I treat my heart like a sick child and gratify its every fancy
The suffering may be moral or physical; and in my opinion it is just as absurd to call a man a coward who destroys himself, as to call a man a coward who dies of a malignant fever.
We often feel that we lack something, and seem to see that very quality in someone else, promptly attributing all our own qualities to him too, and a kind of ideal contentment as well. And so the happy mortal is a model of complete perfection--which we have ourselves created.
I was oppressed with the sensations I then felt; I sunk under the weight of them.
Weary of liberty, he suffered himself to be saddled and bridled, and was ridden to death for his pains.
In happy ignorance, I sighed for a world I did not know, where I hoped to find every pleasure and enjoyment which my heart could desire; and now, on my return from that wide world... how many disappointed hopes and unsuccessful plans have I brought back!
What a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it!
In this world one is seldom reduced to make a selection between two alternatives. There are as many varieties of conduct and opinion as there are turns of feature between an aquiline nose and a flat one.
What is the destiny of man, but to fill up the measure of his sufferings, and to drink his allotted cup of bitterness?
Is this the destiny of man? Is he only happy before he has acquired his reason or after he has lost it?
When any distress or terror surprises us in the midst of our amusements, it naturally makes a deeper impression than at other times, either because the contrast makes us more keenly susceptible, or rather perhaps because our senses are then more open to impressions, and the shock is consequently stronger.
It is in vain that a man of sound mind and cool temper understands the condition of such a wretched being... He can no more communicate his own wisdom to him than a healthy man can instil his strength into the invalid by whose bedside he is seated.
When I consider the narrow limits within which our active and inquiring faculties are confined; when I see how all our energies are wasted in providing for mere necessities, which again have no further end than to prolong a wretched existence; and then that all our satisfaction concerning certain subjects of investigation ends in nothing better than a passive resignation... when I consider all this... I am silent.
And I like those authors best whose scenes describe my own situation in life-- and the friends who are about me whose stories touch me with interest, from resembling my own homely existence.
It's true that nothing in this world makes us so necessary to others as the affection we have for them.
When she sees the leaves fall, they raise no other idea in her mind than that winter is approaching.
Does not man lack the force at the very point where he needs it most? And when he soars upward in joy, or sinks down in suffering, is not checked in both, is he not returned again to the dull, cold sphere of awareness, just when he was longing to lose himself in the fullness of the infinite.
Must it ever be thus-that the source of our happiness must also be the fountain of our misery? The full and ardent sentiment which animated my heart with the love of nature, overwhelming me with a torrent of delight, and which brought all paradise before me, has now become an insupportable torment, a demon which perpetually pursues and harrasses me.
Would you require a wretched being, whose life is slowly wasting under a lingering disease, to despatch himself at once by the stroke of a dagger? Does not the very disorder which consumes his strength deprive him of the courage to effect his deliverance?
Every day I observe more and more the folly of judging of others by ourselves; and I have so much trouble with myself, and my own heart is in such constant agitation, that I am well content to let others pursue their own course, if they only allow me the same privilege.
My days are as happy as those reserved by God for his elect; and whatever be my fate hereafter, I can never say that I have not tasted joy- the purest joy of life.
He values my understanding and talents more highly than my heart, but I am proud of the latter only. It is the sole source of everything of our strength, happiness, and misery. All the knowledge I possess every one else can acquire, but my heart is exclusively my own.
No doubt you are right... there would be far less suffering amongst mankind if men... did not employ their imaginations so assiduously in recalling the memory of past sorrow, instead of bearing their present lot with equanimity.
How many kings are governed by their ministers, how many ministers by their secretaries? Who, in such cases, is really the chief?
No one is willing to believe that adults too, like children, wander about this earth in a daze and, like children, do not know where they come from or where they are going, act as rarely as they do according to genuine motives, and are as thoroughly governed as they are by biscuits and cake and the rod.
How often do I lull my seething blood to rest, for you have never seen anything so unsteady, so uncertain, as this heart.
So the restless traveler long at last for his native soil, finds his cottage in the arms of his wife, in the affection of his children, labor necessary for their support, all the happiness which he sought in vain the wild world
I am amazed to see how deliberately I have entangled myself step by step. To have seen my position so clearly, and yet to have acted so like a child!
Sometimes I don't understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her!
I am contented, happy, and consequently a bad historian.
The affairs of the world are no more than so much trickery, and a man who toils for money or honour or whatever else in deference to the wishes of others, rather than because his own desire or needs lead him to do so, will always be a fool.
I examine my own being, and find there a world, but a world rather of imagination and dim desires, than of distinctness and living power. Then everything swims before my senses, and I smile and dream while pursuing my way through the world.
The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.
More Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotations (Based on Topics)
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