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"Everything you can imagine is real."— Pablo Picasso

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Apr
6th
Sat
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We say release, and radiance, and roses,
and echo upon everything that’s known;
and yet, behind the world our names enclose is
the nameless: our true archetype and home.
(…)

We grow up; but the world remains a child.
Star and flower, in silence, watch us go.

And sometimes we appear to be the final
exam they must succeed on. And they do.
Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. Rilke is “widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets,” (1875-1926), Selected Poems, translation by Stephen Mitchell
Mar
27th
Wed
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And differences
among various natures of human beings
and in the habits which arise from them
must exist in many other matters.
(…)

I can affirm—the remaining traces
of those natures which reasoning cannot
remove from us are so slight, that nothing
stops us living a life worthy of gods.
Titus Lucretius Carus, a Roman poet and philosopher (ca. 99 BC – ca. 55 BC), De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things), translation: Ian Johnston, Richer Resources Publications, Arlington, Virginia, 2010. III [315-318], III [320-323] p. 105. 
See also: ☞ How Epicurus’ ideas survived through Lucretius’ poetry, and led to toleration, Lapidarium notes
Jan
22nd
Tue
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If things can be seen that differently, how many ways can they be seen differently? Try to get people to stop waiting for the president to enlighten them. Stop waiting for history and the stream of historical events to make itself clear to you.

You have to take seriously the notion that understanding the universe is your responsibility, because the only understanding of the universe that will be useful to you is your own understanding. It doesn’t do you any good to know that somewhere in some computer there are equations that perfectly model or perfectly don’t model something that is going on. We have all tended to give ourselves away to official ideologies and to say, ‘Well I may not understand, but someone understands.’

The fact of the matter is that only your own understanding is any good to you. Because it’s you that you’re going to live with and it’s you that you’re going to die with. As the song says, the last dance, you dance alone.
Terence McKenna, an American ethnobotanist, philosopher, psychonaut, writer, (1946-2000), True hallucinations: and, the archaic revival, MJF Books, 1998, p. 88.
Aug
20th
Mon
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The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.
Jack Kerouac, American novelist and poet (1922-1969), On the Road, Viking Press, 1957.
Aug
6th
Mon
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Freedom of the mind requires not only, or even specially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities.
Alan Bloom, American philosopher, classicist, and academic (1930-1992), The Closing of the American Mind, Simon & Schuster, 1987.
Mar
2nd
Fri
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“The most beautiful and satisfying experiences open to humankind are not derived from the outside, but are bound up with the development of the individual’s own feeling, thinking and acting. The genuine artists, investigators and thinkers have always been persons of this kind. However inconspicuously the life of these individuals runs its course, none the less the fruits of their endeavors are the most valuable contributions which one generation can make to its successors. (…)

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. One seeks the most general ideas of operation which will bring together in simple, logical and unified form the largest possible circle of formal relationships.” “
Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics, Nobel Prize laureate (1879-1955), Professor Einstein Writes in Appreciation of a Fellow-Mathematician. To the Editor of The New York Times, Princeton University, May 1, 1935.
(Illustration: Albert Einstein sailing his boat on Saranac Lake (Courtesy: The Fantova Collection, Princeton University)
Sep
3rd
Sat
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Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.
Tad Williams, American writer
Aug
2nd
Tue
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What’s your name,’ Coraline asked the cat. ‘Look, I’m Coraline. Okay?’
‘Cats don’t have names,’ it said.
‘No?’ said Coraline.
‘No,’ said the cat. ‘Now you people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.
Neil Gaiman, English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films, Coraline, Bloomsbury, 2002
Jun
22nd
Wed
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'Disobedience was man’s Original Virtue'

“Every fact of science was once damned. Every invention was considered impossible. Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. Every artistic innovation was denounced as fraud and folly. The entire web of culture and ‘progress,’ everything on earth that is man-made and not given to us by nature, is the concrete manifestation of some man’s refusal to bow to Authority.

We would own no more, know no more, and be no more than the first apelike hominids if it were not for the rebellious, the recalcitrant, and the intransigent. As Oscar Wilde truly said, ‘Disobedience was man’s Original Virtue.’ “
Robert Anton Wilson, American author and polymath who became at various times a novelist, philosopher, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, futurist, civil libertarian (1932-2007)
Jun
4th
Sat
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Ayn Rand on individualism and productive life

“Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live—that productive work is the process by which man’s consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one’s purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one’s values—that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others.

That your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human—that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind’s full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay—that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live—that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road.

That the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up—that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction. (…)

If you hold the irrational as your standard of value and the impossible as your concept of the good, if you long for rewards you have not earned, for a fortune, or a love you don’t deserve, for a loophole in the law of causality, for an A that becomes non-A at your whim, if you desire the opposite of existence-you will reach it. Do not cry, when you reach it, that life is frustration and that happiness is impossible to man; check your fuel: it brought you where you wanted to go.” “
Ayn Rand, Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter (1905-1982), Atlas Shrugged, Random House, 1957
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Rationality is the recognition of the fact that nothing can alter the truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it. (…)

Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.
Ayn Rand, Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter (1905-1982), Atlas Shrugged, Random House, 1957
Jun
2nd
Thu
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Individuals find a real name for themselves, rather, only through the harshest exercise in depersonalization, by opening themselves up to the multiplicities everywhere within them, to the intensities running through them.
Gilles Deleuze, French philosopher (1925-1995), Letter to a Harsh Critic, p. 6, cited in WildCat, Some will be Gangsters of Poetry, Some will be Pan-Symbolists, Polytopia, May 30, 2011.
Apr
23rd
Sat
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A work of art is a unique result of a unique temperament
Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet (1854-1900)
Apr
18th
Mon
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Audaces fortuna iuvat.
— Fortune favors the bold.
Virgil, classical Roman poet (70 BC – 19 BC) Aeneid X.284
Apr
10th
Sun
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If other people do not understand our behavior — so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being “asocial” or “irrational” in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to “explain,” which usually implies that the explanation be “understood,” i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself—to his reason and his conscience—and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.
Erich Fromm, social psychologist, psychoanalyst, humanistic philosopher (1900-1980), The Art of Being, Continuum, 1994.