For The Love Of Wisdom – Joseph Campbell – Fate

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Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987) Whatever my fate is, is what I need. If you bring love to that moment, not discouragement, you will find the strength. Any detour or disarray you can learn from is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!

For The Love Of Wisdom – Karel Čapek – Communism

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Karel Čapek (January 09, 1890 – December 25, 1938) All of us have begun to feel that there is something odd and insoluble about the conflicts between world-views, generations, political principles, and whatever else divides us… Hatred, lack of knowledge, fundamental distrust, these are the psychic world of communism… I count myself among the idiots …

For The Love Of Wisdom – William Sidney Porter (O’Henry) – Writing

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William Sidney Porter (O’Henry) (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910) I'll give you the sole secret of short-story writing, and here it is: Rule 1. Write stories that please yourself. There is no rule 2. The technical points you can get from Bliss Perry. If you can't write a story that pleases yourself, you …

For The Love Of Wisdom – John Coltrane – Creativity And Jazz

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John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926–July 17, 1967) It is really easy for us [jazz musicians] to create. We are born with this feeling that just comes out no matter what conditions exist. Otherwise, how could our founding fathers have produced this music in the first place when they surely found themselves (as many of …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Hannah Arendt – Forgiveness

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Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 04, 1975) Forgiving, in other words, is the only reaction which does not merely re-act but acts anew and unexpectedly, unconditioned by the act which provoked it and therefore freeing from its consequences both the one who forgives and the one who is forgiven. The freedom contained in …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Eckhart Tolle – Spiritual Awakening

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Eckhart Tolle (February 16, 1948 -) Most humans are still, almost literally, possessed by thought. They don’t think, but thinking happens to them. The beginning of spiritual awakening is the realization that you are not the voice in your head but the one who is aware of the voice. You are the awareness behind your …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Maria Popova – Reading And Love

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Maria Popova (July 28, 1984 -) We read for countless reasons and books transform us in countless ways, reckoned and unreckoned. We read the way we love — with our whole selves, with the flickering constellation of values, longings, traumas, joys, hopes, despairs, formative experiences, and half-remembered impressions composing the self. We read with our …

David Suzuki On Concentration

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David Suzuki (March 24, 1936 -) Concentration is not to try hard to watch something. In zazen if you try to look at one spot you will be tired in about five minutes. This is not concentration. Concentration means freedom. So your effort should be directed at nothing. You should concentrate on nothing.

Brenda Ueland On Living

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Brenda Ueland (October 24, 1891 – March 5, 1985) Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated and perhaps forever talked to by God and his messengers… Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable.

Alexandra Tempus On Climate Change

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Alexandra Tempus We are now at the dawn of America’s Great Climate Migration Era. For now, it is piecemeal, and moves are often temporary. … But permanent relocations, by individuals and eventually whole communities, are increasingly becoming unavoidable.

Eckhart Tolle On The Unobserved Mind

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Eckhart Tolle (February 16, 1948 -) Many narratives, especially the repetitive ones, generate anxiety, anger, hatred, and other negative emotions. These narratives constitute what we might call the unobserved mind. This unobserved mind is responsible for most of the human-made suffering on the planet, both personal and collective.

Marvin Bell On Art

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Marvin Hartley Bell (August 3, 1937 – December 14, 2020) Much of our lives involves the word 'no.' In school we are mostly told, 'Don't do it this way. Do it that way.' But art is the big yes. In art, you get a chance to make something where there was nothing.

Valerie Andrews On The Eternal Child

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Valerie Andrews Children have a magical capacity to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unselfconsciously to the soughing of the trees.

James Baldwin On Black Writers

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James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) Given the conditions in this country to be a black writer was impossible. … My father didn't think it was possible — he thought I'd get killed, get murdered. He said I was contesting the white man's definitions, which was quite right.

Ida B Wells On Racism

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Ida Bell Wells (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931) I am only a mouthpiece through which to tell the story of lynching, and I have told it so often that I know it by heart. I do not have to embellish; it makes its own way.

Audre Lorde On Fear

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Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934–November 17, 1992) As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.

Charles M Blow On Race

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Charles M Blow (August 11, 1970 -) Black people are targeted by the criminal justice system and that is used to target them by the electoral system. Either way, if you are Black in America, you are a target.

Adam Zagajewski On Poets

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Adam Zagajewski (June 21, 1945 – March 21, 2021) Poets must have firm opinions about life and death, but not political opinions: I don’t think that tax reform legislation is any business of poets.

Archilochus On Fear And Beliefs

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Archilochus (680–645 BC) Nothing can be surprising any more or impossible or miraculous, now that Zeus, father of the Olympians has made night out of noonday, hiding the bright sunlight, and . . . fear has come upon mankind. After this, men can believe anything, expect anything...

Keith Allen Haring On Art

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Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) I don’t think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it.

Audre Lorde – Parts Of The Self

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Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) There's always someone asking you to underline one piece of yourself - whether it's Black, woman, mother, dyke, teacher, etc. - because that's the piece that they need to key in to. They want to dismiss everything else.

Emile Zola On Passion

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Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (April 02, 1840 – September 29, 1902) I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul.

Anton Chekhov On The Holy

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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (January 29, 1860 – July 15, 1904) My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love and the most absolute freedom imaginable, freedom from violence and lies, no matter what form the latter two take.

EE Cummings On Love

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EE Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962) …love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness; the truth more first than sun more last than star…

Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz On Historical Writing

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Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz (June 16, 1915 – December 5, 1990) Some people think that the professional historian's personal commitments — to his people, his country, his religion, his language — undermine his professional objectivity. Not so. Not so, as long as historians respect the integrity of their sources and adhere strictly to the principles of …

Theodor Seuss Geisel On NonSense

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Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.

Mo Yan On Reading

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Guan Moye (February 17, 1955) pen name Mo Yan For a writer, the best way to speak is by writing. You will find everything I need to say in my works. Speech is carried off by the wind; the written word can never be obliterated.

Mary Ruefle On Love

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Mary Ruefle (1952 -) We are all one question, and the best answer seems to be love — a connection between things. This arcane bit of knowledge is respoken every day into the ears of readers of great books, and also appears to perpetually slip under a carpet, utterly forgotten.

Elizabeth Gilbert On Grief

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Elizabeth Gilbert (July 18, 1969 -) Grief is a force of energy that cannot be controlled or predicted. Grief does not obey your plans, or your wishes. Grief will do whatever it wants to you, whenever it wants to. In that regard, Grief has a lot in common with Love.

John Wood Campbell Jr. On God

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John Wood Campbell Jr (June 8, 1910 – July 11, 1971) If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which has been shown!

Barbara Lee On Staying Woke

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Barbara Lee (July 16, 1946 -) But we will only succeed if we reject the growing pressure to retreat into cynicism and hopelessness. … We have a moral obligation to "stay woke," take a stand and be active; challenging injustices and racism in our communities and fighting hatred and discrimination wherever it rises.

Joseph Brodsky On Individualism

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Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky (May 24, 1940 – January 28, 1996) The surest defense against evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even eccentricity. Evil is a sucker for solidarity. It always goes for big numbers, for confident granite, for ideological purity, for drilled armies and balance sheets.

Jack London On Acceptance

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John Griffith (Jack) London (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916) It was my pride that I was taken in as an equal, in spirit as well as in fact. From then on, everything was beautiful, and the voyage promised to be a happy one.

Olivia Laing On Art

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Olivia Laing Art is one of the prime ways we have of opening ourselves and going beyond ourselves. That’s what art is, it’s the product of the human being in the world and imagination, all coming together. The irrepressibility of the life in the works, regardless of the times, the histories, the life stories, it’s …

WS Merwin On Poetry

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William Stanley Merwin (September 30, 1927 – March 15, 2019) When a poem is really finished, you can’t change anything. You can’t move words around. You can’t say, ‘In other words, you mean.’ No, that’s not it. There are no other words in which you mean it. This is it.

Jane Hirshfield On Poetry

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Jane Hirshfield (February 24, 1953 -) I don’t think poetry is based just on poetry; it is based on a thoroughly lived life. And so I couldn’t just decide I was going to write no matter what; I first had to find out what it means to live.

Lulu Miller On Chaos

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Louisa Elizabeth Miller Lulu Miller Picture the person you love the most. Picture them sitting on the couch, eating cereal, ranting about something totally charming, like how it bothers them when people sign their emails with a single initial instead of taking those four extra keystrokes to just finish the job — Chaos will get …

Stephen William Hawking On Mankind

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Stephen William Hawking (January 08, 1942 – March 14, 2018) For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen.

Benjamin Franklin On Death

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) ...I believe I shall, in some shape or another, always exist; and, with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, I shall not object to a new edition of mine; hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected.

Jeannette Napolitano On Fear

Jeannette Napolitano I don’t want to look back in five years’ time and think, ‘We could have been magnificent, but I was afraid.’ In five years, I want to tell of how fear tried to cheat me out of the best thing in life, and I didn’t let it.

Alan Watts On Egos

Alan Watts (January 06, 1915 – November 16, 1973) This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. …

Keith Allen Haring On Art

Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) The excellence of every Art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeables evaporate, from their being in close relationship with Beauty and Truth.

Nathaniel Hawthorne On Literature

Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) The only sensible ends of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of one's family and friends; and, lastly, the solid cash.

Naguib Mahdouz On Death

Naguib Mahfouz (December 11, 1911 – August 30, 2006) She told him what had kept her away was Death. But he rejected that excuse—for Death, he said, can never come between lovers.

Neil Simon On Life And Pain

Marvin Neil Simon (July 4, 1927 – August 26, 2018) If you can go through life without ever experiencing pain, you probably haven't been born yet. And if you've gone through pain and think you know exactly why, you haven't examined all the options.

Hannah Arendt On Fearlessness

Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 04, 1975) Fearlessness is what love seeks. Such fearlessness exists only in the complete calm that can no longer be shaken by events expected of the future… Hence the only valid tense is the present, the Now.

Steve Jobs On Death

Steve Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in …

MC Richards On Wisdom

MC Richards (July 13, 1916–September 10, 1999) Wisdom is a state of the total being, in which capacities for knowledge and for love, for survival and for death, for imagination, inspiration, intuition, for all the fabulous functioning of this human being who we are, come into a center with their forces, come into an experience …

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov On Life

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (April 22, 1899 – July 02, 1977) I don’t fish, cook, dance, endorse books, sign declarations, eat oysters, get drunk, go to analysis, or take part in any demonstrations. I’m a mild old gentleman, very kind.

Søren Kierkegaard On Love

Fotografi efter blyantstegning udført ca. 1840 af N. C. Kierkegaard Søren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813–November 11, 1855) When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the world — no matter how imperfect — becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love.

WS Merwin On Poetry

William Stanley Merwin (September 30, 1927 – March 15, 2019) I think a poem begins out of what you don’t know, and you begin not by having a good idea but by hearing something in the language.

Martin L King On Laws

Martin L King (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) There are two types of laws: there are just laws and there are unjust laws… What is the difference between the two?…An unjust law is a man-made code that is out of harmony with the moral law.

Viktor Frankl On Being Human

Viktor Frankl (March 26, 1905–September 2, 1997) Everything depends on the individual human being, regardless of how small a number of like-minded people there is, and everything depends on each person, through action and not mere words, creatively making the meaning of life a reality in his or her own being.

May Sarton On Poetry

May Sarton (May 3, 1912 – July 16, 1995) If I were in solitary confinement, I'd never write another novel, and probably not keep a journal, but I'd write poetry, because poems, you see, are between God and me.

John Muir On The Earth

John Muir (April 21, 1838–December 24, 1914) Earth hath no sorrows that earth cannot heal, or heaven cannot heal, for the earth as seen in the clean wilds of the mountains is about as divine as anything the heart of man can conceive!

Barack Obama On Hope And Joy

Barack Obama (August 04 1961 -) I think whether you’re talking about art or politics or just getting up in the morning and trying to live your life, it’s useful to be able to seek out that joy where you can find it and operate on the basis of hope rather than despair.

Primo Levi On Monsters

Primo Levi (July 31, 1919–April 11, 1987) Monsters exist, but they are too few in numbers to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are [those] ready to believe and act without asking questions.

Keith Allen Haring On Art

Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) That was the whole intention of the art: to affect and enter the culture by understanding and reflecting it; to contribute to and broaden the concept of art and the artist as much as possible.

Alan Watts On Time

Alan Wilson Watts (January 06, 1915 – November 16, 1973) Time is an artificial concept… Our concept of time is the hairline second hand of a watch. We believe that the hairline is now. The now is eternal. Time is the eternal now. It is not a journey. It is NOW!

Sylvia Plath On Self Doubt

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

Oliver Sacks On Bearing Witness

Oliver Sacks (July 09, 1933 - August 30, 2015) I would like it to be thought that I had listened carefully to what patients and others have told me, that I’ve tried to imagine what it was like for them, and that I tried to convey this. And, to use a biblical term, bear witness.

Nizar Qabbani On Love

Nizar Tawfiq Qabbani(March 21, 1923 – April 30, 1998) Don’t love deeply, till you make sure that the other part loves you with the same depth, because the depth of your love today, is the depth of your wound tomorrow.

Walt Whitman On Nature

Walt Whitman(May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on — have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear — what remains? Nature remains.

Alan Watts On Trouble

Alan Wilson Watts (January 06, 1915 – November 16, 1973) We create trouble by doing good for other people. We wage wars for people's benefit and educate the poor for their benefit so they desire more things which they can't afford.

Octavio Paz On Solitude

Octavio Paz (March 31, 1914–April 19, 1998) All of us, at some moment, have had a vision of our existence as something unique, untransferable and very precious. This revelation almost always takes place during adolescence. Self-discovery is above all the realization that we are alone: it is the opening of an impalpable, transparent wall — …

Martha Nussbaum On Anger

Martha Nussbaum (May 06, 1047 -) All too often, anger becomes an alluring substitute for grieving, promising agency and control when one’s real situation does not offer control… Anger is often well-grounded, but it is too easy for it to hijack the necessary mourning process.

Marilynne Robinson On Sundays

Marilynne Summers Robinson (November 26, 1943 -) Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life. All it needs from you is that you take care not to trample on it.

Eric Carle On Seeing

Eric Carle (June 25, 1929 -) We have eyes, and we're looking at stuff all the time, all day long. And I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important.

Barbara Kingsolver On Writers

Barbara Kingsolver (April 8, 1955 -) What a writer can do, what a fiction writer or a poet or an essay writer can do, is re-engage people with their own humanity. Fiction and essays can create empathy for the theoretical stranger.

Franz Kafka On Letter Writing

Franz Kafka (July 03, 1883 – June 03, 1924) Letter writing is an intercourse with ghosts, not only with the ghost of the receiver, but with one's own, which emerges between the lines of the letter being written. … Written kisses never reach their destination, but are drunk en route by these ghosts.

Bertrand Russell On Fanaticism

Bertrand Russell (May 18, 1872–February 2, 1970) Fanaticism is the danger of the world. It always has been and has done untold harm. I think fanaticism is the greatest danger there is. I might almost say that I was fanatical against fanaticism.

Albert Einstein On Intuition

Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955) There is no logical way to the discovery of elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.

Gabriel García Márquez On Memory

Gabriel García Márquez (March 06, 1927 – April 17, 2014) Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. Opening Line From One Hundred Years of Solitude

Lewis Thomas On Healing

Lewis Thomas (November 25, 1913–December 3,1993) The great secret of doctors, known only to their wives, but still hidden from the public, is that most things get better by themselves; most things, in fact, are better in the morning.

Alan Watts On Religion

Alan Wilson Watts (January 06, 1915 – November 16, 1973) All religious beliefs are obstacles to our own transcendence as every form of belief is an attempt to cling… Religious beliefs are merely fantasies designed to prevent our own mortality. The highest religion is non-religion.

John Berryman On Being A Writer

John Berryman (October 25, 1914 – January 7, 1972) I would recommend the cultivation of extreme indifference to both praise and blame because praise will lead you to vanity, and blame will lead you to self-pity, and both are bad for writers.

Kay Ryan On Poetry

Kay Ryan (September 21, 1945 -) Poems should leave you feeling freer and not more burdened. I like to think of all good poetry as providing more oxygen into the atmosphere; it just makes it easier to breathe.

Maeve Binchy On Love

Maeve Binchy Snell (28 May 1939[1] – 30 July 2012) We're nothing if we're not loved. When you meet somebody who is more important to you than yourself, that has to be the most important thing in life, really. And I think we are all striving for it in different ways.

George Orwell On Liberty

George Orwell (June 25, 1903 – January 21, 1950) What is sinister is that the conscious enemies of liberty are those to whom liberty ought to mean most. They do not see that any attack on intellectual liberty, and on the concept of objective truth, threatens in the long run every department of thought.

Frank Lloyd Wright On Houses

Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.

Hermann Hesse On Death

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Hermann Hesse (July 02, 1877 – August 09, 1962) When artists create pictures and thinkers search for laws and formulate thoughts, it is in order to salvage something from the great dance of death, to make something that lasts longer than we do.

Virginia Woolf On The Thing Itself

Virginia Woolf (January 25, 1882 – March 28, 1941) Behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern… the whole world is a work of art… there is no Shakespeare… no Beethoven… no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.

Helen Fisher On Love As Addiction

Helen Fisher (May 31, 1945 -) If the love object breaks off the relationship, the lover experiences signs of drug withdrawal, including protest, crying spells, lethargy, anxiety, insomnia or hyper-somnia, loss of appetite or binge eating, irritability, and loneliness. Lovers, like addicts, also often go to extremes, sometimes doing degrading or physically dangerous things to …