„The real opposition is that between the ego-bound man, whose existence is structured by the principle of having, and the free man, who has overcome his egocentricity.“
— Erich Fromm German social psychologist and psychoanalyst 1900 - 1980
— Philo Roman philosopher -20 - 45 a.C.
„He who knows what it is to enjoy God will dread His loss; he who has seen His face will fear to see His back.“
— Richard Alleine English clergyman 1611 - 1681
„He who truly believes that which prompts him to an action has looked upon the action to lust after it, he has committed it already in his heart.“
— William Kingdon Clifford English mathematician and philosopher 1845 - 1879
Context: No man holding a strong belief on one side of a question, or even wishing to hold a belief on one side, can investigate it with such fairness and completeness as if he were really in doubt and unbiased; so that the existence of a belief not founded on fair inquiry unfits a man for the performance of this necessary duty. Nor is it that truly a belief at all which has not some influence upon the actions of him who holds it. He who truly believes that which prompts him to an action has looked upon the action to lust after it, he has committed it already in his heart. If a belief is not realized immediately in open deeds, it is stored up for the guidance of the future. It goes to make a part of that aggregate of beliefs which is the link between sensation and action at every moment of all our lives, and which is so organized and compacted together that no part of it can be isolated from the rest, but every new addition modifies the structure of the whole. No real belief, however trifling and fragmentary it may seem, is ever truly insignificant; it prepares us to receive more of its like, confirms those which resembled it before, and weakens others; and so gradually it lays a stealthy train in our inmost thoughts, which may someday explode into overt action, and leave its stamp upon our character for ever.
— John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice: Volume I. The Foundations
Volume III, chapter II, section 99.
— John Milton, Paradise Lost
„Death makes no sense except to people who have passionately loved life. How can one die without having something to part from? Detachment is a negation of both life and death. Whoever has overcome his fear of death has also triumphed over life. For life is nothing but another word for this fear.“
— Emil M. Cioran Romanian philosopher and essayist 1911 - 1995
„He whose intellect overcomes his desire is higher than the angels; he whose desire overcomes his intellect is less than an animal.“
— Rumi Iranian poet 1207 - 1273
As quoted in The Rumi Collection : An Anthology of Translations of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi (2000) by Kabir Helminski
„He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. . . . They are free to shoot back. But they can't disarm their enemy.“
— H.L. Mencken American journalist and writer 1880 - 1956
Context: Once more, alas, I find myself unable to follow the best Liberal thought. What the World's contention amounts to, at bottom, is simply the doctrine that a man engaged in combat with superstition should be very polite to superstition. This, I fear, is nonsense. The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame. True enough, even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them.... They are free to shoot back. But they can't disarm their enemy. The meaning of religious freedom, I fear, is sometimes greatly misapprehended. It is taken to be a sort of immunity, not merely from governmental control but also from public opinion. A dunderhead gets himself a long-tailed coat, rises behind the sacred desk, and emits such bilge as would gag a Hottentot. Is it to pass unchallenged? If so, then what we have is not religious freedom at all, but the most intolerable and outrageous variety of religious despotism. Any fool, once he is admitted to holy orders, becomes infallible. Any half-wit, by the simple device of ascribing his delusions to revelation, takes on an authority that is denied to all the rest of us.... What should be a civilized man's attitude toward such superstitions? It seems to me that the only attitude possible to him is one of contempt. If he admits that they have any intellectual dignity whatever, he admits that he himself has none. If he pretends to a respect for those who believe in them, he pretends falsely, and sinks almost to their level. When he is challenged he must answer honestly, regardless of tender feelings. "Aftermath" in the Baltimore Evening Sun http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/menck05.htm#SCOPESD (14 September 1925)
— David Gemmell British author of heroic fantasy 1948 - 2006
Context: What I did understand from the rebirth process was that the rebirth reproduced a physical duplicate of the original. But this is my point. It is physical. What truly makes a man who he is? Is it the strength of his arms, or the courage of his soul? You have your own soul, Harad. You are not Druss. Live your own life. Ch. 8
„Any person who pursues human rights in Iran must live with fear from birth to death, but I have learned to overcome my fear.“
— Shirin Ebadi Iranian lawyer, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient 1947
From 1999 interview. Noted in the October 2003 BBC News profile of Ebadi. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3181992.stm (retrieved Oct. 15, 2008)
„He has no native Passion, because he is not a Thinker — & has probably weakened his Intellect by the haunting Fear of becoming extravagant.“
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge English poet, literary critic and philosopher 1772 - 1834
Letter to William Sotheby (10 September 1802).