The Importance of Living Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Importance of Living The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang
823 ratings, 4.12 average rating, 108 reviews
Open Preview
The Importance of Living Quotes (showing 1-30 of 43)
“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
tags: tea
“Those who are wise won't be busy, and those who are too busy can't be wise.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“Reality - Dreams = Animal Being
Reality + Dreams = A Heart-Ache (usually called Idealism)
Reality + Humor = Realism (also called Conservatism)
Dreams - Humor = Fanaticism
Dreams + Humor = Fantasy
Reality + Dreams + Humor = Wisdom”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“The man who has not the habit of reading is imprisoned in his immediate world, in respect to time and space. His life falls into a set routine; he is limited to contact and conversation with a few friends and acquaintances, and he sees only what happens in his immediate neighbourhood. From this prison there is no escape. But the moment he takes up a book, he immediately enters a different world, and if it is a good book, he is immediately put in touch with one of the best talkers of the world. This talker leads him on and carries him into a different country or a different age, or unburdens to him some of his personal regrets, or discusses with him some special line or aspect of life that the reader knows nothing about. An ancient author puts him in communion with a dead spirit of long ago, and as he reads along, he begins to imagine what the ancient author looked like and what type of person he was.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“Anyone who reads a book with a sense of obligation does not understand the art of reading.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“If one's bowels move, one is happy, and if they don't move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“There are no books in this world that everybody must read, but only books that a person must read at a certain time in a given place under given circumstances and at a given period of his life.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“There is no proper time and place for reading. When the mood for reading comes, one can read anywhere”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“I regard the discovery of one’s favorite author as the most critical event in one’s intellectual development.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
tags: books
“And if the reader has no taste for what he reads, all the time is wasted”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“In fact,I believe the reason why the Chinese failed to develop botany and zoology is that the Chinese scholar cannot stare coldly and unemotionally at a fish without immediately thinking of how it tastes in the mouth and wanting to eat it. The reason I don't trust Chinese surgeons is that I am afraid that when a Chinese surgeon cuts up my liver in search of a gall-stone, he may forget about the stone and put my liver in a frying pan.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“There is a certain proper and luxurious way of lying in bed. Confucius, that great artist of life, "never lay straight" in bed, "like a corpse", but always curled up on one side. I believe one of the greatest pleasures of life is to curl up one's legs in bed. The posture of the arms is also very important, in order to reach the greatest degree of aesthetic pleasure and mental power. I believe the best posture is not lying flat on the bed, but being upholstered with big soft pillows at an angle of thirty degrees with either one arm or both arms placed behind the back of one's head.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“The moment a student gives up his right of personal judgment, he is in for accepting all the humbugs of life”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“Happiness for me is largely a matter of digestion.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“Reading books in one's youth is like looking at the moon through a crevice; reading books in middle age is like looking at the moon in one's courtyard; and reading books in old age is like looking at the moon on an open terrace.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“When one's thoughts and experience have not reached a certain point for reading a masterpiece, the masterpiece will leave only a bad flavor on his palate.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“The outstanding characteristic of Western scholarship is its specialization and cutting up of knowledge into different departments. The over-development of logical thinking and specialization, with its technical phraseology, has brought about the curious fact of modern civilization, that philosophy has been so far relegated to the background, far behind politics and economics, that the average man can pass it by without a twinge of conscience. The feeling of the average man, even of the educated person, is that philosophy is a "subject" which he can best afford to go without. This is certainly a strange anomaly of modern culture, for philosophy, which should lie closest to men's bosom and business, has become most remote from life. It was not so in the classical civilization of the Greeks and Romans, and it was not so in China, where the study of wisdom of life formed the scholars' chief occupation. Either the modern man is not interested in the problems of living, which are the proper subject of philosophy, or we have gone a long way from the original conception of philosophy.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“In contrast to logic, there is common sense, or still better, the Spirit of Reasonableness.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“As Walt Whitman says, “I am sufficient as I am.” It is sufficient that I live—and am probably going to live for another few decades—and that human life exists. Viewed that way, the problem becomes amazingly simple and admits of no two answers. What can be the end of human life except the enjoyment of it?”
Lin Yutang, Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living
“I can see no other reason for the existence of art and poetry and religion except as they tend to restore in us a freshness of vision and more emotional glamour and more vital sense of life.”
Lin Yutang, Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living
“After all, only he who handles his ideas lightly is master of his ideas, and only he who is master of his ideas is not enslaved by them. Seriousness, after all, is only a sign of effort, and effort is a sign of imperfect mastery,”
Lin Yutang, Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living
“And did not the degeneration of religion begin with reason itself? As Santayana says, the process of degeneration of religion was due to too much reasoning: “This religion unhappily long ago ceased to be wisdom expressed in fancy in order to become superstition overlaid with reasoning.” The decay of religion is due to the pedantic spirit, in the invention of creeds, formulas, articles of faith, doctrines and apologies. We become increasingly less pious as we increasingly justify and rationalize our beliefs and become so sure that we are right.”
Lin Yutang, Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living
“Who are we? That is the first question. It is a question almost impossible to answer. But we all agree that the busy self occupied in our daily activities is not quite the real self. We are quite sure we have lost something in the mere pursuit of living.”
Lin Yutang, Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living
“Nothing matters to a man who says nothing matters,”
Lin Yutang, Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living
“Philosophy not only begins with the individual, but also ends with the individual. For an individual is the final fact of life. He is an end in himself, and not a means to other creations of the human mind. The”
Lin Yutang, Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living
“Now it must be taken for granted that simplicity of life and thought is the highest and sanest ideal for civilization and culture, that when a civilization loses simplicity and the sophisticated do not return to unsophistication, civilization becomes increasingly full of troubles and degenerates. Man then becomes the slave of the ideas, thoughts, ambitions and social systems that are his own product.”
Lin Yutang, Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living
“Scholars who are worth anything at all never know what is call "a hard grind" or what "bitter study" means.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“The critical mind is too thin and cold, thinking itself will help little and reason will be of small avail; only the spirit of reasonableness, a sort of warm, glowing, emotional and intuitive thinking, joined with compassion, will insure us against a reversion to our ancestral type. Only the development of our life to bring it into harmony with our instincts can save us. I consider the education of our senses and our emotions rather more important than the education of our ideas.”
Lin Yutang, Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living
“With the predominance of economic problems and economic thinking, which is overshadowing all other forms of human thinking, we remain completely ignorant of, and indifferent to, a more humanized knowledge and a more humanized philosophy, a philosophy that deals with the problems of the individual life.”
Lin Yutang, Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living

« previous 1

All Quotes
Quotes By Lin Yutang
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game