Quotes for the Spirit

Read contributors' quotes

"I'm still learning..."
   Michelangelo Buonarotti

"Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering."
  R. Buckminster Fuller

"If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar that is the other side of silence."
   George Eliot

"It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested."
   Lucius Seneca

"Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother."
   Kahlil Gibran

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."
   Mark Twain

"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace which is within the souls of men."
   Black Elk - Oglala Sioux

"To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering."
   Friedrich Nietzsche

"I do not know what is best for you to do, but I pray that whatever you do is of benefit to sentient beings."
   Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

"Science without conscience is the ruin of the soul"
   François Rabelais

"If we look far enough back in the depths of time, the disordered anthill of living beings suddenly, for an informed observer, arranges itself in long files that make their way by various paths towards greater consciousness."
   Teilhard de Chardin

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."
  Marcus Aurelius

"I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go."
   Abraham Lincoln

"You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world's happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime."
   Dale Carnegie

"Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous as irresponsible talk. The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character."
   Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995), U.S. Senator, GOP

"Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
   Rainer Marie Rilke

"The way to do is to be."
   Lao Tse

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change"
   Gautama Buddha

"A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man."
  Aung San Suu Kyi

"Whenever a feeling of aversion comes into the heart of a good soul, it's not without significance. Consider that intuitive wisdom to be a Divine attribute, not a vain suspicion: the light of the heart has apprehended intuitively from the Universal Tablet."

"We cannot do great things, but we can do small things with great love."
  Mother Theresa

"Courage is the price that life exacts for freedom."
   Amelia Earhart

"Happiness makes up in height what it lacks in length."
  Robert Frost

"Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority."
   Henry David Thoreau

"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"
   Albert Einstein

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
  Mahatma Gandhi

"It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself for difficult times; while fortune is bestowing favors on it is then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs."
   Lucius Seneca

"We are living through one of the most fundamental shifts in history - a change in the actual belief structure of Western society. No economic, political, or military power can compare with the power of a change of mind. By deliberately changing their images of reality, people are changing the world."  
  Willis Harman

"Take your well disciplined strengths
and stretch them between two
opposing poles. Because inside human beings
is where God learns"
   Rainier Maria Rilke - translated from the German by Robert Bly

"..[T]oo much money has killed men and left them dead years before burial: and quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs has twisted good enough men sometimes into dry thwarted worms"
   Carl Sandburg

 "There are missions and stages given only to us.
   Life is a drama with no written scenario.
   Playing ourselves in the way of celebrated actors,
   we should live our own role, whatever it entails,
   with energy and a ready smile."
   Daisaku Ikeda, ISG

"Birds settle on a tree for a while, and then go their separate ways again. The meeting of all living beings must likewise inevitably end in their parting. This world passes away and disappoints the hopes of everlasting attachment. it is therefore unwise to have a sense of ownership for people who are united with us as in a dream---for a while only and not in fact."
   Gautama Buddha

"Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long."
  Walker Evans

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."
  Muhammad Ali

"Temptation is the Universe's compassionate way of allowing you to run through what would be a harmful negative karmic dynamic if you were to allow it to become physically manifest ... the gracious opportunity to have a dry run at a life lesson ... without creating karma and interaction with other souls."
   Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul

"Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul."

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
  Harold Whitman

"Happiness is the only sanction of life; where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment."
  George Santayana

"The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an ocean of illimitable inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land."
   Thomas H. Huxley

"I now know that no one thing is true. It's all true."
   Ernest Hemingway, Islands in the Stream

"The myriad end-of-the-world scenarios filling the air today emerge from a fear-based ego's inevitable argument that if we do not go its way, then there is no way to go. But in fact, there is. There is another way to live, to be, to think, to behave -- and yes, to organize human civilization; the fact that the mind that manufactured the world we live in now cannot imagine what that would be, is certainly no sign that another way does not exist. The change from who we are right now to who we can and shall be once we have embraced this opportunity for change, represents a quantum leap forward in our spiritual as well as our political, economic, and social development."
   Marianne Williamson

“Fuse the powers of the sacred heart with the energies of the awakened body and you can transform everything.” 
  Teilhard de Chardin

"It was a morning in early summer. A silver haze shimmered and trembled over the lime trees. The air was laden with their fragrance. The temperature was like a caress. I remember---I need not recall---that I climbed up a tree stump and felt suddenly immersed in Itness. I did not call it by that name. I had no need for words. It and I were one."
   Bernard Berenson

"Thinkest thyself a puny form when within thee the universe is folded?"
  Sufi saying

"Between apprehending and naming, is experiencing."

Some contributors' suggestions:

"That which matters most must never be at the mercy of that which matters least."
   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  from Lalita Amos, MHRM RCC

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"
   from Tim Tymchyshyn

"Security is not the meaning of my life. Great opportunities are worth the risk. "
   Shirley Hufstedler
   from Bela Gupta

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
    from Jim Burnet

"You can be on the right track, but you'll get run over if you just sit
    Will Rodgers
    from Jim Burnet

"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that Democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
   Sir Winston Churchill, Hansard - circa 1947
   from Marietta C. Baglieri