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





The art and practice of selling one's credibility for future delivery.


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


Don't ever prophesy; for if you prophesy wrong, nobody will forget it; and if you prophesy right, nobody will remember it.


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


The people who were honored in the Bible were the false prophets. It was the ones we call the prophets who were jailed and driven into the desert, and so on.


Noam Chomsky (1928-, American linguist, political activist)


Man has an incurable habit of not fulfilling the prophecies of his fellow men.


Alistair Cooke (1908-2004, British broadcaster, journalist)


I always avoid prophesying beforehand, because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place.


Ram Dass (1931-, American spiritual author, lecturer)


Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them.


Umberto Eco (1929-, Italian novelist and critic)


Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


Prophecy is the most gratuitous form of error.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


Prophecy today is hardly the romantic business that it used to be. The old tools of the trade, like the sword, the hair shirt, and the long fast in the wilderness, have given way to more contemporary, mundane instruments of doom -- the book, the picket and the petition, the sit-in at City Hall.


Jane Kramer (1938-, American author)


There exists a species of transcendental ventriloquism by means of which men can be made to believe that something said on earth comes from Heaven.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


With prophecies the commentator is often a more important man than the prophet.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


Ages when custom is unsettled are necessarily ages of prophecy. The moralist cannot teach what is revealed; he must reveal what can be taught. He has to seek insight rather than to preach.


Walter Lippmann (1889-1974, American journalist)


The prophet who fails to present a bearable alternative and yet preaches doom is part of the trap that he postulates. Not only does he picture us caught in a tremendous man-made or God-made trap from which there is no escape, but we must also listen to him day in, day out, describe how the trap is inexorably closing. To such prophecies the human race, as presently bred and educated and situated, is incapable of listening. So some dance and some immolate themselves as human torches; some take drugs and some artists spill their creativity in sets of randomly placed dots on a white ground.


Margaret Mead (1901-1978, American anthropologist)


Beware of the ides of March.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


We are all at times unconscious prophets.


Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892, British Baptist preacher)


There is no question but that if Jesus Christ, or a great prophet from another religion, were to come back today, he would find it virtually impossible to convince anyone of his credentials despite the fact that the vast evangelical machine on American television is predicated on His imminent return among us sinners.


Peter Ustinov (1921-, British actor, writer, director)


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