Category: Saul Bellow

Nobody asks you to love the whole world, only to be honest… The more you love people the more they’ll mix you up. A child loves, a person respects. Respect is better than love.

In the greatest confusion there is still an open channel to the soul. It may be difficult to find because by midlife it is overgrown, and some of the wildest thickets that surround it grow out of what we describe as our education. But the channel is always there, and it is our business to keep it open, to have access to the deepest part of ourselves.

We are funny creatures. We don’t see the stars as they are, so why do we love them? They are not small gold objects, but endless fire.

“I mean you have been disappointed in love, but don’t you know how many things there are to be disappointed in besides love? You are lucky to be still disappointed in love. Later it may be even more terrible.”

Saul Bellow

I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.

One thought-murder a day keeps the psychiatrist away.

But what is the philosophy of this generation? Not God is dead, that point was passed long ago. Perhaps it should be stated Death is God. This generation thinks – and this is its thought of thoughts – that nothing faithful, vulnerable, fragile can be durable or have any true power. Death waits for these things as a cement floor waits for a dropping light bulb. The brittle shell of glass loses its tiny vacuum with a burst, and that is that.

In every community there is a class of people profoundly dangerous to the rest. I don’t mean the criminals. For them we have punitive sanctions. I mean the leaders. Invariably the most dangerous people seek the power.

Bringing people into the here-and-now. The real universe. That’s the present moment. The past is no good to us. The future is full of anxiety. Only the present is real—the here-and-now. Seize the day.

You can spend the entire second half of your life recovering from the mistakes of the first half.