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A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly against the city. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears no traitor; he speaks in the accents familiar to his victim, and he wears their face and their garments and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared. The traitor is the plague.
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
Understanding without willingness produces nothing
Much of living is an attempt to preserve oneself by annexing and occupying others.
The good in life does not depend on life’s length, but upon the use we make of it. It is possible, or rather usual, for a man who has lived long, lived too little.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence
Farewell: the leisure and the fearful time Cutsoff theceremonious vowsof loveAnd ample interchange of sweet discourse, Whichso longsunder’dfriendsshould dwell upon: God give us leisurefor these ritesof love!Once more, adieu: be valiant, and speed well!
And I pray thee now tell me for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?
Thus expecting thy reply I profane my lips on thy foot my eyes on thy picture and my heart on thy every part. Thine in the dearest design of industry
We have all a certain part to play in the world, and we have done enough when we have performed what our nature allows. In the exercise of our powers, we may become aware of the destiny we are intended to fulfill.
Though this be madness,yet there is method in ‘t.
The extent of the power of money is the extent of my power. Money’s properties are my – the possessor’s – properties and essential powers. Thus, what I am and am capable of is by no means determined by my individuality. I am ugly, but I can buy for myself the most beautiful of women. Therefore I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness – its deterrent power – is nullified by money. I, according to my individual characteristics, am lame, but money furnishes me with twenty-four feet. Therefore I am not lame. I am bad, dishonest, unscrupulous, stupid; but money is honoured, and hence its possessor. Money is the supreme good, therefore its possessor is good. Money, besides, saves me the trouble of being dishonest: I am therefore presumed honest. I am brainless, but money is the real brain of all things and how then should its possessor be brainless? Besides, he can buy clever people for himself, and is he who has power over the clever not more clever than the clever? Do not I, who, thanks to money, am capable of all that the human heart longs for, possess all human capacities? Does not my money, therefore, transform all my incapacities into their contrary?
What can I know of myself as long as I do not know that the self I do know is largely a synthetic product; that most people - including myself - lie without knowing it; that ‘defense’ means ‘war’ and ‘duty’ submission; that ‘virtue’ means ‘obedience’ and ‘sin’ disobedience; that the idea that parents instinctively love their children is a myth; that fame is only rarely based on admirable human qualities, and even not too often on real achievements; that history is a distorted record because it is written by the victors; that over-modesty is not necessarily the proof of a lack of vanity; that loving is the opposite of craving and greed; that everyone tries to rationalize evil intentions and actions and to make them appear noble and beneficial ones; that the pursuit of power means the persecution of truth, justice and love; that present-day industrial society is centered around the principle of selfishness, having and consuming, and not on principles on love and respect for life, as it preaches. Unless I am able to analyze the unconscious aspects of the society in which I live, I cannot know who I am, because I don’t know which part of me is not me.
A person who has not been completely alienated, who has remained sensitive and able to feel, who has not lost the sense of dignity, who is not yet “for sale”, who can still suffer over the suffering of others, who has not acquired fully the having mode of existence - briefly, a person who has remained a person and not become a thing - cannot help feeling lonely, powerless, isolated in present-day society. He cannot help doubting himself and his own convictions, if not his sanity. He cannot help suffering, even though he can experience moments of joy and clarity that are absent in the life of his “normal” contemporaries. Not rarely will he suffer from neurosis that results from the situation of a sane man living in an insane society, rather than that of the more conventional neurosis of a sick man trying to adapt himself to a sick society.
Remember: despite how open, peaceful, and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you, as deeply as they’ve met themselves.
Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.
The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In business, be competent.
In action, watch the timing.
No fight: No blame.
Each being is a showering, ultimately valuable, but chasing after small things we become small. The man who is continuously obsessed with money becomes like money: a thing, a commodity. Whatsoever we desire, we become. Never desire the mundane. Desire the sacred and you become the sacred, desire heights and you become heights.
I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life. They seek position, marriage, reputation, outward success of money, and remain unhappy and neurotic even when they have attained what they were seeking. Such people are usually confined within too narrow a spiritual horizon.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you
However that may be, after prolonged research on myself, I brought out the basic duplicity of the human being. Then I realized, as a result of delving in my memory, that modesty helped me to shine, humility to conquer, and virtue to oppress. I used to wage war by peaceful means and eventually used to achieve through disinterested means, everything I desired.
No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures
Have you noticed that death alone awakens our feelings ? How we love the friends who have just
left us ? How we admire those of our teachers who have ceased to speak, their mouths filled with earth ?
The avidity which in our society is a substitute for ambition has always made me laugh.
The pursuit of normality is the ultimate sacrifice of potential.
Food, sex and death are all corridors to life if you like. You need sex to get you here, you need food to keep you here and you need death to get you out.
The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.
Since no one really knows anything about God, those who think they do are just troublemakers.
The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.
We were together. I forget the rest.
If a man does not keep pace with his companion, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.
I am not eccentric. It’s just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of catfish.
Whether or not you can never become great at something, you can always become better at it. Don’t ever forget that. And don’t say, “I’ll never be good.” You can become better, and one day you’ll wake up and you’ll find out how good you actually became.
Knowing how to think empowers you far beyond those who know only what to think.
Death was merely a different state of being, and people only feared the unknown that lay behind that transition. Death without warning was preferable, as it removed all fear.
Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred.
In the long run, a short cut seldom is.
If you’re going to do something that crazy, save it for when it’ll make a difference
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
I was never really insane, except on occasions where my heart was touched.
If you could be anyone, would you choose to be yourself?
If we offend, it is with our good will.
That you should think we come not to offend,
But with good will. To show our simple skill,
That is the true beginning of our end.
The law of unintended consequences is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended.
Recognizing how little we know is the beginning of wisdom.
I was glad to hear Bill talk about getting to the roots, which is not something many
people seem to realize at this point, but to change a system you have to work from
where it starts, not just the consequences.
Here’s a reminder to myself: If I call the game rigged, that will either inspire me, and I’ll
say “I need to work with others to chop out the diseased root of the rigged game”, or it
will leave me a victim, and I’ll say, “Well, the game is rigged. Nothing to do.”
This choice is one I face all the time: responsibility or no responsibility for the way things
When I look at the source of my disillusionment, it isn’t primarily with the folks running for
office but the folks voting for them…
Never attribute to malice what can be as easily attributed to stupidity
Without going outside, you may know the whole world.
Without looking through the window, you may see the ways of heaven.
The farther you go, the less you know.
Thus the sage knows without traveling;
He sees without looking;
He works without doing.