quotation archive

Often during the day when I am reflecting on what is happening in the external world or within myself I am reminded of something I once read or heard said by someone much more eloquent or articulate than me...

13 October, 2016
The nation has no right to expect that it will always have wise and humane rulers, sincerely attached to the principles of the Constitution.  Wicked men, ambitious of power, with hatred of liberty and contempt of law, may fill the place once occupied by Washington and Lincoln...
                                                               -Supreme Court Justice David Davis 
                                                                               Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S., 1866

12 October, 2016
Every nation has the government it deserves.
                                                              -Joseph de Maistre

14 July, 2014
Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion.
                                                                                -His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

12 Sept., 2011
Let's face it. Let's talk sense to the American people. Let's tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains, that we are now on the eve of great decisions, not easy decisions, like resistance when you're attacked, but a long, patient, costly struggle which alone can assure triumph over the great enemies of man - war, poverty, and tyranny - and the assaults upon human dignity which are the most grievous consequences of each.                               -Adlai Ewing Stevenson II 

4 May, 2011
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.  Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.  Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.  Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.  In fact, violence merely increases hate.  Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that.
                                                                                        -Martin Luther King Jr.

17 April, 2011
He was struck again by how completely at ease she seemed. There she stood, a virtual stranger, asking him for a favor, and she didn't seem the least nervous or sheepish. But she also didn't appear to feel entitled, and that was a line he had seen few people walk successfully...Genuine, he thought, she's just genuine.                                                           -Haven Kimmel

28 Jan 2011:
When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.      -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

1 Jan 2011:
Until one is committed there is always a chance to draw back; always ineffectiveness.  Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans - that the moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.  Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it!  Boldness has genius, magic and power in it... Begin it Now. 
                                                                                                                         -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
25 Nov 2010:
Error runs down an inclined plane while Truth has to laboriously climb its way up hill.

25 Sept 2010:
An intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.                                -Albert Einstein

 21 Jul 2010:
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.                          -Galileo Galilei

14 May 2010:
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 quite 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

5 April 2010:
Do not depend on hope of results.  You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and achieve no result at all, not even results opposite to what you expect.  As you get used to this idea you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of what you do for itself.                                                                    -Thomas Merton

 17 Jan 2010:
We will match your capacity to inflict suffering with our capacity to endure suffering.  We will meet your physical force with soul force.  We will not hate you but we cannot, in all good conscience, obey your unjust laws.  But we will soon wear you down by our capacity to suffer.  And in winning our freedom, we will so appeal to your heart and conscience, that we will win your freedom as well.     
                                                                                                                                 -Martin Luther King Jr.

2 Jan 2010:
...Robspierre replied softly, "The question is to know where is the enemy."
"He is out there, and I have hunted him," said Danton.
"He is within, and I am watching him," said Robspierre.                 -Victor Hugo

7 Nov 2009:
The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.  The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits.  When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.  The purpose of words is to convey ideas.  When the ideas are grasped the words are forgotten.  Where can I find a man who has forgotten words?  He is the one I would like to talk to.     -Chuang-Tzu

11 Sep 2009:
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "universe", a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.                                                                                                        - Albert Einstein

28 Aug 2009:
If we hate because we are hated, injure because we are injured, we have no freedom; instinct has thrust its fingers up inside us as if we were a child's puppet.                    -Eknath Easwaran

 2 Aug 2009:
No one need wonder that Orlando started, pressed her hand to her heart, and turned pale.  For what more terrifying revelation can there be than that it is the present moment?  That we survive the shock at all is only possible because the past shelters us on one side, the future on another.    
                                                                                                                              -Virginia Woolf
17 Jul 2009:
He said, "They are feeding on drowned yellow stone flies."
I asked him, "How did you think that out?..."
"All there is to thinking," he said, "is seeing something noticeable which makes you see something you weren't noticing which makes you see something that isn't even visible."
I said to my brother, "Give me a cigarette and say what you mean."
                                                                                                                                         -Norman Maclean

20 Dec 2008:
It is not a question of belief; the scientific attitude one should take on any subject is whether it is true.  The law of gravitation worked as efficiently before Newton as after him.  The cosmos would be fairly chaotic if its laws did not operate without the sanction of human belief.    
                                                                -Sri Yukteswar (from Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda)

12 Nov 2008:
Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.          
                                                                                                 -Albert Schweitzer

11 Sep 2008:
The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear breeds repression. Too often sinister threats to the bill of rights, to freedom of the mind, are concealed under the patriotic cloak...
We talk a great deal about patriotism. What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility which will enable America to remain master of her power - to walk with it in serenity and wisdom, with self-respect and the respect of all mankind; a patriotism that puts country ahead of self; a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. The dedication of a lifetime - these are words that are easy to utter, but this is a mighty assignment. For it is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them...
True Patriotism, it seems to me, is based on tolerance and a large measure of humility...
                                                                                                                       -Adlai Ewing Stevenson II

5 Feb 2008:
Reporter:  "Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of Western Civilization?"
M. Gandhi: "I think it would be a good idea."

26 Oct 2007:
Everything becomes distorted when something you really want is sitting in your lap.      -Andy Warhol
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