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Quote On...

- a growing selection of soul-stirring quotes; arranged alphabetically, by theme -




“Two things are necessary for achievement - a plan, and not quite enough time”  - Leonard Bernstein


"The difference between a dream and a goal is a time-line and accountability" - Dr Phil


"There are two mistakes on the road to your mastery: 1. Not starting it. 2. Not going all the way". - Master Shi Heng Yi (Ted Talk)



(The) Anima (while dis-integrated)

"A man is meant to be conspicuous, he is meant by nature to have multicolored feathers, to crow and make a great noise, but when the anima gets at him, he becomes personal and is apt to lose himself in mouse holes. He grows effeminate through the influence of the anima and is a bundle of nerves and sensitiveness, all sorts of foolish reactions and moods; he weeps a good deal and such stuff, and he suddenly drops out of things in a funny way, nobody sees him any longer. You may discover him somewhere with drooping feathers, being offended or misunderstood". - Carl Jung



“Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first.”  - Arthur Schopenhauer


'When a thought takes ones breadth away, a lesson on grammar seems an impertinence' - Maria Popova (on Emily Dickinson's self-trust in poetic style), from 'Figuring'


“If you absolutely can’t tolerate critics, then don’t do anything new or interesting.”

— Jeff Bezos



“Old George Orwell got it backward. Big Brother isn't watching. He's singing and dancing. He's pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you're awake. He's making sure you're always distracted. He's making sure you're fully absorbed. He's making sure your imagination withers. Until it's as useful as your appendix. He's making sure your attention is always filled. And this being fed, it's worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what's in your mind. With everyone's imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world.”

- Chuck Palahniuk


“Like our stomachs, our minds are hurt more often by overeating than by hunger.”

(Ut stomachis sic ingeniis nausea sepius nocuit quam fames.)

— Petrarch


“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

— Herbert Simon


"Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity". 

- David Whyte (from poem, 'Everything is Waiting For You')




"Become who you are"

  - Pinda (the Greek)


"Be patient. Respond to every call that excites your spirit. Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back toward disease and death" - Rumi, (from 'Cry Out in Your Weakness)'


"The problem is not the lack of a career, but the absence of a genuine vocation capable of provoking one’s genius and inspiring one’s heart".

- Michael Meade



Balance between Civilisation & Barbarianism:

The growth of culture, as we know it, is a progressive subjugation of the animal in man. It is a process of domestication which cannot be accomplished without rebellion on the part of the animal nature that thirsts for freedom. ~Carl Jung


"Be a good animal, true to your instincts.”

— D.H. Lawrence




“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself.”

— Hermann Hesse


"Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity"

- David Whyte


“Nothing is a greater impediment to being on good terms with others than being ill at ease with yourself.”

— Honoré de Balzac


“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.”

― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet




"You are only free when you realise you belong no place - you belong every place - no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great". - Maya Angelou




"Charity involves offering someone something that they may not entirely deserve and that it is a long way beyond the call of duty for us to provide: sympathy". - Alain De Botton




"One can only be a brother in something. Where there is no tie that binds men, men are not united but merely lined up" - Antoine De Saint Exubery 


"Fraternity is the creation of sacrifice alone. It is the creation of a gift made to a thing greater than ourselves".  -  Antoine De Saint Exubery


Obviously, if I insist upon giving only to myself, I shall receive nothing. I shall be nothing of which I am to form part, and therefore I shall be nothing" - Antoine De Saint Exubery


(As Man) "I am the stronger provided I am able to find myself. Provided we are able to found our community, and founding it, make use of the sole efficacious instrument - charity. For our community, as it was when our civilisation built it, was no mere sum of interests: it was a sum of gifts" - Antoine De Saint Exubery


I am the stronger because only my civilisation possesses the power to bind into it's unity all diversity without depriving any element of it's individuality". - Antoine De Saint Exubery


"Men die for a a home, not for walls and tables. Men die for a cathedral, not for stones. Men die for a people, not for a mob. Men die for love of Man - provided that Man is the keystone in the arch of the community. Men die only for that by which they live". 

 - Antoine De Saint Exubery



Cosmic Horror:

"What about the reality where Hitler cures cancer Morty. The answer is don't think about it".

  - Rick Sanchez (Rick & Morty)




"You find what you need where you least wanna look." - Old alchemical dictum


"Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious".

- Rumi


"The more helpless a man is, the more the maternal instinct is called upon...But a man’s psychology gets badly undermined by too much motherliness. Anything you acquire by your own effort is worth a hundred years with a woman analyst". - C.G. Jung


“Audacity augments courage; hesitation, fear.”

— Publilius Syrus


“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.”

— C.S. Lewis


“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

— Maya Angelou




"Don't let the force of an impression when it first hit you knock you off your feet; just say to it: Hold on a moment; let me see who you are and what you represent. Let me put you to the test" - Epictetus



Decision Making:

"Not my circus. Not my Monkeys" - Polish Proverb




“In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”  - Oscar Wilde




“Some dreams aren’t dreams at all, just another angle of physical reality,”  - Patti Smith




"People fall so in love with their pain, they can't leave it behind. The same as the stories they tell. We trap ourselves". - Chuck Palahniuk


"Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is". - Carl Jung


"If he only learns to deal with his shadow, he has done something real for the world" - Carl Jung


"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself. And you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman


"For a warrior in training, egolessness is a cause of joy rather than a cause of fear". - Pema Chodron


"We meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life". - Carl Jung




"Uneducated genius is like silver in the mines" - Benjamin Franklin


“To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.”

-James P. Carse (Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility)




So too, man will be forced to develop his feminine side, to open his eyes to the psyche and to Eros, It is a task he can’ not avoid. ~ Carl Jung




“The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.” - Rainer Maria Rilke


"Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off for you having tried".  - Tim O' Reilly




"None but a mule denies his family". - Moroccan Proverb




"Fear will keep you alive; indifference won't." - LAURELL K. HAMILTON, The Killing Dance


"Always use the proper names for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself." - J. K. ROWLING, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


"I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed". - HUNTER S. THOMPSON, Kingdom of Fear


"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.' - Marie Curie


"He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Don't let the fear of striking out hold you back." - Babe Ruth


"Have no fear of perfection--you'll never reach it." - Salvador Dali


“Only boldness can deliver from fear. And if the risk is not taken, the meaning of life is somehow violated, and the whole future is condemned to hopeless staleness.” - Carl Jung




"Do unto others, then split"  - Larry Charles


"I think, therefore I thunk" - A. Non




Free will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do.  - Carl Jung




"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers" - L.M. Montgomery


“Gratitude is the wine of the soul. Go on. Get drunk!”  — Rumi


"What a paradox - that men who possessed wealth should claim the right, over and above their possessions, to the gratitude of those who were without possessions". - Antoine De Saint Exubery


"This is a wonderful day. I've never seen this one before" - Maya Angelou




“Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.”   - Chuang-Tzu


"There are three kinds of people in this world: the rich, the poor, and those who have enough." - the Sicilian Briton


“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’”

— Kurt Vonnegut



Hard Work:

"Fuck the unicorn, be the workhorse" - Anon


"It is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking than it us to think yourself into a new way of acting."   - Millard Fuller


"To think is easy. To act is hard. But theto hardest thing is to act in accordance with your thinking" - Van Goethe


"Nothing is fun to do for eight hours a day, every day, and that includes writing". - A struggling pro-blogger




"Humility...makes clear to him (man) his role as ambassador. As it obliged him to respect the presence of God in others, so it obliged him to respect the presence of God in himself, to make himself the messenger of God or the path taken by God. It forced him to forget himself in order that he might wax and grow; for if the individual exults in his own importance, the path is transformed into a sea"

 - Antoine De Saint Exubery


"Modern men don't see god because they don't look low enough" - Jung




“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”  - Oscar Wilde.



'INFP' (the personality type): 

"Their greatest contribution is their ability to be present with another person at a deep level". - anon




“A leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars, - Walt Whitman


"Our home is our journey. Our home can be anywhere as long as we're present to our journey" - James Hollis


Keep your eyes fixed on the way to the top, but don’t forget to look at your feet. The last step depends on the first. Don’t think you have arrived just because you see the peak. Watch your feet, be certain of your next step, but don’t let this distract you from the highest goal. The first step depends on the last.

- Rene Daumal




"Don't postpone joy until you've learned all your lessons. Joy is your lesson".

- Alan Cohen


Knowledge and Uncertainty:

“Believe those who seek the truth, doubt those who find it.”  - André Gide


"When nothing is certain, anything is possible" - Rumi


"Live in the nowhere that you come from. Even though you have an address here". - Rumi


"You are only free when you realise you belong no place - you belong every place - no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great". 

- Maya Angelou


"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."  - Confucius (551- 479 BC)


"I think therefore I thunk" - Anonymous


“Between two evils, I generally like to pick the one I never tried before.”  — Mae West


"In the fairy tale...there is no 'right' and 'wrong'; there is a different standard, which is perhaps best called appropriateness". Ursula K. LeGuin (from 'The Child & The Shadow', a short story from 'The Language of the Night, Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction')


"The Great instrument of moral good is the imagination"  - Percy Bysshe Shelley


"Genius is the ability to put into effect what is in your mind. There's no other definition of it". - F. Scott Fitzgerald


"The head is only needed to calibrate the heart" - Tess Jaray


For many things are 'of a kind', and those with keenest eyes will find". Anon


Let it be a dream, so be it, but that real life of which you make so much I had meant to extinguish by suicide, and my dream, my dream--oh, it revealed to me a different life, renewed, grand and full of power! Listen...".

  - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Dream of a Ridiculous Man


The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion — all in one.

- John Ruskin


"The Dao that can be spoken is not the eternal Dao"  - (first line of) Dao DiChing


“Good tests kill flawed theories; we remain alive to guess again.”

— Karl Popper



Language and Logic:

"As soon as we seek to speak of Man, our language displays itself insufficient"  - Antoine De Saint Exubery


"Humanism strove in a direction blocked in advance when it sought to seize the notion of Man in terms of logic and ethics and by these terms communicate that notion to the human consciousness. Unity of being is not communicable in words". - Antoine De Saint Exubery


"A being is not subject to the empire of language, but only to the empire of acts. The essential act possesses a name. It's name is sacrifice." 

- Antoine De Saint Exubery


“Language can become a screen which stands between the thinker and reality. This is the reason why true creativity often starts where language ends.”

— Arthur Koestler




“Life ... is a tale; told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

- William Shakespeare, Macbeth


"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to writes one story, and writes another"

  - J.M Barrie


"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" - Mike Tyson


“The secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed. You waste years by not being able to waste hours.”

— Amos Tversky


“We don’t beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well.”   - Randy Pausch (1960-2008), 'The last Lecture' at Carnegie Mellon


"Those people who strive after nirvana get into a sort of quietism where they simply vanish; so nothing comes of it. The life of a Buddhist saint is exceedingly sterile. Obviously that is not the point of life; the point of life is that you are the fool of life, that you play the role, that you make all sorts of attempts, that you suffer". - Carl Jung


“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life.”

 -  T.S. Eliot, 'The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism'


"One cannot ask for a life, or two lives. One can only warrant the hope of an increasing potency in each man’s heart".  - Patti Smith

"You should not take people who are already dead seriously. It does them injustice. We immortals do no like things to be taken seriously. We like joking. Seriousness, young man, is an accident of time. It putting too high a value on time. I too once put too high a value on time. For that reason, I wished to be a hundred years old. In eternity however, there is no time you see. Eternity is a mere moment - just long enough for a joke." - Harry Holler's dream conversation with Goethe, from 'Steppenwolf' by Hermann Hesse



Listening to your Body:

"The wisdom in your body is greater than your wisdom" - Nietzsche


“There have been so many times I have seen a man wanting to weep but instead beat his heart until it was unconscious.”

- Nayyirah Waheed


“My great religion is a belief in the blood, the flesh, as being wiser than the intellect. We can go wrong in our minds. But what our blood feels and believes and says, is always true. The intellect is only a bit and a bridle. What do I care about knowledge. All I want is to answer to my blood, direct, without fribbling intervention of mind, or moral, or what not.”

— D. H. Lawrence


“Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies.”

— Frank Gelett Burgess



Listening to Your Gut:

"Now (since you have said you want my advice) I beg you to stop doing that sort of thing. You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you — no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself."

  - Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


"Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music" - Rumi, (from 'Cry Out in Your Weakness')


‘As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.’ - Goethe


"All the true vows

are secret vows,

the ones we speak out loud

are the ones we break".

- David Whyte (from the poem, All the True Vows)


“What each must seek in his life never was on land or sea. It is something out of his own unique potentiality for experience, something that never has been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.” - Joseph Cambpell




"Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you". - Carl Jung


“God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.” - Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath


“I remember my grandfather telling me how each of us must live with a full measure of loneliness that is inescapable, and we must not destroy ourselves with our passion to escape the aloneness.”

— Jim Harrison


"Loneliness centres around the act of being seen. When a person is lonely, they long to be witnessed, accepted, desired, at the same time as becoming intensely wary of exposure". - Olivia Laing


Love & Compassion:

“There is no denying that consideration of others is worthwhile. There is no denying that our happiness is inextricably bound up with the happiness of others. There is no denying that if society suffers, we ourselves suffer. Nor is there any denying that the more our hearts and minds are afflicted with ill-will, the more miserable we become. Thus we can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion.”

- The Dalai Lama, Ethics for the New Millennium, 1999


“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”

- Jack Kornfield


“We can not do great things in this world. We can only do small things with great love” - Mother Teresa


"All medicine wants is pain to cure" - Rumi, from 'Cry Out in Your Weakness'


"Love pardons even the passion of the beloved". - Fredreich Nietzsche


“A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”  - Rumi


“Perhaps the feelings that we experience when we are in love represent a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be.”

- Anton Chekhov


“Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them… Love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up… Love your heart. For this is the prize.” - Toni Morrison (in 'Beloved')


“The main thing is this, when you get up in the morning you must take your heart in your two hands. You must do this every morning.” - Grace Paley


"Love is the organizing and unifying principle which makes the world a universe and the disintegrated mass a community. It is the very essence and character of mind, and becomes manifest in action when the mind is whole… This, rather than any mere emotion, is the power and principle of free action".  - Alan Watts




"I don't aspire to be a good man. I aspire to be a whole man". - Carl Jung


“What makes life worth living? No child asks itself that question. To children, life is self-evident. Life goes without saying: whether it is good or bad makes no difference. This is because children don’t see the world, don’t observe the world, don’t contemplate the world, but are so deeply immersed in the world that they don’t distinguish between it and their own selves. Not until … a distance appears between what they are and what the world is, does the question arise: what makes life worth living?”

— Karl Ove Knausgård 


“Man cannot do without beauty, and this is what our era pretends to want to disregard.”

— Albert Camus




"Myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them" - Albert Camus (from 'The Myth of Sisyphus')




“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

- George Orwell (1984)


“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

- George Orwell (Animal Farm)




"In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king" - Desiderus Erasmus


"All our knowledge has it's origin in our perceptions" - Leonardo Da Vinci


"If one is dragged along as the victim of his five senses, his adversities wax like the moon in the bright fortnight" - Mahabharata


"During time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act" - George Orwell


"What people in the world think of you is really none of your business" - Martha Graham


"Everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you" - Douglas Adams


"No two persons ever read the same book" - Edmund Wilson


"The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying glass available" - Theodore Adorno


"There's someone in my head, but it's not me" - Roger Waters


"If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite" - William Blake




"So long as the mind believes in the possibility of escape from what it is at this moment, there can be no freedom" - Alan Watts


“Fearlessness is what love seeks… Such fearlessness exists only in the complete calm that can no longer be shaken by events expected of the future… Hence the only valid tense is the present, the Now.” - Hannah Arendt




"Do not think you can be brave with your life and your work and never disappoint anyone. It doesn't work that way" - Oprah


"Only he who can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart. A country or farm is not the sum of it's parts. It is the sum of it's gifts". - Antoine De Saint Exubery




“Slowly the last rose-colour fades from the peaks, and the stars brighten, and you hold your breath to hear the most wonderful thing you have ever heard-utter stillness, that yet is strained almost to bursting point with the energies that make it, the peace that passes understanding that lies above the snow and beneath the stars ...” - Elizabeth LeBlond (pioneering female mountaineer from Wicklow)




“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”

— Pablo Picasso


‘Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.’

-Susan Sontag




"A good person dyes events with his own colour...and turns whatever happens to his own benefit". - Seneca




"Trust: choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person's actions"

Distrust: deciding that "what is important to me is not safe with this person in this situation (or any situation)". - Charles Feltman


You must believe in this world, make roots, do the best you can, even if you have to believe in the most absurd things—to believe, for instance, that this world is very definite, that it matters absolutely whether such-and-such a treaty is made or not.  For you should leave some trace in this world which notifies that you have been here, that something has happened. If nothing happens of this kind you have not realized yourself; the germ of life has fallen, say, into a thick layer of air that kept it suspended. It never touched the ground, and so never could produce the plant.

- C. G. Jung


"Mo sheasamh ort lá ná choise tinne" - Irish proverb: You are the place where I stand on the day when my feet are sore




"Greatness is the perception that virtue is enough"

- R.W Emerson


"All men suffer, but not all men pity themselves. All men die, but not all men die whining"

- Marcus Aurelius




"Give your weakness to One Who Helps. Crying out loud and weeping are great resources." - Rumi, (from 'Cry Out in Your Weakness')


"To be a complete human being is to befriend the fear of fragility, intimate and menacing as it is — the work of a lifetime that begins in those most formative and fragile years when we first become aware of a world separate from ourselves, a world we must live in, a separateness we must live with, and somehow remain whole". - Maria Popova


"As long as we’re still capable of feeling and expressing vulnerability, intimacy stands a chance". - Olivia Laing




"Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling". - Carl Jung


‘You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.’ - Naguib Mahfouz




“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”  - Anonymous man in his eighties (often wrongly attributed to Mark Twain)


“Now that your worry has proved such an unlucrative business/

Why not find a better job?”

- Hafiz

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