“Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one’s capacity to love. Hence the problem to them is how to be loved, how to be lovable . . .
~ Erich Fromm from The Art of Loving (1956)
“If those whom we begin to love could know us as we were before meeting them … they could perceive what they have made of us.
When love ceases to be tragic it is something else and the individual again throws himself in search of tragedy.
Betrayal answers betrayal, the mask of love is answered by the disappearance of love.
For me, physical love has always been bound to an irresistible feeling of innocence and joy. Thus, I cannot love in tears but in exaltation.
The loss of love is the loss of all rights, even though one had them all.
Those who prefer their principles over their happiness, they refuse to be happy outside the conditions they seem to have attached to their happiness.
It is not humiliating to be unhappy. Physical suffering is sometimes humiliating, but the suffering of being cannot be, it is life.
The end of their passion consists of loving uselessly at the moment when it is pointless.
At times I feel myself overtaken by an immense tenderness for these people around me who live in the same century.
I have not stopped loving that which is sacred in this world.”
~ Albert Camus from Notebooks 1951–1959
“When this twentieth century of ours became obsessed with a passion for mere size, what was lost sight of was the ancient wisdom that the emotions have their own standards of judgment and their own sense of scale. In the emotional world a small thing can touch the heart and the imagination every bit as much as something impressively gigantic; a fine phrase is as good as an epic, and a small brook in the quiet of a wood can have its say with a voice more profound than the thunder of any cataract. Who would live happily in the country must be wisely prepared to take great pleasure in little things.
Country living is a pageant of Nature and the year; it can no more stay fixed than a movement in music, and as the seasons pass, they enrich life far more with little things than with great, with remembered moments rather than the slower hours. A gold and scarlet leaf floating solitary on the clear, black water of the morning rain barrel can catch the emotion of a whole season, and chimney smoke blowing across the winter moon can be a symbol of all that is mysterious in human life.”
~ Henry Beston
“To be genuinely thoughtful, we must be willing to sustain and protract that state of doubt which is the stimulus to thorough inquiry, so as not to accept an idea or make a positive assertion of a belief, until justifying reasons have been found.”
~ John Dewey from How We Think, 1933
“…I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
“All the true vows
are secret vows
the ones we speak out loud
are the ones we break.
There is only one life
you can call your own
and a thousand others
you can call by any name you want.
Hold to the truth you make
every day with your own body,
don’t turn your face away.
Hold to your own truth
at the center of the image
you were born with.
Those who do not understand
their destiny will never understand
the friends they have made
nor the work they have chosen
nor the one life that waits
beyond all the others.
By the lake in the wood
in the shadows
whisper that truth
to the quiet reflection
you see in the water.
Whatever you hear from
the water, remember,
it wants you to carry
the sound of its truth on your lips.
in this place
no one can hear you
and out of the silence
you can make a promise
it will kill you to break,
that way you’ll find
what is real and what is not.
I know what I am saying.
Time almost forsook me
and I looked again.
Seeing my reflection
I broke a promise
for the first time
after all these years
in my own voice,
before it was too late
to turn my face again.”
~ David Whyte from the House of Belonging
“What transforms this world is — knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and at the same time are constantly being transformed.”
~ Yukio Mishima, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion