If we could get over that idea of sin, get rid of guilt, then I think a great many things that disturb people would be accepted as normal and natural, and nothing made of it.

Henry Miller

Watching a bird makes me feel good. You know that if I were reincarnated, I’d want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything.

William Faulkner

God has never punished anyone.

Douglas Anderson

We are not miserable without feeling it. A ruined house is not miserable.


What is one to do on a bleak day but drift for a while through the streets — drift with the stream.

Dag Hammarskjold

The notion of good and evil being fought outside the confines of our responsibility is anathema to me. Good and evil is in us. Good and evil is what we decide it should be. I have more faith in human beings than that. We can figure out what we’re doing. We don’t have to shove it off on God and the fucking devil.

Shirley MacLaine

Not to call a thing good a day longer or a day earlier than it seems good to us is the only way to remain really happy.


If we are suffering illness, poverty or misfortune, we think we shall be satisfied on the day it ceases. But there too, we know it is false; so soon as one has got used to not suffering one wants something else.

Simone Weil

Was then not all sorrow in time, all self-torment and fear in time? Were not all difficulties and evil in the world conquered as soon as one conquered time, as soon as one dispelled time?

Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Politics, as hopeful men practice it in the world, consists mainly of the delusion that a change in form is a change in substance.

H.L. Mencken

A person who believes, as she did, that things fit: that there is a whole of which one is a part, and that in being a part one is whole: such a person has no desire whatever, at any time, to play God. Only those who have denied their being yearn to play at it.

Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

The first step . . . shall be to lose the way.

Galway Kinnell

We begin to realize that there is a sane, awake quality within us. In fact this quality manifests itself only in the absence of struggle. So we discover the Third Noble Truth, the truth of the goal: that is, non-striving. We need only drop the effort to secure and solidify ourselves and the awakened state is present. But we soon realize that just “letting go” is only possible for short periods. We need some discipline to bring us to “letting be.” We must walk a spiritual path. Ego must wear itself out like an old shoe, journeying from suffering to liberation.

Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Look for a long time at what pleases you, and longer still at what pains you.


To seek happiness is of course completely different than being happy; in fact the two are mutually exclusive. Happiness cannot be found and will not occur while one is in the process of consciously trying to attain it. While trying to get happy, one is not happy. And when one is happy, one does not seek to become the way one already is. Though there are various degrees of happiness, much as there are with any emotion or state of mind, it generally does not last for extended periods of time. It is a passing phenomenon; it comes and goes. And happiness is not the way it is supposed to be all the time, so all of us would do well to avoid the delusion that it is. Sadly, many people continually seek happiness, as you may have noticed when they speak the words, “I just want to be happy. . . .” As long as this is what they want, of course they will not be happy. Furthermore, they fail to realize that the purpose of taking on an incarnation is definitely not to become and remain happy. In spite of all this, life is still very much worth living . . . very much indeed. Who knows? You might get a bit of happiness at any time now.

Steve Erickson, The Emshock Letter