American writer, 1915 – 1968.
1. “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
2. ”Avoid three kinds of
Those who esteem only themselves, for their self-esteem is blindness;
Those who esteem only innovations, for their opinions are aimless, without meaning;
Those who esteem only what is established; their minds are little cells of ice.”
3. “May God prevent us from becoming “right-thinking men;” That is to say men who agree perfectly with their own police.”
4. "Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it."
5. “The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”
6. “The most dangerous man in the world is the contemplative who is guided by nobody. He trusts his own visions. He obeys the attractions of an interior voice, but will not listen to other men. He identifies the will of God with anything that makes him feel, within his own heart, a big, warm, sweet interior glow. The sweeter and warmer the feeling, the more he is convinced of his own infallibility. And if the sheer force of his own self-confidence communicates itself to other people and gives them the impression that he really is a saint, such a man can wreck a whole city or a religious order or even a nation. The world is covered with scars that have been left in its flesh by visionaries like these.”
7. “The purpose of a fish
trap is to catch fish,
and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.
The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits.
When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.
The purpose of words is to convey ideas.
When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words?
He is the one I would like to talk to.”
8. “The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.”
9. “What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.”
10. ”When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash - at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the "newness," the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.”
Last update: January 15th, 2002.