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Chuck Klosterman on How to Write a Book

“So this book I had been sort of thinking about writing my whole life, but it didn’t dawn on me to write it until about three years ago. That’s how books work. It’s like you think about them for a long time without knowing it, and then something happens that causes you to make it into a physical book and if you really had been thinking about, it the book turns out to be good; and if you hadn’t been thinking about it, the book turns out to be forced.”

Chuck Klosterman

A Zen Master on the Goal vs. the Path

A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher, and asked the Zen Master: “If I work very hard and diligent how long will it take for me to find Zen.”

The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.”

The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then?”

Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.”

“But, if I really, really work at it. How long then?” asked the student.

“Thirty years,” replied the Master.

“But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student. “At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?”

Replied the Master, “When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.”

William Blake on Minding Particulars

Labor well the minute particulars, take care of the little ones
He who would do good for another must do it in minute particulars
General Good is the plea of the Scoundrel Hypocrite and Flatterer
For Art & Science cannot exist but in minutely organized particulars”

William Blake

The ‘Make Friends With Fear’ Game

“Give it a try, make friends with fear. Why? Because your life is a fucking nightmare and what do you have to lose and it’s worth it if there’s even a chance you’ll be happier with yourself. Right?”

Chase Reeves


This quote is from an article I wrote over on Medium about how to, you know, make a good life, not, like, be all {waves hands} fucked up all the time and moody or whatever. Give it a read.

Bean on how Power Works

“…these fools always look up for power. People above you, they never want to share power with you. Why you look to them? They give you nothing. People below you, you give them hope, you give them respect, they give you power, cause they don’t think they have any, so they don’t mind giving it up.”

Bean, Ender’s Shadow, Orson Scott Card

Daniel Ladinsky on Becoming a Successful Poet

“I hear I am one of the most successful living poets in the world these days. And if someone asked me, ‘How in the hell did that ever happen?’ I could respond, ‘Well, I worked my butt off, and I have been lucky at poker, and the heart is more powerful than I knew.’”

Daniel Ladinsky

Alan Watts on How to Become Wise

What you took to be a thinker of the thoughts was just one of the thoughts. What you took to be the experiencer of the experience was just a part of the experience.”

Alan Watts


the whole quote:

“The whole approach is not to convert you, not to make you over, not to improve you, but for you to discover that if you really knew the way you are things would be sane. But you see, you can’t do that. You can’t make that discovery because you’re in your own way so long as you think ‘I am I,’ so long as that hallucination blocks it. The hallucination disappears only in the realization of it’s own futility, when at last you see you can’t do it. […] You know a fool who persists in his folly becomes wise. So you’ve got to speed up the folly. […] What you took to be a thinker of the thoughts was just one of the thoughts. What you took to be the experiencer of the experience was just a part of the experience.”

“You already have the precious mixture that will make you well. Use it.”

Rumi

“The part of you that wants to improve is the same part of you that needs improvement.”

Alan Watts

Alan Watts on the Legitimacy of Words

“The poet is trying to describe what cannot be said. And he gets close, you know? He often really gives the illusion that he’s made it. And that’s a great thing, to be able to say what can’t be said. I am trying to express the mystical experience and it just can’t be done. And therefore everything I’m saying to you is a very elaborate deception. I’m weaving all kinds of intricate nonsense patterns which sound as if they’re about to make sense and they don’t really [laughter]. […]

The patterns that people make with words are just like the patterns of ferns, or of the marks on sea shells — they are a dance and they’re just as much of a legitimate form of life as flowers.”

Alan Watts

“We might work on this possibility that civilisation is a mistake and that we have taken completely the wrong track…”

Alan Watts

“The mystical experience is nothing other than becoming aware of your true physical relationship to the universe, and you are amazed, thunderstruck by the feeling that underneath everything that goes on in this world, the fundamental thing is the state of unbelievable bliss.”

Alan Watts

“It is perfectly obvious that the whole world is going to hell. The only possible chance that it might not is that we do not attempt to prevent it from doing so.”

Robert Oppenheimer, “Father” of the atomic bomb