Tell me what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.
Ecstasy is what everyone craves — not love or sex, but a hot-blooded, soaring intensity, in which being alive is a joy and a thrill. That enravishment doesn’t give meaning to life, and yet without it life seems meaningless.
God is not indifferent to your need. / You have a thousand prayers, / but God has one.
You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, intelligent enough.
Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia had one eccentricity. If he felt unwell, he was convinced that he had only to eat a few pages of the Bible in order to feel better. This odd behavior did him little harm, as long as his testamentary intake was modest. However, in December 1913 he was recovering from a stroke when he suddenly felt extremely ill. On his instructions, the complete Book of Kings was torn from the Bible and fed to him, page by page. He died before he had consumed the entire book.
I was thrown out of NYU my freshman year . . . for cheating on my metaphysics final. I looked within the soul of the boy next to me.
The lights of an all-night diner were irresistible. I entered the steamy, greasy warmth, felt the meat smell cling to my clothing. I sat down at the counter and picked up a match box. On it was printed, ACE 24-HOUR CAFE — WHERE NICE PEOPLE MEET. And tears came to my eyes for the hopefulness, the sweetness, the enduring promise of plain human love. And I understood the incarnation for, I believe, the first time: Christ took on flesh for love, because the flesh is lovable.
If Christ had been put on television to preach the Sermon on the Mount, viewers would either have switched to another channel, or contented themselves with remarking that the speaker had an interesting face. Christ might have become a television personality, but there would have been no Christianity.
The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails, too, they finish by loading honors on your head.
There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire. The other is to get it.
Within your own house dwells the treasure of joy; so why do you go begging from door to door?
If you want to identify me ask not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for. Between these two answers you can determine the identity of any person. The better the answer he has, the more of a person he is.
A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.
if there has to be a god can she be a committee of women dedicated to wiping out earthly oppression.
Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.
We’re in the midst of a flood of biblical proportions. I see everybody holding on in their individual way to an orange crate, to a piece of wood, and we’re passing each other in this swollen river that has pretty well taken down all the landmarks, and overturned everything we’ve got. And people insist, under the circumstances, on describing themselves as “liberal” or “conservative.” It seems to me completely mad.
The world dies over and over again, but the skeleton always gets up and walks.