Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy endings

There are no happy endings...there are only happy people.

(Mrs. Emily Polifax) Dorothy Gilman. 1983.

The end

What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.

T. S. Eliot. "Four Quartets."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Five




The five colors blind the eye.
The five tones deafen the ear.
The five flavors dull the taste.
Racing and hunting madden the mind.
Precious things lead one astray.

Therefore the sage is guided by what he feels
and not by what he sees.
He lets go of that and chooses this.

Lao-tzu

Then you win

First they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.

Gandhi

Undisclosed

Lost Illusion is the undisclosed title of every novel.

André Maurois, The Art of Writing

There is no man

There is no man so good that if he place all his actions and thoughts under the scrutiny of the laws, he would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592)
_Essays_ [1595], Book III, Chapter 9

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thingish





When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.

Alan Alexander Milne, Pooh's Little Instruction Book.

A blessing

"May the roads rise to meet you.
May the wind be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of this hand.

Gaelic Blessing

Laws

Laws are generally found to be nets of such a texture, as the little creep through, the great break through, and the middle-sized are alone entangled in.

William Shenstone

Old and young

The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.

Oscar Wilde, 1894. "Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young."

Humor - Things You Don't Want to Hear Over an Airline PA

Top Things You Don't Want to Overhear Over an Airline P.A. System

1. Ocean crossing flight: This is your Captain speaking, I just wanted to take this time to remind you that your seat cushions can be used as floatation devices.

2. Hey folks, we're going to play a little game of geography trivia. If you can recognize where we are, tell your flight attendant and receive an extra pack of peanuts.

3. Our loss of altitude allows a unique close up perspective of the local terrain. I assure you that it's all part of our airline's new commitment to make your a flight a sight seeing extravaganza.

4. Goose! Bogey at 2 o'clock....one on our tail!!!! Eject!!!! Eject!!!!!!!

5. Ummmmmm....Sorry......(silence)

6. (As the plane turns around right after takeoff)....uhhhhh....we have to go back ....we ..we ....uhhhhhh ....forgot something.....

7. I'm sure everyone noticed the loss of an engine, however the reduction in weight and drag will mean we'll be flying much more efficiently now.

8. Fasten your seat belt. (same tone your friend with the suicidal driving tendencies uses when you get in the car).

9. This is your Captain speaking....these stupid planes are a lot different than the ships I'm used to.. so you'll have to give me some leeway...

10. It would be a good idea if right now everyone closed their shades and watched the in-flight movie.

11. We've now reached our cruising altitude of 20,000 feet and ... Oh noooooooo!!!!!..

12. Don't worry! That one is always on E...

13. Get the parachutes ready...

14. Drinks are on me...

15. I'll have what the Captain's having...

16. Hey capt'n take another hit man...



Source: www.arcamax.com

T.S. Eliot

1. “A book is not harmless merely because no one is consciously offended by it.”
2. “Against the
Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the center of the silent
Word."
3. "All cases are unique and very similar to others."
4. “And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well.
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire,
And the fire and the rose are one.”
5. “And I will show you something different from either / Your shadow at morning striding behind you / Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; / I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”
6. “Art never improves, but . . . the material of art is never quite the same.”
7. "A tradition without intelligence is not worth having."
8. “At the still point of the turning world.”
9. “Between the idea / And the reality / Between the motion / And the act / Falls the Shadow.”
10. “Birth, and copulation, and death.
That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks;
Birth, copulation and death.”
11. ”Correct English is the slang of prigs who write history and essays.”
12. "Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind."
13. "For every life and every act consequence of good and evil can be shown and as in time results of many deeds are blended so good and evil in the end become confounded."
14. “Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”
15. “Half of the harm that is done in this world Is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm But the harm does not interest them.”
16. “Hell is oneself,
Hell is alone, the other figures in it
Merely projections. There is nothing to escape
From
And nothing to escape to. One is always alone."
17. “Here undoubtedly lies the chief poetic energy: --in the force of imagination that pierces or exalts the solid fact, instead of floating among cloud-pictures.”
18. “Human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.”
19. “I do not approve the extermination of the enemy; the policy of exterminating or, as it is barbarously said, liquidating enemies, is one of the most alarming developments of modern war and peace, from the point of view of those who desire the survival of culture. One needs the enemy.”
20. ”I don't believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.“
21. “I like not only to be loved, but to be told I am loved.”
22. “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”
23. "In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse."
24. “In my beginning is my end.”
25. ”In my end is my beginning.”
26. “I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope,
for hope would be hope for the wrong thing;
Wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing;
There is yet faith;
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
27. “It is by no means self-evident that human beings are most real when most violently excited; violent physical passions do not in themselves differentiate men from each other, but rather tend to reduce them to the same state.”
28. “It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no one needs to be good.”
29. ”It is not enough to understand what we ought to be, unless we know what we are; and we do not understand what we are, unless we know what we ought to be.”
30. "It's not wise to violate rules until you know how to observe them."
31. ”It's strange that words are so inadequate. Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath, so the lover must struggle for words.”
32. “It seems just possible that a poem might happen to a very young man: but a poem is not poetry -- that is a life.”
33. “It's strange that words are so inadequate. Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath, so the lover must struggle for words.”
34. “I take as metaphysical poetry that in which what is ordinarily apprehensible only by thought is brought within the grasp of feeling, or that in which what is ordinarily only felt is transformed into thought without ceasing to be feeling.”
35. “I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”
36. ”Love is most nearly itself when
here and now cease to matter.”
37. "Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important."
38. “Most of us who turn to any subject we love remember some morning or evening hour when we got on a high stool to reach down an untried volume, or sat with parted lips listening to a new talker, or for very lack of books began to listen to the voices within, as the first traceable beginning of our love.”
39. “My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak
What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
I never know what you are thinking. Think.”
40. “One of the surest of tests is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.”
41. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
42. “Our language, or any civilised language, is like the phoenix: it springs anew from its own ashes.”
43. "People exercise an unconscious selection in being influenced."
44. “Plainness has its peculiar temptations quite as much as beauty.”
45. “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.”
46. “Poetry should help, not only to refine the language of the time, but to prevent it from changing too rapidly.”
47. “Redeem / The time. Redeem / The unread vision in the higher dream.”
48. “So far as we are human, what we do must be either evil or good: so far as we do evil or good, we are human: and it is better, in a paradoxical way, to do evil than to do nothing: at least we exist.”
49. ”Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.”
50. “Someone said, "The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did." Precisely, and they are that which we know.
51. “Success is relative: it's what we can make of the mess we have made of things.”
52. "The awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence can never retract."
53. "The dream crossed twilight between birth and dying."
54. "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."
55. “The poet is occupied with frontiers beyond which words fail, though meanings still exist.”
56. “The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.”
57. ”The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”
58. “The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.”
59. "There is no method but to be very intelligent."
60. “There is one order of beauty which seems made to turn heads. It is a beauty like that of kittens, or very small downy ducks making gentle rippling noises with their soft bills, or babies just beginning to toddle.”
61. “There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.”
62. “The river is within us, the sea is all about us.”
63. "Think not forever of yourselves, O Chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground."
64. “This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
65. “Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.”
66. “To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing,
to contemplate the beautiful thing:
that is enough for one man's life.”
67. “We might remind ourselves that criticism is as inevitable as breathing, and that we should be none the worse for articulating what passes in our minds when we read a book and feel an emotion about it, for criticizing our own minds in their work of criticism.”
68. “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
69. “Where does one go from a world of insanity?
Somewhere on the other side of despair. “
70. “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
71. “You are not the same people who left that station / Or who will arrive at any terminus, / While the narrowing rails slide together behind you.”
72. ”You are the music while the music lasts.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Six things





A fool may be known by six things:
anger, without cause; speech, without profit;
change, without progress; inquiry without object;
putting trust in a stranger, and mistaking foes for friends.

Arabian Proverb

And to make an end is to make a beginning

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.

T.S. Eliot

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Paths




A warrior chooses a path with heart, any path with heart, and follows it; and then he rejoices and laughs. He knows because he sees that his life will be over altogether too soon. He sees that nothing is more important than anything else.

Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998)
_A Separate Reality_ [1971]

The best books

The easiest books are generally the best; for whatever author is obscure and difficult in his own language, certainly does not think clearly.

Philip Dormer Stanhope (1694-1773)

Love rules

Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below, and saints above:
For love is heaven, and heaven is love.

Sir Walter Scott

Agonizing

He who will not economize will have to agonize.

Confucius

5 things

To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.

Confucius

Humor - How to look busy

How to look busy

Generally, this will not be a concern until you are promoted to an executive position. But once you've created the illusion that you serve even the slightest purpose at your place of "business," there's no telling how far you'll go. In the real working world, productivity is all a matter of appearances.

Appearance: You are furiously taking notes while conducting an important telephone marketing survey.

Reality: You are pretending to take notes while talking to your friend who has called collect from Bulgaria.

====

Appearance: You are on the phone with a client in New York and you have said, "Yes sirree! That stock is about to shoot through the roof, now's a great time to buy, I tell ya!"

Reality: You are on the phone with a friend in Guam and you have said, "Yeah, this job is terrible, and my boss is such a pushy whining... Yes sirree! That stock is about to shoot through the roof, now's a great time to buy, I tell ya!"

====

Appearance: You are at your computer writing a serious business memorandum to your department supervisior.

Reality: You are at your computer telling dead-baby jokes to your e-mail correspondent in Namibia.

====

Appearance: You are urgently plugging numbers into a complicated spreadsheet.

Reality: You are playing Tetris.

====

Appearance: You are tapping away on calculator keys, helping out the accounting department.

Reality: You are paying your electric bill.

====

Appearance: You are reading the DOS manual.

Reality: You are reading the TV guide you placed in the DOS manual.

====

Appearance: You are staring at an empty computer screen, absorbed in deep thought.

Reality: You have pressed "Escape" just in time, erasing a MacDraw portrait entitled "Supervisor with Pitchfork Wound Clinging to a Cliff"


Source: www.arcamax.com

Monday, September 24, 2007

Plato

1. "All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else."
2. “...And yet the true creator is necessity, which is the mother of invention.”
3. "Any city however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich. These are at war with one another."
4. "As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers."
5. "Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."
6. “At the touch of Love every one becomes a poet.”
7. “A tyrant... is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.”
8. “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”
9. "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
10. "Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind."
11. "But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally, either in public or private life must have his eye fixed."
12. ”Courage is a kind of salvation.”
13. ”Courage is knowing what not to fear.”
14. "Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each."
15. "Each of us when separated, having one side only... is but indenture of a man, and he is always looking for his other half."
16. “Even the gods love jokes.”
17. “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”
18. “Everything that deceives may be said to enchant.”
19. “False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.”
20. “Friends have all things in common.”
21. “Geometry existed before the creation.”
22. ”God ever geometrizes.”
23. "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."
24. “He did not wish to be believed to be the best but to be it.”
25. ”He is unworthy of the name of man who is ignorant that the diagonal of a square is incommensurate with its side.”
26. “He was a wise man who invented God.”
27. ”He who can properly define and divide is to be considered a god.”
28. "He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it."
29. "He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden. "
30. ”He whom love touches not walks in darkness.”
31. “How can you determine whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state.”
32. "I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly conflict."
33. “If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life.”
34. “If any man . . . could take the wings of a bird and come to the top, then, like a fish who puts his head out of the water and sees this world, he would see a world beyond; and if the nature of man could sustain the sight, he would acknowledge that this world was the place of the true heaven and the true light and the true earth.”
35. “If particulars are to have meaning, there must be universals.”
36. “If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.”
37. “I know not how I may seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with.”
38. “I have good hope that there is something after death.”
39. “I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.”
40. “In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill... we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.”
41. "In the world of knowledge, the essential Form of Good is the limit of our inquiries, and can barely be perceived; but, when perceived, we cannot help concluding that it is in every case the source of all that is bright and beautiful --in the visible world giving birth to light and its master, and in the intellectual world dispensing, immediately and with full authority, truth and reason --and that whosoever would act wisely, either in private or in public, must set this Form of Good before his eyes."
42. “It is better to be unborn than untaught: for ignorance is the root of misfortune.”
43. "It is clear to everyone that astronomy at all events compels the soul to look upwards, and draws it from the things of this world to the other."
44. "I think a man's duty is to find out where the truth is, or if he cannot, at least to take the
best possible human doctrine and the hardest to disprove, and to ride on this like a raft over the waters of life."
45. “Know thyself.”
46. "Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind."
47. “Let nobody speak mischief of anybody.”
48. "Life must be lived as play."
49. “Light is the shadow of God.”
50. “Love is a serious mental disease.”
51. "Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods."
52. “Love will make men dare to die for their beloved - love alone; and women as well as men.”
53. "Man is a being in search of meaning."
54. “Mankind censure injustice fearing that they may be the victims of it, and not because they shrink from committing it.”
55. “Man is the plumeless genus of bipeds, birds are the plumed.”
56. “Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness and life to everything. Fine music is the essence of order and leads to all that is just and good, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate and eternal form.”
57. “Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?
58. “Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
59. “No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.”
60. “No human thing is of serious importance.”
61. “No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding.”
62. ”No nature except an extraordinary one could ever easily formulate a theory.”
63. ”Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety.”
64. “No trace of slavery ought to mix with the studies of the freeborn man. No study, pursued under compulsion, remains rooted in the memory.”
65. “Numbers are the highest degree of knowledge. It is knowledge itself.”
66. "Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance."
67. “Perfect wisdom has four parts: Wisdom, the principle of doing things aright. Justice, the principle of doing things equally in public and private. Fortitude, the principle of not fleeing danger, but meeting it. Temperance, the principle of subduing desires and living moderately.”
68. “Philosophy is an elegant thing, if anyone modestly meddles with it; but if they are conversant with it more than is becoming, it corrupts them.”
69. "Philosophy is the highest music".
70. “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.”
71. "Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand."
72. "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
73. “Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.”
74. "Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul."
75. “Science is nothing but perception.”
76. "Self conquest is the greatest of victories."
77. "So as this only point among the rest remaineth sure and certain, namely, that nothing is certain."
78. “The beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing for that is the time at which the character is being formed and the desired impression more readily taken.”
79. “The democratic youth lives along day by day, gratifying the desire that occurs to him, at one time drinking and listening to the flute, at another downing water and reducing, now practicing gymnastic, and again idling and neglecting everything; and sometimes spending his time as though he were occupied in philosophy.”
80. “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.”
81. “The excessive increase of anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction.”
82. “The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile.”
83. “The greatest penalty of evildoing - namely, to grow into the likeness of bad men.”
84. "The greatest wealth is to live content with little."
85. "The harder you work, the luckier you get."
86. “The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways - I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.”
87. "The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant."
88. "The life which is unexamined is not worth living."
89. “The madness of love is the greatest of heaven's blessings.”
90. “The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.”
91. "The most virtuous are those who content themselves with being virtuous without seeking to appear so."
92. “...Then anyone who leaves behind him a written manual, and likewise anyone who receives it, in the belief that such writing will be clear and certain, must be exceedingly simple-minded...”
93. ”Then, my noble friend, geometry will draw the soul towards truth, and create the spirit of philosophy, and raise up that which is not unhappily allowed to fall down.”
94. “The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions.”
95. ”The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness...This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
96. “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
97. “The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men.”
98. ”There are three arts which are concerned with all things: one which uses, another which makes, and a third which imitates them.”
99. "There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain."
100. "The situation has been entirely reversed since the days when thinkers thought of the stars as without souls. Yet even then they were object of admiration, and the conviction which is now actually held was suspected by those who embarked on exactness: that in no way could the stars as soulless things keep so precisely to marvellous calculations, if they did not possess intelligence. Some even then were bold enough to venture this very proposition and they say that it was reason that had ordained everything in the sky. But these very men were deceived about the nature of the soul, namely that it is older than the bodies; they imagined it as younger and thus so to speak ruined everything, and most of all themselves."
101. ”The soul of man is immortal and imperishable.”
102. "The true lover of learning then must his earliest youth, as far as in him lies, desire all truth. He whose desires are drawn toward knowledge in every form will be absorbed in the pleasures of the soul, and will hardly feel bodily pleasures- -I mean, if he be a true philosopher and not a sham one. . .Then how can he who has the magnificence of mind and is the spectator of all times and all existence, think much of human life? He cannot. Or can such a one account death fearful? No indeed".
103. "The wisest have the most authority."
104. “They certainly give very strange names to diseases.”
105. "They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth."
106. “Thinking is the talking of the soul with itself.”
107. “This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are.”
108. “This I know - that I know nothing.”
109. "This invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them."
110. “Those having lamps will pass them on to others.”
111. "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."
112. “Time is the image of eternity.”
113. "Truth is its own reward."
114. “To love rightly is to love what is orderly and beautiful in an educated and disciplined way.”
115. “We are bound to our bodies like an oyster is to its shell.”
116. ”We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
117. “What a poor appearance the tales of poets make when stripped of the colours which music puts upon them, and recited in simple prose.”
118. “Whatever deceives men seems to produce a magical enchantment.”
119. “When men speak ill of you, live so as nobody may believe them.”
120. "When the mind is thinking, it is talking to itself."
121. “When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.”
122. “We ought to esteem it of the greatest importance that the fictions which children first hear should be adapted in the most perfect manner to the promotion of virtue.”
123. "Whatever deceives men seems to produce a magical enchantment."
124. "Whenever a person strives, by the help of dialectic, to start in pursuit of every reality by a simple process of reason, independent of all sensuous information -- never flinching, until by an act of the pure intelligence he has grasped the real nature of good -- he arrives at the very end of the intellectual world."
125. "When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them."
126. "When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself."
127. “Whether these matters are to be regarded as sport, or as earnest, we must not forget that this pleasure is held to have been granted by nature to male and female when conjoined for the work of procreation; the crime of male with male, or female with female, is an outrage on nature and a capital surrender to lust of pleasure.”
128. “Wisdom alone is the science of others sciences.”
129. “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
130. “You are so young, my son, and, as the years go by, time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as judge of the highest matters.”
131. "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
132. “You cannot conceive the many without the one.”

The Breaking Wave of Love





The Breaking Wave of Love
Rumi

Ah, once more he put a fire in me,
And once more this crazy heart
is craving the open plains.
This ocean of love breaks into another wave
And blood pours from my heart
in all directions.

Ah, one spark flew
and burned the house of my heart.
Smoke filled the sky.
The flames grew fierce in the wind.

The fire of the heart is not easily lit.
So don't cry out: "O Lord, rescue me
from the burning flames!
Spare me from the army of thoughts
that is marching through my mind!"

O Heart of Pure Consciousness,
You are the ruler of all hearts.
After countless ages
you brought my soul
all it ever wished for.

The eyes of all people happy and sad,
are closed to the truth.
May their eyes be opened!
May they look upon God
and get drunk on His beauty.

May their hands reach toward the Truth.
May their ears hear the voice of the Beloved.
May the shadow of a Master
fall upon everyone who has devotion.

All the world praises you,
But where did this "you" come from?
All the universe is born of Love –
But where did this Love come from?

O Shams,
you are the owner of the land of life –
the light of every heart;
Even the King of Love
knows no love
that is not yours.

Rumi
Ode 881
Version by Jonathan Star
"A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi"
Bantam Books, 1992

Patterns

To understand is to perceive patterns.
Plato

Solution

For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution; and it is always wrong.

H. L. Mencken

Temporal claims

He who surrenders himself without reservation to the temporal claims of a nation, or a party, or a class is rendering to Caesar that which, of all things, most emphatically belongs to God: himself.

C.S. Lewis
_Learning in Wartime_ (1939)

Sunshine and shadow

Love is sunshine, hate is shadow,
Life is checkered shade and sunshine.

Henry W. Longfellow

Friday, September 21, 2007

Eternity's sun rise




He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy.
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.

William Blake

I will never leave this house of light

I will never leave this house of light,
I will never leave this blessed town
for here I have found my love
and here I will stay for the rest of my life.
If this world turns into a sea of trouble
I will brave the waves and steer my mind's ship
to the safe shore of love.

Rumi

As in heaven, so on earth

The universe is moved by a power which cycles endlessly from day to day. Such greatness endures for all time. As in heaven, so on earth.

I Ching

Radicals

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.

H. L. Mencken 1880 - 1956

Wiser

Every age thinks itself more intelligent than the one before and wiser than the one after.

Bertrand Russell

Hannah Arendt

1. “Action without a name, a "who" attached to it, is meaningless.”
2. “As witnesses not of our intentions but of our conduct, we can be true or false, and the hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.”
3. "Even in the darkest of times we have the right to expect some illumination . . . Such illumination may well come less from theories and concepts than from the uncertain, flickering, and often weak light that some men and women, in their lives and their works, will kindle under almost all circumstances and shed over the time-span that was given them on earth."
4. “Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival.”
5. ”Ideas, as distinguished from events, are never unprecedented.”
6. “It is well known that the most radical revolutionary will become a conservative on the day after the revolution.”
7. “It was as though in those last minutes he [Eichmann] was summing up the lessons that this long course in human wickedness had taught us - the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.”
8. “Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather than its rarity that it is not only apolitical but anti-political, perhaps the most powerful of all anti-political human forces.”
9. “Love, by reason of its passion, destroys the in-between which relates us to and separates us from others. As long as its spell lasts, the only in-between which can insert itself between two lovers is the child, love's own product. The child, this in-between to which the lovers now are related and which they hold in common, is representative of the world in that it also separates them; it is an indication that they will insert a new world into the existing world. Through the child, it is as though the lovers return to the world from which their love had expelled them. But this new worldliness, the possible result and the only possibly happy ending of a love affair, is, in a sense, the end of love, which must either overcome the partners anew or be transformed into another mode of belonging together."
10. ”Man cannot be free if he does not know that he is subject to necessity, because his freedom is always won in his never wholly successful attempts to liberate himself from necessity.”
11. “Man's chief moral deficiency appears to be not his indiscretions but his reticence.”
12. “Mathematics, the non-empirical science par excellence... the science of sciences, delivering the key to those laws of nature and the universe which are concealed by appearances.”
13. "No civilization would ever have been possible without a framework of stability, to provide the wherein for the flux of change. Foremost among the stabilizing factors, more enduring than customs, manners and traditions, are the legal systems that regulate our life in the world and our daily affairs with each other."
14. ”Nothing we use or hear or touch can be expressed in words that equal what we are given by the senses.”
15. “Opinions are formed in a process of open discussion and public debate, and where no opportunity for the forming of opinions exists, there may be moods -- moods of the masses and moods of individuals, the latter no less fickle and unreliable than the former -- but no opinion.”
16. “Poetry, whose material is language, is perhaps the most human and least worldly of the arts, the one in which the end product remains closest to the thought that inspired it.... Of all things of thought, poetry is the closest to thought, and a poem is less a thing than any other work of art.”
17. "Predictions of the future are never anything but projections of present automatic processes and procedures, that is, of occurrences that are likely to come to pass if men do not act and if nothing unexpected happens; every action, for better or worse, and every accident necessarily destroys the whole pattern in whose frame the prediction moves and where it finds its evidence."
18. ”Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.”
19. “Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.”
20. ”The ceaseless, senseless demand for original scholarship in a number of fields, where only erudition is now possible, has led either to sheer irrelevancy, the famous knowing of more and more about less and less . . .”
21. "The chief reason warfare is still with us is neither a secret death-wish of the human species, nor an irrepressible instinct of aggression, nor, finally and more plausibly, the serious economic and social dangers inherent in disarmament, but the simple fact that no substitute for this final arbiter in international affairs has yet appeared on the political scene."
22. “The climax of terror is reached when the police state begins to devour its own children, when yesterday's executioner becomes today's victim.”
23. "The defiance of established authority, religious and secular, social and political, as a world-wide phenomenon may well one day be accounted the outstanding event of the last decade."
24. "The human condition is such that pain and effort are not just symptoms which can be removed without changing life itself; they are rather the modes in which life itself, together with the necessity to which it is bound, makes itself felt. For mortals, the 'easy life of the gods' would be a lifeless life."
25. “The hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.”
26. ”The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.”
27. "The new always happens against the overwhelming odds of statistical laws and their probability, which for all practical, everyday purposes amounts to certainty; the new therefore always appears in the guise of a miracle."
28. “There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.”
29. “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.”
30. “To think and to be fully alive are the same.”
31. "The Third World is not a reality but an ideology."
32. "The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide. In this sense, truth, even if it does not prevail in public, possesses an ineradicable primacy over all falsehoods."
33. “Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think.”
34. “We have almost succeeded in leveling all human activities to the common denominator of securing the necessities of life and providing for their abundance.”
35. "What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Censorship





The worst evil is - and that's the product of censorship - is the self-censorship, because that twists spines, that destroys my character because I have to think something else and say something else, I have to always control myself.

Milos Forman

Two possibilities

There are two possible outcomes: If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery.

Enrico Fermi

Not so bad

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

Emerson

Humor - Corporate Lessons

Corporate Lesson 1

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her
shower when the doorbell rings.

After a few seconds of arguing over which one should go and answer
the doorbell, the wife gives up, quickly wraps herself up in a towel
and runs downstairs.

When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you 800 dollars to drop
that towel that you have on."

After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands
naked in front of Bob.

After a few seconds, Bob hands her 800 dollars and leaves.

Confused, but excited about her good fortune, the woman wraps back up
in the towel and goes back upstairs.

When she gets back to the bathroom, her husband asks from the shower,
"Who was that?"

"It was Bob the next door neighbor," she replies.

"Great," the husband says, "did he say anything about the 800 dollars
he owes me?"

Moral of the story:

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk in
time with your stockholders,' you may be in a position to prevent
avoidable exposure.

==================

Corporate Lesson 2

A priest was driving along and saw a nun on the side of the road, he
stopped and offered her a lift, which she accepted. She got in and
crossed her legs, forcing her gown to open and reveal a lovely leg.

The priest had a look and nearly had an accident.

After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

The nun looked at him and immediately said, "Father, remember Psalm
129."

The priest was flustered and apologized profusely. He forced himself
to remove his hand.

However, he was unable to remove his eyes from her leg. Further on
while changing gear, he let his hand slide up her leg again.

The nun once again said, "Father, remember Psalm 129."

Once again the priest apologized. "Sorry, Sister, but the flesh is
weak."

Arriving at the convent, the nun got out, gave him a meaningful
glance and went on her way.

On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to retrieve a Bible
and looked up Psalm 129.

It said, "Go forth and seek; further up, you will find glory."

Moral of the story:

Always be well informed in your job, or you may miss a great
opportunity.

==================

Corporate Lesson 3

A sales rep, an administration clerk and their manager are walking to
lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.

They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke.

The Genie says, "I usually only grant three wishes, so I'll give you
one each."

"Me first! Me first!" says the administration clerk. "I want to be in
the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world."

Poof! She's gone.

In astonishment, "Me next! Me next!" says the sales rep. "I want to
be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an
endless supply of pina coladas and the love of my life."

Poof! He's gone.

"OK, you're up," the Genie says to the manager.

The manager says, "I want those two back in the office after lunch."

Moral of the story:

Always let your boss speak first.


(From the "Joanna´s Jokes" Yahoo Mailing list)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Einstein's space and Van Gogh's sky





Einstein's space is no closer to reality than Van Gogh's sky. The glory of science is not in a truth more absolute than the truth of Bach or Tolstoy, but in the act of creation itself. The scientist's discoveries impose his own order on chaos, as the composer or painter imposes his; an order that always refers to limited aspects of reality, and is based on the observer's frame of reference, which differs from period to period as a Rembrant nude differs from a nude by Monet.

Arthur Koestler, in The Act of Creation

Paradise

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
_The New York Times_ [May 18, 1961]

Wise words!

Should you happen to notice that another person is extremely tall or overweight, eats too much or declines convivial drinks, has red hair or goes about in a wheelchair, ought to get married or ought not to be pregnant--see if you can refrain from bringing these astonishing observations to
that person's attention.

Judith Martin (1938- )

Lawrence Durrell

1. "A woman's best love letters are always written to the man she is betraying."
2. "For us artists there waits the joyous compromise through art with all that wounded or defeated us in daily life; in this way, not to evade destiny, as the ordinary people try to do, but to fulfil it in its true potential -- the imagination."
3. “Guilt always hurries towards its completion, punishment; only there does its satisfaction lie.” 4. “I imagine, therefore I belong and am free.”
5. “It is not love that is blind, but jealousy.”
6. "It's only with great vulgarity that you can achieve real refinement, only out of bawdy that you can get tenderness."
7. "It's unthinkable not to love -- you'd have a severe nervous breakdown. Or you'd have to be Philip Larkin."
8. "Journeys, like artists, are born and not made. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to them, few of them willed or determined by the will --whatever we may think."
9. “No one can go on being a rebel too long without turning into an autocrat.”
10. "Music is only love looking for words."
11. “Music was invented to confirm human loneliness.”
12. "No one can go on being a rebel too long without turning into an autocrat."
13. “Our inventions mirror our secret wishes.”
14. “Perhaps our only sickness is to desire a truth which we cannot bear than to rest content with the fictions we manufacture out of each other.”
15. “The appalling thing is the degree of charity women are capable of. You see it all the time . . . love lavished on absolute fools. Love's a charity ward, you know.”
16. “There are only three things to be done with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature.”
17. “The richest love is that which submits to the arbitration of time.”
18. "The woods were carpeted with flowers, sweet-smelling salvia, cranesbill, and a variety of ferns. Here and there, too, bright dots of scarlet showed him where the wild strawberries grew, and in these verdant woods the pines and beeches increased in size until he calculated that he was walking among glades of trees nearly a hundred feet in height. He could not help contrasting all this place and beauty with the grim errand upon which he was bent, and which might lead to him to sudden death."
19. “They flower spontaneously out of the demands of our natures-and the best of them lead us not only outward in space, but inward as well.”
20. “Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”
21. “Truth disappears with the telling of it.”
22. "'We become what we dream' said Balthazar, still hunting among those grey paving stones for the key to a watch which is Time. 'We achieve in reality, in substance, only the pictures of the imagination.' The city makes no answer to such propositions. Unheeding it coils about the sleeping lives like some great anaconda digesting a meal. Among those shining coils the pitiable human world goes its way, unaware and unbelieving, repeating to infinity its gestures of despair, repentance and love. Demonax the philosopher said: 'Nobody wishes to be evil!' and was called a cynic for his pains. And Pursewarden in another age, in another tongue, replied: 'Even to be halfawake among sleep-walkers is frightening at first. Later one learns to dissimulate!'"
23. “We live lives based upon selected fiction. Our view of reality is conditioned by our position in space and time - not by our personalities as we like to think. Thus every interpretation of reality is based upon a unique position. Two paces east or west and the whole picture is changed.”
24. "You see, Justine, I believe that Gods are men and men Gods; they intrude on each other's lives, trying to express themselves through each other – hence such apparent confusion in our human states of mind, our intimations of powers within or beyond us."

Seeker





If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

Descartes

Learning and knowledge

The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.

Plato

Journals

A man of action rarely keeps a journal; it is always later on and in a period of prolonged inactivity, that he does his recollecting, makes his notations, and, very often, has cause to wonder at the course his life has taken.

Marguerite Yourcenar, Memoirs of Hadrian

Bad measures

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.

Daniel Webster

Calmness

Calmness comes from within. It is the peace and restfulness of the depths of our nature. The fury of storm and of wind agitate only the surface of the sea; they penetrate only two or three hundred feet; below that is the calm, unruffled deep. To be ready for the great crises of life we must learn serenity in our daily living. Calmness is the crown of self-control.

William George Jordan, The Majesty of Calmness

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Flea Hunt





Life would be a perpetual flea hunt if a man were obliged to run down all the innuendoes, inveracities, insinuations and misrepresentations which are uttered against him.

Henry Ward Beecher

Indifference

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.

George Bernard Shaw,
"The Devil's Disciple"

Secrets

"In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans."

Kahlil Gibran

Destinations

If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.

Henry Miller 1891-1980 (1957)

Clouds

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.

Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm working on the world





I'm working on the world,
revised, improved edition,
featuring fun for fools,
blues for brooders,
combs for bald pates,
tricks for old dogs.

Here's one chapter: The Speech
of Animals and Plants.
Each species comes, of course,
with its own dictionary.
Even a simple "Hi there,"
when traded with a fish,
make both the fish and you
feel quite extraordinary.

The long-suspected meanings
of rustlings, chirps, and growls!
Soliloquies of forests!
The epic hoot of owls!
Those crafty hedgehogs drafting
aphorisms after dark,
while we blindly believe
they are sleeping in the park!

Time (Chapter Two) retains
its sacred right to meddle
in each earthly affair.
Still, time's unbounded power
that makes a mountain crumble,
moves seas, rotates a star,
won't be enough to tear
lovers apart: they are
too naked, too embraced,
too much like timid sparrows.

Old age is, in my book,
the price that felons pay,
so don't whine that it's steep:
you'll stay young if you're good.
Suffering (Chapter Three)
doesn't insult the body.
Death? It comes in your sleep,
exactly as it should.

When it comes, you'll be dreaming
that you don't need to breathe;
that breathless silence is
the music of the dark
and it's part of the rhythm
to vanish like a spark.
Only a death like that. A rose
could prick you harder, I suppose;
you'd feel more terror at the sound
of petals falling to the ground.

Only a world like that. To die
just that much. And to live just so.
And all the rest is Bach's fugue, played
for the time being
on a saw.

Wistawa Szymborska

(*Poems New and Collected*, trans. by S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)

Pay attention

You are not what you think you are. Stop paying attention to your thoughts and find out who you really are. When you stop paying attention to your thoughts, the stories, feelings, and activity driven by them stop. Then you can discover what is arising out of the flow - what is true to do now, in this moment. That is all you need to know. Pay attention to now, and the rest will take care of itself.

Gina Lake

Sheep and lion

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.

Alexander The Great

End of the day

The end of the day is near when small men make long shadows.

Confucius

Jostein Gaarder

“The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder. Babies have this faculty. That is not surprising. After a few short months in the womb they slip out into a brand new reality. But as they grow up, the faculty of wonder seems to diminish. Why is this? Do you know?

If a newborn baby could talk, it would probably say something about what an extraordinary world it had come into. We see how it looks around and reaches out in curiosity to everything it sees.

As words are gradually acquired, the child looks up and says "Bow-wow" every time it sees a dog. It jumps up and down in its stroller, waving its arms: "Bow-wow!" "Bow-wow!"

We who are older and wiser may feel somewhat exhausted by the child's enthusiasm. "All right, all right, it's a bow-wow," we say, unimpressed. "Please be still." We are not enthralled. We have seen a dog before.

This rapturous performance may repeat itself hundreds of times before the child learns to pass a dog without going crazy. Or an elephant, or a hippopotamus. But long before the child learns to talk properly--and long before it learns to think philosophically--the world will have become a habit.”

(From Sophie´s World)




1. “Could she really believe that everything was one divine “I”? Could she believe that she carried within her a soul that was a “spark from the fire”? If it was true, then she was truly a divine creature.”
2. “Dear Hilde, If the human brain was simple enough for us to understand, we would still be so stupid that we couldn’t understand it. Love, Dad.”
3. “Good and evil are like a white and a black thread that make up a single strand. Sometimes they are so closely intertwined that it is impossible to untangle them.”
4. “(…) Life consists of a long chain of coincidences.”
5. “Remind yourself that you are only living a minuscule part of all nature’s life. You are part of an enormous whole.
6. "There are two ways of becoming wise. One way is to travel out into the world and to see as much as possible of God's creation. The other is to put down roots in one spot and to study everything that happens there in as much detail as you can. The trouble is that it's impossible to do both at the same time."
7. “The whole world had become almost like a living person, and it felt as if that person were Sophie herself. The world is me, she thought. The great big universe that she had often felt to be so unfathomable and terrifying - was her own “I”. Now, too, the universe was enourmous and majestic, but now it was herself that was so big.”

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hold Infinity





To see a world in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

William Blake

A little money

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.

Erasmus

Follow

Follow love and it will flee, flee love and it will follow thee.

John Gay

Degrees, succession and vicissitude

The beginning, middle, and end of the birth, growth, and perfection of whatever we behold is from contraries, by contraries, and to contraries; and whatever contrariety is, there is action and reaction, there is motion, diversity, multitude, and order, there are degrees, succession and vicissitude.

Giordano Bruno

How far

It matters little who first arrives at an idea, rather what is significant is how far that idea can go.

Sophie Germain

Richard Bach

1. “A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion....this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.”
2. “All we see of someone at any moment is a snapshot of their life, there in riches or poverty, in joy or dispair. Snapshots don't show the million decisions that led to that moment.”
3. “A name is a label, and as soon as there is a label, the ideas disappear and out comes label-worship and label-bashing, and instead of living by a theme of ideas, people begin dying for labels... and the last thing the world needs is another religion.”
4. ”An idea is never given to you without you being given the power to make it reality. You must, nevertheless, suffer for it.”
5. “Anyone desperate enough for suicide...should be desperate enough to go to creative extremes to solve problems: elope at midnight, stow away on the boat to New Zealand and start over, do what they always wanted to do but were afraid to try.”
6. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.”
7. "As a rule, what is out of sight disturbs men's minds more seriously than what they see."
8. “A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our trust selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.”
9. “Bad things are not the worst things that can happen to us. 'Nothing' is the worst thing that can happen to us!”
10. “Can miles truly separate us from friends? If we want to be with someone we love, aren't we already there?”
11. ”Civilization... wrecks the planet from seafloor to stratosphere.”
12. “Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.”
13. “Don't tell me that my security comes from somebody else! Tell me I'm responsible. Tell me security is a by-product of the gift I give of my skill and my learning and my love in the world. Tell me security comes from an idea given time and care. I claim this for my truth...give me ideas, and let me take it from there!”
14. "Do you ever notice, after you've known someone for a while, how their appearance changes? He can be the handsomest man in the world," she [Leslie] said, "but he turns plain as popcorn when he has nothing to say. And the plainest man says what matters to him and why he cares and in two minutes he's so beautiful you want to hug him!"
15. "Do you know what I learned from you? I learned what is possible, and now I must hold out for what I thought we had. I want to be very close to someone I respect and admire and have somebody who feels the same way about me. That or nothing. I realized that what I'm looking for is not what you're looking for. You don't want what I want." "What do you think I want?" I asked. "Exactly what you have. Many women you know a little and don't care very much about. Superficial flirtations, mutual use, no chance of love. That's my idea of hell. Hell is a place, a time, a consciousness, Richard, in which there is no love. Horrible! Leave me out of it."
16. “Dying is like diving into a deep lake on a hot day. There's the shock of that sharp cold change, the pain of it for a second, and then accepting is a swim in reality.”
17. “Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.”
18. “Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.”
19. “Fly free and happy beyond birthdays and across forever, and we'll meet now and then when we wish, in the midst of the one celebration that never can end.”
20. “For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight.”
21. “Get this in mind early: We never grow up.”
22. “Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.”
23. “How can you blame a person for his fears and weaknesses unless you have felt the same and done differently? How can you think everyone can be a hero, choosing death, when it is part of our nature to let go of brave thoughts at the last moment and cling to hope and life?”
24. “How do you know that's not the only way some lessons can get through to you? If you didn't need to fight in order to learn, you wouldn't create so many problems! There are times I don't understand till you're angry...aren't there times you don't know what I mean until I scream?”
25. “Humanity is not a gift of nature, it is a spiritual achievement to be earned.”
26. “If it's never our fault, we can't take responsibility for it. If we can't take responsibility for it, we'll always be its victim.”
27. “If you want freedom and joy so much, can't you see it's not anywhere outside of you? Say you have it and you have it! Act as if it's yours, and it is! Richard what is so damned hard about that? But they didn't even hear, most of them. Miracles - like going to auto races to see the crashes, they came to me to see miracles. First it's frustrating and then after a while it just gets dull. I have no idea how the other messiahs could stand it. “
28. “If you want security...you've come to the wrong arena. The only security is Life Is, and that's all that matters. Absolute, unchanging, perfect. but Security in Appearances? Even the sycamore falls to dust, someday...The wood disintegrates, the symbol vanishes, not the spirit of its life. The belief of your body shatters, not the believer who shaped it.”
29. “If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.”
30. “I gave my life to become what I am now. Was it worth it?”
31. “I handle the sky that's around me at the moment, in the best way I know how. I'm not responsible for surviving all the weather everywhere, I'm just responsible for getting through the weather I find in a block from one wingtip to the other and from the bottom of the wheels to the top of the rudders. I'm responsible because that's the weather I draw by choosing my time to fly and deciding where I point Daisy's nose.”
32. “Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect. Then be sure of one thing: the Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have. Your friends will know you better in the first minute that you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.”
33. “I'm not afraid to cry when something that might have been beautiful dies.”
34. “I’m not here because I’m supposed to be here, or because I’m trapped here, but because I’d rather be with you than anyone in the world.”
35. "In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice."
36. "Learning is finding out what you already know, Doing is demonstrating that you know it, Teaching is reminding others that they know it as well as you do. We are all learners, doers, and teachers."
37. “Like attracts like. Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright. Automatically, as we shine who we are, asking ourselves every minute is this what I really want to do, doing it only when we answer yes,
automatically that turns away those who have nothing to learn from who we are and attracts those who do, and from whom we have to learn, as well.”
38. “Live never to be ashamed if anything you do or say is published around the world - even if what is published is not true.”
39. "Listen to what you know instead of what you fear."
40. “Look in a mirror and one thing's sure; what we see is not who we are.”
41. “No one had I met but you with whom I dared be as childish as sometimes I felt, as silly, as knowing, as close and touching. If love wasn't a word twisted and mutilated by possession and hypocrisy, if it was a word that meant what I wanted it to mean, I might be on the edge of believing I was in love with you.”
42. “Not being known doesn't stop the truth from being true.”
43. “Nothing happens by chance, my friend... No such thing as luck. A meaning behind every little thing, and such a meaning behind this. Part for you, part for me, may not see it all real clear right now, but we will, before long.”
44. “One of a charmed pair must always supply what the other might lack.”
45. “Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.”
46. “Real loves stories never have endings.”
47. “Some choices we live not only once but a thousand times over, remembering them for the rest of our lives.”
48. "Sometimes when learning comes before experience It doesn't make sense right away."
49. “Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.”
50. “Study a lifetime and you see different colors from the same jewel. The same questions, asked again, being you just the answers you need just the minute you need them.”
51. “That's what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.”
52. “The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.”
53. “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”
54. “The idea that we are physical beings descended from primeval cells in nutrient soups, that idea does violence to my intuition, stomps all over it with football-shoes. The idea that we are descended from a jealous God who formed us out of dust to choose between kneel--praying or fires-of- damnation, that stomps me worse.”
55. “The impacts...are our tests for each other. You can decide to be happy yourself no matter what I do, and chances are that when you're happy I'll be glad, because I like being with you when you're happy. But it's me making me happy, not you.”
56. “The man who flies an airplane ... must believe in the unseen.

To fly as fast as thought, you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived.

Flyers have a sense of adventures yet to come, instead of dimly recalling adventures of long ago as the only moments in which they truly lived.

For pilots sometimes see behind the curtain, behind the veil of gossamer velvet, and find the truth behind man, the force behind a universe

Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there's a reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!

Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight -- how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. More than anything else, Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly.

You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment you touch the perfect speed. And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, of flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfect speed, my son, is being there.”
57. “The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
58. “The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.”
59. “The next part of the lesson was a reminder that we are teachers, one of us to another. We bring each other into our lives, soulmates and instructors carefully chosen to hand us the lessons we need. When we graduate, though, no matter our gratitude to the person who taught us, it is the lesson and not the teacher we bring to our next class.”
60. ”There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go.”
61. “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.”
62. ”The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change.”
63. “The simplest things are often the truest.”
64. “The world's crazy, when it comes to beauty.”
65. “The world is your exercise book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages.”
66. “There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go.”
67. "...there is such a thing as perfection...and our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth....Each of us is in truth an unlimited idea of freedom. Everything that limits us we have to put aside."
68. “The original sin is to limit the Is. Don't.”
69. “The simplest things are often the truest.”
70. ”The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we're afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we'll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy.”
71. “This is how you love me? Lock me away? Keep me from being a part of your life? I lived the hard times for you, I deserve to know what you know, and I don't! You locked me up! Not even windows, you locked me up! Do you know what that feels like? It feels like a diamond in a safe! It feels like a butterfly in chains! It feels life-less! Do you know life-less? Do you know cold? Do you know dark? Do you know someone who ought to love you more than anyone in the world and they don't care whether you live or die?”
72. “To bring anything into your life, imagine that it's already there.”
73. “Two things I do value a lot, intimacy and the capacity for joy, didn't seem to be on anyone else's list. I felt like the stranger in a strange land, and decided I'd better not marry the natives.”
74. “We generate our own environment. We get exactly what we deserve. How can we resent a life we've created ourselves? Who's to blame, who's to credit but us? Who can change it, anytime we wish, but us?”
75. “We're different, we're the same. You thought you'd never find a word to say to a woman who didn't fly airplanes. I couldn't imagine myself spending time with a man who didn't love music. Could it be it's not as important to be alike as it is to be curious? Because we're different, we can have the fun of exchanging worlds, giving our loves and excitements to each other. You can learn music, I can learn flying. And that's only the beginning. I think it would go on for us as long as we live.”
76. “We wait all these years to find someone who understands us, I thought, someone who accepts us as we are, someone with a wizard's power to melt stone to sunlight, who can bring us happiness in spite of trials, who can face our dragons in the night, who can transform us into the soul we choose to be. Just yesterday I found that magical Someone is the face we see in the mirror: It's us and our homemade masks.”
77. "When we come to the last moment of this lifetime, and we look back across it, the only thing that's going to matter is "What was the quality of our love?"
78. “With all the books we have, so many still waiting to be written! Like fresh deep plums way up in the treetops. Not much fun to climb up some teetery ladder, snake through the branches going way out on limbs to pick 'em, but how delicious they are when the work is over.”
79. “You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.”
80. “You are creatures of light, we read. From light have you come, to light shall you go, and surrounding you through every step is the light of your infinite being.”
81. “You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”
82. “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however.”
83. “You don't want a million answers as much as you want a few forever questions. The questions are diamonds you hold in the light. Study a lifetime and you see different colors from the same jewel.”
84. “You teach best what you most need to learn. “
85. “Your armor, it shields you from any woman who would destroy you, sure enough. but unless you let it go, it will shield you as well from the only one who can love you, nourish you, save you from your own protection. There is one perfect woman for you. She is singular, not plural.”
86. "Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Beware...





Just because things are obvious doesn't mean they're true.

Terry Pratchett.


Note from Sandra: Funny how sometimes we read those words at the right moment. I had proof of that yesterday... The timing was nearly perfect. One should not make any assumptions about anyone, ever!

On the birthday of Aphrodite...

On the birthday of Aphrodite there was a feast of the gods, at which the god Poros or Plenty, who is the son of Metis or Discretion, was one of the guests. When the feast was over, Penia or Poverty, as the manner is on such occasions, came about the doors to beg. Now Plenty who was the worse for nectar (there was no wine in those days), went into the garden of Zeus and fell into a heavy sleep; and Poverty considering her own straitened circumstances, plotted to have a child by him, [203c] and accordingly she lay down at his side and conceived Love, who partly because he is naturally a lover of the beautiful, and because Aphrodite is herself beautiful, and also because he was born on her birthday, is her follower and attendant. And as his parentage is, so also are his fortunes. In the first place he is always poor, and anything but tender and fair, as the many imagine him; [203d] and he is rough and squalid, and has no shoes, nor a house to dwell in; on the bare earth exposed he lies under the open heaven, in the streets, or at the doors of houses, taking his rest; and like his mother he is always in distress. Like his father too, whom he also partly resembles, he is always plotting against the fair and good; he is bold, enterprising, strong, a mighty hunter, always weaving some intrigue or other, keen in the pursuit of wisdom, fertile in resources; a philosopher at all times, terrible as an enchanter, sorcerer, [203e] sophist. He is by nature neither mortal nor immortal, but alive and flourishing at one moment when he is in plenty, and dead at another moment, and again alive by reason of his father's nature. But that which is always flowing in is always flowing out, and so he is never in want and never in wealth; and, further, he is in a mean between ignorance and knowledge. The truth of the matter is this: No god is a philosopher or seeker after wisdom, [204a] for he is wise already; nor does any man who is wise seek after wisdom. Neither do the ignorant seek after wisdom. For herein is the evil of ignorance, that he who is neither good nor wise is nevertheless satisfied with himself: he has no desire for that of which he feels no want." "But who then, Diotima," I said, "are the lovers of wisdom, if they are neither the wise nor the foolish?" [204b] "A child may answer that question," she replied; "they are those who are in a mean between the two; Love is one of them. For wisdom is a most beautiful thing, and Love is of the beautiful; and therefore Love is also a philosopher or lover of wisdom, and being a lover of wisdom is in a mean between the wise and the ignorant. And of this too his birth is the cause; for his father is wealthy and wise, and his mother poor and foolish. Such, my dear Socrates, is the nature of the spirit Love.

Conversation between Socrates and Diotima in Plato's Symposium

The great book

The great book for you is the book that has the most to say to you at the moment when you are reading. I do not mean the book that is most instructive, but the book that feeds your spirit. And that depends on your age, your experience, your psychological and spiritual need.

Robertson Davies

Moving stars

Pick a flower on Earth and you move the farthest star.

Paul Dirac

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jean Cocteau

1. "A film is a petrifying fountain of thought. A film revives lifeless deeds. A film permits one to give the appearance of reality to that which is unreal."
2. ”Allow the power of the soul to grow as flagrant as the power of sex.”
3. "An original artist is unable to copy. So he has only to copy in order to be original."
4. ”Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.”
5. “Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.”
6. “A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.”
7. ”Be a mere assistant to your unconscious. Do only half the work. The rest will do itself.”
8. ”Beauty is always the result of an accident. Of a violent lapse between acquired habits and those yet to be acquired. It baffles and disgusts. It may even horrify. Once the new habit has been acquired, the accident ceases to be an accident. It becomes classical and loses its shock value. A work, therefore, is never perceived. It is received. If I am not mistaken, this was a remark made by Eugene Delacroix: "One is never perceived, one is received." It is a maxim frequently repeated by Matisse. Those who actually saw the accident hasten away, overwhelmed, unable to describe it. Those who did not see it are left to bear witness. This opportunity to make themselves seem important pro-vides the medium through which they express their stupidity The accident remains in the road, bloodied, petrified, awful in its solitude, a prey to gossip and police reports.”
9. ”Compromise yourself. Obscure your own trail.”
10. ”Consider metaphysics as an extension of the physical.”
11. “Do not close the circle. Leave it open. Descartes closes the circle. Pascal leaves it open. Rousseau's triumph over the encyclopedists is to have left his circle open when they closed theirs.”
12. ”Do not confuse progressive science with intuitive science, the only one that counts.”
13. ”Find first, seek later.”
14. ”Hate only hatred.”
15. ”He who is affected by an insult is infected by it.”
16. "I am a lie who always speaks the truth."
17. “I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you dislike?”
18. “I feel that there is an angel inside me whom I am constantly shocking.”
19. ”Journalists know this, or at least sense it. The inaccuracies of the press, and the banner headlines by which they are trumpeted, are soothing draughts to this thirst for the unreal. Sadly, no authority presides in this case over the model's metamorphosis into a work of art. But it is this bland metamorphosis that demonstrates the need for myth. Accuracy is vexing to a crowd of would-be fantasizers. Hasn't our age coined the term "escapism," when in fact the only way to escape oneself is to allow oneself to be invaded?”
20. ”Know that your work speaks only to those on the same wavelength as you.”
21. "Life is a horizontal fall."
22. “Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don't like - then cultivate it. That's the only part of your work that's individual and worth keeping.”
23. "Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort."
24. “Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images.”
25. "Murderers have been known to find that young girls give them more trouble than anybody else."
26. "Mystery has its own mysteries, and there are gods above gods. We have ours, they have theirs. That is what's known as infinity."
27. “Never do what a specialist can do better. Discover your own specialty. Do not despair if your specialty appears to be more delicate, a lesser thing. Make up in finesse what you lose in force.”
28. "One of the characteristics of the dream is that nothing surprises us in it. With no regret, we agree to live in it with strangers, completely cut off from our habits and friends."
29. ”Poetry, being elegance itself, cannot hope to achieve visibility. In that case, you ask me, of what use is it? Of no use. Who will see it? No one. Which does not prevent it from being an outrage to modesty, though its exhibitionism is squandered on the blind. It is enough for poetry to express a personal ethic, which can then break away in the form of a work. It insists on living its own life. It becomes the pretext for a thousand misunderstandings that go by the name of glory.”
30. “Silence moves faster when it's going backward.”
31. "Style is a simple way of saying complicated things."
32. “Such is the role of poetry. It unveils, in the strict sense of the word. It lays bare, under a light which shakes off torpor, the surprising things which surround us and which our senses record mechanically.”
33. ”Tact in audacity consists in knowing how far we may go too far.”
34. "Take care not to shave your antennae of a morning.”
35. "Take a commonplace, clean it and polish it, light it so that it produces the same effect of youth and freshness and originality and spontaneity as it did originally, and you have done a poet's job. The rest is literature."
36. “The actual tragedies of life bear no relation to one's preconceived ideas. In the event, one is always bewildered by their simplicity, their grandeur of design, and by that element of the bizarre which seems inherent in them.”
37. "The extreme limit of wisdom --that's what the public calls madness."
38. “The greatest masterpiece of literature is only a dictionary out of order.”
39. ”The inaccuracy of such gossip and such reports is not exclusively the result of distraction. It has more solid roots. It is closely related to the genesis of myth. Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal (…). unnable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort, the trifling feeling of escape experienced at a masked ball. He distances himself from that which he feels and sees. He invents. He transfigures. He mythifies. He creates. He fancies himself an artist. He imitates, in his small way, the painters he claims are mad.”
40. “The poet doesn't invent. He listens.”
41. ”The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.”
42. "The true tomb of the dead is the heart of the living."
43. “The worst fate of a poet is to be admired without being understood.”
44. "True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing."
45. "We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?"
46. "We shelter an angel within us. We must be the guardians of that angel."
47. "What is line? It is life. A line must live at each point along its course in such a way that the artist's presence makes itself felt above that of the model. With the writer, line takes precedence over form and content. It runs through the words he assembles. It strikes a continuous note unperceived by ear or eye. It is, in a way, the soul's style, and if the line ceases to have a life of its own, if it only describes an arabesque, the soul is missing and the writing dies."
48. "What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you."
49. "When a work appears to be ahead of its time, it is only the time that is behind the work."