To stand on one leg and prove God’s existence is a very different thing from going down on one’s knees and thanking him.
The bedroom is one of the most dangerous places in our society. There are more crimes of violence committed there than on the streets of Los Angeles. It’s an area with intense anxiety. When sex comes in the door, love flies out the window. Men are afraid of women and women have good reason to be afraid of men. If I hazarded a guess as to the most endemic, prevalent anxiety among human beings, including fear of death, abandonment, loneliness — nothing is more prevalent than the fear of one another.
Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
So long as we read about revolutions in books, they all look very nice — like those landscapes which, as artistic engravings on white vellum, look so pure and friendly: dung heaps engraved on copper do not smell, and the eye can easily wade through an engraved morass.
Everything counts but nothing adds up.
We can all remember the catastrophic disappointments we had as children. Looking back, they appear to be trifles, but in childhood — in that moment — it was an agony of suffering. This is because a child is whole, and whole in its reactions; therefore, even if only a toy is taken away from him, it is as though the world were going down. . . . The child within one is the genuine part, and the genuine part within one is that which suffers, that which cannot take reality, or which still reacts in the grown-up person like a child, saying, “I want it all, and if I don’t get it, then it is the end of the world. Everything is lost.” That is what the genuine kernel of the person remains like and that is the source of suffering. Many grown-ups split off this part and thereby miss individuation, for only if one accepts it and the suffering it imposes on one, can the process of individuation go on.
We have given the distances birthdays.
It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do that makes life blessed.
To those of us who study history not merely as a reminder of man’s follies and crimes, but also as an encouraging remembrance of generative souls, the past ceases to be a depressing chamber of horrors; it becomes a celestial city, a spacious country of the mind, wherein a thousand saints, statesmen, inventors, scientists, poets, artists, musicians, lovers, and philosophers still live and speak, teach and carve and sing.
This path is difficult because it has not been carved; and it has not been carved because I have not lived before.
An open mind is better than an open mouth.
The kind of work we do does not make us holy but we may make it holy. However “sacred” a calling may be, as it is a calling, it has no power to sanctify; but rather as we are and have the divine being within, we bless each task we do, be it eating, or sleeping, or watching, or any other. Whatever they do, who have not much of God’s nature, they work in vain.
Each man is the center of all that is. Out of the center must come both the loneliness and the fullness.
No doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes.
A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.
Oh lonesome’s a bad place to get crowded into.