Today in quotations I love: Pico Iyer on the things that matter most

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I had often thought that the mind was, quite literally, a devil’s advocate, an agent of diabolical sophistry that could argue any point and its opposite with equal conviction; an imp that delighted in self-contradiction, and yet, though full of sound and fury, ultimately signified nothing. None of the truest things in life — like love or faith — was arrived at by thinking; indeed, one could almost define the things that mattered as the ones that came as suddenly as thunder. Too often, I thought, the rational faculty tended only to rationalize, and the intellect served only to put one in two minds, torn apart by second thoughts. In that sense, God could be said to be nothing but the act of faith itself. Religion lay in the leap and not the destination.

from The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto

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