It looks unlikely that one would be able to learn interesting and relevant things in life without being strongly connected to others. Books, movies and art in general allows one to be exposed to other peoples experiences and interpretations of experiences. In a single book, even if one finds just a single "connection", a few sentences or a short passage to identify with, the job for the day is done. Over time, hundreds of these "connections" can be made. Without these delicate and intricate "connections", growing is slow and difficult, if not impossible. The whole "experiential" human universe awaits in diverse art forms. To read, think, observe, connect is to be alive.
I walked around the block twice, passed 200 people and failed to see a human being.
Charles Bukowski, Tales of Ordinary Madness
Beauty is nothing, beauty won’t stay. You don’t know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you, you know it’s for something else.
Charles Bukowski, Tales of Ordinary Madness
The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it - basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.
Charles Bukowski, Tales of Ordinary Madness
I felt like crying but nothing came out. It was just a sort of sad sickness, sick sad, when you can't feel any worse. I think you know it. I think everybody knows it now and then. But I think I have known it pretty often, too often.
Charles Bukowski, Tales of Ordinary Madness
If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survived, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as How, Why and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question "How can we eat?" the second by the question "Why do we eat?" and the third by the question "Where shall we have lunch?"
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Na obzorju neskončnega. - Zapustili smo kopno in se odpeljali z ladjo! Za seboj smo podrli most - še več, za seboj smo podrli kopno! Barčica, zdaj se pa le pazi! Ob tebi valovi ocean, že res, da ne rjove zmeraj in ta trenutek mirno počiva, sama ljuba svila in zlato in sanjarija dobrote. Vendar pridejo ure, ko boš spoznala, da je neskončen in da ni nič strašnejšega kakor neskončnost. O, bedni ptiček, ki se je počutil prostega, pa se takole zaleti ob stene te kletke! Gorje, če te popade domotožje po kopnem, kakor da je bilo tam več prostosti - in ne bo nikjer več "kopnega"!
Friedrich Nietzsche, Vesela znanost
You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.
Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
The present generation sees everything clearly, it is amazed and laughs at the folly of its ancestors...and self-confidently enters on a fresh set of errors at which their descendants will laugh again later on.
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
Love us dirty, for any one will love us clean.
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
The past is always beautiful. So, for that matter, is the future. Only the present hurts, and we carry it around like an abscess of suffering, our compassion between two infinities of happiness and peace.
Michel Houellebecq, Soumission
The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
He must be living a life free of worries. But viewed from his perspective, looking at me from his side of the valley, I might appear to also be living a life of ease and leisure. From a distance, most things look beautiful.
Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore
Why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for example, or a fine evening or conversation with people we like, why does it all seem to be a hint of some limitless happiness existing somewhere else rather than a real happiness, the kind, that is, we possess ourselves?
Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons
"What's this? Am I falling? My legs are giving way," thought he, and fell on his back. He opened his eyes, hoping to see how the struggle of the Frenchmen with the gunners ended, whether the red-haired gunner had been killed or not and whether the cannon had been captured or saved. But he saw nothing. Above him there was now nothing but the sky- the lofty sky, not clear yet still immeasurably lofty, with gray clouds gliding slowly across it. "How quiet, peaceful, and solemn; not at all as I ran," thought Prince Andrew- "not as we ran, shouting and fighting, not at all as the gunner and the Frenchman with frightened and angry faces struggled for the mop: how differently do those clouds glide across that lofty infinite sky! How was it I did not see that lofty sky before? And how happy I am to have found it at last! Yes! All is vanity, all falsehood, except that infinite sky. There is nothing, nothing, but that. But even it does not exist, there is nothing but quiet and peace."
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
Sometimes he remembered having heard how soldiers under fire in the trenches, and having nothing to do, try hard to find some occupation the more easily to bear the danger. It seemed to Pierre that all men were like those soldiers, seeking refuge from life: some in ambition, some in cards, some in framing laws, some in women, some in playthings, some in horses, some in politics, some in sport, some in wine, and some in government service. 'Nothing is without consequence, and nothing is important: it's all the same in the end. The thing to do is to save myself from it all as best I can,' thought Pierre. Not to see IT, that terrible IT.
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
We are stories, contained within the twenty complicated centimeters behind our eyes...
Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time
Sit immovably in the place where being superior or inferior to others doesn't matter.
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo
Men in general don’t know how to live: they have no true familiarity with life, and never feel entirely at ease in it, so they pursue different projects, more or less ambitious and more or less grandiose – generally speaking, of course, they fail and reach the conclusion that they would have been better off just living, but as a rule by that point it’s too late.
Michel Houellebecq, Serotonin
Bad people are to be found everywhere, but even among the worst there may be something good.
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The House of the Dead
It occurred to him that he had not spent his life as he should have done. It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false. And his professional duties and the whole arrangement of his life and of his family, and all his social and official interests, might all have been false.
Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych
Ta svet je lep, če nekomu nekaj daš. Ta svet je lep, če nekoga rad imaš, če stisneš roko komu, ki ga kaj boli. Ta svet je lep, če si človek do ljudi.
Tone Pavček
"Rabbit's clever", said Pooh thoughtfully.
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever."
"And he has Brain."
There was a long silence.
"I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything."
Winnie the Pooh
One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.
Friedrich Nietzsche
My dear friend, what is this our life? A boat that swims in the sea, and all one knows for certain about it is that one day it will capsize. Here we are, two good old boats that have been faithful neighbors, and above all your hand has done its best to keep me from "capsizing"! Let us then continue our voyage—each for the other's sake, for a long time yet, a long time! We should miss each other so much! Tolerably calm seas and good winds and above all sun—what I wish for myself, I wish for you, too, and am sorry that my gratitude can find expression only in such a wish and has no influence at all on wind or weather!
Friedrich Nietzsche
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Friedrich Nietzsche
If other people do not understand our behaviour - so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being 'asocial' or 'irrational' in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to 'explain', which usually implies that the explanation be 'understood', i.e., approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself - to his reason and his conscience - and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.
Erich Fromm, The Art of Being
It takes strength to remember, it takes another kind of strength to forget, it takes a hero to do both. People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their innocence; people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence; and the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen who forget. Heroes are rare.
James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room
Ampak ljudje, ljudje se ne trudijo. Ljudje radi pupajo, papajo, mehko se otrebijo in trdo vtikajo, oprostite.
Janez Rugelj
When we die there are two things we can leave behind us: genes and memes. We were built as gene machines, created to pass on our genes. But that aspect of us will be forgotten in three generations. Your child, even your grandchild, may bear a resemblance to you, perhaps in facial features, in a talent for music, in the colour of her hair. But as each generation passes, the contribution of your genes is halved. It does not take long to reach negligible proportions. Our genes may be immortal but the collection of genes that is any one of us is bound to crumble away. Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of William the Conqueror. Yet it is quite probable that she bears not a single one of the old king’s genes. We should not seek immortality in reproduction. But if you contribute to the world’s culture, if you have a good idea, compose a tune, invent a sparking plug, write a poem, it may live on, intact, long after your genes have dissolved in the common pool. Socrates may or may not have a gene or two alive in the world today, as G. C. Williams has remarked, but who cares? The meme complexes of Socrates, Leonardo, Copernicus and Marconi are still going strong.
Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
The prince says that the world will be saved by beauty! And I maintain that the reason he has such playful ideas is that he is in love.
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.
Charles Bukowski, The Laughing Heart
He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
The world says: "You have needs -- satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don't hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more." This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.