Self Delusion Quotes

Quotes tagged as "self-delusion" Showing 1-30 of 71
Rick Riordan
“Humans see what they want to see.”
Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

Jodi Picoult
“Sometimes, when you don't ask questions, it's not because you are afraid that someone will lie to your face. It's because you're afraid they'll tell you the truth.”
Jodi Picoult

Sophie Kinsella
“The trouble with giving yourself a pep talk is, that deep down you know it's all bullshit.”
Sophie Kinsella, Remember Me?

“The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein
“Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value

Robert Hughes
“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."

[Modernism's Patriarch (Time Magazine, June 10, 1996)]”
Robert Hughes

Amy Tan
“I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I placed them.”
Amy Tan, Saving Fish from Drowning

Jodi Picoult
“You can fool yourself, you know. You'd think it's impossible, but it turns out it's the easiest thing of all.”
Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts

James Baldwin
“It is rare indeed that people give. Most people guard and keep; they suppose that it is they themselves and what they identify with themselves that they are guarding and keeping, whereas what they are actually guarding and keeping is their system of reality and what they assume themselves to be.”
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Christopher Hitchens
“Even if it were possible to cast my horoscope in this one life, and to make an accurate prediction about my future, it would not be possible to 'show' it to me because as soon as I saw it my future would change by definition. This is why Werner Heisenberg's adaptation of the Hays Office—the so-called principle of uncertainty whereby the act of measuring something has the effect of altering the measurement—is of such importance. In my case the difference is often made by publicity. For example, and to boast of one of my few virtues, I used to derive pleasure from giving my time to bright young people who showed promise as writers and who asked for my help. Then some profile of me quoted someone who disclosed that I liked to do this. Then it became something widely said of me, whereupon it became almost impossible for me to go on doing it, because I started to receive far more requests than I could respond to, let alone satisfy. Perception modifies reality: when I abandoned the smoking habit of more than three decades I was given a supposedly helpful pill called Wellbutrin. But as soon as I discovered that this was the brand name for an antidepressant, I tossed the bottle away. There may be successful methods for overcoming the blues but for me they cannot include a capsule that says: 'Fool yourself into happiness, while pretending not to do so.' I should actually want my mind to be strong enough to circumvent such a trick.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Richard P. Feynman
“Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves.”
Richard Feynman

“It's funny, in a human kind of way, how we can convince ourselves that we're in control at the very moment we are beginning to lose it.”
William C. Moyers

Margaret Atwood
“Even an obvious fabrication is some comfort when you have few others.”
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Charles Dickens
“All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers, and with such pretences did I cheat myself. Surely a curious thing. That I should innocently take a bad half-crown of somebody else's manufacture, is reasonable enough; but that I should knowingly reckon the spurious coin of my own make, as good money!”
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“We all know dogmatists who are more concerned about holding their opinions than about investigating their truth. ... if they are mistaken, they will never discover it; they have condemned themselves to perpetual error. Human beings (including myself) sometimes use their beliefs for wish-fulfillment. Too often we believe what we want to be true.”
David L. Wolfe, Epistemology: The Justification Of Belief

Christopher Hitchens
“[O]ne has to have endured a few decades before wanting, let alone needing, to embark on the project of recovering lost life. And I think it may be possible to review 'the chronicles of wasted time.' William Morris wrote in The Dream of John Ball that men fight for things and then lose the battle, only to win it again in a shape and form that they had not expected, and then be compelled again to defend it under another name. We are all of us very good at self-persuasion and I strive to be alert to its traps, but a version of what Hegel called 'the cunning of history' is a parallel commentary that I fight to keep alive in my mind.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Lee Goldberg
“Of course, that rationalization didn't work at all. It would have helped if I'd had some Oreo cookie ice cream to eat that the same time. I've learned that self-delusion is much easier when there's something sweet in your mouth.”
Lee Goldberg, Mr. Monk on the Couch

Joan Bauer
“Mom has the Touch. She knows what flowers go with what occasions, what hors d'oeuvres work with what people. She believes passionately in the power of food to heal, restore, and stimulate relationships, and she has built a following of loyal customers who really hope she's right. If she's wrong, says Sonia, no one wants to know.”
Joan Bauer, Thwonk

Christopher Isherwood
“A veteran, calm and assured, he pauses for a well-measured moment in the doorway of the office and then, boldly, clearly, with the subtly modulated British intonation which his public demands of him, speaks his opening line, 'Good morning!'
And the three secretaries - each of them a charming and accomplished actress in her own chosen style - recognise him instantly, without even a flicker of doubt, and reply 'Good morning' to him. (There is something religious here, like responses in church; a reaffirmation of faith in the basic American dogma, that it is, always, a Good Morning. Good, despite the Russians and their rockets, and all the ills and worries of the flesh. For of course we know, don't we, that the Russians and the worries are not real? They can be unsought and made to vanish. And therefore the morning can ve made to be good. Very well then, it is good.”
Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man

Louise O'Neill
“I'm a good girl. I am pretty. I am always happy-go-lucky.”
Louise O'Neill, Only Ever Yours

Aldous Huxley
“We protect our minds by an elaborate system of abstractions, ambiguities, metaphors and similes from the reality we do not wish to know too clearly; we lie to ourselves, in order that we may still have the excuse of ignorance, the alibi of stupidity and incomprehension, possessing which we can continue with a good conscience to commit and tolerate the most monstrous crimes”
Aldous Huxley, The Olive Tree and other essays

Ray   Smith
“In his lifetime, he had seen enough injustice to know the world was cold and remorseless and didn’t care one fig about the happiness of people. He tried to live a good life and devote that life to helping others, but he never thought the world would reward him for his efforts. Such a thought would be the ultimate in self-deluding self-aggrandizement, for why would the world care one iota about him?”
Ray Smith, The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen

Naomi Alderman
“What can I tell you? Welcome to the human race. You people like to pretend things are simple, even at your own cost.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power

Marianne Williamson
“Withholding love is a form of self-sabotage, as what we withhold from others, we are withholding from ourselves.”
Marianne Williamson

Kakuzō Okakura
“Ceux d'entre nous qui ignorent le secret consistant à régler au plus juste leur propre existence sur cet océan tumultueux de tracas absurdes que nous appelons la vie, ceux-là vivent dans un état de souffrance permanente - tout en s'efforçant, mais en vain, de paraître heureux et satisfaits. Nous chancelons en tentant de conserver notre équilibre moral, et nous voyons des signes précurseurs de tempête dans chaque nuage flottant à l'horizon. Quelle joie et quelle beauté; cependant, dans le déferlement des vagues qui roulent vers l'éternité ! Pourquoi ne pas pénétrer l'esprit de la vague, ou comme Lie-tseu, chevaucher l'ouragan lui-même ?”
Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea

Adrienne Rich
“The enemy is always outside the self, the struggle somewhere else.”
Adrienne Rich, Adrienne Rich's Poetry and Prose

Giannis Delimitsos
“Humans refined the Art of deluding themselves from that epoch when self-consciousness emerged and became their most merciless enemy.”
Giannis Delimitsos

Ashim Shanker
“Why indeed does the hand experience such difficulty in rendering itself? ...It is a tragedy, or perhaps a boon, that the form should never know itself or approach anything resembling itself without warping the parameters of its being. Awareness is thusly obliteration and through reproduction of this intuitive knowing, the self is contaminated, and thereby annihilated.”
Ashim Shanker, Inward and Toward

Ada Palmer
“What are humanity’s great dreams? To conquer the world? To split the atom? When Alexander spread his empire from the Mediterranean to India, we say he conquered the world, but he barely touched a quarter of it. We lie. We lie again when we say we split the atom. ‘Atom’ was supposed to be the smallest piece of matter—all we did is give that name to something we can split, knowing that there are quarks and tensors, other pieces smaller that we cannot touch, and only these deserve the title ‘atom.’ Man is more ambitious than patient. When we realize we cannot split a true atom, cannot conquer the whole Earth, we redefine the terms to fake our victory, check off our boxes and pretend the deed is done. Alexander conquered Earth, we tell ourselves, Rutherford split the atom, no need to try again. Lies.”
Ada Palmer, Too Like the Lightning

J. Zachary Pike
“Marketing is its own kind of magic is it not?” said Zarthraka. “An illusion that men pay to be folded by.”
J. Zachary Pike, Orconomics

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