Saturday, January 24, 2015

Brute

"Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary."
--Henry David Thoreau

Friday, January 23, 2015

Line

One day a newsman came to me and said, "Dr. King, don’t you think you’re going to have to stop, now, opposing the war and move more in line with the administration’s policy? As I understand it, it has hurt the budget of your organization, and people who once respected you have lost respect for you. Don’t you feel that you’ve really got to change your position?" I looked at him and I had to say, "Sir, I’m sorry you don’t know me. I’m not a consensus leader. I do not determine what is right and wrong by looking at the budget of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. I’ve not taken a sort of Gallup Poll of the majority opinion." Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.

On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?

--Martin Luther King, Jr., March 31, 1968
"Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution"
National Cathedral, Washington, D.C

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dollars

This day we are spending five hundred thousand dollars to kill every Vietcong soldier. Every time we kill one we spend about five hundred thousand dollars while we spend only fifty-three dollars a year for every person characterized as poverty-stricken in the so-called poverty program, which is not even a good skirmish against poverty.

Not only that, it has put us in a position of appearing to the world as an arrogant nation. And here we are ten thousand miles away from home fighting for the so-called freedom of the Vietnamese people when we have not even put our own house in order. And we force young black men and young white men to fight and kill in brutal solidarity. Yet when they come back home that can’t hardly live on the same block together.

--Martin Luther King, Jr., March 31, 1968
"Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution"
National Cathedral, Washington, D.C

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Persistent II

Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God. And without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So we must help time and realize that the time is always ripe to do right.

--Martin Luther King, Jr., March 31, 1968
"Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution"
National Cathedral, Washington, D.C

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

World

[W]e are challenged to develop a world perspective. No individual can live alone, no nation can live alone, and anyone who feels that he can live alone is sleeping through a revolution. The world in which we live is geographically one. The challenge that we face today is to make it one in terms of brotherhood...

Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.

--Martin Luther King, Jr., March 31, 1968
"Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution"
National Cathedral, Washington, D.C

Monday, January 19, 2015

Slept

When Rip Van Winkle went up into the mountain, the sign had a picture of King George the Third of England. When he came down twenty years later the sign had a picture of George Washington, the first president of the United States. When Rip Van Winkle looked up at the picture of George Washington—and looking at the picture he was amazed—he was completely lost. He knew not who he was.

And this reveals to us that the most striking thing about the story of Rip Van Winkle is not merely that Rip slept twenty years, but that he slept through a revolution. While he was peacefully snoring up in the mountain a revolution was taking place that at points would change the course of history—and Rip knew nothing about it. He was asleep. Yes, he slept through a revolution. And one of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.

--Martin Luther King, Jr., March 31, 1968
"Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution"
National Cathedral, Washington, D.C

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Substituting

"All war propaganda consists, in the last resort, in substituting diabolical abstractions for human beings. Similarly, those who defend war have invented a pleasant sounding vocabulary of abstractions in which to describe the process of mass murder."
--Aldous Huxley, "Pacifism and Philosophy" (1936)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Boys

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."
-- P. J. O'Rourke

Friday, January 16, 2015

Choice III

"God offers to every mind a choice between repose and truth. take which you please--you can never have both."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Paths IV

All paths are the same, they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere. My benefactor's question has meaning now. "Does this path have a heart?" If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use.  Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.
--Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Drilling

"Chemotherapy and radiotherapy will make the ancient method of drilling holes in a patient's head to permit the escape of demons look relatively advanced. Toxic chemotherapy is a hoax. The doctors who use it are guilty of pre-meditated murder, and the use of cobalt and other methods of cancer treatment popular today effectively closes the door on cure."
--Ernst T. Krebs, Jr.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Defined

"What happened at Hiroshima was not only that a scientific breakthrough had occurred and that a great part of the population of a city had been burned to death, but that the problem of the relation of the triumphs of modern science to the human purposes of man had been explicitly defined."
--Archibald Macleish

Monday, January 12, 2015

Thousand II

"It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism."
--H.L. Mencken, The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1908/1913)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Near

"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army.  Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; that is all we can expect.  We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die."
--George Washington

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Toys

"For approximately 500 years [science's] argument for its pre-eminence was that it could create beautiful toys: aircraft, railroads, global economies, television, spacecraft. But that is a fool’s argument for truth! I mean, that’s after all how a medicine show operates, you know: the juggler is so good, the medicine must be even better! This is not an entirely rational way to proceed."
--Terence McKenna, "The World and Its Double"

Friday, January 09, 2015

Pride

'The pride of dying rich raises the loudest laugh in hell.'
--John W. Foster

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Throat

"I myself spent nine years in an insane asylum and I never had the obsession of suicide, but I know that each conversation with a psychiatrist, every morning at the time of his visit, made me want to hang myself, realizing that I would not be able to cut his throat."
--Antonin Artaud

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Football II

"The lifestyle that I have is probably neither desirable nor useful to most people. Most people are probably better off getting the certification they desire and spindling their lives away the way they’re doing. I don’t think they’d enjoy living any other way. There are millions of people who acquire all sorts of wonderful feelings from watching a football game and drinking a bottle of beer. It makes them really happy. Doesn’t do shit for me. But for them it’s life itself. As long as they can believe in the beer and the football, then they’ve really got something. And it’s probably more useful to them than religion. So why take it away? Why tell them what’s really going on? Let ’em be happy."

--Frank Zappa, Oui interview (1979)

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Wide

"Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?"
--Rumi

Monday, January 05, 2015

Best IV

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
--Charles Dickens

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Forged

"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably."
--Captain Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Drumhead"

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Shelf

"All of us can think of a book... that we hope none of our children or any other children have taken off the shelf. But if I have the right to remove that book from the shelf -- that book I abhor -- then you also have exactly the same right and so does everyone else. And then we have no books left on the shelf for any of us."
--Katherine Patterson, Author

Friday, January 02, 2015

Poet

"The poet is, etymologically, the maker. Like all makers, he requires a stock of raw materials — in his case, experience. Now experience is not a matter of having actually swum the Hellespont, or danced with the dervishes, or slept in a doss-house. It is a matter of sensibility and intuition, of seeing and hearing the significant things, of paying attention at the right moments, of understanding and co-ordinating. Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him. It is a gift for dealing with the accidents of existence, not the accidents themselves. By a happy dispensation of nature, the poet generally possesses the gift of experience in conjunction with that of expression.."
--Aldous Huxley, "Texts and Pretexts" (1932)

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Humane

"Observe how the 'humane' attitude to crime could operate. If crimes are diseases, why should diseases be treated differently from crimes? And who but the experts can define disease? One school of psychology regards my religion as a neurosis. If this neurosis ever becomes inconvenient to Government, what is to prevent my being subjected to a compulsory 'cure'? It may be painful; treatments sometimes are. But it will be no use asking, 'What have I done to deserve this?' The Straightener will reply: 'But, my dear fellow, no one's blaming you. We no longer believe in retributive justice. We're healing you.' "
--C. S. Lewis
(1898-1963), British novelist
Source: Willing Slaves of the Welfare State, first published in The Observer on July 20, 1958

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Quiet III

 'There are quiet places also in the mind', he said meditatively. 'But we build bandstands and factories on them. Deliberately — to put a stop to the quietness. … All the thoughts, all the preoccupations in my head — round and round, continually What's it for? What's it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost that it isn't there. Ah, but it is; it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything. Lying awake at night — not restlessly, but serenely, waiting for sleep — the quiet re-establishes itself, piece by piece; all the broken bits … we've been so busily dispersing all day long. It re-establishes itself, an inward quiet, like the outward quiet of grass and trees. It fills one, it grows — a crystal quiet, a growing, expanding crystal. It grows, it becomes more perfect; it is beautiful and terrifying … For one's alone in the crystal, and there's no support from the outside, there is nothing external and important, nothing external and trivial to pull oneself up by or stand on … There is nothing to laugh at or feel enthusiast about. But the quiet grows and grows. Beautifully and unbearably. And at last you are conscious of something approaching; it is almost a faint sound of footsteps. Something inexpressively lovely and wonderful advances through the crystal, nearer, nearer. And, oh, inexpressively terrifying. For if it were to touch you, if it were to seize you and engulf you, you'd die; all the regular, habitual daily part of you would die .... one would have to begin living arduously in the quiet, arduously in some strange, unheard of manner.
       
--Aldous Huxley, "Antic Hay" (1923)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Equal III

"All I ask is equal freedom.
When it is denied, as it always is,
I take it anyhow."
--H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic

Monday, December 29, 2014

Maltreating

"The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior "righteous indignation" — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats."
--Author Unknown

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Harlot

"But what is Hope? Nothing but the paint on the face of Existence; the least touch of truth rubs it off, and then we see what a hollow-cheeked harlot we have got hold of."
--Lord Byron

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Needle

"To think the needle is going to protect you is as silly as thinking that drugs will make you healthy."     --Andrew Saul, PhD

Friday, December 26, 2014

Warrior

"Remember, always, that it is the nature of a warrior to act. Do not be daunted by the formidable strength of the opposition. Do not be depressed by doom and gloom predictions. A true warrior must welcome challenge and transform the impossible into the possible. Because you are living in these trying times, it is your task to confront situations created by human ignorance and apathy, and focus your actions through love for the future and all the children of all the children of all species."
--Captain Paul Watson

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Shoot II

"Merry Christmas, Englishmen.  We not shoot, you not shoot."
--German troops to their English counterparts, December 25, 1914