Stand Still Like the Hummingbird Quotes

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Stand Still Like the Hummingbird Stand Still Like the Hummingbird by Henry Miller
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“Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“I see myself forever and ever as the ridiculous [person], the lonely soul, the wanderer, the restless frustrated artist, the [person] in love with love, always in search of the absolute, always seeking the unattainable.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Everyone has his own reality in which, if one is not too cautious, timid or frightened, one swims. This is the only reality there is.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Who but the artist has the power to open man up, to set free the imagination? The others - priest, teacher, saint, statesman, warrior - hold us to the path of history. They keep us chained to the rock, that the vultures may eat out our hearts. It is the artist who has the courage to go against the crowd; he is the unrecognized "hero of our time" - and of all time.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“The worst is not death but being blind, blind to the fact that everything about life is in the nature of the miraculous. The language of society is conformity; the language of the creative individual is freedom. Life will continue to be a hell as long as people who make up the world shut their eyes to reality.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“either you take in believing in miracles or you stand still like the hummingbird.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“It is our destiny to live with the wrong as well as the right kind of citizens, and to learn from them, the wrong-minded ones, as much or more as from others. If we have not yet succeeded -after how many centuries?- in eliminating from life the elements which plague us perhaps we need to question life more closely. Perhaps our refusal to face reality is the only ill we suffer from, and all the rest but illusion and delusion. (p.26)”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“It was the end for me. And yet not an end. In all the years which have since elapsed she remains the woman I loved and lost, the unattainable one [...] I see myself forever and ever as the ridiculous man, the lonely soul, the wanderer, the restless frustrated artist, the man in love with love, always in search of the absolute, always seeking the unattainable.

—Henry Miller, Stand Still like the Hummingbird (1962)”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“But it is not emancipation that the great majority seeks. When pressed, most men will admit that it takes but little to be happy. (Not that they practice this wisdom!) Man craves happiness here on earth, not fulfillment, not emancipation. Are they utterly deluded, then, in seeking happiness? No, happiness is desirable, but it is a by-product, the result of a way of life, not a goal which is forever beyond one's grasp. Happiness is achieved en route. And if it be ephemeral, as most men believe, it can also give way, not to anxiety of despair, but to a joyousness which is serene and lasting. To make happiness the goal is to kill it in advance. If one must have a goal, which is questionable, why not self-realization? The unique and healing quality in this attitude toward life is that in the process goal and seeker become one.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Man, as man, has never realized himself. The greater part of him, his potential being, has always been submerged. What is history if not the endless story of his repeated failures?”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Every day the choice is presented to us, in a thousand different ways, to live up to the spirit which is in us or to deny it. Whenever we talk about right and wrong we are turning the light of scrutiny upon our neighbors instead of upon ourselves. We judge in order not to be judged. We uphold the law, because it is easier than to defy it. We are all lawbreakers, all criminals, all murderers, at heart. It is not our business to get after the murderers, but to get after the murderer which exists in each and every one of us. And I mean by murder the supreme kind which consists in murdering the spirit.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“There are times when I myself no longer know whether I said and did the things I report or whether I dreamed them up. Anyway, I always dream true. If I lie a bit now and then it is mainly in the interest of truth.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Listen, my friend! [Siddhartha speaking] I am a sinner and you are a sinner, but someday the sinner will be Brahma again, will someday attain Nirvana, will someday become a Buddha. Now this ‘someday’ is illusion; it is only a comparison. The sinner is not on the way to a Buddha-like state; he is not evolving, although our thinking cannot conceive things otherwise. No, the potential Buddha already exists in the sinner; his future is already there. The potential hidden Buddha must be recognized in him, in you, in everybody. The world, Govinda, is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a long path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment; every sin already carries grace within it, all small children are potential old men, all sucklings have death within them, all dying people—eternal life. It is not possible for one person to see how far another is on the way; the Buddha exists in the robber and dice player; the robber exists in the Brahmin. During deep meditation it is possible to dispel time, to see simultaneously all the past, present and future, and then everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good, death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary world, some imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it….”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“He is sure to be more happy who has eaten well and slept well and has besides a little money in his jeans. Such men are rare to find for the simple reason that most men are incapable of appreciating the wisdom of such a simple truth. The worker thinks he would be better off if he were running the factory; the owner of the factory thinks the would be better off if he were a financier; and the financier knows he would be better off if he were clean out of the bloody mess and living the simple life.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“One has to go on believing in himself, whether recognized or not, whether heeded or not. The world may seem like hell on wheels—and we are doing our best, are we not, to make it so?—but there is always room, if only in one’s own soul, to create a spot of Paradise, crazy though it may sound. When you find you can go neither backward nor forward, when you discover that you are no longer able to stand, sit or lie down, when your children have died of malnutrition and your aged parents have been sent to the poorhouse or the gas chamber, when you realize that you can neither write nor not write, when you are convinced that all the exits are blocked, either you take to believing in miracles or you stand still like the hummingbird.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Life will continue to be a hell as long as the people who make up the world shut their eyes to reality. Switching from one ideology to another is a useless game.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“What we don’t want to face, what we don’t want to hear or listen to, whether it be nonsense, treason or sacrilege, are precisely the things we must give heed to. Even the idiot may have a message for us. Maybe I am one of those idiots. But I will have my say.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Are we not all victims of fear and anxiety precisely because we lack faith and trust in one another?”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Jesus made a number of explicit statements, injunctions really. All to the effect that one was to take no thought but to respond immediately to any appeal for aid. And to respond in large measure. To give your cloak as well as your coat, to walk two miles and not one. And as we know well, with these injunctions went another, more important one—to return good for evil. “Resist not evil!”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Despite all the talk about freedom of speech, freedom of the press, electoral freedom, and so on, I dare say it would be a shock to know what the common man thinks about the problems which confront the world. The common man is always cleverly set off one against the other, children are always ruled out, young people are ordered to conform and obey, and the views of the wise, the saintly, the true servers of mankind, are forever scorned as impractical.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“To rouse the sluggish minds of adults to such a point of awareness is in itself an almost insuperable task. But even more difficult, assuming that this might be accomplished, would be the task of getting them to agree as to how their young should be reared and by whom. In their present state of madness one is inclined to suspect that they would rather the young perished with them than risk the possibility of seeing them grow up into fearless, independent-minded, peace-loving individuals.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Kill the futile striving, is the thought. Do not put the Buddha (or the Christ) beyond, outside yourself. Recognize him in yourself. Be that which you are, completely.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“But how much farther into the darkness must we descend? In no celestial register is it written how far we must go or how much we must endure. It is we, we ourselves, who decide. For some the darkest hour is already past; for others it may still be far off. We are all in the one pot, yet it is not the same pot for all. Our fate lies precisely in the ability to distinguish the endless transformations which this vessel of life—la condition humaine—is capable of undergoing. They who speak of it as one and the same speak the language of doom. Creator and creation are one and indivisible. Whoever has experienced the oneness of life and the joy of life knows that to be is the all. “Ripeness is all,” said Shakespeare. It is the same thing.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“I have only to think of a day spent with any poor European artist—and how many I have known!—to realize that the American is incapable even of enjoying the little which is permitted him…. I mean, his physical wealth. His car may take him wherever he wishes to go, but what is he met with on arriving at his destination? If it is a restaurant, the food is usually unpalatable; if it is a theater, the spectacle bores him; if it is a resort, there is nothing to do but drink. If he remains at home with his friends, the conversation soon degenerates into a ridiculous argument, such as schoolboys enjoy, or peters out. The art of living alone, or with one’s neighbor, is unknown.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“I have only to think of a day spent with any poor European artist—and how many I have known!—to realize that the American is incapable even of enjoying the little which is permitted him…. I mean, his physical wealth. His car may take him wherever he wishes to go, but what is he met with on arriving at his destination? If it is a restaurant, the food is usually unpalatable; if it is a theater, the spectacle bores him; if it is a resort, there is nothing to do but drink. If he remains at home with his friends, the conversation soon degenerates into a ridiculous argument, such as schoolboys enjoy, or peters out. The art of living alone, or with one’s neighbor, is unknown. The American is an unsocial being who seems to find enjoyment only in the bottle or with his machines. He worships success, but on attaining it he is more miserable than ever. At the height of his powers he finds himself morally and spiritually bankrupt; a cough is enough to finish him off.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Though he exudes culture and learning, he is at home with children, nobodies and idiots. His daily routine is so simple as to be almost primitive. It begins with a long morning prayer for the protection of the creature world against the sadistic men of science who torture and vivisect them. Without wants, he has become free as a bird, and what is more important, he is acutely aware of his hard-won freedom and rejoices in it.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“What we learn, of value, we get indirectly, largely unconsciously. It is too often stressed, in my opinion, that we learn through sorrow and suffering. I do not deny this to be true, but I hold that we also learn, and perhaps more lastingly, through moments of joy, of bliss, of ecstasy. Struggle has its importance, but we tend to overrate it. Harmony, serenity, bliss do not come from struggle but from surrender.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“Perhaps our refusal to face reality is the only ill we suffer from, and all the rest but illusion and delusion.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“The Way is not difficult; but you must avoid choosing!” Or, as another ancient one put it—“The Way is near, but men seek it afar. It is in easy things, but men seek it in difficult things.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
“He is American through and through, and Americans, despite their talkiness, are fundamentally silent creatures. They talk in order to conceal their innate reticence. It is only in moments of deep intimacy that they break loose.”
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird

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