— William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
Context: There is a region in the experience of pain where the certainty of alleviation often permits superhuman endurance. We learn to live with pain in varying degrees daily, or over longer periods of time, and we are more often than not mercifully free of it. When we endure severe discomfort of a physical nature our conditioning has taught us since childhood to make accommodations to the pain’s demands — o accept it, whether pluckily or whimpering and complaining, according to our personal degree of stoicism, but in any case to accept it. Except in intractable terminal pain, there is almost always some form of relief; we look forward to that alleviation, whether it be through sleep or Tylenol or self-hypnosis or a change of posture or, most often, through the body’s capacity for healing itself, and we embrace this eventual respite as the natural reward we receive for having been, temporarily, such good sports and doughty sufferers, such optimistic cheerleaders for life at heart. In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come — not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying — or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity — but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one's bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes. VI
— William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
„"It's a strange world," I murmured, more to myself than to the other native soul.
"The strangest," he agreed.“
— Stephenie Meyer American author 1973
Wanderer and Burns Living Flowers, p. 619
„A dramatist is one who believes that the pure event, an action involving human beings, is more arresting than any comment that can be made upon it.“
— Thornton Wilder American playwright and novelist 1897 - 1975
„Life is much richer and more complex than even the most perfect plans to make it better. It ultimately takes vengeance for attempts to impose abstract schemes, even with the best of intentions.“
— Mikhail Gorbachev General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 1931
Context: I see the decision to award me the Nobel Peace Prize also as an act of solidarity with the monumental undertaking which has already placed enormous demands on the Soviet people in terms of efforts, costs, hardships, willpower, and character. And solidarity is a universal value which is becoming indispensable for progress and for the survival of humankind. But a modern state has to be worthy of solidarity, in other words, it should pursue, in both domestic and international affairs, policies that bring together the interests of its people and those of the world community. This task, however obvious, is not a simple one. Life is much richer and more complex than even the most perfect plans to make it better. It ultimately takes vengeance for attempts to impose abstract schemes, even with the best of intentions. Perestroika has made us understand this about our past, and the actual experience of recent years has taught us to reckon with the most general laws of civilization.
— Sallustius Roman philosopher and writer
Context: The doctrine of virtue and vice depends on that of the soul. When the irrational soul enters into the body and immediately produces fight and desire, the rational soul, put in authority over all these, makes the soul tripartite, composed of reason, fight, and desire. Virtue in the region of reason is wisdom, in the region of fight is courage, in the region of desire is temperance; the virtue of the whole soul is righteousness. It is for reason to judge what is right, for fight in obedience to reason to despise things that appear terrible, for desire to pursue not the apparently desirable, but, that which is with reason desirable. When these things are so, we have a righteous life; for righteousness in matters of property is but a small part of virtue. And thus we shall find all four virtues in properly trained men, but among the untrained one may be brave and unjust, another temperate and stupid, another prudent and unprincipled. Indeed, these qualities should not be called virtues when they are devoid of reason and imperfect and found in irrational beings. Vice should be regarded as consisting of the opposite elements. In reason it is folly, in fight, cowardice, in desire, intemperance, in the whole soul, unrighteousness. The virtues are produced by the right social organization and by good rearing and education, the vices by the opposite. X. Concerning Virtue and Vice.
„Power dements even more than it corrupts, lowering the guard of foresight and raising the haste of action.“
— Will Durant American historian, philosopher and writer 1885 - 1981
As quoted in Midnight by Dean Koontz <!-- would prefer citation of original work -->
— Robert Smith Surtees English writer 1805 - 1864
The Analysis of the Hunting Field (1846) ch. 1
— Denis Diderot French Enlightenment philosopher and encyclopædist 1713 - 1784
As quoted in Thesaurus of Epigrams: A New Classified Collection of Witty Remarks, Bon Mots and Toasts (1942) by Edmund Fuller
„At court, far from regarding ambition as a sin, people regard it as a virtue, or if it passes for a vice, then it is regarded as the vice of great souls, and the vices of great souls are preferred to the virtues of the simple and the small.“
— Louis Bourdaloue French serman writer 1632 - 1704
as quoted in The Bourgeois: Catholicism vs. Capitalism in Eighteenth-Century France (1927), p. 137
„If the immortal is also imperishable, the soul when attacked by death cannot perish; for the preceding argument shows that the soul will not admit of death, or even be dead, any more than three or the odd number will admit of the even...“
— Socrates classical Greek Athenian philosopher -469 - -399 до н.э.
— Philo Roman philosopher -20 - 45 до н.э.