Quotes

Quotes


Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake… —Francis Bacon Sr.

Once more into the fray,
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know.
Live and die on this day.
Live and die on this day.
—Joe Carnahan, The Grey (2011)

Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. —G.K. Chesterton

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now. —Chinese Proverb

Life is more complicated than we think, yet far simpler than anyone dares to imagine. —Lawrence Durrell, Clea

Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy. —Albert Einstein

[T]he truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes overflow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars. —Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

It did not do to think, nor, for the matter to feel. She gave up trying to understand herself, and joined the vast armies of the benighted, who follow neither the heart nor the brain, and march to their destiny by catch words. The armies are full of pleasant and pious folk. But they have yielded to the only enemy that matters—the enemy within. They have sinned against passion and truth, and vain will be their strife after virtue. As the years pass, they are censured. Their pleasantry and their piety show cracks, their wit becomes cynicism, their unselfishness hypocrisy; they feel and produce discomfort wherever they go. They have sinned against Eros and against Pallas Athene, and not by any heavenly intervention, but by the ordinary course of nature, those allied deities will be avenged. —E. M. Forrester, A Room With A View

There is really nothing you must be.
And there is nothing you must do.
There is really nothing you must have.
And there is nothing you must know.
There is really nothing you must become.
However, it helps to understand that fire burns,
And when it rains, the earth gets wet.
—Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Japan (retold by Robert Fulghum)

Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. ― Robert A. Heinlein

Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. —James Neil Hollingworth

Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses. —Alphonse Karr

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. —Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear. —Joanna R. Macy

When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: “Whose?” —Don Marquis

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
—Joni Mitchell, “Stardust”

When you look into a pool of water,
if the water is still,
you can see the moon reflected.
***
If the water is agitated,
the moon is fragmented and scattered.
It’s harder to see the moon.
***
Our minds are like that.
When our minds are agitated,
we cannot see the true world.
—John J. Muth

Wisdom tells me I’m Nothing. Love tells me I’m Everything. Between the two flows the river of my life. —Nisargadatta Maharaj

Each tree grows in two directions at once, into the darkness and out to the light with as many branches and roots as it needs to embody its wild desires. – John O’Donohue

You’re not how much money you’ve got in the bank. You’re not your job. You’re not your family, and you’re not who you tell yourself… You’re not your name… You’re not your problems… You’re not your age… You are not your hopes… You will not be saved… We are all going to die, someday… What will you wish you’d done before you died? —Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Advice is what you get when the person you’re talking with about something horrible and complicated wishes you would just shut up and go away. Advice is what you get when the person you are talking to wants to revel in the superiority of his or her own intelligence. If you weren’t so stupid, after all, you wouldn’t have your stupid problems…Genuine conversation is exploration, articulation and strategizing. When you’re involved in a genuine conversation, you’re listening, and talking—but mostly listening. Listening is paying attention. It’s amazing what people will tell you if you listen. Sometimes if you listen to people they will even tell you what’s wrong with them. Sometimes they will even tell you how they plan to fix it. Sometimes that helps you fix something wrong with yourself. —Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life

Sex may be a little more factual than love. You know whether it was good or not. You know whether you liked it or not. You’re not going to change your mind about it ten years later. – Iggy Pop, Esquire, March, 2007

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ —Mary Anne Radmacher

We need Shakespeare now because the kind of vision he offers counters some of the forces of individualistic capitalism that embraces one person’s well-being at the expense of another’s, It’s the lack of generosity. When human interactions are reduced to mere contractual relations, they fail, they’re inadequate. —Regina Schwartz

Everyone looks retarded once you set your mind to it. —David Sedaris

Words! Words!
The Way is beyond language,
no tomorrow
no today.
—Seng T’san, “Hsin-Hsin Ming”

Each of you is perfect the way you are … and you can use a little improvement. —Shunryu Suzuki

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. —Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right —Mark Twain

What you hope, you will eventually believe. What you believe you will eventually know. What you know, you will eventually create. What you create, you will eventually experience. What you experience you will eventually express. What you express you will eventually become. This is the formula for all of life. —Neale Donald Walsch

Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you. —William Arthur Ward

Enlightenment is nothing more than the complete absence of resistance to what is. —Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing

The only secret that has helped me consistently over all the years that I’ve written. I said, Well, I’ll tell you how. I ask a simple question. I ask myself: What was the very best moment of your day? The wonder of it was, I told them, that this one question could lift out from my life exactly what I will want to write a poem about. Something that I hadn’t known was important will leap up and hover there in front of me, saying I am—I am the best moment of the day. —Nicholson Baker, The Anthologist: A Novel

When we enter into sacred texts as readers, rather than as worshippers—treating them, the way we might the Odyssey or “Beowulf,” as ancient vessels of meaning crafted by people who, like all writers, had their good moments and their misses—we gain much, but we lose much, too. We gain the freedom to read and roam for pleasure. But we forget at our peril that, through most of their history, these have been not books, to be appreciated, but truths, to be obeyed. —Adam Gopnik, “Sacred Arts or How to Read the Good Books,” The New Yorker, January 21, 2019

“Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.” (The Devil is wise, not because he is the Devil, but because he is old.) —Spanish Proverb

Two thousand five hundred years ago, Shakyamuni Buddha proclaimed that the next Buddha will be named Maitreya, the “Buddha of Love.” I think Maitreya Buddha may be a community and not just an individual. —Thich Nhat Hanh,“The Fertile Soil of Sangha,” Tricycle, Summer 2008.

Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration – that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather. —Bill Hicks

The challenge in addressing the utility of our dreams is not whether to reject them outright in an effort to privilege the sort of logical truth the rational mind offers us. It’s to picture a conversation between imagination imagination and intellect, one that might produce an advantageous vision, one the intellect itself cannot discern and which the imagination alone is not able to create. —Barry H. Lopez, Horizon

Lawyers are all right, I guess—but it doesn’t appeal to me,’ I said. ‘I mean they’re all right if they go around saving innocent guys’ lives all the time, and like that, but you don’t do that kind of stuff if you’re a lawyer. All you do is make a lot of dough and play golf and play bridge and buy cars and drink Martinis and look like a hot-shot. And besides. Even if you did go around saving guys’ lives and all, how would you know if you did it because you really wanted to save guys’ lives, or because you did it because what you really wanted to do was be a terrific lawyer, with everybody slapping you on the back and congratulating you in court when the goddam trial was over, the reporters and everybody, the way it is in the dirty movies? How would you know you weren’t being a phony? The trouble is, you wouldn’t. —J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. —William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”

Nothing rankles more in the human breast than a brooding sense of injustice. Illness we can put up with, but injustice makes us want to pull things down. —Reginald Herber Smith

Yes, what mushrooms have taught me is the interconnectedness of all life forms and the molecular matrix that we share. I no longer feel that I am in this envelope of a human called Paul Stamets. I am part of this stream of molecules that are flowing through nature, that are becoming eddies of life. I am given a voice, given consciousness for a time, but I feel that I am part of this continuum of stardust into which I am born and to which I will return at the end of this life. See, the thing about “stardust” for me is that it’s not some kind of disembodied mystical romantic stuff. It’s about real organic compounds and the evolution of life. We need our tribe and have to respect our natural affiliations. Real, warm-blooded mammalian life, with beating hearts that express their own intelligence and influence hormonal and neuroendrine systems. We live on love, mutual respect, affection, and common purpose. Food, sleep, security, music, soft voices, and mutual support. All these are aspects of wisdom, too. —Paul Stamets

Some people have a way with words, and other people…oh, uh, not have way. —Steve Martin