A juxtaposition of cool quotes

Gertrude Stein

We are all the same age inside.


Thomas Pynchon

If they can get you to ask the wrong questions they don’t have to worry about the answers.


Don DeLillo

[Interviewer: As technology gets more advanced, our fears as a public, as a people, as human beings actually become more primitive. So, even as the world is getting ever more technologically advanced, we are becoming in many ways more sort of Cro-Magnon-like in our instincts or our reactions]

In a curious way, despite the enormous powers of technology, I think for many people it narrows the world rather than widens it. It makes facts instantly accessible, but I think as people grow into their personal technology it has the ultimate effect of creating a world that’s centered on an individual’s immediate needs, immediate desires, excluding much of what is most interesting about the lives we ought to be living. I think that whatever technology is capable of doing becomes what we desperately needed to do, and I’m not sure that’s such a hopeful situation.


Friedrich Nietzsche

This tyrant in us wreaks horrible revenge for every attempt we make to dodge or escape it, for every premature resignation, for every acceptance of equality with those among whom we do not belong, for every activity, however respectable, which distracts us from our main cause—indeed, for every virtue which would protect us from the hardness of our inmost responsibility. Every time, sickness is the response, when we want to doubt our right to our task, when we begin to make things easier for ourselves in any way. It is the easing of our burden which we must atone most harshly. And if we want to return to health afterward, we have no choice: we must assume a heavier burden than we ever carried before—

[in Christ’s words: If you bring forth what is within you what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.]



Open, closed, open, closed. And all the while the mind waits for it all to come to an end, waits for deliverance. The waiting, the cycles are the way the mind holds on to control, holds on to a control that it does not have, that it can never have.

Bare your heart open to being held captive by illusion. You are caught, endlessly caught. And you are fighting (and a clever fighter you are) against your own mind, against the illusion of being trapped in this endless game. You are trying to win the game but your trying to win is the game, as is your trying to let go.

Give your full consent to your circumstance. Resist not, grasp not, move not. Do not be frightened by hell or tempted by Heaven.


Joey Lott

 The mind is loud and hysterical and melodramatic.

 The heart is painful because it is continually broken open and bleeding.

 The mind divides.

 The heart welcomes.


Charles Bukowski

I don’t believe in perfection. I believe in keeping the bowels loose.

People who solved things usually had lots of persistence and some good luck. If you persisted long enough, the good luck usually came. Most people couldn’t wait on the luck, though, so they quit.


David Deida

Your gift is developed by applying consciousness to your (unresolved) issues.

Whatever you experience: you’re meant to experience and fully metabolize.


Tony Robbins

Prepare for volatility and turn them into opportunities.

Corrections and crashes occur with regularity but never last.

Uncertainty is no excuse for inaction.


Joe Rogan

You can write and you can get seeds but you’ve got to plant those seeds in the dirt of the crowd.

You’ve got to constantly throw shit at the wall for some of it to stick.



Some statements lend themselves well to schematization, in that you can abstract away from their concrete reference and play with their interchangeable elements in terms of a deeper underlying sense and further inference. Let me illustrate this, first with a poem:

’’The reeds give way/ to the wind/ and give/ the wind away’’ (AR Ammons)

From this the following schema can be extracted: X gives way to Y and gives Y away—where X stands for something explicit and Y for something more implicit. For example, one’s actions give way to one’s deeper impulses and give those impulses—one’s deepest values—away. That is, the laws of the formless manifest in the land of the forms. (The inference being: Listen to what others tell you but never buy into any of the content, always pay attention to what they’re actually doing; or applied to one’s own self: Listen, but do not take much stock in a word you narrate in your head, focus on what you’re actually doing.) Or another good example could be: asking (loaded) questions give way to your tacit judgments and give those prejudiced premises away. Pretty straightforward.

Next, take the following maxim circulating on the internet:

’’Genes load the gun, the environment pulls the trigger’’

—that is: X loads the gun and Y pulls the trigger. For example: one’s attitude loads the gun and social feedback pulls the trigger, or mindset loads the gun and circumstance pulls the trigger. In other words: What we give is what we get, and vice versa. Again, pretty straightforward.

Speaking of triggers:

’’Understanding what someone says to you is attributing to them the ideas which their words arouse in you.’’ (RG Collingwood)

Admiring or loathing someone, for instance, derives from the act of attributing to them the thoughts and feelings—the raw reactions—that their words and actions trigger inside us. Our encounters are never unmediated. The medium, indeed, is the message: To see an X about someone is to attribute to them the X that their Y arouse in us. As in:

’’Reason manipulates reality in a merely administrative rather than understanding sense’’ (RP Blackmur)

—or: One engages others, for instance, in conditional rather than unconditional terms—again, our encounters are tainted with reactions, fear, transference.


’’Price is what you pay, value is what you get’’ (Warren Buffett)

X is what you pay, Y is what you get. Time and energy is what you pay, a skill is what you get. A sequence of setbacks is what you pay, success is what you get. Pain is what you pay, gains is what you get.

Lastly, skirting the tautological, a question I read somewhere:

’’Do people ruin marriages or do marriages ruin people?’’

Do people ruin X or does X ruin people? Does the use of social media corrupt people or do people abuse social media? Does the capitalist system corrupt people or do people abuse the system? Etc.


The system loads the gun, the individual pulls the trigger. Opportunity and power give way to people’s character and give people’s character away. Etc. Etc. You get the idea.

Fun little toys, these: them gnomic utterances. Let me know if you know some more.