Somehow the realization that nothing was to be hoped for had a salutary effect upon me. For weeks and months, for years, in fact, all my life I had been looking forward to something happening, some extrinsic event that would alter my life, and now suddenly, inspired by the absolute hopelessness of everything, I felt relieved, as if a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders.

Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

We do not understand that life is paradise, for it suffices only to wish to understand it, and at once paradise will appear in front of us in its beauty.

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.

One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait.

My foothold is tenon’d and mortis’d in granite,
I laugh at what you call dissolution,
And I know the amplitude of time.

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Mind invented contradictions, invented names; it called some things beautiful, some ugly, some good, some bad. One part of life was called love, another murder. How young, foolish, comical this mind was. One of its inventions was time. A subtle invention, a refined instrument for torturing the self even more keenly and making the world multiplex and difficult. For then man was separated from all he craved only by time, by time alone, this crazy invention! It was one of the props, one of the crutches that you had to let go, that one above all, if you wanted to be free.

Hermann Hesse, Klein and Wagner

Never try to teach a pig how to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.


You must begin to trust yourself sometime. I suggest you do it now. If you do not then you will forever be looking to others to prove your own merit to you, and you will never be satisfied. You will always be asking others what to do, and at the same time resenting those from whom you seek such aid. It will seem to you that their experience is legitimate and yours counterfeit. You will feel shortchanged. You will find yourself exaggerating the negative aspects of your life, and the positive sides of other people’s experiences. You are a multidimensional personality. Trust the miracle of your own being. Make no divisions between the physical and the spiritual in your lifetime, for the spiritual speaks with a physical voice and the corporeal body is the creation of the spirit.

Seth, quoted in The Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts

Life is far too important a thing ever to talk about.

Oscar Wilde

Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

Dylan Thomas

It is better to give and receive.

Bernard Gunther

Around the table of death and life, bread and wine, where we can still meet each other, there are sounds to hear if we listen carefully. There is the sound of going down into the abyss and being lifted up, heart and body, not to heaven but to the good earth. There are the sounds of the lively ghosts of God, laughing still with love. There are the sounds of men and women stirring, standing. There is the sound of the season’s changing. And wine. There is the sound of the day breaking. And bread.

James Carroll

You don’t have to suffer continual chaos in order to grow.

John C. Lilly

When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.

Albert Einstein

I am a mind and as mind I existed before fear and will continue after it has passed. I do not have to wrap my attention so tightly around some form of distress that I come to believe I have changed. Possibly all feelings of personal unworthiness stem from this confusion of two dissimilar things. Yet my freedom lies in the truth that what I am is still present and can be seen within a broader view. What is needed is the willingness to look around calmly and to let all interpretations be still.

Hugh Prather, There Is a Place Where You Are Not Alone

Ramana Maharshi had cancer of the arm and he wouldn’t have it treated and the devotees said, “Oh Bhagavan — God — take care of your body.” And he said, “No, it’s finished its work on this plane.” They said, “Don’t leave us; don’t leave us.” And he looked at them like he was bewildered, and he said, “Where can I go? Just because you’re not going to see me on the plane you’re addicted to, do you think I’m going anywhere?”

Ram Dass, The Only Dance There Is

Once again I tried committing suicide — this time by wetting my nose and inserting it into the light socket. Unfortunately, there was a short in the wiring, and I merely caromed off the icebox. Still obsessed by thoughts of death, I brood constantly. I keep wondering if there is an afterlife, and if there is, will they be able to break a twenty?

Woody Allen, Without Feathers