„We cannot tear a single page from our life, but we can throw the whole book into the fire.“

—  George Sand, Mauprat, ch. 11 (1837); Matilda M. Hays (trans.) Mauprat (London: E. Churton, 1847) p. 121
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George Sand38
French novelist and memoirist; pseudonym of Lucile Aurore... 1804 - 1876
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„The whole sense of the book might be summed up the following words: what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein Austrian-British philosopher 1889 - 1951
Original German: Man könnte den ganzen Sinn des Buches etwa in die Worte fassen: Was sich überhaupt sagen lässt, lässt sich klar sagen; und wovon man nicht reden kann, darüber muss man schweigen. Introduction

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„In mathematics we can take our inner distance from the content of our statements. In the final analysis mathematics is a mental game that we can play or not play as we choose. Religion, on the other hand, deals with ourselves, with our life and death; its promises are meant to govern our actions and thus, at least indirectly, our very existence. We cannot just look at them impassively from the outside. Moreover, our attitude to religious questions cannot be separated from our attitude to society.“

—  Niels Bohr Danish physicist 1885 - 1962
Context: In mathematics we can take our inner distance from the content of our statements. In the final analysis mathematics is a mental game that we can play or not play as we choose. Religion, on the other hand, deals with ourselves, with our life and death; its promises are meant to govern our actions and thus, at least indirectly, our very existence. We cannot just look at them impassively from the outside. Moreover, our attitude to religious questions cannot be separated from our attitude to society. Even if religion arose as the spiritual structure of a particular human society, it is arguable whether it has remained the strongest social molding force through history, or whether society, once formed, develops new spiritual structures and adapts them to its particular level of knowledge. Nowadays, the individual seems to be able to choose the spiritual framework of his thoughts and actions quite freely, and this freedom reflects the fact that the boundaries between the various cultures and societies are beginning to become more fluid. But even when an individual tries to attain the greatest possible degree of independence, he will still be swayed by the existing spiritual structures — consciously or unconsciously. For he, too, must be able to speak of life and death and the human condition to other members of the society in which he's chosen to live; he must educate his children according to the norms of that society, fit into its life. Epistemological sophistries cannot possibly help him attain these ends. Here, too, the relationship between critical thought about the spiritual content of a given religion and action based on the deliberate acceptance of that content is complementary. And such acceptance, if consciously arrived at, fills the individual with strength of purpose, helps him to overcome doubts and, if he has to suffer, provides him with the kind of solace that only a sense of being sheltered under an all-embracing roof can grant. In that sense, religion helps to make social life more harmonious; its most important task is to remind us, in the language of pictures and parables, of the wider framework within which our life is set.

James Allen photo

„Love and grief our hearts dividing,
With our tears His feet we bathe;
Constant still, in faith abiding,
Life deriving from His death.“

—  James Allen British philosophical writer 1864 - 1912
As reported in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 371

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„If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace
Context: If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind. Peace Is Every Step : The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life (1992) Bantam reissue

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Мустафа Кемаль Ататюрк photo

„We do not consider our principles as dogmas contained in books that are said to come from heaven. We derive our inspiration, not from heaven, or from an unseen world, but directly from life.“

—  Мустафа Кемаль Ататюрк Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and the first President of Turkey 1881 - 1938
Statement (1 November 1937), as quoted in Atatürk: The Biography of the founder of Modern Turkey (2002) by Andrew Mango

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 Voltaire photo

„It is with books as with the fire in our hearths; we go to a neighbor to get the embers and light it when we return home, pass it on to others, and it belongs to everyone“

—  Voltaire French writer, historian, and philosopher 1694 - 1778
Context: Thus, almost everything is imitation. The idea of The Persian Letters was taken from The Turkish Spy. Boiardo imitated Pulci, Ariosto imitated Boiardo. The most original minds borrowed from one another. Miguel de Cervantes makes his Don Quixote a fool; but pray is Orlando any other? It would puzzle one to decide whether knight errantry has been made more ridiculous by the grotesque painting of Cervantes, than by the luxuriant imagination of Ariosto. Metastasio has taken the greatest part of his operas from our French tragedies. Several English writers have copied us without saying one word of the matter. It is with books as with the fire in our hearths; we go to a neighbor to get the embers and light it when we return home, pass it on to others, and it belongs to everyone "Lettre XII: sur M. Pope et quelques autres poètes fameux," Lettres philosophiques (1756 edition) Variants: He looked on everything as imitation. The most original writers, he said, borrowed one from another. Boyardo has imitated Pulci, and Ariofio Boyardo. The instruction we find in books is like fire; we fetch it from our neighbour, kindle it as home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all. Historical and Critical Memoirs of the Life and Writings of M. de Voltaire (1786) by Louis Mayeul Chaudon, p. 348 What we find in books is like the fire in our hearths. We fetch it from our neighbors, we kindle it at home, we communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all. As translated in Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists (2008), by James Geary, p. 373

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