November 30, 2016

Franz Kafka Quotes

“A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.”

“A stair not worn hollow by footsteps is, regarded from its own point of view, only a boring something made of wood.”

“All human errors are impatience, the premature breaking off of what is methodical, an apparent fencing in of the apparent thing.”

“Always first draw fresh breath after outbursts of vanity and complacency.”

“Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate… but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins.”

“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”

“Association with human beings lures one into self-observation.”

“Atlas was permitted the opinion that he was at liberty, if he wished, to drop the Earth and creep away; but this opinion was all that he was permitted.”

“Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made.”

“Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made. That is not the sort of belief that indicates real faith.”

“Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached.”

“By imposing too great a responsibility, or rather, all responsibility, on yourself, you crush yourself.”

“Don’t despair, not even over the fact that you don’t despair.”

“Dread of night. Dread of not-night.”

“Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.”

“Evil is a radiation of the human consciousness in certain transitional positions. It is not actually the sensual world that is a mere appearance; what is so is the evil of it, which, admittedly, is what constitutes the sensual world in our eyes.”

“Evil is whatever distracts.”

“For words are magical formulae. They leave finger marks be hind on the brain, which in the twinkling of an eye become the footprints of history. One ought to watch one’s every word.”

“From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.”

“From the true antagonist illimitable courage is transmitted to you.”

“He who seeks does not find, but he who does not seek will be found.”

“Heaven is dumb, echoing only the dumb.”

“Hesitation before birth. If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.”

“Hey, there’s something falling down in there, said the chief clerk. Gregor tried to suppose to himself that what had happened to him might some day also happen to the chief clerk. There was no denying that anything was possible.”

“Hiding places there are innumerable, escape is only one, but possibilities for escape, again, are as many as hiding places.”

“His weariness is that of the gladiator after the combat; his work was the whitewashing of a corner in a state official’s office.”

“How can one take delight in the world unless one flees to it for refuge?”

“How pathetically scanty my self-knowledge is compared with, say, my knowledge of my room. There is no such thing as observation of the inner world, as there is of the outer world.”

“I do not read advertisements. I would spend all of my time wanting things.”

“I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.”

“Idleness is the beginning of all vice, the crown of all virtues.”

“If I shall exist eternally, how shall I exist tomorrow?”

“If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without climbing it, it would have been permitted.”

“If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.”

“If what was supposed to have been destroyed in Paradise was destructible, then it was not decisive; but if it was indestructible, then we are living in a false belief.”

“In a certain sense the Good is comfortless.”

“In argument similes are like songs in love; they describe much, but prove nothing.”

“In the fight between you and the world, back the world.”

“In theory there is a possibility of perfect happiness: To believe in the indestructible element within one, and not to strive towards it.”

“It is comforting to reflect that the disproportion of things in the world seems to be only arithmetical.”

“It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen, only wait. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it can do no other, in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet.”

“It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.”

“It is only our conception of time that makes us call the Last Judgement by this name. It is, in fact, a kind of martial law.”

“It is only our conception of time that makes us call the Last Judgment by this name. It is, in fact, a kind of martial law.”

“Leopards break into the temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can be calculated in advance, and it becomes a part of the ceremony.”

“Let me remind you of the old maxim: people under suspicion are better moving than at rest, since at rest they may be sitting in the balance without knowing it, being weighed together with their sins.”

“Martyrs do not underrate the body, they allow it to be elevated on the cross. In this they are at one with their antagonists.”

“My “fear” is my substance, and probably the best part of me.”

“My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.”

“My peers, lately, have found companionship through means of intoxication – it makes them sociable. I, however, cannot force myself to use drugs to cheat on my loneliness – it is all that I have – and when the drugs and alcohol dissipate, will be all that my peers have as well.”

“Not everyone can see the truth, but he can be it.”

“Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence… Someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence, certainly never.”

“One advantage in keeping a diary is that you become aware with reassuring clarity of the changes which you constantly suffer.”

“One must not cheat anyone, not even the world of its victory.”

“One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.”

“One of the first signs of the beginnings of understanding is the wish to die. This life appears unbearable, another unattainable. One is no longer ashamed of wanting to die; one asks to be moved from the old cell, which one hates, to a new one, which one will only in time come to hate.”

“One tells as few lies as possible only by telling as few lies as possible, and not by having the least possible opportunity to do so.”

“Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.”

“Plenty of hope, an infinite amount of hope—but not for us.”

“Plenty of hope—for God—no end of hope—only not for us”

“Previously I did not understand why I got no answer to my question; today I do not understand how I could believe I was capable of asking. But I didn’t really believe, I only asked.”

“Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.”

“Religions get lost as people do.”

“Self-control is something for which I do not strive. Self-control means wanting to be effective at some random point in the infinite radiations of my spiritual existence.”

“Sensual love deceives one as to the nature of heavenly love; it could not do so alone, but since it unconsciously has the element of heavenly love within it, it can do so.”

“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.”

“Someone must have traduced Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning.”

“Suffering is the positive element in this world, indeed it is the only link between this world and the positive.”

“Test yourself on mankind. It is something that makes the doubter doubt, the believer believe.”

“The Bible is a sanctum; the world, sputum.”

“The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual. That is why the revolutionary spiritual movements that declare all former things worthless are in the right, for nothing has yet happened.”

“The experience of life consists of the experience which the spirit has of itself in matter and as matter, in mind and as mind, in emotion, as emotion, etc.”

“The fact that our task is exactly commensurate with our life gives it the appearance of being infinite.”

“The fact that there is nothing but a spiritual world deprives us of hope and gives us certainty.”

“The history of mankind is the instant between two strides taken by a traveler.”

“The indestructible is one: it is each individual human being and, at the same time, it is common to all, hence the incomparably indivisible union that exists between human beings.”

“The mediation by the serpent was necessary: Evil can seduce man, but cannot become man.”

“The relationship to one’s fellow man is the relationship of prayer, the relationship to oneself is the relationship of striving; it is from prayer that one draws the strength for one’s striving.”

“The spirit becomes free only when it ceases to be a support.”

“The true way is along a rope that is not spanned high in the air, but only just above the ground. It seems intended more to cause stumbling than to be walked upon.”

“The way is infinitely long, nothing of it can be subtracted, nothing can be added, and yet everyone applies his own childish yardstick to it. Certainly, this yard of the way you still have to go, too, and it will be accounted unto you.”

“The whole visible world is perhaps nothing more than than the rationalization of a man who wants to find peace for a moment. An attempt to falsify the actuality of knowledge, to regard knowledge as a goal still to be reached.”

“Theoretically there is a perfect possibility of happiness: believing in the indestructible element in oneself and not striving towards it.”

“There are only two things. Truth and lies. Truth is indivisible, hence it cannot recognize itself; anyone who wants to recognize it has to be a lie.”

“There are questions we could not get past if we were not set free from them by our very nature.”

“There is nothing besides a spiritual world; what we call the world of the senses is the Evil in the spiritual world, and what we call Evil is only the necessity of a moment in our eternal evolution.”

“Truth is indivisible, hence it cannot recognize itself; anyone who wants to recognize it has to be a lie.”

“Tyranny or slavery, born of selfishness, are the two educational methods of parents; all gradations of tyranny or slavery.”

“We all have wings, but they have not been of any avail to us and if we could tear them off, we would do so.”

“We are separated from God on two sides; the Fall separates us from Him, the Tree of Life separates Him from us.”

“We are sinful not only because we have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, but also because we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Life. The state in which we are is sinful, irrespective of guilt.”

“What is gayer than believing in a household god?”

“When one has once accepted and absorbed Evil, it no longer demands to be believed.”

“Why do we complain about the Fall? It is not on its account that we were expelled from Paradise, but on account of the Tree of Life, lest we might eat of it.”

“Woman, or more precisely put, perhaps, marriage, is the representative of life with which you are meant to come to terms.”

“You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.”

“Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”