“Why is it so important what – others have done? Why does it become sacred by the mere fact of not being your own? Why is anyone and everyone right – so long it’s not yourself? Why does the number of those others take the place of truth? Why is truth made a mere matter of arithmetic – and only addition at that! Why is everything twisted out of all sense to fit everything else? There must be some reason. I don’t know. I’ve never known it. I’d like to understand.”
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
“Whoever thinks more deeply knows that he is always wrong, whatever his acts and judgments.”
– Nietzsche, Man Alone With Himself
“The elementary truth that there is being – a being that has value and weight – is revealed at a depth that measures its brutality and its seriousness. The pleasant game of life ceases to be just a game. It is not that the sufferings with which life threatens us render it displeasing; rather it is because the ground of suffering consists of the impossibility of interupting it, and of an acute feeling of being held fast [rivé]. The impossibility of getting out of the game and of giving back to things their toy-like uselesness heralds the precise instant at which infancy comes to an end, and defines the very notion of seriousness..”
– Emmanuel Levinas, On Escape
“In the hands of someone who imperiously manipulates it, the word points sometimes toward one meaning, sometimes toward another; and without its losing any of its proper value or true character, one sees appear properties one might not have suspected”
– Émile Littré
“If we believe the Christian religion, our notions of what is good will be different from what they will be if we do not believe it. Therefore to Christians the effects of Christianity may seem good, while to unbelievers they may seem bad. Moreover, the attitude that one ought to believe such and such a proposition, independently of the question whether there is evidence in its favour, is an attitude which produces hostility to evidence and causes us to close our minds to every fact that does not suit our prejudices.
A certain kind of scientific candour is a very important quality, and it is one which can hardly exist in a man who imagines that there are things which it is his duty to believe.”
– Bertrand Russel, Has religion made useful contributions to civilisation?
The Essential Schopenhauer: Key Selections from The World as Will and Representation and Other Writings.
I believe this book really contains the essential Schopenhauer. The introduction is very well written and the book itself is made to be taken with you everywhere. I am usually partial to hardcover books, because paperbacks make me nervous. But this book bends and moves with me, I don’t know what they made the cover of, but I like it, it doesn’t crack, tear, fold or peel, it’s hardy.
I feel like the cover accurately represents the mindset you must adopt before reading Schopenhauer. The man speaks the truth, the hardest truth, he’s honest, courageous and unwavering, just as you ought to be when you read him. The book opens wide without the spine cracking, unlike other paperbacks. It should challenge you in such a way that you have to carry it with you. And then one day while on your coffee break at the local café, you’ll look up to take a sip from your exotically named muddy drink, glance around at the people walking by and you’ll realize you understand the world a lot better.
“All truth passes trough three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”