All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
The majority of men… are not capable of thinking, but only of believing, and… are not accessible to reason, but only to authority.
It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.
A pessimist is an optimist in full possession of the facts.
A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
With health, everything is a source of pleasure; without it, nothing else, whatever it may be, is enjoyable…Healt h is by far the most important element in human happiness.
We seldom think of what we have but always of what we lack. Therefore, rather than grateful, we are bitter.
What people commonly call fate is mostly their own stupidity.
There is only one inborn error. and that is the notion that we exist in order to be happy.
The reason domestic pets are so lovable and so helpful to us is because they enjoy, quietly and placidly, the present moment.
Optimism is not only a false but also a pernicious doctrine, for it presents life as a desirable state and man’s happiness as its aim and object. Starting from this, everyone then believes he has the most legitimate claim to happiness and enjoyment. If, as usually happens, these do not fall to his lot, he believes that he suffers an injustice, in fact that he misses the whole point of his existence.
The safest way of not being very miserable is not to expect to be very happy.
Our civilized world is nothing but a great masquerade. You encounter knights, parsons, soldiers, doctors, lawyers, priests, philosophers and a thousand more: but they are not what they appear – they are merely masks… Usually, as I say, there is nothing but industrialists, businessmen and speculators concealed behind all these masks.
The greatest of follies is to sacrifice health for any other kind of happiness.
No rose without a thorn but many a thorn without a rose.
We seldom speak of what we have but often of what we lack.
The shortness of life, so often lamented, may be the best thing about it.
Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.
Consider the Koran… this wretched book was sufficient to start a world-religion, to satisfy the metaphysical need of countless millions for twelve hundred years, to become the basis of their morality and of a remarkable contempt for death, and also to inspire them to bloody wars and the most extensive conquests. In this book we find the saddest and poorest form of theism. Much may be lost in translation, but I have not been able to discover in it one single idea of value.
Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.
Man is the only animal who causes pain to others with no other object than wanting to do so.
Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed.
Life is a constant process of dying.
The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience.