„Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.“

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Oscar Wilde625
1854 - 1900
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„When man humbles himself, God cannot restrain His mercy; He must come down and pour His grace into the humble man, and He gives Himself most of all, and all at once, to the least of all.“

—  Meister Eckhart German theologian 1260 - 1328
Context: When man humbles himself, God cannot restrain His mercy; He must come down and pour His grace into the humble man, and He gives Himself most of all, and all at once, to the least of all. It is essential to God to give, for His essence is His goodness and His goodness is His love. Love is the root of all joy and sorrow. Slavish fear of God is to be put away. The right fear is the fear of losing God. If the earth flee downward from heaven, it finds heaven beneath it; if it flee upward, it comes again to heaven. The earth cannot flee from heaven: whether it flee up or down, the heaven rains its influence upon it, and stamps its impress upon it, and makes it fruitful, whether it be willing or not. Thus doth God with men: whoever thinketh to escape Him, flies into His bosom, for every corner is open to Him. God brings forth His Son in thee, whether thou likest it or not, whether thou sleepest or wakest; God worketh His own will. That man is unaware of it, is man's fault, for his taste is so spoilt by feeding on earthly things that he cannot relish God's love. If we had love to God, we should relish God, and all His works; we should receive all things from God, and work the same works as He worketh. Sermon III : The Angel's Greeting

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Oscar Wilde photo

„Tell me, when you are alone with him [ Max Beerbohm ] Sphinx, does he take off his face and reveal his mask?“

—  Oscar Wilde Irish writer and poet 1854 - 1900
In a letter to Ada Leverson [Sphinx] recorded in her book Letters To The Sphinx From Oscar Wilde and Reminiscences of the Author (1930).

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George MacDonald photo

„A man may well himself discover truth in what he wrote; for he was dealing all the time with things that came from thoughts beyond his own.“

—  George MacDonald Scottish journalist, novelist 1824 - 1905
Context: "But a man may then imagine in your work what he pleases, what you never meant!"  Not what he pleases, but what he can. If he be not a true man, he will draw evil out of the best; we need not mind how he treats any work of art! If he be a true man, he will imagine true things: what matter whether I meant them or not? They are there none the less that I cannot claim putting them there! One difference between God's work and man's is, that, while God's work cannot mean more than he meant, man's must mean more than he meant. For in everything that God has made, there is layer upon layer of ascending significance; also he expresses the same thought in higher and higher kinds of that thought: it is God's things, his embodied thoughts, which alone a man has to use, modified and adapted to his own purposes, for the expression of his thoughts; therefore he cannot help his words and figures falling into such combinations in the mind of another as he had himself not foreseen, so many are the thoughts allied to every other thought, so many are the relations involved in every figure, so many the facts hinted in every symbol. A man may well himself discover truth in what he wrote; for he was dealing all the time with things that came from thoughts beyond his own.

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„Man consists in Truth. If he exposes Truth, he exposes himself. If he betrays Truth, he betrays himself.“

—  Novalis German poet and writer 1772 - 1801
Context: Man consists in Truth. If he exposes Truth, he exposes himself. If he betrays Truth, he betrays himself. We speak not here of lies, but of acting against Conviction.

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„A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying — to others and to yourself.“

—  Fyodor Dostoyevsky Russian author 1821 - 1881
Variant translations: Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others. Not respecting anyone, he ceases to love, and having no love, he gives himself up to passions and coarse pleasures, in order to occupy and amuse himself, and in his vices reaches complete bestiality, and it all comes from lying continually to others and to himself. A man who lies to himself is often the first to take offense. It sometimes feels very good to take offense, doesn't it? And surely he knows that no one has offended him, and that he himself has invented the offense and told lies just for the beauty of it, that he has exaggerated for the sake of effect, that he has picked on a word and made a mountain out of a pea — he knows all of that, and still he is the first to take offense, he likes feeling offended, it gives him great pleasure, and thus he reaches the point of real hostility… Do get up from your knees and sit down, I beg you, these posturings are false, too. Part I, Book I: A Nice Little Family, Ch. 2 : The Old Buffoon; as translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, p. 44

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