There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them.
It is the human condition to question one god after another, one appearance after another, or better, one apparition after another, always pursuing the truth of the imagination, which is not the same as the truth of appearance.
Man himself is an enigma in motion; his questions never stay asked; whereas the mold, the footprint, and by natural extension, the statue itself, like the vaults, the arches, the temples with which man records his own passing, remain immobile and fix a moment of man's life, upon which one might endlessly meditate.
I have only one thing to say to the melancholy man: 'Look into the distance.' ... When you look at the stars or the ocean's expanse, your eye is completely relaxed; once your eye is relaxed, your mind is unfettered.
It is not difficult to be unhappy or discontented; all you have to do is sit down, like a prince waiting to be amused. ... It is impossible to be happy if one does not have the desire to be happy; one must therefore will one's happiness, and create it.
Wouldn't a sailor laugh at you if you told him that the whole crossing depends on the first turn of the helm?
Profound sadness is always the result of an unhealthy condition of the body. ... We [should] say, 'I am sad; everything looks black to me; but external events are in no way responsible. It's my body that insists on reasoning. These are the opinions of my stomach.'
As opposed to the incoherent spectacle of the world, the real is what is expected, what is obtained and what is discovered by our own movement. It is what is sensed as being within our own power and always responsive to our action.
If religion is only human, and its form is man's form, it follows that everything in religion is true.
When we speak, in gestures or signs, we fashion a real object in the world; the gesture is seen, the words and the song are heard. The arts are simply a kind of writing, which, in one way or another, fixes words or gestures, and gives body to the invisible.
People who are upset about something ruminate on it whenever they get a chance; they are constantly drawn back to their own unhappy tale as if it were a horror story left open on a table.
Every idea I get I have to deny, that's my way of testing it.
What is a thousand years? Time is short for one who thinks, endless for one who yearns.
We prove what we want to prove, and the real difficulty is to know what we want to prove.
Two things are aesthetically perfect in the world - the clock and the cat.
The most difficult thing in the world is to say thinkingly what everybody says without thinking.
There is a future that makes itself and a future we make. The real future is composed of both.
Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.
We must recognize the eloquence of our passions and refuse to be taken in. Instead of saying, 'That false friend always did despise me,' say: 'In my present state of agitation, I can't see clearly, I can't judge clearly; I am only a tragic actor who is declaiming for his own ears.' Then you will see the lights in the theater go out for lack of an audience, and the brilliant sets will be nothing more than painted cardboard.
One must be truthful with oneself about one's own motives, especially if one is to survive in the world. It takes rigor, and it takes courage.