Henry Miller · 196 pages
Rating: (1K votes)
“Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.”
“Everyone has his own reality in which, if one is not too cautious, timid or frightened, one swims. This is the only reality there is.”
“I see myself forever and ever as the ridiculous [person], the lonely soul, the wanderer, the restless frustrated artist, the [person] in love with love, always in search of the absolute, always seeking the unattainable.”
“Who but the artist has the power to open man up, to set free the imagination? The others - priest, teacher, saint, statesman, warrior - hold us to the path of history. They keep us chained to the rock, that the vultures may eat out our hearts. It is the artist who has the courage to go against the crowd; he is the unrecognized "hero of our time" - and of all time.”
“either you take in believing in miracles or you stand still like the hummingbird.”
“The worst is not death but being blind, blind to the fact that everything about life is in the nature of the miraculous. The language of society is conformity; the language of the creative individual is freedom. Life will continue to be a hell as long as people who make up the world shut their eyes to reality.”
“It is our destiny to live with the wrong as well as the right kind of citizens, and to learn from them, the wrong-minded ones, as much or more as from others. If we have not yet succeeded -after how many centuries?- in eliminating from life the elements which plague us perhaps we need to question life more closely. Perhaps our refusal to face reality is the only ill we suffer from, and all the rest but illusion and delusion. (p.26)”
“It was the end for me. And yet not an end. In all the years which have since elapsed she remains the woman I loved and lost, the unattainable one [...] I see myself forever and ever as the ridiculous man, the lonely soul, the wanderer, the restless frustrated artist, the man in love with love, always in search of the absolute, always seeking the unattainable.
—Henry Miller, Stand Still like the Hummingbird (1962)”
“But it is not emancipation that the great majority seeks. When pressed, most men will admit that it takes but little to be happy. (Not that they practice this wisdom!) Man craves happiness here on earth, not fulfillment, not emancipation. Are they utterly deluded, then, in seeking happiness? No, happiness is desirable, but it is a by-product, the result of a way of life, not a goal which is forever beyond one's grasp. Happiness is achieved en route. And if it be ephemeral, as most men believe, it can also give way, not to anxiety of despair, but to a joyousness which is serene and lasting. To make happiness the goal is to kill it in advance. If one must have a goal, which is questionable, why not self-realization? The unique and healing quality in this attitude toward life is that in the process goal and seeker become one.”
“Man, as man, has never realized himself. The greater part of him, his potential being, has always been submerged. What is history if not the endless story of his repeated failures?”
“Every day the choice is presented to us, in a thousand different ways, to live up to the spirit which is in us or to deny it. Whenever we talk about right and wrong we are turning the light of scrutiny upon our neighbors instead of upon ourselves. We judge in order not to be judged. We uphold the law, because it is easier than to defy it. We are all lawbreakers, all criminals, all murderers, at heart. It is not our business to get after the murderers, but to get after the murderer which exists in each and every one of us. And I mean by murder the supreme kind which consists in murdering the spirit.”
“There are times when I myself no longer know whether I said and did the things I report or whether I dreamed them up. Anyway, I always dream true. If I lie a bit now and then it is mainly in the interest of truth.”
“He is sure to be more happy who has eaten well and slept well and has besides a little money in his jeans. Such men are rare to find for the simple reason that most men are incapable of appreciating the wisdom of such a simple truth. The worker thinks he would be better off if he were running the factory; the owner of the factory thinks the would be better off if he were a financier; and the financier knows he would be better off if he were clean out of the bloody mess and living the simple life.”
“The numbers were, at best, guesstimates, and all three men knew it. The relevant figure would ultimately be the one that represented the most they could possibly ask from Congress without raising too many questions. Whatever that sum turned out to be, they knew they could count on (Interim Assistant Secretary of the Treasury) Kashkari to perform some sort of mathematical voodoo to justify it:”
“borrowed Shane’s four-wheel to make the hill. Parked it and came to the door in time to see your eyes roll back in your head.” He walked back to her, stripped off his coat and tucked it over her legs. “By the way, how’d you get in?” “I—” She stared at him, swallowed. “I opened the door.” “It was locked.” “No, it wasn’t.” Lifting a brow, he jingled the keys in his pocket. “That’s interesting.” “You’re not lying,” she said after a moment. “Not this time. Why don’t you tell me what you heard?” “Footsteps. But there was no one there.” To warm them, she tucked her hands”
“watched as Harkness sat down and had a microphone clipped to his lapel. Hi Barker was flitting about, putting his guests at ease; Cary was given a folding chair just out of camera range. The whole group was no more than twelve feet from where Stone stood. “You’re sure they can’t see us?” he asked the director. “Not a chance,” Jimmy replied. “I checked it out earlier.” Two other people, a man and a young woman, came into the control room now and took seats on either side of Jimmy, paying no attention to Stone and Dino. “Ten minutes,” the woman said, looking up at a clock above the row of monitors. Stone watched the monitors as”
“Bismarck defined political intuition as the ability to hear, before anybody else, “the distant hoofbeats of history.”
“A crude age. Peace is stabilized with cannon and bombers, humanity with concentration camps and pogroms. We're living in a time when all standards are turned upside-down, Kern. Today the aggressor is the shepherd of peace, and the beaten and hunted are the troublemakers of the world. What's more, there are whole races who believe it!”
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