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Give sorrow words;
the grief that does not speak;
whispers the o’er-fraught heart
and bids it break.
— William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Suffering passes, but the fact of having suffered never passes.
— Leon Bloy

If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold ever-more wonders.
— Andrew Harvey

The capacity for inner dialogue is a touchstone for outer objectivity.
— Carl Jung, “The Transcendent Function”

We are human less by virtue of our ideal goals than by the vice of our inferiority.
— James Hillman, Healing Fiction

When we have for so long been judged by everyone we meet, just to look into the eyes of another who does not judge us can be extraordinarily healing.
— Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart

And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he forever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.
— Herman Melville, Moby Dick

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a thing I wanted to do.
— Georgia O’Keefe

The soul that beholds beauty becomes beautiful.
— Ploteinus

Melancholy gives the soul an opportunity to express a side of its nature that is as valid as any other but is hidden out of our distaste for its darkness and bitterness.
— Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

Where danger is, there is salvation also.
— Holderlin

No one should deny the danger of the descent, but it can be risked. No one need risk it, but it is certain that someone will. And let those who go down the sunset way do so with open eyes, for it is a sacrifice which daunts even the gods. Yet every descent is followed by an ascent.
— Carl Jung

One of the first things to learn if you want to be a contemplative is to mind your own business. Nothing is more suspicious, in a man who seems holy, than an impatient desire to reform other men.
— Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

When beliefs need some modification,
We make it with much trepidation,
For our world is then new,
And things seem all askew,
‘til we’re used to the new formulation.
— Professor Arnold Tustin

To dare to be aware of the facts of the universe in which we are existing calls for courage.
— W. R. Bion

Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.
— Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

Then to the depths! – I could as well say height:
It’s all the same.
— Goethe, Faust

If you want the whole thing,
the gods will give it to you.
But you must be ready for it.
— Joseph Campbell, The Joseph Campbell Companion

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Learning always involves self-transcendence. Learning calls forth what is in us, helping us to move toward authenticity and wholeness.
— Karl Rahner

Open your heart, your gaze, to the visitations of angels, even if the gifts they bring may not be centeredness and balance but eccentricity and a wholly unfamiliar sense of pleasure called joy.
— James Hillman, The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart

These are little packets of light and you need to plant them early in the year and remember to mark where they were because lots of times they look like weeds in the beginning and it’s not until later that you see how beautiful they really are.
— Brian Andreas, Going Somewhere Soon

It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.
— Pablo Picasso

No man can change himself into anything from sheer reason; he can only change into what he potentially is.
— Carl Jung

Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.
— Gertrude Stein

Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony, but it often bestows it; and in everything imposingly beautiful, strength has much to do with the magic.
— Herman Melville, Moby Dick

There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.
— Tennessee Williams

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
— Albert Einstein

Being is the great explainer.
— Henry David Thoreau

Actually, every time we begin, we wonder how we did it before, Each time is a new journey with no maps.
— Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

The twisting of a familiar theme into a new shape is sometimes more revealing and ultimately more significant than acquiring new knowledge and a new set of principles. Often when imagination twists the commonplace into a slightly new form, suddenly we see soul where formerly it was hidden.
— Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
— Pablo Picasso

If there were already a path,
it would have to be someone else’s;
the whole point is to find your own way.
— Joseph Campbell, The Joseph Campbell Companion

Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing.
— Helen Keller

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.
— Voltaire

We would like otherworldly visitations to come as distinct voices with clear instructions, but they may only give small signs in dreams, or as sudden hunches and insights that cannot be denied. They feel more as if they emerge from inside and steer you from within like an inner guardian angel. . . . And, most amazing, it has never forgotten you, although you may have spent most of your life ignoring it.
— James Hillman, The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.
— A. A. Milne

Enjoy what you have.
Hope for what you lack.
— fortune cookie

There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered.
— William Shakespeare

Even in our sleep
Pain which cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart
Until, in our own despair,
Against our will,
Comes wisdom
Through the awful grace of God.
— Aeschylus

The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.
— Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

Doe the Nexte Thinge.
— from an ancient parsonage in England

When you are pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen, brush the honey off your nose and spruce yourself up as best you can, so as to look Ready for Anything.
— A. A. Milne

One poem or story doesn’t matter one way or the other. It’s the process of writing and life that matters.
— Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

The soul presents itself in a variety of colors, including all the shades of gray, blue, and black. To care for the soul, we must observe the full range of all its colorings, and resist the temptation to approve only of red, white, and orange—the brilliant colors.
— Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
— Rainer Maria Rilke

I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
— epitaph on the grave of an unknown astronomer

God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.

Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don’t try to end it.
Be your note.
— Rumi, The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

to find deeper powers
within ourselves
come when life
seems most challenging.
— Joseph Campbell, The Joseph Campbell Companion

Only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the “treasure hard to attain.” He alone has a genuine claim to self-confidence, for he has faced the dark ground of his self and thereby has gained himself. This experience gives him faith and trust.
— Carl Jung, Jung on Mythology

Most people have turned their solutions toward what is easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult; everything alive trusts in it.
— Rainer Maria Rilke

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.
— Joseph Campbell, The Joseph Campbell Companion

What you plan
is too small
for you to live.
— David Whyte, excerpt from “What to Remember When Waking,” in The House of Belonging

I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. . . .
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
— T.S. Eliot

If the angel
deigns to come
it will be because
you have convinced
her, not by tears
but by your humble
resolve to be always
beginning; to be a beginner.
— Rainer Maria Rilke

It always comes back to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard.
— May Sarton

Like an ability or a muscle, hearing your inner wisdom is strengthened by doing it.
— Robbie Gass

It seemed as if this were the Loom of Time, and I myself were a shuttle mechanically weaving and weaving away at the Fates. There lay the fixed threads of the warp subject to but one single, ever returning, unchanging vibration, and that vibration merely enough to admit of the crosswise interblending of other threads with its own. This warp seemed necessity; and here, thought I, with my own hand I ply my own shuttle and weave my own destiny into these unalterable threads. Meantime, Queequeg’s impulsive, indifferent sword, sometimes hitting the woof slantingly, or crookedly, or strongly, or weakly, as the case might be; and by this difference in the concluding blow producing a corresponding contrast in the final aspect of the completed fabric; this savage’s sword, thought I, which thus finally shapes and fashions both warp and woof; this easy, indifferent sword must be chance—aye, chance, freewill, and necessity—no-wise incompatible—all interweavingly working together. The straight warp of necessity, not to be swerved from its ultimate course—its every alternating vibration, indeed, only tending to that; free will still free to ply her shuttle between given threads; and chance, though restrained in its play within the right lines of necessity, and sideways in its motions modified by free will, though thus prescribed to by both, chance by turn rules either, and has the last featuring blow at events.
— Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.
— Carl Jung

It is our commitment to wholeness that matters, the willingness to unfold in every deep aspect of our being.
— Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart

More important for our children than merely what happened to us in the past is the way we have come to process and understand it. The opportunity to change and grow continues to be available throughout our lives.
— Dan Siegel and Mary Hartzell, Parenting From the Inside Out

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
— Joseph Chilton Pearce

There will be many times when we won’t look good—to ourselves or anyone else. We need to stop demanding that we do. It is impossible to get better and look good at the same time.
— Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
— Carl Jung

To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.
— Robert Louis Stevenson

Roar, lion of the heart,
and tear me open!
— Rumi, The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember, I have learned to pay attention to right now. . . . Each moment, taken alone, [is] always bearable. In the exact now, we are all, always, all right.
— Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

What we think of as “laziness” in ourselves is often simply fear.
— Jeanne Ware

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.
— Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect, there will be a fish.
— Ovid

Every need brings in what’s needed.
Pain bears its cure like a child.
— Rumi, The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

This divineness had that in it which, though commanding worship, at the same time enforced a certain nameless terror.
— Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have believed would have come his way.
— W. H. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other peoples’ models, learn to be ourselves, and allow our natural channel to open.
— Shakti Gawain

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
— Martha Graham

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.
— Joseph Campbell, The Joseph Campbell Companion

The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.
— W. H. Auden

In a dark time, the eye begins to see.
— Theodore Roethke

Look and you will find it—what is unsought will go undetected.
— Sophocles

True life is lived when tiny changes occur.
— Leo Tolstoy

Courage is the foundation of integrity.
— Keshavan Nair

Integrity is its own reward.
— Rod Russell

A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation:

“As you go the way of life,
you will see a great chasm.


It is not as wide as you think.
— Joseph Campbell, The Joseph Campbell Companion

Children learn whether it is safe to learn.
— Dorothy Corkille Briggs

Your desire is your prayer.
— Dr. Joseph Murphy

Learning is movement from moment to moment.
— J. Krishnamurti

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
— Albert Einstein

Anything you grab hold of on the bank breaks with the river’s pressure. When you do things from your soul, the river itself moves through you. Freshness and a deep joy are signs of the current.
— Coleman Barks, The Essential Rumi

Play is the exultation of the possible.
— Martin Buber

The best of modern therapy is much like a process of shared meditation, where therapist and client sit together, learning to pay close attention to those aspects and dimensions of the self that the client may be unable to touch on his or her own.
— Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart

Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.
— Joseph Campbell, The Joseph Campbell Companion

Had you restrained your love, you would be free of sorrow. The greater the love, while one possesses it, the greater the sorrow when one is deprived of it.
— Von Tepl

Because life involves taking risks, and thereby kindling fear, you must possess the ability—but more importantly the willingness—to have a relationship with your fears, to examine the experience of fear when it arises. Just as you cannot acquire immunity to a disease without first coming into contact with it, you will never move through your fears until you move through them, not around them.
— Gregg Levoy, This Business of Writing

To have suffered much is like knowing many languages. Thou hast learned to understand all.
— George Eliot

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

You cannot teach a child to take care of himself unless you will let him try to take care of himself. He will make mistakes and out of these mistakes will come his wisdom.
— Francis Bacon

When you are dealing with a child, keep all your wits about you, and sit on the floor.
— Austin O’Malley

Treat a child as though he already is the person he’s capable of becoming.
— Haim Ginott

If you want to hit home runs, you’ve go to swing a lot.
— Babe Ruth

The important thing is not to stop questioning.
— Albert Einstein

Then I buckled up my shoes, and I started.
— James Baldwin, from "The Threshing Floor"

One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
— Helen Keller

The most influential of all educational factors is the conversation in the child’s home.
— William Temple

A lively understandable spirit
Once entertained you.
It will come again.
Be still.
— Theodore Roethke

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
— Albert Einstein

Whether you are dealing with an animal or a child, to convince is to weaken.
— Colette

We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.
— Marcel Proust

Tears are like rain. They loosen up our soil so we can grow in different directions.
— Virginia Casey

I still believe that people are really good at heart.
— Anne Frank

Education is the best provision for old age.
— Aristotle

The great man is he who does not lose his child’s heart.
— Mencius

The mind, stretched to a new idea, can never return to its original dimension.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Feelings refuse to bow to command.
— Dorothy Corkille Briggs

What we are really living for is the experience of life, both the pain and the pleasure.
— Joseph Campbell, The Joseph Campbell Companion

The advantage of living is not measured by length, but by use; some men have lived long, and lived little; attend to it while you are in it.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

The adventurous life is not one exempt from fear, but on the contrary, one that is lived in full knowledge of fears of all kinds, one in which we go forward in spite of our fears.
— Paul Tournier

Life must be understood backwards.
— Soren Kierkegaard

Neither despise nor oppose what thou dost not understand.
— William Penn

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.
— Andre Gide

Motherhood . . . is an act of infinite optimism.
— Gilda Radner

Every psychic advance of man arises from the suffering of the soul.
— Carl Jung, Psychotherapists or the Clergy

Work well done is art.
— Unknown

Don’t wait for your ship to come in. Row out to meet it.
— Unknown

To show a child what has once delighted you, to find the child’s delight added to your own, so that there is now a double delight seen in the glow of trust and affection. This is happiness.
— J. B. Priestley

Ritual maintains the world’s holiness. Knowing that everything we do, no matter how simple, has a halo of imagination around it and can serve the soul enriches life and makes the things around us more precious, more worthy of our protection and care.
— Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

Spoon-feeding in the long run teaches us nothing by the shape of the spoon.
— E. M. Forster

Groundless hope, like unconditional love, may be the only kind that counts.
— John Perry Barlow

Ultimately the only way to get through something is to get through it—not over, not under, or around it, but all the way through it. And it takes as long as it takes.
— Alla Bozarth Campbell, PhD

between the seed
and the sprout,
— Unknown

The heart that has truly loved never forgets.
— Thomas More

The spirit is the life of the body seen from within, and the body the outward manifestation of the life of the spirit—the two being really one.
— Carl Jung, from"The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man"

The irony is this—
If you don’t go in . . .
You can’t find out.
— Richard Stine

Every writer, by the way he uses the language, reveals something of his spirit, his habits, his capacities, his bias. This is inevitable as well as enjoyable…. Creative writing is communication through revelation—it is the Self escaping into the open.
— Strunk and White, The Elements of Style

If you are at all faithful to your dreams, they will often lead you to a point of decision. Here you must decide whether to say yes or no, now or later, ready or not. And they will keep coming back until you give them an answer.
Each transition requires that you end one thing—a mind-set, a lifestyle, a trade—before beginning another, and as such these transitions involve both fear and elation, terrible anxiety and tremendous freedom, the freedom to make new choices, to redefine your life. Transition is very much about feeling caught in the middle, between the known and the unknown, and I think it is one of the peculiarities of successful people that they can tolerate prolonged periods of uncertainty and, most importantly, hang onto their faith.
At some point you simply have to make a leap of at least some distance. But you also have to be gentle with yourself. Big transitions are by their very nature dramatic and effortful, and growth always in some sense violent and disruptive. Treat yourself as if you were in a cocoon, not a padded cell. On the other hand, do not be so easy on yourself that you cheat yourself out of changes you really need to make.
— Gregg Levoy, This Business of Writing

This is enough was always true. We just haven’t seen it.
— Rumi, The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Aging brings out the flavors of a personality. The individual emerges over time, the way fruit matures and ripens. In the Renaissance view, depression, aging, and individuality all go together: the sadness of growing old is part of becoming an individual. Melancholy thoughts care out an interior space where wisdom can take up residence.
— Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
— Joseph Campbell, The Joseph Campbell Companion

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.
— David Whyte, excerpt from “The Winter of Listening,” in The House of Belonging

Setting skepticism aside, even briefly, can make for very interesting explorations. . . . It is not necessary that we change any of our beliefs. It is necessary that we examine them.
— Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

Only a deep attention to the whole of our life can bring us the capacity to love well and live freely.
— Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart