„The first lesson to learn is to resign oneself to the little difficulties in life, not to hit out at everything one comes up against. If one were able to manage this one would not need to cultivate great power; even one's presence would be healing.“

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Inayat Khan1
1882 - 1927
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„If one cannot get along without a mirror, even in shaving oneself, how can one reconstruct oneself or one's life, without seeing oneself in the "mirror" of literature? Of course no one speaks about an exact mirror. No one even thinks of asking the new literature to have mirror-like impassivity. The deeper literature is, and the more it is imbued with the desire to shape life, the more significantly and dynamically it will be able to "picture" life.“

—  Leon Trotsky Marxist revolutionary from Russia 1879 - 1940
Context: Art, it is said, is not a mirror, but a hammer: it does not reflect, it shapes. But at present even the handling of a hammer is taught with the help of a mirror, a sensitive film that records all the movements. Photography and motion-picture photography, owing to their passive accuracy of depiction, are becoming important educational instruments in the field of labor. If one cannot get along without a mirror, even in shaving oneself, how can one reconstruct oneself or one's life, without seeing oneself in the "mirror" of literature? Of course no one speaks about an exact mirror. No one even thinks of asking the new literature to have mirror-like impassivity. The deeper literature is, and the more it is imbued with the desire to shape life, the more significantly and dynamically it will be able to "picture" life. Literature and Revolution (1924), edited by William Keach (2005), Ch. 4 : Futurism, p. 120 Variants: Art is not a mirror to hold up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it. Remarks apparently derived from Trotsky's observations, or those he implies preceded his own, this is attributed to Bertolt Brecht in Paulo Freire : A Critical Encounter (1993) by Peter McLaren and Peter Leonard, p. 80, and to Vladimir Mayakovsky in The Political Psyche (1993) by Andrew Samuels, p. 9 Art is not a mirror held up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it.

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„Once, one has experienced this, one sees oneself in everything that lives, one recognises all of life as his life, everybody's interests as his own.“

—  Meher Baba Indian mystic 1894 - 1969
Context: Life becomes meaningful and all activities are purposeful only on the basis of faith in the enduring reality. … The greatest romance possible in life is to discover this Eternal Reality in the midst of infinite change. Once, one has experienced this, one sees oneself in everything that lives, one recognises all of life as his life, everybody's interests as his own. One is no longer bound by habits of the past, no longer swayed by the hopes of the future — One lives in and enjoys each present moment to the full. There is no greater romance in life than this adventure in realization. Message at Pickfair, Beverly Hills, California (1 June 1932), as quoted in Life Is A Jest (1974) edited by A. K. Hajra <!-- or 6 January? 1932 Me p100-101 -->

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„What is the meaning of life? That was all — a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one. This, that, and the other“

—  Virginia Woolf English writer 1882 - 1941
Context: "Like a work of art," she repeated, looking from her canvas to the drawing-room steps and back again. She must rest for a moment. And, resting, looking from one to the other vaguely, the old question which transversed the sky of the soul perpetually, the vast, the general question which was apt to particularise itself at such moments as these, when she released faculties that had been on the strain, stood over her, paused over her, darkened over her. What is the meaning of life? That was all — a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one. This, that, and the other; herself and Charles Tansley and the breaking wave; Mrs. Ramsay bringing them together; Mrs. Ramsay saying, "Life stand still here"; Mrs. Ramsay making of the moment something permanent (as in another sphere Lily herself tried to make of the moment something permanent) — this was of the nature of a revelation. In the midst of chaos there was shape; this eternal passing and flowing (she looked at the cloud going and the leaves shaking) was struck into stability. Life stand still here, Mrs. Ramsay said. "Mrs. Ramsay! Mrs. Ramsay!" she repeated. She owed it all to her. Part III, Ch. 3

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„One day I would be a better hand at the game. One day I would learn how to laugh.“

—  Hermann Hesse German writer 1877 - 1962
Context: One day I would be a better hand at the game. One day I would learn how to laugh. Pablo was waiting for me, and Mozart too. p. 218