Books, Life, Quotes

“Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.”

- Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers, Important Things To Remember.

“Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work…

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Books, Literature, Quotes

“I’m not sentimental–I’m as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last–the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.”

- F. Scott Fitzgerald, A Side of Paradise.

“I’m not sentimental– I’m as romantic as you are…

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Books, Love, Quotes

“I believe that at the center of the universe there dwells a loving spirit who longs for all that’s best in all of creation, a spirit who knows the great potential of each planet as well as each person, and little by little will love us into being more than we ever dreamed possible. That loving spirit would rather die than give up on any one of us.”

— Fred Rogers, Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way.

“I believe that at the center of the universe there dwells a loving spirit…

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Books, Life, Quotes

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In stopping to think through the meaning of what I have learned, there is much I believe intensely, much I am unsure of. But this, at least, I believe with all my heart: In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt, We Learn By Living.

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes…

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Books, Literature, Quotes

“Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees…

Spring in Paris © Ruoxiang Chau, all rights reserved.

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.”

- Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast.

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Books, Life, Psychology, Quotes

“It is the very problem of our time that people are caught by a pervasive feeling of meaninglessness, which is the most conspicuous symptom of the collective neurosis of our time. It is accompanied by a feeling of emptiness. The “existential vacuum” has increased and spread literally all over the world. Our industrialised society is out to satisfy all needs, and our consumer society is even out to create needs in order to satisfy them; but the most human of all human needs – the need to see a meaning in one’s life – remains unsatisfied. People may have enough to live by; but more often than not they do not have anything to live for.”

- Viktor Frankl, The Feeling of Meaninglessness.

“It is the very problem of our time that people are caught by a pervasive feeling of meaninglessness…

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Books, Quotes

Hermann Hesse on Trees

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

- Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte.

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