Madness

What shakes the eye but the invisible? Running from God's the longest race of all.

Ah, souls, you can easily sin as the saints—but can you repent with the saints? Many can sin with David and Peter, that cannot repent with David and Peter—and so must perish forever!

Every day that is born into the world comes like a burst of music and rings the whole day through, and you make of it a dance, a dirge, or a life march, as you will.

I am able to approach the Buddhas barefoot and undisturbed, my feet in wet grass, wet sand. Then the silence of the extraordinary faces. The great smiles. Huge and yet subtle. Filled with every possibility, questioning nothing, knowing everything, rejecting nothing, the peace not of emotional resignation but of Madhyamika, of sunyata, that has seen through every question without trying to discredit anyone or anything — without refutation — without establishing some other argument. For the doctrinaire, the mind that needs well-established positions, such peace, such silence, can be frightening.

The things I thought were so important—because of the effort I put into them—have turned out to be of small value. And the things I never thought about, the things I was never able either to measure or to expect, were the things that mattered.

Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.

Writing a check separates a commitment from a conversation.

Now is the age of anxiety.

He brushed away the thunder, then the clouds, then the colossal illusion of heaven. Yet still the sky was blue.

Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.

Optimism, said Cacambo, What is that? Alas! replied Candide, It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.

The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him.

There have been superficial blendings, as spiritual groups take up social service work and social activists join religious organizations, but a real integration of social action and spirituality at a deep, innovative level has not yet happened to any significant degree. The history of human development has been fragmentary, and the majority of people have been content with the fragmentation. It has the sanction of society. Each fragment of society has its own set of values. Among many social activists, anger, hatred, violence, bitterness, and cynicism are accepted norms, even though the effectiveness of these motivations for peaceful living has been seriously put in doubt. And indifference to the needs of the poor has had shocking acceptance among generations of spiritual people who considered higher states of consciousness much more significant than the misery of the starving millions.

I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing.

But if sleep it was, of what nature, we can scarcely refrain from asking, are such sleeps as these? Are they remedial measures—trances in which the most galling memories, events that seem likely to cripple life forever, are brushed with a dark wing which rubs their harshness off and gilds them, even the ugliest, and basest, with a lustre, an incandescence? Has the finger of death to be laid on the tumult of life from time to time lest it rend us asunder? Are we so made that we have to take death in small doses daily or we could not go on with the business of living? And then what strange powers are these that penetrate our most secret ways and change our most treasured possessions without our willing it? Had Orlando, worn out by the extremity of his suffering, died for a week, and then come to life again? And if so, of what nature is death and of what nature life?

You have been reading Byron. You have been marking the passages that seem to approve of your own character. I find marks against all those sentences which seem to express a sardonic yet passionate nature; a moth-like impetuosity dashing itself against hard glass. You thought, as you drew your pencil there, I too throw off my cloak like that. I too snap my fingers in the face of destiny. Yet Byron never made tea as you do, who fill the pot so that when you put the lid on the tea spills over. There is a brown pool on the table - it is running among your books and papers. Now you mop it up, clumsily, with your pocket-handkerchief. You then stuff your handkerchief back into your pocket - that is not Byron; that is you; that is so essentially you that if I think of you in twenty years' time, when we are both famous, gouty and intolerable, it will be by that scene: and if you are dead, I shall weep.

Things divine are not attainable by mortals who understand sensual things.

The man you seek is here. I stand before you, Trojan Aeneas, torn from Libyan waves. O you who were alone in taking pity on the unutterable trials of Troy, who welcome us as allies to your city and home- a remnant left by Greeks, harassed by all disasters known on land and sea.

When thou art preparing to commit a sin, think not that thou wilt conceal it; there is a God that forbids crimes to be hidden.

And wet his grave with my repentant tears.