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All Things are Possible

Lev Shestov

Top 10 Best Quotes

“The business of philosophy is to teach man to live in uncertainty... not to reassure him, but to upset him.”

“Moral people are the most revengeful of mankind, they employ their morality as the best and most subtle weapon of vengeance. They are not satisfied with simply despising and condemning their neighbour themselves, they want the condemnation to be universal and supreme: that is, that all men should rise as one against the condemned, and that even the offender's own conscience shall be against him. Then only are they fully satisfied and reassured. Nothing on earth but morality could lead to such wonderful results.”

“Whilst stay-at-home persons are searching for truth, the apple will stay on the tree.”

“Once an idea is there, the gates must be opened to it.”

“After a tragedy, a farce. Philosophy enters into her power, and the earth returns under one's feet.”

“We very often express in a categorical form a judgment of which we do not feel assured, we even lay stress on its absolute validity. We want to see what opposition it will arouse, and this can be achieved only by stating our assumption not as a tentative suggestion, which no one will consider, but as an irrefutable, all-important truth. The greater the value of the assumption has for us, the more carefully do we conceal any suggestion of its improbability.”

“So long as the child was fed on its mother's milk, everything seemed to it smooth and easy. But when it had to give up milk and take to vodka, - and this is the inevitable law of human development - the childish suckling dreams receded into the realm of the irretrievable past.”

“If he tells the truth, it is because the most reeking lie no longer intoxicates him, even though he swallow it not in the modest doses that idealism offers, but in immoderate quantities, thousand-gallon-barrel gulps. He would taste the bitterness, but it would not make his head turn, as it does Schiller's, or Dostoevsky's, or even Socrates’, whose head, as we know, could stand any quantity of wine, but went spinning with the most commonplace lie.”

“And many a time, towards the end of life, does the genius repent of his choice. "It would be better not to startle the world, but to live at one with it," says Ibsen in his last drama. Genius is a wretched, blind maniac, whose eccentricities are condoned because of what is got from him.”

“When man finds in himself a certain defect, of which he can by no means rid himself, there remains but to accept the so-called failing as a natural quality. The more grave and important the defect, the more urgent is the need to ennoble it.”

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Book Keywords:

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