Ben Okri Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 59 quotes)
One human life is deeper than the ocean. Strange fishes and sea-monsters and mighty plants live in the rock-bed of our spirits. The whole of human history is an undiscovered continent deep in our souls. There are dolphins, plants that dream, magic birds inside us. The sky is inside us. The earth is in us.
It may be that what you could be haunts you. It is real. It is a weight you have to carry around. Each failure to become, to be, is a weight. Each state you could inhabit is a burden as heavy as any physical weight, but more so, because it weighs on your soul. It is the ghost of your possibilities hanging around your neck, an invisible albatros, potentials unknowingly murdered.
He felt as if he hadn't slept because he spent all night wandering through the world looking for a maiden who bore his heart in her womb. His heart grew in her like a child. He was pregnant with his heart for a long time, for a year, for ten years, for a generation, for a hundred and two years. His heart grew bigger and bigger in her, and she grew bigger and bigger to accomodate the growth of his heart in her womb. He never knew when she would give birth to his heart and he lost her and searched the world over and never found her. His father, the king, told him that the world in which he searched for he was his heart, and that she was the mother of all the world, and that his search was over when it began, but he didn't know it.
That's the way it is. If you believe in something your very belief renders you unqualified to do it. Your earnestness will come across. Your passion will show. Your enthusiasm will make everyone nervous. And your naivety will irritate. Which means that you will become suspect. Which means you will be prone to disillusionment. Which means that you will not be able to sustain your belief in the face of all the piranha fish which nibble away at your idea and your faith, 'till only the skeleton of your dream is left. Which means that you have to become a fanatic, a fool, a joke, an embarrassment. The world - which is to say the powers that be - would listen to your ardent ideas with a stiff smile on its face, then put up impossible obstacles, watch you finally give up your cherished idea, having mangled it beyond recognition, and after you slope away in profound discouragement it will take up your idea, dust it down, give it a new spin, and hand it over to someone who doesn't believe in it at all.