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  • January 1

    • The people I respect most behave as if they were immortal and as if society was eternal.

      E. M. Forster (born 1 January 1879) English novelist, short story writer, and essayist
    • What is wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote, and brings to birth in us also the creative impulse.

      E. M. Forster (born 1 January 1879) English novelist, short story writer, and essayist
    • The true poet has no choice of material. The material plainly chooses him, not he it.

      J. D. Salinger (born 1 January 1919) American author, most famous for his novel "The Catcher in the Rye"
  • January 2

    • 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 (born 2 January 1920) Russian-born American author and biochemist
    • When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise — even in their own field.

      Isaac Asimov (born 2 January 1920) Russian-born American author and biochemist
    • I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.

      Isaac Asimov (born 2 January 1920) Russian-born American author and biochemist
  • January 3

    • Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached.

      Franz KafkaBohemian-Jewish novelist and fiction writer
    • Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music. And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable, ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme, each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will. But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.

      J. R. R. Tolkien in "The Silmarillion" (born 3 January 1892) English author and philologist
  • January 4

    • It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine).

      R.E.M.American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980
    • The main Business of natural Philosophy is to argue from Phenomena without feigning Hypotheses, and to deduce Causes from Effects, till we come to the very first Cause, which certainly is not mechanical.

      Isaac Newton (born 4 January 1643) English physicist, mathematician and natural philosopher
    • That's me in the corner
      That's me in the spotlight
      Losing my religion
      Trying to keep up with you
      And I don't know if I can do it.
      Oh, no, I've said too much.
      I haven't said enough.

      R.E.M.American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980
  • January 5

    • 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 (born 5 January 1876) Chancellor of West Germany from 1949-1963
    • A dreaded society is not a civilized society. The most progressive and powerful society in the civilized sense, is a society which has recognized its ethos, and come to terms with the past and the present, with religion and science, with modernism and mysticism, with materialism and spirituality; a society free of tension, a society rich in culture. Such a society cannot come with hocus-pocus formulas and with fraud. It has to flow from the depth of a divine search.

      Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (born 5 January 1928) President of Pakistan from 1971-1973
    • A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection — not an invitation for hypnosis.

      Umberto Eco (born 5 January 1932) Italian philosopher and novelist
  • January 6

    • Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.

      Khalil Gibran (born 6 January 1883) Artist, poet and writer
    • Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.

      Khalil Gibran (born 6 January 1883) Artist, poet and writer
    • To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but what he aspires to.

      Khalil Gibran (born 6 January 1883) Artist, poet and writer
  • January 7

    • There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

      Zora Neale Hurston (born 7 January 1891) American folklorist and author, well known for her novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God"
    • You cannot begin to preserve any species of animal unless you preserve the habitat in which it dwells. Disturb or destroy that habitat and you will exterminate the species as surely as if you had shot it. So conservation means that you have to preserve forest and grassland, river and lake, even the sea itself. This is not only vital for the preservation of animal life generally, but for the future existence of man himself — a point that seems to escape many people.

      Gerald Durrell (born 7 January 1925) Naturalist, zookeeper, author, and television presenter
    • When I take people round to see my animals, one of the first questions they ask (unless the animal is cute and appealing) is, "what use is it?" by which they mean, "what use is it to them?" To this one can reply "What use is the Acropolis?" Does a creature have to be of direct material use to mankind in order to exist? By and large, by asking the question "what use is it?" you are asking the animal to justify its existence without having justified your own.

      Gerald Durrell (born 7 January 1925) Naturalist, zookeeper, author, and television presenter
  • January 8

    • I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.

      Gerry Spence (born 8 January 1929) American lawyer and writer
    • If you cannot make knowledge your servant, make it your friend.

      Baltasar Gracián (born 8 January 1601) Spanish Jesuit author
    • My intent is to tell the truth as I know it, realizing that what is true for me may be blasphemy for others.

      Gerry Spence (born 8 January 1929) American lawyer and writer
  • January 9

    • I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth — and truth rewarded me.

      Simone de Beauvoir (born 9 January 1908) French author and existentialist philosopher
    • One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.

      Simone de Beauvoir (born 9 January 1908) French author and existentialist philosopher
    • I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity. I want this adventure that is the context of my life to go on without end.

      Simone de Beauvoir (born 9 January 1908) French author and existentialist philosopher
  • January 10

    • Truth is the only merit that gives dignity and worth to history.

      John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton (born 10 January 1834) English historian, commonly known simply as Lord Acton
    • I believe that the Universe is one being, all its parts are different expressions of the same energy, and they are all in communication with each other, therefore parts of one organic whole. This whole is in all its parts so beautiful, and is felt by me to be so intensely in earnest, that I am compelled to love it and to think of it as divine.

      Robinson Jeffers (born 10 January 1887) American poet
    • Corruption never has been compulsory; when the cities lie at the monster's feet there are left the mountains.

      Robinson Jeffers (born 10 January 1887) American poet
  • January 11

    • Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.

      William James (born 11 January 1842) American psychologist and philosopher
    • I do indeed disbelieve that we or any other mortal men can attain on a given day to absolutely incorrigible and unimprovable truth about such matters of fact as those with which religions deal. But I reject this dogmatic ideal not out of a perverse delight in intellectual instability. I am no lover of disorder and doubt as such. Rather do I fear to lose truth by this pretension to possess it already wholly.

      William James (born 11 January 1842) American psychologist and philosopher
    • I should esteem it the extreme of imprudence to prolong the precarious state of our national affairs, and to expose the union to the jeopardy of successive experiments, in the chimerical pursuit of a perfect plan. I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man. The result of the deliberations of all collective bodies must necessarily be a compound as well of the errors and prejudices, as of the good sense and wisdom of the individuals of whom they are composed.

      Alexander Hamilton (born 11 January 1755) American politician, statesman, writer and lawyer
  • January 12

    • 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 (born 12 January 1729) Irish political philosopher, Whig politician and statesman
    • Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

      Edmund Burke (born 12 January 1729) Irish political philosopher, Whig politician and statesman
    • Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.

      Edmund Burke (born 12 January 1729) Irish political philosopher, Whig politician and statesman
  • January 13

    • 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 (born 13 January 1872) Greek-Armenian mystic and a spiritual teacher
    • The explorers of the past were great men and we should honour them. But let us not forget that their spirit lives on. It is still not hard to find a man who will adventure for the sake of a dream or one who will search, for the pleasure of searching, not for what he may find.

      Edmund Hillary (died 11 January 2008) New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist
    • Conscious faith is freedom.
      Emotional faith is slavery.
      Mechanical faith is foolishness.

      G. I. Gurdjieff (born 13 January 1872) Greek-Armenian mystic and a spiritual teacher
  • January 14

    • 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 (born 14 January 1875) German philosopher, philanthropist, physician and theologian
    • At no time are we ever in such complete possession of a journey, down to its last nook and cranny, as when we are busy with preparations for it. After that, there remains only the journey itself, which is nothing but the process through which we lose our ownership of it.

      Yukio Mishima (born 14 January 1925) Japanese novelist, essayist and short story writer
    • The great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up. That is possible for him who never argues and strives with men and facts, but in all experience retires upon himself, and looks for the ultimate cause of things in himself.

      Albert Schweitzer (born 14 January 1875) German philosopher, philanthropist, physician and theologian
  • January 15

    • 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. (born 15 January 1929) Baptist minister and civil rights activist
    • I'm concerned about justice. I'm concerned about brotherhood. I'm concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about these, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer but you can't murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar but you can't establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate. Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that.

      Martin Luther King, Jr. (born 15 January 1929) Baptist minister and civil rights activist
    • Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence.

      Martin Luther King, Jr. (born 15 January 1929) Baptist minister and civil rights activist
  • January 16

    • I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

      Evelyn Beatrice HallEnglish writer best known for her biography of Voltaire with the title "The Friends of Voltaire"
    • I don't want to express alienation. It isn't what I feel. I'm interested in various kinds of passionate engagement. All my work says be serious, be passionate, wake up.

      Susan Sontag (born 16 January 1933) American author and activist
    • Ours is an age which consciously pursues health, and yet only believes in the reality of sickness. The truths we respect are those born of affliction. We measure truth in terms of the cost to the writer in suffering — rather than by the standard of an objective truth to which a writer's words correspond. Each of our truths must have a martyr.

      Susan Sontag (born 16 January 1933) American author and activist
  • January 17

    • 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 (born 17 January 1964) American lawyer, wife of Barack Obama
    • All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity, that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut. Whether this be the case with my history or not, I am hardly competent to judge. I sometimes think it might prove useful to some, and entertaining to others; but the world may judge for itself. Shielded by my own obscurity, and by the lapse of years, and a few fictitious names, I do not fear to venture; and will candidly lay before the public what I would not disclose to the most intimate friend.

      Anne Brontë (born 17 January 1820) British novelist and poet
    • I somehow see what's beautiful
      In things that are ephemeral.
      I'm my only friend of mine,
      And love is just a piece of time
      In the world
      In the world.
      And I couldn't help but fall in love again.

      Zooey Deschanel (born 17 January 1980) American actress, song-writer and singer
  • January 18

    • Beyond a certain point, the whole universe becomes a continuous process of initiation.

      Robert Anton Wilson (born 18 January 1932) American novelist, essayist, philosopher and futurist
    • The success of most things depends upon knowing how long it will take to succeed.

      Charles de Montesquieu (born 18 January 1689) French political thinker
    • I have always observed that to succeed in the world one should appear like a fool but be wise.

      Charles de Montesquieu (born 18 January 1689) French political thinker
  • January 19

    • 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 (born 19 January 1809) American poet, novelist, short story writer and essayist
    • From childhood's hour I have not been
      As others were — I have not seen
      As others saw — I could not bring
      My passions from a common spring —
      From the same source I have not taken
      My sorrow — I could not awaken
      My heart to joy at the same tone —
      And all I lov'd — I lov'd alone.

      Edgar Allan Poe (born 19 January 1809) American poet, novelist, short story writer and essayist
    • Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.

      Robert E. Lee (born 19 January 1807) Career army officer
  • January 20

    • I love child things because there's so much mystery when you're a child. When you're a child, something as simple as a tree doesn't make sense. You see it in the distance and it looks small, but as you go closer, it seems to grow — you haven't got a handle on the rules when you're a child. We think we understand the rules when we become adults but what we really experienced is a narrowing of the imagination.

      David Lynch (born 20 January 1946) American film director, writer and actor
    • To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

      Barack Obama44th President of the United States of America
    • Houston: Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.

      Neil ArmstrongAmerican aviator and former astronaut, the first man to actually step foot upon the moon
  • January 21

    • 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 (born 21 January 1738) American revolutionary and guerrilla leader
    • If the general government should persist in the measures now threatened, there must be war. It is painful enough to discover with what unconcern they speak of war and threaten it. They do not know its horrors. I have seen enough of it to make me look upon it as the sum of all evils.

      Stonewall Jackson (born 21 January 1824) American teacher and soldier
    • That which is above comprehension we cannot perceive to be contradictory, nor on the other hand can we perceive its rationality or consistency.

      Ethan Allen (born 21 January 1738) American revolutionary and guerrilla leader
  • January 22

    • 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 (born 22 January 1561) English philosopher, statesman and essayist
    • So, we'll go no more a roving
      So late into the night,
      Though the heart be still as loving,
      And the moon be still as bright. For the sword outwears its sheath,
      And the soul wears out the breast,
      And the heart must pause to breathe,
      And love itself have rest.

      Lord Byron in "Don Juan" (born 22 January 1788) Anglo-Scottish poet and leading figure in Romanticism
    • Truth is always strange;
      Stranger than fiction.

      Lord Byron in "Don Juan" (born 22 January 1788) Anglo-Scottish poet and leading figure in Romanticism
  • January 23

    • One can acquire everything in solitude — except character.

      Stendhal (born 23 January 1783) 19th century French writer
    • Almost all our misfortunes in life come from the wrong notions we have about the things that happen to us. To know men thoroughly, to judge events sanely, is, therefore, a great step towards happiness.

      Stendhal (born 23 January 1783) 19th century French writer
    • Love has always been the most important business in my life, I should say the only one.

      Stendhal (born 23 January 1783) 19th century French writer
  • January 24

    • There are two ways of spreading light: to be
      The candle or the mirror that reflects it.

      Edith Wharton (born 24 January 1862) American novelist, short story writer and designer
    • Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.

      Edith Wharton (born 24 January 1862) American novelist, short story writer and designer
    • True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision.

      Edith Wharton (born 24 January 1862) American novelist, short story writer and designer
  • January 25

    • The strongest natures, when they are influenced, submit the most unreservedly; it is perhaps a sign of their strength.

      Virginia Woolf (born 25 January 1882) British writer and feminist literary figure
    • If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie.

      W. Somerset Maugham (born 25 January 1874) English playwright, novelist and short story writer
    • O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
      To see oursels as others see us!
      It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
      An' foolish notion.
      What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us
      An' ev'n Devotion.

      Robert Burns (born 25 January 1759) Scottish poet and pioneer of the Romantic movement
  • January 26

    • 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 (born 26 January 1918) American author
    • Prometheus, I have no Titan's might,
      Yet I, too, must each dusk renew my heart,
      For daytime's vulture talons tear apart
      The tender alcoves built by love at night.

      Philip José Farmer (born 26 January 1918) American author
    • If you don't have enemies, you don't have character.

      Paul Newman (born 26 January 1925) American actor and film director
  • January 27

    • Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it.

      Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (born 27 January 1832) British author, mathematician and Anglican clergyman
    • "In that direction," the Cat said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Hatter: and in that direction," waving the other paw, "lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."
      "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
      "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
      "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
      "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

      Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (born 27 January 1832) British author, mathematician and Anglican clergyman
    • Twas brillig and the slithy toves,
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
      All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe. "Beware the Jabberwock, my son,
      the jaws that bite and claws that scratch
      Beware the jubjub bird
      and shun the frumious bandersnatch."

      Lewis Carroll in "Through the Looking-Glass" (born 27 January 1832) British author, mathematician and Anglican clergyman
  • January 28

    • 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 (born 28 January 1873) French writer
    • For the sincere friend
      Who gives me his frank hand.
      And for the cruel man who pulls out of me
      the heart with which I live,
      I grow neither nettles nor thorns:
      I grow a white rose.

      José Martí (born 28 January 1853) Leader of the Cuban independence movement
    • Life on earth is a hand-to-hand mortal combat… between the law of love and the law of hate.

      José Martí (born 28 January 1853) Leader of the Cuban independence movement
  • January 29

    • 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 (died 29 January 2009) American novelist, poet, critic and short-story writer
    • The fear of freedom is strong in us. We call it chaos or anarchy, and the words are threatening. We live in a true chaos of contradicting authorities, an age of conformism without community, of proximity without communication. We could only fear chaos if we imagined that it was unknown to us, but in fact we know it very well.

      Germaine Greer (born 29 January 1939) Australian author, academic, critic and journalist
    • Each of us is full of too many wheels, screws and valves to permit us to judge one another on a first impression or by two or three external signs.

      Anton Chekhov (born 29 January 1860) Russian short story writer and playwright
  • January 30

    • 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 (born 30 January 1882) 32nd President of the United States
    • We do not see faith, hope, and charity as unattainable ideals, but we use them as stout supports of a nation fighting the fight for freedom in a modern civilization.
      Faith — in the soundness of democracy in the midst of dictatorships.
      Hope — renewed because we know so well the progress we have made.
      Charity — in the true spirit of that grand old word. For charity literally translated from the original means love, the love that understands, that does not merely share the wealth of the giver, but in true sympathy and wisdom helps men to help themselves.

      Franklin D. Roosevelt (born 30 January 1882) 32nd President of the United States
    • Is there not glory enough in living the days given to us? You should know there is adventure in simply being among those we love and the things we love, and beauty, too.

      Lloyd Alexander (born 30 January 1924) American author, famous for "The Chronicles of Prydain"
  • January 31

    • 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 (born 31 January 1949) American author
    • At this point in history, the most radical, pervasive, and earth-shaking transformation would occur simply if everybody truly evolved to a mature, rational, and responsible ego, capable of freely participating in the open exchange of mutual self-esteem. There is the "edge of history." There would be a real New Age.

      Ken Wilber (born 31 January 1949) American author
    • Anybody can they say they are being "spiritual" — and they are, because everybody has some type and level of concern. Let us therefore see their actual conception, in thought and action, and see how many perspectives it is in fact concerned with, and how many perspectives it actually takes into account, and how many perspectives it attempts to integrate, and thus let us see how deep and how wide runs that bodhisattva vow to refuse rest until all perspectives whatsoever are liberated into their own primordial nature.

      Ken Wilber (born 31 January 1949) American author
 
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