Kierkegaard Aphorisms

“I have just now come from a party where I was its life and soul; witticisms streamed from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me, but I went away — yes, the dash should be as long as the radius of the earth’s orbit ——————————— and wanted to shoot myself.”

“I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.”

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

“Never cease loving a person, and never give up hope for him, for even the prodigal son who had fallen most low, could still be saved; the bitterest enemy and also he who was your friend could again be your friend; love that has grown cold can kindle.”

“God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but He does what is still more wonderful: He makes saints out of sinners.”

“Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth — look at the dying man’s struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.”

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

“A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.”

“The truth is a trap: you cannot get it without it getting you; you cannot get the truth by capturing it, only by its capturing you.”

“What the age needs is not a genius — it has had geniuses enough, but a martyr, who in order to teach men to obey would himself be obedient unto death. What the age needs is awakening. And therefore someday, not only my writings but my whole life, all the intriguing mystery of the machine will be studied and studied. I never forget how God helps me, and it is therefore my last wish that everything may be to his honour.”

“The opposite of sin is not virtue but faith”

“The supreme paradox of all thought is the attempt to discover something that thought cannot think.”

“In relation to their systems most systematisers are like a man who builds an enormous castle and lives in a shack close by; they do not live in their own enormous systematic buildings.”

“What the philosophers say about Reality is often as disappointing as a sign you see in a shop window which reads: Pressing Done Here. If you brought your clothes to be pressed, you would be fooled; for only the sign is for sale.”

Aphorisms 2

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

– Noam Chomsky

“Metaphysics is an enquiry over and above what-is, with a view to winning back again as such and in totality for our understanding… In every question the being (Da-sein) that questions is himself caught up in the question… Once Nothing is somehow made a problem this contrast not only undergoes clearer definition but also arouses the true and authentic metaphysical question regarding the Being of what-is. Nothing ceases to be the vague opposite of what-is: it now reveals itself as integral to the Being of what-is… Hence no scientific discipline can hope to equal the seriousness of metaphysics. Philosophy can never be measured with the yard-stick of the idea of science.”

“Due to the manner in which it thinks of beings, metaphysics almost seems to be, without knowing it, the barrier which keeps man from the original involvement of Being in human nature. What if the absence of this involvement and the oblivion of this absence determined the entire modern age? What if the absence of Being abandoned man more and more exclusively to beings, leaving him forsaken and far from any involvement of Being in his nature, while this forsakenness itself remained veiled? What if this were the case – and had been the case for a long time now? What if there were signs that this oblivion will become still more decisive in the future? … Would there still be occasion, if this should be our situation, to deceive ourselves with pleasant phantasms and to indulge, of all things, in an artificially induced elation? If the oblivion of Being which has been described here should be real, would there not be occasion enough for a thinker who recalls Being to experience a genuine horror? What more can his thinking do than to endure in dread this fateful withdrawal while first of all facing up to the oblivion of Being? But how could thought achieve this as long as its fatefully granted dread seems to it no more than a mood of depression? What does such dread, which is fated by Being, have to do with psychology or psychoanalysis? … Suppose that the overcoming of metaphysics involved the endeavor to commence with a regard for the oblivion of Being – the attempt to learn to develop such a regard, in order to experience this oblivion and to absorb this experience into the involvement of Being in man, and to preserve it there: then, in the distress of the oblivion of Being, the question, ‘What is metaphysics?’ might well become the most necessary necessity for thought.”

“Philosophy, then, is not a doctrine, not some simplistic scheme for orienting oneself in the world, certainly not an instrument or achievement of human Dasein. Rather, it is this Dasein itself insofar as it comes to be, in freedom, from out of its own ground. Whoever, by stint of research, arrives at this self-understanding of philosophy is granted the basic experience of all philosophizing, namely that the more fully and originally research comes into its own, the more surely is it “nothing but” the transformation of the same few simple questions. But those who wish to transform must bear within themselves the power of a fidelity that knows how to preserve. And one cannot feel this power growing within unless one is up in wonder. And no one can be caught up in wonder without travelling to the outermost limits of the possible. But no one will ever become the friend of the possible without remaining open to dialogue with the powers that operate in the whole of human existence. But that is the comportment of the philosopher: to listen attentively to what is already sung forth, which can still be perceived in each essential happening of the world. And in such comportment the philosopher enters the core of what is truly at stake in the task he has been given to do.”

“If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself.”

“Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man.”

– Martin Heidegger

“Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?

Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,

You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)

You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,

You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,

You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.”

“The powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”

“Do I contradict myself?

Very well then I contradict myself,

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

– Walt Whitman

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,

Old time is still a-flying:

And this same flower that smiles today

Tomorrow will be dying.”

– Robert Herrick

“And thus I clothe my naked villainy with old odd ends, stol’n forth of holy writ; and seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”

– Shakespeare

“Nobody sits like this rock sits. You rock, rock. The rock just sits and is. You show us how to just sit here and that’s what we need.”

– I Heart Huckabees (film)

“Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free.”

“Beneath this mask, there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask, there is an idea… And ideas are bulletproof.”

“Who? Who is but the form following the function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask.”

– V for Vendetta (film)

“Sometimes I wish I knew how to go crazy. I forget how.”

– Philip K. Dick

“Esotericism is characterized by an interest in these different levels of consciousness and being. Mysticism is not quite so concerned with these intermediate states; it focuses on reaching God in the most direct and immediate way. The mystic wants to reach his destination as quickly as possible; the esotericist wants to learn something about the landscape on the way. Moreover, mysticism tends more toward passivity: a quiet “waiting upon God” rather than active investigation.”

– Richard Smoley

“The Aneristic Principle is that of apparent order; the Eristic Principle is that of apparent disorder. Both order and disorder are man made concepts and are artificial divisions of pure chaos, which is a level deeper than is the level of distinction making.”

“All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.”

– Principia Discordia

“To practice and confirm all things by conveying one’s self to them, is illusion: for all things [dharmas] to advance forward and practice and confirm the self, is enlightenment.”

“To learn the Buddha Way is to learn one’s self. To learn one’s self is to forget one’s self. To forget one’s self is to be confirmed by all things [dharmas]. To be confirmed by all dharmas is to effect the dropping off of one’s own body-and-mind and the mind-and-body of others as well.”

– Dōgen Zenji

“You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?”

– Mark Twain

“It is a fine thing to establish one’s own religion in one’s heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.”

– David Herbert Lawrence

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

“The literature of religious experience abounds in references to the pains and terrors overwhelming those who have come, too suddenly, face to face with some manifestation of the mysterium tremendum. In theological language, this fear is due to the in-compatibility between man’s egotism and the divine purity, between man’s self-aggravated separateness and the infinity of God.”

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.”

“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. ‘Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.’ They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”

“Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.”

– Aldous Huxley

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

– Sun Tzu

“A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all.”

– Tacitus

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

“It’s just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a priest, a merchant, or a worker.’ He would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me… until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short… until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored… until I know his home village, town, or city… until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow… until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark… until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated… until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird… until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.’ He would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.’ The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him.”

“The gratification of desires never satisfies; it always leaves behind unrest and irritation that can never be allayed, and then, if the gratification of his desires is thwarted, it will often drive him insane.”

“In the spirit of these vows [the bodhisattva seeks to] cast away all worldly attachments and realize the impermanence of this world. And they devote their merits to the emancipation of all sentient life; they integrate their own lives with the lives of all others, sharing their illusions and sufferings but, at the same time, realizing their freedom from the bonds and attachments of this worldly life.

They know the hindrances and difficulties of worldly living but they know, also, the boundless potentialities of Buddha’s compassion. They are free to go or come, they are free to advance or to stop as they wish, but they choose to remain with those upon whom Buddha has compassion.”

“If there is no other world and there is no fruit and ripening of actions well done or ill done, then here and now in this life I shall be free from hostility, affliction, and anxiety, and I shall live happily.”

– Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

“The whole problem of knowledge has constantly been that of bringing the one and the many together. When man looks about him and within him, he sees that there is a great variety of facts. The question that comes up at once is whether there is any unity in this variety, whether there is one principle in accordance with which all these many things appear and occur. All non-Christian thought, if it has utilized the idea of a supra-mundane existence at all, has used this supra-mundane existence as furnishing only the unity or the a priori aspect of knowledge, while it has maintained that the a posteriori aspect of knowledge is something that is furnished by the universe.”

– Cornelius Van Til

“The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

“Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

– Messiah Yeshua

“For in much wisdom is much grief,

And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”

“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

What profit has a man from all his labor

In which he toils under the sun?

One generation passes away, and another generation comes;

But the earth abides forever.

The sun also rises, and the sun goes down,

And hastens to the place where it arose.

The wind goes toward the south,

And turns around to the north;

The wind whirls about continually,

And comes again on its circuit.

All the rivers run into the sea,

Yet the sea is not full;

To the place from which the rivers come,

There they return again.

All things are full of labor;

Man cannot express it.

The eye is not satisfied with seeing,

Nor the ear filled with hearing.

That which has been is what will be,

That which is done is what will be done,

And there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which it may be said,

“See, this is new”?

It has already been in ancient times before us.

There is no remembrance of former things,

Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come

By those who will come after.”

“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor.”

“For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity.”

“Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth.”

“Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard rather than the shout of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war.”

“The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.”

“Two things I request of you: remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches.”

“Love covers all sin.”

– King Solomon

“What is man that you are mindful of him?”

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'”

“My God, My God, why have forsaken me? Awake! Why do you sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever. Why do you hide your face, and forget our affliction and our oppression?”

“Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck!”

“The reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.”

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

“I will not fear. What can man do to me? All nations surround me, but in the name of YHWH I will destroy them.”

“If riches increase, do not set your heart on them.”

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

– King David

“Gilgamesh, whither are you wandering? Life, which you look for, you will never find. For when the gods created man, they let death be his share, and life withheld in their own hands. Gilgamesh, fill your belly. Day and night make merry. Let days be full of joy, dance and make music day and night. And wear fresh clothes. And wash your head and bathe. Look at the child that is holding your hand, and let your wife delight in your embrace. These things alone are the concern of men.”

– Siduri, Epic of Gilgamesh

“The sea’s only gifts are harsh blows, and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing the blind, deaf stone alone with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.”

– Primo Levi

“I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

“Your doubt may become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing, it must become critical. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will find it perplexed and embarrassed perhaps, or perhaps rebellious. But don’t give in, insist on arguments and act this way, watchful and consistent, every single time, and the day will arrive when from a destroyer it will become one of your best workers — perhaps the cleverest of all that are building at your life.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke

“So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”

“The Answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe and Everything… Is… Forty-two,’ said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.”

“You actually wanted to know the question because you always wondered if there was more to life and now you’re crushed because you find out there really isn’t.”

“Just wait a sodding minute! You want a question that goes with the answer for 42? Well, how about what’s six times seven? Or how many Vogons does it take to change a light bulb? Here’s one! How many roads must a man walk down? My head is filled with questions and I can assure you no answer to any one of them has ever brought me one iota of happiness. Except for one. The one. The only question I’ve ever wanted an answer to – is she the one? The answer bloody well isn’t forty-two, it’s yes. Undoubtedly, unequivocally, unabashedly yes. And for one week, one week in my sad little blip of an existence, it made me happy.”

“Presidents don’t have power, their purpose is to draw attention away from it.”

“The Point of View gun conveniently does precisely what its name suggests. That is if you point it at someone and pull the trigger, they instantly see things from your point of view. It was designed by Deep Thought, but commissioned by a consortium of intergalactic angry housewives, who after countless arguments with their husbands were sick to the teeth of ending those arguments with the phrase ‘You just don’t get it, do you?'”

“What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue: Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won’t be troubling you much longer.”

“Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to take you to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction, ’cause I don’t.”

“A man who no more knows his destiny than a tea leaf knows the history of the East India company.”

“The Encyclopedia Galactica, in its chapter on Love states that it is far too complicated to define. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of love: Avoid, if at all possible. Unfortunately, Arthur Dent has never read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

“‘Oh dear,’ says God, ‘I hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

‘Oh, that was easy,’ says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.”

“This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”

“They don’t think, they don’t imagine, most of them can’t even spell, they just run things.”

“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”

“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

“‘All through my life I’ve had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was.’

‘No,’ said the old man, ‘that’s just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that.'”

“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.

And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more.

This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it.

‘Ah … ! What’s happening?’ it thought.

Er, excuse me, who am I?

Hello?

Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life?

What do I mean by who am I?

Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach.

Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet?

No.

Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation …

Or is it the wind?

There really is a lot of that now isn’t it?

And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground!

I wonder if it will be friends with me?

And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence.

Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was, ‘Oh no, not again.’ Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.”

– Douglas Adams

“Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.”

“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.”

– Voltaire

“Wherever and whenever the ego function began to form, it was akin to a cancerous tumor or a blockage in the energy of the psyche. The use of psychedelic plants in a context of shamanic initiation dissolved-as it dissolves today-the knotted structure of the ego into undifferentiated feeling, what Eastern philosophy calls the Tao.”

“Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”

– Terence McKenna

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”

“One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

– Albert Camus

“On really romantic evenings of self, I go salsa dancing with my confusion.”

“They say that dreams are only real as long as they last. Couldn’t you say the same thing about life?”

“”You can’t fight city hall.” “Death and taxes.” “Don’t talk about politics or religion.” This is all the equivalent of enemy propaganda, rolling across the picket line. “Lay down, GI! Lay down, GI!”. We saw it all through the 20th Century. And now on the 21st Century, it’s time to stand up and realize, that we should NOT allow ourselves to be crammed into this rat maze. We should not SUBMIT to dehumanization. I don’t know about you, but I’m concerned with what’s happening in this world. I’m concerned with the structure. I’m concerned with the systems of control. Those that control my life, and those that seek to control it EVEN MORE! I want FREEDOM! That’s what I want, and that’s what YOU should want! It’s up to each and every one of us to turn loose of just some of the greed, the hatred, the envy, and yes, the insecurities, because that is the central mode of control, make us feel pathetic, small, so we’ll willingly give up our sovereignty, our liberty, our destiny. We have GOT to realize we’re being conditioned on a mass scale. Start challenging this corporate slave state! The 21st Century’s gonna be a new century! Not the century of slavery, not the century of lies and issues of no significance, of classism and statism, and all the rest of the modes of control… it’s gonna be the age of humankind, standing up for something PURE and something RIGHT! What a bunch of garbage, liberal, Democratic, conservative, Republican, it’s all there to control you, two sides of the same coin! Two management teams, bidding for control of the CEO job of Slavery Incorporated! The TRUTH is out there in front of you, but they lay out this buffet of LIES! I’m SICK of it, and I’M NOT GONNA TAKE A BITE OUT OF IT! DO YA GOT ME? Resistance is NOT futile, we’re gonna win this thing, humankind is too good, WE’RE NOT A BUNCH OF UNDERACHIEVERS, WE’RE GONNA STAND UP, AND WE’RE GONNA BE HUMAN BEINGS! WE’RE GONNA GET FIRED UP ABOUT THE REAL THINGS, THE THINGS THAT MATTER – CREATIVITY, AND THE DYNAMIC HUMAN SPIRIT THAT REFUSES TO SUBMIT! WELL THAT’S IT, that’s all I’ve got to say. It’s in your court now.”

“What you do makes a difference. We should never simply write ourselves off and see ourselves as the victim of various forces. It’s always our decision who we are.”

“A well-armed populace is the best defense against tyranny.”

– Waking Life (film)

“Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one’s intelligence without being guided by another. Sapere Aude! Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the Enlightenment.”

“And, in fact, we find that the more a cultivated reason purposely occupies itself with the enjoyment of life and with happiness, so much the further does one get away from true satisfaction; and from this there arises in many… a certain degree of misology, that is, hatred of reason; for, after calculating all the advantages they draw… they find that they have in fact only brought more trouble upon themselves instead of gaining in happiness; and because of this they finally envy rather than despise the more common run of people, who are closer to the guidance of mere natural instinct and do not allow their reason much influence on their behavior.”

“Objective reality is known only insofar as it conforms to the essential structure of the knowing mind.”

“Always treat people as ends in themselves, never as means to an end.”

“Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.”

– Immanuel Kant

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.”

– Rumi

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”

– Edgar Allan Poe

“I felt that if a man’s proposals met with approval, it should encourage him; if they met with opposition, it should make him fight back; but the real tragedy for him was to lift up his voice among the living and meet with no response neither approval nor opposition just as if he were left helpless in a boundless desert.”

“If there are still men who really want to live in this world, they should first dare to speak out, to laugh, to cry, to be angry, to accuse, to fight – that they may at least cleanse this accursed place of its accursed atmosphere!”

“Whoever thinks he is objective must already be half drunk.”

“Creation, even when it is a mere outpouring from the heart, wishes to find a public. By definition, creation is sociable. Yet it can be satisfied with merely one single reader: an old friend, a lover.”

– Lu Xun

“This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.”

“The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it.”

“The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them.”

“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.”

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”

“Highly developed spirits often encounter resistance from mediocre minds.”

– Albert Einstein

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.”

“It is a sad fate for a man to die too well known to everybody else, and still unknown to himself.”

“Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.”

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”

“A little science estranges a man from God. A lot of science brings him back. Philosophy when superficially studied, excites doubt, when thoroughly explored, it dispels it.”

“A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”

“It is impossible to love and be wise.”

“Ipsa scientia potestas est.”

– Sir Francis Bacon

“Nothing exists until it is measured.”

– Niels Bohr

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…'”

– Isaac Asimov

“If the attribute of popular government in peace is virtue, the attribute of popular government in revolution is at one and the same time virtue and terror, virtue without which terror is fatal, terror without which virtue is impotent. The terror is nothing but justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is thus an emanation of virtue.”

– Maximilien de Robespierre

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

– George Orwell

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident.”

“In India our religions will never take root. The ancient wisdom of the human race will not be displaced by what happened in Galilee. On the contrary, Indian philosophy streams back to Europe, and will produce a fundamental change in our knowledge and thought.”

“The will does not die but manifests itself afresh in new individuals.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer

“War is father of all, king of all. Some it makes gods, some it makes men, some it makes slaves, some free.”

“Time is a game played beautifully by children.”

“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.”

“Whoever cannot seek the unforeseen sees nothing for the known way is an impasse.”

“Nothing endures but change.”

“Wisdom is the oneness of mind that guides and permeated all things.”

“We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.”

“Man’s character is his fate.”

“Abundance of knowledge does not teach men to be wise.”

– Heraclitus

“Man is the measure of all things.”

– Protagoras

“I have nothing to ask but that you would remove to the other side, that you may not, by intercepting the sunshine, take from me what you cannot give.”

“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.”

“Alexander the Great found the philosopher looking attentively at a pile of human bones. Diogenes explained, “I am searching for the bones of your father but cannot distinguish them from those of a slave.”

– Diogenes

“As a student of comparative religions, I believe that Buddhism is the most perfect one the world has even seen. The philosophy of the theory of evolution and the law of karma were far superior to any other creed. It was neither the history of religion nor the study of philosophy that first drew me to the world of Buddhist thought but my professional interest as a doctor. My task was to treat psychic suffering and it was this that impelled me to become acquainted with the views and methods of that great teacher of humanity, whose principal theme was the chain of suffering, old age, sickness and death.”

– Carl Jung

“‘I cannot live with myself any longer.’ This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. ‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.’ ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘only one of them is real.’

When you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in. Most people refer to this dimension as time.

The ego reduces the present to a means to an end. The past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation. … Both are illusions.”

– Eckhart Tolle

“Whenever the cost of believing a false pattern is real is less than the cost of not believing a real pattern, natural selection will favor patternicity… ‘The inability of individuals—human or otherwise—to assign causal probabilities to all sets of events that occur around them will often force them to lump causal associations with non-causal ones. From here, the evolutionary rationale for superstition is clear: natural selection will favour strategies that make many incorrect causal associations in order to establish those that are essential for survival and reproduction.'”

– Michael Shermer

“Every model we make tells us how our mind works as much as it tells about the universe. These are just human symbolic games. The universe itself is bigger than any of our models.

According to Zen Buddhism, and most forms of Buddhism, and quantum mechanics, any description of the universe which leaves you out is inaccurate, because any description of the universe, and the description of the instrument that you use to take your reading of the universe — if the only instrument you use is your own nervous system, you gotta include your own nervous system in your description of the universe.

So, ergo, any model we make does not describe the universe, it describes what our brains are capable of seeing at this time.

Long before quantum mechanics, the German philosopher Husserl said that all perception is gamble. Every type of bigotry, every type of racism, sexism, prejudice, every dogmatic ideology that allows people to kill other people with a clear conscience, every stupid cult, every superstition-ridden religion, every kind of ignorance in the world, are all results from not realizing that our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see, and then we believe our interpretation of it, but we don’t even know we’re making an interpretation most of the time.”

“Well, my belief is I don’t believe in one big conspiracy that runs everything. I prefer to think that there’s at minimum, at any given time, there’s about 24 conspiracies afoot. And as far as I’ve been able to discover in all my years of being involved, more or less unwillingly, in this field, I cannot find any proof of any conspiracy that really existed, was really brought into court and convicted, that lasted more than ten years before everybody double-crossed everybody else and the conspiracy fell apart.

To redefine the power elite as somebody else, I regard that as a loser script. I define the power elite as myself and my friends. And that’s a winner script. And the way to accomplish things is with a winner script. I define myself as a winner.  I define my program as winnable.  And I count on the stupidity of whoever seems to be in power to undo them eventually because as I said, every conspiracy has a natural life span, every conspiracy collapses through double-crosses from within or by superior cleverness by rival conspiracies. And stupidity has a definite evolutionary function. I am all for abolishing stupidity, but before it goes, while there’s still a lot of it around, we should pay tribute to it.

The strongest conspiracy on the planet is the conspiracy of the stupid to prevent schools from educating their children, because they want their children to be as dumb as they are, to prevent television from putting anything intelligent on, as much as possible.”

– Robert Anton Wilson

“The ‘social contract’ is to the politician what ‘original sin’ is to the priest.”

– Don

“A rat race is for rats. We are not rats. We are human beings. Reject the insidious pressures of society that would blunt your critical faculties to all the happenings around you that would caution silence in the face of injustices lest you jeopardize your changes of promotions and self advancement. This is how it starts and before you know where you are you are a fully-paid up member of the rat pack. The price is too high. It entails a loss of your dignity and human spirit.”

– Jimmy Reid

“Christianity is a mythology with which I am perfectly familiar, so I naturally use it.”

– Samuel Beckett

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”

– Abraham Lincoln

“Numbing myself and shutting off my mind,

I walk a mile to work as another.”

“Human existence may be likened to a modern movie. Knowing fully well that the movie that captivates us consists of many individually meaningless scenes that are arranged in such an order as to produce the illusion of a continuum; knowing fully well that the characters portrayed are not real, but mere actors; we tend to mentally make connections and fill gaps to create order, consistency, and meaning. Likewise, we willingly submit to deluding ourselves into believing that the characters are real people, forgetting all about any notion of actors. So it is that there are two truths involved in the act of watching a movie. Likewise, there are two truths involved in the act of human existence.”

“Life is the game in which the sole objective is to not remember that you are playing it. As soon as you remember that it exists, you have lost and must start again.”

“As a culture develops a language, so too does a language develop a culture.”

“The best thing we can do is to stop saying things to ourselves and others like, ‘I want to do this or that,’ or ‘I should do this or that,’ or even ‘I’m going to do this or that.’ To quote Nike’s tagline, ‘Just do it!”

“When it comes to the religion of gaming, the Holy Trinity consists of Final Fantasy III, Tibia, and Terraria. Here we have the mythical, the political, and the spiritual.”

“Let’s create a second life within Second Life. We’ll call it Third Life. Or maybe The Matrix. It’s the natural evolution of the internet, right?”

“If EVE Online is the one greatest digitally controlled social experiment in human nature and free market capitalism, then Tibia is the one greatest digitally controlled social experiment in human nature and man as a political animal. Wait, wait… are we including here the Alien who created man out of boredom?”

“How can I talk to strangers like I’ve known them for a lifetime? I may not know you personally, but I do know something about human nature, and the thing about human nature is that it’s universal. In my personal experience it’s the poorest folk that understand this most of all. I believe there is an element of agape to be found here.”

“To be religious is to be infinitely interested in existing. Even nihilism implies caring.”

“I think life would be most fulfilling if I could become a space pirate.”

– Joshua Synon

“What is holding you back & why are you allowing it to? Kick fear in the teeth & take a leap of faith. Miracles happen when you allow them to.”

“Writing a book. Don’t know how to. DOING IT ANYWAY.”

– Taylor Marie

“You must have a cigarette. A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?”

– Oscar Wilde

“Often, people work long hard hours at jobs they hate to earn money to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.”

– Nigel Marsh

“Disillusionment is an important part of the spiritual path. It is a powerful and fiery gate, one of purest teachers of awakening, independence, and letting go that we will ever encounter. To be disillusioned is to be stripped of our hopes, imaginings, and expectations. But while it opens our eyes, the resulting pain all too often closes our hearts. The great challenge of disillusionment is to keep our eyes open and still remain connected with the great heart of compassion…

For some people, disillusionment and difficulty, though very hard, are what they most needed before they could come back to themselves…Even if students feel like they have lost their faith, the truth is we can never lose our faith – we just give it away for a while… The crucible of our relationship with spiritual communities and teachers can transform our initial idealism into wisdom and compassion. We will shift from seeking perfection to expressing our wisdom and love. Then we may come to understand the remarkable statement of Suzuki Roshi, when he said: ‘Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as an enlightened person. There is only enlightened activity’.”

– Jack Kornfield

“Pain truly is weakness leaving the body, provided that the pain inflicted is small enough that you can handle it and grow from it, emotionally or physically.”

– USMC

“[Man] sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.”

“This is my simple religion:

There is no need for temples,

there is no need for complicated philosophy.

Our own brain, our own heart is the temple;

the philosophy is loving kindness and compassion.”

– Dalai Lama

“An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.”

– Toynbee

“The force of mind is only as great as its expression; its depth only as deep as its power to expand and lose itself.”

– Hegel

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

– Gandhi

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time.”

– Reinhold Niebuhr

“Dying in general, or dying from drugs, I’ve thought about dying all my life like any normal person. I’ve thought about killing myself for so long because of my stomach thing that I didn’t give a fuck if I was gonna die or not. If i was gonna blow my head off with a gun I may as well take the risk of dying from drugs.”

“I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I’m not. Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are.”

“I’m so happy because today I found my friends – they’re in my head.”

– Kurt Cobain

“Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next.”

– Horace

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

– Dr. Seuss (Bernard Baruch)

“You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.”

“When you get free from certain fixed concepts of the way the world is, you find it is far more subtle, and far more miraculous, than you thought it was.”

– Alan Watts

“The tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of us while we live.”

– Norman Cousins

“I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor—such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children perhaps – what can more the heart of man desire?”

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life.”

“If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, the possibility of life is destroyed.”

– Leo Tolstoy

“Disciples of a great philosopher, however, who lack a sure feeling for truth are often misled into relying on the consistency of the system alone. The discovery of inconsistencies in the master’s system and the endeavor to eliminate them easily leads these disciples to a world-view quite opposed to that of their teacher.”

– Human Nature

“No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.”

– Christopher McCandless

“Fuck everything that you think I should be.”

– Aaron Lewis

Aphorisms 1

“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”

– Buddhist Teaching

“The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.”

– The New York Times

“The contemporary philosophical situation is determined by the fact that two philosophers, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, who did not count in their times and, for a long time, remained without influence in the history of philosophy, have continually grown in significance. Philosophers after Hegel have increasingly returned to face them, and they stand today unquestioned as the authentically great thinkers of their age. Both their influence and the opposition to them prove it. Why then can these philosophers no longer be ignored, in our time?

In the situation of philosophizing, as well as in the real life of men, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche appear as the expression of destinies…”

– Karl Jaspers

“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”

“The will to truth which will still tempt us to many a venture, that famous truthfulness of which all philosophers so far have spoken with respect – what questions has this will to truth not laid before us! What strange, wicked, questionable questions! That is a long story even now – and yet it seems as if it had scarcely begun. Is it any wonder that we should finally become suspicious, lose patience, and turn away impatiently? that we should finally learn from this Sphinx to ask questions, too? Who is it really that puts questions to us here? What in us really wants “truth”?

Indeed we came to a long halt at the question about the cause of this will – until we finally came to a complete stop before a still more basic question. We asked about the value of this will. Suppose we want truth: why not rather untruth? and uncertainty? even ignorance?

The problem of the value of truth came before us – or was it we who came before the problem? Who of us is Oedipus here? Who the Sphinx? It is a rendezvous, it seems, of questions and question marks.

And though it scarcely seems credible, it finally almost seems to us as if the problem had never even been put so far – as if we were the first to see it, fix it with our eyes, and risk it. For it does involve a risk, and perhaps there is none that is greater.”

“What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms—in short, a sum of human relations which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.”

“There are no facts, only interpretations.”

“Either one does not dream, or does so interestingly. One should learn to spend one’s waking life in the same way: not at all, or interestingly.”

“For – believe me – the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is – to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships unto uncharted seas! Live at war with your peers and yourselves! Be robbers and conquerors as long as you cannot be rulers and possessors, you seekers of knowledge! Soon the time will be past in which you had to be content living hidden in forests like shy deer! Finally the search for knowledge will reach for its due; it will want to rule and possess, and you with it!”

“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence – even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!” Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?… Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.'”

“In former times, one sought to prove that there is no God—today one indicates how the belief that there is a God arose and how this belief acquired its weight and importance: a counter-proof that there is no God thereby becomes superfluous.—When in former times one had refuted the ‘proofs of the existence of God’ put forward, there always remained the doubt whether better proofs might not be adduced than those just refuted: in those days atheists did not know how to make a clean sweep.”

“Once upon a time, in some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the highest and most mendacious minute of “world history” — yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die. One might invent such a fable and still not have illustrated sufficiently how wretched, how shadowy and flighty, how aimless and arbitrary, the human intellect appears in nature. There have been eternities when it did not exist; and when it is done for again, nothing will have happened.”

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

“It was precisely here that I saw the great danger to mankind, its sublimest enticement and seduction—but to what? to nothingness?—it was precisely here that I saw the beginning of the end, the dead stop, a retrospective weariness, the will turning against life, the tender and sorrowful signs of the ultimate illness: I understood the ever spreading morality of pity that had seized even on philosophers and made them ill, as the most sinister symptom of a European culture that had itself become sinister, perhaps as its by-pass to a new Buddhism? to a Buddhism for Europeans? to—nihilism?”

“The desire for a unio mystica with God is the desire of the Buddhist for nothingness, Nirvana—and no more!”

“A ‘scientific’ interpretation of the world … might … be one of the most stupid of all possible interpretations of the world, meaning that it would be one of the poorest in meaning. This thought is intended for the ears and consciences of our mechanists who nowadays like to pass as philosophers and insist that mechanics is the doctrine of the first and last laws on which all existence must be based as on a ground floor. But an essentially mechanical world would be an essentially meaningless world. Assuming that one estimated the value of a piece of music according to how much of it can be counted, calculated, and expressed in formulas: how absurd would such a ‘scientific’ estimation of music be! Nothing, really nothing of what is ‘music’ in it!”

“Gradually it has become clear to me what every great philosophy so far has been – namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir; also that the moral (or immoral) intentions in every philosophy constituted the real germ of life from which the whole plant had grown.

Indeed, if one would explain how the abstrusest metaphysical claims of a philosopher really came about, it is always well (and wise) to ask first: at what morality does all this (does he) aim?”

“There are no moral phenomena, only moral interpretations of phenomena.”

“Nothing is true. All is permitted.”

“Virtue is under certain circumstances merely an honorable form of stupidity: who could be ill-disposed toward it on that account? And this kind of virtue has not been outlived even today. A kind of sturdy peasant simplicity, which, however, is possible in all classes and can be encountered only with respect and a smile, believes even today that everything is in good hands, namely in the “hands of God”; and when it maintains this proportion with the same modest certainty as it would that two and two make four, we others certainly refrain from contradicting. Why disturb this pure foolishness? Why darken it with our worries about man, people, goal, future? And even if we wanted to do it, we could not. They project their own honorable stupidity and goodness into the heart of things (the old God, deus myops, still lives among them!); we others – we read something else into the heart of things: our own enigmatic nature, our contradictions, our deeper, more painful, more mistrustful wisdom.”

“The higher man is distinguished from the lower by his fearlessness and his readiness to challenge misfortune.”

“Another Christian concept, no less crazy, has passed even more deeply into the tissue of modernity: the concept of the ‘equality of souls before God.’ This concept furnishes the prototype of all theories of equal rights.”

“The domestication (the culture) of man does not go deep – where it does go deep it at once becomes degeneration (type: the Christian). The ‘savage’ (or, in moral terms, the evil man) is a return to nature – and in a certain sense his recovery, his cure from ‘culture’.”

“My humanity is a constant self-overcoming.”

“We do not belong to those who have ideas only among books, when stimulated by books. It is our habit to think outdoors – walking, leaping, climbing, dancing, preferably on lonely mountains or near the sea where even the trails become thoughtful. Our first questions about the value of a book, of a human being, or a musical composition are: Can they walk? Even more, can they dance?”

“For us this law holds for all eternity: ‘Each man is furthest from himself’ – where we ourselves are concerned, we are not ‘knowledgeable people.'”

“The nihilistic question ‘for what?’ is rooted in the old habit of supposing that the goal must be put up, given, demanded from outside – by some superhuman authority. Having unlearned faith in that, one still follows the old habit and seeks another authority that can speak unconditionally and command goals and tasks.”

“But you will have gathered what I am driving at, namely, that it is still a metaphysical faith upon which our faith in science rests—that even we seekers after knowledge today, we godless anti-metaphysicians still take our fire, too, from the flame lit by a faith that is thousands of years old, that Christian faith which was also the faith of Plato, that God is the truth, that truth is divine. —But what if this should become more and more incredible, if nothing should prove to be divine any more unless it were error, blindness, the lie—if God himself should prove to be our most enduring lie?”

“One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.”

“To recognize untruth as a condition of life—that certainly means resisting accustomed value feelings in a dangerous way; and a philosophy that risks this would by that token alone place itself beyond good and evil.”

“I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.”

“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it – all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary – but love it.”

“Not by wrath, but by laughter does one kill. Come, let us kill the spirit of gravity! And let that day be lost to us on which we did not dance once! And let that wisdom be false to us that brought no laughter with it! Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.”

“Men have become suffering creatures as a consequence of their moralities: what they have purchased with them is, all in all, a feeling that at bottom they are too good and too significant for the earth and are paying it only a passing visit. For the present, the ‘proud sufferer’ is still the highest type of man.”

“I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, petty – I call it the one mortal blemish of mankind.”

“We have arranged for ourselves a world in which we can live by the postulating of bodies, lines, surfaces, causes and effects, motion and rest, form and content: without these articles of faith no one could manage to live at present!  But for all that they are still unproved.  Life is no argument; error might be among the conditions of life.”

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

“The cause of the origin of a thing and its eventual utility, its actual employment and place in a system of purposes, lie worlds apart; whatever exists, having somehow come into being, is again and again reinterpreted to new ends, taken over, transformed, and redirected by some power superior to it; all events in the organic world are a subduing, a becoming master, and all subduing and becoming master involves a fresh interpretation, an adaptation through which any previous “meaning” and “purpose” are necessarily obscured or even obliterated.”

“Verily, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he hath deceived you. The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to hate his friends. One requiteth a teacher badly if one remain merely a student. And why will ye not pluck at my wreath? Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day collapse? Take heed lest a statue crush you! Ye say, ye believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is Zarathustra! Ye are my believers: but of what account are all believers! Ye had not yet sought yourselves: then did ye find me. So do all believers; therefore all belief is of so little account. Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when ye have all denied me, will I return unto you.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

“I begin with the principle that all men are bores. Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this.”

“This is what is sad when one contemplates human life, that so many live out their lives in quiet lostness… they live, as it were, away from themselves and vanish like shadows. Their immortal souls are blown away, and they are not disquieted by the question of its immortality, because they are already disintegrated before they die.”

“What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music.”

“Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.”

“Not just in commerce but in the world of ideas too our age is putting on a veritable clearance sale. Everything can be had so dirt cheap that one begins to wonder whether in the end anyone will want to make a bid.”

“Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.”

“It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding, but if it would only take the trouble to understand itself at the same time it would simply have to posit the paradox.”

“When subjectivity, inwardness, is truth, then truth, objectively defined, is a paradox; and that truth is objectively a paradox shows precisely that subjectivity is truth, since the objectivity does indeed thrust away, and the objectivity’s repulsion, or the expression for the objectivity’s repulsion, is the resilience and dynamometer of inwardness.”

“In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant. My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known – no wonder, then, that I return the love.”

“Nowadays not even a suicide kills himself in desperation. Before taking the step he deliberates so long and so carefully that he literally chokes with thought. It is even questionable whether he ought to be called a suicide, since it is really thought which takes his life. He does not die with deliberation but from deliberation.”

“All logical thinking employs the language of abstraction, and is sub specie aeterni. To think existence logically is thus to ignore the difficulty, the difficulty, that is, of thinking the eternal as in process or becoming. But this difficulty is unavoidable, since the thinker himself is in process of becoming. It is easier to indulge in abstract thought than it is to exist, unless we understand by this latter term what is loosely called existing, in analogy with what is loosely called being a subject. Here we have again an example of the fact that the simplest tasks are the most difficult. Existing is ordinarily regarded as no very complex matter, much less an art, since we all exist, but abstract thinking takes rank as an accomplishment. But really to exist, so as to interpenetrate one’s existence with consciousness, at one and the same time eternal and as if far removed from existence, and yet also present in existence and in the process of becoming: that is truly difficult.”

“An objective uncertainty, held fast through appropriation with the most passionate inwardness, is the truth, the highest truth there is for an existing person. At the point where the road swings off (and where that is cannot be stated objectively, since it is precisely subjectivity), objective knowledge is suspended. Objectively he then has only uncertainty, but this is precisely what intensifies the infinite passion of inwardness, and truth is precisely the daring venture of choosing the objective uncertainty with the passion of the infinite. I observe nature in order to find God, and I do indeed see omnipotence and wisdom, but I also see much that troubles and disturbs. The sum total of this is an objective uncertainty, but the inwardness is so very great, precisely because it grasps this objective uncertainty with all the passion of the infinite. In a mathematical proposition, for example, the objectivity is given, but therefore its truth is also an indifferent truth.”

“Being an individual man is a thing that has been abolished, and every speculative philosopher confuses himself with humanity at large; whereby he becomes something infinitely great, and at the same time nothing at all… To be a particular individual is world-historically absolutely nothing, infinitely nothing — and yet, this is the only true and highest significance of a human being, so much higher as to make every other significance illusory… If initially my human nature is merely an abstract something, it is at any rate the task which life sets me to become subjective, the uncertainty of death comes more and more to interpenetrate my subjectivity dialectically. It thus becomes more and more important for me to think it in connection with every factor and phase of my life; for since the uncertainty is there in every moment, it can be overcome only by overcoming it in every moment… An objective uncertainty held fast in an appropriation-process of the most passionate inwardness is the truth, the highest truth attainable for an existing individual… All knowledge about reality is possibility. The only reality to which an existing individual may have a relation that is more than cognitive, is his own reality, the fact that he exists; this reality constitutes his absolute interest. Abstract thought requires him to become disinterested in order to acquire knowledge; the ethical demand is that he become infinitely interested in existing… For an abstract thinker to try to prove his existence by the fact that he thinks, is a curious contradiction; for in the degree that he thinks abstractly he abstracts from his own existence.”

“Man is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation which relates itself to its own self, or it is that in the relation that the relation relates itself to its own self; the self is not the relation but that the relation relates itself to its own self.”

“In so-called Christian speculative thought, what other presupposition can there be at all than that Christianity is the very opposite of speculative thought, that it is the miraculous, the absurd, with the requirement that the individual is to exist in it and is not to waste time on speculatively understanding. If there is speculative thinking within this presupposition, then the speculative thought will instead have as its task a concentration on the impossibility of speculatively understanding Christianity.”

“People have wanted to perform the astonishing trick of saying: ‘Christianity is an objective doctrine.’ This is what has abolished Christianity.”

“If the problem is to calculate where there is more truth, whether on the side of the person who only objectively seeks the true God and the approximating truth of the God-idea or on the side of the person who is infinitely concerned that he in truth relates himself to God with the infinite passion of need – then there can be no doubt about the answer for anyone who is not totally botched by scholarship and science.”

“Sin is this: before God, or with the conception of God, to be in despair at not willing to be oneself, or in despair at willing to be oneself.”

“Spiritual superiority only sees the individual. But alas, ordinarily we human beings are sensual and, therefore, as soon as it is a gathering, the impression changes- we see something abstract, the crowd, and we become different. But in the eyes of God, the infinite spirit, all the millions that have lived and now live do not make a crowd, He only sees each individual.”

“I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations – one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it – you will regret both.”

“Anxiety may be compared with dizziness. He whose eye happens to look down into the yawning abyss becomes dizzy. But what is the reason for this? It is just as much in his own eye as in the abyss, for suppose he had not looked down. Hence, anxiety is the dizziness of freedom, which emerges when the spirit wants to posit the synthesis and freedom looks down into its own possibility, laying hold of finiteness to support itself. Freedom succumbs to dizziness. Further than this, psychology cannot and will not go. In that very moment everything is changed, and freedom, when it again rises, sees that it is guilty. Between these two moments lies the leap, which no science has explained and which no science can explain. He who becomes guilty in anxiety becomes as ambiguously guilty as it is possible to become.”

“Whoever is educated by anxiety is educated by possibility, and only he who is educated by possibility is educated according to his infinitude… When the discoveries of possibility are honestly administered, possibility will discover all the finitudes, but it will idealize them in the form of infinity and in anxiety overwhelm the individual until he again overcomes them in the anticipation of faith.”

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!”

“Deep within every human being there still lives the anxiety over the possibility of being alone in the world, forgotten by God, overlooked among the millions and millions in this enormous household. A person keeps this anxiety at a distance by looking at the many round about who are related to him as kin and friends, but the anxiety is still there, nevertheless, and he hardly dares think of how he would feel if all this were taken away.”

“This has to be said; So Let It Be Said. Whoever you are, whatever in other respects your life may be, my friend, by ceasing to take part (if ordinarily you do) in the public worship of God, as it now is (with the claim that it is the Christianity of the New Testament), you have constantly one guilt the less, and that a great one: you do not take part in treating God as a fool by calling that the Christianity of the New Testament, which is not the Christianity of the New Testament… the official worship of God… is, Christianly, a counterfeit, a forgery.”

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close.”

“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.”

“People understand me so poorly that they don’t even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.”

“Suppose someone wanted to impart the following conviction: truth is inwardness, objectively there is no truth, but appropriation is the truth. Suppose him to be very eager and enthusiastic to have this said, since if people could only hear it they would be saved; suppose he said it on every occasion and succeeded in moving the hard-boiled as well as those who perspire easily: what then? No doubt there would be some workers standing idle in the marketplace and simply on hearing this summons would go forth to work in the vineyard – proclaiming this doctrine for all. And then? He would then have contradicted himself still further, just as he had from the beginning; for the eagerness and enthusiasm to have it said and get it heard was already a misunderstanding. What of course was most important was that he should be understood, and the inwardness of the understanding would consist exactly in each individual coming to understand it by himself. Here he had even gone so far as to obtain town criers of inwardness, and a town crier of inwardness is a quite remarkable animal. In order actually to impart such a conviction, art and self-control would be needed; self-control enough to grasp in inwardness that the individual’s God-relationship is the main thing, and the bustle of a third party a lack of inwardness and an excess of amiable stupidity; art enough to vary the doubly reflected form of the communication as inexhaustibly as the inwardness is itself inexhaustible.”

“If someone who wanted to learn to dance were to say: For centuries, one generation after the other has learned the positions, and it is high time that I take advantage of this and promptly begin with the quadrille–people would presumably laugh a little at him, but in the world of spirit this is very plausible. What, then, is education? I believed it is the course the individual goes through in order to catch up with himself, and the person who will not go through this course is not much helped by being born in the most enlightened age.”

“I might be tempted to make to Christendom a proposal different from that of the Bible society. Let us collect all the New Testaments we have, let us bring them out to an open square or up to the summit of a mountain, and while we all kneel let one man speak to God thus: ‘Take this book back again; we men, such as we now are, are not fit to go in for this sort of thing, it only makes us unhappy,’ This is my proposal, that like those inhabitants in Gerasa we beseech Christ to depart from our borders. This would be an honest and human way of talking — rather different from the disgusting hypocritical priestly fudge.”

“Doubt is thought’s despair; despair is personality’s doubt…. Doubt and despair … belong to completely different spheres; different sides of the soul are set in motion… Despair is an expression of the total personality, doubt only of thought.”

“Although an outsider, I have at least understood this much, that the only unforgivable high treason against Christianity is the single individual’s taking his relation to it for granted. I must therefore most respectfully refuse all theocentric helpers and the assistance of helper’s helpers to help me into Christianity in that way. So I prefer to remain where I am, with my infinite interest, with the issue, with the possibility. In other words, it is not impossible that the individual who is infinitely interested in his own eternal happiness can some day become eternally happy; on the other hand, it is certainly impossible that the person who has lost a sense for it (and such a sense can scarcely be anything but an infinite concern) can become eternally happy. Indeed, once lost, it is perhaps impossible to regain it.”

– Søren Kierkegaard

“Kierkegaard called his philosophy existential – this means: he thought in order to live and did not live in order to think. And in this lies his distinction from professional philosophers, for whom their philosophy is frequently only a “specialty” (as there are all kinds of other specialties: philology, astronomy, mathematics), a specialty that has no relationship and no connection with their life.”

– Lev Shestov

“All philosophers agree – whereby they really exalt themselves – that mind is king of heaven and earth.”

“A witty maid-servant saw Thales tumbling into a well and said that he was so eager to know what was going on in heaven that he could not see what was before his feet. This is applicable to all philosophers. The philosopher is unacquainted with the world; he hardly knows whether his neighbor is a man or an animal. For he is always searching into the essence of man, and enquiring what such a nature ought to do or suffer different from any other.”

– Plato

“Son, did you ever think that this whole enlightenment thing is just a personal journey? It has no meaning to anyone else and nobody understands it. It is a way of thinking and dealing with life, but it is not actually living. You need to get out of your head and live life. Unfortunately, living life includes doing things you don’t necessarily want to do. I am seriously worried about you. I’m afraid you’re going to end up in a psych ward.”

– Theresa Happner

“The study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy.”

– Abraham Maslow

“Nothingness” is generally forced into a relationship with “being” and made to serve as its negation, leading to its conception as something that “is” nothingness because it “is not” being. This seems to be especially evident in Western thought, even in the “nihility” of nihilism. But insofar as one stops here, nothingness remains a mere concept, a nothingness only in thought. Absolute nothingness, wherein even that “is” is negated, is not possible as a nothingness that is thought but only as a nothingness that is lived. It was remarked above that behind person there is nothing at all, that is, that “nothing at all” is what stands behind person. But this assertion does not come about as a conceptual conversion, but only as an existential conversion away from the mode of being of person-centered person. Granted what we have said about the person-centered self-prehension of person as being intertwined with the very essence and realization of the personal, the negation of person-centeredness must amount to an existential self-negation of man as person. The shift of man as person from person-centered self-prehension to self-revelation as the manifestation of absolute nothingness (Śūnyatā) requires an existential conversion, a change of heart within man himself.”

“All things that are in the world are linked together, one way or the other. Not a single thing comes into being without some relationship to every other thing. Scientific intellect thinks here in terms of natural laws of necessary causality; mythico-poetic imagination perceives an organic, living connection; philosophic reason contemplates an absolute One. But on a more essential level, a system of circuminsession has to be seen here, according to which, on the field of Śūnyatā, all things are in a process of becoming master and servant to one another. In this system, each thing is itself in not being itself, and is not itself in being itself. Its being is illusion in its truth and truth in its illusion. This may sound strange the first time one hears it, but in fact it enables us for the first time to conceive of a force by virtue of which all things are gathered together and brought into relationship with one another, a force which, since ancient times, has gone by the name of “nature” (physis).”

“When I say that person is a phenomenon, however, I do not wish to imply that there is some other “thing” behind personal being, like an actor behind a mask. Person is an appearance with nothing at all behind it to make an appearance. That is to say, “nothing at all” is what is behind person; complete nothingness, not one single thing, occupies the position behind person.”

“What is more, that core of self-prehension remains forever shackled, as we observed before, to its own narcissism. It is a grasping of the self by the self, a confinement of the self by the self that spells attachment to the self.”

– Keiji Nishitani

“‘I think we don’t have ideology,’ he said, ‘We don’t have theology. We dance.’”

– Joseph Campbell

“Those who would by learning attain to this, seek for what they cannot learn. Those who would by effort attain to this, attempt what effort can never effect. Those who aim by reasoning to reach it, reason where reasoning has no place. To know to stop where they cannot arrive by means of knowledge is the highest attainment.”

“Right is not right; so is not so. If right were really right it would differ so clearly from not right that there would be no need for argument. If so were really so, it would differ so clearly from not so that there would be no need for argument.”

“A trap is for fish: when you’ve got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you’ve got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you’ve got the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find someone who’s forgotten words so I can have a word with him?”

“During our dreams we do not know we are dreaming. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream. And yet fools think they are awake, presuming to know that they are rulers or herdsmen. How dense! You and Confucius are both dreaming, and I who say you are a dream am also a dream. Such is my tale.”

“How do I know that the dead do not regret their previous longing for life?”

“Forget the years, forget distinctions. Leap into the boundless and make it your home!”

– Zhuangzi

“The God of theological theism deprives me of my subjectivity because he is all-powerful and all-knowing. I revolt and make him into an object, but the revolt fails and becomes desperate. God appears as the invincible tyrant, the being in contrast with whom all other beings are without freedom and subjectivity. He is equated with the recent tyrants who with the help of terror try to transform everything into a mere object, a thing among things, a cog in a machine they control. He becomes the model of everything against which Existentialism revolted. This is the God Nietzsche said had to be killed because nobody can tolerate being made into a mere object of absolute knowledge and absolute control. This is the deepest root of atheism. It is an atheism which is justified as the reaction against theological theism and its disturbing implications.”

“Absolute faith is a faith which has been deprived by doubt of any concrete content, which nevertheless is faith and the source of the most paradoxical manifestation of the courage to be.”

“Sometimes I think it is my mission to bring faith to the faithless, and doubt to the faithful.”

“Man, like every living being, is concerned about many things, above all about those which condition his very existence. If a situation or concern claims ultimacy it demands the total surrender of him who accepts this claim, it demands that all other concerns be sacrificed. Faith as ultimate concern is an act of the total personality. It transcends both the drives of the nonrational unconsciousness and the structures of the rational conscious. The ecstatic character of faith does not exclude its rational character although it is not identical with it, and it includes nonrational strivings without being identical with them. ‘Ecstasy’ means ‘standing outside of oneself’ – without ceasing to be oneself – with all the elements which are united in the personal center.”

“Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.”

– Paul Tillich

“Where is my faith? Even deep down… there is nothing but emptiness and darkness… If there be God — please forgive me… Such deep longing for God… Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal… What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true… Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.”

– Mother Teresa

“The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao.

The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth.

The named is the mother of myriad things.

Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence.

Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations.

These two emerge together but differ in name.

The unity is said to be the mystery.

Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders.”

“A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.”

– Lao Tzu

 

“And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”

– John Green

“The whole problem of knowledge has constantly been that of bringing the one and the many together. When man looks about him and within him, he sees that there is a great variety of facts. The question that comes up at once is whether there is any unity in this variety, whether there is one principle in accordance with which all these many things appear and occur. All non-Christian thought, if it has utilized the idea of a supra-mundane existence at all, has used this supra-mundane existence as furnishing only the unity or the a priori aspect of knowledge, while it has maintained that the a posteriori aspect of knowledge is something that is furnished by the universe.”

– Cornelius Van Til

“Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law.”

“Wretched men cringe before tyrants who have no power, the victims of their trivial hopes and fears. They do not realize that anger is hopeless, fear is pointless and desire all a delusion. He whose heart is fickle is not his own master, has thrown away his shield, deserted his post, and he forges the links of the chain that holds him.”

“Men who give up the common goal of all things that exist, thereby cease to exist themselves. Some may perhaps think it strange that we say that wicked men, who form the majority of men, do not exist; but that is how it is. I am not trying to deny the wickedness of the wicked; what I do deny is that their existence is absolute and complete existence. Just as you might call a corpse a dead man, but couldn’t simply call it a man, so I would agree that the wicked are wicked, but could not agree that they have unqualified existence.”

“One’s virtue is all that one truly has, because it is not imperiled by the vicissitudes of fortune.”

“Human souls are more free when they persevere in the contemplation of the mind of God, less free when they descend to the corporeal, and even less free when they are entirely imprisoned in earthly flesh and blood.”

“Human perversity, then, makes divisions of that which by nature is one and simple, and in attempting to obtain part of something which has no parts, succeeds in getting neither the part- which is nothing- nor the whole, which they are not interested in.”

– Boethius

“I quote others only to better express myself.”

“There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.”

“Obsession is the wellspring of genius and madness.”

“Learned we may be with another man’s learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.”

“Not necessity, not desire – no, the love of power is the demon of men. Let them have everything – health, food, a place to live, entertainment – they are and remain unhappy and low-spirited: for the demon waits and waits and will be satisfied.”

“To begin depriving death of its greatest advantage over us, let us adopt a way clean contrary to that common one; let us deprive death of its strangeness, let us frequent it, let us get used to it; let us have nothing more often in mind than death… We do not know where death awaits us: so let us wait for it everywhere.”

“As our birth brought us the birth of all things, so in our death is the death of all things included. And therefore to lament that we shall not be alive a hundred years hence, is the same folly as to be sorry we were not alive a hundred years ago. … Long life, and short, are by death made all one; for there is no long, nor short, to things that are no more.”

“Life in itself is neither good nor evil; it is the scene of good or evil as you make it.’ And, if you have lived a day, you have seen all: one day is equal and like to all other days. There is no other light, no other shade; this very sun, this moon, these very stars, this very order and disposition of things, is the same your ancestors enjoyed, and that shall also entertain your posterity.”

“Wherever your life ends, it is all there. The utility of living consists not in the length of days, but in the use of time; a man may have lived long, and yet lived but a little. Make use of time while it is present with you. It depends upon your will, and not upon the number of days, to have a sufficient length of life.”

“A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.”

“Where death waits for us is uncertain; let us look for him everywhere. The premeditation of death is the premeditation of liberty; he who has learned to die has unlearned to serve. There is nothing evil in life for him who rightly comprehends that the privation of life is no evil: to know, how to die delivers us from all subjection and constraint.”

“My art and profession is to live.”

“The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.”

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”

– Michel de Montaigne

“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”

“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”

– Thomas Paine

“Quietus.”

“Most humans have an above average number of legs.”

– Jordan O’Connors

“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all.”

“Intimacy requires courage because risk is inescapable. We cannot know at the outset how the relationship will affect us. Like a chemical mixture, if one of us is changed, both of us will be. Will we grow in self-actualization, or will it destroy us? The one thing we can be certain of is that if we let ourselves fully into the relationship for good or evil, we will not come out unaffected.”

“Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. … One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect on panic among people around him. This is what our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important as these are, and not geniuses and supermen, but persons who can “be”, that is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.”

– Rollo May

“If there is no God, then everything is permitted.”

– Dostoevsky

“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”

“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

“I don’t want to die without any scars.”

“This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.”

“The things you used to own, now they own you.”

“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

“I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.”

“I’ve met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, and God asks me, “Why?”

Why did I cause so much pain?

Didn’t I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness?

Can’t I see how we’re all manifestations of love?

I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God’s got this all wrong.

We are not special.

We are not crap or trash, either.

We just are.

We just are, and what happens just happens.

And God says, “No, that’s not right.”

Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can’t teach God anything.”

“I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.”

– Chuck Palahniuk

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

– Henry David Thoreau

“It’s a mystery to me. We have a greed with which we have agreed. And you think you have to want more than you need. Until you have it all, you won’t be free. When you want more than you have, you think you need. And when you think more than you want, your thoughts begin to bleed. I think I need to find a bigger place. Cause when you have more than you think, you need more space.”

– Eddie Vedder

“The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.”

– Adam Smith

“Our mission statement is to make virtual worlds more meaningful than real life. For me, real life has stopped being interesting. The economy of Eve is what I care about. You can set all kinds of rules and see how they affect human behavior. It’s about running tests without threatening real life, so to speak.”

– Eyjólfur Guðmundsson

“A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many. I had not thought death had undone so many.”

– T.S. Eliot

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods; there is a rapture on the lonely shore; there is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more.”

– Lord Byron

“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”

“And Ragnar – you didn’t know what profession Ragnar had chosen, Miss Taggart? No, it wasn’t a stunt pilot, or jungle explorer, or deep-sea diver. It was something much more outrageous than these. Ragnar intended to be a philosopher. An abstract, theoretical, academic, cloistered, ivory-tower philosopher.”

“What I actually am, Mr. Rearden, is a policeman. It is a policeman’s duty to protect men from criminals – criminals being those who seize wealth by force… But when robbery becomes the purpose of the law… then it is an outlaw who has to become a policeman.”

“I’m after a man whom I want to destroy… Robin Hood… He was the man who robbed the rich and gave to the poor. Well, I’m the man who robs the poor and gives to the rich – or, to be exact, the man who robs the thieving poor and gives back to the productive rich.”

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

“I have no defense. I do not recognize this court’s right to try me. I do not recognize my action as a crime. I am complying with the law – to the letter. Your law holds that my life, my property, my work may be disposed of without my consent. Very well, you may now dispose of me without my participation in the matter. I will not play the part of defending myself, where no defense is possible, and I will not simulate the illusion of dealing with a tribunal of justice.”

“Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person’s sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they’re taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment – just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! – an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience – or to fake – a sense of self-esteem .. Love is our response to our highest values – and can be nothing else.”

“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.”

“Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.”

“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.”

“Why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world–to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.”

“I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.”

“The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.”

“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders – What would you tell him? … To shrug.”

“The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

“To say ‘I love you’ one must know first how to say the ‘I’.”

“Have you felt it too? Have you seen how your best friends love everything about you- except the things that count? And your most important is nothing to them; nothing, not even a sound they can recognize.”

– Ayn Rand

“Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium [i.e. “numbing agent”] of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.”

– Karl Marx

“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.”

“Man is condemned to be free. It is up to you to give your life meaning.”

– Jean-Paul Sartre

“Don’t fear god.

Don’t worry about death.
What is good is easy to get.
What is terrible is easy to endure.”

– Epicurus