An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





I've learned that you'll never be disappointed if you always keep an eye on uncharted territory, where you'll be challenged and growing and having fun.


Kirstie Alley (1951-, American actress)


Uncertainty is the refuge of hope.


Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881, Swiss philosopher, poet, critic)


Experience has no textbooks nor proxies. She demands that her pupils answer to her roll-call personally.


Minna Antrim (1861-1950, American epigrammist)


Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.


Diane Arbus (1923-1971, American photographer)


The power to love what is purely abstract is given to few


Margot Asquith (1864-1945, British socialite)


Once you start asking questions, innocence is gone.


Mary Astor


If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


If we begin with certainties, we shall end in doubts.  But if we begin with doubts, and are patient in them, we shall end in certainties.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


Exceptional talent does not always win its reward unless favored by exceptional circumstances.


Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1837-1915, British novelist, playwright, editor)


It's a simple formula: do your best and somebody might like it.


Dorothy Baker


To be positive: to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914, American author, editor, journalist, "The Devil's Dictionary")


I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second time into things that I am the most certain of the first time.


Josh Billings (1815-1885, American humorist, lecturer)


There is nothing so uncertain as a sure thing.


Scotty Bowman (1933-, Canadian-born American hockey coach)


All decisions are made on insufficient evidence.


Rita Mae Brown (1944-, American writer)


The grand perhaps! We look on helplessly, there the old misgivings, crooked questions are.


Robert Browning (1812-1889, British poet)


We delight in one knowable thing, which comprehends all that is knowable; in one apprehensible, which draws together all that can be apprehended; in a single being that includes all, above all in the one which is itself the all.


Giordano Bruno (1548-1600, Italian philosopher, scientist)


There is one thing certain, namely, that we can have nothing certain; therefore it is not certain that we can have nothing certain.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


Our lives are never certain, even for an hour.


Ferrant Sanchez Calavera


It's astonishing in this world how things don't turn out at all the way you expect them to.


Agatha Christie (1891-1976, British mystery writer)


We are not certain, we are never certain. If we were we could reach some conclusions, and we could, at last, make others take us seriously.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


One must verify or expel his doubts, and convert them into the certainty of Yes or No.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


It's quite possible to leave your home for a walk in the early morning air and return a different person-beguiled, enchanted.


Mary Ellen Chase


I'm delighted that the future is unsure. That's the way it should be.


William Sloan Coffin


Inquiry is fatal to certainty.


William J. Durant (1885-1981, American historian, essayist)


All business proceeds on beliefs, or judgment of probabilities, and not on certainties.


Charles W. Eliot


Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don't let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity.


R. I. Fitzhenry


Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Free man is by necessity insecure, thinking man by necessity uncertain.


Erich Fromm (1900-1980, American psychologist)


The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.


Erich Fromm (1900-1980, American psychologist)


Unrest and uncertainty are our lot.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Life is not orderly. No matter how we try to make life so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, drop a jar of applesauce.


Natalie Goldberg


There is no security, no assurance that because we wrote something good two months ago, we will do it again. Actually, every time we begin, we wonder how we ever did it before.


Natalie Goldberg


When we are not sure, we are alive.


Graham Greene (1904-1991, British novelist)


The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty, not knowing what comes next.


Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-, American author)


There is no way to take the danger out of human relationships.


Barbara Grizzuti Harrison (1941-, American author, publicist)


Time has told me less than I need to know


Gwen Harwood


Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age.


Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American writer)


We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.


Eric Hoffer (1902-1983, American author, philosopher)


Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cock-sure of many things that were not so.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


The longing for certainty... is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


A reasonable probability is the only certainty.


Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937, American journalist, author)


Action will remove the doubts that theory cannot solve.


Tehyi Hsieh


The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


Truly nothing is to be expected but the unexpected.


Alice James (1848-1892, American diarist, sister of William James)


Many live in dread of what is coming. Why should we? The unknown puts adventure into life.... The unexpected around the corner gives a sense of anticipation and surprise. Thank God for the unknown future.


Eli Stanley Jones (1884-1973, American missionary)


I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections, and the truth of imagination.


John Keats (1795-1821, British poet)


A woman's guess is much more accurate than a man's certainty.


Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936, British author of Prose, Verse)


Nothing, perhaps, is strange, once you have accepted life itself, the great strange business which includes all lesser strangeness.


Rose Macaulay (1881-1958, British novelist, essayist)


There is nothing certain in a man's life but that he must lose it.


Owen Meredith (1831-1891, British politician, poet)


The more I see the less I know for sure.


John Lennon (1940-1980, British rock musician)


The unknown is what it is. And to be frightened of it is what sends everybody scurrying around chasing dreams, illusions, wars, peace, love, hate, all that.... Accept that it's unknown, and it's plain sailing.


John Lennon (1940-1980, British rock musician)


Nature can seem cruel, but she balances her books.


Alison Lurie


All uncertainly is fruitful... so long as it is accompanied by the wish to understand.


Antonio Machado


There is only one thing about which I am certain, and this is that there is very little about which one can be certain.


W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965, British novelist, playwright)


It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


Ah, what a dusty answer gets the soul when hot for certainties in this, our life!


George Meredith (1828-1909, British author)


Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive-it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?


Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942, Canadian novelist)


Something must be left to chance; nothing is sure in a sea fight.


Horatio Nelson


If we insist on being as sure as is conceivable... we must be content to creep along the ground, and can never soar.


John Henry Newman (1801-1890, British religious leader, prelate, writer)


Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


None of us knows what the next change is going to be, what unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting a few months or a few years to change all the tenor of our lives.


Kathleen Norris (1880-1966, American novelist)


We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


When something has been perfect, there is a tendency to try hard to repeat it.


Edna O'Brien


Only one thing is certain -- that is, nothing is certain. If this statement is true, it is also false.


Ancient Paradox


It is not certain that everything is uncertain.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain.


Pliny The Elder (c.23-79, Roman neophatonist)


The only certainty is that nothing is certain.


Pliny The Elder (c.23-79, Roman neophatonist)


Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath.


Huang Po


Certainties are arrived at only on foot.


Antonio Porchia


At the age of 19, you always think you are prepared for everything and you think you have the knowledge of what’s coming ahead.


Princess Diana (1961-1997, British Princess)


To be uncertain is to be uncomfortable, but to be certain is to be ridiculous.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


There's no insurance against death and poverty.


Yiddish Proverb (Sayings of Yiddish origin)


A finished person is a boring person.


Anna Quindlen


I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what's going to happen next.


Gilda Radner (1946-1989, American comedienne)


Impermanence is the very essence of joy-the drop of bitterness that enables one to perceive the sweet.


Myrtle Reed


For me life is a challenge. And it will be a challenge if I live to be a hundred or if I get to be a trillionaire.


Beah Richards


No one from the beginning of time has had security.


Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962, American First Lady, columnist, lecturer, humanitarian)


What men want is not knowledge, but certainty.


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, British philosopher, mathematician, essayist)


The demand is for certainty is a sign of weakness.


Mark Rutherford


The present is the only reality and the only certainty.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


Positiveness is an absurd foible. If you are in the right, it lessens your triumph; if in the wrong, it adds shame to your defeat.


Laurence Sterne (1713-1768, British author)


Only a weak mind seeks ultimate answers.


Agnes Thornton


Education is the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.


Ernestine Ulmer


If you have a choice between certainty and hope, choose certainty every time.


Author Unknown


Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


The two hardest things to handle in life are failure and success.


Author Unknown


There are only two things you HAVE TO do in life. You HAVE TO die. You HAVE TO live until you die. You make up all the rest.


Author Unknown


There is nothing certain except the unforeseen.


Author Unknown


There is nothing certain, but the uncertain.


Author Unknown


With each sunrise, we start anew.


Author Unknown


Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.


Theodore N. Vail


We live in an epoch in which the solid ground of our preconceived ideas shakes daily under our certain feet.


Barbara Ward


I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth; and truth rewarded me.


Sylvia Ashton Warner


When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before; at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed.


John Wesley (1703-1791, British preacher, founder of Methodism)


The future is no more uncertain than the present.


Walt Whitman (1819-1892, American poet)


He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.


Tad Williams (1957-, American author)


If you do know that here is one hand, we'll grant you all the rest.


Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951, Austrian philosopher)


I said here's the river I want to flow on, here's the direction I want to go, and put my boat in. I was ready for the river to take unexpected turns and present obstacles.


Nancy Woodhull


The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.


William Butler Yeats (1865-1939, Irish poet, playwright.)


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