By James Harvey Stout (deceased). This material is now in the public domain. The complete collection of Mr. Stout's writing is now at http://stout.mybravenet.com/public_html/h/ >
Jump to the following individuals:
"If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite."
"Man has no body distinct from his soul; for that called body is a portion of soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of soul in this age."
"Those who enter the gates of heaven are not beings who have no passions or who have curbed the passions, but those who have cultivated an understanding of them."
"The opposite of a profound truth is also profound."
"Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit." (This statement was made near the end of his life.)
"Money is the symbol of duty, it is the sacrament of having done for mankind that which mankind wanted."
"Life lives by eating itself, casting off death, and being reborn."
"As long as the mind keeps silent in the motionless world of its hopes, everything is reflected and arranged in the unity of its nostalgia. But with its first move, the world cracks and tumbles: an infinite number of shimmering fragments is offered to its understanding." (The Myth of Sisyphus.)
"Success is going from one failure to the next without a loss of enthusiasm."
"I strongly believe in the validity of intuition as a guide to action, especially in imponderable, difficult situations. Many times I have made a decision I just 'had a feeling' about. Usually these decisions turned out all right."
"The happiness of life is made up of the little charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment."
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."
"Do not forget that the value and interest of life is not so much to do conspicuous things ... as to do ordinary things with the perception of their enormous value."
"I am especially glad of the divine gift of laughter; it has made the world human and lovable, despite all its pain and wrong."
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."
"There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is."
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us 'Universe' -- a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of consciousness."
"The reward for a thing well done, is to have done it."
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon."
"Whether you think you can, and think you can't -- you're right."
"Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me."
"I close my eyes in order to see."
"We avoid the things that we're afraid of because we think there will be dire consequences if we confront them. But the truly dire consequences in our lives come from avoiding things that we need to learn about or discover." The Path of Transformation.
"Once upon a crossroad, a poor Poet met a rich Stupid, and they conversed. And all that they said revealed their discontent. Then the Angel of the Road passed by, and he laid his hand upon the shoulders of the two men. And behold, a miracle: the two men had now exchanged their possessions. And they parted. But strange to relate, the Poet looked and found naught in his hand but dry moving sand; and the Stupid closed his eyes and felt naught but a cloud moving in his heart."
"Grace is the absence of everything that indicates pain or difficulty, hesitation or incongruity."
"There is harmony in the tension of opposites, as in the case of the bow and lyre." (Heraclitus was a philosopher in Greece around 500 B.C.)
"How easy it is for one benevolent being to diffuse pleasure around him, and how truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles."
"The deepest longing in the human breast is the desire for appreciation."
"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
"When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."
"I would rather be whole than good."
"The attainment of wholeness requires one to stake one's whole being. Nothing less will do; there can be no easier conditions, no substitutes, no compromises."
"Intuition is not contrary to reason, but outside the province of reason."
"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing at all."
"Problems are a gift your life offers you to help you grow." (The Power of Unconditional Love.)
"Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom."
"If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well."
"And let us remember that, more often than not, fear involves the misuse of the imagination. When we get our fears into the open, we may laugh at some of them, and this is good." The Strength to Love.
"I am convinced that the universe is under the control of a loving purpose, and that in the struggle for righteousness man has cosmic companionship. Behind the harsh appearance of the world there is a benign power."
"If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find in each man's life a sorrow and a suffering enough to disarm all hostility."
"There is no security in this life. There is only opportunity."
"If your only tool is a hammer, you begin to see everything in terms of nails."
"If you have love, you will do all things well."
"The world is not to be put in order. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order."
"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius."
"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants."
The "serenity prayer": God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
"If a trees grows up to heaven, its roots reach down to hell."
"Sometimes I go about pitying myself, and all the time I am being carried on great winds across the sky."
"You do not have to be good./ You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting./ You only have to let the soft animal of your body/ love what it loves ..."
"Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness."
"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."
"Man is neither angel nor brute, and the unfortunate thing is that he who would act the angel acts the brute."
"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."
"Privacy is the freedom to be ourselves."
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light."
"He who laughs, lasts."
"Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet one another."
"But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distance continues to exist, a wonderful living side-by-side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole and against a wide sky."
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
"Do not believe in absurdity, no matter who said it."
"The real guru is one who has killed the idol that you have made of him."
"The heart must be broken many times to be open to receive the love of God."
"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible..."
"The whole crux of life ... is that it constantly requires the living reconciliation of opposites which in strict logic are irreconcilable."
"Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you. They may have different tastes."
"Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority... It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation - and their ideas from suppression - at the hand of an intolerant society." (John Stevens has been a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.)
"Inspiration is a guest who does not like to visit lazy people."
"That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest."
"Only that day dawns to which we are awake."
"These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today."
"Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much of life."
"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try and cheer somebody else up."
"The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last throughout a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money."
"The best way to know God is to love many things."
"All is a miracle. The stupendous order of nature, the revolution of a hundred millions of worlds around a million of stars, the activity of light, the life of all animals, all are grand and perpetual miracles."
"A witty saying proves nothing."
"New and stirring ideas are belittled because if they are not belittled the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in them?'"
"It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious."
"To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle. Every cubic inch of space is a miracle."
"But while I see that there is nothing wrong in what one does, I see that there is something wrong in what one becomes."
"Simple pleasures are the last refuge of the complex."
"People who are sensible about love are incapable of it."