Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Dare to be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not and to believe in your own individuality.

Henri frédéric amiel

To adore, to understand, to receive, to feel, to give, to act: there is my law my duty, my happiness, my heaven.

Living

You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.

Accept life, and you must accept regret

The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret.

Ambition

It is not what he has, nor even what he does, which directly expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.

Living through all our being

When we are doing nothing in particular, it is then that we are living through all our being.

We don't have much time to gladden the hearts of those who walk this way with us

Life is short. We don't have much time to gladden the hearts of those who walk this way with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind.

Habits count for more than maxims

In the conduct of life, habits count for more than maxims, because habit is a living maxim, becomes flesh and instinct. To reform one’s maxims is nothing: it is but to change the title of the book. To learn new habits is everything, for it is to reach the substance of life. Life is but a tissue of habits.

Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.

Put personal ambition away from you

Put personal ambition away from you, and then you will find consolation in living or in dying, whatever may happen to you.

Our duty is to be useful according to our powers

Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires but according to our powers.

You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you

Work while you have the light. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you.

Death! Silence! Eternity!

Death! Silence! Eternity! What mysteries, what names of terror to the being who longs for happiness, immortality, perfection!

Where shall I be to-morrow—in a little while—when the breath of life has forsaken me? Where will those be whom I love? Whither are we all going?

The eternal problems rise before us in their implacable solemnity. Mystery on all sides! And faith the only star in this darkness and uncertainty!

To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom

To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.

He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own nature

He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own nature, and a continuous moral progress toward inward contentment and religious submission, is less liable than any one else to miss and waste life.

The man who has no inner life is the slave of his surroundings.

Philosophy

Philosophy means the complete liberty of the mind.


The philosopher is less duped than his neighbour by his own nature

The philosopher is like a man fasting in the midst of universal intoxication. He alone perceives the illusion of which all creatures are the willing playthings; he is less duped than his neighbour by his own nature.

The forms and metamorphoses of mind

At bottom there is but one subject of study: the forms and metamorphoses of mind. All other subjects may be reduced to that; all other studies bring us back to this study.

Defend humanity in man

What the writer, the teacher, the pastor, the philosopher, has to do, is to defend humanity in man. Man! the true man, the ideal man! 

It is by teaching that we teach ourselves

It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think, by pumping that we draw water into the well.

Let us be true

A man only understands that of which he has already the beginnings in himself. Let us be true: this is the highest maxim of art and of life, the secret of eloquence and of virtue, and of all moral authority.

A well-governed mind

A well-governed mind learns in time to find pleasure in nothing but the true and the just.

To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom

To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.

The man who has no inner life is the slave of his surroundings.

Love, Nature & Wisdom

Hope is only the love of life.

Love purifies everything in the spiritual world

Fire purifies everything in the material world; love purifies everything in the spiritual world.

Be swift to love

Be swift to love and make haste to be kind. Gladden others’ hearts.

A journal takes the place of a confidant

A journal takes the place of a confidant, that is, of friend or wife; it becomes a substitute for production, a substitute for country and public. It is a grief-cheating device, a mode of escape and withdrawal; but, factotum as it is, though it takes the place of everything, properly speaking it represents nothing at all...

Nature abhors a vacuum

Uniformity...creates a void, and Nature abhors a vacuum.

Progress

A thousand things advance; nine hundred and ninety nine retreat; That is progress.

We must learn to detach ourselves

We must learn to detach ourselves from all that is capable of being lost, to bind ourselves absolutely only to what is absolute and eternal, and to enjoy the rest as a loan, a usufruct.... 

Our highest aspirations which prevent us from being happy

From the point of view of happiness, the problem of life is insoluble, for it is our highest aspirations which prevent us from being happy.

Humanity only begins with self-surrender

Self-interest is but the survival of the animal in us. Humanity only begins for man with self-surrender.

Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility

Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.

Everything that can be, is bound to come into being

Latent genius is but a presumption. Everything that can be, is bound to come into being, and what never comes into being is nothing.

Do with all diligence what you have to do

Do with all diligence what you have to do; reconcile yourself with the law of the universe; think of your duty; prepare yourself for departure:

Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius.

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