Words of Wisdom – For Life, Death, and Everything In Between

Words of Wisdom For Life

43. “… we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.”
— Ezra Pound


On Truth & Wisdom

44. “Nobody is smarter than you are. And what if they are? What good is their understanding doing you?”
― Terence McKenna

45. “I must find a truth that is true for me.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

46. “Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.”
― Hermann Hesse

47. “The wisest of all, in my opinion, is he who can, if only once a month, call himself a fool — a faculty unheard of nowadays.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky

48. “Truth, she thought. As terrible as death. But harder to find.”
― Philip K. Dick

49. “I don’t believe anything, but I have many suspicions.”
― Robert Anton Wilson

50. “The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.”
— Sent ts’an, c. 700 C. E.

51. “The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.”
― Yasutani Roshi


On Music & Silence

52. “I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”
― Rumi

53. “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.”
― Victor Hugo

54. “The only truth is music.”
— Jack Kerouac

55. “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
― Aldous Huxley

56. “Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.”
― William S. Burroughs

57. “When you are Angry, Be Silent.”
— Bukhari


On Suffering

“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”
― Alan W. Watts

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
― Ernest Hemingway


On Dreams & Possibility

“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

“I love those who yearn for the impossible.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!”
― Søren Kierkegaard

“I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.”
― Haruki Murakami

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
― Langston Hughes


On Change

“You could not step twice into the same river.”
― Heraclitus

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.”
― Lao Tzu

“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
― Alan W. Watts

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
― Lao Tzu

“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
― Margaret Mitchell


On Zen & Taoism

“Flow with whatever may happen, and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”
― Chuang Tzu

“You can feel an emotion; just don’t think that it’s so important.”
— John Cage

“No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.”
― Zen Proverb

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes and grass grows by itself.”
― Zenrin Kushû

“The instant you speak about a thing, you miss the mark.”
― Zen Proverb

“You must let what happens happen. Everything must be equal in your eyes, good and evil, beautiful and ugly, foolish and wise.”
― Michael Ende

“Worry is preposterous; we don’t know enough to worry.”
— Wei Boyang

“If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.”
― Zen Proverb


On Mystery

“The longer I live, the more uninformed I feel. Only the young have an explanation for everything.”
― Isabel Allende

“Mysteries abound where most we seek for answers.”
― Ray Bradbury

“He who does not answer the questions has passed the test.”
— Franz Kafka

“Talk of mysteries! — Think of our life in nature, — daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, — rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! The actual world! The common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? Where are we?
― Henry David Thoreau

“The frog in the pond knows little of the great ocean.”
― Zen Proverb

“Astonishment is the proper response to reality.”
— Terence McKenna

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
― Søren Kierkegaard


On Death

“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
― Langston Hughes

“As I have not worried to be born, I do not worry to die.”
― Federico García Lorca

“Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.”
― William S. Burroughs


On Freedom

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.”
— Alexis de Tocqueville

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