Temporal Musings



“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.”

“Forever is composed of nows”

“Fortune befriends the bold”

“Saying nothing…sometimes says the most”


“Baudelaire told me a long time ago that in each one of us there is a man, a woman, and a child – and the child is always in trouble”

“The day that woman admits what we call her masculine qualities, and man admits his so-called feminine qualities, will mean that we admit that we are androgynous, that we have many personalities, many sides to fulfill”

“To blame others is to feel helpless”

“While we wait for others to free us, we will not develop the strength to do it ourselves”

“It is less important to attack male writers than to discover and read women writers, to attack male-dominated films than to make films by women”

“There is no liberation of one group at the expense of another. Liberation can only come totally and in unison”


“If God exists, the number is definite, because how many birds I saw is known to God. If God does not exist, the number is indefinite, because nobody was able to take count”

“For if souls do not die, it is right that we should not make much of saying goodbye. To say goodbye to each other is to deny separation…Man invented farewells, because he somehow knows he is immortal, even though he may seem gratuitous and ephemeral”


“I asked if these two psychopaths could not be cured. ‘Cured?’ he asked. ‘Would you cure a singer of his voice?’ “

“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next”

“What is love of one’s country? Is it hate of one’s uncountry?”

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”

“Light is the left hand of darkness.”


“Children are in touch with paradise to the extent that they have not fully learned the ego-trick, and the same is true of cultures which, by our standards, are more ‘primitive’ and – by analogy – childlike.”

“Screaming or crying is a natural reaction to pain”

“This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play”

“Karma does not mean cause and effect. It simply means doing. In other words, you are doing what is happening to you”

“…the whole point of life is this moment”


“A witty saying proves nothing”

“Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do”

“God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh”

“Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers”


“Action is eloquence”

“Be great in act, as you have been in thought”


“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent”

“I want freedom for the full expression of my personality”

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”

“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it”


“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings”

“The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance”

“The unexamined life is not worth living”


“I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting”

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it”

“Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with”

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest”

“By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity — another man’s I mean”

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society”


“Most people believe in God because they have been taught from early infancy to do it, and that is the main reason. Then I think the next most powerful reason is the wish for safety, a sort of feeling there is a big brother who will look after you”

“There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is that he believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment”

“Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear”


“…mightn’t it be better for God if we refuse to believe in Him and struggle with all our might against death, without raising our eyes toward the heaven where He sits in silence?”

“The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole, men are more good than bad…”

“…there are more things to admire in men than to despise”


“The Truth is simple but the Way of Man is hard. First you must learn to control your self. The rest follows. Blessed is he who knows himself and commands himself, for the world is his and love and happiness and peace will walk with him wherever he goes”

“The culture known as ‘America’ had a split personality throughout its history. Its laws were puritanical; its covert behavior tended to be Rabelaisian; its major religions were Apollonian; its revivals were almost Dionysian”

“Democracy is a poor system; the only thing that can be said for it is that it is eight times as good as any other method”

“’Grok’….means ‘fear,’ it means ‘love,’ it means ‘hate’ – proper hate, for by the Martian map you cannot hate anything unless you can grok it – understand it so thoroughly that you merge with it and it merges with you – then you can hate. By hating yourself”


“Life is so colorful”

“Each of us has a responsibility for all humankind”


“No amount of technological progress will cure the hatred that eats away the vitals of materialistic society like a spiritual cancer”

“The desert was created simply to be itself, not to be transformed by men into something else”

“Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it”

“The solution to the problem of life is life itself. Life is not attained by reasoning and analysis, but first of all by livi”

“A man becomes solitary at the moment when, no matter what may be his external surroundings, he is suddenly aware of his own inalienable solitude and sees that he will never be anything but solitary”

“Violence is not completely fatal until it ceases to disturb us”


“I am you and you are me; it is obvious we inter-are”

“Understanding is the source of love. Understanding is love itself. Understanding is another name for love; love is another name for understanding.”


“And time brought along its secretary, memory, and space brought its brat, loneliness”

“Civilization is a mutant beast that emerged from the shattered egg of primitive stability”

“…Earth is God’s pinball machine and each quake, tidal wave, flash flood and volcanic eruption is the result of a TILT that occurs when God, cheating, tries to win free games”

‘Love easily confuses us because it is always in flux between illusion and substance, between memory and wish, between contentment and need”

“The thing about death, though, is that it eliminates so many options”

“Life’s an offensive proposition from beginning to end. Maybe those who can’t tolerate offense ought to just go ahead and end it all, and maybe those who demand finanical compensation for offense ought to have it ended for them”

“A sense of humor, properly developed, is superior to any religion so far devised”

“If the earth needs night as well as day, wouldn’t it follow that the soul requires endarkment to balance enlightenment?”

“There is no death. There are only different levels of life”


“The way Mother described Heaven, it sounded like a golf course in Hawaii, with manicured fairways and greens running down to a lukewarm ocean”

“History is a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again”


“People with passion have no power and people with power have no passion” (Andre Codrescu)

“If one does not care deeply about all of life, or even any part of life, and they insulate their heart from the bad, and even the good in anticipation that it may turn out bad, then life becomes barely worth living. If one does care deeply, with all of their heart, then all of life, the good and the bad of it, becomes, at one and the same time, almost too painfully wonderful, and yet ever so painfully sad, that it is almost too painful to endure.” (Heidegger)

“We are all in this together – alone.” (Lily Tomlin)


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