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Posts from the ‘Quotations’ Category


How Vain It Is

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.

– Henry David Thoreau


Letting Go

Art by Tomas Karkalas

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone.

The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.

– Lin Yutang




Photo by Kate Ter Har

“People are not naturally cruel. They become cruel when they are unhappy — or when they succumb to an ideology.

If religious people had always followed the instinct of their heart rather than the logic of their religion, we would have been spared the sight of heretics burning at stakes, widows walking into funeral pyres, and millions of innocent people slaughtered in wars that are waged in the name of God.

Compassion has no ideology.”

– Anthony de Mello


The Master Does Nothing

Photo by lanchongzi

Photo by lanchongzi

The Master doesn’t try to be powerful,
thus he is truly powerful.
The ordinary man keeps reaching for power,
thus he never has enough.

The Master does nothing,
yet he leaves nothing undone.
The ordinary man is always doing things,
yet many more are left to be done.
The kind man does something,
yet something remains undone.
The just man does something,
and leaves many things to be done.
The moral man does something,
and when no one responds he rolls up his sleeves and uses force.

When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is morality.
When morality is lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the husk of true faith, the beginning of chaos.

Therefore the Master concerns himself
with the depths and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower.

He has no will of his own.
He dwells in reality,
and lets all illusions go.

- Tao Te Ching, verse 38, by Lao Tsu (Translated by Stephen Mitchell)


Forgotten words

fish - photo by Benjamin Hollis

fish - photo by Benjamin Hollis

“The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.

The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.

The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.

Where can I find the man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.”

- Chuang Tzu

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