Self Forgetfulness Quotes

Quotes tagged as "self-forgetfulness" Showing 1-9 of 9
Helen Keller
“There is joy in self-forgetfulness. So I try to make the light in others' eyes my sun, the music in others' ears my symphony, the smile on others' lips my happiness.”
Helen Keller

Helen Keller
“Sometimes, it is true, a sense of isolation enfolds me like a cold mist as I sit alone and wait at life’s shut gate. Beyond there is light, and music, and sweet companionship; but I may not enter. Fate, silent, pitiless, bars the way…Silence sits immense upon my soul. Then comes hope with a smile and whispers, ‘there is joy is self-forgetfulness.’ So I try to make the light in others’ eyes my sun, the music in others; ears my symphony, the smile on others’ lips my happiness.”
Helen Keller, The Open Door

Leo Tolstoy
“All human life, we may say, consists solely of these two activities: (1) bringing one’s activities into harmony with conscience, or (2) hiding from oneself the indications of conscience in order to be able to continue to live as before.

Some do the first, others the second. To attain the first there is but one means: moral enlightenment — the increase of light in oneself and attention to what it shows. To attain the second — to hide from oneself the indications of conscience—there are two means: one external and the other internal. The external means consists in occupations that divert one’s attention from the indications given by conscience; the internal method consists in darkening conscience itself.

As a man has two ways of avoiding seeing an object that is before him: either by diverting his sight to other more striking objects, or by obstructing the sight of his own eyes—just so a man can hide from himself the indications of conscience in two ways: either by the external method of diverting his attention to various occupations, cares, amusements, or games; or by the internal method of obstructing the organ of attention itself. For people of dull, limited moral feeling, the external diversions are often quite sufficient to enable them not to perceive the indications conscience gives of the wrongness of their lives. But for morally sensitive people those means are often insufficient.

The external means do not quite divert attention from the consciousness of discord between one’s life and the demands of conscience. This consciousness hampers one’s life; and in order to be able to go on living as before, people have recourse to the reliable, internal method, which is that of darkening conscience itself by poisoning the brain with stupefying substances.

One is not living as conscience demands, yet lacks the strength to reshape one’s life in accord with its demands. The diversions which might distract attention from the consciousness of this discord are insufficient, or have become stale, and so—in order to be able to live on, disregarding the indications conscience gives of the wrongness of their life—people (by poisoning it temporarily) stop the activity of the organ through which conscience manifests itself, as a man by covering his eyes hides from himself what he does not wish to see.”
Leo Tolstoy, Why Do Men Stupefy Themselves?: And Other Writings

Elizabeth Gaskell
“…he strove to leave his life in the hands of God, and to forget himself.”
Elizabeth Gaskell, Ruth

Raymond Tallis
“There is a Greek proverb: ‘Each is furthest from himself’. It is open to many interpretations, but this is what it means to me: because we look out from within ourselves at the world around us, we tend, in a rather fundamental sense, to overlook ourselves. We are the dark centre, or the invisible origin, of the world with which we interact. At the heart of our concern with ourselves is a taking-for-granted, which prevents us from noticing at the deepest level that we exist. ‘I need this’, ‘I want that’, ‘I must do the other’ distracts us from the fact that ‘I’, the one who needs, wants, must do, is ourself; or that there is one who needs, wants, must do, and that one is I. In unremitting pursuit of our direct and indirect self-interests, and our responsibilities, we look away from the self that is interested and bears responsibility. It is presupposed but unvoiced.”
Raymond Tallis, I Am: A Philosophical Inquiry Into First-Person Being

Doris Kearns Goodwin
“The author writes that key FDR aide Harry Hopkins was in such poor health near the end of his boss's second term that one observer said he didn't know how Hopkins could possibly report to the president. But, at the onset of war and genuine national emergency, Hopkins was animated with a new sense of purpose.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II

George MacDonald
“The main obstacle to success he soon discovered to be Letty's exceeding distrust of herself. I would not be mistaken to mean that she had too little confidence in herself; of that no one can have too little. Self-distrust will only retard, while self-confidence will betray. The man ignorant in these things will answer me, "But you must have one or the other." "You must have neither," I reply. "You must follow the truth, and, in that pursuit, the less one thinks about himself, the pursuer, the better. Let him so hunger and thirst after the truth that the dim vision of it occupies all his being, and leaves no time to think of his hunger and his thirst. Self-forgetfulness in the reaching out after that which is essential to us is the healthiest of mental conditions. One has to look to his way, to his deeds, to his conduct--not to himself. In such losing of the false, or merely reflected, we find the true self. There is no harm in being stupid, so long as a man does not think himself clever; no good in being clever, if a man thinks himself so, for that is a short way to the worst stupidity. If you think yourself clever, set yourself to do something; then you will have a chance of humiliation. With good faculties, and fine instincts, Letty was always thinking she must be wrong, just because it was she was in it--a lovely fault, no doubt, but a fault greatly impeditive to progress, and tormenting to a teacher.”
George MacDonald, Mary Marston

“If we really desire God’s help, we should not look to ourselves, but to him... The more we are able to look outward and forget ourselves, the more easily our mind can be freed and healed by God.”
J. Heinrich Arnold, Freedom from Sinful Thoughts