Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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W.B. (William Butler) Yeats

1865 – 1939 CE

Symbolist poet, Irish Senator, and icon of 20th-century literature; Yeats won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923 which enabled him for the first time to pay off his and his father’s debts. Though dabbling in the occult and automatic writing in his youth, he became a standard-bearer for Irish cultural independence and nationalism. Challenging the Irish Catholic political dominance, he championed divorce rights and confronted religious leaders but later supported aristocratic over democratic rule. Called by Ezra Pound "the only poet worthy of serious study,” his personal evolution of Hindu-based spiritualism helped inspire some of the "most potent images in twentieth-century poetry.”

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"For Anne Gregory"

Quotes by W.B. (William Butler) Yeats (27 quotes)

“All things hang like a drop of dew upon a blade of grass.”

Chapters: 13. Honor and Disgrace

Themes: Impermanence

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“All empty souls tend toward extreme opinions.”

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

Themes: Opinion Belief

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“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

Chapters: 78. Water

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“It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.”

Chapters: 33. Know Yourself

Themes: Warriors

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“We can only begin to live when we conceive life as Tragedy.”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

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“Everything that has been shall be again.”

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“We taste and feel and see the truth. We do not reason ourselves into it.”

Chapters: 51. Mysterious Goodness

Themes: Truth

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“People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.”

Chapters: 43. No Effort, No Trace

Themes: Philosophy

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“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”

Chapters: 39. Oneness

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“I’m looking for the face I had before the world was made.”

Chapters: 7. Lose Yourself, Gain Your Soul

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“Life is a long preparation for something that never happens.”

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

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“What can be explained is not poetry.”

Chapters: 56. One with the Dust

Themes: Poetry

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“There is another world, but it is in this one.”

Themes: Shambhala

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“Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.”

Chapters: 31. Victory Funeral

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“Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet.”

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“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Education

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“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

Chapters: 25. The Mother of All Things

Themes: Magic

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“I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

Themes: Dream

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“Because there is safety in derision
I talked about an apparition”

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“Distrustful of that popular eye
Whether it be bold or sly”

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“When I think of all the books i have read, wise words heard... of hopes I have had, all life weighed in the balance of my own life seems to me a preparation for something that never happens.”

Themes: Wu Wei

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“Of our conflicts with others, we make rhetoric; of our conflicts with ourselves, we make poetry.”

Themes: Poetry Conflict

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“I have known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots.”

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“it seems to us a most sacrilegious thing to persuade two people who hate each other ... to live together, and it is to us no remedy to permit them to part if neither can re-marry.”

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“I heard an old religious man
But yesternight declare
That he had found a text to prove
That only God, my dear,
Could love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.

from "For Anne Gregory"

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“Love will hardly seem worth thinking of to passionate women if it seem certain.”

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“The center cannot hold, The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

Themes: Middle Way

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