Unless our ideas are questioned, they become part of the furniture of eternity.

This is the perennial danger which besets semiotics: what with man being preeminently the sign-using creature, and what with man using signs in everything that he does, semiotics runs the risk of being about everything and hence about nothing.

While the scientist sees everything that happens in one point of space, the poet feels everything that happens in one point of time.

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.

Superstition, bigotry and prejudice, ghosts though they are, cling tenaciously to life; they are shades armed with tooth and claw. They must be grappled with unceasingly, for it is a fateful part of human destiny that it is condemned to wage perpetual war against ghosts. A shade is not easily taken by the throat and destroyed.

The sunshine was enchanting: the branches of the trees had that gentle tremor of May that seems to come from the birds' nests more than from the wind. A hardy little bird, probably in love, was desperately singing away in a tall tree.

I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.

We needed to go over there, basically, and take out a very big stick right in the heart of that world and burst that bubble.… What they [Muslims] needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house from Basra to Baghdad and basically saying "Which part of this sentence don't you understand? You don't think we care about our open society? You think this bubble fantasy, we're just going to let it grow? Well, suck on this!" That, Charlie, is what this war was about. We could have hit Saudi Arabia! It was part of that bubble. We could have hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could.

I am not one of those who believe that a great standing army is the means of maintaining peace, because if you build up a great profession, those who form parts of it want to exercise their profession.

The only way of enduring one disaster after the next is to love the very idea of disaster: if we succeed, there are no further surprises, we are superior to whatever occurs, we are invincible victims.

Miserable humanity was clamoring from the depths of its abyss of suffering, and the clamor swept along, sending a shudder down every spine, for one and all were plunged in agony, refusing to die, longing to compel God to grant them eternal life. Ah ! life, life! That was what all those unfortunates, who had come from so far, amid so many obstacles, wanted - that was the one boon they asked for, in their wild desire to live it over again, to live it always! O Lord, whatever our misery, whatever the torment of our life may be, cure us, grant that we may begin to live again and suffer once more what we have suffered already. However unhappy we may be, to be is what we wish. It is not heaven that we ask Thee for, it is earth; and grant that we may leave it at the latest possible moment , never leave it indeed, if such be Thy good pleasure. And even when we no longer implore a physical cure, but a moral favor, it is still happiness that we ask for; happiness , the thirst for which alone consumes us. Oh Lord, grant that we may be happy and healthy; let us live, ay, let us live forever!

What term do you employ when you speak of your progenitor? I answered with the term I'd always wanted to employ. Sonovabitch. To his face? she asked. I never see his face. He wears a mask? In a way, yes. Of stone. Of absolute stone.

The rich were dull and they drank too much or they played too much backgammon. They were dull and they were repetitious. He remembered poor Julian and his romantic awe of them and how he had started a story once that began, "The very rich are different from you and me." And how someone had said to Julian, "Yes, they have more money."

Write what you know will always be excellent advice for those who ought not to write at all. Write what you think, what you imagine, what you suspect!

I know how easy it is to say, oh, it is only $20,000,000, or, it is only $80,000,000, or it is only $240,000,000 a year that will be taken out of the pockets of the taxpayer. But where will it finally stop? I do not know.

And New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there... Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will.

I have never known anyone worth a damn who wasn't irascible.

Trouble shared is trouble halved.

At first the beauty of the melodies and of the interwoven words in elven-tongues, even though he understood them little, held him in a spell, as soon as as he began to attend to them. Almost it seemed that the words took shape, and visions of far lands and bright things that he had never yet imagined opened out before him; and the firelit hall became like a golden mist above the seas of foam that sighed upon the margins of the world. Then the enchantment became more and more dreamlike, until he felt that an endless river of swelling gold and silver was flowing over him, too multitudinous for its pattern to be comprehended; it became part of the throbbing air about him, and it drenched and drowned him. swiftly he sank under its shining weight into a deep realm of sleep.