Category: psychology

“Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?”

Albert Camus

“Believe me there is no such thing as great suffering, great regret, great memory. Everything is forgotten, even a great love. That’s what’s sad about life, and also what’s wonderful about it. There is only a way of looking at things, a way that comes to you every once in a while. That’s why it’s good to have had love in your life after all, to have had an unhappy passion- it gives you an alibi for the vague despairs we all suffer from.”

Albert Camus

“I have never seen a class so deeply demoralised, so incurably debased by selfishness, so corroded within, so incapable of progress, as the English bourgeoisie. For it nothing exists in this world, except for the sake of money, itself not excluded. It knows no bliss save that of rapid gain, no pain save that of losing gold. In the presence of this avarice and lust of gain, it is not possible for a single human sentiment or opinion to remain untainted.”

Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England

“Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king.”

Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

“Do you know I’ve been sitting here thinking to myself: that if I didn’t believe in life, if I lost faith in the woman I love, lost faith in the order of things, were convinced in fact that everything is a disorderly, damnable, and perhaps devil-ridden chaos, if I were struck by every horror of man’s disillusionment – still I should want to live. Having once tasted of the cup, I would not turn away from it till I had drained it! At thirty though, I shall be sure to leave the cup even if I’ve not emptied it, and turn away – where I don’t know. But till I am thirty I know that my youth will triumph over everything – every disillusionment, every disgust with life. I’ve asked myself many times whether there is in the world any despair that could overcome this frantic thirst for life. And I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t, that is until I am thirty.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

“What of immortality, that last refuge of those who have known too few pleasures and too many sufferings, and who dream of finding some compensation in another world? It is easy to understand how people who have grown up in prejudice and with but little confidence in science, which has so often deceived them, people who are led by feeling rather than thought, reject an explanation which takes from them their last hope.”

Peter Kropotkin, Anarchist Morality

“A beast can never be as cruel as a human being, so artistically, so picturesquely cruel.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

“Virtues are dispositions not only to act in particular ways, but also to feel in particular ways. To act virtuously is not, as Kant was later to think, to act against inclination; it is to act from inclination formed by the cultivation of the virtues.”

Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue

“This tremendous world I have inside of me. How to free myself, and this world, without tearing myself to pieces. And I’d rather tear myself to a thousand pieces than be buried with this world within me.”

Franz Kafka, Diaries of Franz Kafka

“I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.”

Albert Camus, The Stranger