In this book are some of the nuggets of my accumulated “wisdom”, some attributable while others not. As with most people and their ideas, I am more a curator than an inventor, despite whatever innovations I may make to the vast and varied material that comes my way from a wide array of nourishing sources, enriching and enlivening me. Indeed, as Isaac Newton wisely and humbly recognized 300 years ago, we are all “standing on the shoulders of giants”, even when we take that universal and eternal truth for granted by asserting our seemingly-individual accomplishments.
I sincerely hope you find these bite-sized nuggets useful, as I certainly do, despite the playful narcissism of these apothegms. In the words of fellow aphorist Michel de Montaigne, “I am myself the matter of my book”. In this sense, all writing is autobiography and I hope it becomes part of yours, as well.
Some of my aphoristic writings aren’t actually proper aphorisms per se, as they can’t necessarily be contained or conveyed properly in that tight genre. Whether they are aphorisms, apothegms, adages, maxims, quotes, sayings, advice, remarks, rules, common sense, quips, spiritual guidance, realizations, or whatever else, they may still, hopefully, be interesting, insightful, inspiring, enspiriting, enlightening, enheartening, entertaining, useful, or otherwise worthwhile, so I hope you forgive my sententious nature.
In the spirit of disclosure, I feel I should warn you. I’m sympathetic to Karl Kraus when he says that “An aphorism can never be the whole truth; it is either a half-truth or a truth-and-a-half.” Like Pablo Picasso said, “art is a lie that makes us realize truth” and perhaps that is true here, as well. In that way, these aphorisms are gnomic in more than one way. But it is more for you to decide than me, as writing is ultimately more for the reader than the writer. These aphorisms are now yours!
Feel free to use the ones that resonate with you and to make them your own; similarly, feel free to discard whatever is unwelcome, ineffective, offensive, or unnecessary. I echo sagely Bruce Lee in saying “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” These nuggets should be nourishing and liberating, in one way or another, but certainly not burdensome or debilitating. In any event, enjoy your journeys!