I prefer by far the warmth and softness to mere brilliancy and coldness. Some people remind me of sharp dazzling diamonds. Valuable but lifeless and loveless. Others, of the simplest field flowers, with hearts full of dew and with all the tints of celestial beauty reflected in their modest petals.
The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.
This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin.
Go home. Put your best record on. Loud as it’ll play. And with every note, you remember: that’s something that the darkness couldn’t take from you.
You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.
Listen: I am ideally happy. My happiness is a kind of challenge. As I wander along the streets and the squares and the paths by the canal, absently sensing the lips of dampness through my worn soles, I carry proudly my ineffable happiness. The centuries will roll by, and schoolboys will yawn over the history of our upheavals; everything will pass, but my happiness , dear, my happiness will remain, in the moist reflection of a street lamp, in the cautious bend of stone steps that descend into the canal’s black waters, in the smiles of a dancing couple, in everything with which God so generously surrounds human loneliness.
Vladimir Nabokov, “A Letter That Never Reached Russia”
From The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov
Don’t imagine you will discover the truth by accumulating more knowledge. Knowledge creates doubt and doubt makes you ravenous for more knowledge. You can’t get full eating this way. If you can let go of the Tao with the mind and surround it with your heart, it will live inside you forever.
I hate people who write off other people’s talents just because of their taste in movies. I left film-school for that very reason. The first thing the teacher told us was “If you want to make Terminator 2, leave now” and I was like, fuck you man. There could be a kid sat in the corner disheartened because Terminator 2 is the movie he wants to make, that’s his vision and here’s the teacher telling him he can’t do that. He had no fucking right, none of us do. Besides, I think Terminator 2 is a pretty kick-ass movie.