Excerpt

“A fool can always find a greater fool to admires him,” Nicholas Boileau

“…the sea’s only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head…” -Primo Levi

“For a moment she rediscovered the purpose of her life. She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment, and to call each thing by its right name,” -Boris Pasternak

“What if I was smiling and running into your arms? Would you see then, what I see now?” Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild (2007)

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods; there is a rapture on the lonely shore; there is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more…” -Lord Byron

“Man is the measure of all things: of things which are, that they are, and of things which are not, that they are not,” -Protagoras

“Indeed, an old adage of therapists is that you can either be right or be in a relationship: you can remain attached to Team You winning every confrontation, or you can remain attached to your friends and family, but good luck trying to do both.” -Kathryn Schultz, Being Wrong

“The road to success is always under construction. It is a progressive course, not an end to be reached.” -Anthony Robbins, Unlimited Power

“One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” -Aristotle

“Just be exactly where you are. Instead of waiting for the bus, realise that you are on the bus,” -Shunryu Suzuki

“Without risk there is no faith. Faith is precisely the contradiction between the infinite passion of the individual’s inwardness and the objective uncertainty. If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. If I wish to preserve myself in faith I must constantly be intent upon holding fast the objective uncertainty, so as to remain out upon deep, over seventy thousand fathoms of water, still preserving my faith,” -Soren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments

“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem,” -Theodore I. Rubin

“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive,” Jack London, Call of the Wild

“We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves,”
Galileo Galilei

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew,” Abraham Lincoln

By Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling:

“The thread is spun with tears, bleached by tears, the shirt sewn in tears, but then it also gives better protection than iron and steel. A defect of the fable is that a third party is able to make the material. The secret in life is that everyone must sew it for himself; and the remarkable thing is that a man can sew it just as well as a woman. In infinite resignation there is peace and repose and consolation in the pain, that is if the movement is made properly.”

“He who always hope for the best, becomes old, deceived by life, and he who is always prepared for the worst becomes old prematurely; but he who has faith, retains eternal youth.”

“Some might find it convenient enough that the desire is no longer alive, that the smart of pain has dulled; but such people are no knights. A free-born soul who caught himself at this would despise himself and make a fresh start, and above all not allow himself to be deceived in his soul.”

“Through faith I don’t renounce anything, on the contrary in faith I receive everything, exactly in the way it is said what one whose faith is like a mustard seed can move mountains.

“Only lower natures forget themselves and become something new…deeper natures never forget themselves and never become something other than they were.”

“For he who loves God without faith reflects on himself, while the person who loves God reflects on God.”

“When learning how to make swimming movements, one can hang in a belt from the ceiling; one may be said to describe the movements all right but one isn’t swimming; likewise I can describe the movements of faith but when I am thrown into the water, although I may be said to be swimming, I make other movements, I make movements of infinity, while faith does the opposite, having performed the movements of infinity it makes those of finitude.”

“When one scrimps through life, repenting a little and thinking the rest will take care of itself, one has given up living in the idea once and for all, and then it is very easy to reach, and help others reach, the highest; i.e. delude oneself and others with the notion that the world of spirit is like a card game, where everyone cheats,”

By Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854):

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board. The hospitality was as cold as the ices,”

“Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labours of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them,”

“I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired then got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labour in. Who made them serfs of the soil?”

“In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.”

“Every man casts a shadow; not his body only, but his imperfectly mingled spirit. This is his grief. Let him turn which way he will, it falls opposite to the sun; short at noon, long at eve. Did you never see it?”

“I long ago lost a hound, a bay horse and a turtle-dove, and am still on their trail. Many are the travellers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks, and what calls they answered to. I have met one or two who had heard the hound, and the tramp of the horse, and even seen the dove disappear behind a cloud; and they seemed as anxious to recover them as if they had lost them themselves.”

“How vast and profound is the influence of the subtile powers of Heaven and of Earth! We seek to perceive them, and we do not see them; we seek to hear them, and we do not hear them; identified with the substance of things, they cannot be separated from them,”

“We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will. Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows,”

By Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

“…school teach you to imitate. If you don’t imitate what the teacher wants you get a bad grade. Here, in college, it was more sophisticated, of course; you were suppose to imitate the teacher in such a way as to convince the teacher you were not imitating, but taking the essence of the instruction and going ahead with it on your own. That got you A’s. Originality on the other hand could get you anything-from A to F. The whole grading system cautioned against it.”

“May, will you please, kindly dig it and hold up on all those wonderful seven-dollar questions? If you got to ask what is it all the time, you’ll never get time to know,”

“Philosophical mysticism, the idea that truth is indefinable and can be apprehended only by nonrational means, has been with us since the beginning of history,”

“To the untrained eye ego-climbing and selfless climbing may appear identical…the ego-climber is like an instrument that’s out of adjustment. He puts his foot down an instant too soon or too late. He’s likely to miss a beautiful passage of sunlight through the trees. He goes on when the sloppiness of his step shows he’s tired. He rests at odd times. He looks up the trail trying to see what’s ahead even when he knows what’s ahead because he just loooked a second before. He goes too fast or too slow for the conditions when he talks his talk is forever about somewhere else, something else.

“He’s here but he’s not here. He rejects the here, is unhappy with it, wants to be farther up the trail but when he gets there will be just as unhappy because then it will be “here”. What he’s looking for, what he wants, is all around him, but he doesn’t want that because it is all around him.”

By Leo Tolstoy:

“I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them. And work which one hopes may be of some use. Then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbour. Such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children perhaps. What more can the heart of a man desire?”  -Family Happiness and Other Stories

“If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, the possibility of life is destroyed.” -War and Peace (1869)

By Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist:

“In the long run, what people think about shepherds and bakers becomes more important for them than their own destinies,”

“If you star out by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work toward getting it.” -anonymous old man

“If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return,” -the Alchemist

By Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray:

“There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr Gray…because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him.

“The aim of life is self-development. To realise one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one’s self.” -Lord Henry

“There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourself we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution,”

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