Some Philosophical Quotes

"I think the book you always like best is the one you're about to write." -- Margaret Atwood, interview, 1972.

"Simplify, simplify, simplify." -- Henry David Thoreau

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." -- John Lennon, Beautiful Boy

"Happiness isn't doing what you like, it's liking what you do." -- source unknown

"Pour un instant, j'ai retourné mon miroir / Ça m'a permis enfin de mieux me voir" -- Harmonium, Pour un Instant

"Nor is it strange / That after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same" -- Paul Simon, The Boxer (later version)

"It has been said that to write is to live forever. The man who said that is dead." -- Tina Fey and Steve Martin, at the 2009 Academy Awards

"Why'd you have to say that there's always someone who can do it better than I can / And don't you think that I know that walkin' on water won't make me a miracle man" -- Elvis Costello, Miracle Man

"The real cycle you're working on is a cycle called `yourself'." -- Robert M. Persig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." -- Serenity Prayer

"Like any joker, he was watching / For the card that is so high and wild / He'll never need to deal another / He was just some Joseph looking for a manger" -- Leonard Cohen, The Stranger Song

"You swore you'd never compromise / With the mystery tramp, but now you realise / He's not selling any alibis / As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes / And say, do you want to make a deal / How does it feel" -- Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone

"Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." -- William Shakespeare, Macbeth, V-v

"I use as many notes as I require -- neither more nor less." -- the Mozart character, in the movie Amadeus

"You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." -- the character Spock, in the Star Trek (TOS) episode Amok Time

"Their lives ran in circles so small / They thought they'd seen it all" -- Michelle Shocked, Memories of East Texas

"I love humanity; it's people I can't stand." -- the character Linus, in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.

"Before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you are a mile away from them, and you have their shoes." -- Jack Handey

"Of course, if you photograph the behavior of women and men at a particular time in history, in a particular situation, you will capture differences. But the error lies in inferring that a snapshot is a lasting picture. What women and men do at a moment in time tells us nothing about what women and men are in some unvarying sense - or about what they can be." -- Carol Tavris, The Mismeasure of Woman

"In the next few galactic seconds, the fate of the universe will be decided. Life - the ultimate experiment - will either explode into space, and engulf the star-clouds in a fire storm of children, trees, and butterfly wings; or Life will fail, fizzle, and gutter out, leaving the universe shrouded forever in impenetrable blankness, devoid of hope." -- Marshall T. Savage, introduction to The Millennial Project

"But Mousie, thou art no thy lane / In proving foresight may be vain / The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley / An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain / For promis'd joy!" -- Robert Burns, To a Mouse

"Within weeks of our premiere, it became obvious that Leonard [Nimoy] and the character of Spock were becoming something of a national phenomenon. ... And to be unflatteringly frank, it bugged me. ... [Then, Gene Roddenberry] said to me the wisest thing he could possibly have uttered. He said, `Don't ever fear having good and popular people around you, because they can only enhance your own performance. The more you can play to these people, the better the show.'" -- William Shatner, Star Trek Memories

"More and more people are becoming unable to accept traditional [religious] beliefs. If they think that, apart from these beliefs, there is no reason for kindly behaviour, the results may be needlessly unfortunate. That is why it is important to show that no supernatural reasons are needed to make [people] kind and to prove that only through kindness can the human race achieve happiness." -- Bertand Russell, The Faith of a Rationalist

"A lot of people here have been asking me if I'm going to apply myself when I go back to school next September. It's such a stupid question, in my opinion. I mean, how do you know what you're going to do till you do it? The answer is, you don't. I think I am, but how do I know? I swear it's a stupid question." -- the character Holden Caulfield, in the book The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger.

"How does a worm on a hook save ribbons?" -- Mark Fruman, analysing the Leonard Cohen song Bird on a Wire

"Put a chair against the door, and turn the lights down low / Write a letter to yourself, no one will ever know" -- Jann Arden, Could I Be Your Girl

"Think I'll flip a coin, I'm a winner either way / Mmmmmm, I feel lucky today" -- Mary Chapin Carpenter, I Feel Lucky

"And in the end / There is no end / There are only means" -- Anonymous

"And in the end / The love you take / Is equal to the love you make" -- The Beatles, The End (Abbey Road album)


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