"All the way to heaven is heaven."
"It seems we only know what life is when we know what death is."
"More isn't always better. Better is better."
"Focusing on the most beneficial activities to the exclusion of less beneficial alternatives can leave you better off than trying to clutter your life with everything that might offer some value."
"We either add to the darkness of indifference and out-and-out evil which surrounds us or we light a candle to see by."
"Better to know a few things which are good and necessary than many things which are useless and mediocre."
"The essential problem of ongoingness is that one must contemplate time as that very time, that very subject of one’s contemplation, disappears."
"The experiences that demanded I yield control to a force greater than my will — diagnoses, deaths, unbreakable vows — weren’t the beginnings or the ends of anything. They were the moments when I was forced to admit that beginnings and ends are illusory. That history doesn’t begin or end, but it continues. For just a moment, with great effort, I could imagine my will as a force that would not disappear but redistribute when I died, and that all life contained the same force, and that I needn’t worry about my impending death because the great responsibility of my life was to contain the force for a while and then relinquish it."
"It is we who are passing when we say time passes."
"If our heart were large enough to love life in all its detail, we would see that every instant is at once a giver and a plunderer."
"Hell is where no one has anything in common with anybody else except the fact that they all hate one another and cannot get away from one another and from themselves."
The truth will never be complete
In any mind or time. It will never
Be reduced to an explanation.
What you have is only a sack of fragments
Never to be filled: old bones, fossils,
Facts, scraps of writing, sprawls of junk.
You know yourself only poorly and in part,
The best and the worst maybe forgotten.
However you arrange the pieces, however
Authentic, a story is what you’ll have,
An artifact, for better or worse.
So go ahead. Gather your findings into
A plausible arrangement. Make a story.
Show how love and joy, beauty and goodness,
Shine out amongst the rubble.
"The longest journey someone must make is the 18 inches from the head into the heart."
"Racism, specifically, is the state-sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death."
"It matters not where or how far you travel—the farther commonly the worse—but how much alive you are."
"[This is] a time … when something awful is happening to a civilization, when it ceases to produce poets, and, what is even more crucial, when it ceases in any way whatever to believe in the report that only the poets can make. Conrad told us a long time ago…: 'Woe to that man who does not put his trust in life.' Henry James said, 'Live, live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.' And Shakespeare said — and this is what I take to be the truth about everybody’s life all of the time — 'Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.' Art is here to prove, and to help one bear, the fact that all safety is an illusion. In this sense, all artists are divorced from and even necessarily opposed to any system whatever."
"The first duty of love is to listen."
"This collision between one’s image of oneself and what one actually is is always very painful and there are two things you can do about it, you can meet the collision head-on and try and become what you really are or you can retreat and try to remain what you thought you were, which is a fantasy, in which you will certainly perish."
"The past only comes back when the present runs so smoothly that it is like the sliding surface of a deep river."
"Acceptance. Acceptance of the impermanence of being. And acceptance of the imperfect nature of being, or possibly the perfect nature of being, depending on how one looks at it. Acceptance that this is not a rehearsal. That this is it."