Does our ferocity not derive from the fact that our instincts are all too interested in other people? If we attended more to ourselves and became the center, the object of our murderous inclinations, the sum of our intolerances would diminish.
View quote | Quotes about Aggression
Those who believe in their truth -- the only ones whose imprint is retained by the memory of men -- leave the earth behind them strewn with corpses. Religions number in their ledgers more murders than the bloodiest tyrannies account for, and those whom humanity has called divine far surpass the most conscientious murderers in their thirst for slaughter.
View quote | Quotes about Bigotry
Show me one thing here on earth which has begun well and not ended badly. The proudest palpitations are engulfed in a sewer, where they cease throbbing, as though having reached their natural term: this downfall constitutes the heart's drama and the negative meaning of history.
View quote | Quotes about Decay
The source of our actions resides in an unconscious propensity to regard ourselves as the center, the cause, and the conclusion of time. Our reflexes and our pride transform into a planet the parcel of flesh and consciousness we are.
View quote | Quotes about Egotism
To exist is equivalent to an act of faith, a protest against the truth, an interminable prayer. As soon as they consent to live, the unbeliever and the man of faith are fundamentally the same, since both have made the only decision that defines a being.
View quote | Quotes about Existence
The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster.
View quote | Quotes about Fanatics and Fanaticism
Fear can supplant our real problems only to the extent --unwilling either to assimilate or to exhaust it --we perpetuate it within ourselves like a temptation and enthrone it at the very heart of our solitude.
View quote | Quotes about Fear
What we want is not freedom but its appearances. It is for these simulacra that man has always striven. And since freedom, as has been said, is no more than a sensation, what difference is there between being free and believing ourselves free?
View quote | Quotes about Freedom
No human beings more dangerous than those who have suffered for a belief: the great persecutors are recruited from the martyrs not quite beheaded. Far from diminishing the appetite for power, suffering exasperates it.
View quote | Quotes about Martyrdom
Tyranny destroys or strengthens the individual; freedom enervates him, until he becomes no more than a puppet. Man has more chances of saving himself by hell than by paradise.
View quote | Quotes about Oppression
Only one endowed with restless vitality is susceptible to pessimism. You become a pessimist --a demonic, elemental, bestial pessimist --only when life has been defeated many times in its fight against depression.
View quote | Quotes about Pessimism
Negation is the mind's first freedom, yet a negative habit is fruitful only so long as we exert ourselves to overcome it, adapt it to our needs; once acquired it can imprison us.
View quote | Quotes about Rejection
When you have understood that nothing is, that things do not even deserve the status of appearances, you no longer need to be saved, you are saved, and miserable forever.
View quote | Quotes about Salvation
Much more than our other needs and endeavors, it is sexuality that puts us on an even footing with our kind: the more we practice it, the more we become like everyone else: it is in the performance of a reputedly bestial function that we prove our status as citizens: nothing is more public than the sexual act.
View quote | Quotes about Sex
Alone, even doing nothing, you do not waste your time. You do, almost always, in company. No encounter with yourself can be altogether sterile: Something necessarily emerges, even if only the hope of some day meeting yourself again.
View quote | Quotes about Solitude