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Five senses; an incurably abstract intellect; a haphazardly selective memory; a set of preconceptions and assumptions so numerous that I can never examine more than minority of them - never become conscious of them all. How much of total reality can such an apparatus let through?
I believe in God like I believe in the sun, not because I can see it, but because of it all things are seen.
I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.
It is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects -- military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden -- that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
Mortal lovers must not try to remain at the first step. For lasting passion is the dream of a harlot, and from it we wake in despair.
I have found a desire within myself that no experience in this world can satisfy; the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... it has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival.
It is hard to have patience with people who say There is no death or Death doesn't matter. There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say that birth doesn't matter.
It is only when you are asked to believe in Reason coming from non-reason that you must cry Halt. Human minds. They do not come from nowhere.
Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.
Telling us to obey instinct is like telling us to obey 'people.' People say different things so do instincts. Our instincts are at war.... Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of the rest....
The salvation of a single soul is more important than the production or preservation of all the epics and tragedies in the world.
The trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.
There are two kinds of people those who say to God, Thy will be done, and those to whom God says, All right, then, have it your way.