Ideologies . . . have no heart of their own. They’re the whores and angels of our striving selves.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.
“Realistic” people who pursue “practical” aims are rarely as realistic or practical in the long run of life as the dreamers who pursue their dreams.
When your dreams tire, they go underground / and out of kindness that’s where they stay.
Every daring attempt to make a great change in existing conditions, every lofty vision of new possibilities for the human race, has been labeled utopian.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
No nation, no social institution, ever acquired coherence without some sort of fight. Out of the fight come its myths and its heroes.
It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative on the day after the revolution.
It will be necessary to realize that there is nothing in the world which is not holy. At the same time, we will find out that all our conceptions of what is holy and secular will be as nothing in the light of high holiness, the infinite source.
The dragon we must slay is no more than the monster of everyday expectations.
I entered into my inward self and beheld with the eye of my soul . . . the Light Unchangeable.
If you cry, “Forward!” you must be sure to make clear the direction in which to go. Don’t you see that if you fail to do that and simply call out the word to a monk and a revolutionary, they will go in precisely opposite directions?
There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.
Many of the commonest assumptions, it seems to me, are arbitrary ones: that the new is better than the old, the untried superior to the tried, the complex more advantageous than the simple, the fast quicker than the slow, the big greater than the small, and the world as remodeled by Man the Architect functionally sounder and more agreeable than the world as it was before he changed everything to suit his vogues and his conniptions.
Question: How many surrealists does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answer: Two. One to hold the giraffe and the other to fill the bathtub with brightly colored machine tools.
Sometimes small things are the ones one is grateful for all through life. At a faculty reception . . . a British lady taught me how to tie my shoes with a double knot so that they keep tied more securely and still come apart in a jiffy. Kneeling on the floor in the midst of the chattering sherry-sippers she tied my shoes. I remember her twice a day ever since.