Not So Random Entries, Commonplace Moleskine/8

by Mark Chmiel

51.  Neal looks older, Jewish, very serious and on powerful integrity drive.
–Allen Ginsberg, letter to Jack Kerouac

151.  In the beginner’s mind there is no thought, “I have attained something.” All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner’s mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless. Dogen-zenji, the founder of our school, always emphasized how important it is to resume our boundless original mind. Then we are always true to ourselves, in sympathy with all beings, and can actually practice.
–Suzuki Roshi, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

251.  No one is new to me. All are always familial.
–Sri Anandamayi Ma, quoted in Swami Mangalananda, A Goddess among Us

351. [The entirety of I. L. Peretz’s]  work was characterized by a dialectical tension between the romantic and rational impulses of his character, between cosmopolitan, worldly yearnings and practical Jewish concerns, between personal erotic desire and public accountability. These struggles are not always resolved in the stories, even in those that appear to be most pointed and straightforward.
–Ruth Wisse, editor, I. L. Peretz Reader

451.  In the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant declares that the exercise of virtue must be practiced with Stoic energy and Epicurean joie de vivre.
–Pierre Hadot, The Present Alone Is Our Happiness

551.  Even as Jerusalem was burning, Rabbi Bohanan ben Zaikai was already building the glorious universe of the Talmud, which I believe to be the greatest literary masterpiece of all time.
–Elie Wiesel, Against Silence

651.  This, reader, is an honest book.  It warns you at the outset that my sole purpose in writing it has been a private and domestic one.  I have had no thought of serving you or my own fame; such a plan would be beyond my powers.  I have intended it solely for the pleasure of my relatives and friends so that, when they have lost me — which they soon must — they may recover some features of my character and disposition, and thus keep the memory they have of me more completely and vividly alive.
–Montaigne, Essays

751. “Thank you, uncle,” said Dorothea, in a clear, unwavering tone. “I am very grateful to Mr. Casaubon. If he makes me an offer, I shall accept him. I admire and honor him more than any man I ever saw.”
–George Eliot, Middlemarch

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