( English writer and philosopher ) 26 July 1894 - 22 November 1963
Thought must be divided against itself before it can come to any knowledge of itself.
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.
Like every man of sense and good feeling, I abominate work.
The quality of moral behavior varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved.
Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities.
Never put off till tomorrow the fun you can have today.
Feasts must be solemn and rare, or else they cease to be feasts.
Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.
I’m afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark.
We are all geniuses up to the age of ten.
Everyone who wants to do good to the human race always ends in universal bullying.
The impulse to cruelty is, in many people, almost as violent as the impulse to sexual love – almost as violent and much more mischievous.
Liberties aren’t given, they are taken.
Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery.
Specialized meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hallmark of true science.
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.
Those who believe that they are exclusively in the right are generally those who achieve something.
There’s only one effectively redemptive sacrifice, the sacrifice of self-will to make room for the knowledge of God.
Official dignity tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.
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.
Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.
Most of one’s life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself thinking.
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.
An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood.
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.
What’s the point of truth or beauty or knowledge when anthrax bombs are popping all around you?
The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.
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.”
To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.
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.
Man approaches the unattainable truth through a succession of errors.
Chastity – the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions.
It’s a little embarrassing that after 45 years of research & study, the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other.
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.
Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement.
When people are suspicious with you, you start being suspicious with them.
Pain was a fascinating horror.
A love of nature keeps no factories busy.
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.
Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.
The proper study of mankind is books.
No social stability without individual stability.
I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.
Happiness is a hard master, particularly other people’s happiness.
It is natural to believe in God when you’re alone — quite alone, in the night, thinking about death.
Sons have always a rebellious wish to be disillusioned by that which charmed their fathers.
To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.