Ernst, Baron von Feuchtersleben

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We live in stormy and unsettled times. Hence we may confer a benefit, not only on ourselves, but on others, by diverting attention from the exciting circumstances of the present day ... to the calm regions where the inner man, self-examined, submits himself to moral treatment. ... While we quietly separate ourselves from a world which is unable to assure us of anything, we feel that the joy we thought lost again returns, and that a second innocence spreads its clear and tranquillizing light over human existence.

Ernst Maria Johann Karl Freiherr von Feuchtersleben (1806 – 1849), was an Austrian physician, poet and philosopher.

Quotes[edit]

The Dietetics of the Soul; Or, True Mental Discipline (1838)[edit]

H. Ouvry, trans. (1873)

  • We live in stormy and unsettled times. Hence we may confer a benefit, not only on ourselves, but on others, by diverting attention from the exciting circumstances of the present day—from the disheartening eccentricities of a literature which meanders in a thousand frivolous directions—to the calm regions where the inner man, self-examined, submits himself to moral treatment. Here our connection with things, our object, our duty, become clear; and, while we quietly separate ourselves from a world which is unable to assure us of anything, we feel that the joy we thought lost again returns, and that a second innocence spreads its clear and tranquillizing light over human existence. The child may amuse himself with childish rhymes. Man should find his recreation in reflecting on his relation to the things of this life. To all has this power been vouchsafed; by all should it be exercised.
  • We have aimed at popularity in the best sense of that term. The truly popular writer never sinks into the vulgar crowd. He rather raises the masses by bringing the highest subjects within their comprehension, making them, without a show of erudition, easily understood
  • Our minds are so constituted that a change of objects brings nearly as much relief as actual repose.
  • Those views of life which deify pleasure are less likely to yield it.
  • It is not enough to contemplate ourselves objectively; we must also treat ourselves objectively.
  • The man dissatisfied with the world will be dissatisfied with himself, so as to be continually eaten up by his own ill humor. And in such a state of mind how can he retain health?
  • We cannot avoid moodiness; but we may turn to account, as does the poet, the various dispositions of the mind, or give them form and shape, as the sculptor his marble.
  • It has been well remarked of the poems of Hafiz, that their refreshing influence does not depend so much on the sense of the words as on the tone of mind produced in the reader.
  • Composition, even when we have no idea of appearing in print, is an excellent dietetic tonic. ... The best and quickest mode of banishing a painful impression, or a torturing feeling, is to give it expression in words. We thus relieve the mind from present, and fortify it against future pangs.
  • True philosophy is a living wisdom, for which there is no death.
  • You must master an object before you attempt to despise it.

External links[edit]