„All my life I have been acutely aware of a contradiction in the very nature of my existence.“

As quoted in Mishima : A Life in Four Chapters (1985).
Context: All my life I have been acutely aware of a contradiction in the very nature of my existence. For forty-five years I struggled to resolve this dilemma by writing plays and novels. The more I wrote, the more I realized mere words were not enough. So I found another form of expression.

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
Yukio Mishima photo
Yukio Mishima60
Japanese author 1925 - 1970

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„I have been a damn fool all my life, searching for something which does not exist. My search is at an end.“

—  U.G. Krishnamurti, book Mind is a Myth

Quoted in Introduction by Terry Newland
Mind is a Myth (1987)
Context: I have assumed that the goal, enlightenment, exists. I have had to search and it is the search itself which has been choking me and keeping me out of my natural state. There is no such thing as spiritual or psychological enlightenment because there is no such thing as spirit or psyche. I have been a damn fool all my life, searching for something which does not exist. My search is at an end.

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„The theme of displacement is very natural for me. It always comes up in my books because I have been a foreigner all my life and I don’t feel I belong anywhere. I’m an immigrant.“

—  Isabel Allende Chilean writer 1942

On how her sense of self remains tied to her native country in “Isabel Allende: 'Few couples survive the death of one child, let alone three'” https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/dec/02/isabel-allende-interview-marriage-breakup-the-japanese-lover in The Guardian (2015 Dec 2)

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„I profess my Faith. For me, the existence of all this complexity and awareness and intent and beauty, and my ability to apprehend it, serves as the ultimate meaning and the ultimate value.“

—  Ursula Goodenough American biologist 1943

Quoted in "Speaking of Faith: The Morality of Nature" by Krista Tippett in American Public Media (7 April 2005) http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/moralityofnature/kristasjournal.shtml
Context: I profess my Faith. For me, the existence of all this complexity and awareness and intent and beauty, and my ability to apprehend it, serves as the ultimate meaning and the ultimate value. The continuation of life reaches around, grabs its own tail, and forms a sacred circle that requires no further justification, no Creator, no super-ordinate meaning of meaning, no purpose other than that the continuation continue until the sun collapses or the final meteor collides. I confess a credo of continuation. And in so doing, I confess as well a credo of human continuation.

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„All through my life, I have been tested. My will has been tested, my courage has been tested, my strength has been tested. Now my patience and endurance are being tested.“

—  Muhammad Ali, book The Soul of a Butterfly

The Soul of a Butterfly, 2004
Variant: All through my life I have been tested. My will has been tested, my courage has been tested, my strength has been tested. Now my patience and endurance are being tested.
Source: The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life's Journey

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„You know, I've been around the ruling class all my life, and I've been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country.“

—  Gore Vidal American writer 1925 - 2012

On the Media http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=345
2000s, What I've Learned (2008), Gore Vidal's America (2009)

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„And if that plunges me into contradiction and paradox, so be it; I've lived in that messy ocean all my life. I've fished in it for my art.“

—  Salman Rushdie British Indian novelist and essayist 1947

Address at Columbia University (1991)
Context: "Our lives teach us who we are." I have learned the hard way that when you permit anyone else's description of reality to supplant your own — and such descriptions have been raining down on me, from security advisers, governments, journalists, Archbishops, friends, enemies, mullahs — then you might as well be dead. Obviously, a rigid, blinkered, absolutist world view is the easiest to keep hold of, whereas the fluid, uncertain, metamorphic picture I've always carried about is rather more vulnerable. Yet I must cling with all my might to … my own soul; must hold on to its mischievous, iconoclastic, out-of-step clown-instincts, no matter how great the storm. And if that plunges me into contradiction and paradox, so be it; I've lived in that messy ocean all my life. I've fished in it for my art. This turbulent sea was the sea outside my bedroom window in Bombay. It is the sea by which I was born, and which I carry within me wherever I go.
"Free speech is a non-starter," says one of my Islamic extremist opponents. No, sir, it is not. Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.

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„I have been an Anarchist all my life. I hope I have remained one.“

—  Buenaventura Durruti Spanish anarchist 1896 - 1936

On his military leadership against fascist troops in Spain, as quoted in "Durruti Is Dead, Yet Living" (1936) http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Goldman/Writings/Essays/durruti.html, by Emma Goldman
Context: I have been an Anarchist all my life. I hope I have remained one. I should consider it very sad indeed, had I to turn into a general and rule the men with a military rod. They have come to me voluntarily, they are ready to stake their lives in our antifascist fight. I believe, as I always have, in freedom. The freedom which rests on the sense of responsibility. I consider discipline indispensable, but it must be inner discipline, motivated by a common purpose and a strong feeling of comradeship.

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„Of all the idiots I have met in my life, and the Lord knows that they have not been few or little, I think that I have been the biggest.“

—  Karen Blixen Danish writer 1885 - 1962

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„I feel in my heart all commotions and all contradictions, the joys and sorrows of life. But I struggle to subdue them to a rhythm superior to that of the mind, harsher than that of my heart — to the ascending rhythm of the Universe.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

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Context: I put my body through its paces like a war horse; I keep it lean, sturdy, prepared. I harden it and I pity it. I have no other steed.
I keep my brain wide awake, lucid, unmerciful. I unleash it to battle relentlessly so that, all light, it may devour the darkness of the flesh. I have no other workshop where I may transform darkness into light.
I keep my heart flaming, courageous, restless. I feel in my heart all commotions and all contradictions, the joys and sorrows of life. But I struggle to subdue them to a rhythm superior to that of the mind, harsher than that of my heart — to the ascending rhythm of the Universe.

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„A very special thanks to all the women that have cum in and out of my life.“

—  Eamon (singer) American singer 1984

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„The confusion is not my invention. We cannot listen to a conversation for five minutes without being acutely aware of the confusion. It is all around us and our only chance now is to let it in.“

—  Samuel Beckett Irish novelist, playwright, and poet 1906 - 1989

Tom F. Driver, "Beckett by the Madeleine" (1961), Columbia University Forum 4 (Summer 1961): 21-25; it later appeared in Stanley A. Clayes, ed., Drama and Discussion (1967), pp. 604-7, as quoted in "Rick On Theater" 25 January 2018 http://rickontheater.blogspot.com/2018/01/beckett-by-madeleine.html.

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„In relating the circumstances which have led to my confinement within this refuge for the demented, I am aware that my present position will create a natural doubt of the authenticity of my narrative.“

—  H.P. Lovecraft, book The Tomb

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Context: In relating the circumstances which have led to my confinement within this refuge for the demented, I am aware that my present position will create a natural doubt of the authenticity of my narrative. It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience. Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of super-sight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism.

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„I am contradicted at this moment on politics, and the smile that comes to my face is not an act of my will, so much it comes naturally, from the satisfaction that I prove that I experience seeing one of my difficulties disappearing.“

—  Louis Riel Canadian politician 1844 - 1885

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Context: I am contradicted at this moment on politics, and the smile that comes to my face is not an act of my will, so much it comes naturally, from the satisfaction that I prove that I experience seeing one of my difficulties disappearing. Should I be executed, at least if I were going to be executed, I would not be executed as an insane man, it would be a great consolation for my mother, for my wife, for my children, for my brothers, for my relatives, even for my protectors, for my countrymen. I thank the gentlemen who were composing the Jury for having recommended me to the clemency of the Court. When I express the great hope that I have just expressed to you, I don't express it without ground, my hopes are reasonable, and since they are recommended, since the recommendation of the Jury to the Crown is for clemency.

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