Talk:José Ortega y Gasset

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  • A revolution only lasts fifteen years, a period which coincides with the effectiveness of a generation.
  • An "unemployed" existence is a worse negation of life than death itself.
  • Being an artist means ceasing to take seriously that very serious person we are when we are not an artist.
  • Better beware of notions like genius and inspiration; they are a sort of magic wand and should be used sparingly by anybody who wants to see things clearly.
  • Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt.
  • Excellence means when a man or woman asks of himself more than others do.
  • I am I and my circumstance, and if I don't save it I don't save myself.
  • In order to master the unruly torrent of life the learned man meditates, the poet quivers, and the political hero erects the fortress of his will.
  • Law is born from despair of human nature.
  • Liberalism is that principle of political rights, according to which the public authority, in spite of being all-powerful, limits itself and attempts, even at its own expense, to leave room in the state over which it rules for those to live who neither think nor feel as it does, that is to say as do the stronger, the majority.
  • Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.
  • Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.
  • Love is that splendid triggering of human vitality the supreme activity which nature affords anyone for going out of himself toward someone else.
  • Our firmest convictions are apt to be the most suspect, they mark our limitations and our bounds. Life is a petty thing unless it is moved by the indomitable urge to extend its boundaries.
  • Stupefaction, when it persists, becomes stupidity.
  • Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.
  • The characteristic of the hour is that the commonplace mind, knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will.
  • The difficulties which I meet with in order to realize my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilize my activities, my capacities.
  • The metaphor is perhaps one of man's most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him.
  • There may be as much nobility in being last as in being first, because the two positions are equally necessary in the world, the one to complement the other.
  • To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.
  • To live is to feel oneself lost.
  • Under the species of Syndicalism and Fascism there appears for the first time in Europe a type of man who does not want to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself resolved to impose his opinions.
  • We cannot put off living until we are ready.
  • We distinguish the excellent man from the common man by saying that the former is the one who makes great demands on himself, and the latter who makes no demands on himself.
  • We do not live to think, but, on the contrary, we think in order that we may succeed in surviving.
  • We live at a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of creation, but he does not know what to create.
  • Men play at tragedy because they do not believe in the reality of the tragedy which is actually being staged in the civilised [sic] world.