The Intellectual Poison

“The difference between real material poison and intellectual poison is that most material poison is disgusting to the taste, but intellectual poison, which takes the form of cheap newspapers or bad books, can unfortunately sometimes be attractive.”

Leo Tolstoy, The Calendar of Wisdom

Scientific Viewpoint On Human Life’s Meaning

“As far as we can tell from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning. Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose. Our actions are not part of some divine cosmic plan, and if planet earth were to blow up tomorrow morning, the universe would probably keep going about its business as usual. As far as we can tell at this point, human subjectivity would not be missed. Hence any meaning that people inscribe to their lives is just a delusion.”

Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

A Happy Day

Happiness if I am right, lies in two things: being exactly where one belongs – but what official can say that of himself? – and especially, performing comfortably the most commonplace functions, that is having enough sleep and not having new boots, that pinch. When the 720 minutes of the twelve-hour day pass without any special annoyance that can be called a happy day.

(Translation from German – William A.Cooper )

Theodor Fontane | Effi Briest, 1894

Continue reading “A Happy Day”

Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!…

Where is it I’ve read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he’d only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once! Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!… 

Fyodor Dostoevski |Crime and Punishment

A Kind, Forgiving, Charitable, Pleasant Time

… I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round – apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that – as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.

Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens


…and it is singularity which often makes the worst part of our suffering, as it always does of our conduct.

Jane Austin, Persuasion

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