This is a collection of quotes which have struck my fancy for one reason or another. Some of them are just fragments which struck a chord. I do not know the source of all of these - if you know the source of an unattributed bit, send it to me and you may win a fabulous prize.
Theoretically, an age of bureaucracy can last until a paper shortage develops. -A. Weishaupt
Together we must rise to ever higher and higher platitudes. -Richard Daley
The Lyre of Orpheus opens the door to the underworld of the emotions.
I wrote again, trying to coax Hoffman to see things from my point of view, which is not to push forward the frontiers of music, I assure you, or to plunge into the murky world of dreams... -[Someone in the Lyre of Orpheus, by Roberson Davies]
She doth teach the torches to burn bright.
Blunders are not the merest chance. They are the result of suppressed desires and conflicts. -Freud
Coincidences are a spiritual sort of pun. -G. K. Chesterton
If you forsake a certainty and depend on an uncertainty, you will lose both the certainty and the uncertainty. -Sanskrit proverb
Commit random acts of kindness and senseless beauty.
The universe doesn't have to make sense all the time for us to appreciate its beauty, and the reflection it throws upon our own lives.
Boldness has magic in it. -Goethe
A system is the tail of truth... -Chris Stevens
One never makes a bad investment--some of them just turn out that way.
The most transitory, when it truly touches us, awakens in us something everlasting. -Hebbel
Bon, voila ton raissonment qui a le nez casse'. -Dom Juan
O oi che siete in picciolette barca.
Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. -Hemingway.
Since I had started to break down all my writing and get rid of all facility and try to make instead of describe, writing had been wonderful to do. But it was very difficult, and I did not know how I would ever write anything as long as a novel. It often took me a full morning of work to write a paragraph. -Hemingway
Mortals are forgotten ten minutes after they die; writers can be remembered in the tales of Parisian bartenders, suitable for the amusement of tourists. -Hemingway
``It seems very pretty, but it's rather hard to understand!'' (You see she didn't like to confess, even to herself, that she couldn't make it out at all.) -From _Alice Through the Looking Glass_
Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of - but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. -Heinlein
If you happen to be one of the fretful minority who can do creative work, never force an idea; you'll abort it. Be patient and you'll give birth to it when the time is ripe. Learn to wait. -Heinlein
Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human - at best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house. -Heinlein
Bonze: noun, from the Portugese word `Bonzo', meaning an impolite though not necessarily offensive term for a Japanese clergyman.
A handy non-sexist word: `Klansperson'.
Nur der Wannsinnige ist sich absolut sicher.
Pink was not her color...neither was she fond of true blue.
Prisons are built with the stones of Law, brothels with the bricks of Religion. -William Blake
Don't clean our lenses, get the crack out of you own. -Nothingarian slogan
Ye have locked yourselves up in cages of fear, and, behold, do ye now complain that ye lack freedom. -Omar Khayyam
``And while I think of it,'' I once heard him say, ``we haven't had any woodcock for days, or truffles baked in the ashes, and the cellar is becoming a disgrace - no more '34s and hardly and '37s. Last week, I had to offer my publisher a bottle that was far too good for him, simply because there was nothing between the insulting and the superlative.'' - A. J. Liebling
Atrocity is recognized as such by victim and perpetrator alike, by all who learn about it at whatever remove. Atrocity merely arms the future for more atrocity. It is self-perpetuating, a barbarous form of incest. Whoever commits atrocity also commits those future atrocities thus bred. -Frank Herbert
Short-term expedience always fails in the long run. -Frank Herbert
Most civilation is based on cowardice. It is so easy to civilize by teaching cowardice. You water down the standards which would lead to bravery. You restrain the will. You regulate the appetites. You fence in the horizons. You make a law for every movement. You deny the existence of chaos. You teach even the children to breath slowly. You tame. -Frank Herbert
Remember your Philosopher's Doubts...beware! The mind of a believer stagnates. It fails to grow outward into an unlimited, infinite universe. -Frank Herbert
The unclouded eye is better, no matter what it sees. -Frank Herbert
How very little does the amateur, dwelling at home at ease, comprehend the labours and perils of the author. -R. L. Stevenson
Ah well, they say it is not as bad as they say it is.
A map is not the territory. -Alfred Korzybski
He who attempts to penetrate into the rose garden of the philosophers without the key resembles a man who would walk without feet. -Michael Maier
Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun. -Picasso
You can observe a lot just by watching. -Yogi Berra
Life is life and fun is fun, but it is all so quiet when the golfish dies. -translated from the Coptic.
Any object, intensely regarded, may be a gate of access to the incorruptable eons of the gods. -Joyce
A dangerous path is this, like the edge of a razor. -a Hindu text
...where we represent all manner of feats of juggling, false apparitions, impostures, and illusions... -?
Wonderful, I never did like to do anything simply when I could do it ass-backwards. -(Flatline)
A lusty bit of nourishment... cursed with a keen appetite am I...
...a sharp, black satire with Jacobian undercurrents...
I know your purpose, Mr. Pritiman: the old King must be sacraficed so that Lowlands my bloom again. -AVPP
Alchemy, however, is a chaste prostitute, who has many lovers but disappoints all and grants her favor to none. She transforms the haughty into fools, the rich into paupers, the philosophers into dolts, and the deceived into loquacious deceivers. -Trithemius
The Sage acts but does not possess, completes his work but does not dwell on it. In this fashion, he has no desire to display his worth. -42(77)
The killing of masses of human beings, we bewail with sorrow and grief; Victory in battle, we commemorate with mourning ritual. -75(31)
Per speculum in aenigmate. -St. Paul
Now we see in a mirror, in darkness, but later we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, but later I shall know as I am known. -Cipriano de Valera
It may be that universal history is the history of a handful of metaphors. -Borges
The highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences. -Herbert
How often it is that the angry man rages denial of what his inner self is telling him. -Herbert
All men must see that the teaching of religion by rules and rote is largely a hoax. The proper teaching is recognized with ease: you can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensation which tells you this is something you've always know. -Herbert
Some precious stones can be identified by their impurities. Experts map impurities within the stones. A secret fingerprint. People are like that. You often know them by their defects. The glittering surface tells you too little. Good identification requires you to look deep inside and see the impurities. There is the gem quality of total being. What would Van Gogh have been without impurities? -Herbert
A good warrior is not bellicose, A good fighter does not anger, A good conqueror does not contest his enemy, One who is good at using others puts himself below them. -Lao Tzu
One who knows does not speak; One who speaks does not know. -Lao Tzu
Preeminent is one whose subjects barely know he exists; The next is one to whom they feel close and praise; The next is one whom they fear; The lowest is one whom they despise. When the ruler's trust is wanting, There will be no trust in him. Cautious, the sage ruler values his words. When his work is completed and his affairs finished, the common people say, ``We are like this by ourselves.'' -Lao Tzu
A monkey trainer went to his monkeys and told them: ``As regards your chestnuts: you are going to have three measures in the morning and four in the afternoon.'' At this they all became angry. So he said: ``All right, in that case I will give you four in the morning and three in the afternoon.'' This time they were satisfied. -Chuang Tzu
The Prince of Wu took a boat to Monkey Mountain. As soon as the monkeys saw him they all fled in panic and hid in the treetops. One monkey, however, remained, completely unconcerned, swinging from branch to branch -- an extraordinary display! The Prince shot an arrow at the monkey, but the monkey dexterously caught the arrow in mid-flight. At this the Prince ordered his attendants to make a concerted attack. In an instant the monkey was shot full of arrows and fell dead. -Chuang Tzu
There was a man who was so disturbed by the sight of his own shadow and so displeased with his own footsteps that he determined to get rid of both. The method he hit upon was to run away from them. So he got up and ran. But every time he put is foot down there was another step, while his shadow kept up with him without the slightest difficulty. He attributed his failure to the fact that he was not running fast enough. So he ran faster and faster, without stopping, until finally he dropped dead. -Chuang Tzu
It is recognized by all who are acquainted with Buddhist philosophy that birth and death are not phenomena which happen only once in a given human life; they occur uninterruptedly. At every moment something is reborn. The different Bardos therefore represent different states of consciousness of our life.
That clear colourness light is a sense-symbol of the formless void. What then is this void? It is not absolutely `Nothingless'. It is the Alogical, to which no categories drawn from the world of name and form apply.
``[Some there may be] who have listened much [to religious instructions] yet not recognized; and [some] who, though recognizing, are nevertheless weak in familiarity'' -TBotD
A change in the weather is enough to renew the world and ourselves. -Proust
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar. -Helen Keller
Something is hiddden, go and find it. -Kipling
The perfection of means and the confusion of ends seems to be our problem. -Einstein
The elevation of ends and the simplification of means is the goal. -Thoreau
Pain is certain, suffering is optional.
Be not afraid of growing slowly -- be afraid only of standing still.
Action is what unites every great success. Action is what produes results. Knowledge is only potential power until it comes into the hands of someone who knows how to get himself to take effective action. -Anthony Robbins
When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. -John Ruskin
You have to be with the work and the work has to be with you. It absorbs you totally, and you absorb it totally. -Louise Nelson
A problem is a chance for you to do your best. -Duke Ellington
Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything. -Rainier Maria Rilke
Being a good craftsman will in no way prevent you from becoming a genius. -Renoir
In every religion there is a doctinal line beyond which it insults the intelligence of its practicioners. Reasonable people may disagree as to where the that line should be, but religions trespass well beyond it at their peril. -Joss Palmer
...bureaucratic religions try to institutionalize your perception of the numinous instead of providing the means so you can perceive the numinous directly. -Eleanor Arrorway
Reading a translation is like examining the back of a piece of tapesty. -Cervantes.
To reach out, to struggle, to give, to remember, to have loved, to have friends...is to have lived. (from a greeting card inspired by Mexican poetry).
Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. -Oscar Wilde
It is not enough for a handful of experts to attempt the solution of a problem, to solve it and then to apply it. The restriction of knowledge to an elite group destroys the spirit of society and leads to its intellectual impoverishment. -Albert Einstein
Be the master of your will and the slave of your conscience. -Hasidic saying
Only a fool lets somebody else tell him who his enemy is. -Assata Shakur
When faced with a choice between two evils, I like to choose the one I have not tried before. -Mae West
Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Created by Mark L. Hessenflow
21. August 1995