Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

246 Inspiring Quotes by George Santayana

Wikipedia Summary for George Santayana

Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, known in English as George Santayana (December 16, 1863 – September 26, 1952), was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. Originally from Spain, Santayana was raised and educated in the US from the age of eight and identified himself as an American, although he always retained a valid Spanish passport. At the age of 48, Santayana left his position at Harvard and returned to Europe permanently.

Santayana is popularly known for aphorisms, such as "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", "Only the dead have seen the end of war", and the definition of beauty as "pleasure objectified". Although an atheist, he treasured the Spanish Catholic values, practices, and worldview in which he was raised. Santayana was a broad-ranging cultural critic spanning many disciplines. He was profoundly influenced by Spinoza's life and thought; and, in many respects, was a devoted Spinozist.

closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

Everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate, and comic in its existence.

--George Santayana

blue and black abstract painting

The hunger for facile wisdom is the root of all false philosophy.

--George Santayana

green pine trees near mountain under blue sky during daytime

The earth has its music for those who will listen.

--George Santayana

people near body of water

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.

--George Santayana

multicolored abstract painting

Better not be a hero than work oneself up into heroism by shouting lies.

--George Santayana

calm body of water and mountain

Chaos is perhaps at the bottom of everything.

--George Santayana

blue and white abstract painting

England is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, anomalies, hobbies, and humors.

--George Santayana

green ceramic mug on wooden desk

Periods of tranquillity are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up.

--George Santayana

green trees on brown dried leaves during daytime

Columbus found a world, and had no chart save one that Faith deciphered in the skies.

--George Santayana

selective focus photo of woman holding sunflower surrounded by sunflowers

The fly that prefers sweetness to a long life may drown in honey.

--George Santayana

red flowers under the blue sky

In the concert of nature it is hard to keep in tune with oneself if one is out of tune with everything else.

--George Santayana

elephants on green grass field during daytime

Man has an inexhuastible faculty for lying, especially to himself.

--George Santayana

snow-capped mountain at the horizon viewed from lake dock

I like to walk about amidst the beautiful things that adorn the world.

--George Santayana

lighted candle in dark room

Language is like money, without which specific relative values may well exist and be felt, but cannot be reduced to a common denominator.

--George Santayana

yellow flower

Heaven is to be at peace with things.

--George Santayana

painting of man walking down a road holding umbrella

Man's most serious activity is play.

--George Santayana

fire near trees

There is no dunce like a mature dunce.

--George Santayana

grassland landscape

Self-assurance is contemptible and fatal unless it is self-knowledge.

--George Santayana

red flower in white background

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.

--George Santayana

black and white window illustration

Since barbarism has its pleasures it naturally has its apologists.

--George Santayana

solid background

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.

--George Santayana

white swan on blue sea during daytime

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.

--George Santayana

four men sitting beside table

We do right enough darling, if we go wrong together.

--George Santayana

shallow focus photography of bee on flower

The Fates, like an absent-minded printer, seldom allow a single line to stand perfect and unmarred.

--George Santayana

None

The need of exercise is a modern superstition, invented by people who ate too much and had nothing to think about.

--George Santayana

Longer Version:

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.


sunset and agave stalk

All beauties are to be honored, but only one embraced.

--George Santayana

green leafed vegetable on brown wooden surface

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.

--George Santayana

white smoke

The human mind is not rich enough to drive many horses abreast and wants one general scheme, under which it strives to bring everything.

--George Santayana

selective focus photo of woman holding sunflower surrounded by sunflowers

Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.

--George Santayana



silhouette photo of person holding flashlight under milk way

People never believe in volcanoes until the lava actually overtakes them.

--George Santayana

mountain summit during sunset

Nonsense is so good only because common sense is so limited.

--George Santayana

brown butterfly perched on flower

Repetition is the only form of permanence that Nature can achieve.

--George Santayana

black and gray textile in close up photography

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.

--George Santayana

shallow focus photography of black DSLR camera

Depression is rage spread thin.

--George Santayana

black bird flying under white clouds during daytime

Eloquence is a republican art, as conversation is an aristocratic one.

--George Santayana

shillouette photo of person standing at the peak

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.

--George Santayana

selective focus photo of brown guitar on white pillow

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.

--George Santayana

red tulip flowers under calm blue sky

The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas.

--George Santayana

black pug puppy on white and pink textile

Work and love these are the basics; waking life is a dream controlled.

--George Santayana

shallow focus photography of bee on flower

Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.

--George Santayana

green trees under blue sky at daytime

The spirit's foe in man has not been simplicity, but sophistication.

--George Santayana

Arizona landscape snow

Our dignity is not in what we do, but what we understand.

--George Santayana

silhouette of three people up on mountain cliff

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

--George Santayana

girl leaning on wall during daytime

The loftiest edifices need the deepest foundations.

--George Santayana

silhouette of trees during nighttime

Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer.

--George Santayana

round black clock on linen

The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again.

--George Santayana

yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

Miracles are propitious accidents, the natural causes of which are too complicated to be readily understood.

--George Santayana

blue ocean

Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.

--George Santayana

white Starbuck plastic cup on brown fabric armchair

Tomes of aesthetic criticism hang on a few moments of real delight and intuition.

--George Santayana



body of water under clear blue sky painting

Tyrants are seldom free; the cares and the instruments of their tyranny enslave them.

--George Santayana


brown wallpaper

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.

--George Santayana

red flowers with water droplets

Religion is the natural reaction of the imagination when confronted by the difficulties in a truculent world.

--George Santayana

blue and white abstract painting

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.

--George Santayana

man in black jacket sitting on chair

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.

--George Santayana

sunset forest

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.

--George Santayana

woman standing on forest

What is false in the science of facts may be true in the science of values.

--George Santayana

golden retriever inside car

The existence of any evil anywhere at any time absolutely ruins a total optimism.

--George Santayana

turned on desk lamp beside pile of books

Music is essentially useless, as is life.

--George Santayana

golden retriever inside car

A man's feet should be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.

--George Santayana

man playing soccer during daytime

When men and women agree, it is only in their conclusions; their reasons are always different.

--George Santayana

blue sky and white clouds

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.

--George Santayana

purple flowers under sunny sky

The man who would emancipate art from discipline and reason is trying to elude rationality, not merely in art, but in all existence.

--George Santayana

green leaf tree near mountain covered by snow at daytime

Memory itself is an internal rumour.

--George Santayana

yellow sunflower field under blue sky during daytime

In unphilosophical minds any rare or unexpected thing excites wonder, while in philosophical minds the familiar excites wonder also.

--George Santayana

white tulips with green leaves

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.

--George Santayana

plain background

The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian, unless the latter, too, be lovers in disguise.

--George Santayana

blue sky with stars during night time

It would hardly be possible to exaggerate man's wretchedness if it were not so easy to overestimate his sensibility.

--George Santayana


white flowers in brown stem

Friends are generally of the same sex, for when men and women agree, it is only in the conclusions; their reasons are always different.

--George Santayana

clear hour glass with brown frame

It is a new road to happiness, if you have strength enough to castigate a little the various impulses that sway you in turn.

--George Santayana

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

Parents lend children their experience and a vicarious memory; children endow their parents with a vicarious immortality.

--George Santayana

pink, red, and black digital wallpaper

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.

--George Santayana

person holding sunflower

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.

--George Santayana

brown textile

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.

--George Santayana

orange rose in bloom close up photo

When all beliefs are challenged together, the just and necessary ones have a chance to step forward and re-establish themselves alone.

--George Santayana



silhouette photography of trees and sky

The body must be loosely clad if the mind is to forget it and impetuously lead its own life.

--George Santayana

boat on sea far away from island

The wisest mind hath something yet to learn.

--George Santayana

pink tulip flower

A sanctity hangs about the sources of our being, whether physical, social, or imaginary.

--George Santayana

None

We laughed at the same things, and we liked the same things. What more is needed for agreeable society?

--George Santayana

green leafed tree with sunlight at daytime

Wisdom comes from disillusionment.

--George Santayana

shallow focus photography of condenser microphone

Faith in the intellect...is the only faith yet sanctioned by its fruits.

--George Santayana

withered tree surrounded with snow during daytime

A soul is but the last bubble of a long fermentation in the world.

--George Santayana

leafless tree on snow covered ground

I stand in philosophy exactly where I stand in daily life; I should not be honest otherwise.

--George Santayana

black and gray Canon AE-1 camera on gray sand under brown dock near body of water at daytime

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.

--George Santayana


red flower in white background

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.

--George Santayana

white and yellow flower in close up photography

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.

--George Santayana

cup of latte on table

Consciousness is a born hermit.

--George Santayana

white brick wall planning

To condemn spontaneous and delightful occupations because they are useless for self-preservation shows an uncritical prizing of life irrespective of its content.

--George Santayana


green leaf in close up photography

Columbus gave the world another world.

--George Santayana

black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

Love make us poets, and the approach of death should make us philosophers.

--George Santayana

yellow and white color illustration

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.

--George Santayana

man wearing knit cap on grey background

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.

--George Santayana

yellow flower field during sunset

Never build your emotional life on the weaknesses of others.

--George Santayana

people near body of water

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.

--George Santayana

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

That fear first created the gods is perhaps as true as anything so brief could be on so great a subject.

--George Santayana



green palm plant during daytime

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.

--George Santayana

pink and yellow flower painting

The body is an instrument, the mind its function, the witness and reward of its operation.

--George Santayana



glass window pane with yellow concrete wall

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.

--George Santayana


gray building

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.

--George Santayana

silver round analog wall clock

There is a kind of courtesy in skepticism. It would be an offense against polite conventions to press our doubts too far.

--George Santayana

three clear drinking glasses with brown liquid

To know your future you must know your past.

--George Santayana

city lights from hill

Truth is a jewel which should not be painted over; but it may be set to advantage and shown in a good light.

--George Santayana

silhouette of trees during nighttime

Prayer is not a substitute for work; it is an effort to work further and be efficient beyond the range of one's powers.

--George Santayana

full moon in the sky

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.

--George Santayana

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

Our knowledge is a torch of smoky pine
That lights the pathway but one step ahead
Across a void of mystery and dread.

--George Santayana


A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

Every nation thinks its own madness normal and requisite; more passion and more fancy it calls folly, less it calls imbecility.

--George Santayana

purple and blue light illustration

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.

--George Santayana

person with flashlight near lighted green tree on mountain under starry night

There is nothing sweeter than to be sympathized with.

--George Santayana

white and black soccer ball on grass field

To understand oneself is the classic form of consolation; to elude oneself is the romantic.

--George Santayana

yellow and black striped background

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.

--George Santayana

person's hand holding round silver analog watch with black leather strap

Only the dead have seen the end of the war.

--George Santayana


red rose flower

To be an American is of itself almost a moral condition, an education, and a career.

--George Santayana

aerial view of river in between green trees during daytime

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.

--George Santayana


pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

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.

--George Santayana


silhouette of mountain

Manhood and sagacity ripen of themselves; it suffices not to repress or distort them.

--George Santayana

white and black satellite dish on brown field during night time

Time and Space are not prior to creation, they are forms under which creation becomes thinkable.

--George Santayana

green trees under white sky during daytime

Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavour to understand him.

--George Santayana

laughing woman photo

If all art aspires to the condition of music, all the sciences aspire to the condition of mathematics.

--George Santayana

plain background

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.

--George Santayana


aerial photo of green trees

To turn events into ideas is the function of literature.

--George Santayana

two dragonflies on green cornate leaf

It is a great bond to dislike the same things.

--George Santayana

red textile in close up photography

Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine By which alone the mortal heart is led Unto the thinking of the thought divine.

--George Santayana

brown grass field under blue sky and white clouds during daytime

It is right to prefer our own country to all others, because we are children and citizens before we can be travellers or philosophers.

--George Santayana

seashore during daytime

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.

--George Santayana

three person looking stars and milky way

I believe in general in a dualism between facts and the ideas of those facts in human heads.

--George Santayana



snow covered mountain during daytime

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.

--George Santayana

black and gray floral textile

Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out and minutely articulated.

--George Santayana

Longer Version:

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.


pair of white lace-up shoes

Mortality has its compensations; one is that all evils are transitory, another that better times may come.

--George Santayana

three books on surface

It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands.

--George Santayana

closeup photography of wall

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.

--George Santayana

rock formation surrounding by body of water

It is always pleasant to be urged to do something on the ground that one can do it well.

--George Santayana

black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

There is no greater stupidity or meanness than to take uniformity for an ideal.

--George Santayana

Longer Version:

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.


person wearing Apple watch

It is easier to make a saint out of a libertine than out of a prig.

--George Santayana

shallow focus photography of brown parquet flooring

If pain could have cured us we should long ago have been saved.

--George Santayana

grayscale photography of mountain surrounded by trees

We crave support in vanity, as we do in religion, and never forgive contradictions in that sphere.

--George Santayana

person holding hourglass

One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human.

--George Santayana

houses and trees during nighttime

To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery the soil of love.

--George Santayana



mountains under white mist at daytime

The primary use of conversation is to satisfy the impulse to talk.

--George Santayana

solid background

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.

--George Santayana

white tulips in white background

History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten.

--George Santayana

Longer Version:

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.


man sitting on concrete brick with opened laptop on his lap

Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable; what it is or what it means can never be said.

--George Santayana


man running on seashore

Reason in my philosophy is only a harmony among irrational impulses.

--George Santayana

woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand

Lovely promise and quick ruin are seen nowhere better than in Gothic architecture.

--George Santayana

brown leaf tree facing the lake

The pint would call the quart a dualist, if you tried to pour the quart into him.

--George Santayana

toddlers standing outdoors

To attempt to be religious without practicing a specific religion is as possible as attempting to speak without a specific language.

--George Santayana

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

Never have I enjoyed youth so thoroughly as I have in my old age.

--George Santayana

close up shot of white flower

Does the thoughtful man suppose that...the present experiment in civilization is the last world we will see?

--George Santayana

brown rock formation

The truth is cruel, but it can be loved, and it makes free those who have loved it.

--George Santayana

sunset forest

America is a young country with an old mentality.

--George Santayana

sunset

Popular poets are the parish priests of the Muse, retailing her ancient divinations to a long since converted public.

--George Santayana

running white, brown, and black dog

All thought is naught but a footnote to Plato.

--George Santayana

man and woman kissing

It is one thing to lack a heart and another to possess eyes and a just imagination.

--George Santayana

adobe wall

Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with the part of another; people are friends in spots.

--George Santayana

sunset

Perhaps the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself.

--George Santayana

red textile in close up photography

The degree in which a poet's imagination dominates reality is, in the end, the exact measure of his importance and dignity.

--George Santayana

body of water under clear blue sky painting

There is nothing to which men, while they have food and drink, cannot reconcile themselves.

--George Santayana


white bicycle parked beside wall

A man is morally free when...he judges the world, and judges other men, with uncompromising sincerity.

--George Santayana

white and blue building under clear sky

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.

--George Santayana

black fawn pug playing with plush toy

Free government works well in proportion as government is superfluous.

--George Santayana

green trees on brown dried leaves during daytime

With an artist no sane man quarrels, any more than with the colour of a child's eyes.

--George Santayana

silhouette of person jumping in mid air

The young man who has not wept is savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.

--George Santayana

green mountain ]

Religion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.

--George Santayana

adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog

Life is an art not to be learned by observation.

--George Santayana

boy standing on grass and facing fence during daytime

The effort of art is to keep what is interesting in existence, to recreate it in the eternal.

--George Santayana


island during daytime

Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors.

--George Santayana


sunset

The highest form of vanity is love of fame.

--George Santayana

silhouette photo of person holding flashlight under milk way

Knowledge is recognition of something absent; it is a salutation, not an embrace.

--George Santayana


sunset

Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.

--George Santayana

blue and white abstract painting

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.

--George Santayana

red rose illustration

Our occasional madness is less wonderful than our occasional sanity.

--George Santayana


sunset

Society is like the air, necessary to breathe but insufficient to live on.

--George Santayana

yellow flower field under clear sky

The mind of the Renaissance was not a pilgrim mind, but a sedentary city mind, like that of the ancients.

--George Santayana


purple textile in close up photography

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.

--George Santayana

wide lake over sunset view

For a man who has done his natural duty, death is as natural as sleep.

--George Santayana

green grass field

To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.

--George Santayana

yellow and purple flower with white background

Facts are all accidents. They all might have been different. They all may become different. They all may collapse altogether.

--George Santayana

sunset woman at beach

All spiritual interests are supported by animal life.

--George Santayana

white and purple flower in macro shot

The unforgivable sin is the refusal to pardon.

--George Santayana

person in red shirt walking on brown field under gray sky during daytime

The quality of wit inspires more admiration than confidence.

--George Santayana

blue ocean

Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.

--George Santayana

person in blue denim jeans and brown leather boots

People who feel themselves to be exiles in this world are mightily inclined to believe themselves citizens of another.

--George Santayana

leafless tree on snow covered ground

The more rational an institution is the less it suffers by making concessions to others.

--George Santayana

pink and white tulips on white surface

Philosophers are very severe towards other philosophers because they expect too much.

--George Santayana



red tulip in bloom during daytime

Wealth, religion, military victory have more rhetorical than efficacious worth.

--George Santayana

blue and white light digital wallpaper

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.

--George Santayana

bird in the sky

Trust the man who hesitates in his speech and is quick and steady in action, but beware of long arguments and long beards.

--George Santayana


landscape photography of mountain

An artist may visit a museum but only a pedant can live there.

--George Santayana

person's hand holding round silver analog watch with black leather strap

The family is one of nature's masterpieces.

--George Santayana

selective focus photo of iceberg on large body of water at winter

To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.

--George Santayana

silhouette of mountain

The theater, for all its artifices, depicts life in a sense more truly than history.

--George Santayana




white-and-pink flowers

Let a man once overcome his selfish terror at his own finitude, and his finitude itself is, in one sense, overcome.

--George Santayana


long black haired woman smiling close-up photography

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.

--George Santayana


blue sky with stars during night time

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.

--George Santayana

pink concrete wall during daytime

Familiarity breeds contempt only when it breeds inattention.

--George Santayana

silhouette of man on top of hill overlooking lighted city at dawn

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.

--George Santayana

sunset

To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.

--George Santayana

withered tree surrounded with snow during daytime

Perhaps the universe is nothing but an equilibrium of idiocies.

--George Santayana

yellow sunflowers under white clouds and blue sky

Religion is the love of life in the consciousness of impotence.

--George Santayana

person holding yellow petaled flower

To be brief is almost a condition of being inspired.

--George Santayana

analog clock at 5:55

Intolerance is a form of egotism, and to condemn egotism intolerantly is to share it.

--George Santayana

time lapse photography of lightning during storm

In each person I catch the fleeting suggestion of something beautiful and swear eternal friendship with that.

--George Santayana

white desk lamp beside green plant

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.

--George Santayana

silhouette of flower during sunset

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.

--George Santayana

yellow sunflower field under blue sky during daytime

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

--George Santayana

purple-petaled flower on selective focus photography

To be bewitched is not to be saved, though all the magicians and aesthetes in the world should pronounce it to be so.

--George Santayana

stars across the sky view at the desert

Poetry is an attenuation, a rehandling, an echo of crude experience; it is itself a theoretic vision of things at arm's length.

--George Santayana

white flower in grayscale photography

Nothing can so pierce the soul as the uttermost sigh of the body.

--George Santayana

red textile in close up photography

Love, whether sexual, parental, or fraternal, is essentially sacrificial, and prompts a man to give his life for his friends.

--George Santayana

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