My favorite piece of music is the one we hear all the time if we are quiet.
I don’t like work — no man does — but I like what is in work: the chance to find yourself.
The sun will set without thine assistance.
A modest wish: that our doings and dealings may be of a little more significance to life than a man’s dinner jacket is to his digestion. Yet not a little of what we describe as our achievement is, in fact, no more than a garment in which, on festive occasions, we seek to hide our nakedness.
I have no use for rules. They only rule out the possibility of brilliant exceptions.
When an apprentice gets hurt, or complains of being tired, the workmen and peasants have this fine expression: “It is the trade entering his body.” Each time that we have some pain to go through, we can say to ourselves quite truly that it is the universe, the order and beauty of the world and the obedience of God that are entering our body.
A young student went to a Sufi teacher and asked, “I have heard that the way of the West is communion with God, and the way of the East is union with God. Can you explain which way is higher?”
“My friend,” the Sufi explained, “when there are two airplanes in the air, one at twenty thousand feet, and and the other at ten thousand feet, and you are on the ground, what difference does it make to you which is higher?”
The world, as I know from my books, is full of abominable evil; even some of the books have never been returned.
Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.
Men substitute tradition for the living experience of the love of God. They talk and think as though walking with God was attained by walking in the footsteps of men who walked with God.
Life, it seems to me, is worth living, but only if we avoid the amusements of grown-up people.
To be sure, our mental processes often go wrong, so that we imagine God to have gone away. What should be done then? Do exactly what you would do if you felt most secure. Learn to behave thus even in deepest distress and keep yourself that way in any and every estate of life. I can give you no better advice than to find God where you lost him.
Call it a dream. It does not change anything.
I have a good friend, Rudolf Serkin, the pianist, a very sensitive man. I was talking to him one day backstage after a concert and I told him that I thought he had played particularly sensitively that day. I said, “You know, many pianists are brilliant, they strike the keys so well, but somehow you are different.” “Ah,” he said, “I don’t think you should ever strike a key. You should pull the keys with your fingers.”
It is a great obstacle to happiness to expect too much.
There should be less talk. A preaching point is not a meeting point.
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.