If we imagine ourselves as being every bit as huge, deep, mysterious, and awe-inspiring as the night sky, we might begin to appreciate how complicated we are as individuals, and how much of who we are is unknown not only to others but to ourselves.
This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar... Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice. Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment... This above all: To thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day. Thou canst not then be false to any man. Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Polonius at I, iii)
Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own try self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything every night before you go to bed.
We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy - and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his fathers’ graves, and his children’s birthright is forgotten.
Worship is the soul searching for its counterpart. It is a thirsty land crying
out for rain. It is a candle in the act of being kindled. It is a drop in quest of
the ocean. It is a man listening through a tornado for a Still Small Voice. It
is the voice in the night calling for help. It is a sheep lost in the wilderness,
pleading for rescue by the Good Shepherd. It is the same sheep nestling in
the arms of the Rescuer. It is the Prodigal Son running to his Father. It is a
soul standing in awe before the mystery of the Universe. It is a poet
enthralled by the beauty of a sunrise. It is a workman pausing for a moment
to listen to a strain of music. It is a hungry heart seeking for love. It is Time
flowing into Eternity… It is man climbing the altar stairs to God.
The same polarity of the male and female principle exists in nature; not only, as is obvious in animals and plants, but in the polarity of the two fundamental functions, that of receiving and penetrating. It is the polarity of earth and rain, of the river and the ocean, of night and day, of darkness and light, of matter and spirit.
When you live with another person for 50 years, all of your memories are invested in that person, like a bank account of shared memories. It's not that you refer to them constantly. In fact, for people who do not live in the past, you almost never say, 'Do you remember that night we...?' But you don't have to. That is the best of all. You know that the other person does remember. Thus, the past is part of the present as long as the other person lives. It is better than any scrapbook, because you are both living scrapbooks.
Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
Let pessimism once take hold of the mind, and life is all topsy-turvy, all vanity and vexation of spirit. There is no cure for individual or social disorder, except in forgetfulness and annihilation. "Let us eat, drink and be merry," says the pessimist, "for to-morrow we die." If I regarded my life from the point of view of the pessimist, I should be undone. I should seek in vain for the light that does not visit my eyes and the music that does not ring in my ears. I should beg night and day and never be satisfied. I should sit apart in awful solitude, a prey to fear and despair. But since I consider it a duty to myself and to others to be happy, I escape a misery worse than any physical deprivation.
I see America spreading disaster. I see America as a black curse upon the world. I see a long night settling in and that mushroom which has poisoned the world withering at the roots.
Our civilization has fallen out of touch with night. With lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea; the little villages, the crossroads even, will have none of it. Are modern folk, perhaps, afraid of night? Do they fear that vast serenity, the mystery of infinite space, the austerity of stars?
For a moment of night we have a glimpse of ourselves and of our world islanded in a stream of stars - pilgrims of mortality, voyaging between horizons across the eternal seas of space and time.
Learn to reverence night and to put away the vulgar fear of it, for, with the banishment of night from the experience of man, there vanishes as well a religious emotion, a poetic mood, which gives depth to the adventure of humanity.
People who dream when they sleep at night know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy, and ease of heart, that are like honey on the tongue. They also know that the real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom. It is not the freedom of the dictator, who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will. The pleasure of the true dreamer does not lie in the substance of the dream, but in this: that there things happen without any interference from his side, and altogether outside his control.
Death, my son, is a good thing for all men; it is the night for this worried day that we call life. It is in the sleep of death that finds rest for eternity the sickness, pain, desperation, and the fears that agitate, without end, we unhappy living souls.
As light fades and the shadows deepen, all petty and exacting details vanish, everything trivial disappears, and I see things as they are in great strong masses: the buttons are lost, but the sitter remains; the sitter is lost, but the shadow remains; the shadow is lost, but the picture remains. And that, night cannot efface from the painter's imagination.
The contemplation of night should lead to elevating rather than to depressing ideas. Who can fix his mind on transitory and earthly things, in presence of those glittering myriads of worlds; and who can dread death or solitude in the midst of this brillings, animated universe, composed of countless suns and worlds, all full of light and life and motion?
In matters of great concern, and which must be done, there is no surer argument of a weak mind than irresolution - to be undetermined where the case is plain, and the necessity urgent. To be always intending to live a new life, but never to find time to set about it, this is as if a man should put off eating, drinking, and sleeping, from one day and night to another, till he is starved and destroyed.