Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Mark Twain

(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

1835 – 1910 CE

Riverboat captain, adventurer, bankrupted businessman, inventor, and America’s most famous author; Mark Twain, with his wit, wisdom, insight, and humor influenced and continues to positively influence the world. A strong supporter of women's, religious, racial, and labor rights; he wrote scathing indictments on war, patriotic, and religious bigotry and published new work in 3 different centuries. Though disliked by his wife Livy, his book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ranks among history’s all time best. Ernest Hemingway said, ”All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.”

Eras

Unlisted Sources

Clara Clemens, My Husband Gabrilowitsch

Europe and Elsewhere

Huckleberry Finn, 1984

Letters from the Earth, 1905-1909

New York Sun, 1906

Notebook

The Damned Human Race

Quotes by Mark Twain (64 quotes)

“‘Well, everybody does it that way, Huck.’ ‘Tom, I am not everybody.’”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

Themes: Pluralism

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“‘And what does it amount to?’ said Satan, with his evil chuckle. ‘Nothing at all. You gain nothing… Who gets a profit out of it? Nobody but a parcel of usurping little monarchs and nobilities who despise you… whom you slave for, fight for, die for… it is the foundation upon which all civilizations have been built.’”

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

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“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform… Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.”

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

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“A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows.”

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

Themes: Religion Belief

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“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Chapters: 80. A Golden Age

Themes: Old Age

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“Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessaries.”

Chapters: 60. Less is More

Themes: Civilization

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“Each place has its own advantages - heaven for the climate, and hell for the society.”

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

Themes: Travel

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“Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

Themes: Education

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“Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.”

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

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“Everybody lies...every day, every hour, awake, asleep, in his dreams, in his joy, in his mourning. If he keeps his tongue still his hands, his feet, his eyes, his attitude will convey deception.”

Chapters: 49. No Set Mind

Themes: Deception Lies Dream

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“Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.”

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

Themes: Fame

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“Familiarity breeds contempt and children.”

Chapters: 17. True Leaders

Themes: Family

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“for business reasons, I must preserve the outward signs of sanity.”

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

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“Good judgment is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgment.”

Chapters: 47. Effortless Success

Themes: Karma

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“How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it.”

Chapters: 36. The Small, Dark Light

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“Human pride is not worthwhile; there is always something lying in wait to take the wind out of it.”

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

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“I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.”

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

Themes: Wealth

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“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

Chapters: 50. Claws and Swords

Themes: Death and Dying

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“I do not wish any reward but to know I have done the right thing.”

Chapters: 77. Stringing a Bow

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“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Education

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“I wish I could make him understand that a loving good heart is riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty.”

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

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“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Religion Belief

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“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.”

Chapters: 61. Lying Low

Themes: Deception

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“It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream--a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought--a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!”

Chapters: 13. Honor and Disgrace

Themes: Dream

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“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

Chapters: 20. Unconventional Mind

Themes: Lies

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“It's not what you don't know that kills you, it's what you know for sure that ain't true.”

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

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“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Chapters: 63. Easy as Hard

Themes: Kindness

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“Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation…”

Chapters: 56. One with the Dust

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“Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.”

Chapters: 21. Following Empty Heart

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“Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War… He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.”

Chapters: 31. Victory Funeral

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“Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.”

Chapters: 19. All Methods Become Obstacles

Themes: Christianity

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“Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”

Chapters: 20. Unconventional Mind

Themes: Truth

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“Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.”

Chapters: 30. No War

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“Now he found out a new thing - namely, that to promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.”

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

Themes: Desire Strategy

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“One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a women is, until after considerable acquaintance with her.”

Chapters: 12. This Over That

Themes: Beauty

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“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”

Chapters: 75. Greed

Themes: Change

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“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.”

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

Themes: Religion

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“The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn't indicate or promise, and which the other kind of eye couldn't detect.”

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

Themes: Illusion

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“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.”

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

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“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”

Chapters: 39. Oneness

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“The history of our race, and each individual’s experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.”

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

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“The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.”

Chapters: 75. Greed

Themes: Paradox

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“There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one--on the part of the instigator of the war… Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked… and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”

Chapters: 69. No Enemy

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“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Chapters: 49. No Set Mind

Themes: Projection

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“To do good is noble. To tell others to do good is even nobler and much less trouble.”

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

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“what is success without failure? what is a win without a loss? what is health without illness? you have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. there is always going to be suffering. it’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.”

Chapters: 2. The Wordless Teachings

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“When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.”

Chapters: 37. Nameless Simplicity
70. Inscrutable

Themes: Truth

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“When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory — must follow it, cannot help but follow it.”

Chapters: 8. Like Water

Themes: Karma Victory

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“Worrying is like paying a debt you don't owe.”

Chapters: 63. Easy as Hard

Themes: One Taste

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“You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?”

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

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“You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your 'friends.”

Chapters: 35. The Power of Goodness

Themes: Friendship Memory

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“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

Chapters: 47. Effortless Success

Themes: Mistakes

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“The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”

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“It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.”

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“Our most valuable and instructive materials in the history of man are all treasured up in India… In Hinduism we have the attitude and spirit that can make it possible for the human race to grow together into a single family.”

Themes: Hinduism

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“The chance reading of a book or of a paragraph in a newspaper, can start a man on a new track and make him renounce his old associations and seek new ones that are in sympathy with his new ideal; and the result for that man, can be an entire change of his way of life.”

Themes: Creativity

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“The human being, like the immortals, naturally places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys—yet he has left it out of his heaven.”

from Letters from the Earth, 1905-1909

Themes: Sex

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“The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is—a mob; the don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass”

from Huckleberry Finn, 1984

Themes: Warriors

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“Man is a Religious Animal, the only Religious Animal... He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight.”

from The Damned Human Race

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“I am a revolutionist by birth, reading and principle. I am always on the side of the revolutionists because there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolt.”

from New York Sun, 1906

Themes: Revolution

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“If Christ were here now, there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.”

from Notebook

Themes: Christianity

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“The Jews are members of the human race—worse I can say of no man... Anti-Semitism is the swollen envy of pygmy minds, meanness, injustice”

from Clara Clemens, My Husband Gabrilowitsch

Themes: Judaism

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“In all the ages, the Roman Church has owned slaves with absolute certainty that it was right and according to God's will, what the Bible had mapped out. So unassailable was her position that in all the centuries she had no word to say against human slavery.”

from Europe and Elsewhere

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“When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.”

Themes: Anger

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