What are Pearls of Wisdom?

PearlsOfWisdomSo many mostly “one-liners”, collected over the years, are here because I didn’t want to leave them out just because I couldn’t find a better home for them. After all, each has its own particular piece of wisdom which I have tried to link together. But let’s begin with a little humour:

Save the earth – it’s the only planet that has chocolate.

He who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground glass.


The only “Normal” I know is on a dial on a washing machine.
Nancy Bradley, Reiki Master

The goal in life is to die young – as late as possible!

Last night as I lay in bed looking up at the stars I said to myself. “Where the hell is the ceiling?
Deborah, an Ontario “Witch.”

And the servers in Casanova’s Restaurant in Makawao, on Maui, have this on their T-shirts:

Heaven is where the police are English  the chefs are Italian, the mechanics are German, the lovers are French and it is all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the chefs are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss and it is all organized by the Italians

Everything is perfect, but there’s lots of room for improvement.
Zen Master, Shunruyi Suzuki,

to which Thich Nhat Hanh adds:
You must do it yourself, but you cannot do it alone.

Ah! To do nothing- and do it well.

How beautiful it is to do nothing. Then rest afterwards.
Spanish Proverb

Snowflakes are a fragile thing individually, but look what they can do when they stick together.
Fernando Bonaventure

When you contemplate your private life, bear in mind that delightful Viennese saying: The situation is disastrous but not serious.
Richard Needham

If I had known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
Leon Eldred.

Retirement is that time of life when you never have time to do all the things you thought you would have time for before you retired.
Adapted from Lawrence J. Peter.

When a man retires and time is no longer a matter of urgent importance, his colleagues generally present him with a watch.
R.C. Sherriff.

The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm.
Elmer Leterman.

Everyone loves to see justice done to somebody else.
Bruce Cockburn

When you think you are lost just keep on going and you will come out somewhere.

About which New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel, infamous for mixing his metaphors, reputably once said:

If you don’t know where you are going, you will sure as heck land up somewhere else!

Traveller, there is no path. The path is made by walking.
Antonio Machado

I will not “Should” on myself today.
Posted at the Essalen Institute, Big Sur, CA.

This is the story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when actually Nobody accused Anybody!

TV may come in colour but it tends to see the world in black and white.
Royal Bank of Canada Newsletter.

My life has been full of disasters most of which never happened.
Mark Twain

About which Anais Nin said:

We don’t see things as they really are. We see things as we are.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Peter Drucker.

Do not let waking trample your dreams. Allow everything to be more than it seems. Look at things without the use of your eyes. There’s more to life in that bowl of beans. Now eat it.
Miah Alessio (age 14).

There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.

If it weren’t for the people, the goddamned people, said Finnerty, always getting tangled up in the machinery. If it weren’t for them, earth would be an engineer’s paradise.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. in his novel Piano Player.

There is no shortage of anything; only an abundance of ignorance.
Bill Ellis

Your breath is the voice of your soul.
On a Yogi Tea package

A mistake is something that produces a result different from the one that you had expected.
Fiona Percy

All great truths begin as blasphemies.
George Bernard Shaw

Friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

The world heals one soul at a time.

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that fits all cases.

Never a door close but a window opens.

You cannot harm another human being when you are feeling loved … [and] … you can travel the whole universe and find no one more deserving of love than yourself.

We will never again have the chance to be born into a body like this one.
Kalu Rinpoche

The purpose of one’s life is to realize who we really are.

Life is short and we have not much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark way with us.Oh, to be swift to love! make haste to be kind.
Henri-Frederic Amiel

I am Some Thing
Amongst Every Thing
Held together by No Thing.

Modern humans are a curious mixture of scientific conviction and ancient demons.
Malcolm Godwin

If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.
William Blake

When wisdom and foolishness meet there is transcendence.

I exist as I am. That is enough.
Walt Whitman

We can only be what we give ourselves the power to be.
Cherokee saying.

You cannot stop being who you are… [so] … 

Our purpose is to maximize our journey with our soul. Your best work is the expression of yourself.

 we must live our lives in such a way that we are true to our inner self even if that turns out to be wrong or that our life has no meaning.
E.M. Forster

We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
Marie Curie

Always strive for the highest aim but never put up resistance in vain.
Hans Selye.

Every one is entitled not only to his own problems, but also to finding his own solutions.
Harry Levinson.

Our peace of mind, or its reverse, depends less on the important events that affect our lives than on the pleasant, or unpleasant, sequences of those petty occurrences which form our day-to-day experience.
La Rochfoucauld.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust.

Give yourself permission to be, and then see who you are.

You will not see in another you have not learned to recognize in yourself.
Erik Erikson.

The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will know what is sounding outside.
Dag Hammarskjold.

No criticism that has reached me … however rude or ignorant has been without a valuable grain of truth.
Robert Heller.

Experience teaches our best flute players. It also teaches our worst flute players.

This is a very early variation of a modern awareness that “Practice makes permanent; but only correct practice makes perfect.

Choose with awareness what gives you joy and it will lead to spirit…. Ecstasy is the orgasm of the spirit
Margot Anand.

There are two ways to meet difficulties: you alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them.
Phyllis Bottome

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Live out of your imagination and not your history
Stephen Covey.

The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau

A happiness which is not mixed at some point … with misery can nowhere be found on earth.
Paul Brunton

Grief upon grief. Disappointments among disappointments, What then?This is a gay, merry world, notwithstanding.
John Adams, 2nd US President.

Stress is caused by being Here when you want to be There.

Heaven is where you’ll be when you are okay right where you are.
Sun Ra

All the harm, fear and suffering in the world are caused by attachment to the self: why should I hold on to this great demon?

Every single shift in consciousness that a human makes changes the whole world.
Sandra Ingerman, shamanic practioner.

An Indian mystic, put that this way: Change yourself and you have done your part in changing the world.
Paramahansa Yogananda

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world (that is the myth of the Atomic Age) as in being able to remake ourselves.

Think globally. Act locally. Change personally.
Bill Ellis

Only in growth, reform and change, paradoxically enough is true security to be found.
Anne Morrow Lindberg

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any, small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this suffering world, will help immensely.   Come back to square one, just the minimum bare bones. Relaxing with the present moment, relaxing with hopelessness, relaxing with death, not resisting the fact that things end and things pass, that things have no lasting substance, that every thing is changing all the time – that is the basic message.
Pema Chodron.

A whole vision of life is one that reconciles matter with spirit, heart with mind, the female in us and the male, the darkness and the light.
Lindsay Clarke.

All journeys are outward journeys; there is no inward journey because you are already there. So “turning in” simply means not “going out”. Finally, the child emerges  neither acquiescent nor rebellious, but innocent and spontaneous and true to his or her being.

True, without error, certain and most true: That which is above is as that which is below, and that which is below is as that which is above, for performing the miracles of the One Thing.
Hermes Trismegistus

In the end what matters most is
How well did you live?
How well did you love?
How well did you learn to let go?

A healthy mind is Conscious, Calm, Creative, Caring and Content.
James Baraz