Henry Miller

United States novelist whose novels were originally banned as pornographic (1891-1980)

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Develop interest in life as you see it in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
How different the new order would be if we could consult the veteran instead of the politician.
A man of good will with a little effort and belief in his own powers can enjoy a deep, tranquil, rich life -- provided he go his own way. He need not and should not think of making a good living, but rather of creating a good life for himself. To live one's own life is still the best way of life, always was, and always will be.
All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the benefit of experience.
Any genuine philosophy leads to action and from action back again to wonder, to enduring fact of mystery.
Chaos is the score upon which reality is written.
Civilization is drugs, alcohol, engines of war, prostitution, machines and machine slaves, low wages, bad food, bad taste, prisons, reformatories, lunatic asylums, divorce, perversion, brutal sports, suicides, infanticide, cinema, quackery, demagogy, strikes, lockouts, revolutions, putsches, colonization, electric chairs, guillotines, sabotage, floods, famine, disease, gangsters, money barons, horse racing, fashion shows, poodle dogs, chow dogs, Siamese cats, condoms, peccaries, syphilis, gonorrhea, insanity, neuroses, etc., etc.
Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.
Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
Every man has his own destiny the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him.
Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.
If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having.
In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest.
It isn't the oceans which cut us off from the world -- it's the American way of looking at things.
Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
Living apart and at peace with myself, I came to realize more vividly the meaning of the doctrine of acceptance. To refrain from giving advice, to refrain from meddling in the affairs of others, to refrain, even though the motives be the highest, from tampering with another's way of life - so simple, yet so difficult for an active spirit. Hands off
Nine-tenths of our sickness can be prevented by right thinking plus right hygiene -- nine-tenths of it!
One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician, ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one.
One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack.
Perhaps I am still very much of an American. That is to say, na?ve, optimistic, gullible. In the eyes of a European, what am I but an American to the core, an American who exposes his Americanism like a sore. Like it or not, I am a product of this land of plenty, a believer in superabundance, a believer in miracles.
Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation. . .The other eight are unimportant.
Sin, guilt, neurosis --they are one and the same, the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
The American ideal is youth -- handsome, empty youth.
The great work must inevitably be obscure, except to the very few, to those who like the author himself are initiated into the mysteries. Communication then is secondary: it is perpetuation which is important. For this only one good reader is necessary.
The life of a creator is not the only life nor perhaps the most interesting which a man leads. There is a time for play and a time for work, a time for creation and a time for lying fallow. And there is a time, glorious too in its own way, when one scarcely exists, when one is a complete void. I mean -- when boredom seems the very stuff of life.
The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
The prisoner is not the one who has committed a crime, but the one who clings to his crime and lives it over and over.
There is nothing strange about fear: no matter in what guise it presents itself it is something with which we are all so familiar that when a man appears who is without it we are at once enslaved by him.
To live without killing is a thought which could electrify the world, if men were only capable of staying awake long enough to let the idea soak in.
What does it matter how one comes by the truth so long as one pounces upon it and lives by it
What does it matter how one comes by the truth so long as one pounces upon it and lives by it?
What we all hope in reaching for a book, is to meet a man of our own heart, to experience tragedies and delights which we ourselves lack the courage to invite, to dream dreams which will render life more hallucinating, perhaps also to discover a philosophy of life which will make us more adequate in meeting the trials and ordeals which beset us. To merely add to our store of knowledge or improve our culture, whatever that may mean, seems worthless to me.
When one is trying to do something beyond his known powers it is useless to seek the approval of friends. Friends are at their best in moments of defeat.
When shit becomes valuable, the poor will be born without assholes.

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