Detachment from things does not mean setting up a contradiction between “things” and “God” as if God were another “thing” and as if His creatures were His rivals. We do not detach ourselves from things in order to attach ourselves to God, but rather we become detached form ourselves in order to see and use all things in and for God. This is an entirely new perspective which many sincerely moral and ascetic minds fail utterly to see.

All of Jewish philosophy is but an attempt to fit inside the human
mind that which is contained within the heart of a simple Jew.

Thus happiness depends, as nature shows, less on exterior things than most suppose.

It is one of my rules in life, never to notice what I don't understand.

Why even the poor farmer took a raise of another ten percent just to get a loan from the bank, and nobody from the government paid any attention. But you let Wall Street have a nightmare and the whole country has to help to get them back into bed again.

All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality - the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.

In making the great experiment of governing people by consent rather than by coercion, it is not sufficient that the party in power should have a majority. It is just as necessary that the party in power should never outrage the minority.

Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.

I always thought it was better like a lot for one person, a little for everyone.

And he absolutely had to find her at once to tell her that he adored her, but the large audience before him separated him from the door, and the notes reaching him through a succession of hands said that she was not available; that she was inaugurating a fire; that she had married an American businessman; that she had become a character in a novel; that she was dead.

Words without experience are meaningless. [alternatively, Words without experience would have no meaning.]

People sometimes say: Common sense is quite rare.

A spontaneous cessation of mental activity releases an absolutely new and dynamic energy. Silence increases the sensitivity of the total being. It refreshes the nervous system in an astounding way. As you come out totally replenished when you have had profound and innocent sleep, So do you come out totally renewed when you have had ceased to function through the ego in the hour of silence.

We must go to the roots of the problem, to the core of the human psyche, recognizing that collective social action begins with action in individual life. We cannot separate the individual and the society. We each contain the society when we accept the value structure of society, when we accept the priorities worked out for us by governments and the states and the political parties. We are expressions of the collective, repeating the pattern created for us, and we feel happy because we are given physical security, economic security, comfort, leisure, entertainment. We have been trained to be obsessed with the idea of security; the idea of tomorrow haunts us much more than the responsibility for today.

A growing body of clinical observation has pointed to the conclusion that the family therapy must be oriented to the family as a whole.

So I have to create the whole thing afresh for myself each time. Probably all writers now are in the same boat. It is the penalty we pay for breaking with tradition, and the solitude makes the writing more exciting though the being read less so. One ought to sink to the bottom of the sea, probably, and live alone with ones words.

It is an unpleasant thing to go to bed without supper; it is a still less pleasant thing not to sup and not to know where one is to sleep.

The heap of oyster shells they call a library disgusts me to think of. What a lot of paper! What a lot of ink! What a lot of scribbling! Somebody has written all of that! What idiot was it who said that man is a featherless biped?

Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it.

No one can escape death and unhappiness. If people expect only happiness in life, they will be disappointed.