Sunday, November 23, 2008 – Self-Assessment


As I grow older, I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me. ~ H. Rider Haggard


The purpose of life is to fight maturity. ~ Dick Werthimer


Anybody can win unless there happens to be a second entry. ~ George Ade


We sometimes feel that we have been really understood, but it was always long ago, by someone now dead. ~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960


Every man has a mob self and an individual self, in varying proportions. ~ D.H. Lawrence, Pornography and Obscenity


The words “I am” are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you. ~A. L. Kitselman


A man is ever apt to contemplate himself out of all proportion to his surroundings. ~ Christina G. Rossetti


People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, 1841


Sometimes at night I light a lamp so as not to see. ~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin


Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about. And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us. Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny. ~ Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind


I loathe the expression “What makes him tick.” It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm. ~James Thurber


Misfortunes one can endure – they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer for one’s own faults – ah! There is the sting of life. ~Oscar Wilde


One’s only real life is the life one never leads. ~Oscar Wilde


Know thyself? If I knew myself I’d run away. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Your own fears may also fear you. ~ Christina Pagliarulo


To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright. ~ Walter Benjamin


Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. ~ Ann Landers


Woman is opaque in her very being; she stands before man not as a subject but as an object paradoxically endued with subjectivity; she takes herself simultaneously as self and as other, a contradiction that entails baffling consequences. ~ Simone de Beauvoir


The neurotic is nailed to the cross of his fiction. ~ Alfred Adler


I have no knowledge of myself as I am, but merely as I appear to myself. ~ Immanuel Kant


No weakness of the human mind has more frequently incurred animadversion than the negligence with which men overlook their own faults, however flagrant, and the easiness with which they pardon them, however frequently repeated. ~ Smauel Johnson, Rambler #155 (September 10, 1751)


The truth is, that no man is much regarded by the rest of the world. He that considers how little he dwells upon the condition of others will learn how little the attention of others is attracted by himself. While we see multitudes passing before us, of whom perhaps not one appears to deserve our notice or excite our sympathy, we should remember, that we likewise are lost in the same throng, that the eye which happens to glance upon us is turned in a moment on him that follows us, and that the utmost which we can reasonably hope of rear, is to fill a vacant hour with prattle and be forgotten. ~ Samuel Johnson, Rambler #159 (September 24, 1751)


Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born – the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people’s experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things. ~ Aldous Huxley


The ancient sage who concocted the maxim, Know Thyself might have added, Don’t Tell Anyone! ~ H. F. Henrichs


But yet I am firmly persuaded that a great deal of consciousness, every sort of consciousness, in fact, is a disease. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground


Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form. ~ Karl Marx