October 7, 2016

Aldous Huxley Quotes

“A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.”

“A bad book is as much of a labour to write as a good one; it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.”

“A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor, and survival a thing beyond the bounds of possibility.”

“A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.”

“A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.”

“A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.”

“A large city cannot be experientially known; its life is too manifold for any individual to be able to participate in it.”

“A life-worshipper’s philosophy is comprehensive. He is at one moment a positivist and at another a mystic: now haunted by the thought of death and now a Dionysian child of nature; now a pessimist and now, with a change of lover or liver or even the weather, an exuberant believer that God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world.”

“A majority of young people seem to develop mental arteriosclerosis forty years before they get the physical kind.”

“A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it.”

“A man may have strong humanitarian and democratic principles; but if he happens to have been brought up as a bath-taking, shirt-changing lover of fresh air, he will have to overcome certain physical repugnances before he can bring himself to put those principles into practice.”

“A man who has trained himself in goodness come to have certain direct intuitions about character, about the relations between human beings, about his own position in the world — intuitions that are quite different from the intuitions of the average sensual man..”

“A million million spermatozoa, All of them alive: Out of their cataclysm but one poor Noah Dare hope to survive.”

“A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and in a shield, the World State’s motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY.”

“Actual happiness looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contended has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.”

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

“All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny.”

“All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.”

“All war propaganda consists, in the last resort, in substituting diabolical abstractions for human beings. Similarly, those who defend war have invented a pleasant sounding vocabulary of abstractions in which to describe the process of mass murder.”

“Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom.”

“Along this particular stretch of line no express had ever passed. All the trains — the few that there were — stopped at all the stations. Denis knew the names of those stations by heart. Bole, Tritton, Spavin Delawarr, Knipswich for Timpany, West Bowlby, and, finally, Camlet-on-the-Water.”

“Amour is the one human activity of any importance in which laughter and pleasure preponderate, if ever so slightly, over misery and pain.”

“An atheist is a person who has no invisible means of support.”

“An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.”

“An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood.”

“An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.”

“And suddenly I had an inkling of what it must feel like to be mad.”

“Applied Science is a conjuror, whose bottomless hat yields impartially the softest of Angora rabbits and the most petrifying of Medusas.”

“Armaments, universal debt and planned obsolescence – those are the three pillars of Western prosperity.”

“Art, I suppose, is only for beginners, or else for those resolute dead-enders, who have made up their minds to be content with the ersatz of Suchness, with symbols rather than with what they signify, with the elegantly composed recipe in lieu of actual dinner.”

“Assembled in a crowd, people lose their powers of reasoning and their capacity for moral choice.”

“At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice, and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.”

“At this point we find ourselves confronted by a very disquieting question: Do we really wish to act upon our knowledge?”

“Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder.”

“Bondage is the life of personality, and for bondage the personal self will fight with tireless resourcefulness and the most stubborn cunning.”

“But a priest’s life is not supposed to be well-rounded; it is supposed to be one-pointed – a compass, not a weathercock.”

“By comparison with a night-club, churches are positively gay.”

“Cant is always rather nauseating; but before we condemn political hypocrisy, let us remember that it is the tribute paid by men of leather to men of God, and that the acting of the part of someone better than oneself may actually commit one to a course of behavior perceptibly less evil than what would be normal and natural in an avowed cynic.”

“Chaos and ineptitude are anti-human; but so too is a superlatively efficient government, equipped with all the products of a highly developed technology.”

“Chastity – the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions.”

“Children are nowhere taught, in any systematic way, to distinguish true from false, or meaningful from meaningless, statements. Why is this so? Because their elders, even in the democratic countries, do not want them to be given this kind of education.”

“Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.”

“Classic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. ROLLING IN THE MUCK IS NOT THE BEST WAY OF GETTING CLEAN.”

“Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.”

“Cynical realism is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.”

“De Sade is the one completely consistent and thoroughgoing revolutionary of history.”

“Death is the only thing we haven’t succeeded in completely vulgarizing.”

“Defined in psychological terms, a fanatic is a man who consciously over-compensates a secret doubt.”

“Democracy can hardly be expected to flourish in societies where political and economic power is being progressively concentrated and centralized. But the progress of technology has led and is still leading to just such a concentration and centralization of power.”

“Dream in a pragmatic way.”

“Europe is so well gardened that it resembles a work of art, a scientific theory, a neat metaphysical system. Man has re-created Europe in his own image.”

“Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor, upon which one walks as a matter of course and prescriptive right.”

“Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work.”

“Every idol, however exalted, turns out, in the long run, to be a Moloch, hungry for human sacrifice.”

“Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.”

“Every man’s memory is his private literature.”

“Everyone who wants to do good to the human race always ends in universal bullying.”

“Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.”

“Experience teaches only the teachable.”

“Facts are ventriloquists’ dummies. Sitting on a wise man’s knee they may be made to utter words of wisdom; elsewhere, they say nothing, or talk nonsense, or indulge in sheer diabolism.”

“Facts are ventriloquist’s dummies. Sitting on a wise man’s knee they may be made to utter words of wisdom; elsewhere, they say nothing, or talk nonsense.”

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

“Feasts must be solemn and rare, or else they cease to be feasts.”

“For in spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody.”

“From their experience or from the recorded experience of others (history), men learn only what their passions and their metaphysical prejudices allow them to learn.”

“Genius is a child up to the age of ten.”

“God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness.”

“Good is a product of the ethical and spiritual artistry of individuals; it cannot be mass-produced.”

“Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.”

“Great scientific discoveries have been made by men seeking to verify quite erroneous theories about the nature of things.”

“Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities.”

“Happiness is a hard master, particularly other people’s happiness.”

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

“Hell isn’t merely paved with good intentions; it’s walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too.”

“History teaches us that war is not inevitable. Once again, it is for us to choose whether we use war or some other method of settling the ordinary and unavoidable conflicts between groups of men.”

“How orderly philosophical is the landscape, are all the inhabitants of this World! It is the creation of a god who ever plays the geometer.”

“However hard they try, men cannot create a social organism, they can only create an organization. In the process of trying to create an organism they will merely create a totalitarian despotism.”

“Human contacts have been so highly valued in the past only because reading was not a common accomplishment… The world, you must remember, is only just becoming literate. As reading becomes more and more habitual and widespread, an ever-increasing number of people will discover that books will give them all the pleasures of social life and none of its intolerable tedium.”

“I can sympathize with people’s pains, but not with their pleasures. There is something curiously boring about somebody else’s happiness.”

“I looked down by chance, and went on passionately staring by choice, at my own crossed legs. Those folds in the trousers—what a labyrinth of endlessly significant complexity! And the texture of the gray flannel—how rich, how deeply, mysteriously sumptuous!”

“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.”

“Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.”

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, said Jefferson, it expects what never was and never will be.”

“If human beings were shown what they’re really like, they’d either kill one another as vermin, or hang themselves.”

“If it were not for the intellectual snobs who pay – in solid cash – the arts would perish with their starving practitioners. Let us thank heaven for hypocrisy.”

“If it were not for the intellectual snobs who pay – in solid cash – the tribute which philistinism owes to culture, the arts would perish with their starving practitioners. Let us thank heaven for hypocrisy.”

“If it were not for the intellectual snobs who pay, the arts would perish with their starving practitioners – let us thank heaven for hypocrisy.”

“If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion.”

“If we evolved a race of Isaac Newtons, that would not be progress. For the price Newton had to pay for being a supreme intellect was that he was incapable of friendship, love, fatherhood, and many other desirable things. As a man he was a failure; as a monster he was superb.”

“If you look up ‘Intelligence’ in the new volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica,’ he had said, ‘you’ll find it classified under the following three heads: Intelligence, Human; Intelligence, Animal; Intelligence, Military. My stepfather’s a present specimen of Intelligence, Military.”

“If you look up ‘Intelligence’ in the new volumes of the Encyclopeadia Britannica, you’ll find it classified under the following three heads: Intelligence, Human; Intelligence, Animal; Intelligence, Military. My stepfather’s a perfect specimen of Intelligence, Military.”

“If you want to be a psychological novelist and write about human beings, the best thing you can do is keep a pair of cats.”

“Ignore death up to the last moment; then, when it can’t be ignored any longer, have yourself squirted full of morphia and shuffle off in a coma. Thoroughly sensible, humane and scientific, eh?”

“I’m afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery.”

“In any race between human numbers and natural resources, time is against us.”

“In the old dramas it was love that had to be sacrificed to painful duty. In the modern instance the sacrifice is at the shrine of what William James called the Bitch Goddess, Success. Love is to be abandoned for the stern pursuit of newspaper notoriety and dollars.”

“Industrial man -a sentient reciprocating engine having a fluctuating output, coupled to an iron wheel revolving with uniform velocity. And then we wonder why this should be the golden age of revolution and mental derangement.”

“It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘try to be a little kinder.”

“It is a political axiom that power follows property.”

“It is far easier to write ten passable effective sonnets, good enough to take in the not too inquiring critic, than one effective advertisement that will take in a few thousand of the uncritical buying public.”

“It is in the social sphere, in the realm of politics and economics, that the Will to Order becomes really dangerous.”

“It is only when it takes the form of physical addiction that sex is evil. It is also evil when it manifests itself as a way of satisfying the lust for power or the climber’s craving for position and social distinction.”

“It takes two to make a murder. There are born victims, born to have their throats cut, as the cut-throats are born to be hanged.”

“It was one of those evenings when men feel that truth, goodness and beauty are one. In the morning, when they commit their discovery to paper, when others read it written there, it looks wholly ridiculous.”

“It’s with bad sentiments that one makes good novels.”

“Jehovah, Allah, the Trinity, Jesus, Buddha, are names for a great variety of human virtues, human mystical experiences human remorses, human compensatory fantasies, human terrors, human cruelties. If all men were alike, all the world would worship the same God.”

“Liberty, as we all know, cannot flourish in a country that is permanently on a war footing, or even a near war footing. Permanent crisis justifies permanent control of everybody and everything by the agencies of central government.”

“Like every man of sense and good feeling, I abominate work.”

“Like every other good thing in this world, leisure and culture have to be paid for. Fortunately, however, it is not the leisured and the cultured who have to pay.”

“Man approaches the unattainable truth through a succession of errors.”

“Man is an intelligence in servitude to his organs.”

“Man is an intelligence, not served by, but in servitude to his organs.”

“Men do not learn much from the lessons of history and that is the most important of all the lessons of history.”

“Men make use of their illnesses at least as much as they are made use of by them.”

“Modern man’s besetting temptation is to sacrifice his direct perceptions and spontaneous feelings to his reasoned reflections; to prefer in all circumstances the verdict of his intellect to that of his immediate intuitions.”

“Morality is always the product of terror; its chains and strait-waistcoats are fashioned by those who dare not trust others, because they dare not trust themselves, to walk in liberty.”

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”

“Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.”

“Most kings and priests have been despotic, and all religions have been riddled with superstition.”

“Most of one’s life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself thinking.”

“Most vices demand considerable self-sacrifices. There is no greater mistake than to suppose that a vicious life is a life of uninterrupted pleasure. It is a life almost as wearisome and painful – if strenuously led – as Christian’s in The Pilgrim’s Progress.”

“Music is an ocean, but the repertory is hardly even a lake; it is a pond.”

“My fate cannot be mastered; it can only be collaborated with and thereby, to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul; I am only its noisiest passenger.”

“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.”

“My sympathies are, of course, with the Government side, especially the Anarchists; for Anarchism seems to me more likely to lead to desirable social change than highly centralized, dictatorial Communism.”

“Never give children a chance of imagining that anything exists in isolation. Make it plain from the very beginning that all living is relationship. Show them relationships in the woods, in the fields, in the ponds and streams, in the village and in the country around it. Rub it in.”

“Never have so many been manipulated so much by so few.”

“Nobody can have the consolations of religion or philosophy unless he has first experienced their desolations.”

“Nonsense is an assertion of man’s spiritual freedom in spite of all the oppressions of circumstance.”

“Now, a corpse, poor thing, is an untouchable and the process of decay is, of all pieces of bad manners, the vulgarest imaginable. For a corpse is, by definition, a person absolutely devoid of savoir vivre.”

“Of the significant and pleasurable experiences of life only the simplest are open indiscriminately to all. The rest cannot be had except by those who have undergone a suitable training.”

“Official dignity tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.”

“One of the great attractions of patriotism – it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what’s more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.”

“One of the many reasons for the bewildering and tragic character of human existence is the fact that social organization is at once necessary and fatal. Men are forever creating such organizations for their own convenience and forever finding themselves the victims of their home-made monsters.”

“One right-thinking man thinks like all other right-thinking men of his time—that is to say, in most cases, like some wrong-thinking man of another time.”

“Orthodoxy is the diehard of the world of thought. It learns not, neither can it forget.”

“Out psychological experiences are all equally facts.”

“People intoxicate themselves with work so they won’t see how they really are.”

“People will insist on treating the mons Veneris as though it were Mount Everest. Too silly!”

“Perhaps it’s good for one to suffer. Can an artist do anything if he’s happy? Would he ever want to do anything? What is art, after all, but a protest against the horrible inclemency of life?”

“Pleasure cannot be shared; like Pain, it can only be experienced or inflicted, and when we give pleasure to our Lovers or bestow Charity upon the Needy, we do so, not to gratify the object of our Benevolence, but only ourselves. For the Truth is that we are kind for the same reason as we are cruel, in order that we may enhance the sense of our own Power.”

“Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.”

“Pure Spirit, one hundred degrees proof – that’s a drink that only the most hardened contemplation-guzzlers indulge in. Bodhisattvas dilute their Nirvana with equal parts of love and work.”

“Religion is always a patron of the arts, but its taste is by no means impeccable.”

“Science and art are only too often a superior kind of dope, possessing this advantage over booze and morphia: that they can be indulged in with a good conscience and with the conviction that, in the process of indulging, one is leading the higher life.”

“Science has explained nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.”

“Several excuses are always less convincing than one.”

“Silence is as full of potential wisdom and wit as the unhewn marble of great sculpture.”

“Silence is as full of potential wisdom and wit as the unshown marble of great sculpture. The silent bear no witness against themselves.”

“Single-mindedness is all very well in cows or baboons; in an animal claiming to belong to the same species as Shakespeare it is simply disgraceful.”

“Sleep teaching was actually prohibited in England. There was something called liberalism. Parliament, if you know what that was, passed a law against it. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the subject. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole.”

“So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable.”

“Societies are composed of individuals and are good only insofar as they help individuals to realize their potentialities and to lead a happy and creative life.”

“Sons have always a rebellious wish to be disillusioned by that which charmed their fathers.”

“Specialized meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hall mark of true science.”

“Speed provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.”

“Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.”

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.”

“Thanks to words, we have been able to rise above the brutes; and thanks to words, we have often sunk to the level of the demons.”

“That all men are equal is a proposition which at ordinary times no sane individual has ever given his assent.”

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”

“That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep.”

“The amelioration of the world cannot be achieved by sacrifices in moments of crisis; it depends on the efforts made and constantly repeated during the humdrum, uninspiring periods, which separate one crisis from another, and of which normal lives mainly consist.”

“The author of the Iliad is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name.”

“The brotherhood of men does not imply their equality. Families have their fools and their men of genius, their black sheep and their saints, their worldly successes and their worldly failures. A man should treat his brothers lovingly and with justice, according to the deserts of each. But the deserts of every brother are not the same.”

“The business of a seer is to see; and if he involves himself in the kind of God-eclipsing activities which make seeing impossible, he betrays the trust which his fellows have tacitly placed in him.”

“The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.”

“The Christian idea of a perfect heaven that is something other than a non-existence is a contradiction in terms.”

“The condition of being forgiven is self-abandonment. The proud man prefers self-reproach, however painful -because the reproached self isn’t abandoned; it remains intact.”

“The consistent thinker, the consistently moral man, is either a walking mummy or else, if he has not succeeded in stifling all his vitality, a fanatical monomaniac.”

“The course of every intellectual, if he pursues his journey long and unflinchingly enough, ends in the obvious, from which the non-intellectuals have never stirred.”

“The effectiveness of political and religious propaganda depends upon the methods employed, not upon the doctrines taught. These doctrines may be true or false, wholesome or pernicious—it makes little or no difference.”

“The end cannot justify the means, for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.”

“The fact that many people should be shocked by what he writes practically imposes it as a duty upon the writer to go on shocking them.”

“The finest works of art are precious, among other reasons, because they make it possible for us to know, if only imperfectly and for a little while, what it actually feels like to think subtly and feel nobly.”

“The greater a man’s talents, the greater his power to lead astray. It is better that one should suffer than that many be corrupted.”

“The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.”

“The history of any nation follows an undulatory course. In the trough of the wave we find more or less complete anarchy; but the crest is not more or less complete Utopia, but only, at best, a tolerably humane, partially free and fairly just society that invariably carries within itself the seeds of its own decadence.”

“The impulse to cruelty is, in many people, almost as violent as the impulse to sexual love – almost as violent and much more mischievous.”

“The indispensible is not necessarily the desirable.”

“The investigation of nature is an infinite pasture-ground where all may graze, and where the more bite, the longer the grass grows, the sweeter is its flavor, and the more it nourishes.”

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

“The most distressing thing that can happen to a prophet is to be proved wrong. The next most distressing thing is to be proved right.”

“The most intractable of our experiences is the experience of Time — the intuition of duration, combined with the thought of perpetual perishing.”

“The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own.”

“The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.”

“The nature of oratory is such that there has always been a tendency among politicians and clergymen to oversimplify complex matters. From a pulpit or a platform even the most conscientious of speakers finds it very difficult to tell the whole truth.”

“The nature of power is such that even those who have not sought it, but have had it forced upon them, tend to acquire a taste for more.”

“The optimum population is modeled on the iceberg — eight ninths below the water line, one ninth above.”

“The pleasures of ignorance are as great, in their way, as the pleasures of knowledge.”

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”

“The proper study of mankind is books.”

“The quality of moral behavior varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved.”

“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which mean never losing your enthusiasm.”

“The smallest fact is a window through which the infinite may be seen.”

“The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth.”

“The spiritual journey does not consist of arriving at a new destination where a person gains what he did not have, or becomes what he is not. It consists in the dissipation of one’s own ignorance concerning one’s self and life, and gradual growth of that understanding, which begins a spiritual awakening. The finding of God is coming to one’s self.”

“The survival of democracy depends on the ability of large numbers of people to make realistic choices in the light of adequate information.”

“The trouble with fiction… is that it makes too much sense. Reality never makes sense.”

“The vast majority of human beings are not interested in reason or satisfied with what it teaches.”

“The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar… Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen.”

“The word love bridges for us those chasms of momentary indifference and boredom which gape from time to time between even the most ardent lovers.”

“The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency.”

“There are many kinds of gods. Therefore there are many kinds of men.”

“There is no substitute for talent. Industry and all its virtues are of no avail.”

“There is something curiously boring about somebody else’s happiness.”

“There isn’t any formula or method. You learn to love by loving – by paying attention and doing what one thereby discovers has to be done.”

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterward, when you’ve worked on your own corner.”

“There’s only one effectively redemptive sacrifice, the sacrifice of self-will to make room for the knowledge of God.”

“This growing poverty in the midst of growing population constitutes a permanent menace to peace. And not only to peace, but also to democratic institutions and personal liberty. For overpopulation is not compatible with freedom.”

“Those who believe that they are exclusively in the right are generally those who achieve something.”

“Thought must be divided against itself before it can come to any knowledge of itself.”

“To aspire to be superhuman is a most discreditable admission that you lack the guts, the wit, the moderating judgment to be successfully and consummately human.”

“To associate with other like-minded people in small, purposeful groups is for the great majority of men and women a source of profound psychological satisfaction. Exclusiveness will add to the pleasure of being several, but at one; and secrecy will intensify it almost to ecstasy.”

“To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior righteous indignation —this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.”

“To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves.”

“To talk about religion except in terms of human psychology is an irrelevance.”

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”

“Uncontrolled, the hunger and thirst after God may become an obstacle, cutting off the soul from what it desires. If a man would travel far along the mystic road, he must learn to desire God intensely but in stillness, passively and yet with all his heart and mind and strength.”

“Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can’t.”

“Unlike the masses, intellectuals have a taste for rationality and an interest in facts.”

“We are living now, not in the delicious intoxication induced by the early successes of science, but in a rather grisly morning-after, when it has become apparent that what triumphant science has done hitherto is to improve the means for achieving unimproved or actually deteriorated ends.”

“We participate in a tragedy; at a comedy we only look.”

“Well, I’d rather be unhappy than have the sort of false, lying happiness you were having here.”

“What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood.”

“What the cinema can do better than literature or the spoken drama is to be fantastic.”

“What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera.”

“What with making their way and enjoying what they have won, heroes have no time to think. But the sons of heroes – ah, they have all the necessary leisure.”

“Where beauty is worshipped for beauty’s sake as a goddess, independent of and superior to morality and philosophy, the most horrible putrefaction is apt to set in. The lives of the aesthetes are the far from edifying commentary on the religion of beauty.”

“Which is better: to have fun with fungi or to have Idiocy with ideology, to have wars because of words, to have tomorrow’s misdeeds out of yesterday’s Miscreeds?”

“Who is going to educate the human race in the principles and practice of conservation?”

“Words are good servants but bad masters.”

“Words form the thread on which we string our experiences.”

“Words, words, words! They shut one off from the universe. Three quarters of the time one’s never in contact with things, only with the beastly words that stand for them.”

“Work is prayer. Work is also stink. Therefore stink is prayer.”

“Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.”

“You can’t consume much if you sit still and read books.”

“You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.”

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”

“You should hurry up and acquire the cigar habit. It’s one of the major happinesses. And so much more lasting than love, so much less costly in emotional wear and tear.”

“Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty – his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.”