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But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.

I am sensible that he who means to do mankind a real service must set down with the determination of putting up, and bearing with all their faults, follies, prejudices and mistakes until he can convince them that he is right.

Panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstone of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might have lain forever undiscovered.

Certain artists and critics attacked me for painting the ‘Woman’, but I felt that this was their problem, not mine. I don’t really feel like a non-objective painter at all… …It’s really absurd to make an image, like a human image. With paint, today, when you think about it, since we have this problem of doing it or not doing it. But then all of a sudden it was even more absurd not to do it. So I fear I have to follow my desires.

Calculate "owner earnings" to get a true reflection of value.

The encrusted religious structure is not changed by its institutional dependents--they are part of the crust. It is changed by one who goes alone to the wilderness, where he fasts and prays, and returns with cleansed vision. In going alone, he goes independent of institutions, forswearing orthodoxy (right opinion). In going to the wilderness he goes to the margin, where he is surrounded by the possibilities--by no means all good--that orthodoxy has excluded. By fasting he disengages his thoughts from the immediate issues of livelihood; his willing hunger takes his mind off the payroll, so to speak. And by praying he acknowledges ignorance; the orthodox presume to know, whereas the marginal person is trying to find out. He returns to the community, not necessarily with new truth, but with a new vision of the truth; he sees it more whole than before.

A great scientist once said that genius consists not in making great discoveries but in seeing the connection between small discoveries.

I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price.

There may be millions of fine thoughts, and the account of the experience on which they are based, all encased within stone walls of acceptable architectural form; but if the scholar can get at only one a week by diligent search, his syntheses are not likely to keep up with the current scene.

If passion sometimes counsels greater boldness than does reflection, it gives more strength to execute it.

Alas, irreverence has been subsumed by mere grossness, at least in the so-called mass media. What we have now--to quote myself at my most pretentious--is a nimiety of scurrility with a concomitant exiguity of taste. For example, the freedom (hooray!) to say almost anything you want on television about society's problems has been co-opted (alas!) by the freedom to talk instead about flatulence, orgasms, genitalia, masturbation, etc., etc., and to replace real comment with pop-culture references and so-called "adult" language. Irreverence is easy--what's hard is wit.

A great cause of the night is lack of the sun. As You Like It, Act iii, Scene 2

Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art translated. A Midsummer Night's Dream. Act iii. Sc. 1.

The end of culture is right living.

Now entertain conjecture of a time when creeping murmur and the poring dark fills the wide vessel of the universe.

The public sense is in advance of private practice.

Huey P. Newton is the baddest motherfucker ever to set foot inside of history. Huey has a very special meaning to black people, because for four hundred years black people have been wanting to do exactly what Huey Newton did, that is, to stand up in front of the most deadly tentacle of the white racist power structure, and to defy that deadly tentacle, and to tell that tentacle that he will not accept the aggression and the brutality, and that if he is moved against, he will retaliate in kind.

I pray to God that I shall not live one hour after I have thought of using deception.

Well, I know what I have to do, so it is simple. Duty is a wonderful thing. I do not know what I should have done without duty since young Tom died. You could have painted, he told himself. Or you could have done something useful. Maybe, he thought. Duty is simpler.

Like the sacramental use of water and bread and wine, friendship takes what's common in human experience and turns it into something holy.