In Other Words

Alan Watts, British philosopher

No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing it is to reach the finale. The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it. It is the same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives, and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them we may forget altogether to live them. —Alan Watts, British philosopher

Alice Walker, American author

I find it difficult to feel responsible for the suffering of others. That’s why I find war so hard to bear. It’s the same with animals: I feel the less harm I do, the lighter my heart. I love a light heart. And when I know I’m causing suffering, I feel the heaviness of it. It’s a physical pain. So it’s self-interest that I don’t want to cause harm. —Alice Walker, American author

Bruce Lee, Chinese American martial artist

I’ve come to understand that life is best to be lived — not to be conceptualized. If you have to think, you still do not understand. —Bruce Lee, Chinese American martial artist

Bruce Lee, Chinese American martial artist

The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a pattern of systems. —Bruce Lee, Chinese American martial artist

Bruce Lee, Chinese American martial artist

The perfect way is only difficult for those who pick and choose. Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference and heaven and earth are set apart; if you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease. —Bruce Lee, Chinese American martial artist

Ed Burns, American writer

What is similar [in war] is the way people act, men in close quarters. It’s always us against them. The us becomes ever, ever smaller, and the them becomes the whole world. —Ed Burns, American writer

Robert A. Heinlein, American novelist and science fiction writer

“Love” is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. —Robert A. Heinlein, American novelist and science fiction writer

William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings. —Cassius in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

Jacob Burckhardt, Swiss historian

Beware the terrible simplifiers. —Jacob Burckhardt, Swiss historian

Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it. —Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha

Mark Twain, American author and humorist

Man is the religious animal … He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. —Mark Twain, American author and humorist

George Eliot, English novelist

It’s never too late to be who you might have been. —George Eliot, English novelist