Quotes of the day: Roald Dahl

Published Saturday, November 22, 2014 @ 5:42 PM EST
Nov 22 2014

Roald Dahl (September 13, 1916 – November 23, 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, fighter pilot and screenwriter. Dahl's works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Twits, George's Marvellous Medicine and The BFG. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

Did they preach one thing and practice another, these men of God?

Don't gobblefunk around with words.

Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.

I understand what you're saying, and your comments are valuable, but I'm going to ignore your advice.

If the Good Lord intended for us to walk, he wouldn't have invented roller skates.

If you are good life is good.

It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.

It's a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.

It's impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you're not feeling twinkly yourself.

Nobody gets a nervous breakdown or a heart attack from selling kerosene to gentle country folk from the back of a tanker in Somerset.

Nowadays you can go anywhere in the world in a few hours, and nothing is fabulous any more.

Obscurity is never a virtue.

Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.

There are no secrets unless you keep them to yourself...

Unless you have been to boarding-school when you are very young, it is absolutely impossible to appreciate the delights of living at home.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.

When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty.

You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of.

Categories: Quotes of the day; Roald Dahl

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Quotes of the day: André Gide

Published Friday, November 21, 2014 @ 4:04 PM EST
Nov 21 2014

André Paul Guillaume Gide (November 22, 1869 – February 19 1951) was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947 "for his comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human problems and conditions have been presented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight." Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective.

Believe those who seek the truth, doubt those who find it; doubt all, but do not doubt yourself.

Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.

Generally among intelligent people are found nothing but paralytics and among men of action nothing but fools.

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

It is with fine sentiments that bad literature is made. Descend to the bottom of the well if you wish to see the stars.

Let every emotion be capable becoming an intoxication to you. If what you eat fails to make you drunk, it is because you are not hungry enough.

Most often people seek in life occasions for persisting in their opinions rather than for educating themselves.

Often the best in us springs from the worst in us.

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore.

Pay attention only to the form; emotion will come spontaneously to inhabit it. A perfect dwelling always finds an inhabitant. The artist's business is to build the dwelling; as for the inhabitant, it is up to the reader to provide him.

Sin is whatever obscures the soul.

The most decisive actions of our life- I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future- are, more often than not, unconsidered.

The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.

The wise man is astonished by anything.

There are many things that seem impossible only so long as one does not attempt them.

There is no feeling so simple that it is not immediately complicated and distorted by introspection.

True intelligence very readily conceives of an intelligence superior to its own; and this is why truly intelligent men are modest.

True kindness presupposes the faculty of imagining as one's own the suffering and joys of others.

We call 'happiness' a certain set of circumstances that makes joy possible. But we call joy that state of mind and emotions that needs nothing to feel happy.

What another would have done as well as you, do not do it. What another would have said as well as you, do not say it; what another would have written as well, do not write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself- and thus make yourself indispensable.

When intelligent people pride themselves on not understanding, it is quite natural they should succeed better than fools.

Wisdom comes not from reason but from love.


(November 22 is also the birthday of Abigail Adams, Charles deGaulle, and George Eliot)

Categories: André Gide; Quotes of the day

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The Soul...

Published Thursday, November 20, 2014 @ 9:54 PM EST
Nov 20 2014

A common concept of the soul is that the essence of a self lies in some spark of invisible light, a thing that cowers out of body, out of mind, and out of sight.... To look for our virtue in such thoughts seems just as wrongly aimed a search as seeking art in canvas cloths by scraping off the painter's works.
-Marvin Minsky

A consistent soul believes in destiny, a capricious one in chance.
-Benjamin Disraeli

A fella ain't got a soul of his own, just a piece of a big soul, the one that belongs to everybody.
-John Steinbeck

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

A human soul devoid of longing was a soul deformed, deprived of its highest good, sick unto death.
-Saul Bellow

A little righteous anger really brings out the best in the American personality. Our nation was born when 56 patriots got mad enough to sign the Declaration of Independence. We put a man on the moon because Sputnik made us mad at being number two in space. Getting mad in a constructive way is good for the soul- and the country.
-Lee Iacocca

A room without books is like a body without a soul.
-Marcus Tullius Cicero

A soul is a troublesome possession, and when man developed it he lost the Garden of Eden.
-W. Somerset Maugham

All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Art is the final cunning of the human soul which would rather do anything than face the gods.
-Iris Murdoch

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
-Pablo Picasso

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
-H.L. Mencken

Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.

Be careless in your dress, if you must; but keep a tidy soul.
-Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll; Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
-Alexander Pope

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.
-George Eliot

Books are the mirrors of the soul.
-Virginia Woolf

Books are the windows through which the soul looks out. A house without books is like a room without windows.
-Horace Mann

But the world will never weary of watching that troubled soul in its progress from darkness to darkness.
-Oscar Wilde

Celebrity is a corrosive condition for the soul.
-Charlton Heston

Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
-Alexander Pope

Confession is good for the conscience, but it usually bypasses the soul.
-Mignon McLaughlin

Confession is good for the soul in the sense that a tweed coat is good for dandruff.
-Peter De Vries

Corporations cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.
-Sir Edward Coke

Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.
-Agatha Christie

Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.
-Edwin Markham

Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.
-Nelson Mandela

Do you, good people, believe that Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden and that they were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge? I do. The church has always been afraid of that tree. It still is afraid of knowledge. Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. So does whiskey. I believe in the brain of man. I'm not worried about my soul.
-Clarence Darrow

Don't let your hearts grow numb. Stay alert. It is your soul which matters.
-Albert Schweitzer

Every human soul is of infinite value, eternal, free; no human being, therefore, is so placed as not to have within his reach, in himself and others, objects adequate to infinite endeavor.
-Arthur James Balfour

Every writer dips his brush into his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
-Henry Ward Beecher

Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires,- Necessity and Free Will.
-Thomas Carlyle

Fame like a drunkard consumes the house of the soul.
-Malcolm Lowry

Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and 50 cents for your soul.
-Marilyn Monroe

How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?
-Carson McCullers

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
-William Butler Yeats

Human rights is the soul of our foreign policy, because human rights is the very soul of our sense of nationhood.
-Jimmy Carter

I believe that in our constant search for security we can never gain any peace of mind until we are secure in our own soul.
-Margaret Chase Smith

I believe that man will not merely endure, he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he, alone among creatures, has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.
-William Faulkner

I belong to the Great Church which holds the world within its starlit aisles; that claims the great and good of every race and clime; that finds with joy the grain of gold in every creed, and floods with light and love the germs of good in every soul.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.
-Albert Einstein

I do not mind if I lose my soul for all eternity. If the kind of God exists Who would damn me for not working out a deal with Him, then that is unfortunate. I should not care to spend eternity in the company of such a person.
-Mary McCarthy

I don't actually take much stock in the collapsing culture bit. I'm beginning to see it instead as the conduct of life without input from your soul.
-Saul Bellow

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
-Maya Angelou

I have never yet met a healthy person who worries very much about his health or a really good person who worries much about his own soul.
-J.B.S. Haldane

I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul. (From the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)
-Bill Watterson

I once loved a woman, a child I am told
I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul.
But don't think twice, it's all right.
-Bob Dylan

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
-Woody Allen

I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
-Booker T. Washington

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.
-James Herriot

If my soul exists without my body I am convinced all my clothes will be loose-fitting.
-Woody Allen

If we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.
-Maya Angelou

If you are losing your leisure, look out; you may be losing your soul.
-Logan Pearsall Smith

If you're losing your soul and you know it, then you've still got a soul left to lose.
-Charles Bukowski

Illusions are to the soul what atmosphere is to the earth.
-Virginia Woolf

Impropriety is the soul of wit.
-W. Somerset Maugham

In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

In order to be created, a work of art must first make use of the dark forces of the soul.
-Albert Camus

In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.
-John Steinbeck

Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.
-Mary McLeod Bethune

It does not matter so much what you do. What matters is whether your soul is harmed by what you do. If your soul is harmed, something irreparable happens, the extent of which you won't realize until it will be too late.
-Albert Schweitzer

It is by little things that we know ourselves; a soul would very probably mistake itself for another, when once disembodied, were it not for individual experiences which differ from those of others only in details seemingly trifling.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

It is only the souls that do not love that go empty in this world.
-Robert Hugh Benson

It is the still, small voice that the soul heeds, not the deafening blasts of doom.
-William Dean Howells

It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles; the less they have in them the more noise they make in pouring out.
-Alexander Pope

It will be a great thing for the human soul when it finally stops worshiping backwards.
-Charlotte Perkins Gilman

It's good for the soul to hear yourself as others hear you, and next time maybe, just maybe, you will not talk so much, so loudly, so brilliantly, so charmingly, so utterly shamelessly foolishly.
-Russell Baker

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
-Stella Adler

Like body and soul theory and practice are one, and like body and soul they are for the most part at loggerheads.
-Marie Ebner von Ebner-Eschenbach

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
-Zora Neale Hurston

Man has sold his soul for time, language, tools, weapons, and dominance.
-William S. Burroughs

Man has wrested from nature the power to make the world a desert or to make deserts bloom. There is no evil in the atom; only in men's souls.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II

Maybe a man has to sell his soul to get the power to do good.
-Robert Penn Warren

More men discover their souls in darkness than they do in light. This is not to invite darkness; it is only to be reminded that darkness need not go to waste when it is thrust upon us.
-Fulton J. Sheen

Most of the world's great souls have been lonely.
-Aiden Wilson Tozer

Most people sell their souls and live with a good conscience on the proceeds.
-Logan Pearsall Smith

My fate cannot be mastered; it can only be collaborated with and thereby to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul; I am only its noisiest passenger.
-Aldous Huxley

My mouth is full of decayed teeth and my soul of decayed ambitions.
-James Joyce

My soul lives in a place where the passions have passed by and where I have known them all.
-Joseph Joubert

Never let a man imagine that he can pursue a good end by evil means, without sinning against his own soul. The evil effect on himself is certain.
-Robert Southey

Obscurity can be a fire of ambition in those who have stalwart souls.
-Taylor Caldwell

One drop of hatred in your soul will spread and discolor everything like a drop of black ink in white milk. I was struck by that and meant to try it, but knew I shouldn't waste the milk.
-Alice Munro

Only the soul that suffers knows its suffering. Only the one who needs knows what need means.
-W.E.B. DuBois

Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.
-Oscar Wilde

Our critics are the unpaid guardians of our souls.
-Corrie ten Boom

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls.
-Carl Jung

Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
-Edward Abbey

Some day you will know that there is a beauty of the soul that is more important than worldly beauty. Remember this when you see worldly beauty.
-John P. Marquand

Suffering is not good for the soul, unless it teaches you to stop suffering.
-Jane Roberts

The eyes are the window to where the soul is supposed to be.
-Tina Fey

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it- basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.
-Charles Bukowski

The greatest battles in life are fought in the quiet chambers of the soul.
-David O. McKay

The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the miseries of others.
-Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The imagination is the eye of the soul.
-Joseph Joubert

The real lost souls don't wear their hair long and play guitars. They have crew cuts, trained minds, sign on for research in biological warfare, and don't give their parents a moment's worry.
-John Boynton Priestley

The Soul is born old, but it grows young; that is the comedy of life. The Body is born young and grows old; that is life's tragedy.
-Oscar Wilde

The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.
-Daniel Defoe

The soul may sleep and the body still be happy, but only in youth.
-Mignon McLaughlin

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.
-Emily Dickinson

There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.
-Elie Wiesel

There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.
-Victor Hugo

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
-Thomas Paine

They were trying to save their souls- and who but a fool could fail to see that all that was the matter with their souls was that they had not been able to get a decent existence for their bodies?
-Upton Sinclair

Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.
-Robert F. Kennedy

Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.
-Walt Whitman

Whatever the soul knows how to seek, it cannot fail to obtain.
-Margaret Fuller

When one great passion seizes possession of the soul all other feelings are crowded out.
-Lucy Maud Montgomery

When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.
-Edward R. Murrow

You can lend them your talents, but don't give them your soul.
-Alan Alda

You do not 'have' a soul- you ARE a soul. You 'have' a body.
-C.S. Lewis

You got to decide what your soul can handle and how you want to be seen.
-Marc Maron

You start out giving your hat, then you give your coat, then your shirt, then your skin and finally your soul.
-Charles de Gaulle


(November 21 is also the birthday of Voltaire )

Categories: Quotes of the day; Quotes on a topic; Soul

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Quotes of the day: Nadine Gordimer

Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014 @ 10:22 PM EST
Nov 19 2014

Nadine Gordimer (November 20, 1923 – July 13, 2014) was a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. She was recognized as a woman "who through her magnificent epic writing has– in the words of Alfred Nobel– been of very great benefit to humanity." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Art defies defeat by its very existence, representing the celebration of life, in spite of all attempts to degrade and destroy it.

Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.

Communists are the last optimists.

Humans, the only self-regarding animals, blessed or cursed with this torturing higher faculty, have always wanted to know why.

I cannot live with someone who can't live without me.

Nothing factual that I write or say will be as truthful as my fiction.

Perhaps it is the positive knowledge that humans now possess the means to destroy their whole planet, the fear that they have in this way themselves become the gods, dreadfully charged with their own continued existence, that has made comic-book and movie myth escapist.

Power is something of which I am convinced there is no innocence this side of the womb.

Recognize yourself in others.

Responsibility is what awaits outside the Eden of Creativity.

Sentiment is for those who don't know what to do next.

Success sometimes may be defined as a disaster put on hold.

The facts are always less than what really happened.

The gap between the committed and the indifferent is a Sahara whose faint trails, followed by the mind's eye only, fade out in sand.

The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.

There are many proven explanations for natural phenomena now; and there are new questions of being arising out of some of the answers. For this reason, the genre of myth has never been entirely abandoned, although we are inclined to think of it as archaic.

There is no moral authority like that of sacrifice.

Time is change; we measure its passage by how much things alter.

We must live fully in order to secrete the substance of our work, but we have to work alone.

You can't change a regime on the basis of compassion. There's got to be something harder.

Categories: Nadine Gordimer; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Indira Gandhi

Published Tuesday, November 18, 2014 @ 7:46 PM EST
Nov 18 2014

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi (November 19, 1917 –October 31, 1984) was the third Prime Minister of India and a central figure of the Indian National Congress party. Gandhi, who served from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, is the second-longest- serving Prime Minister of India and the only woman to hold the office (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A nation's strength ultimately consists in what it can do on its own, and not in what it can borrow from others.

Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.

I do not like carving the world into segments; we are one world.

I don't mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation. (The night before her assassination)

Martyrdom does not end something, it is only a beginning.

My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.

One must beware of ministers who can do nothing without money, and those who want to do everything with money.

People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights.

There are moments in history when brooding tragedy and its dark shadows can be lightened by recalling great moments of the past.

There exists no politician in India daring enough to attempt to explain to the masses that cows can be eaten.

To be liberated, woman must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in the context of her own capacity and her personality.

What do you want me to do? I'm surrounded by a bunch of idiots. And democracy...

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.

We should not mourn for men of high ideals. Rather we should rejoice that we had the privilege of having had them with us, to inspire us by their radiant personalities.


(November 19 is also the birthday of Billy Sunday.)

Categories: Indira Gandhi; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Marcel Proust

Published Monday, November 17, 2014 @ 9:29 PM EST
Nov 17 2014

Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (July 10, 1871 - November 18, 1922) was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past). He is considered by many to be one of the greatest authors of all time. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.

All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.

As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.

Everything great in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded our religions and composed our masterpieces.

Happiness is beneficial for the body but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.

Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey.

In a separation it is the one who is not really in love who says the more tender things.

It is in moments of illness that we are compelled to recognize that we live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom, whole worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body.

Just as those who practice the same profession recognize each other instinctively, so do those who practice the same vice.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Like everybody who is not in love, he imagined that one chose the person whom one loved after endless deliberations and on the strength of various qualities and advantages.

Like many intellectuals, he was incapable of saying a simple thing in a simple way.

Love is a reciprocal torture.

Love is space and time measured by the heart.

The only paradise is paradise lost.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

The regularity of a habit is generally in proportion to its absurdity.

The time at our disposal each day is elastic; the passions we feel dilate it, those that inspire us shrink it, and habit fills it.

There is no man, however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory.

Three-quarters of the sicknesses of intelligent people come from their intelligence. They need at least a doctor who can understand this sickness.

Time passes, and little by little everything that we have spoken in falsehood becomes true.

We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.

We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes.

We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.


(November 18 is also the birthday of Clarence Day )

Categories: Marcel Proust; Quotes of the day

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On drugs...

Published Sunday, November 16, 2014 @ 10:07 PM EST
Nov 16 2014

A Libertarian is just a Republican who takes drugs.
-Bob Black

As long as there's sex and drugs, I can do without the rock and roll.
-Mick Shrimpton

Death comes at you no matter what you do in this life, and to equate drugs with death is a facile comparison.
-Jerry Garcia

Drugs have taught an entire generation of American kids the metric system.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window, except that the birds might eat them.
-Dr. Martin Henry Fischer

I believe in prescription drugs. I believe in feeling better.
-Denis Leary

I don't do drugs. I am drugs.
-Salvador Dali

I don't use drugs; my dreams are frightening enough.
-M.C. Escher

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
-Hunter S. Thompson

I never took hallucinogenic drugs because I never wanted my consciousness expanded one unnecessary iota.
-Fran Lebowitz

I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.
-Mitch Hedberg

I'm in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.
-Milton Friedman

I've never had a problem with drugs. I've had problems with the police.
-Keith Richards

If anybody comes up to you and says, 'My kid is a conservative- why is that?' you say, 'Remember in the 60s when we told you if you kept using drugs your kids would be mutants?'
-Mort Sahl

If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they'd have to bring out the tanks to control you.
-Dick Gregory

If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
-P.J. O'Rourke

If you don't have sex and you don't do drugs, your rock 'n' roll better be awfully good.
-Abbie Hoffman

If you need drugs to be a good writer, you're not a good writer.
-Rod Serling

It is no defense of superstition and pseudoscience to say that it brings solace and comfort to people... If solace and comfort are how we judge the worth of something, then consider that tobacco brings solace and comfort to smokers; alcohol brings it to drinkers; drugs of all kinds bring it to addicts; the fall of cards and the run of horses bring it to gamblers; cruelty and violence bring it to sociopaths. Judge by solace and comfort only and there is no behavior we ought to interfere with.
-Isaac Asimov

My idea (in taking drugs) was pain reduction and mind expansion, but I ended up with mind reduction and pain expansion.
-Carrie Fisher

Not all drugs are good. Some are great.
-Bill Hicks

Our generation was right about civil rights; we were right about Vietnam; we were right about poverty. Unfortunately, we were wrong about drugs.
-David Crosby

Pop music is just long hours, hard work and lots of drugs.
-Cass Elliot

Reality is a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.
-Jane Wagner

Sex and drugs don't go half as well as some people believe. Very often you're forced to choose.
-Christopher Hitchens

Success and failure are both difficult to endure. Along with success come drugs, divorce, fornication, bullying, travel, meditation, medication, depression, neurosis and suicide. With failure comes failure.
-Joseph Heller

The government could take away all the drugs in the world and people would spin around on their lawns until they fell down and saw God.
-Dennis Miller

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.
-Noam Chomsky

There were a lot of casualties. Things change and drugs change.
-Marc Maron

Think about it. Would you work for a company that couldn't tell the difference in the quality of its employees' normal work product and the work product of someone on drugs without performing a test?

When we were growing up we knew the side effects of the drugs we were taking. Cocaine, side effects were paranoia, ninjas-on-the-lawn; quaaludes, side effects were talking in tongues, English as a second language; marijuana, side effects were laughter, Frosted Flakes.
-Robin Williams

Why are there no recreational drugs taken in suppository form?
-George Carlin

Win The War, On Drugs (bumper sticker)
-John Alejandro King (The Covert Comic)

You know how I got addicted to cocaine? I tried it. The problem with drugs is that they work- right up until the moment they decimate your life.
-Aaron Sorkin

Categories: Drugs; Quotes of the day; Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Alan Watts

Published Saturday, November 15, 2014 @ 8:07 PM EST
Nov 15 2014

Alan Wilson Watts (January 6, 1915 - November 16, 1973) was a British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and popularizer of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies. Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. In Psychotherapy East and West (1961), Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not a religion. He also explored human consciousness, in the essay "The New Alchemy" (1958), and in the book The Joyous Cosmology (1962). Towards the end of his life, he divided his time between a houseboat in Sausalito and a cabin on Mount Tamalpais. His legacy has been kept alive by his son, Mark Watts, and many of his recorded talks and lectures are available on the Internet. According to the critic Erik Davis, his "writings and recorded talks still shimmer with a profound and galvanizing lucidity." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion.

Archimedes said, 'Give me a fulcrum and I will move the Earth'; but there isn't one.

Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself. Just as the word 'water' is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid without being it, so too the idea of ego symbolizes the role you play, who you are, but it is not the same as your living organism.

Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.

How could you say the best form of government is a republic if you think the universe is a monarchy?

I am amazed that Congressmen can pass a bill imposing severe penalties on anyone who burns the American flag, whereas they are responsible for burning that for which the flag stands.

I find that the sensation of myself as an ego inside a bag of skin is really a hallucination.

I have suggested that behind almost all myth lies the mono-plot of the game of hide-and-seek.

If you know that 'I', in the sense of the person, the front, the ego, it really doesn't exist. Then... it won't go to your head too badly, if you wake up and discover that you're God.

Now it is symptomatic of our rusty-beer-can type of sanity that our culture produces very few magical objects.

Of what use is the universe? What is the practical application of a million galaxies? Yet just because it has no use, it has a use- which may sound like a paradox, but is not. What, for instance, is the use of playing music? If you play to make money, to outdo some other artist, to be a person of culture, or to improve your mind, you are not really playing- for your mind is not on the music. You don't swing. When you come to think of it, playing or listening to music is a pure luxury, an addiction, a waste of valuable time and money for nothing more than making elaborate patterns of sound.

Religion is always falling apart.

Running away from fear is fear; fighting pain is pain; trying to be brave is being scared. If the mind is in pain, the mind is pain. The thinker has no other form than his thought.

The basic problem is to understand that there are no such things as things; that is to say separate things, separate events. That is only a way of talking. What do you mean by a thing? A thing is a noun. A noun isn't a part of nature it's a part of speech. There are no nouns in the physical world. There are no separate things in the physical world either.

The greater part of human activity is designed to make permanent those experiences and joys which are only lovable because they are changing.

The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East...

There is always something taboo, something repressed, unadmitted, or just glimpsed quickly out of the corner of one's eye because a direct look is too unsettling. Taboos lie within taboos, like the skin of an onion.

There is no formula for generating the authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied.

There is nothing wrong with meditating just to meditate, in the same way that you listen to music just for the music. If you go to concerts to 'get culture' or to improve your mind, you will sit there as deaf as a doorpost.

This is the real secret of life- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.

What we see as death, empty space, or nothingness is only the trough between the crests of this endlessly waving ocean.

What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.

When a man no longer confuses himself with the definition of himself that others have given him, he is at once universal and unique.

Wonder is not a disease. Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals, and intelligent and sensitive people from morons.

You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.

You find out that the universe is a system that creeps up on itself and says 'Boo!' and then laughs at itself for jumping.

You take your classified telephone directory, and open up 'Churches', and have a ruler in your hand. And you will find that the longest space is occupied by authoritarian, Bible-banging churches. And these people are barbarians, who take the written word of the Bible literally. Because they need terribly, they have a personal need, for something to depend on... The government realizes that there is a very large number of people like that; and therefore, to keep their votes, they have to pander to those kind of people. And these are the boys who never grew up; they always need Papa.... The trouble is that the boys who need Papa, are violent. They have the guns. And they are the types of people who like to be soldiers, policemen- tough guys. And therefore they have a great deal of power.

Zen... does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.


(November 16 is also the birthday of George S. Kaufman.)

Categories: Alan Watts; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Margaret Mead

Published Friday, November 14, 2014 @ 8:42 PM EST
Nov 14 2014

Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 - November 15, 1978) was an American cultural anthropologist who was frequently a featured author and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s. She earned her bachelor degree at Barnard College in New York City, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. She was both a popularizer of the insights of anthropology into modern American and Western culture and a respected, often controversial, academic anthropologist. Her reports about the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures shaped the 1960s sexual revolution. Mead was a proponent of broadening sexual mores within a context of traditional western religious life. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A city must be a place where groups of women and men are seeking and developing the highest things they know.

A society which is clamouring for choice, which is filled with many articulate groups, each urging its own brand of salvation, its own variety of economic philosophy, will give each new generation no peace until all have chosen or gone under, unable to bear the conditions of choice.

As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own

Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man.

Fathers are biological necessities, but social accidents.

Human nature is almost unbelievably malleable, responding accurately and contrastingly to contrasting cultural conditions.

If a society insists that warfare is the major occupation for the male sex, it is therefore insisting that all male children display bravery and pugnacity. Even if the insistence upon the differential bravery of men and women is not made articulate, the difference in occupation makes this point implicitly. When, however, a society goes further and defines men as brave and women as timorous, when men are forbidden to show fear and women are indulged in the most flagrant display of fear, a more explicit element enters in. Originally two variations of human temperament, a hatred of fear or willingness to display fear, they have been socially translated into inalienable aspects of the personalities of the two sexes. And to that defined sex-personality every child will be educated, if a boy, to suppress fear, if a girl, to show it.

If one cannot state a matter clearly enough so that even an intelligent twelve-year-old can understand it, one should remain within the cloistered walls of the university and laboratory until one gets a better grasp of one's subject matter.

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

If we are to give our utmost effort and skill and enthusiasm, we must believe in ourselves, which means believing in our past and in our future, in our parents and in our children, in that particular blend of moral purpose and practical inventiveness which is the American character.

If you associate enough with older people who do enjoy their lives, who are not stored away in any golden ghettos, you will gain a sense of continuity and of the possibility for a full life.

In the modern world we have invented ways of speeding up invention, and people's lives change so fast that a person is born into one kind of world, grows up in another, and by the time his children are growing up, lives in still a different world.

Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.

Instead of needing lots of children, we need high-quality children.

It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary... to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.

Laughter is man's most distinctive emotional expression. Man shares the capacity for love and hate, anger and fear, loyalty and grief, with other living creatures. But humor, which has an intellectual as well as an emotional element, belongs to man.

Learned behaviors have replaced the biologically given ones.

Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump: you have to get it right the first time.

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.

Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited.

Our young people are faced by a series of different groups which believe different things and advocate different practices, and to each of which some trusted friend or relative may belong.

Sooner or later I'm going to die, but I'm not going to retire.

Standardized personality differences between the sexes are... cultural creations to which each generation, male and female, is trained to conform.

The ability to learn is older- as it is also more widespread- than is the ability to teach.

The contempt for law and the contempt for the human consequences of lawbreaking go from the bottom to the top of American society.

The first step in the direction of a world rule of law is the recognition that peace no longer is an unobtainable ideal but a necessary condition of continued human existence.

The student of culture is concerned with a characteristic which man displays more markedly than any other known creature- the ability to transmit what he has learned.

The United States has the power to destroy the world, but not the power to save it alone.

There is no necessary connection between warfare and human nature. Human nature is potentially aggressive and destructive and potentially orderly and constructive.

We are living beyond our means. As a people we have developed a life-style that is draining the earth of its priceless and irreplaceable resources without regard for the future of our children and people all around the world.

We may say that many, if not all, of the personality traits which we have called masculine or feminine are as lightly linked to sex as are the clothing, the manners, and the form of headdress that a society at a given period assigns to either sex.

We must recognize that beneath the superficial classifications of sex and race the same potentialities exist, recurring generation after generation, only to perish because society has no place for them.

We will be a better country when each religious group can trust its members to obey the dictates of their own religious faith without assistance from the legal structure of their country.

We women are doing pretty well. We're almost back to where we were in the twenties. (1976)

We- mankind- stand at the center of an evolutionary crisis, with a new evolutionary device- our consciousness of the crisis- as our unique contribution.

You know you love someone when you cannot put into words how they make you feel.

Categories: Margaret Mead; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Booker T. Washington

Published Thursday, November 13, 2014 @ 7:07 PM EST
Nov 13 2014

Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community. Washington was of the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants, who were newly oppressed by disfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1895 his Atlanta compromise called for avoiding confrontation over segregation and instead putting more reliance on long-term educational and economic advancement in the black community. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Character, not circumstances, makes the man.

Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.

I learned the lesson that great men cultivate love, and that only little men cherish a spirit of hatred. I learned that assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; and that oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak.

I think I have learned that the best way to lift one's self up is to help someone else.

I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.

In any country, regardless of what its laws say, wherever people act upon the idea that the disadvantage of one man is the good of another, there slavery exists. Wherever, in any country the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, there freedom exists.

Men may make laws to hinder and fetter the ballot, but men cannot make laws that will bind or retard the growth of manhood.

No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

Of all forms of slavery there is none that is so harmful and degrading as that form of slavery which tempts one human being to hate another by reason of his race or color. One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed.

The world cares very little what you or I know, but it does care a great deal about what you or I do.

You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.

Wherever, in any country the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, there freedom exists.

Progress, progress is the law of nature; under God it shall be our eternal guiding star.

There is no power on earth, that can neutralize the influence of a high, pure, simple and useful life.

There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.

Nothing ever comes to me, that is worth having, except as the result of hard work.


(November 14 is also the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru and P.J. O'Rourke. It's also the birthday of Joseph McCarthy, Condoleezza Rice, and Steve Stockman, about whom the less said, the better.)

Categories: Booker T. Washington; Quotes of the day

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