Wikiquote:Quote of the day/2009
This page lists all Quotes of the Day for 2009.
For the image files used with these on the main page see:
- January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December
- The people I respect most behave as if they were immortal and as if society was eternal. ~ E. M. Forster
- It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be ... ~ Isaac Asimov
- This is an ancient hallow, and ere the kings failed or the Tree withered in the court, a fruit must have been set here. For it is said that, though the fruit of the Tree comes seldom to ripeness, yet the life within may then lie sleeping through many long years, and none can foretell the time in which it will awake. ~ Gandalf in The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
- It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine).
~ R.E.M. ~
- We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon. In an instant age, perhaps we must relearn the ancient truth that patience, too, has its victories. ~ Konrad Adenauer
- Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be. ~ Khalil Gibran
- There are years that ask questions and years that answer. ~ Zora Neale Hurston
- I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~ Gerry Spence
- I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth — and truth rewarded me. ~ Simone de Beauvoir
- Truth is the only merit that gives dignity and worth to history. ~ John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
- Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact. ~ William James
- We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature, and the means perhaps of its conservation. ~ Edmund Burke
- All religions speak about death during this life on earth. Death must come before rebirth. But what must die? False confidence in one’s own knowledge, self-love and egoism. Our egoism must be broken. ~ G. I. Gurdjieff
- In my great tiredness and discouragement, the phrase "Reverence for Life" struck me like a flash. As far as I knew, it was a phrase I had never heard nor ever read. I realized at once that it carried within itself the solution to the problem that had been torturing me. Now I knew that a system of values which concerns itself only with our relationship to other people is incomplete and therefore lacking in power for good. Only by means of reverence for life can we establish a spiritual and humane relationship with both people and all living creatures within our reach. Only in this fashion can we avoid harming others, and, within the limits of our capacity, go to their aid whenever they need us. ~ Albert Schweitzer
- I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind's problems. And I'm going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn't popular to talk about it in some circles today. I'm not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love, I'm talking about a strong, demanding love. And I have seen too much hate... I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who has love has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ~ Evelyn Beatrice Hall
- We have this window of opportunity; we have a chance to make something real happen. Something possible happen, to live beyond our fear — think about that, and help us. Help lift us up, help us fight this fight to change, — transform — this country in a fundamental way.
This chance won’t come around again. ~ Michelle Obama
- Beyond a certain point, the whole universe becomes a continuous process of initiation. ~ Robert Anton Wilson
- Thou wouldst be loved? — then let thy heart
From its present pathway part not!
Being everything which now thou art,
Be nothing which thou art not.
So with the world thy gentle ways,
Thy grace, thy more than beauty,
Shall be an endless theme of praise,
And love — a simple duty.
~ Edgar Allan Poe ~
- There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair. The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there. ~ Barack Obama
- Was a revelation to be made known to us, it must be accommodated to our external senses, and also to our reason, so that we could come at the perception and understanding of it, the same as we do to that of things in general. We must perceive by our senses, before we can reflect with the mind. ~ Ethan Allen
- Honor is, or should be, the place of virtue and as in nature, things move violently to their place, and calmly in their place, so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All rising to great place is by a winding stair; and if there be factions, it is good to side a man's self, whilst he is in the rising, and to balance himself when he is placed. ~ Francis Bacon
- One can acquire everything in solitude — except character. ~ Stendhal
- There are two ways of spreading light: to be
The candle or the mirror that reflects it.
~ Edith Wharton ~
- The strongest natures, when they are influenced, submit the most unreservedly; it is perhaps a sign of their strength. ~ Virginia Woolf
- I do believe that man is a rope between animal and superman. But the superman I'm thinking of isn't Nietzsche's. The real superhuman, man or woman, is the person who's rid himself of all prejudices, neuroses, and psychoses, who realizes his full potential as a human being, who acts naturally on the basis of gentleness, compassion, and love, who thinks for himself and refuses to follow the herd. That's the genuine dyed-in-the-wool superman. ~ Philip José Farmer
- Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it. ~ Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
- I love my past. I love my present. I'm not ashamed of what I've had, and I'm not sad because I have it no longer. ~ Colette
- The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf of one's obsessions, is what distinguishes artists from entertainers, and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all. ~ John Updike
- There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
- A full-spectrum approach to human consciousness and behavior means that men and women have available to them a spectrum of knowing — a spectrum that includes, at the very least, the eye of flesh, the eye of mind, and the eye of spirit. ~ Ken Wilber
- Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
~ Langston Hughes ~
- History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. ~ Abba Eban
- The whole duty of man consists in being reasonable and just ... I am reasonable because I know the difference between understanding and not understanding and I am just because I have no opinion about things I don’t understand. ~ Gertrude Stein
- How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life. This is our modern danger — one of the waxen wings of flight. It may cause our civilization to fall unless we act quickly to counteract it, unless we realize that human character is more important than efficiency, that education consists of more than the mere accumulation of knowledge. ~ Charles Lindbergh
- All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. All change is the result of a change in the contemporary state of mind. Don't be afraid of being out of tune with your environment, and above all pray God that you are not afraid to live, to live hard and fast. To my way of thinking it is not the years in your life but the life in your years that count in the long run. You'll have more fun, you'll do more and you'll get more, you'll give more satisfaction the more you know, the more you have worked, and the more you have lived. For yours is a great adventure at a stirring time in the annals of men. ~ Adlai Stevenson
- One love,
Let's get together
And feel alright.
~ Bob Marley ~
- It is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day. ~ Charles Dickens
- Man's constitution is so peculiar that his health is purely a negative matter. No sooner is the rage of hunger appeased than it becomes difficult to comprehend the meaning of starvation. It is only when you suffer that you really understand. ~ Jules Verne
- I have seen the truth; I have seen and I know that people can be beautiful and happy without losing the power of living on earth. I will not and cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of mankind. And it is just this faith of mine that they laugh at. But how can I help believing it? I have seen the truth — it is not as though I had invented it with my mind, I have seen it, seen it, and the living image of it has filled my soul for ever. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Don't be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life. ~ Bertolt Brecht
- Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ Thomas Edison
- With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. ~ Abraham Lincoln
- Morning has broken,
Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word!
~ Eleanor Farjeon ~
- How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~
- Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation. ~ Susan B. Anthony
- All experience is an arch, to build upon. ~ Henry Brooks Adams
- All things are in the Universe, and the universe is in all things: we in it, and it in us; in this way everything concurs in a perfect unity. ~ Giordano Bruno
- The heart unites whatever the mind separates, pushes on beyond the arena of necessity and transmutes the struggle into love. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
- And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said "The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence."
~ Paul Simon ~
- No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck. ~ Frederick Douglass
- Without Art, we should have no notion of the sacred; without Science, we should always worship false gods. ~ W. H. Auden
- The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. ~ George Washington
- We cannot avoid conflict, conflict with society, other individuals and with oneself. Conflicts may be the sources of defeat, lost life and a limitation of our potentiality but they may also lead to greater depth of living and the birth of more far-reaching unities, which flourish in the tensions that engender them. ~ Karl Jaspers
- The lot of critics is to be remembered by what they failed to understand. ~ George A. Moore
- Do what you want to do
And go where you're going to
Think for yourself
'Cause I won't be there with you.
~ George Harrison ~
- The need of the immaterial is the most deeply rooted of all needs. One must have bread; but before bread, one must have the ideal. ~ Victor Hugo
- Turn, turn, my wheel! All things must change
To something new, to something strange;
Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
To-morrow be to-day.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~
- I speak the truth, not my fill of it, but as much as I dare speak; and I dare to do so a little more as I grow old. ~ Michel de Montaigne
- From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step. ~ Napoleon I of France
- In times like these, it's helpful to remember that there have always been times like these. ~ Paul Harvey
- If there be such a thing as truth, it must infallibly be struck out by the collision of mind with mind. ~ William Godwin
- When I listen to love, I am listening to my true nature. When I express love, I am expressing my true nature. All of us love. All of us do it more and more perfectly. The past has brought us both ashes and diamonds. In the present we find the flowers of what we've planted and the seeds of what we are becoming. I plant the seeds of love in my heart. I plant the seeds of love in the hearts of others. ~ Julia Cameron
- The object of government in peace and in war is not the glory of rulers or of races, but the happiness of the common man. ~ William Beveridge
- Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Who watches the Watchmen?
~ Juvenal ~
- Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do. ~ Thomas Aquinas
- We no longer have a coherent conception of ourselves, and our universe, and our relation to one another and our world. We no longer know, as the Middle Ages did, where we come from, and where we are going, or why. That is, we don't know what information is relevant, and what information is irrelevant to our lives. ~ Neil Postman
- A philosopher is a lover of wisdom, not of knowledge, which for all its great uses ultimately suffers from the crippling effect of ephemerality. All knowledge is transient, linked to the world around it and subject to change as the world changes, whereas wisdom, true wisdom is eternal, immutable. ~ Shashi Tharoor
- In men whom men condemn as ill
I find so much of goodness still,
In men whom men pronounce divine
I find so much of sin and blot,
I do not dare to draw a line
Between the two, where God has not.
~ Joaquin Miller ~
- All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others. ~ Douglas Adams
- Life to each individual is a scene of continued feasting in a region of plenty; and when unexpected death arrests its course, it repays with small interest the large debt which it has contracted to the common fund of animal nutrition, from whence the materials of its body have been derived. Thus the great drama of universal life is perpetually sustained; and though the individual actors undergo continual change, the same parts are filled by another and another generation; renewing the face of the earth and the bosom of the deep with endless successions of life and happiness. ~ William Buckland
- The joy of life discovered by the Greeks is not a profane type of enjoyment: it reveals the bliss of existing, of sharing — even fugitively — in the spontaneity of life and the majesty of the world. Like so many others before and after them, the Greeks learned that the surest way to escape from time is to exploit the wealth, at first sight impossible to suspect, of the lived instant. ~ Mircea Eliade
- Only the individual can think, and thereby create new values for society — nay, even set up new moral standards to which the life of the community conforms. Without creative, independently thinking and judging personalities the upward development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual personality without the nourishing soil of the community.
The health of society thus depends quite as much on the independence of the individuals composing it as on their close political cohesion. ~ Albert Einstein
- Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in. ~ Andrew Jackson
- Love, whether newly born, or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Man dwells apart, though not alone,
He walks among his peers unread;
The best of thoughts which he hath known
For lack of listeners are not said.
~ Jean Ingelow ~
- Candor is always a double-edged sword; it may heal or it may separate. ~ Wilhelm Stekel
- "Fools rush where Angels fear to tread!" Angels and Fools have equal claim
To do what Nature bids them do, sans hope of praise, sans fear of blame!
~ Sir Richard Francis Burton ~
- What is all that men have done and thought over thousands of years, compared with one moment of love. But in all Nature, too, it is what is nearest to perfection, what is most divinely beautiful! There all stairs lead from the threshold of life. From there we come, to there we go. ~ Friedrich Hölderlin
- The creative process lies not in imitating, but in paralleling nature — translating the impulse received from nature into the medium of expression, thus vitalizing this medium. The picture should be alive, the statue should be alive, and every work of art should be alive. ~ Hans Hofmann
- I buoyed me on the wings of dream,
Above the world of sense;
I set my thought to sound the scheme,
And fathom the Immense;
I tuned my spirit as a lute
To catch wind-music wandering mute.
Yet came there never voice nor sign;
But through my being stole
Sense of a Universe divine,
And knowledge of a soul
Perfected in the joy of things,
The star, the flower, the bird that sings.
Nor I am more, nor less, than these;
All are one brotherhood;
I and all creatures, plants, and trees,
The living limbs of God;
And in an hour, as this, divine,
I feel the vast pulse throb in mine.
~ Francis William Bourdillon ~
- I believe that none can "save" his fellow man by making a choice for him. To help him, he can indicate the possible alternatives, with sincerity and love, without being sentimental and without illusion. The knowledge and awareness of the freeing alternatives can reawaken in an individual all his hidden energies and put him on the path to choosing respect for "life" instead of for "death." ~ Erich Fromm
- Follow the voice of your heart, even if it leads you off the path of timid souls. Do not become hard and embittered, even if life tortures you at times. There is only one thing that counts: to live one's life well and happily... ~ Wilhelm Reich
- Freedom is the very essence of life, the impelling force in all intellectual and social development, the creator of every new outlook for the future of mankind. The liberation of man from economic exploitation and from intellectual and political oppression, which finds its finest expression in the world-philosophy of Anarchism, is the first prerequisite for the evolution of a higher social culture and a new humanity. ~ Rudolf Rocker
- I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost ~
- There’s a good time coming, boys!
A good time coming.
We may not live to see the day,
But earth shall glisten in the ray
Of the good time coming.
Cannon-balls may aid the truth
But thought’s a weapon stronger;
We’ll win our battles by its aid,
Wait a little longer.
~ Charles Mackay ~
- I do not understand those terrors which make us cry out, Satan, Satan! when we may say, God, God! and make Satan tremble. Do we not know that he cannot stir without the permission of God? ... I am really much more afraid of those people who have so great a fear of the devil, than I am of the devil himself. Satan can do me no harm whatever, but they can trouble me very much, particularly if they be confessors. ~ Teresa of Ávila
- On seeing his shadow fall on such ancient rocks, he had to question himself in a different context and ask the same old question as before, "Who am I?", and the answer now came more emphatically than ever before, "No-one."
But a no-one with a crown of light about his head. He would remember a verse from Pindar: "Man is a dream about a shadow. But when some splendour falls upon him from God, a glory comes to him and his life is sweet." ~ R. S. Thomas
- The best way of knowing God is to love many things. Love this friend, this person, this thing, whatever you like, and you will be on the right road to understanding Him better, that is what I keep telling myself. But you must love with a sublime, genuine, profound sympathy, with devotion, with intelligence, and you must try all the time to understand Him more, better and yet more. ~ Vincent van Gogh
- Cogito ergo sum
I think, therefore I am.
~ René Descartes ~
- Very many maintain that all we know is still infinitely less than all that still remains unknown; nor do philosophers pin their faith to others' precepts in such wise that they lose their liberty, and cease to give credence to the conclusions of their proper senses. Neither do they swear such fealty to their mistress Antiquity that they openly, and in sight of all, deny and desert their friend Truth. ~ William Harvey
- Truth is on the march, and nothing will stop it. ~ Émile Zola
- If you have accomplished all that you have planned for yourself, you have not planned enough. ~ "Meggido Message" (misattributed to Edward Everett Hale)
- The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men. ~ Black Elk
- God's own hand
Holds fast all issues of our deeds: with him
The end of all our ends is, but with us
Our ends are, just or unjust: though our works
Find righteous or unrighteous judgment, this
At least is ours, to make them righteous.
~ Algernon Charles Swinburne ~
- Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make our pleasant earth below
Like the heaven above.
~ Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney ~
- Great minds are to make others great. Their superiority is to be used, not to break the multitude to intellectual vassalage, not to establish over them a spiritual tyranny, but to rouse them from lethargy, and to aid them to judge for themselves. ~ William Ellery Channing
- Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
~ Yip Harburg ~
- These tall and handsome ships, swaying imperceptibly on tranquil waters, these sturdy ships, with their inactive, nostalgic appearance, don’t they say to us in a speechless tongue: When do we cast off for happiness? ~ Charles Baudelaire
- It is well that there is no one without a fault; for he would not have a friend in the world. ~ William Hazlitt
- No greater mistake can be made than to think that our institutions are fixed or may not be changed for the worse. ... Increasing prosperity tends to breed indifference and to corrupt moral soundness. Glaring inequalities in condition create discontent and strain the democratic relation. The vicious are the willing, and the ignorant are unconscious instruments of political artifice. Selfishness and demagoguery take advantage of liberty. The selfish hand constantly seeks to control government, and every increase of governmental power, even to meet just needs, furnishes opportunity for abuse and stimulates the effort to bend it to improper uses. .. The peril of this Nation is not in any foreign foe! We, the people, are its power, its peril, and its hope! ~ Charles Evans Hughes
- He that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. ~ Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
- I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. ~ Thomas Jefferson
- Sad hours and glad hours, and all hours, pass over;
One thing unshaken stays:
Life, that hath Death for spouse, hath Chance for lover;
Each thing save one thing: — mid this strife diurnal
Of hourly change begot,
Love that is God-born, bides as God eternal,
And changes not.
~ James Branch Cabell ~
Gentlemen, that is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don't know what it means. But we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be the truth.
- What one man can do himself directly is but little. If however he can stir up ten others to take up the task he has accomplished much. ~ Wilbur Wright
- The real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom. It is not the freedom of the dictator, who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will. ~ Karen Blixen
- I believe that music can be an inspirational force in all our lives — that its eloquence and the depth of its meaning are all-important, and that all personal considerations concerning musicians and the public are relatively unimportant — that music come from the heart and returns to the heart — that music is spontaneous, impulsive expression — that its range is without limit — that music is forever growing — that music can be one element to help us build a new conception of life in which the madness and cruelty of wars will be replaced by a simple understanding of the brotherhood of man. ~ Leopold Stokowski
- Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. ~ Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
- Let every one of us cultivate, in every word that issues from our mouth, absolute truth. I say cultivate, because to very few people — as may be noticed of most young children — does truth, this rigid, literal veracity, come by nature. To many, even who love it and prize it dearly in others, it comes only after the self-control, watchfulness, and bitter experience of years. ~ Dinah Craik
- We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind — mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods, the preempting of any free or original imaginative response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel. For the writer in particular it is less and less necessary for him to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer's task is to invent the reality. ~ J. G. Ballard
- The death of dogma is the birth of morality. ~ Immanuel Kant
- I would not so dishonour God as to lend my voice to perpetuate all the mad and foolish things which men have dared to say of Him. I believe that we may find in the Bible the highest and purest religion ..... most of all in the history of Him in whose name we all are called. His religion — not the Christian religion, but the religion of Christ — the poor man's gospel; the message of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of love; and, oh, how gladly would I spend my life, in season and out of season, in preaching this! But I must have no hell terrors, none of these fear doctrines; they were not in the early creeds, God knows whether they were ever in the early gospels, or ever passed His lips. He went down to hell, but it was to break the chains, not to bind them. ~ James Anthony Froude
- The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it. ~ Vincent de Paul
- I will either find a way, or make one. ~ Hannibal
- Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death.
If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.
Our life has no end in just the way in which our visual field has no limits.
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein ~
- No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks. ~ Mary Wollstonecraft
- Too much magic could wrap time and space around itself, and that wasn't good news for the kind of person who had grown used to things like effects following things like causes. ~ Terry Pratchett in Sourcery ~
- He who hopes to grow in spirit
will have to transcend obedience and respect.
He'll hold to some laws
but he'll mostly violate
both law and custom, and go beyond
the established, inadequate norm.
~ Constantine P. Cavafy ~
- Zen is not a particular state but the normal state: silent, peaceful, unagitated. In Zazen neither intention, analysis, specific effort nor imagination take place. It's enough just to be without hypocrisy, dogmatism, arrogance — embracing all opposites. ~ Taisen Deshimaru
- When an angel by divine command
With rising tempests shakes a guilty land,
Such as of late o'er pale Britannia passed,
Calm and serene he drives the furious blast;
And, pleas'd th' Almighty's orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.
~ Joseph Addison ~
- We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the Universe. ~ Jerome K. Jerome
- To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose under heaven.
~ Pete Seeger ~
- Beneficence is godlike, and he who does most good to his fellow-man is the Master of Masters, and has learned the Art of Arts. Enrich and embellish the universe as you will, it is only a fit temple for the heart that loves truth with a supreme love. Inanimate vastness excites wonder; knowledge kindles admiration, but love enraptures the soul. Scientific truth is marvellous, but moral truth is divine; and whoever breathes its air and walks by its light, has found the lost paradise. For him, a new heaven and a new earth have already been created. His home is the sanctuary of God, the Holy of Holies. ~ Horace Mann
- Is it an excellence in your love that it can love only the extraordinary, the rare? If it were love’s merit to love the extraordinary, then God would be — if I dare say so — perplexed, for to Him the extraordinary does not exist at all. The merit of being able to love only the extraordinary is therefore more like an accusation, not against the extraordinary nor against love, but against the love which can love only the extraordinary. Perfection in the object is not perfection in the love. Erotic love is determined by the object; friendship is determined by the object; only love of one’s neighbor is determined by love. Therefore genuine love is recognizable by this, that its object is without any of the more definite qualifications of difference, which means that this love is recognizable only by love. ~ Søren Kierkegaard
- When true simplicity is gain'd
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight
'Till by turning, turning we come round right.
~ Joseph Brackett ~
- The very essence of democracy is the absolute faith that while people must cooperate, the first function of democracy, its peculiar gift, is to develop each individual into everything that he might be. But I submit to you that when in each man the dream of personal greatness dies, democracy loses the real source of its future strength. ~ Edwin H. Land
- I want to break out — to leave this cycle of infection and death. I want to be taken in love: so taken that you and I, and death, and life, will be gathered inseparable, into the radiance of what we would become... ~ Thomas Pynchon
- The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it. ~ J. M. Barrie
- Seeing a woman's child is like seeing a woman naked, in the way it changes how her face looks to you, how her face becomes less the whole story. ~ John Crowley
- There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts. ~ Richard Feynman
- I think one's feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results. ~ Florence Nightingale
- Not living in fear is a great gift, because certainly these days we do it so much. And do you know what I like about comedy? You can’t laugh and be afraid at the same time — of anything. If you're laughing, I defy you to be afraid. ~ Stephen Colbert
- Union and co-operation in war obviously increase the power of the individual a thousand fold. Is there the shadow of a reason why they should not produce equal effects in peace; why the principle of co-operation should not give to men the same superior powers, and advantages, (and much greater) in the creation, preservation, distribution and enjoyment of wealth? ~ Robert Owen
- The real sin against life is to abuse and destroy beauty, even one's own — even more, one's own, for that has been put in our care and we are responsible for its well-being. ~ Katherine Anne Porter
- The slave system is one of constant danger, distrust, suspicion, and watchfulness. It debases those whose toil alone can produce wealth and resources for defence, to the lowest degree of which human nature is capable, to guard against mutiny and insurrection, and thus wastes energies which otherwise might be employed in national development and aggrandizement. The free-labor system educates all alike, and by opening all the fields of industrial employment and all the departments of authority, to the unchecked and equal rivalry of all classes of men, at once secures universal contentment, and brings into the highest possible activity all the physical, moral, and social energies of the whole state. ~ William H. Seward
- Yes, there is a Divinity, one from which we must never turn aside for the guidance of our huge inward life and of the share we have as well in the life of all men. It is called the truth. ~ Henri Barbusse
- The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
~ Omar Khayyám ~
- Humankind consists of two sexes, woman and man. Is it possible that a mass is improved by the improvement of only one part and the other ignored? Is it possible that if half of a mass is tied to earth with chains and the other half can soar into skies? ~ Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
- However unwillingly a person who has a strong opinion may admit the possibility that his opinion may be false, he ought to be moved by the consideration that, however true it may be, if it is not fully, frequently, and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma, not a living truth. ~ John Stuart Mill
- Some Figures monstrous and mis-shap'd appear,
Consider'd singly, or beheld too near,
Which, but proportion'd to their Light, or Place,
Due Distance reconciles to Form and Grace.
A prudent Chief not always must display
His Pow'rs in equal Ranks, and fair Array,
But with th' Occasion and the Place comply,
Conceal his Force, nay seem sometimes to Fly.
Those oft are Stratagems which Errors seem,
Nor is it Homer Nods, but We that Dream.
- Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle in "A Case of Identity"
- Let no one dare to call another mad who is not himself willing to rank in the same class for every perversion and fault of judgment. Let no one dare aid in punishing another as criminal who is not willing to suffer the penalty due to his own offenses. ~ Margaret Fuller
- How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.
~ Bob Dylan ~
- You will hear every day the maxims of a low prudence. You will hear, that the first duty is to get land and money, place and name. "What is this Truth you seek? What is this Beauty?" men will ask, with derision. If, nevertheless, God have called any of you to explore truth and beauty, be bold, be firm, be true. When you shall say, "As others do, so will I. I renounce, I am sorry for it, my early visions; I must eat the good of the land, and let learning and romantic expectations go, until a more convenient season." — then dies the man in you; then once more perish the buds of art, and poetry, and science, as they have died already in a thousand thousand men. The hour of that choice is the crisis of your history; and see that you hold yourself fast by the intellect. ... Bend to the persuasion which is flowing to you from every object in Nature, to be its tongue to the heart of man, and to show the besotted world how passing fair is wisdom. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- You have so many things in the background that you're supposed to do, there's no room left to think. I say, forget all that and ask yourself, "What's the simplest thing that could possibly work?" ~ Ward Cunningham
- The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction. ~ Rachel Carson
- The time has come when scientific truth must cease to be the property of the few, when it must be woven into the common life of the world. ~ Louis Agassiz
- Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. ~ John F. Kennedy
- When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick." ~ Mikhail Bakunin
- Talk not so much ... of the great old masters, who but painted and chisell’d. Study not only their productions. There is a still higher school for him who would kindle his fire with coal from the altar of the loftiest and purest art. It is the school of all grand actions and grand virtues, of heroism, of the death of patriots and martyrs — of all the mighty deeds written in the pages of history — deeds of daring, and enthusiasm, devotion, and fortitude. ~ Walt Whitman
- If the mind is to emerge unscathed from this relentless struggle with the unforeseen, two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead. ~ Carl von Clausewitz
- The Poet's License! — 't is the right,
Within the rule of duty,
To look on all delightful things
Throughout the world of beauty.
To gaze with rapture at the stars
That in the skies are glowing;
To see the gems of perfect dye
That in the woods are growing, —
And more than sage astronomer,
And more than learned florist,
To read the glorious homilies
Of Firmament and Forest.
~ John Godfrey Saxe ~
- It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little. ~ Sydney Smith
- I recall an old Sufi story of a good man who was granted one wish by God. The man said he would like to go about doing good without knowing about it. God granted his wish. And then God decided that it was such a good idea, he would grant that wish to all human beings.
And so it has been to this day. ~ Robert Fulghum
- It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong. ~ John Maynard Keynes
- Do your duty, and leave the rest to heaven. ~ Pierre Corneille
- Our earth is round, and, among other things, that means that you and I can hold completely different points of view and both be right. The difference of our positions will show stars in your window I cannot even imagine. Your sky may burn with light, while mine, at the same moment, spreads beautiful to darkness. Still we must choose how we separately corner the circling universe of our experience. Once chosen, our cornering will determine the message of any star and darkness we encounter. ~ June Jordan
- The scientist has marched in and taken the place of the poet. But one day somebody will find the solution to the problems of the world and remember, it will be a poet, not a scientist. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
- In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking
But now, Heaven knows,
~ Cole Porter ~
- Most joyful let the Poet be;
It is through him that all men see.
~ William Ellery Channing ~
- There is nothing ugly; I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may, — light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful. ~ John Constable
- My knowledge of pain, learned with the sabre, taught me not to be afraid. And just as in dueling when you must concentrate on your enemy's cheek, so, too, in war. You cannot waste time on feinting and sidestepping. You must decide on your target and go in. ~ Otto Skorzeny
- A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to work harder than all these, and yet
Be thought an idler by the noisy set
Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
The martyrs call the world.
~ William Butler Yeats ~
- The Zen disciple sits for long hours silent and motionless, with his eyes closed. Presently he enters a state of impassivity, free from all ideas and all thoughts. He departs from the self and enters the realm of nothingness. This is not the nothingness or the emptiness of the West. It is rather the reverse, a universe of the spirit in which everything communicates freely with everything, transcending bounds, limitless. ... The disciple must, however, always be lord of his own thoughts, and must attain enlightenment through his own efforts. And the emphasis is less upon reason and argument than upon intuition, immediate feeling. Enlightenment comes not from teaching but through the eye awakened inwardly. Truth is in "the discarding of words", it lies "outside words".
~ Yasunari Kawabata ~
- The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool. ~ William McFee
- A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals to discovery. ~ James Joyce in Ulysses
- Whether one believes in evolution, intelligent design, or Divine Creation, one thing is certain. Since the beginning of history, human beings have been at war with each other, under the pretext of religion, ideology, ethnicity and other reasons. And no civilization has ever willingly given up its most powerful weapons. We seem to agree today that we can share modern technology, but we still refuse to acknowledge that our values — at their very core — are shared values. ~ Mohamed ElBaradei
- The history of a battle, is not unlike the history of a ball. Some individuals may recollect all the little events of which the great result is the battle won or lost, but no individual can recollect the order in which, or the exact moment at which, they occurred, which makes all the difference as to their value or importance. ~ Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
- The wellspring of courage and endurance in the face of unbridled power is generally a firm belief in the sanctity of ethical principles combined with a historical sense that despite all setbacks the condition of man is set on an ultimate course for both spiritual and material advancement. At the root of human responsibility is the concept of perfection, the urge to achieve it, the intelligence to find a path towards it, and the will to follow that path if not to the end at least the distance needed to rise above individual limitations and environmental impediments. It is man's vision of a world fit for rational, civilized humanity which leads him to dare and to suffer to build societies free from want and fear. Concepts such as truth, justice and compassion cannot be dismissed as trite when these are often the only bulwarks which stand against ruthless power. ~ Aung San Suu Kyi
- Humor — it helps to make the vibe better — it loosens up the vibrations. ~ Brian Wilson
- God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr ~
- This earth is one of the rare spots in the cosmos where mind has flowered. Man is a product of nearly three billion years of evolution, in whose person the evolutionary process has at last become conscious of itself and its possibilities. Whether he likes it or not, he is responsible for the whole further evolution of our planet. ~ Julian Huxley
- I've woven them a garment that's prepared
out of poor words, those that I overheard,
and will hold fast to every word and glance
all of my days, even in new mischance,
and if a gag should bind my tortured mouth,
through which a hundred million people shout,
then let them pray for me, as I do pray
for them, this eve of my remembrance day.
~ Anna Akhmatova ~
- Guilt, n. The condition of one who is known to have committed an indiscretion, as distinguished from the state of him who has covered his tracks. ~ Ambrose Bierce
- If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. ~ George Orwell
- Heal the world, make it a better place,
For you and for me and the entire human race,
There are people dying, but if you care enough for the living,
Make a better place for you and for me.
~ Michael Jackson ~
- Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope. ~ Helen Keller
- Never dream of forcing men into the ways of God. Think yourself, and let think. Use no constraint in matters of religion. Even those who are farthest out of the way never compel to come in by any other means than reason, truth, and love. ~ John Wesley
- What makes the desert beautiful ... is that somewhere it hides a well. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince
- I think that I am here, on this earth,
To present a report on it, but to whom I don't know.
As if I were sent so that whatever takes place
Has meaning because it changes into memory.
~ Czesław Miłosz ~
- There are two kinds of truths: those of reasoning and those of fact. The truths of reasoning are necessary and their opposite is impossible; the truths of fact are contingent and their opposites are possible. ~ Gottfried Leibniz
- Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another. ~ Hermann Hesse
- Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached. ~ Franz Kafka
- Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important, in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
- We shelter an angel within us. We must be the guardians of that angel. ~ Jean Cocteau
- Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free. True peace with oneself and with the world around us can only be achieved through the development of mental peace. ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
- Magic is not science, it is a collection of ways to do things — ways that work but often we don't know why. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road
- Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish. ~ Jean de La Fontaine
- As a child I was taught that to tell the truth was often painful. As an adult I have learned that not to tell the truth is more painful, and that the fear of telling the truth — whatever the truth may be — that fear is the most painful sensation of a moral life. ~ June Jordan
- It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer. ~ William Blackstone
- I can never join with my voice in the toast which I see in the papers attributed to one of our gallant naval heroes. I cannot ask of heaven success, even for my country, in a cause where she should be in the wrong. Fiat justitia, pereat coelum. My toast would be, may our country always be successful, but whether successful or otherwise, always right. ~ John Quincy Adams
- The philosophies of one age have become the absurdities of the next, and the foolishness of yesterday has become the wisdom of tomorrow. ~ William Osler
- O how I feel, just as I pluck the flower
And stick it to my breast — words can't reveal;
But there are souls that in this lovely hour
Know all I mean, and feel whate'er I feel.
~ John Clare ~
- This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island,
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.
~ Woody Guthrie ~
- Choose only one master — Nature. ~ Rembrandt
- I have always lived in a world in which I'm just a spot in history. My life is not the important point. I'm just part of the continuum, and that continuum, to me, is a marvelous thing. The history of life, and the history of the planet, should go on and on and on and on. I cannot conceive of anything in the universe that has more meaning than that. ~ Sheri S. Tepper
- They told us not to wish in the first place, not to aspire, not to try; to be quiet, to play nice, to shoot low and aspire not at all. They are always wrong. Follow your dreams. Make your wishes. Create the future. And above all, believe in yourself. ~ J. Michael Straczynski
- It is best to love wisely, no doubt; but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
- Old anchormen, you see, don't fade away; they just keep coming back for more. And that's the way it is... ~ Walter Cronkite
- Houston: Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed. ~ Neil Armstrong
- Now I've been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun.
Oh, I've been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Someday it's going to come.
~ Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) ~
- There was sadness in being a man, but it was a proud thing too. And he showed what the pride of it was till you couldn't help feeling it. Yes, even in hell, if a man was a man, you'd know it. And he wasn't pleading for any one person any more, though his voice rang like an organ. He was telling the story and the failures and the endless journey of mankind. They got tricked and trapped and bamboozled, but it was a great journey. And no demon that was ever foaled could know the inwardness of it — it took a man to do that. ... His voice could search the heart, and that was his gift and his strength. And to one, his voice was like the forest and its secrecy, and to another like the sea and the storms of the sea; and one heard the cry of his lost nation in it, and another saw a little harmless scene he hadn't remembered for years. But each saw something. And when Dan'l Webster finished he didn't know whether or not he'd saved Jabez Stone. But he knew he'd done a miracle. For the glitter was gone from the eyes of the judge and jury, and, for the moment, they were men again, and knew they were men. ~ Stephen Vincent Benét
- The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man's basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act — and if necessary, to suffer and die — for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied. These lessons must be learned anew by each succeeding generation, and that generation is fortunate indeed which learns from other than its own bitter experience. ~ Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
- The art of victory is learned in defeat. ~ Simón Bolívar
- Good and evil grow up together and are bound in an equilibrium that cannot be sundered. The most we can do is try to tilt the equilibrium toward the good. ~ Eric Hoffer
- I hear you say "Why?" Always "Why?" You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?" ~ George Bernard Shaw
- When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. ~ Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
- We do not choose political freedom because it promises us this or that. We choose it because it makes possible the only dignified form of human coexistence, the only form in which we can be fully responsible for ourselves. Whether we realize its possibilities depends on all kinds of things — and above all on ourselves. ~ Karl Popper
- For all that has been —
For all that shall be —
~ Dag Hammarskjöld ~
- Moving stranger,
Does it really matter,
As long as you're not afraid to feel?
Touch me, hold me.
How my open arms ache!
Try to fall for me.
~ Kate Bush ~
- I beg the reader not to go in search of messages. It is a term that I detest because it distresses me greatly, for it forces on me clothes that are not mine, which in fact belong to a human type that I distrust; the prophet, the soothsayer, the seer. I am none of these; I'm a normal man with a good memory who fell into a maelstrom and got out of it more by luck than by virtue, and who from that time on has preserved a certain curiosity about maelstroms large and small, metaphorical and actual. ~ Primo Levi
- In this world of lies, Truth is forced to fly like a sacred white doe in the woodlands; and only by cunning glimpses will she reveal herself, as in Shakespeare and other masters of the great Art of Telling the Truth, — even though it be covertly, and by snatches. ~ Herman Melville
- Religious feeling is as much a verity as any other part of human consciousness; and against it, on the subjective side, the waves of science beat in vain. ~ John Tyndall
- I did not want to move. For I had the feeling that this was a place, once seen, that could not be seen again. If I left and then came back, it would not be the same; no matter how many times I might return to this particular spot the place and feeling would never be the same, something would be lost or something would be added, and there never would exist again, through all eternity, all the integrated factors that made it what it was in this magic moment. ~ Clifford D. Simak
- I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~
- Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world. I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies. That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.
~ Wendell Berry ~
- The fate of all explanation is to close one door only to have another fly wide open. ~ Charles Fort
- Going to church no more makes you a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car. ~ Garrison Keillor
- If I can find out God, then I shall find Him,
If none can find Him, then I shall sleep soundly,
Knowing how well on earth your love sufficed me,
A lamp in darkness.
~ Sara Teasdale ~
- For me there are no answers, only questions, and I am grateful that the questions go on and on. I don't look for an answer, because I don't think there is one. I'm very glad to be the bearer of a question. ~ P. L. Travers
- Monsters remain human beings. In fact, to reduce them to a subhuman level is to exonerate them of their acts of terrorism and mass murder — just as animals are not deemed morally responsible for killing. Insisting on the humanity of terrorists is, in fact, critical to maintaining their profound responsibility for the evil they commit.
And, if they are human, then they must necessarily not be treated in an inhuman fashion. You cannot lower the moral baseline of a terrorist to the subhuman without betraying a fundamental value. ~ Andrew Sullivan
- If the world ever advances beyond what it is today, it must be led by men who express their real opinions. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
- There are few efforts more conducive to humility than that of the translator trying to communicate an incommunicable beauty. Yet, unless we do try, something unique and never surpassed will cease to exist except in the libraries of a few inquisitive book lovers. ~ Edith Hamilton
- The question what to believe is perhaps the most momentous that anyone can put to himself. Our beliefs are not to be classed among the luxuries, but among the necessaries of existence. ~ Felix Adler
- Time will rust the sharpest sword,
Time will consume the strongest cord;
That which molders hemp and steel,
Mortal arm and nerve must feel.
~ Walter Scott ~
- The supreme truths are neither the rigid conclusions of logical reasoning nor the affirmations of credal statement, but fruits of the soul's inner experience. ~ Sri Aurobindo
- Nine-tenths of tactics are certain, and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and that is the test of generals. It can only be ensured by instinct, sharpened by thought practising the stroke so often that at the crisis it is as natural as a reflex. ~ T. E. Lawrence
- To this day, if you ask me how I became a writer, I cannot give you an answer. To this day, if you ask me how a book is written, I cannot answer. For long periods, if I didn't know that somehow in the past I had written a book, I would have given up. ~ V. S. Naipaul
- Tho' the world could turn from you,
This, at least, I learn from you:
Beauty and Truth, tho' never found, are worthy to be sought,
The singer, upward-springing,
Is grander than his singing,
And tranquil self-sufficing joy illumes the dark of thought.
~ Robert Williams Buchanan ~
- Let those find fault whose wit's so very small,
They've need to show that they can think at all;
Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls, must dive below.
~ John Dryden ~
- Science traditionally takes the reductionist approach, saying that the collective properties of molecules, or the fundamental units of whatever system you're talking about, are enough to account for all of the system's activity. But this standard approach leaves out one very important additional factor, and that's the spacing and timing of activity — its pattern or form. ~ Roger Wolcott Sperry
- People ask me... "What do you still bring from Hawaii? How does it affect your character, how does it affect your politics?" I try to explain to them something about the Aloha Spirit. I try to explain to them this basic idea that we all have obligations to each other, that we're not alone, that if we see somebody who's in need we should help... that we look out for one another, that we deal with each other with courtesy and respect, and most importantly, that when you come from Hawaii, you start understanding that what's on the surface, what people look like — that doesn't determine who they are. And that the power and strength of diversity, the ability of people from everywhere ... whether they're black or white, whether they're Japanese-Americans or Korean-Americans or Filipino-Americans or whatever they are, they are just Americans, that all of us can work together and all of us can join together to create a better country. And it's that spirit, that I'm absolutely convinced, is what America is looking for right now.
~ Barack Obama ~
- Works of art make rules but rules do not make works of art. ~ Claude Debussy
- Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
for my unconquerable soul.
~ William Ernest Henley ~
- Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
~ Robert Herrick ~
- My ultimate vocation in life is to be an irritant, someone who disrupts the daily drag of life just enough to leave the victim thinking there's maybe more to it all than the mere hum-drum quality of existence. ~ Elvis Costello
- If you can't see God in All, You can't see God at All. ~ Harbhajan Singh Yogi
- For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die. ~ Ted Kennedy
- What is the use of being wise if we are not sometimes merry? The merriment of wise men is not the uninformed, gross fun of ignorant men, but it has more kinship with that than the pinched, frightened fun of those who are neither learned nor ignorant, gentle nor simple, bound nor free. The idea that a wise man must be solemn is bred and preserved among people who have no idea what wisdom is, and can only respect whatever makes them feel inferior. ~ Robertson Davies
- Consciousness expresses itself through creation. This world we live in is the dance of the Creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on. On many an occasion when I am dancing, I have felt touched by something sacred. In those moments, I felt my spirit soar and become one with everything that exists. I become the stars and the moon. I become the lover and the beloved. I become the victor and the vanquished. I become the master and the slave. I become the singer and the song. I become the knower and the known. I keep on dancing and then, it is the eternal dance of creation. The Creator and the creation merge into one wholeness of joy. I keep on dancing — until there is only ... the dance. ~ Michael Jackson
- The animals of the Burgess Shale are holy objects — in the unconventional sense that this word conveys in some cultures. We do not place them on pedestals and worship from afar. We climb mountains and dynamite hillsides to find them. We quarry them, split them, carve them, draw them, and dissect them, struggling to wrest their secrets. We vilify and curse them for their damnable intransigence. They are grubby little creatures of a sea floor 530 million years old, but we greet them with awe because they are the Old Ones, and they are trying to tell us something. ~ Stephen Jay Gould
- There's not a war between Muslims and non-Muslims, but between extremists and moderates of all the religions. ... What is important is not to live in fear. The most dangerous thing to do is to give up and lose hope. The main enemy is not terrorism or extremism, but ignorance. ~ Queen Rania of Jordan
Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof. Lev. XXV X
~ Liberty Bell ~
- If thinking men are few, they are for that reason all the more powerful. Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power. ~ Henry George
- Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple-blossom, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law. Where function does not change form does not change. The granite rocks, the ever brooding hills, remain for ages; the lightning lives, comes into shape, and dies in a twinkling.
It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law. ~ Louis Sullivan
- As soon as a true thought has entered our mind, it gives a light which makes us see a crowd of other objects which we have never perceived before. ~ François-René de Chateaubriand
- I must stay alone and know that I am alone to contemplate and feel nature in full; I have to surrender myself to what encircles me, I have to merge with my clouds and rocks in order to be what I am. ~ Caspar David Friedrich
- I saw a rainbow earlier today
Lately those rainbows be comin' round like everyday
Deep in the struggle I have found the beauty of me
God is watchin' and the Devil finally let me be
Here in this moment to myself.
~ Macy Gray ~
- I have written my life in small sketches, a little today, a little yesterday, as I have thought of it, as I remember all the things from childhood on through the years, good ones, and unpleasant ones, that is how they come out and that is how we have to take them.
I look back on my life like a good day's work, it was done and I am satisfied with it. I was happy and contented, I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. ~ Grandma Moses
- What voice revisits me this night? What face
To my heart’s room returns?
From the perpetual silence where the grace
Of human sainthood burns
Hastes he once more to harmonise and heal?
I know not. Only I feel
His influence undiminished
And his life’s work, in me and many, unfinished.
~ Siegfried Sassoon ~
- All men live not by the thought they spend on their own welfare, but because love exists in man.
I knew before that God gave life to men and desires that they should live; now I understood more than that.
I understood that God does not wish men to live apart, and therefore he does not reveal to them what each one needs for himself; but he wishes them to live united, and therefore reveals to each of them what is necessary for all.
I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live. He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love. ~ Leo Tolstoy
- It is the man of science, eager to have his every opinion regenerated, his every idea rationalized, by drinking at the fountain of fact, and devoting all the energies of his life to the cult of truth, not as he understands it, but as he does not yet understand it, that ought properly to be called a philosopher. ~ Charles Sanders Peirce
- On September 11, 2001, the world fractured. It's beyond my skill as a writer to capture that day, and the days that would follow — the planes, like specters, vanishing into steel and glass; the slow-motion cascade of the towers crumbling into themselves; the ash-covered figures wandering the streets; the anguish and the fear. Nor do I pretend to understand the stark nihilism that drove the terrorists that day and that drives their brethren still. My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another's heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those who would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction. ~ Barack Obama
- You climb to reach the summit, but once there, discover that all roads lead down. ~ Stanisław Lem
- By Jove the stranger and the poor are sent,
And what to those we give, to Jove is lent.
~ Alexander Pope ~
in his interpretation of
The Odyssey by Homer
- The difference between faith and superstition is that the first uses reason to go as far as it can, and then makes the jump; the second shuns reason entirely — which is why superstition is not the ally, but the enemy, of true religion. ~ Sydney J. Harris
- Understand this, I mean to arrive at the truth. The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it. ~ Agatha Christie
- Descend, descend, Urania, speak
To men in their own tongue!
Leave not the breaking heart to break
Because thine own is strong.
This is the law, in dream and deed,
That heaven must walk on earth!
O, shine upon the humble creed
That holds the heavenly birth.
~ Alfred Noyes ~
- Many questions haven't been answered as yet. Our poets may be wrong; but what can any of us do with his talent but try to develop his vision, so that through frequent failures we may learn better what we have missed in the past. ~ William Carlos Williams
- As it is necessary not to invite robbery by supineness, so it is our duty not to suppress tenderness by suspicion; it is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust. ~ Samuel Johnson
- The soul of man is larger than the sky,
Deeper than ocean, or the abysmal dark
Of the unfathomed center. Like that ark,
Which in its sacred hold uplifted high,
O'er the drowned hills, the human family,
And stock reserved of every living kind,
So, in the compass of the single mind,
The seeds and pregnant forms in essence lie,
That make all worlds.
~ Hartley Coleridge ~
- Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical. ~ Sophia Loren
- Ah, you loved me as a loser,
But now you're worried that I just might win.
You know the way to stop me,
But you don't have the discipline.
How many nights I prayed for this,
To let my work begin.
First we take Manhattan,
Then we take Berlin.
~ Leonard Cohen ~
- Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the ground, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
~ John Keats ~
- In an ideal University, as I conceive it, a man should be able to obtain instruction in all forms of knowledge, and discipline in the use of all the methods by which knowledge is obtained. In such a University, the force of living example should fire the student with a noble ambition to emulate the learning of learned men, and to follow in the footsteps of the explorers of new fields of knowledge. And the very air he breathes should be charged with that enthusiasm for truth, that fanaticism of veracity, which is a greater possession than much learning; a nobler gift than the power of increasing knowledge; by so much greater and nobler than these, as the moral nature of man is greater than the intellectual; for veracity is the heart of morality. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
- Extremism. It is an almost infallible sign — a kind of death-rattle — when a human institution is forced by its members into stressing those and only those factors which are identificatory, at the expense of others which it necessarily shares with competing institutions because human beings belong to all of them. ~ John Brunner
- The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist's way of scribbling "Kilroy was here" on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass. ~ William Faulkner
- Whatever we inherit from the fortunate
We have taken from the defeated
What they had to leave us — a symbol:
A symbol perfected in death.
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive
In the ground of our beseeching.
~ T. S. Eliot in The Four Quartets ~
- The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have receiv'd them as a fair Inheritance from our worthy Ancestors: They purchas'd them for us with toil and danger and expence of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle; or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present: Let us therefore be aware of it. Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeath'd to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. — Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. ~ Samuel Adams
- The way which the superior man pursues, reaches wide and far, and yet is secret. Common men and women, however ignorant, may intermeddle with the knowledge of it; yet in its utmost reaches, there is that which even the sage does not know. Common men and women, however much below the ordinary standard of character, can carry it into practice; yet in its utmost reaches, there is that which even the sage is not able to carry into practice. Great as heaven and earth are, men still find some things in them with which to be dissatisfied. Thus it is that, were the superior man to speak of his way in all its greatness, nothing in the world would be found able to embrace it, and were he to speak of it in its minuteness, nothing in the world would be found able to split it. ~ Confucius
- I must speak the truth, and nothing but the truth. ~ Miguel de Cervantes
- Reason is like an officer when the King appears;
The officer then loses his power and hides himself.
Reason is the shadow cast by God; God is the sun.
~ Rumi ~
- The final end of government is not to exert restraint but to do good. ~ Rufus Choate
- There is but one means to extenuate the effects of enemy fire: it is to develop a more violent fire oneself. ~ Ferdinand Foch
- We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.
Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.
We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.
We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity. ~ John Perry Barlow
- The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of workingmen. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations. — How is this? ~ Rutherford B. Hayes
- There are things I can't force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint. ~ Denis Diderot
- Every marvel of our age arose out of the critical give and take of an open society. No other civilization ever managed to incorporate this crucial innovation, weaving it into daily life. And if you disagree with this ... say so! ~ David Brin
- I am doing it
the it I am doing is
the I that is doing it
the I that is doing it is
the it I am doing
it is doing the I that am doing it
I am being done by the it I am doing
it is doing it
~ Ronald David Laing ~
- Muad'Dib could indeed see the Future, but you must understand the limits of this power. Think of sight. You have eyes, yet cannot see without light. If you are on the floor of a valley, you cannot see beyond your valley. Just so, Muad'Dib could not always choose to look across the mysterious terrain. He tells us that a single obscure decision of prophecy, perhaps the choice of one word over another, could change the entire aspect of the future. He tells us "The vision of time is broad, but when you pass through it, time becomes a narrow door." And always, he fought the temptation to choose a clear, safe course, warning "That path leads ever down into stagnation." ~ Frank Herbert in Dune ~
- Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out.
It doesn't matter much to me.
~ John Lennon ~
- Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.
For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges." ~ The Norwegian Nobel Committee on the Nobel Peace Prize of 2009
- The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
- Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. ~ Aleister Crowley
- The practical reason for freedom is that freedom seems to be the only condition under which any kind of substantial moral fiber can be developed — we have tried law, compulsion and authoritarianism of various kinds, and the result is nothing to be proud of. ~ Albert Jay Nock
- Man cannot be free if he does not know that he is subject to necessity, because his freedom is always won in his never wholly successful attempts to liberate himself from necessity. ~ Hannah Arendt
- All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith
- The struggle is always between the individual and his sacred right to express himself and the power structure that seeks conformity, suppression, and obedience. ~ William O. Douglas
- An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted. ~ Arthur Miller
- Don't laugh at a youth for his affectations; he is only trying on one face after another to find his own. ~ Logan Pearsall Smith
- He gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together. ~ Jonathan Swift
- Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around
and I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
gonna stand my ground and I won't back down.
~ Tom Petty ~
- Should children be permitted to read Romances, & Relations of Giants & Magicians, & Genii? — I know all that has been said against it; but I have formed my faith in the affirmative. — I know no other way of giving the mind a love of "the Great," & "the Whole." — Those who have been led by the same truths step by step thro' the constant testimony of their senses, seem to me to want a sense which I possess — They contemplate nothing but parts — and all parts are necessarily little — and the Universe to them is but a mass of little things. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- If you want to change the way people respond to you, change the way you respond to people. ~ Timothy Leary
- Once the curtain is raised, the actor ceases to belong to himself. He belongs to his character, to his author, to his public. He must do the impossible to identify himself with the first, not to betray the second, and not to disappoint the third. And to this end the actor must forget his personality and throw aside his joys and sorrows. He must present the public with the reality of a being who for him is only a fiction. With his own eyes, he must shed the tears of the other. With his own voice, he must groan the anguish of the other. His own heart beats as if it would burst, for it is the other's heart that beats in his heart. And when he retires from a tragic or dramatic scene, if he has properly rendered his character, he must be panting and exhausted. ~ Sarah Bernhardt
- A moment of choice is a moment of truth. It's the testing point of our character and competence. ~ Stephen Covey
- This day is call'd — the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and sees old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his friends,
And say, "To-morrow is Saint Crispian;"
Then will he strip his sleeve, and show his scars,
And say, "These wounds I had on Crispin's day."
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words, —
Harry the King, Bedford, and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd, —
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me,
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed,
Shall think themselves accurs'd, they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap, whiles any speaks,
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
- Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. ~ Napoleon Hill
- They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
~ Dylan Thomas ~
- The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more. ~ Jonas Salk
- No moral system can rest solely on authority. ~ Alfred Jules Ayer
- The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. ~ John Adams
- Wherein lies happiness? In that which becks
Our ready minds to fellowship divine,
A fellowship with essence; till we shine,
Full alchemiz’d, and free of space. Behold
The clear religion of heaven!
~ John Keats ~
- Some say this world of trouble
Is the only one we need
But I’m waiting for that morning
When the new world is revealed.
Oh, when the saints go marching in,
When the saints go marching in,
Oh Lord, I want to be in that number,
When the saints go marching in!
- Hunting hawks do not belong in cages, no matter how much a man covets their grace, no matter how golden the bars. They are far more beautiful soaring free. ~ Lois McMaster Bujold
- Athirst for personal salvation, the West forgets that many religions had but a vague notion of the life beyond the grave; true, all great religions stake a claim on eternity, but not necessarily on man's eternal life. ~ André Malraux
- All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful. ~ Wilfred Owen
- Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind then that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. ~ Eugene V. Debs
- A man or woman is seldom happy unless he or she is sustaining him or herself and making a contribution to others. ~ Zig Ziglar
- Political progress will only take place if sufficient security exists. ~ David Petraeus
- Charity keepeth us in Faith and Hope, and Hope leadeth us in Charity. And in the end all shall be Charity. ~ Julian of Norwich
- History is full of people who out of fear, or ignorance, or lust for power have destroyed knowledge of immeasurable value which truly belongs to us all. We must not let it happen again. ~ Carl Sagan
- He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times. ~ Friedrich Schiller
- Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those they have slain. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
- It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens. ~ Bahá'u'lláh
- It is better to be a fool than to be dead. It is better to emit a scream in the shape of a theory than to be entirely insensible to the jars and incongruities of life and take everything as it comes in a forlorn stupidity. Some people swallow the universe like a pill; they travel on through the world, like smiling images pushed from behind. For God's sake give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself! ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
- Call me Ishmael. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. ~ Herman Melville in Moby-Dick
- Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas. ~ Erwin Rommel
- There is plenty of room at the top because very few people care to travel beyond the average route. And so most of us seem satisfied to remain within the confines of mediocrity. ~ Nnamdi Azikiwe
- What I say is, that the real non-resistants can believe in direct action only, never in political action. For the basis of all political action is coercion; even when the State does good things, it finally rests on a club, a gun, or a prison, for its power to carry them through. ~ Voltairine de Cleyre
- A lot of being a poet consists of willed ignorance. If you woke up from your trance and realized the nature of the life-threatening and dignity-destroying precipice you were walking along, you would switch into actuarial sciences immediately. ~ Margaret Atwood
- We should not mourn for men of high ideals. Rather we should rejoice that we had the privilege of having had them with us, to inspire us by their radiant personalities. ~ Indira Gandhi
- My life seemed to be a series of events and accidents. Yet when I look back I see a pattern.~ Benoît Mandelbrot
- Although I came to doubt all revelation, I can never accept the idea that the Universe is a physical or chemical accident, a result of blind evolution. Even though I learned to recognize the lies, the clichés and the idolatries of the human mind, I still cling to some truths which I think all of us might accept some day. There must be a way for man to attain all possible pleasures, all the powers and knowledge that nature can grant him, and still serve God — a God who speaks in deeds, not in words, and whose vocabulary is the Cosmos. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
- It is well known to all experienced minds that our firmest convictions are often dependent on subtle impressions for which words are quite too coarse a medium. ~ George Eliot
- Old wood to burn! Old wine to drink! Old friends to trust! Old authors to read! ~ Alfonso X of Castile
- Fight the enemy with the weapons he lacks. ~ Alexander Suvorov
- Now and then it occurs to one to reflect upon what slender threads of accident depend the most important circumstances of his life; to look back and shudder, realizing how close to the edge of nothingness his being has come. ~ Upton Sinclair
- I believe that what separates us all from one another is simply society itself, or, if you like, politics. This is what raises barriers between men, this is what creates misunderstanding.
If I may be allowed to express myself paradoxically, I should say that the truest society, the authentic human community, is extra-social — a wider, deeper society, that which is revealed by our common anxieties, our desires, our secret nostalgias. The whole history of the world has been governed by nostalgias and anxieties, which political action does no more than reflect and interpret, very imperfectly. No society has been able to abolish human sadness, no political system can deliver us from the pain of living, from our fear of death, our thirst for the absolute. It is the human condition that directs the social condition, not vice versa. ~ Eugène Ionesco
- Flow in the living moment. — We are always in a process of becoming and NOTHING is fixed. Have no rigid system in you, and you'll be flexible to change with the ever changing. OPEN yourelf and flow, my friend. Flow in the TOTAL OPENESS OF THE LIVING MOMENT. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo. ~ Bruce Lee
- Enthusiastic partisans of the idea of progress are in danger of failing to recognize — because they set so little store by them — the immense riches accumulated by the human race on either side of the narrow furrow on which they keep their eyes fixed; by underrating the achievements of the past, they devalue all those which still remain to be accomplished. ~ Claude Lévi-Strauss
- Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. ~ Louisa May Alcott
- It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare. ~ Mark Twain
- The AIDS crisis is evidence of a world in which nothing important is regional, local, limited; in which everything that can circulate does, and every problem is, or is destined to become, worldwide. ~ Susan Sontag
- I do think that if I had to choose one word to which hope can be tied it is hospitality. A practice of hospitality— recovering threshold, table, patience, listening, and from there generating seedbeds for virtue and friendship on the one hand — on the other hand radiating out for possible community, for rebirth of community. ~ Ivan Illich
- He who wants to persuade should put his trust, not in the right argument, but in the right word. ~ Joseph Conrad
- That there should one Man die ignorant who had capacity for Knowledge, this I call a tragedy. ~ Thomas Carlyle
- Faith I have, in myself, in humanity, in the worthwhileness of the pursuits in entertainment for the masses. But wide awake, not blind faith, moves me. My operations are based on experience, thoughtful observation and warm fellowship with my neighbors at home and around the world. ~ Walt Disney
- Is Freedom only a Will-o'-the-wisp
To cheat a poet's eye?
Be it phantom or fact, it's a noble cause
In which to sing and to die!
~ Joyce Kilmer ~
- There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. You learn the delivery of a part only before an audience. ~ Willa Cather
- I am not bound over to swear allegiance to any master; where the storm drives me I turn in for shelter. ~ Horace
- A different conception of society, very different from that which now prevails, is in process of formation. ... Acknowledging, as a fact, the equal rights of all its members to the treasures accumulated in the past ... it seeks to establish a certain harmonious compatibility in its midst — not by subjecting all its members to an authority that is fictitiously supposed to represent society, not by trying to establish uniformity, but by urging all men to develop free initiative, free action, free association. ~ Peter Kropotkin
- We despise and abhor the bully, the brawler, the oppressor, whether in private or public life, but we despise no less the coward and the voluptuary. No man is worth calling a man who will not fight rather than submit to infamy or see those that are dear to him suffer wrong. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
- If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
- What is beautiful is moral, that is all there is to it. ~ Gustave Flaubert
- Pedantry and mastery are opposite attitudes toward rules. To apply a rule to the letter, rigidly, unquestioningly, in cases where it fits and in cases where it does not fit, is pedantry... To apply a rule with natural ease, with judgment, noticing the cases where it fits, and without ever letting the words of the rule obscure the purpose of the action or the opportunities of the situation, is mastery. ~ George Pólya
- Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous to this country as irresponsible talk. The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character. ~ Margaret Chase Smith
- It's kind of fun to do the impossible. ~ Walt Disney
- The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. ~ Arthur C. Clarke
- All he desired in life was that — that he could pick himself together again and go on with his daily occupations if — the girl, being five thousand miles away, would continue to love him. He wanted nothing more, He prayed his God for nothing more. ~ Ford Madox Ford
- Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible. ~ Paul Klee
- "Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!" ~ Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol
- Man is his own star, and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man
Commands all light, all influence, all fate.
Nothing to him falls early, or too late.
Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.
~ John Fletcher ~
- All of us encounter, at least once in our life, some individual who utters words that make us think forever. There are men whose phrases are oracles; who condense in one sentence the secrets of life; who blurt out an aphorism that forms a character or illustrates an existence. ~ Benjamin Disraeli in Coningsby
- That's the thing with magic. You've got to know it's still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you. ~ Charles de Lint
- "Heaven helps those who help themselves" is a well-tried maxim, embodying in a small compass the results of vast human experience. The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual; and, exhibited in the lives of many, it constitutes the true source of national vigour and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates. Whatever is done for men or classes, to a certain extent takes away the stimulus and necessity of doing for themselves; and where men are subjected to over-guidance and over-government, the inevitable tendency is to render them comparatively helpless. ~ Samuel Smiles
- People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success. ~ Norman Vincent Peale
- How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments. ~ Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanack
- The obstacles to peace are in the minds and hearts of men.
In the study of matter we can be honest, impartial, true. That is why we succeed in dealing with it. But about the things we care for — which are ourselves, our desires and lusts, our patriotisms and hates — we find a harder test of thinking straight and truly. Yet there is the greater need. Only by intellectual rectitude and in that field shall we be saved. There is no refuge but in truth, in human intelligence, in the unconquerable mind of man. ~ Norman Angell
- Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. ~ Louis Pasteur
- At terrestrial temperatures matter has complex properties which are likely to prove most difficult to unravel; but it is reasonable to hope that in the not too distant future we shall be competent to understand so simple a thing as a star. ~ Arthur Stanley Eddington
- If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
- Justice has nothing to do with victor nations and vanquished nations, but must be a moral standard that all the world's peoples can agree to. To seek this and to achieve it — that is true civilization. ~ Hideki Tojo
- The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it. ~ George Marshall
Other Quote of the Day archivesEdit
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- Quote of the Day (complete list)
- Quote of the Day proposals (archive of a defunct selection base)