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"Only a very few people can be independent: it is a prerogative of the strong. And when independence is attempted by someone who has the right to it, but does not need it, we have proof that this man is probably not only strong, but bold to the point of recklessness. He ventures into a labyrinth, he multiplies life’s inevitable dangers a thousandfold, and not the least among these is the absence of any person to see how and where he is going astray, becoming isolated, being rent apart piece by piece in the cave of some Minotaur of the conscience. Assuming that such a person perishes, he perishes so far away from the understanding of human beings that they do not feel it or feel it for him – and he cannot go back again! Not even to the pity of humans!"

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

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"I’ve often said that I wish people could realize all of their dreams and wealth and fame so that they could see that it’s not where you’re gonna find your sense of completion. Like many of you, I was concerned about going out into the world and doing something bigger than myself…until someone smarter than myself made me realize that there is nothing bigger than myself. My soul is not contained with in the limits of my body; my body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul. One unified field of nothing, dancing for no particular reason except maybe to comfort and entertain itself. As that shift happens in you, you won’t be feeling the world; you’ll be felt by it, you’ll be embraced by it."

From Jim Carrey’s speech, at Maharishi University’s 2014 Graduation Commencement 

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"For the existentialist, there is no love apart from the deeds of love; no potentially of love other than that which is manifested in loving; there is no genius other than that which is expressed in works of art…In life, a man commits himself, draws in his own portrait and there is nothing but that portrait."

— Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism

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"For myself, I cannot live without my art. But I have never placed it above everything. If, on the other hand, I need it, it is because it cannot be separated from my fellow men, and it allows me to live, such as I am, on one level with them. It is a means of stirring the greatest number of people by offering them a privileged picture of common joys and sufferings. It obliges the artist not to keep himself apart; it subjects him to the most humble and the most universal truth. And often he who has chosen the fate of the artist because he felt himself to be different soon realizes that he can maintain neither his art nor his difference unless he admits that he is like the others. The artist forges himself to the others, midway between the beauty he cannot do without and the community he cannot tear himself away from. That is why true artists scorn nothing: they are obliged to understand rather than to judge. And if they have to take sides in this world, they can perhaps side only with that society in which, according to Nietzsche’s great words, not the judge but the creator will rule, whether he be a worker or an intellectual."

— Albert Camus, from his Nobel Prize speech in 1957

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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