Bumper Stickers:

It’s Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood

Don’t Believe Everything You Think

The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

Let Go      Let God


“I cut it and cut it and it’s still too short.”
–Old Carpenter Joke

“My friends tell me I’m asking for a lot. Are you a lot?”
–A line in a personals ad

“Everything not forbidden is compulsory.”
–Sign on the wall of the ant hive in Merlyn’s den

“A thing can be explained only by what is more subtle than itself: there is nothing subtler than love; by what then, shall love be explained?”
–Abu ‘L–Hasan Sumnun (As related in Al-Hujwiri’s Kasfh Al-Mahjub –The Revelation of the Mystery–Circa 1100 A.D.)

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
–Scott Adams

“O Lord! You are the guide of those who are passing through the Valley of Bewilderment. If I am a heretic, enlarge my heresy.”
–Mansur al-Hallaj

“Know thyself, and thou shalt know God.’”
–Hazrat Ali

“There is a sect of heretics called Sophists, who believe that nothing can be known and that knowledge itself does not exist. I say to them, ‘You think that nothing can be known; is your opinion correct or not?” If they answer ‘it is correct,‘ they thereby affirm the reality of knowledge; and if they reply ‘it is not correct,’ then to argue against an avowedly incorrect assertion is absurd.”

“In Hollywood, it’s worse than dog eat dog. It’s dog doesn’t return dog’s phone calls . . .”
–Woody Allen

“Maybe the poets are right–love is the only answer.”
–Woody Allen (Hannah and Her Sisters)

“I distinctly remember having forgotten about that.”
–Marion Anderson (When reminded of the transgression of a friend)

“God created porpoises to dispel the pesky rumors of the porpoiselessness of creation.”

“With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes.”

“All the news that’s fit to print, and more!”
–Anonymous, (Suggesting this for the masthead
of the National Enquirer)

“Sometimes you just have to submit to what’s good for you.”

“Writing is the process of finding out what you have to say.”
–Anonymous (Because I can’t remember which famous writer said this)

“In the characters too, exactly as in the structure of the incidents, [the poet] ought always to seek what is either necessary or probable, so that it is either necessary or probable that a person of such-and-such a sort say or do things of the same sort, and it is either necessary or probable that this [incident] happen after that one. It is obvious that the solutions of plots too should come about as a result of the plot itself, and not from a contrivance, as in the Medea and in the passage about sailing home in the Iliad. A contrivance must be used for matters outside the drama—either previous events which are beyond human knowledge, or later ones that need to be foretold or announced. For we grant that the gods can see everything.”
–Aristotle (Poetics)

“The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light…. ”
–Matthew Arnold

“Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.”
–W. H. Auden

“It’s not necessary for a leaf to believe in photosynthesis for it to turn green.”
–Author Unknown

“Don’ t take life so seriously, it’s only a temporary condition.”
–Author Unknown

“I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.”
–Author Unknown

“What a world this would be if we could forget our troubles as easily as we forget our blessings.”
–Author Unknown

“There is no such thing as evil. Only relative degrees of good.”
–Meher Baba

“Live more and more in the present which is ever beautiful and stretches way beyond the past and the future.”
–Meher Baba

“I only know one yoga: ‘You Go.’ ”
–Meher Baba (Referring to the ego)

“You must make bold experiments in life!”
–Meher Baba

“Ýou can worry or I can worry for you. There is no room for us both to worry. My advice? Let me worry. I am better at it.”
–Meher Baba

“No–my only concern is concern.”
–Meher Baba (Asked if he was concerned someone had died)

“What you see, once you begin seeing in this way, you will never forget. You will know what you are and where you are going. You will be like a rock — you will know where you stand.”
–Meher Baba (Giving meditation instructions)

“To penetrate into the essence of all being and significance and to release the fragrance of that inner attainment for the guidance and benefit of others, by expressing, in the world of forms, truth, love, purity and beauty–this is the sole game which has intrinsic and absolute worth. All other happenings, incidents and attainments in themselves can have no lasting importance.”
–Meher Baba

“It’s a divine art to be cheerful.”
–Meher Baba

“To ask for a purely intellectual proof of the existence of God is like asking for the privilege of being able to see with your ears!”
–Meher Baba

”Light can penetrate any amount of darkness but no amount of darkness can penetrate light.”
–Meher Baba

“(God has) to be temporarily cruel in order to be permanently kind.”
–Meher Baba

“It’s even better when you help.”
–Lauren Bacall (The second time she kissed Humphrey Bogart)

“(They) didn’t know they were novels.”
–John Barth (talking of his first two novels)

“If you would learn a thing, straightway declare yourself a professor of it!”
–John Barth (as Henry Burlingame in the Sotweed Factor)

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it!”
–Yogi Berra

“Okay you guys! Pair off in threes!”
–Yogi Berra

“You can observe a lot by just watching.”
–Yogi Berra

“Nobody goes to Toots Shor’s (restaurant in Manhattan) anymore. It’s too crowded.”
–Yogi Berra

“She tried to sit on my lap when I was standing up.”
–Humphrey Bogart (The Big Sleep)

“I have seen the future! Go back!”
–Ashleigh Brilliant

“I will always love the false image I had of you.”
–Ashleigh Brilliant

“It pains me to speak of God in the third person.”
–Martin Buber

“In Hollywood what matters is sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
–George Burns

“Where were you when I needed you?”
–Michael Caine (asked his message to the myriad women who wanted him)

“The Greeks, it will be recalled, regarded Eros, the god of love, as the eldest of the gods; but also as the youngest, born fresh and dewy-eyed in every living heart.”
–Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)

“The Persian poets have asked, ‘By what power is Satan sustained?’ and the answer that they have found is this: ‘By his memory of the sound of God’s voice, when He said, ‘Be gone!’”
–Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)

“In the Orient the ultimate divine mystery is sought beyond all human categories of thought and feeling, beyond names and forms, and absolutely beyond any such concept as of a merciful or wrathful personality, chooser of one people over another, comforter of folk who pray, and destroyer of those who do not. Such anthropomorphic attributions of human sentiments and thoughts to a mystery beyond thought is–from the point of view of Indian thought–a style of religion for children.”
–Joseph Campbell

“Follow your bliss.”
–Joseph Campbell

“If a true artist were born in a pigpen and raised in a sty, he would still find plenty of inspiration for his work. The only need is the eye to see.”
–Willa Cather

“By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of barroom vernacular, this is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed but attentive.”
–Raymond Chandler

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
–Winston Churchill

“When will politicians realize that George Orwell’s 1984 was a warning, not an instruction manual?”
–Derek Clark

“Let me see your beauty broken down,
as you would do for one you love.”
–Leonard Cohen (Take This Longing)

“Your faith was strong, but you needed proof.”
–Leonard Cohen (Hallelujah)

. . . But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with a rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

–Billy Collins (Introduction to Poetry)

“One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment.”
–Hart Crane

“Well, write poetry, for God’s sake, it’s the only thing that matters.”
–E. E. Cummings

There was a little farder who pushed his mother harder
–E. E. Cummings (First poem, age six)

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

“We must rise to ever higher and higher platitudes.”
–Mayor Richard Daley (Sr.)

“There is a certain ecstasy in wanting things you can’t get.”
–Bette Davis (Old Acquaintance)

“Every novel should have a beginning, a muddle, and an end.”
–Peter De Vries

“Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.”
–Denis Diderot

“Just put one foot in front of the other.”
–Lud Dimpfl, Sufi preceptor

“Eric, your problem is that you had an expectation.”
–Lud Dimpfl, Sufi preceptor

“Eric, you have the damnedest time knowing the difference between a friendship and a romance.”
–Lud Dimpfl, Sufi preceptor

“Ask me something difficult.”
–Lud Dimpfl (When asked if he would obey an order from Meher Baba to jump off a cliff)

“The way to learn intuition is to start trusting it and learning from your mistakes.”
–Lud Dimpfl, Sufi Preceptor

“Well, I’ll be darned!”
–Lud Dimpfl (When asked the proper attitude if one has apparently been let down by God)

“You don’t demean the ruler.”
–Senator Everett Dirksen (Responding to criticism of LBJ during the Vietnam War)

“Failure never let anybody down.”
–Murshida Ivy Duce

“And so who are you? You are the one who wills.
–Murshida Ivy Duce

“My love is like some raven at my window with a broken wing.”
–Bob Dylan

“He understands your orphan with his gun.”
–Bob Dylan

“When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”
–Bob Dylan

“He not busy being born is busy dying.”
–Bob Dylan

“Things always look different from higher up.”
–Clint Eastwood (A Fistful of Dollars)

“Things are more like they are today than they have ever been before.”
–Dwight Eisenhower

“Hitch your wagon to a star.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If I am the devil’s child, I will live then, by the devil.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson (Self Reliance)

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Speak today what today thinks in words as hard as cannonballs, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks, in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today!”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson (Self Reliance)

“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again, since it is life.”
–William Faulkner

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
–William Faulkner

“It’s not that Eric never gave me anything, it’s just that he found it all in the street.”
–Roberta Fiering (Eric Halliwell’s first girlfriend)

“What is to give light must endure burning.”
–Viktor Frankl

“In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”
–Benjamin Franklin

“Might we not say that every child at play behaves like a creative writer, in that he creates a world of his own, or, rather, rearranges the things of his world in a new way which pleases him?”
–Sigmund Freud

“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.”
–Robert Frost

“(A poem is) never a put-up job…. It begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a loneliness. It is never a thought to begin with. It is at its best when it is a tantalizing vagueness.”
–Robert Frost

“I think it would be a good idea.””
–Mahatma Gandhi (Asked what he thought of Western civilization)

“Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.”
–Kahlil Gibran

“Be valiant and powerful forces will come to your aid.”

“More light”
–Goethe (His last words)

“The muscles of writing are not so visible, but they are just as powerful: determination, attention, curiosity, a passionate heart.”
–Natalie Goldberg

“I don’t want any yes men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth,
even if it costs them their jobs.”
–Samuel Goldwyn

“Colonel Lawrence has an abhorrence to violence. With me it is merely bad manners. You may judge which is the more reliable.”
–Alec Guinness as Prince Faisal (Lawrence of Arabia)

Behind the curtain a secret game is being played
that you know not,
So do not give up, nor be dismayed–nor grieved.
–Hafiz (Be Not Grieved; translated by Francis Brabazon)

“The sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights up the whole sky.”

Power is safest in a poet’s hands thus for the artist
God will
–Hafiz (Translated by Daniel Ladinsky)

“When you are in your left brain you are not in your right mind.”
–Eric Halliwell

“God made me a counter offer
I couldn’t defuse: I was kissed
By a lunar eclipse”
–Eric Halliwell

“Sometimes when I’m angry
It’s hard to keep a straight face.”
–Eric Halliwell

“If you write from your heart an interesting thing happens; it turns eloquent and even you are forgiven some leeway in syntax, and it is also a teacher: Your heart will make you a writer.”
–Eric Halliwell

“I may not agree with what you say but I’ll stay up late defending your right to say it.”
–Eric Halliwell

“What is the sound of one tooth gnashing?”
–Eric Halliwell

“It’s in Sacramental, the gold country”
–Eric Halliwell

“You may already be a whiner!”
–Eric Halliwell

“Planets—easy come, easy go!”
–Eric Halliwell

“Let’s dress you up for town!”
–Eric Halliwell (talking to a poem)

“I suffer from dilutions of grandeur.”
–Eric Halliwell

“How long has this been going on?”
–Jim Halliwell (Age six, on being told about sex)

“When you’re beginning, you’re not sure, is this a poem, or is it just a shot at a poem or is it kind of a dead thing? But when it comes alive in a way that you feel that’s your own utterance, then I think you’re in business.”
–Seamus Heaney

“Frankly, I’d like to see the government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private individuals.”
–Joseph Heller

And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.

–Gerard Manley Hopkins

“I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat.”
–A. E. Housman

“Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they?”
–Roman Hruska (Senator from Nebraska–Defending Nixon’s “mediocre” nomination of G. Harrold Carswell, to the Supreme court)

“Writing is that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.”
–Pico Iyer

“Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
–Thomas Jefferson

“Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

“You need to raise less corn and more hell!”
–Mother Jones, to Kansas farmers

“Freedom is another word for nothing left to lose”
–Janis Joplin (Me and Bobby McGee)

“You do not need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait.
Do not even wait, be quiet, 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

“I drank to drown my sorrows, but the damned things learned how to swim.”
–Frida Kahlo

“The higher segments are not only blind atheists but can justify their godlessness with strange words; for example, those of Virchow–so unworthy of a learned man—’I have dissected many corpses, but never yet discovered a soul in any of them.’ ”
–Wassily Kandinsky (Concerning the Spiritual in Art)

“Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.”
–Lawrence Kasdan

“I am convinced of only two things: the sanctity of the heart’s affections, and the truth of the imagination.”
–John Keats

“I bear an awesome responsibility: I am the last man standing between Richard Nixon and the presidency.”
–John F. Kennedy

“If you face a man’s job, find a woman!”
–John F. Kennedy

“Toward the One, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan (Invocation)

“Self-pity is the worst poverty. When a person says, ‘I am…’ with pity, before he has said anything more he has diminished himself to half of what he is; and what is said further, diminishes him totally; nothing more of him is left afterwards.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The heart becomes wide by forgetting self, but narrow by thinking of the self and pitying one’s self. To gain a wide and broad heart you must have something before you to look upon, and to rest your intelligence upon — and that something is the God-ideal.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“We live by the hope of attainment — without this one cannot exist — be it spiritual or material, of a selfish nature or of an unselfish one. It is not necessary that all should have one and the same object for their attainment, nor is it possible. It is, however, desirable that we should hold in our thought the best and highest attainment possible for us. … But if you yourself are in confusion whether to have this object or that object or no object, then there is no hope for you. For you must ever bear in mind that the light and the life that goes out from you to the object are quite as important as that light which comes to you from the object. Therein lies the great mystery of the trinity in all things: the knower, the thing to be known, and the power or light or knowledge which connects them. If the way seems closed, it will be opened. If the means are lacking, they will be given, they will be attained. If the object is far off and beyond your reach, it will be drawn to you, if only you can hold fast to the rein, the rope of hope, with complete faith and trust in God, the Giver of all things, the Possessor of all things.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The one Spirit of life is given different names, the sacred names. We more easily recognize the Spirit of life by the particular name to which we are accustomed. So far we are right, but the mistake we make, and it is to our loss, is to ignore or deny the same truth because it is given to us in another form and under another name. We limit it. We say the truth existed only in that period when certain teachers came to the world, and that after that it stopped.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“My thoughtful self, reproach no one, hold a grudge against no one, bear malice toward no one. Be wise, thoughtful, considerate, polite, and kind, to all.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan (suggested daily mantra)

“The work of the inner life is to make God a reality, so that He is no more an imagination; that this relationship that man has with God may seem more real than any other relationship in the world; and when this happens, then all relationships, however near and dear, become less binding. But at the same time, a person does not thus become cold; he becomes more loving. It is the godless man who is cold, impressed by the selfishness and lovelessness of the world, because he partakes of those conditions in which he lives. But the one who is in love with God, the one who has established his relationship with God, his love becomes living.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“When a person begins to see all goodness as being the goodness of God, all the beauty that surrounds him as the divine beauty, he begins by worshipping a visible God, and as his heart constantly loves and admires the divine beauty in all that he sees, he begins to see in all that is visible one single vision; all becomes for him the vision of the beauty of God. His love of beauty increases his capacity to such a degree that great virtues such as tolerance and forgiveness spring naturally from his heart. Even things that people mostly look upon with contempt, he views with tolerance. The brotherhood of humanity he does not need to learn, for he does not see humanity, he sees only God. And as this vision develops, it becomes a divine vision, which occupies every moment of his life. In nature he sees God, in man he sees His image, and in art and poetry he sees the dance of God. The waves of the sea bring him the message from above, and the swaying of the branches in the breeze seems to him a prayer. For him there is a constant contact with his God.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Once you have linked yourself with love, a flood of inspiration is revealed to you, whatever the subject, whatever the problem in life may be. Whatever it be that your eye casts its glance upon, it will disclose itself. Then you are on the real road, and what a joy this is!”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“If a friend comes to meet him, to the Sufi it is God who is coming to meet him. If a beggar is asking for a penny, it is God whom the Sufi recognizes in that form.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“There are two ways in which we may attain control over our activity. The first is confidence in the power of our own will; to know that if we have failed today, tomorrow we will not do so. The second is to have our eyes wide open, and to watch keenly our activity in all aspects of life. It is in the dark that we fall, but in the light we can see where we are going.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“So it is in life: we should have our eyes wide open to see where we walk. We should study life, and seek to know why we say a thing, and why we act as we do. We have failed perhaps hitherto because we have not been wide awake. We have fallen, and felt sorry, and have forgotten all about it, and perhaps may have fallen again. This is because we have not studied life. A study of life is the greatest of all religions, and there is no greater and more interesting study. Those who have mastered all grades of activity, they above all experience life in all its aspects. They are like swimmers in the sea who float on the water of life and do not sink.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“For the wise, who have risen above the ordinary faults of human life, it matters little if they find fault, but they are the ones who do not criticize. They, as a rule, overlook all that seems undesirable, and that action of overlooking itself prevents all the undesirable impressions from penetrating through their hearts. There is a natural tendency in man as in the animal to protect his heart from all hurt or harm, but that is the external heart. If man only knew what harm is brought to one’s being by letting any undesirable impression enter the heart, he also would adopt the above-mentioned policy of the wise, to overlook.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Among all the valuable things of this world, the word is the most precious. For in the word, one can find a light which gems and jewels do not possess; a word may contain so much life that it can heal the wounds of the heart. Therefore, poetry in which the soul is expressed is as living as a human being. The greatest reward that God bestows on man is eloquence and poetry. … There is a Hindu idea that explains this very well: that the vehicle of the goddess of learning is eloquence. Many live, but few think; and among the few who think there are fewer still who can express themselves. Then their soul’s impulse is repressed, for in the expression of the soul the divine purpose is fulfilled.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Have you known what it is to give your meal to another and to go without yourself? It gives a happiness that no dinner eaten by yourself can give. Have you known what it is to give your coat to another and do without it yourself? It gives a joy that the satisfaction of your own wants cannot give you.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“If a person is cold and rigid, he feels within himself as if he were in a grave. He is not living, he cannot enjoy this life for he cannot express himself and he cannot see the light and life outside. What keeps man from developing the heart quality? His exacting attitude. He wants to make a business of love. He says, ‘If you will love me, I will love you.’ As soon as a man measures and weighs his favors and his services and all that he does for one whom he loves, he ceases to know what love is. Love sees the beloved and nothing else.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“We can be under the power of a spell, but we must overcome such a power; we must liberate ourselves from evil. Everyone can fight.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“He who has spent has used; he who has collected has lost; but he who has given has saved his treasure forever.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

”The heart becomes wide by forgetting self, but narrow by thinking of the self and pitying one’s self. To gain a wide and broad heart you must have something before you to look upon, and to rest your intelligence upon–and that something is the God-ideal.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“There are experiences such as failure in business, or misfortune, or illness, or a certain blow in one’s life, whether an affair of the heart or of money or a social affair, whatever it may be — there are blows which fall upon a person and a shell breaks, a new consciousness is produced. Very few will see it is an unfoldment, very few will interpret it as such, but it is so. Have you not seen among your acquaintances how a person with a disagreeable nature, a most uninteresting man to whom you were never attracted, perhaps after a blow, a deep sorrow, after some experience, awakened to a new consciousness and suddenly attracted you, because he had gone through this process? As we unfold at every step in our life, so we do with every experience. The deeper the experience touches us, the greater the unfoldment.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“All ignorance is the lack of love.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“In Sufi terms the crushing of the ego is called Nafs Kushi. And how do we crush it? We crush it by sometimes taking ourselves to task. When the self says, ‘O no, I must not be treated like this,’ then we say, ‘What does it matter?’ When the self says, ‘He ought to have done this, she ought to have said that,’ we say, ‘What does it matter, either this way or that way? Every person is what he is; you cannot change him, but you can change yourself.’ That is the crushing. … It is only in this way that we can crush our ego.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Every time that we notice its (the ego’s) pinprick, every time that its thorns appear before our eyes, we should crush it and say, ‘What are you? Are you not thorns, are you not the cause of unhappiness for others and myself as well? I do not want to see my own being in such a form, in the form of thorns! I want my being to be turned into a rose, that I may bring happiness, pleasure, and comfort to others.’ If there is anything needed in spiritual teaching, in seeking truth, in self-realization, it is the refinement of the ego. For the same ego which begins by being our worst enemy, will in the end, if developed and cultivated and refined, become our best friend.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“According to metaphysics, fear is caused by the lack of light.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“He who once burns his mouth on the hot soup, blows even the buttermilk.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“In love abides all knowledge. It is mankind’s love and interest in things that in time reveals their secret.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“He is thoughtful whose mind is directed by his will, whose mind fulfills his intentions, whose mind is under the control of his intention . . . It is not till a person has gained mastery over his mind, till he is above this activity, that he is a ruling power, a true person.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“People in the world wish to make things rigid, things which are of the finest nature which words cannot explain. When a person describes the hereafter, it is just like wanting to weigh the soul or photograph the spirit. I personally think that you must be able to realize yourself what the hereafter is. You must not depend upon my words.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Things appear different from every different plane from which you look at them, and when a person standing on flat earth asks a person standing on top of a mountain, “Do you also believe something?” the person cannot tell much. The questioner must come to the top of the mountain and see. There can be no link of conversation between them until that time.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The true use of music is to become musical in one’s thoughts, words, and actions. We must be able to give the harmony for which the soul yearns and longs every moment. All the tragedy in the world, in the individual and in the multitude, comes from lack of harmony. And harmony is best given by producing harmony in one’s own life.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The whole of life is as music and in order to study life we must study it as music. It is not only study, it is also practice which makes man perfect. If someone tells me that a certain person is miserable or wretched or distressed, my answer will be that he is out of tune.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The Sufi harmonizes with everybody whether good or bad, wise or foolish, by becoming like the key-note. All races, nations, classes and people are like a strain of music based upon one chord, where the key-note, the common interest, holds so many personalities in a single bond of harmony. By a study of life the Sufi learns and practices the nature of its harmony. He establishes harmony with the self, with others, with the universe and with the infinite. He identifies himself with another, he sees himself, so to speak, in every other being. He cares for neither blame nor praise, considering both as coming from himself. … He overlooks the faults of others, considering that they know no better. He hides the faults of others, and suppresses any facts that would cause disharmony.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“His constant fight is with the Nafs (self-interest), the root of all disharmony and the only enemy of man. By crushing this enemy man gains mastery over himself; this wins for him mastery over the whole universe, because the wall standing between the self and the Almighty has been broken down. Gentleness, mildness, respect, humility, modesty, self-denial, conscientiousness, tolerance and forgiveness are considered by the Sufi as the attributes which produce harmony within one’s own soul as well as within that of another.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Each individual composes the music of his own life. If he injures another, he brings disharmony. When his sphere is disturbed, he is disturbed himself, and there is a discord in the melody of his life. If he can quicken the feeling of another to joy or to gratitude, by that much he adds to his own life; he becomes himself by that much more alive. Whether conscious of it or not, his thought is affected for the better by the joy or gratitude of another, and his power and vitality increase thereby, and the music of his life grows more in harmony.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Mastery lies not merely in stilling the mind, but in directing it towards whatever point we desire, in allowing it to be active as far as we wish, in using it to fulfill our purpose, in causing it to be still when we want to still it. He who has come to this has created his heaven within himself; he has no need to wait for a heaven in the hereafter, for he has produced it within his own mind now.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“People pursue spirituality with their brain: that is where they are mistaken. Spirituality is attained through the heart. What do I mean by the heart? Is it the nervous center in the midst of the breast, the small piece of flesh that doctors call the heart? No, the definition of the heart is that it is the depth of the mind, the mind being the surface of the heart. That in us which feels is the heart, that which thinks is the mind. It is the same thing which thinks and feels, but the direction is different: feeling comes from the depth, thought from the surface. When thought is not linked with feeling it is just like a plant rising up from the earth, the root of which has not gone deep. A thought without feeling is a powerless thought; it is just like a plant without a deep root. A tree the root of which has gone deep into the earth is stronger, more reliable, and so the thought deeply rooted in the heart has greater power.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“There are many ideas which intoxicate man, many feelings there are which act upon the soul as wine, but there is no stronger wine than the wine of selflessness. It is a might and it is a pride that no worldly rank can give. To become something is a limitation, whatever one may become. Even if a person were to be called the king of the world, he would still not be emperor of the universe. If he were the master of earth, he would still be the slave of Heaven. It is the person who is no one, who is no one and yet all. The Sufi, therefore, takes the path of being nothing instead of being something. It is this feeling of nothingness which turns the human heart into an empty cup into which the wine of immortality is poured. It is this state of bliss which every truth-seeking soul yearns to attain.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“When the soul is illuminated, it will desire to find some other soul illuminated in like manner, and will find great joy and bliss in its society. Such a one will surely find others who are on the verge of illumination. Even a drunkard will find others to drink with. And so it is mystically. A very little light can be turned into a flame, and that flame into a very big flame. Why is it better to become a mystic than to remain a drunkard? As a matter of fact a drunkard will never be satisfied. The mystic will look for what Omar Khayyam calls wine: the wine of the Christ, after drinking which no one will ever thirst. He will always seek the wine whose intoxication never wears off. It is the only wine: the intoxication of the divine love.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“In this world of illusion, where at the end of the examination, we find everything to be of little importance, of little worth, if there is a sign of reality, of something one can depend upon, and in which one can recognize a sign of eternity, it is in the constancy of friendship.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“For every loss, there is a hidden gain. And for every gain, there is a hidden loss.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The happiness of this world is something we cannot keep; it is just like the horizon — the nearer you go, the farther it goes. As soon as you get it, you see it is not the thing you wanted.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“’Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.’ And where is it to be found? Not in the knowledge of another person. In the knowing of the self. If a person goes through his whole life most cleverly judging others, he may go on, but he will find himself to be more foolish at every step. At the end, he reaches the fullness of stupidity. But the one who tries, tests, studies and observes himself, his own attitude in life, his own outlook on life, his thought, speech, and action, who weighs and measures and teaches himself self discipline, it is that person who is able to understand another better. How rarely one sees a soul who concerns himself with himself through life, in order to know! Mostly, every soul seems to be busily occupied with the lives of others. And what do they know in the end? Nothing. If there is a kingdom of God to be found anywhere, it is within oneself.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“My Murshid, Abu Hashim Madani, once said that there is only one virtue and one sin for a soul on the path: virtue when he is conscious of God and sin when he is not.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Dying is this: when there is a fruit or something sweet and good to taste, the child comes to its mother and says, ‘Will you give it to me?’ Although it would have given pleasure to the mother to eat it, she gives it to the child. The eating of it by the child is enjoyed by the mother. That is death. She enjoys her life in the joy of another. Those who rejoice in the joy of another, though at their own expense, have taken the first step towards true life. … If we enjoy a beautiful thing so much that we would like to have it, and then give that joy to another, enjoying it through his experience, we are dead. That is our death. Yet, we live more than he. Our life is much vaster, deeper, greater.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“He who once burns his mouth on the hot soup, blows even the buttermilk.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“What has taken possession of this accommodation? A deluded ego that says, ‘I.’ It is deluded by this body and mind and it has called itself an individual.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The more sincerity is developed, the greater share of truth you will have. And however much sincerity a person may have, there is always a gap to fill, for we live in the midst of falsehood, and we are always apt to be carried away by this world of falsehood. Therefore we must never think we are sincere enough, and we must always be on our guard against influences which may carry us away from that sincerity which is the bridge between ourselves and our ideal. No study, no meditation is more helpful than sincerity itself.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“A master sees the bad in the good, and the good in the bad.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Among all the valuable things of this world, the word is the most precious. For in the word one can find a light which gems and jewels do not possess; a word may contain so much life that it can heal the wounds of the heart. Therefore, poetry in which the soul is expressed is as living as a human being. The greatest reward that God bestows on man is eloquence and poetry. This is not an exaggeration, for it is the gift of the poet that culminates, in time, with the gift of prophecy.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“No doubt there is true poetry and there is false poetry, just as there is true music and false music. A person who knows many words and phrases may fit them together and arrange something mechanically, but this is not poetry. Whether it is poetry, art or music, it must suggest life; and it can only suggest life if it comes from the deepest impulse of the soul. If it does not do that, then it is dead. There are verses of the great masters of various periods that have resisted the sweeping wind of destruction; they remain ageless. The endurance of their words was in the life that was put into them. The trees that live longest have the deepest roots, and so have the living verses. We only read them in the same way in which we look at the trees, but if we could see where the roots of those verses are, we would find them in the soul, in the spirit.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Before making peace, war is necessary, and that war must be made with our self. Our worst enemy is our self: our faults, our weaknesses, our limitations. And our mind is such a traitor! What does it? It covers our faults even from our own eyes, and points out to us the reason for all our difficulties: others! So it constantly deludes us, keeping us unaware of the real enemy, and pushes us towards those others to fight them, showing them to us as our enemies.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Understanding does not depend upon the head; it depends upon the heart. By the help of the head one can make it more clear, it becomes intelligible and one can express it better. But to begin with it must come from the heart, not from the head. Besides, a person who only uses his head says, ‘It must be so because I think it is so’, whereas the person who has the heart quality says, ‘It is so because I believe it to be so’. That is the difference. In one person there is a doubt, in the other there is conviction. … Spiritual attainment is nothing but conviction. … When a person arrives at the stage when the knowledge of reality becomes a conviction, then there is nothing in the world that will change it. And if there is anything to attain to, it is that conviction which one can never find in the outside world; it must rise from the depths of one’s own heart.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The religion of the Sufi is the religion of the heart. The principal moral of the Sufi is to consider the heart of others, so that in the pleasure and displeasure of his fellow-man he sees the pleasure and displeasure of God.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“When people came to Christ accusing a person of doing wrong, the Master could not think of anything else but forgiveness. For he did not see in the wrongdoer what the others saw. To distinguish between right and wrong is not the work of an ordinary mind, and the curious thing is that the more ignorant a person is, the more ready he is to do so.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The body with its perfect mechanism loses power, magnetism, beauty, and brightness, when the soul departs from the body. This shows that the power, magnetism, beauty, and brightness belong to the soul.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Atmosphere is a silent music. It has its effect upon the listener, exciting or peaceful, whatever it may be.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The lover’s pleasure is in the pleasure of the beloved. The lover is satisfied when the beloved is fed. The lover is vain when the beloved is adorned.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Every mind has its particular standard of good and bad, and of right and wrong. This standard is made by what one has experienced through life, by what one has seen or heard; it also depends upon one’s belief in a certain religion, one’s birth in a certain nation and origin in a certain race. But what can really be called good or bad, right or wrong, is what comforts the mind and what causes it discomfort. It is not true, although it appears so, that it is discomfort that causes wrongdoing. In reality, it is wrongdoing which causes discomfort, and it is right-doing which gives comfort.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The one Spirit of life is given different names, the sacred names. We more easily recognize the [Spirit of life] by the particular name to which we are accustomed. So far we are right, but the mistake we make, and it is to our loss, is to ignore or deny the same truth because it is given to us in another form and under another name. We limit it. We say the truth existed only in that period when certain teachers came to the world, and that after that it stopped.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The discrimination between good and evil is in man’s soul. Every man can judge that for himself, because in every man is the sense of admiration of beauty. Happiness only lies in thinking or doing that which one considers beautiful. Such an act becomes a virtue or goodness.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“One must always say every word with consideration, and should not say what one does not wish to happen. Those who do not understand the value of suggestion walk after their own fate with a whip in their hand, and those who understand its value and control their word and use it rightly, they are a bliss to themselves and a source of happiness to others.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The truth is that man is one individual with two aspects, just like one line with two ends. If you look at the ends, it is two. If you look at the line, it is one. One end of the line is limited, the other end of the line is unlimited. One end is man, the other end is God.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Silence is the adornment of the wise, and for the foolish the only dignity possible.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“In love abides all knowledge. It is mankind’s love and interest in things that in time reveals their secret.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Life is an opportunity given to satisfy the hunger and thirst of the soul.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Once you have given up your limited self willingly to the Unlimited, you will rejoice so much in that consciousness that you will not care to be small again.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Peace is perfected activity.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Spiritual progress is the changing of the point of view.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“If there is such a thing as saintly renunciation, it is renouncing small gains for better gains; not for no gains, but seeing with open eyes what is better and what is inferior. Even if the choice has to lie between two momentary gains, one of these would always be found to be more real and lasting; that is the one that should be followed for the time.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Sarcasm is an abuse of the intellect.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“How can you be that which you possess? You cannot be the horse and rider at the same time. Herein lies the secret of mortality and immortality.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Prayer from the depth and prayer from the surface are two prayers. One can utter what Christ has called ‘vain repetitions’, just repeating the prayer; one does not fix one’s mind on the meaning of the prayer. If the depth of one’s heart has heard the prayer, God has heard it.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“To make a friend, forgiveness is required which burns up all things, leaving only beauty; but to destroy friendship is easy.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Externally we are a single being, but internally we are a world.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Everyone has his own imagination of God. It is best if everyone is left to his own imagination.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“According to metaphysics, fear is caused by the lack of light.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“It is the peaceful one who is observant. It is peace that gives him the power to observe keenly. It is the peaceful one, therefore, who can conceive, for peace helps him to conceive. It is the peaceful who can contemplate; one who has no peace cannot contemplate properly. Therefore, all things pertaining to spiritual progress in life depend upon peace.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“To attain peace, what one has to do is to seek that rhythm which is in the depth of our being.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“It is a very high stage in the path of love when man really learns to love another with a love that asks no return.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“He who once burns his mouth on the hot soup blows even the buttermilk.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

“The one thing to rely upon is God’s favor. Do not build either on your study or on your meditation, although they both help you. But you are dependent on God, not even on your murshid. Seek Him, trust Him. In Him lies your life’s purpose, and in Him is hidden the rest of your soul.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan

In cahoots with thoughts,
they practice tyranny
–Alice Klein

“There are two kinds of people: one who says ‘I AM HERE!’ and the other who says ‘Oh, YOU are here!’”
–Gary Kleiner

“In order to eliminate the negative influences, simply ignore them.”

“What will survive of us is love.”
–Philip Larken

“Life is what happens while you are making other plans.”
–John Lennon

“In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.”
–Denise Levertov

“Go to the truth beyond the mind. Love is the bridge.”
–Stephen Levine

“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”
–C.S. Lewis

“In the Eskimo language, the words for ‘to breathe’ and ‘to make a poem’ are the same.”
–Lyn Lifshin

. . . Martin Luther and, behind him, the long line of Church Fathers
Who draped their prurience like a dirty cloth
About the naked majesty of God.
–Amy Lowell (The Sisters)

“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
–Malachy McCourt

“There is nothing sweeter, she thought, than the sound of music within.”
–Benjamin Markovitz (A Quiet Adjustment)

“Who are you going to believe, me, or your lying eyes?”
–Chico Marx (Duck Soup)

“Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like bananas.”
–Groucho Marx

“I, too, would like to weep.”
–Princess Norina Matchabelli, (Informed there was a holy man–Meher Baba–in the neighborhood, upon meeting whom, people wept.)

“A state of reverie does not avoid reality, it accedes to reality.”
–Somerset Maugham

“The best style is the style you don’t notice.”
–Somerset Maugham

“I don’t go too fast, but I go pretty far.”
–Melanie (Brand New Key)

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
–A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
–A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)

Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth.
–John Milton (Lycidas)

“Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people.”
–Adrian Mitchell

“Die before death.”

“I need the sea because it teaches me.”
–Pablo Neruda

“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.”
–Anais Nin

“Any attempt to do something about your problems is bound to fail, for what is caused by desire can be undone only in freedom from desire. You have enclosed yourself in time and space, squeezed yourself into the span of a lifetime and the volume of a body and thus created the innumerable conflicts of life and death, pleasure and pain, hope and fear. You cannot be rid of problems without abandoning illusions.”
–Sri Nisagardatta, (I AM THAT)

“The important thing is that we maintain plausible deniability.”
–Richard Milhouse Nixon

“I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.”
–Georgia O’Keeffe

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”
–George Orwell

“When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.”
–Peter O’Toole

“Apathy’s a problem but who cares?”
–Michael Parenti

“When you are drawing a horse, go for four legs.”
–Thomas Parker (writing teacher UC Berkeley Extension)

“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.”
–Blaise Pascal

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”
–Blaise Pascal

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
–Blaise Pascal

“All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.”
–Blaise Pascal

“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadow for those who don’t.”
–Blaise Pascal

“To ridicule philosophy is really to philosophize.”
–Blaise Pascal

“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”
–Blaise Pascal

“When one does not love too much, one does not love enough.”
–Blaise Pascal

“Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves.”
–Blaise Pascal

“If we submit everything to reason our religion will be left with nothing mysterious or supernatural. If we offend the principles of reason our religion will be absurd and ridiculous . . . There are two equally dangerous extremes: to exclude reason, to admit nothing but reason.”
–Blaise Pascal

“The last function of reason is to recognize that there are an infinity of things which surpass it.”
–Blaise Pascal

“Since we cannot know all there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything.”
–Blaise Pascal

“The more I see of Mankind, the more I prefer my dog.
–Blaise Pascal

“In difficult times carry something beautiful in your heart.”
–Blaise Pascal

“We run carelessly over the precipice after having put something in front of us to prevent us seeing it.”
–Blaise Pascal

“The weather and my mood have little connection. I have my foggy and my fine days within me; my prosperity or misfortune has little to do with the matter.”
–Blaise Pascal

“It is superstitious to put one’s hope in formalities, but arrogant to refuse to submit to them.”
–Blaise Pascal

“I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.”
–Blaise Pascal

“Love has no age; always it is being born.”
–Blaise Pascal

“Do they think that they have given us great pleasure by telling us that they hold our soul to be no more than wind or smoke, and saying it moreover in tones of pride and satisfaction? Is this then something to be said gaily? Is it not on the contrary something to be said sadly, as being the saddest thing in the world?”
–Blaise Pascal

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
–Sylvia Plath

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.”

“I do have a poet’s vein. I do like flowers and say odd things.”
–Line from the film, Poetry directed by Lee Chang-Dong

“To break the pentameter, that was the first heave.”
–Ezra Pound

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
–Marcel Proust

“Those who wish to sing, always find a song.”

“God forbid that we should ever have to bear all that we are capable of bearing.”
–Old Jewish Proverb posted over the door at the old Sufism Reoriented in San Francisco

“If you would sup with the devil you had better have a long spoon.”

“Let go or be dragged.”
–Zen proverb

“A Mafia guy in Vegas gave me this advice: ‘Run your own race, put on your blinders.’ ”
–Joan Rivers

“How did you get to be so smart? I bet it was the hard way!”
–Julia Roberts (Eat, Pray, Love)

“God dwells within me. As me.”
–Julia Roberts (Eat, Pray, Love)

What’s freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.
–Theodore Roethke

clean out this cup
of yearning
let it shine with hunger
and emptiness
–Katie Rose

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving — it doesn’t matter,
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times,
Come, come again, come.
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“The miracle of Jesus is himself, not what he said or did.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“I can’t stop pointing to the beauty.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“God (in His mercy) accepts false coin.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“In the middle of my heart, a star appeared, and the seven heavens were lost in its brilliance.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“When I am silent, I fall into the place where everything is music.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Silence is an ocean. Speech is a river.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“You are not a drop in the ocean, you are an entire ocean in a drop.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“He has afflicted you from every direction in order to pull you back to the directionless …”

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”

“He alone has the right to break, for He alone has the power to mend.”

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Open your hands if you want to be held.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“The wound is where light enters.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“The glance of Love is crystal clear.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Lovely days don’t come to you, you should walk to them.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Love is nothing other than finding the truth.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“I can’t stop pointing to the beauty. Every moment and place says, ‘Put This Design In Your Carpet.’ ”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“God (in His mercy) accepts false coin.”

“I am yours. Don’t give myself back to me.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“I belong to no religion. My religion is Love. Every heart is my temple.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Come out of the circle of time and into the circle of Love.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“Although I may try to describe love, when I experience it, I am speechless.”
–Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure, and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
–Bertrand Russell

“I’m not afraid of work. I can lie down right next to it, and go to sleep.”
–Art Satterfield

“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.”
–Edwin Schlossberg

“No, but I can keep the world from changing me.”
–Pete Seeger (Asked if he thought he could change the world)

“If you would stick to the concrete, and put your discoveries in the form of entertaining anecdotes about your adventures with women, your conversation would be easier to follow.”
–George Bernard Shaw (As The Statue, in Don Juan in Hell)

“Oh! and I might have been so much wickeder! All my good deeds wasted! It is unjust.”
–Donna Ana (Don Juan in Hell, by George Bernard Shaw. After discovering that after a lifetime of sacrifice, she ends up in hell anyway.)

“The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed. It is that he can believe no one.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
–William Greenough Thayer Shedd

“Write the book you want to read, the one you cannot find.”
–Carol Shields

“Never pay any attention to what critics say. Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!”
–Jean Sibelius

“The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.”

Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
Extracting cube roots to infinity
–Space Child’s Mother Goose

“Women make the best psychiatrists. And when they get married, they make the best patients.”
–Spellbound (Alfred Hitchkock)

“Great poetry is always written by somebody straining to go beyond what he can do.”
–Stephen Spender

“You’re a godless woman, Lily! Ain’t you tired?”
–Kathryn Stockett (The Help)

“God told me to tell you that it’s flat none of your business.”
–Jimmy Swaggart (On being asked by reporters about his sex scandal)

“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”
–Jonathan Swift

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower –but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.
–Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“It’s the job as never gets started as takes the longest to finish.”
–J. R. R. Tolkien (Sam Gamgee quoting his father, in Lord of the Rings)

“…life was impossible like that, and that he must either interpret life so that it would not present itself to him as the evil jest of some devil, or shoot himself.”
–Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina, Garnett translation)

“This was a lofty, mysterious religion connected with a whole series of noble thoughts and feelings, which one could do more than merely believe because one was told to, which one could love.”
–Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina, Garnett translation)

“I always wanted to be somebody. Now I realize I should have been more specific.”
–Lily Tomlin (The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe)

“Every day I read the newspapers, and no matter how cynical I get, it’s imposssible to keep up.”
–Lily Tomlin

“I’m taking all my dolls! The dead ones too!”
–Tootie (Meet Me in Saint Louis)

“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

“I have only one moral precept; never smoke more than five cigars at a time.”
–Mark Twain

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
–Mark Twain

“There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.”
–Mark Twain

“I am not young enough to know everything.”
–Mark Twain

“The voters have spoken. The bastards.”
–Mo (Big Mo) Udall

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.”
–Ernestine Ulmer

“One should worship with the thought that he is oneself, for therein all these become one. This Self is the footprint of that All, for by it one knows the all—just as, verily, by following a footprint one finds cattle that have been lost. . . .”
–Brihadaronyaka Upanishad

“I can’t believe there’s a watch but no watchmaker.”

“Writing is, for most, laborious and slow. The mind travels faster than the pen; consequently, writing becomes a question of learning to make occasional wing shots, bringing down the bird of thought as it flashes by. A writer is a gunner, sometimes waiting in his blind for something to come in, sometimes roaming the countryside hoping to scare something up. Like other gunners, he must cultivate patience. He may have to work many covers to bring down one partridge.”
–E. B. White (Elements of Style)

“You can dissect a joke just as you can a frog. But it tends to die on you.”
–E. B. White

“Who can confidently say what ignites a certain combination of words, causing them to explode in the mind? Who knows why certain notes in music are capable of stirring the listener deeply, though the same notes slightly rearranged are impotent? These are high mysteries, and this chapter is a mystery story, thinly disguised.”
–E. B. White (The Elements of Style)

“Writing is both mask and unveiling.”
–E.B. White

“Lancelot becomes a hermit and dies a hermit. His last miracle was making the room that he died in smell like heaven.”
–Wikipedia’s plot summary of T. H. White’s posthumously published, The Book of Merlyn

“An engagement should come upon a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant as the case may be.”
–Oscar Wilde (Lady Bracknell, in The Importance of Being Earnest)

“I can resist anything but temptation.”
–Oscar Wilde

“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”
–Oscar Wilde

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh. Otherwise they’ll kill you.”
–Oscar Wilde

“If something smells bad, why put your nose in it?”
–Billy Wilder (from supposed polish proverb in Ninotchka, with Greta Garbo)

“You’re pretty enough for all normal purposes.”
–Thornton Wilder (Our Town—a mother’s reply to her daughter’s query about her beauty)

“The public for which masterpieces are intended is not on this earth.”
–Thornton Wilder

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing.”
–William Butler Yeats

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
–William Butler Yeats

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”
–William Butler Yeats

“Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!”
–William Butler Yeats

“People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.”
–William Butler Yeats