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Past Thoughts of the Day from Interlude: An Internet Retreat

6/1/20 to the present

Hope is the physician of each misery.

Irish Proverb

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.

Rudyard Kipling

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.

Yogi Berra

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.


Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.

Thomas Henry Huxley

Not one of us knows what effect his life produces, and what he gives to others; that is hidden from us and must remain so, though we are often allowed to see some little fraction of it, so that we may not lose courage. The way in which power works is a mystery.

Albert Schweitzer

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter…to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring—these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

John Burroughs

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You must have faith that the Universe will unfold as it should.


There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.


You just do whatever you do to serve in a way that increases the connection of humanity, the awareness of the interrelatedness of all things. You are more effective and efficient in any action when you are capable of being totally involved in what you're doing, and totally non-attached.

Ram Dass

Mercy has no enemies. In the face of compassion, all perverse and evil forces melt into nothingness.

Venerable Master Hsing Yun

To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Zen master Ling Chi said that the miracle is not to walk on burning charcoal or in the thin air or on the water; the miracle is just to walk on earth. You breathe in. You become aware of the fact that you are alive. You are still alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet…The greatest of all miracles is to be alive.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Men are not punished for their sins but by them.

Elbert Hubbard

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.

Frank Herbert

Fear not to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

Bertrand Russell

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

We have free will, but our free will lies in our choice of thought.

Emmet Fox the universe as one's city, one's native country, the beloved fatherland of every soul.

Simone Weil

Dwell not on the past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind. Nothing really matters except what you do now in this instant of time. From this moment onwards you can be an entirely different person, filled with love and understanding, ready with an outstretched hand, uplifted and positive in every thought and deed.

Eileen Caddy

...almost all success and happiness in this world is born from ordinary things. We allow ourselves to be seduced by the spectacular, but the basics are where you find the true and lasting treasure.

Matthew Kelly, I Heard God Laugh

When your sense of self is no longer tied to thought, is no longer conceptual, there is a depth of feeling, of sensing, of compassion, of loving, that was not there when you were trapped in mental concepts. You are that depth.

Eckhart Tolle

When man awakens, he finds that he is part of the one great Reality and he realizes his union with all things.


It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

Charles Darwin

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.

Isaac Newton

The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.

Tom Bodett

A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the constant pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.

Albert Einstein

Don′t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Thurman

Most people we perceive as 'antagonists' are merely struggling individuals trapped in their bounded worldview, desperately trying to pursue their own happiness.

Robert Thurman

You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end each of us must work for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.

Marie Curie

It's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.

Albert Camus

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

People's dreams are made out of what they do all day. The same way a dog that runs after rabbits will dream of rabbits. It's what you do that makes your soul, not the other way around.

Barbara Kingsolver

Don't wait for the last judgment—it takes place every day.

Albert Camus

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn't that make life a story?

Yann Martel, Life of Pi

What is important in life is life, and not the result of life.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.

George Santayana

Love without conversation is impossible.

Mortimer Adler

The highest purpose is to have no purpose at all. This puts one in accord with nature, in her manner of operation.

John Cage

Art at its most significant is a Distant Early Warning System that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it.

Marshall McLuhan

If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?

William Somerset Maugham

A single idea whose time has come can change the world.

Steven Beresford

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin... But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

Alfred Souza

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.

John Lubbock

All intellectual improvement arises from leisure.

Samuel Johnson

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

James Baldwin

A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.

Soren Kierkegaard

Evil (ignorance) is like a shadow. It has no real substance of its own, it is simply a lack of light. You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight it, stamp on it, by railing against it, or any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it.

Shakti Gawain

What matters is to live in the present, live now, for every moment is now. It is your thoughts and acts of the moment that create your future. The outline of your future path already exists, for you created its pattern by your past.

Sai Baba

Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Gilda Radner

An optimist is someone who gets treed by a lion but enjoys the scenery. A pessimist is one who builds dungeons in the air.

Walter Winchell

Sadness is a natural human feeling. I would be worried if someone never felt sad. We are not looking for constant happiness. Rather we are looking for the sense that life is flowing along the way it should be.

Leslie Gray

To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.

Anatole France

Tell everyone what you want to do and someone will want to help you do it.

W. Clement Stone

Like stones rolling down hills, fair ideas reach their objectives despite all obstacles and barriers. It may be possible to speed or hinder them, but impossible to stop them.

Jose Marti

Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away.

Elvis Presley

Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves.

Blaise Pascal

If we could look into each other's hearts and understand the unique challenges that each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance and care.

Marvin Ashton

What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.


There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“You don′t need to control emotion,” he said. “Emotions are natural, like passing weather. Sometimes it′s fear, sometimes sorrow or anger. Emotions are not the problem. The key is to transform the energy of emotion into constructive action.”

Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior


©2020 Tom Barrett