era

Perhaps what matters is not the human pain or joy at all but, rather, the play of shadow and light on a live body, the harmony of trifles assembled...in a unique and inimitable way.

Despite all the political misery I am confronted with every day, it still is my profound conviction that the very essence of politics is not dirty; dirt is brought in only by wicked people. I admit that this is an area of human activity where the temptation to advance through unfair actions may be stronger than elsewhere, and which thus makes higher demands on human integrity. But it is not true at all that a politician cannot do without lying or intriguing. That is sheer nonsense, often spread by those who want to discourage people from taking an interest in public affairs. Of course, in politics, just as anywhere else in life, it is impossible and it would not be sensible always to say everything bluntly. Yet that does not mean one has to lie. What is needed here are tact, instinct and good taste.

Our concern is whether we can live with dignity in such a system, whether it serves people rather than people serving it.

The most dangerous walls are not political or military boundaries but the walls that mutually divide individual people and that divide our own souls. My presidential agenda would be to bring spirituality, moral responsibility and humility into politics and, in that respect, to make clear that there is something higher above us. [Paraphrase]

There appear to be no integrating forces, no unified meaning, no true inner understanding of phenomena in our experience of the world. Experts can explain anything in the objective world to us, yet we understand our own lives less and less. In short, we live in the postmodern world, where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain.

We are led by lawyers who do not understand either technology or balance sheets.

All the extraordinary men I have known were extraordinary in their own estimation.

I admire people who are suited to the contemplative life. They can sit inside themselves like honey in a jar and just be. It's wonderful to have someone like that around, you always feel you can count on them. You can go away and come back, you can change your mind and your hairdo and your politics, and when you get through doing all these upsetting things, you look around and there they are, just the way they were, just being.

Merely external emancipation has made of the modern woman an artificial being. Now, woman is confronted with the necessity of emancipating herself from emancipation, if she really desires to be free.

There are no boundaries in this struggle to the death. We cannot be indifferent to what happens anywhere in the world, for a victory by any country over imperialism is our victory; just as any country's defeat is a defeat for all of us.

The greatest writers of this age... are aware of the mystery of our existence.

The most lasting reputation I have is for an almost ferocious aggressiveness, when in fact I am amiable, indulgent, affectionate, shy and rather timid at heart.

The world we know at present is in no fit state to take over the dreariest little meteor ... If we have the courage and patience, the energy and skill, to take us voyaging to other planets, then let us use some of these to tidy up and civilize this earth. One world at a time, please.

Gandalf thought of most things; and though he could not do everything, he could do a great deal for friends in a tight corner.