Illusions Quotes

Quotes tagged as "illusions" (showing 1-30 of 215)
Mark Twain
“Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”
Mark Twain

Virginia Woolf
“Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.”
Virginia Woolf

Lao Tzu
“Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.”
Lao Tzu

Charlotte Brontë
“If men could see us as we really are, they would be a little amazed; but the cleverest, the acutest men are often under an illusion about women: they do not read them in a true light: they misapprehend them, both for good and evil: their good woman is a queer thing, half doll, half angel; their bad woman almost always a fiend.”
Charlotte Brontë, Shirley

Sigmund Freud
“Religious doctrines … are all illusions, they do not admit of proof, and no one can be compelled to consider them as true or to believe in them.”
Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion

Karl Marx
“The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world...

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.”
Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right

Richard Bach
“You're always free to change your mind
and choose a different future, or a different past.”
Richard Bach

Norton Juster
“if something is there, you can only see it with your eyes open, but if it isn't there, you can see it just as well with your eyes closed. That's why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Anne Rice
“To be godless is probably the first step to innocence," he said, "to lose the sense of sin and subordination, the false grief for things supposed to be lost."
So by innocence you mean not an absence of experience, but an absence of illusions."
An absence of need for illusions," he said. "A love of and respect for what is right before your eyes.”
Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat

Aprilynne Pike
“Aww, come on. I don't bite...hard.”
Aprilynne Pike, Illusions

Christopher Hitchens
“I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Aprilynne Pike
“He'd been back for about two weeks, and everything in Laurel's life had been thrown into Chaos. Sexy, sexy chaos.”
Aprilynne Pike, Illusions

Aprilynne Pike
“Human locks? Please," Tamani said. "May as well leave the door open.”
Aprilynne Pike, Illusions

Aprilynne Pike
“But with me, you are never just a spring faerie.”
Aprilynne Pike, Illusions

“I have been finding treasures in places I did not want to search. I have been hearing wisdom from tongues I did not want to listen. I have been finding beauty where I did not want to look. And I have learned so much from journeys I did not want to take. Forgive me, O Gracious One; for I have been closing my ears and eyes for too long. I have learned that miracles are only called miracles because they are often witnessed by only those who can can see through all of life's illusions. I am ready to see what really exists on other side, what exists behind the blinds, and taste all the ugly fruit instead of all that looks right, plump and ripe.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Erin Morgenstern
“That's the beauty of it. Have you seen the contraptions these magicians build to accomplish the most mundane feats? They are a bunch of fish covered in feathers trying to convince the public they can fly, I am simply a bird in their midst.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Guy de Maupassant
“One sometimes weeps over one's illusions with as much bitterness as over a death.”
Guy de Maupassant, Une vie

Leo Tolstoy
“Music makes me forget myself, my true condition, it carries me off into another state of being, one that isn't my own: under the influence of music I have the illusion of feeling things I don't really feel, of understanding things I don't understand, being able to do things I'm not able to do (...) Can it really be allowable for anyone who feels like it to hypnotize another person, or many other persons, and then do what he likes with them? Particularly if the hypnotist is the first unscrupulous individual who happens to come along?”
Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata

Edith Wharton
“Why do we call all our generous ideas illusions, and the mean ones truths?”
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth

Aprilynne Pike
“Are you looking for something real in this world of illusions? Call me. Casual Flings need not apply. I am looking for Love.”
Aprilynne Pike

Émile Zola
“The past was but the cemetery of our illusions: one simply stubbed one's toes on the gravestones.”
Émile Zola, The Masterpiece

Aprilynne Pike
“Are you glad to see me?”
Aprilynne Pike, Illusions

Libba Bray
“We create the illusions we need to go on. And one day, when they no longer dazzle or comfort, we tear them down, brick by glittering brick, until we are left with nothing but the bright light of honesty. The light is liberating. Necessary. Terrifying. We stand naked and emptied before it. And when it is too much for our eyes to take, we build a new illusion to shield us from its relentless truth.”
Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

James  Jones
“The main trouble with being an honest man was that it lost you all your illusions.”
James Jones, From Here to Eternity

T.F. Hodge
“There are two paths of which one may choose in the walk of life; one we are born with, and the one we consciously blaze. One is naturally true, while the other is a perceptive illusion. Choose wisely at each fork in the road.”
T.F. Hodge, From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence"

Sherman Alexie
“That's how I do this life sometimes by making the ordinary just like magic and just like a card trick and just like a mirror and just like the disappearing. Every Indian learns how to be a magician and learns how to misdirect attention and the dark hand is always quicker than the white eye and no matter how close you get to my heart you will never find out my secrets and I'll never tell you and I'll never show you the same trick twice.
I'm traveling heavy with illusions.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

C.G. Jung
“It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how he continually feeds it and keeps it going. Not consciously, of course—for consciously he is engaged in bewailing and cursing a faithless world that recedes further and further into the distance. Rather, it is an unconscious factor which spins the illusions that veil his world. And what is being spun is a cocoon, which in the end will completely envelop him.”
C.G. Jung, Aion

George Orwell
“Here one comes upon an all-important English trait: the respect for constituitionalism and legality, the belief in 'the law' as something above the state and above the individual, something which is cruel and stupid, of course, but at any rate incorruptible.
It is not that anyone imagines the law to be just. Everyone knows that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor. But no one accepts the implications of this, everyone takes for granted that the law, such as it is, will be respected, and feels a sense of outrage when it is not. Remarks like 'They can't run me in; I haven't done anything wrong', or 'They can't do that; it's against the law', are part of the atmosphere of England. The professed enemies of society have this feeling as strongly as anyone else. One sees it in prison-books like Wilfred Macartney's Walls Have Mouths or Jim Phelan's Jail Journey, in the solemn idiocies that take places at the trials of conscientious objectors, in letters to the papers from eminent Marxist professors, pointing out that this or that is a 'miscarriage of British justice'. Everyone believes in his heart that the law can be, ought to be, and, on the whole, will be impartially administered. The totalitarian idea that there is no such thing as law, there is only power, has never taken root. Even the intelligentsia have only accepted it in theory.
An illusion can become a half-truth, a mask can alter the expression of a face. The familiar arguments to the effect that democracy is 'just the same as' or 'just as bad as' totalitarianism never take account of this fact. All such arguments boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread. In England such concepts as justice, liberty and objective truth are still believed in. They may be illusions, but they are powerful illusions. The belief in them influences conduct,national life is different because of them. In proof of which, look about you. Where are the rubber truncheons, where is the caster oil?
The sword is still in the scabbard, and while it stays corruption cannot go beyond a certain point. The English electoral system, for instance, is an all but open fraud. In a dozen obvious ways it is gerrymandered in the interest of the moneyed class. But until some deep change has occurred in the public mind, it cannot become completely corrupt. You do not arrive at the polling booth to find men with revolvers telling you which way to vote, nor are the votes miscounted, nor is there any direct bribery. Even hypocrisy is powerful safeguard. The hanging judge, that evil old man in scarlet robe and horse-hair wig,whom nothing short of dynamite will ever teach what century he is living in, but who will at any rate interpret the law according to the books and will in no circumstances take a money bribe,is one of the symbolic figures of England. He is a symbol of the strange mixture of reality and illusion, democracy and privilege, humbug and decency, the subtle network of compromises, by which the nation keeps itself in its familiar shape.”
George Orwell, Why I Write

“Magic is the only honest profession. A magician promises to deceive you and he does.”
Karl Germain

Kazuo Ishiguro
“Nos-tal-gic,’ Akira said, as though it were a word he had been struggling to find. Then he said a word in Japanese, perhaps the Japanese for ‘nostalgic.’ ‘Nos-tal-gic. It is good to be nos-tal-gic. Very important.’

‘Really, old fellow?’

‘Important. Very important. Nostalgic. When we nostalgic, we remember. A world better than this world we discover when we grow. We remember and wish good world come back again. So very important. Just now, I had dream. I was boy. Mother, Father, close to me. in our house.’

He fell silent and continued to gaze across the rubble.

‘Akira,’ I said, sensing that the longer this talk went on, the greater was some danger I did not wish fully to articulate. ‘We should move on. We have much to do.”
Kazuo Ishiguro, When We Were Orphans

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