„This much will I say for myself — and on this point I do not blush for praising myself — that I have never philosophized save for the sake of philosophy, nor have I ever desired or hoped to secure from my studies and my laborious researches any profit or fruit save cultivation of mind and knowledge of the truth — things I esteem more and more with the passage of time. I have also been so avid for this knowledge and so enamored of it that I have set aside all private and public concerns to devote myself completely to contemplation; and from it no calumny of jealous persons, nor any invective from enemies of wisdom has ever been able to detach me.“
25. 158-159; translation by A. Robert Caponigri
Oration on the Dignity of Man (1496)
Original: (la) Dabo hoc mihi, et me ipsum hac ex parte laudare nihil erubescam, me numquam alia de causa philosophatum nisi ut philosopharer, nec ex studiis meis, ex meis lucubrationibus, mercedem ullam aut fructum vel sperasse alium vel quesiisse, quam animi cultum et a me semper plurimum desideratae veritatis cognitionem. Cuius ita cupidus semper et amantissimus fui ut, relicta omni privatarum et publicarum rerum cura, contemplandi ocio totum me tradiderim; a quo nullae invidorum obtrectationes, nulla hostium sapientiae maledicta, vel potuerunt ante hac, vel in posterum me deterrere poterunt.
„I have never solicited you for a furlough to go home to indulge in pleasure, or to improve my interest, which, by the by, I have neglected, going on four years. I have never confined myself to my particular line of duty only. Neither have I ever spared myself, either by night or day, where it has been necessary to promote the public service under your direction. I have never been troublesome to your Excellency, to publish any thing to my advantage, although I think myself as justly entitled as some others, who have been much more fortunate, particularly in the action of the Brandywine.“
— Nathanael Greene American general in the American Revolutionary War 1742 - 1786
Letter to George Washington (July 1778)
„Why don't I kill myself? If I knew exactly what keeps me from doing so, I should have no more questions to ask myself since I should have answered them all.“
— Emil M. Cioran Romanian philosopher and essayist 1911 - 1995
The New Gods (1969)
„The only merit of which I personally am conscious was that of having pleased myself by my studies, and any results that may be due to my researches were owing to the fact that it has been a pleasure for me to become a physicist.“
— John Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh English physicist 1842 - 1919
On receiving the Order of Merit (1902)
„One thing I will add: if I have ever found kindness, it has not been from Liberals; to disengage myself from them was the first act of my freedom.“
— Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer 1797 - 1851
Letter to Edward Trelawny (27 January 1837). Google Books https://books.google.com/books?id=ED9bAAAAMAAJ&dq=if%20i%20have%20ever%20found%20kindness%2C%20it%20has%20not%20been%20from%20the%20liberals&pg=PA283#v=onepage&q=if%20i%20have%20ever%20found%20kindness,%20it%20has%20not%20been%20from%20the%20liberals&f=false
„My state of mind was not humility, but neither was it arrogance. I never thought of saying to myself, I am, or I can do, so and so. I neither estimated myself highly nor lowly. I did not estimate myself at all. If I thought anything about myself, it was that I was rather backward in my studies, since I always found myself so, in comparison with what my father expected from me. I assert this with confidence, though it was not the impression of various persons who saw me in my childhood. They, as I have since found, thought me greatly and disagreeably self-conceited; probably because I was disputatious, and did not scruple to give direct contradictions to things which I heard said. I suppose I acquired this bad habit from having been encouraged in an unusual degree to talk on matters beyond my age, and with grown persons, while I never had inculcated in me the usual respect for them. My father did not correct this ill-breeding and impertinence, probably from not being aware of it, for I was always too much in awe of him to be otherwise than extremely subdued and quiet in his presence.“
— John Stuart Mill, buch Autobiography
Quelle: Autobiography (1873)
https://archive.org/details/autobiography01mill/page/33/mode/1up pp. 33–34
„I could never kill myself. What if it doesn't work. Then I'll have failed at the only thing that could save me from my failures. Where do you go from there?“
— Tucker Max, buch Assholes Finish First
Quelle: Assholes Finish First
„What greatness do I have that I have to tell anyone about? I live just like millions of people in this country; I am ordinary. My life is also ordinary. I am a poor school teacher suffering family travails. During my whole lifetime, I have been grinding away with the hope that I could become free of my sufferings. But I have not been able to free myself from suffering. What is so special about this life that needs to be told to anybody?“
— Premchand Hindi writer 1880 - 1936
In Munshi Premchand:Biography, 10 December 2013, Internet Media Data Base http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0695919/bio,
„I see people giving me looks because I'm so opinionated. That hurts my feelings, but at the end of the day I have to live with me and respect myself. And I've done enough things in my life where I was confused and didn't respect myself that I will not do it any more.“
— Sherilyn Fenn American actress 1965
Sherilyn Fenn, quoted in "'Three of Hearts' may be Fenn's winning card", by Nancy Mills. Boston Herald (USA). April 25, 1993. p. 41
„Sometimes I myself have been sublime, I myself have been a masterpiece. Sometimes my visions have been mingled with a thrill of evidence so strong and so creative that the whole room has quivered with it like a forest, and there have been moments, in truth, when the silence cried out.“
— Henri Barbusse French novelist 1873 - 1935
The Inferno (1917), Ch. XVII
Kontext: Who shall compose the Bible of human desire, the terrible and simple Bible of that which drives us from life to life, the Bible of our doings, our goings, our original fall? Who will dare to tell everything, who will have the genius to see everything?
I believe in a lofty form of poetry, in the work in which beauty will be mingled with beliefs. The more incapable of it I feel myself, the more I believe it to be possible. The sad splendour with which certain memories of mine overwhelm me, shows me that it is possible. Sometimes I myself have been sublime, I myself have been a masterpiece. Sometimes my visions have been mingled with a thrill of evidence so strong and so creative that the whole room has quivered with it like a forest, and there have been moments, in truth, when the silence cried out.
But I have stolen all this, and I have profited by it, thanks to the shamelessness of the truth revealed. At the point in space in which, by accident, I found myself, I had only to open my eyes and to stretch out my mendicant hands to accomplish more than a dream, to accomplish almost a work.
— Immanuel Kant, buch Critique of Pure Reason
Critique of Pure Reason (1781; 1787)
„My sight began to fail, and it was all dark about me in the chamber, as if it had been night, save in the Image of the Cross whereon I beheld a common light; and I wist not how. All that was away from the Cross was of horror to me, as if it had been greatly occupied by the fiends
After this the upper part of my body began to die, so far forth that scarcely I had any feeling; — with shortness of breath. And then I weened in sooth to have passed.
And in this suddenly all my pain was taken from me, and I was as whole (and specially in the upper part of my body) as ever I was afore.
I marvelled at this sudden change; for methought it was a privy working of God, and not of nature. And yet by the feeling of this ease I trusted never the more to live; nor was the feeling of this ease any full ease unto me: for methought I had liefer have been delivered from this world.“
— Julian of Norwich, buch Revelations of Divine Love
Revelations of Divine Love (c. 1393), Chapter 3
„I am alone. No one stands beside me. I have no Dark Prince to ride in my chariot, to walk with me, to hold me to him. I have no one. And yet. I myself, at last, I have myself. And to me, at this time, it seems enough. It seems more, much more, than enough.“
— Tanith Lee, buch The Birthgrave
Book Three, Part III “Inside the Hollow Star”, Chapter 6 (p. 408; closing words)
The Birthgrave (1975)
„There is nothing less powerful than knowledge unattached, and incapable of application. That is why what little knowledge I have has done myself personally so much harm. I do not know much, but if I knew a good deal less than that little I should be far more powerful.“
— Samuel Butler novelist 1835 - 1902
Knowledge is Power
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1912), Part VII - On the Making of Music, Pictures, and Books
„I have never knew what it was to sacrifice my own judgment to gratify any party and I have no doubt of the time being close at hand when I will be rewarded for letting my tongue speak what my heart thinks. I have suffered myself to be politically sacrificed to save my country from ruin and disgrace and if I am never again elected I will have the gratification to know that I have done my duty.“
— Davy Crockett American politician 1786 - 1836
Comments on his final election defeat (11 August 1835) Ch. 2; in Dr. Swan's Prescriptions for Job-Itis (2003) by Dennis Swanberg and Criswell Freeman, p. 45, part of this seems to have become paraphrased as "Let your tongue speak what your heart thinks." No earlier publication of this version has been located.
„I do not hope for anything. I do not fear anything, I have freed myself from both the mind and the heart, I have mounted much higher, I am free.“
— Nikos Kazantzakis, buch The Saviors of God
This passage was used for Kazantzakis' epitaph: "Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα, δε φοβούμαι τίποτα, είμαι λεύτερος<!--[sic]-->."
I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.
Variant translation: I expect nothing. I fear no one. I am free.
The Saviors of God (1923)
Kontext: Nothing exists! Neither life nor death. I watch mind and matter hunting each other like two nonexistent erotic phantasms — merging, begetting, disappearing — and I say: "This is what I want!"
I know now: I do not hope for anything. I do not fear anything, I have freed myself from both the mind and the heart, I have mounted much higher, I am free. [Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα, δεν φοβούμαι τίποτα, λυτρώθηκα από το νου κι από την καρδιά, ανέβηκα πιο πάνω, είμαι λεύτερος. ] This is what I want. I want nothing more. I have been seeking freedom.
„have I been blind
have I been lost
inside myself and
my own mind
by what my eyes have seen?“
— Natalie Merchant American singer-songwriter 1963
Song lyrics, Tigerlily (1995), Carnival
„I have always done my sketches, as people would say, for the fun of it… I have worked to amuse myself, and if it has amused the public as well, so much the better for me.“
— Aubrey Beardsley English illustrator and author 1872 - 1898
In an interview with <i>The Idler</i> (1896), as quoted in Aubrey Beardsley : A Biography (1999) by Matthew Sturgis, p. 309
„If, however, it happens to be necessary to speak of myself, I do so on account of the world, which would not understand me should I name myself otherwise than as men are named, yet inwardly I say: my I is God, nor is any other self known to me except my God.“
— Catherine of Genoa Italian author and nurse 1447 - 1510
Life and Doctrine
„In my case, dust has become gold: Today, I work with people I grew up admiring. But, internally, I am the same person I always was. Ever since I embraced Sufism, I have learnt to separate myself from my desires and my success. Now, I can distance myself from all the adulation showered on me.“
— A. R. Rahman Indian singer and composer 1966