Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.
What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity.
Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job.
Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.
People understand me so poorly that they don’t even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.
People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of potential — for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints; possibility never.
What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music.
The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
The truth is a snare: you cannot have it, without being caught. You cannot have the truth in such a way that you catch it, but only in such a way that it catches you.
How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have.
I begin with the principle that all men are bores. Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this.
Look within. Within is the foundation of good, and it will ever bubble up, if you will ever dig.
Anger cannot be dishonest.
You can commit injustice by doing nothing.
What is your art? To be good.
Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.
As if you had died and your life had extended only to this present moment, use the surplus that is left to you to live from this time onward according to nature.
Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.
What illusion about myself do I entertain?
Stick to what’s in front of you — idea, action, utterance.
People with a strong physical constitution can tolerate extremes of hot and cold; people of strong mental health can handle anger, grief, joy and the other emotions.
Nothing should be done without a purpose.
Even the smallest thing should be done with reference to an end.
Who exactly are these people that you want to be admired by? Aren’t they the same people you are in the habit of calling crazy? And is this your life ambition, then — to win the approval of lunatics?
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
Receive without pride, let go without attachment.
Remember: Matter. How tiny your share of it. Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it. Fate. How small a role you play in it.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time.
You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.
Objective judgement, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance, now, at this very moment — of all external events. That’s all you need.
How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life.