Tom Robbins Quotations

-You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you ever risked disapproval? Have you ever risked economic security? Have you ever risked a belief? I see nothing particularly courageous in risking one’s life. So you lose it, you go to your hero’s heaven and everything is milk and honey ’til the end of time, right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. That’s not courage. Real courage is risking something that you have to keep on living with, real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one’s clichés.

-So you think that you’re a failure do you? Well, you probably are. What’s wrong with that? … If you’ve any sense at all you must have learned by now that we pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure. Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free.

-Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.

-Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.

-When she was a small girl, Amanda hid a ticking clock in an old, rotten tree trunk. It drove woodpeckers crazy. Ignoring tasty bugs all around them, they just about beat their brains out trying to get at the clock. Years later, Amanda used the woodpecker experiment as a model for understanding capitalism, Communism, Christianity, and all other systems that traffic in future rewards rather than in present realities.

-Meditation… dissolves the mind. It erases itself. Throws the ego out on its big brittle ass.

-Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet.

-Our individuality is all, all, that we have. There are those who barter it for security, those who repress it for what they believe is the betterment of the whole society, but blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures and rides it, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life’s bittersweet route.

-There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, and nothing worth killing for.

-We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.

-When they tell you to grow up, they mean stop growing.

-Teachers who offer you the ultimate answers do not possess the ultimate answers, for if they did, they would know that the ultimate answers cannot be given, they can only be received.

-See, I think we have to ask ourselves–and this is corny in a way–what are we doing here. And I’ve become convinced, after a lifetime of asking that question, that we are here to enlarge our souls, light up our brains, and liberate our spirits.

-True stability results when presumed order and presumed disorder are balanced. A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed.

-Young girls are the biological equivalent of “new car smell.

-If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It’s a program, a piece of hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery. Not a mystery, mind you, the Mystery. The one that can never be solved. Data in our psychic program is often nonlinear, nonhierarchical, archaic, alive, and teeming with paradox. Simply booting up is a challenge, if not for no other reason than that most of us find acknowledging the unknowable and monitoring its intrusions upon the familiar and mundane more than a little embarrassing. More immediately, by waxing soulful you will have granted yourself the possibility of ecstatic participation in what the ancients considered a divinely animated universe. And on a day to day basis, folks, it doesn’t get any better than that.

-The price of self-destiny is never cheap, and in certain situations it is unthinkable. But to achieve the marvelous, it is precisely the unthinkable that must be thought.

-If you believe in peace, act peacefully; if you believe in love, acting lovingly; if you believe every which way, then act every which way, that’s perfectly valid— but don’t go out trying to sell your beliefs to the system. You end up contradicting what you profess to believe in, and you set a bum example. If you want to change the world, change yourself.

-There are two kinds of people in this world; those who think there are two kinds of people and those who are smart enough to know better.

-Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.

-It is never too late to have a happy childhood.

-There is no such thing as a weird human being, It’s just that some people require more understanding than others.

-The only authority I respect is that one that causes butterflies to fly south in fall and north in springtime.

-Somewhere in the archives of crudest instinct is recorded the truth that it is better to be endangered and free than captive and comfortable.
Tom Robbins