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The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.
To be good, according to the vulgar standard of goodness, is obviously quite easy. It merely requires a certain amount of sordid terror, a certain lack of imaginative thought, and a certain low passion for middle-class respectability.
Ambition is the last refuge of failure.
A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude.
The past is of no importance. The present is of no importance. It is with the future that we have to deal. For the past is what man should not have been. The present is what man ought not to be. The future is what artists are.
Always forgive your enemies -- nothing annoys them so much.
We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.
Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style.
Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.
It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned.
I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do.
Style is not something applied. It is something that permeates. It is of the nature of that in which it is found, whether the poem, the manner of a god, the bearing of a man. It is not a dress.
What our eyes behold may well be the text of life but one's meditations on the text and the disclosures of these meditations are no less a part of the structure of reality.
The genuine artist is never true to life. He sees what is real, but not as we are normally aware of it. We do not go storming through life like actors in a play. Art is never real life.
Most modern reproducers of life, even including the camera, really repudiate it. We gulp down evil, choke at good.
All the great things have been denied and we live in an intricacy of new and local mythologies, political, economic, poetic, which are asserted with an ever-enlarging incoherence.
...I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.
But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion
If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.
The first duty of life is to be as artificial as possible. What the second duty is no one as yet discovered.
Dullness is the coming of age of seriousness.
Remember that not to be happy is not to be grateful.
Whatever we are waiting for -- peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance -- it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Much as we may wish to make a new beginning, some part of us resists doing so as though we were making the first step toward disaster.
Ideally a painter (and, generally, an artist) should not become conscious of his insights: without taking the detour through his reflective processes, and incomprehensibly to himself, all his progress should enter so swiftly into the work that he is unable to recognize them in the moment of transition. Alas, the artist who waits in ambush there, watching, detaining them, will find them transformed like the beautiful gold in the fairy tale which cannot remain gold because some small detail was not taken care of.
There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force it's sap and stands confident in the storms of Spring without the fear that after them may come no Summer. It does come. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful
The only journey is the one within.
At the bottom no one in life can help anyone else in life; this one experiences over and over in every conflict and every perplexity: that one is alone. That isn't as bad as it may first appear; and again it is the best thing in life that each should have everything in himself; his fate, his future, his whole expanse and world.
Physical pleasure is a sensual experience no different from pure seeing or the pure sensation with which a fine fruit fills the tongue; it is a great unending experience, which is given us, a knowing of the world, the fullness and the glory of all knowing. And not our acceptance of it is bad; the bad thing is that most people misuse and squander this experience and apply it as a stimulant at the tired spots of their lives and as distraction instead of a rallying toward exalted moments.
All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you.
The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.
To know is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.
One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
Do something every day that you don't want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
Achievement is not the most important thing -- Authenticity is
It is far better to be trusted and respected that it is to be liked.
A person is not given integrity. It results from the relentless pursuit of honesty at all times.
The person who is slowest in making a promise is most faithful in its performance.
In great matters men show themselves as they wish to be seen; in small matters, as they are.
When anger rises, think of the consequences.
Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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