„If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.“

Source: Letters to a Young Poet

Last update June 3, 2021. History
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Rainer Maria Rilke175
Austrian poet and writer 1875 - 1926

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„The small become the great, the great the small;
The right thing happens to the happy man.“

—  Theodore Roethke, book The Far Field

"The Right Thing," ll. 7-9
The Far Field (1964)
Context: God bless the roots! — Body and soul are one!
The small become the great, the great the small;
The right thing happens to the happy man.

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„Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.“

—  Frank Lloyd Wright American architect (1867-1959) 1867 - 1959

As quoted in The Wright Style (1992) by Carla Lind, p. 3

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„It's not a big thing, but I guess it's true--big things are often just small things that are noticed.“

—  Markus Zusak Australian author 1975

Variant: Big things are often just little things that people notice.
Source: I Am the Messenger

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„If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968

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„Einstein has a feeling for the central order of things. He can detect it in the simplicity of natural laws.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli Austrian physicist, Nobel prize winner 1900 - 1958

Statements after the Solvay Conference of 1927, as quoted in Physics and Beyond (1971) http://www.edge.org/conversation/science-and-religion by Werner Heisenberg
Context: At the dawn of religion, all the knowledge of a particular community fitted into a spiritual framework, based largely on religious values and ideas. The spiritual framework itself had to be within the grasp of the simplest member of the community, even if its parables and images conveyed no more than the vaguest hint as to their underlying values and ideas. But if he himself is to live by these values, the average man has to be convinced that the spiritual framework embraces the entire wisdom of his society. For "believing" does not to him mean "taking for granted," but rather "trusting in the guidance" of accepted values. That is why society is in such danger whenever fresh knowledge threatens to explode the old spiritual forms. The complete separation of knowledge and faith can at best be an emergency measure, afford some temporary relief. In western culture, for instance, we may well reach the point in the not too distant future where the parables and images of the old religions will have lost their persuasive force even for the average person; when that happens, I am afraid that all the old ethics will collapse like a house of cards and that unimaginable horrors will be perpetrated. In brief, I cannot really endorse Planck's philosophy, even if it is logically valid and even though I respect the human attitudes to which it gives rise.
Einstein's conception is closer to mine. His God is somehow involved in the immutable laws of nature. Einstein has a feeling for the central order of things. He can detect it in the simplicity of natural laws. We may take it that he felt this simplicity very strongly and directly during his discovery of the theory of relativity. Admittedly, this is a far cry from the contents of religion. I don't believe Einstein is tied to any religious tradition, and I rather think the idea of a personal God is entirely foreign to him. But as far as he is concerned there is no split between science and religion: the central order is part of the subjective as well as the objective realm, and this strikes me as being a far better starting point.

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„Humility is the luxurious art of reducing ourselves to a point, not to a small thing or a large one, but to a thing with no size at all, so that to it all the cosmic things are what they really are — of immeasurable stature.“

—  G. K. Chesterton, book The Defendant

"A Defence of Humilities"
The Defendant (1901)
Context: Humility is the luxurious art of reducing ourselves to a point, not to a small thing or a large one, but to a thing with no size at all, so that to it all the cosmic things are what they really are — of immeasurable stature. That the trees are high and the grasses short is a mere accident of our own foot-rules and our own stature. But to the spirit which has stripped off for a moment its own idle temporal standards the grass is an everlasting forest, with dragons for denizens; the stones of the road are as incredible mountains piled one upon the other; the dandelions are like gigantic bonfires illuminating the lands around; and the heath-bells on their stalks are like planets hung in heaven each higher than the other.

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