The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people.
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.
I wish we could sometimes love the characters in real life as we love the characters in romances. There are a great many human souls whom we should accept more kindly, and even appreciate more clearly, if we simply thought of them as people in a story.
It [feminism] is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands.
A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.
There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect.
We have all forgotten what we really are. All that we call common sense and rationality and practicality and positivism only means that for certain dead levels of our life we forget that we have forgotten. All that we call spirit and art and ecstasy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget.
I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.
The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad, For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.
Humor can get in under the door while seriousness is still fumbling at the handle.
But there is in everything a reasonable division of labour. I have written the book, and nothing on earth would induce me to read it.
If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.
The wild worship of lawlessness and the materialist worship of law end in the same void. Nietzsche scales staggering mountains, but he turns up ultimately in Tibet. He sits down beside Tolstoy in the land of nothing and Nirvana. They are both helpless—one because he must not grasp anything, and the other because he must not let go of anything. The Tolstoyan’s will is frozen by a Buddhist instinct that all special actions are evil. But the Nietzscheite’s will is quite equally frozen by his view that all special actions are good; for if all special actions are good, none of them are special. They stand at the crossroads, and one hates all the roads and the other likes all the roads. The result is—well, some things are not hard to calculate. They stand at the cross-roads.
Nobody understands the nature of the Church, or the ringing note of the creed descending from antiquity, who does not realize that the whole world once very nearly died of broadmindedness and the brotherhood of all religions.
Science must not impose any philosophy, any more than the telephone must tell us what to say.
He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it.