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P.D. Ouspensky quotes (showing 1-30 of 38)

“When one realises one is asleep, at that moment one is already half-awake.”
P.D. Ouspensky
“It is only when we realize that life is taking us nowhere that it begins to have meaning.”
P.D. Ouspensky
“Suddenly I began to find a strange meaning in old fairy-tales; woods, rivers, mountains, became living beings; mysterious life filled the night; with new interests and new expectations I began to dream again of distant travels; and I remembered many extraordinary things that I had heard about old monasteries. Ideas and feelings which had long since ceased to interest me suddenly began to assume significance and interest. A deep meaning and many subtle allegories appeared in what only yesterday had seemed to be naive popular fantasy or crude superstition. And the greatest mystery and the greatest miracle was that the thought became possible that death may not exist, that those who have gone may not have vanished altogether, but exist somewhere and somehow, and that perhaps I may see them again. I have become so accustomed to think "scientifically" that I am afraid even to imagine that there may be something else beyond the outer covering of life. I feel like a man condemned to death, whose companions have been hanged and who has already become reconciled to the thought that the same fate awaits him; and suddenly he hears that his companions are alive, that they have escaped and that there is hope also for him. And he fears to believe this, because it would be so terrible if it proved to be false, and nothing would remain but prison and the expectation of execution.”
P.D. Ouspensky, A New Model of the Universe
“There is no possibility of remembering what has been found and understood, and later repeating it to oneself. It disappears as a dream disappears. Perhaps it is all nothing but a dream.”
P.D. Ouspensky, A New Model of the Universe
“A religion contradicting science and a science contradicting religion are equally false.”
P.D. Ouspensky
“There is something in us that keeps us where we find ourselves. I think this is the most awful thing of all.”
P.D. Ouspensky, Strange Life of Ivan Osokin
“Desire is when you do what you want, will is when you can do what you do not want.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“Man is a machine, but a very peculiar machine. He is a machine which, in right circumstances, and with right treatment, can know that he is a machine, and having fully realized this, he may find the ways to cease to be a machine.
First of all, what man must know is that he is not one; he is many. He has not one permanent and unchangeable “I” or Ego. He is always different. One moment he is one, another moment he is another, the third moment he is a third, and so on, almost without end.”
P.D. Ouspensky
“In existing criminology there are concepts: a criminal man, a criminal profession, a criminal society, a criminal sect, and a criminal tribe; but there is no concept of a criminal state, or a criminal government, or criminal legislation. Consequently, the biggest crimes actually escape being called crimes.”
P.D. Ouspensky, A New Model of the Universe
“a man can be given only what he can use; and he can use only that for which he has sacrificed something”
P.D. Ouspensky, Strange Life of Ivan Osokin
“I mean that you always know what results will come from one or another of your actions; but in a strange way you want to do one thing and get the result that could only come from another”
P.D. Ouspensky, Strange Life of Ivan Osokin
“There is no tyranny more ferocious than the tyranny of morality. Everything is sacrificed to it.”
P.D. Ouspensky
“If one does not develop, one goes down. In life, in ordinary conditions everything goes down, or one capacity may develop at the expense of another.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“Besides, all evil is relative. Something that is evil at one level of evolution can be good at an earlier stage because it provides the essential stimulus for development. But you want to judge everything by your own standards. You have reached a comparatively high level and so you see what you fight against as evil. Just think of the others, those who are at an earlier stage of development. Do not bar them from the path toward progress and evolution.”
P.D. Ouspensky, Talks with a Devil
“Man is a machine which reacts blindly to external forces and, this being so, he has no will, and very little control of himself, if any at all. What we have to study, therefore, is not psychology-for that applies only to a developed man-but mechanics. Man is not only a machine but a machine which works very much below the standard it would be capable of maintaining if it were working properly.”
P.D. Ouspensky
“Psychology is sometimes called a new science. This is quite wrong. Psychology is, perhaps, the oldest science, and, unfortunately, in its most essential features a forgotten science.”
P.D. Ouspensky
“Everything 'happens'. People can 'do' nothing. From the time we are born to the time we die things happen, happen, happen, and we think we are doing. This is our normal state in life, and even the smallest possibility to do something comes only through the work, and first only in oneself, not externally.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“Many things are mechanical and should remain mechanical. But mechanical thoughts, mechanical feelings—that is what has to be studied and can and should be changed. Mechanical thinking is not worth a penny. You can think about many things mechanically, but you will get nothing from it.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“Q. But it seems to me there are circumstances that simply induce one to have negative emotions!

A. This is one of the worst illusions we have. We think that negative emotions are produced by circumstances, whereas all negative emotions are in us, inside us. This is a very important point. We always think our negative emotions are produced by the fault of other people or by the fault of circumstances. We always think that. Our negative emotions are in ourselves and are produced by ourselves. There is absolutely not a single unavoidable reason why somebody else's action or some circumstance should produce a negative emotion in me. It is only my weakness. No negative emotion can be produced by external causes if we do not want it. We have negative emotions because we permit them, justify them, explain them by external causes, and in this way we do not struggle with them.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“Attaining consciousness is connected with the gradual liberation from mechanicalness, for man is fully and completely under mechanical laws.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“Q. Surely it is easier to be objective about other people than about oneself?
A. No, it is more difficult. If you become objective to yourself you can see other people objectively, but not before, because before that it will all be coloured by your own views, attitudes, tastes, by what you like and what you dislike. To be objective you must be free from it all. You can become objective to yourself in the state of self-consciousness: this is the first experience of coming into contact with the real object.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“I have become so accustomed to think “scientifically” that I am afraid even to imagine that there may be something else beyond the outer covering of life. I feel like a man condemned to death, whose companions have been hanged and who has already become reconciled to the thought that the same fate awaits him.”
P.D. Ouspensky, A New Model of the Universe
“We often think we express negative emotions, not because we cannot help it, but because we should express them.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“Não podemos tentar ser mais emocionais; quanto mais tentarmos, menos emocionais seremos. Podemos tentar ser conscientes e, se nos tornarmos mais conscientes, nos tornaremos mais emocionais.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“Depende de como você entende essa palavra, "esotérico" significa interno. O esoterismo encerra a idéia da existência de um círculo interno da humanidade. Lembra-se de como a humanidade foi descrita como constituída de quatro círculos - o esotérico, o mesotérico e o exotérico, que formam o círculo interior, e o círculo exterior no qual vivemos? A idéia de esoterismo implica a idéia de transmissão do conhecimento; presume a existência de um grupo de pessoas a quem pertence um certo conhecimento. Não se deve compreender isso de alguma forma mística, porém mais precisamente, de forma concreta. Há muitas diferenças entre os círculos interno e externo. Por exemplo, muitas coisas que queremos descobrir ou criar só podem existir no círculo interno.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“With knowledge of the diagrams you will be able to interpret many of the new feelings, sensations, ideas that will come to your mind, and transfer this interpretation to the ordinary mind. Without diagrams you will not be able to do it. They are the intermediate language which will connect the language of the higher emotional centre with our ordinary centres. At the same time this language is a kind of ladder by which we can climb from ordinary thinking to the thinking of higher emotional centre.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“We may have very good reason for saying that we are ourselves beings of four   dimensions and are turned towards the third dimension with only one of our sides, i.e. with only a small part of our being. Only this part of us lives in three dimensions, and we are conscious only of this part as our body. The greater part of our being lives in the fourth dimension, but we are unconscious of this greater part of ourselves. Or it would be still more true to say that we live in a four-dimensional world, but are conscious of ourselves only in a three-dimensional world. This means that we live in one kind of conditions, but imagine ourselves to be in another.”
P.D. Ouspensky, A New Model of the Universe
“With the attempt to self-remember many new sensations begin to awaken in man, particularly sensations connected with his own existence and his relation to the surrounding world. And these in turn may give rise to the realization of the different influences playing upon him and to the possibility of choosing between them.”
P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
“We regard the actions of an individual as originating in himself. We do not imagine that the "masses" may consist of automatons obeying external stimuli and may move, not under the influence of the will, consciousness, or inclination of individuals, but under the influence of external stimuli coming possibly from very far away.”
P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous
“At one moment when I say 'I', one part of me is speaking,and at another moment when I say 'I', it is quite another 'I' speaking.”
P.D. Ouspensky
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