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"

Over man and animal, I grew too tall;
Now when I speak — no one speaks with me at all.

I grew too high and too lonely —
I wait: on what do I wait only?

Close by, the clouds are sitting:
I wait on the first lightning.

"

— Friedrich Nietzsche - Pine and Lightning (1882)

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"

Once more, ere I move on
And send my glance forward,
Lonely, I raise my hands
To you, to whom I flee,
To whom I, in the deepest depths of my heart,
Have solemnly consecrated altars,
So that, at all times,
His voice would summon me again.

Deeply inscribed upon them glows
The words: To the Unknown God.
I am his, although up till this hour
I’ve remained in the company of sinners:
I am his—and I feel the noosed ropes
That pull me down in the struggle
And, should I flee,
Still force me into his service

I want to know you, unknown one,
You who have reached deep within my soul,
Wandering through my life like a storm,
You incomprehensible one, akin to me!
I want to know you, even serve you.

"

— Friedrich Nietzsche, “Once More ere I Move On”

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"Human life must be some kind of mistake."

— Arthur Schopenhauer - On the Vanity of Existence

Tags: philosophy
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"Of how many a man may it not he said that hope made a fool of him until he danced into the arms of death!"

— Arthur Schopenhauer - On the Vanity of Existence

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"We always hear something of the echo of desolation in a hermit’s writings, something of the whispering tone and shy, roundabout glance of solitudep; out of his mightiest words, even out of his screams, we still hear the sound of a new and dangerous sort of silence, silencing. Anyone who has sat alone, in intimate dissension and dialogue with his soul, year in and year out, by day and by night; anyone whose cave (which might be a labyrinth, but also a gold mine) has turned him into a cave-bear or a treasure-digger or a treasure-keep and dragon; this persons ideas will themselves finally take on a characteristic twilight colour, and odour fully as much of the depths as of decay, something uncommunicative and stubborn that gusts coldly at every passer-by. The hermit does not believe that any philosopher (given that all philosophers have always first been hermits) every expressed his true and final opinions in books: don’t we write books precisely in order to hide what we keep hidden? Indeed, he will doubt whether a philosopher is even capable of ‘final and true’ opinions, whether at the back of his every cave a deeper cave is lying, is bound to lie — a wider, stranger, richer world over every surface, and abyss behind his every ground, beneath his every ‘grounding.’ Every philosophy is a foreground philosophy - this is a hermit’s judgement: ‘There is something arbitrary about the fact that he stopped just here, looked back, looked around, that he did not dig deeper just here, but set down his spade — and there is also something suspicious about it.’ Every philosophy also conceals a philosophy; every opinion is also a hiding place, every word also a mask."

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

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"Human life must be some kind of mistake."

— Arthur Schopenhauer, Studies in Pessimism

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"The first effect of existentialism is that it puts every man in possession of himself as he is, and places the entire responsibility for his existence squarely upon his own shoulders."

— Jean-Paul Sartre, “Existentialism is a Humanism”

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"Reason lives by formulas; but life, which cannot be formulated, life which lives and seeks to live forever, does not submit to formulas. Its sole formula is: all or nothing. Feeling does not compound its differences with middle terms."

— Miguel de Unamuno - Tragic Sense of Life

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"We have seen that the vital longing for human immortality finds no consolation in reason and that reason leaves us without incentive or consolation in life and life itself without real finality. But here, in the depths of the abyss, the despair of the heart and of the will and the skepticism of reason meet face to face and embrace like brothers. And we shall see it is from this embrace, a tragic — that is to say, an intimately loving — embrace, that the wellspring of life will flow, a life serious and terrible."

— Miguel de Unamuno - Tragic Sense of Life

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"Objections, digressions, gay mistrust, the delight in mockery are signs of health: everything unconditional belongs in pathology."

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

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"How could I bear this outsider inside me? This outsider that I was for myself? How could I live without seeing him? Without knowing him? How could I remain forever doomed to carrying him with me, inside me, visible to others and beyond my vision?"

— Luigi Pirandello, One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand

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"Solitude is never with you; it is always without you and possible only in the presence of an outsider, an alien person or place as may be, that completely ignores you, that you completely ignore; so your will and your feelings remain suspended and bewildered in a tormented uncertainty; and, as every affirmation of yourself ceases, the very privacy of your awareness ceases. True solitude is in a place that lives for itself, and for you it has no trace or voice. And you, then, are the outsider there."

— Luigi Pirandello, One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand

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"This very heart which is mine will forever remain indefinable to me. Between the certainty I have of my existence and the content I try to give to that assurance, the gap will never be filled. For ever I shall be a stranger to myself."

— Albert Camus - The Myth of Sisyphus

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"Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are."

— Soren Kierkegaard

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"Whatever noblest things the mind received,
More and more foreign matter spoils the theme;
And when the good of this world is achieved,
What’s better seems an idle dream.
That gave us our life, the noblest urges
Are petrified in the earth’s vulgar surges."

— From Goethe’s Faust