Existence Quotes

Quotes tagged as "existence" (showing 1-30 of 1,359)
John Green
“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Sylvia Plath
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Gabriel García Márquez
“It's enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.”
Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

William Shakespeare
“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd!”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Warsan Shire
“It's not my responsibility to be beautiful. I'm not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.”
Warsan Shire

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Manon, Ballerina

Ken Kesey
“It isn't by getting out of the world that we become enlightened, but by getting into the world…by getting so tuned in that we can ride the waves of our existence and never get tossed because we become the waves.”
Ken Kesey, Kesey's Garage Sale

Mo Yan
“Finally, she mused that human existence is as brief as the life of autumn grass, so what was there to fear from taking chances with your life?”
Mo Yan, Red Sorghum

Charles Baudelaire
“La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas."

("The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.")”
Charles Baudelaire, Paris Spleen

Friedrich Nietzsche
“Doubt as sin. — Christianity has done its utmost to close the circle and declared even doubt to be sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature — is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on its origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality

Neil Gaiman
“There are only two worlds - your world, which is the real world, and other worlds, the fantasy. Worlds like this are worlds of the human imagination: their reality, or lack of reality, is not important. What is important is that they are there. these worlds provide an alternative. Provide an escape. Provide a threat. Provide a dream, and power; provide refuge, and pain. They give your world meaning. They do not exist; and thus they are all that matters. ”
Neil Gaiman, The Books of Magic

Salman Rushdie
“I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I'm gone which would not have happened if I had not come.”
Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children

Primo Levi
“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.”
Primo Levi

Christopher Hitchens
“About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about?

Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Stephen Crane
A Man Said to the Universe

A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”
Stephen Crane, War Is Kind and Other Poems

H.P. Lovecraft
“It is good to be a cynic — it is better to be a contented cat — and it is best not to exist at all.”
H.P. Lovecraft, Collected Essays 5: Philosophy, Autobiography and Miscellany

Eoin Colfer
“Let us proceed under the assumption that the fairy folk do exist, and that I am not a gibbering moron.”
Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl

Hermann Hesse
“Youth ends when egotism does; maturity begins when one lives for others.”
Hermann Hesse, Gertrude

Albert Einstein
“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom."

[Moral Decay (first published 1937)]”
Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years: The Scientist, Philosopher, and Man Portrayed Through His Own Words

Bob Dylan
“Some people seem to fade away but then when they are truly gone, it's like they didn't fade away at all.”
Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Volume One

Charlotte Eriksson
“... so this is for us.
This is for us who sing, write, dance, act, study, run and love
and this is for doing it even if no one will ever know
because the beauty is in the act of doing it.
Not what it can lead to.
This is for the times I lose myself while writing, singing, playing
and no one is around and they will never know
but I will forever remember
and that shines brighter than any praise or fame or glory I will ever have,
and this is for you who write or play or read or sing
by yourself with the light off and door closed
when the world is asleep and the stars are aligned
and maybe no one will ever hear it
or read your words
or know your thoughts
but it doesn’t make it less glorious.
It makes it ethereal. Mysterious.
Infinite.
For it belongs to you and whatever God or spirit you believe in
and only you can decide how much it meant
and means
and will forever mean
and other people will experience it too
through you.
Through your spirit. Through the way you talk.
Through the way you walk and love and laugh and care
and I never meant to write this long
but what I want to say is:
Don’t try to present your art by making other people read or hear or see or touch it; make them feel it. Wear your art like your heart on your sleeve and keep it alive by making people feel a little better. Feel a little lighter. Create art in order for yourself to become yourself
and let your very existence be your song, your poem, your story.
Let your very identity be your book.
Let the way people say your name sound like the sweetest melody.

So go create. Take photographs in the wood, run alone in the rain and sing your heart out high up on a mountain
where no one will ever hear
and your very existence will be the most hypnotising scar.
Make your life be your art
and you will never be forgotten.”
Charlotte Eriksson

Milan Kundera
“Indeed, the only truly serious questions are ones that even a child can formulate. Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. They are the questions with no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limit of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Jean-Paul Sartre
“I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating.”
Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness

Emil M. Cioran
“The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live --moreover, the only one.”
Emil M. Cioran

Rachel Carson
“It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.”
Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us

Jack London
“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
Jack London

Arthur Schopenhauer
“Philosophy ... is a science, and as such has no articles of faith; accordingly, in it nothing can be assumed as existing except what is either positively given empirically, or demonstrated through indubitable conclusions.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena

Neale Donald Walsch
“You are afraid to die, and you’re afraid to live. What a way to exist.”
Neale Donald Walsch, Home with God: In a Life That Never Ends

Christopher Hitchens
“Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with.”
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

J.K. Rowling
“You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you’ll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no . . . anything. There’s no chance at all of recovery. You’ll just — exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone forever . . . lost.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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