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Miscellaneous Quotes

Quotations are selected from this pool (and other quotation pools) in a pseudorandom way every hour and inserted at the top and bottom of some of the major pages on this website. Feel free to copy any of these quotes and paste them for whatever purpose you please, including on your own website, blog, social media page or forum debate posts.

Rush Hour

Why do they call it rush hour? Nothing moves.

~ Douglas Ainslie (1949-12-12 age:68) played by Bill Nighy in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Excess Actors

There are always going to be more actors than anybody can ever use.

~ Edward Albee (1928-03-12 age:90) WNBC TV interview, 1966-01-09

Take Notes

He listens well who takes notes.

~ Dante Alighieri (1265 1321-09-14 age:56)

Crucial Choice

One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

~ Woody Allen (1935-12-01 age:82)

Don’t Play Safe

To play it safe is not to play.

~ Robert Altman (1925-02-20 2006-11-20 age:81) movie director

Real Love

In real love you want the other person’s good. In romantic love you want the other person.

~ Margaret Anderson (1886-11-24 1973-10-18 age:86)

Definition of Deficit

A deficit is a tax compounded with interest for late payment.

~ Anonymous

I Was Mistaken

If I have said anything untrue, it was because I was mistaken, not because I tried to mislead you.

~ Anonymous

Taking Flight

Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew.

~ Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-08-26 1918-11-09 age:38)


I fully expected that, by the end of the century, we would have achieved substantially more than we actually did.

~ Neil Armstrong (1930-08-05 2012-08-25 age:82)

Pale Blue Dot

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.

~ Neil Armstrong (1930-08-05 2012-08-25 age:82)

On Worry

You can only worry about so many things at a time.

~ Margaret Atwood (1939-11-18 age:78)


No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.

~ Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-02-21 1973-09-29 age:66)

Sleep Talking

A professor is someone who talks is someone else’s sleep.

~ Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-02-21 1973-09-29 age:66)

Simple Rules

If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.

~ Marcus Aurelius (121-04-26 AD 180-03-17 AD age:58)


The world is governed by chance. Randomness stalks us every day of our lives.

~ Paul Auster (1947-02-03 age:71)

Buddhist Blessing

May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering;
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that knows no suffering;
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from attachment and anger that hold some close and others distant.

~ Avalokiteshvara , the Buddha of Compassion, The Four Immeasurables

Never the Same

When everything happens to you when you’re so young, you’re very lucky, but by the same token, you’re never going to have that same feeling again. The first time anything happens to you — your first love, your first success — the second one is never the same.

~ Lauren Bacall (1924-09-16 2014-08-12 age:89)

Bach To Coffee

Bring me a bowl of coffee before I turn into a goat.

~ Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-03-31 1750-07-28 age:65)

French Toys

French toys: one could not find a better illustration of the fact that the adult Frenchman sees the child as another self. All the toys one commonly sees are essentially a microcosm of the adult world; they are all reduced copies of human objects, as if in the eyes of the public the child was, all told, nothing but a smaller man, a homunculus to whom must be supplied objects of his own size.

~ Roland Barthes (1915-11-12 1980-03-25 age:64) Mythologies

Matrix of Conditions

I am who I am, not because of an essential self hidden away in the core of my being, but because of the unprecedented and unrepeatable matrix of conditions that have formed me.

~ Stephen Batchelor (1953 age:64)


Somebody was saying to Picasso that he ought to make pictures of things the way they are — objective pictures. He mumbled he wasn’t quite sure what that would be. The person who was bullying him produced a photograph of his wife from his wallet and said, There, you see, that is a picture of how she really is. Picasso looked at it and said, She is rather small, isnt she? And flat?

~ Gregory Bateson (1904-05-09 1980-07-04 age:76)

The Green Curtain

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…the…Great…er…Oz has spoken.

~ Frank Baum (1856-05-15 1919-05-05 age:62) The Wizard of Oz

Language Gender

Of all the Indo European languages, English puts the least emphasis on the gender of nouns. Chinese is probably the most unisex in its pronouns of all languages having the same word for he, she and it.

~ Charles Berlitz (1914-11-20 2003-12-18 age:89) Native Tongues

Unintentional Honesty?

The Japanese word for restitution is fukkyu.

~ Charles Berlitz (1914-11-20 2003-12-18 age:89)

One Truth Danger

The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all the evil that is in the world.

~ Max Born (1882-12-11 1970-01-05 age:87) physicist


My stories run up and bite me on the leg — I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.

~ Ray Bradbury (1920-08-22 2012-06-05 age:91)

I identify with this. The desire to compose is like having a full bladder. That urgency will drag me out of sleep, or any other activity to write down or polish the thought. Thankfully, my ideas can usually be expressed in a couple of paragraphs or less, what I call a quotation even though I have never yet seen anyone quote me.

Take a Chance

If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

~ Ray Bradbury (1920-08-22 2012-06-05 age:91)

Not Knowing

It’s not what you don’t know that will bite you; it’s what you don’t know that you don’t know.

~ William Brody (1944-01-04 age:74)

Out Pride and Ignorance

Wipe out the mind of pride and arrogance.

~ Gautama Buddha (563 BC 483 BC age:80) The Lotus Sutra

Why Lying is Not a Good Idea

If people become accustomed to lying, they will unconsciously commit every possible wrong deed. Before they can act wickedly, they must lie and once they begin to lie they will act wickedly without concern.

~ Gautama Buddha (563 BC 483 BC age:80)

Triumph of Evil

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

~ Edmund Burke (1729-01-12 1797-07-09 age:68)

Cultivating Hobbits

The Truth is that everyone is bored and devotes himself to cultivating Hobbits.

~ Albert Camus (1913-11-07 1960-01-04 age:46)

The American Dream

The American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.

~ George Carlin (1937-05-12 2008-06-22 age:71)

Definition of a Good Teacher

A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.

~ Thomas Carruthers


Poor planning on your part does not necessitate an emergency on mine.

~ Bob Carter

One Idea

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.

~ Emilé-Auguste Chartier (1868-03-03 1951-06-02 age:83)

Man the Destroyer

Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he’s been given. But up to now he hasn’t been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild lifes become extinct, the climate’s ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.

~ Anton Chekhov (1860-01-29 1904-07-15 age:44)

Don Cherry, Sadist

I get a nice feelin’s in my crotch when I see a player take a good brain injury hit. I paid for my ticket. I deserve what I paid for.

~ Don Cherry (1934-02-05 age:84)

Definition of a Fanatic

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

~ Winston Churchill (1874-11-30 1965-01-24 age:90)


This is the kind of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put!

~ Winston Churchill (1874-11-30 1965-01-24 age:90)

Secret of Success

The secret of success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

~ Winston Churchill (1874-11-30 1965-01-24 age:90)

Ignorance of What Happened Prior to Your Birth

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-01-03 BC 43-12-07 BC age:63)

Measure of Honesty

The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return. It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.

~ Arthur C. Clarke (1917-12-16 2008-03-19 age:90)

Casting Your Lot

I know you need your sleep now, I know your life’s been hard, but many men are falling where you promised to stand guard. I never asked but I heard you cast your lot along with the poor.

~ Leonard Cohen (1934-09-21 2016-11-10 age:82), Field Commander Cohen

Golden Storm

I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm
Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new
In city and in forest they smiled like me and you.

~ Leonard Cohen (1934-09-21 2016-11-10 age:82) Hey that’s no way to say Goodbye , Sisters of Mercy

Not Be Jealous

I would not be jealous if I heard that they sweetened your night.

~ Leonard Cohen (1934-09-21 2016-11-10 age:82), Sisters of Mercy

How You are Judged

You are not responsible for what your friends do, but you will be judged by the company you keep.

~ Leonard Cole (1920 age:97)

Dry Eyes

Lord, forgive us for viewing the world with dry eyes.

~ A man at a R.E.S.U.L.T.S. conference

How You are Judged

You shall judge of a man by his foes as well as by his friends.

~ Joseph Conrad (1857-12-03 1924-08-03 age:66)


Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common that unsuccessful men 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.

~ Calvin Coolidge (1872-07-04 1933-01-05 age:60)

Definition of Life

Life, that funny thing that happens to you on the way to the grave.

~ Quentin Crisp (1908-12-08 1999-11-21 age:90)

Difficulty of Finding Planets

It might be possible to detect atmospheric chemistry by looking at the starlight through the gases. However, it has been said that finding a planet around another star is like detecting a moth around a searchlight from 100 km away. Detecting atmospheric chemistry would then be like trying to detect the size of the moth’s wings.

~ Lawrence B. Crowell

Yet we have done it. Even amateurs have done it.

Discoverer of Water

We don’t know who discovered water, but we’re certain it wasn’t a fish.

~ John Culkin (1928 1993-07-23 age:65)

How You are Judged

A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.

~ Charles Darwin (1809-02-12 1882-04-19 age:73)

Survival is Not Mandatory

You do not have to change: survival is not mandatory.

~ Dr. W. (William) Edwards Deming (1900-10-14 1993-12-20 age:93) On Overcoming Resistance to Change

Pithy Sentences

Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory.

~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher

Revealing Genius

Genius is present in every age, but the men carrying it within them remain benumbed unless extraordinary events occur to heat up and melt the mass so that it flows forth.

~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher

When Equality is Wrong

I tried to get more programs for gifted children. When I became chairman, we did in fact introduce programs. Administrators and teachers seem to think that democracy is such a wonderful thing that it should be introduced everywhere. In education, democracy is irrelevant. Although people should be given equal opportunity, they are not equal in abilities. To teach a midget to play basketball, is not in the best interest of society. If they want to do that, let them do that, but to finance it and to spend the limited energy you have on some idiot Divinsky to get into grade 7 instead of quitting at grade 6 instead of doing something for a kid who has enormous talent and can contribute something to the world… a lot of these kids suffer in school — they’re bored! Teachers often resent them… The old adage that bright kids always land on their feet is nonsense. I have seen so many bright kids ruin their lives and collapse for factors beyond their control. You can’t even the playing field. If I’m tone deaf, you can’t teach me music!

~ Dr. Nathan Divinsky (1925-10-29 2012-06-17 age:86)

600 Channels

I have 600 channels in my house and 400 of them are selling Bow Flex. The other 200 are mostly selling Jesus. What happened to diversity?

~ Phil Donahue (1935-12-21 age:82)

Indivisible Freedom

Freedom, like peace, is indivisible. I must protect my neighbour’s rights in order to protect safeguard my own.

~ Tommy C. Douglas (1904 1986 age:82) leader of the New Democratic Party in Canada, voted the Greatest Canadian

Automatic Literacy

Take the year a country first reaches 50% literacy and add one or two generations to allow the idea to sink in and, democracy, more or less automatically, appears.

~ Gwynne Dyer (1943-04-17 age:75)

Limiting to the Familiar

We are put on this planet only once and to limit ourselves to the familiar, is a crime against our minds.

~ Roger Ebert (1942-06-18 2013-04-04 age:70)

Absurd Ideas

If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.

~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)

Baffling Comprehensibility

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.

~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)

Definition of Common Sense

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)


Force always attracts men of low morality.

~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)

Levels of Consciousness

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)

Theft from the Hungry

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-10-14 1969-03-28 age:78)

Beliefs About Ourselves

We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us.

~ George Eliot (1819-11-22 1880-12-22 age:61) (Mary Ann Evans)

It is Never To Late

It’s never too late to be who you might have been.

~ George Eliot (1819-11-22 1880-12-22 age:61) (Mary Ann Evans)


Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.

~ George Eliot (1819-11-22 1880-12-22 age:61) (Mary Ann Evans)

April in the Cruelest Month

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

~ Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-09-26 1965-01-04 age:76) The Burial of the Dead from The WasteLand

Cyclical Exploration

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.

~ Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-09-26 1965-01-04 age:76) Four Quartets

Definition of Courage

A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-05-25 1882-04-27 age:78)

Do What Frightens You

Always do what you are afraid to do.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-05-25 1882-04-27 age:78)


Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-05-25 1882-04-27 age:78)

Finish Each Day

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-05-25 1882-04-27 age:78)

Leave a Trail

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-05-25 1882-04-27 age:78)

First Make Mad

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

~ Euripides (484 BC 406 BC age:78)

Brevity is the Soul of Wit

Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n’y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n’y a plus rien à retrancher. It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.

~ Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-06-29 1944-07-31 age:44) French poet and aviation

Wonderful Truth

Nothing is too wonderful to be true if it be consistent with the laws of nature.

~ Michael Faraday (1791-09-22 1867-08-25 age:75)

Majestic Law

The law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under bridges.

~ Anatole France (1844-04-16 1924-10-12 age:80)

Fence Cutting

Yep, somebody sure cut through that fence, all right.

~ Stan Freberg (1926-07-07 age:91)

In Praise of Insults

The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.

~ Sigmund Freud (1856-05-06 1939-09-23 age:83)

As the first person in Western Canada to come out publicly as gay, I received 3,200 death threats from Christians and 380,000 abusive phone calls. Nobody actually killed me, shot me or stabbed me. I felt I acted as a lightning rod, attracting all this malice away from others to me, someone who could handle it. I liked to think one these Christians might have expressed his hate in a phone call to me rather than murdering someone. I doubt that just shutting people up will make them any more peaceful. I suspect it will just bottle their violence. Today every is overreacting to Cyberviolence. Cyberviolence is not violence. It is merely rudeness. Grow a spine everyone. Real violence is much much worse. You need effective tools to block rude people out of your universe. Ignoring your tormentors is the best strategy.

Are We Alone?

Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the thought is staggering.

~ Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller (1895-07-12 1983-07-01 age:87)

Born Geniuses

Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.

~ Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller (1895-07-12 1983-07-01 age:87)

I = Verb

I seem to be a verb —
an evolutionary process —
an integral function of the universe,
and so are you.

~ Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller (1895-07-12 1983-07-01 age:87)

Spaceship Earth

The earth is like a spaceship that didn’t come with an operating manual.

~ Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller (1895-07-12 1983-07-01 age:87)

Think Globally; Act Locally

Think globally; act locally.

~ Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller (1895-07-12 1983-07-01 age:87)


Revenge is a poor remedy for loss.

~ Tim Galsworthy played by Tom Beard in Midsomer Murders, Days of Misrule

Fighting the Last War

As we look at the mistakes in generalship over the past 100 years, the common theme is that the general did not understand the technology of his time or, as they say, he elected to fight the last war rather than the one he happened to be in.

~ General John R. Galvin (1929-05-13 age:88)

Eye For An Eye

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

~ Mahatma Gandhi (1869-10-02 1948-01-30 age:78)

Definition of Enlightenment

Enlightenment is getting off your tail and doing something.

~ Stephen Gaskin (1935-02-16 2014-07-01 age:79)

This Season’s People

You are the people. You are this season’s people — There are no other people this season. If you blow it, it’s blown.

~ Stephen Gaskin (1935-02-16 2014-07-01 age:79)


I call architecture frozen music.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-08-28 1832-03-22 age:82)

What You Laugh At

Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-08-28 1832-03-22 age:82)

Do What You Cannot Do

I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.

~ Vincent van Gogh (1853-03-30 1890-07-29 age:37)

Great = Cumulative Small

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.

~ Vincent van Gogh (1853-03-30 1890-07-29 age:37)

As Van Gogh Saw Himself

What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.

~ Vincent van Gogh (1853-03-30 1890-07-29 age:37)

Trust of Others

The trust of others is a sacred thing, not to be exploited for petty gain or mere amusement.

~ Mahatma Gonzi

Bach is Best

I think that if I were required to spend the rest of my life on a desert island and to listen to or play the music of any one composer during all that time, that composer would almost certainly be Bach. I really can’t think of any other music which is so all-encompassing, which moves me so deeply and so consistently and which, to use a rather imprecise word, is valuable beyond all of its skill and brilliance for something more meaningful than that — its humanity.

~ Glenn Gould (1932-09-25 1982-10-04 age:50)


I tend to follow a very nocturnal sort of existence mainly because I don’t much care for sunlight. Bright colors of any kind depress me, in fact. And my moods are more or less inversely related to the clarity of the sky, on any given day. A matter of fact, my private motto has always been that behind every silver lining there is a cloud.

~ Glenn Gould (1932-09-25 1982-10-04 age:50)

Contrapuntal Is the Most Interesting Musing

All the music that really interests me — not just some of it, all of it — is contrapuntal music.

~ Glenn Gould (1932-09-25 1982-10-04 age:50)

Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields Forever suggests a chance encounter at a mountain wedding between Claudio Monteverdi and a jug band.

~ Glenn Gould (1932-09-25 1982-10-04 age:50)

If only

The saddest words in the English language are if only.

~ Barbara Green (1920-01-17 1994-03-22 age:74) (my Mom)

Meeting People

You can’t meet people half way. You have to meet them three-quarters way.

~ Barbara Green (1920-01-17 1994-03-22 age:74) (my Mom)

Mom’ Advice

When making a decision, remember that only you have all the facts and can balance all the factors. You know best what is important to you. Others can’t make decisions for you.

~ Barbara Green (1920-01-17 1994-03-22 age:74) (my Mom)

Mom’s Advice

Face your fears.

~ Barbara Green (1920-01-17 1994-03-22 age:74) (my Mom)

Dad’s Advice

Don’t worry about where you are. Watch the first derivative.
Don’t worry about how things are. Watch where they are headed.

~ Fred Green (1913-07-12 1992-04-10 age:78) (my Dad, an electrical engineer)

Hate Generates Delusion

When you hate someone intensely, 80% of what you think is delusion.

~ Tenzin Gyatso (1935-07-06 age:82) the fourteenth Dalai Lama

Moral Reasoning

If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out the truth, you’ll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased and illogical people become when they disagree with you. But if you think about moral reasoning as a skill we humans evolved to further our social agendas — to justify our own actions and to defend the teams we belong to — then things will make a lot more sense.

~ Jonathan Haidt (1963-10-19 age:54) Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

Surprising Future

I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.

~ J.B.S. Haldane (1892-11-05 1964-12-01 age:72)


Time is the most commonly used noun.

~ Claudia Hammond (1971 age:46)

Getting Out Alive

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

~ Sydney J. Harris (1917-09-14 1986-12-08 age:69)

BC Comic Strip

Thor: lands wincing on ground and says: Me Thor! Fat Broad: (those were sexist days) I thought so, the way you were thscreaming.

~ Johnny Hart (1931-02-18 2007-04-07 age:76)

Neuron Peer Pressure

Neurons that fire together wire together.

~ Donald O. Hebb (1904-07-22 1985-08-20 age:81) (on the biology behind Pavlovian conditioning)

Worth Doing

If it isn’t worth doing, it isn’t worth doing well.

~ Donald O. Hebb (1904-07-22 1985-08-20 age:81)

Definition of Creativity

Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.

~ Eric Hoffer (1902-07-25 1983-05-21 age:80)

The True Believer

The less justified a man is in claiming his excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.

~ Eric Hoffer (1902-07-25 1983-05-21 age:80) The True Believer

Ad Hominem

Attack the idea, not the person.

~ Ad hominem

Computer Attributes

The public doesn’t want new music: the main thing it demands of a composer is that he be dead.

~ Arthur Honegger (1892-03-10 1955-11-27 age:63)

Do What You Fear

Do what you fear most and you control fear.

~ Tom Hopkins (1944 age:73)

As Time Goes By

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

~ Herman Hupfeld (1894-02-01 1951-06-08 age:57) 1931

I think this is perhaps the best popular song ever written.

Attractions of Patriotism

One of the great attractions of patriotism — it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what’s more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.

~ Aldous Huxley (1894-07-26 1963-11-22 age:69)

Definition of a Fanatic

A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.

~ Aldous Huxley (1894-07-26 1963-11-22 age:69)

Ignoring Facts is Futile

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

~ Aldous Huxley (1894-07-26 1963-11-22 age:69) Proper Studies 1927

Taking Things for Granted

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.

~ Aldous Huxley (1894-07-26 1963-11-22 age:69)

Customers Do Not Want a Choice

Customers don’t want a choice; they just want exactly what they want.

~ B. Joseph Pine II

Other Types of Consciousness

It is that our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus and at a touch they are there in all completeness, definite types of mentality which probably somewhere have their field of application and adaptation. No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded. How to regard them is the question for they are so discontinuous with ordinary consciousness. Yet they may determine attitudes though they cannot furnish formulas and open a region through which they fail to give a map. At any rate, they forbid a premature closing of our accounts with reality.

~ William James (1842-01-11 1910-08-26 age:68), Varieties of Religious Experience

Forgiveness or Permission

I find it easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

~ Clay Johnson fictitious father of the fictitious Brenda Leigh Johnson in The Closer

Keeping Secrets

If you could not keep this secret yourself, how did you expect me to keep it for you?

~ Robert Allan Jones (1947 age:70)


The only flower known to have wings is the butterfly; all others stand helpless before the destroyer.

~ Okakura Kakuzo (1862-02-14 1913-09-02 age:51), The Book of Tea


’Tis said that Chowmushih slept in a boat so that his dreams might mingle with those of the lotus.

~ Okakura Kakuzo (1862-02-14 1913-09-02 age:51)  The Book of Tea

Right Action

Act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.

~ Immanuel Kant (1724-04-22 1804-02-12 age:79)

Beauty = Truth

Beauty is truth and truth beauty. That is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.

~ John Keats (1795-10-31 1821-02-23 age:25)

Common Sense vs Paranoia

The difference between common sense and paranoia is that common sense is thinking everyone is out to get you. That’s normal — they are. Paranoia is thinking that they’re conspiring.

~ J. Kegler

Acts of Courage

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

~ Robert F. Kennedy (1925-11-20 1968-06-06 age:42)

Changing History

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.

~ Robert F. Kennedy (1925-11-20 1968-06-06 age:42)

Dangerous Intolerance

What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.

~ Robert F. Kennedy (1925-11-20 1968-06-06 age:42)

Try It

If any man claims the Negro should be content… let him say he would willingly change the color of his skin and go to live in the Negro section of a large city. Then and only then has he a right to such a claim.

~ Robert F. Kennedy (1925-11-20 1968-06-06 age:42)


Whenever men take the law into their own hands, the loser is the law. And when the law loses, freedom languishes.

~ Robert F. Kennedy (1925-11-20 1968-06-06 age:42)

Why Not?

There are those who look at things the way they are and ask why… I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

~ Robert F. Kennedy (1925-11-20 1968-06-06 age:42)

The Second Pathway

I am discovering how my consciousness-dominating addictions create my illusory version of the changing world of people and situations around me.

~ Ken Keyes Jr. (1921-01-19 1995-12-20 age:74)
The Second Pathway from Handbook to Higher Consciousness

The Seventh Pathway

I open myself genuinely to all people by being willing to fully communicate my deepest feelings since hiding in any degree keeps me stuck in my illusion of separateness from other people.

~ Ken Keyes Jr. (1921-01-19 1995-12-20 age:74)
The Seventh Pathway from Handbook to Higher Consciousness

The Twelfth Pathway

I am perceiving everyone, including myself as an awakening being who is here to claim his or her birthright to the higher consciousness planes of unconditional love and oneness.

~ Ken Keyes Jr. (1921-01-19 1995-12-20 age:74)
The Twelfth Pathway from Handbook to Higher Consciousness

Genesis of Conjecture

Conjecture abounds when the truth is hushed up for political reasons. If there is no truth today, there will be myths tomorrow.

~ Yuli Khariton (1904-02-27 1996-12-18 age:92) Soviet physicist, 1993.

Secret of Success

The secret of success is an absolute ungovernable curiosity.

~ Larry King (1933-11-19 age:84)

Content of their Character

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-01-15 1968-04-04 age:39) I Have A Dream, 1963-08-23


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-01-15 1968-04-04 age:39)

Uncommon Common Sense

Common sense isn’t as common as it should be.

~ Alan Krueger (1960-09-17 age:57)


A thing hasn’t been said until its been said a thousand times.

~ Ring Lardner (1885-03-06 1933-09-25 age:48)

Definition of Admiration

Admiration in the highest form of apathy.

~ Phil Laut

Living Mechanically

But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.

~ David Herbert Lawrence (1885-09-11 1930-03-02 age:44)

Truth Is Strange

You don’t have to sort of enhance reality. There is nothing stranger than truth.

~ Annie Liebowitz (1949-10-02 age:68)

Power of Belief

In the province of the mind what one believes to be true, either is true or becomes true within certain limits. These limits are to be found experimentally and experientially. When so found these limits turn out to be further beliefs to be transcended. In the province of the mind there are no limits.

~ Dr. John Cunningham Lilly (1915-01-06 2001-09-30 age:86)

The Female Chooses

Despite how it looks, it is always the female who chooses her mate.

~ Toni Lilly

Probability of Failure

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.

~ Abraham Lincoln (1809-02-12 1865-04-15 age:56)

Moral Chameleons

We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.

~ John Locke (1632-08-29 1704-10-28 age:72) 1795-04-20

New Opinions

New opinions are always suspected and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.

~ John Locke (1632-08-29 1704-10-28 age:72) 1795-04-20


To prejudge other men’s notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eye.

~ John Locke (1632-08-29 1704-10-28 age:72) 1795-04-20

Slow Boat to China

I’d love to get you on a slow boat to China,
all to myself, alone.
Get you and keep you in my arms evermore.

~ Frank Loesser (1910-06-29 1969-07-28 age:59) 1947

The Butterfly Effect

The fluttering of a butterfly’s wing in Rio de Janeiro, amplified by atmospheric currents, could cause a tornado in Texas two weeks later.

~ Edward Lorenz (1917-05-23 2008-04-16 age:90)

Discarding Theories

It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast. It keeps him young.

~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)

Dog Bonding

The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be.

~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)

Humor Protects Against Flattery

A man sufficiently gifted with humor is in small danger of succumbing to flattering delusions about himself, because he cannot help perceiving what a pompous ass he would become if he did.

~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)

Laughing Men

Barking dogs occasionally bite, but laughing men hardly ever shoot.

~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)

Obsolete Inclinations

Most of the vices and mortal sins condemned today correspond to inclinations that were purely adaptive or at least harmless in primitive man.

~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)

Personification of Evil

We had better dispense with the personification of evil because it leads, all too easily, to the most dangerous kind of war: religious war.

~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)

Scientific Truth

Truth in science can be defined as the working hypothesis best suited to open the way to the next better one.

~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)

Serious Humour

We do not take humor seriously enough.

~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)

Brain States

To say that a necessary condition for the writing of these words is the willing of the author to write them and to say that a necessary condition for the writing of them is a certain state and configuration of the material of his brain, these two statements are probably merely two ways of saying the same thing.

~ Alfred James Lotka (1880-03-02 1949-12-05 age:69) Elements of Physical Biology 1925, page 403

Evil Complacency

Complacency is the root of all evil.

~ Maitreya

Choose Good

You can always choose to do something good.

~ Spider Man (1962-08-01 age:55)

Live Big

There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

~ Nelson Mandela (1918-07-18 2013-12-05 age:95)

Hospital = Prison

Hospitals are like prisons. Small numbers of people do nasty things to large numbers of people.

~ Dr. Henry Marsh (1950 age:67)

Christian Salesman

Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

~ Groucho Marx (1890-10-02 1977-08-19 age:86)


Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.

~ Groucho Marx (1890-10-02 1977-08-19 age:86)

Old Create Wars for the Young to Fight

I am sick and tired of old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.

~ George McGovern (1922-07-19 2012-10-21 age:90)

Pick Your Battles

Pick your battles.

~ Dr. Phil McGraw (1950-09-01 age:67)

Cat Skeletons

A cat can climb down from a tree without the assistance of the fire department or any other emergency service. The proof is that no one has ever seen a cat skeleton up a tree.

~ Stuart McLean (1948-04-19 2017-02-15 age:68)

Tear Down This Wall

Men can sense when a wall is coming down, and they can’t help the fact that they have to be there to watch it fall, or better yet, help push it over.

~ Stuart McLean (1948-04-19 2017-02-15 age:68)

Changing the World

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

~ Margaret Mead (1901-12-16 1978-11-15 age:76)

Losing Fat

If you lose 10 kg (22.05 lbs) of fat, it will leave your body in the form of 8.40 kg (18.52 lbs) of CO₂ and 1.64 kg (3.62 lbs) of H₂O.

There are always going to be more actors than anybody can ever use.

~ Ruben Meerman (1971 age:46) The mathematics of weight loss. click to watch

Underestimating Intelligence

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)

Penetrating the Hide

The violinist must possess the poet’s gift of piercing the protective hide which grows on propagandists, stockbrokers and slave traders, to penetrate the deeper truth which lies within.

~ Yehudi Menuhin (1916-11-22 1999-03-12 age:82)

The Structure of a Play

The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost.

~ Arthur Miller (1915-10-17 2005-02-10 age:89)

Failing to Survive Translation

What makes literature interesting is that it does not survive its translation. The characters in a novel are made out of the sentences. That’s what their substance is.

~ Jonathan Miller (1934-07-21 age:83)

What People Think of You

You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.

~ Olin Miller

Definition of Fame

Fame is a series of misunderstandings surrounding a name.

~ Joni Mitchell (1943-11-07 age:74)

What He Laughs At

I can usually judge a fellow by what he laughs at.

~ Wilson Mizner (1876-05-19 1933-04-03 age:56)


Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in and those inside equally desperate to get out.

~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533 1592 age:59)

The Fermi Paradox

The Fermi Paradox is an observation by the famous physicist Enrico Fermi, who created the first controlled atomic chain reaction under the auspices of the Manhattan Project, that if technological civilizations have even a slight probability of evolving, their presence should be visible throughout the universe. … The sky should be filled with the cosmic equivalent of roaring traffic and flashing neon signs. But instead we perceive a great silence.

~ Hans P. Moravec (1948-11-30 age:69), Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence


Misery never calls ahead.

~ Toni Morrison (1931-02-18 age:87)


Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.

~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-01-27 1791-12-05 age:35)


Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

~ William H. Murray (1869-11-21 1956-10-15 age:86), Notes on the Scottish Himalayan Expedition. The last three sentences beginning with Whatever you can do… is a quote from Goethe.

Why We Love

We like people for their qualities, but we love them for their flaws.

~ John Myers played by Rupert Evans in Hellboy.

Meaning of Obstacles

When you encounter obstacles, you know what you are doing is important.

~ Gottfried Johannes Müller (1914-04-10 2009-09-26 age:95)

How Newton Saw Himself

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

~ Sir Isaac Newton (1643-01-04 1727-03-31 age:84)

How Newton Saw Himself

I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

~ Sir Isaac Newton (1643-01-04 1727-03-31 age:84)

First They Came…

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

~ Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-01-14 1984-03-06 age:92)

Struggling with Monsters

He who struggles with monsters should ensure that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you stare into the abyss, the abyss also stares back into you.

~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-10-15 1900-08-25 age:55), Beyond Good and Evil.

Sins of Capitalism

Greed drives the desire for profit at any cost.

Envy is a mainstay of the fashion industry and marketing as a whole.

Anger is subtly exploited in the Army of One fantasies of video games and recruitment advertisements.

Pride fuels the high-esteem bandwagon.

In the era of hypercapitalism, these and most of the other so-called deadly sins can be rehabilitated by the market as positive, even praiseworthy, states of mind. Sin has been spun. Hence I call them the Deadly Spins.

~ Geoff Olson , Common Ground, 2005-05

Generational Pride

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one that comes after it.

~ George Orwell (1903-06-25 1950-01-21 age:46)

Lacking Responsibility

Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.

~ George Orwell (1903-06-25 1950-01-21 age:46)

Serious Sport

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.

~ George Orwell (1903-06-25 1950-01-21 age:46)


Pride is sinful because it is not simple happiness about having done something well or having something nice. It is happiness associated with having done something better than someone else or having something nicer than someone else. In other words, pride is associated with placing oneself above another person, not simply enjoying whatever it is that we have attained.

~ John O’Conner


The heart for it has gone out of me. It won’t come back. My professional acting life has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort. However, it is my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.

~ Peter O’Toole (1932-08-02 2013-12-14 age:81)

He said those words a year before his death. I first encountered Peter as a child on vinyl LP (Long Play recording) playing Petruchio in an abbreviated version of the Taming of the Shrew with Siân Phillips as Kate. I played that over and over enchanted with his voice. As a young closeted gay, the world pretended we gays did not exist. The only acknowledgements were Peter’s rôle s like Lawrence of Arabia and King Henry II in Becket. His aging bothered me even worse than my own. It seemed so wrong that someone so handsome would have to get old too.


I often dream about falling. Such dreams are commonplace to the ambitious or those who climb mountains. Lately, I dreamed I was clutching at the face of a rock, but it would not hold. Gravel gave way, I grasped for a shrub, but it pulled loose and in cold terror I fell into the abyss. Suddenly I realised that my fall was relative; that there was no bottom and no end. A feeling of pleasure overcame me. I realised that what I embody, the principle of life, cannot be destroyed. It is written into the cosmic code, the order of the universe. As I continued to fall in the dark void, embraced by the vault of the heavens, I sang to the beauty of the stars and made my peace with the darkness.

~ Heinz Pagels (1939-02-19 1988-07-23 age:49), physicist and quantum mechanics researcher before his death in 1988 in a climbing accident.

Definition of Delay

Delay is the deadliest form of denial.

~ C. Northcote Parkinson (1909-07-30 1993-03-09 age:83)

Difference Between Delusion and Religion

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.

~ Robert M. Pirsig (1928-09-06 age:89) author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

How to Teach

Do not then train boys to learning by force and harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds.

~ Plato (428 BC 348 BC age:80)

Never Discourage

Never discourage anyone… who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.

~ Plato (428 BC 348 BC age:80)


So much of life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness.

~ Sidney Poitier (1927-02-20 age:91)

Knowledge Without Life

Knowledge without love is a cold light, a false light, which leads into the abyss.

~ Abram Poljak (1900 1963 age:63)

How to Travel

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

~ African proverb

Prayer For World Leaders

I thank [my Higher Powers] for [Vlad The Impaler]. I know he is a man who wants to do right in the world. I know he struggles with the same problem I do: closing my heart to those who disagree with me. There are no feelings that he has that I haven’t had and vice versa.

[Vlad] is doing a perfect job of focusing the energy of his constituency. May both of us learn compassion for people in our country and far away, for rich and poor alike. May [Vlad] and I become less frightened of each other. May my focus become more to encourage his steps in the right direction and less to criticize his mistakes.

Help me to remember that sharing love with the world is the highest contribution I can make and will lead to children being fed and the planet surviving.

May I let go of my righteousness and anger and open my heart and mind to find the next way to assist [Vlad] in expressing his own love for the planet.

~ R.E.S.U.L.T.S. Prayer for recalcitrant world leaders, in this case Vlad the Impaler.

Source of Money

When you were a child your parents taught you not to take money from strangers and not to take money from your friends. Who does that leave? Known enemies!

~ Sondra Ray

Taking Credit

There is no end to what can be accomplished if you don’t care who gets the credit.

~ Art Rennison

Defeating Procrastination

It isn’t necessary to want to or to decide to or to get it together in order to or to motivate oneself, or to make the effort or otherwise insert some step before the doing. It is the doing that counts.

~ David K. Reynolds

How to Judge Me

I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.

~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-01-30 1945-04-12 age:63)

Facing Defeats

The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats.

~ Theodore Roosevelt (1858-10-27 1919-01-06 age:60)

Think Big

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

~ Theodore Roosevelt (1858-10-27 1919-01-06 age:60)

After the Meditation

Now I see something in my listeners
that won’t let me continue this way.
The ocean flows back in
and puts up a foam barrier,
After a while,
it will come in again.
This audience wants to hear more
about the visiting sufi and his friends
in meditation. But be discerning.
don’t think of this as a normal character
in an ordinary story.
The ecstatic meditation ended.
Dishes of food were brought out.
The sufi remembered his donkey
that had carried him all day.
He called to the servant there, Please,
go to the stable and mix the barley generously
with the straw for the animal. Please.

Don’t worry yourself with such matters.
All things have been attended to.

But I want to make sure that you wet the barley first.
He’s an old donkey and his teeth are shaky.

Why are you telling me this?
I have given the appropriate orders.

But did you remove the saddle gently,
and put salve on the sore he has?

I have served thousands of guests
with these difficulties and all have gone away
satisfied. Here, you are treated as family.
Do not worry. Enjoy yourself.

But did you warm his water
just a little and then add only a bit of straw
to the barley?

Sir, I’m ashamed for you.
And please,
sweep the stall clean of stones and dung,
and scatter a little dry earth in it.

For God’s sake, sir,
leave my business to me!

And did you currycomb his back?
He loves that.

Sir! I am personally
responsible for all these chores!

The servant turned and left at a brisk pace…
to join his friends in the street.
The sufi then lay down to sleep
and had terrible dreams about his donkey,
how it was being torn to pieces by a wolf,
or falling helplessly into a ditch.
And his dreaming was right!
His donkey was being totally neglected, weak and gasping
without food or water all the night long.
The servant had done nothing he said he would.
There are such vicious and empty flatterers
in your life. Do the careful,
donkey-tending work.
don’t trust that to anyone else.
There are hypocrites who will praise you,
but who do not care about the health
of your heart-donkey.
Be concentrated and leonine
in the hunt for what is your true nourishment.
don’t be distracted by blandishment-noises,
of any sort.

~ Jalal Al-Din Rumi (1207-09-30 1273-12-17 age:66) The Essential Rumi Mathnawi II: 194-223; 260-63

A Goat Kneels!

The inner being of a human being
is a jungle. Sometimes wolves dominate,
sometimes wild hogs. Be wary when you breathe!
At one moment gentle, generous qualities,
like Joseph’s, pass from one nature to another.
The next moment vicious qualities
move in hidden ways.
Wisdom slips for a while into an ox!
A restless, recalcitrant horse suddenly
becomes obedient and smooth-gaited.
A bear begins to dance.
A goat kneels!
Human consciousness goes into a dog,
and that dog becomes a shepherd,
or a hunter.
In the Cave of the Seven Sleepers
even the dogs were seekers.
At every moment a new species rises in the chest -
now a demon, now an angel, now a wild animal.
There are also those in this amazing jungle
who can absorb you into their own surrender.
If you have to stalk and steal something,
steal from them!

~ Jalal Al-Din Rumi (1207-09-30 1273-12-17 age:66) Mathnawi II: 1416-1429

Opening to Love

If you’ve opened your loving to God’s love, you’re helping people you don’t know and have never seen.

~ Jalal Al-Din Rumi (1207-09-30 1273-12-17 age:66)

Pointless Anger

It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won’t go.

~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)

Russell is not counseling apathy, just not getting your tail in a knot while you take rational action to oppose life’s idiots.

Rather Die that Think

Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so.

~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)

Unconscious Translation

A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.

~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) The History of Western Philosophy

Wise Full of Doubts

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)

Insane Mothers

Mothers are all slightly insane.

~ J. D. Salinger (1919-01-01 2010-01-27 age:91)  The Catcher in the Rye

Remembering the Past

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

~ George Santayana (1863-12-16 1952-09-26 age:88)

When the Rich Wage War

When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.

~ Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-06-21 1980-04-15 age:74)

Stages of Truth

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

~ Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-02-22 1860-09-21 age:72)

Earth Ownership

The earth does not belong to us.
We belong to the earth.

~ Chief Seattle (1786 1866-06-07 age:79) 1834

Education vs Experience

Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t .

~ Pete Seeger (1919-05-03 2014-01-27 age:94)

Lack of Daring

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.

~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC 65 AD age:68) Seneca the younger.

The Most Likely Culprit

Cui prodest scelus, is fecit.
The one who derives advantage from the crime is the one most likely to have committed it.

~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC 65 AD age:68)

Source of Cruelty

All cruelty springs from weakness.

~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC 65 AD age:68)

Two Different Kinds of Right

Tragedy, for me, is not a conflict between right and wrong, but between two different kinds of right.

~ Peter Shaffer (1926-05-15 age:91)

Bank of Violets

That breathes upon a bank of violets, Stealing and giving odour!

~ William Shakespear (1564-04-23 1616-04-23 age:52) Duke Orsino in The Twelfth Night Act I Scene i

Be Great in Act

Be great in act, as you have been in thought.

~ William Shakespear (1564-04-23 1616-04-23 age:52) King John V scene i by the Bastard.

Preservation of Evil

The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.

~ William Shakespear Julius Caesar Act III scene ii (1564-04-23 1616-04-23 age:52) Anthony in Julius Caesar Act II scene ii

Era of Cynicism

We live in an era of enormous cynicism. Do not be fooled.

~ John Patrick Shanley (1950-10-03 age:67)


The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)

Disobedience vs Neglect

Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices.

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)

England and America

England and America are two countries separated by a common language.

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)

Lack of Imagination

I let them do it. If I had known, I would have torn her from their hands. You don’t know: you havnt seen: it is so easy to talk when you don’t know. You madden yourself with words: you damn yourself because it feels grand to throw oil on the flaming hell of your own temper. But when it is brought home to you; when you see the thing you have done; when it is blinding your eyes, stifling your nostrils, tearing your heart, then — then — [Falling on his knees] O God, take away this sight from me! O Christ, deliver me from this fire that is consuming me! She cried to Thee in the midst of it: Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! She is in Thy bosom; and I am in hell for evermore.

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94), St. Joan the chaplain de Stogumber after viewing Joan of Arc consumed by flames as he had demanded.

New Ideas are Heresy

All evolution in thought and conduct must at first appear as heresy and misconduct.

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)

No Imagination

Must then a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those that have no imagination?

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94), Cauchon, St. Joan after hearing de Stogumber’s guilty rantings after burning Joan of Arc alive.

Unreasonable Men

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)

USA and Britain

The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language.

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)

Wasted Youth

Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children!

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)

Salary and Understanding

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

~ Upton Sinclair (1878-09-20 1968-11-25 age:90)

Careers For Women

Many people would object that most women don’t want careers. I suspect that women themselves would agree, but I also wonder if deep inside they don’t feel the kind of puzzled uneasiness that we always experience when obliged to accept a formulation that makes us lose either way… When we say career it connotes a demanding, rigorous, preordained life pattern, to whose goals everything else is ruthlessly subordinated — everything pleasurable, human, emotional, bodily, frivolous… Thus when a man asks a woman if she wants a career, it is intimidating. He is saying, are you willing to suppress half of your being as I am, neglect your family as I do, exploit personal relationships as I do, renounce all personal spontaneity as I do? Naturally, she shudders a bit and shuffles back to the broom closet. She even feels a little sorry for him and bewails the unkind fate that has forced him against his will to become such a despicable person…

A more effective (revolutionary, confronting) response would be to admit that a career, thus defined, is indeed undesirable — that (now that you mention it) it seems like a pernicious activity for any human being to engage in and should be eschewed by both men and women.

~ Philip Slater (1927-05-15 2013-06-20 age:86)

Definition of Coincidence

A coincidence is a trend we have decided not to take seriously.

~ Philip Slater (1927-05-15 2013-06-20 age:86) The Wayward Gate: Science and the Supernatural

Incomplete Inventions

Motors make noise and that tells you about the feelings and attitudes that went into it. Something was more important than sensory pleasure — nobody would invent a chair or dish that smelled bad or that made horrible noises — why were motors invented noisy? How could they possibly be considered complete or successful inventions with this glaring defect? Unless, of course, the aggressive, hostile, assaultive sound actually served to express some impulse of the owner.

~ Philip Slater (1927-05-15 2013-06-20 age:86),   The Wayward Gate: Science and the Supernatural

Rob Big

The rule in our society is that while those who kill once make wretched a single person are severely punished, those (heads of state, inventors, manufacturers) who are responsible for the death, mutilation or general wretchedness of thousands or millions are rewarded with fame, riches and prizes… If you are going to rob, rob big; if you’re going to kill, kill big.

~ Philip Slater (1927-05-15 2013-06-20 age:86)

Side Effects of Invention

Every invention creates new needs, but the biggest needs are not for new and more advanced versions of the last invention but for solutions to the social problems the last invention created.

~ Philip Slater (1927-05-15 2013-06-20 age:86)


The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honour you can bestow on him. It means that you recognise his superiority to yourself.

~ Joseph Sobran (1946-02-23 age:72)

Be What You Appear

The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.

~ Socrates (469 BC 399 BC age:70)

Slow Friendship

Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant.

~ Socrates (469 BC 399 BC age:70)

Half Full of Water and Stars

The pail by the wall
Would be half full of water and stars.

~ Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-11-13 1894-12-03 age:44) Escape at Bedtime

Planting Ideas

If we plant an idea in the minds of children, it may bear fruit in 20, 40 or 50 years.

~ Sting (1951-10-02 age:66)

Age as Price

I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

~ Tom Stoppard (1937-07-03 age:80)

Silent Sorrow

The deeper the sorrow the less tongue it hath.

~ Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD 117 AD age:61)

Something Beautiful

Make something beautiful for God.

~ Mother Theresa (1910-08-26 1997-09-05 age:87)

Green and Dying

Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

~ Dylan Thomas (1914-10-27 1953-11-09 age:39) Fern Hill


Of all manifestations of power, restraint impresses men most.

~ Thucydides (460 BC 395 BC age:65)
Colin Powell had this quotation under the glass of his desk.

Desire for Gold

The desire for gold is the desire to make others do what they do not want to do.

~ Emile de Tocqueville (1805-07-30 1859-04-16 age:53)

Get Off His Back

I sit on man’s back choking him and making him carry me and yet I assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means, except getting off his back.

~ Leo Tolstoy (1828-09-09 1910-11-07 age:82)

Lying by Silence

One should strive not to lie in the negative sense by remaining silent.

~ Leo Tolstoy (1828-09-09 1910-11-07 age:82)


When someone reaches middle age, people he knows begin to get put in charge of things and knowing what he knows about the people who are being put in charge of things scares the hell out of him.

~ Calvin Trillin (1935-12-05 age:82)


Ridicule is a weak weapon when pointed at a strong mind; but common people are cowards and dread an empty laugh.

~ Martin Tupper (1810-07-17 1889-11-29 age:79)

Understanding Others

Most people can’t understand how others can blow their noses differently than they do.

~ Ivan Turgenev (1818-11-09 1883-09-03 age:64)

Definition of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is abandoning your right to revenge.

~ Bishop Desmond Tutu (1931-10-07 age:86)


Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)

Avoid Very

Substitute damn every time you’re inclined to write very; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)

Best Government Money Can Buy

We have the best government that money can buy.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)

Buy Land

Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)

Do Imbeciles Run the World

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)

Do Something

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)

George Washington

George Washington, as a boy, was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)


When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)

Old Bird of Paradise

Consider well the proportion of things. It is better to be a young June-bug than an old bird of paradise.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)

The Right Word

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)


Drop this mean and sordid and selfish devotion to the saving of your shabby little souls and hunt up something to do that’s got some dignity to it! Risk your souls! Risk them in good causes; then if you lose them, why should you care? Reform!

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74), Was it Heaven? or Hell?

Simple Language

I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English — it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them — then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get.

~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)

Behaviour Abroad

When abroad, behave to everyone as if you were receiving an important guest; treat people as if you were assisting at a great sacrifice; do not do to others as you would not wish done to yourself. Thereby you will let no murmuring rise against you in the country and none in the family…

~ K’ung Fu Tzu (551-09-28 BC 479 BC age:71) (Confucius) (551-09-28 BC 479 BC age:71)

Growing Questions

The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before.

~ Thorstein Veblen (1857-07-30 1929-08-03 age:72)

Decadent Language

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.

~ Gore Vidal (1925-10-03 2012-07-30 age:86)

A Good Deed Never Goes Unpunished

A good deed never goes unpunished.

~ Gore Vidal (1925-10-03 2012-07-30 age:86)

Physical Charm

If most men and women were forced to rely upon physical charm to attract lovers, their sexual lives would be not only meager but in a youth-worshiping country like America, painfully brief.

~ Gore Vidal (1925-10-03 2012-07-30 age:86)

Appeals to Authority

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.

~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452-04-15 1519-05-02 age:67)

Art Is Never Finished

Art is never finished, only abandoned.

~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452-04-15 1519-05-02 age:67)

Dreams vs Imagination

Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?

~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452-04-15 1519-05-02 age:67)

Easy Riches

He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year.

~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452-04-15 1519-05-02 age:67)

Noblest Pleasure

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452-04-15 1519-05-02 age:67)


It’s easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.

~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452-04-15 1519-05-02 age:67)

Believing Absurdities

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]

Disagreeing with the Government

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]

Doubt vs Certainty

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]

Enemy of Mankind

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]

Freedom of Speech

I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]

Freeing Fools

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]

Killing to the Sound of Trumpets

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]

The Perfect

Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien
The perfect is the enemy of the good.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]


No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]


To learn who rules over you, simply find out whom you are not allowed to criticise.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]

To Stupid to be Said

Anything too stupid to be said is sung.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]

Tyrant Virtue

Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them.

~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]

Rage at a Novel

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

~ Kurt Vonnegut (1922-11-11 2007-04-11 age:84)

You Are What You Pretend to Be

Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.

~ Kurt Vonnegut (1922-11-11 2007-04-11 age:84)

Bonobo Compassion

There was a bonobo at a zoo in England who found a little bird, a starling, that had hit the window of the bonobo’s enclosure. The starling was stunned and she picked it up. She took it in her hand and she climbed to the highest point of her enclosure, the highest tree. She wrapped her feet across the tree so that she had her hands free and she unfolded the bird like a little toy airplane and she sent it out.

~ Frans de Waal (1948-10-29 age:69) source

Condemned Beef

Stephen Harper is 300 pounds of condemned beef.

~ Mary Walsh (1952-05-15 age:65)

Mix it Up

To dare every day to be irreverent and bold. To dare to preserve the randomness of mind which in children produces strange and wonderful new thoughts and forms. To continually scramble the familiar and bring the old into new juxtaposition.

~ Gordon Webber (1912-10-25 1986-08-30 age:73)

Measuring Your Life

What really matters is what you do with what you have.

~ H. G. Wells (1866-09-21 1946-08-13 age:79)

Definition of Youth

The deepest definition of youth is life as yet untouched by tragedy.

~ Alfred North Whitehead (1861-02-15 1947-12-30 age:86)


Knowledge keeps no better than fish.

~ Alfred North Whitehead (1861-02-15 1947-12-30 age:86)


All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.

~ Walt Whitman (1819-05-31 1892-03-26 age:72)

Women’s Handicap

Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.

~ Charlotte Whitton (1896-03-08 1975-01-25 age:78) Mayor of Ottawa

Causing Happiness

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

~ Oscar Wilde (1854-10-16 1900-11-30 age:46)

Knowing Everything

I am not young enough to know everything.

~ Oscar Wilde (1854-10-16 1900-11-30 age:46)

Oscar Wilde’s Fine Tuning

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.

~ Oscar Wilde (1854-10-16 1900-11-30 age:46)

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

~ William Carlos Williams (1883-09-17 1963-03-04 age:79)


Imagine this butterfly, exactly as it is, but ugly instead of beautiful.

~ Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-04-26 1951-04-29 age:62)


He who controls vocabulary controls thought.

~ Luigi Wittgenstein (1889-05-26 1951-04-30 age:61) Ludwig’s fictitious younger brother.


There is nothing to which men cling more tenaciously than the privileges of class.

~ Leonard Sidney Woolf (1880-11-25 1969-08-14 age:88)


Nothing has really happened until it has been recorded.

~ Virginia Woolf (1882-01-25 1941-03-28 age:59)

Control of the Future

The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.

~ Malcolm X (1925-05-19 1965-02-21 age:39)

Respect for Limited Time

In all our deeds, the proper value and respect for time determines success or failure.

~ Malcolm X (1925-05-19 1965-02-21 age:39)

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

~ William Butler Yeats (1865-06-13 1939-01-28 age:73)


Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.

~ Frank Zappa (1940-12-21 1993-12-04 age:52)

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