Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wise words for changing times....

“Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”  ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” 
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

“Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.” 
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy.” 
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

“You only have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power--he's free again.” 
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“The meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering but in the development of the soul.” 
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

“My wish for you... is that your skeptic-eclectic brain
 be flooded with the light of truth.” 
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle

“A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.” 
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: 
What would things have been like if every Security operative, 
when he went out at night to make an arrest,
 had been uncertain whether he would return alive
 and had to say good-bye to his family?

 Or if, during periods of mass arrests, 
as for example in Leningrad, 
when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, 
people had not simply sat there in their lairs,
 paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door
 and at every step on the staircase,
 but had understood they had nothing left to lose
 and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush
 of half a dozen people with axes,
 hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?...

 The Organs [of state] would very quickly have suffered
 a shortage of officers and transport and,
 notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst,
 the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!
If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. 
And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... 
We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” 
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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