Each phenomenon on earth is an allegory, and each allegory is an open gate through which the soul, if it is ready, can pass into the interior of the world where you and I and day and night are all one. In the course of his life, every human being comes upon that open gate, here or there along the way; everyone is sometimes assailed by the thought that everything visible is an allegory and that behind the allegory live spirit and eternal life. Few, to be sure, pass through the gate and give up the beautiful illusion for the surmised reality of what lies within.

Herman Hesse, Strange News from Another Star

Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.

Jean Paul Sartre

Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.


The universe isn’t run on the point system. And survival isn’t what it’s all about. Do what you’re going to do; and with humor be aware that you might as well be doing the opposite.

R. K. Welsh

Walking away . . . he felt that he had missed the train, the plane, the boat. He had missed it. He experienced some marked physical relief or improvement: the shots cleared his brain. Shame and remorse had nothing to do with what he felt. . . . What he felt, he saw, was the utter poverty of erotic reasonableness. That was how he missed the target and the target was the mysteriousness of the bonded spirit and the flesh. He knew it well. Fitness and beauty had a rim. Fitness and beauty had a dimension, had a floor, and he had committed a trespass. It was not unforgivable — a venal trespass — but he was reproached by the majesty of the realm. It was majestic; even in prison he knew the world to be majestic. He had taken a pebble out of his shoe in the middle of mass.

John Cheever, Falconer

. . . all alone in his bedroom, all alone and the night turning into a lighter blue, and the dawn coming up, exhausted beyond belief, fucking wondering why he was there and trying to decide that he had a responsibility above all business shenanigans and everything else to report as best he could. “I owe that to whatever I am,” he said, “whether a journalist or an entrepreneur, whatever I am. I may never wind up being anything, but I owe it to myself to build my integrity,” and he had an inspiration then that all the people who were respected in all the worlds he had gone through, respected for their integrity, had maybe not all been born with it, not every last one, but built it, job by job and night by separate night. . . .

Norman Mailer, The Executioner’s Song

Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it.

Thaddeus Golas

It takes seven years to get over the stink of enlightenment.


. . . the path without a heart will turn against men and destroy them. It does not take much to die, and to seek death and to seek nothing.

Don Juan, in Carlos Castaneda’s
The Teachings of Don Juan

I don’t fear death because I don’t fear anything I don’t understand. When I start to think about it, I order a massage and it goes away.

Hedy Lamarr, Ecstasy and Me

The tragedy and the magnificence of Homo sapiens together rise from the same smokey truth that we alone among the animal species refuse to acknowledge natural law.

Robert Ardrey, The Social Contract

One must have apocalypse in one eye and the millennium in the other, and as you look out through that double vision, the third eye develops and sees the resolution of tragedy and conflict and the rest of it.

William Irwin Thompson

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.

Albert Einstein

Take from others what you want, but never be a disciple of anyone.

A. S. Neill

When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

Ann Landers