Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Duino Elegies

By Rainer Maria Rilke

Finishing this work called by Colin Wilson “the greatest set of poems of modern times," in “a hurricane of the spirit” after bouts of severe depression brought about by being drafted during World War I, Rilke wrote this in a spirit of existential despair and philosophical despair healing for both himself and Western civilization. Full of symbolic angels and salvation but not at all in a typically religious way, Rilke uses this vehicle as a way of confronting his personal demons and the madness of his times. He heard the first line in the wind while he was walking along the Adriatic Sea cliffs. After 10 years of tortured work, he finished in a frantic and sudden storm of writing and Duino Elegies became both popular and influential

Quotes from Duino Elegies

“Even the knowing animals are aware that we feel little secure and at home in our interpreted world.”


Themes: Suffering

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“Everything terrible is something that needs our love.”

Chapters: 22. Heaven's Door

Themes: Golden Rule

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“Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.”

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

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“The only journey is the ‘Let life happen to you.’ Believe me: life is in the right, always. Journey within.”

Chapters: 47. Effortless Success

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“The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

Themes: Progress

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“Weren’t you always distracted by expectation, as if every event announced a beloved?”


Themes: Confusion

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“Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.”

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

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