“Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought, at least, you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and all depths; that there are no walls nor fences, nor prohibited places, nor sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought; that your intellect owes no allegiance to any being, human or divine; that you hold all in fee and upon no condition and by no tenure whatever; that in the world of mind you are relieved from all personal dictation, and from the ignorant tyranny of majorities. Surely it is worth something to feel that there are no priests, no popes, no parties, no governments, no kings, no gods, to whom your intellect can be compelled to pay a reluctant homage. Surely it is a joy to know that all the cruel ingenuity of bigotry can devise no prison, no dungeon, no cell in which for one instant to confine a thought; that ideas cannot be dislocated by racks, nor crushed in iron boots, nor burned with fire. Surely it is sublime to think that the brain is a castle, and that within its curious bastions and winding halls the soul, in spite of all worlds and all beings, is the supreme sovereign of itself.”
–Robert Green Ingersoll
Inspired by this post by Robin. Thank you Robin!
It is the climbing of the mountain that makes the view from the top so breathtaking.”
–Richard C. Miller
“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment.”
“I think we must surrender the despair of unexpected cruelties and extend the wonder of unexpected kindnesses to ourselves and to each other…We deserve each other and each other’s generosity.”
“If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.”
–Morris L. West
“Your mind, like all minds, tends to identify and label things automatically: tree, stranger, yellow. Without realizing it, you then begin to anticipate what you are going to see next based on what you know. When this happens, your awareness grows duller, as the lazy brain overlooks distinctions. People lose their unique identity and richness, and experiences are compared to what ‘was’ rather than being explored for what is now.
When you look at life without any labels or expectations, all the wonders of this precious moment reveal themselves.”
–Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.
“. . . it is your attempt to get special experiences from life that makes you miss the actual experience of life. . . . If you are busy trying to get something, you will miss the slice you’re actually experiencing.”
–Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
“One final piece of advice: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am–a reluctant enthusiast…a part-time crusader, a half hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still there. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards.”
–Edward Abbey, at a 1987 Earth First! rally