Jimmy Winokur


Ideas and  Quotations


The Mind, Emotions, Human Nature

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Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein



Of mixed mind...


Whatever we feel strongly about, we feel emotions about it which would -- by simple rules of ordinary logic -- be flat-out contradictory. We love what we hate, vice versa, and so on. The stronger the feelings, the greater the inherent tendency toward ambivalence. Emotional health may be said to consist of resolving the inherent conflict so that the ambivalence is comfortably embraced, as where it is a source of inspiration, and perhaps strength of the balance of the ambivalence moves substantially away from a 50-50 split between conflicted emotions.

"The Principle of Ambivalence," Jimmy Winokur & Homer Olsen (1970s)




It is one of the great troubles of life that we cannot have any unmixed emotions.  There is always something in our enemy that we like, and something in our sweetheart that we dislike.

William Butler Yeats


The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold
two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time,
and still retain the ability to function.

F. Scott Fitzgerald



Yin and yang, male and female, strong and weak, rigid and tender,  heaven and earth, light and darkness, thunder and lightning, cold and warmth,  good and evil...the interplay of opposite principles constitutes the universe.



You yourself are participating
in the evil, or you are not alive. 
Whatever you do is evil for somebody.  This is one of the ironies of the whole creation.

Joseph Campbell.


One gets glimpses,
even in our country,
of that which is ageless --
heavy thought in the face of an infant,
and frolic childhood in that of a very old man.

C. S. Lewis


If my devils are to leave me, 
I am afraid that my angels will take flight as well.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1907)





New territory...




Nothing endures but change.



No one, but no one, ever -- not ever -- moves into new territory easily.
Homer Olsen, paraphrased.
One may not reach the dawn
save by the path of the night.
Kahlil Gibran




There comes a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. 
Anais Nin

Even in our sleep,
pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God.

quoted by Robert F.  Kennedy 
in Spring, 1968, 
on the occasion of 
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s  assassination , 
and referring back to his brother', J
FK's assassination 5 years earlier.
Within a few months, 
Bobby himself was assassinated 
upon winning the  California 
Democratic Presidential primary.



The only way around is through.

Robert Frost










You wish to see?  Listen; hearing is a step toward vision.

Manfred Eicher (founder and producer, ECM Records)



Wisdom is the reward you get for a  lifetime of listening  when you'd have preferred  to  talk

Doug Larson



As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain. and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

 Albert Einstein


There is something in every one of you that waits and listens
for the sound of the genuine in yourself. 
It is the only true guide you will ever have. 
And if you cannot hear it,
you will all of your life spend your days
 on the ends of  strings that somebody else pulls.

Howard Thurman


If you expect someone else to guide you, you'll be lost.

James Earl Jones


Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

Albert Einstein


If they give you lined paper, write the other way...

Juan Ramon Jimenez


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; 
the  unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. 
John Archibald Wheeler , American J. of Physics 1978



Wisdom is not communicable.  The real wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish. 
Knowledge cannot be communicated, but not wisdom.  One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.

Hermann Hesse
(This is one of several quotations on these pages drawn from the collections of my dear friend Michael Maggio who, like me, must take a mixed view of Hesse's observation here since he too is an avid collector of quotations that convey wisdom, among other things. One of Maggio's wonderful collections is: Quotations for a Man's Soul (1998).)


The collective unconsciousness seems to be not a person, but something like an unceasing stream or perhaps ocean of images and figures, which drift into consciousness in our dreams or in abnormal states of mind. I understood that there is something in me which can say things that I do not know and do not intend, things which may even be directed against me.

Carl Jung



To confront a man with his own shadow is to show him his own light.

Carl Jung


Knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men;
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.

William Cowper, 1785

You can never step in the same river twice.


Life is what happens when you are making other plans.

John Lennon
(shortly before he was murdered)


The more intelligence one has the more people one finds original. 
Commonplace people see no difference between men.

Blaise Pascal, 1669


A widely-read man never quotes accurately, for the rather obvious reason that he has read too widely.

Hesketh Pearson, Common Misquotations (1934)






On the desk before which I sit lies a sheet of paper.  If I have in mind to make some notes on the paper for my 
manuscript, I see the paper in terms of its whiteness; has it already been scribbled upon?  If my intention is to 
fold it into a toy plane for my grandson, I see the paper in its sturdiness.  Or if my intention is to draw a picture 
on it, I see the rough, course grained texture of the paper inviting my pencil and promising to make my lines 
bore interesting.
….  Such is the amazingly intimate interrelation of my subjective experience with what goes on in the objective world:  
I cannot perceive something until I can conceive of it. Professor Donald Snygg has reminded us of that memorable
 event when the people in a primitive society were unable to see Captain Cook’s ship when it sailed into their harbor 
because they had no word, no symbol, for such a ship.  
                               What they did perceive I do not know – 
possibly a cloud or an animal; but at least it was something they did have a symbol for….  
The word “conceive” is used in our society to mean to become pregnant, and the analogy is not inappropriate.  
For the act of perceiving also requires the capacity to bring something in one’s self; if one cannot, or for some 
reason is not ready, to bring to birth in himself some position, some stance toward what he is seeing, he 
cannot perceive it.  
Rollo May, Love and Will (1969)

The pleasure a man gets from a landscape would [not] last long if he were convinced a priori that the forms and colors he sees are just forms and colors, that all structures in which they play a role are purely subjective and have no relation whatsoever to any meaningful order or totality, that they simply and necessarily express nothing....No walk through the landscape is necessary any longer; and thus the very concept of landscape as experienced by a pedestrian becomes meaningless and arbitrary.  Landscape deteriorates altogether into landscaping.

Max Horkheimer, The Eclipse of Reason (1947)  via Doug Linder


We know what it is to get out of bed on a freezing morning in a room without a fire, and 
how the very vital principle within us protests against the idea.  Probably most persons 
have lain certain mornings for an hour at a time unable to brace themselves to the resolve.  
We think how late we shall be, how the duties of the day [on Harvard's psychology faculty] 
will suffer; we say, “I must get up, this is ignominious,” and so on.  But still the warm couch 
feels too delicious, and the cold outside too cruel, and resolution faints away and 
postpones itself again and again just as it seemed on the verge of the decisive act.  
Now how do we ever get up under such circumstances?  If I may generalize from my own 
experience, we more often than not get up without any struggle or decision at all.  We 
suddenly find that we have got up.  A fortunate lapse of consciousness occurs, we forget 
both the warmth and the cold; we fall into some reverie connected with the day’s life, 
in the course of which the idea flashes across us, “Hollo! I must lie here no longer” – 
an idea which at that lucky instant awakes no contradictory or paralyzing suggestions, and consequently 
produces immediately its appropriate motor effects.  It was our acute consciousness of both the warmth 
and the cold during the period of struggle which paralyzed our activity….
This case seems to me to contain in miniature form the data for an entire psychology of volition.
William James, Principles of Psychology (1890)



Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together;
and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will,
we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.

William James


The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happiness if a form of courage

Holbrook Jackson


As I've gotten older, I find I am able to be nourished more by sorrow and to distinguish it from depression.

Robert Bly

The soul needs actually more rest than the body and it could be that our restless soul is at the basis of all of our physical ills.

quoted by Eleanor Futscher



You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.

Franz Kafka


It's never too late to become what you might have been.
Georg Eliott (thanks to Lisa Gilford)

Accept the fact that you are accepted, despite the fact that you are unacceptable.

Paul Tillich, defining “Grace”, in his Shaking the Foundations

The Western Idea of practice is to acquire a skill.  It is very much related to your work ethic, 
which enjoins us to endure struggle or boredom now in return for future rewards.  The Eastern idea 
of practice, on the other hand, is to create the person, or  rather to actualize or reveal the complete 
person who is already there….  Not only is practice necessary to art, it is art.

Stephen Nachmanovitch, in Free Play (1990)


There comes a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. 
Anais Nin



A really intelligent man feels what other men only know.
Baron de Montesquieu, 1736

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing….    
But, then, so is a lot.   
Albert. Einstein

Many people would sooner die than think.  In fact they do.

Bertrand Russell


Most people are other people.  Their thoughts are someone else's opinions,
their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

Oscar Wilde
I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like 
a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble 
or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Isaac Newton


A bore is a person who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.
Gian Gravina


It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

A good listener is a good talker with a sore throat.

Katherine Whitehorn


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who are we to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so other people won't feel insecure around you..... And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others!           

Nelson Mandela



Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises?  
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer:
Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.                                                                    

Henry David Thoreau


These next 2 passages  on the Balanced Life were also encountered on Doug Linder's site



This at least seems to me the main problem for philosophers....How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it?  How can this world give us at once the fascination of a strange town and the comfort and honour of being our own town?....We need this life of practical romance; the combination of something that is strange with something that is secure.  We need to view the world as to combine an idea of wonder and an idea of welcome.  We need to be happy in this wonderland without being once merely comfortable. 

G. K. Chesterton 


Healthy personality involves a balance between receptivity and manipulation, between wonder and action....The unity of the authentic life is plural; its wisdom lies in understanding the necessity for the changing moments and seasons of life....Wisdom comes, usually with age, when a man can look back over his years and realize that there is an economy to the seasons of life.  He see that the times of strife, suffering, and waiting which seemed so difficult to endure were as necessary to the formation of personality as the times of love, joy, and ecstasy.  To love and accept the self as it is, is to accept all the moments that formed it. 

Sam Keen, Apology for Wonder (1969)



It is possible that the contemplation of cruelty will not make us humane but cruel;
that the reiteration of the badness of our spiritual condition will make us consent to it.

Lionel Trilling


Time is what prevents everything from happening at once. 
Lately it doesn't seem to be working....
Albert von Szent-Gyorgy
Barack might be thinking this right about now, 5/09 : 

from punditkitchen.com 



The Ku tribe have a tradition that a convicted murderer will be bound
and thrown into the lake to drown.   The victim's family have two choices -
they can either swim out to save him, or they can let him drown.
If they let him drown, they will have their vengeance, but their grief
will haunt them the rest of their lives. If they swim out to save him, their grief
will be easier for they will have found out that the world is inherently unjust.
Vengeance is a lazy form of grief.

The Drowning Man Ritual, a mythical custom, per
"Sylvia Broome" (played by Nicole Kidman) in The Interpreter (2005), 
written by  Charles Randolph, Scott Frank & Steven Zaillian



"What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world."
Albert Einstein, remarking to his assistant, Ernst Straus 


      Icarus  (see my:" Parts of a Spiritual Journey")


       ....  Meanwhile Daedalus, hating Crete, and his long exile, and filled with a desire to stand on his native soil, was imprisoned by the waves. ‘He may thwart our escape by land or sea’ he said ‘but the sky is surely open to us: we will go that way: Minos rules everything but he does not rule the heavens’. So saying he applied his thought to new invention and altered the natural order of things. He laid down lines of feathers, beginning with the smallest, following the shorter with longer ones, so that you might think they had grown like that, on a slant. In that way, long ago, the rustic pan-pipes were graduated, with lengthening reeds. Then he fastened them together with thread at the middle, and bees’-wax at the base, and, when he had arranged them, he flexed each one into a gentle curve, so that they imitated real bird’s wings. His son, Icarus, stood next to him, and, not realising that he was handling things that would endanger him, caught laughingly at the down that blew in the passing breeze, and softened the yellow bees’-wax with his thumb, and, in his play, hindered his father’s marvellous work.

        When he had put the last touches to what he had begun, the artificer balanced his own body between the two wings and hovered in the moving air. He instructed the boy as well, saying Let me warn you, Icarus, to take the middle way, in case the moisture weighs down your wings, if you fly too low, or if you go too high, the sun scorches them. Travel between the extremes. And I order you not to aim towards Bootes, the Herdsman, or Helice, the Great Bear, or towards the drawn sword of Orion: take the course I show you!’ At the same time as he laid down the rules of flight, he fitted the newly created wings on the boy’s shoulders. While he worked and issued his warnings the ageing man’s cheeks were wet with tears: the father’s hands trembled.

        He gave a never to be repeated kiss to his son, and lifting upwards on his wings, flew ahead, anxious for his companion, like a bird, leading her fledglings out of a nest above, into the empty air. He urged the boy to follow, and showed him the dangerous art of flying, moving his own wings, and then looking back at his son. Some angler catching fish with a quivering rod, or a shepherd leaning on his crook, or a ploughman resting on the handles of his plough, saw them, perhaps, and stood there amazed, believing them to be gods able to travel the sky.

        And now Samos, sacred to Juno, lay ahead to the left (Delos and Paros were behind them), Lebinthos, and Calymne, rich in honey, to the right, when the boy began to delight in his daring flight, and abandoning his guide, drawn by desire for the heavens, soared higher. His nearness to the devouring sun softened the fragrant wax that held the wings: and the wax melted: he flailed with bare arms, but losing his oar-like wings, could not ride the air. Even as his mouth was crying his father’s name, it vanished into the dark blue sea, the Icarian Sea, called after him. The unhappy father, now no longer a father, shouted ‘Icarus, Icarus where are you? Which way should I be looking, to see you?’ ‘Icarus’ he called again. Then he caught sight of the feathers on the waves, and cursed his inventions. He laid the body to rest, in a tomb, and the island was named Icaria after his buried child.


The Myth of  Daedalus and Icarus
Bk VIII:183-235



Food for the mind is like food for the body: the inputs are never the same as the outputs.  
Marshall McLuhan

The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well.

Alfred Adler



There is also in us the maverick, the darling stubborn one who won't listen, who insists, who chooses preference or the spirited guess over yardsticks or even history.  I suspect this maverick is somewhat what the soul is, or at least that the soul lives close by.

Mary Oliver, Long Life and Other Essays.


I never have found the perfect quote. At best I have been able to find a string of quotations which merely circle the ineffable idea I seek to express.

Caldwell O'Keefe




Ways to Rethink Fear

Frances Moore Lappe and Jeffrey Perkins

Fear means danger.  Something's wrong.
I must seek safety.

  Fear is pure energy.  It's a signal
that  could mean stop or could mean go.

If I stop what I'm doing, I'll be lost. 
I'll never start again

  Sometimes we have to stop in order to find our path.

I have to figure it all out before I can do anything

  We don't have to believe we can do it. 
Showing up, even with fear, has power.

If I act on what I believe, conflict will break out. 
I'll be humiliated and ineffective

  Conflict means engagement.  Something is in motion. 
It is an opening, not a closing.

Our greatest fears are our worst enemies;
they hold us back.

  Our worst fears are our greatest teachers.
If I'm really myself, I'll be excluded and alone forever.
  To find real connection, we must risk disconnection. 
Our courage draws others toward us.
I'm just a drop in the bucket. 
My effort might make me feel better, but it won't help.
  Every time we act, even with fear,
we help others to do the same.  Courage is contagious.



The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
Chinese Proverb

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they 
were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language.     Don't search for the answers, 
which could not be given to you now, because you  would not be able to live them. And the point is, 
to live everything. Live the questions  now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, 
without even noticing it, live your  way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke, From Letters to a Young Poet (thanks to Bik)


The sacred demands the violation of what is normally the object of terrified respect.
Georges Battaille

Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn from one's enemies.
Leon Trotsky

When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it's bottomless, 
that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how 
much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space. Your world seems less solid, more 
roomy and spacious. The burden lightens. In the beginning it might feel like sadness or a shaky feeling, 
accompanied by a lot of fear, but your willingness to feel the fear, to make fear your companion, is 
growing. You're willing to get to know yourself at this deep level. After a while this same feeling begins 
to turn into a longing to raze all the walls, a longing to be fully human and to live in your world without 
always having to shut down and close off when certain things come along. It begins to turn into a longing 
to be there for your friends when they're in trouble, to be of real help to this poor, aching planet. Curiously 
enough, along with this longing and this sadness and this tenderness, there's an immense sense of well-being,
unconditional well-being, which doesn't have anything to do with pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad, hope 
or fear, disgrace or fame. It's something that simply comes to you when  you feel that you can keep your 
heart open.

Pema Chodrun, Start Where You Are,1994 (thanks to Bik)



Ideas that enter the mind under fire remain there securely and for ever.  
Leon Trotsky


Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance

Bruce Barton


Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.

Reinhold Niebuhr

"What a curious phenomenon it is that you can get men to die for liberty of the world, who will not make the little sacrifice that is needed to free themselves from their own individual bondage..."

Bruce Barton


Is teann gach madra gearr i ndoras a thi fein :
Every terrier (little dog) is brave in its own doorway.

Irish Proverb  (thanks to Mari)








You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

Eric Hoffer

It is a terrible, inexorable law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own:
in the face of one's victim, one sees oneself.

James Baldwin


The  Hierarchy Of Human Needs:  

1.    Safety     (to-day’s food, clothing, shelter )
2.    Security    (future physical requirements under control)
3.    Self / Other esteem
4.    To love and be loved
5.    Self-actualization      ( living your role )
6.    Need to ‘KNOW’    ( vs. fear of knowing )
7.    Realization of universal harmony, balance and order and participation therein.

Abraham Maslow