One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self: of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.


When I don’t write, I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in a prison. I feel I lose my fire and my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing.

Anaïs Nin

Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me.

Sigmund Freud

They said to Him: Shall we then, being children,
enter the Kingdom? Jesus said to them:
When you shall make the two one, and
when you make the inner as the outer
and the outer as the inner and the above
as the below, and when
you make the male and the female into a single one,
then you shall enter the Kingdom.

Gospel of St. Thomas

For according to the outward man, we are in this world, and according to the inward man, we are in the inward world. . . . Since then we are generated out of both worlds, we speak in two languages, and we must be understood also by two languages.

Jacob Boehme

Nothing can be attained without suffering but at the same time one must begin by sacrificing suffering.


He begins to realize that the world was never outside himself, that it was his own dualistic attitude, the separation of “I” and “other” that created the problem. He begins to understand that he himself is making the walls solid, that he is imprisoning himself through his ambition. And so he begins to realize that to be free of his prison he must give up his ambition to escape and accept the walls as they are. . . . The more we try to struggle, the more we will discover that walls really are solid. The more energy we put into struggle, by that much will we strengthen the walls, because the walls need our attention to solidify them.

Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Man, man, I’m just scared of living. It’s killing me.

Mickey Spillane, The Deep

. . . it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way. Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements. “Life” does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. . . . When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task, his single and unique task. . . . No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.

For us, as prisoners, these thoughts were not speculations far removed from reality. They were the only thoughts that could be of help to us. They kept us from despair, even when there was no chance of coming out of it alive.

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
(on his experiences in a concentration camp)

We have reason to be afraid. This is a terrible place.

John Berryman

Fortunately there is gin, the sole glimmer of light in this darkness.

Albert Camus, The Fall

Compassion simply stated is leaving other people alone. You don’t lay trips. You exist as a statement of your own level of evolution. You are available to another human being, to provide what they need, to the extent that they ask. But you begin to see that it is a fallacy to think that you can impose a trip on another person.

Ram Dass

I do not take drugs — I am drugs.

Salvadore Dali

I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.

J. Edgar Hoover

Mass seems to be over. Could hear them all at it. Pray for us. And pray for us. And pray for us. Good idea the repetition. Same thing with ads. Buy from us. And buy from us.

James Joyce, Ulysses

Eliminate danger and you kill me.

Bathroom graffiti, Cosmopolitan Tap Room, Durham, N.C.

No matter if you’re drawn to play the king or pawn
For the line is thinly drawn ’tween joy and sorrow
So my fantasy becomes reality
And I must be what I must be and face tomorrow.

Paul Simon