Everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate, and comic in its existence.
The hunger for facile wisdom is the root of all false philosophy.
The earth has its music for those who will listen.
The pride of the artisan in his art and its uses is pride in himself...It is in his skill and ability to make things as he wishes them to be that he rejoices.
Better not be a hero than work oneself up into heroism by shouting lies.
Chaos is perhaps at the bottom of everything.
England is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, anomalies, hobbies, and humors.
Periods of tranquillity are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up.
Columbus found a world, and had no chart save one that Faith deciphered in the skies.
The fly that prefers sweetness to a long life may drown in honey.
In the concert of nature it is hard to keep in tune with oneself if one is out of tune with everything else.
Man has an inexhuastible faculty for lying, especially to himself.
I like to walk about amidst the beautiful things that adorn the world.
Language is like money, without which specific relative values may well exist and be felt, but cannot be reduced to a common denominator.
Heaven is to be at peace with things.
Man's most serious activity is play.
There is no dunce like a mature dunce.
Self-assurance is contemptible and fatal unless it is self-knowledge.
You and I possess manifold ideal bonds in the interests we share; but each of us has his poor body and his irremediable, incommunicable dreams.
Since barbarism has its pleasures it naturally has its apologists.
History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there... History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten.
It is possible to be a master in false philosophy, easier, in fact, than to be a master in the truth, because a false philosophy can be made as simple and consistent as one pleases.
We do right enough darling, if we go wrong together.
The Fates, like an absent-minded printer, seldom allow a single line to stand perfect and unmarred.
The need of exercise is a modern superstition, invented by people who ate too much and had nothing to think about.
The need of exercise is a modern superstition, invented by people who ate too much and had nothing to think about. Athletics don't make anybody long-lived or useful.
All beauties are to be honored, but only one embraced.
Gnomic wisdom, however, is notoriously polychrome, and proverbs depend for their truth entirely on the occasion they are applied to. Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.
The human mind is not rich enough to drive many horses abreast and wants one general scheme, under which it strives to bring everything.
Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.
People never believe in volcanoes until the lava actually overtakes them.
Nonsense is so good only because common sense is so limited.
Repetition is the only form of permanence that Nature can achieve.
Religion should be disentangled as much as possible from history and authority and metaphysics, and made to rest honestly on one's fine feelings, on one's indomitable optimism and trust in life.
Depression is rage spread thin.
Eloquence is a republican art, as conversation is an aristocratic one.
A conception not reducible to the small change of daily experience is like a currency not exchangeable for articles of consumption; it is not a symbol, but a fraud.
We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.
The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas.
Work and love these are the basics; waking life is a dream controlled.
Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.
The spirit's foe in man has not been simplicity, but sophistication.
Our dignity is not in what we do, but what we understand.
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
The loftiest edifices need the deepest foundations.
Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer.
The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again.
Miracles are propitious accidents, the natural causes of which are too complicated to be readily understood.
Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.
Tomes of aesthetic criticism hang on a few moments of real delight and intuition.
Tyrants are seldom free; the cares and the instruments of their tyranny enslave them.
A good citizen must follow the movement of public affairs, so as to cast his vote intelligently, and know whether the party in power deserved his vote.
Religion is the natural reaction of the imagination when confronted by the difficulties in a truculent world.
There is nothing sacred about convention; there is nothing sacred about primitive passions or whims; but the fact that a convention exists indicates that a way of living has been devised capable of maintaining itself.
It is true that I am carrying out various methods of treatment recommended by doctors and dentists in the hope of dying in the remote future in perfect health.
A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.
What is false in the science of facts may be true in the science of values.
The existence of any evil anywhere at any time absolutely ruins a total optimism.
Music is essentially useless, as is life.
A man's feet should be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.
When men and women agree, it is only in their conclusions; their reasons are always different.
The profoundest affinities are those most readily felt, and though a thousand later considerations may overlay and override them, they remain a background and standard for all happiness. If we trace them out we succeed.
The man who would emancipate art from discipline and reason is trying to elude rationality, not merely in art, but in all existence.
Memory itself is an internal rumour.
In unphilosophical minds any rare or unexpected thing excites wonder, while in philosophical minds the familiar excites wonder also.
Proofs are the last thing looked for by a truly religious mind which feels the imaginative fitness of its faith and knows instinctively that, in such a manner, imaginative fitness is all that can be required.
The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian, unless the latter, too, be lovers in disguise.
It would hardly be possible to exaggerate man's wretchedness if it were not so easy to overestimate his sensibility.
Friends are generally of the same sex, for when men and women agree, it is only in the conclusions; their reasons are always different.
It is a new road to happiness, if you have strength enough to castigate a little the various impulses that sway you in turn.
Parents lend children their experience and a vicarious memory; children endow their parents with a vicarious immortality.
The constant demands of the heart and the belly can allow man only an incidental indulgence in the pleasures of the eye and the understanding.
The working of great institutions is mainly the result of a vast mass of routine, petty malice, self interest, carelessness and sheer mistake. Only a residual fraction is thought.
Love is a brilliant illustration of a principle everywhere discoverable: namely, that human reason lives by turning the friction of material forces into the light of ideal goods.
When all beliefs are challenged together, the just and necessary ones have a chance to step forward and re-establish themselves alone.
The body must be loosely clad if the mind is to forget it and impetuously lead its own life.
The wisest mind hath something yet to learn.
A sanctity hangs about the sources of our being, whether physical, social, or imaginary.
We laughed at the same things, and we liked the same things. What more is needed for agreeable society?
Wisdom comes from disillusionment.
Faith in the intellect...is the only faith yet sanctioned by its fruits.
A soul is but the last bubble of a long fermentation in the world.
I stand in philosophy exactly where I stand in daily life; I should not be honest otherwise.
Nietzsche was personally more philosophical than his philosophy. His talk about power, harshness, and superb immorality was the hobby of a harmless young scholar and constitutional invalid.
The irrational in the human has something about it altogether repulsive and terrible, as we see in the maniac, the miser, the drunkard or the ape.
To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
Consciousness is a born hermit.
To condemn spontaneous and delightful occupations because they are useless for self-preservation shows an uncritical prizing of life irrespective of its content.
Columbus gave the world another world.
Love make us poets, and the approach of death should make us philosophers.
Nothing is inherently and invincibly young except spirit. And spirit can enter a human being perhaps better in the quiet of old age and dwell there more undisturbed than in the turmoil of adventure.
To reform means to shatter one form and to create another; but the two sides of this act are not always equally intended nor equally successful.
Never build your emotional life on the weaknesses of others.
There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor.
That fear first created the gods is perhaps as true as anything so brief could be on so great a subject.
Is it indeed from the experience of beauty and happiness, from the occasional harmony between our nature and our environment, that we draw our conception of the divine life.
The body is an instrument, the mind its function, the witness and reward of its operation.
The tendency to gather and to breed philosophers in universities does not belong to ages of free and humane reflection: it is scholastic and proper to the Middle Ages and to Germany.
To be happy you must have taken the measure of your powers, tasted the fruits of your passion, and learned your place in the world.
There is a kind of courtesy in skepticism. It would be an offense against polite conventions to press our doubts too far.
To know your future you must know your past.
Truth is a jewel which should not be painted over; but it may be set to advantage and shown in a good light.
Prayer is not a substitute for work; it is an effort to work further and be efficient beyond the range of one's powers.
Each religion, so dear to those whose life it sanctifies, and fulfilling so necessary a function in the society that has adopted it, necessarily contradicts every other religion, and probably contradicts itself.
Our knowledge is a torch of smoky pine
That lights the pathway but one step ahead
Across a void of mystery and dread.
Every nation thinks its own madness normal and requisite; more passion and more fancy it calls folly, less it calls imbecility.
Imagination is potentially infinite. Though actually we are limited to the types of experience for which we possess organs, those organs are somewhat plastic. Opportunity will change their scope and even their center.
There is nothing sweeter than to be sympathized with.
To understand oneself is the classic form of consolation; to elude oneself is the romantic.
Knowledge is not eating, and we cannot expect to devour and possess what we mean. Knowledge is recognition of something absent; it is a salutation, not an embrace.
Only the dead have seen the end of the war.
To be an American is of itself almost a moral condition, an education, and a career.
There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. The dark background which death supplies brings out the tender colours of life in all their purity.
To be boosted by an illusion is not to live better than to live in harmony with the truth ... these refusals to part with a decayed illusion are really an infection to the mind.
Manhood and sagacity ripen of themselves; it suffices not to repress or distort them.
Time and Space are not prior to creation, they are forms under which creation becomes thinkable.
Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavour to understand him.
If all art aspires to the condition of music, all the sciences aspire to the condition of mathematics.
It is in rare and scattered instants that beauty smiles even on her adorers, who are reduced for habitual comfort to remembering her past favours.
To turn events into ideas is the function of literature.
It is a great bond to dislike the same things.
Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine By which alone the mortal heart is led Unto the thinking of the thought divine.
It is right to prefer our own country to all others, because we are children and citizens before we can be travellers or philosophers.
The traveller must be somebody and come from somewhere, so that his definite character and moral traditions may supply an organ and a point of comparison for his observations.
I believe in general in a dualism between facts and the ideas of those facts in human heads.
The irrational in the human has something about it altogether repulsive and terrible, as we see in the maniac, the miser, the drunkard or the ape.
Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out and minutely articulated.
Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common-sense rounded out and minutely articulated. It is therefore as much an instinctive product, as much a stepping forth of human courage in the dark, as is any inevitable dream or impulsive action.
Mortality has its compensations; one is that all evils are transitory, another that better times may come.
It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands.
There are books in which the footnotes, or the comments scrawled by some reader's hand in the margin, are more interesting than the text. The world is one of those books.
It is always pleasant to be urged to do something on the ground that one can do it well.
There is no greater stupidity or meanness than to take uniformity for an ideal.
There is no greater stupidity or meanness than to take uniformity for an ideal, as if it were not a benefit and a joy to a man, being what he is, to know that many are, have been, and will be better than he.
It is easier to make a saint out of a libertine than out of a prig.
If pain could have cured us we should long ago have been saved.
We crave support in vanity, as we do in religion, and never forgive contradictions in that sphere.
One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human.
To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery the soil of love.
The primary use of conversation is to satisfy the impulse to talk.
Man is a gregarious animal, and much more so in his mind than in his body. He may like to go alone for a walk, but he hates to stand alone in his opinions.
History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten.
History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten. ...What is interesting is brought forward as if it had been central and efficacious in the march of events, and harmonies are turned into causes. Kings and generals are endowed with motives appropriate to what the historian values in their actions; plans are imputed to them prophetic of their actual achievements, while the thoughts that really preoccupied them remain buried in absolute oblivion.
Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable; what it is or what it means can never be said.
Reason in my philosophy is only a harmony among irrational impulses.
Lovely promise and quick ruin are seen nowhere better than in Gothic architecture.
The pint would call the quart a dualist, if you tried to pour the quart into him.
To attempt to be religious without practicing a specific religion is as possible as attempting to speak without a specific language.
Never have I enjoyed youth so thoroughly as I have in my old age.
Does the thoughtful man suppose that...the present experiment in civilization is the last world we will see?
The truth is cruel, but it can be loved, and it makes free those who have loved it.
America is a young country with an old mentality.
Popular poets are the parish priests of the Muse, retailing her ancient divinations to a long since converted public.
All thought is naught but a footnote to Plato.
It is one thing to lack a heart and another to possess eyes and a just imagination.
Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with the part of another; people are friends in spots.
Perhaps the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself.
The degree in which a poet's imagination dominates reality is, in the end, the exact measure of his importance and dignity.
There is nothing to which men, while they have food and drink, cannot reconcile themselves.
A man is morally free when...he judges the world, and judges other men, with uncompromising sincerity.
American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism.
Free government works well in proportion as government is superfluous.
With an artist no sane man quarrels, any more than with the colour of a child's eyes.
The young man who has not wept is savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.
Religion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.
Life is an art not to be learned by observation.
The effort of art is to keep what is interesting in existence, to recreate it in the eternal.
Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors.
The highest form of vanity is love of fame.
Knowledge is recognition of something absent; it is a salutation, not an embrace.
Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.
The Platonic idealist is the man by nature so wedded to perfection that he sees in everything not the reality but the faultless ideal which the reality misses and suggests.
Our occasional madness is less wonderful than our occasional sanity.
Society is like the air, necessary to breathe but insufficient to live on.
The mind of the Renaissance was not a pilgrim mind, but a sedentary city mind, like that of the ancients.
Many possessions, if they do not make a man better, are at least expected to make his children happier; and this pathetic hope is behind many exertions.
For a man who has done his natural duty, death is as natural as sleep.
To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.
Facts are all accidents. They all might have been different. They all may become different. They all may collapse altogether.
All spiritual interests are supported by animal life.
The unforgivable sin is the refusal to pardon.
The quality of wit inspires more admiration than confidence.
Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.
People who feel themselves to be exiles in this world are mightily inclined to believe themselves citizens of another.
The more rational an institution is the less it suffers by making concessions to others.
Philosophers are very severe towards other philosophers because they expect too much.
Wealth, religion, military victory have more rhetorical than efficacious worth.
The line between what is known scientifically and what has to be assumed in order to support knowledge is impossible to draw. Memory itself is an internal rumour.
Trust the man who hesitates in his speech and is quick and steady in action, but beware of long arguments and long beards.
An artist may visit a museum but only a pedant can live there.
The family is one of nature's masterpieces.
To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.
The theater, for all its artifices, depicts life in a sense more truly than history.
Let a man once overcome his selfish terror at his own finitude, and his finitude itself is, in one sense, overcome.
The habit of looking for beauty in everything makes us notice the shortcomings of things, our sense, hungry for complete satisfaction, misses the perfection it demands.
Do not have evil-doers for friends, do not have low people for friends: have virtuous people for friends, have for friends the best of men.
Familiarity breeds contempt only when it breeds inattention.
All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible.
To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.
Perhaps the universe is nothing but an equilibrium of idiocies.
Religion is the love of life in the consciousness of impotence.
To be brief is almost a condition of being inspired.
Intolerance is a form of egotism, and to condemn egotism intolerantly is to share it.
In each person I catch the fleeting suggestion of something beautiful and swear eternal friendship with that.
Philosophy is a more intense sort of experience than common life is, just as pure and subtle music, heard in retirement, is something keener and more intense than the howling of storms or the rumble of cities.
The muffled syllables that Nature speaks
Fill us with deeper longing for her word;
She hides a meaning that the spirit seeks,
She makes a sweeter music than is heard.
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
To be bewitched is not to be saved, though all the magicians and aesthetes in the world should pronounce it to be so.
Poetry is an attenuation, a rehandling, an echo of crude experience; it is itself a theoretic vision of things at arm's length.
Nothing can so pierce the soul as the uttermost sigh of the body.
Love, whether sexual, parental, or fraternal, is essentially sacrificial, and prompts a man to give his life for his friends.