Idleness is the beginning of all vice, the crown of all virtues.
A cage went in search of a bird.
I passed by the brothel as though past the house of a beloved.
It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.
The point of view of art and that of life are different even in the artist himself. Art flies around truth, but with the definite intention of not getting burnt. Its capacity lies in finding in the dark void a place where the beam of light can be intensely caught, without this having been perceptible before.
Leopards break into the temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can be calculated in advance, and it becomes a part of the ceremony.
How can one take delight in the world unless one flees to it for refuge?
How pathetically scanty my self-knowledge is compared with, say, my knowledge of my room.... There is no such thing as observation of the inner world, as there is of the outer world.
I can prove at any time that my education tried to make another person out of me than the one I became. It is for the harm, therefore, that my educators could have done me in accordance with their intentions that I reproach them; I demand from their hands the person I now am, and since they cannot give him to me, I make of my reproach and laughter a drumbeat sounding in the world beyond.
One tells as few lies as possible only by telling as few lies as possible, and not by having the least possible opportunity to do so.
Always first draw fresh breath after outbursts of vanity and complacency.
The Messiah will come only when he is no longer necessary, he will come only one day after his arrival, he will not come on the last day, but on the last day of all.
We were expelled from Paradise, but it was not destroyed. The expulsion from Paradise was in one sense a piece of good fortune, for if we had not been expelled, Paradise would have had to be destroyed.
Atlas was permitted the opinion that he was at liberty, if he wished, to drop the Earth and creep away; but this opinion was all that he was permitted.
The mediation by the serpent was necessary: Evil can seduce man, but cannot become man.
For everything outside the phenomenal world, language can only be used allusively, but never even approximately in a comparative way, since, corresponding as it does to the phenomenal world, it is concerned only with property and its relations.
The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual. That is why the revolutionary spiritual movements that declare all former things worthless are in the right, for nothing has yet happened.
We are sinful not only because we have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, but also because we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Life. The state in which we are is sinful, irrespective of guilt.
Martyrs do not underrate the body, they allow it to be elevated on the cross. In this they are at one with their antagonists.
Test yourself on mankind. It is something that makes the doubter doubt, the believer believe.
In a certain sense you deny the existence of this world. You explain life as a state of rest, a state of rest in motion.
True undoubting is the teacher's part, continual undoubting the part of the pupil.
Anyone who renounces the world must love all men, for he renounces their world too. He thus begins to have some inkling of the true nature of man, which cannot but be loved, always assuming that one is its peer.
One advantage in keeping a diary is that you become aware with reassuring clarity of the changes which you constantly suffer.
The founder brought the laws from the lawgiver; the faithful are meant to announce the laws to the lawgiver.
It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen, only wait. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it can do no other, in ecstacy it will writhe at your feet.
Writers speak stench.
My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.
The animal wrests the whip from its master and whips itself in order to become a master, not knowing that this is only a fantasy produced by a new knot in the master's whiplash.
Don Quixote's misfortune is not his imagination, but Sancho Panza.
They were given the choice of becoming kings or the kings' messengers. As it is with children, they all wanted to be messengers.
The man in ecstasy and the man drowning—both throw up their arms. The first does it to signify harmony, the second to signify strife with the elements.
Respecting the devil even in the devil.
Don't despair, not even over the fact that you don't despair.
Anyone who believes cannot experience miracles. By day one does not see any stars. Anyone who does miracles says: I cannot let go of the earth.
Hesitation before birth. If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.