It is easier to meditate than actually do something for others. I feel that merely to meditate on compassion is to take the passive option. Our meditation should be the basis for action, for seizing the opportunity to do something. - Dalai Lama
This excerpt from Bram Stoker's book Dracula might be stretching the idea of "quotation." :) Stoker was not a great writer (and many say that the 1931 film is far superior than the original novel), but he does have a few interesting passages. One of the gimmicks of the book is that the word "vampire" is mentioned only twice, and only at the end. In that way, much of the book is a search for an explanation that occurs only at the conclusion.
This is a passage from "Dr. [John] Seward's diary, dated 26 September, in which Seward recounts a dialogue with Dr. Van Helsing.
[Prof. Von Helsing:] "You are a clever man, friend John; you reason well, and your wit is bold; but you are too prejudiced. You do not let your eyes see nor your ears hear, and that which is outside your daily life is not of account to you. Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand; and yet which are; that some people see things that others cannot? But there are things old and new which must not be contemplate by men's eyes, because they know--or think they know--some things which other men have told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain. But yet we see around us every day the growth of new beliefs, which think themselves new; and which are yet but the old, which pretend to be young--like the fine ladies at the opera. I suppose now you do not believe in corporeal transference. No? Nor in materialization. No? Nor in astral bodies. No? Nor is the reading of thought. No? Nor in hypnotism--"
"Yes," I said. "Charcot has proved that pretty well." He smiled as he went on: "Then you are satisfied as to it. Yes? And of course then you understand how it act, and can follow the mind of the great Charcot--alas that he is no more!--into the very soul of the patient that he influence. No? Then, friend John, am I to take it that you simply accept fact, and are satisfied to let from premise to conclusion be a blank? No? Then tell me-for I am student of the brain--how you accept the hypnotism and reject the thought reading. Let me tell you, my friend, that there are things done to-day in electrical science which would have been deemed unholy by the very man who discovered electricity--who would themselves not so long before been burned as wizards. There are always mysteries in life. Why was it that Methuselah lived nine hundred years, and 'Old Parr' one hundred and sixty-nine, and yet that poor Lucy, with four men's blood in her poor veins, could not live even one day?..."
"Professor, let me be your pet student again. Tell me the thesis, so that I may apply your knowledge as you go on. At present I am going in my mind from point to point as a madman, and not a sane one, follows an idea. I feel like a novice lumbering through a bog in a midst, jumping from one tussock to another in the mere blind effort to move on without knowing where I am going."
'"That is a good image," he said. "Well, I shall tell you. My thesis is this: I want you to believe."
"To believe what?"
"To believe in things that you cannot. Let me illustrate. I heard once of an American who so defined faith: 'that faculty which enables us to believe things which we know to be untrue.' For one, I follow that man. He meant that we shall have an open mind, and not let a little bit of truth check the rush of a big truth, like a small rock does a railway truck. We get the small truth first. Good! We keep him, and we value him; but all the same we must not let him think himself all the truth in the universe."
"Then you want me not to let some previous conviction injure the receptivity of my mind with regard to some strange matter. Do I read your lesson aright?"
"Ah, you are my favorite pupil still. It is worth to teach you..."
I've seen this quote attributed to Anonymous and Gandhi- I like to think Gandhi said it:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for actions become habits.
Watch your habits, for habits become character.
Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.