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Daily Wisdom

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Rufus, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    “Truth is no prostitute, that throws herself away upon those who do not desire her; she is rather so coy a beauty that he who sacrifices everything to her cannot even then be sure of her favour.”
    ----
    “Sociability belongs to the most dangerous, even destructive inclinations, since it brings us into contact with beings the great majority of whom are morally bad and intellectually dull or perverted.”
    ----
    “Life presents itself first and foremost as a task: the task of maintaining itself, the task of earning one's living. If this task is accomplished, what has been gained is a burden, and there then appears a second task: that of doing something with it so as to ward off boredom, which hovers over every secure life like a bird of prey. Thus the first task is to gain something and the second to become unconscious of what has been gained, which is otherwise a burden.”

    ~Arthur Schopenhauer.

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  2. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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  3. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    “People who pass their lives in reading and acquire their wisdom from books are like those who learn about a country from travel descriptions: they can impart information about a great number of things, but at bottom they possess no connected, clear, thorough knowledge of what the country is like. On the other hand, people who pass their lives in thinking are like those who have visited the country themselves: they alone are really familiar with it, possess connected knowledge of it and are truly at home in it.”
    ----
    “A man is never happy, but spends his whole life in striving after something that he thinks will make him so; he seldom attains his goal, and when he does, it is only to be disappointed; he is mostly shipwrecked in the end, and comes into harbour with mast and rigging gone. And then, it is all one whether he is happy or miserable; for his life was never anything more than a present moment always vanishing; and now it is over.”
    ----
    “Dialectic is the art of intellectual fencing; and it is only when we so regard it that we can erect it into a branch of knowledge.”
    ----
    “Nevertheless, let no one boast. Just as every man, though he be the greatest genius, has very definite limitations in some one sphere of knowledge, and thus attests his common origin with the essentially perverse and stupid mass of mankind, so also has every man something in his nature which is positively evil. Even the best, nay the noblest, character will sometimes surprise us by isolated traits of depravity; as though it were to acknowledge his kinship with the human race, in which villainy--nay, cruelty--is to be found in that degree.”
    ----
    “It would be a great mistake to suppose that it is sufficient not to become personal yourself. For by showing a man quite quietly that he is wrong, and that what he says and thinks is incorrect — a process which occurs in every dialectical victory — you embitter him more than if you used some rude or insulting expression. Why is this? Because, as Hobbes observes, all mental pleasure consists in being able to compare oneself with others to one’s own advantage. — Nothing is of greater moment to a man than the gratification of his vanity, and no wound is more painful than that which is inflicted on it. Hence such phrases as “Death before dishonour,” and so on.”
    ----
    “The fundamental defect of the female character is a lack of a sense of justice. This originates first and foremost in their want of rationality and capacity for reflexion but it is strengthened by the fact that, as the weaker sex, they are driven to rely not on force but on cunning: hence their instinctive subtlety and their ineradicable tendency to tell lies: for, as nature has equipped the lion with claws and teeth, the elephant with tusks, the wild boar with fangs, the bull with horns and the cuttlefish with ink, so it has equipped woman with the power of dissimulation as her means of attack and defence, and has transformed into this gift all the strength it has bestowed on man in the form of physical strength and the power of reasoning. Dissimulation is thus inborn in her and consequently to be found in the stupid woman almost as often as in the clever one. To make use of it at every opportunity is as natural to her as it is for an animal to employ its means of defence whenever it is attacked, and when she does so she feels that to some extent she is only exercising her rights. A completely truthful woman who does not practice dissimulation is perhaps an impossibility, which is why women see through the dissimulation of others so easily it is inadvisable to attempt it with them. – But this fundamental defect which I have said they possess, together with all that is associated with it, gives rise to falsity, unfaithfulness, treachery, ingratitude, etc. Women are guilty of perjury far more often than men. It is questionable whether they ought to be allowed to take an oath at all.”

    ~Arthur Schopenhauer.

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  4. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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  5. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    “... life may be compared to a piece of embroidery, of which, during the first half of his time, a man gets a sight of the right side, and during the second half, of the wrong. The wrong side is not so pretty as the right, but it is more instructive; it shows the way in which the threads have been worked together”
    ----
    “Let us see rather that like Janus—or better, like Yama, the Brahmin god of death—religion has two faces, one very friendly, one very gloomy...”
    ----
    “As a reliable compass for orientating yourself in life nothing is more useful than to accustom yourself to regarding this world as a place of atonement, a sort of penal colony. When you have done this you will order your expectations of life according to the nature of things and no longer regard the calamities, sufferings, torments and miseries of life as something irregular and not to be expected but will find them entirely in order, well knowing that each of us is here being punished for his existence and each in his own particular way. This outlook will enable us to view the so-called imperfections of the majority of men, i.e., their moral and intellectual shortcomings and the facial appearance resulting therefrom, without surprise and certainly without indignation: for we shall always bear in mind where we are and consequently regard every man first and foremost as a being who exists only as a consequence of his culpability and whose life is an expiation of the crime of being born.”
    ----
    “So if you have to live amongst men, you must allow everyone the right to exist in accordance with the character he has, whatever it turns out to be: and all you should strive to do is to make use of this character in such a way as its kind and nature permit, rather than to hope for any alteration in it, or to condemn it off-hand for what it is. This is the true sense of the maxim--Live and let live. That, however, is a task which is difficult in proportion as it is right; and he is a happy man who can once for all avoid having to do with a great many of his fellow creatures.”

    ~Arthur Schopenhauer.

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  6. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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  7. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    “The use of the word person in every European language to signify a human individual is unintentionally appropriate; persona really means a player’s mask, and it is quite certain that no one shows himself as he is, but that each wears a mask and plays a role. In general, the whole of social life is a continual comedy, which the worthy find insipid, whilst the stupid delight in it greatly.”
    ----
    “[Materialism] seeks the primary and most simple state of matter, and then tries to develop all the others from it; ascending from mere mechanism, to chemism, to polarity, to the vegetable and to the animal kingdom. And if we suppose this to have been done, the last link in the chain would be animal sensibility - that is knowledge - which would consequently now appear as a mere modification or state of matter produced by causality. Now if we had followed materialism thus far with clear ideas, when we reached its highest point we would suddenly be seized with a fit of the inextinguishable laughter of the Olympians. As if waking from a dream, we would all at once become aware that its final result - knowledge, which it reached so laboriously, was presupposed as the indispensable condition of its very starting-point, mere matter; and when we imagined that we thought matter, we really thought only the subject that perceives matter; the eye that sees it, the hand that feels it, the understanding that knows it. Thus the tremendous petitio principii reveals itself unexpectedly.”
    ----
    “Intellect is a magnitude of intensity, not a magnitude of extension: which is why in this respect one man can confidently take on ten thousand, and a thousand fools do not make one wise man.”
    ----
    “The result is that much reading robs the mind of all elasticity, as the continual pressure of a weight does a spring, and that the surest way of never having any thoughts of your own is to pick up a book every time you have a free moment. The practice of doing this is the reason erudition makes most men duller and sillier than they are by nature and robs their writings of all effectiveness: they are in Pope's words: For ever reading, never to be read.”

    ~Arthur Schopenhauer.

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  8. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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  9. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    “For what a man is in himself, what accompanies him when he is alone, what no one can give or take away, is obviously more essential to him than everything he has in the way of possessions, or even what he may be in the eyes of the world. An intellectual man in complete solitude has excellent entertainment in his own thoughts and fancies, while no amount of diversity or social pleasure, theatres, excursions and amusements, can ward off boredom from a dullard.”
    ----
    “Men are like children, in that, if you spoil them, they become naughty. Therefore it is well not to be too indulgent or charitable with anyone. You may take it as a general rule that you will not lose a friend by refusing him a loan, but that you are very likely to do so by granting it; and, for similar reasons, you will not readily alienate people by being somewhat proud and careless in your behavior; but if you are very kind and complaisant towards them, you will often make them arrogant and intolerable, and so a breach will ensue.”
    ----
    “Boredom is certainly not an evil to be taken lightly: it will ultimately etch lines of true despair onto a face. It makes beings with as little love for each other as humans nonetheless seek each other with such intensity, and in this way becomes the source of sociability.”
    ----
    “That you should write down valuable ideas that occur to you as soon as possible goes without saying: we sometimes forget even what we have done, so how much more what we have thought.”
    ----
    “No child under the age of fifteen should receive instruction in subjects which may possibly be the vehicle of serious error, such as philosophy, religion, or any other branch of knowledge where it is necessary to take large views; because wrong notions imbibed early can seldom be rooted out, and of all the intellectual faculties, judgment is the last to arrive at maturity.”
    ----
    “Science is not a taxi-cab that we can get in and out of whenever we like.”
    ----
    “There is nothing to be got in the world anywhere; privation and pain pervade it, and boredom lies in wait at every corner for those who have escaped them. Moreover, wickedness usually reigns, and folly does all the talking. Fate is cruel, and human beings are pathetic.”
    ----
    “Knowledge is power. The devil it is! One man can have a great deal of knowledge without its giving him the least power, while another possesses supreme authority but next to no knowledge.”

    ~Arthur Schopenhauer.

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  10. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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  11. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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  12. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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  13. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    “In travelling where novelties of all kinds press in upon us, mental food is often supplied so rapidly from without that there is no time for digestion. We regret that the quickly shifting impressions can leave no permanent imprint. In reality, however, it is with this as it is with reading. How often we regret not being able to retain in the memory one-thousandth part of what is read ! It is comforting in both cases to know that the seen as well as the read has made a mental impression before it is forgotten, and thus forms the mind and nourishes it, while that which is retained in the memory merely fills and swells the hollow of the head with matter which remains ever foreign to it, because it has not been absorbed, and therefore the recipient can be as empty as before.”
    ----
    “People's envy shows how unhappy they feel; their constant attention to the doings of others how bored they are.”
    ----
    “Very often inertia, selfishness, and vanity play the greatest role in our trust in others; inertia when we prefer to trust somebody else, in order not to investigate, be vigilant, or act ourselves; selfishness when the desire to speak about our own affairs tempts us to confide in someone else; vanity when it concers something that we are proud of.”
    ----
    “If we are distracted and read thoughtlessly, and then realize that we have indeed taken in all the words, but no concepts.”
    ----
    “All the pride and pleasure of the world, mirrored in the dull consciousness of a fool, are poor indeed compared with the imagination of Cervantes writing his Don Quixote in a miserable prison.”
    ----
    “Again, you may look upon life as an unprofitable episode, disturbing the blessed calm of non-existence. And, in any case, even though things have gone with you tolerably well, the longer you live the more clearly you will feel that, on the whole, life is a disappointment, nay, a cheat.”
    ----
    “May Hegel's philosophy of absolute nonsense - three-fourths cash and one-fourth crazy fancies - continue to pass for unfathomable wisdom without anyone suggesting as an appropriate motto for his writings Shakespeare's words: "Such stuff as madmen tongue and brain not," or, as an emblematical vignette, the cuttle-fish with its ink-bag, creating a cloud of darkness around it to prevent people from seeing what it is, with the device: mea caligine tutus. - May each day bring us, as hitherto, new systems adapted for University purposes, entirely made up of words and phrases and in a learned jargon besides, which allows people to talk whole days without saying anything; and may these delights never be disturbed by the Arabian proverb: "I hear the clappering of the mill, but I see no flour." - For all this is in accordance with the age and must have its course.”
    ----
    “Instead of developing the child's own faculties of discernment, and teaching it to judge and think for itself, the teacher uses all his energies to stuff its head full of the ready-made thoughts of other people. The mistaken views of life, which spring from a false application of general ideas, have afterwards to be corrected by long years of experience; and it is seldom that they are wholly corrected.”
    ----
    “There is no better recreation for the mind than the study of the ancient classics. Take any one of them into your hand, be it only for half an hour, and you will feel yourself refreshed, relieved, purified, ennobled, strengthened; just as if you had quenched your thirst at some pure spring. Is this the effect of the old language and its perfect expression, or is it the greatness of the minds whose works remain unharmed and unweakened by the lapse of a thousand years? Perhaps both together. But this I know. If the threatened calamity should ever come, and the ancient languages cease to be taught, a new literature shall arise, of such barbarous, shallow and worthless stuff as never was seen before.”
    ----
    “Out of any piece of wood a god may be carved.”
    ----
    “When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public.”
    ----
    “If you stroke a cat, it will purr; and, as inevitably, if you praise a man, a sweet expression of delight will appear on his face; and even though the praise is a palpable lie, it will be welcome, if the matter is one on which he prides himself.”
    ----
    “How shall a man be proud, when his conception is a crime, his birth a penalty, his life a labour, and death a necessity!—”
    ----
    “the ancient wisdom of the Indian philosophers declares, “It is Mâyâ, the veil of deception, which blinds the eyes of mortals, and makes them behold a world of which they cannot say either that it is or that it is not: for it is like a dream; it is like the sunshine on the sand which the traveller takes from afar for water, or the stray piece of rope he mistakes for a snake.”
    ----
    “The best works of great men all come from the time when they had to write either for nothing or for very little pay. This is confirmed by the Spanish proverb: honra y provecho no caben en un saco (Honour and money are not to be found in the same purse).”

    ~Arthur Schopenhauer.
     
  14. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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  15. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    “No one who has to live amongst men should absolutely discard any person who has his due place in the order of nature, even though he is very wicked or contemptible or ridiculous. He must accept him as an unalterable fact—unalterable, because the necessary outcome of an eternal, fundamental principle; and in bad cases he should remember the words of Mephistopheles: es muss auch solche Käuze geben[1]—there must be fools and rogues in the world. If he acts otherwise, he will be committing an injustice, and giving a challenge of life and death to the man he discards. No one can alter his own peculiar individuality, his moral character, his intellectual capacity, his temperament or physique; and if we go so far as to condemn a man from every point of view, there will be nothing left him but to engage us in deadly conflict; for we are practically allowing him the right to exist only on condition that he becomes another man—which is impossible; his nature forbids it."
    ----
    “clumsy charlatan like Hegel is confidently branded as such? German philosophy is precisely so, laden with contempt, mocked abroad, rejected by honest sciences – like a strumpet who, for filthy lucre, yesterday gave herself up to one, today to another; and the minds of the contemporary generation of scholars are jumbled by Hegelian nonsense: incapable of thought, coarse and stupefied, they become the prey of the vulgar materialism that has crept out of the Basilisk's egg”
    ----
    “As Epictetus says, Men are not influenced by things, but by their thoughts about things.”
    ----
    “Our greatest pleasure consists in being admired; but those who admire us, even if they have every reason to do so, are slow to express their sentiments. Hence he is the happiest man who, no matter how, manages sincerely to admire himself-so long as other people leave him alone.]”
    ----
    “The look of good sense and prudence, even of the best kind, differs from that of genius, in that the former bears the stamp of subjection to the will, while the latter is free from it. And therefore one can well believe the anecdote [...] how once at the court of the Visconti, when Petrarch and other noblemen and gentlemen were present, Galeazzo Visconti told his son, who was then a mere boy (he was afterwards first Duke of Milan), to pick out the wisest of the company; how the boy looked at them all for a little, and then took Petrarch by the hand and led him up to his father, to the great admiration of all present. For so clearly does nature set the mark of her dignity on the privileged among mankind that even a child can discern it."
    ----
    “I came across a wild flower, marveled at its beauty and at the perfection of all its parts, and exclaimed: 'But all this in you and in thousands like you blossoms and fades; it is not noticed by anyone and in fact is often not even seen by any one.' But the flower replied: 'You fool! Do you imagine I blossom in order to be seen? I blossom for my own sake because it pleases me, and not for the sake of others; my joy and delight consist in my being and in my blossoming.”
    ----
    “Life itself is a sea full of reefs and maelstroms that a human being takes the greatest care and caution to avoid; he uses all his efforts and ingenuity to wend his way through, while knowing that even if he is successful, every step brings him closer to the greatest, the total, the inescapable and irreparable shipwreck, and in fact steers him right up to it, - to death: this is the final goal of the miserable journey and worse for him that all the reefs he managed to avoid.”

    ~Arthur Schopenhauer.

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  16. Shar Dundred

    Shar Dundred

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    "People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election." - Otto von Bismarck
     
  17. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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  18. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    “God, who in the beginning was the creator, appears in the end as revenger and rewarder. Deference to such a God admittedly can produce virtuous actions; however, because fear of punishment or hope for reward are their motive, these actions will not be purely moral; on the contrary, the inner essence of such virtue will amount to prudent and carefully calculating egoism.”
    ----
    “happiness and satisfaction always imply some desire fulfilled, some state of pain brought to an end.”
    ----
    “Every fulfilled wish we wrest from the world is really like alms that keep the beggar alive today so that he can starve again tomorrow.”
    ----
    “It is easy to understand that in the dreary middle ages the Aristotelian logic would be very acceptable to the controversial spirit of the schoolmen, which, in the absence of all real knowledge, spent its energy upon mere formulas and words, and that it would be eagerly adopted even in its mutilated Arabian form, and presently established as the centre of all knowledge.”
    ----
    “Think what you're doing! When you say I, I, I want to exist, it is not you alone that says this. Everything says it, absolutely everything that has the faintest trace of consciousness. It follows, then, that this desire of yours is just the part of you that is not individual - the part that is common to all things without distinction.”
    ----
    “It will generally be found that, as soon as the terrors of life reach the point at which they outweigh the terrors of death, a man will put an end to his life. But the terrors of death offer considerable resistance; they stand like a sentinel at the gate leading out of this world. Perhaps there is no man alive who would not have already put an end to his life, if this end had been of a purely negative character, a sudden stoppage of existence. There is something positive about it; it is the destruction of the body; and a man shrinks from that, because his body is the manifestation of the will to live.”
    ----
    “Brahma is said to have produced the world by a kind of fall or mistake; and in order to atone for his folly, he is bound to remain in it himself until he works out his redemption. As an account of the origin of things, that is admirable!”

    ~Arthur Schopenhauer.

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  19. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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  20. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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