Tom Robbins Quotes

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Nostalgia's nice enough in little bitty doses, it puts personal peach fuzz on the hard ass of history.

What is it that separates human beings from the so called lower animals? Well as I see it, it's exactly one half dozen significant things: Humor, Imagination, Eroticism--as opposed to the mindless, instinctive mating of glow-worms or raccoons--Spirituality, Rebelliousness, and Aesthetics, an appreciation of beauty for its own sake. Now, since those are the features that define a human being, it follows that the extent to which someone is lacking in those qualities is the extent to which he or she is less than human. Capisce?

Human societies have always defined themselves through narration, but nowadays corporations are telling man's stories for him. And the message, no matter how entertainingly couched, is invariably the same: to be special, you must conform; to be happy, you must consume.

The more advertising I see, the less I want to buy.

Moreover, given the unpleasant option of having to associate with either the self-satisfied beautiful or the self-pitying plain, he'd choose the former every time because beauty could sometimes transcend smugness whereas self-pity just made ugliness all the more unattractive.

There's birth, there's death, and in between there's maintenance.

The Devil doesn't make us do anything. The Devil, for example, doesn't make us mean. Rather, when we're mean, we make the Devil. Literally. Our actions create him. Conversely, when we behave with compassion, generosity, and grace, we create God in the world.

Things attach themselves like leeches to the human soul, then they bleed out the sweetness and the music and the primordial joy of being unencumbered upon the land.

For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence. It's about that time that we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust. At the very moment when we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn't give a rat's ass.

Self-esteem is for sissies. Accept that you're a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace--and maybe even glory.

People feel tremendous pressure to settle down in some sort of permanent space and fill it up with stuff, but deep inside they resent those structures, and they're scared to death of that stuff because they know it controls them and restricts their movements.

Before curiosity kills it, the cat learns more of the world than a hundred uninquisitive dogs.

The pain of love does not break hearts, it merely seasons them. The disappointed heart revives itself and grows meaty and piquant. Sorrow expands it and makes it pithy. The spirit, on the other hand, can snap like a bone and may never fully knit.

My faith is whatever makes me feel good about being alive. If your religion doesn't make you feel good to be alive, what the hell is the point of it?

He was in a drug-induced neurologically based state of blissful benevolence, a state in which ego softened, fear dissolved and trust expanded.

The French say that the best part of an affair is going up the stairs. Desire is almost always more thrilling than fulfillment.

The unadorned truth is, adolescent girls are horny as jackrabbits. It's not their fault, nature designed it that way. For the protection of the species. And there's nothing politics or religion can do to alter that physical reality, short of drugging the girls with medical depressants, or siphoning off their hormones with rubber tubes. Because modern society is by nature unnatural, we're in a state of absolute denial over it. Absolute denial. That our daughters, granddaughters, nieces and little sisters might be highly charged sexual dynamos makes us so uncomfortable, so queasy, that we, men and women both, have to lie to ourselves and pretend it doesn't exist.

The world's showing signs of waking up from its linear trance, its dangerously restrictive sense of itself as a historic vehicle chuffing down a one-way street toward some preordained apocalyptic goal.

"Humanity is generally offensive," he told her happily. "Life's an offensive proposition from beginning to end. Maybe those who can't tolerate offense ought to just go ahead and end it all, and maybe those who demand financial compensation for offense ought to have it ended for them."

I've sucked way too much cement for this year. Bad juju rising off them city sidewalks. I need to babble with a brook or two, inhale starlight, make friends with some trees.

To deny that young girls were throbbing hives of sexual honey was to be both sexist and ageist. On the other hand, to steal samples of that honey or dupe them out of it, or to view them as only hives or even as primarily hives was an equal or perhaps greater wrong.

I rather like the smell of absurdity in the morning.

Virtual reality is nothing new ... Books, the ones worth reading, have always generated virtual reality. Of course, unless one can get past its cultural and sensorial levels, what is reality but virtual?

"Meditation," said his teacher, "hasn't got a damn thing to do with anything, 'cause all it has to do with is nothing. Nothingness. Okay? It doesn't develop the mind, it dissolves the mind. Self-improvement? Forget it, baby. It erases the self. Throws the ego out on its big brittle ass. What good is it? Good for nothing. Excellent for nothing. Yes, Lord, but when you get down to nothing, you get down to ultimate reality. It's then and exactly then that you're sensing the true nature of the universe, you're linked up with the absolute Absolute, son, and unless you're content with blowing smoke up your butt all your life, that there's the only place to be."

And the alcohol, as was its evil genius, was only egotizing and adrenalizing matters, making them worse. Better the silly genius of Hemp.

Silence is a mirror. So faithful, and yet so unexpected, is the reflection it can throw back at men that they will go to almost any length to avoid seeing themselves in it.

What interests me are the post-Newtonian, extrabiologic implications of a human species able to think and act using clusters of electrons: light, in other words. If the opening act of the evolutionary drama involved a descent from light into matter and language, then it only makes sense that in the closing act, so to speak, we reunite with our photonic progenitor. The role that language--the word--will play in our light-driven metamorphosis is the furry little question that cranks my squirrel cage.

I am looking for the novelists whose writing is an extension of their intellect rather than an extension of their neurosis.

Suppose the neutral angels were able to talk Yahweh and Lucifer--God and Satan, to use their popular titles--into settling out of court. What would be the terms of the compromise? Specifically, how would they divide the assets of their earthly kingdom?

Would God be satisfied to take loaves and fishes and itty-bitty thimbles of Communion Wine, while allowing Satan to have the red-eye gravy, eighteen-ounce New York steaks, and buckets of chilled champagne?

The dinosaurs died so that chat rooms might flourish.

There were, in his opinion, drugs that diminished ego and drugs that engorged ego, which is to say, revelatory drugs and delusory drugs; and on a psychic level, at least, he favored awe over swagger.

... the instant ELITISM became a dirty word among Americans, any potential for a high culture to develop in their country was tomahawked in its cradle.

There exists a false aristocracy based on family name, property, and inherited wealth. But there likewise exists a true aristocracy based on intelligence, talent, and virtue.

The narrow, no-nonsense skeptic is every bit as naive as the breezy-brained New Age believer.

The stiff-witted and academic seem not to comprehend that it is entirely possible to be ironic and sincere at the same instant; that a knowing tongue in cheek does not necessarily preclude an affectionate glow in heart.

Taboos were superstitions with fangs on them, and if not transcended, they punctured the brain and drained the spirit. A taboo was a crystallized knot of societal fear and must be unraveled, cut through, or smashed if a people were to set themselves free.

News: Tom's latest book "Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life" (a memoir of sorts) was released in May 2014.

What follows is an excerpt from the blurb from

Internationally bestselling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe.

Tom Robbins’ warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels — including Still Life With Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates — provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless readers to natural born hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads.

In Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward,... Read more...