“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”
“Have you suffered for knowledge’s sake?”--Nietzsche
To me Nietzsche is a Prometheus figure who paid dearly for engaging the gods and giving the flame to humankind. A brilliant mind and a broken body.
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
"Not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, does the enlightened man dislike to wade into its waters"
"One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly."
"The lie is a condition of life."
"We have art in order not to die of the truth."
"All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth."
"There is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving any of it away to imaginary beings."
"This is the paradox of my existence: I have loved life passionately but have never dared to channel this love in the direction of normal erotic experience.... Why must my head split open with the roar of a thousand seas, I who loved the stillness of the mountains and walked alone through miles of utter silence?"
"A person can live only so long as he is drunk - drunk on wine, woman, ideas or Messianic passion. And in my Dionysian thirst I have been intoxicated with everything - even with the monkeydom of Darwin and the positivists. But try as I may I cannot go Buddhist and get drunk on death. The idea of sinking into nothing horrifies me; Like Dostoevsky I am overcome by the frozen horror of eternity; to sleep for a billion years and never again see the dawn rising above the mountains...never again...never again."
"If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate."
"The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing."
— Walt Whitman
"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity, nothing exceeds the criticisms made on the fate of those who suffer by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed."
"When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him."
"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
"There might have been a thin leaven of landowners and aristocrats who lived pleasant lives, but those lives were made pleasant only through the unremitting labors of servants, peasants, serfs, and slaves whose lives were one long brutality. Those who inherit the traditions of a ruling class are too aware of the past pleasantness of life, and too unaware of the nightmare that filled it just beyond the borders of the manor house."
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."
— Albert Einstein, letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, 1/3/1954
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms."
— Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born American theoretical physicist, quoted in The New York Times obituary, April 19, 1955
"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
— Albert Einstein, 1954, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side
"I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him."
— Albert Einstein, letter to Edgar Meyer, 1/2/1915
Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously.
No catalogue of horrors ever kept men from war. Before the war you always think that it's not you that dies. But you will die, brother, if you go to it long enough.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I...I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."
"everything is in flux and nothing abides;
everything flows and nothing stays fixed;
everything is constantly changing and nothing stays the same"
A Greek philosopher of Ephesus (near modern Kuşadası, Turkey) who was active around 500 BCE, Heraclitus propounded a distinctive theory which he expressed in oracular language. He is best known for his doctrines that things are constantly changing (universal flux), that opposites coincide (unity of opposites), and that fire is the basic material of the world. (Standord Encyclopedia)
"Nothing endures but change"
"All things are in flux...All are one."
"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."
"Thinking is a sacred disease ."
"History is a child building a sand-castle by the sea, and that child is the whole majesty of man’s power in the world. "
"Logos is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, surfeit and hunger. "
"That which always was,
and is, and will be everlasting fire,
the same for all, the cosmos,
made neither by god nor man,
replenishes in measure
as it burns away. "
Walt Whitman Quotes:
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.
Nothing can happen more beautiful than death.
Camerado, this is no book. Who touches this, touches a man.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing.
To the real artist in humanity, what are called bad manners are often the most picturesque and significant of all.
What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the words I have read in my life.
Be curious, not judgmental.
Come lovely and soothing death, Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving, In the day, in the night, to all, to each, Sooner or later, delicate death.
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done! The ship has weathered every wrack, the prize we sought is won
Praised be the fathomless universe, For life and joy and for objects and knowledge curious; And for love, sweet love — But praise! O praise and praise, For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding Death.
I see Hermes, unsuspected, dying, well-beloved, saying to the people, “Do not weep for me, This is not my true country, I have lived banished from my true country — I now go back there, I return to the celestial sphere where every one goes in his turn.”
Oh Me! Oh Life! of the questions recurring,
That you are here - that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
Whispers of Heavenly Death by Walt Whitman
Whispers of heavenly death murmur'd I hear,
Labial gossip of night, sibilant chorals,
Footsteps gently ascending, mystical breezes wafted soft and low,
Ripples of unseen rivers, tides of a current flowing, forever flowing,
(Or is it the plashing of tears? the measureless waters of human tears?)
I see, just see skyward, great cloud-masses,
Mournfully slowly they roll, silently swelling and mixing,
With at times a half-dimm'd sadden'd far-off star,
Appearing and disappearing.
(Some parturition rather, some solemn immortal birth;
On the frontiers to eyes impenetrable,
Some soul is passing over.)
Darest thou now O soul
Darest thou now O soul,
Walk out with me toward the unknown region,
Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow?
No map there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.
I know it not O soul,
Nor dost thou, all is a blank before us,
All waits undream'd of in that region, that inaccessible land.
Till when the ties loosen,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds bounding us.
Then we burst forth, we float,
In Time and Space O soul, prepared for them,
Equal, equipt at last, (O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil O soul.