Over at The Goat Rope, a friend of mine regularly gets his bloggy inspiration from literature and philosophy. His last round on the Analects of Kong Fu Tzu got me really excited, so I’ve decided to cherry-pick from some of my own favorites. Please ruminate, and possibly also enjoy.

“The little prince was now white with rage. ‘The flowers have been growing thorns for millions of years. For millions of years the sheep have eating them just the same. And is it not a matter of consequence to try to understand why the flowers go to so much trouble to grow thorns which are never of any use to them? Is the warfare between the sheep and the flowers not important? Is this not of more consequence than some fat red-faced gentleman’s sums? And if I know–I, myself–one flower which is unique in the world, which grows nowhere but on my planet, but which one little sheep can destroy in a single bite some morning, without even noticing what he is doing–Oh! You think that is not important!’ His face turned from white to red as he continued: ‘If some one loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself: ‘Somewhere, my flower is there…’ But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened…And you think that is not important!'”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery, from The Little Prince

“Mistaking the false for the true
And the true for the false,
You overlook the heart
And fill yourself with desire.

See the false as false,
The true as true.
Look into your heart.
Follow your nature.

An unreflecting mind is a poor roof.
Passion, like the rain, floods the house.
But if the roof is strong, there is shelter.”
-The Buddha, from the Dhammapada

“If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.”
-The Tao Te Ching

“From the point of view of time, we say ‘impermanence,’ and from the point of view of space, we say ‘nonself.'”
-Thich Nhat Hanh, from The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching

“‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’ ‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’ ‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said”
-A. A. Milne, from Winnie-the-Pooh

“Life is…perplexity, continual and essential perplexity.”
Jose Ortega y Gasset, from Some Lessons in Metaphysics

“The Zen assignment is to be human [natural, spontaneous, mindful, nonsuffering]. Sitting is the homework.”
-Jeff Ruff, Buddhism class

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