Bertrand Russell · 183 pages
Rating: (6.9K votes)
“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
“These illustrations suggest four general maxims[...].
The first is: remember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to yourself.
The second is: don't over-estimate your own merits.
The third is: don't expect others to take as much interest in you as you do yourself.
And the fourth is: don't imagine that most people give enough thought to you to have any special desire to persecute you.”
“Dogmatism is the greatest of mental obstacles to human happiness.”
“If we were all given by magic the power to read each other’s thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be almost all friendships would be dissolved; the second effect, however, might be excellent, for a world without any friends would be felt to be intolerable, and we should learn to like each other without needing a veil of illusion to conceal from ourselves that we did not think each other absolutely perfect.”
“A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.”
“Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.”
“The wise man thinks about his troubles only when there is some purpose in doing so; at other times he thinks about other things, or, if it is night, about nothing at all.”
“To all the talented young men who wander about feeling that there is nothing in the world for them to do, I should say: 'Give up trying to write, and, instead, try not to write. Go out into the world; become a pirate, a king in Borneo, a labourer in Soviet Russia; give yourself an existence in which the satisfaction of elementary physical needs will occupy almost all your energies.' I do not recommend this course of action to everyone, but only to those who suffer from the disease which Mr Krutch diagnoses. I believe that, after some years of such an existence, the ex-intellectual will fin that in spite of is efforts he can no longer refrain from writing, and when this time comes his writing will not seem to him futile.”
“Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.”
“The secret of happiness is very simply this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile”
“Having made the decision, do not revise it unless some new fact comes to your knowledge. Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.”
“Altogether it will be found that a quiet life is characteristic of great men, and that their pleasures have not been of the sort that would look exciting to the outward eye.”
“The wise man will be as happy as circumstances permit, and if he finds the contemplation of the universe painful beyond a point, he will contemplate something else instead.”
“The man who pursues happiness wisely will aim at the possession of a number of subsidiary interests in addition to those central ones upon which his life is built.”
“One should as a rule r espect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of
prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways.”
“Fidelity purchased with money, money can destroy.”
“A life too full of excitement is an exhausting life, in which continually stronger stimuli are needed to give the thrill that has come to be thought an essential part of pleasure.”
“What I do maintain is that success can only be one ingredient in happiness,
and is too dearly purchased if all the other ingredients have been sacrificed to obtain
“The trouble arises from the generally received philosophy of life, according to which life is a contest, a competition, in which respect is to be a ccorded to the victor. This view leads to an undue cultivation of the will at the expense of the senses and the intellect.”
“I do not myself think there is any superior rationality in being unhappy. The wise man will be as happy as circumstances permit, and if he finds contemplation of the universe painful beyond a point, he will contemplate something else instead.”
“Very many people spend money in ways quite different from those that their natural tastes would enjoin, merely because the respect of their neighbors depends upon their possession of a good car and their ability to give good dinners. As a matter of fact, any man who can obviously afford a car but genuinely prefers travel or a good library will in the end be much more respected than if he behaved exactly like everyone else.”
“Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling? The reason is clearly that the human heart as modern civilisation has made it is more prone to hatred than to friendship. And it is prone to hatred because it is dissatisfied, because it feels deply, perhaps even unconsciously, that it has somehow missed the meaning of life, that perhaps others, but not we ourselves, have secured the good things which nature offers man's enjoyment.”
“The feeling is one born of a too easy satisfaction of natural needs. The human animal, like others, is adapted to a certain amount of struggle for life, and when by means of great wealth homo sapiens can gratify all his whims without effort, the mere absence
of effort from his life removes an essential ingredient of happiness. The man who acquires easily things for which he feels only a very moderate desire concludes that the attainment of desire does not bring happiness. If he is of a philosophic dispositi on, he concludes that human life is essentially wretched, since the man who has all he wants is still unhappy. He forgets that to be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.”
“With the wise man, what he has does not cease to be enjoyable because some one else has something else. Envy, in fact, is one form of vice, partly moral, partly intellectual, which consists in seeing things never in themselves but only in their relations”
“All the conditions of happiness are realized in the life of the man of science.”
“تنقسم السعاده الى نوعين وهناك درجات تتفاوت يها والنوعين اللذين يمكن تميزهما بسهوله هما العاده الحيوانيه والعاده الروحيه ولست معني الان بتاييد اي من هذه اختيار من هذه البدائل بل بوصف كل منهما فحسب اما الانتقاء فهو وقف على وجهةالنظر التي يمكن اثباتها ولعل اسهل طريقه لوصف الفرق بين نوعي السعاده هو القول ان النوع الواحد مفتوح لاي مخلوق بشري وان الاخير غير مفتوح الا امام من يجيدون القراءه والكتابه”
“To discover a system for the avoidance of war is a vital need for our civ ilisation; but
no such system has a chance while men are so unhappy that mutual extermination
seems to them less dreadful than continued endurance of the light of day”
“جميع حالات السعاده يمكن ادراجها في حياه رجل العلم فهو يملك طاقه يسيطر عليها الاقصى حد ويتوصل لنتائج تظهر اهميتها ليس له شخصيا فحسب بل عند الجمهور العام وحتى وان عجز عن ادنى درجه من درجات فهمها وهو في هذا اكثر حظا من الفنان فحين لا يتمكن الجمهور من فهم لوحه لوحه او قصيده يستنتج انها رديئه اما عندما لا يفهم نظريه النسبيه فانه يستنتج ان تعليمه غير كاف وتبعا لذلك نال اينشتين الشرف مكرما مبجلا في حين ترك اعظم الفنانين للجوع في الحجرات الفقيره”
“All that alcohol does for them is to liberate the sense of sin, which reason suppresses in saner moments.”
“it hung above the livid, bruised land like an admonition”
“Suddenly, political sucksters and realistic insectivores, shoving to the front, puffed up their stomachs and blew lies out of their fingers! A parade was formed! It was now an assembly on the arch, an enthusiastic troop of dunces, pasquil-makers, populist scribblers and lick-penny poets, anti-intellectual hacks, modernistic rubbishmongers, anonymuncules of prose and anacreontic water-bibbers all screaming nonce-words and squealing filthy ditties. They shouted scurrilities! They pronounced words backwards! They tumbled along waggling codpieces, shaking hogs' bladders, and bugling from the fundament! Some sang, shrill, purposely mispronouncing words, snarping at the language to mock it while thumping each other with huge rubber phalluses and roaring out farts! They snapped pens in half and turned somersaults with quills in their ears to make each other laugh, lest they speak and then finally came to the lip of a monstrously large hole, a crater-like opening miles wide, which, pushing and shoving, they circled in an obscene dance while dressed in hoods with long earpieces and shaking firebrands, clackers, and discordant bells! A bonfire was then lit under a huge pole, and on that pole a huge banner, to hysterical applause, was suddenly unfurled and upon it, upsidedown, were written the words: "In The End Was Wordlessness."”
“You know, babe." Her voice had an older woman's weary advice in it. "You're so hungry. You want so much."
"Well." Flannery shrugged. "So what? I'll never get it."
"You might. If you stop asking."
"I'll never stop asking."
"I know." Anne touched her cheek. "It's one of the things that makes you strangely lovable.”
“is what you fall into, and love can only grow from that,”
“My mother tells Tina that she doesn't like books where the protagonist is established as Sad on page one. Okay, she's sad! We get it, we know what sad is, and then the whole book is basically a description of the million and one ways in which our protagonist is sad. Gimme a break! Get on with it!”
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