“The psyche is not of today, it’s ancestry goes back many millions of years. Individual consciousness is only the flower and fruit of a season, sprung from the perennial rhizome beneath the earth. And it would find itself in better accord with the truth if it took the existence of the rhizome into its calculations, for the root matter is the mother of all things” — C. G. Jung
“Instead of an intellectual search, there was suddenly a very deep gut feeling that something was different. It occurred when looking at Earth and seeing this blue-and-white planet floating there, and knowing it was orbiting the Sun, seeing that Sun, seeing it set in the background of the very deep black and velvety cosmos, seeing – rather, knowing for sure – that there was a purposefullness of flow, of energy, of time, of space in the cosmos – that it was beyond man’s rational ability to understand, that suddenly there was a nonrational way of understanding that had been beyond my previous experience.
There seems to be more to the universe than random, chaotic, purposeless movement of a collection of molecular particles. On the return trip home, gazing through 240,000 miles of space toward the stars and the planet from which I had come, I suddenly experienced the universe as intelligent, loving, harmonious.” — Edgar Mitchell
“I’m always inclined to believe that the best way of knowing [the divine] is to love a great deal. Love that friend, that person, that thing, whatever you like, you’ll be on the right path to knowing more thoroughly, afterwards; that’s what I say to myself. But you must love with a high, serious intimate sympathy, with a will, with intelligence, and you must always seek to know more thoroughly, better, and more.” — Vincent Van Gogh
“I should think that many of our poets, the honest ones, will confess to having no manifesto. It is a painful confession but the art of poetry carries its own powers without having to break them down into critical listings. I do not mean that poetry should be raffish and irresponsible clown tossing off words into the void. But the very feeling of a good poem carries its own reason for being… Art is its own excuse, and it’s either Art or it’s something else. It’s either a poem or a piece of cheese.” — Charles Bukowski
“From this I reach what I might call a philosophy; at any rate it is a constant idea of mine; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we — I mean all human beings — are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself. And I see this when I have a shock.” — Virginia Woolf
“[Stillness] strikes me. This bottle, this glass, a big stone on a deserted beach — these are motionless things, but they set loose great movements in my mind… People who go bathing on a beach and who move about, touch me much less than the [stillness] of a pebble. (Motionless things become grand, much grander than moving things.) [Stillness] makes me think of great spaces in which movements take place which do not stop at a given moment, movements which have no end. It is, as Kant said, the immediate irruption of the infinite in the finite. A pebble which is a finite and motionless object suggests to me not only movements, but movements without end […] What I am seeking, in fact, is a motionless movement, something equivalent to what is called the eloquence of silence, or what St. John of the Cross meant by the words, I believe, of dumb music” — Joan Miro
“Picasso paints what is true; true movements, true feelings. He is sane and strong and simple and sensitive… Picasso is an enthusiast. He says so, and that is why his works are young. Skepticism is the beginning of decadence. It’s a form of abdication and bankruptcy.” — Louise Bourgeois
“For Goethe the identification and naming of the clouds had done nothing less than transfigure mankind’s relationship with aerial nature. The clouds had been released into the scientific consciousness, from where they could reach further, into the realm of the pure intellectual spirit, as addressed in the last line of ‘Nimbus.’ The greatness of Howard’s classification, for Goethe, was that it accounted for the material forces of cloud formation while allowing for the immaterial forces of poetic response to be heard. And his poems, like the essay which preceded them, took the form of just such a response. Art could answer science, it could find within it not only a source of subject matter but a source of real inspiration. Goethe’s cloud poems, as reactions to an energizing scientific insight, were heartfelt, joyous and sincere.” — Richard Hamblyn
“In a very real sense, we participate not only in our knowledge of nature but also in creating reality in partnership with all of nature. A truly participatory consciousness would perceive this coherent delocalisation of self and other as constitutive of its own being, which not only gives it authentic knowledge, but also empowers it to act appropriately and coherently. The moral feeling arises from this primary perception of the mutual entanglement of self and other, ultimately, of all nature” — Mae-Won Ho
“Time seemed to vanish. Urgency vanished. Any important difference between myself and all other things vanished. I knew that I belonged to the world, and felt comfortably my own containment in the totality. I did not feel that I understood any mystery, not at all; rather that I could be happy and feel blessed within the perplexity — the summer morning, its gentleness, the sense of the great work being done though the grass where I stood scarcely trembled. As I say, it was the most casual of moments, not mystical as the word is usually meant, for there was no vision, or anything extraordinary at all, but only a sudden awareness of the citizenry of all things within one world: leaves, dust, thrushes and finches, men and women. And yet it was a moment I have never forgotten, and upon which I have based many decisions in the years since” — Mary Oliver
“The nature of reality that spills forth from Einstein’s physics is so much more startling than the simplistic, undergraduate-beloved shibboleth: everything is relative to subjective points of view. In Einstein’s physics, there is no passage of time, no unidirectional flow from the fixed past and toward the uncertain future. The temporal component of space-time is as static as its spatial components; physical time is as still as physical space. It is all laid out, the whole spread of events, in the tenseless four-dimensional space-time manifold.” — Rebecca Goldstein
“That is precisely the biochemical picture we now have of the living system: compartments, micro-compartments and micro-domains, right down to molecular machines, each functioning autonomously, doing very different things at their own rates, generating flow patterns and cycles of different spatial extensions, yet all coupled together, syncopating and harmonising in complex rhythms, a veritable quantum jazz of life” — Mae-Won Ho
“What would you have me say? That I think apartheid is stupid and vicious? I do. That I’m sorry? I am, I am. That I’m not like the rest of them? If you’d met me a few years ago, in a bar in London or New York, I would have told you that. I would have told you that only I, of all my blind clan and tribe, had eyes that could truly see, and that what I saw appalled me. I would have passed myself off as a political exile, an enlightened sort who took black women into his bed and fled his country rather than carry a gun for the abominable doctrine of white supremacy. You would probably have believed me. I almost believed myself, you see, but in truth I was always one of them. I am a white man born in Africa and all else flows from there.” — Rian Malan
“And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” — Song of Solomon
“We say that we draw upon knowledge. Perhaps we know that what we draw upon is really being together, being human, in the wilderness” (McHenry 1997: 357)
“That we are so afraid of annihilation or, what is the same thing, that we so wish to live, merely means that we ourselves are nothing else but this desire to live, and know nothing but it.” — Arthur Schopenhauer
“The life of the mind is not one that shuns death, and keeps clear of destruction; it endures death and in death maintains its being. It only wins to its truth when it finds itself utterly torn asunder.” — Georg Hegel
“In his later writings, Jung used the term [Pleroma] to designate a state of pre-existence and potentiality, identifying it with the Tibetan Bardo: “He must … accustom himself to the idea that ‘time’ is a relative concept and needs to be compensated by the concept of a ‘simultaneous’ Bardo – or pleromatic existence of all historical processes. What exists in the Pleroma as an eternal ‘process’ appears in time as aperiodic sequence, that is to say, it is repeated many times in an irregular pattern” — Jung
“I perceived that to understand the meaning of life it is necessary first that life should not be meaningless and evil, then we can apply reason to explain it” — Leo Tolstoy (on faith as that which gives man a reason to live by relating the finite to the infinite)
“… there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.” — Mary Oliver
“Life is as infinitely great and profound as the immensity of the stars above us. One can only look at it through the narrow keyhole of one’s personal existence. But through it one perceives more than one can see. So above all one must keep the keyhole clean.” — Franz Kafka
“I turned again to the child, the ugliest but the latest and therefore, biologically, the most advanced human being on earth. What did he know? It is our knowledge — the things we are sure of — that makes the world go wrong and keeps us from seeing and learning from God’s everyday revelations of the truth. This “knowledge and belief” that is so false and so impious is said to be inborn. Is it? I asked my new-born baby boy and he answered; and his answer is the best news I, a veteran reporter, have ever had to report […] I can afford to let the mother, with her brains, provide the science and the business side of my child’s up-bringing; I, the father, will furnish the love (which women call “spoiling”), the art, the sport, the doubt divine. She can impart knowledge, I the highly cultivated ignorance. As I explained to Pete one day when we lay back bloated and contemplative after a deep feed of mother’s milk, his dear mamma will make of him a strong, knowing, successful man, I will leave him a fine fellow, who, whether he is a poet or a politician, a businessman, a reporter or a lounge lizard, can play the game and win, without believing in it or in his own lies: a humorous man of the world, a true prophet of the beautiful life to come on this earth and, perhaps, if he is good, the father of a girl baby.” — Lincoln Steffens
“Deep down, we know our devotion to reality is just a marriage of convenience, and we leave it to the seers, the shamans, the ascetics, the religious teachers, the artists among us to reach a higher state of awareness, from which they transcend our rigorous but routinely analyzing senses and become closer to the raw experience of nature that pours into the unconscious, the world of dreams, the source of myth […] Our several senses, which feel so personal and impromptu, and seem at times to divorce us from other people, reach far beyond us. They’re an extension of the genetic chain that connects us to everyone who has ever lived; they bind us to other people and to animals, across time and country and happenstance. They bridge the personal and the impersonal, the one private soul with its many relatives, the individual with the universe, all of life on Earth. In REM sleep, our brain waves range between eight and thirteen hertz, a frequency at which flickering light can trigger epileptic seizures. The tremulous earth quivers gently at around ten hertz. So, in our deepest sleep, we enter synchrony with the trembling of the earth. Dreaming, we become the Earth’s dream.” — Diane Ackerman
“Love is reckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming herself, unabashed.
Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.
Having died of self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.
Without cause God gave us Being;
without cause, give it back again.” — Rumi
“Take hold of your own life.
See that the whole existence is celebrating.
These trees are not serious, these birds are not serious.
The rivers and the oceans are wild,
and everywhere there is fun,
everywhere there is joy and delight.
listen to the existence and become part of it.”
“I have found that in rejecting the social values of my white background, by despising it and in turn being despised by it, I now inhabit a kind of disguise because I tell you, when they offer me that privilege, the business network at the country club, or in the church, I fume inside. I rave and seethe against the sycophantic drivel that is white culture and yearn for mad shamanic rituals and art’s rhythms and a deeper more universal grasp of my humanity. Don’t give me white privilege, I’ll stay here in my old servant’s quarters and make my art about what I see in front of me and the people I meet on the street. Don’t confront your white privilege, spit on your white privilege and confront your humanity. Kick your own front door off it’s hinges and give all your things away. It frees you to work and gives you focus on the truth. We have not yet had a civilisation, and the thing they told you was one in school was a lie. Love is the truth” — Jeremiah
“It must be that when God speaketh he should communicate. not one thing, but all things; should fill the world with his voice, should scatter forth light, nature, time, souls, from the center of the present though; and new date and new create the whole. Whenever a mind is simple and receives a divine wisdom, old things pass away – means, teachers, texts, temples fall; it lives now and absorbs past and future into the present hour. All things are made sacred by relation to it – one as much as another. All things are dissolved to their center by their cause, and in the universal miracle, petty and particular miracles disappear […] Whence then this worship of the past? The centuries are conspirators against the sanity and authority of the Soul. Time and space are but physiological colors which the eye makes, but the soul is light, where it is, is day; where it was, is night; and history is an impertinence and an injury if it be any thing more than a cheerful apologue or parable of my being and becoming” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“It wasn’t even patriotism or a sense of duty or responsibility that prevented me from ever considering leaving South Africa. It was just unthinkable. If you transplant a fifty-year-old kameeldoring tree, it will wither and die. Its root system goes too deep to dig out. Just as I cannot change the colour of my skin, I cannot become an American, European, or Australian. I would be an alien forever, like a polar bear in the Pretoria Zoo. My soul is African. My skin colour is the only European thing about me […] The energy that I feel gushing from the soil, my African soil, through my foot soles and into my spirit tells me who I am. The ancient mountains and valleys around me whisper to me that I am where I belong. Forces much greater than the loud-mouthed politicians and my own fears and insecurities have placed me exactly here at this time. I am who I should be and where I should be.” — Max du Preez
“So it is with the places preparing to teach us. It’s only when the heart begins to beat wildly and without pattern – when it begins to realize its boundlessness – that its newly adamant pulse bangs on the walls of its cage and is bruised by its enclosure. To feel the heart pound is only the beginning. Next is to feel the hurt – the tearing of the psyche – the prelude of entry into the place one has always feared. One fears that place because of being drawn to it, loving it, and wanting to be taught by it. Without the need to be taught, who would feel the psyche rip? Without the bruise, who would know where the walls are? […] Bruised and bloodied by throwing himself against the four walls of his enclosure, and deeply shaken by his shrieking emotions, Cage stopped pacing his confinement and realized that his container has no roof. Looking up, he could see the sky. Fascinated, he set out to explore this new dimension.
What he found was a language of silence and immanence.” — Kay Larson
“There are no mistakes in these things [i.e. his sermons to the dead]” Philemon replied, “there are only different levels of knowledge. These things are as you know them. Only in your world are things other than you know them, and therefore there are only mistakes in your world” — C. G. Jung
“The world you see is just a movie in your mind.
Rocks dont see it.
Bless and sit down.
Forgive and forget.
Practice kindness all day to everybody
and you will realize you’re already
in heaven now.
That’s the story.
That’s the message.
Nobody understands it,
nobody listens, they’re
all running around like chickens with heads cut
off. I will try to teach it but it will
be in vain, s’why I’ll
end up in a shack
praying and being
cool and singing
by my woodstove
making pancakes.” — Jack Kerouac
“The snow is deep on the ground.
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.
This is a good world.
The war has failed.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the snow waits where love is.
Only a few go mad.
The sky moves in its whiteness
Like the withered hand of an old king.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the sky knows of our love.
The snow is beautiful on the ground.
And always the lights of heaven glow
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd” — Kenneth Patchen
“The great yawning chasm between the “out yonder” and the “in here” is stretched even wider, on the Einsteinian hypothesis, since objective time — the time that is described in the equations of relativity theory — is lacking the very feature that seems to provide the essential stab to our subjective experience of time: its inexorable flow, ultimately lighting all our yesterdays the way to dusty death. Is there anything we know more intimately than the fleetingness of time, the transience of each and every moment?” — Rebecca Goldstein
“The knowledge I was concerned with, or was seeking, still could not be found in the science of my day. I, myself, had to undergo the original experience and, moreover, try to plant the results of my experience in the soil of reality, otherwise they would have remained subjective assumptions without validity.” — C. G. Jung
“Wisdom [is] a question of grasping the coherence of things and time, of deciphering oneself, and of penetrating one’s own becoming and dying […] The truth is always an abyss. One must — as in a swimming pool — dare to dive from the quivering springboard of trivial everyday experience and sink into the depths, in order later to rise again — laughing and fighting for breath — to the now doubly illuminated surface of things.” — Franz Kafka
“Obviously, if we have to get out of the way of the traffic on Hollywood Boulevard, it is no good being aware of everything that is going on in the universe; we have to be aware of the approaching bus. And this is what the brain does for us: It narrows the field down so that we can go through life without getting into serious trouble. But … we can and ought to open ourselves up and become what in fact we have always been from the beginning, that is to say … much more widely knowing than we normally think we are. We should realize our identity with what James called the cosmic consciousness and what in the East is called the Atman-Brahman. The end of life in all great religious traditions is the realization that the finite manifests the Infinite in its totality. This is, of course, a complete paradox when it is stated in words; nevertheless, it is one of the facts of experience.” — Aldous Huxley
“The theme you choose may change or simply elude you, but being your own story means you can always choose the tone. It also means you can invent the language to say who you are and what you mean.” — Toni Morrison
“What astonishes us in both poets [Cesaire and Perse] is their elation, their staggering elation in possibility […] the possibility of the individual Caribbean man, African, European or Asian in ancestry, the enormous, gently opening morning of his possibility, his body touched with dew, his nerves as subtilized to sensation as the mimosa, his memory, whether of grandeur or of pain, gradually erasing itself as recurrent drizzles cleanse the ancestral or tribal markings from the coral skull, the possibility of a man and his language waking to wonder here” — Derek Walcott
“This is what Proust meant when he claimed that certain truths about the human emotions can be best conveyed, in verbal and textual form, only by a narrative work of art: only such a work will accurately and fully show the interrelated temporal structure of emotional “thoughts,” prominently including the heart’s intermittences between recognition and denial of neediness.” –Martha Nassbaum
“Generally my spirits are high and my life is certainly very interesting and more emotionally rich than before. I am being taught many things and I welcome this. And I welcome the love and support of friends, this is a mad and wild adventure at the fractal edge of life and death and space and time. Just where we love to be, right, shipmates” — Terrence McKenna
“Instead of representing my control, they represent questions I’ve asked and the answers that have been given by means of chance operations. I’ve merely changed my responsibility from making choices to asking questions. It’s not easy to ask questions […] People frequently ask me if I’m faithful to the answers, or if I change them because I want to. I don’t change them because I want to. When I find myself at that point, in the position of someone who would change something — at that point I don’t change it, I change myself. It’s for that reason that I have said that instead of self-expression, I’m involved in self-alteration” — John Cage
“No satisfaction whatever at any time,” she cried out passionately. “There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” — Martha Graham
“The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
“To entertain such ontologies is to re-contextualise one’s self as a marvelous conduit in a timeless whole, through which molecules and meaning flow, from nebulae to neurons and back again” — Tom Doody
“Through the sheer aesthetic force of its discoveries, the Hubble distilled the complex abstractions of astrophysics into singular expressions of colour and light, vindicating Keats’ famous couplet; ‘Beauty is Truth,/ Truth, Beauty’.” — Ross Anderson
“Zen practice … requires great faith, great courage, and great questioning. What is great faith? Great faith means that at all times you keep the mind which decided to practice, no matter what. It is like a hen sitting on her eggs. She sits on them constantly, caring for them and giving them warmth, so that they will hatch. If she becomes careless or negligent, the eggs will not hatch and become chicks. So Zen mind means always and everywhere believing in myself… Great courage … means bringing all your energy to one point. It is like a cat hunting a mouse. The mouse has retreated into its hole, but the cat waits outside the hole for hours on end without the slightest movement. It is totally concentrated on the mouse-hole. This is Zen mind – cutting off all thinking and directing all your energy to one point. Next – great questioning… If you question with great sincerity, there will only be don’t-know mind.” — Seung Sahn Soen-sa
“True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel ‘Catch-22’
has earned in its entire history?”
And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”
And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”
And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
Not bad! Rest in peace!” — Kurt Vonnegut
“We have to learn, so to speak, to get out of our own light, because with our personal self — this idolatrously worshiped self — we are continually standing in the light of this wider self — this not-self, if you like — which is associated with us and which this standing in the light prevents. We eclipse the illumination from within. And in all the activities of life, from the simplest physical activities to the highest intellectual and spiritual activities, our whole effort must be to get out of our own light.” — Aldous Huxley
Life as an art and art as a game – as action for its own sake, without thought of gain or loss, praise or blame – is the key, then, to the turning of living itself into a yoga, and art into the means to such a life” — Joseph Campbell
“There lay all my love of life: a silent passion for what would perhaps escape me, a bitterness beneath a flame. Each day I would leave this cloister like a man lifted from himself, inscribed for a brief moment in the continuance of the world… There is no love of life without despair of life […] At the moment, my whole kingdom is of this world. This sun and these shadows, this warmth and this cold rising from the depths of the air: why wonder if something is dying or if men suffer, since everything is written on this window where the sun sheds its plenty as a greeting to my pity? I can say and in a moment I shall say that what counts is to be human and simple. No, what counts is to be true, and then everything fits in, humanity and simplicity. When am I truer than when I am the world? My cup brims over before I have time to desire. Eternity is there and I was hoping for it. What I wish for now is no longer happiness but simply awareness.” — Albert Camus
“This is the simple poem I have made. / Tell me you understand. But when you do / Don’t ask me in return if I have said / All that I meant, or whether it is true.” — Anthony Thwaite
“But all the clocks in the city began to whir and chime,/ O let not time deceive you, you cannot conquer time./ In the burrows of the nightmare where justice naked is/ time watches from the shadows and coughs when you would kiss./ In headaches and in worry vaguely life leaks away/ and time will have his fantasy tomorrow or today” — W H Auden
“Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on – on – and out of sight.
Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun;
My heart was shaken with tears: and horror
Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.” — Everyone Sang by Siegfried Sassoon
“To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses — that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.
That exchange brought home to me for the first time a precious idea: that all of humanity is somehow together…
It won’t surprise you then that I attempted to give something resiny, earthlike, and fragrant in exchange for human brotherhood. Just as I once left the pinecone by the fence, I have since left my words on the door of so many people who were unknown to me, people in prison, or hunted, or alone.” — Pablo Neruda
“One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun–which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in some one’s eyes” — Francis Burnett
“… and in these moments we experience afresh the hardly-bearable ecstasy of direct energy exploding on our nerve endings. This is the rhapsodic, ecstatic bursting forth of awe that expands our perceptual parameters beyond all previous limits and we literally have to reconfigure our mental models of the world in order to assimilate the beauty of that download. That is what it means to be inspired; the Greek root of the term means ‘to breathe in’, to take it in. We fit the universe through our brains and it comes out in nothing less than the form of poetry. We have a responsibility to awe.” — Jason Silva
“It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.” — Oriah Mountain Dreamer
“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual” – R. C. Henry, “The Mental Universe”; Nature 436:29, 2005, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University)
“I had a discussion with a great master in Japan… and we were talking about the various people who are working to translate the Zen books into English, and he said, ‘That’s a waste of time. If you really understand Zen… you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because… the sound of the rain needs no translation.'” –Alan Watts
“In seeing that all sentient beings are expressions of one Self, then all beings are treated as one’s Self. And that realization – a profound fruition of the decentering thrust of evolution – is the only source of true compassion, a compassion that does not put self first, or or a particular society first, or humans first, nor does it try merely in thought to act as if we were all united, but directly and immediately breathes the common air and beats the common blood of a Heart and Body that is one with all beings” — Ken Wilber
“All phenomena of samsara and nirvana arise like a rainbow, and like a rainbow they are devoid of any tangible existence. Once you have recognised the true nature of reality, which is empty and at the same time appears as the phenomenal world, your mind will cease to be under the power of delusion. If you know how to leave your thoughts free to dissovle by themselves as they arise, they will cross your mind as a bird crosses the sky without leaving any trace […] When a reflection appears in a mirror, you cannot say that it is part of the mirror, nor that it lies elsewhere. In the same way, perceptions of exterior phenomena take place neither in the mind nor outside. Phenomena are not really existent or nonexistent. So the realization of the ultimate nature of things lies beyond the concepts of being or nonbeing.” — Khyentse Rinpoche, quoted in ‘The Quantum and the Lotus’
“If you want to be a grocer or a general or a politician or a judge, you will invariably become it. That is your punishment. If you never know what you want to be; if you live what some might call the ‘dynamic’ life but I will call the ‘artistic life’; if, each day, you are unsure of who you are and what you know , you will never become anything and that is your reward” — Oscar Wilde
“You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.” — Charles Bukowski
“One should worship with the thought that he is one’s self, for therein all these become one. This Self is the footprint of that All, for by it one knows the All – just as, verily, by following a footprint one finds cattle that have been lost” — Brhadaranyaka Upanisad 1.4.6-7.
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth” — Oscar Wilde
“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” — Brené Brown
“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind… What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Another world do I hold in mind, which bears together in one heart its bitter sweetness and its dear grief, its heart’s delight and its pain of longing, dear life and sorrowful death, dear death and sorrowful life. In this world let me have my world, to be damned with it, or to be saved” — Gottfried von Strassburg
“The global embrace, and its pluralistic world-federation, can only be seen, and understood, and implemented by individuals with a universal and global vision-logic, where the new scarce resources involve not only material-economic shortages, but the resources of a meaning-in-life that can no longer be found in self or tribe or race or nation, but will find its context, its therapia, its omega, and its release, in a worldcentric embrace through which runs the blood of a common humanity and beats the single yearning heart of a very small planet struggling for its own survival, and yearning for its own release into a deeper and truer tomorrow” — Ken Wilber
“Freedom emerges from open-ended cultural interplay, full of potential conflict and misunderstanding. I think it exists only in relation to ghosts. Freedom is the negotiation of ghosts on a haunted landscape; it does not exorcise the haunting but works to survive and negotiate it with flair” — Anna Tsing
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you” — Buddha
“What matters is the love you put into your work and the love you give to others and the love you graciously receive. The rest is nonsense.” – Sara Finnerty
“Finally I understood. And when I disembarked in Holland on the next day, nobody was happier than I. Now I was sure that no schizophrenia was threatening me. I understood that my dreams and my visions came to me from the subsoil of the collective unconscious. What remained for me to do now was to deepen and validate this discovery. And this is what I have been trying to for forty years” — C. G Jung
“In that breakthrough, where I stand free of my own will and of the will of God and of all his works and of God himself, there I am above all creatures and am neither God nor creature. Rather, I am what I was and what I shall remain now and forever. Then I receive an impulse which shall bring me above all the angels. In this impulse I receive wealth so vast that God cannot be enough for me in all that makes him God and all his divine works. For in this breakthrough I discover that I and God are one. There I am what I was, and I grow neither smaller nor bigger, for I am an immovable cause that moves all things. Therefore I am also unborn, and following the way of my unborn being I can never die. Following the way of my unborn being I have always been, I am now, and shall remain eternally” — Meister Eckhart
“O Heart O Love everything is suddenly turned to gold! Don’t be afraid don’t worry the most astounding beautiful thing has happened here! […] It seems [William S. Burroughs] stopped writing and sat on his bed all afternoons thinking and meditating alone & stopped drinking — and finally dawned on his consciousness, slowly and repeatedly, every day, for several months — awareness of “a benevolent sentient (feeling) center to the whole Creation” — he had apparently, in his own way, what I have been so hung up in myself and you, a vision of big peaceful Lovebrain. . . .
I woke up this morning with great bliss of freedom & joy in my heart, Bill’s saved, I’m saved, you’re saved, we’re all saved, everything has been all rapturous ever since — I only feel sad that perhaps you left as worried when we waved goodby and kissed so awkwardly” — Allen Ginsberg [to Peter Orlovsky]
“The search for peace is a form of prayer that generates light and heat. Forget about yourself for a while and understand that in that light there lies wisdom and in that heat lies compassion. As you travel this planet, try to perceive the true form of the heavens and the earth. That will only be possible if you can stop yourself becoming paralysed by fear and ensures that all your gestures and attitudes are in keeping with your thoughts” — Paulo Coelho
“In fact, as always, our capacity for imagining liberation – and liberating our imagination – will at least in part be measured by the extent to which we functionally recognise and receive the dignified human in the other.” — Breyten Breytenbach
“If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it” — Toni Morrison
“Human beings are sparks that crackle with being and intuition” — Erik Davis
“We seek to stay present, even as the ghosts attempt to draw us away. Our father manning the loom of eternal return. Our mother wandering toward paradise, releasing the thread. In my way of thinking, anything is possible. Life is at the bottom of things and belief at the top, while the creative impulse, dwelling in the center, informs all. We imagine a house, a rectangle of hope. A room with a single bed with a pale coverlet, a few precious books, a stamp album. Walls papered in faded floral fall away and burst as a newborn meadow speckled with sun and a stream emptying into a greater stream where a small boat awaits with two glowing oars and one blue sail.” — Patti Smith
“The human mind lives in the liminal zone. It is not bound by time, by space, by distance. There is a natural intuition to live in these spaces of dream, these spaces between […] the human mind has no problem orienting its awareness into dimensions in which time is no longer linear. We enter these virtual realities, or really they’re real virtualities and we believe them! We actively metabolise belief. We become immersed.” – Jason Silva
“On romantic evenings of self, I go salsa dancing with my own confusion” — Waking Life
“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
“Apart from its ignorant errors, the greatest folly of racism is to impoverish – by imprisoning in a foolhardy superior cocoon, enforcing famine amidst the riches of a sumptuous feast of otherness, differentness and diversity […] Diversity is about listening. The Constitution ensures that we hear. It is our choice to do so joyfully.” — Justice Edwon Cameron
“Follow you bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” — (adapted from) Joseph Campbell
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” — Shakespeare, Macbeth, V. v.
“God is a comedian with an audience that is afraid to laugh” — Voltaire
“In three words I can sum up everything I know about life: it goes on” — Robert Frost
“I still feel that something in me is going to remember (no matter how far I’m gone) how I’ve come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die.
To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself.” — Charles Bukowski
“The moral high ground is wreathed in fog” — Arthur Miller
“Who knows what form the forward momentum of life will take in the time ahead or what use it will make of our anguished searching. The most that any one of us can seem to do is fashion something – an object or ourselves – and drop it into the confusion, make an offering of it, so to speak, to the force of life” — Ernst Becker
“Only awake to universal mind and realize that there is nothing whatsoever to be attained. This is the real Buddha. The Buddha and all sentient beings are universal mind and nothing else.
Mind is like the void, in which there is no confusion or evil, as when the sun wheels through it, shining upon the four corners of the world. For, when the sun rises and illuminates the whole earth, it is not the void which is bright and, when the sun has set and it is dark, it is not the void which is dark” — Huang Po
“The first act of creation is not a mark, it is the nullification of the infinity that exists before the first mark. To make a mark is to remember that we are finite. It is to break, or violate, the illusion that we are nature that goes around in a loop forever. But it is also a confirmation of our knowledge and freedom, which is all we have in this world.” — Nicole Krauss
“Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle, reinvent. Build a tangled bank” — Stephen Johnson
“The question then is how to get lost. Never to get lost is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction, and somewhere in the terra incognita in between lies a life of discovery.” — Rebecca Solnit
“Do not be proud on account of your knowledge, but discuss with the ignorant as with the wise. The limits of art cannot be delivered; there is no artist whose talent is fulfilled. Fine words are more sought after than greenstone, but can be found with the women at the grindstone.” — Thembani Ma’at Onceya
“Before studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains.
While studying Zen, things become confused.
After studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains” — D. T. Suzuki
“‘Imitate the sand of the Ganges who are not pleased by perfume and who are not disgusted by filth.’ This could be the basis of any useful ethic we are going to need for a global village. We are going to have to get over our likes and dislikes” — John Cage
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” — Albert Einstein
“You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.” — Eckhart Tolle
“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.” — Alan Watts
“You don’t reach Serendip by plotting a course for it. You have to set out in good faith for elsewhere and lose your bearings serendipitously” — John Barth
“Many actions are perceived as mistakes only because we don’t react to them appropriately.” — Stefon Harris
“It’s usually those with the least faith in their own opinions who become the most outraged when the consensus does not agree with them.” — Unknown
“I have walked through many lives
some of them my own
and I am not who I was” — Stanley Kunitz
“And I-I rise to taste the dawn, and find that love alone will shine today. And the Shining says: to love it all, and love it madly, and always endlessly, and ever fiercely, to love without choice and thus enter the All, to love it mindlessly and thus be the All, embracing the only and radiant Divine, now as Emptiness, now as Form, together and forever, the Godless search undone, and love alone will shine today” — Ken Wilber
“There was a time when the world, too, was a woman, and her energy was very beautiful. people believed in miracles, the present moment was all there was and so time did not exist. The Greeks have two words for time, the first of which is kairos, meaning God’s time, eternity. Then a change occurred. The battle for survival, the need to know when to plant crops so that they could be harvested. That was when time as we know it now became part of our history. The Greeks call it chronos; the Romans called it Saturn, a god whose first act was to devour his own children. We became the slaves of memory. Keep playing and I’ll explain more clearly” — Paulo Coelho
“The old hunger for voyages fed at his heart….To go alone…into strange cities; to meet strange people and to pass again before they could know him; to wander, like his own legend, across the earth–it seemed to him there could be no better thing than that.” — Thomas Wolfe
“Some days I delight in the fact that my soul is deposited in several pockets of the world. Other days it makes me feel empty. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to retrieve those parts of myself, or if they were meant to stay there, unknown to all those who come after me.” — Vina Chanel
“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what
people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in
intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between
greatness and meanness [being average]. It is the harder,
because you will always find those who think they know what
is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to
live after the world’s opinion;it is easy in solitude to live
after our own;but the great man is he who in the midst of
the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of
solitude” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful moulder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage?
Love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. All the laws on the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root. Love needs no protection; it is its own protection.
Some day, some day men and women will rise, they will reach the mountain peak, they will meet big and strong and free, ready to receive, to partake, and to bask in the golden rays of love. What fancy, what imagination, what poetic genius can foresee even approximately the potentialities of such a force in the life of men and women. If the world is ever to give birth to true companionship and oneness, not marriage, but love will be the parent.” — Emma Goldman
“It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live. You, who have lost the concept of the difference, you who claim that fear and joy are incentives of equal power—and secretly add that fear is the more “practical”—you do not wish to live, and only fear of death still holds you to the existence you have damned.” — Ayn Rand
“In the first place you can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll see something, maybe. Probably not. In the second place most of what I write about in this book is already gone or going under fast. This is not a travel guide but an elegy. A memorial. You’re holding a tombstone in your hands. A bloody rock. Don’t drop it on your foot — throw it at something big and glassy. What do you have to lose?” — Edward Abbey
“When the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation,
Words will always retain their power.
Words offer the means to meaning,
And, for those who will listen,
The enunciation of truth.” — V in ‘V for Vendetta’
“Time is not a factor, by itself. Time is a consequence of cyclical movements in the physical reality” — Sadhguru
“He would have known that there was something missing for the world to be right or he right in it and would have set forth to wander wherever it was needed for as long as it took until he came upon it and he would have known that that was what he sought and it would have been” — Cormac McCarthy
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep/ but I have promises to keep/ and miles to go before I sleep/ and miles to go before I sleep” — Robert Frost
“Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.” — Mary Elizabeth Frye
“Sometimes, love does die,
but sometimes , a stream on porous rock,
it slips down into the inner dark of a hill,
joins with other hidden streams
to travel blind as the white fish that live in it.
It forsakes one underground streambed
for the cave that runs under it.
Unseen , it informs the hill
and , like the hidden streams of the viola d’amore,
makes the hill reverberate,
so that people who wander there
wonder why the hill sings,
wonder why they find wells.” -Viola d’Amore by Moya Cannon
“in die winter word die maluti wit
sy trek aan haar bo-lyf ‘n kombers waarvan sy hou
aan die spits is daar rotse
in ‘n optog soos ‘n ruggraat
‘n optog van engele
die berge voer my oë
ek is Lethola die een
wat gesoog is deur spelende leeus
die een wie se kombers ruik na reën
vol onrus verlang ek
ek onthou ver daar waar ek self nie weet nie
as jy gesien het
het jy vir altyd gesien” — Poem by Antjie Krog’s student ‘from Ladybrand’ in ‘Country of My Skull’
“Yet the meaning does not lie in the eternal recurrence of the same, but in the manner of its recurring creation at any given time” — C. G. Jung
“Let [any individual soul] make itself worthy to contemplate the Great Soul by ridding itself, through quiet recollection, of deceit and all that bewitches vulgar souls. For it let all be quiet; let all its environment be at peace. Let the earth be quiet and the sea and the air, and the heaven itself waiting. Let it observe how the Soul flows in from all sides into the resting world, pours itself into it, penetrates it and illumines it. Even as the bright beams of the sun enlighten a dark cloud and give it a golden border, so the Soul when it enters into the body of the heaven gives it a life and timeless beauty and awakens it from sleep. So the world, ground in a timeless movement by the Soul which suffuses it with intelligence, becomes a living and blessed being” — Plotinus
“The earth was warm under me, and warm as I crumbled it through my fingers. Queer little red bugs came out and moved in slow squadrons around me. Their backs were polished vermilion, with black spots. I kept as still as I could. Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.” — Willa Cathers
“Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes our mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind is also rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good” — Bertrand Russell
“Therein lies the book’s greatest reward — the gift of perspective. The existence of parallel truths is what gives our world its tremendous richness, and the grand scheme of things is far grander than our minds habitually imagine. “The future enters into us in this way in order to transform itself in us long before it happens,” Rilke wrote.” — Maria Popova
“there is something that does not arise or remain or pass – the simple opening, the immediateness of awareness, the simple feeling of Being, of which all particular states and particular experiences are simply ripples, wrinkles, gestures, folds: the clouds that come and go in the sky… and you are the sky. You are not behind your eyes staring out at the clouds that pass; you are the sky in which, and through which, the clouds float endlessly, ceaselessly, spontaneously, freely, with no obstruction, no barriers, no contradictions, no glitches: no moving parts in one’s true nature, nothing to break down. In spring it rains, in winter it snows. Remarkable, this empty clearing.
You do not become this opening or clearing; you do not become the sky. You are not always the sky, nor are you already the sky: you are always already the sky: it is always already spontaneously accomplished: and this is why the clouds can come and go in the first place. The sunlight freely plays on the water. Remarkable! Birds are already singing in the woods. Amazing! The ocean washes on the shore, freely wetting the pebbles and shells. What is not accomplished? Hear that distant bell ringing? Who is not enlightened?” –Ken Wilber
“For thought cannot grasp the soul which forgetting itself plunges out of space and time into a presentiment of infinity, and now reawakens. Whoever wanted to speak of this to others, though he spoke with the tongues of angels, would feel the poverty of words” — Hegel to Holderlin
“I shoplift life from the backpocket of levity” — Shane Koyczan
“… edit the unsent letters of my life into a one-word statement: yes” — Shane Koyczan
“… and bring myself to conversations
armed with mountains
carved into pebbles…” — Shane Koyczan
“Anger… it’s a paralyzing emotion… you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless… it’s absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers — and I need clarity, in order to write — and anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever. I can feel melancholy, and I can feel full of regret, but anger is something that is useful to the people who watch it… it’s not useful to me.” — Toni Morrison
“Tonight is my night she said
I can feel it deep inside
And tonight is my night he said
I can feel there is nowhere to hide
The pain comes and goes she said
This life deep inside moves about
The pain comes and goes he said
This life deep inside wants out
My breathing is deep she said
With labour there’s so much pain
And my breathing is pain he said
I will not labour again
I am ripe to deliver she said
I can feel it all below
I am ripe to deliver he said
There’s a need deep inside to let go
O what a song she said
It is life and the young child cried
O what a song he said
It is life and the old body died” — Ian McCallum
“Coupled cycles are nature’s ultimate wisdom” — Mae-Wan Hon
“A Dutch child will learn to ride a bike only shortly after they have learned how to walk. Riding a bicycle is embedded into their heads and hearts like the smell of sunscreen and Savanna is embedded into mine. It seems to me as I watch each individual cyclist, that melancholy is incompatible with bicycling” — Robynne Peatfield
“To save your world, you asked this man to die
Would this man, could he see you now, ask why?” — On the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
“The secret of artistic creation and the effectiveness of art is to be found in a return to the state of ‘participation mystique’ – to that level of experience at which it is man who lives, and not the individual.” — Carl Jung
“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked […] The man who lies to the world is the world’s slave from then on.” — Ayn Rand
“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby becomes a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” — F.W. Nietzsche
“This is no time to be making new enemies” — Voltaire, on his deathbed when asked to renounce the devil.
“Know it and go on out the yard. Go on.” — Toni Morrison, ‘Beloved’
“They broke texts into fragments and assembled them into new patterns by transcribing them in different sections of their notebooks. Then they reread the copies and rearranged the patterns while adding more excerpts. Reading and writing were therefore inseparable activities. They belonged to a continuous effort to make sense of things, for the world was full of signs: you could read your way through it; and by keeping an account of your readings, you made a book of your own, one stamped with your personality” — Robert Darnton
“We might attempt to be less sad about death by letting go of the idea that we are a particular constellation of physical features. We are always, in a sense, far longer lasting, far more transgenerational as a bundle of inclinations and ideas. We will continue to crop up and live wherever those ideas that are most characteristic of us will emerge, as they must, in the generations that are to come.” — Alain de Botton
“[A] great influence into the spirit of the scholar, is, the mind of the Past, – in whatever form, whether of literature, of art, of institutions, that mind is inscribed. Books are the best type of the influence of the past… The theory of books is noble. The scholar of the first age received into him the world around; brooded thereon; gave it the new arrangement of his own mind, and uttered it again… It was dead fact; now, it is quick thought. It can stand, and it can go. It now endures, it now flies, it now inspires. Precisely in proportion to the depth of mind from which it issued, so high does it soar, so long does it sing.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. But the contradiction lies a little deeper than the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change. If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure. To be secure means to isolate and fortify the “I,” but it is just the feeling of being an isolated “I” which makes me feel lonely and afraid. In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want.
To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.” — Alan Watts
“We become lost in the tides of thought, which we mistake for realities. Above such delusion, the only undeniable knowledge is pure awareness, which is free of concepts, conceits, and representations. The primordial simplicity of pure awareness needs no proof but itself. It is the highest point of direct experience, both indescribable and unimaginable […] Concepts are powerless before the ultimate nature of the mind. Its nature consumes them, as fire burns birds’ feathers without leaving any ash” — Mathieu Ricard
“Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure–the adventure into the unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to summarize it — the humility of the intellect. The other great heritage is Christian ethics — the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual — the humility of the spirit. These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent. But logic is not all; one needs one’s heart to follow an idea. If people are going back to religion, what are they going back to? Is the modern church a place to give comfort to a man who doubts God — more, one who disbelieves in God? Is the modern church a place to give comfort and encouragement to the value of such doubts? So far, have we not drawn strength and comfort to maintain the one or the other of these consistent heritages in a way which attacks the values of the other? Is this unavoidable? How can we draw inspiration to support these two pillars of Western civilization so that they may stand together in full vigor, mutually unafraid? Is this not the central problem of our time?” — Richard Feynman
“But, my master and my brother, I believe you have completed your work, since the one who has given his life, his entire truth, all his love, his entire soul, has completed his work. What one individual can do for men, you have done and accomplished and fulfilled. The time has come when each must do his own work of redemption. Mankind has grown older and a new month has begun […] Philemon dissolved into the darkness and I decided to do what was required of me. I accepted all the joy and every torment of my nature and remained true to my love, to suffer what comes to everyone in their own way. And I stood alone and was afraid” — C. G. Jung
“We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery, rumors of death, beauty, violence… “Seem like we’re just set down here,” a woman said to me recently, “and don’t nobody know why.” […] I live by a creek, Tinker Creek, in a valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. An anchorite’s hermitage is called an anchor-hold; some anchor-holds were simple sheds clamped to the side of a church like a barnacle to a rock. I think of this house clamped to the side of Tinker Creek as an anchor-hold. It holds me at anchor to the rock bottom of the creek itself and it keeps me steadied in the current, as a sea anchor does, facing the stream of light pouring down. It’s a good place to live; there’s a lot to think about. The creeks … are an active mystery, fresh every minute. Theirs is the mystery of the continuous creation and all that providence implies: the uncertainty of vision, the horror of the fixed, the dissolution of the present, the intricacy of beauty, the pressure of fecundity, the elusiveness of the free, and the flawed nature of perfection.” — Annie Dillard
“The first and most direct outcome of the moment of illumination is belief in the possibility of a way of knowledge which may be called revelation or insight or intuition, as contrasted with sense, reason, and analysis, which are regarded as blind guides leading to the morass of illusion. Closely connected with this belief is the conception of a Reality behind the world of appearance and utterly different from it. This Reality is regarded with an admiration often amounting to worship; it is felt to be always and everywhere close at hand, thinly veiled by the shows of sense, ready, for the receptive mind, to shine in its glory even through the apparent folly and wickedness of Man. The poet, the artist, and the lover are seekers after that glory: the haunting beauty that they pursue is the faint reflection of its sun. But the mystic lives in the full light of the vision: what others dimly seek he knows, with a knowledge beside which all other knowledge is ignorance.” — Bertrand Russell
“When I see this way I see truly. As Thoreau says, I return to my senses. I am the man who watches the baseball game in silence in an empty stadium. I see the game purely; I’m abstracted and dazed. When it’s all over and the white-suited players lope off the green field to their shadowed dugouts, I leap to my feet; I cheer and cheer. But I can’t go out and try to see this way. I’ll fail, I’ll go mad. All I can do is try to gag the commentator, to hush the noise of useless interior babble that keeps me from seeing just as surely as a newspaper dangled before my eyes. The effort is really a discipline requiring a lifetime of dedicated struggle; it marks the literature of saints and monks of every order East and West, under every rule and no rule, discalced and shod. The world’s spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind’s muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights; you look along it, mildly, acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance […] The secret of seeing is, then, the pearl of great price. If I thought he could teach me to find it and keep it forever I would stagger barefoot across a hundred deserts after any lunatic at all. But although the pearl may be found, it may not be sought. The literature of illumination reveals this above all: although it comes to those who wait for it, it is always, even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise… I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam. It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind. Light, be it particle or wave, has force: you rig a giant sail and go. The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.” — Annie Dillard
“It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery. However many of life’s large, captivating principles and small, captivating details we may explore, unpuzzle, and learn by heart, there will still be vast unknown realms to lure us. If uncertainty is the essence of romance, there will always be enough uncertainty to make life sizzle and renew our sense of wonder. It bothers some people that no matter how passionately they may delve, the universe remains inscrutable. “For my part,” Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.” — Diane Ackerman
“To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be, and that are,
To the place where He was homeless,
And all men are at home” — G. K. Chesterton
“Thus, when I speak of being led to ‘the dark heart of Being,’ I imply nothing base, Manichean, or arcane, nothing diabolic or morally dark. I imply altitude, depth, the abyss, the heights – a vision of the numinous centre of things, the radiant spirit of the phenomenal world” — Oliver Sacks
“Reality is thus a shimmering presence of infinite planes, a luminous labyrinth of the active now connecting ‘past’ and ‘future’, ‘real’ and ‘ideal’, where potential unfolds into actual and actual enfolds to further potential through the free action and intention of the organism. It is a sea awash with significations, dreams and desires. This reality we carry with us, an ever-present straining toward the future. The act is the cause; it is none other than the creation of meaning, the realisation of the ideal and the consummation of desire.” — Mae-Wan Ho
“Western art often tries to create an imaginary world, while sacred art helps to penetrate the nature of reality. Ordinary art’s aimed at arousing the passions, sacred art at stilling them. Sacred dance, painting, and music all try to establish a link with spiritual wisdom in the world of forms and sounds. They’re arts whose goal is to link us through their symbolism with spiritual knowledge and practice” — Matthieu Ricard
“In a flash, at a trumpet crash
I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond
Is immortal diamond” — Gerald Manley Hopkins
“I think some writers do suffer this fate mainly because at heart they are rebellious and the rules of grammar like many of the other rules of our world call for a herding in and a confirmation that the natural writer instinctively abhors, and, furthermore, his interest lies in the wider scope of subject and spirit… Hemingway, Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, Saroyan were a few that reshaped the rules, especially in punctuation and sentence flow and breakdown. And, of course, James Joyce went even further. We are interested in color, shape, meaning, force… the pigments that point up the soul.” — Charles Bukowski
“Undoubtedly there is a right way of reading, so it be sternly subordinated. Man Thinking must not be subdued by his instruments. Books are for the scholar’s idle times. When he can read God directly, the hour is too precious to be wasted in other men’s transcripts of their readings. But when the intervals of darkness come, as come they must, – when the sun is hid, and the stars withdraw their shining, – we repair to the lamps which were kindled by their ray, to guide our steps to the East again, where the dawn is. We hear, that we may speak.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own – not of the same blood or birth, but of the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands, and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions.” — Marcus Aurelius
“In leisure, there is … something of the serenity of “not-being-able-to-grasp,” of the recognition of the mysterious character of the world, and the confidence of blind faith, which can let things go as they will […] Leisure is not the attitude of the one who intervenes but of the one who opens himself; not of someone who seizes but of one who lets go, who lets himself go, and “go under,” almost as someone who falls asleep must let himself go… The surge of new life that flows out to us when we give ourselves to the contemplation of a blossoming rose, a sleeping child, or of a divine mystery – is this not like the surge of life that comes from deep, dreamless sleep?” — Pieper
“Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the byproduct of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.” — Viktor Frankl
“The world of any moment is the merest appearance. Some great decorum, some fetish of a government, some ephemeral trade, or war, or man, is cried up by half mankind and cried down by the other half, as if all depended on this particular up or down. The odds are that the whole question is not worth the poorest thought which the scholar has lost in listening to the controversy. Let him not quit his belief that a popgun is a popgun, though the ancient and honorable of the earth affirm it to be the crack of doom. In silence, in steadiness, in severe abstraction, let him hold by himself; add observation to observation, patient of neglect, patient of reproach; and bide his own time, – happy enough, if he can satisfy himself alone, that this day he has seen something truly […] Free should the scholar be, – free and brave… Brave; for fear is a thing, which a scholar by his very function puts behind him. Fear always springs from ignorance… The world is his, who can see through its pretension.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods” — Rudyard Kipling
Sometimes, when a bird cries out,
Or the wind sweeps through a tree,
Or a dog howls in a far off farm,
I hold still and listen a long time.
My soul turns and goes back to the place
Where, a thousand forgotten years ago,
The bird and the blowing wind
Were like me, and were my brothers.
My soul turns into a tree,
And an animal, and a cloud bank.
Then changed and odd it comes home
And asks me questions. What should I reply?” — Hermann Hesse
“The only possible alternative is simply to keep to the immediate experience that consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown; that there is only one thing and that what seems to be a plurality is merely a series of different aspects of this one thing, produced by a deception (the Indian MAJA)” — Erwin Schrodinger
“But a hermit contemplating the ultimate transparency of the mind has no need of such things. His harmony with the nature of the mind and phenomena lies elsewhere. For him, all forms are seen as manifestations of a primordial purity, all sounds as echoes of emptiness, and all thoughts as the intertwining of wisdom. He no longer makes any distinction between the beautiful and the ugly, or the harmonious and the discordant. Beauty has become omnipresent, and plenitude immutable. It is said that ‘on a golden isle it is vain to search for ordinary pebbles'” — Matthieu Ricard
“The second thing I thought was that I knew everything. Lettie Hempstock’s ocean flowed inside me, and it filled the entire universe, from Egg to Rose. I knew that. I knew what Egg was – where the universe began, to the sound of uncreated voices singing in the void – and I knew where Rose was – the peculiar crinkling of space on space into dimensions that fold like origami and blossom like strange orchids, and which would mark the last good time before the eventual end of everything and the next Big Bang, which would be, I knew now, nothing of the kind […] I saw the world I had walked since my birth and I understood how fragile it was, that the reality I knew was a thin layer of icing on a great dark birthday cake writhing with grubs and nightmares and hunger. I saw the world from above and below. I saw that there were patterns and gates and paths beyond the real. I saw all these things and understood them and they filled me, just as the waters of the ocean filled me. Everything whispered inside me. Everything spoke to everything, and I knew it all” — Neil Gaiman
“He sang them the song of a boy who was half a god, and who was broken in two by an old woman with a grudge. He sang of his father, and he sang of his mother. He sang of names and words, of the building blocks beneath the real, the worlds that make worlds, the truths beneath the way things are; he sang of appropriate ends and just conclusions for those who would have hurt him and his. He sang the world. It was a good song, and it was his song. Sometimes it had words, and sometimes it didn’t have any words at all.” — Neil Gaiman
“He sang of his life, all of their lives, and in his song he saw the pattern of their lives as a web that a fly had blundered into, and with his song, he wrapped the fly, made certain it would not escape, and he repaired the web with new strands.
And now the song was coming to its natural end.
Charlie realized, with no little surprise, that he enjoyed singing to other people, and he knew, at that moment, that this is what he would spend the rest of his life doing. He would sing: not big, magical songs that made worlds or recreated existence. Just small songs that would make people happy for a breath, make them move, make them, for a little while, forget their problems. And he knew that there would always be the fear before performing, the stage fright, that would never go away, but he also understood that it would be like jumping into a swimming pool – only uncomfortably chill for a few seconds – and then the discomfort would pass and it would be good.
Never this good. Never this good again. But good enough.” — Neil Gaiman
“From the early great Upanishads the recognition ATHMAN = BRAHMAN (the personal self equals the omnipresent, all-comprehending self) was in Indian though considered, far from blasphemous, to represent the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world. The striving of all scholars of Vendanta was, after having learnt to pronounce with their lips, really to assimiliate in their minds this grandest of all thoughts.
Again, the mystics of many centuries, independently, yet in perfect harmony with each other (somewhat like the particles in an ideal gas) have described, each of them, the unique experience of his or her life in terms that can be condensed in the phrase: DEUS FACTUS SUM” — Erwin Schrodinger
“He seemed to live in a state of uninterrupted marvel, and he encouraged [his students] to do the same. He didn’t so much teach them how to write poetry, they said, but why: because of delight. Because of stubborn gladness. He told them that they must live their most creative lives as a means of fighting back against the ruthless furnace of this world. Most of all, though, he asked his students to be brave. Without bravery, he instructed, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities. Without bravery, they would never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery, their lives would remain small — far smaller than they probably wanted their lives to be.” — Elizabeth Gilbert (writing about Jack Gilbert)
“But if you break down the walls that confine your view, and if the immensity and its endless uncertainty inspire you with fear, then the ancient sleeper awakens in you, whose messenger is the white bird. Then you need the message of the old tamer of chaos. There in the whirl of chaos dwells eternal wonder. Your world begins to become wonderful. Man belongs not only to an ordered world, he also belongs in the wonder-world of his soul” — C. G. Jung
“And stiller than ever on orchard boughs they keep
Tryst with the moon, and deep is the silence, deep
Oon moon-washed apples of wonder.” — John Drinkwater
“Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea” — Dylan Thomas
“Love which works good to all things, pre-existing overflowingly in the Good, moved itself to creation, as befits the superabundance by which all things are created. The Good by being extends its Goodness to all things. For as our sun, not by choosing or taking thought but merely by being, enlightens all things, so the Good by its mere existence sends forth upon all things the beams of its Goodness” — Saint Dionysius
“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.” — Gerard Manley Hopkins
“Away down the river,
A hundred miles or more,
Other little children
Shall bring my boats ashore” — Robert Louis Stevenson
“Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!
O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!” — Gerald Manley Hopkins
“I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die […]
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again” — P. B. Shelley
“I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head […]
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon
The golden apples of the sun” — W. B. Yeats
“In the torrents of life,
in action’s storm
I weave and wave
in endless motion
cradle and grave
a timeless ocean
the tissue of living
the humming loom of Time I ply
and weave the wed of Divinty” — Goethe
“Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes in holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“Chattering finch and water-fly
Are not merrier than I;
Here among the flowers I lie
No: I may not tell the best;
Surely, friends, I might have guessed
Death was but the good King’s jest,
It was hid so carefully.” — G. K. Chesterton
“The problem of madness is profound. Divine madness – a higher form of the irrationality of life streaming through us – at any rate a madness that cannot be integrated into present-day society – but how? What if the form of society were integrated into madness? At this point things grow dark, and there is no end in sight” — C. G. Jung