Are you looking for the best Ken Kesey quotes? I’ve rounded up some of the famous Ken Kesey quotes, sayings, captions for Instagram, and status messages for you.

Ken Elton Kesey was a novelist, essayist, and countercultural personality from the United States.

Ken Kesey was born in 1935 and grew up in Oregon. He attended the University of Oregon, where he studied creative writing.

Kesey is best known for his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was published in 1962. The book was made into a movie starring Jack Nicholson and is considered to be a classic of American cinema.

Kesey went on to write several other novels and two plays. He also wrote a book called Sometimes a Great Notion, which was made into a film starring Jack Nicholson. In addition to writing, Kesey has worked as an artist and filmmaker.

You will find below a curated collection of the popular ‘Ken Kesey’ quotes that you can read and share with others.


Best Ken Kesey Quotes

He’s the sort of guy that gets a laugh out of people. ~ Ken Kesey.

Take what you can use and let the rest go by. ~ Ken Kesey.

You seem to forget, Miss Flinn, that this is an institution for the insane. ~ Ken Kesey.

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He’s what he is, that’s it. Maybe that makes him strong enough, being what he is. ~ Ken Kesey.

There’s something about taking a plow and breaking new ground. It gives you energy. ~ Ken Kesey.

Ritual is necessary for us to know anything. ~ Ken Kesey.

But he won’t let the pain blot out the humor no more’n he’ll let the humor blot out the pain. ~ Ken Kesey.

Like a cartoon world, where the figures are flat and outlined in black, jerking through some kind of goofy story that might be real funny if it weren’t for the cartoon figures being real guys… ~ Ken Kesey.

It’s time to move on to the next step in the psychedelic revolution. We’ve reached a certain point, but we’re not moving any more. ~ Ken Kesey.

Famous Ken Kesey Quotes

We think we’re in the present, but we aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past. ~ Ken Kesey.

I’d take a look at my own self in the mirror and wonder how it was possible that anybody could manage such an enormous thing as being what he was. ~ Ken Kesey.

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To hell with facts! We need stories. ~ Ken Kesey.

He’s safe as long as he can laugh, he thinks, and it works pretty fair. ~ Ken Kesey.

Anti-drug fanatics and cops are the criminals – it’s like McCarthyism. They need someone to dislike to distract the public from the really important problems. ~ Ken Kesey.

See with your ears and hear with your eyes. ~ Ken Kesey.

Nowhere else in history has there ever been a flag that stands for the right to burn itself. This is the fractal of our flag. It stands for the right to destroy itself. ~ Ken Kesey.

People think love is an emotion. Love is good sense. ~ Ken Kesey.

Ocean, Ocean I’ll beat you in the end. ~ Ken Kesey.

That ain’t me, that ain’t my face. It wasn’t even me when I was trying to be that face. I wasn’t even really me them; I was just being the way I looked, the way people wanted. ~ Ken Kesey.

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I had to keep on acting deaf if I wanted to hear at all. ~ Ken Kesey.

If you’re a Conservative, why aren’t you behind conserving the land? ~ Ken Kesey.

Popular Ken Kesey Quotes

Since we don’t know where we’re going, we have to stick together in case someone gets there. ~ Ken Kesey.

More was revealed in a human face than a human being can bear face to face. ~ Ken Kesey.

There’s no doubt in my mind that McMurphy’s won, but I’m not sure what. ~ Ken Kesey.

The Grateful Dead are our religion. This is a religion that doesn’t pay homage to the God that all the other religions pay homage to. ~ Ken Kesey.

People don’t want other people to get high, because if you get high, you might see the falsity of the fabric of the society we live in. ~ Ken Kesey.

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What can you pay for the way a man lives? What can you pay for what a man is? ~ Ken Kesey.

The truth doesn’t have to do with cruelty, the truth has to do with mercy. ~ Ken Kesey.

He knows that you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. ~ Ken Kesey.

The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery. ~ Ken Kesey.

High high in the hills, high in a pine tree bed. She’s tracing the wind with that old hand, counting the clouds with that old chant, Three geese in a flock one flew east one flew west one flew over the cuckoo’s nest. ~ Ken Kesey.

Great Ken Kesey Quotes

You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case. ~ Ken Kesey.

If you’ve got love in your heart, whatever you do from that moment out is likely to be right. If you’ve got that one true note ringing inside you, then whatever you do is going to be OK. ~ Ken Kesey.

Now, you’re either on the bus or you’re off the bus. ~ Ken Kesey.

But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen. ~ Ken Kesey.

He Who Marches Out Of Step Hears Another Drum. ~ Ken Kesey.

Always stay in your own movie. ~ Ken Kesey.

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Plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. ~ Ken Kesey.

The secret of being a top-notch con man is being able to know what the mark wants, and how to make him think he’s getting it. ~ Ken Kesey.

Your trouble is, you keep trying to unscrew the unscrutable. ~ Ken Kesey.

Top Ken Kesey Quotes

It is just as much an offense to take offense as it is to give offense. ~ Ken Kesey.

Sometimes the need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer. ~ Ken Kesey.

No, my friend. We are lunatics from the hospital up the highway, psycho-ceramics, the cracked pots of mankind. Would you like me to decipher a Rorschach for you? ~ Ken Kesey.

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The trouble with superheroes is what to do between phone booths. ~ Ken Kesey.

The man who seeks revenge digs two graves. ~ Ken Kesey.

Hell of a life. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Puts a man in one confounded bind, I’d say. ~ Ken Kesey. McMurphy. ~ Ken Kesey.

There are going to be times when we can’t wait for somebody. Now, you’re either on the bus or off the bus. If you’re on the bus, and you get left behind, then you’ll find it again. If you’re off the bus in the first place – then it won’t make a damn. ~ Ken Kesey.

The job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer. ~ Ken Kesey.

Thought-Provoking Ken Kesey Quotes

The job of the writer is to kiss no ass, no matter how big and holy and white and tempting and powerful. ~ Ken Kesey.

All I know is this: nobody’s very big in the first place, and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down. ~ Ken Kesey.

Never before did I realize that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become. Hitler an example. Fair makes the old brain reel, doesn’t it? ~ Ken Kesey.

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You can count how many seeds are in the apple, but not how many apples are in the seed. ~ Ken Kesey.

To Vik Lovell who told me dragons did not exist, then led me to their lairs… ~ Ken Kesey.

Loved. You can’t use it in the past tense. Death does not stop that love at all. ~ Ken Kesey.

But if they don’t exist, how can a man see them? ~ Ken Kesey.

The stars up close to the moon were pale; they got brighter and braver the farther they got out of the circle of light ruled by the giant moon. ~ Ken Kesey.

What makes people so impatient is what I can’t figure; all the guy had to do was wait. ~ Ken Kesey.

I listened to them fade away till all I could hear was my memory of the sound. ~ Ken Kesey.

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But I tried, didn’t I? Goddamnit, at least I did that. ~ Ken Kesey.

But I remember one thing: it wasn’t me that started acting deaf; it was people that first started acting like I was too dumb to hear or see or say anything at all. ~ Ken Kesey.

Profound Ken Kesey Quotes

I don’t think you fully understand the public, my friend; in this country, when something is out of order, then the quickest way to get it fixed is the best way. ~ Ken Kesey.

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing. ~ Ken Kesey.

There are going to be times when we can’t wait for somebody. Now, you’re either on the bus or off the bus. ~ Ken Kesey.

The ’60s aren’t over; they won’t be over until the Fat Lady gets high. ~ Ken Kesey.

You had a choice: you could either strain and look at things that appeared in front of you in the fog, painful as it might be, or you could relax and lose yourself. ~ Ken Kesey.

I’ve found psychedelics to be keys to worlds that have always existed, that have to be talked about. ~ Ken Kesey.

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The Grateful Dead are faster than light drive. ~ Ken Kesey.

If you don’t watch it, people will force you one way or the other, into doing what they think you should do, or into just being mule-stubborn and doing the opposite out of spite. ~ Ken Kesey.

He knows that there’s no better way in the world to aggravate somebody who’s trying to make it hard for you than by acting like you’re not bothered. ~ Ken Kesey.

I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph. ~ Ken Kesey.


So these were the 75 top Ken Kesey quotes and sayings.

Tell me in the comments section, which Ken Kesey quotes were your favorite?

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Edith Wharton quotes and Steve Irwin quotes.

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FAQs on Ken Kesey

What did Ken Kesey believe in?

Ken Kesey was an American writer and thinker who is best known for his novel, “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Kesey was born in 1935 and raised in Oregon.

He attended college at Stanford University, where he was introduced to the world of LSD. This experience would shape much of his later thinking. Kesey believed in using LSD as a tool for personal growth and enlightenment.

He also believed in the power of community and collective action. After graduating from college, Kesey moved back to Oregon, where he began working with a group of friends known as the Merry Pranksters.

The Merry Pranksters were a traveling group who hosted LSD parties and promoted a philosophy of spontaneity and freedom.

What was Ken Kesey known for?

His most famous work is the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was made into a successful movie. Kesey also had a strong interest in psychedelics and was part of the Merry Pranksters, a group that promoted the use of LSD.

How did Ken Kesey write One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s?

After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1957, Kesey moved to San Francisco where he became a part of the city’s bohemian culture.

It was during this time that Kesey began writing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The novel tells the story of Randle McMurphy, a criminal who is sentenced to a mental institution, and his interactions with the patients and staff.

Kesey completed the novel in 1962, and it was published later that year.

Did Ken Kesey work in a mental institution?

Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, did in fact work in a mental institution.

He worked as an orderly at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, California. This experience would later influence his writing.

What was the name of Ken Kesey’s bus?

Ken Kesey’s bus was called “Further.” The bus was painted with psychedelic designs and featured a large horn.

Kesey and his friends used the bus to travel the country and participate in LSD-fueled parties.