Existentialism - some titles
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"Since we're all going to die, it's obvious that when and how don't matter."
"In fact, it comes to this: nobody is capable of really thinking about anyone, even in the worst calamity. For really to think about someone means thinking about that person every minute of the day, without letting one’s thoughts be diverted by anything- by meals, by a fly that settles on one’s cheek, by household duties, or by a sudden itch somewhere. But there are always flies and itches. That’s why life is difficult to live."
"Was he an animal, that music could move him so? He felt as if the way to the unknown nourishment he longed for were coming to light."
"It would have been so pointless to kill himself that, even if he had wanted to, the pointlessness would have made him unable."
"My thought is me: that's why I can't stop. I exist because I think… and I can't stop myself from thinking. At this very moment -it's frightful- if I exist, it is because I am horrified at existing. I am the one who pulls myself from the nothingness to which I aspire."
Existentialism is a Humanism
"In life man commits himself and draws his own portrait, outside of which there is nothing. No doubt this thought may seem harsh to someone who has not made a success of his life. But on the other hand, it helps people to understand that reality alone counts, and that dreams, expectations and hopes only serve to define a man as a broken dream, aborted hopes, and futile expectations"
Life After God
"Perhaps this is the finest thing to which we may aspire, the life of peace, the blurring between dream life and real life - and yet I find myself speaking these words with a sense of doubt. I think there was a trade-off somewhere along the line. I think the price we paid for our golden life was an inability to fully believe in love; instead we gained an irony that scorched everything it touched. And I wonder if this irony is the price we paid for the loss of God."
"Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him," he was fond of repeating. "That is the true dialogue. Man questions God and God answers. But we don't understand His answers. We can't understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!"
"And why do you pray, Moshe?" -I asked him- "I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions."
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
"The goals we pursue are always veiled. A girl who longs for marriage longs for something she knows nothing about. The boy who hankers after fame has no idea what fame is. The thing that gives our every move its meaning is always totally unknown to us."
Man's search for meaning
"There is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man’s attitude to his existence, and existence restricted by external forces. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete."
Fear and Trembling
"If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the bottom of everything there were only a wild ferment, a power that twisting in dark passions produced everything great or inconsequential; if an unfathomable, insatiable emptiness lay hid beneath everything, what would life be but despair?"
I and Thou
"Man wishes to be confirmed in his being by man, and wishes to have a presence in the being of the other.
Secretly and bashfully he watches for a YES which allows him to be and which can come to him only from one human person to another."
The Courage to Be
"The safety which is guaranteed by well-functioning mechanisms for the technical control of nature, by the refined psychological control of the person, by the rapidly increasing organizational control of society – this safety is bought at a high price: man, for whom all this was invented as a means, becomes a means himself in the service of means."
The Discovery of Being
"We in our age are faced with a strange paradox. Never before have we had so much information in bits and pieces flooded upon us by radio and television and satellite, yet never before have we had so little inner certainty about our own being. The more objective truth increases, the more our inner certitude decreases. Our fantastically increased technical power, and each forward step in technology is experienced by many as a new push toward our possible annihilation. (...) people these days seize on the many ways of dulling their awareness by apathy, by psychic numbing, or by hedonism. Others, especially young people, elect in alarming and increasing numbers to escape their own being by suicide."
Notes from Underground
"I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped."
Crime and Punishment
"Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!"
"I understood it all. I understood Pablo. I understood Mozart, and somewhere behind me I heard his ghastly laughter. I knew that all the hundred thousand pieces of life's game were in my pocket. A glimpse of its meaning had stirred my reason and I was determined to begin the game afresh. I would sample its tortures once more and shudder again at its senselessness. I would traverse not once more, but often, the hell of my inner being."
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