64 Inspirational William S Burroughs Quotes On Success In Life

William Seward Burroughs II was an American writer, visual artist, spoken word performer, and chaos magician credited as a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodern author who influenced popular culture and literature. Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays, and five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. These William S Burroughs quotes will motivate you.

Best William S Burroughs Quotes

  1. “We must all face the fact that our leaders are certifiably insane or worse” ~ William S. Burroughs
  2. “What does the money machine eat? It eats youth, spontaneity, life, beauty, and, above all, it eats creativity. It eats quality and sh*ts quantity.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  3. “After one look at this planet, any visitor from outer space would say ‘I want to see the manager.'” ~ William S. Burroughs
  4. “Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  5. “You must learn to exist with no religion, no country, no allies. You must learn to live alone in silence.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  6. “Open your mind and let the pictures out” ~ William S. Burroughs
  7. “I think anybody incapable of changing his mind is crazy.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  8. “There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  9. “I am not one of those weak-spirited, sappy Americans who want to be liked by all the people around them. I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it. My affections, being concentrated over a few people, are not spread all over Hell in a vile attempt to placate sulky, worthless shits.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  10. “Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work and make the right choices and protect your work. And if you can build a good name, eventually, that name will be its own currency.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  11. “How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  12. “Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  13. “Panic is the sudden realization that everything around you is alive.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  14. “If you weren’t surprised by your life you wouldn’t be alive. Life is a surprise.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  15. “Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  16. “I’m definitely anti scientist because I feel that science represents a conspiracy to impose as the real and only universe, the universe of scientists themselves – they’re reality addicts, they’ve got to have things so real so they can get their hands on it.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  17. “No one is ever really alone. You are part of everything alive.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  18. “Too perfect to be sexually attractive.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  19. “Life is a vacation from two eternities, who wants to waste those precious years worrying about what happens when you get back to forever?” ~ William S Burroughs Quotes
  20. “In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen. The dogma of science is that the will cannot possibly affect external forces, and I think that’s just ridiculous. It’s as bad as the church. My viewpoint is the exact contrary of the scientific viewpoint. I believe that if you run into somebody in the street it’s for a reason.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  21. “The best way to keep something bad from happening is to see it ahead of time… and you can’t see it if you refuse to face the possibility.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  22. “The simplest questions are the most difficult.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  23. “Language is a virus from outer space.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  24. “Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  25. “One very important aspect of art is that it makes people aware of what they know and don’t know they know… Once the breakthrough is made, there is a permanent expansion of awareness. But there is always a reaction of rage, of outrage, at the first breakthrough… So the artist, then, expands awareness. And once the breakthrough is made, this becomes part of the general awareness.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  26. “By the flaws in the picture, the truth will emerge.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  27. “Be just and if you can’t be just, be arbitrary.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  28. “If I had my way we’d sleep every night all wrapped around each other like hibernating rattlesnakes.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  29. “Whether you like it or not, you are committed to the human endeavor. I cannot ally myself with such a purely negative goal as avoidance of suffering. Suffering is a chance you take by the fact of being alive.” ~ William S Burroughs Quotes
  30. “The first and most important thing an individual can do is to become an individual again, decontrol himself, train himself as to what is going on and win back as much independent ground for himself as possible” ~ William S. Burroughs
  31. “When you stop growing you start dying.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  32. “I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  33. “Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can’t mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  34. “I prefer cats to people, for the most part. Most people aren’t cute at all, and if they are cute they very rapidly outgrow it.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  35. “I am getting so far out one day I won’t come back at all.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  36. “To concern yourself with surface political conflicts is to make the mistake of the bull in the ring, you are charging the cloth. That is what politics is for, to teach you the cloth. Just as the bullfighter teaches the bull, teaches him to follow, obey the cloth.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  37. “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  38. “The nonconformist here may be “beat down” by life but still has a beauty in his or her longing for freedom and for an awakening of the mind.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  39. “I don’t have any politics. I feel that as soon as politics arises, things are already in a hopeless state of deterioration.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  40. “Smash the control images. Smash the control machine.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  41. “God save the Queen and a fascist regime … a flabby toothless fascism, to be sure. Never go too far in any direction, is the basic law on which Limey-Land is built. The Queen stabilizes the whole sinking shithouse and keeps a small elite of wealth and privilege on top. The English have gone soft in the outhouse. England is like some stricken beast too stupid to know it is dead. Ingloriously foundering in its own waste products, the backlash and bad karma of empire” ~ William S. Burroughs
  42. “Artists to my mind are the real architects of change and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  43. “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  44. “What a horrible loutish planet this is. the dominant species consists of sadistic morons, faces bearing the hideous lineaments of spiritual famine swollen with stupid hate. hopeless rubbish.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  45. “The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  46. “If you are asking me what the individual can do right now, in a political sense, I’d have to say he can’t do all that much. Speaking for myself, I am more concerned with the transformation of the individual, which to me is much more important than the so-called political revolution.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  47. “People have nothing to say, but they are afraid of saying nothing, so what they do say comes out flat and vapid and meaningless. The shadow of death is on every face.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  48. “The people in power will not disappear voluntarily, giving flowers to the cops just isn’t going to work. This thinking is fostered by the establishment; they like nothing better than love and nonviolence. The only way I like to see cops given flowers is in a flower pot from a high window.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  49. “Paranoia is just having the right information.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  50. “Political conflicts are merely surface manifestations. If conflicts arise you may be sure that certain powers intend to keep this conflict under operation since they hope to profit from the situation.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  51. “There is no line between the ‘real world’ and ‘world of myth and symbol.’ Objects, sensations, hit with the impact of hallucination.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  52. “It is to be remembered that all art is magical in origin – music, sculpture, writing, painting – and by magical, I mean intended to produce very definite results. Paintings were originally formulae to make what is painted happen. Art is not an end in itself, any more than Einstein’s matter-into-energy formulae is an end in itself. Like all formulae, art was originally FUNCTIONAL, intended to make things happen, the way an atom bomb happens from Einstein’s formulae.” ~ William S Burroughs Quotes
  53. “In the U.S., you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  54. “There are no innocent bystanders … what are they doing there in the first place?” ~ William S. Burroughs
  55. “There isn’t a feeling you can get on drugs that you can’t get without drugs.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  56. “Man is an artifact designed for space travel. He is not designed to remain in his present biologic state any more than a tadpole is designed to remain a tadpole.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  57. “I don’t know what falling in love for me is. The concept of romantic love arose in the Middle Ages. Now remember, the Arabs don’t even have a word for love-that is, a word for love apart from physical attraction or sex. And this separation of love and sex is a western concept, a Christian concept. As to what falling in love means, I’m uncertain. Love, well, it means simply physical attraction and liking a person at the same time.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  58. “Now Christianity sounded good at first to the naive convert. Love, peace and charity -what’s wrong with that? I’ll tell you what’s wrong – a series of unprecedented horrors perpetrated by so-called Christians: The Inquisition, the Conquistadores,
    the American Indian wars, slavery, Hiroshima and the present-day Bible Belt.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  59. “A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.” ~ William S. Burroughs

  60. “How long does it take man to realize that he cannot want what he wants? You have to live in hell to see heaven.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  61. “Do not proffer sympathy to the mentally ill; it is a bottomless pit. Tell them firmly, “I am not paid to listen to this drivel – you are a terminal fool!” Otherwise, they make you as crazy as they are.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  62. “I began to get a feeling familiar to me from my bartending days of being the only sane man in a nuthouse. It doesn’t make you feel superior but depressed and scared, because there is nobody you can contact.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  63. “America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers.” ~ William S. Burroughs
  64. “He who has learned to do nothing with his whole mind and body will have everything done for him.” ~ William S. Burroughs

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