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HomeQuotes210 Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes on Facing Life & Suffering

210 Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes on Facing Life & Suffering

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1. “Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.”

2. “The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he’s in prison.”

3. “I gave up caring about anything, and all the problems disappeared.” 

4. “Fathers and teachers, I ponder, ‘What is hell?’ I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”

5. “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him or around him. And so, loses all respect for himself and for others and having no respect, he ceases to love.” 

6. “The secret of man’s being is not only to live but to have something to live for.”

7. “Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”

8. “People really do like seeing their best friends humiliated. A large part of the friendship is based on humiliation, and that is an old truth well known to all intelligent people.” 

9. “When I look back on my past and think how much time I wasted on nothing, how much time has been lost in futilities, errors, laziness, incapacity to live. How little I appreciated it, how many times I sinned against my heart and soul, then my heart bleeds. Life is a gift. Life is happiness. Every minute can be an eternity of happiness.” 

10. “A cultivated and decent man cannot be vain without setting a fearfully high standard for himself, and without despising, and almost hating himself at certain moments.” 

11. “It is better to be unhappy and know the worst than to be happy in a fool’s paradise.” 

12. “Learning to love is hard, and we pay dearly for it. It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship, for it is not just for a moment that we must learn to love, but forever.” 

13. “Nature doesn’t ask your permission. It doesn’t care about your wishes or whether you like its laws or not. You’re obliged to accept it as it is, and consequently all its results as well.”

14. “The darker the night, the brighter the stars. The deeper the grief, the closer is God!”

15. “Man only likes to count his troubles. He doesn’t calculate his happiness.”

16. “To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.” 

17. “Just take a look around you. Blood is flowing in rivers, and in such a jolly way, you’d think it was champagne.”

18. “Only through suffering can we find ourselves.”

19. “Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love, and is the highest love on earth.”

20. “I say, let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” 

21. “Nothing is more seductive for a man than his freedom of conscience, but nothing is a greater cause of suffering.”

22. “There is immeasurably more left inside than what comes out in words.”

23. “The soul is healed by being with children.”

24. “Intelligence alone is not nearly enough when it comes to acting wisely.”

25. “I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness—a real thorough-going illness.”

26. “Let us not forget that the reasons for human actions are usually incalculably more complex and diverse than we tend to explain them later and are seldom clearly manifest.”

27. “We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”

28. “Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms. It’s by talking nonsense that one gets to the truth! I talk nonsense. Therefore, I’m human.”

29. “The more I detest men individually, the more ardent becomes my love for humanity.”

30. “Even toil will be a joy. You may deny yourself bread for your children, and even that will be a joy. They will love you for it afterward. So, you are laying by for your future.”

31. “People speak sometimes about the bestial cruelty of man, but that is terribly, unjust, and offensive to beasts. No animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.” 

32. “Although your mind works, your heart is darkened with depravity, and without a pure heart, there can be no complete and true consciousness.”

33. “Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him.”

34. “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

35. “But men love abstract reasoning, and neat systematization, so much, that they think nothing of distorting the truth, closing their eyes, and ears to contrary evidence, to preserve their logical constructions.”

36. “But how could you live and have no story to tell?”

37. “There is no explaining anything by reasoning, and so, it is useless to reason.”

38. “Every decent man of our age must be a coward and a slave. That is his normal condition. Of that, I am firmly persuaded. He is made, and constructed to that very end, and not only at the present time owing to some casual circumstance, but always, at all times, a decent man is bound to be a coward and a slave.”

39. “Love life more than the meaning of it.”

40. “It’s precisely in despair that you find the most intense pleasure, especially if you are already powerfully conscious of the hopelessness of your predicament.”

41. “I love mankind, but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man, in particular.” 

42. “To love is to suffer, and there can be no love otherwise.”

43. “To love someone means to see them as God intended them to be.”

44. “Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering.”

45. “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing, compared to love in dreams.”

46. “If you love all things, you will also attain the divine mystery that is, in all things. For then, your ability to perceive the truth will grow every day, and your mind will open itself to an all-embracing love.”

47. “They were renewed by love—the heart of each held infinite sources of life for the heart of the other.”

48. “One must love life before loving its meaning. Yes, and when the love of life disappears, no meaning can console us.”

49. “Love all God’s creation, both the whole and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of light. Love the animals, love the plants, love each separate thing. If thou love each thing, thou wilt perceive the mystery of God in all. And when once thou, perceive this, thou wilt thenceforward grow every day to a fuller understanding of it. Until thou come, at last, to love the whole world with a love that will then be all-embracing and universal.”

50. “Love is such a priceless treasure that you can redeem the whole world by it, and cleanse not only your own sins but the sins of others.”

51. “The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious, as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.”

52. “If God does not exist, then everything is permissible.”

53. “Believe to the end, even if all men went astray, and you were left the only one faithful. Bring your offering even then, and praise God in your loneliness.”

54. “God has such gladness every time he sees from heaven that a sinner is praying to Him with all his heart, as a mother has when she sees the first smile on her baby’s face.”

55. “The death of a child is the greatest reason to doubt the existence of God.”

56. “There is no sin, and there can be no sin on all the earth, which the Lord will not forgive to the truly repentant! Man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the infinite love of God. Can there be a sin which could exceed the love of God?”

57. “God is necessary, and therefore, must exist. But I know that he does not and cannot exist. Don’t you understand that a man with these two thoughts cannot go on living?”

58. “Obedience, fasting, and prayer are laughed at. Yet, only through them lies the way to real true freedom. I cut off my superfluous and unnecessary desires, I subdue my proud and wanton will and chastise it with obedience, and with God’s help, I attain freedom of spirit and with it, spiritual joy.”

59. “It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My Hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt.”

60. “I think the devil doesn’t exist, but man has created him. He has created him in his own image and likeness.”

61. “I want to suffer and be purified by suffering!”

62. “I did not bow down to you. I bowed down to all the suffering of humanity.”

63. “I think I could stand anything, any suffering, only to be able to say and to repeat to myself every moment, I exist. In thousands of agonies, I exist. I’m tormented on the rack, but I exist! Though I sit in a pillar,I exist!”

64. “My sweetheart! When I think of you, it’s as if I’m holding some healing balm to my sick soul, and although I suffer for you, I find that even suffering for you is easy.”

65. “Now, life is given in exchange for pain and fear, and that’s the basis of the whole deception.”

66. “You will burn, and you will burn out. You will be healed and come back again.”

67. “This is my last message to you—in sorrow, seek happiness.”

68. “Killing myself was a matter of such indifference to me that I felt like waiting for a moment when it would make some difference.”

69. “Break what must be broken, once for all, that’s all, and take the suffering on oneself.”

70. “Take a soldier and put him right in front of a cannon in a battle, and fire it at him, and he’ll go on hoping, but read out a certain death sentence to that same soldier, and he’ll go mad, or start to weep.”

71. “Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time.”

72. “It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them—the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”

73. “Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.”

74. “If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect, will you compel others to respect you.”

75. “You can be sincere and still be stupid.”

76. “If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul, and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas. You will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man.”

77. “Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer. Nothing is more difficult than to understand him.”

78. “When reason fails, the devil helps!”

79. “I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped.”

80. “And what fantasy can there possibly be in misery? You sense that it will, at length, grow weary, that it is exhausting itself in constant tension, this inexhaustible fantasy. Because, after all, one matures, outgrows one’s former ideals. They are shattered into dust and fragments, and if you have no other life, it behooves you to construct one from those same fragments.”

81. “I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there—that is living.”

82. “Man is a mystery. It needs to be unraveled, and if you spend your whole life unraveling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”

83. “In every man’s memory, there are things he won’t reveal to others, except, perhaps, to his friends. And there are things he won’t reveal even to friends, only, perhaps, to himself, and there, too, in secret. And finally, there are things he is afraid to reveal, even to himself, and every decent man has quite an accumulation of them. In fact, the more decent the man, the more of them he has stored up.”

84. “We’re always thinking of eternity as an idea that cannot be understood. Something immense, but why must it be? What if, instead of all this, you suddenly find just a little room there. Something like a village bathhouse, grimy, and spiders in every corner, and that’s all eternity is. Sometimes, you know, I can’t help feeling that that’s what it is.”

85. “Since man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own making. He will believe in witchcraft and sorcery, even though he may otherwise be a heretic, an atheist, and a rebel.”

86. “My friend, the truth is always implausible, did you know that? To make the truth more plausible, it’s absolutely necessary to mix a bit of falsehood with it. People have always done so.”

87. “If you want to overcome the whole world, overcome yourself.”

88. “Active love is a harsh and fearful thing compared with the love in dreams. Love in dreams, thirsts for immediate action, quickly performed, and with everyone watching. Indeed, it will go as far as the giving, even of one’s life, provided it does not take long but is soon over. As on stage, and everyone is looking on and praising. Whereas active love is labor and persistence, and for some people, perhaps, a whole science.”

89. “He went up to his room like a man who has been condemned to death. His mind was completely empty, and he was quite incapable of filling it with anything but with his whole being. He suddenly felt that he no longer possessed any freedom of thought, or of will, and that everything had suddenly been decided once and for all.”

90. “He spoke of many things. He seemed anxious before the moment of death to say everything he had not said in his life, and not simply for the sake of instructing them, but as though thirsting to share with all men and all creation his joy and ecstasy, and once more, in his life to open up his whole heart.”

91. “Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment, and things left unsaid.”

92. “If you do not reach happiness, always remember that you are on the right road, and try not to deviate from it.”

93. “The man who is happy is fulfilling the purpose of existence.”

94. “The children of the sun, the children of their sun—oh, how beautiful they were! Never had I seen on our own earth such beauty in mankind. Only, perhaps, in our children, in their earliest years, one might find some remote faint reflection of this beauty. The eyes of these happy people shone with a clear brightness.”

95. “May you be forever blessed, for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn’t such a moment sufficient for the whole of one’s life?”

96. “Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it.”

97. “Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.”

98. “The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.”

99. “If I seem happy to you, you could never say anything that would please me more. For men are made for happiness, and anyone who is completely happy has a right to say to himself, ‘I am doing God’s will on earth.’ All the righteous, all the saints, all the holy martyrs were happy.”

100. “I do not wish you much happiness—it would bore you. I do not wish you trouble either, but, following the people’s philosophy, I will simply repeat ‘live more,’ and try somehow not to be too bored, this useless wish I am adding on my own.”

101. “I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can’t help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year.”

102. “They tease me now, telling me it was only a dream. But, does it matter whether it was a dream or reality if the dream made known to me the truth?”

103. “Dreams seem to be spurred on not by reason, but by desire, not by the head, but by the heart, and yet, what complicated tricks my reason has played sometimes in dreams.”

104. “And so I ask myself, ‘Where are your dreams?’ And I shake my head and mutter, ‘How the years go by!’ And I ask myself again, ‘What have you done with those years? Where have you buried your best moments? Have you really lived? Look,’ I say to myself, ‘How cold it is becoming all over the world!’ And more years will pass, and behind them will creep grim isolation. Tottering senility will come hobbling, leaning on a crutch, and behind these will come unrelieved boredom and despair. The world of fancies will fade, dreams will wilt, and die, and fall like autumn leaves from the trees.”

105. “Faith does not, in the realist, spring from the miracle, but the miracle from the faith.”

106. “A real gentleman, even if he loses everything he owns, must show no emotion. Money must be so far beneath a gentleman that it is hardly worth troubling about.”

107. “I don’t need money, or, better, it’s not money that I need. It’s not even power. I need only what is obtained by power and simply cannot be obtained without power. The solitary and calm awareness of strength! That is the fullest definition of freedom, which the world so struggles over!”

108. “Money is coined liberty, and so, it is ten times dearer to the man who is deprived of freedom. If money is jingling in his pocket, he is half consoled, even though he cannot spend it. But money can always, and everywhere, be spent, and, moreover, forbidden fruit is sweetest of all.”

109. “The world says, ‘You have needs—satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs. Indeed, expand your needs and demand more.’ This is the worldly doctrine of today, and they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.”

110. “In fact, we have lost touch so badly that we often feel a kind of loathing for genuine ‘living life,’ and hence, cannot endure being reminded of it. We’ve reached a point where we virtually regard ‘living life’ as hard labor, almost servitude, and we all agree in private that it’s much better ‘according to books.'”

111. “There is nothing higher, and stronger, and more wholesome, and useful for life in later years, than some good memory. Especially a memory connected with childhood, with home.”

112. “As the children grow up, you feel that you are an example, a support for them. That even after you die, your children will always keep your thoughts and feelings. Because they have received them from you, they will take on your semblance and likeness. So, you see, this is a great duty.”

113. “And indeed, what aim in life is more important and sacred than a father’s? To what should one adhere, if not to one’s family?”

114. “From the house of my childhood, I have brought nothing but precious memories, for there are no memories more precious than those of early childhood in one’s first home. And that is, almost always, so if there is any love and harmony in the family at all. Indeed, precious memories may remain even of a bad home if only the heart knows how to find what is precious.”

115. “The first phase of married love will pass, it is true, but then there will come that is better still. Then, there will be the union of souls. They will have everything in common. There will be no secrets between them, and once they have children, the most difficult times will seem to them happy, so long as there is love and courage.”

116. “I will not and cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of mankind.”

117. “And the more I drink, the more I feel it. That’s why I drink too. I try to find sympathy and feeling in drink. I drink so that I may suffer twice as much!”

118. “Lack of originality, everywhere, all over the world, from time immemorial, has always been considered the foremost quality, and the recommendation of the active, efficient and practical man.”

119. “Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it has not been fathomed, for God sets us nothing but riddles.”

120. “A hundred suspicions don’t make a proof.”

121. “Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.”

122. “Science and reason have—from the beginning of time, played a secondary and subordinate part in the life of nations, so it will be, till the end of time.”

123. “The only gain of civilization for mankind is the greater capacity for variety of sensations—and absolutely nothing more.”

124. “Silence is always beautiful, and a silent person is always more beautiful than one who talks.”

125. “But man is a frivolous and incongruous creature, and perhaps, like the chess player, loves only the process of the game, not the end of it.”

126. “Reality is infinitely diverse, compared with even the subtlest conclusions of abstract thought, and does not allow for clear-cut and sweeping distinctions. Reality resists classification.”

127. “To study the meaning of man and of life—I am making significant progress here. I have faith in myself. Man is a mystery.”

128. “Let us be servants in order to be leaders.”

129. “Truly great men must, I think, experience great sorrow on the earth.”

130. “By interpreting freedom as the propagation and immediate gratification of needs, people distort their own nature, for they engender in themselves a multitude of pointless and foolish desires, habits, and incongruous stratagems. Their lives are motivated only by mutual envy, sensuality, and ostentation.”

131. “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”

132. “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”

133. “Wealth is the number of things one can do without.”

134. “What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost, and wherever it may lead.”

135. “My friends, God is necessary for me, if only, because he is the one being who can be loved eternally.”

136. “We don’t understand that life is heaven, for we have only to understand that, and it will at once be fulfilled in all its beauty. We shall embrace each other and weep.”

137. “The more incompetent one feels, the more eager he is to fight.”

138. “The most offensive is not their lying—one can always forgive lying—lying is a delightful thing, for it leads to truth; what is offensive is that they lie and worship their own lying.”

139. “I’ve always considered myself smarter than everyone around me, and sometimes, believe me, I’ve been ashamed of it. At the least, all my life, I’ve looked away and never could look people straight in the eye.”

140. “Paradise is hidden in each one of us, it is concealed within me too, right now, and if I wish, it will come for me in reality, tomorrow even, and for the rest of my life.”

141. “Realists do not fear the results of their study.”

142. “I used to analyze myself down to the last thread, used to compare myself with others, recalled all the smallest glances, smiles, and words of those to whom I’d tried to be frank. Interpreted everything in a bad light, laughed viciously at my attempts to be like the rest—and suddenly, in the midst of my laughing, I’d give way to sadness, fall into ludicrous despondency and once again, start the whole process, all over again, in short, I went round, and round, like a squirrel on a wheel.”

143. “The more stupid one is, the closer one is to reality. The more stupid one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence squirms and hides itself. Intelligence is unprincipled, but stupidity is honest and straightforward.”

144. “My God, a moment of bliss. Why isn’t that enough for a whole lifetime?”

145. “Besides, nowadays, almost all capable people are terribly afraid of being ridiculous and are miserable because of it.”

146. “The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month.”

147. “Love is a holy mystery and ought to be hidden from all other eyes, whatever happens. That makes it holier and better. They respect one another more, and much is built on respect.”

148. “Beauty will save the world.”

149. “If you can put the question, ‘Am I or am I not responsible for my acts?’, then you are responsible.”

150. “Compassion is the chief law of human existence.”

151. “Drive nature out of the door, and it will fly in at the window.”

152. “My soul bleeds, and the blood steadily, silently, disturbingly slowly, swallows me whole.”

153. “I utter what you would not dare think.”

154. “From a hundred rabbits, you can’t make a horse.”

155. “The Russian soul is a dark place.”

156. “Destroy my desires, eradicate my ideals, show me something better, and I will follow you.”

157. “The formula ‘two and two make five’ is not without its attractions.”

158. “It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer?”

159. “To live without hope is to cease to live.”

160. “We have all lost touch with life. We all limp, each to a greater or lesser degree.”

161. “Never mind a little dirt if the goal is splendid!”

162. “I don’t know how to be silent when my heart is speaking.”

163. “The poor girl was keeping that student’s letter as a precious treasure and had run to fetch it, her only treasure because she did not want me to go away without knowing that she, too, was honestly and genuinely loved. That she, too, was addressed respectfully.”

164. “It is an unchristian religion, in the first place! The prince resumed in great agitation and with excessive sharpness.”

165. “We degrade providence too much by attributing our ideas to it out of annoyance at being unable to understand it.”

166. “The man who has a conscience suffers whilst acknowledging his sin. That is his punishment.”

167. “Coming at twenty to his father’s house, which was a very sink of filthy debauchery. Chaste and pure as he was, simply withdrew in silence when to look on was unbearable but without the slightest sign of contempt or condemnation.”

168. “She said nothing. She only looked at me without a word. But it hurts more. It hurts more when they don’t blame!”

169. “She was very fond of thinking and getting at the truth of things. This naive combination in her of the child and the thinking woman, this childlike and absolutely genuine thirst for truth and justice, and absolute faith in her impulses—all this, lighted up her face with a fine glow of sincerity, giving it a lofty, spiritual beauty. And one began to understand that it was not so easy to gauge the full significance of that beauty, which was not, all at once, apparent to every ordinary unsympathetic eye.”

170. “I tell you, the old-fashioned doctor who treated all diseases has completely disappeared, now there are only specialists, and they advertise all the time in the newspapers.”

171. “He was one of the numerous and varied legion of dullards, of half-animated abortions, conceited, half-educated coxcombs, who attach themselves to the idea. Most in fashion, only to vulgarize it, and who caricature every cause they serve, however sincerely.”

172. “I must add my gratitude to you for the attention with which you have listened to me. For, from my numerous observations, our Liberals are never capable of letting anyone else have a conviction of his own, without at once, meeting their opponent with abuse, or even something worse.”

173. “Reason and knowledge have always played a secondary, subordinate, auxiliary role in the life of peoples, and this will always be the case.”

174. “Whoever has experienced the power and the unrestrained ability to humiliate another human being automatically loses his own sensations.”

175. “If everything on earth were rational, nothing would happen.”

176. “Miracles are never a stumbling block to the realist. It is not miracles that dispose realist to belief. The genuine realist, if he is an unbeliever, will always find strength and ability to disbelieve in the miraculous. If he is confronted with a miracle, as an irrefutable fact, he would rather disbelieve his own senses than admit that fact.”

177. “Sarcasm, the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people, when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.”

178. “The fear of appearances is the first symptom of impotence.”

179. “Was it all put into words, or did both understand that they had the same thing at heart and in their minds, so that there was no need to speak of it aloud, and better not to speak of it?”

180. “The more you succeed in loving, the more you’ll be convinced of the existence of God and the immortality of your soul.”

181. “A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill—he knows that himself. Yet, he will be the first to take offense and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it.”

182. “Every blade of grass, every insect, ant, and golden bee, all so amazingly know their path, though they have not intelligence, they bear witness to the mystery of God and continually accomplish it themselves.”

183. “If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment, all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.”

184. “A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals.”

185. “It’s life that matters, nothing but life—the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all.”

186. “Man has it all in his hands, and it all slips through his fingers from sheer cowardice.”

187. “Man, so long as he remains free, has no more constant and agonizing anxiety than find as quickly as possible someone to worship.”

188. “Perhaps, I really regard myself as an intelligent man only because throughout my entire life, I’ve never been able to start or finish anything.”

189. “Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally. He is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic.”

190. “Men do not accept their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and worship those whom they have tortured to death.”

191. “If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love, but every living force, on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.”

192. “A people is shaped and driven forward by an entirely different kind of force, one which commands and coerces them, and the origin of which is obscure and inexplicable, despite the reality of its presence.”

193. “Grown-up people do not know that a child can give exceedingly good advice even in the most difficult case.”

194. “I am a fool with a heart, but no brains, and you are a fool with brains, but no heart, and we’re both unhappy, and we both suffer.”

195. “A fool with a heart and no sense is just as unhappy as a fool with sense and no heart.”

196. “It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.”

197. “You cannot imagine what sorrow and anger seize one’s whole soul when a great idea, which one has long and piously revered, is picked up by some bunglers and dragged into the street, to more fools like themselves, and one suddenly meets it in the flea market, unrecognizable, dirty, askew, absurdly presented, without proportion, without harmony, a toy for stupid children.”

198. “I used to imagine adventures for myself. I invented a life so that I could at least exist somehow.”

199. “They were like two enemies in love with one another.”

200. “There is only one thing that I dread—not to be worthy of my sufferings.”

201. “At first, art imitates life. Then, life will imitate art. Then, life will find its very existence from the arts.”

202. “A novel is a work of poetry. In order to write it, one must have tranquility of spirit and of impression.”

203. “In most cases, people, even wicked people, are far more naive and simple-hearted than one generally assumes. And so are we.”

204. “There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.”

205. “Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matters, one thing, to be able to dare!”

206. “I want to say to you, about myself, that I am a child of this age, a child of unfaith and skepticism, and probably shall remain so, to the end of my life. How dreadfully has it tormented me, this longing for faith, which is all the stronger, for the proofs I have against it.”

207. “Neither a person nor a nation can exist without some higher idea. And there is only one higher idea on earth, and it is the idea of the immortality of the human soul, for all other ‘higher’ ideas of life by which humans might live derive from that idea alone.”

208. “But to fall in love does not mean to love. One can fall in love and still hate.”

209. “Beggars, especially noble beggars, should never show themselves in the street. They should ask for alms through the newspapers. It’s still possible to love one’s neighbor abstractly, and even occasionally from a distance, but hardly ever up close.”

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