“I dig old books.” ™
Quotations about Self
God begins us; we must finish ourselves. ~Simeon Carter (1824–1911), Poems and Aphorisms: A Woodman's Musings, 1893
What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart! What jailer so inexorable as one's self. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables, 1822
The simplest and most familiar truth seems new and wonderful the instant we ourselves experience it for the first time. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere. ~Agnes Repplier
I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am. ~Sylvia Plath
I attract what I am. Life will have vasty barren places until I cover my own desert with green. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
As the roots of a tree are hidden in the earth, so we may regard the root of our Ego as sunk in a world beyond our consciousness... ~William F. Barrett, On the Threshold of the Unseen, 1918
In every part and corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be the gainer; to forget oneself is to be happy. ~Robert Louis Stevenson
I am the sunlight to the soil of my own soul. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
The words "I am" are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you. ~A.L. Kitselman
People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, 1841
Let thy hands be as the hands of a good watch, through every golden moment marking the worthy progress of the inner life. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882 [Mr Basford was a watchmaker from New England.
You have the Answer. Just get quiet enough to hear it. ~Pat Obuchowski
Self-delusion: short term self-protection in exchange for longer term self-destruction. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, www.lumpenbangenpiano.com
Your soul is all that you possess. Take it in hand and make something of it! ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
The greatest hazard of all, losing one's self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss — an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. — is sure to be noticed. ~The Sickness Unto Death
We are sure to be losers when we quarrel with ourselves; it is civil war. ~Charles Caleb Colton
At some point in my life, I swallowed a Sun. And now it dawns and sets in my belly. ~Erika Harris, empathicwriter.com
A man who finds no satisfaction in himself, seeks for it in vain elsewhere. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault
Many a man gets swamped in the mire of his own character. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright. ~Walter Benjamin
My heart filled with love, flowing over with joy, my own little drum that I like to march by! ~Gunda Fijnje-Nolan, September 4th 2009, winner of The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter
A man is ever apt to contemplate himself out of all proportion to his surroundings. ~Christina G. Rossetti
The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual — namely to You. ~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1892
To make of one's self a sounding-board of the Divine, a harp of life, vibrant, and sweet, and healing. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
I must reconsider my position, as I cannot go on living here as I am doing, though I know that there is no such thing as changing one's life: one merely wanders round and round within the circle of one's own personality. ~Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), letter to Robert Ross ["When he left prison he did not know that one must keep moving, but hoped to choose a pleasant point in his personality, and stay there." ~Arthur Ransome, Oscar Wilde: A Critical Study, 1912
Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul. ~Henry Van Dyke, The Prison and the Angel
The hardest prisons to break out of are the ones we build ourselves. ~Author unknown
There is great security in the prisons we create for ourselves. ~Stephen G. Scalese, The Whisper in Your Heart
Sometimes we give up a dream to play a larger role in someone else's dream. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
For far over all that folks hold worth,
There lives and there leaps in me
A love of the lowly things of earth,
And a passion to be free.
~Robert W. Service (1874–1958), "A Rolling Stone," 1912
Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book shown to him by heart, and his friends can only read the title. ~Virginia Woolf
Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us. ~Thomas Browne
Each one of us is alone in the world... We seek pitifully to convey to others the treasures of our heart, but they have not the power to accept them, and so we go lonely, side by side but not together, unable to know our fellows and unknown by them. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, 1919
I will woo back the beauty that was mine, the grace that was meant, the sweetness. I will reclaim the years. I will go back into the unlighted past and hang a lantern aloft. I come out of the sins of my unknowing. I pay with enlightenment. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: XII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923 [a little altered
A philosopher lives in your mind,
a lover in your heart,
an alchemist in your soul.
It is no good casting out devils. They belong to us, we must accept them and be at peace with them. ~D.H. Lawrence
My only dereliction will be if I let a day pass that does not bear my imprint upon it, that does not carry my royal insignia, my coat of arms. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted –
One need not be a House –
The Brain – has Corridors – surpassing
Material Place –
Far safer, of a Midnight – meeting
External Ghost –
Than an Interior – Confronting –
That cooler – Host.
Far safer, through an Abbey – gallop –
The Stones a'chase –
Than Unarmed – One's A'self encounter –
In lonesome place –
Ourself – behind ourself – Concealed –
Should startle – most....
~Emily Dickinson, c.1862–63
No matter how hard you pursue pleasure and success, there are times when you fail. No matter how fast you flee, there are times when pain catches up with you. ~Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
One cannot spend forever sitting and solving the mysteries of one's history. ~Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the Thirteenth: The End, 2006
I am drunk with the wine of me, intoxicant of my own being,
Bacchante of my own soul's steepings,
Beset by the realization of me, driven by knowing.
I pour myself out like the singing starling.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Creation Songs: VII," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Sometimes at night I light a lamp so as not to see. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
There comes a morning in life when you wake up a new person; that is to say, you wake up the same person but you realize it's your own fault. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Many unwittingly enter into co-partnership with Satan to work out their own destruction. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused. ~Marcel Proust
There are plenty of people holding flashlights casting shadows, offering directions. Perhaps it's best if you light your own way. ~Jeb Dickerson, jebdickerson.com
I'm restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again. ~Anaïs Nin
Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind. ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com
Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail. ~John Donne
What an odd, ruminating, noisy, self-interrupting conversation we conduct with ourselves from birth to death. ~Diane Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain
I travel upon the heart line of
past and present, weaving in the
sun pollen of who I am today,
wading in the rain puddles
of having too much to say because
I must always speak from four directions.
It is where I have been.
It is where I am going.
It is where I move.
It is where I am.
~James McGrath (b.1928)
Just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things, and stand firm in that which you are. ~Kabir
My greatest wealth is the deep stillness in which I strive and grow and win what the world cannot take from me with fire or sword. ~Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe
I said I could have done the thing, had the obstacles been removed, but after all else had been cleared away, there would still have been myself. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
At this very moment, you may be saying to yourself that you have any number of admirable qualities. You are a loyal friend, a caring person, someone who is smart, dependable, fun to be around. That's wonderful, and I'm happy for you, but let me ask you this: are you being any of those things to yourself? ~Phillip C. McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom, 2003
Care for yourself enough to listen carefully to what you say to yourself. ~Willis Goth Regier, In Praise of Flattery, 2007
Let's get lost in the dark, forget who we were, and resurface as something new. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet
Write me as an herb-gatherer, and say the soil I dug was my soul. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely. ~Lorraine Hansberry
Every morning I start with a drink from my cup of sunshine, to remind myself of who I am before I step into the world of "this is who we think you are." ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com
Once your awareness becomes a flame, it burns up the whole slavery that the mind has created. ~Osho
The tragedy is if I become limited by another's limitations, and unfixed and undone because another is unfixed and undone. I am my own ultimate hindrance, but in the meantime I may have much else to overcome. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
We are lost if we get too much time to think about ourselves, provided that we regard ourselves not as an object of study, as a specimen, but always as everything that we now are. We become conscious of so much that is sad that at the thought of it we lose all inclination to bring the elements into order and connection. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908
A wise man never loses anything if he have himself. ~Michel de Montaigne, translated
The finest thing in the world is knowing how to belong to oneself. ~Michel de Montaigne, Of Solitude
Your heart knows your song, but you have to be willing to listen to the words. ~Sue Rock, August 2010 winner of The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter
All men are sculptors, constantly chipping away the unwanted parts of their lives, trying to create their idea of a masterpiece. ~Eddie Murphy, 1979
Who pursues the vision must go alone and without counsel. Who follows the voice must be his own interpreter. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
May those who are impoverished by their thoughts be blessed with the realization of the richness of their spirit. ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com
We are happy when for everything inside us there is a corresponding something outside us. ~W.B. Yeats
A bud can be beautiful, a work of art even. But I'm finding it simply can't compare to the openness of the blossom. Looking for my sun. ~Jeb Dickerson, jebdickerson.com
Present yourself always
As who you would be,
And that is the person
The world will see.
~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
I will leave some sign that I came by, — my initials carved upon the bark of the tree of life. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
What we do flows from who we are. ~Paul Vitale
There is a sort of man who pays no attention to his good actions, but is tormented by his bad ones. This is the type that most often writes about himself. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938
With regard to our bad qualities there can be only perpetual warfare or disgraceful peace. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882
The ratio of matter, mind and spirit continually changes. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
Sometimes I'm doing things considered crazy by others, but then my heart giggles. That's when I know I am doing the right thing. ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com
Tell me what you feel in your room when the full moon is shining in upon you and your lamp is dying out, and I will tell you how old you are, and I shall know if you are happy. ~Henri Frederic Amiel
Every day I go forth to seek my identity, feeling greatly blessed by the things I don't find it in. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
We do not deal much in facts when we are contemplating ourselves. ~Mark Twain
Anyone can promise the stars. Only you can reach them. ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com
Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about. And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us. Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny. ~Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind
The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one's self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course. ~Michelangelo
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in the darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. ~Hāfez
I will save myself. I will rescue the outcast of me. I will be saved by the brotherhood in my own breast. I will rise above this personal damnation, into the divine, impersonal infinitude that I am. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: I," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Do what you must,
And your friends will adjust.
~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Every man is his own ancestor, and every man his own heir. He devises his own future, and he inherits his own past. ~H.F. Hedge
From birth to death every man is weaving destiny around himself, as a spider does his web. ~Helena P. Blavatsky (1831–1891)
No sooner is your ocean filled, than he grumbles that it might have been of better vintage. Try him with half of a Universe, of an Omnipotence, he sets to quarrelling with the proprietor of the other half, and declares himself the most maltreated of men.—Always there is a black spot in our sunshine: it is even, as I said, the Shadow of Ourselves. ~Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, Book II, "Chapter IX: The Everlasting Yea"
The trick to liking who you are is not to hate too much the person it turned out you weren't. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self. ~Hindustani Proverb
Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again. ~Chinese inscription cited by Thoreau in Walden
Every day ask yourself, "What would I do today if I were a better person?" ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Almost always it is the fear of being ourselves that brings us to the mirror. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
The mirror will only lie, when you look at it through a mask. ~Anthony Liccione
I am the lyrist of an hour, — and I am the sayer of centuries. I pronounce for eternity.
I tell you my human pain, — and I tell you my God-longing.
I tell you the ache of my finite being, — and the throes of my infinite incompleteness.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of the Strong: IX," A Soul's Faring, 1921
The peace you seek is there, it's there between all the traffic in your mind, stop and rest for peace will find you if you let it. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife
I lack the peace of simple things.
I am never wholly in place.
I find no peace or grace.
We sell the world to buy fire,
our way lighted by burning men....
~Wendell Berry, "The Want of Peace"
We are not burdened by society's expectations, but rather, the expectations which we place on ourselves. ~Keith Wynn, @keithawynn
It's hard, sometimes, when nothing's stopping you, to know what's stopping you. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Your burden is of false self-identifications—abandon them all. ~Nisargadatta Maharaj
How easy it is to be "deep": all you have to do is let yourself sink into your own flaws. ~E.M. Cioran
[E]very donkey who ever peered at himself in the water of the stream he was crossing has enjoyed the sight and been sure he was a handsome horse. ~Gustave Flaubert, letter to Louise Colet, 1846 October 7th, translated by Francis Steegmuller
Joy's a subtle elf;
I think man's happiest when he forgets himself.
Having perfected our disguise, we spend our lives searching for someone we don't fool. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Ah! but the moods lie in his nature, my boy, just as much as his reflections did, and more. A man can never do anything at variance with his own nature. He carries within him the germ of his most exceptional action; and if we wise people make eminent fools of ourselves on any particular occasion, we must endure the legitimate conclusion that we carry a few grains of folly to our ounce of wisdom. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede
I give you the sword with the two edges and send you forth to win or lose by what you are. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of the Strong: XXXVIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921
I like too many things and get all confused and hung up running from one falling star to another till I drop. ~Jack Kerouac, On the Road #infj
It is hard sometimes to let someone else live by the same deceptions you allow yourself. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
I could not clearly distinguish what was passing in my head; it seemed to me that I was under the influence of a horrible dream and that I had but to awake to find myself cured; at times it seemed that my entire life had been a dream, ridiculous and childish, the falseness of which had just been disclosed. ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century/La Confession d'un enfant du siècle, 1836, translated from French by Kendall Warren
I know not what phantom we take for self.... ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)
If solitude deprives of the benefit of advice, it also excludes from the mischief of flattery. But the absence of others' applause is generally supplied by the flattery of one's own breast. ~William Benton Clulow, Horæ Otiosæ, 1833
I would establish a great world brotherhood amongst those who had known the unfulfillment of a great human craving, who had known the Great Want. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
I loathe the expression "What makes him tick." It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm. ~James Thurber
Sometimes you have to breakdown before you can breakthrough. ~Marilyn Ferguson (1938–2008)
Hear ye, intruders! Beware of guard dreams. ~Terri Guillemets
Take your work seriously, but never yourself. ~Margot Fonteyn
My life should be unique; it should be an alms, a battle, a conquest, a medicine. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
Among navigators there are some who discover worlds, who add new continents to the earth and new constellations to the heavens: they are the masters, eternally splendid. Other belch terror from their vessels' guns and wax rich and fat from their plunder. Still others leave home to seek gold and silk under foreign skies. And still others merely let down their nets to catch salmon for gourmets and cod for the poor. I am the obscure and patient pearl-fisher, who dives deep and comes up empty-handed and blue in the face. A fatal attraction draws me down into the abysses of thought, down to those innermost recesses that never lose their fascination for the strong. I shall spend my life watching the ocean of art where others are sailing or fighting; and from time to time I'll entertain myself by plunging to the bottom in search of green or yellow shells. No one will want them, so I'll keep them for myself alone, and use them to cover the walls of my hut. ~Gustave Flaubert, letter to Louise Colet, 1846 October 7th, translated by Francis Steegmuller
Your spirit is the true shield. ~Morihei Ueshiba
No matter what you do in life, a part of you still sits at a curbside, still hearing the drumbeat of a distant parade, still waiting for it to turn the corner. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. ~Doug Horton
I like to jot down thoughts and ideas as I tread life's garden, for then sometimes when I am weary I can turn a leaf and find what my mood was on a certain day and that changes a train of thought and brings back sunshine. ~Helen Rose Anne Milman Crofton, My Kalendar of Country Delights, "September Nineteenth," 1903
When I look for my existence I do not look for it in myself. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
One must have chaos within one to give birth to a dancing star. ~Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), Thus Spake Zarathustra, translated by M.A. Mügge, 1908
We all know the part of us that needs to be harnessed. It takes someone else to know the part of us that needs to be set free. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
I have wandered far upon the desert plain, but in my heart a bird keeps singing, and the daffodils beckon and blow, — and one day I shall wander back. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then, I contradict myself,
I am large — I contain multitudes.
~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Shall I stitch and stitch that my flesh may be covered, and leave no time for the weaving of fabric for my shivering spirit? Shall I supply the fuel of my flesh, and allow my soul's fires to be extinguished?... Shall I not more surely perish from lack of rapture than from lack of bread? ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XVIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921
When I dance, I dance; when I sleep, I sleep. Nay, and when I walk alone in a beautiful Orchard, if my Thoughts are some part of the Time taken up with strange Occurrences, I some part of the Time call them back again to my Walk, or to the Orchard, to the Sweetness of the Solitude, and to my self. ~Michel de Montaigne, "Of Experience," translated from French by Charles Cotton
It's like, at the end, there's this surprise quiz: am I proud of me? I gave my life to become the person I am right now! Was it worth what I paid? ~Richard Bach
To one day know the taste of that for which, through long years, we have starved. To sit down to the feast of Deferred, Withheld, and Forbidden things! ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
Just let awareness have its way with you completely. ~Scott Morrison
A man's subconscious self is not the ideal companion. It lurks for the greater part of his life in some dark den of its own, hidden away, and emerges only to taunt and deride and increase the misery of a miserable hour. ~P.G. Wodehouse
We confess to little faults only to persuade ourselves that we have no great ones. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault, Maxims
I have stayed too long with a task that fed an alien hunger, and starved my own soul. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
My flag is raised high today. For others to see, sure. But more so to find which way my wind is blowing. Almost time to chart a course. ~Jeb Dickerson, jebdickerson.com
Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man — the biography of the man himself cannot be written. ~Mark Twain, Autobiography, 1924
The urgent letter that I try to write
Night after night to you to whom I turn,
The staunchless word, my language of the wound,
Begins to stain the page.
~Stanley Kunitz, "Night Letter"
I who have been so cramped and small, without room to breathe or be, — and the world such a big, big world! I shall know big thrills, like torn precipices, like gashes rent in the earth, like avalanches toppling. I shall know craters bursting, mountains heaved out of the sea, the elation of rising tides. I shall feel worlds born within me, realizing life in great throes of being. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XLIV," A Soul's Faring, 1921 [a little altered
Life doesn't hand out ribbons for best-lived. It's an internal decoration. ~Terri Guillemets
There is no reason why a man should show his life to the world. The world does not understand things.... I have said to you that to speak the truth is a painful thing. To be forced to tell lies in much worse.... what is said of man is nothing. The point is, who says it. A man's very highest moment is, I have no doubt at all, when he kneels in the dust, and beats his breast, and tells all the sins of his life. ~Oscar Wilde, letter to Lord Alfred Douglas ("Bosie"), 1897 [Titled by Robert Ross as 'De Profundis.' Bowdlerized copy published 1905 without named reference to Douglas. Not published as full text original until 1962.
Sometimes it's worth getting lost to see who will come looking for us. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
One day I will count my possessions, and they will include me. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
I value not that peace whose calms begin
When pity-of-self plays juggler with our sin...
~Edgar Fawcett, "At a Window," Songs of Doubt and Dream, 1891
Circumstances are moulds in which characters are run. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
I should like to see any man's biography with corrections and emendations by his ghost. We don't know each other's secrets quite so well as we flatter ourselves we do. We don't always know our own secrets as well as we might. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Poet at the Breakfast Table
My life is a twisted rainbow. ~Terri Guillemets
Finally all prayer comes back to you. All desire for good. All hunger for ecstasy. All petition for power. It all comes back to you. You thought there was some shrine outside at which to worship. Now you have learned that you are your own altarlight. Does this get rid of God? No. For the first time it brings God near enough for recognition.... Give me of myself the strength to live. Let me not borrow capacity. Let me be the sufficient reservoir of immortal furtherance. That is what I seem to hear Muriel Strode repeat from this beautiful ritual. Get up off your knees. Do you think God would risk paradisiacal odds on the man on his knees?... Lift yourself up to your own stature. You will ask and answer your own prayers.... God will be satisfied in your wisdom. ~Horace Traubel (1858–1919), review of Muriel Strode's My Little Book of Prayer, in The Conservator, March 1905
Misfortunes one can endure — they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer for one's own faults — ah! there is the sting of life. ~Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892
One's only real life is the life one never leads. ~Oscar Wilde
Are there not hours of an immortal birth,—
Bright visitations from a purer sphere,
That cannot live in language? Is there not
A mood of glory, when the mind attuned
To heaven, can out of dreams create her worlds?—
~Robert Montgomery, "Beautiful Influences," A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829
The world is not outside you. ~Ramana Maharshi
Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. ~Buddha
I perpetuate me.
I fight the fight for my soul, against my own extinction.
I align myself with inextinguishableness.
I stretch in a living, breathing trail. From ages' rim to ages' rim I stretch with my sufficience.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of the Strong: XI," A Soul's Faring, 1921
A criminal becomes a popular figure because he unburdens in no small degree the consciences of his fellow man, for now they know once more where evil is to be found. ~Carl G. Jung
We're all on different paths, but action is hard work and you must drive your own soul. ~Terri Guillemets
I am the starved hound of being, following an endless trail, day upon day spent in coursing, night upon night exhausted by the chase. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XXII," A Soul's Faring, 1921
We are known to our friends by a look in our eyes that we never see in a mirror. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
When the fight begins within himself, a man's worth something. ~Robert Browning, "Bishop Blougram's Apology"
I moan with the pain of my thoughts, remembering how I might have blossomed as stars.
I might have brushed the very gates of heaven in my flight, but I flew low over moors and morasses, and the poisoned everglades of being.
But I am the militant of life. I come with clenched spiritual fists, screaming my protest to the Creative Force, seeking the interpretation, straining to translate, to grasp the elusive meaning of me.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: III," A Soul's Faring, 1921
We all have to escape from this thing called life sometimes. Maybe we use substances to do it. Maybe we use religion. Maybe we use exercise. Maybe we use anger. But we all have to do it. How we do it is what defines us. ~Dan Pearce, author of the Single Dad Laughing blog, www.danoah.com
God of my yearning, how deep is the world, and how shallow is my dipping up! ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: XV," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
"Yes," continued Lord Henry, "that is one of the great secrets of life, — to cure the soul by means of the senses, and the senses by means of the soul. You are a wonderful creature. You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know." ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, July 1890
Another night, another "Why?"
I shout into the starlit sky
To echo as a fading cry
Across the reach of no reply.
~Robert Brault, 2017, rbrault.blogspot.com
Though man or angel judge my life
and read it like an open scroll,
And weigh my heart, I have judge
more just than any—my own soul.
~Frederic Ridgely Torrence, The House of a Hundred Lights: A Psalm of Experience After Reading a Couplet of Bidpai, 1899
Many a one cannot loosen his own fetters, but is nevertheless his friend's emancipator. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
[T]he hours are even now never so full of gain as when I give them to the sky, the sea, the open wold. Why should we grudge Nature our heart? We might as well grudge it to the God who made the world. ~Adeline Sergeant, The Story of a Penitent Soul: Being the Private Papers of Mr. Stephen Dart, Late Minister at Lynnbridge in the County of Lincoln, 1892
It's easy to get lost when the map is in your hand and not in your heart. ~Terri Guillemets
Why mind your scorn? — I scorn myself.
Maybe I am approaching a little nearer if you look at me and condemn, and I look upon your condemnation with indifference....
Why ask your acceptance, when I have never had my own?..
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LII," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Be cautious what tales you tell yourself — you're writing your own autobiography. ~Terri Guillemets
Dig within. There lies the well-spring of good: ever dig, and it will ever flow. ~Marcus Aurelius
Self-pity, a condition of mind to be fought,
Is an unhealthy, neurotic kind of a thought!
And those who are troubled in this unhappy way
Should fight this state of mind every night and each day.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Self-Pity" (1940s)
The man that shows off, to that one who wants to convince of his value is to himself. ~Doménico Cieri Estrada
Get involved. You don't want to look back on your life and realize that you successfully managed to stay out of it. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for where I am closed, I am false...
~Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours (Das Stunden-Buch), translated from German and modified by Anita Barrows and Joanna Marie Macy
A man is sometimes lost in the dust of his own raising. ~David Ruggles
Things happen in life that make us question our faith when perhaps they ought to make us question our life. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Sometimes you can get so far in yourself that you don't know who you are. ~Henry Rollins
People aren't ignoring you. They are busy with their lives. And the way to stop feeling ignored is to get busy with yours. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Not a blade of grass but has a story to tell, not a heart but has its romance, not a life which does not hide a secret which is either its thorn or its spur. Everywhere grief, hope, comedy, tragedy; even under the petrifaction of old age, as in the twisted forms of fossils, we may discover the agitations and tortures of youth. This thought is the magic wand of poets and of preachers: it strips the scales from our fleshly eyes, and gives us a clear view into human life; it opens to the ear a world of unknown melodies, and makes us understand the thousand languages of nature. Thwarted love makes a man polyglot, and grief transforms him into a diviner and a sorcerer. ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel, 28th March 1855 (journal), translated from French by Mary Augusta Ward
There is a public me and a private me, who, if they were separate people, probably wouldn't exchange Christmas cards. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Selfishness is a bottomless pit. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
with pensive heads and lashing tails
my dreams alight on capricious sails
~Terri Guillemets, "Life's adventure," 2000
Some things become so completely our own that we forget them. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
The inward light is forever striving to gather enough additional light to penetrate the fog of our senses. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, Meditations in Wall Street, 1940, originally published anonymously
Sometimes I feel like life misprinted me. ~Terri Guillemets, "XV reasons," 1988
In a speech, the columnist Charles Krauthammer.... offered a new version of Socrates' famous saying, "The unexamined life is not worth living." In our age of bottomless self-love and obsession with our own feelings, Krauthammer suggested, "The too-examined life is not worth living either." ~John Leo, December 1993, Universal Press Syndicate
Though confined to our destiny, we do get to pick the color scheme. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
I am going into a far country, farther than the East is from the West — the Land of my Separate Selves. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: XXIII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
It is not impossibilities which fill us with the deepest despair, but possibilities which we have failed to realize. ~Robert Mallett, Apostilles, 1972
Sometimes I feel like I'm going nowhere, in opposite directions. ~Terri Guillemets
The Divine does not like to be shut up in a building. The Divine likes to be out in the open. It is right here in this very body. Each one of us is a miniature universe, a living shrine. ~Morihei Ueshiba
Sometimes, when I get too wrapped up in myself, I like to take a walk into town, and for an afternoon or so, just be the passing stranger in other people's lives. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
...my candle to the Milky Way... ~Terri Guillemets
Up to a point a man's life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him. Then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has it within his power to say, "This I am today; that I will be tomorrow." ~Louis L'Amour
I started out running
then learned to walk,
now feel forced to crawl....
I started out knowing all the answers,
but that was when my world was small.
Now knowing is harder.
~Terri Guillemets, "Orion's Under the Clouds"
There is part of us that stands in quiet witness to what we do, taking notes, waiting for a solitary moment to bring up the subject. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
There is luxury in self-reproach.... When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has a right to blame us. ~Oscar Wilde
Take the time to come home to yourself every day. ~Robin Casarjean
If you hate your parents, the man or the establishment, don't show them up by getting wasted and wrapping your car around a tree. If you really want to rebel against your parents, out-learn them, outlive them, and know more than they do. ~Henry Rollins
When you blame and criticize others, you are avoiding some truth about yourself. ~Deepak Chopra
If men could regard the events of their own lives with more open minds, they would frequently discover that they did not really desire the things they failed to obtain. ~André Maurois
That's the thing about needs. Sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore. ~Michael Patrick King, Sex and the City, "The Good Fight"
Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living. ~Jonathan Safran Foer
Alexandros of Antioch took a block of marble and chiseled away from it everything that was not his masterpiece, the Venus de Milo. If you will chisel away one fault from your character every day, you may discover -
a) that you're actually a statue of Margaret Thatcher.
b) that you're still just a block of marble.
c) that there are pigeon droppings on your shoes.
d) that you, too, are a hidden masterpiece.
~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
I am a raging sea trapped in a raindrop. ~Author unknown
At the fireside of life in the deep quietude beyond my deserts, I was happy. Faithfully, truth casts his leaves forth upon the wind, but few indulge in revelation to the heart. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850, and Terri Guillemets, 2014, The Scarlet Letter altered prose
There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others. ~Michel de Montaigne
Reputation is in itself only a farthing candle, of a wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light by which the world looks for and finds merit. ~James Russell Lowell
Be useful each day and take control of your own health. Laziness and apathy can settle into your spirit if you aren't paying attention. ~Terri Guillemets
The only person you should ever compete with is yourself. You can't hope for a fairer match. ~Todd Ruthman
He who takes an accurate account of his moral-stock-in-trade, will find his chief assets to be made up of selfishness, and his principal liability the debt he owes to nature. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
If we cannot be happy and powerful and prey on others, we invent conscience and prey on ourselves. ~Elbert Hubbard
Unjust. How many times I've used that word, scolded myself with it. All I mean by it now is that I don't have the final courage to say that I refuse to preside over violations against myself, and to hell with justice. ~Lillian Hellman
Only you can set you free. ~Living Colour, "Cult of Personality"
I say me, knowing all the while it's not me. ~Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable, 1953
There's nothing like self-improvement to get your friends to like you for who you were. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Somewhere there are fledglings in a nest that I have come to feed, that must otherwise perish.
Somewhere some one prays to be released, some one prays that I shall not be so long, that I shall not tarry on the way.
The rabble is at my door, the world is demanding. It holds out its shackled wrists, and points to its greying temples.
And I am coming. I am delayed — delayed because I, too, am lost, but I am coming, and I will arrive, and I will reach you!
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XCI," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Everything that I bear within me bound, is to be found somewhere else free. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
You grow up the day you have your first real laugh, at yourself. ~Ethel Barrymore
Did you really run into a monster on your path, or just a mirror? ~Terri Guillemets
If I had it to do again, I would less often judge myself and more often ask for a jury. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Until I have come humbly, I shall know that I have not come at all.
I shall come, not as one who has escaped pain, but as one who has glorified it.
I will annihilate the narrow margin that lies between me and my unused potency.
My confusion is but a phase — and I am not afraid of phases.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing" (XIII, XXII, XXVIII, & XXVIII), At the Roots of Grasses, 1923 [A poetry mash‑up: one line each from four Strode poems of the same section.
Daily I learn — sometimes painfully, other times with glee — that mine is a path never meant to be paved. ~Jeb Dickerson, jebdickerson.com
The treasure of self is buried under the rainbow and yet glows beyond the sun. ~Terri Guillemets
I have come blatantly, beating the gongs of life. One day I shall come quietly, in the humility of my great and wondrous soul. I who have beaten only tom-toms shall come thrumming the sweet lyre of being. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LIX," A Soul's Faring, 1921
I am my own heaven and hell! ~J.C.F. von Schiller
Grace is within you. If it were external, it would be useless. ~Ramana Maharshi
Most often, walking alone with my shadow is how I find my answer, the result of gathering together all agreeable parties. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Vague hopes, pleasure and vice,
imaginations and dreams—
I have supped on them.
A naked soul—virtue and velvet,
a heart—joyous and lonely;
Solitude—a flower cared for tenderly.
~Octave Mirbeau, 1900, and Terri Guillemets, 2016, The Diary of a Chambermaid altered prose
Falling, falling, falling, falling down. Look yourself in the eye before you drown. ~Emily Saliers, "Center Stage," Indigo Girls, 1989
One day the hour will strike; it will call to me to arise, and what if my unused limbs shall fail me? ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXII," A Soul's Faring, 1921
We must be our own before we can be another's. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Related Quotations: Being Yourself, Self-Discovery, Soul, Self-Control, Self-Respect, Purpose, Confidence, Conformity, Solitude, Body, Emotions, Brotherhood, Meditation, Daydreaming, Silence, Mind, Relationships, Prayer, Memories, Be Great!