Thoughtbook (ordspråksundervisning)

This is a rough suggestion for my Thoughtbook. The material is mixed, some sentences are in English, some in Swedish, as they are recorded in my mind. Some in both languages.

I spend a reasonable, not unreasonable, time to get every quote right. My life, if not yours, is too short for being a “quote nazi”. (But in the final book, if it materializes, I will check them all, I think.)

Since this page is constantly growing, please revisit. Note: New entries always at the top.

Tractatus Huliganus

ornament5bWhat is culture? To know what concerns one, and to know what it concerns one to know. [Aphorisms!]

ornament5bSo long as men praise you, you can only be sure that you are not yet on your own true path but on someone else’s.

ornament5bThe true index of a man’s character is the health of his wife.

ornament5bNobody can misunderstand a boy like his own mother.


To live with someone and to live in someone are two fundamentally different matters. There are people in whom one can live without living with them, and vice versa.

ornament5bEven the young man who believes in nothing needs a girl who believes in HIM.

ornament5bWe are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see
more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of
any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but
because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.

ornament5bHandeln… vilken upphöjd tanke hos det antika samhället att vilja förbjuda sin adel att syssla med den!

ornament5bLife is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

ornament5bThe superior man knows what is right. The inferior man knows what sells.

ornament5bHjälte blir man på en sekund, hederlig (god) människa får man vara hela livet.

ornament5bI öknen vitna benen av de som, när de fick sitt livsmål i sikte, satte sig ner för att skriva en bok därom.

ornament5bThere but for the grace of God go I.

ornament5bSome people, were born to sit by a river. Some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people, dance.

ornament5b We’re meant to lose the people we love. How else would we know how important they are to us?

ornament5bThe detective didn’t carry a gun since it gave him a sense of security that was not earned.
ornament5bDet räcker om riddarna applåderar.


Det är stort att tänka rätt men större att tänka fritt.


If you want to chain to hold
Bite on it, hard and bold.

ornament5bAlla tycker om lukten av sin egen fis. / Eveybody likes the smell of their own fart.

ornament5bMemory is the cause of more sins than Forgetfulness.

ornament5bIt would be a greater charity to starve the rich than to feed the poor.

ornament5bMan kan inte göra omelett utan att krossa ägg.

ornament5bIn this theatre of man’s life it is given only to God and the Angels to be lookers-on.

ornament5bMany a man has come to the top of the ladder to discover that it was raised against the wrong wall.

ornament5bIf something is worth doing it is worth doing well.

ornament5bIf something is worth doing it is worth doing badly.

ornament5b If the shoe fits you are not allowing for growth.

ornament5bDet är inte hur man har det utan hur man tar det.

ornament5bI pissed on a man who called me a dog. Why was he so surprised?

ornament5bMemory is the cause of more sins than Forgetfulness.

ornament5bIt is far easier to respect one’s superiors than to find them.

ornament5bMemory is the cause of more sins than Forgetfulness.

ornament5b I feel so much better, now that I have given up hope.

ornament5bLev så att du kan leva efter döden.

ornament5bOm du vill att dina drömmar ska bli sanna, vakna!

ornament5bÄven den skönaste världsordning är att förlikna vid en på måfå hopskyfflad avskrädeshög.

ornament5bJag slängde bort min kopp när jag såg en pojke dricka ur handen.

ornament5bDe små tjuvarna hänger man, för de stora lyfter man på hatten.

ornament5bDär alla tänker lika är det ingen som tänker särskilt mycket.

ornament5bLust är att göra det man har lust med. Vilja att göra det man inte vill.

ornament5bKnowledge is addition, wisdom subtraction.


De stenade honom med ett minnesmärke.

ornament5bThe modesty of woman — she hides her beauty by trying to show it.

ornament5bA little Knowledge is a dangerous thing, but much is absolutely fatal.

ornament5bFint folk kommer sent, de finaste kommer inte alls.

ornament5bTruth cannot be told so as to be understood and not be believed.

ornament5bIf you consume attention, add value.

ornament5bTystnaden är fullkomningen av alla spruckna toner.

ornament5bIt is absurd to bring back a runaway slave. If a slave can survive without a master, is it not awful to admit that the master cannot live without a slave?

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My scandalous school contribution

Let’s suppose that I am in a position to make a decision about the education of youngsters. I know exactly what I would do. I would give them a special book to read when the inclination came over them.

This book might be grey and boring on the outside, but contain gems within. Or rather, seeds.

It could have an everyday ordinary name, like Thoughts, and that would be exactly what it contained. Or maybe Thoughtbook. That sounds a bit like Facebook, which of course is obligatory for every self-respecting (read self-doubting) teenager.

But doesn’t every school book contain thoughts? No. And if they do it is often a case of predigested, pre-chewed thoughts. My book would have none of that.

I hope you curiosity is growing like dough now. What then WOULD it contain?

As Pee Wee Herman would reply: Well, thoughts of course!

But short thoughts, or rather compressed thoughts. There are things that in a compressed state take almost no place at all but when you unfold or unfurl them they become surprisingly big. That would be the case with my thoughts as well.

They would be maybe one or two sentences long, no more. But they would be in a sense inflatable.

ornament5bThe reason for all this is my own life. The milestones in my life have not been teachers or mentors, but sentences.

Sentences made me do it — sometimes in a very direct concrete way. When I for example in 1993 did a futurist-inspired happening-protest on board a high speed train (Operation Tortoise) then that act was inspired and catapulted by a sentence from Francis Bacon.

“In this theater of man’s life, it is given only to God and the angels to be lookers-on.”

Had I never read that sentence, I might never had done what I did.

But enough of me. I do not think I am that different from others; I think that we can all be inspired, guided, even made wiser by – not books per se, not information, facts of Googling, but PROVERBS.

Yes, I really mean that. Proverbs, maxims, aphorisms. These are the short, inflatable, atomic thoughts that I would cram into my schoolbook.

But how would it be different from any book of quotations, you ask.

I don’t know. By me making the selection, I suppose. And doing the selection not with variety or entertainment value in mind, but only focusing on the potential for nourishing the young mind, heart and soul.

The school teachers might possibly look askance on my book, because it would contain some scandalous things. No, nothing sexual, that’s not scandalous any more, not since the Internet removed any blushing reflexes or innocence from children. No, I mean scandalous as in not respecting conformist, “respectable” truth.

The sentences would inspire kids to look beyond lip-service, double-talk and generally the cliches of the human mind. (Including teenage cliches.)

They would sometimes have a strange taste, as when you eat some nice food and suddenly bite into a stone. Some would be funny in way you wouldn’t share with your mum. Some would sound like stand up comedy. But the common theme would be that beyond their exterior they would be pregnant.

Or make YOU pregnant, with THEM.

Mentally pregnant of course.

To understand this right, let me tell you what happens when I read proverbs and aphorisms. I love collections of aphorisms, and feel that they should be read slowly, preferably one by one.

I don’t follow my own rules about this and sometimes just stuff myself with aphorisms. While doing this I am aware that they are not really digested, that when a great and memorable thought (really worth considering) is right away followed by another, and another, then none of them really get a chance to expand and bloom within me.

But that is not only bad. Because memory stores all of them, like seeds, and some days or weeks later, my mind starts to turn, chew, churn one of these thoughts.

WTF? What does  “Truth cannot be told so as to be understood and not be believed” mean??

And that confusion and irritated non-understanding could eventually turn into gold, into the proverbial pearl which is the result of an irritating grain of sand inside the oyster.

THAT is what I would do if I was in a position to make a decision about the education of youngsters. But I will do it anyway, have already started to collect and assemble a Thoughtbook.

Read it HERE.

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