More Quotes


Please contribute your "wit and wisdom." 

I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.
                                                     Ballad of the White Horse, Chesterton   1911

And the wind shall say:
'Here were decent godless people:                      
Their only monument the asphalt road                                           
And a thousand lost golf balls'.                                               
                                                     T. S. Eliot

The last temptation and the greatest treason is to do the right thing for the wrong reason.     T. S. Eliot

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.   Einstein

There are two ways of lying, as there are two ways of deceiving customers. If the scale registers 15 ounces, you can say: "It's a pound." Your lie will remain relative to an invariable measure of the true. If customers check it, they can see that they are being robbed, and you know by how much you are robbing them: a truth remains as a judge between you. But if the demon induces you to tamper with the scale itself, it is the criterion of the true which is denatured, there is no longer any possible control. And little by little you will forget that you are cheating.    Denis de Rougemont

The coming peril is the intellectual, educational, psychological and artistic overproduction, which, equally with economic overproduction, threatens the wellbeing of contemporary civilisation. People are inundated, blinded, deafened, and mentally paralysed by a flood of vulgar and tasteless externals, leaving them no time for leisure, thought, or creation from within themselves.    G. K. Chesterton   Toronto, 1930

There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist fighting for peace by nonviolent methods most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace. It destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
                                                                                Thomas Merton, "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander," 1964

Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and the contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight:  he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that. Thus he has always believed that there was such a thing as fate, but such a thing as free will also. Thus he believed that children were indeed the kingdom of heaven, but nevertheless ought to be obedient to the kingdom of earth. He admired youth because it was young and age because it was not. It is exactly this balance of apparent contradictions that has been the whole buoyancy of the healthy man. The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand... The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious and everything else becomes lucid... A symbol from physical nature will express sufficiently well the real place of mysticism before mankind. The one created thing which we cannot look at is the one thing in the light of which we look at everything.           G. K. Chesterton

The typical modern man is the insane millionaire who has drudged to get money, and then finds he cannot enjoy even money. There is danger that the social reformer may silently and occultly develop some of the madness of the millionaire whom he denounces. He may find that he has learnt how to build playgrounds but forgotten how to play. He may agitate for peace and quiet, but only propagate his own mental agitation. In his long fight to get a slave a half-holiday he may angrily deny those ancient and natural things, the zest of being, the divinity of man, the sacredness of simple things, the health and humour of the earth, which alone make a half-holiday even half a holiday or a slave even half a man. Chesterton -

For at present we all tend to one mistake; we tend to make politics too important. We tend to forget how huge a part of a man's life is the same under a Sultan and a Senate, under Nero or St Louis. Daybreak is a never-ending glory, getting out of bed is a never-ending nuisance; food and friends will be welcomed; work and strangers must be accepted and endured; birds will go bedwards and children won't, to the end of the last evening. And the worst peril is that in our just modern revolt against intolerable accidents we may have unsettled those things that alone make daily life tolerable. It will be an ironic tragedy if, when we have toiled to find rest, we find we are incurably restless. It will be sad if, when we have worked for our holiday, we find we have unlearnt everything but work. Chesterton

          The merely rich are not rich enough to rule the modern market. The things that change modern history, the big national and international loans, the big educational and philanthropic foundations, the purchase of numberless newspapers, the big prices paid for peerages, the big expenses often incurred in elections - these are getting too big for everybody except the misers; the men with the largest of earthly fortunes and the smallest of earthly aims.
       There are two other odd and rather important things to be said about them. The first is this: that with this aristocracy we do not have the chance of a lucky variety in types which belongs to larger and looser aristocracies. The moderately rich include all kinds of people even good people. Even priests are sometimes saints; and even soldiers are sometimes heroes. Some doctors have really grown wealthy by curing their patients and not by flattering them; some brewers have been known to sell beer. But among the Very Rich you will never find a really generous man, even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egoistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it. G.K. Chesterton

The problem with insight, sensitivity and intuition is that they tend to confirm our biases.                                                                                                                                    Naomi Wesstein

Aquinas does lift Faith above Reason; but does not lower reason. He does put the supernatural higher than the natural; but does not lower the natural. He says that the lower thing is in every sense worthy' except that compared with the higher it is worthless. This led to a habit of thinking on two levels, or even on three. It was like a medieval theatre...  
                                                                                . Chesterton

Tradition (from the Latin "traditio" meaning "handing down") means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around. G. K. Chesterton

In living in the world by his own will and skill, the stupidest peasant or tribesman is more competent than the most intelligent worker or technician or intellectual in a society of specialists.     Wendell Berry

If conviviality is reduced below a certain level, no amount of industrial productivity can effectively satisfy "the needs" it creates among society's members.          Ivan Illich paraphrase

The present position which we, the educated and well-to-do classes occupy, is that of the Old Man of the Sea, riding on the poor man's back; only, unlike the Old Man of the Sea, we are very sorry for the poor man, very sorry; and we will do almost anything for the poor man's relief. We will not only supply him with food sufficient to keep him on his legs, but we will teach and instruct him and point out to him the beauties of the landscape; we will discourse sweet music to him and give him abundance of good advice. Yes, we will do almost anything of the poor man, anything but get off his back.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tolstoy
I'll help you fix and squeeze yourself up a new kind of God, one that tells you fertilize and multiply, outsow, and outblow, outplant and outgrow, outdo and outrun.  Woody Guthrie

The only escape from this destiny of victimization has been to "succeed," that is, to "make it" into the class of exploiters, and then to remain so specialized and so "mobile" as to be unconscious of the effects of one's life or livelihood.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Wendell Berry

It seems to me there are very dangerous ambiguities about our democracy in its actual present condition. I wonder to what extent our ideals are now a front for organized selfishness and irresponsibility. If our affluent society ever breaks down and the facade is taken away, what are we going to have left?    Thomas Merton

This change (this metanoia) is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves.  To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves.     Merton

The real function of discipline is not to provide us with maps, but to sharpen our own sense of direction so that when we really get going we can travel without maps.   Merton

We become contemplatives when God discovers Himself in us.   Merton 

You are fed up with words and I don't blame you. I am nauseated by them sometimes.  I am also, to tell the truth, nauseated by ideals and with causes.  This sounds like heresy, but I think you will understand what I mean.  It is so easy to get engrossed with ideas and slogans and myths that in the end one is left holding the bag, empty, with no trace of meaning left in it.  And then the temptation is to yell louder than ever in order to make meaning be there again by magic...                                                                                                                                                                                                           Merton

The night became very dark.  The rain surrounded the whole cabin with its enormous virginal myth, a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor.  Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out the places where men have stripped the hillside.  What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone in the forest at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligent perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows. Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it.  It will talk as long as it wants, the rain.  As long as it talks I am going to listen.  

A demonic existence is one which insistently diagnoses what it cannot cure, what it has no desire to cure, what it seeks to bring to full potency, in order that it may cause the death of its victim.    Merton

La verdad, si no es entera, se convierte en aliada de lo falso.  (The truth, if not entire, becomes an ally of falsehood.)                                                                                                                                                                                                 Javier Sábada

At a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.   George Orwell

We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held... But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another, slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World"... Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally opposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision no Big Brother is required... As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. What Orwell feared is those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book for there would be no one who wanted to read one... Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with the equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy... In 1984, Huxley added people who are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.  Neil Postman    "Amusing Ourselves to Death," 1985

The problem is not bad politics, but a bad way of life.   Wendell Berry

We know to the extent we love.    St. Augustine of Hippo

The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess Success. That - with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word "success" - is our national disease.                         William James

Thomas Merton was once asked to write a chapter for a book entitled "Secrets of Success."  He replied: "If it so happened that I had once written a best-seller, this was a pure accident, due to inattention and naivete, and I would take very good care never to do the same again.  If I had a message for my contemporaries, I said, it was surely this:  Be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing:  success."

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.                                                                                                                                                                        Gertrude Stein, American author  1874-1946

If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.                             Dorothy Canfield Fisher, American author and essayist  1879-1958  

Where your heart is, there also will your treasure be.  Y'eshua the Nazarene

It is not enough to do good. One must do it the right way.   John Viscount Morley

It was the freewheeling seventies, and our family had chosen to live without a television. People began talking about our new "lifestyle." Funny --- I thought of it as a life, rich in friends and careers, brimming with garden-grown food and home-baked bread and the sounds of singing around the piano. The ultimate accusation came from our pastor's wife, who said, "How dare you try to protect your children from reality?"          Kathleen Wendland, Sun Magazine

To say that television has some good parts is like saying cocaine contains some vitamins.  David Mamet

Our society is dedicated almost entirely to the celebration of the ego, with all its sad fantasies about success and power, and it celebrates those very forces of greed and ignorance that are destroying the planet.  Sogyal Rinpoche

We have met the enemy and he is us.   Pogo

The grudge against God is the keystone to all one's unhappiness.  Follow all your petty, middling, and major grudges back to this keystone grudge, and then ask yourself the question, "Is it more likely that God was wrong to make the world this way, or that I am somehow wrong in the way I'm looking at it?"  If you decide that God is wrong --- or that there is no God, just a faceless, mechanical universe that cares nothing about the human drama --- then there isn't much you can do.  But if you realize that you can always adjust your perceptions of the world, you can start learning and contributing again.  This seems to be the way to both humility and power. 
                                                                               D. Patrick Miller, A Primer on Forgiveness, "The Sun", 9/94

Unless the cause of peace-based-on-law gathers behind it the force and zeal of a religion, it hardly can hope to succeed......There must be added that deep power of emotion which is a basic ingredient of religion.   Einstein
Discovering the Church is apt to be a slow procedure, but it can take place if you have a free mind and no vested interest in disbelief...  Flannery O'Connor

We always act as if something had an even greater price than life... but what is that something?    Antoine de St. Exupery

Most of our problems arise from the human inability to sit still in a room.  Blaise Pascal

You can learn a lot from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.   
                                                                                                                                                                                    Dr. Seuss 
He will get to the goal first who stands stillest.    Thoreau

The profoundest truths are paradoxical.    Lao Tzu

Learning makes one fit company for oneself.   Thomas Fuller

To be happy at home is the end of all human activity.   Samuel Johnson

Sins become more subtle as you grow older: you commit sins of despair rather than sins of lust.    Piers Paul Reid
If this life be not a real fight, in which something is eternally gained for the universe by success, it is no better than a game of private theatricals from which one may withdraw at will. But it "feels" like a real fight. 
                                                                     William James, "Varieties of Relgious Experience"
The causes we know everything about depend on causes we know very little about, which depend on causes we know absolutely nothing about.  Tom Stoppard

The fact that we are totally unable to imagine a form of existence without space and time by no means proves that such an existence is itself impossible.   Carl Jung

To be thoroughly modern is to confine oneself to an ultimate narrowness. G. K. Chesterton

When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered most. When I became a Christian, I was able to take a more liberal view.   C. S. Lewis

Nothing more strangely indicates an enormous and silent evil of modern society than the extraordinary use which is made nowadays of the word "orthodox." In former days the heretic was proud of not being a heretic. It was kingdoms of the world and the police and the judges who were heretics. He was orthodox... All the tortures torn out of forgotten hells could not make him admit that he was heretical... The word "heresy" not only means no longer "being wrong"; it practically means being clear-headed and courageous. The word "orthodoxy" not only no longer means being right, it practically means being wrong... (This) means that people care less for whether they are philosophically right... The dynamiter, laying a bomb, ought to insist that, whatever else he is, at least he is orthodox... General theories are everywhere contemned... We will have no generalizations... We are more and more to discuss art, politics, literature. A man's opinon on tramcars matters; his opinion on Botticelli matters; his opinon on all things does not matter. He may turn over and explore a million objects, but he must not find that strange object, the universe, for if he does, he will have a religion and be lost. Everything matters, except everything.                                                                                                                                                                           G. K. Chesterton

                                                                               A PARABLE

An American businessman was at the pier of a coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the boat were several large yellow fin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."
The American then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish.
The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.
The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor."
The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you.  You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat.  With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery.  You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."
The fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"
To which the American replied, "15-20 years."
"But what then, senor?"
The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."
"Millions, senor? Then what?"
The American said, "Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."


(I bought an old farm in upstate New York.) For years I raced around digging ponds, chopping trees, clearing paths, pulling rocks, unclogging channels, planting --- always making lists, plans, agendas; always "improving" things. One day, after finishing yet another important project, I made a list of all the things I had left to do. According to my schedule, I could begin enjoying my land 25 years down the line. Something was dreadfully wrong.  John Taylor Gatto

There are others whose state of mind is still more extraordinary. They not only do not need the landscape to corroborate their history, but they do not care if the landscape contradicts their history... If the map marks the place as a waterless desert, they will declare it as dry as a bone, though the whole valley resound with the rushing river. A whole huge rock will be invisible if a little book on geology says it is impossible. This is at the opposite extreme to the irrational credultiy of the rustic, but it is infinitely more irrational... This great delusion of the prior claim of printed matter, as something anterior to experience and capable of contradicitng it, is the main weakness of modern urban society. The chief mark of the modern man has been that he has gone through a landscape with his eyes glued to a guidebook, and could actually deny in the one, anything that he could not find in the other. One man, however, happened to look up from the book and see things for himself; he was a man of too impatient a temper, and later he showed too hasty a disposition to tear the book up or toss the book away. But there had been granted to him a strange and high and heroic sort of faith. He could believe his eyes.    G. K. Chesterton, "William Cobbett" 


Henry David Thoreau

I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merrely civil, - to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of a society. I wish to make an extreme statement, if so I may make an emphatic one, for there are enough champions of civilization: the minister and the school-committee and everyone of you will take care of that.

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who undesrtood the art of Walking, that is of taking walks, - who had a genius, so to speak for sauntering: which word is beautifully derived "from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte-Terrer, to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a Sainte-Terrer," a Saunterer, Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering.  He who sits still in a house all of the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the first, which, indeed, is the most probable derivation. For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit within us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels.

It is true, but we are faint-hearted crusaders, even the walkers, nowadays, who undertake no persevering, never-ending enterprises. Our expeditions are but tours, and come round-again at evening to the old hearth-side from which we set out. Half the walk is retracing our steps. We should go forth on the shortest walk perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return, - prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only as relics to our desolate kingdoms. If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friend, and never see them again, - if you have paid all your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man, then you are ready for a walk.


         Whilst in this state of philosophic pessimism and general depression of spirits about my prospects, I went one evening into a dressing-room in the twilight to procure soome article that was there; when suddenly there fell upon me without any warning, just as if it came out of the darkness, a horrible fear of my own existence. Simultaneously, there arose in my mind the image of an epileptic patient whom I had seen in the asylum, a black-haired youth with greenish skin, entirely idiotic, who used to sit all day on one of the benches, or rather shelves against the wall, with his knees drawn up against his chin, and the coarse gray undershirt, which was his only garment, drawn over them inclosing his entire figure. He sat there like a sort of sculptured Egyptian cat or Peruvian mummy, moving nothing but his black eyes and looking absolutely non-human. This image and my fear entered into a species of combination with each other. That shape I am, I felt, potentially. Nothing that I possess can defend me against that fate, if the hour for it should strike for me as it struck for him. There was such a horror of him, and such a perception of my own merely momentary discrepancy from him, that it was as if something hitherto solid within my breast gave way entirely, and I became a mass of quivering fear. After this the universe was changed for me altogether. I awoke morning after morning with a horrible dread at the pit of my stomach, and with a sense of the insecurity of life that I never knew before, and that I have never felt since. It was like a revelation; and although the immediate feelings passed away, the experience has made me sympathetic with the morbid feelings of others ever since. It gradually faded, but for months I was unable to go out into the dark alone.
         In general I dreaded to be left alone. I remember wondering how other people could live, how I myself had ever lived, so unconscious of that pit of insecurity beneath the surface of life. My mother in particular, a very cheerful person, seemed to me a perfect paradox in her unconsciousness of danger, which you may well believe I was very careful not to disturb by revelations of my own state of mind. I have always thought that this experience of melancholia of mine had a religious bearing...   I mean that the fear was so invasive and powerful that if I had not clung to scripture texts like "The eternal God is my refuge," etc., "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden," etc., "I am the resurrection and the life," etc., I think I should have grown really insane.  
                                                                                                    William James, author "The Varieties of Religious Experience"
It is true that we might do a vast amount of good if we were wealthy, but it is also highly improbable, not many do; and the art of growing rich is not only quite distinct form thatof doing good, but the practice of the one does not at all train a man for practicing the other... It is a mere illusion that, above a certain income, the personal desires will be satisfied and leave a wider margin for the generous impulse. It is as difficult to be generous, or anything else...on thirty thousand as on two thousand a year.   Robert Louis Steveson

The need for financial security was too deeply engrained. That singular fear is probably the greatest obstacle to moral action in today's society. There are arguments that one can live simply on a large salary while using the excess for good works, but we have never seen them lived out.
         Janet and Rob Aldridge who quit Lockheed after 25 years. Prior to his resignation, Aldridge was in charge of designing the Maneuvering Re-entry Vehicle (MARV) for the Trident missile.

The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.   
                                                                                                                                                                          Hannah Arendt

At a time when a large part of humankind is beginning to discard Christianity, it is worth while to understand clearly why it was originally accepted. It was accepted in order to escape, at last, from the brutality of antiquity. As soon as we discard it licentiousness returns, as is impressively exemplified by life in modern cities.    Carl Gustav Jung

1700 years ago Romans packed the Colisseum to cheer while wild animals ate human beings. This casual slaughter was, arguably, the ancient world's most sought-after entertainment. Royalty, nobility, professionals, artisans, laborers and peasants prized "a good seat at the games."

In the spirit of Hannah Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem," John Conroy (author of "Ordinary People, Unspeakable Acts") interviews victims of torture as well as the torturers themselves. Conroy observes that the latter have a remarkable ability for rationalization, and describes most of them as cordial, likeable people.

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.
                                                                                                                                                                          Hannah Arendt

Man's chief moral deficiency appears to be not his indiscretions but his reticence.       Hannah Arendt

It is no easy matter to reduce to obedience a man who does not wish to command.       Rousseau

Life is suffering. The Buddha's First Noble Truth

The fullest life is impossible without an immovable belief in a Living Law in obedience to which the whole universe moves.   Gandhi

The Prince and the two children were standing with their heads hung down, their cheeks flushed, their eyes half closed; the strength all gone from them; the enchantment almost complete. But Puddleglum, desperately gathering all his strength, walked over to the fire. Then he did a very brave thing. He knew it wouldn't hurt him quite as much as it would hurt a human; for his feet (which were bare) were webbed and hard and cold-blooded like a duck's. But he knew it would hurt him badly enough; and so it did. With his bare foot he stamped on the fire, grinding a large part of it into ashes on the flat hearth. And three things happened at once. First, the sweet, heavy smell grew very much less. For though the whole fire had not been put out, a good bit of it had, and what remained smelled very largely of burnt Marsh-wiggle, which is not at all an enchanting smell. This instantly made everyone's brain far clearer. The Prince and the children held up their heads again and opened their eyes. Secondly, the Witch, in a loud, terrible voice, utterly different from the sweet tones she had been using up till now, called out, "What are you doing? Dare to touch my fire again, mud-filth, and I'll turn the blood to fire inside your veins." Thirdly, the pain itself made Puddleglum's head for a moment perfectly clear and he knew exactly what he really thought. There is nothing like a good shock of pain for dissolving certain kinds of magic. "One word, Ma'am" he said coming back from the fire; limping because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia.     C. S. Lewis

All the books were beginning to turn against me. Indeed, I must have been blind as a bat not to have seen, long before, the ludicrous contradiction between my theory of life and my actual experiences as a reader. George MacDonald (the Scottish fantasist) had done more to me than any other writer; of course it was a pity he had that bee in his bonnet about Christianity. He was good in spite of it. Chesterton had more sense than all the other moderns put together; bating, of course, his Christianity. Johnson was one of the few authors whom I felt I could trust utterly; curiously enough, he had the same kink. Spenser and Milton by a strange coincidence had it too. Even among ancient authors the same paradox was to be found. The most religious (Plato, Aeschylus, Virgil) were clearly those on whom I could really feed. On the other hand, those writers who did not suffer from religion and with whom in theory my sympathy ought to have been complete -- Shaw and Wells and Mill and Gibbon and Voltaire -- all seemed a little thin, what as boys we called "tinny." It wasn't that I didn't like them. They were all (especially Gibbon) entertaining; but hardly more. There seemed to be no depth in them. They were too simple. The roughness and density of life did not appear in their books..... The only non-Christians who seemed to me really to know anything were the Romantics; and a good many of them were dangerously tinged with something like religion, even at times with Christianity. The upshot of it all could nearly be expressed in a perversion of Roland's great line in the Chanson --- "Christians are wrong, but all the rest are bores."   C. S. Lewis

The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's "own" or "real" life: the truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life -- the life God is sending : what one calls one's "real life" is a phantom of one's own imagination.   C. S. Lewis

The destiny of man is not decided by material computation. When great causes are on the move in the world ... we learn that we are spirits, not animals, and that something is going on in space and time, and beyond space and time, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty. 
                                         Winston Churchill
                                         Radio broadcast to America
                                         Receiving an honorary degree from the University of Rochester
                                         June 16, 1941

Gangsters, for their own profit, corner a basic necessity by controlling supplies. Educators and doctors and social workers today...gain legal power to create the need that, by law, they alone will be allowed to serve.   Ivan Illich

By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell - and hell heaven... The great masses of people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.   Adolf Hitler

The victors will not be asked if they told the truth.   Adolf Hitler

Generally, it is states that make war, and larger states make larger and longer war with greater casualites, despite the fact that they sell themselves as offering greater security and peace.     Kirkpatrick Sale

Our highly vaunted sexual freedom has turned out to be a new puritanism. I define puritanism as a state of alienation from the body, separation of emotion from reason, and use of the body as a machine.  Rollo May

Pleasure is not happiness. It has no more importance than a shadow following a man.  
                                                                                                                       Mohammed Ali (Cassius Clay)

The medical campaign to eliminate pain overlooks the conection between pain and happiness. As we decrease our sensitivity to pain we also decrease our ability to experience the simple joys and pleasures of life. The result is that stronger and stronger stimuli - drugs, violence, horror - are needed to provide people in an anesthetic society with a sense of being alive. Increasingly, pain-killing promises an artificually painless life and turns people into unfeeling spectators of their own decaying selves. The very idea of having pain killed by somebody else, rather than facing it, was alien to traditional cultures because pain was a part of man's participation in a marred universe. Its meaning was cosmic an mythic and not individual and technical. Pain was the experience of the soul's evolution, and the soul was present all over the body. The doctor could not eliminate the need to suffer without doing away the patient. Ivan Illich

In a consumer society, there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                              Ivan Illich

The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.    Chief Seattle to President Pierce

The essential contribution Gandhi made to the 20th century thought was his insistence on the need for a lower standard of living... He maintained that the essence of civilization consists not in the multiplication of wants but in their deliberate and voluntary renunciation. He preached a higher standard of living and maintained that a lower level of material well-being was a necessary pre-requisite.   Ronald Duncan

Beyond the point of satisfying need, redundant capacity becomes a burden and not a gain. Greed, the attempt to fill an empty spirit with possessions, is a great producer of depersonalization. Our preoccupation with labor saving, beyond the elimination of soul-destroying drudgery, is no less counterproductive. To have without doing corrodes the soul: it is precisely in investing life, love and labor that we constitute the world as personal... Generosity of the spirit personalizes as greed depersonalizes.   Erazim Kohak                                        

When we were told that by freedom we understood free enterprise, we did very little to dispel this monstrous falsehood. Wealth and economic well-being, we have asserted, are the fruits of freedom, while we should have been the first to know that this kind of "happiness" has been an unmixed blessing only in this country, and it is a minor blessing compared with the truly political freedoms, such as freedom of speech and thought, of assembly and association, even under the best conditions. Hannah Arendt
Man cannot be free if he does not know that he is subject to necessity.         Hannah Arendt         

Always distinguish between need and want.  
                   William Wellington Archibald and Mildred Mary Noll Archibald

More than you need is never enough.  Alan Archibald

The people of the West refused to make the distinction between gluttony and the good life.  E. F. Schumacher

It was wants that made man poor.   E. F. Schumacher

My greatest skill has been to want but little.   Thoreau

Money is the thief of man.     Hindu saying

Don't seek consolation.     Brother David, St. Leo's Benedictine Monastery, Florida

Give me neither poverty nor wealth. Provide me with the food I need. If I have too much, I shall deny thee and say "Who is Lord?"   Proverbs 30:8-9
It is a strange thing to see with what sort of feverish ardor Americans pursue well-being and how they show themselves constantly tormented by a vague fear of not having chosen the shortest route that can lead to it... In addition to the goods that (the American) possesses...he imagines a thousand others that death will prevent him from enjoying if he does not hasten.  Alexis de Tocqueville  (Even though the population of United States was only 13 million when 25 year old Tocqueville visited in 1830, he observed that democratic values often encouraged conformity. Tocqueville was especially concerned that the American obsession with individuality would transmute into destructive selfishness: if people thought only of themselves and their families, they could become so disengaged from political practice as to be vulnerable to a kind of "democratic despotism." In Tocqueville's view, American democracy made it possible to devolve into majoritarian tyranny mediated by an enveloping central government which would blanket the populace in a set of complicated rules. Those who mediated these complicated rules would treat citizens like children or blindly industrious animals.)

It should be pointed out that if we tried to build education on the single pattern of "the scientific idea of man" and carry it out accordingly, we could only do so by distorting or warping this idea: for we should have to ask what is the nature and destiny of man, and we should be pressing the only idea at our disposal, that is the scientific one, for an answer to our question. Then we would try, contrary to its type, to draw from it a kind of metaphysics. From the logical point of view, we would have a spurious metaphysics disguised as science and yet deprived of any really philosophical insight; and from the practical point of view, we would have a denial or misconception of those very realities and values without which education loses all human sense or becomes the training of an animal for the utility of the state.   Jacques Maritain

Behind all phenomena and discrete entities in the world, we may observe, intimate or experience existentially in various ways something like a general "order of Being." The essence and meaning of this order are veiled in mystery; it is as much an enigma as the Sphinx, it always speaks to us differently and always, I suppose, in ways that we ourselves are open to, in ways, to put it simply, that we can hear. Alongside the general miracle of Being - both as a part of that miracle and as its protagonist, as a special reiteration of it and a rebellious attempt to know, understand, control and transcend it - stands the miracle of the human spirit, of human existence. Into the infinite silence of the omnipresent order of Being, then, there sounds the impassioned voice of the order of human freedom, of life, of spirit. The subtly structured world of meaningful and hopeful human life, opening new vistas of freedom and carrying  man to a deeper experience of Being, the countless remarkable intellectual (mystical, religious, scientific) and moral systems, that special way in which the order of Being both re-creates and, at the same time, lends its own meaning to mythology (in earlier times) and artistic creation (today, i.e., in the historical period), in short the way in which man becomes man in the finest sense of the word - all of this constitutes the "order of life," "the order of the spirit," "the order of human work." Together, it all constitutes an objectivized expression of that "second creation of the world," which is human experience. I would say that this "order of life" is a kind of "legitimate son" of "the order of Being," because it grows out of an indestructible faith in the latter's meaning and a fearless confrontation with its mystery. Over and against this passionate order, which is the work of people created "in God's image," there constantly recurs its evil caricature and misshapen protagonist, "the bastard son of Being," the offspring of indifference to the meaning of Being and vindictive fear of its mystery: the chilling work of man as "the image of the devil": the order of homogenization by violence, perfectly organized impotence and centrally directed desolation and boredom, in which man is conceived as a cybernetic unit without free will, without the power to reason for himself, without a unique life of his own, and where that monstrous ideal, order, is a euphemism for the graveyard. (I refer you to Fromm's excellent analysis of fascism.) Thus against "the order of life," sustained by a longing for meaning and experience of the mystery of Being, there stands this "order of death," a monument to non-sense, an executioner of mystery, a materialization of nothingness.   Vaclav Havel "Letters to Olga"  (from prison)

Computers make it easy to convert facts into statistics and to translate problems into equations. And whereas this can be useful (as when the process reveals a pattern that would otherwise go unnoticed), it is diversionary and dangerous when applied indiscriminately to human affairs. So is the computer's emphasis on speed and especially its capacity to generate and store unprecedented quantities of information. In specialized contexts, the value of calculation, speed, and voluminous information may go uncontested. But the "message" of computer technology is comprehensive and domineering. The computer argues, to put it baldly, that the most serious problems confronting us at both personal and professional levels require technical solutions through fast access to information otherwise unavailable. I would argue that this is, on the face of it, nonsense. Our most serious problems are not technical, nor do they arise from inadequate information. If a nuclear catastrophe occurs, it shall not be because of inadequate information... If families break up, children are mistreated, crime terrorizes a city, education is impotent, it does not happen because of inadequate information.                       Neil Postman

I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less "showily". Let him come and go freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself... Teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experiences.       Anne Sulllivan  (Helen Keller's teacher)

School has become the planned process which tools man for a planned world, the principal tool to trap man in man's trap. It is supposed to shape each man to an adequate level for playing a part in this world game. Inexorably we cultivate, treat, produce and school the world out of existence.              Jacques Ellul

I have come to believe that compulsory government schooling  -- while pretending to protect children from child labor  -- is child labor. Furthermore, compulsory government schooling is a form of child labor that eliminates the very childhood which child labor laws were devised to protect. Einstein observed that "imagination is more important than knowledge." Similarly, contemplation is more important than achievement. Without contemplation as the springboard for motivation, inspiration, and activity, achievement is mostly busy work - useful in strictly delineated ways, but ultimately depersonalizing. By keeping young people "on task," compulsory government schooling salts the ground of contemplation, insuring that critical questions concerning context, meaning, matrix and value are never asked. The task in hand isn't so much to determine "what we need to do," but what we need to undo.   Alan Archibald

Governments mostly don't do much. And you've also got to understand the level of incompetence out there. Nobody knows what they're doing. They just pose and act as if they know and walk through life and get away with it. And so, attack government. Get at them and you find they know nothing. Most politicians are half people. Talk to them. They don't have anything on their minds but themselves. They don't have any real knowledge of anything. They're untrustworthy and they see everything (in terms of) what they could do for themselves.    Jimmy Breslin

I just wish they'd give me one speck of proof that this world of theirs couldn't have been set up and handled better by a half dozen idiots bound hand and foot at the bottom of a ten mile well.     Kenneth Patchen

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Almost always, great men are bad men.   Lord Acton

The first thing you do when you want to be elected is to prostitute yourself. You show me a man with courage and conviction and I'll show you a loser.   Ray Kroc, founder of MacDonald's

The secret to success is sincerity. If you can fake that, you can do anything.                                
                                                                                          Television executive counselling newcomer, Daniel Schorr, 1953

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who want to be somebody, and those who want to do something..
                                                                                                                                                                          Erik Sevareid

The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.  Henry Kissinger

Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it's important.  Henry Kissinger

A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.   Oscar Wilde

Cynics are only happy to make the world as barren to others as they have made it for themselves.  George Meredith

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking.  C. G. Jung

I wasn't yet aware that most of the world's population would rather go hungry than deny food to a stranger.  
                                                                                                                                                      Brian M. Schwartz, "A World of Villages"

Perhaps it would be possible for the Negro to become reconciled to his plight if he could be made to believe that his sufferings were for some remote, high sacrificial end; but sharing the culture that condemns him and seeing that a lust for trash is what blinds the nation to his claims, is what sets storms rolling in his soul.   Richard Wright

I really hope no white person ever has cause to write about me
because they never understand Black love is Black wealth
and they'll probably talk about my hard childhood
and never understand that all the while I was quite happy.                                       
                                                                                            Nikki Giovanni

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.   Martin Luther King Jr.

People are as you see them on the streets. The other thing is a lie.    Albert Camus

The white man seems tone-deaf to the total orchestration of humanity.     Malcolm X

You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor man. You are handing over to him what is his. For what has been given ... for the use of all, you have arrogated to yourself.     St. Ambrose   340 - 397 A.D.  Bishop of Milan

He who has more than he needs has stolen it from his brother.     St. Francis of Assisi

Las cosas no son del dueno. Son de el que las necesite.
(Things don't belong to their owner. They belong to the person who needs them.)                                                          Conny Pena Vado's version of a Nicaraguan saying

Human law has the true nature of law only insofar as it corresponds to right reason, and therefore is derived from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason, a law is said to be a wicked law; and so, lacking the true nature of law, it is rather a kind of violence.     Thomas Aquinas

Here is a startling alternative which to the English, alone among great nations, has been not startling but a matter of course. Here is a casual assumption that a choice must be made between goodness and intelligence; that stupidity is first cousin to moral conduct, and cleverness the first step into mischeif; that reason and God are not on good terms with each other.  John Erskine, Scot, 1695-1768

To expect truth to emerge from thinking signifies that we mistake the need to think with the urge to know.   
                                                                                                                                                                          Hannah Arendt

To be truly wise, you must blunt your cleverness.    Lao Tzu

It is the fate of humankind to outsmart itself.   New York state billboard

Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem.       Krishnamurti

The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents and the ocean was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.                 Daniel J. Boorstin

Clear prose represents the absence of thought.   Marshall McLuhan

With pen and pencil we're learning to say
Nothing, more cleverly, every day.    William Allingham

Who knows if Shakespeare might not have thought less if he had read more.         Edward Young

Literature is the orchestration of platitudes.  Thorton Wilder

Professionals built the Titanic; amateurs the ark.

Of all forms of genius, goodness has the longest awkward age.    Thornton Wilder

It is amazing how complete the delusion that beauty is goodness.     Tolstoy

Suffering is the source of all consciousness.  Dostoyevsky

Unearned suffering is redemptive.    Martin Luther King Jr.

The truth is we are all caught in an economic system which is heartless.   Woodrow Wilson
Under capitalism man exploits man. Under communism it is just the opposite.            J. K. Galbraith

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.
                                                                                                                                                                          J. K. Galbraith

The greater the wealth, the thicker the dirt. This indubitably describes a tendency of our time.    J. K. Galbraith

There's an observable relationship between "the filthy rich" and "the squeaky clean.    Alan Archibald

A well-kept house is the sure sign of a misspent life.  Janet Archibald's refrigerator magnet

His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean.    Bob Dylan

Intentional activity is based on belief. Whether human beings subscribe to animist totems, to squabbling deities atop Mount Olympus, to the transcendental Father God of Judeo-Christianity, the agnosticism of Buddhism, the atheism of Jainism, or the Golden Calf of free market capitalism, belief is essentially religious. All core values intend to "re-ligature" ("re-ligare" = "re-ligion") the primordial rent in the human spirit. Unprejudiced, democratic consideration of Belief --- whether "sacred" or "secular," "religious" or "political," "philosophical" or "theological" --- obliges us to re-value "secular" cultural phenomena as attempts to ligate this existential breach. Without this re-valuation, the military-industrial-educational complex becomes increasingly autonomous, arrogating to itself "the terms" of debate. In consequence, debate is rendered meaningless by the force of buro-institutional fascism predicated on unipolar Materialism. Simultaneously, Materialism places itself beyond debate while pithed citizens prostrate themselves as obsequiously-scripted Consumer Units. Inexorably, the compulsive acquisition of "mere things" results in such deep narcotization that people lose their ability to formulate meaningful criticism. When the unipolar Materialist trap is sprung, we will all serve as warden and inmate. William Blake observed that "we become what we perceive." Spellbound by the unacknowledged Deity whose intentions we serve but fail to limn, we deify things and reify people. At stake is the "God" in whose image humankind remakes itself.                                  Alan Archibald

Doing for people what they can and ought to do for themselves is a dangerous experiment. In the last analysis, the welfare of the workers depends upon their own initiative. Whatever is done under the guise of philanthropy or social morality which in any way lessens initiative is the greatest crime that can be committed against the toilers.    
                                                                                                              Samuel Gompers  -  a founder of the U.S. Labor Movement

"It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it, induces him to labor.  This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them and drive them to do it without their consent.  Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded all laborers are either hired laborers or what we call slaves. Now, there is no such relation between capital and labor as here assumed...  Labor is prior to and independent of capital.  Capital is only the fruit of labor, could never have existed if labor had not first existed.  Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much higher consideration....  Inasmuch as most good things are produced by labor, it follows that all such things ought to belong to those whose labor has produced them.  But it has happened in all ages of the world that some have labored, and others, without labor, have enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits.  This is wrong, and should not continue.  To secure to each laborer the whole product of his labor as nearly as possible is a worthy object of any good government."                                                   Abraham Lincoln

"History is not a toboggan slide, but a road to be reconsidered and even retraced This book ("What's Wrong with the World") deals with what is wrong, wrong in our root of argument and effort. This wrong is, I say, that we will go forward because we dare not go Back. Thus the Socialist says that property is already concentrated into Trusts and Stores: the only hope is to concentrate it further in the State. I say the only hope is to unconcentrate it; that is, to repent and return; the only step forward is the step backward." G. K. Chesterton  

"Those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.  And, inasmuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People.  We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven.  We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity.  We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no nation has ever grown.  But we have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming an preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!  It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before  the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.... I do by this proclamation designate and set apart the 30th day of April, 1863 as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer."                            Abraham Lincoln

The genius of Christianity is to have proclaimed that the path to the deepest mystery is the path of love. Andre Malraux

Anyone who's not a liberal at 16 has no heart. Anyone who's still a liberal at 60 has no head.       Benjamin Disraeli

The sun, with all the planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.   Galileo Galilei  1564 - 1642

Natural history is the antidote for piety.   Gregory Bateson

I believe that in actual fact, philosophy ranks before and above the natural sciences.   Thomas Mann

It is characteristic that Einstein and Planck had the greatest admiration for Kant's work, agreeing with his view that philosophy should be the basis of all science.   Ilse Rosenthal-Schneider, "Reality and Scientific Truth"

We are convinced that theories do not matter... Never has there been so little discussion about the nature of men as now, when, for the first time, anyone can discuss it...  Good taste, the last and vilest of human superstitions, has succeeded in silencing us where all the rest have failed. Sixty years ago it was bad taste to be an avowed atheist... now it is equally bad taste to be an avowed Christian. But there are some people nevertheless - and I am one of them - who think that the most important thing about man is still his view of the universe... We think the question is not whether the theory of the cosmos affects matters, but whether, in the long run, anything else affects them.     G. K. Chesterton

Nothing more strangely indicates an enormous and silent evil of modern society than the extraordinary use which is made nowadays of the word "orthodox." In former days the heretic was proud of not being a heretic. It was kingdoms of the world and the police and the judges who were heretics. He was orthodox... All the tortures torn out of forgotten hells could not make him admit that he was heretical... The word "heresy" not only means no longer "being wrong"; it practically means being clear-headed and courageous. The word "orthodoxy" not only no longer means being right, it practically means being wrong... (This) means that people care less for whether they are philosophically right... The dynamiter, laying a bomb, ought to insist that, whatever else he is, at least he is orthodox... General theories are everywhere contemned... We will have no generalizations... We are more and more to discuss art, politics, literature. A man's opinon on tramcars matters; his opinion on Botticelli matters; his opinon on all things does not matter. He may turn over and explore a million objects, but he must not find that strange object, the universe, for if he does, he will have a religion and be lost. Everything matters, except everything.   G. K. Chesterton 

...that process, already so destructive in our fashion-following super-civilization, by which everything is turned into a vogue -- even art which should be the great destroyer of all fashions, not their pimp. Everyone reads James. Then everyone switches to Eliot, to Proust, to Kafka -- to the communists in one decade -- to the homosexuals in another -- until the new writing begins to sound like the advertising patter in the smart magazines which echoes the changing chatter of the chic. It sometimes seems as though only Robert Frost were old enough and cantankerous enough and magnificient enough to be himself and remain himself and thus be disrespectfully and entirely new in this age of stylish novelties.   Archibald McLeish

Man is not the enemy here, but the fellow victim.  The real enemy is women's denigration of themselves.   Betty Friedan 
Happy are they who can hear their detractions and put them to mending.    Shakespeare

Every one of us is like a man who sees things in a dream and thinks that he knows them perfectly and then wakes up to find that he knows nothing.    Plato

I often hear that right and wrong are up to the individual. Of course, that is nonsense. Right and wrong are not up to us. If right and wrong were up to us, that would make Hitler right because he thought he was right. And he was not right. Right and wrong exist. They are invisible realities that we discover. We do not invent them.    Barbara Ward

Charity is an ugly trick. It is a virtue grown by the rich on the graves of the poor. Unless it is accompanied by sincere revolt against the present social system, it is cheap moral swagger. In former times it was used as fire insurance by the rich, but now that the fear of Hell has gone... it is used either to gild mean lives with nobility or as a political instrument.     Rebecca West            
Failure to understand what is demanded of us is the source of anxiety.   Abraham Heschel

Money helps, though not so much as you think when you don't have it.                    
                                              Louis Erdrich (B: 1954), Chippewa poet and author

Tell the truth but tell it slant -
The truth must dazzle gradually -
Or every man be blind.                                         Emily Dickinson

There is nothing as powerful as truth - and often nothing so strange.   Daniel Webster

There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.   Shakespeare

Things happen in life so fantastic that no imagination could have invented them.       Isaac Bashevis Singer

When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.   Joseph Campbell
(America's obsession with the mere protraction of life prevents the far-reaching transformation that accompanies the perception of death as an ally rather than a bogey.)

Death is the key that opens the door to our true happiness. Mozart

There are many here among us who think that life is but a joke. But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate. Let us stop talking falsely now, the hour's getting late.       Bob Dylan

To be merely modern is to condemn oneself to an ultimate narrowness.  G. K. Chesterton

" the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is not need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth."   Neil Postman

In an ever-changing incomprehensible world, the masses had reached the point where they would... think that everything was possible and that nothing was true... Totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself.  Hannah Arendt

The history of the 20th century proves the view that as the vision of God fades, we first become clever monkeys; then we exterminate one another.  Paul Johnson

It is not strange...that such an exuberance of enterprise should cause some individuals to mistake change for progress.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Millard Fillmore

Seek first the reign of God and God's justice, and all these things will come to you as a matter of course.         
                                                                                                                                                                                    Y'eshua the Nazarene
Men who lose traditions abandon themselves to conventions.  G. K. Chesterton

If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.  Martin Luther King

A life that is not open to the holy is not only unworthy of spirit, it is unworthy of life.   Martin Buber
Abundance breeds waste.   Ivan Illich

If you would not be robbed, do not fill your house with jade. Lao Tzu

The wealthy make of poverty a vice.   Plato

The Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.     Anatole France                    

What government has succeeded in doing is to make it almost illegal to be poor.    Martin Sheen

Aymará Indian women from Peruvian highland villages near Juli gather once a week to talk and work.  They have formed an artisans' association that enables them to increase their earnings by directly marketing their own products.  Two women sit side by side embroidering a large wall hanging.  Others spin thread and work on smaller projects.  The same cooperative spirit that fills the air as they work prevails at lunch.  Each woman takes out a cloth filled with something she brought for the noon meal and places her contribution on a large colorful cloth known as an aguayo.  Then the women seat themselves on the ground in a circle around the cloth and share the food: chunno (freeze dried potatoes), puffed corn, and patties made from quinoa, a high-protein grain.  The women discuss events in their villages as they eat.  Not long ago a food aid program offering milk powder, flour, and oil began in their region.  Some women have stopped coming to the cooperative gatherings so they can attend the day-long meetings that are required to receive the food aid.  The women gathered around the aguayo spread with traditional foods lament the absence of these women and quickly agree they do not want these new foods.  "We're happy with the food we and our ancestors have always eaten," comments one.  "We do not want aid," concludes another.  "All we want are markets in which to sell our embroidery so we can keep growing our own food." 
Linda Shelly, La Esperanza, Honduras. Excerpted from: "Extending the Table... A World Community Cookbook" by Joetta Handrich Schlabach. (See: Ladakh: A Study in Globalization)
It was wants that made man poor.    E. F. Schumacher

It is the greatest of all advantages to enjoy no advantage at all. I found it invariably true, the poorer I am the richer I am.                                                                                                                                                                                                         Thoreau

He who dies wealthy dies shamed.   Andrew Carnegie

Poverty is not the problem.
Wealth is the problem.
Poverty is the solution.    Satish Kumar
Not he who has little, but he who wishes for more is poor. Latin Proverb

A full stomach doesn't believe in hunger.   Italian Proverb

More than you need is never enough.   Alan Archibald

No man should praise poverty but he who is poor. St. Bernard of Clairvaux

The poor wish to be rich, the rich wish to be happy, the single wish to be married, and the married wish to be dead.  
                                                                                                                                                                                              Ann Landers   

All belief systems - economic, social, intellectual, and cultural, as well as those usually thought of as "religious" - are essentially religious in nature. Whether one's innermost devotion is to God, sex, drugs, money, ideology, work or rock and roll, it is the intent of all belief systems to heal the existential rift that splits the human psyche. All belief systems try to "re-ligature" this rent. In fact, the word "religion" derives from the Latin "re-ligare" meaning to "re-ligature," or "reconnect." Buddhism's avowed agnosticism and Jainism's overt atheism demonstrate that the "membrane" between "sacred" and "secular," is, in fact, permeable. This permeability -- and the consequent inability to segregate "elements" of the "value continuum" into "religious" and "non-religious" categories -- have epochal implications for the separation of Church and State.  Most people are content with the puerile assumption that religion depends on "a bearded fiction," typically endowed with a Mid-Eastern pedigree. The survival of plutocracy depends on such childish notions. Without them, "the almighty buck" becomes The Golden Calf, Warren Buffet a prophet, George Soros a priest, Ted Turner an acolyte, and "Wall Street Week in Review" a televangelical event in which oracles muck about in the latest set of entrails. What is the significance of "doing the numbers" but an invocation of ancient litanies on behalf of dollar-sign deities?
         Functionally, religion does not require an objective deity "out there."
         Buddhism and Jainism make this clear.
         Religion depends exclusively on the decision --- perhaps the instinctual need --- to worship.      Archibald

If you bungle raising your children, it doesn't much matter what else you do well. 
                                                                                                   Jackie Kennedy Onassis

When family relations are no longer harmonious, we have filial children and devoted parents.  R. D. Laing

Boredom is rage spread thin.   Paul Tillich

Sin is a disproportionate seriousness.   Fulton Sheen

According to Aquinas, sin partakes of three characteristics: 1.) loss of splendor, 2.) loss of perspective,

If you bungle raising your children, it doesn't much matter what else you do well. 
                                                                                                   Jackie Kennedy Onassis

When family relations are no longer harmonious, we have filial children and devoted parents.  R. D. Laing

Boredom is rage spread thin.   Paul Tillich

Sin is a disproportionate seriousness.   Fulton Sheen

According to Aquinas, sin partakes of three characteristics: 1.) loss of splendor, 2.) loss of proportion,
What I do is live.
How I pray is breathe.
What I wear is pants.   Thomas Merton

You have heard that (our forefathers) were told, "Love your neighbour and hate your enemy." But what I tell you is this: Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors; only so can you be children of your heavenly Father, who causes the sun to rise on good and bad alike, and sends the rain on the innocent and the wicked. If you love only those who love you, what reward can you expect? Even the tax-collectors do as much...
                                                                                                                                 Y'eshua the Nazarene

Someone in the crowd said to him, 'Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family property with me.' He said to the man, 'Who set me over you to judge or arbirate?' Then to the people he siaid. 'Beware! Be on guard against greed of every kind, for even when someone has more than enough, his possessions do not give him life.' And he told them this parable: 'There was a rich man whose land yielded a good harvest. He debated with himself: 'What am I to do? I have not the space to store my produce. This is what I will do,' said he: "I will pull down my barns and build them bigger. I will  collect in them all my grain and other goods, and I will say to myself, 'You have plenty of good things laid by, enought for many years to come: take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.' But God said to him, 'You fool, this very night you must surrender your life; and the money you hae made, who will get it now?' That is how it is with the man who piles up treasure for himself and remains a pauper in the sight of God...  Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                          Luke, Chapter 12

I am awake.   Gautama Buddha

"You can always learn something from everybody." William Arthur Archibald's reply when asked why he listened to Protestant preachers on the family "crystal set" after returning from Sunday mass. (c. 1920 through his death in 1927)

You must accept the truth from whatever source it comes. Maimonides, 12th century