You live by what you thrill to, and there's the end of it.
I cannot cure myself of that most woeful of youth's follies -- thinking that those who care about us will care for the things that mean much to us.
Loud peace propaganda makes war seem imminent.
I do esteem individual liberty above everything.
I do esteem individual liberty above everything. What is a nation for, but to secure the maximum liberty to every individual?
I'll do my life work, sticking up for the love between man and woman.
Hate's a growing thing like anything else. It's the inevitable outcome of forcing ideas onto life, of forcing one's deepest instincts; our deepest feelings we force according to certain ideas.
Don't you find it a beautiful clean thought, a world empty of people, just uninterrupted grass, and a hare sitting up?
Life is a travelling to the edge of knowledge, then a leap taken.
I have a very great fear of love. It is so personal. Let each bird fly with its own wings, and each fish swim its own course. -- Morning brings more than love. And I want to be true to the morning.
Whatever life may be, and whatever horror men have made of it, the world is a lovely place, a magic place, something to marvel over. The world is an amazing place.
A snake came to my water trough
On a hot, hot day, and
I in pajamas for the heat,
To drink there.
Whatever men you take, keep the idea of man intact: let your soul wait whether your body does or not.
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.
Where the electron behaves and misbehaves as it will, where the forces tie themselves up into knots of atoms and come united.
Sex and a cocktail: they both lasted about as long, had the same effect, and amounted to about the same thing.
They lived freely among the students, they argued with the men over philosophical, sociological and artistic matters, they were just as good as the men themselves: only better, since they were women.
My wife has a beastly habit of comparing poetry -- all literature in fact -- to the droppings of the goats among the rocks -- mere excreta that fertilises the ground it falls on.
Europe's the mayonnaise all right, but America supplies the good old lobster.
Any inhibition must be wrong, since inevitably in the end it causes neurosis and insanity.
We have buried so much of the delicate magic of life.
When I went to the scientific doctor
I realised what a lust there was in him to wreak his so-called science on me
and reduce me to the level of a thing.
So I said: Good-morning! and left him.
Where is the source of all money-sickness, and the origin of all sex-perversion?.... It lies in the heart of man, and not in the conditions.
The true unconscious is the well-head, the fountain of real motivity. The sex of which Adam and Eve became conscious derived fromthe very God who bade them be not conscious of it.
The weakness of modern tragedyis that transgression against the social code is made to bring destruction, as though the social code worked our irrevocable fate.
The trees down the boulevard stand naked in thought,
Their abundant summery wordage silenced, caught
In the grim undertow; naked the trees confront
Implacable winter's long, cross-questioning brunt.
It is a fine thing to establish one's own religion in one's heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.
The human soul needs actual beauty more than bread.
All that we know is nothing, we are merely crammed wastepaper baskets, unless we are in touch with that which laughs at all our knowing.
The fairest thing in nature, a flower, still has its roots in earth and manure.
The world is wonderful and beautiful and good beyond one's wildest imagination.
She let him come further, his lips came and surging, surging, soft, oh soft, yet on, like the powerful surge of water, irresistible, till with a little blind cry, she broke away.
You have to have something vicious in you to be a creative writer -- something old-adamish, incompatible to the "ordinary world."
There is only one thing that a man really wants to do, all his life; and that is, to find his way to his God, his Morning Star, salute his fellow man, and enjoy the woman who has come the long way with him.
The business of art is to reveal the relation between man and his environment.
I wonder which was more frightened among old tribes -- those bursting out of their darkness of woods upon all the space of light, or those from the open tiptoeing into the forests.
I will wait and watch till the day of David at last shall be finished, and wisdom no more fox-faced, and the blood gets back its flame.
I like Australia less and less. The hateful newness, the democratic conceit, every man a little pope of perfection.
Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me! A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.
The acrid scents of autumn, Reminiscent of slinking beasts, make me fear.
I'd be ashamed to see a woman walking around with my name-label on her, address and railway station, like a wardrobe trunk.
What a frail, easily hurt, rather pathetic thing a human body is, naked; somehow a little unfinished, incomplete!
The whole point about the true unconscious is that it is all the time moving forward, beyond the range of its own fixed laws or habits. It is no good trying to superimpose an ideal nature upon the unconscious.
Comes over one an absolute necessity to move. And what is more, to move in some particular direction. A double necessity then: to get on the move, and to know whither.
If only we could live two lives: the first in which to make one's mistakes, and the second in which to profit by them.
An artist is only an ordinary man with a greater potentiality.
Imitate the magnificent trees that speak no word of their rapture, but only breathe largely the luminous breeze.
Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.
I believe that a man is converted when first he hears the low, vast murmur of life, of human life, troubling his hitherto unconscious self.
Love is never a fulfillment. Life is never a thing of continuous bliss. There is no paradise. Fight and laugh and feel bitter and feel bliss: and fight again. Fight, fight. That is life.
I can never decide whether my dreams are the result of my thoughts, or my thoughts the result of my dreams.
You don't want to love -- your eternal and abnormal craving is to be loved. You aren't positive, you're negative. You absorb, absorb, as if you must fill yourself up with love, because you've got a shortage somewhere.
When love enters, the whole spiritual constitution of a man changes, is filled with the Holy Ghost, and almost his form is altered.
I like to write when I feel spiteful; it's like having a good sneeze.
Sometimes life takes hold of one, carries the body along, accomplishes one's history, and yet is not real, but leaves oneself as it were slurred over.
A museum is not a first-hand contact: it is an illustrated lecture. And what one wants is the actual vital touch.
Yea, Paris is a festive ton -- a festive Ton for all! Skate o'er on joy -- Thin crust of gilded, polished joy! What matters it if Hell's beneath?
Censors are dead men set up to judge between life and death. For no live, sunny man would be a censor, he'd just laugh.
Gods die with men who have conceived them. But the god-stuff roars eternally, like the sea, with too vast a sound to be heard.
There are three cures for ennui: sleep, drink and travel.
It's hard to ravish a tin of sardines.
The essential function of art is moral. But a passionate, implicit morality, not didactic. A morality which changes the blood, rather than the mind.
Far back, far back in our dark soul the horse prances.
The sense of wonder, that is our sixth sense.
How beautiful maleness is, if it finds its right expression.
Sing then the core of dark and absolute oblivion where the soul at last is lost in utter peace.
Now man cannot live without some vision of himself. But still less can he live with a vision that is not true to his inner experience and inner feeling.
There are vast realms of consciousness still undreamed of -vast ranges of experience, like humming of unseen harps, we know nothing of, within us.
When we really want to go for something better, we shall smash the old. Until then, any sort of proposal, or making proposals, is no more than a tiresome game for self-important people.
Don't talk to me any more about poetry for months -- unless it is other men's work. I really love verse, even rubbish. But I'm fearfully busy at a novel, and brush all the gossamer of verse off my face.
If I were the moon, I know where I would fall down.
Along the avenue of cypresses,
All in their scarlet cloaks and surplices
Of linen, go the chanting choristers,
The priests in gold and black, the villagers..
The word arse is as much god as the word face. It must be so, otherwise you cut off your god at the waist.
Why doesn't the past decently bury itself, instead of sitting waiting to be admired by the present?
Primarily I am a passionately religious man, and my novels must be written from the depth of my religious experience.
California is a queer place in a way, it has turned its back on the world, and looks into the void Pacific. It is absolutely selfish, very empty, but not false, and at least, not full of false effort.
Mystic equality lies in abstraction, not in having or in doing, which are processes. In function and process, one man, one part, must of necessity be subordinate to another. It is a condition of being.
You don't want to be an animal, you want to observe your own animal functions, so as to get a mental thrill out of them. It is allpurely secondary -- and more decadent than the most hide-bound intellectualism.
When love turns into dust, money becomes the substitution.
It is only when men lose their contact with this eternal life-flame, and become merely personal, things in themselves, instead ofthings kindled in the flame, that the fight between man and woman begins.
Marriage is the clue to human life, but there is no marriage apart from the wheeling sun and the nodding earth, from the strayingof the planets and the magnificence of the fixed stars.
The soul is a very perfect judge of her own motions, if your mind doesn't dictate to her.
Sunday night meant, in the dark, wintry, rainy Midlands ... anywhere where two creatures might stand and squeeze together and spoon.... Spooning was a fine art, whereas kissing and cuddling are calf-processes.
Only in a novel are all things given full play.
I can't do with mountains at close quarters -- they are always in the way, and they are so stupid, never moving and never doing anything but obtrude themselves.
Death is ... a travelling asunder into elemental chaos. And from the elemental chaos all is cast forth again into creation. Therefore death also is but a cul-de-sac, a melting-pot.
One doesn't know, till one is a bit at odds with the world, how much one's friends who believe in one rather generously, mean to one.
Water is H2O, hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing, that makes it water and nobody knows what that is.
When passion is dead, or absent, then the magnificent throb of beauty is incomprehensible and even a little despicable.
I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets.
The profoundest of all sensualities is the sense of truth and the next deepest sensual experience is the sense of justice.
There is nothing to save, now all is lost, but a tiny core of stillness in the heart like the eye of a violet.
If I take my whole, passionate, spiritual and physical love to the woman who in return loves me, that is how I serve God. And my hymn and my game of joy is my work.
You don't learn algebra with your blessed soul. Can't you look at it with your clear simple wits?
When along the pavement, Palpitating flames of life, People flicker around me, I forget my bereavement, The gap in the great constellation, The place where a star used to be.
The novel is the one bright book of life. Books are not life. They are only tremulations on the ether. But the novel as a tremulation can make the whole man alive tremble.
Try to find your deepest issue in every confusion, and abide by that.
People always make war when they say they love peace.
Patience! Patience! The world is a vast and ghastly intricacy of mechanism, and one has to be very wary, not to get mangled by it.
The human consciousness is really homogeneous. There is no complete forgetting, even in death.
The Sphinx-riddle. Solve it, or be torn to bits, is the decree.
Those that go searching for love, only manifest their own loveless ness. And the loveless never find love, only the loving find love. And they never have to seek for it.
The Christian fear of the pagan outlook has damaged the whole consciousness of man.
Having achieved and accomplished love, then the man passes into the unknown. He has become himself, his tale is told.
One should stick by one's soul, and by nothing else. In one's soul, one knows the truth from the untruth, and life from death. And if one betrays one's own soul-knowledge one is the worst of traitors.
Never set a child afloat on the flat sea of life with only one sail to catch the wind.
Once you abstract from this, once you generalize and postulate Universals, you have departed from the creative reality, and entered the realm of static fixity, mechanism, materialism.
The flood subsides, and the body, like a worn sea-shell
emerges strange and lovely.
You'll never succeed in idealizing hard work. Before you can dig mother earth you've got to take off your ideal jacket. The harder a man works, at brute labor, the thinner becomes his idealism, the darker his mind.
Creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag, to sleep;
And disgustingly upside down.
Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags
And grinning in their sleep.
It is not woman who claims the highest in man. It is a man's own religious soul that drives him on beyond women, to his supreme activity. For his highest, man is responsible to God alone.
One must learn to love, and go through a good deal of suffering to get to it... and the journey is always towards the other soul.
And this is the final meaning of work: the extension of human consciousness. The lesser meaning of work is the achieving of self-preservation.
The English people on the whole are surely the nicest people in the world, and everybody makes everything so easy for everyone else, that there is almost nothing to resist at all.
I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world that I have ever had.
Anatomy presupposes a corpse; psychology presupposes a world of corpses.
I think societal instinct much deeper than sex instinct -- and societal repression much more devastating.
The deadly Hydra now is the hydra of Equality. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity is the three-fanged serpent.
For, of course, being a girl, one's whole dignity and meaning in life consisted in the achievement of an absolute, a perfect, a pure and noble freedom. What else did a girl's life mean?
In the end, for congenial sympathy, for poetry, for work, for original feeling and expression, for perfect companionship with one's friends -- give me the country.
One could laugh at the world better if it didn't mix tender kindliness with its brutality.
There's lots of good fish in the sea...maybe...but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you're not mackerel or herring yourself, you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea.
The true self is not aware that it is a self. A bird, as it sings, sings itself. But not according to a picture. It has no idea of itself.
Their whole life depends on spending money, and now they've got none to spend. That's our civilization and our education: bring up the masses to depend entirely on spending money, and then the money gives out.
The pyramids of Egypt will not last a moment compared to the daisy.
I want the wonder back again, or I shall die.
Why is a door-knob deader than anything else?
A young man is afraid of his demon and puts his hand over the demon's mouth sometimes and speaks for him. And the things the young man says are very rarely poetry.
Nothing that comes from the deep, passional soul is bad, or can be bad.
You will not easily get a man to believe that his carnal love for the woman he has made his wife is as high a love as that he feltfor his mother or sister.
We are so conceited and so unproud.
I believe the nearest I've come to perfect love was with a young coal-miner when I was about 16.
Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose.
If you believe in your own sex, and won't have it done dirt to: they'll down you. It's the one insane taboo left: sex as a naturaland vital thing.
It grew late. Through the open door, stealthily, came the scent of madonna lilies, almost as if it were prowling abroad.
And woman is the same as horses: two wills act in opposition inside her. With one will she wants to subject herself utterly. With the other she wants to bolt, and pitch her rider to perdition.
The only history is a mere question of one's struggle inside oneself. But that is the joy of it. One need neither discover Americas nor conquer nations, and yet one has as great a work as Columbus or Alexander, to do.
One can no longer live with people: it is too hideous and nauseating. Owners and owned, they are like the two sides of a ghastly disease.
And what's romance? Usually, a nice little tale where you have everything As You Like It, where rain never wets your jacket and gnats never bite your nose and it's always daisy-time.
Eat and carouse with Bacchus, or munch dry bread with Jesus, but don't sit down without one of the gods.
If we lose our sanity ... We can but howl the lugubrious howl of idiots, the howl of the utterly lost howling their nowhereness.
The near touch of death may be a release into life; if only it will break the egoistic will, and release that other flow.
So, after three days of incessant brandy-drinking, he had burned out the youth from his blood, he had achieved this kindled state of oneness with all the world, which is the end of youth's most passionate desire.
The true artist doesn't substitute immorality for morality. On the contrary, he always substitutes a finer morality for a grosser one.
Tragedy looks to me like man in love with his own defeat.
Which is only a sloppy way of being in love with yourself.
And every true artist is the salvation of every other. But only artists produce for each other the world that is fit to live in.
The living self has one purpose only: to come into its own fullness of being, as a tree comes into full blossom, or a bird into spring beauty, or a tiger into lustre.
Art is a form of supremely delicate awareness and atonement -- meaning atoneness, the state of being at one with the object.
Every civilization when it loses its inner vision and its cleaner energy, falls into a new sort of sordidness, more vast and more stupendous than the old savage sort. An Augean stable of metallic filth.
Most fatal, most hateful of all things is bullying.... Sensual bullying of course is fairly easily detected. What is more dangerous is ideal bullying. Bullying people into what is ideally good for them.
God doesn't know things. He is things.
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance.
The only rule is, do what you really, impulsively, wish to do. But always act on your own responsibility, sincerely. And have the courage of your own strong emotion.
The world of men is dreaming, it has gone mad in its sleep, and a snake is strangling it, but it can't wake up.
I can't bear art that you can walk round and admire. A book should be either a bandit or a rebel or a man in the crowd.
To the Puritan all things are impure, as somebody says.
The world is a raving idiot, and no man can kill it: though I'll do my best. But you're right. We must rescue ourselves as best we can.
Morality in the novel is the trembling instability of the balance. When the novelist puts his thumb in the scale, to pull down the balance to his own predilection, that is immorality.
Sentimentalism is the working off on yourself of feelings you haven't really got.
For how can a man stand, unless he have something sure under his feet. Can a man tread the unstable water all his life, and call that standing? Better give in and drown at once.
Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of the critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.
God how I hate new countries: They are older than the old, more sophisticated, much more conceited, only young in a certain puerile vanity more like senility than anything.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego ... things will happen to us so that we don't know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.
Nothing but love has made the dog lose his wild freedom, to become the servant of man.
One realm we have never conquered: the pure present.
All vital truth contains the memory of all that for which it is not true.
Ours is an excessively conscious age. We know so much, we feel so little.
Give up bearing children and bear hope and love and devotion to those already born.
Don't be sucked in by the su-superior, don't swallow the culture bait, don't drink, don't drink and get beerier and beerier, do learn to discriminate.
We have to hate our immediate predecessors to get free of their authority.
Thought is a man in his wholeness, wholly attending.
Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.
A man must keep his earnestness nimble, to escape ridicule.
And to my lips' Bright crimson rim The passion slips, And down my slim White body drips The shining hymn.
How I hate the attitude of ordinary people to life. How I loathe ordinariness! How from my soul I abhor nice simple people, with their eternal price list. It makes my blood boil.
They say geniuses mostly have great mothers. They mostly have sad fates.
God is only a great imaginative experience.
You feel free in Australia. There is great relief in the atmosphere -- a relief from tension, from pressure, an absence of control of will or form. The Skies open above you and the areas open around you.
I would like the working man to give me back books and newspapers and theories. And I would like to give him back, in return, his old insouciance, and rich, original spontaneity and fullness of life.
There's always the hyena of morality at the garden gate, and the real wolf at the end of the street.
The journey of love has been rather a lacerating, if well-worth-it, journey.
Tragedy is like strong acid it dissolves away all but the very gold of truth.
The war is dreadful. It is the business of the artist to follow it home to the heart of the individual fighters -- not to talk in armies and nations and numbers -- but to track it home.
In the dust where we have buried the silent races and their abominations we have buried so much of the delicate magic of life.
Sex is the root of which intuition is the foliage and beauty is the flower.
Sex and beauty are inseparable, like life and consciousness. And the intelligence which goes with sex and beauty, and arises out of sex and beauty, is intuition.
Love is the hastening gravitation of spirit towards spirit, and body towards body, in the joy of creation.
No form of love is wrong, so long as it is love.
Whether I get on in the world is a question; but I certainly don't get on very well with the world.
Obscenity only comes in when the mind despises and fears the body, and the body hates and resists the mind.
Necessary, forever necessary, to burn out false shames and smelt the heaviest ore of the body into purity.
Men and women should stay apart, till their hearts grow gentle towards one another again.
Now it is autumn and the falling fruit
and the long journey towards oblivion.
The apples falling like great drops of dew
to bruise themselves an exit from themselves.
Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.
Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.
If a novel reveals true and vivid relationships, it is a moral work, no matter what the relationships consist in. If the novelisthonours the relationship in itself, it will be a great novel.
Isn't it god's own image? tramping his thirty miles a day
after partridges, or a little rubber ball?
wouldn't you like to be like that, well off, and quite the thing?
When one jumps over the edge, one is bound to land somewhere.
I hate the actor and audience business. An author should be in among the crowd, kicking their shins or cheering them on to some mischief or merriment.
Who knows the power that Saturn has over us, or Venus? But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time.
Sometimes a high moon, liquid-brilliant, scudded across a hollow space and took cover under electric, brown-iridescent cloud-edges.
Only the flow matters; live and let live, love and let love. There is no point in love.
That's it! When you come to know men, that's how they are: too sensitive in the wrong place.
I shall always be a priest of love.
Brave people add up to an aristocracy. The democracy of thou-shalt-not is bound to be a collection of weak men.
Away with all ideals. Let each individual act spontaneously from the forever incalculable prompting of the creative wellhead within him. There is no universal law.
I prefer unlucky things. Luck is vulgar. Who wants what luck would bring? I don't.
Never was an age more sentimental, more devoid of real feeling, more exaggerated in false feeling, than our own.
I cannot get any sense of an enemy -- only of a disaster.
It always seemed to me that men wore their beards, like they wear their neckties, for show.
The great living experience for every man is his adventure into the woman. The man embraces in the woman all that is not himself, and from that one resultant, from that embrace, comes every new action.
The nearer a conception comes towards finality, the nearer does the dynamic relation, out of which this concept has arisen, draw to a close. To know is to lose.
There's nothing wrong with sexual feelings in themselves, so long as they are straightforward and not sneaking or sly. The right sort of sex stimulus is invaluable to human daily life. Without it the world grows grey.
Do come back and draw the ferrets, they are the most lovely noble darlings in the world.
I've never seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself.
The only justice is to follow the sincere intuition of the soul, angry or gentle. Anger is just, and pity is just, but judgement is never just.
This is the very worst wickedness, that we refuse to acknowledge the passionate evil that is in us. This makes us secret and rotten.
Whatever God there is is slowly eliminating the guts and alimentary system from the human being, to evolve a higher, more spiritual being.
We don't exist unless we are deeply and sensually in touch with that which can be touched but not known.
Sex is the one thing you cannot really swindle; and it is the centre of the worst swindling of all, emotional swindling.... Sex lashes out against counterfeit emotion, and is ruthless, devastating against false love.
When man has nothing but his will to assert -- even his good-will -- it is always bullying. Bolshevism is one sort of bullying, capitalism another: and liberty is a change of chains.
I can only see death and more death, till we are black and swollen with death.
The grim frost is at hand, when apples will fall thick, almost thunderous, on the hardened earth.
Beauty is a mystery. You can neither eat it nor make flannel out of it.
Now in November nearer comes the sun down the abandoned heaven.
I never know when I sit down, just what I am going to write. I make no plan; it just comes, and I don't know where it comes from.
The Italians are not passionate: passion has deep reserves. They are easily moved, and often affectionate, but they rarely have any abiding passion of any sort.
Sleep is a hint of lovely oblivion.
For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.
But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.
You're spending your life without renewing it. You've got to be amused, properly healthily amused. You're spending your vitality without making any. Can't go on you know. Depression! Avoid depression!
The mind can assert anything and pretend it has proved it. My beliefs I test on my body, on my intuitional consciousness, and when I get a response there, then I accept.
Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe. The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass.
In America the cohesion was a matter of choice and will. But in Europe it was organic.