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- The realization that life is absurd and cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it.
- Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
- One must be something in order to do something.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Conversations with Eckermann (20 October 1828)
- Life teaches us to be less harsh with ourselves and with others.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris (1787)
- Wisdom is purified by morality, and morality is purified by wisdom: where one is, the other is, the moral man has wisdom and the wise man has morality, and the combination of morality of wisdom is called the highest thing in the world.
- All the better; they do not force me to do anything that I would not have done of my own accord if I did not dread scandal.
- But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.
- Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
- Don't think, but look!
- Hence it comes that all armed prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed prophets have been destroyed.
- There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, and the third is useless.
- It is not titles that make men illustrious, but men who make titles illustrious.