„A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.“

Man's Search for Meaning (1946; 1959; 1984)
Context: A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. … For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory."

Last update May 22, 2020. History
Viktor E. Frankl photo
Viktor E. Frankl63
Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, and Holocaust surviv… 1905 - 1997

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Viktor E. Frankl photo
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington photo

„I never saw so many shocking bad hats in my life.“

—  Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington British soldier and statesman 1769 - 1852

When asked what he thought of the first Reformed Parliament, as quoted in Words on Wellington (1889) by Sir William Fraser, p. 12.

Henri Barbusse photo

„They pervert the most admirable of moral principles. How many are the crimes of which they have made virtues merely by dowering them with the word "national"? They distort even truth itself. For the truth which is eternally the same they substitute each their national truth. So many nations, so many truths; and thus they falsify and twist the truth.“

—  Henri Barbusse, book Under Fire

Under Fire (1916), Ch. 24 - The Dawn
Context: There are all those things against you. Against you and your great common interests which as you dimly saw are the same thing in effect as justice, there are not only the sword-wavers, the profiteers, and the intriguers.
There is not only the prodigious opposition of interested parties — financiers, speculators great and small, armorplated in their banks and houses, who live on war and live in peace during war, with their brows stubbornly set upon a secret doctrine and their faces shut up like safes.
There are those who admire the exchange of flashing blows, who hail like women the bright colors of uniforms; those whom military music and the martial ballads poured upon the public intoxicate as with brandy; the dizzy-brained, the feeble-minded, the superstitious, the savages.
There are those who bury themselves in the past, on whose lips are the sayings only of bygone days, the traditionalists for whom an injustice has legal force because it is perpetuated, who aspire to be guided by the dead, who strive to subordinate progress and the future and all their palpitating passion to the realm of ghosts and nursery-tales.
With them are all the parsons, who seek to excite you and to lull you to sleep with the morphine of their Paradise, so that nothing may change. There are the lawyers, the economists, the historians — and how many more? — who befog you with the rigmarole of theory, who declare the inter-antagonism of nationalities at a time when the only unity possessed by each nation of to-day is in the arbitrary map-made lines of her frontiers, while she is inhabited by an artificial amalgam of races; there are the worm-eaten genealogists, who forge for the ambitious of conquest and plunder false certificates of philosophy and imaginary titles of nobility. The infirmity of human intelligence is short sight. In too many cases, the wiseacres are dunces of a sort, who lose sight of the simplicity of things, and stifle and obscure it with formulae and trivialities. It is the small things that one learns from books, not the great ones.
And even while they are saying that they do not wish for war they are doing all they can to perpetuate it. They nourish national vanity and the love of supremacy by force. "We alone," they say, each behind his shelter, "we alone are the guardians of courage and loyalty, of ability and good taste!" Out of the greatness and richness of a country they make something like a consuming disease. Out of patriotism — which can be respected as long as it remains in the domain of sentiment and art on exactly the same footing as the sense of family and local pride, all equally sacred — out of patriotism they make a Utopian and impracticable idea, unbalancing the world, a sort of cancer which drains all the living force, spreads everywhere and crushes life, a contagious cancer which culminates either in the crash of war or in the exhaustion and suffocation of armed peace.
They pervert the most admirable of moral principles. How many are the crimes of which they have made virtues merely by dowering them with the word "national"? They distort even truth itself. For the truth which is eternally the same they substitute each their national truth. So many nations, so many truths; and thus they falsify and twist the truth.
Those are your enemies. All those people whose childish and odiously ridiculous disputes you hear snarling above you — "It wasn't me that began, it was you!" — "No, it wasn't me, it was you!" — "Hit me then!" — "No, you hit me!" — those puerilities that perpetuate the world's huge wound, for the disputants are not the people truly concerned, but quite the contrary, nor do they desire to have done with it; all those people who cannot or will not make peace on earth; all those who for one reason or another cling to the ancient state of things and find or invent excuses for it — they are your enemies!
They are your enemies as much as those German soldiers are to-day who are prostrate here between you in the mud, who are only poor dupes hatefully deceived and brutalized, domestic beasts. They are your enemies, wherever they were born, however they pronounce their names, whatever the language in which they lie. Look at them, in the heaven and on the earth. Look at them, everywhere! Identify them once for all, and be mindful for ever!

Wallace Stevens photo

„Are the ravishments of truth, so fatal to
The truth itself, the first idea becomes
The hermit in a poet’s metaphors“

—  Wallace Stevens American poet 1879 - 1955

Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction (1942), It Must Be Abstract
Context: p>So poisonousAre the ravishments of truth, so fatal to
The truth itself, the first idea becomes
The hermit in a poet’s metaphors,Who comes and goes and comes and goes all day.</p

George Eliot photo
Anthony Rapp photo

„I think it tells the truth and it cuts to the heart of so many profound aspects of human experience unlike many musicals, which cover more frivolous topics.“

—  Anthony Rapp American actor 1971

Of the musical Rent
One on one with Anthony Rapp on his return to "Rent": Livewire, April 7, 2009 http://www.concertlivewire.com/rentint.htm

Vita Sackville-West photo

„Of course I have no right whatsoever to write down the truth about my life involving as it naturally does the lives of so many other people, but I do so urged by a necessity of truth-telling, because there is no living soul who knows the complete truth“

—  Vita Sackville-West English writer and gardener 1892 - 1962

Autobiographical sketch (23 July 1920), published in Portrait of a Marriage : Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson (1998), p. 3
Context: Of course I have no right whatsoever to write down the truth about my life involving as it naturally does the lives of so many other people, but I do so urged by a necessity of truth-telling, because there is no living soul who knows the complete truth; here, may be one who knows a section; and there, one who knows another section: but to the whole picture not one is initiated.

Leo Tolstoy photo

„The recognition that love represents the highest morality was nowhere denied or contradicted, but this truth was so interwoven everywhere with all kinds of falsehoods which distorted it, that finally nothing of it remained but words.“

—  Leo Tolstoy, A Letter to a Hindu

Source: A Letter to a Hindu (1908), III
Context: The recognition that love represents the highest morality was nowhere denied or contradicted, but this truth was so interwoven everywhere with all kinds of falsehoods which distorted it, that finally nothing of it remained but words. It was taught that this highest morality was only applicable to private life — for home use, as it were — but that in public life all forms of violence — such as imprisonment, executions, and wars — might be used for the protection of the majority against a minority of evildoers, though such means were diametrically opposed to any vestige of love.

Zooey Deschanel photo

„My goal as an actor is always to be as truthful as possible, and to find the truth in the material I am representing. So I think that it’s the same with performing music.“

—  Zooey Deschanel American actress, musician, and singer-songwriter 1980

As quoted in "On Record : Zooey Deschanel of She & Him" at American Songwriter (18 March 2010).
Context: My goal as an actor is always to be as truthful as possible, and to find the truth in the material I am representing. So I think that it’s the same with performing music. But in a way, performing your own music, it’s easier to find the truth in it, because it’s coming from yourself. There’s no translation needed.

Sherwood Anderson photo
Henri Barbusse photo

„The truth is that the love of mankind is a single season among so many others. The truth is that we have within us something much more mortal than we are, and that it is this, all the same, which is all-important.“

—  Henri Barbusse French novelist 1873 - 1935

Light (1919), Ch. XIX - Ghosts
Context: The truth is that the love of mankind is a single season among so many others. The truth is that we have within us something much more mortal than we are, and that it is this, all the same, which is all-important. Therefore we survive very much longer than we live. There are things we think we know and which yet are secrets. Do we really know what we believe? We believe in miracles. We make great efforts to struggle, to go mad. We should like to let all our good deserts be seen. We fancy that we are exceptions and that something supernatural is going to come along. But the quiet peace of the truth fixes us. The impossible becomes again the impossible. We are as silent as silence itself.

Robert Charles Wilson photo
Simone de Beauvoir photo

„In spite of so many stubborn lies, at every moment, at every opportunity, the truth comes to light, the truth of life and death, of my solitude and my bond with the world, of my freedom and my servitude, of the insignificance and the sovereign importance of each man and all men.“

—  Simone de Beauvoir, book The Ethics of Ambiguity

Part I : Ambiguity and Freedom
The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947)
Context: In spite of so many stubborn lies, at every moment, at every opportunity, the truth comes to light, the truth of life and death, of my solitude and my bond with the world, of my freedom and my servitude, of the insignificance and the sovereign importance of each man and all men. There was Stalingrad and there was Buchenwald, and neither of the two wipes out the other. Since we do not succeed in fleeing it, let us therefore try to look the truth in the face. Let us try to assume our fundamental ambiguity. It is in the knowledge of the genuine conditions of our life that we must draw our strength to live and our reason for acting [C'est dans la connaissance des conditions authentiques de notre vie qu'il nous faut puiser la force de vivre et des raisons d'agir].

Henri Barbusse photo
Jiddu Krishnamurti photo

„Love comes first. To love truth, you must know truth. To know truth is to deny truth. What is known is not truth. What is known is already encased in time and ceases to be truth. Truth is an eternal movement, and so cannot be measured in words or in time. It cannot be held in the fist. You cannot love something which you do not know. But truth is not to be found in books, in images, in temples. It is to be found in action, in living. The very search for the unknown is love itself“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti Indian spiritual philosopher 1895 - 1986

Vol. IV, p. 172
Posthumous publications, The Collected Works
Context: Questioner: Can one love truth without loving man? Can one love man without loving truth? What comes first?
Krishnamurti: Love comes first. To love truth, you must know truth. To know truth is to deny truth. What is known is not truth. What is known is already encased in time and ceases to be truth. Truth is an eternal movement, and so cannot be measured in words or in time. It cannot be held in the fist. You cannot love something which you do not know. But truth is not to be found in books, in images, in temples. It is to be found in action, in living. The very search for the unknown is love itself, and you cannot search for the unknowable away from relationship. You cannot search for reality, or for what you will, in isolation. It comes into being only in relationship, only when there is right relationship between man and man. So the love of man is the search for reality.

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