I’ve spent much of the last three years dousing the internet with digitised epiphanies. Collecting and curating the wisdom of the world’s wisest and publishing it here on Live Learn Evolve. Along the way there have been many profound passages that deeply resonated with the core of my being and it’d be a shame not to share that.
As the wise Ralph Waldo Emerson stated “Make your own Bible” and collect all the words and sentences that “in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet“.
Here’s something to get your own bible started. Thirty of the most profound quotes.
“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti
“Years of love have been forgot, in the hatred of a minute”
— Edgar Allan Poe
“My dear, Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you and let it devour your remains. For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.”
— Charles Bukowski
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions. Their lives a mimicry. Their passions a quotation.”
— Oscar Wilde
“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German Army by fighting it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of the wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it.”
— C.S. Lewis
The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.
“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle, or you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
— Albert Einstein
“We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.“
— Hermann Hesse
Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! You aren’t a child anymore. The sooner you set yourself to your spiritual program, the happier you will be. The longer you wait, the more you’ll be vulnerable to mediocrity and feel filled with shame and regret, because you know you are capable of better. From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.“
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil.“
Edgar Allan Poe
“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.“
“The unexamined life is not worth living.“
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.“
“Make no mistakes about it – enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of the untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.
– Alan Watts
When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.
— Ram Dass.
Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.
― Terence McKenna
We have not even to risk the adventure alone
for the heroes of all time have gone before us.
The labyrinth is thoroughly known …
we have only to follow the thread of the hero path.
And where we had thought to find an abomination
we shall find a God.
And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world.”
― Joseph Campbell
People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. They will practice Indian yoga and all its exercises, observe a strict regimen of diet, learn the literature of the whole world – all because they cannot get on with themselves and have not the slightest faith that anything useful could ever come out of their own souls. Thus the soul has gradually been turned into a Nazareth from which nothing good can come.
— Carl Jung
The obstacle is the path.
The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
If I make the lashes dark
And the eyes more bright
And the lips more scarlet,
Or ask if all be right
From mirror after mirror,
No vanity’s displayed:
I’m looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.
— W.B. Yeats
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
— John Muir
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
— Francis Bacon
Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth.
— Ludwig Börne
When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.
― Thich Nhat Hanh
He who has seen present things has seen all, both everything which has taken place from all eternity and everything which will be for time without end; for all things are of one kin and of one form.
— Marcus Aurelius