Wisdom for the Soul Wisdom for the Soul Thoughts to live by


Related States & Conditions | Syntonic | Dystonic

Radiance is still there, as before,
but we don’t face the right direction.
Prophecies of Nefer-Rohu
Khemetic Text, 2000 BCE
in Desert Wisdom: Sacred Middle Eastern Writings from the Goddess Through the Sufis
Neil Douglas-Klotz, tr., 1995

Even when walking with others, do not hesitate to change direction if necessary to follow your inner truth.
Yi Jing
c. 1150 BCE, Chinese Oracle
“Fu: Returning” in The Photographic I Ching
Dhiresha McCarver, tr., 1997

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
570-490 BCE, Chinese Philosopher, Founder of Daoism

The wisest men follow their own direction.
c. 485-406 BCE, Greek Dramatist, Poet

In order to seek one’s own direction, one must simplify the mechanics of ordinary, everyday life.
427-347 BCE, Greek Philosopher

I follow nature as the surest guide, and resign myself, with implicit obedience, to her sacred ordinances.
106-43 BCE, Roman Orator, Statesman, Essayist

If one does not know to which port he is sailing, no wind is favorable.
c. 4 BCE-65 CE, Spanish-Roman Stoic Philosopher, Poet, Dramatist, Essayist, Rhetorician, Statesman

The mind flows along the course of wisdom or of ignorance, in whatever direction you make it flow.
Yoga Vasistha
Ancient Hindu Sacred Text

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way; walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
The Bible, Isaiah 30:21
c. 367 CE, Christian Sacred Text

A wise man guides his own course of action;
The fool follows another’s direction,
When an old dog barks, the others run,
And this for no reason at all.
Saskya Pandita
1182-1251, Tibetan Grand Lama

The direction of the mind is more important than its progress.
Joseph Joubert
1754-1824, French Moralist
Pensées, 1842

Each man has his own vocation. The talent is the call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him. He has faculties silently inviting him thither to endless exertion. He is like a ship in a river; he runs against obstructions on every side but one; on that side all obstruction is taken away, and he sweeps serenely over a deepening channel into an infinite sea.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist
Spiritual Laws

The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
1809-1894, American Physician, Poet, Writer

Happiness and misery depend not on how high up or low down you are but on the direction in which you are tending.
Samuel Butler
1835-1902, English Writer, Painter, Philosopher, Scholar

It is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be taken into consideration.
Thomas Troward
1847-1916, British Judge, Metaphysician

Thought needs direction to be effective, and … will is the directing power. Thought is the force. Will gives direction. Thought scattered gives the weak, the uncertain, the vacillating, the aspiring, but the never-doing, the I-would-like-to, but the get-nowhere, the attain-to-nothing man or woman. Thought steadily directed by the will gives the strong, the firm, the never-yielding, the never-know-defeat man or woman … who uses the very difficulties and hindrances that would dishearten the ordinary person as stones with which he paves a way over which he triumphantly walks.
Ralph Waldo Trine
1866-1958, American Philosopher, Mystic, Teacher
What All the World’s A-Seeking, 1896

He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determine the end.
Henry Emerson Fosdick
1878-1969, American Cleric

Let everyone follow his inclinations – provided he go upward.
Jean Cocteau
1889-1963, French Dramatist, Poet, Screenwriter, Director
Letters to André Gide, 1971

The desire to change the direction of your life is one of the surest signs of grace … For a while you may not know the direction in which to go. But you will know without doubt that the direction you have been going in is wrong.
Eknath Easwaran
1911-1999, Indian/American Writer, Translator, Teacher

We must travel in the direction of our fear.
John Berryman
1914-1972, American Poet

It isn’t where you came from; it’s where you’re going that counts.
Ella Fitzgerald
1917-1996, African-American Jazz Singer
in Stuart Nicholson, Ella Fitzgerald, 1994

A sailor without a destination cannot hope for a favorable wind.
Leon Tec
1919-, Polish Writer

A mountain can never be climbed looking down. The direction should always be onward and upward, and with faith, focus, discipline, dedication and hard work, our dreams will be realized.
Leontyne Price
1927-, African-American Opera Singer

No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place … Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have travelled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction.
Maya Angelou
1928-, African-American Writer, Poet, Dramatist

The line of progress is never straight. For a period of movement may follow a straight line and then it encounters obstacles and the path bends.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
1929-1968, African-American Civil Rights Leader, Cleric, 1964 Nobel Laureate

We find our individual freedom by choosing not a destination but a direction. You do not choose the transformative journey because you know where it will take you but because it is the only journey that makes sense.
Marilyn Ferguson
1938-, American Writer, Mind Researcher
The Aquarian Conspiracy, 1980

Look inside to find out where you’re going, and it’s better to do it before you get out of high school.
1958-, African-American Musician

The smallest step in a positive direction is considerably better than sliding helplessly backwards. And you can take that step forward right now.
Ralph Marston
1961- , American Publisher, Writer

If there ever comes a time when you feel like you have to go someplace to find a better you and you’re going any farther than the mirror, don’t take another step. As long as you are looking toward anything but yourself, you’ll always be headed in the wrong direction.
Angel Kyodo Williams
African-American Zen Priest
Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace, 2000

We have been used to thinking linearly, but … it’s not in one line any more but many lines, in different directions, and those directions each have many more directions. It has nothing to do with space. If you hold your fist tightly, that little space contains all the dimensions.
Tara Vasanti
Indian Reiki Master, Painter, Poet
in Derek Biermann, Samadhi: Personal Journeys to Spiritual Truth, 2000











This cross-index may help identify and delineate more closely subjective realities often hard to pin down.
  • Related states elucidate shades of meaning and amplify nuances of feeling
  • Syntonic elements foster and enhance well-being
  • Dystonic factors are contraindicated and should be minimized.
Related States & Conditions Action/Effort | Beginning | Cause | Commitment/Dedication | Determination/Persistence/Resolve | Expectation/Hope, Exploration, Focus/Intention, Goal/Ideal/Purpose, Initiative, Journey/Path, Passion, Possibility/Potential, Retreat/Withdrawal, Value/Worth
Syntonic Attention/Awareness | Confidence | Conviction/Principle | Courage | Daring/Challenge | Decision/Decisiveness | Diligence | Discipline, Dispatch, Faith, Flexibility/Flow/Flux, Learning, Openness/Receptivity, Questioning/Doubt, Self-Reliance, Zeal/Zest
Dystonic Avoidance/Denial/Refusal | Complacency | Conformity | Deferment/Delay | Delusion | Distraction/Diversion, Fault, Fear, Habit, Haste/Impatience, Inaction, Laziness, Limitation


Pardon us for the Author links which do not work and incomplete Subject cross-references. This is a life-work-in-progress and, like Penelope's tapestry, proceeds bit by bit.
- Webmeister
Web wisdomforthesoul.org


Thoughts to live by
Wisdom for The Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing , © 2004