Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Inner fire

"If a man gives way to all his desires, or panders to them, there will [be] no inner struggle, in him, no "friction", no fire. But if, for the sake of attaining a definite aim, he struggles with the desires that hinder him - he will then create a fire which will gradually transform his inner world into a single whole."

Ouspensky, quoted by Ram Dass, Remember: Be Here Now, brown pages.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Being a dynamic incompetent

"Young man," the Austrian said gravely, "a disaster happens to many, many of our best scientists. They become administrators. And the day they do that, they're lost to science. So you never want to become an administrator. You have to guard against that."
"But Dr. Suess," piped Broecker, "how do I do that?"
"Be a dynamic incompetent! Do at least three outrageous acts a year. Then no one will want you to be an administrator."

Wallace Broecker and Robert Kunzig, "CO2 - Fixing Climate", chapter "Carbon dioxide and the Keeling curve".

I'll have to remember that one for the rest of my career!...

Thursday, August 13, 2009


"As they say in the Sikh religion - once you realize God knows everything, you're free. I had been through many years of psychoanalysis and still I had managed to keep private places in my head - I wouldn't say they were big, labeled categories, but they were certain attitudes or feelings that were still very private. And suddenly I realized that he knew everything that was going on in my head, all the time, and that he still loved me. Because who we are is behind all that."

Ram Dass, Remember: Be Here Now, chapter "Ashtanga Yoga".

Monday, August 10, 2009

Good private property and bad private property

"As regards private property, the first and most basic distinction is between (a) property that is an aid to creative work and (b) property that is an alternative to it. There is something natural and healthy about the former - the private property of the working proprietor; and there is something unnatural and unhealthy about the latter - the private property of the passive owner who lives parasitically on the work of others."

E. F. Schumacher, Small is beautiful.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Choix de carriere

"La décision de rechercher ce à quoi on est appelé, sa vocation la plus haute, au lieu de rechercher son avantage immédiat (...) constitue un choix de carrière."

Rajmohan Gandhi, président d'Initiatives & Changement international (et petit-fils de Mohandas Gandhi), discours aux Etudiants d'Oxford, 2005.
Cité par Antoine Jaulmes dans Changer International, 337, Mai-Juin 2009.