Nothing is so easy as to deceive one’s self; for what we wish, that we readily believe.

—Demosthenes, 349 BC

The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.

—Italo Calvino, 1967

God is alive. Magic is afoot.

—Leonard Cohen, 1966

There is not so contemptible a plant or animal that does not confound the most enlarged understanding.

—John Locke, 1689

All things are filled full of signs, and it is a wise man who can learn about one thing from another.

—Plotinus, c. 255

Superstitions are habits rather than beliefs.

—Marlene Dietrich, 1962

The Mughal’s nature is such that they demand miracles, but if a miracle were to be performed by some upright follower of our religion, they would say that it had been brought about by magic and sorcery. They would strike him down with spears or would stone him to death.

—Fr. Antonio Monserrate, 1590

Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost.

—Robert Southey, 1809

Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear.

—William Shakespeare, 1592

Nothing worth knowing can be understood with the mind.

—Woody Allen, 1979

In the past, men created witches; now they create mental patients.

—Thomas Szasz, 1970

Once something becomes discernible, or understandable, we no longer need to repeat it. We can destroy it.

—Robert Wilson, 1991

The mind is led on, step by step, to defeat its own logic.

—Dai Vernon, 1994

There is nothing that man fears more than the touch of the unknown. He wants to see what is reaching toward him and to be able to recognize or at least classify it. Man always tends to avoid physical contact with anything strange.

—Elias Canetti, 1960

Any serious attempt to do anything worthwhile is ritualistic.

—Derek Walcott, 1986

Nothing from nothing ever yet was born.

—Lucretius, c. 58 BC

One thing alone not even God can do: to make undone whatever has been done.

—Aristotle, c. 350 BC

To blow and to swallow at the same time is not easy; I cannot at the same time be here and also there.

—Plautus, c. 200 BC

Man is always a wizard to man, and the social world is at first magical.

—Jean-Paul Sartre, 1939

Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

—Roald Dahl, 1990

Egypt was the mother of magicians.

—Clement of Alexandria, c. 200

Men willingly believe what they wish.

—Julius Caesar, c. 50 BC

Everything that deceives does so by casting a spell.

—Plato, c. 375 BC

A miracle entails a degree of irrationality—not because it shocks reason, but because it makes no appeal to it.

—Emmanuel Lévinas, 1952

Many are the wonders of the world, and none so wonderful as man.

—Sophocles, c. 441 BC

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.

—Saint Augustine, c. 400

Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.

—Tom Robbins, 1976

I shall curse you with book and bell and candle.

—Thomas Malory, c. 1470

The fear of the Lord is true wisdom, and he who hath it not can in no way penetrate the true secrets of magic.

—Abraham the Jew, c. 1400

In the society of men, the truth resides now less in what things are than in what they are not. Our social realities are so ugly if seen in the light of exiled truth, and beauty is almost no longer possible if it is not a lie.

—R. D. Laing, 1967

The subconscious is ceaselessly murmuring, and it is by listening to these murmurs that one hears the truth.

—Gaston Bachelard, 1960

The fact is certain because it is impossible.

—Tertullian, c. 200

Appearances often are deceiving.

—Aesop, c. 550 BC

Nothing is so easy to fake as the inner vision.

—Robertson Davies, 1985

On no other stage are the scenes shifted with a swiftness so like magic as on the great stage of history when once the hour strikes.

—Edward Bellamy, 1888

The believer in magic and miracles reflects on how to impose a law on nature—and, in brief, the religious cult is the outcome of this reflection.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1878

There are times when reality becomes too complex for oral communication. But legend gives it a form by which it pervades the whole world.

—Jean-Luc Godard, 1965

Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one’s bath like a lump of sugar.

—Pablo Picasso, 1929

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science.

—Albert Einstein, 1930

To ensure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough; a police force is needed as well.

—Albert Camus, 1951

Have you ever, looking up, seen a cloud like to a centaur, a leopard, a wolf, or a bull?

—Aristophanes, 423 BC