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Quotations of Perspective

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There are truths on this side of the Pyranees, which are falsehoods on the other.  ~Blaise Pascal

If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds.  ~Robert Green Ingersoll

Advice to children crossing the street:  damn the lights.  Watch the cars.  The lights ain't never killed nobody.  ~Moms Mabley

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.  ~H.L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956

Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships.  ~Charles Simic

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.  ~Ivy Baker Priest

Won't you come into the garden?  I would like my roses to see you.  ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan

People who look through keyholes are apt to get the idea that most things are keyhole shaped.  ~Author Unknown

I am chained to the earth to pay for the freedom of my eyes.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

No object is mysterious.  The mystery is your eye.  ~Elizabeth Bowen, The House in Paris, 1935

Sin is geographical.  ~Bertrand Russell

I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the years'.  ~Henry Moore

Set out from any point.  They are all alike.  They all lead to a point of departure.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Someone said, "The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did."  Precisely, and they are that which we know.  ~T.S. Eliot

Immorality:  The morality of those who are having a better time.  ~H.L. Mencken

A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works.  ~Bill Vaughan

In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty.  ~Imbesi's Conservation of Filth Law

If you're being run out of town, get in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade.  ~Author Unknown

Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.  ~George Santayana

We judge others by their behavior.  We judge ourselves by our intentions.  ~Ian Percy

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.  ~Henry Miller

All honor's wounds are self-inflicted.  ~Andrew Carnegie

The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on.  ~Joseph Heller, Catch-22

There's no such thing as bragging.  You're either lying or telling the truth.  ~Al Oliver

I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.  ~Denis Waitely

A penny will hide the biggest star in the Universe if you hold it close enough to your eye.  ~Samuel Grafton

Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be?  ~Author Unknown

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.  ~Abraham Maslow

Don't think of organ donations as giving up part of yourself to keep a total stranger alive.  It's really a total stranger giving up almost all of themselves to keep part of you alive.  ~Author Unknown

Be careful how you interpret the world:  It is like that.  ~Erich Heller

Astronomers always work in the past; because light takes time to move from one place to another, they see things as they were, not as they are.  ~Neale E. Howard, The Telescope Handbook and Star Atlas, 1967

Each act is virgin, even the repeated ones.  ~René Char

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.  ~Anaïs Nin

The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress.  ~Joseph Joubert, Pensées, 1842

The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his great-grandfather was a pirate.  ~Bern Williams

No man but feels more of a man in the world if he have but a bit of ground that he can call his own.  However small it is on the surface, it is four thousand miles deep; and that is a very handsome property.  ~Charles Dudley Warner

The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot.  The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.  ~Sid Caesar

When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute.  But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute - and it's longer than any hour.  That's relativity.  ~Albert Einstein

Feast, n.  A festival.  A religious celebration usually signalized by gluttony and drunkenness, frequently in honor of some holy person distinguished for abstemiousness.  ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.  ~Arthur Schopenhauer, "Studies in Pessimism," Psychological Observations, 1851

Efficiency is intelligent laziness.  ~David Dunham

It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.  ~Mexican Proverb

If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe.  ~Carl Sagan

A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.  ~Alexander Pope, in Swift, Miscellanies

Hay is more acceptable to an ass than gold.  ~Latin Proverb

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.  ~Kahlil Gibran

If you want total security, go to prison.  There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on.  The only thing lacking... is freedom.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Every man regards his own life as the New Year's Eve of time.  ~Jean Paul Richter

All the suns labor to kindle your flame and a microbe puts it out.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

There is no burnt rice to a hungry person.  ~Philippine Proverb

If one man offers you democracy and another offers you a bag of grain, at what stage of starvation will you prefer the grain to the vote?  ~Bertrand Russell

Nothing is further than Earth from Heaven: nothing is nearer than Heaven to Earth.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

As far as the Moon is concerned, he is always full.  ~Nathaniel LeTonnerre, translated

Nothing in the universe can travel at the speed of light, they say, forgetful of the shadow's speed.  ~Howard Nemerov

How many of our daydreams would darken into nightmares, were there a danger of their coming true!  ~Logan Pearsall Smith

Everybody's talking about people breaking into houses but there are more people in the world who want to break out of houses.  ~Thornton Wilder, The Matchmaker, 1955

A statistician made a few calculations and discovered that since the birth of our nation more lives had been lost in celebrating independence than in winning it.  ~Curtis Billings

If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model.  Kate Moss?  Well, she would have been the paintbrush.  ~Dawn French

Flowers often grow more beautifully on dung-hills than in gardens that look beautifully kept.  ~Saint Francis de Sales

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
~William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence," 1810

It is seldom indeed that one parts on good terms, because if one were on good terms one would not part.  ~Marcel Proust, The Fugitive, Remembrance of Things Past, 1925

The rich would have to eat money if the poor did not provide food.  ~Russian Proverb

My play was a complete success.  The audience was a failure.  ~Ashleigh Brilliant

The tyrant is nothing but a slave turned inside out.  ~Herbert Spencer

The bluebird carries the sky on his back.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Expectant of greater things,
We try climbing -
And Higher;
An effort that costs us much,
Leaving us short of breath
To find only
The ground below is much prettier.
~Phillip Pulfrey, "Mountains" Love, Abstraction and other Speculations, www.originals.net

There's an alternative.  There's always a third way, and it's not a combination of the other two ways.  It's a different way.  ~David Carradine

The violence we do to ourselves in order to remain faithful to the one we love is hardly better than an act of infidelity.  ~François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1665

The chains that bind us most closely are the ones we have broken.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

A boil is no big deal.  On someone else's neck.  ~Jewish Saying

I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.  ~Matthew Henry

In the ideal sense nothing is uninteresting; there are only uninterested people.  ~Brooks Atkinson

Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn't mean he lacks vision.  ~Stevie Wonder

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, I am a citizen of the world.  ~Socrates

A "fraternity" is the antithesis of fraternity.  The first... is predicated on the idea of exclusion; the second (that is, the abstract thing) is based on a feeling of total equality.  ~E.B. White, One Man's Meat, 1944

Retreat, hell!  We're just advancing in another direction.  ~Oliver Prince Smith

Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious.  ~Saint Thomas Aquinas

An abridgement may be a bridge: it may help us over the water: but it keeps us from drinking.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

An apology for the Devil:  It must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case.  God has written all the books.  ~Samuel Butler, Note-Books

All religions issue bibles against him, and say most injurious things about him, but we never hear his side.  ~Mark Twain, about the Devil

The shadows:  some hide, others reveal.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

No one knows what they'll do in a moment of crisis and hypothetical questions get hypothetical answers.  ~Joan Baez, "What Would You Do If....?"

Daughter am I in my mother's house;
But mistress in my own.
~Rudyard Kipling, "Our Lady of the Snows," 1898

What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight.  ~Joseph Joubert

With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another.  ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, "Notebook L," Aphorisms

A light supper, a good night's sleep, and a fine morning have often made a hero of the same man who by indigestion, a restless night, and a rainy morning, would have proved a coward.  ~Earl of Chesterfield

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my eyes and all is born again.
~Sylvia Plath, "Mad Girl's Love Song"

I went to a cafe that advertised breakfast anytime, so I ordered French Toast during the Rennaisance.  ~Steven Wright

Why assume so glibly that the God who presumably created the universe is still running it?  It is certainly conceivable that He may have finished it and then turned it over to lesser gods to operate.  ~H.L. Mencken

I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days.  ~Daniel Boone

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.  ~William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Saint, n.  A dead sinner revised and edited.  ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is the lightning that does the work.  ~Mark Twain

I have scarcely touched the sky and I am made of it.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

It isn't that they can't see the solution.  It is that they can't see the problem.  ~G.K. Chesterton

There is no possible line of conduct which has at some time and place been condemned, and which has not at some other time and place been enjoined as a duty.  ~William Lecky

What was most significant about the lunar voyage was not that men set foot on the moon but that they set eye on the earth.  ~Norman Cousins

If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful.  Planets, lives...  But up close a world's all dirt and rocks.  And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern.  ~Ursula Le Guin

The tyrant dies and his rule ends, the martyr dies and his rule begins.  ~Soren Kierkegaard

If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work.
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV

A gifted small girl has explained that pins are a great means of saving life, "by not swallowing them."  ~Charles Edward Montague, Dramatic Values

[E]very saint has a past and every sinner has a future.  ~Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance, 1893

Addictions do come in handy sometimes:  at least you have to get out of bed for them.  ~Martin Amis

If a fanatic is willing to give his life for a cause, he's probably willing to give yours as well.  ~David Gerrold

I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.  ~Andy Warhol

The highest virtue here may be least in another world.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Education is indoctrination if you're white - subjugation if you're black.  ~James Baldwin

I never ask God to give me anything; I only ask him to put me where things are.  ~Mexican Proverb

If you cry "Forward," you must make plain in what direction to go.  ~Anton Chekov

A full heart has room for everything and an empty heart has room for nothing.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

The best rose-bush, after all, is not that which has the fewest thorns, but that which bears the finest roses.  ~Henry Van Dyke

All men have a reason, but not all men can give a reason.  ~John Henry Cardinal Newman

Presence is more than just being there.  ~Malcolm S. Forbes, The Further Sayings of Chairman Malcolm

Plagiarists, at least, have the merit of preservation.  ~Benjamin Disraeli

The answer to poverty is not charity, the solution to abortion is not laws, the key to saving the environment is not recycling.  As Thoreau so wisely noted, we must strike at the root, not hack at the branches.  ~Tere Saudavel

Injury, when it is slight, upsets me; when it is strong it calms me.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Complete possession is proved only by giving.  All you are unable to give possesses you.  ~Andre Gide

'Tis not the meat, but 'tis the appetite makes eating a delight.  ~John Suckling, Sonnet, c.1638

When you look
into a mirror
it is not
yourself you see,
but a kind
of apish error
posed in fearful
      kool uoy nehW
rorrim a otni
ton si ti
˛ees uoy flesruoy
dnik a tub
rorre hsipa fo
lufraef ni desop

~John Updike, "Mirror,"
Telephone Poles and Other Poems

[A] grass-blade's no easier to make than an oak.  ~James Russell Lowell, A Fable for Critics, 1848

I know what I have given you.  I do not know what you have received.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

The judicial mind is too commonly characterized by a regard for a fourth decimal as the equal of a whole number.  ~Martin H. Fischer

The enemy of your enemy is your friend.  ~Proverb

The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe.  ~Philip W. Anderson, "More Is Different," Science Magazine

It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how things are in themselves.  The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.  ~Carl Jung

If a man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles.  ~Benjamin Franklin

For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them.  ~Seneca

An exhibitionist is nothing without a voyeur.  ~S.A. Sachs

The same fence that shuts others out shuts you in.  ~Bill Copeland

The pyramids will not last a moment compared with the daisy.  ~D.H. Lawrence

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.  ~Marcel Proust

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.  ~John Lubbock

An unattempted woman cannot boast of her chastity.  ~Michel de Montaigne

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Conscience gets a lot of credit that belongs to cold feet.  ~Author Unknown

The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but you still have to mow it.  ~Author Unknown

And see, no longer blinded by our eyes.  ~Rupert Brooke

For a nation which has an almost evil reputation for bustle, bustle, bustle, and rush, rush, rush, we spend an enormous amount of time standing around in line in front of windows, just waiting.  ~Robert Benchley, Benchley - or Else!

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.  ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1600

Credulity is the man's weakness, but the child's strength.  ~Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia, Witches and other Night Fears, 1823

Destiny has two ways of crushing us - by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them.  ~Henri Frederic Amiel

The reverse side also has a reverse side.  ~Japanese Proverb

'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
And robes the mountain in its azure hue.
~Thomas Campbell, Pleasures of Hope

At high tide the fish eat ants; at low tide the ants eat fish.  ~Thai Proverb

Innocence most often is a good fortune and not a virtue.  ~Anatole France

Without the aid of prejudice and custom, I should not be able to find my way across the room.  ~William Hazlitt, Sketches and Essays, 1839

The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.  ~Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Each moment is a place you've never been.  ~Mark Strand

There is but an inch of difference between the cushioned chamber and the padded cell.  ~Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Now, what is it which makes a scene interesting?  If you see a man coming through a doorway, it means nothing.  If you see him coming through a window - that is at once interesting.  ~Billy Wilder

Finish last in your league and they call you idiot.  Finish last in medical school and they call you doctor.  ~Abe Lemons

A hole is nothing at all, but you can still break your neck in it.  ~Author Unknown

Everything's got a moral if only you can find it.  ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

To really enjoy the better things in life, one must first have experienced the things they are better than.  ~Oscar Holmolka

When those waiters ask me if I want some fresh ground pepper, I ask if they have any aged pepper.  ~Andy Rooney

If we escape punishment for our vices, why should we complain if we are not rewarded for our virtues?  ~John Churton Collins, Aphorisms in the English Review, 1914

We have them just where they want us.  ~James T. Kirk

Some men see things as they are and ask why.  Others dream things that never were and ask why not.  ~George Bernard Shaw

Chaperons don't enforce morality; they force immorality to be discreet.  ~Judith Martin

Never is a long, long word, but it's less frustrating than "God knows when."  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Winning is overrated.  The only time it is really important is in surgery and war.  ~Al McGuire

A woman who sells herself to buy bread for her aged mother or her child, stands upon a higher moral plane than the blushing maiden who marries a money bag, in order to gratify her frivolous appetite for parties and travel.  Of two men, he is the less deceived, the more logical and rational, who pays his companion of an hour in cash, each time, than he who gets a companion for life by the marriage contract, whose society was purchased as much as in the former case.  Every alliance between man and woman in which either one is influenced by the substantial or selfish advantage to be gained by it, is prostitution.  ~Max Nordau, Conventional Lies of Our Civilization

Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch.  ~James Baldwin

There's such a thin line between winning and losing.  ~John R. Tunis

There are always three sides to every story:  your side, the other side, and the truth.  ~Author Unknown

Necessity is not an established fact, but an interpretation.  ~Friederich Nietzsche

It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe.  ~Author Unknown

Edible, adj.:  Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.  ~Ambrose Bierce

In the strict scientific sense we all feed on death - even vegetarians.  ~Spock from Star Trek, "Wolf in the Fold"

Emotion has taught mankind to reason.  ~Marquis de Vauvenargues

One man's frankness is another man's vulgarity.  ~Kevin Smith

I don't see how an article of clothing can be indecent.  A person, yes.  ~Robert A. Heinlein

How many merits one sees in those one likes! how many faults in those one dislikes!  Yet people fancy they see with their eyes.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Travelers never think that they are the foreigners.  ~Mason Cooley

If anyone were to be willing to trace his descent through an ape as his grandfather, would he be willing to trace his descent similarly on the side of his grandmother?  ~Samuel Wilberforce

What is a promiscuous person?  It is usually someone who is getting more sex than you are.  ~Victor Lownes, Playboy, 1985

Every vice is only an exaggeration of a necessary and virtuous function.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1836

A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested.  A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.  ~Wendy Kaminer

I always thought a yard was three feet, then I started mowing the lawn.  ~C.E. Cowman

Sometimes the littlest inquiries produce the biggest results.  ~The Quote Garden

It is not the man who has little, but he who desires more, that is poor.  ~Seneca

Where there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.  ~Dorthea Lange

It is easier for me to see everything as one thing than to see one thing as one thing.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

We're all hookers.  What matters is dignity.  ~Mike Farren

A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.  ~Samuel Butler

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.  ~Chinese Proverb

A sodomite got very excited looking at a zoology text.  Does this make it pornography?  ~Stanislaw J. Lec

When a guy goes to a hooker, he's not paying her for sex, he's paying her to leave.  ~Author Unknown

They've got us surrounded again, the poor bastards.  ~Creighton W. Abrams

Every exit is an entrance somewhere else.  ~Tom Stoppard

A pedestal is as much a prison as any small space.  ~Gloria Steinem

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Last modified 2008 Nov 29 Sat 16:43 PST

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