There is no particular theme to the quotes I have collected here, just some interesting, thought provoking, funny and occasionally confusing words of wisdom.

Collected quotes

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

— Robert A. Heinlein

If you banish the dragons you banish the heroes

Sometimes the only appropriate response to reality is to go insane.

— Philip K Dick

I’m fascinated by the notion of civilization as a thin layer of ice resting upon a deep ocean of darkness and chaos.

— Werner Herzog

When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.

— Ram Dass

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.

— Thomas Merton

Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation

— Aristotle

A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.

— Ludwig Wittgenstein

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Truth is singular, its versions are mistruths

— Sonmi 451

Sometimes you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down.

— Kobi Yamada

Once the work is done at the source, the whole river comes clean.

— Unknown

Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime, and every kindness, we birth our future.

— Sonmi-451, Cloud Atlas

Remembering that you are going to die one day is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. Follow your heart.

— Steve Jobs

Success is buried in the garden of failure.

— Rick Wakeman

People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as ‘parasites’ fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.

— Professor Jason Read

Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

— Buddha

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

— J.K. Rowling

Fear knocked at the door, love answered, and found no one there.

— Sufi maxim

One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil.

— Nietzsche

I am all in favor of the skeptical mind. Do not believe anything unless you have experienced it. Do not believe anything – go on questioning, however long it takes.

— Osho

The best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

— Dalai Lama

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it’s forever.

— Carl Sagan

All I’m saying is that minerals are a very rudimentary form of consciousness; whereas other people [mainstream science] are saying that consciousness is a complicated form of minerals.

— Alan W. Watts

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.

— Andre Gide

I am, I am not, I will be, I will not be are vein thoughts which is a sickness and once all are eliminated no desire arises.

— Buddha

Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher.

— Buddha

I am not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.

— Fritz Perls

Karma doesn’t have any hands, or any fists, so maybe it used your fist.

— Randy Hickey

Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.

— Buddha

It is better to be a flamboyant failure than any kind of benign success.

— Malcolm McLaren

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at the broken places.

— Ernest Hemingway

The Tao which can be spoken is not the true Tao.

— Tao Te Ching

Not all who wander are lost.

— J. R. R. Tolkien

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.

— Buddha

The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order… the continuous thread of revelation.

— Eudora Welty

It always comes back to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard.

— May Sarton

Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable.

— Brenda Ueland

The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.

— Benjamin Disraeli

Everything in nature gives in its death. Stars die and whole solar systems begin to evolve from the impregnation of the exploded stellar matter. Trees die, and from their wood human beings build homes and furniture, statues and Stradivariuses. If humans died in a healthy culture, they would not lock out the earth in metal coffins and carve their names on stone monuments, but would instead place the naked body in the earth and plant a tree above the silent heart.

— William Irwin Thompson

A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.

— Buddha

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