An unrectified case of injustice has a terrible way of lingering, restlessly, in the social atmosphere like an unfinished equation.
The wheels of justice . . . they’re square wheels.
None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.
“Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said, for about the twentieth time that day. “No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”
Men copied the realities of their hearts when they built prisons.
If you’re condemned to death they have to give you one last meal of your choice. What is that all about? A group of people plans to kill you, so they want you to eat something you like? Do they think the food part will take your mind off the dying part? Or do they prefer to kill you when you’re just coming off a peak experience and full of positive energy?
The great thieves punish the little ones.
To assert in any case that a man must be absolutely cut off from society because he is absolutely evil amounts to saying that society is absolutely good, and no one in his right mind will believe this.
When the judge calls the criminal’s name out, he stands up, and they are immediately linked by a strange biology that makes them both opposite and complementary. The one cannot exist without the other. Which is the sun and which is the shadow? It’s well known some criminals have been great men.
One must give back the stare of the universe. Anybody can.
It is always the same: once you are liberated, you are forced to ask who you are.
Freedom lies beyond conformity or rebellion.
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.
After the Easter Rebellion of 1916 in Ireland, Eamon De Valera was sentenced to penal servitude. En route to his prison, he took out his pipe and was about to light it when he stopped suddenly and said, “I will not let them deprive me of this pleasure in jail!” He immediately threw away the pipe and from that day never smoked again.
Intent is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the warrior’s indulgence. Intent is what makes him invulnerable. Intent is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, to infinity.
Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety.
You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.
This work is about transformation — from the person we are to the person we really are. In the end, we can’t be anyone else.
The thing you are ripening toward is the fruit of your life. It will make you bright inside, no matter what you are outside. It is a shining thing.