We manipulate nature as if we were stuffing an Alsatian goose. We create new forms of energy; we make new elements; we kill crops; we wash brains. I can hear them in the dark sharpening their lasers.
The mind of the logical thinker goes so easily from one point to another that it is hard not to mistake motion for progress.
A mirror has no heart but plenty of ideas.
I think that human activity will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy, nor more wise — than he was six thousand years ago.
The person and society are yoked, like mind and body. Arguing which is more important is like debating whether oxygen or hydrogen is the more essential property of water.
Break with the outside world, live like a bear.
I am against nature. I don’t dig nature at all. I think nature is very unnatural. I think the truly natural things are dreams, which nature can’t touch with decay.
Be humble for you are made of dung. Be noble for you are made of stars.
Reb Bunam said, “You must imagine the evil spirit as a thug hovering over you with a raised hatchet to chop off your head.” “What if I can’t imagine it?” asked a Hasid. “That’s a sure sign that he has already chopped it off.”
The view after seventy is breathtaking. What is lacking is someone, anyone, of the older generation to whom you can turn when you want to satisfy your curiosity about some detail of the landscape of the past. There is no longer any older generation. You have become it, while your mind was mostly on other matters.
The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
Every morning and every evening, and whenever anything happens to you, keep on saying, “Thanks for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.”
Since my house burned down, I now own a better view of the rising moon.
I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, then all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.
Rocks in the water don’t know the misery of rocks in the sun.
There are many fine things about nature, but it does no talking.
Great art picks up where nature ends.
He [Frank Lloyd Wright] and I walked up to the high ground [to a potential building site for a new home] where there was an old orchard above a pasture which faces north and has an endless view over the hills. He took one look and then peed and said, “Good spot,” and we walked down the hill back to the house.