Quotations and sayings - mine, and other people's


My signature block used to include a few extra quotations to show what was important to me. That has grown to such an extent that it became unmanageable a while ago, so I split it, with a full list on my "pages", and a shorter list on (shorter) posts on my main, or "home" page. Well, that has got to the stage where it is harder to manage, so, as I look at the latest batch of quotes I want to add in, I have decided to create a page solely for quotations - and here ' tis :) I recommend that anyone who is serious about personal growth (especially future-life me :) ) meditates on each and every one of these quotations - perhaps do one a day or one a week.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral. Returning violence with violence only multiplies violence, add deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

We are not going to turn the United States into a right-wing totalitarian country in order to deal with a left-wing totalitarian threat.

The real dividing line is not between Christianity and Islam, Sunni and Shia, East and West. It is between people who believe in coexistence, and those who don’t.
Tom Fletcher, Former UK Ambassador to Lebanon

Beware the enforcers of conformity - those small people who, sharing the banality of evil, cannot abide that others may demonstrate that doing the same as everyone else is not compulsory.
Gnwmythr

The evil - and, whether it is there out of malice or ignorance, it is evil - that is in the hearts of those who are harming and diminishing gays, lesbians and trans people, is, at its core, the same as the evil that harms and diminishes humans of other races, ethnicities or cultures, or sexes or genders, or religions, or those humans seeking safety. Furthermore, as with the evil that is slavery, one of its worst aspects is that those people indulging in it get used to being cruel and try to justify it. 
Gnwmythr

The struggle for Equal Marriage is a struggle to abolish the slavery-like control that one group of people exerts over the hearts of another group of people. 
Gnwmythr

US Justice Harlan’s comment "This 'liberty' is not a series of isolated points ... It is a rational continuum which, broadly speaking, includes a freedom from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints" speaks to a more universal principle: specific “–isms” of discrimination are not the problem, the underlying bigotry, and whatever fear, ignorance or hate it is founded on, is the problem. 
Gnwmythr

Human dignity is the inherently cumulative holistic combination of human rights, wellbeing and potential, and all actions or interaction which promote, realise or facilitate same. The converse also applies: whatever degrades, diminishes or robs humans of dignity, is inherently undignified.
Gnwmythr

The “purpose” of spiritual evolution is not the attainment of “spiritual perfection” - not in the sense of not having to evolve further, at any rate, since there is no such thing. We need to evolve in order to grow - but we can take rest breaks (hopefully well earned :) ) along the way. No, the “purpose” of evolution is, rather, to perfect our ability to learn, and thus grow.
Gnwmythr

The reason for diversity / variety in life is not to allow choice, it is to enable the meeting of the diversity / variety of spiritual needs in life. 
Gnwmythr

As you are right now, here, living on this world, it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to know everything or understand everyone. The only thing to do then, is accept people as they are - unless they are genuinely harming others - and learn to co-exist.
Gnwmythr

Spiritual love is NOT about emotional highs. 
Gnwmythr


Having an “equal say”, or a “right to respond”, MUST be assessed in the context of what is happening overall in society – it is NOT solely what is happening in one limited and specific incident or even one discussion.
Gnwmythr

Civilization is the encouragement of differences.
When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need [people] who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not.
John F. Kennedy

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is no way to peace - peace is the way.

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
Albert Einstein


When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops. But when you press the pause button on a human beings they start.

Dov Seidman , cited by Tom L Friedman in “Thank You for Being late”
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2016, ISBN 978-0-374-27353-8)
 
No work is insignificant. All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different [centres] of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.


What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

Robert F Kennedy,
(speaking in response to the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.)
 
It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.

Do you fight to change things, or to punish?”
Mahatma Gandhi

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing.
(based on writing by) Edmund Burke

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
John F. Kennedy

Be the change you want to see happen instead of trying to change anyone else. 

Females, get over 'cute'. Get competent. Get trained. Get capable. Get over 'cute'. And those of you who are called Patty and Debby and Suzy, get over that. Because we use those names to infantalise females – we keep females in their 'little girl' state by the names we use for them. Get over it. If you want to be taken seriously, get serious.
Jane Elliott

Is fat really the worst thing a human being can be? Is fat worse than vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, boring, evil or cruel? Not to me.
J.K. Rowling

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity.
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those whom we cannot stand are usually those who we cannot understand.
P.K. Shaw

We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.
Zeno of Citium

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
Stephen R. Covey

Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this.
Stephen Hawking
(in a 1993 British Telecom advertisement)

Our greatest struggle with, to borrow from pop culture, the Jedi-Sith scale, is not with the Sith, whether they are hiding or not: it is with the annoying, snotty-nosed, heroine/hero-worshipping little kid who keeps intruding, stopping us from being cool enough to be with our heroines/heroes, the big kids ...
Gnwmythr

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger [people].
John F. Kennedy
(who was quoting 19th Century Episcopal Bishop Phillips Brooks)

Jesus loves you. Odin wants you to grow up.
(Facebook meme, according to John  Beckett)

We make our decisions. And then our decisions turn around and make us.
F.W. Boreham

Your children are not your children. ... They come through you but ... they belong not to you ... for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow
Kahlil Gibran

We didn't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we only borrowed it from our children
Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product ... if we should judge America by that -- counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. ... Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile."
Robert F. Kennedy 1968


You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
Abraham Lincoln

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
Eleanor Roosevelt

The price of greatness is responsibility.
Winston Churchill

In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity.
Abraham Lincoln

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
George Bernard Shaw

If cowardice is the only alternative to violence, it is better to fight.
Gandhi, as cited by Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
Oscar Wilde

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley

Where globalisation means, as it so often does, that the rich and powerful now have new means to further enrich and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and weaker, we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom.
Nelson Mandela


If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions.

The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.
2nd United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, May 1954


There is no person who is worthless,
There is no word without magical powers,
There is no root that is devoid of medicinal value,

It's only the knower who is difficult to find!

Unknown
(described as “an old Sanskrit quatrain")
 
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about rents and housing prices, of late, and my conclusion is that the only way they will start coming down to realistic levels is for some ethical builder/owner to decide they are rich enough/don’t want that part of their income to be blood money, and start charging lower rents (rather than “commercial rent”) and sell houses by direct negotiation at a price with a modest aka reasonable level of profit (which I personally would interpret as 10%). Who will be first cab up to the decency-and-save-their-moral-soul rank?
Gnwmythr

Families are often where people are spiritually sentenced to learn to co-exist; they can be controlling and abusive, and, perhaps even more importantly, the focus on family first cuts down our empathy and compassion for people who are genuinely in far more extreme suffering – thus diminishing the family-focused people and making them less as human beings: it is mistaking an apprentice application of love for a mature application of love.
Gnwmythr

As hunter-gatherers, we apparently averaged about 25 to 30 hours a week on survival activities: life was mostly fairly good, but it could be brutal, and few people lived past what we now consider middle age. When plants were domesticated (i.e., agriculture was invented / developed), at some times of the year people worked more, but there was some security, and civilisation – in the “noble” sense, the exploration of ideas (such as democracy, technology, improved health care, education and better communication) and their application – was able to take a step beyond that which we had already explored as hunter-gatherers. Life for some people improved dramatically, but for others – such as those in the newly invented categories of “slave” or “poor” – it became dramatically worse. In recent centuries, that discrepancy of lived experienced has become more exacerbated, and is becoming a crescendo now. We need to remember that, for life to be worth living, it has to move beyond the struggle to survive – for everyone, which leads to benefits for society, as well as the individual. Consider: how many Einsteins, Steve Jobs, Nicola Teslas, Gandhis and Mandelas never got a chance because of their crushing circumstances?
Gnwmythr
I am a Walker upon the Path of Balanced Positivity, seeking Spiritual Maturity.
  • Although personal choice means individuals are accountable for what they choose to be (for good and bad equally), that same principle of accountability means those individual's parents, peers and Guides are also accountable as to whether or not they failed in their influence - as much if the person turns out unthinking, selfish, bigoted, or otherwise flawed or evil, as if they turn out well;
  • If you are making more than 10% profit, or not living as small and simple as you can, you may be directly and personally contributing to inequity and environmental degradation
  • Why isn’t GDP adjusted for population growth, as interest on money is (i.e., “real” vs. apparent)? 
  • Striking a singing bowl is ringing it - like a bell. To think it is making the bowl sing is as much a misconception as thinking it is acceptable to pronounce the sacred AUM by the simplified approximation "Om". Both, ubiquitous though they may be, are wrong (although Om has been built into a thought form, something with psychic power from those who use it, albeit lacking in the sacred connection of AUM) and signs of sloppy half-thinking. 
  • The inability of people to be on their own, whether for a period of time, or in the sense of not having an intimate relationship, is a flaw in both them and society. 
  • Any parent who whinges about their child not staying in touch after they leave home, or of being unappreciated, and then claims to love their child or to be selfless, is a hypocrite and a liar. The saying "if you love someone, set them free: if they come back they are yours, if they didn't they never were", although unduly possessive in its phrasing can also be adapted to a parenting situation - which is a different form of love, but should be about love, nevertheless. If you love your child, when they reach adulthood LET THEM GO, so they can be all they can be, as they choose to be - flaws and all. If they stay in touch or come back to say they now appreciate and understand what you did, that is wonderful - but not only do you have NO right to ENFORCE that, any attempt to do so makes a mockery of everything you ever did.
  • The USSR is what happens when engineers run a nation - and I am an engineer, so I know what happens when “bottom-up” focused engineers, meaning those who think everything can be predicted by looking at the smallest details and working their way up, without doing some “top-down” checks – i.e., checking the predictions against reality along the way, get too much power;
  • Anyone who misgenders a trans or gender diverse person is spiritually guilty of attempted murder;
  • The concepts of original sin and salvation are nonsensical: all there is, is growth and consequence. 
  • One size does NOT fit all. 
  • Economic and/or social and/or cultural interdependence has never prevented war.
  • Neither eloquence nor inarticulateness inherently indicates correctness, but, as words can kill, the right to freedom of speech comes with a DUTY to be as well-informed, objective and balanced as you can be.
  • Don't be mediocre - seek to excel.
  • Gnwmythr's Stropping Strap: Occam's Razor only works if  the simplest solution is actually recognised as being the simplest, rather than the one that best fits one's bigotries being labelled 'simplest'.
  • Our entire life experience, with all the many wondrous and varied people, places and events in it, is too small a sample for statistical reliability about Life.
  • I mourn the desecration of the term 'Light Worker' by commercial interests, and the warping of the word 'Light' away from 'Clear Light' by the "White Lighters". 
  • Ubiquitous is not necessarily normal. 
  • Presuming that everyone has, or wants, a smartphone is discriminatory, unspiritual, and downright stupid. 
  • Assuming that sharing house will be like the TV series "Friends" is downright stupid. 
  • Do not enter a (personal) relationship for anything other than a clear, conscious and deliberate decision - do not do so out of loneliness, or to go along with society's expectations, or because you want sex (sex is a physical and, in some cases, an emotional need, but it is NOT a valid basis for a relationship), nor even because you love someone. THINK about the matter - ESPECIALLY if you're in love, as one-way love has been used to manipulate people into situations such as the so-called "sexually transmitted debt". 
  • Obsessive love may be a cover up of guilt. 
  • Parenting and teaching are not relationships of equals. 
  • Appetisers stimulate appetite. They can be appropriate – even helpful, but if someone focused obsessively on stimulating appetite, they are at risk of over-eating – and missing out on a lot of the rest of life. So too with sex and, to lesser extent, relationships.
  • Proxy embarrassment is both a form of control, and an internal barrier to truth, honesty and perspicacity. 
  • May the world of commerce and business be recognised to be a servant, not a master, of the lives of people. 
  • Ban the dream interpretation industry! 
  • A home is for living in, not feeling, becoming or being rich or a “better” class than others.  
  • Housework is for ensuring a home is comfortable to live in, not competing to outdo or belittle others. 
  • Life is not a struggle for status. 
  • The purpose of life is NOT finding your "other half" or, if you are polyamorous, finding your other partners, or having a fast-paced so-called "holiday" once a year so you can spend the rest of the year rushing around and working out ways to cope with the stresses of a fast paced life.
  • The secret to being (financially) rich is not to have lots of money: it is to have an income reasonably (at least 20%!) above the poverty line, and then make whatever sacrifices are necessary in order to live within 90% of your means. Both winning lotteries and a Uni degree are useless if one is overgenerous or otherwise fail to follow this rule.
  • Being accustomed to interacting via certain rules makes those rules neither right nor universal.
  • Like fire to the physical, emotions to the soul make a good servant, and a bad master.
  • Emotional comfort/connection/closeness, materialism and religion (immature spirituality) are NOT more important than spiritual rigour.
  • Expertise at intimacy and emotional happiness is not the same thing as spiritual growth.
  • Children are a task and a test - not a source of "warm fuzzies", not an insurance for old age. 
  • Any person, male or female, who has neither a serious health issue, dependents nor an agreement about study. yet expects their partner to work to support them, is, spiritually speaking, little more than a parasite.
  • "Following the crowd" is not "going with the flow".
  • Armageddon is alive and well and happening right now: it is a battle between the indolence of "I only ..." and/or "I just ..." and/or "Everyone knows ... " and/or "they can just ..." and what Bruce Schneier calls "security theatre" on one side, and perspicacity and the understanding that the means shape the end on the other. Indolence vs. perspicacity, and expediency vs. honour.
  • The means shape the end. 
  • Choosing blankets on appearance or custom rather than temperature is a vanity that may result in being too hot or too cold. 
  • Karl Marx got it wrong: it’s sex, family and intimacy, not religion, which is the opiate of the masses. ("Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people")
  • BPLF restraint of uncooperatives is NOT an opportunity for revenge or getting even - even unconsciously.
  • Sometimes you just can't argue with a biped that is armed with a sharp stick, a thick head and not too much in the way of grunts.
  • Spiritual love is far more than just an emotion - it is a concept, thoughts, actions and a way of living.
  • One of the basics of serious spiritual / psychic work is that the greatest work is that which we do on ourself, which seems trivial to many. Our own Innermost Essence, which is our Higher Self / Soul / Spirit, has the power to do so much, and is actively participating in the creation and sustenance of this physical reality. Some mote of our conscious or unconscious knows that, which is why we seem inclined to be dismissive of Self Mastery - which is a bit like the child who sees an adult spending money to buy toys, and fails to recognise the daily grind of work which has led to having the money. 
  • If your “gut” (your instinct/intuition) is telling you something is wrong, but logic and the available evidence is saying otherwise, the proper conclusion to draw is that you need better, more personally credible evidence. Your “gut” could be wrong, right, or missing the nuances / “shades of grey” . So could the available evidence.
  • My favourite action movie of all time is "Gandhi", although I've also come across "Invictus" and might put that one in to that category. However, I loathe the stereotypical action movie - and, for similar reasons, I loathe many dramas, which are often emotionally violent, more so in some cases than many war films.
  • All of this blog could be wrong, or subject to context, perspective, or state of spiritual evolution ...