Letters on Life Quotes

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Letters on Life Letters on Life by Rainer Maria Rilke
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Letters on Life Quotes (showing 1-12 of 12)
“I have often wondered whether especially those days when we are forced to remain idle are not precisely the days spend in the most profound activity. Whether our actions themselves, even if they do not take place until later, are nothing more than the last reverberations of a vast movement that occurs within us during idle days.

In any case, it is very important to be idle with confidence, with devotion, possibly even with joy. The days when even our hands do not stir are so exceptionally quiet that it is hardly possible to raise them without hearing a whole lot.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life
“I confess that I consider life to be a thing of the most untouchable deliciousness, and that even the confluence of so many disasters and deprivations, the exposure of countless fates, everything that insurmountably increased for us over the past few years to become a still rising terror cannot distract me from the fullness and goodness of existence that is inclined toward us.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life
“Nothing makes it more difficult to help than the intention of doing so.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life
“We lead our lives so poorly because we arrive in the present always unprepared, incapable, and too distracted for everything.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life
“Wishes are memories coming from our future!”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life
“You have to live life to the limit, not according to each day but according to its depth. One does not have to do what comes next if one feels a greater affinity with that which happens later, at a remove, even in a remote distance. One may dream while others are saviors if these dreams are more real to oneself than reality and more necessary than bread. In a word: one ought to turn the most extreme possibility inside oneself into the measure for one’s life, for our life is vast and can accommodate as much future as we are able to carry.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life
“Art is childhood.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life
“No one would dream of expecting a single individual to be "happy"—once someone is married, however, everyone is very astonished when he is not happy!”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life
“Fame is nothing but the sum of all the misunderstandings that cluster around a new name…Wherever a human achievement becomes truly great, it seeks to hide its face in the lap of general, nameless greatness.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life
tags: fame
“As soon as two people have resolved to give up their togetherness, the resulting pain with its heaviness or particularity is already so completely part of the life of each individual that the other has to sternly deny himself to become sentimental and feel pity. The beginning of the agreed-upon separation is marked precisely by this pain, and its first challenge will be that this pain already belongs separately to each of the two individuals. This pain is an essential condition of what the now solitary and most lonely individual will have to create in the future out of his reclaimed life. If two people managed not to get stuck in hatred during their honest struggles with each other, that is, in the edges of their passion that became ragged and sharp when it cooled and set, if they could stay fluid, active, flexible, and changeable in all of their interactions and relations, and, in a word, if a mutually human and friendly consideration remained available to them, then their decision to separate cannot easily conjure disaster and terror. When it is a matter of a separation, pain should already belong in its entirety to that other life from which you wish to separate. Otherwise the two individuals will continually become soft toward each other, causing helpless and unproductive suffering. In the process of a firmly agreed-upon separation, however, the pain itself constitutes an important investment in the renewal and fresh start that is to be achieved on both sides. People in your situation might have to communicate as friends. But then these two separated lives should remain without any knowledge of the other for a period and exist as far apart and as detached from the other as possible. This is necessary for each life to base itself firmly on its new requirements and circumstances. Any subsequent contact (which may then be truly new and perhaps very happy) has to remain a matter of unpredictable design and direction. If you find that you scare yourself.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life
“You know that I am not one of those individuals who neglect their body in order to turn it into an offering for their soul; my soul would not at all have appreciated such a sacrifice.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life: New Prose Translations
“Above all marriage is a new task and a new seriousness—a new challenge and a question regarding the strength and kindness of each participant and a new great danger for both.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life