“Know thyself” – a maxim as pernicious as it is odious. A person observing himself would arrest his own development. Any caterpillar who tried to “know himself” would never become a butterfly.
Topics: Self-Discovery, Knowledge
It is good to follow one’s own bent, so long as it leads upward.
God depends on us. It is through us that God is achieved.
One completely overcomes only what one assimilates.
What another would have done as well as you, do not do it. What another would have said as well as you, do not say it; what another would have written as well, do not write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself—and thus make yourself indispensable.
Topics: Being True to Yourself
Are you then unable to recognize unless it has the same sound as yours?
Great authors are admirable in this respect: in every generation they make for disagreement. Through them we become aware of our differences.
Topics: Authors & Writing
The most decisive actions of our life — I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future — are, more often than not, unconsidered.
The most important things to say are those which often I did not think necessary for me to say — because they were too obvious.
The young people who come to me in the hope of hearing me utter a few memorable maxims are quite disappointed. Aphorisms are not my forte, I say nothing but banalities…. I listen to them and they go away delighted.
In order to judge properly, one must get away somewhat from what one is judging, after having loved it. This is true of countries, of persons, and of oneself.
In order to be utterly happy, the only thing necessary is to refrain from comparing this moment with other moments in the past, which I often did not fully enjoy because I was comparing them with other moments of the future.
Topics: The Present, Value of Time, Time Management, Happiness
Art begins with resistance — at the point where resistance is overcome. No human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor.
Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.
I owe much to my friends; but, all things considered, it strikes me that I owe even more to my enemies. The real person springs life under a sting even better than under a caress.
True kindness presupposes the faculty of imagining as one’s own the suffering and joys of others.
To win one’s joy through struggle is better than to yield to melancholy.
The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.
Too chaste a youth leads to a dissolute old age
There is a certain state of health that does not allow us to understand everything; and perhaps illness shuts us off from certain truths; but health shuts us off just as effectively from others.
Oh, would that my mind could let fall its dead ideas, as the tree does its withered leaves.
The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.
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