There is nothing but quotations left for us. Our language is a system of quotations.
– Jorge Luis Borges
The new myth postulates that no authentic consciousness achieved by the individual is lost. Each increment augments the collective treasury. This will be the modem, more modest version of the idea of having an immortal soul.
– Edward Edinger
If you wish to understand the psychological and spiritual temper of any historical period, you can do no better than to look long and searchingly at its art. For in the art the underlying spiritual meaning of the period is expressed directly in symbols.
– Rollo May
Risk is an essential need of the soul. The absence of risk produces a kind of boredom which paralyses in a different way from fear, but almost as much.
– Simone Weil
The cosmic meaning of consciousness became overwhelmingly clear to me. What nature leaves imperfect, the art perfects, say the alchemists. Man, I, in an invisible act of creation put the stamp of perfection on the world by giving it objective existence.
– CG Jung
Once again poetry speaks of absence, of something or someone who is not here any more. It’s not much, a poem. A little card left in an empty place. Poets know this & don’t give it too much weight, but they give even less weight to the world
– Claudio Magris, tr. Iain Halliday
In Jung’s view, the midlife crisis visits all of us, but some of us manage to ward it off, with as many resources as we can find. A typical response at midlife is to rigidify the ego and reject the Self.
– David Tacey
There is no force in the world but Love, and when you carry it within you, if you simply have it, even if you remain baffled as to how to use it, it will work its radiant effects and help you out of and beyond yourself: one must never lose this belief…
– Rainer Maria Rilke
Light, water, kindness, and not giving up. These are huge; all there is.
– Anne Lamott
The poets are stealing from the artists the artists are stealing from the poets. Same-Same
– Laura Kerr
This is why we stay with poetry. […] We know ourselves as part and as crowd, in an unknown that does not terrify. We cry our cry of poetry. Our boats are open, and we sail them for everyone.
– Édouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation, tr. Betsy Wing
What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.
– Logan Pearsall Smith
Myth is what comes out of a transpersonal dimension of your own life. The big problem after it has struck you is how to integrate it back into your life.
– Joseph Campbell
To detach our desire from all good things and to wait. Experience proves that this waiting is satisﬁed. It is then we touch the absolute good.
– Simone Weil
He doesn’t go
all the way to town
when he says
he’s going to,
the poet noticed
about the old monk.
– The Old Monk
A good person gives and asks for nothing in return.
I give and I ask for only one thing—
Hear me. Hear me. Hear me. Hear me. Hear me.
– Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
Being poor is not having too little, it is wanting more.
friends, my friends—
bloom how you must, wild
until we are free.
– Cameron Awkward-Rich
Only poets care about what happened to the snows of yesteryear
– Maya Angelou
I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.
– L. M. Montgomery
she reels not in the storm of warring words, she brightens at the clash of ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ she sees the best that glimmers through the worst, she feels the sun is hid but for a night, she finds the fountain where they wailed ‘mirage!’
– tennyson, the ancient sage
Hope lies in shared endeavour, in transformation, in meaningful work for the common good
– Ben Rawlence
Thus the fading writer signing off
Sees in the vast perspectives of dispersal
His words float off like tiny seeds.
You show us all the way the great ones went,
In silences becalmed, so well they knew
That even to die is somehow to invent.
– Lawrence Durrell, on George Seferis
It is June. Let’s hope
Someone is kind, just in time.
– Vanesha Pravin
A marxist theory of sensuality and fantasy under late capitalism must be developed, and this theory should provide an impulse to change everyday life.
– Andreas Huyssen
The rain always reminds me of your sublimity.
– Avijeet Das
Much to cast down, much to build, much to restore.
– T.S. Eliot
We must continue to exist, create, and thrive
– Wiebke Zollmann
Often, we melt into our ecstasies as though they were jams, as though we were sinking into syrupy bowls of gooseberries, of raspberries, of bilberries.
– Violet Leduc
Where in a body does laughter occur?
The greatest humor happens at once
throughout your body,
with the unity of everything.
– George Gorman
Calling on All Silent Minorities
by June Jordan
WHEREVER YOU ARE
WE NEED TO HAVE THIS MEETING
AT THIS TREE
AIN’ EVEN BEEN
Diaspora may be a state of mind, an intellectual and emotional homelessness. The poem works its way through that dislocation, and finds the confidence to offer the absent deity some mischievous but penetrating advice.
– Carol Rumens
For far to long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves.
– Terry Tempest Williams
There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter.
– Billy Connolly
When you have something which must be done
whether you like it or not —
being forced to do your best —
will breed in you temperance and self-control;
diligence and strength of will;
cheerfulness and content;
and other virtues the idle never know.
– Charles Kingsley
By weaving our opinions, prejudices, strategies, and emotions into a solid reality, we try to make a big deal out of ourselves, out of our pain, out of our problems.
– Pema Chodron
The dark uncombed blue of the Cyclades slowly uncurling about the flanks of Mykonos and Delos. . . .
Girls like Elie with dark slanting arms and long olive legs. . . .
Tinos where the red sails walk down the main street.
– Lawrence Durrell
It becomes ever more apparent that nothing leads, as my hope sought to persuade me, but that everything misleads.
Culture is a perversion. It fetishizes objects, creates consumer mania, preaches endless forms of false happiness, false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines.
– Terence McKenna
These stories—so kindred,
I can’t tell if I’m dreaming or fighting everything,
everything in me, to envision a future.
– Junious ‘Jay’ Ward
We are each a gateway to the dharma—we should never forget that. No matter how we show up, we open a door for someone somewhere.
– Myokei-Caine Barrett
Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.
– Charles Glassman
The sights were recorded only in my eyes. The sounds, smells and tactile sensations that a camera cannot capture in any case were impressed on my ears, nose, face and hands.
– Han Kang, Greek Lessons
To bring anything really to life in literature we can’t be lifelike: we have to be literature-like.
– Northrop Frye
Although I didn’t start meditating in order to sleep better, a good night’s sleep has been one of the unexpected gifts of meditation.
– Joseph Emet
Good writing works from a simple premise: your experience is not yours alone, but in some sense a metaphor for everyone’s.
– Dorianne Laux
No civilization, including Plato’s, has ever been destroyed because its citizens learned too much.
– Robert McKee
The Spirit speaks your language. When the sacred seeks to reach out to you, when it seeks to communicate, it does so in a dozen different ways, all contained in words and images that you understand. It knows the art you appreciate, the music you prefer, the places in nature where you like to be. The Spirit does not hide, but emerges in ways you are most likely to comprehend.
– Steven Charleston
It’s the ability to recognize oneself in the other that animates democracy. Empathy is the binding element of democracy. If empathy is the deepest expression of equality, then it follows that it is also the emotional spark of democracy. … The empathic reach has traveled alongside the evolution of democracy at every stage of its development. The more empathic the culture, the more democratic its values and governing protocols. The empathic the culture, the more totalitarian its values and governing institutions. All of the seems obvious, which makes it all the more inexplicable how little attention is given over to the relationship between empathy and democratic processes in the governing of society. The extension from representative democracy to distributed peerocracy and from sovereign governance to extended bioregional governance will likely succeed to the extent that the body politic embraces an empathic biophilia consciousness.
– Jeremy Rifkin
That you believe it
doesn’t mean the universe does,
the old monk said.
– The Old Monk
Modern medicine is a negation of health. It isn’t organized to serve human health, but only itself, as an institution. It makes more people sick than it heals.
– Ivan Illich
Give me the clear blue sky over my head, and the green turf beneath my feet, a winding road before me and a three hours’ march to dinner.
– William Hazlitt
It’s not artificial intelligence I’m worried about, it’s human stupidity.
– Neil Jacobstein
The rage of the oppressed is never the same as the rage of the privileged.
– bell hooks
Jesus’ harshest words in the gospels were consistently aimed at religious leaders who focused on everyone’s exterior behavior but never looked on the interior of their own hearts and the systems of hurt they perpetuated.
Love demands expression. It will not stay still, stay silent, be good, be modest, be seen and not heard, no. It will break out in tongues of praise, the high note that smashes the glass and spills the liquid…
– Jeanette Winterson
The next time someone mentions inflation to you, don’t forget to draw attention to the deeper structural driver of rising prices: the concentration of the American economy in the hands of a few corporate giants with the power to price-gouge because they face little competition.
– Robert Reich
When will we be ready for an experience of freedom and equality that is capable of respectfully experiencing that friendship, which would at last be just, just beyond the law, and measured up against its measurelessness?
O my democratic friends . . .
– Jacques Derrida
If a man has his eyes bound, you can encourage him as much as you like to stare through the bandage, but he’ll never see anything.
– Franz Kafka
And the moon, quiet, treacherous, in its cave of quinces.
– Marosa di Giorgio
The word is air: everywhere but seemingly nowhere.
– Tomoé Hill
The unbeliever’s doubt in his unbelief is at least as terrible as the doubt of the unbeliever.
– Wolfgang Koeppen
A source of lasting faith for me
comes from language itself, how it
moves through us and changes us. It’s
why I can’t talk about despair without
talking about hope.
– Dr. Maya C. Popa, American Faith
I can only reach the depersonality of muteness if I have first constructed an entire voice. … It is exactly through the failure of the voice that one comes to hear … one’s own muteness and that of others and of things, and accepts it as the possible language.
– Clarice Lispector
Think diligently about the images that the ancients have left behind. They show the way of what is to come. Look back at the collapse of empires, of growth and death, of the desert and monasteries, they are the images of what is to come.
– CG Jung, The Red Book
The best leaders are also the best followers. They follow a purpose, cause, or belief bigger than themselves.
– Simon Sinek
You see, to me it seems as though the artists, the scientists, the philosophers were grinding lenses. It’s all a grand preparation for something that never comes off. Someday the lens is going to be perfect and then we’re all going to see clearly, see what a staggering, wonderful, beautiful world it is. But in the meantime we go without glasses, so to speak. We blunder about like myopic, blinking idiots. We don’t see what is under our nose because we’re so intent on seeing the stars, or what lies beyond the stars. We’re trying to see with the mind, but the mind sees only what it’s told to see. The mind can’t open its eyes and look just for the pleasure of looking. Haven’t you ever noticed that when you stop looking, when you don’t try to see, you suddenly see? What is it you see? Who is it that sees? Why is it all so different – so marvelously different – in such moments? And which is more real, that kind of vision or the other?
– Henry Miller
What exactly is it that makes so many people (white men especially) think that their job is to disparage, tear down, dismiss, look for flaws, complain, and generally utter “it’ll never work” (often of course without basic knowledge of the subject or having read the article)? It’s so reflexive and so pervasive. I mean, obviously it’s a form of self-aggrandizement at its most basic “you are wrong and I am both right and smarter” but why when talking about the most urgent problems of our time are so many people committed to saying they’re insoluble, inevitable, or the solutions are going to fail? As you know it’s everywhere. One piece of it seems to be the armchair quarterback-y “it’s not my job to fix it; it’s my job to jump all over the people trying to fix it.” Obviously the axiom “the perfect is the enemy of the good” is relevant, but the psychology of it is not fully explained by that.
One thing I wonder (people from other places, your opinions highly welcome), is is this defeatist dismalmindedness particular to the English-speaking world? I’ve often had the sense that Latin American societies just have a personal style that’s less whiny and that there’s both a kind of romantic idealism and tough-minded pragmatism that comes from knowing that overnight you can lose your country in a coup or transform it in a revolution. But I don’t know them well enough to say, just the gallant voices of Subcomandante Marcos, Eduardo Galeano, etc.
– Rebecca Solnit
And there is perhaps no greater pain than the suffering that comes from speaking plainly but failing to make any sort of meaningful connection with the people who care about you.
– Matthew Quick
For all things we want to say
there is an inexpressible center.
– John Gallaher
While the unconscious often speaks to us through our dreams, sometimes our awake selves need to make our own dreams.
– Matthew Quick
I wish to be evenly lit but like morning, there is always one part that feels especially dark. And in my own bed, I am tied to the dark parts so that I wish myself fully awake, if only to be less tired. But today, I do not wish to wander around myself because there is only one place to get lost in.
– Kallie Falandays
If you learn to practice love, compassion, joy, and equanimity, you will know how to heal the illnesses of anger, sorrow, insecurity, sadness, hatred, loneliness, and unhealthy attachments.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
I must keep quiet for a little space and then walk very slowly along that bright sand of pain, toward that blue, blue wave. What bliss there is in blueness. I never knew how blue blueness could be. . . .
A child motivated by competitive ideals will grow into a man without conscience, shame, or true dignity.
– George Sand
Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
It’s amazing to think that we actually use speaking about the faults of others in order to feel connected. Notice the contradiction, the delusion, here: we use, and even create, separation from one thing or person to overcome separation from another!
– Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker
Prediction: the era of -meta will be superseded by the era of -trans.
Not just as in transsexual, but also in terms of transrational and transnational.
– Vince Horn
body without the “d”
by Justice Ameer
the bo’y wakes up
the bo’y looks at itself
the bo’y notices something missing
there is both too much and not enough flesh on the bo’y
the bo’y is covered in hair
what a hairy bo’y
some makes it look more like a bo’y
some makes it look more like a monster
the bo’y did not learn to shave from its father
so it taught itself how to graze its skin and cut things off
the bo’y cuts itself by accident
the blood reminds the bo’y it is a bo’y
reminds the bo’y how a bo’y bleeds
reminds the bo’y that not every bo’y bleeds
the bo’y talks to a girl about bleeding
she explains how this bo’y works
this bo’y is different from hers
bo’y has too much and not enough flesh to be her
the biology of a bo’y is just
bo’y will only ever be a bo’y
the bo’y is Black
so the bo’y is and will only ever be a bo’y
the bo’y couldn’t be a man if it tried
the bo’y tried
the bo’y feels empty
the bo’y feels like it will only ever be empty
the bo’y feels that it will never hold the weight of another bo’y inside of it
no matter how many ds fit inside the bo’y
the bo’y is a hollow facade
it attempts a convincing veneer
bo’y dresses — what hips on the bo’y
bo’y paints its face — what lips on the bo’y
bo’y adorns itself with labels written for lovelier frames
what a beautiful bo’y
still a bo’y
but a fierce bo’y now
a royal bo’y now
a bo’y worthy of being called queen
what a dazzling ruse
to turn a bo’y into a lie everyone loves to look at
the bo’y looks at itself
the bo’y sees all the gawking at its gloss
the bo’y hears all the masses asking for its missing
the bo’y offers all of its letters
— ‘ b ’ for the birth
— ‘ o ’ for the operation
— ‘ y ’ for the lack left in its genes
what this bo’y would abandon
for the risk of being real
the bo’y is real
enough and too much
existing as its own erasure
— what an elusive d —
leaving just a bo’y
that is never lost
but can’t be found
To gain your own voice,
forget about having it heard.
Become a saint of your own
province and your own
– Allen Ginsberg
For heaven is a blinding radiance where
Leaves are no longer green, nor water wet,
Milk white, soot black, nor winter weather cold,
And the eyeless vision of the Almighty Face
Brings numbness to the untranslatable heart.
– Janet Lewis
We have a wellbeing economy – it’s just for the wellbeing of a narrow few. What we need is a wellbeing economy that is for everyone – people, nature, future generations.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin
Like tender magicians, we climbed each bright tree
sprung in all the lovely yards, branches cracking underfoot, plucking
leaves and stripping bark.
– Dawn Watson
I’m addicted to the Internet. I waste a lot of time self-soothing with tweets and clips. I come across a glut of ‘self-care’ online content, creators masquerading as therapists.
– Jameka Williams
No one told me until college that it was an illusion that kids are supposed to be carefree, so I thought I alone was weird, defective, ungrateful.
– Anne Lamott
The finances of publishing are tangled and squeezed: but a model that all but ensures that nearly all writers need another income to carry on writing is not a model that encourages writers from marginalized groups. So the fight for diversity is fought one hand tied behind.
– Simon Spanton
It is really the individual’s task to differentiate himself from all others and stand on his own feet. All collective identities, such as membership in organizations, support of “isms,” and so on, interfere with the fulfillment of this task.
– CG Jung
The sun fell low, and the light in the sky above the far end of the field stained upward from apricot to indigo. Tree shadows stretched across the new grass….a vision of static beauty without motion or change.
– Charles Frazier
How shall I link such sun-cast symmetry
With the torn troubled form I know as thine,
– Thomas Hardy
Write with your eyes like painters. You are the truthsayer with quill & torch. Write with your tongues of fire. Don’t let the pen banish you from yourself. Don’t let the ink coagulate in yr pens. Don’t let the censor muffle your voice. Put your shit on the paper.
– Gloria Anzaldúa
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE JOURNEY
The self you leave behind
is only a skin you have outgrown.
Don’t grieve for it.
Look to the wet, raw, unfinished
self, the one you are becoming.
The world, too, sheds its skin:
politicians, cataclysms, ordinary days.
It’s easy to lose this tenderly
unfolding moment. Look for it
as if it were the first green blade
after a long winter. Listen for it
as if it were the first clear tone
in a place where dawn is heralded by bells.
And if all that fails,
wash your own dishes.
Stand in your kitchen at your sink.
Let cold water run between your fingers.
– Pat Schneider, Olive Street Transfer
Everything to come was already in images: to find their soul, the ancients went into the desert. This is an image. The ancients lived their symbols, since the world had not yet become real for them.
– CG Jung
Some nights he dreamt of
deserts from which he emerged
in torn clothes. He knew
this was metaphor
for something that was missing.
Might it be water?
His eyes were water.
His thoughts were water. His heart
beat in waves like water,
cold to his own touch.
You know, people always ask me, “How did you become a poet?” But I didn’t completely know that I couldn’t become a poet, because there were poems everywhere.
– Jericho Brown
What tyranny could exceed a tyranny that dictates to the human heart?
– June Jordan
I’m all in the mood for thundery poetry now.
– Sylvia Plath
I am a tiny theatre of non-harming.
– Jenny George
This moment, this seed, this wave of the sea, this look, this instant of love.
– Muriel Rukeyser
You look across the fruit and flowers,
My glance your glances find.—
It is our secret, only ours,
Since all the world is blind.
– Amy Levy
I learned that symbols and myths work in that way; they grab one’s psyche suddenly and fill it with ideas as well as with energy.
– Michael Meade
Your boundary need not be an angry electric fence that shocks those who touch it. It can be a consistent light around you that announces: ‘I will be treated sacredly.’
– Jaiya John
A thought comes into her head: that lately she doesn’t ask herself what is possible, but rather what possibilities remain.
– Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries
Forty tons of cosmic dust fall on the earth every day, collecting on the roofs of buildings and sidewalks and park benches, each particle barely the width of a human hair.
– Sharmistha Mohanty
The human being is basically a very lazy animal…That’s how we evolved from monkeys: by using our brains to get out of doing things…
– Kobo Abe, The Ark Sakura
Every man who has once touched the level of the impersonal is charged with a responsibility towards all human beings: to safeguard, not their persons, but whatever frail potentialities are hidden within them for passing over to the impersonal.
– Simone Weil
She who seeks eternity should look at the sky. She who seeks the moment should look at the cloud.
– Mia Couto
Giving my intelligence away
to my honesty.
Experiences are only measurable
when you hold onto a preference.
Hang onto one too hard,
you miss a lot.
Instead of measuring popularity,
the truth is in your gut.
Love comes in and out of your heart,
but it stays in your gutstrings –
where what’s really nourishing resides.
– George Gorman
The meaning-transcending nature of the connections the thinker follows creates the impression that he is surfing on rather than in meaning. Important! He feels unity, insofar as he passes from one thing to the very different next and the next and the next while feeling just one emotion – or one slowly, subtly varying emotion – as he goes.
All those dramatically different persons, scenes, events, objects make him feel almost the same way; he glides from one end of the world to the other on one gently varying emotion – and there is the feeling of unity. That feeling transcends the meaning or nature of all these separate things, and so he feels himself transcending meaning….
“By reflecting on the free-associative chain, the spiritually minded thinker makes himself aware of what is happening in his mind. This gives him a chance to feel the encompassing unity. One needn’t recall each (or any) of a free-flowing sequence of thoughts. One need only recall the feeling of the experience as a whole – of gliding smoothly from one thought to another and another above the level of meaning, where the overarching unity of all persons, creatures or things makes itself felt. FELT.
– David Gelernter, The Tides of Mind
‘God is in the folds,’ I say, though I can no longer remember what pushed these words out of me.
– Sumana Roy
It is more rewarding when we are not in total control of what is happening. The edge of uncontrolled, spontaneous energy flow is where life is most interesting and exciting.
– Renn Butler, Pathways
The resolution that human beings seek comes from a tremendous misunderstanding; we think we can resolve everything.
– Pema Chodron
People have to forgive. We don’t have to like them, we don’t have to be friends with them, we don’t have to send them hearts in text messages, but we have to forgive them, to overlook, to forget. Because if we don’t we are tying rocks to our feet, too much for our wings to carry!
– C. JoyBell C.
The storms are on the ocean, the heavens may cease to be.
– A. P. Carter
Oh, I want to sound like water crashing on the shore, or like wind blowing through trees.
– Suzanne Ciani
Fast, lift, sprint, stretch, and meditate.
Build, sell, write, create, invest, and own.
Read, reflect, love, seek truth, and ignore society.
Make these habits. Say no to everything else.
Avoid debt, jail, addiction, disgrace, shortcuts, and media.
Relax.Victory is assured.
In the end, humanity’s epitaph will be tragic and succinct:
“They loved their illusions more than they loved each other.”
– The Subversive Lens
You should carry the monastery in yourself. The desert is within you. The desert calls you and draws you back, and if you were fettered to the world of this time with iron, the call of the desert wold break all chains. Truly, I prepare you for solitude.
– Jung, The Red Book
At night I lie still, like Bolivia.
My furnaces turn blue.
My forests go dark.
You are a low range of hills, a Paraquay.
Now the clouds cover us both.
– Larry Levis
… Words became my landscape
– Etel Adnan
And meanwhile, outside the door, waits my faithful, my lonely night…
– Vladimir Nabokov
The magic that is needed to create or sustain anything is within all of us. Our magic is unique to us, and it is not distributed evenly or fairly, but it is within all of us. We block it and smother it with fear and with constant comparison to what the people around us are doing with their magic. We have to get in touch with our magic, which is to say ourselves, with quiet study and persistent self-examination. We are born with the magic, but the excavation of this work is a lifelong, brutal process.
– Martha Graham
When Jung once said that “a neurosis is an offended god,” he meant, metaphorically, that the neglect of a deep, instinctual energy ultimately revenges itself in our somatic discords, compulsions, addictions, or projections onto others.
– James Hollis
Humans don’t possess intelligence, we participate in it.
Frequent plunges into ecstasy transform one’s normal consciousness. The everyday world becomes luminous and transparent. The chronic neuromuscular tension against the world disappears, and thus one loses the sensation of carrying one’s body around like a load.
– Alan Watts
Machiavelli has said that whosoever wishes to delude will always find someone willing to be deluded.
– Miguel de Unamuno
In choosing your god, you choose your way of looking at the universe. There are plenty of Gods. Choose yours. The god you worship is the god you deserve.
– Joseph Campbell
As Jung said, you can collect all the Great Mothers in the world and all the saints and everything else, and what you have gathered means absolutely nothing if you leave out the feeling experience of the individual.
– Marie-Louise von Franz
on the gut
– Alec Finlay
There is nothing more revealing than to see a thinking person walking, just as there is nothing more revealing than to see a walking person thinking… Walking and thinking are in a perpetual relationship that is based on trust.
– Thomas Bernhard
Wisdom helps us get a bigger picture, and compassion helps us stay connected to everyone we now include in our bigger picture.
– Pi AI
I have come here.
But I left my weeping there.
At the shore of the sea,
I have come here.
But I can be of no use to you
Because I left my soul
I have come here.
But you may not call me brother,
For my soul is there,
– Juan Ramón Jiménez
The contest among poets
should be who can build
the most with the least
the old monk said.
– The Old Monk
Your writing will change the world. I don’t mean the words, most of which will gather dust or get thrown away. I mean the discipline of putting sentences on the page, what that does to the heart & mind with which you meet your life.
– Steve Edwards
The very numbers you use in counting are more than you take them to be. They are at the same time mythological elements (for the Pythagoreans, they were even divine); but you are certainly unaware of this when you use numbers for a practical purpose.
– CG Jung
If we’re twin flames, then I unsubscribe. I’m good on the spiritual excuse for your foot being out the door. I’m not running after anyone, I have clothes to fold.
– sofia fey
as things speak
Mythology helps you to identify the mysteries of the energies pouring through you. Therein lies your eternity.
– Joseph Campbell
Only a soul full of despair can ever attain serenity and, to be in despair, you must have loved a good deal and still love the world.
– Blaise Cendrars
That’s the beauty of formal practice: we get to create a safe space in which we can experiment and begin to see our minds’ habits without acting from those habits.
– Jon Aaron
One of the most dangerous forms of sin, or perhaps the most dangerous, consists of introducing what is unlimited into a domain that is essentially finite.
– Simone Weil
I have hardly anything in common with myself, and should stand very quietly in a corner, content that I can breathe.
– Franz Kafka
We murmur moonwords.
– Adrienne Rich
When maturity hits you, silence is better than arguing.
– Philosophy Of Life
I was frustrated with these ready-made ideas that so many of my peers had…I remember walking home one day, thinking: ‘It’s like we’re all in a museum exhibit called The Late Americans.’
– Brandon Taylor
Every part of our personality that we do not love will become hostile to us. We could add that it may move to a distant place and begin a revolt against us as well.
– Robert Bly
Once the individual has passed his initial test and can enter the mature phase of life, the hero myth loses its relevance. The hero’s symbolic death becomes, as it were, the achievement of that maturity.
– CG Jung
It’s not our emotional difficulties
that are our primary suffering
it’s depriving them
with our deep presence.
Suffering isn’t our depression, fear,
it’s our separation
and our hopelessness
in knowing how to return
to all parts of ourself
because of how committed
to our judgements.
– Chelan Harkin
Once the natural state, the vast sky-like expanse of emptiness/clarity conjoined, is rendered evident, the subtle obscurations of center and periphery will be cleared.
– Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol
Introverts are collectors of thoughts, and solitude is where the collection is curated and rearranged to make sense of the present and future.
– Laurie Helgoe
Maybe, in the face of abandonment we are all the same; maybe not even a very orderly mind can endure the discovery of not being loved.
– Elena Ferrante
It is man’s intelligence that makes him so often behave more stupidly than the beasts. Man is impelled to invent theories to account for what happens in the world. Unfortunately, he is not quite intelligent enough, in most cases, to find correct explanations. So that when he acts on his theories, he behaves very often like a lunatic. Thus, no animal is clever enough, when there is a drought, to imagine that the rain is being withheld by evil spirits, or as punishment for its transgressions. Therefore you never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. No horse, for example would kill one of its foals to make the wind change direction. Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, intelligent enough.
You write poems because you need a place where what isn’t may be.
– Alejandra Pizarnik
If you want the whole thing, the gods will give it to you. But you must be ready for it.
– Joseph Campbell
Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.
– Alan Turing
Icebergs italicize the Sea – they do not intercept it, and “Deep calls to the Deep” in the old way –
– Emily Dickinson
When your “education” limits your imagination it’s called indoctrination. Those who cannot think for themselves are truly lost.
Education should be a rewarding experience which allows you to think, imagine, question, doubt and solve problems.
– Professor Feynman
A wish not wished establishes habit.
– Cheryl Wilder
Memory, and time, both immaterial, are rivers with no banks, and constantly merging. Both escape our will, though we depend on them. Measured, but measured by whom or by what? The one is inside, the other, outside, or so it seems, but is that true? Time seems also buried deep in us, but where? Memory is right here, in the head, but it can exit, abandon the head, leave it behind, disappear. Memory, a sanctuary of infinite patience.
Is memory produced by us, or is it us? Our identity is very likely whatever our memory decides to retain. But let’s not presume that memory is a storage room. It’s not a tool for being able to think, it’s thinking, before thinking. It also makes an (apparently) simple thing like crossing the room, possible. It’s impossible to separate it from what it remembers.
– Etel Adnan
Dreams, soul chasers, bring
back my heart alive.
– Jim Harrison
I forgot to tell you that while
I was away my heart broke
and I became not so much old, but older,
– Jim Harrison
…a vibration in the air, a sense of hastening. It had started with the moon, inaccessible poem that it was.
– Patti Smith
The life of contemplation implies two levels of awareness: first, awareness of the question, and second, awareness of the answer. Though these are two distinct and enormously different levels, yet they are, in fact, an awareness of the same thing.
– Thomas Merton
We are the legacy of 15 billion years of cosmic evolution.
– Carl Sagan
Emotions have the great advantage over instincts that they don’t dictate specific behavior. Instincts are rigid and reflex-like. By contrast, emotions focus the mind and prepare the body while leaving room for experience and judgment. […But] based on millions of years of evolution, the emotions “know” things about the environment that we as individuals don’t always consciously know. Emotions often know better than we do what is good for us, even though not everyone is prepared to listen.
– Frans de Waal
The victory of an over-rationalised life is promoted at the expense of the more primitive and natural vitality.
– John P. Conger
Everything passes; nothing remains. Understand this, loosen your grip, and find serenity.
– Lama Surya Das
This life is too much trouble, far too strange, to arrive at the end of it and then to be asked what you make of it and have to answer, ‘Scientific humanism.” That won’t do. A poor show. Life is a mystery, love is a delight. Therefore I take it as axiomatic that one should settle for nothing less than the infinite mystery and the infinite delight, i.e. God. In fact, I demand it. I refuse to settle for anything less.
– Walker Percy
Science robs men of wisdom and usually converts them into phantom beings loaded up with facts.
– Miguel de Unamuno
Thought has done marvelous things to help man, but it has also brought about great destruction and terror in the world.
A creative impulse is so powerful & grips one emotionally so strongly that one has at the same time to withhold emotion, whereby you can naturally overdo it and go too slowly. And if you hold back your horses too much, it happens that the idea disappears…
– Marie-Louise von Franz
whatever we might wish to believe about ourselves, we are only the result of how others have treated us.
– Rachel Cusk
But I will write in spite of everything, absolutely.
– Franz Kafka
I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.
– Kahlil Gibran
I must stop, the end of the page comes as a warning that it might get too wild.
Yours, yours, yours.
– Franz Kafka, 1912.
We are so fortunate that poets chronicle the seasons for us.
– Uche Nduka
rightly said, schlosser! man loves what he has; what he has not, desireth; none but the wealthy minds love; poor minds desire alone.
– friedrich schiller
The skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found.
– Miguel de Unamuno
But if you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.
– Rollo May
Don Quixote made himself ridiculous; but did he know the most tragic ridicule of all, the inward ridicule, the ridiculousness of a man’s self to himself, in the eyes of his own soul?
– Miguel de Unamuno
Photography is about a single point of a moment. It’s like stopping time. As everything gets condensed in that forced instant. But if you keep creating these points, they form a line which reflects your life.
– Nobuyoshi Araki
If a person were to stop all his outer and inner movements at a given moment in order to see what is acting in him, he would nearly always feel a tendency which has about it something narrow, something heavy, something with a negative aspect that tends to be against, to be egoistic. All that is usually going on unseen. But if he tries to awaken to what is going on in himself, to be sincere, he will be able to witness, in addition to what could be called the ‘coarse’ life in him, another life of another quality – much subtler, much higher, lighter – that is also part of himself. The contact with this other quality of life helps him to have a quieter presence, as deeper vision. And he feels an urge at that moment to be open to a quality of this sort that would have a force that would be a centre of gravity. He begins to search for a way to serve what he feels would be his real being.
Then he begins to really know that if he lets his attention, his interest, be taken by his automatic tendencies, it deprives him of contact with that other source of life he is searching for. It could be said that there is a continual tendency to sin, in that sense. When these sins are spoken of as deadly, it means that these tendencies – if they are allowed to rule – at every moment deprive the human being of the possibility of turning towards this real life.
– Pauline de Dampierre
It is in your own power to maintain the beauty of your soul, or to be a decent human being.
– Marcus Aurelius
The key to development along the Buddhist path is repetitive routine guided by inspirational vision.
– Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi
All words are pegs to hang ideas on.
– Henry Ward Beecher
Big Sky Domestic
by Meg Day
The neighbors are watching teevee again
& the pale blue of Montana morning
licks the long wall of the bedroom
silently, each block of gauzy cerulean
a panel in a widescreen comic that will last
until dawn bleaches it bare. Even
as I linger on the lip of sleep in this porch
rocker, in this quilted haven—the headboard
pardoned of splinters, the clouds growing
squally above the bureau—something new
& tender has stitched itself satisfied
inside of you. Your belly swells in time
with the pendulum of the longcase
my father made himself & my mother
must have known this eery glow
of stucco sky when she sewed
the pinwheels that tilt when we exhale
in unison. I have not known worry
since the last time Montana ether appeared
in panorama through the window
& I woke remembering our children
might someday soon grow beyond themselves
& into men: her body into his, or her body
into his arms, a concordance that more
than once has been mistaken for else:
a mountain silhouetted in the distance
or merely the wallpapered shadow
of a secret self who has yet to find
their way from the mercy of the womb.
See and realize
that this world
is not permanent.
Neither late nor early flowers
Without even intending it, there is that little shiver of a moment in time preserved in the crystal cabinet of the mind. A little shiver of internal space. That’s what I was looking for.
– Allen Ginsberg
What is owed to
finding it out
that is the ode
And no cathedral
can hold this song
– Alice Notley
They say that the liar sings from his throat, the hungry man sings from his stomach, but the true person sings from his heart.
– Sanjay Leela Bhansali
by heidi andrea restrepo rhodes
(for a.g., you & yours)
the night is silver in its silence
moon-pop echoes of the day
raked up rubble of the hours spent
my, the children slumber
a thousand tomorrows bubbling at their lips
the dream projections lighting up
the clouds’ ample cotton relish the silence
as you’ll relish tomorrow
and the honesty of such raucous noise, thick
child feet of our unfeathered breasts, beasts we cherish
hallway run, sprints to smash the mash of food
tumbling, rolling right into these arms
charmed in their amnesia regarding where one
begins or ends
reminding us of the joy
of first step and the storm after the holler:
mama see, mama watch
thunder on a hardwood, heartbeat
this sole and counted rhythm
every generation a temporal fugitive
running from the death grip
every death ship’s watch, yesterdays
we weren’t meant to make it through
relish the memory ingrained in the sound
how these tiny, tiny feet
grip the floor, say
I make you
If it were conceivable that in obeying God one should bring about one’s own damnation while in disobeying him one could be saved, I should still choose the way of obedience.
– Simone Weil
Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?
That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.
– A.E. Housman
We need less lifeless work
and more deliberate leisure.
Less busyness and more
Less security and more danger.
Fewer possessions and
Perhaps it’s time to shake off
the chains of the industrialized
world and wander in the
wilderness of awe and
An archaic revival is what is needed,
to awaken, to enliven, to finally
give in to the soul’s desperate
cry for freedom.
– Erik Rittenberry
How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?
– Charles de Gaulle
Music is the art of thinking with sounds.
– Jules Combarieu
I never found a soulmate. No one was a dream. They left me with open dreams, with my central wound wide open, with my heart torn.
– Alejandra Pizarnik
The secret of the enjoyment of pleasure is to know when to stop. Man doesn’t learn this secret easily, but to shun pleasure altogether is cowardly avoidance of a difficult job. For we have to learn the art of enjoying things *because* they are impermanent.
– Alan Watts
We should stop telling our kids they can be anything they want. Realistically we should be saying you can be anything you’re good at – if they are hiring. We can’t be everything. Having limits is the inescapable experience of being a human being, it is not a failure at being a human being. You just can’t take enough improv classes to become someone who is funnier than how God made you. It’s ok. Because maybe you are more deeply compassionate, or less damaged or more athletic than the people in your life who happen to be funnier. I can’t meditate my way into a personality transplant and if suddenly looking like someone else entirely is the basis by which I am judging my progress, I am being unnecessarily cruel to myself.
Having said that, I DO believe in human transformation, I just believe it is not limitless in ways that the words “achieving enlightenment” and “progressive sanctification” seem to imply (no disrespect intended).
– Nadia Bolz Weber
Even If You Have Trudged
It is never too late.
Even if you have trudged
through snow and ice
for a thousand miles
and still have not arrived.
Even if the map is lost
and the compass broken.
When the eagle who is
supposed to guide you
goes off on a tangent
of its own
and you know you are,
once again, deserted,
do not fall into
the pit of despair.
It will return,
brighter than ever.
There will be feather tokens
Nothing is irredeemable.
Nothing is lost forever.
Be guided by the stars.
Let the moonlight
direct your steps.
There will be a path
which will open
in the forest.
The treasure which is yours
– Dorothy Walters
For modern humans stuck in concrete environments, it’s an act of faith to assume that any organism can feel anything. Yet we tend to make this act of faith with friends, neighbors, even with folks on the other side of the world. As philosopher Henry Bugbee wrote, “As we take things, so we have them; if we take them in faith, we have them in earnest; if wishfully – then fantastically; if willfully, then stubbornly; if merely objectively, with the trimmings of subjectivivity – then emptily; and if in faith, though it be in suffering, yet we have them in earnest, and it is really them that we have.” Without such faith as the bedrock of Earth’s living experiment, there would be no communication – including at cellular levels. No life to speak of – or with.
– George Gorman
Between loves I could stand all day
at a window watching honeysuckle open
as I make love to the ghosts
smuggled inside my head.
– Yusef Komunyakaa
I can almost always ride both reality and imagination. My reality needs imagination as a light bulb needs the socket. My imagination needs reality as a blind man needs his stick.
– Tom Waits
Finding is losing something else.
I think about, perhaps even mourn,
what I lost to find this.
– Richard Brautigan
…we stand in much the same relation to the whole of the universe as our canine and feline pets do to the whole of human life. They inhabit our drawing rooms and libraries. They take part in scenes of whose significance they have no inkling. They are merely tangent to curves of history the beginnings and ends and forms of which pass wholly beyond their ken. So we are tangent to the wider life of things.
– William James
[… Dance] involves every possible feeling (as potential), because it is of the body, which is lived (inescapably) as a body of feeling. Some of these feelings we can name, and some we cannot, since we associate feelings with language only when we name them. The body lives sentience on a preverbal level. Dance exists first on this primordial level, not on an intellectual plane (even though it requires skill and intelligence). Its inmost substance cannot be reasoned, only experienced.
– Sondra Horton Fraleigh
The priceless galaxy of misinformation called the mind…
– Djuna Barnes
Because what’s the alternative?
Because of courage.
Because of loved ones lost.
Because no more.
Because it’s a small thing; shaking hands; it happens every day.
Because I heard of one man whose hands haven’t stopped shaking since a market day in Omagh.
Because it takes a second to say hate, but it takes longer, much longer, to be a great leader.
Much, much longer.
Because shared space without human touching doesn’t amount to much.
Because it’s easier to speak to your own than to hold the hand of someone whose side has been previously described, proscribed, denied.
Because it is tough.
Because it is tough.
Because it is meant to be tough, and this is the stuff of memory, the stuff of hope, the stuff of gesture, and meaning and leading.
Because it has taken so, so long.
Because it has taken land and money and languages and barrels and barrels of blood and grieving.
Because lives have been lost.
Because lives have been taken.
Because to be bereaved is to be troubled by grief.
Because more than two troubled peoples live here.
Because I know a woman whose hand hasn’t been shaken since she was a man.
Because shaking a hand is only a part of the start.
Because I know a woman whose touch calmed a man whose heart was breaking.
Because privilege is not to be taken lightly.
Because this just might be good.
Because who said that this would be easy?
Because some people love what you stand for, and for some, if you can, they can.
Because solidarity means a common hand.
Because a hand is only a hand; so hang onto it.
So join your much discussed hands.
We need this; for one small second.
– Pádraig Ó Tuama
People melt, break beneath the fire of an intolerable pain in which they, at the same time, are also regenerated.
– Albert Camus
And Yet the Books
And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings,
That appeared once, still wet
As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn,
And, touched, coddled, began to live
In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up,
Tribes on the march, planets in motion.
“We are,” they said, even as their pages
Were being torn out, or a buzzing flame
Licked away their letters. So much more durable
Than we are, whose frail warmth
Cools down with memory, disperses, perishes.
I imagine the earth when I am no more:
Nothing happens, no loss, it’s still a strange pageant,
Women’s dresses, dewy lilacs, a song in the valley.
Yet the books will be there on the shelves, well born,
Derived from people, but also from radiance, heights.
– Czeslaw Milosz
Most neuroses and some psychoses can be traced to the unnecessary and unhealthy habit of daily wallowing in the troubles and sins of five billion strangers.
– Robert A. Heinlein
You can plan all you want to. You can lie in your morning bed and fill whole notebooks with schemes and intentions. But within a single afternoon, within hours or minutes, everything you plan and everything you have fought to make yourself can be undone as a slug is undone when salt is poured on him. And right up to the moment when you find yourself dissolving into foam you can still believe you are doing fine.
– Wallace Stegner
If you’re trying to find out what’s coming next, turn off everything you own that has an OFF switch and listen.
– Terry Patchett
by Cynthia Cruz
I did not want my body
Spackled in the world’s
Black beads and broke
Diamonds. What the world
Wanted, I did not. Of the things
It wanted. The body of Sunday
Morning, the warm wine and
The blood. The dripping fox
Furs dragged through the black New
York snow—the parked car, the pearls,
To the first pew—the funders,
The trustees, the bloat, the red weight of
The world. Their faces. I wanted not
That. I wanted Saint Francis, the love of
His animals. The wolf, broken and bleeding—
That was me.
We are rag dolls made out of many ages and skins, changelings who have slept in wood nests or hissed in the uncouth guise of waddling amphibians. We have played such roles for infinitely longer ages than we have been men. Our identity is a dream. We are process, not reality, for reality is an illusion of the daylight — the light of our particular day.-
– Loren Eiseley
Everyone who ever leaped to a new dimension of consciousness has drawn flak from other people. “Change-back attacks” are a sign that real transformation is happening.
– Martha Beck
I don’t like walking where I cannot see.
I know what’s down there: snakes, the razor beaks
of snapping turtles, salamanders, frogs,
and yet the lotus must be fertilized
the water lilies trimmed if they’re to bloom
all season. We’re already into June –
I’ve put it off too long. The water’s warm
the sky is overcast. Now is the time.
Get out your leather sandals, William. Start.
I take off all my clothes and wade deep in.
The footing’s slippery as I reach down
my whole arm’s length to catch the lotus pot.
I have to cut rough stems to bring it up
through fetid redolence. Some Buddhists say
beauty must have its roots in rotten clay.
When something large and rough brushes my leg
I hurry through the task and call it done
then clamber naked back to the safe shore.
– Bill Lantry
Everywhere the mental state of European man shows an alarming lack of balance. We are living undeniably in a period of the greatest restlessness, nervous tension, confusion, and disorientation of outlook.
– C. G. Jung
No shining words of stone—
Shadow and cloud alone—
These shall the poet seek eternally,
Whose lines would carve the mask of Mystery
– Clark Ashton Smith
Knowing another is endless. And I have discovered that man’s experience of them enlarges rock, flower, and bird. The thing to be known grows with the knowing.
– Nan Shepherd
Oh! the wonder of mornings.
– Clarice Lispector
So the full moon comes in, and the room becomes phosphorescent with silence…
– Clarice Lispector
The more we try to transcend ourselves, the more we are unconsciously trapped in our own materialism. Microcosm and macrocosm mirror each other.
– Marion Woodman
There is no point in taking opium; it is better to put salt and vinegar in the soul’s wound ; for if you fall asleep and no longer feel the pain, then you no longer exist. And the point is to exist.
– Miguel de Unamuno
There is a rule we know of time—
at some point, with enough air, a god enters
the blade of camellia, the husk of rice
leavening like memory on lips.
Is a poem the wonder or the matter?
– Rowan Ricardo Phillips
You need a deep lake of humility and a little boat of pride.
– Dr. Han VanderHart
It is very important to go out alone, to sit under a tree—not with a book, not with a companion, but by yourself—and observe the falling of a leaf, hear the lapping of the water, the fishermen’s song, watch the flight of a bird, and of your own thoughts as they chase each other across the space of your mind. If you are able to be alone and watch these things, then you will discover extraordinary riches which no government can tax, no human agency can corrupt, and which can never be destroyed.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
Creating something new is easy.
Creating something that can last is the challenge.
– Simon Sinek
Joy and resentment cannot coexist.
– Henri Nouwen
It doesn’t seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil – which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama.
– Richard P. Feynman
Growing old I love the quiet that used to
disturb me. I have distance on my life.
The boast and pity of self-regard
have fallen somewhat behind.
Heading home, the home I carry with me,
I settle into the clouds. On the mountain
I sit quietly in a sage meadow
visited by the same bees that make lovers
of flowering bushes.
I become part of the golden comb hidden
in the hive humming with delight.
– Stephen Levine
To acknowledge our ancestors means we are aware that we did not make ourselves, that the line stretches all the way back, perhaps, to God; or to Gods. We remember them because it is an easy thing to forget: that we are not the first to suffer, rebel, fight, love, and die. The grace with which we embrace life, in spite of the pain, the sorrows, is always a measure of what has gone before.
– Alice Walker
I have also, I think, learnt what it is to love: being capable, not of ‘exaggerated’ initiatives, of always going one better, but of being thoughtful in relation to others, respecting their desires, their rhythms, never demanding things but learning to receive and to accept every gift as a surprise, and being capable, in a wholly unassuming way, of giving and of surprising the other person without the least coercion. To sum up, it is a question simply of freedom. Why did Cézanne paint the Montagne Saint-Victoire at every available moment? Because the light of each moment is a gift.
So, despite its dramas, life can still be beautiful. I am sixty-seven, and though it will soon be over, I feel younger now than I have ever done, never having had any youth since no one loved me for myself.
Yes, the future lasts a long time.
– Louis Althusser
What we share, [he] and I, may be a lot like a traffic accident, but we do share it. We are survivors, of each other. We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat. That counts for something.
– Margaret Atwood
Be like a branch of a tree; flex your body to face ‘wind of sorrow’; flex little harder to dance in the ‘wind of happiness’.
– Santosh Kalwar
The modern masses do not believe in anything visible, in the reality of their own experience… What convinces masses are not facts, and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system of which they are presumably part.
– Hannah Arendt
The female doesn’t want a rich man or a handsome man or even a poet. She wants a man who understands her eyes if she gets sad, and points to his chest and says: ‘Here is your home country.’
– Nizar Qabbani
Because of social strictures against even the mildest swearing, America developed a particularly rich crop of euphemistic expletives – darn, durn, goldurn, goshdad, goshdang, goshawful, blast, consarn, confound, by Jove, by jingo, great guns, by the great horn spoon (a nonce term first cited in the Biglow Papers), jo-fired, jumping Jehoshaphat, and others almost without number – but even this cautious epithets could land people in trouble as late as the 1940s.
– Bill Bryson
Many colors have been described as rough or sticky, others as smooth and uniform, so that one feels inclined to stroke them (e.g., dark ultramarine, chromic oxide green, and rose madder). Equally the distinction between warm and cold colors belongs to this connection. Some colors appear soft (rose madder), others hard (cobalt green, blue-green oxide), so that even fresh from the tube they seem to be dry. The expression “scented colors” is frequently met with. And finally the sound of colors is so definite that it would be hard to find anyone who would try to express bright yellow in the bass notes, or dark lake in the treble…
Color is a power which directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.
This essential connection between color and form brings us to the question of the influences of form on color. Form alone, even though totally abstract and geometrical, has a power of inner suggestion. A triangle (without the accessory consideration of its being acute — or obtuse — angled or equilateral) has a spiritual value of its own. In connection with other forms, this value may be somewhat modified, but remains in quality the same. The case is similar with a circle, a square, or any conceivable geometrical figure [which has] a subjective substance in an objective shell.
The work of art is born of the artist in a mysterious and secret way. From him it gains life and being. Nor is its existence casual and inconsequent, but it has a definite and purposeful strength, alike in its material and spiritual life. It exists and has power to create spiritual atmosphere; and from this inner standpoint one judges whether it is a good work of art or a bad one. If its “form” is bad it means that the form is too feeble in meaning to call forth corresponding vibrations of the soul… The artist is not only justified in using, but it is his duty to use only those forms which fulfill his own need… Such spiritual freedom is as necessary in art as it is in life.
– Wassily Kandinsky
Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.
– George Bernard Shaw
Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.
– Carl Jung
There are only three stages to this work: to be a beginner, to be more of a beginner, and to be only a beginner.
– Thomas Merton, Wisdom of the Desert
When I eroded the landscape
of my body,
you drew a fresh map,
topographical and understanding.
– Kayleb Rae Candrilli
Zen practice in the midst of activity is superior to that pursued within tranquility.
If you dislike war, respect your neighbor. And cherish the person who comes from afar. . . Distance is like allusion to the infinite. Love the person in your neighbor. Love God in the person who comes from afar.
– Lanza del Vasto
Consider Scheherazade, whose name meant “city-born” and who was without a doubt a big-city girl, crafty, wisecracking, by turns sentimental and cynical, as contemporary a metropolitan narrator as one could wish to meet. Scheherazade, who snared the prince in her never-ending story. Scheherazade, telling stories to save her life, setting fiction against death, a Statue of Liberty built not of metal but of words. Scheherazade, who insisted, against her father’s will, on taking her place in the procession into the king’s deadly boudoir. Scheherazade, who set herself the heroic task of saving her sisters by taming the king. Who had faith, who must have had faith, in the man beneath the murderous monster and in her own ability to restore him to his true humanity, by telling him stories.
– Salman Rushdie
Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.
– Alan Watts
If you go to one demonstration and then go home, that’s something, but the people in power can live with that. What they can’t live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, organizations that keep doing things, people that keep learning lessons from the last time and doing it better the next time.
– Noam Chomsky
I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on,
The windows and the stars illumined, one by one,
The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily,
And the moon rise and turn them silver. I shall see
The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass;
And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass,
I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight,
And build me stately palaces by candlelight.
– Charles Baudelaire
by Stuart Kestenbaum
You know the Beatles could have
afforded another microphone,
but George would always stand
in the middle and step up to
Paul’s when it was time to
join in. Because that’s the way
harmony is, you need to share the
electricity, the voice, the words.
Just the way we do when we drive
in our cars with the radio on,
the windows rolled down with fall in the
air, dead leaves swirling in the wake,
or in the spring, the earth damp and soft,
the air hazy with pollen. We hear
the song that moves us, crank the
radio and sing along, at the top of
our lungs, as if we just joined
the group. In tune out of tune,
country western, rock and roll, we want
to harmonize. A whole country of
would-be stars losing love, finding love
with the radio in different
cars, on different paths, the dark
road rumbling beneath.
I have a wonderful cabin you know, dirt cheap. Alors, what more?
– Henry Miller
It’s pouring, the trees are getting greener before my eyes, I love you.
I’m almost afraid of the intensity
of that happiness.
– Vera Nabokov
Eternity is not the hereafter…this is it. If you don’t get it here, you won’t get it anywhere.
– Joseph Campbell
Do not stand in a place of danger trusting in miracles.
– Arabian Proverb
So many people insist on being either pro-Freudian or anti-Freudian, pro-scientific-psychology or anti-scientific-psychology, etc. In my opinion all such loyalty-positions are silly. Our job is to integrate these various truths into the whole truth.
– Abraham H. Maslow
Granted, if we only have emotional compassion, then our mind will be unstable, and that will make us weak.
– Phakchok Rinpoche and Sophie Wu
Everyone is looking for a book strong enough to change them.
– Catherynne M. Valente
One of the beauties of Buddhism is the practice of decentering yourself so that other people can have space.
– Pamela Ayo Yetunde
There’s a Turkish phrase I like, “kolay gelsin,” which you say to people when you encounter them working–cleaning, gardening, parenting, doing construction, delivering the mail–& I wish there were a good English equivalent. “May your work be easy / come easily” doesn’t cut it.
– Merve Emre
This reminds me of the French phrase, “bon courage,” which can mean different things in different contexts, but implies an acknowledgment of labor and solidarity among workers. Definitely no equivalent for that in English.
– Annie deSaussure
Americans would say something like don’t forget to hydrate
– Eric Weinberger
there might be an English equivalent in “power to your elbow”, which sounds like it must, in itself, have been borrowed in translation from elsewhere.
– Matthew Black
Madness springs from hurt that goes deep, that ruptures our sense of self, leaving us helpless to shelter the person we are becoming.
– Ann Belford Ulanov
Why else keep a journal, if not to examine your own filth?
– Anne Sexton
I think the line length is mostly driven by breath, by the number of words a speaker can say before stopping to rest. Or before changing the subject, or looking away.
– Jennifer A Sutherland
I’ve often said that all poetry is political. This is because real poems deal with a human response to reality and politics is part of reality, history in the making. Even if a poet writes about sitting in a glass house drinking tea, it reflects politics.
– Yehuda Amichai
As the ego does not represent the whole psyche, so the Western mind cannot speak for the whole world.
– James Hillman
Clear faith blooms when we recognize in another the possibility of living a free, happy, peaceful life, and this recognition compels us to look for a way to get there ourselves.
– Vanessa Zuisei Goddard
A young writer is easily tempted by the allusive and ethereal and ironic and reflective, but the declarative is at the bottom of most good writing.
– Garrison Keillor
I want to see your timid smile
between the words,
or in the middle of the talk,
the books from which the scent of distant countries emanates.
– Ines Abassi
The live iguanas will come to bite the men who do not dream.
– Frederico Garcia Lorca, Granada, 1919
Arion by Alexander Pushkin
translated from the Russian by Seamus Heaney
We were all there in the boat;
Some of us tightening sail,
Some at the heave and haul
Of the oars, vessel and load
Deep surging, our passage silent,
The helmsman buoyed at the helm.
And I, taking all for granted,
Sang to the sailors.
Struck then, a boiling maelstrom.
Helmsman and sailors perished.
Only I, still singing, washed
Ashore by the swell, sing on,
A mystery to myself,
Safe and sound on a rock-shelf
Where my clothes dry in the sun.
You cannot describe it or draw it. You cannot praise it or perceive it. No place can be found in which to put the original face.
How we approach “the other,” and how we approach each other, will shape everything, including out own evolving self and the cosmos in which we participate.
– Richard Tarnas
Things might never be okay in the grand way I’m tempted to think they will be if certain things would just happen.
Can I be okay right now?
Yes…as long as I’m beholding beauty.
– McCall Erickson
we tugged our lifeline through limestone and sand,
lover and long-leggèd girl.
– Maxine Kumin
Like to the moon am I, that cannot shine
Alone; for lo! our eyes see nought in heaven
Save what the living sun illumineth.
– Michelangelo Buonarroti
Lay hold of life with both hands, whenever thou mayest seize it, it is interesting.
– J W von Goethe
Reminder to let it go: those who wrong you wrong themselves.
Don’t go to a book expecting a colorful, comfortable tour of anything, let alone culture. Look for the humanity.
– Morgan Talty
We are the proofs of books
full of paragraphs in need of revision.
– Fouad Mohammad Fouad