Favorite quotations

There are some things which cannot
be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have,
must be paid heavily for their acquiring.
They are the very simplest things,
and because it takes a man’s life to know them
the little new that each man gets from life
is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.
– Ernest Hemingway
(From A. E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway, Random House, NY, 1966)

When you thwart what’s real about you in order to keep creating content for financial need, you’re just not gonna make it. You’re not gonna keep going. You have your number.
It’s very dangerous to be liked by more people than should like you. It’s bad for them, and it’s bad for you. There’s gonna be a shock down the road for them, or you’re gonna dilute yourself and take yourself to a place where you can’t live with who you are.
I think that you make an honest account of who you are and you live with the results. The results will be appropriate to who you are…
If you’re saying things just to piss people off, then I don’t know why do it. If you’re saying things just to please people, that’s a short-lived victory.
But if you just say the things you believe, and the things you like to say, and that mean something to you — if you stay close to the gut — then everything will work itself out.
– Louis C.K.

the lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne
– Chaucer (1340-1400)

Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile (Life is short, [the] craft long, opportunity fleeting, experiment treacherous, judgment difficult.)
– Hippocrates (c. 400BC)

‘the cat sat on the mat’ is not the beginning of a story, but ‘the cat sat on the dog’s mat’ is.
– John le Carré (David John Moore Cornwell)

Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price.
– Samuel Johnson

Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.
– Albert Einstein

Books are attracted to me. They make a beeline for me, and stick to me. I have been so fond of them that at last they have begun to reciprocate. In my hands books burst like ripe fruit. Like magic flowers they unfold their petals to show me the vital thought, the suggestive word, the confirming quotation, the decisive illustration.
– Sergei Eisenstein

If we concentrate our attention on trying to solve a problem of geometry, and if at the end of an hour we are no nearer to doing so than at the beginning, we have nevertheless been making progress each minute of that hour in another more mysterious dimension. Without knowing or feeling it, this apparent barren effort has brought more light into the soul.
– Simone Weil

We see things not as they are, but as we are.
– The Talmud

The scientist does not study nature because it is useful;
he studies it because he delights in it,
and he delights in it because it is beautiful.
If nature were not beautiful,
it would not be worth knowing,
and if nature were not worth knowing,
life would nt be worth living.
– Henri Poincaré

A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.
– Joseph Conrad

Believe that none of the effort you put into coming closer to God is ever wasted – even if in the end you don’t achieve what you are striving for.
– Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

When you look at a human being, you see his hands working, his feet walking, his mouth talking. You don’t see his heart, his brain, his lungs and kidneys. They work quietly, inside. But they are the essential organs of life.
The world, too, has hands and feet—those who are making the news, moving things around, shaking things up.
The heart, the inner organs, they are those who work quietly from the inside, those unnoticed, those who do a simple act of kindness with no thought of reward.
– Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.
– Will Rogers

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
– Henri Bergson

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
– Albert Pike

Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
– Ray Bradbury

The ultimate test of a man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.
– Gaylord Nelson

Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day;
you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.
– George Bernard Shaw

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
– Derek Bok

People talk about “wasting time,” or even “killing time.”
Neither term is accurate. Time does not belong to you that you can waste it.
Yet neither does it have a life of its own that you can take away.
Rather, time awaits you to give it life.
– Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
– Abraham Lincoln

One who loves must learn fear. One who fears must learn love.
The thinker must do. The doer must think.
The pacifist must fight, the fighter must find peace.
If you flow as a river, burn as a fire. If you burn as a furnace, flow as a river.
If you fly as a bird, sit firm as a rock. If you sit firmly, then fly as a bird.
Be a fire that flows. A rock that flies.
Love with fear and fear with love.
For we are not fire, not water, not air, not rocks, not thoughts, not deeds, not fear, not love. We are G-dly beings.
– Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.
– Edward Teller

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.
– Johann Goethe
(John Anster’s translation of Faust)

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.
– Jerome K. Jerome

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.
– Mignon McLaughlin

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
– James D. Miles

In our thinking…we attribute to this concept of the bodily object a significance, which is to high degree independent of the sense impression which originally gives rise to it. This is what we mean when we attribute to the bodily object a real existence. …By means of such concepts and mental relations between them, we are able to orient ourselves in the labyrinth of sense impressions. These notions and relations…appear to us as stronger and more unalterable than the individual sense experience itself, the character of which as anything other than the result of an illusion or hallucination is never completely guaranteed.
-Albert Einstein

Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.
– Buddha

I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.
– Pablo Picasso

This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
– William Shakespeare

The right time to show your good character is when you are pestered by somebody weaker than you.
– Buddha

If the world is cold make it your business to build fires.
– Horace Traubel

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
– Abraham Lincoln

Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.
– Buddha

Strive to realize a state of inward happiness, independent of circumstances.
– J.P. Greaves

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
– Helen Keller

I keep six honest serving men
(They taught me all I know)
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who
– Rudyard Kipling, in Just So Stories

Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived.
– Baruch Spinoza

We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity.
– Marie Curie

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
– Richard Feynman

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life.
– Baruch Spinoza

The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.
– Baruch Spinoza

I call him free who is led solely by reason.
– Baruch Spinoza

God is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things.
– Baruch Spinoza

He who finds a thought that enables him to obtain a slightly deeper glimpse into the eternal secrets of nature has been given great grace.
– Albert Einstein

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
– Frank Outlaw

Creativity is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God.
– Bob Moawad

In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.
– Henry David Thoreau

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
– Charles Kingsley

I have always believed that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.
– Hermann Hesse

It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
– H.L. Mencken

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.
– Leo Tolstoy

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
– Lao Tzu

The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then to learn.
Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.
– T. H. White, in The Once and Future King

What we hope ever to do with ease we may learn first to do with diligence.
– Samuel Johnson

The way is long if one follows precepts, but short… if one follows patterns.
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.
– Frederick Douglass

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
– Carl Sagan

Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses – especially learn how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else.
– Leonardo DaVinci

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where the words come out
From the depth of truth
Where the tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
In ever widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my father
Let my country awake.
– Rabindranath Tagore (from Gitanjali)

The belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science. Since, however, sense perception only gives information of this external world or of “physical reality” indirectly, we can only grasp the latter by speculative means. It follows from this that our notions of physical reality can never be final. We must always be ready to change these notions – that is to say, the axiomatic basis of physics – in order to do justice to perceived facts in the most perfect way logically.
-Albert Einstein

I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.
-Kahlil Gibran

The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.
– Baha’u’llah

The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
– Billy Wilder

For every complicated problem there is a solution that is simple, direct, understandable, and wrong.
– H. L. Mencken

If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.
– John Louis von Neumann

Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.
– Pablo Picasso

Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
– Kurt Vonnegut

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.
– Pablo Picasso

To the complaint, ‘There are no people in these photographs,’ I respond, There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.
– Ansel Adams

The more abstract is form, the more clear and direct its appeal.
– Wassily Kandinsky

The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning.
– Wassily Kandinsky

Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. One seeks the most general ideas of operation which will bring together in simple, logical and unified form the largest possible circle of formal relationships. In this effort toward logical beauty spiritual formulas are discovered necessary for the deeper penetration into the laws of nature.
– Albert Einstein

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
– Henry David Thoreau

If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Only the curious will learn, only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The Quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.
– Eugene S. Wilson

Human beings can attain a worthy and harmonious life only if they are able to rid themselves, within the limits of human nature, of striving to fulfill wishes of the material kind.
– Albert Einstein

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
– Jack London

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time – or the tools—to write.
– Stephen King

A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas.
– H. L. Mencken

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.
– T. S. Eliot

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things are connected.
– Chief Seattle.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
– Native American Proverb

We cannot command Nature except by obeying her.
– Francis Bacon

Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.
– Voltaire

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
– Buddha

Every intellectual has a very special responsibility. He has the privilege and opportunity of studying. In return, he owes it to his fellow men (or ‘to society’) to represent the results of his study as simply, clearly and modestly as he can.
The worst thing that intellectuals can do – the cardinal sin – is to try to set themselves up as great prophets vis-a-vis their fellow men and to impress them with puzzling philosophies. Anyone who cannot speak simply and clearly should say nothing and continue to work until he can do so.
– Karl Popper

A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.
– Malcolm X

You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
– Franz Kafka

Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.
– Lou Dorfsman

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
– Marie Curie

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
– Calvin Coolidge

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.
– Malcolm X

Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.
– Ray Bradbury

However great a man’s natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once.
– Jean Jacques Rousseau

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.
– Stephen King

My ambition is to find freedom, without taking it from someone else.
– George Dyson

writing = ass + chair
– Oliver Stone

Truth is a demure lady, much too ladylike to knock you on your head and drag you to her cave. She is there, but people must want her, and seek her out.
– William F. Buckley

Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him. In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference.
– Ambrose Bierce (from An Occurrence at Owl Creek, 1890)

Don’t market yourself. Editors and readers don’t know what they want until they see it. Scratch what itches. Write what you need to write, feed the hunger for meaning in your life. Play at the serious questions of life and death.
– Donald M. Murray

Never, under any circumstances, hate a movie. It won’t help you and it’s a waste of time. There’s plenty of reasons to not to like a movie. But if you hate them? Meaning if let them bother you? Then they’ll do nothing but bother you.
And I mean if you want to do this for a fucking living and you’re absolutely serious, then never hate a movie.
You can learn so much about the craft from bad movies. Bad movies teach you what not to do and what to correct in your process and that’s way more helpful. And fuck man, hating movies closes you off to stuff that seems like whatever you hate. Or stuff by the same guy. And who knows? That other stuff could be awesome.
Some of my favorite filmmakers made bad movies. It won’t help you. It just won’t. It stops your development right in its tracks, okay? I mean like everything and I ain’t trying to get you to be like me or anything. I’m just saying I think it’s better for you. And it makes me way, way happier. Never hate a movie. They’re gifts. Every fucking one of em.
– Quentin Tarantino

I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer. —Jim Carrey

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am the master of my fate and captain of my soul. – Ashleigh Brilliant (variant from a line in the poem “Invictus” by William Earnest Henley, written in 1875).

Entertain yourself. Luck comes just as often (and just as rarely) to every writer. Don’t be the writer that got lucky doing something they hate.
– Dan Harmon

If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
– Toni Morrison

I’d just say to aspiring journalists or writers – who I meet a lot of – do it now.
Don’t wait for permission to make something that’s interesting or amusing to you. Just do it now. Don’t wait. Find a story idea, start making it, give yourself a deadline, show it to people who’ll give you notes to make it better.
Don’t wait till you’re older, or in some better job than you have now. Don’t wait for anything.
Don’t wait till some magical story idea drops into your lap. That’s not where ideas come from. Go looking for an idea and it’ll show up.
Begin now. Be a fucking soldier about it and be tough.
– Ira Glass

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
– Winston Churchill

All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.
– Joseph Campbell

Books are attracted to me. They make a beeline for me, and stick to me. I have been so fond of them that at last they have begun to reciprocate. In my hands books burst like ripe fruit. Like magic flowers they unfold their petals to show me the vital thought, the suggestive word, the confirming quotation, the decisive illustration.
– Sergei Eisenstein

If we concentrate our attention on trying to solve a problem of geometry, and if at the end of an hour we are no nearer to doing so than at the beginning, we have nevertheless been making progress each minute of that hour in another more mysterious dimension. Without knowing or feeling it, this apparent barren affort has brought more light into the soul.
– Simone Weil

We see things not as they are, but as we are.
– The Talmud

The scientist does not study nature because it is useful;
he studies it because he delights in it,
and he delights in it because it is beautiful.
If nature were not beautiful,
it would not be worth knowing,
and if nature were not worth knowing,
life would not be worth living.
– Henri Poincaré

A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.
– Joseph Conrad

Believe that none of the effort you put into coming closer to God is ever wasted – even if in the end you don’t achieve what you are striving for.
– Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.
– Will Rogers

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
– Henri Bergson

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
– Albert Pike

Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

The ultimate test of a man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.
– Gaylord Nelson

Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day;
you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.
– George Bernard Shaw

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
– Derek Bok

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
– Abraham Lincoln

One who loves must learn fear. One who fears must learn love.
The thinker must do. The doer must think.
The pacifist must fight, the fighter must find peace.
If you flow as a river, burn as a fire. If you burn as a furnace, flow as a river.
If you fly as a bird, sit firm as a rock. If you sit firmly, then fly as a bird.
Be a fire that flows.
A rock that flies.
Love with fear and fear with love.
For we are not fire, not water, not air, not rocks, not thoughts, not deeds, not fear, not love. We are G-dly beings.
– Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

When you come to the end of all the light you know,
and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown,
faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen:
Either you will be given something solid to stand on
or you will be taught to fly.
– Edward Teller

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.
– Johann Goethe
(John Anster’s translation of Faust)

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.
– Jerome K. Jerome

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.
– Mignon McLaughlin

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
– James D. Miles

In our thinking…we attribute to this concept of the bodily object a significance, which is to high degree independent of the sense impression which originally gives rise to it. This is what we mean when we attribute to the bodily object a real existence. …By means of such concepts and mental relations between them, we are able to orient ourselves in the labyrinth of sense impressions. These notions and relations…appear to us as stronger and more unalterable than the individual sense experience itself, the character of which as anything other than the result of an illusion or hallucination is never completely guaranteed.
-Albert Einstein

Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.
– Buddha

The right time to show your good character is when you are pestered by somebody weaker than you.
– Buddha

I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.
– Pablo Picasso

This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
– William Shakespeare

If the world is cold make it your business to build fires.
– Horace Traubel

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
– Abraham Lincoln

Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.
– Buddha

Strive to realize a state of inward happiness, independent of circumstances.
– J.P. Greaves

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
– Helen Keller

I keep six honest serving men
(They taught me all I know)
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who
– Rudyard Kipling, in Just So Stories

We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity.
– Marie Curie

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
– Richard Feynman

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life.
– Baruch Spinoza

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
– Frank Outlaw

Creativity is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God.
– Bob Moawad

In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.
– Henry David Thoreau

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
– Charles Kingsley

I have always believed that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.
– Hermann Hesse

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.
– Leo Tolstoy

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
– Lao Tzu

The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.
– T. H. White, in The Once and Future King

What we hope ever to do with ease we may learn first to do with diligence.
– Samuel Johnson

The way is long if one follows precepts, but short… if one follows patterns.
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.
– Frederick Douglass

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
– Carl Sagan

Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses – especially learn how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else.
– Leonardo DaVinci

I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass … and I’m all out of bubblegum.
– Nada, in They Live (1988) by John Carpenter

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where the words come out
From the depth of truth
Where the tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
In ever widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my father
Let my country awake.
– Rabindranath Tagore (from Gitanjali)

By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.
– Socrates

The belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science. Since, however, sense perception only gives information of this external world or of “physical reality” indirectly, we can only grasp the latter by speculative means. It follows from this that our notions of physical reality can never be final. We must always be ready to change these notions – that is to say, the axiomatic basis of physics – in order to do justice to perceived facts in the most perfect way logically.
-Albert Einstein

I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.
-Kahlil Gibran

To find yourself, think for yourself.
– Socrates

The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.
– Baha’u’llah

There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.
– Socrates

For every complicated problem there is a solution that is simple, direct, understandable, and wrong.
– H. L. Mencken

If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.
– John Louis von Neumann

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
– Socrates

It’s only recently that I’ve come to understand that writers are not marginal to our society, that they, in fact, do all our thinking for us, that we are writing myths and our myths are believed, and that old myths are believed until someone writes a new one.
– Kurt Vonnegut

All ads do the same: create an anxiety relievable by purchase.
– David Foster Wallace

Beginnings are hard. For good reason. If they were easy, we would prowl into each new venture like a snug fat cat.
When you begin pent up in an iron cage, a new life emerges. A tiger that breaks through the door of its cage and pounces with a vengeance.
Bless those cages, those impossible brick walls, those rivers of fire that lie at the outset of each worthwhile journey. Without them we would be only as powerful as we appear.
– Rabbi M. M. Schneerson