Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.
To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.
The mature response to the problem of existence is love.
The real opposition is that between the ego-bound man, whose existence is structured by the principle of having, and the free man, who has overcome his egocentricity.
The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.
Man's main task is to give birth to himself.
Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. 'Patriotism' is its cult... Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.
Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.
One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.
Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.
Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love.
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
Love isn't something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn't a feeling, it is a practice.
We are a society of notoriously unhappy people: lonely, anxious, depressed, destructive, dependent - people who are glad when we have killed the time we are trying so hard to save.
Reason flows from the blending of rational thought and feeling. If the two functions are torn apart, thinking deteriorates into schizoid intellectual activity and feeling deteriorates into neurotic life-damaging passions.
People do not see that the main question is not : "Am I loved?" which is to a large extent the question : "Am I approved of? Am I protected? Am I admired?" The main question is: "Can I love?
Critical and radical thought will only bear fruit when it is blended with the most precious quality man is endowed with - the love of life
Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one "object" of love. If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism. Yet, most people believe that love is constituted by the object, not by the faculty.
The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have.
Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.
The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.
To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness
There is nothing inhuman, evil, or irrational which does not give some comfort, provided it is shared by a group.
The more the drive toward life is thwarted, the stronger is the drive toward destruction; the more life is realized, the less is the strength of destructiveness. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life.
if i am what i have, and i lose what i have, who then am i?
In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.
Modern man thinks he loses something - time - when he does not do things quickly. Yet he does not know what to do with the time he gains, except kill it.
To have faith requires courage, the ability to take a risk, the readiness even to accept pain and disappointment. Whoever insists on safety and security as primary conditions of life cannot have faith; whoever shuts himself off in a system of defense, where distance and possession are his means of security, makes himself a prisoner. To be loved, and to love, need courage, the courage to judge certain values as of ultimate concern " and to take the jump and to stake everything on these values.
As we ascend the social ladder, viciousness wears a thicker mask.
Only the person who has faith in himself is able to be faithful to others.
What most people in our culture mean by being lovable is essentially a mixture between being popular and having sex appeal.
In the nineteenth century the problem was that God is dead. In the twentieth century the problem is that man is dead.
Just as modern mass production requires the standardization of commodities, so the social process requires standardization of man, and this standardization is called equality.
There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
If I am what I have and if I lose what I have who then am I?
The psychic task which a person can and must set for himself is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.
Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?
Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.
The mother- child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother's side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent.
Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.