Enlightenment is a record which we time-minded make with the intellect, because the intellect likes to divide, and cuts time into years and days and hours, and constructs history, whereas time itself underlying history knows no such human artificial cuttings.
I feel very comfortable talking in nanoseconds. I sit at one of these analyzers and nanoseconds are wide. I mean, you can see them go by. Jesus, I say, that signal takes twelve nanoseconds to get from there to there. Those are real big things to me when I’m building a computer. Yet, when I think about it, how much longer it takes to snap your fingers, I’ve lost track of what a nanosecond really means. (The snap of a finger is equivalent to the passage of 500,000,000 nanoseconds.)
After taking ninety-nine years to climb a stairway, the tortoise falls and says there is a curse on haste.
I imagine that yes is the only living thing.
I have called this center the self. Intellectually, the self is no more than a psychological concept, a construct that serves to express an unknowable essence, which we cannot grasp as such, since by definition it transcends our powers of comprehension. It might equally be called “the God within us”. . . . The self has as much to do with the ego as the sun with the earth.
Mysteries are not necessarily miracles.
Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
The majority of people are subjective toward themselves and objective toward all others, terribly objective sometimes, but the real task is, in fact, to be objective toward oneself and subjective toward all others.
Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise; because of impatience we cannot return.
My love is my weight.
How could I have expected that after a long life I would understand no more than to wake up at night and to repeat: strange, strange, strange, O how strange, how strange, O how funny and strange.
The barb in the arrow of childhood suffering is this: its intense loneliness, its intense ignorance.
They always told me when I was young, “Just wait, and you’ll see.” Now I’m old and see nothing. It’s wonderful.
You do not realize your own situation. You are in prison. All you can wish for, if you are a sensible man, is to escape. But how to escape? . . . If a man is at any time to have a chance of escape, then he must first of all realize that he is in prison. So long as he fails to realize this, so long as he thinks he is free, he has no chance whatsoever.
“If no man is an island,” cried Morris Irving Hyman, “I’m the narrowest peninsula in the world.”
In the Highlands of New Guinea I saw men with photographs of themselves mounted on their foreheads so they would be recognized.
We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes. The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant. We have not managed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us around it, led us past it, and then if we turn around to gaze at the remote past, we can barely catch sight of it, so imperceptible has it become.
As though naturally erasers would speak the language of pencils.