From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step.Napoleon I of France
Try to remember this: what you projectRichard Wilbur
Is what you will perceive; what you perceive
With any passion, be it love or terror,
May take on whims and powers of its own.
Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.Frédéric Chopin
In times like these, it's helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.Paul Harvey
I'm telling you this 'cause you're one of my friends.Dr. Seuss
My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!
… So, on beyond Z!
It's high time you were shown
That you really don't know
All there is to be known.
Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.Carl Schurz
If there be such a thing as truth, it must infallibly be struck out by the collision of mind with mind.William Godwin
Consent in virtue knit your hearts so fast,Edmund Waller
That still the knot, in spite of death, does last;
For as your tears, and sorrow-wounded soul,
Prove well that on your part this bond is whole,
So all we know of what they do above,
Is that they happy are, and that they love.
Let dark oblivion, and the hollow grave,
Content themselves our frailer thoughts to have;
Well-chosen love is never taught to die,
But with our nobler part invades the sky.
The proper method for hastening the decay of error, is not, by brute force, or by regulation which is one of the classes of force, to endeavour to reduce men to intellectual uniformity; but on the contrary by teaching every man to think for himself.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
Philosophy is based on speculation, on logic, on thought, on the synthesis of what we know and on the analysis of what we do not know. Philosophy must include within its confines the whole content of science, religion and art.P. D. Ouspensky
I honor my importance and the importance of others. None of us is dispensable, none of us is replacable. In the chorus of life each of us brings a True Note, a perfect pitch that adds to the harmony of the whole. I act creatively and consciously to actively endorse and encourage the expansion of those whose lives I touch. Believing in the goodness of each, I add to the goodness of all. We bless each other even in passing.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
Technology adds nothing to art. Two thousand years ago, I could tell you a story, and at any point during the story I could stop, and ask, Now do you want the hero to be kidnapped, or not? But that would, of course, have ruined the story. Part of the experience of being entertained is sitting back and plugging into someone else's vision.Penn Jillette
It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.Grace Hopper
A man contains all that is needed to make up a tree; likewise, a tree contains all that is needed to make up a man. Thus, finally, all things meet in all things, but we need a Prometheus to distill it.Cyrano de Bergerac
You imagine that what you can't understand is either spiritual or does not exist. The conclusion is quite wrong; rather there are obviously a million things in the universe that we would need a million quite different organs to understand … someone blind from birth cannot imagine the beauty of a landscape, the colors of a painting or the shadings of an iris. He will imagine them as something palpable, edible, audible or olfactory. Likewise, if I were to explain to you what I perceive by the senses you do not have, you would interpret it as something that could be heard, seen, touched, smelled or tasted; but it is not like that.Cyrano de Bergerac
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?Juvenal
Who watches the Watchmen?
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
Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company you don't even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game.Gary Gygax
It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of reason is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.Aristotle
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
We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing. Similarly, we ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the heavens. The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh enrichment.Johannes Kepler
I think it not improbable that man, like the grub that prepares a chamber for the winged thing it never has seen but is to be — that man may have cosmic destinies that he does not understand.Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
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
If you're a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he's good, the older he gets, the better he writes.Mickey Spillane
Orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it!Yuri Gagarin
In men whom men condemn as illJoaquin Miller
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.
We are tired of having a "sphere" doled out to us, and of being told that anything outside that sphere is "unwomanly". We want to be natural just for a change … we must be ourselves at all risks.Kate Sheppard
I don't believe in hatred anymore.Edie Brickell
I hate to think of how it felt before
When anger overwhelms your very soul
It's hard to realize you'll ever know
Love like we do.
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
The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it.Vannevar Bush
Perhaps if only once you did enjoyTorquato Tasso
The thousandth part of all the happiness
A heart beloved enjoys, returning love,
Repentant, you would surely sighing say,
"All time is truly lost and gone
Which is not spent in serving love."
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
All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.Jack Kerouac
Who knows, my God, but that the universe is not one vast sea of compassion actually, the veritable holy honey, beneath all this show of personality and cruelty?Jack Kerouac
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
Don’t give up! I believe in you allDr. Seuss
A person’s a person, no matter how small!
And you very small persons will not have to die
If you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!
For those to whom a stone reveals itself as sacred, its immediate reality is transmuted into supernatural reality. In other words, for those who have a religious experience all nature is capable of revealing itself as cosmic sacrality.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.Albert Einstein
The health of society thus depends quite as much on the independence of the individuals composing it as on their close political cohesion.
Today we must abandon competition and secure cooperation. This must be the central fact in all our considerations of international affairs; otherwise we face certain disaster. Past thinking and methods did not prevent world wars. Future thinking must prevent wars … The stakes are immense, the task colossal, the time is short. But we may hope — we must hope — that man’s own creation, man’s own genius, will not destroy him.Albert Einstein
This land is your land, this land is my landWoody Guthrie
From California to the New York Island,
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.
Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.Andrew Jackson
As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of person and property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending.Andrew Jackson
It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics, and laborers — who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government.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
Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents.James Madison
I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.James Madison
Man dwells apart, though not alone,Jean Ingelow
He walks among his peers unread;
The best of thoughts which he hath known
For lack of listeners are not said.
Let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes. I am not keeping silent, nor am I hiding the signs and wonders that were shown to me by the Lord many years before they happened, who knew everything, even before the beginning of time.Saint Patrick
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,Saint Patrick
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Candor is always a double-edged sword; it may heal or it may separate.Wilhelm Stekel
The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.Wilhelm Stekel
I am inventing a language which must necessarily burst forth from a very new poetics, that could be defined in a couple of words: Paint, not the thing, but the effect it produces.Stéphane Mallarmé
"Fools rush where Angels fear to tread!" Angels and Fools have equal claimRichard Francis Burton
To do what Nature bids them do, sans hope of praise, sans fear of blame!
Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause;Richard Francis Burton
He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws.
Cease, Man, to mourn, to weep, to wail; enjoy thy shining hour of sun;Richard Francis Burton
We dance along Death's icy brink, but is the dance less full of fun?
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
If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run — and often in the short one — the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.Arthur C. Clarke
A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.Henrik Ibsen
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
If Spring came but once in a century, instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change! But now the silent succession suggests nothing but necessity. To most men only the cessation of the miracle would be miraculous and the perpetual exercise of God's power seems less wonderful than its withdrawal would be.Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In the scenery of spring,Ryōkan
nothing is better, nothing worse;
The flowering branches are
of themselves, some short, some long.
I buoyed me on the wings of dream,Francis William Bourdillon
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.
Music and silence… combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.Marcel Marceau
To communicate through silence is a link between the thoughts of man.Marcel Marceau
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
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
Society must be organized in such a way that man's social, loving nature is not separated from his social existence, but becomes one with it. If it is true, as I have tried to show, that love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence, then any society which excludes, relatively, the development of love, must in the long run perish of its own contradiction with the basic necessities of human nature.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
I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.William Morris
Love is enough: though the World be a-waningWilliam Morris
And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining,
Though the sky be too dark for dim eyes to discover
The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder,
Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder,
And this day draw a veil over all deeds passed over,
Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter;
The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter
These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.
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
Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace. Where this is not the case, there is no help in any parliamentary Opposition or any Platonic appeals to the constitution. One compels respect from others when he knows how to defend his dignity as a human being.Rudolf Rocker
The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.William Faulkner
I shall be telling this with a sighRobert Frost
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about.Joseph Campbell
I have kept hidden in the instep archRobert Frost
Of an old cedar at the waterside
A broken drinking goblet like the Grail
Under a spell so the wrong ones can't find it,
So can't get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn't.
(I stole the goblet from the children's playhouse.)
Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
There’s a good time coming, boys!Charles Mackay
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.
In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practised, and, both by precept and example, inculcated on mankind.Samuel Adams
Non-evaluative insight into history does not inevitably lead to relativism, but rather to relationism. Knowledge, as seen in the light of the total conception of ideology, is by no means an illusory experience, for ideology in its relational concept is not at all identical with illusion. Knowledge arising out of our experience in actual life situations, though not absolute, is knowledge none the less.Karl Mannheim
I don't think there's anything exceptional or noble in being philanthropic. It's the other attitude that confuses me.Paul Newman
Just as we cannot stop the movement of the heavens, revolving as they do with such speed, so we cannot restrain our thought. And then we send all the faculties of the soul after it, thinking we are lost, and have misused the time that we are spending in the presence of God. Yet the soul may perhaps be wholly united with Him in the Mansions very near His presence, while thought remains in the outskirts of the castle, suffering the assaults of a thousand wild and venomous creatures and from this suffering winning merit. So this must not upset us, and we must not abandon the struggle, as the devil tries to make us do. Most of these trials and times of unrest come from the fact that we do not understand ourselves.Teresa of Avila
I perceive the world in fragments. It is somewhat like being on a very fast train and getting glimpses of things in strange scales as you pass by. A person can be very, very tiny. And a billboard can make a person very large. You see the corner of a house or you see a bird fly by, and it's all fragmented. Somehow, in painting I try to make some logic out of the world that has been given to me in chaos. I have a very pretentious idea that I want to make life, I want to make sense out of it. The fact that I am doomed to failure — that doesn't deter me in the least.Grace Hartigan
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."R. S. Thomas
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."
I have known exile and a wild passionR. S. Thomas
Of longing changing to a cold ache.
King, beggar and fool, I have been all by turns,
Knowing the body’s sweetness, the mind’s treason;
Taliesin still, I show you a new world, risen,
Stubborn with beauty, out of the heart’s need.
She is young. Have I the rightR. S. Thomas
Even to name her? Child,
It is not love I offer
Your quick limbs, your eyes;
Only the barren homage
Of an old man whom time
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
Do you know what makes the prison disappear? Every deep, genuine affection. Being friends, being brothers, loving, that is what opens the prison, with supreme power, by some magic force. Without these one stays dead. But whenever affection is revived, there life revives.Vincent van Gogh
Laughter is wine for the soul – laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness. Comedy and tragedy step through life together, arm in arm, all along, out along, down along lea. A laugh is a great natural stimulator, a pushful entry into life; and once we can laugh, we can live. It is the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.Seán O'Casey
Cogito ergo sumRené Descartes
I think, therefore I am.
Let us roll all our strength and allAndrew Marvell
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
History will judge societies and governments — and their institutions — not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.Cesar Chavez