The ancients said: “The hanged man cannot cut himself down.” But in due time Nature is stronger than all his ropes and bonds. It was always so. Where is the reason to be discouraged?

Chuang Tzu

We live on the brink of disaster because we do not know how to let life alone. We do not respect the living and fruitful contradictions and paradoxes of which true life is full.

Thomas Merton

There is no such thing as chance; and that which seems to us blind accident, actually stems from the deepest source of all.

F. von Schiller

No one ever told us we had to study our lives, make of our lives a study, as if learning natural history or music, that we should begin with the simple exercises first and slowly go on trying the hard ones, practicing till the strength and accuracy became one with the daring to leap into transcendence, take the chance or breaking down in the wild arpeggio or faulting the full sentence of the fugue . . . And in fact we can’t live like that: we take on everything at once before we’ve even begun to read or mark time, we’re forced to begin in the midst of the hardest movement, the one already sounding as we are born . . .

Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a Common Language

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.

Henry Miller

To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me authority myself.

Albert Einstein

“There’s a lesson in this,” Oscar said. “The lesson’s simple. Don’ never get shot.”
“There it is,” said Eddie Lazzutti.
“Never. Don’ never get shot.”
“Tell it man.”
“I told it. Never.”

Tim O’Brien, Going After Cacciato

Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.

R.D. Laing

Remember when it’s done through idealism, nothing is disgusting. They killed millions for the love of Christ. Millions for the love of Germany, or of France . . . No matter what horrors they perform, they are merely making love to you. They are trying to make you come.

Romain Gary, The Dance of Genghis Cohn

All the archaic images are surfacing out of the collective unconscious. The ancient ways and ancient esoteric schools have taken on a new life in the midst of a technological society. From Tibet, from the Middle East, from Scotland, from Mexico, and from the American Southwest, the archaic ways are coming back and offering themselves to us. They have lived in secret for a long time, and in secrecy they have flourished. Now, as they blaze forth into the open, they will die and, in their death, make a new life possible. Like a dying star that in its explosive end scatters the material needed for the evolution of life, the supernova of the esoteric and occult we are witnessing is both an end and a beginning.

William Irwin Thompson

You have seen nothing in Hiroshima, nothing.

Eiji Okada, in Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour

You are merely the lens in the beam. You can only receive, give, and possess the light as the lens does.

If you seek yourself, “your rights,” you prevent the oil and air from meeting in the flame, you rob the lens of its transparency . . . You will know life and be acknowledged by it according to your degree of transparency, your capacity, that is, to vanish as an end, and remain purely as a means.

Dag Hammarskjold

You may study with the highest teachers, but you will find no one but yourself teaching you. You may travel the world over, yet find nothing but yourself, reflected the world over. So if you now find yourself in a cell, take heart that out of all the teachers in the world, out of all the places in the world, you still have with you the only ultimate ingredient of your journey: yourself.

Bo Lozoff

For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

Rainer Maria Rilke