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Philosophical Quotations

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We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation.  ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld

A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure.  ~Lee Segall

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.  ~Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland

Believe those who are seeking the truth.  Doubt those who find it.  ~Andre Gide

Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.  ~Aesop

Only that in you which is me can hear what I'm saying.  ~Baba Ram Dass

I am a part of all that I have met.  ~Alfred Lord Tennyson

There's more to the truth than just the facts.  ~Author Unknown

Even a clock that does not work is right twice a day.  ~Polish Proverb

Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth.  ~Ludwig Börne

If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?  ~Stanislaw J. Lec

The obscure we see eventually.  The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.  ~Edward R. Murrow

We are all but recent leaves on the same old tree of life and if this life has adapted itself to new functions and conditions, it uses the same old basic principles over and over again.  There is no real difference between the grass and the man who mows it.  ~Albert Szent-Györgyi

Sometimes it's necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly.  ~Edward Albee

When the student is ready, the master appears.  ~Buddhist Proverb

A gun gives you the body, not the bird.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Before enlightenment - chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment - chop wood, carry water.  ~Zen Buddhist Proverb

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run.  The daily work - that goes on, it adds up.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying.  Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying.  ~Charles C. Finn

Oh, Heaven, it is mysterious, it is awful to consider that we not only carry a future Ghost within us; but are, in very deed, Ghosts!  ~Thomas Carlyle

Knock on the sky and listen to the sound.  ~Zen Saying

The fish trap exists because of the fish.  Once you've gotten the fish you can forget the trap.  The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit.  Once you've gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare.  Words exist because of meaning.  Once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words.  Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him?  ~Chuang Tzu

By daily dying I have come to be.  ~Theodore Roethke

There are some remedies worse than the disease.  ~Publilius Syrus

You never know what is enough, until you know what is more than enough.  ~William Blake, Proverbs of Hell

It requires a great deal of faith for a man to be cured by his own placebos.  ~John L. McClenahan

What you see, yet can not see over, is as good as infinite.  ~Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, Book II, chapter 1

Philosophy is life's dry-nurse, who can take care of us - but not suckle us.  ~Soren Kierkegaard

One man's quiet is another man's din.  ~Carrie Latet

Men are probably nearer the central truth in their superstitions than in their science.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.  ~Henri Louis Bergson

If you think you're free, there's no escape possible.  ~Ram Dass

The fly that doesn't want to be swatted is most secure when it lights on the fly-swatter.  ~G.C. Lichtenberg

Don't miss the donut by looking through the hole.  ~Author Unknown

You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.  ~Navajo Proverb

Life has the name of life, but in reality it is death.  ~Heraclitus, Eustathius ad Iliad

To learn something new, take the path that you took yesterday.  ~John Burroughs

Whatever I take, I take too much or too little; I do not take the exact amount.  The exact amount is no use to me.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

How long has it been since someone touched part of you other than your body?  ~Laurel Hoodwrit

Alice came to a fork in the road.  "Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Each forward step we take we leave some phantom of ourselves behind.  ~John Lancaster Spalding

The map is not the territory.  ~Alfred Korzybski

No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head.  ~Terry Josephson

Would there be this eternal seeking if the found existed?  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

If you're going to tickle, use a feather not a whip.  ~Audrey Foris, C'est l'esprit du coq rouge (Red Rooster Musings, trans.)

He who has seen present things has seen all, both everything which has taken place from all eternity and everything which will be for time without end; for all things are of one kin and of one form.  ~Marcus Aurelius

If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.  ~Russian Proverb

The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.  ~Bertrand Russell

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.  ~Roger Miller

The obstacle is the path.  ~Zen Proverb

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.  ~James Thurber

It is easy to stand a pain, but difficult to stand an itch.  ~Chang Ch'ao

You cannot step into the same river twice.  ~Heraclitus, in Diogenes Laertius, Lives

You are fastened to them and cannot understand how, because they are not fastened to you.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

One day, someone showed me a glass of water that was half full.  And he said, "Is it half full or half empty?"  So I drank the water.  No more problem.  ~Alexander Jodorowsky

What deep wounds ever closed without a scar?  ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Child Harold's Pilgrimage

Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases.  ~Hippocrates, Aphorisms

If a placebo has an effect, is it any less real than the real thing?  ~Nathaniel LeTonnerre

Seeking is not always the way to find.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

It takes all the running you can do just to keep in the same place.  ~Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, 1872

We waste a lot of time running after people we could have caught by just standing still.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into.  ~Author Unknown

I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.  ~Aleister Crowley, Book of Lies

You can see a lot by just looking.  ~Yogi Berra

Proverbs often contradict one another, as any reader soon discovers.  The sagacity that advises us to look before we leap promptly warns us that if we hesitate we are lost; that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but out of sight, out of mind.  ~Leo Rosten

Reason and faith are both banks of the same river.  ~Doménico Cieri Estrada

Who depends on another man's table often dines late.  ~John Ray

[T]hings are entirely what they appear to be and behind them... there is nothing.  ~Jean Paul Sartre, Nausea

You become responsible forever for what you've tamed.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from French by Richard Howard

When the pain is great enough, we will let anyone be doctor.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

A thousand men can't undress a naked man.  ~Greek Proverb

I stop wanting what I am looking for, looking for it.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

We often repent the good we have done as well as the ill.  ~William Hazlitt, Characteristics, 1823

When I die, I will not see myself die, for the first time.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.  ~Astrid Alauda

The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a Heaven that it shows itself cloddish.  ~Evelyn Waugh

The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.  ~Buddha

We become aware of the void as we fill it.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

If I make the lashes dark
And the eyes more bright
And the lips more scarlet,
Or ask if all be right
From mirror after mirror,
No vanity's displayed:
I'm looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.
~W.B. Yeats

Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.  ~Santayana, Essays

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement.  But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.  ~Niels Bohr

How often one sees people looking far and wide for what they are holding in their hands? Why! I am doing it myself at this very moment.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness.  The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.  ~Eric Hoffer, Passionate State of Mind, 1955

Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?  ~Maurice Freehill

I believe that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark, though the witches are all hung, and Christianity and candles have been introduced.  ~Henry David Thoreau, "Solitude," Walden, 1854

Because they know the name of what I am looking for, they think they know what I am looking for!  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Eggs cannot be unscrambled.  ~American Proverb

A thing, until it is everything, is noise, and once it is everything it is silence.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

The road was new to me, as roads always are going back.  ~Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country Road of Pointed Firs, 1896

...like stealing the juice out of tomorrow's fruit.  ~Destin Figuier

Admiration and familiarity are strangers.  ~George Sand

We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two.  We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about "and."  ~Arthur Stanley Eddington

To know the hight of a mountain, one must climb it.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.  ~Zen

The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.  ~Eric Berne

Nearly all men die of their remedies, and not of their illnesses.  ~Jean Baptiste Molière, Le Malade Imaginaire

The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.  ~Aldous Huxley

I doubt one could live in the darkness, but one could probably survive.  ~Nathaniel LeTonnerre

Skin is a covering for our immortality.  ~Ever Garrison

Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong.  They are conflicts between two rights.  ~Georg Hegel

When I break any of the chains that bind me I feel that I make myself smaller.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

We are spirits clad in veils.  ~Christopher P. Cranch

If I am not pleased with myself, but should wish to be other than I am, why should I think highly of the influences which have made me what I am?  ~John Lancaster Spalding

Before I travelled my road I was my road.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.  ~Francis Bacon

To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting.  ~Stanislaus I of Poland

The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth - that the error and truth are simply opposite.  They are nothing of the sort.  What the world turns to, when it is cured on one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.  ~H.L. Mencken

The future influences the present just as much as the past.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

When a watch goes ill, it is not enough to move the hands; you must set the regulator.  When a man does ill, it is not enough to alter his handiwork, you must regulate his heart.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.  ~John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911

One does what one is; one becomes what one does.  ~Robert von Musil, Kleine Prosa

You can't fall off the floor.  ~Author Unknown

A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain top.  ~Author Unknown

In a mist the heights can for the most part see each other; but the valleys cannot.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

In general people experience their present naively, as it were, without being able to form an estimate of its contents; they have first to put themselves at a distance from it - the present, that is to say, must have become the past - before it can yield points of vantage from which to judge the future.  ~Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion

The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.  ~Robert M. Pirsig

A stumble may prevent a fall.  ~English Proverb

When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.  ~Friedrich Nietzche

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise.  Seek what they sought.  ~Matsuo Basho

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Last modified 2008 Nov 29 Sat 16:42 PST

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