November 3, 2016

Fernando Pessoa Quotes

“Action men are the unvoluntary slaves of wise men.”

“All is worthwhile if the soul is not small.”

“At first I felt dizzy – not with the kind of dizziness that makes the body reel but the kind that’s like a dead emptiness in the brain, an instinctive awareness of the void.”

“At first, it’s unfamiliar, then it strikes root.”

“Attention to detail and a perfectionist instinct, far from stimulating action, are character qualities that lead to renunciation. Better to dream than to be.”

“Clear in thinking, and clear in feeling, and clear in wanting.”

“Could it think, the heart would stop beating.”

“Everything was asleep as if the universe was a mistake.”

“Fraternity has subtleties.”

“God wills, man dreams, the work is born.”

“I belong to a generation – assuming that this generation includes others besides me – that lost its faith in the gods of the old religions as well as in the gods of modern nonreligions. I reject Jehova as I reject humanity.”

“I exempt you of being present in my idea of you.”

“I’d like to be in the country so that I’d could like being in the city.”

“I’m going to end a life that I thought could contain every kind of greatness but that in fact consisted only of my incapacity to really want to be great. Whenever I arrived at a certainty, I remembered that those with the greatest certainties are lunatics.”

“It’s in an inland sea that the river of my life ended.”

“Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.”

“No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it.”

“Our problem isn’t that we’re individualists. It’s that our individualism is static rather than dynamic. We value what we think rather than what we do. We forget that we haven’t done, or been, what we thought; that the first function of life is action, just as the first property of things is motion.”

“Since I wasn’t able to leave a succession of beautiful lies, I want to leave the smidgen of truth that the falsehood of everything lets us suppose we can tell.”

“Sit still with me in the shade of these green trees, which have no weightier thought than the withering of their leaves when autumn arrives, or the stretching of their many stiff fingers into the cold sky of the passing winter.”

“Success consists in being successful, not in having potential for success. Any wide piece of ground is the potential site of a palace, but there’s no palace till it’s built.”

“There’s no greater tragedy than an equal intensity, in the same soul or the same man, of the intellectual sentiment and the moral sentiment. For a man to be utterly and absolutely moral, he has to be a bit stupid. For a man to be absolutely intellectual, he has to be a bit immoral.”

“These pages are not my confession; they’re my definition. And I feel, as I begin to write it, that I can write it with some semblance of truth.”

“To choose ways of not acting was ever the concern and scruple of my life.”

“To feel today what one felt yesterday isn’t to feel – it’s to remember today what was felt yesterday, to be today’s living corpse of what yesterday was lived and lost.”

“To stagnate in the sun, goldenly, like an obscure lake surrounded by flowers.”

“We’ve been devastated by the severest and deadliest drought in history – that of our profound awareness of the futility of all effort and the vanity of all plans.”

“Whether or not they exist, we’re slaves to the gods.”

“Wise is he who enjoys the show offered by the world.”