Quotations on life, the universe and everything

5 Conversations


"No one else can tell your fire,
paint with your words,
sing with your voice - take what's yours." The Story song 'Amelia' on CD 'The Angel In The House'

"This is near enough true bliss." Paul Simon song 'Look at that' on CD 'You're the one'

"The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and
strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean the idea that such
complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity, but probably absolutely
out of nothing, is the most fabulous extraordinary idea. And once you get
some kind of inkling of how that might have happened, it's just wonderful.
And . . . the opportunity to spend 70 or 80 years of your life in such a
universe is time well spent as far as I am concerned" smiley - spaceDouglas Adamssmiley - spacesmiley - towel

"A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.'" smiley - spaceDouglas Adams

"Is that your own life you're livin'?" Rachelle Ferrell Intro on her CD 'Individuality'

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas Edison

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials." Lin Yutang

"I cannot say whether things will get better if they change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better." Georg Christoph Lichtenberg 1742-1799

"A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin where he would go after he died. Hakuin answered 'How am I supposed to know?'
'How do you know? You're a Zen master!' exclaimed the samurai.
'Yes, but not a dead one,' Hakuin answered." Zen mondo

"Beauty will save the world." Fjodor Dostojewskij 1921-1881

"Predictions are hard, especially abot the future." Niels Bohr 1885-1962

"Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour." Stephen Leacock

"It's not what you've been given, it's what you do with what you've got." Eddi Reader (on 'Mirmama')

"It's taken me all my life to learn what not to play." Dizzy Gillespie 1917-1993

"First, master your instrument. Then forget all that #*$&%& and play! Charlie Parker

"There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats." Albert Schweitzer

"We spend our first weeks forgetting who we are, and then the rest of our lives trying to remember it again." Francine in 'The pleasure of Eliza Lynch' by Anne Enright

"Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose - a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye." Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley 1797-1851

"The more we live by our intellect, the less we understand the meaning of life." Leo Tolstoy 1828-1910

"Lives based on having are less free than lives based on either doing or on being." William James 1842-1910

"It is in your act that you exist, not in your body. Your act is yourself, and there is no other you." Antoine De Saint-Exupéry 1900-1944

"Dreams are more powerful than facts." Robert Fulghum

"If there is a believe that is capable to move mountains it is the believe in our own strength." Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

"Go forth on your path, as it exists only through your walking." Saint Augustine 354-430

"Spend some time alone every day." Dalai Lama

"He who strays discovers new paths." Nils Kjær

"Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen

"Clay is used to make vases, but it is the emptiness they contain that makes them useful." Lao Tseu

"Breathing in, I know that I'm alive

Breathing out, I smile to the world." Thich Nhat Hanh

"Though the bamboo forest is dense,

Water flows through it freely." Zen saying

"We are strong where we were broken." Geneen Roth

"All that we are is the product of what we have thought." The Dhammapada

"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being." Julian of Norwich

"To feel and speak the astonishing beauty of things -

earth, stone and water,

Beast, man and woman, sun, moon and stars - "

Robinson Jeffers

"In the landscape of spring, there is neither better nor worse. The flowering branches grow naturally, some long, some short." Zen saying

"To do a certain kind of thing, you have to be a certain kind of person." Zen saying

"I am still learning." Michelangelo's motto

"There is no wealth but Life." John Ruskin

"The great artist is the simplifier." Henri-Frederic Amiel

"This I offer to the secret of great Truth: Do not waste time!" The Sandokai

"Don't walk - dance!" Postcard

"In singing and dancing is the voice of the Law." Hakuin

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is to you." Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 - 1882

"Finally, we are not helping anyone when we pretend to feel less, have less, or be less than we are.

The world will not fall apart if we let ourselves express our vastness. It is more likely the world will stop falling apart when we do." Geneen Roth

"You have to be patient. I'm not." Madonna

"All serious daring starts from within." Eudora Welty

"The torch of doubt and chaos, this is what the sages steer by." Chuang-Tzu

"When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere." François de la Rouchefoucauld

"The fool is looking for happiness far away. The wise man makes it grow under his feet." James Oppenheim

"Be fully present for five minutes every day." Geneen Roth

"Why don't we follow our yearning?" Max Frisch 1911-1991

"There are a great deal of a great many kinds of love." Lytton Strachey to Carrington, 23.3.1917

"Instead of damning the darkness it's better to light a littel lantern." Chinese proverb

"Poetry is nowhere to be found unless it is born from within." Joubert

"The world is an ocean, our hearts are its shores." Chinese proverb

"Leave yourself alone." Postcard

"Without music life would be a mistake." Friedrich Nietzsche 1844-1900

"Musicians are the architects of heaven." Bobby McFerrin

"Love is an art like music." Pierre Louÿs 1870-1925

"Love is as unproblematic as a vehicule. The only problems are the drivers, the passengers and the road." Franz Kafka 1883-1924

"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it." Oscar Wilde

"Each day a day goes by." Carlo Goldoni 1707-1793

"Pulling at an olive won't make it ripen faster." Italian proverb

"It's only when we realize that life is taking us nowhere that it begins to have meaning." P. D. Ouspensky

"Who plants trees although he knows he'll never sit in their shadows has at least begun to recognize the sense of life." Anonymous

"Life is a great bundle of little things." Oliver Wendell Holmes 1809-1894

"Tomorrow's life is too late. Live today." Martial c. 30 - c. 103

"You can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow." Janis Joplin

"Life is what happens while you're busy doing other things." John Lennon

"The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it." Stanley Kubrick

"Each moment is a place you've never been." Mark Strand

"Happiness is a how, not a what; a talent, not an object." Hermann Hesse 1877-1962

"Even stones have a love, a love that seeks the ground." Meister Eckhart c. 1260 - c. 1328

"Forever is composed of nows." Emily Dickinson 1830-1886

"When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other." Chinese proverb

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882

"An intense love of solitude, distaste for involvement in worldly affairs, persistence in knowing the Self and awareness of the goal of knowing - all this is called true knowledge." The Bhagavad Gita

"Anything we fully do is an alone journey." Natalie Goldberg

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us us a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." Anatole France 1844-1924

"It's better to repent what you enjoyed than to repent not having enjoyed anything." Giovanni Boccaccio 1313-1375

"Your face is given to you as a present. The smiling you have to do yourself." Inga Herrmann

"You have the watches, we have the time." Haitian proverb

"There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way." The Buddha

"Enthusiasm is the most beautiful word in the world." Christian Morgenstern 1871-1914

"Excess on occasion is exhilarating; it keeps moderation from becoming a habit." W. Somerset Maughm 1874-1965

"When you reach the heart of life, you will find beauty in everything." Khalil Gibran 1883-1931

"All will be lost apart from happiness." Jacques Prévert 1900-1977

"Anybody who preserves the ability to recognize beauty will never get old." Franz Kafka 1883-1924

"Who lives without folly isn't as reasonable as he thinks he is." François de La Rochefoucauld 1613-1680

"To be an impeccable member of a flock of sheep one above all has to be a sheep." Albert Einstein 1879-1955

"There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect." G. K. Chesterton 1874-1936

"The truth is generally seen, rarely heard." Gracian

"Don't listen to what they say. Go see." Chinese proverb

"There is in us something wiser than our head." Arthur Schopenhauer 1788-1860

"Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone." Alan Watts

"The great man is he who does not lose his childlike heart." Mencius / Meng-tsu 372-289 BC

"Wise men hear and see as little children do." Lao-Tzu c. 604 - 531 BC

"We are caught in a traffic jam of discursive thought." Chogyam Trungpa

"The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook." William James 1842-1910

"Our live is frittered away by detail.... Simplify, simplify." Henry David Thoreau

"It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper understanding." Vincent Van Gogh 1853-1890

"To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand." José Ortega y Gasset 1883-1955

"At the moment you are most in awe of all there is about life that you don't understand, you are closer to understanding it than at any other time." Jane Wagner

"No act of love is ever wasted." Geneen Roth

"Better to be occasionally cheated than perpetually suspicious." B.C. Forbes

"And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit. For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught." Khalil Gibran 1883-1931

"The meaning of life can be revealed but never explained." Kenneth Rexroth

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced." Aart van der Leeuw

"Most people die with their music still locked up inside them." Benjamin Disraeli 1804 - 1881

"Death, the most dreaded of evils, is therefore of no concern to us; for while we exist death is not present, and when death is present we no longer exist." Epicurus 341 - 271 b.C.

"The only way out is through." Geneen Roth

"I know what the greatest cure is: it is to give up, to relinquish, to surrender, so that our little hearts may beat in unison with the great heart of the world." Henry Miller 1891 - 1980

"We are like lutes once held by God. Being away from his warm body fully explains this constant yearning." Ibrahim Hafiz

"The ways to the One are as many as the lives of men." Zen saying

"Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink." Shunryu Suzuki

"If the only prayer you say in your entire life is 'Thank you', that would suffice." Meister Eckhart c. 1260 - c. 1328

"You only know what happiness is once you are married. But then it's too late." Peter Sellers 1925-1980

"I don't want to live on in the heart of my people. I want to live on in my appartment." Woody Allen *

The Universe

"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth." Niels Bohr 1885-1962

"Wherever you are is the entry point." Kabir

"Everything speaks: the flowing airstream and the sailing halycon, the blade of grass, the flower, the bud, the element; did you imagine the universe to be otherwise?" Victor Hugo 1802-1885

"Learn how to listen as things speak for themselves." Basho

"The moment one give close attention to anyting, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself." Henry Miller 1891-1980

"To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness." Albert Einstein 1879-1955

"Our true home is the present moment.

To live in the present moment is a miracle.

The miracle is not to walk on water.

The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment..." Thich Nhat Hanh

"If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite." William Blake 1757 - 1827

"Through light and joy is the world opened up, revealed for what it is: ineffable beauty, unending creation." Henry Miller 1891 - 1980

"You knock at the door of Reality. You shake your thought wings, loosen your shoulders, and open." Jelaluddin Rumi

"If an angel were to tell us something of his philosophies, I do believe some of his propositions would sound like 2 x 2 = 13." Georg Christoph Lichtenberg 1942-1799

"I do not pretend to understand the universe. It's a great deal bigger than I am." Tom Stoppard

"Do not want to go out in fridge-crossed-with-swimming pool-like world." Bridget Jones, Monday 27 January (The Edge of Reason / Helen Fielding, 1999)

"We are visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety, a hundred years at the very most. During that period we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. Try to be at peace with yourself and help others share that peace. If you contribute to other people's happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life." The Dalai Lama

"All things in this world are impermanent. They have the nature to rise and pass away. To be in harmony with this truth brings true happiness." Buddhist chant

"Glance at the sun.
See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of the earth's greenings.

Think." Hildegard von Bingen 1098-1179

"Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it." Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 - 1882

"Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things." Mary Oliver

"To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders" Chuang-Tzu

"There is no reality in the absence of observation." The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

"Be careful how you interpret the world: it _is_ like that." Erich Heller

"When you get there, there isn't any there there." Gertrude Stein

"It's a playful universe." O. Fred Donaldson *

"The secret waits for eyes unclouded by longing." Tao Te Ching

"It is wisdom that is seeking for wisdom." Shunryu Suzuki

"A world of dew is

A world of dew ... and yet,

And yet ..." Issa

"In other words, apart from the known and the unknown, what else is there?" Harold Pinter

"'Be alive,' the land says, 'listen - this is your time, your world, your pleasure.'" William Stafford

"The natural order of things includes us, and its laws are our laws. We are an endless moving stream in an endless moving stream." Jisho Warner

"The wise man's home is the universe." Democrites * c. 460 BC

"Look at the stars lighting up the sky: no one of them stays in the same place." Seneca 4 BC - 65 AD

"Who lives sees much. Who travels sees more." Arab proverb

"Traveling is like flirting with life." Advertisement

"Please leave this planet the way you'd like to find it." Postcard

"Life is painful, suffering is optional." Silvia Boorstein

"In the last analysis, it is our conception of death which decides our answers to all the questions that life puts to us." Dag Hammarskjöld


"Don't fix it if it ain't broken." Anonymous

"If you shut your door to all errors truth will be shut out." Rabindranath Tagore 1861-1941

"The present never ages. Each moment is like a snowflake, unique, unspoiled, unrepeatable, and can be appreciated in its surprisingness." Gail Sheehy

"I do not seek. I find." Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

"The thing we tell of can never be found be seeking, yet only seekers find it." Bayazid Bistami

"All of us are watchers - of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway - but few are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing." Peter M. Leschak

"Consciousness = energy = love = awareness = light = wisdom = beauty = truth = purity. It's all the SAME. Any trip you want to take leads to the SAME place." Baba Ram Dass

"Perfect does not mean perfect actions in a perfect world, bur appropriate actions in an imperfect one." R. H. Blyth

"If you don't crack the shell, you can't eat the nut." Persian Proverb

"The ten thousand questions are one question. If you cut through the one question, then the ten thousand questions disappear." Zen saying

"Enlightenment is intimacy with all things." Jack Kornfield

"To know that there is nothing to know, and to grieve that is is so difficult to communicate this "nothing to know" to others - this is the life of Zen, this is the deepest thing in the world." Zen saying

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge" Albert Einstein 1879-1955

"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away." Hakuin

"Everything passes, but nothing entirely goes away." Jenny Diski in 'only human: a comedy'

"Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there it sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops." H. L. Mencken 1880-1956

"I can resist everything except temptation." Oscar Wilde

"Work is the curse of the drinking class" Oscar Wilde

Calvin: "This is so cool."

Hobbes: "This is so stupid."
Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes, There's treasure everywhere, 1996, p.128 [Tyrannosaurs in F-14s!!]

Calvin: "You're not laughing."

Hobbes: "It's not funny."
Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes, Yukon Ho!, 1989, p. 23

Calvin: "I wonder why man was put on earth. What's our purpose? Why are we here?"

Hobbes: "Tiger food."
Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes, Tenth anniversary book, 1995, p.22

Bookmark on your Personal Space



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Written and Edited by


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more