Don Quixote’s misfortune is not his imagination, but Sancho Panza.
My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.
The fact that our task is exactly commensurate with our life gives it the appearance of being infinite.
Life’s splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come.
In one and the same human being there are cognitions that, however utterly dissimilar they are, yet have one and the same object, so that one can only conclude that there are different subjects in one and the same human being.
Adam’s first domestic pet after the expulsion from Paradise was the serpent.
The crows maintain that a single crow could destroy the heavens. There is no doubt of that, but it proves nothing against the heavens, for heaven simply means: the impossibility of crows.
Not everyone can see the truth, but he can be it.
Atlas was permitted the opinion that he was at liberty, if he wished, to drop the Earth and creep away; but this opinion was all that he was permitted.
If all responsibility is imposed on you, then you may want to exploit the moment and want to be overwhelmed by the responsibility; yet if you try, you will notice that nothing was imposed on you, but that you are yourself this responsibility.
Looking on oneself as something alien, forgetting the sight, remembering the gaze.
He runs after the facts like someone learning to skate, who furthermore practices where it is dangerous and has been forbidden.
You can withdraw from the sufferings of the world—that possibility is open to you and accords with your nature—but perhaps that withdrawal is the only suffering you might be able to avoid.
‘And then he went back to his job, as though nothing had happened.’ A sentence that strikes one as familiar from any number of stories—though it might not have appeared in any of them.
Once we have taken Evil into ourselves, it no longer insists that we believe in it.
We are as forlorn as children lost in the woods. When you stand in front of me and look at me, what do you know of the griefs that are in me and what do I know of yours. And if I were to cast myself down before you and weep and tell you, what more would you know about me than you know about Hell when someone tells you it is hot and dreadful? For that reason alone we human beings ought to stand before one another as reverently, as reflectively, as lovingly, as we would before the entrance to Hell.