You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.
Nothing ever begins.
There is no first moment; no single word or place from which this or any story springs.
The threads can always be traced back to some earlier tale, and the tales that preceded that; though as the narrator’s voice recedes the connections will seem to grow more tenuous, for each age will want the tale told as if it were of its own making.
Maybe the first time you saw her you were ten. She was standing in the sun scratching her legs. Or tracing letters in the dirt with a stick. Her hair was being pulled. Or she was pulling someone’s hair. And a part of you was drawn to her, and a part of you resisted—wanting to ride off on your bicycle, kick a stone, remain uncomplicated. In the same breath you felt the strength of a man, and a self-pity that made you feel small and hurt. Part of you thought: Please don’t look at me. If you don’t, I can still turn away. And part of you thought: Look at me.
‘The task of art is to transform what is continuously happening to us, to transform all these things into symbols, into music, into something which can last in man’s memory. That is our duty. If we don’t fulfill it, we feel unhappy. A writer or any artist has the sometimes joyful duty to transform all that into symbols. These symbols could be colors, forms or sounds. For a poet, the symbols are sounds and also words, fables, stories, poetry. The work of a poet never ends. It has nothing to do with working hours. Your are continuously receiving things from the external world. These must be transformed, and eventually will be transformed. This revelation can appear anytime. A poet never rests. He’s always working, even when he dreams. Besides, the life of a writer, is a lonely one. You think you are alone, and as the years go by, if the stars are on your side, you may discover that you are at the center of a vast circle of invisible friends whom you will never get to know but who love you. And that is an immense reward.’
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? …we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.
“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.
Democratic Socialism and Transcendental Pragmatism
Peace in Opposition
Nonviolence in Resolution
Interconnection in Community
Transcendence in Work
Beauty in Art
Sustainability in Balance
Light in Truth
Wisdom in Equality
Love in Cooperation
Unity in Diversity
Freedom in Preservation
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"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."
- John Muir
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." - Kurt Vonnegut
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” - Pablo Picasso
"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree... Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein
"Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group." - Carl Sagan
"Dreams are the touchstones of our characters." - Henry David Thoreau
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that source in you. Let us work together for unity and love." - Mahatma Gandhi
"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing." - William Butler Yeats
"By Being, It Is." - Parmenides
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." - Carl Jung
"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." - Rene Descartes
"We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on." - Richard Feynman
"Then he said 'Remember Bob: no fear, no envy, no meanness,' and I said 'hmmm, right.'" - Bob Dylan
"The reverse side also has a reverse side." - Japanese Proverb
"We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep." - William James
"If success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do... How would I be? What would I do?" - Buckminster Fuller
"The most vital issue of the age is whether the future progress of humanity is to be governed by the modern economic and materialistic mind of the West or by a nobler pragmatism guided, uplifted and enlightened by spiritual culture and knowledge...." - Sri Aurobindo
"The Self alone exists; and the Self alone is real. Verily the Self alone is the world, the I-I and God. All that exists is but the manifestation of the Supreme Being." - Ramana Maharshi
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." - Jiddu Krishnamurti
"Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind." - John F. Kennedy