Economics and politics are the governing powers of life today, and that’s why everything is screwy.

Joseph Campbell

If someone tells you he’s going to make a “realistic decision,” you immediately understand that he’s resolved to do something bad.

Mary McCarthy

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior understands what will sell.


For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?


The present age is demented. It is possessed by a sense of dislocation, a loss of personal identity, an alternating sentimentality and rage which, in an individual patient, could be characterized as dementia.

Walker Percy

We are not mad, we are human. We want to love, and someone must forgive us for the paths we take to love, for the paths are many and dark, and we are ardent and cruel in our journey.

Leonard Cohen

A modern democracy is a tyranny whose borders are undefined; one discovers how far one can go only by traveling in a straight line until one is stopped.

Norman Mailer

We have two American flags always: one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it, it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it, it means danger, revolution, anarchy.

Henry Miller

In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.

Mark Twain

Chance furnishes me what I need. I am like a man who stumbles along; my foot strikes something. I bend over and it is exactly what I want.

James Joyce

She tended to be impatient with that sort of intellectual who, for all his brilliance, has never been able to arrive at the simple conclusion that to be reasonably happy you have to be reasonably good.

Carolyn Kizer

Practice charity, without holding in mind any conceptions about charity, for charity after all is just a word.

Jack Kerouac

Think about it: it is easy to see God’s beauty in a glorious sunset or in ocean waves crashing on a beach. But can you find the holiness in a struggle for life?

Rabbi Harold Kushner

If the oyster had hands, there would be no pearl.

Stephen Nachmanovitch

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if he or she were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.

Og Mandino

Our lives extend beyond our skins, in radical interdependence with the rest of the world.

Joanna Macy

It is an escape for persons to cry, when this question of the equality of people is raised . . . , “Ah, but the situation is not so simple.” . . . No great stride forward is ever made for the individual or for the human race unless the complex situation is reduced to one simple question and its simple answer.

Pearl S. Buck

A group of people gathered on the edge of a flooding stream want to go to the far shore but are afraid. They don’t know what to do until one wise person comes along, assesses the situation, takes a running leap, and jumps to the other side. Seeing the example of that person, the others say, “Yes, it can be done.” Then they also jump. In this story the near shore is our usual confused condition, and the far shore is the awakened mind. Inspired by witnessing another, we say, “Yes, it can be done.” That is one level of faith. After we have jumped ourselves, when we say, “Yes, it can be done,” that is quite another level of faith.

Sharon Salzberg