Fernando Pessoa Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 207 quotes)
I have at this moment so many fundamental thoughts, so many truly metaphysical things to say, that I suddenly get tired and decide not to write any more, not to think any more, but to allow the fever of speaking to make me sleepy, and with my eyes closed, like a cat, I play with everything I could have said.
I read and am liberated. I acquire objectivity. I cease being myself and so scattered. And what I read, instead of being like a nearly invisible suit that sometimes oppresses me, is the external world’s tremendous and remarkable clarity, the sun that sees everyone, the moon that splotches the still earth with shadows, the wide expanses that end in the sea, the blackly solid trees whose tops greenly wave, the steady peace of ponds on farms, the terraced slopes with their paths overgrown by grape-vines.
The feelings that hurt most, the motions that sting most, are those that are absurd; the longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world's existence. All these half-tones of the soul's consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.
Sit still with me in the shade of these green trees, which have no weightier thought than the withering of their leaves when autumn arrives, or the stretching of their many stiff fingers into the cold sky of the passing winter. Sit still with me and meditate on how useless effort is, how alien the will, and on how our very meditation is no more useful than effort, and no more our own than the will. Meditate too on how a life that wants nothing can have no weight in the flux of things, but a life the wants everything can likewise have no weight in the flux of things, since it cannot obtain everything, and to obtain less than everything is not worthy of souls that seek the truth.
The nocturnal glory of being great without beinganything! The sombre majesty of splendours no oneknow? And I suddenly experience the sublime feelingof a monk in the wilderness or of a hermit in his retreat,acquainted with the substance of Christ in the sands andin the caves of withdrawal from the world.
Through an experience that simultaneously involved my sensibility and intelligence, I realized early on that the imaginative life, however morbid it might seem, is the one that suits temperaments like mine. The fictions of my imagination (as it later developed) may weary me, but they don't hurt or humiliate. Impossible lovers can't cheat on us, or smile at us falsely, or be calculating in their caresses. They never forsake us, and they don't die or disappear. --The book of Disquiet
We may know that the work we continue to put off doing will be bad. Worse, however, is the work we never do. A work that’s finished is at least finished. It may be poor, but it exists, like the miserable plant in the lone flowerpot of my neighbour who’s crippled. That plant is her happiness, and sometimes it’s even mine. What I write, bad as it is, may provide some hurt or sad soul a few moments of distraction from something worse. That’s enough for me, or it isn’t enough, but it serves some purpose, and so it is with all of life.
In the ordinary jumble of my literary drawer, I sometimes find texts I wrote ten, fifteen, or even more years ago. And many of the seem to me written by a stranger: I simply do not recognize myself in them. There was a person who wrote them, and it was I. I experienced them, but it was in another life, from which I just woke up, as if from someone else's dream.
Once we're able to see this world as an illusion and a phantasm, then we can see everything that happens to us as a dream, as something that pretended to exist while we were sleeping. And we will become subtly and profoundly indifferent towards all of life's setbacks and calamities. Those who die turned a corner, which is why we've stopped seeing them; those who suffer pass before us like a nightmare, if we feel, or like an unpleasant daydream, if we think. And even our own suffering won't be more than this nothingness.
It’s not demons (who at least have a human face) but Hell itself that seems to be laughing inside me, it’s the croaking madness of the dead universe, the spinning cadaver of physical space, the end of all worlds blowing blackly in the wind, formless and timeless, without a God who created it, without even its own self, impossibly whirling in the absolute darkness as the one and only reality, everything.