Quotes about Being

Asked what he gained from philosophy, he answered, "To do without being commanded what others do from fear of the laws."

Diogenes Laërtius

One of the sayings of Diogenes was that most men were within a finger's breadth of being mad; for if a man walked with his middle finger pointing out, folks would think him mad, but not so if it were his forefinger.

Diogenes Laërtius

Diogenes said once to a person who was showing him a dial, "It is a very useful thing to save a man from being too late for supper."

Diogenes Laërtius

One ought to seek out virtue for its own sake, without being influenced by fear or hope, or by any external influence. Moreover, that in that does happiness consist.

Diogenes Laërtius

It was a saying of Demetrius Phalereus, that "Men having often abandoned what was visible for the sake of what was uncertain, have not got what they expected, and have lost what they had,--being unfortunate by an enigmatical sort of calamity."


Some impose upon the world that they believe that which they do not; others, more in number, make themselves believe that they believe, not being able to penetrate into what it is to believe.

Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne

'T is so much to be a king, that he only is so by being so. The strange lustre that surrounds him conceals and shrouds him from us; our sight is there broken and dissipated, being stopped and filled by the prevailing light.

Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne

He has done like Orbaneja, the painter of Ubeda, who, being asked what he painted, answered, "As it may hit;" and when he had scrawled out a misshapen cock, was forced to write underneath, in Gothic letters, "This is a cock."

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

There are few people who would not be ashamed of being loved when they love no longer.

François, duc de La Rochefoucauld

Only the spirit of rebellion craves for happiness in this life. What right have we human beings to happiness?

Henrik Ibsen

Man being in honour abideth not; he is like the beasts that perish.

Old Testament

The average reader does not want to get outside life, to view it detachedly and indifferently; he requires the illusion of being more deeply involved in it

So cunning is the art that the substantial masses lead the eye to him, and he is nothing, the expandable, the faceless. He needs no face, being about to die.

He had got death over with, then. He was, in a sense, lucky. Perhaps posthumous life was better than the real thing. Oh God, yes, I remember Enderby, what a man. Eater, drinker, wencher, and such exotic adventures. You could go on living without all the trouble of still being alive. Your character got blurred and mingled with those of other dead men, wittier, handsomer, themselves more vital now that they were dead. And there was one’s work, good or bad, but still a death-cheater. It wasn’t death that was the that was the trouble, of course, it was dying.

Human beings are defined by freedom of choice. Once you have them doing what theyre told is good just because theyre going to get a lump of sugar instead of a kick up the ahss (?!) then ethnics no longer exists. The state could tell them it was good to go off and mug and rape and kill some other nation.

He thinks man is being abolished. His kind of man.

It was a matter of being integer vitae and also of having committed himself to a world in which pure and simple aggression was to be accepted as part of the human fabric.

I am near the end of the wine, but out there, the big wine is being poured – thin, slow, grey. Never more shall I taste the oncoming of this particular darkness. But I shall not be sorry to go. I am not seduced to this life by the dainty lusts, clothed in cold green and clean linen, of an English spring. If you plunge into that dark there, you will emerge at length into a raging sun and all the fabled islands of my East. And that is what I shall be doing tonight, off like a bird. Let’s dwell a space on the irony of a poet’s desperately winging out the last of his sweetness while the corrosives closed in.

Aesthetic martyrs ought to kiss the stars, rejoice in being totally rejected, and work away like disregarded beavers.

Life's all telling lies nowadays. All cheating and being a stranger to the truth.

... and also, there was (in America)less of a smell of people being dead, somehow. I can't say exactly what I mean, but when you're in any English town you can't help feeling that millions of people are dead and gone there, all through the ages, and their sort of ghosts are floating about and making the place seem a bit depressing and heavy somehow

I'm not doing the real work of a real human being; I'm just stringing words together

But the real age, as we are always being told, is an effect of the mind. It is manifested chiefly in lack of interest in life

Spending half an hour or an hour, or two hours, on a piece of narrative fiction gives us the same kind of holistic, the same kind of total effect, the effect of being absorbed in an artistic experience without interruption that we get from listening to a piece of music

It is the godlike task of the novelist to create human beings whom we accept as living creatures filled with complexities and armed with ´free will

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