Interesting Quotations

…you would like to run down to the recruiting office, enlist for the duration, and thereby turn your consciences over to the sergeants. This served your fathers and grandfathers, and I am truly sorry that it can’t serve you. – Janet Tormey

One might almost define intelligence as the level at which an aware organism demands ‘what’s in it for me?’ – George Perrault

I speak only for myself, mind – it is my own truth alone – but man as part of a movement or a crowd is indifferent to me. He is inhuman. And I have nothing to do with nations, or nationalism. The only feelings I have – for what they are – are for men as individuals; my loyalties, such as they may be, are to private persons alone… You know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile. – Patrick O’Brian (“Master and Commander”)

Even righteous Anger is forbidden. – St. John Cassian (loose)

Hypotheticals don’t exist. – St. Maximus the Confessor (loose)

“Save yourself and those around you will be saved.” – St. Seraphim of Sarov

“What one man can do, another man can do.” – Charles Morse

“This place is my church (the art museum); I can come here and what anybody says about me doesn’t matter.” – Keith in “Some Kind of Wonderful”

“The only way to be truly collective”: to “reach the others, the artist goes into himself. Using reason, he deliberately enters the irrational.” – LeGuin

“You must change your life.” – Rilke looking at the statue of Apollo

“We have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” – Tombstone epitaph of two amateur astronomers

“Of thy matchless love, forgive me.” – 6th-9th century Greek Hymn (translated by John Brownlie)

“Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking.” – Jung

“Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.” – Rilke

“A good marriage is that in which each appoints the other guardian of his solitude.” – Rilke

(I have learned to) “Trust… my own unique way of being in the world.” – Nouwen

“Power kills. Weakness creates.” – Nouwen

“love is based… on the belief in the reversibility of evil.” – Merton (attributed by Nouwen)

“We often use the outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises.” – Henri Nouwen

“Go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place.” – Christ

“But what can we do with our essential aloneness which so often breaks into our consciousness as the experience of a desperate sense of loneliness? What does it mean to say that neither friendship nor love, neither marriage nor community can take that loneliness away? Sometimes illusions are more livable than realities, and why not follow our desire to cry out in loneliness and search for someone whom we can embrace and in whose arms our tense body and mind can find a moment of deep rest and enjoy the experience of being understood and accepted? These are hard questions because they come forth out of our wounded hearts, but they have to be listened to even when they lead to a difficult road. This difficult road is the road of conversion, the conversion from loneliness into solitude. Instead of running away from our loneliness… we have to protect it and turn it into a fruitful solitude… The movement from loneliness to solitude… is the beginning of any spiritual life because it is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit, from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play.” – Henri Nouwen

“The roots of loneliness… find their food in the suspicion that there is no one who cares and offers love without conditions, and no place where we can be vulnerable without being used.” – Henri Nouwen

“…people will never follow anyone’s ideas except their own, I mean, those which have developed within their inner selves.” – Henri Nouwen

“We have come to the end of a long day. What has been done has been done. What has not been done has not been done. Let it be.” – New Zealand Prayer Book

“The Christ of Pasolini, young, dark, spendidly aloof, dreadfully serious, was obviously not the sweet, indulgent Jesus of late nineteenth-century Church art.” – Merton

“When you come into the world, you bring the energy of. . . the sun. . .but your parents don’t want that. They wanted a nice boy. So you created a false personality. But you have to forgive yourself because you did it to survive.” – Robert Bly

“When you were young you needed something that you did not receive, and the proper attitude is mourning.” – Robert Bly

“ does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority to set brush fires in people’s minds” – Samuel Adams

Any culture will become an obscenity when blown up into a universal world culture to which all must belong. – Daniel Quinn (The Story of B)

I learned something about obsession… I learned it isn’t madness or even foolishness, though madness and foolishness have given it a bad name. How could anyone who wasn’t obsessed compose a symphony or write a thousand-page novel? How could anyone who wasn’t obsessed cross an uncharted ocean in a seventy-foot sailboat? – Daniel Quinn (After Dachau)

If civilization has an opposite, it is war. – LeGuin (Left Hand of Darkness)

The most significant development of the last few millenia has been the way human beings have supplemented and supplanted the oral tradition with a written one. The library is the defining symbol of civilization. – Michael P. Kube-McDowwell

If you treat people the way they are, you make them worse. If you treat them the way they ought to be, you make them capable of becoming what they ought to be. – Goethe

Origin or Pawn: An Origin has a strong feeling of personal causation, a feeling that the locus for causation of effects in his environment lies within himself. . . . A Pawn has a feeling that causal forces beyond his control, or personal forces residing within others, or in the physical environment, determine his behavior. This constitutes a strong feeling of powerlessness or ineffectiveness. — Richard De Charms

The worst evil that you can do, psychologically, is to laugh at yourself. That means spitting in your own face. – Ayn Rand

I have scars on my hands from touching certain people. – J.D. Salinger

A gentle tongue can break a bone. – Proverb

There are two kinds of people in the world; smokers and non-smokers. Find out which one you are and be that person. – Parry, in The Fisher King

If you had an off switch… would you not keep it a secret? – Data

If we honor Islam in a non Islamic manner, or Mohammed in a non-Mohammedan manner, we are not Muslims. – (unknown)

Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend. – Paulo Coelho

We always destroy the thing we love the most. – Oscar Wilde

I came to New York, not really intending to spend the rest of my life here. I immediately felt at home, like so many of the disposessed do. – (from Blank City)

Fear is contagious. You can catch it. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to say that they’re scared for the fear to become real. – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman — [Asher’s addendum: I have seen this. Honor says I must never allow my own fear to be shown to the people I protect who are more vulnerable than me. The times I have, it has nearly broken them in two.]

The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. – Harlan Ellison

You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant. – Harlan Ellison

If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you. – Harlan Ellison

I don’t mind you thinking I’m stupid, but don’t talk to me like I’m stupid – Harlan Ellison

If you want my advice… you’ve made a mistake already. By asking me. By asking anyone. Never ask people. Not about your work. Don’t you know what you want? How can you stand it, not to know? – Howard Roark

If less is more, imagine how much more ‘more’ would be. – Frasier Crane

I am a creative personality; that comes with its pitfalls which makes trying to define my personality hard, as it changes on a regular basis. – Polly Scattergood

Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon.- Jim Rohn [“more”]

Everybody in their lives is really waiting for people to ask them questions, so that they can be truthful about who they are and how they became what they are. – Marc Pachter

Motivation is inner drive to fulfill goal. Inspiration is having a glimpse of who you really are. – Bambooforest

Motivation is required when you’re not aligned with your highest values. – Tony Teegarden

Mercy is the ability to stop, if only for a moment. There is no mercy where there can be no stopping. – Frank Herbert

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Thanks to all 5500 (approx) Twitter followers. Maxims, ramblings, insights, and random ideas expressed are those of the author and not any agent, publisher, or bookseller.

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