Samurai Words and Other Great Quotes part 1

Wrapped within the bookends of my fav quotes from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai you will find many words to ponder, too.


"One should make his decisions within the space of seven breaths...With an intense, fresh and undelaying spirit, one will make his judgments within the space of seven breaths. It is a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break right through to the other side." Hagakure

"Remember everyone you meet has lost something, is afraid of something, and loves something." Anonymous

"God is an infinite sphere, who's center is everywhere and circumference nowhere." Book of 24 Philosophers

"God is in all, all is in god, therefore, meditate your every breath, thought, touch, taste, word, and deed." Anonymous

"Everything is a circle." Anonymous

"Geometry is a reflection out of the mind of God." Johannes Kepler

"Men who never get carried away should be." Malcolm Forbes

"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows, we guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." Agnes de Milne

An Indian Prayer
"We ask for strength and you give us difficulties which make us strong; we ask for wisdom and you send us problems, the solutions of which develop wisdom. We plead for prosperity and you give us brain and brawn to work; we plead for courage and you give us dangers to overcome. We ask for favors and you give us opportunities, therefore, Great Spirit, we ask you to bless us and assist us according to thy will." Author Unknown

"Beauty is truth and truth beauty." John Keats

"Poetry will never betray or abandon you, but you may abandon it. Poetry is always there, waiting for you to dip into it, just as the breath is always there waiting for us to notice it. No, not even waiting. Just there. We happen to notice it or not." Natalie Goldberg

"When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." R. Buckminster Fuller

"You may not destroy someone else's world unless you are prepared to offer a better one." Franz Kafka

"Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think." Jean de la Bruyere

"Man vs. God, God vs. Man. God vs. Nature, Nature vs. God. Very strange religion." D.T. Suzuki lecturing about Christianity.

"We may conclude that while there will usually be no time for fear to develop, on those occasions when there is time, fear should be deliberately overcome by anger in order to maintain control for the action to come." Jeff Cooper

"All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability." Anonymous

"Where you stumble there lies your treasure." Joseph Campbell

"The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for." Joseph Campbell

"The more you search for truth outside yourself the farther away it seems to be." Anonymous

"Knowledge based on love does not err." Anonymous

"The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnameable is the eternally real." Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell's translation)

"I have always admired the villain, the outlaw, the son of a bitch. I don't like the clean shaven boy with the necktie and the good job. I like desperate men, men with broken teeth and broken minds and broken ways...I'm more interested in perverts than saints. I can relax with bums...I don't like laws, morals, religions, rules. I don't like to be shaped by society." Charles Bukowski

"Unvexed by the existentials, should we not expect the marketplace to take over? The questions devolve from whether or not to who is entitled to who's going to pay cash or charge? To do you take American Express?" Thomas Lynch from his excellent book The Undertaking

"To reach a house, you must first enter the gate. The gate is the pathway leading to the house. After passing through the gate, you enter the house and meet its master. Learning is the gate to reaching the Way. After passing through the gate, you reach the Way. Learning is the gate, not the house. Don't mistake the gate for the house. The house is located farther inside, after the gate is passed. Because learning is the gate for the house, don't think books you read are the Way. Books are a gate for reaching the Way." from the book The Sword and The Mind.

"The debate is controlled by the extremes, each side shouting out answers and accusations over the heads of the people in between who are kept from formulating questions by the din of the argument all around them. Each paints the other with a broader brush. Each has an arsenal of names and adjectives to deploy against the other side. No one listens. Everyone screams." Thomas Lynch

"When presented with two options always pick a third." Derrick Jensen

"We find that the age of electronics has converted the human race in large measure from doers to watchers. It seems incontrovertible that great numbers of Americans, especially young Americans, would rather watch than do." Jeff Cooper

"...the something you have left out is a hole in your information. Chaos theorists have been quick to point out that both in principle and practice, there will always be missing information, a limitation to our knowledge, a hole in the data...Now we hold chaos itself up to reality and find our overlooked third dimension revealed there, mystery. What we don't know may be sufficiently powerful to overturn in a moment our entire existence and certified knowledge...think of missing information as the trickster of chaos theory...Perhaps at a deep level our reluctance to embrace the missing information has something to do with our anxiety about death - the ultimate missing information, the ultimate unknown that makes all knowledge shrink to nothing. Chaos tells us that the missing information is a window to the whole. In the pit of uncertainty looms our access to creative possibilities. We jump too quickly from the openness of the question to the need for its resolution. But what if what we are seeking doesn't lie in any answer but at the center of the question in the very depths of the missing information?" John Briggs from the book Seven Life Lessons of Chaos.

"The road to truth is long and lined the entire way with annoying bastards." Alexander Jablokov

"Europeans believed that God was transcendent and the earth was fallen from grace. Pagans believed that their bodies and the earth are sacred and that neither one requires conquest or denial. The wisdom of the body and the earth are spirit's widsom." Anonymous

"If you take the Christian bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible is the wind and the rain." Anonymous

"In Christianity, you have a weekly appointment with god at his place of business. You go to a specific building to worship him under the guidance of his executive representative (the preacher). To Pagans, everything is sacred, so that worship is possible anytime and anywhere." Anonymous

"People shed whole jugs of tears for wife and children. They swim in tears for money. But who weeps for God? Cry to him with a real cry." Ramakrishna

"Always listen to yourself. It is better to be wrong than simply to follow convention. If you are wrong, no matter, you have learned something and you will grow stronger. If you are right, you have taken another step towards a fulfilling life." Hagakure

"It takes one to know one." The all-time great comeback utilized by many.

"A little chaos is always necessary." Anonymous

"Nerve succeeds." Anonymous

"...Matters of great concern should be treated lightly...matters of small concern should be treated seriously." Hagakure

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

"Only something alive can die. The public schools go on year after year. They don't die because they are not alive." Natalie Goldberg

"Eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into jet air intakes." Anonymous

"The only honorable response to violence is counter-violence. To surrender to extortion is a greater sin than extortion in that it breeds and feeds the very act it seeks to avoid." Jeff Cooper

"I didn't surrender neither. But they took my horse and made him surrender. They have him pulling a wagon up in Kansas, I bet." Chief Dan George from the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales

"Plah! Dad, I can't like that." My son when he was a toddler and didn't want to eat.

"Life of human kind is indeed very short and trifling. You ought to spend your time doing whatever you like to do...If this is misinterpreted, it will harm youth. So I have not spoken of this to the young samurais." Hagakure

"The Great Man is he who does not lose his childlike heart." Mencius

"Whatever occupies the mind at the time of death determines the destination of the dying...when you make your mind one-pointed through regular practice of meditation, you will find the supreme glory of the Lord." Bhagavad Gita

"The soul is at home in the underworld." Thomas Moore

"One kind word can warm three winter months." Japanese proverb

"The winds of grace are always blowing but it is you that must raise your sails." R. Tagore

"Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow is but a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vison of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day." Sanskrit Proverb

"The heart? I asked astonished. 'Yes, that's what a horse runs with: his heart. That's what they say, that horse has heart. If they've got heart, it makes up for other things, they can still win,' she explained." Natalie Goldberg

"There is in all visible things...a hidden wholeness." Thomas Merton

"There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. By doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses one still gets wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will get the same soaking. This understanding extends to all things." Hagakure

"Words that come from the heart enter the heart." Moses Ibn Ezra

"You need to be alone. Roshi told me. It is the terminal abode. You can't go any deeper in your spiritual practice if you run from loneliness...Resistances are painful, and they deepen as we deepen." Roshi Katagari and Natalie Goldberg

"He who will not apply new remedies must expect old evils." Francis Bacon

"Another name for God is surprise." Brother David Steindl-Rast

"There are always surprises. Always have a plan B and plan C." Anonymous

"What is it about that woman? Does she have beer flavored nipples?" From the movie Mallrats

"You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Anal rugburn!" Yep, yours truly coined this one

"There are a lot of evil butts out there waiting for my foot." from some guy named Jason

"Television: A medium - so called because it is neither rare nor well done." Ernie Kovacs

"The best portion of a good man's life - his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love." William Wordsworth

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." George Orwell

"There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man's whole life is a succession of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue." Hagakure

"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; the hardest victory is the victory over self." Aristotle

"Negligence is an extreme thing." Hagakure

"The part of the mental makeup positioned inside to develop detailed plans is called the mind and that part that carries out the plans, the spirit. The mind stays inside and uses the spirit. If the spirit becomes overworked, it may stumble. You must have the spirit tethered to the mind so that it may not be carried away." from the book The Sword and The Mind.

"Man fights with his mind." Jeff Cooper

"Suppose you do see the opponents sword come but do not allow your mind to stay with it. Suppose instead, that in response to the coming sword, you do not think of striking back or form any idea or judgment but the moment you see the sword raised you move in, your mind not tarrying, and grasp the sword. Then you should be able to wrest from the opponent the sword intended to slash you, and turn it into one with which to slash him. In Buddhism the mind that tarries is called Maya (illusion, ignorance)." from the book The Sword and The Mind

"What a man thinks of himself, that is what determines, or rather indicates, his fate." Henry David Thoreau

"It's humiliating to work for pay. It's better to steal there's more emotion in it." from the movie Trinity Is My Name

"The principles you live by create the world you live in; if you change the principles you live by, you will change your world." Blaine Lee

"I walk the Pagan Path. The changes of the seasons are my holy days. The earth is my temple. In my rituals I harm no creature and spill no blood. I am a stone in the ancient circle. The strange musky scent of the deep forest is the incense of my religion. The Ancient Ones who followed the Path long ago are always with me."

"The midnight earth sends incense up, sweet with the breath of prayer; Go out beneath the naked night and get religion there."

"The entire universe is contained within one's imagination." Albert Einstein

"The thing in us that we fear just wants our love." Marsha Sinetar

"Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us." Marsha Sinetar

"One of the remarkable phenomena in this crazy political environment has been the Republican adminstration's success in getting President George Bush portrayed as the person who the citizenry can rely on to protect their security interests. This is amazing, given the Bush record and plans." Edward S. Herman

"There is no such thing as failure only mistakes. Mistakes are wrong choices that can be fixed." Anonymus


Three good ones from the movie Serendipity...

"You know why people play golf? Because they're too fat to play tennis."

"If you want to improve be content to be thought foolish and stupid." Epictetus

"The Greeks didn't write obituaries they only asked one question after a man died -- did he have passion?"


And of course, my three favorite quotes...

"Super perfundo on the early eve of your day." John from the movie Waking Life

"Everyone is someone else's weirdo." Anonymous

"The end is important in all things." Hagakure


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Samurai Words and Great Quotes part 1 1999-2004. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. So Fourscore and seven year ago...