Favorite Quotes

“This is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber? Well here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.” -Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five)

“I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” – Ernest Hemingway

“Commitment is an act, not a word.” -Jean-Paul Sartre

“Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” 
-Albert Camus

“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven.” -John Milton

“Reality is merely an Illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” -Albert Einstein

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” -Jean-Paul Sartre

“Chaos is a friend of mine” – Bob Dylan

“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” -Steve Prefontaine

“You’ve got to cry without weeping, talk without speaking, and scream without raising your voice.” -Bono 

“Men must live and create…live to the point of tears.” -Albert Camus

“We live in our minds, and existence is the attempt to bring that life into physical reality…” -Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

“You must BE the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi

“Do not go where the path may lead, instead, go where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” -Michael Jordan (hall of fame induction speech).  

“Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” -Albert Einstein 

“It is not the strongest of two species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”  
-Charles Darwin

“It’s stasis that kills you off in the end, not ambition.”-Paul Hewson

“There are three ingredients to the good life: learning, earning, and yearning.” -Christopher Morley

“He who cannot give anything away, cannot feel anything either.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Hell is other people.” -Jean-Paul Sartre

“It’s an art to live with pain…mix the light into gray.” -Eddie Vedder

“Though beauty can be created, it cannot be put to a test or arbitrated; it consists only of its appeal to the senses.” -Josef von Sternberg

“A life unquestioned is not one to be envied.”
-Paul Hewson (a la, Socrates).

“Cogito, ergo sum.” -Descartes

“True merit is like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.” -Edward Frederick Halifax

“The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere. That is why so much social life is exhausting; one is wearing a mask.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“There is truth in boredom. Reflect. You are never alone and there is always something to do. You always have you.” -Francesco 

“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” -Frank A. Clark

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” -Buddha

“Smack in the centre of contradiction is the place to be.” 

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

“Do not give to dogs what is sacred; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them and tear you to pieces.” -Matthew

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”
-Zora Neale Hurston

“It’s no secret that ambition bites the nails of success.” -U2

“In the end, what you don’t surrender, well the world just strips away.” -Bruce Springsteen

“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.” -Buddha

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” -Carl Jung

“You must not allow life to create who you are..let your ambitions define your spirit.” -Brian

“Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people.”
-Randy Pausch

“His was a great sin who first invented consciousness…” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I assure you gentlemen, that to be excessively conscious is a disease, a real, full-blown disease.” -Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes from Underground)

“The worst thing that could possibly happen to anybody, would be to not be used for anything by anybody.” -Kurt Vonnegut (The Sirens of Titan)

“All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” -Abraham Lincoln

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” -Bob Marley

“If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But whatever you do, just keep on moving.” 
– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Sometimes I think it’s a great mistake to have matter that can think and feel…” – Kurt Vonnegut (The Sirens of Titan)

“The only pain is to feel nothing at all.” -U2

“I think if you don’t really like a girl, you shouldn’t horse around with her at all, and if you do like her, then you’re supposed to like her face, and if you like her face, you ought to be careful about doing crumby stuff to it, like squirting water all over it. It’s really too bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun sometimes. Girls aren’t too much help, either, when you start trying not to get too crumby, when you start trying not to spoil anything really good.” -J.D. Salinger

“Look at me. I won’t let myself end where I started. I refuse to finish where I began. Look me in the eyes. I have something more important than courage. I have patience. I will become what I know I am.” -Michael Jordan

“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you” -David Foster Wallace

“Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin.” -Denise McCluggage

“Experts in ancient Greek culture say that people back then didn’t see thoughts as belonging to them. When ancient Greeks had a thought, it occurred to them as a god or goddess giving them an order. Apollo was telling them to be brave. Athena was telling them to fall in love. Now people hear a commercial for sour cream potato chips and rush out to buy, and they call this free will. At least the Greeks were being honest.” -Chuck Palahniuk

“And I have no compass
And I have no map
And I have no reasons
No reasons to get back

And I have no religion
And I don’t know what’s what
And I don’t know the limit
The limit of what I’ve got ” -U2 (Zooropa)

“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will” -Chuck Palahniuk

“Once you start the mental life, you pluck the apple. You’ve severed the connection between the apple and the tree: the organic connection. And if you’ve got nothing in your life but the mental life, then you yourself are a plucked apple…you’ve fallen off the tree. And then it is a logical necessity to be spiteful, just as it’s a natural necessity for a plucked apple to go bad.” -D.H. Lawrence

“Deceiving others. When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.” -Oscar Wilde

“A man could no longer be private and withdrawn. The world allows no hermits. And now he had taken the woman, and brought on himself a new cycle of pain and doom. For he knew by experience what it meant.” -D.H. Lawrence

“Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes to earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon….From simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man–the function of his reasoning mind.” -Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)

“You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the “brain” of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you’re anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you’re with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion empty of all perception, an astonishing farce of misperception. And yet what are we to do about this terribly significant business of “other people,” which gets bled of the significance we think it has and takes on instead a significance that is ludicrous, so ill-equipped are we all to envision one another’s interior workings and invisible aims? Is everyone to go off and lock the door and sit secluded like the lonely writers do, in a soundproof cell, summoning people out of words and then proposing that these word people are closer to the real thing than the real people that we mangle with our ignorance every day? The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It’s getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That’s how we know we’re alive: we’re wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that–well, lucky you.” -Phillip Roth

“I don’t need drugs to make my life tragic.” -Eddie Vedder

“That God does not exist, I cannot deny. That my whole being cries out for God, I cannot forget.” -Jean-Paul Sartre

“If you can’t talk about nothing, then there’s no point to anything.”

“I don’t think humans are inherently good or inherently bad. I don’t think humans are inherently anything. I just think that we can only be judged based on the outcome of our actions. For the most part, intention might not even matter.”  

“Free will is not merely the illusion that we could have done otherwise, it is the force that drives our consciousness, gives meaning to life, and provides man with a sense responsibility on earth.”

“There is love of course. And then there’s life, its enemy.” -Jean Anouilh

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day…. The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re going to try to see it. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t…. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness.” – David Foster Wallace

““She survived it. She was able to because she did not believe in suffering. She faced with astonishing indignation the ugly fact of feeling pain and not letting it matter. Suffering was a senseless accident, and it was not part of life as she saw it. She would not allow it to become important…She knew the words, even the moments where there was nothing left within her but screaming, and she wished she could lose the faculty of consciousness so that it would not tell her that which could not be true was true…An immovable certainty within her kept repeating: Pain and ugliness are never to be taken seriously. She fought it. She recovered…to reach the day where she could face her memories indifferently…” from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)

“Feel out the difference between your mind and everyone else’s and appreciate your inner-monologue as your longest standing friend” -Kirsten Chen

“during my worst times
on the park benches
in the jails
or living with
I always had this certain
I wouldn’t call it
it was more of an inner
that settled for
whatever was occuring
and it helped in the
and when relationships 
went wrong
with the 
it helped 
through the
wars and the
the backalley fights
to awaken in a cheap room
in a strange city and
pull up the shade-
this was the craziest kind of

and to walk across the floor
to an old dresser with a 
cracked mirror- 
see myself, ugly,
grinning at it all. 
what matters most is
how well you 
walk through the
fire.” -Charles Bukowski (How is Your Heart?)

“How I wish you were still here with me
Oh, you build it up, you wreck it down
Then you burn your mansion to the ground
Oh, there’s nothing left to keep you here
But when you’re falling behind in this big blue world
Oh, you’ve got to hold on, hold on
Babe, you gotta hold on
Take my hand, I’m standing right here
You gotta hold on.” – Tom Waits (Hold On).

Roll the Dice
by Charles Bukowski

if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
way. this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or
4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the
worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the
and the nights will flame with

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.
you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter,
it’s the only good fight
there is

“The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others.”
-William Phelps