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The great wisdom traditions of the world all recognize that the main impediment to living a life of meaning is being self-absorbed.

Barbara Brown Taylor (b. 1951) American minister, academic, author
An Altar in the World, ch. 6 (2009)
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Added on 29-Oct-21 | Last updated 29-Oct-21
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Emotion doesn’t travel in a straight line. Like water, our feelings trickle down through cracks and crevices, seeking out the little pockets of neediness and neglect, the hairline fractures in our character usually hidden from public view.

Sue Grafton
Sue Grafton (1940-2017) American novelist, screenwriter
“I” is for Innocent (1992)
Added on 29-Oct-21 | Last updated 29-Oct-21
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How ridiculous is Caesar and Bonaparte wandering from one extreme of civilization to the other to conquer men — himself, the while, unconquered, unexplored, almost wholly unsuspected to himself?

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Trust Yourself,” sermon (1830)
Added on 10-Feb-16 | Last updated 10-Feb-16
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The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations that we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us.

Lorde - piece of the oppressor - wist_info quote

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) American writer, feminist, civil rights activist
“Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference,” Copeland Colloquium, Amherst College (Apr 1980)

Reprinted in Sister Outsider (1984)
Added on 11-Jan-16 | Last updated 11-Jan-16
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It’s what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid.

Ernest Tidyman (1928-1984) American author and screenwriter
High Plains Drifter (film) (1973)
Added on 14-Jul-15 | Last updated 14-Jul-15
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Morals are your agreement with yourself to abide by your own rules. To thine own self be true or you spoil the game.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 14-Jul-15 | Last updated 14-Jul-15
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Life does not consist mainly — or even largely — of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Autobiography, Part 1, sec. 28 “New York, January 10, 1906” (2003)

Full text.
Added on 30-Jun-11 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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No man is happy who does not think himself so.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 584
Added on 31-Jul-08 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
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The word “idiot” comes from a Greek root meaning private person. Idiocy is the female defect: intent on their private lives, women follow their fate through a darkness deep as that cast by malformed cells in the brain. It is no worse than the male defect, which is lunacy: men are so obsessed by public affairs that they see the world as by moonlight, which shows the outlines of every object but not the details indicative of their nature.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Prologue (1941)
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Sometimes oddly paraphrased, "The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-Mar-21
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