We become actors without realizing it, and actors without wanting to.
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Action is coarsened thought; thought becomes concrete, obscure, and unconscious.
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Action and faith enslave thought, both of them in order not be troubled or inconvenienced by reflection, criticism, and doubt.
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For purposes of action nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.
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To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.
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Analysis kills spontaneity. The grain once ground into flour springs and germinates no more.
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Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.
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Our systems, perhaps, are nothing more than an unconscious apology for our faults --a gigantic scaffolding whose object is to hide from us our favorite sin.
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So long as a person is capable of self-renewal they are a living being.
View quote | Quotes about Change

It is not what he had, or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.
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Charm is the quality in others that makes us more satisfied with ourselves.
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Cleverness is serviceable for everything, sufficient for nothing.
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Common sense is the measure of the possible; it is composed of experience and prevision; it is calculation applied to life.
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Common sense is calculation applied to life.
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Pure truth cannot be assimilated by the crowd; it must be communicated by contagion.
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The best path through life is the highway.
View quote | Quotes about Direction

Destiny has two ways of crushing us -- by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them.
View quote | Quotes about Fate

Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius.
View quote | Quotes about Genius

To do easily what is difficult for others is the mark of talent. To do what is impossible for talent is the mark of genius.
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It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think, by pumping that we draw water into the well.
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Great men are true men, the men in whom nature has succeeded. They are not extraordinary -- they are in the true order. It is the other species of men who are not what they ought to be.
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To live we must conquer incessantly, we must have the courage to be happy.
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Every life is a profession of faith, and exercises an inevitable and silent influence.
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Clever people will recognize and tolerate nothing but cleverness.
View quote | Quotes about Intelligence and Intellectuals

Mutual respect implies discretion and reserve even in love itself; it means preserving as much liberty as possible to those whose life we share. We must distrust our instinct of intervention, for the desire to make one's own will prevail is often disguised under the mask of solicitude.
View quote | Quotes about Intervention

Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.
View quote | Quotes about Life and Living

Women wish to be loved not because they are pretty, or good, or well bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves.
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In every loving woman there is a priestess of the past -- a pious guardian of some affection, of which the object has disappeared.
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To marry unequally is to suffer equally.
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Materialism coarsens and petrifies everything, making everything vulgar, and every truth false.
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Melancholy is at the bottom of everything, just as at the end of all rivers is the sea. Can it be otherwise in a world where nothing lasts, where all that we have loved or shall love must die? Is death, then, the secret of life? The gloom of an eternal mourning enwraps, more or less closely, every serious and thoughtful soul, as night enwraps the universe.
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An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth which it contains.
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Mozart has the classic purity of light and the blue ocean; Beethoven the romantic grandeur which belongs to the storms of air and sea, and while the soul of Mozart seems to dwell on the ethereal peaks of Olympus, that of Beethoven climbs shuddering the storm-beaten sides of a Sinai. Blessed be they both! Each represents a moment of the ideal life, each does us good. Our love is due to both.
View quote | Quotes about Music

The obscure only exists that it may cease to exist. In it lies the opportunity of all victory and all progress. Whether it call itself fatality, death, night, or matter, it is the pedestal of life, of light, of liberty and the spirit. For it represents resistance -- that is to say, the fulcrum of all activity, the occasion for its development and its triumph.
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Order is a great person's need and their true well being.
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Order is power.
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Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.
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The fire which enlightens is the same fire which consumes.
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The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret.
View quote | Quotes about Perfection

The philosopher is like a man fasting in the midst of universal intoxication. He alone perceives the illusion of which all creatures are the willing playthings; he is less duped than his neighbor by his own nature. He judges more sanely, he sees things as they are. It is in this that his liberty consists -- in the ability to see clearly and soberly, in the power of mental record.
View quote | Quotes about Philosophers and Philosophy

Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires, but according to our powers.
View quote | Quotes about Power

We are never more discontented with others than when we are discontented with ourselves.
View quote | Quotes about Relationships

To depersonalize man is the dominant drift of our times.
View quote | Quotes about Respectability

There is no respect for others without humility in one's self.
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To shun one's cross is to make it heavier.
View quote | Quotes about Responsibility

Sacrifice, which is the passion of great souls, has never been the law of societies.
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Sacrifice still exists everywhere, and everywhere the elect of each generation suffers for the salvation of the rest.
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Our true history is scarcely ever deciphered by others. The chief part of the drama is a monologue, or rather an intimate debate between God, our conscience, and ourselves. Tears, grieves, depressions, disappointments, irritations, good and evil thoughts, decisions, uncertainties, deliberations --all these belong to our secret, and are almost all incommunicable and intransmissible, even when we try to speak of them, and even when we write them down.
View quote | Quotes about Secrets

He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own nature is less liable than anyone else to miss and waste life.
View quote | Quotes about Self-improvement

Self-interest is but the survival of the animal in us. Humanity only begins for man with self-surrender.
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Society lives by faith, and develops by science.
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The only substance properly so called is the soul.
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If nationality is consent, the state is compulsion.
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Sympathy is the first condition of criticism.
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To know how to suggest is the great art of teaching. To attain it we must be able to guess what will interest; we must learn to read the childish soul as we might a piece of music. Then, by simply changing the key, we keep up the attraction and vary the song.
View quote | Quotes about Teachers and Teaching

Tears are the symbol of the inability of the soul to restrain its emotion and retain its self command.
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What we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, the embryo, and it is the point of departure which, generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence. One single black speck may be the beginning of a gangrene, of a storm, of a revolution.
View quote | Quotes about Things and Little Things

Thought is a kind of opium; it can intoxicate us, while still broad awake; it can make transparent the mountains and everything that exists.
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Uncertainty is the refuge of hope.
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Will localizes us; thought universalizes us.
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Amiel, Henri Frederic

No biography at present.

60 quotations