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Monday, September 16, 2013

Quotes from the masters

Dear Asha, Ajay, Ravi, Ariana, Roma and Sainath,

I hope you know by now that my primary purposes in writing these columns are 1. To bring to your attention the treasures “our ancestors, from both the east and west”, have left for us in the form of books and 2. To make you interested in reading them in the original and 3. To encourage you to think on your own in addition to reading them.

With those goals in mind, I have written about the meanings of symbols and rituals ( in the book with the title Symbols and Substance), about reading from the sacred texts, about concepts such as Dharma and Karma.  I wrote an entire piece on Balthazar Gracian’s writing (Blog from   January 17, 2012), one on Vidhura Nithi (Blog from September 15, 2011) and one devoted fully to Boethius ( blog from  October 1, 2012).  In addition, I have collected quotes from several other authors I have read. They are full of wisdom and observations of nature and human nature, true for all ages and all societies.

I plan to make these quotes parts of future blogs. I will add the references, hoping you go for the originals. Here are the first ones from Mr. Ambrose Bierce.

Ambrose Bierce


He was born in Ohio and studied in Indiana, lived during the later part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th (1842-1913). His writing skills were extraordinary. He is known as a supreme satirist. But, I find him more of a cynic than a satirist. Here are a few pithy definitions from his book on “The Devil’s Dictionary”.
Childhood: “The period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth”.
Consult: “To seek another’s approval of a course already decided on”.
Diagnosis: “A physician’s forecast of a disease by the patient’s pulse and purse”.
Religion: “ A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable”.
Peace: “In international affair, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting”.
Patience: “ A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue”.
Vote: “ The instrument and symbol of a free man’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country”.

3 comments:

Lilly said...

My favorite is;PHILOSOPHY, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

Balu said...

Thanks for this addition.

Balu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.