„We replace God as best we can; for every god is good, provided he perpetuates in eternity our desire for a crucial solitude....“
— Emil M. Cioran Romanian philosopher and essayist 1911 - 1995
— Emil M. Cioran Romanian philosopher and essayist 1911 - 1995
— Arthur Schopenhauer German philosopher 1788 - 1860
Unverified attribution noted in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1993), ed. Suzy Platt, Library of Congress, p. 39; compare Heraclitus: Nothing endures but change.
— Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Indian philosopher and statesman who was the first Vice President and the second President of India 1888 - 1975
Context: The Flag links up the past and the present. It is the legacy bequeathed to us by the architects of our liberty. Those who fought under this Flag are mainly responsible for the arrival of this great day of Independence for India. Pandit Jawaharlal has pointed out to you that it is not a day of joy unmixed with sorrow. The Congress fought for unity and liberty. The unity has been compromised; liberty too. I feel, has been compromised, unless we are able to face the tasks which now confront us with courage, strength and vision. What is essential to-day is to equip ourselves with new strength and with new character if these difficulties are to be overcome and if the country is to achieve the great ideal of unity and liberty which it fought for. Times are hard. Everywhere we are consumed by phantasies. Our minds are haunted by myths. The world is full of misunderstandings, suspicions and distrusts. In these difficult days it depends on us under what banner we fight. Here we are Putting in the very centre the white, the white of the Sun's rays. The white means the path of light. There is darkness even at noon as some People have urged, but it is necessary for us to dissipate these clouds of darkness and control our conduct-by the ideal light, the light of truth, of transparent simplicity which is illustrated by the colour of white. We cannot attain purity, we cannot gain our goal of truth, unless we walk in the path of virtue. The Asoka's wheel represents to us the wheel of the Law, the wheel Dharma. Truth can be gained only by the pursuit of the path of Dharma, by the practice of virtue. Truth,—Satya, Dharma —Virtue, these ought to be the controlling principles of all those who work under this Flag. It also tells us that the Dharma is something which is perpetually moving. If this country has suffered in the recent past, it is due to our resistance to change. There are ever so many challenges hurled at us and if we have not got the courage and the strength to move along with the times, we will be left behind. There are ever so many institutions which are worked into our social fabric like caste and untouchability. Unless these things are scrapped we cannot say that we either seek truth or practise virtue. This wheel which is a rotating thing, which is a perpetually revolving thing, indicates to us that there is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. Our Dharma is Sanatana, eternal, not in the sense that it is a fixed deposit but in the sense that it is perpetually changing. Its uninterrupted continuity is its Sanatana character. So even with regard to our social conditions it is essential for us to move forward. The red, the orange, the Bhagwa colour, represents the spirit of renunciation. All forms of renunciation are to be embodied in Raja Dharma. Philosophers must be kings. Our leaders must be disinterested. They must be dedicated spirits. They must be people who are imbued with the spirit of renunciation which that saffron, colour has transmitted to us from the beginning of our history. That stands for the fact that the World belongs not to the wealthy, not to the prosperous but to the meek and the humble, the dedicated and the detached. That spirit of detachment that spirit of renunciation is represented by the orange or the saffron colour and Mahatma Gandhi has embodied it for us in his life and the Congress has worked under his guidance and with his message. If we are not imbued with that spirit of renunciation in than difficult days, we will again go under. The green is there, our relation to the soil, our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends. We must build our Paradise, here on this green earth. If we are to succeed in this enterprise, we must be guided by truth (white), practise virtue (wheel), adopt the method of self-control and renunciation (saffron). This flag tells us "Be ever alert, be ever on the move, go forward, work for a free, flexible, compassionate, decent, democratic society in which Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists will all find a safe shelter." Let us all unite under this banner and rededicate ourselves to the ideas our flag symbolizes. Address on the Flag of India (22 July 1947), as recorded in the Constituent Assembly Of India Vol. IV http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol4p7.htm
— African Spir Russian philosopher 1837 - 1890
— Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari
Former Dean of Islamic Law at Qatar University Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari: The Innocent Pay the Price for the Incitement by the Preachers of Hatred, MEMRI, December 9, 2007 http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/1656.htm,
— George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States 1946
Context: Together, we will reclaim America’s schools, before ignorance and apathy claim more young lives. We will reform Social Security and Medicare, sparing our children from struggles we have the power to prevent. And we will reduce taxes, to recover the momentum of our economy and reward the effort and enterprise of working Americans. We will build our defenses beyond challenge, lest weakness invite challenge. We will confront weapons of mass destruction, so that a new century is spared new horrors. The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake: America remains engaged in the world by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom. We will defend our allies and our interests. We will show purpose without arrogance. We will meet aggression and bad faith with resolve and strength. And to all nations, we will speak for the values that gave our nation birth.
— Wilhelm Liebknecht German socialist politician 1826 - 1900
Context: We shall never go wrong if we do what is opposed to the interests of our enemy. On the other hand, we shall almost never go right if we do what our enemies applaud. Historical development is a continuous conflict, a conflict of interests, a conflict of races, a conflict of classes. And if friendship does not count even in ordinary business, how much less so in such a conflict. Good-naturedness and sentimentality have no place in politics. They have never won a victory, but have brought unnumbered defeats. Bluecher’s motto, “Always follow the cannon’s roar and throw yourself upon the enemy,” is the best rule also in.
— Halford E. Luccock American Methodist minister 1885 - 1960
As quoted in "Religion : Go Ye and Relax?" in TIME magazine (20 April 1953)
— Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
— Jun Hong Lu Australian Buddhist leader 1959
Melbourne, (07 December 2014).
— John Lehman American banker and government official 1942
— Winston S. Churchill Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1874 - 1965
Context: We are bound to further every honest and practical step which the nations of Europe may make to reduce the barriers which divide them and to nourish their common interests and common welfare. We rejoice at every diminution of the internal tariffs and martial armaments of Europe. We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonalty. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not comprised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed. And should European statesmen address us in the words which were used of old, 'Wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or captain of the host?', we should reply, with the Shunammite woman: 'I dwell among mine own people. "The United States of Europe", The Saturday Evening Post (15 February 1930) Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol II, Churchill and Politics, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 184.
— Henrik Ibsen Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet 1828 - 1906
Context: He who possesses liberty otherwise than as an aspiration possesses it soulless, dead. One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands still in the midst of the struggle and says, "I have it," merely shows by so doing that he has just lost it. Now this very contentedness in the possession of a dead liberty is characteristic of the so-called State, and, as I have said, it is not a good characteristic. No doubt the franchise, self-taxation, etc., are benefits — but to whom? To the citizen, not to the individual. Now, reason does not imperatively demand that the individual should be a citizen. Far from it. The State is the curse of the individual. With what is Prussia's political strength bought? With the absorption of the individual in the political and geographical idea. The waiter is the best soldier. And on the other hand, take the Jewish people, the aristocracy of the human race — how is it they have kept their place apart, their poetical halo, amid surroundings of coarse cruelty? By having no State to burden them. Had they remained in Palestine, they would long ago have lost their individuality in the process of their State's construction, like all other nations. Away with the State! I will take part in that revolution. Undermine the whole conception of a State, declare free choice and spiritual kinship to be the only all-important conditions of any union, and you will have the commencement of a liberty that is worth something. Changes in forms of government are pettifogging affairs — a degree less or a degree more, mere foolishness. The State has its root in time, and will ripe and rot in time. Greater things than it will fall — religion, for example. Neither moral conceptions nor art-forms have an eternity before them. How much are we really in duty bound to pin our faith to? Who will guarantee me that on Jupiter two and two do not make five? Letter to Georg Brandes (17 February 1871), as translated in Henrik Ibsen : Björnstjerne Björnson. Critical Studies (1899) by Georg Morris Cohen Brandes Variant translation: The quality of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands still in the midst of the struggle and says: "I have it," merely shows by so doing that he has lost it. Now this very contentedness in the possession of a dead liberty is a characteristic of the so-called state; and it is worthless. As translated in Ibsen : The Man, His Art & His Significance (1907) by Haldane Macfall, p. 238 Variant translation: Neither moral concepts nor art forms can expect to live forever. How much are we obliged to hold on to? Who can guarantee that 2 plus 2 don't add up to 5 on Jupiter?
— John Ashcroft American politician 1942
Bob Jones University Commencement (8 May 1999)
— Alexander H. Stephens Vice President of the Confederate States (in office from 1861 to 1865) 1812 - 1883
Context: We have intelligence, and virtue, and patriotism. All that is required is to cultivate and perpetuate these. Intelligence will not do without virtue. France was a nation of philosophers. These philosophers become Jacobins. They lacked that virtue, that devotion to moral principle, and that patriotism which is essential to good government. Organized upon principles of perfect justice and right-seeking amity and friendship with all other powers-I see no obstacle in the way of our upward and onward progress. Our growth, by accessions from other States, will depend greatly upon whether we present to the world, as I trust we shall, a better government than that to which neighboring States belong. If we do this, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas cannot hesitate long; neither can Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri. They will necessarily gravitate to us by an imperious law. We made ample provision in our constitution for the admission of other States; it is more guarded, and wisely so, I think, than the old constitution on the same subject, but not too guarded to receive them as fast as it may be proper. Looking to the distant future, and, perhaps, not very far distant either, it is not beyond the range of possibility, and even probability, that all the great States of the north-west will gravitate this way, as well as Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, etc. Should they do so, our doors are wide enough to receive them, but not until they are ready to assimilate with us in principle.