„I saw an advertisement the other day for the secret of life.“

—  Peter Cook

"Are You Spotty?" (1964)
E. L. Wisty
Contexto: I saw an advertisement the other day for the secret of life. It said "The secret of life can be yours for twenty-five shillings. Sent to Secret of Life Institute, Willesden." So I wrote away, seemed a good bargain, secret of life, twenty-five shillings. And I got a letter back saying, "If you think you can get the secret of life for twenty-five shillings, you don't deserve to have it. Send fifty shillings for the secret of life."

Peter Cook photo
Peter Cook
1937 - 1995

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Shan Sa photo
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Julian of Norwich photo

„I saw and understood that every Shewing is full of secret things.“

—  Julian of Norwich English theologian and anchoress 1342 - 1416

Summations, Chapter 51
Contexto: I saw and understood that every Shewing is full of secret things.
And therefore me behoveth now to tell three properties in which I am somewhat eased. The first is the beginning of teaching that I understood therein, in the same time; the second is the inward teaching that I have understood therein afterward; the third, all the whole Revelation from the beginning to the end (that is to say of this Book) which our Lord God of His goodness bringeth oftentimes freely to the sight of mine understanding. And these three are so oned, as to my understanding, that I cannot, nor may, dispart them. And by these three, as one, I have teaching whereby I ought to believe and trust in our Lord God, that of the same goodness of which He shewed it, and for the same end, right so, of the same goodness and for the same end He shall declare it to us when it is His will.

Anne Lamott photo
Zooey Deschanel photo
Bruce Fairchild Barton photo

„I had never thought of advertising as a life work, though I had on the side, written some very successful copy.“

—  Bruce Fairchild Barton American author, politician and advertising executive 1886 - 1967

As quoted in The Mirror Makers: A History of American Advertising and Its Creators (1984) by Steven Fox

Henri Barbusse photo

„I wanted to know the secret of life.“

—  Henri Barbusse French novelist 1873 - 1935

The Inferno (1917), Ch. XIV
Contexto: I wanted to know the secret of life. I had seen men, groups, deeds, faces. In the twilight I had seen the tremulous eyes of beings as deep as wells. I had seen the mouth that said in a burst of glory, "I am more sensitive than others." I had seen the struggle to love and make one's self understood, the refusal of two persons in conversation to give themselves to each other, the coming together of two lovers, the lovers with an infectious smile, who are lovers in name only, who bury themselves in kisses, who press wound to wound to cure themselves, between whom there is really no attachment, and who, in spite of their ecstasy deriving light from shadow, are strangers as much as the sun and the moon are strangers. I had heard those who could find no crumb of peace except in the confession of their shameful misery, and I had seen faces pale and red-eyed from crying. I wanted to grasp it all at the same time. All the truths taken together make only one truth. I had had to wait until that day to learn this simple thing. It was this truth of truths which I needed.
Not because of my love of mankind. It is not true that we love mankind. No one ever has loved, does love, or will love mankind. It was for myself, solely for myself, that I sought to attain the full truth, which is above emotion, above peace, even above life, like a sort of death. I wanted to derive guidance from it, a faith. I wanted to use it for my own good.

Frederick Buechner photo
Denise Levertov photo
Conrad Aiken photo
Hugh Walpole photo

„The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and a thousand other things well.“

—  Hugh Walpole New Zealand writer 1884 - 1941

Said at Keswick, as quoted in The Education Outlook (1926) Vol. 78

John of the Cross photo
Lewis Carroll photo

„One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.“

—  Lewis Carroll English writer, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer 1832 - 1898

This is a paraphrase of statement in a thank you note from Carroll to a childhood friend, the actress Ellen Terry, published in Ellen Terry, Player in Her Time (1997), p. 126 https://books.google.com/books?id=2PkzZ9KaRlwC&lpg=PA126&vq=%22do%20for%20others%22&pg=PA126#v=snippet&q=%22do%20for%20others%22&f=fals by Nina Auerbach: "... and so you have found out that secret — one of the deep secrets of Life — that all, that is really worth the doing, is what we do for others?"
Disputed

Matthew Arnold photo

„Who saw life steadily, and saw it whole.“

—  Matthew Arnold English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools 1822 - 1888

"To a Friend" (1849), line 9-12
Contexto: But be his
My special thanks, whose even-balanced soul,
From first youth tested up to extreme old age,
Business could not make dull, nor passion wild;
Who saw life steadily, and saw it whole.

Nicholas Sparks photo
Rabindranath Tagore photo

„I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service is joy.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore Bengali polymath 1861 - 1941

Quoted often without citation http://www.tagorefoundationinternational.com http://rupkatha.com/V2/n4/11Tagorephilosohy.pdf
Compare this verse verse written by Ellen Sturgis Hooper:
::"I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke, and found that life was Duty."
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