Pure Delusion

Sunday, January 31, 2021 – Pure Delusion

Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A sense of humor always withers in the presence of the messianic delusion, like justice and truth in front of patriotic passion. ~ H. L. Mencken

Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion. ~ Jim Rohn

Delusion produced not one mischief the less because it is universal. ~ Edmund Burke

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. ~ Saul Bellow

On the throne of the world, any delusion can become fact. ~ Gore Vidal, Julian

A nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and by common hatred of its neighbors. ~ William Ralph Inge

Actually we are a vulgar, pushing mob whose passions are easily mobilized by demagogues, newspaper men, religious quacks, agitators and such like. To call this a society of free peoples is blasphemous. What have we to offer the world besides the superabundant loot which we recklessly plunder from the earth under the maniacal delusion that this insane activity represents progress and enlightenment? ~ Henry Miller

In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first. ~ Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

When enough people understand reality, tyrants can literally be ignored out of existence. They can’t ever be voted out of existence. ~ Larken Rose

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. ~ Carl Sagan

We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion. ~ Michael Crichton

One cannot properly appreciate the human realities so long as one labors under the adolescent delusion that people get the fates they deserve. ~ Nicholas Rescher

What disturbs and depresses young people is the hunt for happiness on the firm assumption that it must be met with in life. From this arises constantly deluded hope and so also dissatisfaction. Deceptive images of a vague happiness hover before us in our dreams, and we search in vain for their original. Much would have been gained if, through timely advice and instruction, young people could have had eradicated from their minds the erroneous notion that the world has a great deal to offer them. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

The house of delusions is cheap to build but drafty to live in. ~ A. E. Housman

If one has not influence to stem the torrent of popular delusion he is reduced to the melancholy part of a spectator in the midst of the ruin. ~ James L. Pettigrew

I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. ~ Christopher Hitchens

Getting rid of a delusion makes us wiser than getting hold of a truth. ~ Ludwig Borne

Few people have the imagination for reality. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

Politics is so difficult, it’s generally only people who aren’t quite up to the task who feel convinced they are. ~ Alain de Botton

DELUSION: The father of a most respectable family, comprising Enthusiasm, Affection, Self-denial, Faith, Hope, Charity and many other goodly sons and daughters. ~ Ambrose Bierce

It has been lately urged in a very respectable quarter that it is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty all over the globe, and especially over this continent, even by force, if necessary. It is a sad delusion. ~ John C. Calhoun

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher. ~ Ambrose Bierce

I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it. ~ Garrison Keillor

Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick. ~ Bruce Lee

The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe. ~ Voltaire

Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves. ~ Richard Feynman

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. ~ Albert Einstein

There’s something beautifully soothing about a fact, even (or perhaps especially) if we’re not sure what it means. ~ Daniel J. Boorstin

When all else fails there’s always delusion. ~ Conan O’Brien

Fishing is a delusion entirely surrounded by liars in old clothes. ~ Don Marquis

Love is an obsessive delusion that is cured by marriage. ~ Phil Spector

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness. ~ Leo Tolstoy

The formula “two and two make five” is not without its attractions. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground, 1864

Truth is always a delusion. ~ Friedrich Durrenmatt

Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces. ~ Sigmund Freud

It is respectable to have illusions, and safe, and profitable, and dull. ~ Joseph Conrad

Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal – drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort. ~ Jean Cocteau

I’m all for the illusion that I’m a sex symbol. ~ James Nesbitt

Some of my best friends are illusions. Been sustaining me for years. ~ Sheila Ballantyne

When a man finds himself led, though by a train of honest sentiments, to wish for that which he has no right, he should start back as from a pitfall covered with flowers. He that fancies he should benefit the public more in a great station than the man that fills it will in time imagine it an act of virtue to supplant him; and as opposition readily kindles into hatred, his eagerness to do that good, to which he is not called, will betray him to crimes, which in his original scheme were never proposed. ~ Samuel Johnson, Rambler #8 (April 14, 1750)

Every man amuses himself with projects which he knows to be improbable, and which, therefore, he resolves to pursue without daring to examine them. ~ Samuel Johnson, Adventurer #69 (July 3, 1753)

However we may labour for our own deception, truth, though unwelcome, will sometimes intrude upon the mind. ~ Samuel Johnson, Idler #80 (October 27, 1759)

What seems to be, is, to those to whom it seems to be, and is productive of the most dreadful consequences to those to whom it seems to be, even of torments, despair, eternal death. ~ William Blake

There is no such thing as real happiness in life. The justest definition that was ever given of it was “a tranquil acquiescence under an agreeable delusion” – I forget where. ~ Laurence Sterne

No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities. ~ Christian Nestell Bovee

There is not to be found, in all history, any miracle attested by a sufficient number of men, of such unquestioned good sense, education and learning, as to secure us against all delusion in themselves. ~ David Hume

If you are a novelist of a certain type of temperament, then what you really want to do is re-invent the world. God wasn’t too bad a novelist, except he was a Realist. ~ John Barth

Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have. ~ James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fabulous. If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale. If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be, music and poetry would resound along the streets. When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, and that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality. This is always exhilarating and sublime. ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

It is a common delusion that you make things better by talking about them. ~ Rose Macaulay