Parenting

100 Mind-Blowing Neil Gaiman Quotes That Will Bring Out Your Inner Philosopher

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American Gods. Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The DC Comics universe. Three wildly different pieces of entertainment, yet they are just a fraction of the work Neil Gaiman has created over the years. Prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama — Gaiman has covered it all, and with absolutely gorgeous writing. We’ve collected over 100 of the most poignant, mind-blowing Neil Gaiman quotes to muse about during your next daydream break.

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  1. “The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.”
  2. “We all not only could know everything. We do. We just tell ourselves we don’t, to make it all bearable.”
  3. “There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.”
  4. “Gods die. And when they truly die, they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.”
  5. “Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.”
  6. “It is a fool’s prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.”
  7. “And there never was an apple, in Adam’s opinion, that wasn’t worth the trouble you got into for eating it.”
  8. “As far as I’m concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.”
  9. “Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten.”
  1. “You’ve a good heart. Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it’s not.”
  2. “What power would Hell have if those imprisoned there were not able to dream of Heaven?”
  3. “Have you ever been in love? Horrible, isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest, and it opens up your heart, and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.”
  4. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
  5. “I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.”
  6. “I went away in my head, into a book. That was where I went whenever real life was too hard or too inflexible.”
  7. “Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.”
  8. “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
  9. “I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”
  10. “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them, they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds… Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.”
  11. “Life is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.”
  12. “People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.”
  13. “What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.”
  14. “A philosopher once asked, “Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?” Pointless, really…”Do the stars gaze back?” Now, that’s a question.”
  15. “I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”
  16. “Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”
  17. “She says nothing at all, but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches, with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars.”
  18. “There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.”
  19. “Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men.”
  20. “When I was a child, adults would tell me not to make things up, warning me of what would happen if I did. As far as I can tell so far, it seems to involve lots of foreign travel and not having to get up too early in the morning.”
  21. “Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”
  22. “Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot.”
  23. “I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”
  24. “He had noticed that events were cowards: they didn’t occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once.”
  25. “Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
  26. “Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you, it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.”
  27. “You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.”
  28. “When we hold each other in the darkness, it doesn’t make the darkness go away. The bad things are still out there. The nightmares still walking. When we hold each other we feel not safe, but better. ‘It’s all right,’ we whisper, ‘I’m here, I love you.’ And we lie: ‘I’ll never leave you.’ For just a moment or two, the darkness doesn’t seem so bad.”
  29. “You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
  30. “I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn’t mean anything? What then?”
  31. “It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”
  32. “Face your life, its pain, its pleasure. Leave no path untaken.”
  33. “Then, one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life… you give them a piece of you. They don’t ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore.”
  34. “It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.”
  35. “I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.”
  36. “Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”
  37. “Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.”
  38. “Books were safer than other people anyway.”
  39. “All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.”
  40. “Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!”
  41. “Every hour wounds. The last one kills.”
  42. “You’ve a good heart. Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it’s not.”
  43. “Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish, or too honest, or too odd. So people live their song instead.”
  44. “I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.”
  45. “If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”
  46. “I am selfish, private and easily bored. Will this be a problem?”
  47. “Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences. I was a child, which meant that I knew a dozen different ways of getting out of our property and into the lane, ways that would not involve walking down our drive.”
  48. “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.”
  49. “Remember that giants sleep too soundly; that witches are often betrayed by their appetites; dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always; hearts can be well-hidden, and you can betray them with your tongue.”
  50. “Every lover is, in his heart, a madman, and, in his head, a minstrel.”
  51. “Have been unavoidably detained by the world. Expect us when you see us.”
  52. “You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.”
  53. “I mean, maybe I am crazy. I mean, maybe. But if this is all there is, then I don’t want to be sane.”
  54. “Most people don’t realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently, which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn’t value its librarians doesn’t value ideas, and without ideas, well, where are we?”
  55. “Only the phoenix rises and does not descend. And everything changes. And nothing is truly lost.”
  56. “You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.”
  57. “Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart and trust your story.”
  58. “When writing a novel, that’s pretty much entirely what life turns into: ‘House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day.”
  59. “To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due.”
  60. “Anyone who believes what a cat tells him deserves all he gets.”
  61. “There are only two worlds – your world, which is the real world, and other worlds, the fantasy. Worlds like this are worlds of the human imagination: their reality, or lack of reality, is not important. What is important is that they are there. These worlds provide an alternative. Provide an escape. Provide a threat. Provide a dream, and power; provide refuge and pain. They give your world meaning. They do not exist and thus they are all that matters.”
  62. “There’s none so blind as those who will not listen.”
  63. “Adventures are all very well in their place, but there’s a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain.”
  64. “I have always felt that violence was the last refuge of the incompetent, and empty threats the last sanctuary of the terminally inept.”
  65. “What power would hell have if those imprisoned here would not be able to dream of heaven?”
  66. “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”
  67. “Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.”
  68. “People want to forget the impossible. It makes their world safer.”
  69. “You don’t get explanations in real life. You just get moments that are absolutely, utterly, inexplicably odd.”
  70. “I liked myths. They weren’t adult stories, and they weren’t children’s stories. They were better than that. They just were.”
  71. “Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”
  72. “Biting’s excellent. It’s like kissing – only there is a winner.”
  73. “I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”
  74. “He stared up at the stars: and it seemed to him then that they were dancers, stately and graceful, performing a dance almost infinite in its complexity. He imagined he could see the very faces of the stars; pale, they were, and smiling gently, as if they had spent so much time above the world, watching the scrambling and the joy and the pain of the people below them, that they could not help being amused every time another little human believed itself the center of its world, as each of us does.”
  75. “The house smelled musty and damp, and a little sweet, as if it were haunted by the ghosts of long-dead cookies.”
  76. “He wondered how it could have taken him so long to realize he cared for her, and he told her so, and she called him an idiot, and he declared that it was the finest thing that ever a man had been called.”
  77. “Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.”
  78. “Words save our lives, sometimes.”
  79. “Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkably difficult to kill.”
  80. “Different people remember things differently, and you’ll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not.”
  81. “It is astonishing just how much of what we are can be tied to the beds we wake up in in the morning, and it is astonishing how fragile that can be.”
  82. “He had heard about talking to plants in the early seventies, on Radio Four, and thought it was an excellent idea. Although talking is perhaps the wrong word for what Crowley did.

What he did was put the fear of God into them. More precisely, the fear of Crowley. In addition, to which, every couple of months Crowley would pick out a plant that was growing too slowly or succumbing to leaf-wilt or browning, or just didn’t look quite as good as the others, and he would carry it around to all the other plants. “Say goodbye to your friend,” he’d say to them. “He just couldn’t cut it. . . ” Then he would leave the flat with the offending plant, and return an hour or so later with a large, empty flowerpot, which he would leave somewhere conspicuously around the flat. The plants were the most luxurious, verdant, and beautiful in London. Also, the most terrified.”

  1. “Honestly, if you’re given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don’t say ‘what kind of tea?”
  2. “Black as night, sweet as sin.”
  3. “We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.”
  4. “You don’t have to test everything to destruction just to see if you made it right.”
  5. “Growing up, I took so many cues from books. They taught me most of what I knew about what people did, about how to behave. They were my teachers and my advisers.”
  6. “You don’t have to stay anywhere forever.”
  7. “If you want to imagine the future, imagine a boy and his dog and his friends. And a summer that never ends.”
  8. “The names are the first things to go, after the breath has gone, and the beating of the heart. We keep our memories longer than our names.”
  9. “But he did not understand the price. Mortals never do. They only see the prize, their heart’s desire, their dream. But the price of getting what you want is getting what you once wanted.”

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