Quotes

Humourous

[After being told “You’d like him” about someone] Why do people always say that? I hate everyone, why would I like him?
— Jerry Seinfeld

If I wanted a lecture about money, I could’ve waited till Sunday and stolen from the collection plate again.
— Duckman

Serious

Never trust the man who tells you all his troubles but keeps from you all his joys.
— Jewish proverb

The innkeeper loves a drunkard, but not for a son-in-law.
— Jewish proverb

To profess to have an aim and then neglect the means of its execution is self-delusion of the most dangerous sort.
– John Dewey, Reconstruction in Philosophy

People may not be shameless. The shame of being shameless is shameless indeed!
— Mencius 6.1.

Who is able to leave a room without going out through the door? How is it, then, that no one follows this Way?
— Confucius, Analects 6.17

While there are many different things as to which it is not easy to make a right judgement, this is especially the case with one about which everybody thinks that it is very easy to judge and that anybody can decide.
— Aristotle, Eudemian Ethics

Nothing is enough to someone for whom what is enough is little.
— Epicurus, Vatican Saying 68

In a philosophical dispute, he gains most who is defeated, since he learns the most.
— Epicurus, Vatican Saying 74

The eyes are never satisfied, the stomach knows when it is full.
— Li Yueh

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
— JC (Matthew 6:34)

If we were to uproot only one vice each year, we should soon become perfect. The contrary, however, is often the case–we feel that we were better and purer in the first fervor of our conversion than we are after many years in the practice of our faith. Our fervor and progress ought to increase day by day; yet it is now considered noteworthy if a man can retain even a part of his first fervor.
— Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ.

The same fire that melts the butter hardens the egg.
— Unknown origin

I have put very little of what could be called effort into any research. Instead, I have tried as best I could not to do anything and to watch closely how I fail. All I have really done is to sow seed.
— Masanobu Fukuoka, The Road Back to Nature

The other morning I heard a four-year-old girl ask her mother, “Why was I born into this world? To go to nursery school?” Naturally her mother could not honestly say, “Yes, that’s right, so off you go.” And yet, you could say that people these days are born to go to nursery school.
— Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Insincere Speech, truly, is the prime material of insincere Action.
— Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present

A man can no more know his own heart than he can know his own face any other way than by reflection.
— Jonathan Swift, Sermon on the Difficulty of Knowing One’s-Self

The mountain forests, the great open plains! Shall they make me joyful, shall they fill me with happiness? But even before the joy is done, sorrow has come to take its place. When joy and sorrow come I cannot stop them from coming, and when they go I cannot keep them from going. How sad it is!
— Chuang Tzu, chapter 22

I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.
— Blaise Pascal, Pensees 139

Vanity.–How wonderful it is that a thing so evident as the vanity of the world is so little known, that it is a strange and surprising thing to say that it is foolish to seek greatness?
— Blaise Pascal, Pensees 161

Indeed, it may be laid down as a rule of foreign relations that the lower the probability that advice will be taken, the more firmly it will be proffered.
— J. K. Galbraith, The New Industrial State

An illustrious politician has said that “you can not fool all the people all the time,” but in a case where the people in question are sedulously fooling themselves all the time the politicians can come near achieving that ideal result.
— Thorstein Veblen, Abstentee Ownership

Care in nowise to make more of money, but care to make much of it.
— John Ruskin, Unto This Last

One law of international value is maintainable in any form: namely, that the farther your neighbour lives from you, and the less he understands you, the more you are bound to be true in your dealings with him; because your power over him is greater in proportion to his ignorance, and his remedy more difficult in proportion to his distance.
— John Ruskin, Munera Pulveris

The struggle merely to overcome habits, without uncovering their deeper significance, makes the mind-heart thoughtless, superficial, insensitive.
— J. Krishnamurti

When you are angry, does it feel good or bad? If it feels bad, why don’t you throw it away? How can you say that you are wise and intelligent when you hold on to such things?
— Ajahn Chah

Defilements are like a stray cat. If you give it as much food as it wants it will always be coming around looking for more food, but if you stop feeding it, after a couple of days it’ll stop coming around. It’s the same with the defilements, they won’t come to disturb you, they’ll leave your mind in peace. So rather than being afraid of defilement, make the defilements afraid of you.
— Ajahn Chah

In truth, you must be pretty foolish if you find living on your own causes you suffering. If you find living in a community with lots of people is a lot of suffering, you are equally foolish. It’s like chicken shit. If you are walking on your own somewhere carrying chicken shit, it stinks. If there is a whole group of people walking around carrying chicken shit, it stinks just the same.
— Ajahn Chah

To search for what is beyond the actual is to be caught in illusion.
— J. Krishnamurti

Do you know why you cannot wait for the shot and why you get out of breath before it has come? The right shot at the right moment does not come because you do not let go of yourself. You do not wait for fulfillment, but brace yourself for failure. So long as that is so, you have no choice but to call forth something yourself that ought to happen independently of you, and so long as you call it forth your hand will not open in the right way—like the hand of a child. Your hand does not burst open like the skin of a ripe fruit.
— Zen in the Art of Archery (Eugen Herrigel)

Do not fear the arising of thoughts, just fear being slow to notice them.
— Zen saying

“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!”
— The Three Fierce Mantras of Tsangpa Gyare