„As bees gather honey, so we collect what is sweetest out of all things and build Him. Even with the trivial, with the insignificant (as long as it is done out of love) we begin, with work and with the repose that comes afterward, with a silence or with a small solitary joy, with everything that we do alone, without anyone to join or help us, we start Him whom we will not live to see, just as our ancestors could not live to see us. And yet they, who passed away long ago, still exist in us, as predisposition, as burden upon our fate, as murmuring blood, and as gesture that rises up from the depths of time. Is there anything that can deprive you of the hope that in this way you will someday exist in Him, who is the farthest, the outermost limit?“

Letter Six (23 December 1903)
Letters to a Young Poet (1934)

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
Rainer Maria Rilke photo
Rainer Maria Rilke175
Austrian poet and writer 1875 - 1926

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„So, all of us think there are a thousand things we could have done, a thousand things we could have done, and we have to do, because Aaron Swartz is now an icon, an ideal. He is what we will be fighting for, all of us, for the rest of our lives. … Every time you saw Aaron, he was surrounded by five or 10 different people who loved and respected and worked with him. He was depressed because he was increasingly recognizing that the idealism he brought to this fight maybe wasn’t enough.“

—  Lawrence Lessig American academic, political activist. 1961

Statement after the suicide of Aaron Swartz, in "An Incredible Soul": Larry Lessig Remembers Aaron Swartz After Cyberactivist’s Suicide Before Trial; Parents Blame Prosecutor" at Democracy NOW! (14 January 2013) http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/14/an_incredible_soul_lawrence_lessig_remembers
Context: I received an email from JSTOR four days before Aaron died, from the president of JSTOR, announcing, celebrating that JSTOR was going to release all of these journal articles to anybody around the world who wanted access — exactly what Aaron was fighting for. And I didn’t have time to send it to Aaron; I was on — I was traveling. But I looked forward to seeing him again — I had just seen him the week before — and celebrating that this is what had happened. So, all of us think there are a thousand things we could have done, a thousand things we could have done, and we have to do, because Aaron Swartz is now an icon, an ideal. He is what we will be fighting for, all of us, for the rest of our lives. … Every time you saw Aaron, he was surrounded by five or 10 different people who loved and respected and worked with him. He was depressed because he was increasingly recognizing that the idealism he brought to this fight maybe wasn’t enough. When he saw all of his wealth gone, and he recognized his parents were going to have to mortgage their house so he could afford a lawyer to fight a government that treated him as if he were a 9/11 terrorist, as if what he was doing was threatening the infrastructure of the United States, when he saw that and he recognized how — how incredibly difficult that fight was going to be, of course he was depressed.
Now, you know, I’m not a psychiatrist. I don’t know whether there was something wrong with him because of — you know, beyond the rational reason he had to be depressed, but I don’t — I don’t — I don’t have patience for people who want to say, "Oh, this was just a crazy person; this was just a person with a psychological problem who killed himself." No. This was somebody — this was somebody who was pushed to the edge by what I think of as a kind of bullying by our government. A bullying by our government.

Michelle Obama photo

„It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us. The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.“

—  Michelle Obama lawyer, writer, wife of Barack Obama and former First Lady of the United States 1964

2010s, Farewell Speech (2017)
Context: When you encounter obstacles — because I guarantee you, you will, and many of you already have — when you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago, something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives, and that is the power of hope — the belief that something better is always possible if you're willing to work for it and fight for it.
It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us. The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.

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„We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.“

—  Grant Morrison writer 1960

Source: Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

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„For a time we wondered why our real father didn't come and rescue us, but we had long since accepted our fate by the time we finally met him.“

—  Clarence Thomas Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 1948

Page 12
2000s, (2008)

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„Death is not an easy thing for anyone to understand, least of all a child, but every life shall one day end. But as long as we are alive, as long as we are together, as long as two of us are left, and remember him, nothing in the world can take him from us. His body can be taken, but not him.“

—  William Saroyan, book The Human Comedy

The Human Comedy (1943)
Context: Death is not an easy thing for anyone to understand, least of all a child, but every life shall one day end. But as long as we are alive, as long as we are together, as long as two of us are left, and remember him, nothing in the world can take him from us. His body can be taken, but not him. You shall know your father better as you grow and know yourself better. He is not dead, because you are alive. Time and accident, illness and weariness took his body, but already you have given it back to him, younger and more eager than ever. I don't expect you to understand anything I'm telling you. But I know you will remember this — that nothing good ever ends. If it did, there would be no people in the world — no life at all, anywhere. And the world is full of people and full of wonderful life.

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„Life is short, even for those who live a long time, and we must live for the few who know and appreciate us, who judge and absolve us, and for whom we have the same affection and indulgence.“

—  Sarah Bernhardt French actress 1844 - 1923

Source: My Double Life (1907), Ch. 33 <!-- p. 369 -->
Context: Life is short, even for those who live a long time, and we must live for the few who know and appreciate us, who judge and absolve us, and for whom we have the same affection and indulgence. The rest I look upon as a mere crowd, lively or sad, loyal or corrupt, from whom there is nothing to be expected but fleeting emotions, either pleasant or unpleasant, which leave no trace behind them. We ought to hate very rarely, as it is too fatiguing; remain indifferent to a great deal, forgive often and never forget.

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„If we must love God, and love him more than ourselves and our neighbor, it is because love exists before us and because we are issued from it; we love by virtue of our very existence.“

—  Frithjof Schuon Swiss philosopher 1907 - 1998

[2005, Stations of Wisdom, World Wisdom, 94, 978-0-94153218-1]
God, Reverential fear and love

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„There is nothing left to us but to see how we may be approved of Him, and how we may roll the weight of our weak souls in well-doing upon Him, who is God omnipotent.“

—  Samuel Rutherford Scottish Reformed theologian 1600 - 1661

Source: Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), P. 274.

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„But there is good and reason in us, in human beings, with whom fortune plays, and we can be stronger than nature and fate, if only for a few hours. And we can draw close to one another in times of need, understand and love one another, and live to comfort each other. And sometimes, when the black depths are silent, we can do even more. We can then be gods for moments, stretch out a commanding hand and create things which were not there before and which, when they are created, continue to live without us.“

—  Hermann Hesse, book Gertrud

Source: Gertrude (1910), p. 236
Context: It was no different with my own life, and with Gertrude's and that of many others. Fate was not kind, life was capricious and terrible, and there was no good or reason in nature. But there is good and reason in us, in human beings, with whom fortune plays, and we can be stronger than nature and fate, if only for a few hours. And we can draw close to one another in times of need, understand and love one another, and live to comfort each other. And sometimes, when the black depths are silent, we can do even more. We can then be gods for moments, stretch out a commanding hand and create things which were not there before and which, when they are created, continue to live without us. Out of sounds, words, and other frail and worthless things, we can construct playthings — songs and poems full of meaning, consolation and goodness, more beautiful and enduring than the grim sport of fortune and destiny. We can keep the spirit of God in our hearts and, at times, when we are full of Him, He can appear in our eyes and our words, and also talk to others who do no know or do not wish to know Him. We cannot evade life's course, but we can school ourselves to be superior to fortune and also to look unflinchingly upon the most painful things.

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