„To be mortal is the most basic human experience, and yet man has never been able to accept it, grasp it, and behave accordingly. Man doesn't know how to be mortal. And when he dies, he doesn't even know how to be dead.“
„He doesn't understand from where the shot has come. He has never confronted a living Sophist. Only dead ones.“
— Robert M. Pirsig, livro Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Fonte: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Ch. 30
Contexto: No one sees it yet, but they will soon enough. The Chairman of the Committee on Analysis of Ideas and Study of Methods has just been shot down in his own classroom.
Now he is speechless. He can't think of a word to say. The silence which so built his image at the beginning of the class is now destroying it. He doesn't understand from where the shot has come. He has never confronted a living Sophist. Only dead ones.
„We are all clever enough at envying a famous man while he is yet alive, and at praising him when he is dead.“
— Mimnermus ancient Greek poet -670
„The gunner tends to live with Death without giving thought to dying, the shot heard so deeply it is not heard at all. The gunner is the grouse while the grouse is living; he dies a little when the grouse is dead. They have that in common, the bird and he, and he had better know if he is worthy to terminate that glorious life. It is a responsibility not easy to face, yet he doesn't dare not face it.“
— George Bird Evans American writer 1906 - 1998
Grouse Along the Tramroad (1986)
„To himself every one is an immortal: he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.“
— Samuel Butler novelist 1835 - 1902
Ignorance of Death
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1912), Part XXIII - Death
„The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as all serious endeavor in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind.“
— Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
1930s, My Credo (1932)
Contexto: The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as all serious endeavor in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness.
In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is.
— John Greenleaf Whittier American Quaker poet and advocate of the abolition of slavery 1807 - 1892
Ichabod, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
„Man (and woman) has an infinite capacity for self-development. Equally, he has an infinite capacity for self-destruction. A human being may be clinically alive and yet, despite all appearances, spiritually dead.“
— Idries Shah, livro Learning How to Learn: Psychology and Spirituality in the Sufi Way
Fonte: Learning How to Learn: Psychology and Spirituality in the Sufi Way
— Louis L'Amour Novelist, short story writer 1908 - 1988
Fonte: The Quick and the Dead (1973), Ch. 4; L'amour here, and in the title of the work, uses a double entendre, with reference to archaic use of "quick" to mean "living" and a famous idiom regarding the living and the dead which originated in William Tyndale's English translation of the New Testament (1526), 2 Timothy 4:1: "I testifie therfore before god and before the lorde Iesu Christ which shall iudge quicke and deed at his aperynge in his kyngdom."
Contexto: He had seen Hyle shoot, and he had seen only one man he thought was as good... just one. He'd seen Con Vallian down in the Bald Knob country that time, and Con was quick. He was almighty quick at a time when a man was either quick or he was dead.
„Every morning the gazelle wakes up knowing she must run faster than the lion or will be dead. Every morning the lion wakes up knowing he must run faster than the gazelle or he'll starve. It doesn't matter if you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun rises you better start to run.“
— Mia Couto Mozambican writer 1955
Confession of the Lioness: A Novel
— Aeschylus, Eumenides
Original: (el) ἀνδρὸς δ᾽ ἐπειδὰν αἷμ᾽ ἀνασπάσῃ κόνις
ἅπαξ θανόντος, οὔτις ἔστ᾽ ἀνάστασις.
Fonte: Oresteia (458 BC), Eumenides, lines 647–648 (tr. Herbert Weir Smyth)
„I hope nothing valuable may have been taken from the house in spite of you, but you know what women are—they always want to do the best they can for the man who marries them, and never give another thought to the children of their first husband, nor to their father either when he is dead and done with.“
— Homér, The Odyssey (Cowper)
XV. 19–23 (tr. Samuel Butler).
Odyssey (c. 725 BC)
Original: (el) Μή νύ τι σεῦ ἀέκητι δόμων ἐκ κτῆμα φέρηται.
οἶσθα γὰρ οἷος θυμὸς ἐνὶ στήθεσσι γυναικός·
κείνου βούλεται οἶκον ὀφέλλειν, ὅς κεν ὀπυίῃ,
παίδων δὲ προτέρων καὶ κουριδίοιο φίλοιο
οὐκέτι μέμνηται τεθνηότος οὐδὲ μεταλλᾷ.
„A lovers' spat," he said. "You know how it is. Boy meets girl, girl wants boy dead. An everyday story, really.“
— David Gemmell, livro The Swords of Night and Day
Fonte: Drenai series, The Swords of Night and Day, Ch. 14
„Galba… a miserable sort of man… bisexual… fancied mature slaves, especially if they had been a little mutilated… all his freed men had no fingers on the left hands… he's dead -- died screaming… in a cellar.“
— Peter Greenaway British film director 1942
The Belly of An Architect
„We're all so clogged with dead ideas
passed from generation to generation
that even the best of us don't know the way out
We invented the Revolution
but we don't know how to run it
Look everyone wants to keep something from the past
a souvenir of the old regime
This man decides to keep a painting
This one keeps his mistress
He [pointing] keeps his garden
He [pointing] keeps his estate
He keeps his country house
He keeps his factories
This man couldn't part with his shipyards
This one kept his army
and that one keeps his king“
— Peter Weiss, Marat/Sade
Marat, act 1, scene 15 (p. 34)
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Fonte: The Great Gatsby
— Zhuangzi classic Chinese philosopher -369 - -286 a.C.
Contexto: How do I know that enjoying life is not a delusion? How do I know that in hating death we are not like people who got lost in early childhood and do not know the way home? Lady Li was the child of a border guard in Ai. When first captured by the state of Jin, she wept so much her clothes were soaked. But after she entered the palace, shared the king's bed, and dined on the finest meats, she regretted her tears. How do I know that the dead do not regret their previous longing for life? One who dreams of drinking wine may in the morning weep; one who dreams weeping may in the morning go out to hunt. During our dreams we do not know we are dreaming. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream. And yet fools think they are awake, presuming to know that they are rulers or herdsmen. How dense! You and Confucius are both dreaming, and I who say you are a dream am also a dream. Such is my tale. It will probably be called preposterous, but after ten thousand generations there may be a great sage who will be able to explain it, a trivial interval equivalent to the passage from morning to night.