The Self Quotes

Quotes tagged as "the-self" (showing 1-30 of 121)
Walker Percy
“The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages.

As John Cheever said, the main emotion of the adult Northeastern American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment.

Work is disappointing. In spite of all the talk about making work more creative and self-fulfilling, most people hate their jobs, and with good reason. Most work in modern technological societies is intolerably dull and repetitive.

Marriage and family life are disappointing. Even among defenders of traditional family values, e.g., Christians and Jews, a certain dreariness must be inferred, if only from the average time of TV viewing. Dreary as TV is, it is evidently not as dreary as Mom talking to Dad or the kids talking to either.

School is disappointing. If science is exciting and art is exhilarating, the schools and universities have achieved the not inconsiderable feat of rendering both dull. As every scientist and poet knows, one discovers both vocations in spite of, not because of, school. It takes years to recover from the stupor of being taught Shakespeare in English Lit and Wheatstone's bridge in Physics.

Politics is disappointing. Most young people turn their backs on politics, not because of the lack of excitement of politics as it is practiced, but because of the shallowness, venality, and image-making as these are perceived through the media--one of the technology's greatest achievements.

The churches are disappointing, even for most believers. If Christ brings us new life, it is all the more remarkable that the church, the bearer of this good news, should be among the most dispirited institutions of the age. The alternatives to the institutional churches are even more grossly disappointing, from TV evangelists with their blown-dry hairdos to California cults led by prosperous gurus ignored in India but embraced in La Jolla.

Social life is disappointing. The very franticness of attempts to reestablish community and festival, by partying, by groups, by club, by touristy Mardi Gras, is the best evidence of the loss of true community and festival and of the loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection.

But there remains the one unquestioned benefit of science: the longer and healthier life made possible by modern medicine, the shorter work-hours made possible by technology, hence what is perceived as the one certain reward of dreary life of home and the marketplace: recreation.

Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution.”
Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book

Parker J. Palmer
“Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”
Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation

Timothy J. Keller
“Those dreaming of the perfect match are outnumbered by those who don't really want it at all, though perhaps they can't admit it. After all, our culture makes individual freedom, autonomy and fulfillment the very highest values, and thoughtful people know deep down that any love relationship at all means the loss of all three. You can say, 'I want someone who will accept me just as I am,' but in your heart of hearts you know that you are not perfect, that there are plenty of things about you that need to be changed, and that anyone who gets to know you up close and personal will want to change them.”
Timothy J. Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

Erich Fromm
“The frightened individual seeks for somebody or something to tie his self to; he cannot bear to be his own individual self any longer, and he tries frantically to get rid of it and to feel security again by the elimination of this burden: the self.”
Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

Michael Ondaatje
“To rest was to receive all aspects of the world without judgment. A bath in the sea, a fuck with a soldier who never knew your name. Tenderness toward the unknown and anonymous, which was tenderness to the self.”
Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Timothy J. Keller
“In Ephesians 5, Paul shows us that even on earth Jesus did not use his power to oppress us but sacrificed everything to bring us into union with him. And this takes us beyond the philosophical to the personal and the practical. If God had the gospel of Jesus's salvation in mind when he established marriage, then marriage only 'works' to the degree that approximates the pattern of God's self-giving love in Christ.”
Timothy J. Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

Geoff Ryman
“In a sense who you are has always been a story that you told to yourself. Now your self is a story that you tell to others.”
Geoff Ryman, Paradise Tales: and Other Stories

Donald Davidson
“There are three basic problems: how a mind can know the world of nature, how it is possible for one mind to know another, and how it is possible to know the contents of our own minds without resort to observation or evidence. It is a mistake, I shall urge, to suppose that these questions can be collapsed into two, or taken into isolation.”
Donald Davidson

“It's the words we whisper to ourselves that make us who we are.”
Marty Rubin

Milan Kundera
“Bacon's portraits are an interrogation on the limits of the self. Up to what degree of distortion does an individual still remain himself? To what degree of distortion does a beloved person still remain a beloved person? For how long does a cherished face growing remote through illness, through madness, through hatred, through death still remain recognizable? Where is the border beyond which a self ceases to be a self?”
Milan Kundera, Encounter

“A name is a mask, a hiding place. We are all nameless inside.”
Marty Rubin

“Get rid of all that societal and cultural baggage. The true self is no one.”
Marty Rubin

Suzy  Davies
“Good writers always have a strong sense of who they are and who they are not. Like actors, their boundaries are strong, and fluid. They have a deep understanding of the human condition, and an empathy that is not so diffuse that it is diluted.”
Suzy Davies

Dada Bhagwan
“There are two types of purusharth (effort): one is the purusharth that arises from prarabdh (effect of past life karma), relative effort. The seeds that are sown from prarabdh give rise to relative effort. The second purusharth is the effort that arises after one attains Purush (the Self), real effort. With whatever intent one suffers the effect of past life karma, that intent is bhrant purusharth (illusory effort)!”
Dada Bhagwan, Simple & Effective Science for Self Realization

“The "real" me? I can live without him.”
Marty Rubin

“Know yourself? Why not forget yourself instead?”
Marty Rubin

Dada Bhagwan
“If You [the Self] remain as the Knower-Seer of all the kriya (activities of the mind-speech-body), then all the activities are in the form of galan (discharge). Bad habits and good habits are all in fact in the form of discharge.”
Dada Bhagwan, Spirituality in Speech

Joseph Rain
“A meaningful life path does not demand that we compare ourselves, or demonstrate our creative talents, to others; it demands that we re-discover and follow the truth of the self.”
Joseph Rain, The Unfinished Book About Who We Are

Joseph Rain
“Are you busy with important stuff? Ask yourself this: Who's doing the important stuff? You? If that's true, then surely knowing who you are should be the most important stuff of all.”
Joseph Rain, The Unfinished Book About Who We Are

Søren Kierkegaard
“Hence it is a superficial view (which presumably has never seen a person in despair, not even one’s own self) when it is said of a man in despair, "He is consuming himself." For precisely this it is he despairs of, and to his torment it is precisely this he cannot do, since by despair fire has entered into something that cannot burn, or cannot burn up, that is, into the self.”
Søren Kierkegaard

Helen Oyeyemi
“The situation improved once it occurred to them that they should also talk; as they came to understand each other they learned that what they'd been afraid of was running out of self. On the contrary the more they loved the more there was to love”
Helen Oyeyemi, What is Not Yours is Not Yours

Simone de Beauvoir
“That’s what’s so wonderful about you, you’re so self-sufficient that I feel that you’ve created your own self.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Blood of Others

“Whatever we may be or seem to others, to ourselves we are always just ourselves”
Marty Rubin

“Whatever we may be or not be to others, to ourselves we are always just ourselves.”
Marty Rubin

“You are not that which you experience
Because there is always
A subject to the experience.
That subject… Is YOU!”
SantataGamana, Kriya Yoga Exposed: The Truth About Current Kriya Yoga Gurus, Organizations & Going Beyond Kriya, Contains the Explanation of a Special Technique Never Revealed Before

“Knowing Oneself by oneself
Is using our present consciousness—oneself
To know the Infinite Consciousness—Oneself,”
SantataGamana, Kriya Yoga Exposed: The Truth About Current Kriya Yoga Gurus, Organizations & Going Beyond Kriya, Contains the Explanation of a Special Technique Never Revealed Before

Clément Rosset
“The various aspects of illusion described so far refer to a single function, a single structure, a single failure. The function is to protect from the real; the structure does not involve refusing to perceive the real but, rather, splitting it in two; the failure lies in recognizing the protective double too late as the very reality from which one thought one had found protection. This is the curse of evasion: by way of a phantasmatic duplication, it sends us back to the undesirable starting point, the real. We can see now why evasion is always a mistake: it is always inoperative, because the real is always right. We may, admittedly, try to protect ourselves from a future event, if that happens to be possible; we shall never protect ourselves from a past or present event or one that is 'certain to come to pass,' as in the oracular symbolics which announces in advance an ineluctable necessity that already has all the characteristics of a present necessity. And the act by which one attempts to slough off that necessity will never be able to 'do any better' than literally reproduce the feared even or, even more exactly, constitute that event. This is what happens to Oedipus, as it happens to everyone at odds with himself - that is to say, to everyone at some point or other of his existence.”
Clément Rosset, Le réel et son double

“If you look deep enough into anyone's eyes you will see yourself.”
Bert McCoy

Julian Barnes
“He knew what they said of him locally: Oh, he likes to keep himself to himself. The phrase was descriptive, not judgemental. It was a principle of life the English still respected. And it wasn't just about privacy, about an Englishman's home—even a pebbledash semi—being his castle. It was about something more: about the self, and where you kept it, and who, if anyone, was allowed to fully see it.”
Julian Barnes, The Only Story

D.H. Lawrence
“She was old; millions of years old, she felt. And at last, she could bear the burden of herself no more.”
D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

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