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miscellaneous quotes

Last updated Dec 24, 2022 Edit Source

Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur;

Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created

And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.


Psalm 104, “Antiphon for Pentecost”

The way to fame goes through the palaces,
the way to happiness goes through the markets,
the way to virtue goes through the deserts.

Chinese proverb

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man; and, therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he need have a present wit; and if he read little he need have much cunning to seem to know that he does not.

Francis Bacon

It may be, then, that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work and that when we no longer know which way to go we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.

Wendell Berry, “Standing by Woods”

It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly, child, lightly.
Learn to do everything lightly.

Aldous Huxley

The most difficult things in the world
Must be accomplished through the easiest.
The greatest things in the world
Must be accomplished through the smallest.
Therefore the Sage
Never attempts great things and so accomplishes them.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching Chapter 63

The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.

Joseph Smith, Letter to Isaac Galland, Mar. 22, 1839, Liberty Jail

sometimes it is necessary to shake the kaleidoscope:
same elements - different pattern - new direction

Roman Dale, personal communication, 4 June 2018

Pare down to the essence, but don’t remove the poetry.
Keep things clean and unencumbered, but don’t sterilize.

Leonard Koren


If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert.

W. Beran Wolfe, Australian psychiatrist

Find a happy person, and you will find a project.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, psychologist

I believe no man was ever scolded out of his sins.

William Cowper

As for the budget, a paper by Bjorken later put it this way: “The location of the experiment in fiscal space was near the imaginary axis.” Funding, in other words, was almost nonexistent.


J.D. Bjorken, theoretical physicist at Stanford

We do not need a truth to serve us, we need a truth that we can serve.

Jacques Maritain, Degrees of Knowledge, 1932

The computer works essentially like a high-speed clerk of moronic intelligence slavishly following man made instruction.

BBC television, 1965-10-04


When I was in Africa some years ago and then came back, I noticed water. In Africa where I was, I didn’t have drinkable water. Every time I turned on the faucet, I was overwhelmed. Every time I clicked on the light, I was so grateful. It made me so happy. But after a while, this wears off. So I put little stickers on the light switch and on the water faucet, and every time I turned it on, water. So leave it up to your own imagination. You can find whatever works best for you, but you need stop signs in your life. And when you stop, then the next thing is to look. You look. You open your eyes. You open your ears. You open your nose. You open all your senses for this wonderful richness that is given to us. There is no end to it, and that is what life is all about, to enjoy, to enjoy what is given to us.

David Steindl-Rast

I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:

  1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
  2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
  3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

Douglas Adams

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it.
I want to live the width of it as well.
As quoted in Meditations for Women Who Do Too (1991) by Anne Wilson Schaef,
“Human beings are sloshing sacks of chemicals on the move.”

An Alchemy of Mind : The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain (2004) ISBN 0743246721

Diane Ackerman

“Ubuntu ngumtu ngabanye abantu,”
which means
“A person is a person through other people.”

Buntu Mfenyana, sociolinguist

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Bertrand Russell

It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living foundation; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion— its message becomes meaningless.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man, 1955

We think of color as something that hides what’s underneath it, but we respond to color as something that reveals. (21)

David Hicks, “Colors do not clash. They vibrate.” (28)

Lightbulbs: 3k Kelvin, CRI close to 100

The kind of abundance that really matters is not material accumulation but sensorial richness. (51)

Ingrid Fetell-Lee, Joyful

Pure is the present night, in which the Pure One appeared, Who came to purify us.
Let our hearing be pure, and the sight of our eyes chaste, and the feeling of the heart holy, and the speech of the mouth sincere.
The present night is the night of reconciliation; therefore, let no one be wroth against his brother and offend him.
This night gave peace to the whole world, and so, let no one threaten.
This is the night of the Most Meek One; let no one be cruel.
This is the night of the Humble One; let no one be proud.
Now is the day of joy; let us not take revenge for offenses.
Now is the day of good will; let us not be harsh.
On this day of tranquility, let us not become agitated by anger.
Today God came unto sinners; let not the righteous exalt himself over sinners.
Today the Most Rich One became poor for our sake; let the rich man invite the poor to his table.
Today we received a gift which we did not ask for; let us bestow alms to those who cry out to us and beg.
The present day has opened the door of heaven to our prayers; let us also open our door to those who ask of us forgiveness.
Today the Godhead placed upon Himself the seal of humanity, and humanity has been adorned with the seal of the Godhead.

St. Ephraim the Syrian, On the Night of the Nativity, CE 306-373