Keith Gascoigne




These are some of the aphorisms (and longer) that I have collected and found useful. They probably say much about me. I also include some ‘of my own’, which belong to every one.


‘Doubt is a precious thing; it cleanses and purifies the mind.’ (J Krishnamurti, 1895 - 1986)


‘The more you know the less you need.’ (Old aboriginal saying)


‘Un peu de tout.’ (Les paysans de la Dordogne - c1950s from Philip Oyler)


‘If you can’t see the problem then you are a part of the problem.’ (from WIWWU (summer 2015), K. Gascoigne, 1945 - )


‘Only an absolute fool values a man according to his clothes, or according to his social condition which, after all, is something that we wear like clothing.’ (Seneca - the younger, 4 BCE - 65)


‘Did you ever notice that when a politician does get an idea he usually gets it all wrong.’ (Don Marquis, 1878 - 1937)


‘For those who need an explanation, no explanation is possible.’ (Harley Davidson rider, c.1980)


‘The statesmen of the world who boast and threaten that they have ‘Doomsday’ weapons are far more estranged from reality than many of the people on whom the label ‘psychotic’ is affixed.’ (RD Laing, 1927 - 1989)


‘Climate change comes down to greed. The destruction of biodiversity comes down to greed but greed does not trouble the greedy.’ (Jostein Gaarder, 1950 - )


‘Those of us clever enough to go into politics (and don’t) are governed by those of us who are not (and do).’ (Plato, c423 - c347 BCE)


‘Our leaders, businessmen and politicians, whose daily actions contribute to disaster, will not understand the fundamental truth because it condemns them.’ (Carlo Suares, 1892 - 1976)


‘The wise wield no authority and those in authority are not wise.’ (J Krishnamurti, 1895 - 1986)


‘The tradition of the camp-fire faces that of the pyramid.’ (Martin Buber, 1878 - 1965)


‘Useless to ask a wandering man advice on the construction of a house.’ (Chinese Book of Odes, c1000 BCE)


‘The world is a book and those who stay at home only read one page.’ (St. Augustine, 6th C)


‘This was one of my prayers: for a parcel of land not so very large, which should have a garden and a spring of ever-flowing water near the house and a bit of woodland as well as these.’ (Horace, 65 - 8 BCE)


‘Everything is of equal unimportance.’ (Graffiti, London Underground, 1990s)


‘Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.’ (Oscar Wilde, 1854 - 1900)


‘When you begin to see that which is false, then there is the beginning of awareness, of intelligence. You have to be a light to yourself and it is one of the most difficult things in life.’ (J Krishnamurti, 1895 - 1986)


‘Where there is love, rules are not needed.’ (Annie Besant, 1847 - 1933)


‘If you are very clear, if you are inwardly a light unto yourself you will never follow anyone.’ (J Krishnamurti, 1895 - 1986)


‘We know more than we can tell.’ (Michael Polyani, 1891 - 1976)


‘It is good to be born into a religion but sad to die in one ... The end of religion is the beginning of Spirituality. The end of Spirituality is the beginning of Reality and the end of Reality is real Bliss.’ - (Babuji Maharaj, 1899 - 1983)


‘No, assuredly I shall not pray to God, so long as I remain poor. Leave praying to the Sheik, the commander of armies, with his cellars full to bursting. Why should I pray? Am I powerful? Do I have a palace, horses, fine clothes, or a golden belt? To pray would be sheer hypocrisy when I don’t even own the meanest plot of land.’ (Al-Ifriki, c1000)


‘All the intangibles - such as our dreams, youth and independence - will ultimately fade or end. All of our belongings are just on loan to us. Our reality here is not permanent; neither is our ownership of anything. Everything is temporary. Trying to find permanence is impossible and we ultimately learn that there is no safety in trying to keep everything and there is no safety in trying to prevent loss.’ (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, 1926 - 2004)


‘Our real power is not derived from our positions in life, a hefty bank account or an impressive career. Instead, it is the expression of authenticity inside us, our strength, integrity and grace externalized. We don’t realize that each of us has the power of the universe within us. We look around and we see others as powerful, we see nature as powerful, we can witness a seed turning into a flower or the sun crossing the sky every day. We even see life created in us, from us. Yet we see ourselves as disconnected from all of this power. Our power comes from the knowledge that we are unique and from our understanding that we have the same innate power as all other creations. Our power lies deep within us. It is the power with which we were born. If it has been forgotten, it needs only to be recognised again.’ (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, 1926 - 2004)


‘When life is enough we don’t need any more. What a good feeling it is when our days are enough; the world is enough. We don’t often let that feeling in. It’s a foreign feeling because we tend to live our lives feeling that they are not enough but we can change that perception. Saying that this is life and I don’t need anything more is a wonderful statement of grace and power. If we don’t need any more; if we don’t need to control everything, we can let life unfold.’ (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, 1926 - 2004)


‘You don’t get another life like this one. You will never again play this role and experience this life as it’s been given to you. You will never again experience the world as in this life in this set of circumstances in quite this way, with these parents, children and families. You will never have quite this set of friends again. You will never experience the earth with all its wonders in this time again. Don’t wait for one last look at the ocean, the sky, the stars, or a loved one. Go look now.’ (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, 1926 - 2004)


‘Only Connect.’ (E M Forster, 1879 - 1970)


‘We should never forget that the history of the human tribe is cruel. And we should realize that what we call culture, civilization, humanism, or legality is no more than a thin skin barely covering a bloody essence.’ (Ivan Klima, 1931 - )


‘Why appeal to the masses when ninety-five per cent of them do not understand politics and can do nothing but mischief without leaders?’ (George Bernard Shaw, 1856 – 1950)


‘The human is assassinated in the classifications of administrative ignorance.’ (Carlo Suares, 1892 - 1976)


‘Beware the man who says he knows.’ (J Krishnamurti, 1895 - 1986)


‘Human cowardice never ceases to create magnificent personages, in whom it is enough to believe and who take care of the rest.’ (Carlo Suares, 1892 - 1976)


‘The chaos and tragedy we are surrounded by makes it clear that the patriarchy has failed, that scientific rationalism and the cult of technological progress taken to fanatic lengths are suicidal and that humankind disassociated from the wisdom of nature is doomed.’ (Andrew Harvey, 1952 - )


‘The morality of competition is the corruption of society.’ (J Krishnamurti, 1895 - 1986)


‘An answer is always the part of the road that is behind you. Only questions point to the future.’ - Jostein Gaarder 1952 – )


‘No organisation is beneficial to mankind until mind knows what it is to be free from the domination of mutually exclusive ideas.’ (A D Dhopeshwarkar, ? - ?)


‘The government of a state, as an instrument for regulating the relations between citizens and between nations serves a definite practical purpose but when it is exploited for personal or national aggrandisment it becomes destructive of human security and happiness.’ (A D Dhopeshwarkar, ? - ?)


‘These three words - Truth, Beauty, Goodness - represent all that is best and highest in our human heritage. In them, the subjective and the objective find their meeting point.’ (A D Dhopeshwarkar, ? - ?)


‘Reality is perfectly experienceable but wholly indescribable.’ (A D Dhopeshwarkar, ? - ?)


‘Never under-estimate the inhumanity of politicians and bankers - or the myopia of the masses.’ (from WIWWU (summer 2015), K. Gascoigne, 1945 - )


‘Money is the new religion but the high priests are all sick.’ (from WIWWU (summer 2015), K. Gascoigne, 1945 - )


    ‘I am ashamed before Earth
    I am ashamed before heavens
    I am ashamed before dawn
    I am ashamed before evening twilight
    I am ashamed before blue sky
    I am ashamed before darkness
    I am ashamed before sun
    Some of these things are always looking at me
    I am never out of their sight’

(Navaho chant, date unknown)