Self Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 1247 quotes )
Self knowledge is a virtue in its own right. We value the way in which people can fulfill their own natures by gaining an unsentimental self understanding. We think it is good to grow, for all our vices, into someone who is mature enough to face the past and the present, someone who understands how character, in its weaknesses as well as its strengths, is made of interlocking tendencies and gifts that have grown in the course of a life. The image of growth and maturing is Aristotelian rather than Kantian. These ancient values are ideals that none fully achieve, and yet they are modest, not seeking to find a meaning in life, but finding excellence in living and honoring life and its potentialities.
The man who wishes to know the "that" which is "thou" may set to work in any one of three ways. He may begin by looking inwards into his own particular thou and, by a process of "dying to self" --- self in reasoning, self in willing, self in feeling --- come at last to knowledge of the self, the kingdom of the self, the kingdom of God that is within. Or else he may begin with the thous existing outside himself, and may try to realize their essential unity with God and, through God, with one another and with his own being. Or, finally (and this is doubtless the best way), he may seek to approach the ultimate That both from within and from without, so that he comes to realize God experimentally as at once the principle of his own thou and of all other thous, animate and inanimate.
Everyone of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self..We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves. (34) Contemplation is not and cannot be a function of this external self. There is an irreducible opposition between the deep transcendent self that awakens only in contemplation, and the superficial, external self which we commonly identify with the first person singular.(7) Our reality, our true self, is hidden in what appears to us to be nothingness....We can rise above this unreality and recover our hidden reality....(281) God Himself begins to live in me not only as my Creator but as my other and true self. (41)
...by the time we understand the pattern we are in, the definition we are making for ourselves, it's too late to break out of the box. We can only live in terms of the definition, like the prisoner in the cage in which he cannot lie or stand or sit, hung up in justice to be viewed by the populace. Yet the definition we have made of ourselves is ourselves. To break out of it, we must make a new self. But how can the self make a new self when the selfness which it is, is the only substance from which the new self can be made?
I think, therefore I am is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches. I feel, therefore I am is a truth much more universally valid, and it applies to everything that's alive. My self does not differ substantially from yours in terms of its thought. Many people, few ideas: we all think more or less the same, and we exchange, borrow, steal thoughts from one another. However, when someone steps on my foot, only I feel the pain. The basis of the self is not thought but suffering, which is the most fundamental of all feelings. While it suffers, not even a cat can doubt its unique and uninterchangeable self. In intense suffering the world disappears and each of us is alone with his self. Suffering is the university of egocentrism.
I'm putting back into the self the responsibility for the collective life. If each one of us took very seriously the fact that every little act, every little word we utter, every injury we do to another human being is really what is projected into larger issues; if we could once begin to think of it that way, then each one of us, like a small cell, would do the work of creating a human self, a kind of self who wouldn't have ghettos, a kind of self that wouldn't go to war. Then we could begin to have the cell which would influence and enormous amount of cells around you. I don't think we can measure the radius of the personal influence of one person, within the home, outside of the home, in the neighborhood, and finally in national affairs.
He lost his Self a thousand times and for days on end he dwelt in non-being. But although the paths took him away from Self, in the end they always led back to it. Although Siddhartha fled from the Self a thousand times, dwelt in nothing, dwelt in animal and stone, the return was inevitable; the hour was inevitable when he would again find himself in sunshine or in moonlight, in shadow or in rain, and was again Self and Siddhartha, again felt the torment of the onerous life cycle.
They don't go into what is the cause of goodness, so why of the other shop? If lewdies are good that's because they like it, and I wouldn't ever interfere with their pleasures, and so of the other shop. And I was patronizing the other shop. More, badness is of the self, the one, the you or me on our oddy knockies, and that self is made by old Bog or God and is his great pride and radosty. But the not-self cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the self. And is not our modern history, my brothers, the story of the brave malenky selves fighting these big machines?
The worl is ful of things waiting to happen. Thats the meat and boan of it right there. You myt think you can jus go here and there doing nothing. Happening nothing. You cant tho you bleeding cant. You put your self on any road and some thing wil show its self to you. Wanting to happen. Waiting to happen. You myt say, 'I dont want to know.' But 1ce its showt its self to you you wil know wont you. You cant not know no mor. There it is and working in you. You myt try to put a farness be twean you and it only you cant becaws youre carrying it inside you. The waiting to happen aint out there where it ben no more its inside you.
At times poetry is the vertigo of bodies and the vertigo of speech and the vertigo of death; the walk with eyes closed along the edge of the cliff, and the verbena in submarine gardens; the laughter that sets on fire the rules and the holy commandments; the descent of parachuting words onto the sands of the page; the despair that boards a paper boat and crosses, for forty nights and forty days, the night-sorrow sea and the day-sorrow desert; the idolatry of the self and the desecration of the self and the dissipation of the self; the beheading of epithets, the burial of mirrors; the recollection of pronouns freshly cut in thegarden of Epicurus, and the garden of Netzahualcoyotl; the flute solo on the terrace of memory and the dance of flames in the cave of thought; the migrations of millions of verbs, wings and claws, seeds and hands; the nouns, bony and full of roots, planted on the waves of language; the love unseen and the love unheard and the love unsaid: the love in love.
When you have lived as long as I, you will see that every human being has his shell, and that you must take the shell into acount. By the shell I mean the whole envelope of circumstances. There is no such thing as an isolated man or woman; we are each of us made up of a cluster of apurtenances. What do you call one's self? Where does it begin? Where does it end? It overflows into everythng tht belongs to us - and then flows back again. (...) One's self - for other people - is one's expression of one's self; and one's house, one's clothes, the books one reads, the company one keeps - these things are all expressive.
But when the self speaks to the self, who is speaking?—the entombed soul, the spirit driven in, in, in to the central catacomb; the self that took the veil and left the world—a coward perhaps, yet somehow beautiful, as it flits with its lantern restlessly up and down the dark corridors. 'I can bear it no longer,' her spirit says. 'That man at lunch—Hilda—the children.' Oh, heavens, her sob! It's the spirit wailing its destiny, the spirit driven hither, thither, lodging on the diminishing carpets—meagre footholds—shrunken shreds of all the vanishing universe—love, life, faith, husband, children, I know not what splendours and pageantries glimpsed in girlhood. Not for me—not for me.
Bacon's portraits are an interrogation on the limits of the self. Up to what degree of distortion does an individual still remain himself? To what degree of distortion does a beloved person still remain a beloved person? For how long does a cherished face growing remote through illness, through madness, through hatred, through death still remain recognizable? Where is the border beyond which a self ceases to be a self?
The fateful law of human semiotics is this: that of all the objects in the entire Cosmos which the sign-user can apprehend through the conjoining of signifier and signified (word uttered and thing beheld), there is one which forever escapes his comprehension--and that is the sign-user himself...The self of the sign-user can never be grasped, because, once the self locates itself at the dead center of its world, there is no signified to which a signifier can be joined to make a sign. The self has no sign of itself. No signifier applies. All signifiers apply equally.
Everything we do has significance. Every action, every thought leaves an imprint - not only on the self, but on the world, on the others, and even on time, on all who come after us! This implies a responsibility for one's thoughts and actions that should be taken most seriously! And yet one feels helpless, a hapless victim of circumstances beyond one's control, as if one's behavior and thoughts did not originate in the self, but were a product, an accumulation of imprints from the world, from our ancestors, from the people around us. It behooves one to take responsibility, to take the power to decide how one will act, and even how one will think! Not only for the betterment of one's self, but for the betterment of the world, all the others, and all who will come after us!