user image

"Hell, I'll kill a man in a fair fight... or if I think he's gonna start a fair fight, or if he bothers me, or if there's a woman, or if I'm gettin' paid - mostly only when I'm gettin' paid." - Jayne, Firefly

"I am like a being thrown from another planet on this dark terrestrial ball, an alien, a pilgrim among its possessors." - Thomas Carlyle

secretowl follows:
gideon books (2020)
movies (2020)
words (beautiful/interesting)
a ~ notes (past lives)
notes (beautiful names)
list icon
  • “Banish uncertainty. Affirm strength. Hold resolve. Expect death.”
  • "Before emptying there must be fullness. Before shrinking there must be expanding Before falling, there must be ascent. To destroy something, lead to its extreme. To preserve something, keep to the middle*"
  • “Worry is an addiction that interferes with compassion.”
  • “Though others have faults, concentrate on your own.”
  • “Express yourself: That is meaning.”
  • “Privately accumulate extraordinary knowledge and skill, but keep a plain appearance.”
  • “Passion is but a prelude to years of gradual unfolding.”
  • “Why yearn for a promised land? The true land is in the heart.”
  • “Life acquires meaning when we face the conflict between our desires and reality.”
  • “How can divination exceed imagination?”
  • “You may be capable of great things, but life consists of small things.”
  • “Immortality does not beget wisdom. Only mortality begets maturity.”
  • “Seek silence. Gladden in silence. Adore silence.”
  • “You sell what you need when you buy what you do not.”
  • “Never compromise your dignity for any reason.”
  • “Reject labels. Reject identities. Reject conformity. Reject convention. Reject definitions. Reject names.”
  • “Choose your friends and situations carefully, for they will influence you.”
  • “If you have practiced for the day, then you have won. If you were lazy for the day, then you have lost.”
  • “Every god can be defied. No choice, no devotion.”
  • “Put forth your effort with no thought of gain.”
  • “As long as the sun rises And your heart beats, Tao is at hand.”
  • “How long will it take to see Tao? Until you no longer hold self-importance.”
  • “The clearer the goal, the greater the result.”
  • “There is no language of the holy. The sacred lies in the ordinary.”
  • “Invisibility is the best advantage. But if forced to a confrontation, come out with all your skill.”
  • “A fallow field is the secret of fertility. Only live where you can grow a garden*"
  • “We make life real by the thoughts we project.”
  • “Problems cannot be resolved at once. Slowly untie knots. Divide to conquer.”
  • “Cling to Tao like a shadow. Move without a shadow.”
  • “We speak and write to explain to ourselves.”
  • “Fire feeding on fire.”
  • “A solitary crane In winter snow needs no jewels.”
  • "Those on land never understand maritime life. Those of the sea are intimate with your moods; They navigate but are ultimately helpless. Destinations become useless, drifting in the sole reality: A sailor's fears dissolve into acceptance"
  • “The mind that turns outward will have no end to craving. Only the mind turned inward will find a still-point of peace.”
  • “All that we experience is subjective. There is no sensation without interpretation. We create the world and ourselves; Only when we stop do we see the truth.”
  • “The tao requires strength and endurance. If you can avoid being discouraged by poverty, isolation, and obscurity, you will find an unshakable devotion that will last your entire life, and rewards will come in slow and subtle ways. There is a secret source of sustenance. Once you taste that, all your doubts will fade, and both poverty and loneliness will be easier to bear.”
  • “The world is dazzling, I alone am dull. Others strive for achievement, I follow a lonely path.”
  • “Followers of the Tao are nonconformists. The conventional label our behavior erratic, antisocial, irresponsible, inexplicable, outrageous, and sometimes scandalous. We hear other voices, respond to inner urgings. We have no interest in the social norm; we only care about following the Tao. It does not matter if no one can understand us. “
  • “Even on the road to hell, flowers can make you smile. They are fragile, ephemeral, uncompromising. No one can alter their nature. True, you can easily destroy them, but you will not gain anything; you cannot force them to submit to your will.”
  • “Life itself is fleeting. We should take time to appreciate beauty in the midst of temporality.”
  • “Death is the opposite of time. What dies is only our human meaning. There is still someone naked underneath. Once we understand who that someone is, death no longer bothers us. Nor does time.”
  • “Life is Beauty, Terror, Knowledge. Self-cultivation to make us a fit vehicle for the pursuit of knowledge. With learning, we glimpse life as it really is, and that is difficult to bear. There is an underbelly of terror to all life. It is suffering it is hurt. Deep within all of us are intense fears that have left few of us whole. Life's terrors haunt us, attack us, leave ugly cuts. To buffer ourselves, we dwell on beauty, we collect things, we fall in love, we desperately try to make something lasting in our lives. We take beauty as the only worthwhile thing in existence, but it cannot veil cursing, violence, randomness and injustice. Only knowledge removes this fear. If we were shown the whole truth, we could not stand it. But lovely and horrible details make us human, and when knowledge threatens to show us our follies, we may realize that we are not yet ready to leave them behind. Then the veil closes again and we sit meditating before it, trying to prepare ourselves for the moment when we dare to part the curtain completely.”
  • “Every single living thing dies alone.”
  • “Too many layers of meaning have been imposed upon sex. Religions straightjacket it, ascetics deny it, romantics glorify it, intellectuals theorized about it, obsessives pervert it. These actions have nothing to do with lovemaking. Sex should not be used as leverage, manipulation, selfishness or abuse. It should not be a ground for our personal compulsions and delusions. It is an honest reflection of our innermost personalities, and we should ensure that its expression is healthy. Making love is something mysterious, sacred, and often the most profound interaction between people. Whether what is created is a relationship or pregnancy, the legacy of both partners will be inherent in their creation. What we put into love determines what we get out of it.”
  • “We communicate through gross symbols. We call them 'objective' But we cannot escape our point of view.”
  • “We pray to them, But do they answer?”
  • “Let us not follow vulgar leaders who exploit the fear of death, and promise the bliss of salvation. If we are truly happy, they will have nothing to offer.”
  • “One side is cool (as the other side of the pillow) and foggy, the other is hot and dry. Just by choosing where you stand, You alter your destiny.”
  • “Some look fierce, but are mild. Some seem timid, but are vicious. Look beyond appearances; Position yourself for the advantage.”
  • “Don't let a thread fall without noticing it. Don't rake dry brown leaves carelessly. Think how difficult it was For something to take this existence.”
  • “Don't go out looking for good deeds to do, But if one comes your way, do not refuse. If you meet someone who is suffering, You must help them.
  • “Firmness, consistency, and patience are essential in raising a child There will undoubtedly be times when you have to correct a child to prevent mistakes and bad habits. However, when it comes to a child's curiosity, individuality, or initiative, there should never be any discouragement. In that sense, it is wrong to say no.”
  • “Imagine a sculpture You work on everyday. If you stop, the beauty Will slowly go away.”
  • “Where is his heart? Where is his soul? To call this heaven's will Is a cheap answer.”
  • “Flesh, blood, bone. Were you gone? Or were you never here in the first place? Where is the torrent? It is not gone; You've only closed to it once more.”
  • “Those who consider their path superior are condescending. A parrot who speaks of the totality of the self is absurd. Many paths lead to the summit, But it takes a whole body to get there.”
  • “Emperors uphold censorship, But extreme repression leads to extreme reaction. Individualists believe in freedom. But extreme expression leads to extreme reaction.”
  • “There are three levels of truth: Experience, reasoning, and knowing. All other assertions should be rejected.”
  • “She withdrew into herself, First writing just for one, Then touching thousands. She incarnated ghosts, hurt, and joy Into paper-and-ink stories of wonder.”
  • “Uphold precepts, but be merciful. Gradually absorb, until there is no need for law. Gain wisdom beyond right and wrong.”
  • “Animals live simple lives close to Tao. They do not need to think or reason: They never doubt themselves. When they are hungry, they eat. When they are tired, they sleep. They respond to the cycles of the day according to their intuition. They mate at the proper season, and they nurture their young according to their own understanding. When they die, they fall under the teeth of predators or the dispassionate turning of the seasons.”
  • “By contrast, we a human beings depart from the natural norm, and worry about ethical action. The follower of Tao prefers to live completely in concert with Tao, avoiding the interference of theory and excessive thought. Though one must first learn skill ad ethics thoroughly, one must come to embody them so completely that they become subconscious. One must intuitively do what is correct. There should be no foreshadowing of act, nor doubt about oneself.”
  • “Wall of flames, bridge of tears. Snowflake on newly forged links. For a marriage to last, a couple must go through great travails and hardships. It is like a process of forging steel links together. The iron must be heated to a high degree and then plunged into cold water. A marriage alternates between the heat of passion and love and the chilling times of tragedy, conflict, and adversity. An enduring marriage becomes like tempered steel. We all need support and the sense of belonging that comes from working toward goals shared with another. For such a relationship to work, there must be basic compatibility of values, outlook, and purpose. It is an inadequate cliche that husband and wife must be friends as well as lovers. Two mates can know a loyalty found in no other kind of relationship. Ultimately, all relationships are temporary. False attachment to another can become an addiction, a voluntary bondage detrimental to clear perception. We should not bind another to ourselves, should not define ourselves by our marriage, should not force another to stay with us. But if chance allows us to walk together, who is anyone to challenge our choice of walking companions? When it is time to part, then it is time to part. There should be no regrets. The beauty of marriage is like the fleeting perfection of a snowflake.”
  • “A warrior takes every person as an adversary. He sees all their vulnerable points, And trains to eliminate his own. A sage has no vulnerable points. A warrior takes everyone as a potential adversary. He assesses each person that he meets for their strengths and weaknesses, and he places himself strategically. No confrontation is ever a surprise. Protection, competition, honor, and righteousness are his principles. He is the weapon. Therefore, a warrior trains his body and mind to perfection. He knows that the average person has hundreds of point where death can enter. For himself, he seeks to eliminate as many of his own vulnerabilities as possible. The sage knows that nothing dies, that life is mere illusion: Life is but one dream following another.”
  • “Accomplish your visions. Persevere in your ambitions. Only then can you negate Visions and ambitions.”
  • “We part at the crossroads, You leave with your joys and problems, I with mine. Alone, I look down the road. Each one must walk one's own path.”
  • “You could labor ten years under a master Trying to discern whether the teachings are true. But all you might learn is this: One must live one's own life.”
  • “They say, You are god. But everyone is. They say, All is god. Then why are their differences? They say, All is an illusion. But does that include god?”
  • “When parents demand without understanding, they thwart development. Before parents blame their children, they should look first at how their daughters and sons were raised.”
  • “Even in sleep, write a poem. When waking, write a poem. While loving, write a poem. Even voting, write a poem. When angry, write a poem. While dreaming, write a poem.”
  • “Build your life brick upon brick. Live a life of truth, And you will look back on a life of truth. Live a life of fantasy, And you will look back on delusion.”
  • “Money is never more important than your body and mind, but you must work and support yourself. Never depend on others for your livelihood.”
  • “Every day, you must make decisions. Everything you do will have irrevocable effects upon your life. Before you go down any path, consider carefully. Rivers very rarely reverse course.”
  • “Sex, coffee, liquor, and cigarettes Are the totems of today. Stimulation has replaced feeling. Do you want intimacy? Have sex. Do you want to be energetic? Drink coffee. Do you want freedom from inhibitions? Drink wine. Do you want a fashionable prop? Smoke cigarettes. People have lost the knowledge of how to do these things without artificial stimulation. Energy through good health? Intimacy through sensitivity?”
  • “You hurt me years ago; My wounds bled for years. Now you are back, But I am not the same.”
  • “Those truly linked don't need correspondence. When they meet again after many years apart, Their friendship is as true as ever.”
  • “Strangely colorless, Yet intense. It grips like a tidal wave.”
  • “Mastery should not be used to bolster image. We should not allow ourselves to be categorized by what we know. It is far better to simplify ourselves and free ourselves from the limits of tightly defined identities.”
  • “Damnation is in you. So too is salvation. You are the prince of darkness. You are also the prince of light. Neither can be cast out of yourself. The valiant coping with that dichotomy is the poignancy of this existence.”
  • “What we do only has meaning in the here and now. It will not remain in the next instant. Just do what you can for the present, and leave everything else to happen naturally. Work. Wash. Meditate. Eat. Study. Urinate. Sleep. Exercise. Talk. Listen. Touch. Die each night. Be born again each morning.”
nov 8 2008 ∞
jul 8 2014 +