February 18

Quotes of the day from previous years:

What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts. ~ George Bernard Shaw
Teachers are those who use themselves as bridges, over which they invite their students to cross; then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis (born 18 February 1883)
At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don't need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens — that letting go — you let go because you can. ~ Toni Morrison (born 18 February 1931)
The doors of heaven and hell are adjacent and identical. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
My prayer is not the whimpering of a beggar nor a confession of love. Nor is it the petty reckoning of a small tradesman: Give me and I shall give you. My prayer is the report of a soldier to his general: This is what I did today, this is how I fought to save the entire battle in my own sector, these are the obstacles I encountered, this is how I plan to fight tomorrow. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
The heart unites whatever the mind separates, pushes on beyond the arena of necessity and transmutes the struggle into love. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
Where are we going? Do not ask! Ascend, descend. There is no beginning and no end. Only this present moment exists, full of bitterness, full of sweetness, and I rejoice in it all. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
The Great Spirit does not toil within the bounds of human time, place, or casualty.
The Great Spirit is superior to these human questionings. It teems with many rich and wandering drives which to our shallow minds seem contradictory; but in the essence of divinity they fraternize and struggle together, faithful comrades-in-arms.
The primordial Spirit branches out, overflows, struggles, fails, succeeds, trains itself. It is the Rose of the Winds. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
All hopes and despairs vanish in the voracious, funneling whirlwind of God. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
Life is not a goal; it is also an instrument, like death, like beauty, like virtue, like knowledge. Whose instrument? Of that God who fights for freedom.
We are all one, we are all an imperiled essence.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~
We have seen the highest circle of spiraling powers. We have named this circle God. We might have given it any other name we wished: Abyss, Mystery, Absolute Darkness, Absolute Light, Matter, Spirit, Ultimate Hope, Ultimate Despair, Silence.
But we have named it God because only this name, for primordial reasons, can stir our hearts profoundly. And this deeply felt emotion is indispensable if we are to touch, body with body, the dread essence beyond logic.
Within this gigantic circle of divinity we are in duty bound to separate and perceive clearly the small, burning arc of our epoch.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~
It's enough to have faith in one aspect of God. You have faith in God without form. That is very good. But never get into your head that your faith alone is true and every other is false. Know for certain that God without form is real and that God with form is also real. Then hold fast to whichever faith appeals to you.
~ Ramakrishna ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.


DOB: Nikos Kazantzakis · Toni Morrison · Yoko Ono · Ramakrishna · John Travolta · Wendell Willkie

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. ~ Mark Twain (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published for the first time)

  • proposed by user Sir John Alexander Macdonald
  • 0 Kalki 19:50, 16 February 2007 (UTC) 2 Kalki 23:38, 17 February 2006 (UTC) I would rank this higher with a stronger date tie-in, but I don't believe it's actually from Huckleberry Finn I had suspected this wasn't Twain, but was pretty certain that it wasn't from Huckleberry Finn; as JeffQ's research below indicates there is no reason to accept Twain as the author of this.
  • 0 Jeff Q (talk) 04:51, 29 April 2006 (UTC), unless we can find the correct source. Neither Wikisource nor Project Gutenberg, both of which include Huckleberry Finn, appear to have any Twain work with both the words "belittle" and "ambitions", so we can't even confirm Twain said it, let alone the appropriateness of this date.
  • 0 Zarbon 22:28, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

You forgot the first rule of the fanatic: when you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy. ~ The Real Ghost Busters - Season 5 Episode 9 "The Halloween Door" - (Original Air Date—29 October 1989)...... Michael O'Hare as "Jeffrey Sinclair", Babylon 5 episode "Infection" (first aired 18 February 1994)

  • 2 Jeff Q (talk) 04:51, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 19:33, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 11:09, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 because this is true. Many times opponents have become the very thing they hate. I like this quote. Zarbon 22:28, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

The highest point a man can obtain is not Knowledge, or Virtue, or Goodness, or Victory, but something even greater, more heroic and more despairing: Sacred Awe! ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

  • 3 Kalki 19:33, 16 February 2007 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 11:09, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 22:28, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis OR perhaps a variant translation of this: "I expect nothing. I fear no one. I am free."

  • 3 Kalki 19:33, 16 February 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4, but would now prefer this variant:
I know now: I do not hope for anything. I do not fear anything, I have freed myself from both the mind and the heart, I have mounted much higher, I am free.

I choose the ascending path because my heart drives me toward it. "Upward! Upward! Upward!" my heart shouts, and I follow it trustingly. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

  • 3 Kalki 10:39, 17 February 2009 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4, but would now extend this to read:
I choose the ascending path. Why? For no intelligible reason, without any certainty; I know how ineffectual the mind and all the small certainties of man can be in this moment of crisis.
I choose the ascending path because my heart drives me toward it. "Upward! Upward! Upward!" my heart shouts, and I follow it trustingly.

You are not a miserable and momentary body; behind your fleeting mask of clay, a thousand-year-old face lies in ambush. Your passions and your thoughts are older than your heart or brain.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

With clarity and quiet, I look upon the world and say: All that I see, hear, taste, smell, and touch are the creations of my mind.
The sun comes up and the sun goes down in my skull. Out of one of my temples the sun rises, and into the other the sun sets.
The stars shine in my brain; ideas, men, animals browse in my temporal head; songs and weeping fill the twisted shells of my ears and storm the air for a moment. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

Future generations do not move far from you in an uncertain time. They live, desire, and act in your loins and your heart.
In this lightning moment when you walk the earth, your first duty, by enlarging your ego, is to live through the endless march, both visible and invisible, of your own being. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

I said to the almond tree: "Speak to me of God."
and the almond tree blossomed.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

  • 3 Kalki (talk · contributions) 03:03, 11 February 2011 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4, but this might be better on first day of spring.

I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect. ~ Audre Lorde (born 1934 Feb 18)

I know of nothing more terrible than the poor creatures who have learned too much. Instead of the sound powerful judgement which would probably have grown up if they had learned nothing, their thoughts creep timidly and hypnotically after words, principles and formulae, constantly by the same paths. What they have acquired is a spider's web of thoughts too weak to furnish sure supports, but complicated enough to provide confusion. ~ Ernst Mach (born 1838 Feb 18)

In reality, the law always contains less than the fact itself, because it does not reproduce the fact as a whole but only in that aspect of it which is important for us, the rest being intentionally or from necessity omitted. ~ Ernst Mach (born 1838 Feb 18)

The function of science, as we take it, is to replace experience. Thus, on the one hand, science must remain in the province of experience, but, on the other, must hasten beyond it, constantly expecting confirmation, constantly expecting the reverse. Where neither confirmation nor refutation is possible, science is not concerned.
~ Ernst Mach ~

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
~ Audre Lorde ~

In a violent flash of lightning I discern on the highest peak of power the final, the most fearful pair embracing:
Terror and Silence. And between them, a Flame.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

The star dies, but the light never dies; such also is the cry of freedom.
Out of the transient encounter of contrary forces which constitute your existence, strive to create whatever immortal thing a mortal may create in this world — a Cry.
And this Cry, abandoning to the earth the body which gave it birth, proceeds and labors eternally.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

What is the essence of our God? The struggle for freedom.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

At every moment of crisis an array of men risk their lives in the front ranks as standard-bearers of God to fight and take upon themselves the whole responsibility of the battle.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

Die every day. Be born every day. Deny everything you have every day. The superior virtue is not to be free but to fight for freedom.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

The essence of our God is obscure. It ripens continuously; perhaps victory is strenghened with our every valorous deed, but perhaps even all these agonizing struggles toward deliverance and victory are inferior to the nature of divinity.
Whatever it might be, we fight on without certainty, and our virtue, uncertain of any rewards, acquires a profound nobility.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

Every body, every soul is a Holy Sepulcher. Every seed of grain is a Holy Sepulchre; let us free it! The brain is a Holy Sepulchre, God sprawls within it and battles with death; let us run to his assistance!
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

Humanity is such a lump of mud, each one of us is such a lump of mud. What is our duty? To struggle so that a small flower may blossom from the dunghill of our flesh and mind.
Out of things and flesh, out of hunger, out of fear, out of virtue and sin, struggle continually to create God.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

Our God is not an abstract thought, a logical necessity, a high and harmonious structure made of deductions and speculations.
He is not an immaculate, neutral, odorless, distilled product of our brains, neither male nor female.
He is both man and woman, mortal and immortal, dung and spirit. He gives birth, fecundates, slaughters — death and eros in one — and then he begets and slays once more, dancing spaciously beyond the boundaries of a logic which cannot contain the antinomies.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

Within the province of our ephemeral flesh all of God is imperiled. He cannot be saved unless we save him with our own struggles; nor can we be saved unless he is saved.
We are one.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

We must understand well that we do not proceed from a unity of God to the same unity of God again.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

It is not God who will save us — it is we who will save God, by battling, by creating, and by transmuting matter into spirit.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

Someone within me is struggling to lift a great weight, to cast off the mind and flesh by overcoming habit, laziness, necessity.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

I keep my heart flaming, courageous, restless. I feel in my heart all commotions and all contradictions, the joys and sorrows of life. But I struggle to subdue them to a rhythm superior to that of the mind, harsher than that of my heart — to the ascending rhythm of the Universe.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

The Great Spirit does not toil within the bounds of human time, place, or casualty.
The Great Spirit is superior to these human questionings. It teems with many rich and wandering drives which to our shallow minds seem contradictory; but in the essence of divinity they fraternize and struggle together, faithful comrades-in-arms.
The primordial Spirit branches out, overflows, struggles, fails, succeeds, trains itself. It is the Rose of the Winds.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

Love responsibility. Say: "It is my duty, and mine alone, to save the earth. If it is not saved, then I alone am to blame."
Love each man according to his contribution in the struggle. Do not seek friends; seek comrades-in-arms.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

Our profound human duty is not to interpret or to cast light on the rhythm of God's arch, but to adjust, as much as we can, the rhythm of our small and fleeting life to his.
Only thus may we mortals succeed in achieving something immortal, because then we collaborate with One who is Deathless.
Only thus may we conquer mortal sin, the concentration on details, the narrowness of our brains; only thus may we transubstantiate into freedom the slavery of earthen matter given us to mold.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

Everything you do reverberates throughout a thousand destinies. As you walk, you cut open and create that river bed into which the stream of your descendants shall enter and flow.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis ~

~ Yoko Ono ~
  • 3 Kalki·· 01:37, 18 February 2015 (UTC) famous statement, written on a ceiling, in one of her art exhibits.

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
~ Yoko Ono ~

I trust in the human wisdom. We are incredibly intelligent beings. So we might know something without thinking that we know…
~ Yoko Ono ~

John and I felt that we were like people in an H. G. Wells story. Two people who are walking so fast that nobody else can see them.
~ Yoko Ono ~

I usually stay away from being carried away,
But one day I saw a silver horse.
I thought he might take me to that somewhere high,
I thought he might take me to that deep blue sky.

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

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

~ Yoko Ono ~

Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief's wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul.
~ Toni Morrison ~

Word-work is sublime... because it is generative; it makes meaning that secures our difference, our human difference — the way in which we are like no other life.
We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.
~ Toni Morrison ~

Language can never "pin down" slavery, genocide, war. Nor should it yearn for the arrogance to be able to do so. Its force, its felicity is in its reach toward the ineffable. Be it grand or slender, burrowing, blasting, or refusing to sanctify; whether it laughs out loud or is a cry without an alphabet, the choice word, the chosen silence, unmolested language surges toward knowledge, not its destruction.
~ Toni Morrison ~

The vitality of language lies in its ability to limn the actual, imagined and possible lives of its speakers, readers, writers. Although its poise is sometimes in displacing experience it is not a substitute for it. It arcs toward the place where meaning may lie.
~ Toni Morrison ~

Tongue-suicide is not only the choice of children. It is common among the infantile heads of state and power merchants whose evacuated language leaves them with no access to what is left of their human instincts for they speak only to those who obey, or in order to force obedience. The systematic looting of language can be recognized by the tendency of its users to forgo its nuanced, complex, mid-wifery properties for menace and subjugation. Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.
~ Toni Morrison ~

A dead language is not only one no longer spoken or written, it is unyielding language content to admire its own paralysis. Like statist language, censored and censoring. Ruthless in its policing duties, it has no desire or purpose other than maintaining the free range of its own narcotic narcissism, its own exclusivity and dominance. However moribund, it is not without effect for it actively thwarts the intellect, stalls conscience, suppresses human potential. Unreceptive to interrogation, it cannot form or tolerate new ideas, shape other thoughts, tell another story, fill baffling silences.
~ Toni Morrison ~

Unpersecuted, unjailed, unharrassed writers are trouble for the ignorant bully, the sly racist, and the predators feeding off the world’s resources.
~ Toni Morrison ~

Everywhere, everywhere, children are the scorned people of the earth.
~ Toni Morrison ~

The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.
~ Toni Morrison ~

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