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Words, words, words … I love ’em, and collect quotes like a mad woman.  Hence this page is where I intend to throw all my favourites, maybe they’ll speak to you too.

Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides. ~ André Malraux

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers. ~ Isaac Asimov

The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives. ~ Albert Schweitzer

At this moment in history, we are all caught in the hell of passivity. ~ R.D.Lang

Life begins on the other side of despair. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

We fear the consequences of confession because we have yet to realize the consequences of concealment. ~ Andy Stanley

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The truth was obscure
too plain and too pure
To live it you had to explode ~ Bob Dylan

Societies never know it, but the war of an artist with his society is a lover’s war and he does, at his best, what lovers do, which is to reveal the beloved to himself and, with that revelation, to make freedom real. ~ James Baldwin

Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it. ~ Karl Marx

I have always looked upon decay as being just as wonderful and rich an expression of life as growth. ~ Henry Miller

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”  ~ The Velveteen Rabbit

I don’t care if they eat me alive, I’ve got better things to do than survive. ~ Ani Difranco

Revolution is not a one time event. ~ Audre Lorde

To love one who loves you,
To admire one who admires you,
In a word,
to be the idol of one’s idol,
Is exceeding the limit of human joy;
It is stealing fire from heaven. ~ Delphine De Girardin

Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts ~ Albert Einstein

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. ~Alice Walker

I am bored with gabbers and their gab; my soul abhors them. … Is there any place where there is no traffic in empty talk? Is there on this earth one who does not worship himself talking?  ~ Kahlil Gibran

Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.  ~ Antonio Gramsci

Once your soul has been enlarged by a truth, it can never return to its original size. ~ Blaise Pascal

To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle. ~ Albert Einstein

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please; you can never have both. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. ~ Khalil Gibran

Most people are other people.  Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.  ~ Oscar Wilde

People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain. ~ Jim Morrison

When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.  ~ Audre Lorde

The truly faithless is the one who makes love to only a fraction of you. And denies the rest.  ~ Anais Nin

If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom. ~ Robert Frost

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~ Albert Schweitzer

A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.  ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. ~ James Baldwin

People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.  ~ James Baldwin

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes much more beautiful. ~ Barbara Bloom

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.  ~ Albert Camus

I believe in using words, not fists. I believe in my outrage knowing people are living in boxes on the street. I believe in honesty. I believe in a good time. I believe in good food. I believe in sex. ~ Bertrand Russell

One does not become fully human painlessly.  ~ Rollo May

Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.  ~ Socrates

Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt – particularly to doubt one’s cherished beliefs, one’s dogmas and one’s axioms.  ~ Will Durant

I don’t think that a warrior is necessarily a man. And, in fact, it has been proven that football players, and all these people in teams and in armies, are not men. It is very difficult to be a man. And what it involves, for me anyway, is an ability to look at the world, to look at whatever it is, and to say what it is, and to deal with it, to face it, even if it does mean laying down your life, and in a way it always does mean that.  ~ James Baldwin

Keep me from the wisdom that does not weep, and the philosophy that does not laugh.  ~ Kahlil Gibran

Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.  ~ Paulo Freire

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. . . . It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more. ~ Erica Jong

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

A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person’s brow.  ~ Charles Brower

The culture is going into a psychological depression. We are concerned about our place in the world, about being competitive: Will my children have as much as I have? Will I ever own my own home? How can I pay for a new car? Are immigrants taking away my white world?  ~ James Hillman

We worship the idea of the ‘self-made man’ – otherwise, we’d object to Bill Gates having all that money! We worship that idea … individuality.  ~ James Hillman

The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.  ~ Rollo May

Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.  ~ Audre Lorde

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is growing up.  ~ James Baldwin

The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.  ~ Audre Lorde

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.  ~ Anais Nin

The self has no pure identity, substance, core of its own; it is constituted by activities in engagement with the world. There is no self over and apart from the world. There is only a self in the world, part of the world, in tension with the world, resistant to the world.  ~ Michael Novak

The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand. ~ Frederick L. Knowles

There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt.  ~ Audre Lorde

The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives.  ~ Audre Lorde

When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with.  ~ Anais Nin

… joy and sorrow are inseparable.  Together they come and when one sit alone with you … remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.  ~ Kahlil Gibran

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. ~ Jim Morrison

Thus with my lips have I denounced you, while my heart, bleeding within me, called you tender names. ~ Khalil Gibran

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kia ora,
    One of my personal recent favourites : “I owe my solitude to other people.” Alan Watts

    October 7, 2011
  2. Words | Turangawaewae is an extraordinary share. Thanks for this article.

    November 11, 2012
  3. I love this. I would like to steal this idea because of the love for words if you don’t mind. I loved your blog. 🙂

    September 24, 2014

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