The Free Thinker

Selected diary notes 1968 - 1975

 

by C. Lanciai

 

Preface.

This diary is quite genuine, but the original is bilingual: it is partly written in Swedish and partly in English. Generally, the Swedish diary notes are untranslatable to English, and vice versa. A work of this kind is unpublishable. We have therefore carefully selected the major parts of the diary, that is the entire English part, and translated the most important parts in Swedish into English.

Maybe one day we can publish the whole diary in its original bilingual form, but parts of it will always remain unpublishable.

The diarist is a Swedish citizen living in Gothenburg. He is young in the beginning, in 1970 he starts contemplating suicide, and that's the major crisis and part of the diary. He seems to surmount the crisis but is struck by another one in summer 1971, which seems to be of a religious kind - he never reveals the whole truth of this crisis even to his diary. One can only imagine.

He comes of age in September 1971, and the most interesting part of the diary is perhaps the one that starts in 1972, when he seems to leave all his crises behind and exclusively devotes himself to contemplating history, philosophy, literature and art. Kenneth Clark's "Civilisation" appears to have been of major influence on him. Towards the end of 1972 he returns gradually to religion, and there are some traits of Catholic dogma in 1973, although he remains critical against the Church throughout and finally confesses himself to Judaism but without formally converting.

That is in brief the argument of this remarkable philosophical work, written mainly in brief sentences in the obvious tradition of Marcus Aurelius, Blaise Pascal, La Rochefoucauld and other thinkers of the same sort.

 

Contents :

First Part (1967 - May 1970)

Second Part (June 1970 - December 1970)

"A Few Ideas" (1970)

Part Three (December 1970 - 1971)

Part Four (1972)

Part Five (1973 - 1975)

The Last Notes

 

Copyright © C. Lanciai, May 1998.

 

First Part.

12.3.1967. I am awfully lucky to live in this age, in this country, in this family - my luck is just awful. And I am awfully lucky to have lived this so far so awfully wonderful life.

august. Those who are talented and don't use their talents are like those old Persian caliphs who locked up all their fortunes and just kept them there while their people starved. If the talented aren't aware of their talents it's a very great misfortune.

6.3.1968. In the night I had this fantastic dream:

I was myself, and I had a brother who was exactly like my real brother in personality but with different looks: in my dream my brother was much darker.

We were two poor brothers, but we grew up, worked hard, were successful and became very rich landowners both of us. This was all in an ancient prehistorical age.

My brother's lands were in China, Turkestan and Kazakhstan. Especially in Kazakhstan he had very vast and fertile areas, but he lived mostly in China by the rivers and the mountains.

He was dark like a Tartar with black hair, dark skin and black bushy moustaches. He had an irresistible charm, with which he could get anyone with him, but he was rather cold and hard in his heart. He had no scruples and did whatever came across his mind if it only suited his impulse and caprice without ever considering how it would affect others. He was a born and perfect tyrant. His lands and his serfs he managed in an efficient and exemplary but cruel and heartless way.

I myself lived by my lands between the Euphrates and Tigris. I lived happily in harmony with my environment. The only thing I lacked was a wife. I hadn't found the right one.

But I knew well whom I loved. I had seen her once in my life and had never forgotten her. But I didn't know where she was. I had searched for her all my life without having found her. It was Celia. I loved no one but her. I was rather alone than without her, my only beloved and the only right one for me.

My brother got himself in time two wives. One was dark and beautiful and very much like my brother. I didn't care about her. She suited him well, since she was like him.

But after some time I learned, that the second was no one less than my Celia! My brother had found her somewhere and laid his hands on her, my own beloved Celia! I was beside myself and felt violated by my own brother, although he had known nothing about how much I had loved her. He had fallen in love with her like me but not equally much. That made me feel that I had a right to go and get her. He only used her, while I was the one who loved her. So I travelled to China in order to take her home with me.

I shall have to say something about the vast lands of my brother. They stretched from Huang-Ho to the Caspian Sea, but people living there were not happy under his command, and the sky above his world was always dark.

He used to whip his serfs and did not hesitate to shoot them down, and all his property he governed with an iron fist. Only his wives he treated without brute force.

But inside the Himalayas there were all the most horrible and dangerous dragons, snakes, lizards and slimy green reptiles well confined in deep dungeons. He also ruled these. He controlled them well in their sealed dungeons and only let out a few at a time when necessary in order to transform them into beautiful living animals. Deep down inside he was basically good, and his only great fault was his propensity for extremes.

So to his vast empire governed from China I went to fetch my beloved Celia.

He received me most benevolently. I was well taken care of in his house and met with both him and both of his wives. Celia recognized me immediately but seemed neither astonished, happy or frightened to see me. She showed no feelings. But I trusted her loyalty towards me and that she would understand me and my feelings.

But my brother controlled me and our conversation completely. He could manipulate me as he wanted with his irresistible charm. He knew that he was wrong but nevertheless enforced his will and overruled me completely. I reached nowhere with my arguments, for my brother knew well that he had Celia in his power and wouldn't release her just because I wanted it. I had no voice in his house, where he did as he pleased.

And Celia even loved him. She loved those parts of him that she knew: his charm, his ostentatious presumption, his flamboyance and superficial superiority.

When my brother and I argued about her she wouldn't hear but left the room now and then. Thus she didn't hear all my arguments and seemed only to have ears for what my brother said. She appeared to be so completely within his power that she had lost her independence and become like a slave, who couldn't break out of his fetters and who, in an effort to avoid his manhandling her and forcing drugs into her, had to stay loyal with him for her own sake. All this I didn't realize at the time.

In our arguments I tried to wheedle out his darker sides, so that her eyes would be opened and she would at last look through him, but my efforts had the opposite effect. For trying to show her who he really was she only got angry with me. And my brother kept his mask. He never lost control but succeeded well in concealing his bad parts in her company. I did not succeed in exposing a single flaw in his mask of superficiality made of the most superbly charming superciliousness. I couldn't get him to expose himself in front of her.

Finally Celia joined the conversation herself. It was just after my most brilliant speech, in which I thought I had succeeded in revealing and annihilating him completely. But she then berated me. I was the one to be annihilated by her. I had to leave my brother's castle with a broken back and neck, completely defeated, my mission unfulfilled. I had made a perfect failure and had to go home with empty hands. But most of all I cried because I had succeeded in turning my own beloved Celia into my enemy. She would never forgive me for what I had told my brother, although I had only told him the truth.

I then started wondering if I really knew my brother. What if I had been mistaken? Maybe he really was a good man and better than myself? Maybe he was the one to grieve for me and my evil mind and not the contrary? And maybe Celia and my brother really loved each other with honesty and earnest warmth, which I had believed myself to be the only one capable of?

I went home to my Mesopotamia and spent my days brooding on the problem in constant grief, but I never stopped informing myself of what went on in my brother's empire and how he managed his business.

One day came the disaster.

As usual one day my brother let out a few monsters from the deep dens of the Himalayas in order to chastise them and transform them into more beautiful creatures, when he suddenly lost control. He panicked and tried in desperation to close the gates to the Himalayan abyssal pits, but it was too late. Nothing could hold the monsters back once they got the scent of morning air. They came pouring out in most horrible torrents of masses. Snakes and reptiles, disgusting blood-sucking thick worms and horrifying dragons overwhelmed all China, for they came in millions, like a zoological deluge of monsters and dinosaurs. They ruined everything that got in their way and consumed all living things that they came across. They were more irresistible than the supereminent charm of my brother and all his unlimited political power. Everything turned into disgusting and terrifying chaos where his monstrous wild-beast show came flooding and drowning the civilized world like a deluge of poisonous monsters.

My brother perished in the disaster. All his magnificent realm collapsed and disintegrated completely.

It could have ended like this: I took care of the opportunity, took control of one after the other of all the small kingdoms that rose from the ruins of my brother's empire after his downfall, and became gradually exactly what my brother had been but with an even greater empire with even more wives whom I didn't love one bit. But it didn't happen that way.

Instead it was like this:

After the terrible disaster had exhausted its cataclysmic energy and all the monsters gradually had returned to their dens in the Himalayas after their holiday excursion, Celia appeared in India. She was alone. She had survived the calamitous crisis and was now like some flotsam in the world without protection, without a home, without anything. She was destitute and traumatized. I went there to meet her.

In an effort to help her across all her dreadful memories and surmount her trauma I took her for a long voyage. We visited Benares, Borneo, Ceylon and Rhodes. I never tried to reach her feelings. I just wanted to spare her and protect her and make her feel safe. I was hoping that she would forget all her terrible memories of the catastrophe and manage to bear with her inestimable losses and sorrows. I never accosted her except from mere politeness, and she also never opened her heart to me, as if she tried to seal it with her sorrows.

We then came to Venice from Rhodes. We were together aboard a ship and went out on deck in the rosy dawn; and there in front of us, glowing and glittering and enchanting like a whole eternity of bliss, Venice appeared on the waters in front of us in its supreme loveliness. I was seized with total joy regarding this spectacle. The sea was calm like a softly billowing mirror, and the city glowed golden in a fairy mist coloured rosy red in the early morning sun, which was as sweet as a caress by the warmest and softest universal hand of benevolence; but Celia showed no sign of any feelings. I just couldn't hold back my indescribable rush of feelings. I went up to the gunwale and made a gesture with my arm as if to unveil the whole incredibly beauteous city with all its magic mysteries to her and said to her:

"Look at Venice!"

And then she melted, as if the ice had lost its grip on her heart and released her and dissolved her relentless frigidity. She said something, and we fell into each other's arms, sinking down together on the clean and soft deck, and there we lay together for a long while absolutely still but tight to each other and warmed each other with our feelings at the sight of the overwhelming beauty of our new world and its overpowering impressiveness, which could make even her sorrows lose their grip on her tortured heart.

And in the evening at dusk, when we were retiring to our cabins, she said to me with honest warmth:

"Thank you for everything."

And thus ended my dream.

2.12.1969. Mussolini was a good man until he started dealing with the Nazis. From that moment on he gradually destroyed his own life's work. That makes him one of the tragic fools of history.

24.12. The easiest way to become a good renowned artist is to start as soon as you get out of the cradle and then never to stop working. It is a hard way, but all others are harder still.

12.1.1970. The most valuable thing is good experience. It can not be bought: it can only be found or attained. It is what everyone is living for; and those who have gained it always want to gain more. Those who have good experience consider it more valuable than anything else they have got. And they always use it well. Good experience can only be used well and to successful ends.

Those who love life love the search for good experience.

Those who are indifferent to good experience do not know what it is or have forgotten what it is.

Those who have tasted good experience once always want to taste it again. And when one fellow has gained much of it he does all he can to make others gain it as well. This is typical.

There is one secret with good experience, and one only: it contains and gives nothing but good.

22.1. Art is the voice of God.

25.1. A genius stands or falls on his imagination.

The more imagination a human being possesses, the more the world has reason to expect of him.

16.2. The highest of all musical creations is the melody. The highest goal a composer can have is the creation of a good melody.

The melody is the heart of music. The melody is the thing from which music receives all its life. The melody is the spirit of music; everything else is just flesh.

23.2. Happy people are those who accept and forgive anything.

Unhappy people are those who can accept and forgive nothing.

To become one of the former is a goal worthy of devotion.

22.3. Your life is a picture which you are creating. The more beautiful you make it, the more joy you and others will receive from it now, tomorrow and forever.

24.3. Two definitions of God:

1) A name for everyone's highest ideal,

2) a personality who is the source of life.

30.3. There is no limit to how good a man can become. He can always get even better than he is.

 

1.4. The Thing Called Love

There are four kinds of love. The fourth, the lowest, is the love practised by harlots, rapers, procurers and other personages of the same sort. The lowest kind of love is the aberrated and corrupt form of it. Rape, perversion, love for money and all other extravagant and unnatural forms of misuse of love do all belong in this category.

The third form of love is that which is called "free" love: you go to bed with A, you tire of her, you take B and tire of her, you take C, etc, etc, "it doesn't matter with whom you are making love as long as it offers pleasure." Lovers belonging in this third category are never faithful, and they do not care if those they love are faithful or not. They think of love as just fun which you can have with anyone anywhere. And they laugh at any idea of marriage.

The second form of love is very high. It is a true way of expressing the first. Those who marry, get children and stay faithful to each other for the rest of their lives are typical examples of this very admirable category. In this kind of love there is real love and not just pleasure.

Wedded couples who still love each other dearly beyond their sixtieth year of living are extremely admirable. The happy family wholly belongs to this second state of love,.

Marriage is not absolutely necessary to reach this state of love. Only one thing is necessary: true love. And the longer that true love lasts, the stronger and higher is this wonderful kind of love.

The highest form of love is, in my opinion, the purely spiritual one. An example of it is Jesus. Another is the Buddha.

This kind of love is so serene, so extremely strong, that the whole universe could be changed by the sole expression of it from one man. I really think it is true. This purely spiritual and all-powerful love belongs fully to the heart of the regions of no one less than God.

So, in brief, the four kinds of love are, according to me: 4) Corrupt love, 3) love for the sake only of pleasure, 2) true and honest love which also contains everlasting faith, and 1) that purely spiritual kind of love which is part of God.

The first does not, of course, imply any sort of sex. The other three do, though.

 

The Thing Called Violence.

There are two kinds of violence: physical violence and spiritual violence. Both are very unnatural and abominable.

Physical violence is mere insanity. It is foolish, ridiculous and totally beyond all reason. Only mad and insane people believe in it and fight with it, and only the worst madmen in the world think they can gain anything from it. Physical violence is the most stupid thing in the world. I am sorry, I can not regard it or take it seriously.

Spiritual violence, of which physical violence is but a low and base expression, is basically nothing but evil. When you are spiritually violent, that is, evil, you insult people, you are angry with the man upstairs, you think dirty things about him, you criticize him, you abuse him, you ridicule him, you refuse to forgive your son for something, you punish him, you bully him, you are ironic, you are sarcastic, you make fun of your father-in-law, you wish him dead, you flirt with his wife; all such actions of yours of negative or destructive thinking and even of mere prejudice, are part of the same abominable thing called evil. It harms no one but yourself. In harming others, you succeed in harming no one but yourself.

Evil is a boomerang which kills twice. First it kills your victim. Then it kills yourself but in a very slow and painful way, like ants eating you up without your ability to stop them. It is totally unendurable. It is a bottomless pit the end of which is insanity.

Nothing is more worth than an individual. The individual is the costliest thing that ever existed.

Every single living individual today is the most wonderful thing on earth. No one is greater than he, the every single individual, and no individual has any right to in any manner put himself above the others. Only the others have the right to put him above them.

Individuals came into existence to enjoy life. There is only one way to really enjoy life, and that is to concentrate on the good things in it. Good things of life are such things which turn others happy when you perform them.

12.4. If you really love another person, you can be certain that his love for you is equally great. Real love is always mutual.

Mankind calls him a genius who is beyond their comprehension.

16.4. China has always been in the Middle Ages. Five thousand years ago they reached the Middle Ages before everyone else, and today they are still there. It is an amazing country.

17.4. Nothing is harder to accept than facts. If you can accept all the facts you are truly invincible.

The freer you have kept your soul, your conscience and your character, the more facts you are able to accept.

If you find yourself in a very bad situation in life, do never do anything but find your way out of it.

18.4. The politicians are tearing down all the good old beautiful houses of our city. It would be quite excusable and comprehensible if they erected finer ones instead, but they don't. They erect modern monsters. Therefore it is not be pardoned.

I am fully with all those good people who wish to preserve the beauty which still remains of our old picturesque city. I fully disagree with all those who want to destroy every house standing in the way of the modern monsters.

Modern monsters are not beautiful. Those who consider them beautiful have no conception or sense of beauty.

The modern monsters are ghastly. Those who construct them are childish and ignorant people with minds like babies: they like to play with blocks.

The modern monsters are made of concrete, glass and plastic. Their basic characteristic is that they all look exactly the same: they all have the same sterility, the same lifelessness and the same stone-cold ugliness.

The modern monster is dead within, cheers no one and houses folk. It doesn't house individuals but folk.

The modern monsters have become more and more common, despite everyone's disliking them. There has never been a less popular house in the history of architecture, and never before the advent of functionalism has architecture been so unhuman.

The development of civilization is moving towards centralisation. One day perhaps we will have, as Le Corbusier with such pleasure imagined, one great society in one single giant house. On that day, society will have turned into a bee-hive or anthill, with workers and drones living in cells.

Literature is the art of creating beauty by the means of words.

There are basically two kinds of literature: the art of creating beautiful tales, and the art of creating beautiful sentences.

Poetry is an example of the latter. The novel and the short story are examples of the former.

A combination of the two is the highest kind of literature. Examples thereof are Shakespeare's dramas and Dante's "La Divina Commedia".

To reach the mastership of this kind of literature is the highest ambition you can have as a writer.

Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, Goethe, Pushkin, Stefan Zweig, Ibsen, Runeberg, Selma Lagerlof, H.C.Andersen and a wonderful bunch of others did truly reach it.

19.4. I glorify the past. I love the good old days and live as much in them as in the future and in the present. Left of the old days is, for me, nothing but good experience.

Angry and violent people are never sane. Peaceful and creative people are always sane.

20.4. Purgatory is foolishness, blindness and ignorance. We all dwell there.

Buddha's success lay in his gentleness. His gentleness and complete lack of any kind of violence made everybody trust him completely.

Peace, gentleness and kindness have always brought success and will always bring success, simply because these three things are too good to be true. All sorts of violence have seldom brought success and will seldom bring success, simply because everyone is sick of it.

A wonderful truth is that everyone is the sole owner of the most wonderful goldmine in the world. The golden mine is himself.

God never ruled anyone but himself. He gave to each man the rule of himself. It seems to me that each man did not use that gift too well.

God is no judge. Each man is his own judge.

No man can rightly judge or punish anyone but himself.

Of all lies ever invented I am afraid hell is the worst one. The one who invented it was as clever and mad as Caligula. As everyone knows, Caligula was the one who wished to destroy forever the Iliad and the Odyssey. He invented the rule by terror and found Literature his worst enemy. He was not the first emperor in history to make war on books.

The one who invented hell wanted to destroy the work of Jesus. I am afraid he almost succeeded: as the Church established hell as a doctrine, it started to control the masses by means of terror, just like so many of the Roman emperors had done. So the establishment of hell in the Church was in fact a restoration of paganism.

21.4. Jesus and Buddha were so different from each other, and yet they were so much alike. Buddha had greater success: he was more gentle and less ambitious, and therefore his words could be accepted with greater ease than the words of Jesus, which were easier to misunderstand. On the other hand, Jesus had more power and knowledge: Jesus was more aware of his purpose than Buddha was of his. And the purpose of Jesus was higher than that of Buddha.

Thanks to his gentleness, the words of Buddha reached more hearts than those of Jesus. Buddha expressed more accurately what he had in mind than Jesus, whose words and purpose were more confusing. Jesus was too readily misinterpreted and misunderstood. If Jesus had been as well understood as Buddha, no crucifixion would ever have occurred.

In my opinion, Jesus and Buddha tried both to express exactly the same ideas. Buddha succeeded in this better than Jesus.

They both became the two greatest symbols of good in history. Which one of them is the greater is hard to tell.

They are the two bright suns of history. They gave light to a dark world, and their lights will linger to eternally continue their spread across a dark universe, since their followers never will cease to expand and develop their missions of good, the two greatest individual missions in history.

Those who 'killed' Jesus should be pardoned by everyone. They really were not responsible for what they did. Only a very few were responsible, and all they wanted was to preserve their peace. No one really intended the tragedy, which was like a political gathering getting out of control.

The key figure was of course poor Judas. In blindness he put fire to the powder-magazine, not realizing that he was being manipulated by the intrigues of others. Aware of the result, he accepted all the guilt and responsibility himself by committing suicide, although it was unnecessary. He might even have been totally innocent.

Pontius Pilate was merely a poor coward lacking character.

Caiaphas was afraid of the power of Jesus, because Jesus had used it to abuse him and his learned colleagues in the establishment. Because of his fears of what Jesus might do next, he committed Jesus to put a stop to his liability. He might also have been jealous of the man from Nazareth who considered himself God's son and no one else.

Jesus made people feel uncomfortable. Some people even felt insecurity in the presence of Jesus. They were afraid to lose something of value, perhaps their accepted ideology, since Jesus had the bold habit, like Socrates, to bring everything into doubt. And few can accept and forgive a loser. When Jesus had been prosecuted, beaten, scourged and crowned with thorns, after a few days earlier having been greeted like a king, saviour and liberator by the people of Jerusalem, they just couldn't stand the sight of him or forgive him the fact that he had lost and betrayed them. So they just wanted to get rid of him.

All those who really understood something about Jesus, like John and Peter, James and Thomas, did everything they could for him, but they were far too few. Still they were enough to make Jesus as important to civilization as Buddha.

Buddha was perhaps the most lovable man who ever wandered on earth. Everybody loved him everywhere, and those very few who did not wholly enjoy his presence gently stayed out of his way.

As a prince, the noble son and heir of a king, he ruled in a country of great riches. He married and raised a perfect family, but when suddenly one day he discovered another world outside his protected palace, of sufferings, of poverty, sickness, misery and death, he did not hesitate but immediately abandoned his titles and responsibilities, his family and his wealth, to dedicate his life to commiseration with the poor and miserable and to charity with all mankind.

He was a born thinker, and almost all his life was mainly dedicated to thought. Realizing the all-importance of thought and spirituality to life, he cared little for worldliness and was always content with very little. He never had any ambitions. All he wanted was to influence mankind with goodness, charity, consideration and universal respect of all life. His complete lack of pretentions made him the most influential person in Asia ever. He always wished to do everything for everyone and nothing for himself.

Today he is in some parts worshipped as a god. That is all wrong, for he was never anything but his fellow-beings' fellow-being. If people consider him a god they misunderstand his humanity.

You are always as great as you with your heart consider your neighbour. You are never greater or more than you consider your fellow-being.

Last chances do not exist. Chances and opportunities always come again.

You can never waste anything. You can never waste your love, talent, time, energy or even your money. To waste is to give affluently, and that is never a bad thing to do, because what you are wasting always lands somewhere.

Life is a joyous play written by us, staged by us, played by us and watched by us. The heroes and heroines of our play are those of us who impress.

The play is an endless dramatic comedy which is slowly getting better and better all the time.

This diary is nothing but a work of art. I am an artist, nothing more and nothing less, and this diary is only one of my works of art, nothing more and nothing less.

I would like every reader of it to know, that I never want this diary to be considered as anything else but a piece of art. I am no politician, no philosopher, no religious speculator or anything else than merely an artist.

22.4. Let the drug addicts become drug addicts if they want to. Nobody can save them but themselves.

Nobody must be hindered from living and creating his own life, not even the drug addict, the alcoholic or the lunatic.

Nobody can save all these people but themselves. Everyone can save himself if he must. The only right way to live is one's own.

The oldest, the most common and the most repeated truth of all is perhaps this one: Your life was given to you for you to create.

Life pleases no one all by itself. Only You can make life please you.

Your life is pleasant and enjoyable only when You make it so.

Buddha and Jesus were nothing but very good artists. All priests are good artists. Everyone who is living for God is a good artist.

The good artist is the link between man and God.

An artist who does not live for God is no artist. But probably all artists do live for God, whether they are aware of it or not. Or else they would not have become artists.

Everyone who lives for God, aware of it or not, is an artist.

The popular music, e.g. Beatles etc., is, like all music, good when it is beautiful. It is too seldom beautiful, therefore too seldom good.

Nothing gives me more pain than being the witness of one human being misunderstanding another.

No tragedy is greater than that which relates the history of misunderstandings.

Every single thing of evil existing today, as violence, ignorance, stupidity, insanity, blindness and cruelty, has its source in one sole misunderstanding somewhere in the past, and that misunderstanding was probably between man and God.

One day, I am sure, everything will be peace and happiness.

Violence will fade away and disappear forever, just like every single thing of evil that ever existed.

Evil never survives. Good always survives.

Everything of evil will die and be forgotten. Everything of good will live forever and be glorified and worshipped forever.

You always harm yourself more than your fellow-being, as you harm him.

You are always glorified yourself when you glorify your fellow-being even more.

Whatever you do to your fellow-being, it always becomes part of you.

Earth belongs to those who love it. Whoever its rulers may be, it belongs to its lovers alone.

Never act against your conscience. Acting against your conscience is acting against yourself.

The man who has no conscience has no self. He has lost his self. He has buried it alive acting against it. It lies somewhere at the bottom of his ignorance.

He can always retrieve it.

23.4. Romantic films are always successful if their romances are real and truthful. The romances of, for instance, "The Sound of Music" and "Doctor Zhivago" were very real, while for instance the romance of "The Fall of the Roman Empire" was not very real.

Do not try to forget, destroy or disconnect from the past. You will never succeed. To destroy the past is as impossible as to try and destroy the present and the future. The past will always remain alive as much as the present and the future.

The more you are the master of your own past, the more you will be the master of your own present and your own future.

God is one of us. He lives perhaps next door.

In peacetime you can always trust anyone. In war and in any sort of circumstances involving violence you suddenly find that you can trust exactly no one.

Everyone should be able to trust everyone. Violence was the only thing that ever created distrust.

No composer ever worked harder than Schubert. He slaved to give mankind his music, and he received nothing for it but the love of his friends. This love was enough to keep him alive and make him continue slaving.

His life ended before it had even started. When he died he had yet achieved nothing of what he had wanted to achieve as a composer. And yet he had achieved more.

Every existing individual is the highest thing of all: a work of art - nothing else.

Like every single piece of real art, every individual is, of course, undying.

I am not strictly chaste. It just so happens, that I have never been at all interested in any kind of sex.

If everyone was like me, mankind would die. Only its spirit would survive.

Live for your love. Live for nothing but your own love, the people and the things and the ideas you love. Make your love the guide of your life. It will lead you forward.

Those who wonder about the meaning of life have no love to live for. They should find their love, and then their life's meaning will appear to them. Discover your love, and you have discovered everything.

If you love mankind, live for mankind. If you love art, live for the sake of art. If you love your wife, live for your wife. If you love nature, dedicate your life to nature. Whatever you love, live for that thing only. Your love will make you grow spiritually; by exploring your love you will more and more begin to understand it, and the more you understand love, the more you will understand everything.

Everyone is capable of spiritual love. Spiritual love is the very highest and purest kind of love. Of spiritual love I speak.

If you love many things, live for them all.

Never desert your love. Never desert the things and the people you love. Never desert what you live for. To do so is to harm yourself beyond expression. Never do this terrible thing to yourself. To desert your love is to desert your life. Be faithful to your everlasting love.

Those who have had love but who have lost it can regain it, always. Anything you ever lost you can regain, if it is good. You only lose something in order to regain it. Because by loving it you make it a part of your soul, and once it is part of your soul it will remain with you forever. It can not die. Because love never dies.

Your love is your guide. It is your light. It leads you forward. Always follow your love, the light of your life, and you will always be moving forward towards greater heights.

Your love is your life. It is your only real possession, your only possession that is not perishable. It is you. It is what makes life wonderful. It is what makes it worth living and glorifying.

It is worth living for.

24.4. All that I have written down in this diary is just common sense. At least I could not call it anything else than common sense.

The things untrue are of course not common sense. But if anything in it is true, that thing is just common sense - known to everyone already. 

25.4. The most respectable profession of all is that of the artist. It is also, perhaps, the most common profession of all.

The artists are those who carry the earth on their shoulders. They alone make it move forward, develop and shine. They do this by inspiring it and endowing it with spirituality.

Because of art, man is not an animal.

An artist is someone who lives for God. He may be aware of it or not.

He can have any profession. Christ, for instance, was a pure artist. Abraham Lincoln was also an artist. Alexander the Great was an artist who made his life into a splendid work of art. Even Albert Einstein, I consider, was much of an artist.

Good examples of very good artists are Christ, Buddha, Pericles, Plato, Augustus, Charlemagne, Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Francis, Henry V, Queen Elizabeth I, David Livingstone, Socrates, Confucius, Otto the Great, Frederick Barbarossa, Moses, Samuel, Jeremiah, Solon, Cicero, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, King Alfonso the Wise, Columbus and Maghellan, among others.

A creator of living art is always a good artist.

Good artists have always been and will always be needed and welcomed. The world will always shout for joy whenever a new one enters the stage of creative history.

I always tried to influence people. If I ever succeeded, I hope my influence was not too bad.

Also I always wished to be influenced by others. I was always very well influenced by others. Almost everyone I ever met with influenced me greatly and enriched my soul with wondrous and costly treasures, that if I would try to thank them all for each treasure that I did receive, I would never, never be able to succeed.

The greatest encouragement anyone can receive is perfect understanding.

Philosophy, the truth, science, religion, etc., are in my opinion nothing but parts of the simple thing called common sense. Everyone knows it more or less. Everyone possesses the knowledge of it and uses it more or less.

Psychology, Christianity, Buddhism, stoicism, psycho-analysis, anthropology, Islam and all other such kinds of things are in my opinion nothing but over-complicated forms of common sense.

Common sense is what everyone knows in his heart. It is knowledge about everything. Everything which is true for everyone is part of common sense.

There are two kinds of common sense, or two stages thereof. The first is what exactly everyone knows in his heart. It is Basic common sense. It is nothing but the truth, the facts.

Everyone knows everything about this sort of common sense in his heart. Basic common sense belongs to everyone, and everyone knows it and uses it more or less. No one is unaware of basic common sense. No one is wholly ignorant about it. Everyone basically has a Conscience.

The basic common sense consists of nothing but the coolest and plainest of facts. They are very impersonal and stale and sometimes hard to face. The basic common sense is nothing but the plain truth about everyone. It is the realities of life, both material and spiritual. Some people call it Karma, but it is then that Karma which everyone has in common.

The second kind of common sense is more educated and personal. It is philosophy. It is wisdom. It is what is true but not known to everyone. It is the result of long and good experience. It is the Truth, but it is not true to everyone. Therefore it is personal.

It comprises the knowledge of love and understanding, of grace and of glory. It comprises the field of art and of beauty.

It is attainable only by learning. Socrates, Plato, Buddha and Marcus Aurelius were teachers of it. It is called Refined common sense.

People like Jesus, Aristotle and Epicure concentrated more on analysing the basic common sense, establishing it in forms and making it known.

Science is a complicated form of basic common sense. Philosophy is a complicated form of the refined common sense.

So there are two stages of common sense. The first is the one which everyone knows all about in his heart: basic common sense, the facts, the truth.

The second is the result of good experience and of learning: refined common sense - basic common sense Simplified.

Of the two you should concentrate on mastering the basic common sense. Refined common sense will then sooner or later come to you by itself, if your mind is open to it.

The most marvellous and wonderful man who was ever brought into existence lives next door. He is charming, he can make you totally happy, he can joke, and he can give you as much joy and pleasure as ever the best friend you could ever imagine. He is truly the finest and best character in the world.

He sits behind his door waiting for your delightful company every day of his life. He longs for your friendship, he longs for your acquaintance, he is lonely and shy just like you. He is the most wonderful man in the world. And yet you do not know him.

It is about time you made his acquaintance. You have been strangers to each other always. Now, step out of your door, knock on his, and shake hands with him as he opens. Then invite him to your place for a cup of tea. I am truly certain that he is the finest man in the world. To know him, I assure you deeply, is most invaluable.

Who he is? Whom this strange man I am speaking of is? In a moment I will whisper it to you.

He is your own fellow-being.

27.4. Do not believe in hell or in any such thing. Hell never existed and most certainly never will. The idea of hell is the most foolish one that man ever invented in his folly.

If you think someone is bad, evil, a friend of the devil, a crook or otherwise a guy to keep away from, it simply means that you have not understood him properly.

Don't believe in those complicated tales and things which people teach you. The truth is never as complicated as Hinduism, islamism, Christianity, Buddhism or naturalism.

The religions all deny each other. Therefore they can but be all false.

The simple truth, the basic facts deny nothing: They explain everything.

Man could never have done without God. Therefore God exists, at least as an idea. Whether he exists as a personal being, though, will always remain a most debated issue.

Search for the simple truth and you will find it. Search for it everywhere, deny nothing; search in every religion, science, philosophy and weird organization, and you will find it everywhere in bits and pieces, because the truth can never be monopolized. Everything that makes sense is part of the truth, and although most things in this world do not make any sense, some things always will.

Do not think that anything ever changes, for the truth is that nothing ever changes.

The times appear to change, but they really never do.

At the end of every infinity a new infinity immediately begins, and the latest infinity was just like the very first, only a slight bit better, maybe.

History repeats the same old story all the time: war, peace, new systems and progress; war, peace, new systems and progress; war, peace, new systems and progress; etc, etc, etc.

Nothing ever changes.

Even if the world blew up it would not be a change of any great importance.

The world must, of course, never blow up. The world is worth preserving for its immense treasures of art and for its wondrous history and beauty of art and nature.

28.4. Ignorance is the worst thing I ever came across. It terrifies you when you meet with it face to face.

Ignorance is one word for blindness, misunderstanding, stupidity and irresponsibility. A truly ignorant man sees nothing, understands nothing, acts like a fool and imagines that nothing has anything to do with him.

He never laughs and never cries. He is like made of stone. He thinks art and love is rubbish. If he is religious he is even worse than the pious people so accurately described by Graham Greene. If he is religious, he is a fanatic, covertly or openly.

He is totally blind to all his own faults. The thought that he might be wrong is impossible for him to imagine. He is a cynic; he despises everyone and everything. No one ever likes him.

He never takes any notice when he is harming or hurting others. He never understands anything about good. He thinks everyone is bad and is often paranoid, taking evil for granted everywhere. He lacks all common sense. And he is, of course, the unhappiest man in the world.

When he is angry or in any way active, all he wants is to destroy. In the eyes of foolish people, he is then fascinating. When he is not angry, he seeks destruction still, but covertly.

He is a man who has forgotten all about himself. He has lost himself, his good heart, his conscience and his sense, and therefore he is totally ignorant.

Sometimes he is also regrettably clever.

The more you are aware of good, your conscience, your own faults, God and life, the less ignorant you are, and the happier you are.

Everyone can always become less and less ignorant. Ignorance is everyone's greatest fault, and it can always be fought with success.

The only sin is ignorance, and the only vice is conscious ignorance.

Life is always enjoyable when your purpose in it is good.

The world usually recognizes geniuses when they are children or when they are dead.

Far too much importance and significance is given to the teaching of sciences at school. Far too little significance is given to the teaching of more important things such as languages and different cultures and religions of earth.

Mathematics can never unite mankind. International understanding will.

30.4. The one thing you can never glorify enough is your fellow-being.

People in the world who can not criticize themselves are like ships at sea lacking helms.

Never lose the power of self-criticism. It is one of your most valuable and important gifts. When you are out on the stormy billows it will keep you on the right course.

People who can not criticize themselves have no conscience. They have no identity. They are, I am afraid, ignorant.

You are the captain of your ship. Always keep alert.

2.5. Never suppress your feelings. Pure feelings of love can never hurt anyone.

But do keep them pure.

4.5. The greatest guides of the world and history were mostly artists and teachers of religions. The were seldom politicians.

This diary of mine, like my music, came into existence only by chance. I wrote it only to practise English.

I am still far from the master of English I wish to become, so for the time being I will continue to practise my English.

Never be content with the knowledge you already have. Always strive for more. Never be satisfied with your experience, your luck, your happiness and your learning, but always be hungry for more. What is good can never be enough or too much. On the contrary, it always remains too little.

Life is the sort of food which no one ever had enough of. The nature of it always must needs have more.

5.5. Never mistrust your own imagination. Everything you are able to imagine you are also able to make real.

Make your goal in life as high as possible. For an example: construct in your thoughts a castle of dreams more wonderful than the brightest dreams you ever dared to dream, and then live only for that dream-castle. Never desert it. Make it real. Then one day you will see it wholly come true.

Beautiful things are always true. They are worth believing in.

Your own imagination is always true. You can always believe in its good products without risking anything.

But never use your imagination to escape from reality. Reality exists for you to make it better.

Reality is a wonderful thing. It is the thing for you to use to build and create exactly whatever you like. With reality for a tool you create your life, with the means of reality you create your home and your family; reality is the thing to use when you want to make real whatever you desire.

Dreams do always come true, if you make them come true.

Pride is a sort of awareness of one's self. It is a very good thing to be aware of yourself, but never let it in any way come between you and your fellow-being.

Be proud, but keep your pride to yourself.

I never accepted evil, and I never will.

8.5. You can but love Tchaikovsky. His warmth is excelled by few. His melodies are of the very finest kind. And only Beethoven, Brahms and Sibelius made finer symphonies.

I never tire of him. I never will.

Yesterday in town an extraordinary incident befell me. It was an incident of such rare magnificence that every doubt I ever had concerning the world disappeared for ever. It made me completely trust the entire future.

The incident was this. A small boy, hardly more than eleven years old, walked on the pavement. He was a happy boy, for he whistled. His parents were obviously poor, and his home country could not have been Sweden. His face belonged either in Italy or in Hungary.

He was dirty but happy. He was a merry whistling child, and as such are rare I tried to make out what tune he was whistling. I recognized the tune, but at first I could not remember where I had head it so often. I wondered for a long moment.

And then it came to me. The tune which this little poor Hungarian or Italian child was whistling quite correctly was one of the melodies in the third movement of the first symphony by Sibelius.

This incident completely restored my entire faith in mankind.

9.5. The best way to have a country ruled is to have one good despot with all the power in his hands. His people should choose him democratically. Everyone should trust him, and if he ever betrays his people's trust they should fire him and choose another.

The despot should himself choose his government, (and this government should be nothing but the despot's good friends and advisers, the number of which he should choose for himself.) The despot should have total power and responsibility over his country for as long as he remains in office.

The ideal economic system is to let everyone create his own life without any intrusions from the state. Everyone should stand on no legs but his own. Everyone should build his own fortune, his own happiness, his own family and his own future. Every individual should be free to do whatever he considers optimal.

Taxes should not exist, but everyone trusting the despot should demonstrate this by sending him a little money and small gifts of appreciation every month. The ruler should then politely keep for himself only what he needs and nothing more. He should never be remarkably rich, and if the people made him too poor he should take it as a sign of their displeasure and resign. The despot should have no income except the small money offered him by his own people. He should never accept great sums.

Hospitals, courts, schools and churches should be the people's concern and not of the government.

The despot's duty should be to act as a gentle leader for his people. He should know his country thoroughly well, travel around it often, associate with his people, correct occasional wrongs, personally answer letters and questions from his people and give advice to everyone who needs it. He should be his country's one and only politician. He should be its guide and father and servant. He should remain in office for as long as his people would like him to, but he should also be able to resign at any time.

His purpose should be to maintain peace and harmony. He should never be violent. He should have no army and no police whatsoever. He should also do his best to encourage good things in his kingdom such as art, knowledge, the conservation of nature, and he should also write books, allowing his people to get to know him personally and his views.

To the world outside his country he should set a good example, and good examples set by others in other countries he should follow. He should be on friendly terms with all other leaders in the world, and his every colleague all round the world should be able to trust him like a brother.

If every country in the world had this system, all the despots should choose one man for a "Father". This one man should then be to all the leaders of the world what the leaders should be to their people. He should, of course, be almost an ideal.

He should be nothing but an adviser. He should not do anything except when the leaders ask him to. He should answer letters, questions and problems of the world's leaders, and he should be for them simply a father.

His children should not come to see him personally, in general. They should write letters, or they should come when he invites them, or they should come when he honours them by begging them to. He should be the most careful and responsible of all men, and he should never be dependant on anything.

He should be like a Marcus Aurelius, or even finer.

He should know the world like his children their countries, and like them he should resign when he finds, by the gifts he receives, that he has lost his children's trust and confidence. Just like them, he should also make his views on things known by writing books and articles, and he should encourage whatever he considered good in the world.

This idea of mine is of course only workable in a world of peace, in a world without any arms or violence whatever.

Never think that your fellow-being has wrongs, for that is not for you to judge. Only he can judge that. All you can ever judge is yourself.

Be patient with those who criticize you, but never take their criticism seriously.

Disregard and forget everything which in any way is negative, such as criticism, irony, sarcasm and anger. Negative emotions and words like these never mean anything and never contain any sense.

To take stupidity seriously is to take part in the stupidity.

Never fear anyone or anything. If you fear something, look at it carefully and closely, and you will fear it no more. If you fear someone, or several ones, ignore them. They are not worth paying any attention to.

People often fear what they do not understand. No one ever feared what he did understand.

Never take anything seriously, except good.

Always take good seriously.

10.5. My greatest fault has been not to open the lid of the coffin in which I have always lain.

One day I will open it to let myself out.

Rudyard Kipling was blind to the ugliness of the world. He saw everything through the beauty of his personal eyes. The imperialism which he imagined was very good.

Always keep your mind very open. Wonderful things are happening every day.

Always consider everything from two points of view: yours and theirs.

That is the way to adapt oneself to the world.

In my opinion, evil never existed. Only ignorance and spiritual illness did.

Everything which denies anything of good is false.

11.5. People have the habit of being afraid of what they do not understand. They should overcome this fear by getting to understand what they are afraid of.

12.5. Always be sensible. Never deny anything without having a proper reason.

The best thing of all is of course to never deny anything whatsoever.

People who can not say "no" can not deny. They should be admired.

I never understood anything about sex. I was almost totally ignorant about it. I always understood love, though, and I always kept falling in love with every other girl of my age, but my love was always completely free from sex, which never has played any part in my life.

13.5. Why do people cut films? To cut films after their first nights is a most abominable crime, like cutting a canvas.

Few things are to me more painful than to see a good film which has been mutilated.

15.5. When you want to judge something, whatever it is, do look at it as a whole. Never judge it from its details. Do always know something wholly before you judge it, and then judge it as the one thing it is.

There is a fact which never ever should be overlooked by anyone, namely the fact that each individual has his very own love and very own basic purpose, and each individual's love and basic purpose is entirely different from everybody else's.

Every individual is entirely different from everyone else. Two human beings with identical personalities did never exist.

Try mastering your every difficulty with your love. You will find yourself succeeding.

The manner in which the science of scientology is being disseminated and spread I find to much to criticize.

1. It costs money. It should not cost any money. This fact is recognized by everyone. Even those who work for the science know themselves this fact. They say they can not help it.

2. Too many of those who have studied scientology are too proud. They are arrogant. They think they are so exceptionally right because of their superior knowledge, and this kind of self-assumed supremacy is also often found in a) skilful musicians, b) other scientists and c) theosophists. They look upon "ordinary" people without their education and insights with disdain. They even call people who happen to be ignorant about the secrets of their science "wogs", as if they were inferior and aberrated beings. They don't seem to be aware of that no one was ever more than an individual.

There is nothing wrong about pride in itself, but when it becomes a wall between people it should immediately be torn down.

Personally I regard scientology as a science which could help mankind leap forward, since it has an almost perfect technology to cure mental illness, criminality and drug addiction. But it has to do away with the two above-mentioned gross faults, which only lead to misunderstandings, hard feelings and antipathy.

The world I can but see as a whole. I live for the world, and this world which I live for contains every single living individual, whether he is blue, black, yellow or aquiline, whether he is learned, dull, idiotic or aristocratic, whether he is a catholic, a brahmin, a naturalist or an atheist, whether he loves, hates, likes or bites. Everyone is part of my world. Everyone is part of the world I so much live for and love.

The most important thing in the world is your love. Nothing in the world is more important than your own love. Never desert your love anyhow anywhere for even the slightest moment. Live for your love every moment of your life, and truly you will not regret it.

Venice, beloved city of mine, the costly jewel which I only had the bliss of seeing once, you must be saved. My world I pray to save her. Save the splendid Queen of the Mediterranean!

Venice is one of the most beloved cities in the world. Therefore to let her drown would be one of the most unforgivable sins imaginable. To let Venice drown would be a greater disaster than even the second dreadful world war.

Artists built her. Artists created her, and artists always adored her. Venice belongs to the good artists, to those who always loved her, and to her children. She is one of the most beloved cities in the world; therefore I pray to all: Save her.

My world, - save Venice!

16.5. A city becomes beautiful when you do not change it. Rome, for an example, was a hundred years ago the most beautiful city in the world, and so it was because it had not changed for two hundred years.

Change a city, and you bereave it of its charm by interfering with its natural development. Keep a city unharmed, and maintain it carefully without changing it, and you will find its charm steadily increasing.

17.5. Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary are countries who have tasted real imperialism. So is Tibet.

In the world there are three things which always were and always will be victorious. These three things were and are Truth, Love and Beauty. The three combined into one was the only thing which ever made the world progress, that is spiritually and culturally.

What comes from your soul is always good, true and beautiful. Trust your own soul always and ever.

Especially parents should beware of the enemy called ignorance, for nothing can harm a good child more than ignorant parents.

18.5. Be independent. Seek independence. Do never become dependant on anything or anyone. Total spiritual independence is perhaps the highest human state of all. When you have gained total spiritual independence you have at last started living your life.

Be dependant on nothing, not even your flesh and blood. Enjoy and use your life, but never become dependant on it.

No one ever was greater than you, just as no one ever was less than you.

The hardest, toughest and most difficult thing of all to conquer is total solitude or emptiness. If you can conquer that without degenerating or becoming degraded in any way, you are a free and independent man; in brief, then there is nothing wrong with you.

One of the most tragic tales in the history known to us is that of the battle of Hastings in 1066. William the Conqueror and Harold Godwinson were at that time the two finest kings in Europe. Had they become partners and close friends ruling together, Europe might have seen its great renaissance four centuries earlier.

None of them wished to fight. They were forced to fight by the barbarous customs of that age. The best man won, though.

King William became bitter and rough, probably because of the loss of the man he had expected most of.

Something can never become nothing. Therefore everyone is immortal. Therefore everything is immortal. Nothing else is possible.

A thought, a personality, a life, a piece of art, all these things are immortal, because something can never become nothing. Everything can change, but nothing can die.

Never read a book without understanding it. To do so is to waste your time.

Always read a book carefully. Understand every word, every sentence and every meaning, and your servant the author will appreciate you greatly and with pleasure write for you again, if you would like him to.

The difference between science and religion is, that science lacks spirit, and religion has too much of it.

A science consists of insipid but interesting facts. A religion consists of adorned romantic tales, fantasies, lies and truths all muddled up together.

Between these two stands philosophy. It is interesting and factual, and yet it can also be very enjoyable and spiritual.

All these three are of course but mere over-complicated expressions of man's common sense.

19.5. The only vice ever was ignorance.

Opinions are never of any value, except when they are good.

The mistakes you commit and afterwards regret are the best lessons of all.

Angry people should never be trusted or even noticed. They should be pitied and disregarded, for they do not make any sense.

Your future is but a beginning.

21.5. Never say or think : "I can't help it." You can always help everything.

Always overestimate your neighbour. But never overestimate yourself.

Everyone is capable of having a totally open mind, of understanding everything, of loving or liking everything and of creating his own happy life without difficulties. Everyone is capable of this quality, and everyone who ever lost it can regain it. But why did ever anyone lose it? How could anyone ever have done this terrible thing to himself?

Hell is a lie. Nothing is ever eternal except what is good.

Purgatory is ignorance and misery. We all dwell there, more or less.

Heaven is what awaits us all, sooner or later. It will be ours when we find it.

22.5. Those who think Israel is right and the Arabs wrong are just as wrong as those who think the Arabs are right and Israel wrong. Both Israel and the Arabs are both right and wrong.

Israel should rid themselves of all American influence, withdraw their troops from the Arabic land they occupy on the condition that they may now live in peace, and quiet down all their own fanatics and zionists.

The Arabs should rid themselves of all Russian influence, start treating Israel as the talented little brother it really is, do something sensible to make all their refugees happy again, and quiet down all those fanatics among themselves who want war.

The war in the Middle East is a personal matter between the Arabs and Israel. Only they can solve it between themselves.

Palestine, the country which twenty years ago justly belonged to the Arabs, Israel has justly earned today by bravely holding on to it for twenty years through all kinds of storms and incredible hurricanes.

The only guilty rascals and scoundrels in the war are those who want it, support it or profit by it. Israel and the Arabs should fight these instead of each other.

23.5. Alexander Nevsky was one of the finest Russians ever. He lived for his people only, died for them like a hero, became rightly one of their greatest saints and also one of their too few good and honourable leaders. His glory gave the Russians a most valuable sparkle of hope, which would last until Stalin degraded, insulted and deformed the picture of his memory. Stalin disgracefully called him a politician when he was nothing but an artist and a true Russian saint.

He was the Henry V of Russia or even more. He gave glory and beauty to Novgorod and Kiev, a glory and beauty which I hope will last forever.

24.5. Always listen to your fellow-being. Do not talk to him more than you listen to him.

25.5. Invulnerable are those who can not hurt or injure others.

The worst activity is inactivity.

Anything is better than nothing.

The great fools of history were always great artists.

Never let anything keep you away from living your life and forwarding in it your love.

27.5. Your love is the finest thing in the world, and the noblest, and also the simplest. It is your core. It is what you sense and feel when, for example, you fall in love, or see a beautiful piece of art which offers you sensations, or when you happen to something else of absolute wonderfulness. Your love is your atmosphere, your feelings, your ideals and your memories. A beautiful dream comes directly from your love, and so does a wonderful idea. Your love is what you live for, and your love is what you apply to create a wonderful future.

Everything belonging to your love is, like your love in itself, invincible. Nothing can kill or harm your love; instead the world is full of things which can increase it.

Everything beautiful is invincible, because it is part of someone's love. The beauty of the world can never be destroyed: its matter can be dissolved, but its spirit remains forever, invincibly, in the hearts of human beings and souls. A beautiful Madonna created by Raphael can never be demolished: the picture of it will always remain alive in the hearts and souls of those who love it.

Your love, everyone's love, is invincible, and everything you touch with it becomes in no time invincible too. Your love is your magic stick: you can do anything with it which is lovable.

Bless everyone with your love. Bless the world and all living things with your love, and they will all become even more immortal and sacred than they ever were before. Waste your love, your feelings and your atmosphere on everyone; spend it boundlessly in the world on everything which delights you, and you will see for yourself the miracle of miracles occur: it all becomes alive and invincible in you forever.

Love is creation. Love is happiness. Love is charm, colours and beauty. Everything good is the result of love.

Love created the world. Love created me. Love created every life which ever existed for you to see. Love made Shakespeare. Love made Mozart. Love made Greece, England and the forever existent Paradise.

Your love and my love is what we live for. We live to recreate it, increase it and with delight enjoy and admire it. Love is me, love is you, and love is your brother, your uncle, and every being to be.

Live for your love, enjoy your love; do everything possible to increase it. Your love is all that ever mattered in the world to you and anyone. Love is the origin of life and all the life that ever was and is to be. Love is the impulse that sets everything alight with the golden sparkle that sets the whole universe ablaze with light. Love separates light from darkness and remains a light for ever and all the joy there is to be. It is the essence of divinity, of life and of creation. It is the purpose and meaning and eternity of life.

Love is all there ever was to it.

 

 

(It appears from the diary notes, that between May 27th and June 2nd 1970

the diarist made at least two abortive attempts to commit suicide.

Editor's note.)

 

 

Second Part.

2.6. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are sensible and those who are not sensible. Those who are sensible see things as they are; those who are not sensible do not see things as they are. Sensible people are always constructive. They always create, love and build. They make out the backbone of the world.

5.6. To trust is to love. Those who can not be trusted are unreliable because they can not trust others: they can not love.

9.6. Sometimes it happens, that a sensible person drastically and with great vigour speaks his mind in a great matter. By those who have studied the matter thoroughly and are very inactive about it, he is answered, that he should be quiet, because he doesn't know anything about it. By saying this, these people are actually saying: "We don't want to listen."

Sometimes a person standing outside the mess sees the mess more clearly as a whole than those who are deeply involved and entangled in it.

13.7. The more power you have, the more you are able to serve, and the more humble you should become in relation to your fellow-beings.

What counts in a work of art is its spirit. A work of art should never be judged from anything else but its spirit alone.

The creation of a spirit is the highest creation of all.

Man's only enemy ever was and is ignorance.

15.7. Those who succumb to pain do not lack courage, but they do lack character.

The more you believe in violence, the madder you are.

Anger is never excusable. Becoming angry is always to wrong oneself.

Never listen to an angry person. Never pay attention to him or her. They never mean what they say.

It is the same thing with every single sort of antagonism. Violent, aggressive and hostile people never mean what they say. Anger is sheer madness.

The more you are aware of your soul and your self, the more you have character, the more you are able to accept and brace, and the more seldom you become the victim of your self-destructive ire.

16.7. My Earth - what planet in the universe is more beautiful, more rare and more lovable than you? What is all this silly nonsense about your being in danger of getting blown up? Who are those creeping animals saying, "aprËs-nous le dÈluge"? Who is so ignorant, that he does not care about Earth, its treasures, its wonderful wealth of wild-life and nature, its enormous fantastic past and its enormous fantastic future?

Earth is one single masterpiece of art. It shines with sparkling colours more brilliantly and beautifully than the greatest suns and supernovas. What history could possibly be more brilliant and colourful than that of the Earth? What artists could possibly be greater and more admirable? What planet in the universe was ever more beloved than our own eternally belauded Earth?

Earth is here to stay. Such a gem like our mother Earth, with her universal nature and all her unique characteristics, can in no possible way ever perish.

17.7. The most wonderful and enjoyable thing in the world to do is to live.

The journey of one's own life is the most fantastic and marvellous journey there is in existence. Each new day is an undiscovered continent.

Nothing matters, nothing ever mattered, and nothing will ever matter, except love.

I define love as one's own good feelings.

Mankind, unite!

Love is always unexpected.

Therefore it is always the most baffling and astonishing thing.

A man who forgives and accepts anything and everything has only good memories.

A man understands his fellow-being and himself to the same degree.

If you don't understand your brother or your father-in-law, you don't understand yourself.

18.7. Agreements can be harmful, whether they are small or great. A small agreement could be two persons speaking about a third and agreeing on the point, that he has certain faults. A greater agreement could be Russia and America agreeing to bomb China.

Agreements that do not contain anything good are always more harmful than you think. Never agree with anything until you know for certain it is good to do so.

Never bother about people who won't listen to you. Don't try to make them listen to reason. If they ignore you, you shall ignore them.

Who knows? Maybe our planet really is the only living planet in the universe?

If that is the case, we are both more lonely than we think and more splendid than we think.

Social problems do not exist. Each man has his own individual problems, and he can solve them only by himself, and no other problems exist in the world.

Each man creates his own individual problems, and he has no problems but these. If he does not or is unable to solve them, which he very seldom is, he needs help.

I have always been afraid of all kinds of people. People whom I have loved as good friends I have feared to disappoint or to be disappointed by. People whom I have not known I have feared that they might have bad opinions and false thoughts about me. Female people, whom I have always fallen in love with, I have feared to be expecting things from me. People who think they know me without really doing so I always fear insults from.

Only people who have been perfectly at ease with me, and who have regarded me as nothing but a good friend, I have been able to trust completely, to be completely natural with, and not to have the slightest fear of.

19.7. What mankind needs is a leading star, whose light and genius is great enough to fill everyone with new life and inspiration, new interest in the world and in life, new great discoveries and developments, perhaps means to get to Mars and Andromeda. Mankind needs someone to keep the party going, someone like the Buddha, Alexander of Macedonia or Augustus. The light of someone is needed whose genius is bright enough to keep everyone away from boredom, which is the first step towards destruction, suicide and chaos.

A star is needed to guide the world forwards once more.

What mankind also needs is a new world to discover.

Used not the rightest way, love can sometimes be upsetting.

From the time they have shown themselves capable of having their own thoughts, you should treat and love your children as nothing but very good friends.

20.7. A man is as great as his dreams.

24.7. In his essay "A Glance at Two Books", Joseph Conrad touches upon a very interesting subject: two different kinds of authors. There are those of the first kind, who easily write just to express themselves, their thoughts and their considerations. Then there are those of the second kind, to whom Conrad belongs, who write to create beauty out of existing ugliness. "To find beauty, grace, charm in the bitterness of truth is a graver task."

25.7. Your finest tool in creating your life, your future, your happiness, your sense and your welfare, is your own self-criticism. Always be very critical against yourself. Never prefer your own opinion to another's, and never speak more than you listen. Discuss all your points and opinions with those who know better, - their number is about 3500 million, - and always enlarge your own viewpoint by acquiring and realizing the viewpoints of others.

Never speak more than you listen. In a congregation of, let us say, a hundred people, you should listen a hundred times more than you speak, because everyone has as much to say as you.

Your words are never more important than you consider the words of others.

I am afraid, that endowed people who can not think often become extremists. They are talented barbarians.

Too often in too many countries, only the least respectable people bother to become politicians. Some autocracies are already genuine kakistocracies.

The future of the world lies in the hands of the artists.

26.7. The world is tortured by ignorance, and its scream of pain is violence.

Sex is just a way of expressing love, just as words are just a way of expressing thoughts. You can love without sex, just as you can think without words. And sometimes one's thoughts are too lofty and serene to be properly expressed in words, just as sometimes one's love for another human being is too great and immense to be properly expressed only by the means of sex.

Some people have found me "sexually attractive". I abhor that idea. People may love me but never sexually, for I have never wanted to debase anyone by loving her only sexually.

How tragic everything is! In every person's face you can find tragedy upon tragedy; and the greater and nobler the person is, the more numerous and obvious and beautiful are the tragedies in his eyes.

Every person who possesses thoughts of his own know what tragedies are, and I can but think that every such man consider them the most beautiful things in the world. "How tragic everything is!" everyone thinks and loves the thought.

27.7. Underestimate someone, and he will revolt against you.

If you have the habit of underestimating others, which you probably have, then you also have the habit of underestimating yourself. Free yourself of both.

A marriage shatters when too much significance is attached to its sexual life. Real love does not die. It is eternal.

30.7. "Perpetual levity must end in ignorance." - Dr Johnson.

Happiness is love. You can give it, have it and enjoy it every day of your life if you want to; all you have to do is to find it. It is found by digging and by forever throwing away all the soil and dirt that covers it. It is a hard labour, but until it is finished it is the most important work in the world for you to do.

Good luck!

31.7. One's only real friends are those who have infinite trust in you and who are trusted by you completely. Their houses and hearts are always open to you, just like your house and your heart always is open to them.

Such a friendship between people is one of the loveliest things in the world. It is built and kept by carefulness and consideration.

The least indiscretion shown to a good friend of yours will give him a wound deeper than the Grand Canyon.

"Ignorance, when it is voluntary, is criminal; and he may properly be charged with evil who refused to learn how he might prevent it." - Dr Johnson.

"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful." - Dr Johnson.

To think is perhaps the most wonderful occupation of all.

1.8. The world is a dirty, ugly, degraded, ignorant and very unpleasant place to stay at. It is in every way foul, rough and unfriendly, and everyone stays in it just to suffer and die. The world is truly abominable in almost every conceivable sense.

But in this snake-pit, in minute nooks and crannies, between the mountains of filth and debasement, there are small white flowers surviving after all, and they never die. They are the flowers of beauty and construction. They are the arts, the ancient Greece, the universities, the happy families, the great geniuses, Venice, Rome and the past glory of London. They are the good things of the world. They are the products of love. They are quite small, childish people trample on them, spit on them and even try to destroy them; but they shine with an ever lingering light, and they alone will in the end be worth living for; on one day in a very distant future they alone will appear in all their magnificent glory as the only light and meaning of life.

2.8. Shame on me if I ever gave anyone a bad impression.

Never own your children. They are nothing else but a couple of common fellow-beings, and from their tenth birthday you should treat them only like friends. If you do so, they will never revolt against you.

Healthy youths only revolt when their freedom is inhibited by the ownership of their parents.

Give your children their own lives to live. Don't try to suit their lives to yours. It will never work.

Knowledge is very peculiar. The more you know, the more you understand how very small your knowledge is. And if you know just a little, you think you know everything.

The more knowledge you attain, the more knowledge is left for you to attain.

No one can judge your faults but yourself, and no one can judge your merits but your fellow-beings.

People isolate themselves by backbiting each other. The source of all splits are backbiters. Beware of them, and never listen to them.

The Jews are the most persecuted people in the world, because they have throughout twenty centuries constantly been backbitten.

Had no one ever backbitten anyone, the world of today would be paradisaical: it would consist of a united humanity.

3.8. Capitalists and communists are all of the same sort: pure idiots. Capitalism is excessive dependence on property, and communism is excessive rejection of property. Both are very irrational and lead nowhere.

People of the eastern world consider all people in the west capitalists, and westerners think that all in the east are communists. Both notions are of course very wrong. Only a few communists live in the east, and only very few capitalists live in the west. 80 percent of mankind are good honest people who belong to neither madness.

What I call real capitalists and communists are those who actually practise their stupid beliefs. Only fools are hungry for property, and only more fools see any danger in it.

There is only one danger in life: to get overwhelmed by it and stuck in it. That danger I have found is easily swept away by love. Never allow yourself to get lost in life. Always look forward, always keep your future within sight with expectations, always strive to reach the ultimate goal of becoming able to accept absolutely nothing.

Do never become an artist unless you feel it as your duty.

4.8. The most important time of your life is your future.

Every individual has his own philosophy. This diary contains mine. It is but another bucket of water into the infinitely vast and beautiful ocean.

5.8. Sex is not an ugly language, but it is a base language. It is the love-language of the primitive.

Only very few people are not primitive.

The backbone of society are those admirable people who own sense. Sense is the power to see and to do what is right.

Right is what makes everyone happy. Wrong is what makes one or a number of people unhappy.

If you do something which turns ninety-nine people happy and the hundredth person unhappy, be certain that that thing was not the right thing to do. Only what turns exactly no one unhappy is right.

The most naÔve men who ever lived were Buddha and Christ. NaÔvety has always worked wonders with men, and so it always will.

What does it matter if people harm and hurt you? As long as you do not harm and hurt them, you have no reason to be gloomy.

Always criticize yourself excessively. You need it.

6.8. Marriage is the step from youth to age. A bachelor, no matter what his age may be, is always younger than a married man, however young he may be.

7.8. You never have any right to criticize anything or anyone except yourself.

When you find something or someone else criticisable than yourself, it is quite certain that you do not know all about it or him or her.

Shakespeare's Sonnets is perhaps the finest treasure of all lying in the flower-spread golden meadow of human literature.

The value of Venice is inconceivably immeasurable. It was created during nine centuries into being the world's most beautiful queen among cities, and such a queen we can not afford to lose.

Venice must be saved, and its houses and canals must all be repaired soon and at any cost. It is the whole world's business and responsibility to save the drowning grand lady.

Make her a free port, stop the dangerous dirty outflow of waste from the industries, halt the pollutions, and crown our queen of the Mediterranean once more with jewels.

If you are worried, keep it to yourself. The most efficient way to worry others is to worry about them openly.

12.8. Sorrows, troubles, death, ruins and disasters are things without any meaning at all. Nothing is significant but love, so do not engage in things that are not lovable.

Always fight your ignorance with your heart and soul. It is your only enemy in the world.

When you notice some fault in your fellow-being, check yourself at once and look into your own soul for the same fault, and you will find it. You think about others what you dare not think about yourself.

17.8. You only fail to understand what you in your heart do not want to understand. And this is your supreme fault.

Never be afraid of overrating. It was never done by anyone, and neither will it ever be.

But a thing that was always committed by everyone was the act of underestimating.

Nothing was ever overestimated. Everything was always underrated.

The most beautiful roads are those not too broad ones and not too trafficked ones with natural green living walls and roofs, which the sunlight quietly sieves through. Such roads I have only seen in England.

18.8. In the world there is only one thing which I truly hate, and that is ignorance. I hate that ignorance which makes people laugh and giggle at the death of Calvero in "Limelight", which makes people turn off "Der letzte Mann" in the television to have a look at "Peyton Place" instead in another channel, which makes people turn off the radio because Brahms is playing, and which makes people rate professions only according to their income.

And nothing ever made me angry but ignorance gone too far.

If you know you are ignorant you are not ignorant. Only those who are ignorant about their being ignorant are truly ignorant.

21.8. A suicide is someone who thinks he has lost his future. He sees nothing in his future, so he finds no reason to continue his existence.

What he should do to avoid the temptation of death is to create another future instead of the lost one. I have gone through that process a hundred times.

The voice is only able to express one twentieth of what the spirit wishes to say.

A letter is a slight bit better: it expresses a fifth.

If you are ever disillusioned, create new illusions. Without illusions no man can live.

Only grief is not always vanity. But emotions of misery, sorrow, pity and worry are always tokens of excessive vanity.

23.8. Every person has a good side and a bad side. His good side consists of qualities, and his bad side consists of absence of qualities and slight madnesses. Look into yourself only for your bad sides and into others only for their good ones. Thus you will notice what qualities you lack, your slight madnesses you will be able to control, and if you carry on like this you will find yourself suddenly becoming better as a man.

To become better is each man's highest dream. The only one who can make him better is himself.

26.8. About half of mankind believe in the transmigration of souls, and about the other half believe in God. Personally I believe in both.

Very few people are materialists and naturalists, believing in nothing. They seem to be more than they actually are.

Always remember, that whenever you see something wrong and complainable in your environment, the wrong is in you yourself and not in what you think.

A man owning that wonderful thing called common sense lives in perfect harmony with his environment, no matter how disagreeable it is. He considers it ugly only when he himself is ugly, and he disagrees with it only when he himself is disagreeable. He wants to change it only when he ought to change himself.

27.8. Reality is what always surprises you by never being what you expect.

30.8. Never depreciate anyone. To do so is a black crime. No one was ever worth depreciating.

You have only the right to depreciate yourself - none other.

Every person living, in your house or in Papua, is your own spiritual brother or sister, whether you like it or not. It is your duty to treat them according to what they are, and they are never worse than you.

31.8. Self-criticism is nothing but watching one's own steps. And not knowing how you are going is not knowing that you are alive.

The individual is the only important thing in the world.

1.9. Miss Rosemary Brown has a lot of imagination, which is a proof of great talent.

The one of Gershwin's wonderful works I take the greatest delight in listening to is "An American in Paris". It might be the finest orchestral composition written in this century since Sibelius lay aside his pen.

There are two kinds of music: music which you listen to and music which you don't listen to. The first kind is the sort of music which you seriously and quietly attend to with great respect and without making any fuss. The second is the one to which you fall asleep, to which you sing, whistle, work or dance, and which you show no respect at all.

Some people treat all music the second way. These people are ignorant.

Others treat only the worst music the first way. These are very ignorant too.

Classical music by the great masters should always be treated the first respectable way, simply because there is no other way to understand it.

Never judge a man from anything but his personality. His personality is his only property and characteristic of any importance.

The art of philosophy is just a hobby of mine: it is pleasant and amusing to write down the ideas which suddenly pops into your head.

2.9. Beethoven enjoyed cudgelling his listeners with his music. But even more he loved caressing them.

To evolve, develop, improve, purify and refine yourself is the most wonderful thing you can do.

And the way to do it is to work - as creatively as possible.

5.9. Don't worry about your body. Life is but one moment long even if you live for two hundred years.

A life that is so rich, though, that it continues to influence mankind even after its conclusion, is very long.

Crazy people like "the true Communists of China and Albania" do usually scream. Therefore you notice them more than you should.

Politics is the game of ruthlessness. Art is the game of love. They will never mix without killing each other, and art will never be able to die.

An artist who is active politically is mad and therefore not an artist. It is impossible for an artist to engage in politics without losing his art, while political power is always lost anyway.

A man who knows the whole history of the world in detail has 5000 years of experience.

People who do not like philosophy do not like to plunge into their own minds. I quite understand them.

7.9. The happy families are the backbone of the world.

My imagination is what always kept me going forward. It has saved my life more than five hundred times, and I still regard it as my most elementary quality.

What I can not understand is why not everyone is aware of the glory of their imagination. What makes people despise, disregard, disown and even distrust the finest quality they ever had and ever will have!

Learn how to regard everything as beautiful, even your own tragic fate and your most solemn situations. Regard everything as beautiful, and you will never find life unpleasant.

Don't ever be angry with anyone except yourself. You are the only cause of everything that disturbs you.

I don't at all fancy the idea of people reading this private diary of mine, but in what other way will they ever understand my fate?

It is quite possible that I am one of the vainest people who ever lived. Everyone who ever tried to make people understand him was truly vain and presumptuous.

8.9. All people are good. But there are four kinds of good people: those who are entirely good, those who are good and bad and want to get rid of their badness, those who are good and bad and do not care, and those who think they are entirely bad. The first group is the largest. The other three need help. The fourth group is the smallest.

The world has never changed through the eternities except minutely for the better. The dinosaurs had the same problems as we are having today. Rebels, revolutionaries and radicals have always existed and will probably always exist, because I doubt that they will ever realize that all their tough fights are but vanities. The only ones who ever succeeded in changing the world were those who did not try.

Everything is vain, useless and wasted except one thing, and that is love. Love was the only thing that ever mattered, and so it can but always be. Only love did ever change the world for the better, and only love will ever do anything good at all anywhere. Only two things exist: love and emptiness. Everything is but love and emptiness. Emptiness is empty; love alone can accomplish anything.

The story of my life is very simple. I was born, i suffered, and then I discovered why I suffered: I was ignorant. So I searched for a way of getting rid of my ignorance. I found it, and here I am with a wasted life.

Funny, isn't it?

Each man creates his life according to his own wishes. It has always been so and it will always be so. If a man leads a poor life, he has created it himself: therefore you shall leave him alone. Leave everyone alone who does not beg for help. Only those who actually begged for help did ever really need it.

And all those who want to recreate the world because it isn't good enough should actually recreate themselves, because the first thing wanting in the world is themselves.

There is an old Chinese proverb, that if you save someone's life, you are responsible for that life for the rest of your life. That is crooked Chinese logic. If, for instance, you save someone from committing suicide and that person tries to commit it again, you can not be held responsible for his suicide.

No one is ever responsible for your life with everything in it including all the dramas of all its relationships except yourself.

The army relieved me of having to do my military service. I can't believe that it's actually true. I thought the sky was for ever cloudy, and suddenly I look up and find a clear blue heaven with a brilliant sun shining, just for me. I can't believe it.

And quite suddenly I respect Sweden.

The more clearly you see the people around you, the more considerate you are towards them. The less considerate you are towards them, the blinder you are.

This century is indeed the most remarkable one in history. Never has man been more tremendous, more numerous and more threatened by graver dangers.

And every single misery of his is just his own fault.

The high cultures of the earth were, to go from the present to the past, the English world (America and Britain, 1700- ,) the Italian world (1300-1600), the Byzantine world (300-1200), the Roman world (200 B.C.-300 A.D.), Greece (1500-200 B.C.), Egypt, Chaldea, and then follows the foggy unknown past.

One of my favourite imaginatively constructed theories is about the cultures that existed before Chaldea. I imagine they were India (about 10,000-6000 B.C.), and before that I love to think that Atlantis existed, about 12,000 years B.C.

We don't know anything about the high cultures before the great Deluge (around 4000 B.C.) of Noah, since that Deluge evidently destroyed all previous civilizations of the world. The fact that this Deluge recurs in the most ancient chronicles of both Egypt and Chaldea is evidence enough of its existence.

Was China a great prehistoric culture? Hardly. The Chinese have always notoriously overestimated their own significance and exaggerated their ancient history. It was a bloody tyranny from the beginning (three centuries B.C.) and hasn't changed since then.

If Atlantis existed, which it must have done, I imagine in my mind that it could have existed in the South Pacific somewhere around the seas of Tahiti and Samoa. The last remains could be the stone giants of Easter Island. I imagine it as a very heavenly paradise, and if it really existed it was perhaps the loveliest paradise the world ever owned.

The usual theory is the Atlantic, while it is more probable that it could have been situated in the Indian Ocean between India and Madagascar.

So there are only three oceans of the world to search.

Life is one long adventure given to you to explore, enjoy and make something of.

10.9. If you are eating food that tastes unpleasantly, do not criticize it until you have finished it.

To criticize it while you are still eating it is a very inconsiderate and impolite thing to do. It is the rudest possible act against the cook.

To see oneself in the past as a fool is a very good indication.

It is very natural to be interested in what you are ignorant about. Such an interest must always be gratified.

Nothing is nobler in man than a wish to become better.

Why is nobody reading James Hilton today? He is one of the finest authors of this century.

Your very best friend is the one who knows and understands you so perfectly, that he has nothing to say to you.

Such supreme friends are extremely rare.

I believe that everyone is, and I treat everyone as an immortal son of God, because that suits my conscience.

Your conscience is always right whatever ideas it puts into your head.

It has been said, that the distance between genius and insanity is very brief. Now there are two kinds of insanity: the real insanity, which is actual madness, and the phoney insanity, which is mere endowment too high to be understood.

For instance, the artists of Russia are not insane although the government takes them to asylums. The government only consider them insane, because it doesn't understand them.

An example: "It is a complicating factor, that the person who is mentally ill might well seem to be perfectly well." - Soviet Psychiatry.

12.9. A human being consists of vanity and love. Everything consists but of vanity and love. Vanity always disappears, dies and is never anything except nothing. Love, though, always survives, always continues, and will never be able to even in the slightest way decrease.

13.9. The life of a sane ordinary man is a balance between ups and downs: he has as many ups as he has downs, and the greater the downs, the greater the ups.

Man tends to wish an increase of the magnitude of his ups. He generally succeeds in increasing them, but then he is shocked by the fact that he also managed to increase the magnitude and depth of his downs.

The downs of a person's life are usually moments of boredom, inactivity, discontent and not knowing what to do. If they did not exist, the ups would not exist either.

A life of no ups and no downs is a life of ignorance. The more and the greater the ups and downs, the more knowledge you get about life, and the more interesting, dramatic and intense it becomes.

So never be afraid of the challenges of life. They are always interesting, and they always teach you something new and valuable, if you only bother to get through them and survive them.

14.9. The economical situation of my future is rather dark - father refuses to keep me alive after the 1st of November.

And it is quite impossible for me to live as anything else than as an artist. To become an artist was all I ever cared for.

Of course, one can dispute his right to refuse to maintain me, since I am not yet of age, but I can not change his mind.

Conservatism is beautiful and lovable, but from one point of view it is also dangerous: so many people get stuck in it.

Never get stuck in your love. Your love is your finest treasure, but to get stuck in it is to stop it from growing.

The finest kind of music is that which consists of both voices and an orchestra, for instance the opera, the oratorium, the mass, the Passion and the Requiem.

Responsibility is a rather unpopular word. And irresponsibility is a rather unknown word: few know what it really is.

Irresponsibility is a malady which today almost everyone suffers from. It is lack of life. The more responsible you feel for your life, the more you can do with it and for others in it. There are three things which responsibility consists of: knowledge, awareness, and love.

Life is nought but an endless search for good experience. But why is that search worth while? Good experience is the thing which makes your love grow and increase.

The cruellest of all human fates I can but believe that is the one of being forced to do nothing.

15.9. Tea and chocolate is a most dreadful combination.

I hate forceful music. The best music is the gentle melodious one which does not desperately try to make itself noticeable.

Deafening music is only great when it has the overwhelming godlike spirit of a man like Beethoven.

16.9. An hour or two of good conversation is the most delicious food a spirit can dream of.

In my childhood I was spoilt - that is why I have today reached nowhere. I was not spoilt by my parents, of course, but by no one else except myself.

17.9. Never expect anyone to recognize you when you sit in a car. The windows reflect so much that you can impossibly be clearly discerned.

18.9. The foulest and ugliest thing of all is foul, ugly art. It is seen today practically everywhere in the world in the shape of modern buildings, modern art, modern music and modern political literature. And the most terrifying piece of foul, ugly art of all is the modern city. A more horrid example of supreme ghastliness of art was never witnessed by the world.

Before the First World War the world belonged to its lovers. Today it still belongs to its lovers, but they no longer have any power. The mad screams of the naturalists, the communists and the violent extremists have drowned all the gentler voices; almost nothing is heard in the air today but most nonsensical noise.

To tear down a beloved house or building is to commit murder.

19.9. The thought that the oceans are dying is totally unbearable. Imagine a world without fish, without dolphins, without porpoises, without penguins, without albatrosses, without seals, without any fishermen and without any oysters. Imagine a world with only dead and dirty oceans. How terrible a thought!

And yet Costeau tells us, that only during the last 20 years, 40% of all life in the oceans has perished.

And the fault is all ours.

20.9. The most wonderful thing about people is that each one of them has his very own individuality and personality. Each person has a sense of humour entirely of his own, problems entirely of his own and an imagination entirely of his own. Two spiritually exactly identical human beings I do not believe that can exist.

21.9. The human soul consists of three qualities: sense, love and imagination. These three powers are always equally strong. None of them is ever greater than the others, and when one of them increases and grows, the other two do the same.

Sense is, among other things, experience, awareness, knowledge, understanding and observation. Imagination is the ability to create and construct. Love is the ability to - well, - to love.

As I said, the three are always equally great.

22.9. The pleasure of giving lies in the fact that what you give is generally something of your own.

 

Those who are not poor usually regard wealth as a bore.

Material wonderfulness is only wonderful when you haven't quite got it.

The difficulties and hardships of life are only wonderful as long as you are able to overcome them.

What a blessing to the world that persons like James Boswell sometimes appear! Without messengers from Paradise, how would we know about its wonders?

23.9. I will now say what no one has ever said before.

What joy that the world is so corrupt! What joy that evil exists, that no one understand each other, that life is but a misery!

If there was nothing of all this, whatever would there be in the world to do?

A very important thing in raising children is respect. Children should always be respected by you more than you by them. Parents who do not respect their children are not respectable as parents.

One of the finest things a person can become is a great conversationalist.

25.9. I dislike concertos written for virtuosos merely to show off their skills. If I should write a concerto, I would not care about anything except its beauty. Beauty ranks high above skill. To play music beautifully is a thousand times more difficult than to play it faultlessly. Therefore a violinist with beauty in his bow is much greater and more honourable than a skilful one. Anyone can acquire skill, while those are very few who know how to acquire beauty.

Of course, the greater the skill, the greater the ease with which you express the beauty within you.

The only thing in life worth living for is love and beauty. They are actually the same thing.

Whenever you hear or read something which is uncomfortable and unpleasant, make very sure that it isn't true before you attack it.

A token of supreme folly is the act of giving something up.

26.9. The greatest honour and compliment you can pay to music is listening to it.

30.9. The finest thing a composer can create is a living melody.

3.10 The most wonderful thing about life is perhaps that perfection does not exist. There will always remain new grounds for you to gain, new knowledge for you to attain, more love for you to acquire and more improvements for you to make. Contentment is but an illusion, and ends do not exist.

Everything is part of the eternal infinity, and therefore everything is infinite.

4.10. In the fourth movement of Schubert's ninth (actually tenth) symphony, the thirds are really exceedingly funny. I almost killed myself with laughter the first time I heard them. I can't understand Mendelssohn's anger when his musicians laughed rehearsing them.

Music can actually sometimes even be comical, you know. Another example of comic music, not as exceedingly amusing as the thirds of Schubert's last symphonic movement but next to it, is the beginning of the fourth movement of Beethoven's Seventh. They say he was drunk composing it, but I think he just had a tremendous lot of fun.

My music has a fine sound when I play it, but on paper it looks ridiculous. That is why I am of the opinion, that only the ear can rightly umpire music.

What you see with your own eyes is always true. Never doubt your own actual experience.

Have as a goal in life to always double your experience. A double experience is a double life.

If you are fifty years old and have fifty years of experience, double that experience. It is always easily done. Thus, at perhaps sixty years of age, you will have a hundred years of experience. And then, if you double that, you will at the age of seventy have two hundred years of experience. And so forth.

A man who starts doubling his experience at twenty years of age will at the age of fifty have the wisdom of a man of an age of seven hundred years.

Kill your laziness. It's not worth spending a life-time on.

7.10. Every single human being worries too much. There is nothing in the world to worry about, and there never was. Life is a cake which tastes bad only because you are stupid enough to pepper it.

8.10. The difference between the two languages called English and American is, according to some people, that English is one of the world's finest languages, and American is one of the world's ugliest.

Does American then really have to sound so ugly and vulgar? The only defence for the American tongue is that a London cockney can sound a lot worse.

The sixteenth century was one of our world's very finest. Suddenly the whole world was filled with life and spirit. It was the apex of the Renaissance.

The seventeenth was perhaps even finer. The Baroque is maybe the most beloved of all periods of art.

The eighteenth century was also a flowery one. No clothes were, I think, more beautiful than those of this era.

The nineteenth century started well with the Romantic age, but then what happened? Naturalism and industrialism devoured the world, consuming it and depriving it of all beauty. They are devouring it still.

The twentieth century is so far the bloodiest in history. Mankind can only survive if they quietly change their course.

Man's supreme fault is his dependence on matter, time and money. He should have them, of course, but he should not be so desperately dependant on them.

One of the very finest categories of people are those who through the centuries devote themselves to taking care of culture, whatever cataclysms and catastrophes occur now and then. I mean the monks of the Middle Ages, the librarians, the professors, the quiet sages who spend their lives keeping knowledge and art alive, making it survive in spite of all, just for the benefit of mankind.

Others you can only judge by their merits. By his wrongs you can judge no one but yourself.

9.10. Only fools are base enough to judge a great artist politically.

Artists are condemnable if they allow themselves to sink so deep as to become actively engaged in politics. They are then no longer artists but base detestable politicians. As long as they stay outside, though, watching and describing the chaos soundly, they are free of all guilt and should not be maltreated or in any way disrespected as artists.

For an artist to become involved in religion is almost as bad and rotten as politics. Both fields require biassed and limited outlooks, which you can't have as an artist.

What a great pity it is that people forget and abandon what is good today for what seems to be good tomorrow! Why don't they unite them instead? Why, for instance, was the Baroque abandoned instead of united to the Rococo? What a glorious epoch wouldn't have come out of the joining of two equally brilliant periods of art!

And why don't we, having all those many wonderful glorious eras of the past, take the very best parts of them and make a new even more serene and magnificent art period transcending them all?

10.10 The twentieth century brought us only one very good thing: the cinema. Being technically perfected, the art of creating a film is today the finest and highest of all arts, because it is able to combine all the others in one form.

11.10 Principles are of no good. They are fixed ideas, and ideas should never be fixed. Ideas should be constantly changed, improved, analysed and criticized as much as your life's every day and action.

To live by principles is to stand fixed in one position all the time. The more you change, improve and vary your postures and positions of life, the richer your life becomes.

13.10 Suicide is the most disgraceful and abominable act of all, unless you have a good and comprehensible reason for it. I have a fairly good but no comprehensible reason for killing myself, and therefore I am doomed to stay alive.

17.10 Violence is always a sign of insanity.

The films of Bryan Forbes are always excellent and personal, but they lack clarity.

On the other hand, he has what almost all other younger directors lack today: a vague and morbid but certain sense of beauty.

I never composed for money, and I never will. To create art for the sake of money is downright prostitution.

18.10 Why are Frenchmen often so mean and cruel? I haven't seen in any country people treating each other more depreciatively than in France. That's also what the Anglomaniac Toulouse-Lautrec said about the French: "They are so mean." ("Ils sont des mÈchants.") And those were his dying words.

The worst people in the world are the ruthless ones: the extreme communists and the extreme capitalists. A kakistocracy is a country ruled by such men.

19.10 All literary works of art should be read in their original languages. There is as great a difference between the translation and the original of a book as there is between a picture of Venice and Venice in reality.

20.10 Life has become too easy. That is why the earth suffers from over-population, which basically is its only problem.

Either we are heading towards war, world starvation or some other world disaster, or we are approaching an age of miracles.

The aristocracy has always existed in every corner of the world, and so it always will. Because the great structure of society has never ever changed. When the communists upset the ruling class of Russia, they just established themselves as a new ruling class instead.

Those who tried to do away with aristocracies always infallibly failed. Just look at the French revolution, the Russian revolution and at other revolutions throughout the world and history. They never accomplished anything except a new beginning of what they wanted to do away with.

The artist's language is his technique. The more he is the master of it, the more things he is able to say.

21.10 No one did ever love himself, because it never made anyone better.

Love only makes you a finer man when it makes your earth a finer world.

Art is the finest thing ever created by man. It should be adored, loved, honoured and respected more than anything else in the world.

To discover the beauty of music, art, literature, ballet, architecture and the cinema is almost to discover God.

More than anything else, beauty has the power of totally taking people aback.

When did you ever hear a person belaud true beauty the first time he saw it? Beauty overpowers people, they can not speak, they appear to be like senseless statues. But inside them all their feelings are boiling together more violently than bubbles in a seething cauldron. And the greater the feelings, the less they are noticed. The very strongest feelings are always invisible.

Alexander Borodin's lyrical melody in "The Polovtsian Dances" from his opera "Prince Igor" I find is one of the most beautiful and fascinating melodies ever created.

There is nothing in music I value more than a charming melody.

The traffic problem will never be resolved by building new ugly roads, destroying more beautiful quarters of the city, felling more trees to broaden roads, etc. You never get rid of one block in the traffic without immediately finding another somewhere else.

The car is the worst weed that the world ever saw. It destroys the cities, it destroys the country-sides, and it destroys the air.

To have a car is to have a share in the destruction of earth.

22.10 Always remember, that serving others is the one and only way in life which actually serves you.

The more you serve others, the more you serve yourself. And by yourself is meant your soul.

23.10 The art of living is the art of making life worth living. It is the most difficult art of all.

Life in itself is an empty existence. It is nothing. By seeing and creating things in it, which are worth loving, you make life worth living.

An artist should devote himself equally to his own creations and to those of others. His own work should never engulf him totally.

A piece of art must have unity. It must be but one single thing, give but one clear impression, and it must never even temporarily digress from its subject.

An ideal work of art is one concentrated masterpiece, one beaming soul, and nothing else.

Like Beethoven and like all great composers, Brahms is best when he is gentle.

Evil is often dangerously charming. Just look at Lee van Cleef for example. No matter how cruel he is, he is at the same time quite charming.

Evil is exciting, enticing and always thrilling. It is a popular game which people play. They always lose it and delight in losing it.

Evil is always overshadowed by good, because in evil there is no love. In good there always is. Love is the only thing in the world which actually beats everything.

Words can but poorly express what the soul wants to say. This is proved by the fact that the very best friends always find it very hard to speak with each other.

Artists may become sumptuous, but they must never become presumptuous. Presumption in an artist is unforgivable, because presumptuous artists are fallen artists, and artists should never fall.

Anyone may fall socially, if he wants to, but no one may fall spiritually.

A perfect masterpiece of art is that which has infinite life. If an artist achieves that, he should be content, because further searching will lead him but astray.

To reach the ability of creating infinite life is to reach the top of the sky: you can not reach any higher. Reaching that point is to discover the universe, and to discover that is to discover the vanity of trying to reach anywhere at all.

The most remarkable films in the history of the cinema could be those excessively sumptuous, magnificently blinding and gloriously exotic ones created in England during the late forties by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. They are the most personal, the most specialized and the most luxuriously and extravagantly romantic works of art which the cinema has ever presented. Only the most baroque paintings by Rubens and Delacroix could be compared to them.

"The Tales of Hoffmann", their last great work of magnificence, did not become a success only because Offenbach was not great enough to match them. Their brilliance was greater than Offenbach's. One of their greatest strengths was their masterful way of composing film scripts. Offenbach's opera required no script. It was there already, and the Archers were only obliged to shoot the pictures. Without anything to do as script-writers, they had to lose something of their standard in adopting Offenbach's opera.

I don't mean to insult Offenbach. My only purpose is to with all my heart belaud those too unknown and too little comprehended famous Archers.

What is more painful to the soul than bad art?

The duty of an artist is to inspire the world.

A man lives as much as he lives for others.

A man who lives only for himself is not alive.

Artists who concentrate themselves on describing filth and ugliness must be worthless in the long run. Only love and beauty has any eternal value.

The masses are always abominable and condemnable. They are never right, never sensible and always far away beyond every squint of reason.

To partake in some mass movement is to partake in madness going to excesses. The masses are always extravagantly mad. The moment he joins a mob, an individual immediately turns himself into a locust.

Always stay off the mob and the masses. Of all the abhorrent tortures which the world has suffered on its throat throughout the past, the mob has been and is still the most painful and horrifying one.

When people cease to be individuals the world goes mad.

The only reason why people find it so hard to get up in the mornings is that their beds are too comfortable.

They should sleep in beds giving them aching bones and limbs instead. Thus they would come to love getting up as soon as possible every morning to vigorously exercise away all their pains.

Discomfort is the answer to the increasing world-wide bore called comfort.

There are too few pianists, too few orchestras, too few conductors, too few artists and too few patrons and lovers of art in the world.

Art is the totally highest thing of all. Even God is but a masterpiece of art. (The artist of it is unknown, but I think he created God just as God created us.) We are all but masterpieces of art.

Because of the divinity of art, the artist is the world's worthiest person of graces and of honours, because he creates it.

The first snow of winter is here again at last, covering up this filthy environment of ours in a fur of graceful whiteness. I hope it will remain for long.

Winter is the most intense season of the year. It is the season of peace, sleep, dreams and profundity

Buddha and Christ were just the world's two most influential artists.

Like all the world's greatest artists, they were and are highly adorable.

But they should be worshipped only as artists, not as Gods, because no one was ever a God more than the other.

All artists should be the world's humblest servants.

The world has always needed good art, and so it always will. Good art is what it is living for, because that is the result of its love.

How splendid the second scene of the second act of "La Traviata" is! It is the most brilliant part of the whole opera.

The fantastic chase of the music, the furious gamblers, the increasingly profound and ominous tension and the terrible tragedy growing in the background make this scene one of the most exciting and impressive scenes in the history of opera.

And the first scene of this same act is the height of modern musical tragedy.

Children should be taught languages already after two years at school.

A fifteen-year old chap should at least know three foreign languages well.

A telling evidence of the American lack of judgement and taste was their using Fritz Lang for making cheap films of crimes and kisses.

A master cook, knowing by heart all the greatest French delicacies, came falling from heaven into their hands, and they used him to feed their hogs.

Charles Laughton was almost equally shamefully used: the greatest actor of our age was offered subsidiary roles.

The filmed and danced opera I consider the consummate art. All arts are combined in it: music, ballet, literature, acting, art and filming.

Those who discovered it and brought it forth were Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Their great magnificent effort did not carry success, because the world was ignorant, and because the material they chose was not wholly splendid enough to suit their personal brilliance. Parts of the tales were indeed brilliant enough for them, but they could do nothing about the minor parts, the text already being established. This effort of theirs which I am speaking of was a film called "The Tales of Hoffmann".

Being the consummate art, the filmed and danced opera must of course also be the most difficult art form as well.

All human beings are too shut up. They should speak more with each other, do more for each other and take a greater part in the good things of life, e.g. peace, construction and art.

They are the essence of the world. They should improve it by improving themselves.

The consummate art would be the art of combining all arts; music, film, art, ballet, literature and theatre, into one unity, in one single masterpiece of art.

The filmed and danced opera beats everything, but films like for instance "West Side Story" and "The Red Shoes" are also brilliant examples of this very art.

All schools must have great demands on their pupils, or else they will breed but idiots, like the Swedish standard schools are doing today.

The powerful artists are many, but the beautiful artists, who stand far above them, are too few.

The best art is always created as much for the future as for the present. Thus it lives for ever.

Whenever you hear anything dishonourable about a friend or brother of yours, disbelieve it at once, or walk straight up to this friend and ask him if it is true or not. In any case: never brood on it.

And that person who in the slightest way backbites another is always detestable.

Most Christians live in terror of something which does not exist: Hell.

Even the terror of death is excessively foolish, useless and vain. Nothing is worse than you make it.

People must realize, that the cinema is an art which stands above all other arts that man ever invented. And as that supreme art it should be treated.

The cinema is so supreme an art, because it has the power to combine all the others.

To mutilate a film by cutting it more than necessary is a greater crime than to cut off Mona Lisa's right ear.

Nothing is more painful to me than to watch a good film which has been mutilated.

Nothing is more difficult than to live in a world like this. It will be a miracle if I survive Christmas.

My opinion about religion, cults, sciences, sects and organizations standing outside the world, secluded with a life entirely of their own, is not very high. In my opinion, people who leave, escape or step outside the world do so because they dislike it, despise it or hate it. People who dislike, despise or hate the world are always very ignorant: they do not see it as it is but are trapped in their own prejudice about it.

And another thing: religions, cults and sects often want to make the world better. Therefore they should never step outside it, because the world can only be changed from the inside, never from the outside.

The world only changes when its heart changes: change the heart of the world, and you have changed the whole world.

The world's heart is its love. The world's love is never changed except when it is increased.

In the smallest as well as in the very highest degree, violence is always, always, always totally condemnable. It is never, never anything but total ignorance and total madness.

Never answer attacks. Never let filth pass your lips. And never ever think evil of anyone except yourself.

Youth is able to listen but not to see, and age is able to see but not to listen.

If age listened to youth, and if youth saw the advantage of the experience of age, the world would be ideal.

A youth who is so sensible as to be able to both see and listen will never grow old.

Friends are those who hurt you, if you become too intimate with them, or else you hurt them.

The best friends are those who keep each other at the longest distance.

Never trust yourself too much. You are always wrong on some points.

Never forget a friend. Always keep all your friends in good memory, never let their personages die in your heart, for in the future you will always meet them again.

The ability to think is man's very greatest ability and power. He should use it more, to reach the purpose which is the very highest in the world: the purification and improvement of oneself.

Because the world can only be improved by each man improving himself. And the more you improve yourself, the more you inspire others to do the same.

All youths must consider all aged their equals, and all aged must consider all youths their equals. Your grandmother is always as much your fellow-being, friend and sister as your granddaughter. And your mother-in-law, son-in-law, uncle and stepmother are never anything else than friends whom you know well.

A family consists of parents and children only as long as the children can't think. As soon as they reach their thirteenth year of life they should be able to think by themselves and therefore no longer be treated like children but as friends in your care.

Every human life is immeasurable in time. To allow its duration to be of importance and a person's age to be of significance is a great folly, which is too much spread.

Never have demands on anyone except yourself. Take from yourself and give to others. Take from others only what they freely offer you.

The finest, best and most popular play in the world is the tragedy called Hamlet. It is the story of a prince so brilliantly told and so masterfully animated with eternal life by Shakespeare, that both as a tale and as a poem it is unequalled in eternity.

It consists of resplendent passages and exquisite pearls of magnificent situations and happenings, which all together form the one perfect masterpiece which is the poem and the tale. One of all these jewels of splendid brightness and one of the greatest moments in the play is just before the hectic monumental finale of the deadly fencing game begins, when Hamlet exposes his magnificent personality by reconciling himself with Laertes in a gallant speech, making the death of Polonius seem but a trifle, at the same time making the treacherous plot in the background to bereave the prince of his life suddenly appear fully in all its monstrosity. Thus speaks Hamlet to Laertes, listened to by fifty enchanted fellow actors and an audience,

"Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong; but pardon it, as you are a gentleman. This presence knows, and you must needs have heard how I am punished with a sore distraction. What I have done that might your nature, honour and exception roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness. Was it Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet. If Hamlet from himself be taken away, and when he's not himself does wrong Laertes, then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it. Who does it, then? His madness. If it is so, Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged; his madness is poor Hamlet's enemy. Sir, in this audience, let my disclaiming from a purposed evil free me so far in your most generous thoughts, that I have shot my arrow over the house and hurt my brother."

It is a terrific moment, which has been taken well care of in every staging of the play I have yet seen, and which especially Sir Laurence Olivier brought forth in all its light in his filmed resplendent version of 1948.

And, as I already said, this jewel in the play is but one among five hundred others.

Never think highly of yourself. Always think highly of others.

There are two ways of getting things done: to order it to be done, and to encourage it to be done. Orders never work very well; encouragement always works efficiently, if it is honestly meant.

It is as little in man's nature to obey orders as it is for him to give orders.

To get drunk is to degrade oneself. A drunk person is always a degraded person, while he is drunk.

What you think of others they generally think of you.

To live is the most difficult thing in the world. Only one thing is even more difficult, and that is to die.

Whenever I deceived, angered or grieved people, I beg them to understand that I did so only because I was temporarily mad.

I believe no one ever did wrong except when he was out of his mind. That is why wrongs always should be pardoned.

In my opinion, there was always but one actual unpardonable wrong in the world, and that was and is premeditated destruction.

Evil is but a conquerable madness. It is conquered by being ignored or by being parted with.

A work of art is an expression of love.

Art without love is not art.

Imagination always comes from love. A person owning imagination owns love.

An artist without dreams is an empty well.

Each man always creates his very own fate. King Charles created his, and Cromwell created his. King Charles became the greater artist, while Cromwell became the greater leader.

An artist should never be a leader. He is not qualified for that job. He is able to inspire, to create dreams and to create ideas for people to improve themselves with, but he is never able to lead a nation. A leader's work is much less honourable and gracious than an artist's. And to create a great work of art is fifty times more difficult than to lead a nation, which any bad politician can do if he is only given the chance. Just look at Cromwell.

History shows, that no artist ever rose above man with success. An artist who considers himself greater than his fellow-beings is never acceptable, he is always guilty of treason against the world and humanity, and he is no longer worthy of calling himself an artist. An artist must never be but the world's most affectionate and most humble servant.

The actor's voice and speech are his two most important acquirements. An actor with a feeble voice and a feeble speech is a feeble actor.

Strong voices are not necessary, but clear voices are. To behold an actor mumbling porridge is no pleasure.

Someone should unite the three great world religions Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, because they are all at heart the very same thing.

They are three examples of an embellished, romanticized and over-complicated truth. They should be purified and freed from all their nonsense, that is prejudice, superstition and dogma, which would lead to the discovery of their truths, which might lead to the discovery of the universal truth.

Islamites believe in God. Christians believe in God and in the immortality of the human soul. Buddhists believe in the immortality of the human soul and in its eternal transmigration.

These are in their essence the three great ideas of mankind.

Only people who can't master themselves try to master others.

However deep and considerable they are, your thoughts and broodings must never seclude you from your world and fellow-beings. They should do the direct contrary.

Always live for your fellow-beings only. Inspire them with your friendship, let yourself be inspired by theirs, increase your love for them, and improve yourself by studying the best sides of their souls.

One of the greatest duties of a parent is to satiate his child's total curiosity by always telling the truth.

By rejecting its past, China has thrown itself into the mud. A bunch of ignorant leaders who intentionally destroy all the experience and knowledge of their own country are but incompetent madmen. China is today a world governed by lunatics.

How exceedingly true it is, that no one can live without problems.

A work which is loved always gets well done.

One of the greatest tragedies in the history of the cinema was the disagreement between Josef von Sternberg and Charles Laughton, which led to Laughton's going to America, the abandonment of the "I Claudius" project and Alexander Korda's undeserved casual ruin.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a most magnificent villain. He was a great and resplendent hero as much as an ignorant and barbaric fool. He was a bad but great artist who painted and coloured history with splendour, but only with the red and black colours of blood and death.

I would rather die of physical starvation than of spiritual.

Man's greatest creations were always his dreams. Only his dreams did always keep him gladly alive, and so it probably always will be.

He always needed new dreams, though. Without new dreams he can not exist.

The lives of the very greatest artists were so divine and overwhelmingly great that they dared not expose them.

Apropos of operas: A gentle voice is able to express more than a loud voice.

Because gentleness is a greater art than loudness. Gentleness can express beauty, which loudness is incapable of.

Loudness almost always sounds the same, while gentleness can be varied infinitely.

How many people do not live when they want to die and die when they want to live?

It is much more important that you should observe the world than that the world should observe you.

A problem is often as difficult as its solution is simple.

The greatest honour of all is to be able to honour someone whom you consider honourable.

The future is always brighter than the past. This rule never fails.

Greatness must rest on good will, fair play and humbleness, or else it will fall.

England fell, because her greatness and splendour were allowed to overshadow her will to serve the world. Selfishness became the fall of every great nation in history.

The government of a country should never be attacked for its wrongs. Instead, the opposition should improve the government by simply stating what should be done instead of the wrongs.

The different political parties of a country should help the country by helping each other instead of killing the country by killing each other.

The best politicians are those who do not attack what is wrong but who instead support what is right and make better what could be better.

It is difficult to give vent to extreme admiration, but one very good way is to belaud the admired one in his absence.

That is an art as admirable as its opposite, backbiting, is despicable.

Do not attack in society what is wrong. Do instead support what is right in it, and live for what is good in it only.

If everyone only lived for the good, true and beautiful things in society, the rest would gradually disappear, since evils and wrongs only persist because people in their ignorance support them.

A world of ugliness can not exist. Artists will always be among us creating beauty and making life a strange inspiring play worth experiencing, whatever the circumstances of the world might be.

Never leave a best friend of yours without knowing when you will see him next.

Each man always deserves his own fate.

You always get what you deserve. If you deserve happiness you will get it, and if you deserve a happy future, which you probably do, which probably most people do, you and they will get it.

In the past you always got what you deserved. And so it will be in the future.

Each man creates his own fate. Each man gives himself what he deserves.

Death is never uglier than you make it. Just as life is never more beautiful than you

make it.

Whatever it does or thinks, youth is always right, when it is not violent. The peaceful flower of youth alone can give the world a fine future, and the world should therefore inspire it and listen to it as much as possible.

The world's most remarkable, happy, live and beautiful people are also the world's most neglected, ignored and underestimated ones. They are the young ones.

The tragedy of my life was that I never believed in my work.

An artist must have encouragement, or he will die, like I do.

The power which made the dinosaurs the rulers of the world for a hundred million years was their impressive hugeness. And that same power ruined them.

The power which made man the ruler of the world was his cleverness. And that same power will ruin him, unless he allows it to be controlled by his two even greater powers: his sense and his love.

To be observant is to not commit the same mistake twice.

What a wonderful era the eighteenth century was! Apart from the ugly, awful and most abominable wigs, it was most certainly one of the most beautiful periods in history.

It was the era of the Venetian kings: Tiepolo, Canaletto and Guardi. It was the era of the great Catherine, Mr Handel and of Watteau, Reynolds and Gainsborough.

Classical music was born during this century, and so was England. Every country had some sort of strange unearthly and unsurpassed brilliance; every country grew during this age; this age was in an odd way perhaps even more inspired than even the Renaissance. It was a strange age.

It is called the age of Enlightenment. Why did this marvellous Enlightenment cease? What killed it?

Radiant periods have unfortunately always been followed by dark ones. After this age came the French revolution, Napoleon and a twenty-five years' world war. But as dark periods always are followed by bright ones, why did the Romantic age become so limited? Why did it not influence the world more? The Romantic age was but a shadow of the long subtle age of the Enlightenment.

The age of Enlightenment was killed by the French revolution. What caused the French revolution? The blindness, the ignorance, the selfishness and the gross incompetence of the French aristocracy and the French kings before Louis XVI caused it. And the greatest guilt of all for this fall of an age carries the perhaps most ignorant king in history - Louis XIV.

During the last twelve decades man has worshipped science as his God. He has allowed his pastime called science to run wild and to take formidable shapes, heights and forms. It would be all right if only he controlled with sense, which he has not done so far.

Science can give mankind a universe, and it can give man final death. The choice between the two is to be made by man.

Millions of times I have asked myself, and I ask myself again : How can he hesitate?

Where is Voltaire and Rousseau today, and where is doctor Johnson?

Governments which do not allow each individual to create his own individual felicitous future are torturing the country instead of serving it.

A government should never be anything else than a group of the most serving servants of the country. It should give all individuals as much freedom as possible, and serve them when they get into difficulties.

The first duty of a government is to help the country out of its difficulties so as to make way for a future progress. The second is to make the country's fortune, together with every single individual in the kingdom.

The fortune of a a nation is always created by its every single individual, and by no one else.

When someone gets mad at you it is always your fault. You have offended him somehow, and he, naturally, reacts.

When you get mad at someone else it is also your fault. Because your madness is yours and no one else's.

These two ideas seem illogical together, but you must in spite of that adopt them. Because it is the only way to free the world from violence.

Good is always illogical. So is evil. Everything is illogical except the facts of science, and science, as everyone knows, is very stale, cold and insipid.

It is the illogicalities in the world that we live for.

Never dedicate yourself to two arts or more at the same time. It will shatter your life, as it has shattered mine.

Have demands on no one in the world except yourself. And make these demands as great as possible.

Does Hollywood want the world to blow up, or why does it make films like "Beyond the Planet of the Apes"? Why does it implant such ghastly visions in people's minds? No wonder the cinema audiences are constantly diminishing.

Who wants bad art, and who is so crazy that he bothers to produce and finance it?

A composer depends totally on his interpreter. If the interpreter is bad, the composer sinks. If the interpreter is excellent, the composer gets what he deserves.

This is the tragedy of the greatest composers. No interpreter is great enough to be able to communicate their true greatness. Consequently they are chronically underestimated.

The desire for earthly power and wealth is in my opinion but vanity, folly and madness. It never leads anywhere except to destruction, war and human disaster. Those who own this desire make out the so called madding crowd.

Love guided by sense should govern the human being. And he should start bewaring of the thing called blind desire.

Each individual is totally dependant on the world. The world is one thing which consists of every single individual.

The world is not a crowd. The world is every single individual.

Whenever you find two persons talking to each other, listen to them carefully and observantly, and you will find that nine times out of ten they do not talk about the same thing.

4.12. Never interrupt a pianist while he is playing. He might never be able to start again.

5.12 I never played my fourth ballade as it should be played when there was someone to hear me, because I was afraid the music might break his neck.

Always remember that every single fellow-being of yours is your equal. You are just as imperfect as everyone else.

If you meet someone who lacks some of your qualities, always remember that you must lack some of his.

If one day the strangest of all events should happen that you actually met someone with a greater mind than yourself, do not make yourself his equal by pulling him down or by degrading him. To do so is impossible. Do instead like this: Rise to his level, and become his equal by honouring him, learning from him and by observing him.

1741 is one of the most remarkable years since time began. Whatever happened then? What great empire was toppled? What conqueror had a great victory? What peace concluded what wars? No, something much greater occurred than such ordinary nonsense. A plain man made one of the most incredible and most noteworthy feats in history: in four weeks Mr Handel created the "Messiah".

6.12 I am a lonely degraded idling fool with nothing to look forward to except death. That is why I live so secludedly: I do not wish to be seen in my degradation.

This is an age of degradation. The world is desperately degrading itself, people can not meet without degrading each other, everyone lacks the extremely important joy and zest of life, and why is all this? People see no future.

Yes, I am a rebel of society, but I will never become a violent one.

Beethoven's demeanour as he encountered the Austrian emperor and his family proves he was more fit to be an emperor than anyone in that family.

8.12 The three basic elements of music are melody, rhythm and harmony. All music containing them all three is consummate.

The three greatest artists of the Renaissance, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael, are equally great. None of them surpasses the other. At least I can not see their personal heights vary.

Leonardo was the greater scientist, though. And Michelangelo possessed the greater power. And Raphael gave the greatest beauty.

Titian stands outside them, though he reached as great a height as they, if not even a greater, since he was the greatest worker of them all.

The world was much lovelier before science existed.

Why was science ever invented? Just look at what it has done to the world. Science is but an excellent tool for evil people to destroy the world with.

Truth and evil can not exist side by side without causing explosions. Either we have to do without truth or without evil. Or else the world will blow up.

I suggest that we start living without evil. How? Simply by controlling ourselves, and by refusing to be controlled by others.

9.12 Art is the strange infinite thing which alone keeps the world alive.

10.12 Atonal music is but an interesting expression of shallowness.

Actually there was in my life a period when I loved and devoted myself to atonal music. My greatest pleasure was to play it on the piano. I was then about four years old.

Mozart was the greatest entertainer in history.

Hindemith was a great composer, but he was nothing compared to Mahler and Ravel, who were nothing compared to Beethoven and Schubert.

11.12 Am I a hot oven, since people all the time burn their fingers on me?

The world consists of ignorant children. They should start trying to get some education.

On that unusual night when Schubert and his friends sat listening to his music on a theatre, and the audience got so exalted by it as to call for the composer to show himself on the stage, and his friends failed in persuading him to really do so, it probably was because he considered the musicians had played his music badly. Only he was afraid to say so.

He had, what is called, an artist's conscience.

The two worst kinds of people in the world are the communists and the capitalists. Let them destroy each other; they deserve it for all their nonsense. I only politely ask them to keep the rest of the world's population, about 80%, all innocent, outside their bloody, murderous and treacherous game of competitive ruthlessness, deceit and avarice.

The capitalists and the communists are those who can not control themselves and who therefore try to control the world. They are only a few. Their basic characteristic is that they imagine they have enemies.

The only way to get enemies is to make them. To make enemies is a very foolish and inane thing to do, because what do they give you except trouble?

The ideal society is where people live no lives but their own, where they live but for each other, and where they live but for the purpose of increasing the three great things of existence, which every individual basically owns, and which every individual's soul consists of: Truth, Love and Beauty.

Love and beauty are always successful. Truth is always successful when it is combined with them.

12.12 Do not let the perils and the evils of the world depress you. They are just trials which we must outlive.

Evil always comes to nothing. Truth, Love and Beauty never comes to nothing.

Art and politics are two totally uncombinable practices. An artist who becomes politically involved must cease being an artist, or he must cease being a politician. He can impossibly be both.

Why? Because art and politics are two roads leading away from each other. Art leads away from power, and politics lead straight up to power. No man can walk in two different directions at once.

Power and art are two extreme contraries. You can not join them without degrading them. Power may be respectable if it is kept away from art, and art is respectable when it has nothing to do with politics, but they are never respectable together. To join them is to corrupt art and dilute politics. Hitler, the artist who lost himself to power, and Nero, the emperor who thought himself a great artist, are the best warning examples.

Even to this rule there are exceptions, for instance Churchill. But he was never a politician. He was an artist who practised politics as an art.

Politics can be made an art. It is then extremely respectable. To make it an art you first have to free yourself of every vain wish for power.

There are always exceptions to every rule, but these exceptions are never many.

Someone asked me not long ago: "But how can this poor life of yours satisfy you?" To prevent an explanation I left him.

Deism is a far too unknown belief in the world today. It should be revived.

Its great basic idea is, in brief, that God exists, but He prefers not to rule us.

Thomas Paine, among others, was its great and noble spokesman.

13.12 Either this age is the end of the world, or it is the beginning.

To become eccentric is a sign of degradation. Eccentric artists should never be trusted.

A future must be built on the ground of the past, or else it will not hold.

Which means, that man must gain greater certainty about his past, or the odds of his future will be very poor.

The more stable you feel about your past, the more stable you will feel about your future.

This is very important:

Always disregard and ignore everything of ugliness and evil. Never give them any attention or consideration, for they are totally worthless.

Instead you shall always concentrate on what is good, give it all your attention and consideration, and favour it in every way. For good is always totally priceless.

People of all ages have wondered what the thing called good really is. Good is the one thing which is made up by the three elements Truth, Love and Beauty. Truth, Love and Beauty fused together in one unity is what we call Good.

 

"A Few Ideas"

edited diary notes from 1970.

Whatever this book may contain, it is nothing as a whole but a work of art.

What then is a work of art? A work of art is an effort of an individual to make himself and the world more agreeable and beautiful.

Four aids to faultless behaviour as a member of mankind:

1. Always trust those who trust you,

2. Never betray anyone who trusted you,

3. Never lose patience with anyone, and

4. Always serve everyone as much as possible.

The romantic, who is a most enviable and admirable character, is best defined as "an extravagant lover of beauty".

 

A Few Empires

Once upon a time there was a Roman Empire which was very remarkable for its exceeding greatness and splendour. Its capital was called Rome, its limits stretched from Mesopotamia to Britain, some of the greatest personages in history were its guides and improvers, peace prevailed within its borders for two centuries, and it was in every way excessively noteworthy and remarkable; until corruption and barbarity affected it, until it began with alarming rapidity to degenerate, until it suddenly divided, and until it died.

The Roman Empire died, but it did not die. It was followed by a follower. This follower, called by the world the Byzantine Empire, rose to become almost its father's like: the greatest personalities brought it up and forward, its capital became the very heart of civilization, greatness and splendour were the colours of its florid face, and it was indeed a second Roman Empire. Even the end of it became Roman: corruption and barbarity seized its throne, the end seemed to approach, the end did approach, and twice Constantinople was taken, raped and devastated, the first time by crusaders in 1204, the second time by Turks and Mahometans some centuries later. After this second fall the aged and proud Roman Empire never rose again. It was dead and followed by another.

Our third Roman Empire of history was Germany and Austria. This was the empire which Charlemagne founded, which Otto the Great recreated, which men like Frederick Barbarossa, Charles the Fifth, Frederick the Great and Otto von Bismarck so excellently continued, and which was finally brought to a fatal end by the First World War. As long as it lived, greatness, splendour, corruption and barbarity were its four most protuberant characteristics, and thus it never was but a perfectly traditional Roman Empire. When it died it was, as usual, followed by another. They always are.

The follower of Germany is still alive today. We call it the United States of America. It is a most magnificent empire, and great, glorious, wealthy and proud it is too. Its bad sides are just as numerous and impressive: the most sparkling barbarity, baseness, vulgarity, ugliness and corruption it gladly displays to the whole world every day; the Americans are well known as the people who shoot all their best presidents and who resolutely refuse to put the violence of their nation under control. Their Roman Empire is perhaps the strangest so far, and as it is still very young, let us hope it will continue progressing and excelling itself for a considerable future together, of course, with the rest of the world, which it so successfully dominates.

So much about Roman Empires. Four of them have now been well disposed of in this essay: the very Roman, the Byzantine, the German, and America. England has for some reason not been treated. Why? Simply because England was very far from being a Roman Empire.

A great Roman Empire is usually built on land; England made all her riches conquering the seas. In every way she excelled the America of today by higher refinement, tastes and morals, and Germany was always but a dwarf in comparison. The Byzantine Empire was another of her great juniors, and so, we must admit, was even the great ancient Rome, spiritually and culturally: both these empires never even bothered to become democracies. Rome even preferred going to rot from having once been a democratic republic. So where, then, shall we find the like of England? It's easy. From where did Rome get her original democracy? What existed before Rome? Fortunately there is always an ancient Greece to rediscover.

There are billions of parallels linking the two great nations of the sea together. Compare, for instance, Homer with Shakespeare, Plato with Milton, Socrates with Oscar Wilde, Phidias with Wren, or with Reynolds, and Aristophanes with Charles Dickens. Pericles alone was never given a like by England, but, on the other hand, Greece did never have anyone like Doctor Johnson.

Do also compare the demeanour of Rome towards Hellas with the American treatment of and relationship with England and Europe. Rome would never have risen without the inheritance from Greece, and so does America stand on no ground but that of Britain and Europe. Do also notice how splendidly Greece colonized and civilized practically the whole world of that age, just as England would do only twenty-four centuries later on. No differences exist between the two countries, except of course the consequences of time. Both came to a close because of a fatal and meaningless local world war, and both presented a sense of taste and class and aesthetical standard which never has been equalled by any other nation in history. They are unique, and most unique of them is, of course, Greece.

The world should look upon them as those two paragons of culture they truly and definitely personify. They were and are the backbones of the two most significant and important epochs in history, into which they both introduced established democracy; their past makes them the two most eminent countries in the world, and that strange, lucid, classical eminence they are forever unable to lose. Only others are able to attain it with them.

 

Being kind is the act of easing life for others.

The most important thing in life is not money or wealth. The most important thing is the love of life. Once you have that you are able to have anything.

A quality which is part of one's soul can never get lost.

Those who fight against something rotten are as deplorable as those who fight with it. Because curing evil by evil means is in no way better than curing madness with madness. It is a method which always has failed and which always will continue to fail.

The only medicine in the world which is able to cure its disease called madness is good.

Sensible people are usually quiet, peaceful and creative. They are never angry, loud or violent. Consequently the world does not notice them.

The modern atonal music is an example of very shallow music.

Melodious music is the deepest, purest and most refined of all kinds of music. Music without melody is music without life.

Modern music is like mathematics: it is quite interesting but never beautiful.

One good definition of the melody is any melodious succession of tones. Melodious then means rhythmic, harmonious and endowed with a melody.

A melody may be a brief phrase as well as a lengthy tale.

The highest of all musical creations is the beautiful immortal melody. To be able to create such a divine pearl of music is to possess the highest musical talents.

A language is generally as rich and cultivated as it is melodious and musical. Therefore the finest languages in the world are assumedly English, French and Italian.

Because listening to a true refined English, French or Italian conversation is truly like listening to music.

If death is an end it must also be a beginning. Because life never ends without beginning anew. It is a rule of nature. Everything changes, but nothing ends.

The finest thing you can have in life is a purpose. Because what is a purpose except a wish and insurance of a future?

Science has during the lapse of ages made the world better, but just as much it has made the world worse. Mankind has been given incredible comforts, joys and pleasures by science, but also incredible wars, problems and madnesses.

Only in ancient Greece was science ever regarded as the one thing it really is: an interesting, absorbing and fascinating hobby.

As long as there is a considerable lack of sense in the world, science will not be able to improve it without at the same time degrading it.

Functionalism, the most fatal of all departures from art, and consequently the ugliest of prototypes, was born and bred together with the movement called Nazism. They are actually twin monsters.

The story of all the misunderstandings of history and their consequences is probably the most shocking of all unwritten tales.

Fine works of art are so much loved, because so much love is contained in them.

Live for your love, but never let it dazzle you into perpetual levity and ignorance, because that is the way to lose it.

Those who do not know or understand love should not spare themselves any efforts in trying to find out what it is; because what is searched for is always sooner or later found, and of all things in the world worthy of searching, finding and acquiring, the worthiest is without any doubt love.

An old well-known and often repeated truth and reoccurring phenomenon is the absolute impossibility of getting rid of encumbrances, responsibilities and problems by running away from them. The only possible way to get rid of them, however monstrous they may be, is to catch them, pluck them, boil them and eat them.

To escape from life by abandoning oneself to death is probably, mildly speaking, like jumping out of the frying-pan into the fire.

The world's most gracious, wonderful, rare and admirable people are those who inspire humanity, keep the world going, make people gossip, laugh and enjoy life, and who carry the world on their shoulders. They are the artists.

What is an artist? He is not necessarily a creator of art. He may actually have any profession. Robin Hood was an artist, and so were Florence Nightingale and James Cook. An artist may have the humble appearance of a dustman, and he may have the divine appearance of a pope.

The greatest artists who ever lived were probably the great emperors of Rome, for instance Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian, Antonine and Marcus Aurelius, to mention the five most admired and revered. They successfully accomplished the most impossible task that any man ever was faced by: the task of managing the world single-handed.

Some quite talented artists of the past committed the very serious mistake of getting insane. They made themselves the world's grossest enemies by corrupting it. Some of these weird fellows were Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Nero and Caligula. Fortunately they are all dead, and the world had better forget them.

Good artists, though, never die and should never be forgotten. They are a glorious abundance, whose names have been written in the stars to shine there forever. Some of them sparkle with more dazzling intoxicating brilliance than others: Pericles, Charlemagne, Christ, Buddha, Alexander the Great, Otto the Great, Confucius, Voltaire, to spell out just a few. To read and catch sight of them all is impossible, since even the brightest stars of the heavens are uncountable.

A creator of beautiful living art is always a noble artist of the very highest rank, provided that he is not too much of a dilettante, amateur, eccentric or idiot.

Good artists have always been and will always be needed and welcomed by humanity. Whenever new ones have appeared in the past the same thing has happened: the world has shouted for joy, rejoiced day and night for a week or two, talked and chatted and gossiped for the first time in years, and perhaps, if he was worthy of it, remembered the artist for centuries.

Life is as enjoyable as others are able to enjoy your company.

A government is as foolish and incompetent as its demands for taxes are high. A workable, honourable government produces the highest and finest benefits at only reasonable and moderate costs.

Force is never necessary. Force is violence, and violence is folly. Only foolish people nourish the idea that the only way to live is to fight. Sensible people spend their lives living instead of fighting.

The finest king who ever graced a European throne was perhaps William the Third of Orange. He opened the door which would lead Europe into the two finest centuries in modern history: the eighteenth and nineteenth.

His personality was hidden while he lived, and it has never been revealed.

His opponent and powerful rival, king Lewis XIV of France, was just a blown-up irrational humbug. The result of his and his sons' revelry was the French revolution with all the storms and ruins that accompanied it into the burial of France.

Nothing is in vain, and nothing is perishable. Good and lovable things do always last forever, for they are not easily forgotten.

Self-improvement is the triumph of conscience. And a strange thing is, that you can not improve yourself without also improving your surroundings and the world.

The most beneficial men in history were the world's humblest servants. An artist, an emperor or a genius should never try to become anything else.

Money is a base matter of no importance. To have money is to have fun. Pleasure is a rather low and superfluous thing compared with, for instance, love, beauty and knowledge.

Life is the journey on which anything might happen. Each day is a new mysterious unknown continent, which you only have fifteen hours' time to discover. Then you have to sleep across oceans and prepare for the next one.

Living is a hopeless but rather fascinating business.

One's lack of good judgement is as great as one's lack of self-criticism. To be able to judge, criticize, judge, question and doubt yourself is to have a remarkably good sense of what is right and wrong.

The arts make out the finest proof of the much doubted existence of love, truth and beauty. Without the arts at their finest the world can not live.

Just as genius is close to madness, so is love close to pain.

The great unfortunate geniuses of the world were either abhorred or worshipped. Very seldom they were treated as common human beings. Consequently most of them died young or went mad.

Love for the sake of sex is folly and madness. Sex for the sake of love is excusable, but it can never become supremely respectable, sacred and divine except through the holy vows of ecclesiastical marriage.

The more the thing called money became easily attainable, the more it became filthy, dirty and troublesome. Common people are just not able to handle money without getting fixed, dependant and corrupt.

What is money? It is a thin layer of cream on the top of the huge delicious cake of life. Those who fight for it, who sacrifice each other for it, who do anything in the world to get it, are extremely childish.

One of the most excellent characters in modern history was definitely Doctor Johnson. Had he been seated in Parliament, England would never have offended and lost America.

The world is a dirty, ugly, filthy, degenerate rotten thing and a most disagreeable place to live in. In every way it is rough, tough and unfriendly; you live in it just to suffer and die. It is an unendurable purgatory of the most hellish kind.

But in this great awful snake-pit, between the oceans of filth and the deserts of pollution, growing in the minutest nooks and the most invisible crannies, small white flowers courageously try to survive. They have always grown there, and they will always continue growing there. They are the small shining white anemones of knowledge, beauty, truth and creation. They are the arts, the ancient Greece, the universities, the happy families, the artists, Venice, Rome and London. Although they are small and tiny, they are the most universal and eternal things on earth. They are the world's only considerable things of importance and consequence, simply because they are loved.

They have been slowly growing and expanding ever since man got his chin. Even a few deserts have been fertilized by them. They are able to beautify the entire world and make every desert fruitful. Perhaps one day in a distant future they will have transformed this our purgatory into a paradise?

Capitalists and communists are all the same. There is no actual difference between them. Both are mad in opposing the other.

Capitalism is excessive dependence on individual property. Communism is excessive rejection of individual property. Which system is less irrational? Which of them is less impractical, unnatural and absurd?

People in the east mistake all westerners for capitalists, and people in the west mistake all habitants of the east for communists. The real communists and capitalists are in reality very few. About 90 percent of mankind are honest true human beings who at heart belong to neither exaggerated craze.

Moderate communists and capitalists do usually agree quite well with each other. The ideal system of systems would consequently be the most moderate of systems.

Each individual has a philosophy of his own. A philosopher who expresses his only adds a bucket of water to the oceans.

A human being is even more surprising and amazing than an iceberg: only one hundredth, or even less, is ever seen of him.

Life's conventions and formalities are like paint on a woman's face: too much is horrible, while a small tinge can do no harm.

Marriage is man's step from youth to age. A bachelor is always younger than any husband.

Man's only valuable power is that of enjoying life. By a simpler name that power is called love. Without it life would really be meaningless and vain.

Try not to let out your worries. The best way to worry others is to give them yours.

Life does not have to be full of sufferings. People suffer from the consequences of nature, or from their own mistakes. The first they must learn to endure, and the second they must learn to correct.

An ideal friend warmly inspires and presents you with all his best sides while he carefully abstains from worrying you with any of his doubtful ones.

Of what matter is the government and the ruling party, as long as each individual is able to enjoy his own individual liberty?

The industries destroy our earth, our fortune, our future and our lives, because we are such an uncountable number and so shamefully dependant on their vain, delusive, luxurious material illusions.

If you are not eccentric you are generally egocentric. Why is it so extremely difficult and impossible to be moderate, natural and simple?

Trouble, sorrow, death, ruin, disaster and catastrophe are phenomena without neither meaning nor purpose. Nothing is of any meaning or consequence except love, so do not engage in things which are not lovable.

Always fight your ignorance with your heart and soul. It is your one and only enemy in the world. To conquer him is to conquer them all.

If you are not ignorant, fight it anyway.

Why are people so easily dazzled by things such as a car, a refrigerator, a swimming-pool or a bungalow? What is all that vain nonsense compared to, for instance, a classic library, a collection of classical operas and symphonies, musical scores on the piano, classical paintings and statues here and there, and outside a blooming perfuming picturesque garden?

Children are so wonderful because they care only about pleasant things. Man's mistake as he grows up is to involve himself more and more deeply in unpleasant things. Thus he soon grows weary of life and dies.

To know the art of living is to be able to avoid this.

Nothing and no one was ever overrated. Everything and everyone was always underestimated.

The only abhorrent thing in the world is ignorance, and the only dangerous thing in the world is ignorance which has gone too far.

Those who consider themselves ignorant and are hungry for knowledge are never particularly ignorant. Only those are really ignorant who are ignorant about their being ignorant.

Ignorance gone too far is that kind of ignorance which has been made stubborn and unreasonable by unlimited nourishment of lies. To feed such lies unto stifling in order to establish ignorance is the business of brainwashing.

Madness, ignorance, senselessness and other such things really have no strength. They are just vain and empty bubbles of pestilence. Free yourself of them, break them with your fingertip, and never let them depress you.

Never desert your ideals, and never desert your future. Do your utmost to improve yourself, and do your utmost to please and serve mankind.

There is a good side and a bad side of every person. His good side consists of his qualities, and his bad side consists of his lack of qualities and his eventual madness.

Discover fully the bad side of yourself and the good sides of others. Thus you will in yourself diminish the first and increase the second.

People who dare contradict themselves are extremely admirable.

To watch the dirt in another's soul is to escape the dirt of one's own. Your own amount of dirt is never less than that which you observe in others. One's fellow men are not only strangers, but also mirrors.

To be self-critical is simply to watch one's steps, which is quite a natural thing to do as you progress on the tightrope of life.

Politicians are generally unreliable. Most of them will fail, deceive, oppose, attack, insult and trample on anyone when and if it suits them. All they want is the most dazzling vanity of vanities called power.

Politicians live by eating each other. They reach power and influence by killing those who possessed it before. In order to be a successful politician you have to be ruthless, and ruthlessness is of all human qualities the most deplorable.

Politicians of the good, honourable and respectable kind are still able to rise at least in England and certain other civilized corners of Europe, but during the last five decades they have gradually become less frequent, less significant and more vulgarized.

Judge a person only from his mind, his personality and his life. His tie, his shoes or his socks are of no consequence whatsoever. Bright clothes may sometimes beautify simpletons, but poor clothes can never disgrace a prince.

Sir Alexander Korda meant more to the art of the film than anyone else in Britain. Being a distinguished genius with a most remarkably high taste, he made and produced a greater quantity of classical films than any other director or producer at that time. The immense and unsurpassed value of the great Anglo-Hungarian's influence and contribution to the world of the cinema the world can never be enough reminded of.

The best way to develop, improve, purify and refine yourself is to indulge in as hard and as creative work as possible.

Do not worry about your body. Life only lasts a second, even if you live for two hundred years. The only possible way of prolonging it is by enriching it.

The richest lives are those which continue to influence and please the world after their conclusions. Such men as Shakespeare and Plato, for instance, will live for ever.

The duty of a government is never to control a country but to serve it.

Politics is the game of power and ruthlessness. Art is the extreme opposite. They will never agree until politics is subordinated to art and philosophy.

An artist who is active politically is quite unworthy of his profession.

When prime minister Clémenceau of France once met with the great pianist Paderewski of Poland and asked him how he was doing, and Paderewski replied that he had advanced to become the president of Poland, Clémenceau exclaimed: "Quelle décadence!"

The reoccurring historical act of destroying old worthy cultures and civilizations is as vain and impossible an enterprise as even the act of banishing the general conception of God itself. The memory and the spirit of beloved things will always remain, no matter what happens.

If the upper part of your left arm itches, and you desire to scratch it, it is much easier to scratch it in front of yourself than behind your back.

To dirty one's windows by smearing them with jam is really a most ridiculous thing to do.

You are able to learn and understand only what you want to learn and understand. No one can be made to understand what he has no interested in gaining the knowledge of, except by the vain method of force.

There are four categories of people: those who are entirely good, those who suffer from their partial badness, those who are indifferent to their partial badness, and those who imagine they are entirely bad. The first category is the largest. The other three do all more or less need assistance and support. The very smallest category is, of course, the last.

The world has never changed nor will it ever change. The dinosaurs suffered from the same problems as human beings do today. Rebels, parasites and tyrants have always existed and will probably always exist, since their ever learning that they fight and rule in vain is highly improbable. The only ones who ever succeeded in changing the world were accidental geniuses who surely had no intention to.

Everything is vain, useless and mortal except the one light of life called love. Only two things exist in the universe: love and vanity. Vanity always changes, ends, dies, disappears and leads nowhere, while love always remains, continues, spreads, grows, reaches forward and leads anywhere.

Each man creates his own life according to his very own wishes. If his life becomes poor it is his own fault, and if it becomes rich and enjoyable, it is of no one's merit but his own. Poor people should be left alone, unless they beg for help. The only people who ever truly needed help were those who earnestly begged for it.

All those revolutionaries who want to recreate the ugly, terrible and unfair world should actually purge and recreate their own ugly, terrible and unfair selves; because that is were all the dirt which they see is found.

The more clearly you see the people around you, the more considerate you are towards them. The less considerate you are towards them, the blinder you are.

This century is indeed the most remarkable period in history. Never has man been more tremendous, more numerous, more powerful and more threatened by graver dangers.

Wars have become more and more bloody during the lapse of aeons, the development of which is fascinatingly illustrated by the evolution of the great world conquerors: Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Djingis Khan, Napoleon and Hitler; they have marched all the way from godlike splendour and nobility to blackest cruelty and insanity.

Life is a long, fascinating and incredible adventure, which everyone is freely given to explore, enjoy, compose, contemplate and finish.

It is very natural to be interested in what you are ignorant about. Such an interest must always be gratified. The wish to improve oneself is maybe the very noblest of all human considerations.

Why is James Hilton so seldom read nowadays? Being one of the most charming, interesting and imaginative authors of this century, it is a shame and pity that people no longer remember his name.

Your conscience is always right, even when it gives you the most nonsensical and ridiculous notions and ideas.

Conservatism is idealism. What system could possibly be more ideal than that which allows preservation of the past while at the same time it grants full liberty to new ideas and creations?

An ism is as good, honourable and trustworthy as it is constructive.

Beware of spoiling yourself. Work is more important to the spirit than food is to the body.

Never expect people to recognize you in a car. The windows are often so dreadfully reflective, that you can impossibly discerned and recognized from the outside.

The foulest and ugliest thing in the world is foul, ugly art. It is seen today everywhere in almost every country, in the sterile, degenerate and atrocious shapes of modern buildings, modern paintings, modern sculptures, modern music and modern political films and literature. And the most disgusting of all examples of foul, ugly art is the modern city, where all houses are created equal, where all functionalistic buildings are equally tall, equally unhuman and equally desperate. A more horrid show of supreme ghastliness man never constructed in more reckless folly.

The world before the First World War belonged to its lovers. Naturally it still belongs to its lovers, but they have ceased to influence their world, whereupon it has of course degenerated. Their gentle voices were long ago drowned by the screams of naturalists and cultural nihilists, who were followed by Nazis and Fascists, who eventually have been replaced by today's extremists and terrorists, who scream and shout more loudly and madly than any of their forefathers. Very little is seen or heard in the air of the world today except nonsensical political ridiculous noise.

Only those who have starved know what a divine pleasure it is to eat.

One of the most difficult and admirable arts is conversation. A great talker is more fascinating than almost any artist. His improvising and creating vanishing castles extempore is an accomplishment which can not be matched.

Love of art is a sign of genius. Geniuses have become more and more disregarded during the last two centuries.

A genius is not remarkable for his intelligence, but for his sense, his love and his imagination.

Beauty ranks high above skill. The most excellent pianists and violinists often find it extremely difficult to play beautifully. Skill can easily be acquired by anyone who yearns for it, while beauty is the rarest and most curious of human accomplishments.

The most wonderful thing about life is perhaps the non-existence of totality and perfection. New grounds will always remain for man to conquer, he will never be able to acquire enough knowledge, new things will always be discovered, and new improvements will always be made. Contentment is an illusion, satisfaction an empty fickle bubble of soap, and ends are mirages that do not exist.

All things everywhere are part of the forever existing infinity, and therefore everything is eternal.

The most delicious cake of life naturally contains a few hard and trying stones, but it never tastes bad unless you believe in peppering it.

If the theory of reincarnation is true, where are today Pericles, Plato, Alexander, Augustus and Marcus Aurelius? Where are Raphael, Shakespeare, Rubens, Goethe and Voltaire? Why do we not always have among us such tops and suns of history?

The most admirable people in history were maybe those monks of the Middle Ages, those ancient librarians, and all those quiet unknown sages existing always everywhere, who through the course of centuries bravely spited cataclysms and revolutions to constantly and laboriously suffer their lives preserving and safeguarding knowledge, art and history, entirely for the sake of their ignorant fellow beings and their probably equally ignorant posterity. What servants of mankind could possibly ever have been more humble and more overlooked than those quiet unknown lovers and protectors of forgotten treasures and memories of the past?

Only ignorant fools are base enough to judge art politically, and only more ignorant fools are base enough to act as political artists.

What an awful pity that people forget and abandon the good of today for the good of tomorrow! Why don't they instead preserve the good of today to make an even better tomorrow?

The Baroque, for instance, was completely abandoned and rejected for the Rococo. Had the splendour of the Baroque instead been well preserved and continued, the Rococo might have become twice as glorious and inspiring.

And having all those wonderful brilliant past periods of art, why doesn't the world of today rediscover the best parts of them and make the greatest period of art in history? Why doesn't the world avail itself of its past instead of forgetting it and throwing it away?

The only excellent thing which the twentieth century so far has brought us is the cinema. Being today technically perfect, the art of the film has become next to philosophy the highest and finest of all arts, because of its fantastic ability to combine, subordinate and use the other arts without degrading them. A fine film, like for instance "The Happy Ending" made by Richard Brooks, is today far more worth visiting, enjoying and remembering than a simple exhibition of art.

To sell, buy or produce art just for the sake of money is pure prostitution.

Enterprises owned by the state generally don't succeed very well, since they lack all individual interest. Individuals usually engage themselves in anything, while teams usually involve themselves in nothing, since all they have time to do is arguing.

A state should not own, control or govern anything. Instead it should concentrate on supporting, encouraging and serving all things worthy of cultivating.

The great silent majority, which was discovered in America during the sixties, consists of just, admirable and sensible people, who unfortunately are quite easily fooled. Hitler, for instance, fooled all the Germans forty years ago, and so did Lenin and Stalin all the Russians. Europe is undoubtedly out of such dangers by now, but America, Russia and China are not.

Man has been spoilt by medicine and comfort, and thus life has become too easy for him. This has resulted in the bulging problem of over-population, which constantly is bringing more problems of the same titanic dimensions, for instance the general world pollution, which threatens all life on earth.

The worst part of this is the over-population happens to be economical. Business men are making short-sighted fortunes out of the mere growth of people. Man in his blind fascination of fickle glimmering gold is ignorant enough to enthusiastically support and encourage a disease which may finish him.

Art is the finest of all man's creations. It is purely made of his love, wherefore it is his only child of consequence.

The strongest feelings are always invisible. They are so hellish or so divine that there is no possible way to express them.

Do therefore never mistake a quiet man for a dull man.

The only way to get rid of all traffic problems is to get rid of all unnecessary cars. As long as the amount of cars is unlimited, the increasing growth of traffic problems will be unlimited.

You always know others as little as you know yourself. The more you know yourself, the more you are able to know others.

The old European cities, of which London is one of the most eminent, are today the world's finest treasures. They need the greatest care and consideration.

A work of art must have unity. The only purpose of details is to add to the general unity. Without concentration, simplicity, unity, life and beauty, a work of art is hardly eternal.

You may fall socially, must you must never fall spiritually.

A masterpiece is a work of art in which infinite life, spirit and beauty is contained. Artists who are able to accomplish such should never in any way become dejected and rejected by society, since they alone have the power to educate and inspire the world to further spiritual and material improvement.

To a sensitive soul the most painful of all things is bad art. The regrettable world of today is full of it.

To have a vision is to have a future. What the world needs is a few more eminent men with visions.

The forties became the golden age of British cinema. The films of those days made by the Archers, Sir Carol Reed, Sir Laurence Olivier and David Lean are still today among the world's most outstanding ones. What British cinema needs today is a new Alexander Korda.

All the world's angry and ruthlessly battling politicians are not together worth fifteen guineas. One single honest and sensible peaceful politician or influential character is worth a continent of gold.

A man lives as much as he lives for others. He that lives only for himself has never tasted life.

A violent crowd of people is madness itself. It is not a congregation of human beings but of locusts. Christ was crucified by locusts, the family of Marie Antoinette was devoured by locusts, and wars have for the last four centuries been fought only by locusts. To participate in a violent madding multitude is to renounce one's individuality and turn oneself into a brainless insect.

Why may not people laugh in certain art galleries? It is a most insipid and inhibiting prohibition.

After all, even the greatest painters and sculptors did often have a sense of humour.

The pianists, the orchestras, the conductors, the artists, and all the patrons and lovers of art, are too small in number. Great people have always been too rare.

Nothing is higher than art. Every human being is a masterpiece of art, and even God is such a masterpiece, though on a higher level. (If God created us, then logically someone must have created God.) Even the entire universe is but a great unknown fascinating incredible and mysterious work of art.

The world has always been wanting good art, and so it always will. Good art is what indirectly keeps it alive: it inspires and nourishes the human soul, which is the heart, life and energy of humanity.

One of the finest and most inspiring masterpieces of art ever created was ancient Greece. Many artists had their fingers in it, but the most important finger belonged to the greatest democrat ever alive - the man called Pericles.

The most important subjects at schools are undoubtedly the languages. A talented fifteen-year old chap, in Hong Kong or in Greenland, should at least be able to speak three languages fluently besides English.

The world consists of parasites, workers, leaders and artists. The artists are those who keep the world in good spiritual health, the leaders are those who provide the law and order, the workers are those who manage the great world machinery, and the parasites are those who do nothing.

Workers, leaders and artists are all dependant on each other. Artists need the support and encouragement of both leaders and workers; the leaders need the artists to keep their spirits up and the workers to trust and support them; and the workers, finally, could not possibly do without the sense and backbone of the leaders, or without the light and the dreams of the artists.

The notorious parasite may have any appearance. He can be a worker, a leader or even an artist. Either his business is to sponge on others, or it is to serve them with madness. He breeds misunderstandings, supports violence, backbites anyone and enjoys chaos. Whatever happens, his ruthlessness always seems to keep him well afloat.

The parasites are the most ignorant human beings in the world. They should be pitied and ignored, for they don't belong to it, they stand outside it, and they don't even know it.

Who is greater? A dynamic artist like Ibsen, or a beautiful artist like Andersen? Dynamic art in itself is rather vain and empty, while beautiful art in itself is rather weak. The perfect artist, consequently, would make apt use of both means.

Talented children usually begin to think at about nine years of age. From that moment on they are quite capable of breeding themselves. In other words, children above nine should be respected.

Never have demands on anyone except yourself. Be generous, give yourself to anyone, but receive from others only what they with their hearts offer you.

All films made for the screen should be forbidden the television, since the television but degrades them.

If you want to see a good film, go to the cinema. If you want to see a bad film, go to the television.

To televise a good classical film is sometimes to commit sacrilege.

The best way to improve yourself is to get to know your fellow-being.

The only ignorant people in the world are those who are against things. Ignore all that is not worth encouraging, and encourage the rest.

Even worthy members of governments easily get occasional attacks of madness. How often do they not swear and insult each other?

Man has one great weakness only: he fancies bad art. It does not become him.

Rome went under because the arts went under. Must that same thing happen again?

A genuine artist is someone who prefers physical starvation to spiritual.

Man's most important enterprises are always his dreams. His dreams alone did ever manage to keep him alive.

But he has the outrageous vice of always tiring of his dreams. He always seeks and searches for new ones, he can not stay one day in one place, and that is what the artists and the lovers of the world are suffering from.

The greatest masterpieces of an artist is always his entire life with what it contained.

Why is sex such a popular theme nowadays? Why are people so tasteless as to torture the world by making a show of it?

Sex is always as ugly and dirty outside marriage as it is pure and divine within.

The Tyrannosaurs of today are the powerful suppressors. The Allosaurs are the parasites. The Brontosaurs, the Diplodocuses and the Brachiosaurs are the aristocrats, the priests and the artists. The rest of humanity are all those quiet inspirers, sufferers and lovers of life, like the Trachodons, the Triceratopses, the Archaeopteryxes, and the small and lovable Struthiomimuses.

A nation and civilization is generally as high as its esteem of the individual.

Good is quite illogical. So is evil. All things are highly illogical, except for scientific truths and facts which, as everyone knows, are extremely boring, insipid and dry.

If life was not full of illogicalities, it would hardly be worth experiencing.

However great and magnificent a man, and whatever his talents and accomplishments, he always gets altered and drowned in the general opinions of mankind. He will never be seen properly as the person he is by more than a handful of friends who knew him personally.

The most irrational and weird of all feelings are those of envy and jealousy. Such feelings are entirely based on misunderstandings and lack of sense.

Deism is a far too unknown branch of philosophy today. Like most wonderful remnants of the last great classical period of history, the eighteenth century, it has gradually become more and more forgotten.

Its most prominent and striking idea is, that God exists, but that He does not interfere with the world.

People who can not agree with the world usually bestow on themselves tragic fates.

Sergei Diaghilev was one of the most interesting monstrous beasts in history. He attracted everyone, sponged on everyone and pulled everyone with him into his bog who was not wise enough to escape him in time.

He took several of the most splendid artists of his age under his wings, and destroyed them when they grew too brilliant. He could not stand personalities brighter than his own.

The most seriously afflicted of all his victims was Nijinsky.

Nijinsky was one of those too many examples of great men who, being too good for the world, are mercilessly smashed to pieces by it. He was as weak as he was great, found his ideal in Diaghilev, became the greatest male dancer in history, was driven mad by Diaghilev at twenty-nine years of age, and stayed mad for the remaining thirty years of his life. He died twenty years ago.

"We constitute an infinite part of God, and as we create something beautiful He is reflected." - Vaslav Nijinsky.

One of the many fatal mistakes committed in history was the act of pronouncing Nijinsky insane and forcing him into an asylum. Of course he was insane after such an adventure, but never before.

Nijinsky's keeper, who talked and stayed with him for ten days, who became his friend, and who had dealt with lunatics daily for thirty-five years, pronounced Nijinsky to be the wisest and most sensible man in the town.

The doctor who pronounced Nijinsky insane had only spoken to him for ten minutes.

Why is the general academic opinion of Cleopatra so low? She was not a strumpet. She was a queen.

The only disgraceful act she ever committed was suicide.

Women growing old, trying to conceal their age with cosmetics, are quite awful to look at. They should accept their age and gain the dignity which usually follows it, like men do, instead of vainly trying to conceal and escape the way of all flesh.

To dub a film into a different language is to alter a work of art, the act of which always is abhorrable, abominable and condemnable.

It is impossible to alter a work of art without partly bereaving it of its spirit.

Whenever someone happens to disappoint you, remember that he disappoints himself much more.

To speak ill of someone or something is to put a toad in your mouth. They generally do not taste very well, and the sight of it is repellent.

The finest moments in a man's life are those in which he feels at ease.

Youth is always right, as long as it refrains from violence. They disagree with the present conditions of the world, which every man has every reason to, since the world has a dangerous lack of ideals.

In dismissing painters like Georges de la Tour and Antoine Watteau, the great king Lewis the Fourteenth of France truly showed the world what his taste was worth.

Each work of art has a million different aspects. It is but natural that fifty different people about a work of art should hold at least five hundred different views.

The more outstanding a work of art, the more man's opinions about it vary, and the more it is generally observed and discussed.

 

The Art of Writing

A book consists of chapters. Chapters consist of paragraphs. Paragraphs consist of sentences.

A fine independent book consists of fine independent chapters. A fine independent chapter consists of fine independent paragraphs. And a fine independent paragraph consists of fine and independent sentences.

What I mean to say is, that in a good book every chapter, every paragraph and every sentence must be created as an independent work of art. Every fibre must possess life and charm. Every little phrase and detail must be created with the same care, the same patience and with the same extreme conscientious concern as the entire novel, story or essay.

Consequently, the art of writing is not one art but many. The most important of these many arts forming one are, the art of uniting words into a sentence, the art of uniting sentences into a paragraph, the art of uniting paragraphs into a chapter, and the art of uniting all chapters into one single work of art which is the final book.

All arts consist of sub-arts which consist of sub-arts. Painting, filming and composing are undoubtedly as hard and difficult, demanding and hopeless occupations as the art of writing.

Finally, the reader must realize, that a book of this kind can not be concluded. It can only be escaped by the author and abandoned, maybe to be continued later on. In fact, a few additional ideas already exist, but they belong to the future.

Gothenburg, 30.XII.1970.

 

Part Three.

15.12 I will never accept in the world its lack of sense, its ruthlessness, its lack of consideration and its insane demand that you must fight.

We are in this age suffering from the greatest and gravest pestilence in history: Noise.

A beautiful world is a world where the weather is warm and moderate, where evil does not exist, where Truth, Love and Beauty are considered the highest things, where artists and politicians are not corrupt, where the only sound is musical and natural, where there are blue seas, green forests, golden beeches, wide meadows and marble cities, where philosophers and writers may live in peace and freedom, and where the future is as bright as the past and the present.

Such a world could but consist of artists. Because only artists dare dream about such a world.

What is an artist? An artist is someone who believes the world could be better.

16.12 History shows us that the future is totally unpredictable. Always people imagined things would happen which did not happen. Instead the least expected and the most surprising and unimaginable things always occurred.

People in the world today have two general ideas about the future. 1. They adopt Aldous Huxley's horrific visions. 2. Doomsday. I believe none of them will come to anything.

The great changes in history were caused by totally unexpected elements. History is actually just a tall tale of unexpected elements. Since the future is but a mirror of the past, history will continue surprising us in the same manner as always.

19.12 Future dreams, the most delightful of all dreams, are dreamt to be realized.

Evil exists only when you allow it to exist. Refuse to deal with it, and it will vanish.

Truth, Love and Beauty are actually three different words which all mean the same thing. Because the Truth is always lovable and beautiful, Love is always true and beautiful, and Beauty is always lovable and true.

What is this thing which they all stand for? It is something far greater than Good.

20.12 Spiritual love, the only real and pure love, is always harmless, and it should exist always between everyone.

Physical love is always harmful, except in marriage, where it is always divine. In marriage, physical love actually stands as far above the level of spiritual love as it outside marriage stands beneath it.

25.12 A stranger is someone whom you can not trust.

2.1.1971 Whatever youths do or think, they are always right, as long as they are not violent. What they all lack in the world of today is simply ideals. New ideals are needed, not only by sensible young people, but by the whole world.

5.1 Each work of art has a million different aspects. This means that five hundred thousand people looking at one thing in five hundred thousand different ways is no wonder.

The finer the work of art, the more the individual opinions about it vary, and the more it is discussed and observed.

The cinema reached its greatest height during the middle fifties. Then came the "free cinema", the "nouvelle vague" and political, psychedelic and over-pretentious directors, who scared all the audiences away.

More than seventy years ago, Anton Tchekhov, the great Russian genius, dreamt about a future in which people worked only three hours a day and devoted the rest of their time to associating with friends and to studying and learning. In brief, he dreamt about a paradise, which today is realizable.

Automation can be driven so far as to make human labour almost entirely unnecessary. We have today computers, nuclear reactors and almost robots. What else do we need?

Wouldn't it be delightful to devote oneself to living at ease once again, to having a wide circle of acquaintance, to unlimited studying, learning and discovering, and to taking care of the beauty of our mother Nature, the beauty of our old cities, and the beauty of our vacillating world as a whole once again?

Only two things stand between us and such a future: the madness called violence, and the madness called thrift. Money should be spent and circulated, never saved or centralized. Centralization of money is what causes inflations, crashes and all financial ruins.

Violence should be ignored to death. Every angry, violent or evil man should be considered ill or insane. Because that is what he is.

In an ideal world, each individual is an artist. The artist's profession is the simplest and the most natural in the world, so it is a great wonder that everyone is not an artist.

How many examples are there not in history of the greatest men whose finest traits and qualities become most grossly misinterpreted as traits of ugliness and as bias towards evil; for instance Wagner, who loved Bellini and Rossini more than himself, William of Orange, whose undoubtable unimaginable spiritual sufferings together with his necessary stoicism was taken for cold frigidity, and Doctor Johnson, who was considered a cruel and merciless cham, but whose heart most certainly was one of the warmest of his age?

The only grave mistake ever committed by Alexander was to take the nonsensical priests of Ammon seriously, to adopt their idea that he was a God's son.

He was great until this mad notion became his.

Every man is the loneliest person in the world, because there is no one who is at all alike him.

Nothing differs more than individuals. Always expect everyone to be as different from you as the night is from the day, because he is.

Therefore, democracy taken in the sense of "all people being all alike" will but lead to chaos. Democracy means that all men should have the same possibilities, not that all men should be as good as the worst.

Unfortunately tops and bottoms have always existed and will always exist in society. They are inescapable. They can not just be smoothed out; because no man can change the core of another's soul, and no man wants to change the core of his own.

I wish to once more make it quite clear, that an artist is not always someone who makes art. An artist can also be a politician, like Churchill, a scientist like Einstein, or even an oceanographer like Costeau. An artist can have any profession. The one quality which makes him an artist is, simply, that his work is constructive, which quality comes from his love.

Anyone can be an artist. Anyone can have the highest occupation in the world, because everyone possesses love.

Earth has become too small for mankind. They must explore some new solar systems, so that they may breathe again.

Some people look at ancient Greece and are stunned and repelled by the sight of all the dreadful cruelties, wars and depressions. But they should not look at Greece in that way. They should pay attention only to its glory, its resplendent culture and its divine nature and harmony. Because all the rest is worthless.

And from the same point of view everything should be considered.

A great culture is a culture that concerns everyone, for instance ancient Greece. No culture ever was more wholly possessed by everyone than the ancient Hellenic.

Simply because no culture ever reached a greater simplicity and a more remarkable lack of complication.

A work of art must never be pretentious. The more humble and simple it is, the more widely it will be understood, and the greater will be its consequence.

Woman is higher than man, but higher than every woman is every child. The child is the personification of the future. To neglect a child is to neglect the world.

The supreme joy in life is to succeed in pleasing the one whom you worship most.

The human soul consists of the fine moments of its past. These treasures it uses to create an even finer future.

Thus the human soul never ceases to expand.

Why does almost everyone suffer from the one major fault called egocentricism? Simply because he underestimates himself. To underestimate oneself is to underestimate others.

What an awful pity that the world has been unable to read the minds of its greatest men! How many treasures, greater than Shakespeare's, has the world not lost during the ages!

The world consists of clouts. The most difficult aim you can have in life is to not become a clout. Because a clout is what everyone desperately tries to make of you, since they don't understand that an intelligent man could be something else than a clout.

A hundred years ago a man could escape becoming a clout by becoming an artist. Today even that solution no longer exists, since clouts have filled all conservatories, all schools of art and all theatres. Some of them have even degraded art so much as to become artists. Art today is no longer beautiful since clouts have soiled it with politics and with sex. No wonder the world is degenerating.

A country where unusual men are treated with contempt, abuse and scorn will perish. The world exists only because unusual men deign to take care of it.

Supreme unhappiness is inability to work.

There are many things that could be said about art, but most of them are not worth saying.

Art critics are very wrong when they say that classical art is "well-disciplined" art. Classical artists, like for instance the ancient Greeks and Raphael, were never strict, severe or well-disciplined. They just happened to own a very highly developed artistic conscience.

The worst religion is no religion.

28.1 People generally overrate or underrate. No one did probably ever see things as they are. They underrate what they are ignorant about and overrate what falls into their liking. Thus the fine things of the world will always be growing even finer, because of our glorious constancy in rating them too high.

Children are just young ignorant innocent grown-ups. An ignorant and innocent grown-up, like David Copperfield's Mr Dick, is an old child.

Love is the most frail and delicate of all subjects. People talk about it too much and write about it too little. It is every artist's favourite theme and therefore also mine.

To know a person's heart and core is to know where he stands concerning the subject of love. One's feelings and concerns about love is one's colour of personality. One should show it openly throughout one's life, because colours are always beautiful.

To treat the subject of love is to repeat old ancient truths. One can not escape it. The moment something new is said about love will probably bring a new age. Because love has that power.

One's memory is as good as one's experiences are experienced. The more you experience something, the more you will remember it.

A person at the age of seventy who remembers nothing and is feeble-minded has led a very poor life. An old man whose mind is as clear as a blue sky, though, has led the richest of lives.

It is very wrong that all children should go to public schools. Those who have remarkable minds of their own, about 5%, are harmed by it, and those who have no minds of their own, another 5%, do their best to harm it.

Over-endowed and over-sensitive children should be privately educated, and inharmonious boys and girls should be given help before school, not after.

Society does not form growing children. Only the children can form themselves, and the duty of society is to inspire and encourage them to do so even more.

Why was ancient Greece so outstanding? What made it the most unique nation in history? What is the secret of its ever lingering light of unsurpassable brightness?

The answer is its high regard of the individual. No people did ever notice and inspire each other more than the ancient Greeks. 2500 years ago, one Greek was regarded more highly than 10,000 Europeans are today.

5.2 Ballet is of all arts the finest, when it is well performed. When it is not well performed, it is of all the arts the ugliest.

In other words, it is the most delicate art of all.

Every individual carries in his heart the very essence of the whole world, because every individual basically has a conscience. And what is the conscience if not that knowledge which every living person has in common?

Never fear making a fool of yourself. To commit the fatal mistake of publicly making a perfect fool of oneself once or twice in a year is actually both a very natural and a very healthy thing to do, because it makes one think, and, above all, it inspires you to self-criticism.

Self-criticism is self-purgation, not self-invalidation.

Life is the thinnest of tightropes, across which you have to dance without a bar. The higher you string it, the greater you make the art of living.

Most people are content with having the rope on the ground. Even to them life is still an art, though, because they still dance.

A machine is someone who acts more than he thinks. A stargazer is someone who thinks more than he acts. A perfect life, therefore, consists of action and thought in as equal portions as possible.

The highest of all thoughts is to consider someone greater than yourself.

There are as many ways of reading books as there are authors. To read all books in the same way is just to have a peep into them.

A good ruler in the art of reading a book is to consider the care with which the author wrote it. For instance Thackeray, who was fast, should be perused fast, while Conrad, who was careful, should be read with care.

An author's first, best and most intimate friend is his most silent and careful reader.

You could say about me: "So young, and so disillusioned already!"

When I get rich I will realize my highest wish. It is the only great wish I ever had and the only great wish I ever will have. It is the dream of my life. I have nursed it since childhood. It is to become independent.

What is science but a play with fire?

The old England was built with love. To despise it is therefore like despising the only thing in the world which is not despicable.

The ideal jig-saw puzzle is the one which you build and build and which never is completed. An example of such a jig-saw puzzle is the world.

Beware of pessimism. To become pessimistic is to hide oneself under a treacherous black screen which lures you to believe that the sky no longer has any stars.

"All men are created equal." This is true only from the material point of view. It is true as long as it means "all men are men".

Because it is a tragic, calamitous and dreadful fact, that all men are not created spiritually equal. People with great minds will always be as inescapable as people with minor minds.

Life is an unlimited jig-saw puzzle which you create and work on as long as you live. Then death comes and takes you away from it. What, then, comes after death? Probably another jig-saw puzzle.

Those who regard art as a means of expressing themselves should not become artists. Because they are not fit to be.

An artist does not express himself. He creates.

The root of all evil is the inability to respect one's fellow-being's individuality.

Even a nation is individual. If, for instance, ancient Athens and Sparta had respected each other's individuality, no Peloponnesian war and no end of the Hellenic age would so suddenly have occurred.

The only way to total peace is for Russia, China and America to respect each other's individualities as three very different nations.

To analyse a work of art is to sunder its unity, which is the same as destroying it.

You can not analyse a work of art. You can only praise it or fail to understand it.

A man's strength always lies in his individuality. He should take the best care of it and respect it when he encounters it in the souls of others.

The more you understand the world, the more you love it.

The future will never forgive us the crimes we are committing today, for instance demolishing old beautiful houses in order to build new ugly ones, and devastating wildlife and nature. We might justly become regarded as the greatest criminals in history - those of us who didn't bother to do anything about it.

21.2 The holy alliance, made between England, Russia, Prussia and Austria after the fall of Napoleon, was a magnificent effort to give the world peace. It lasted long enough to make room for the splendid later half of the nineteenth century with all its wonderful accomplishments..

The age of Enlightenment, the eighteenth century, was smashed to pieces by the French Revolution and Napoleon. The holy alliance became the most excellent and admirable foundation of a new age, which could be called the age of Splendour. It culminated with the Victorian and the Edwardian ages, was endangered by the unforgivable enmity towards Prussia and Austria, and was finally destroyed and devastated by the greatest mistake in history so far - the First World War.

The only result of the First World War was the second. People did not even have time to grow up between them. The two wars destroyed a world and an age and many memories and good results from others.

Twenty-five years have now passed since the final end of the last war. Man has had time to breathe. The sight of the bomb has startled him: he has not immediately started a new world war.

We have the possibilities of a new age. The artists have been degenerating too long, it's time for some great ones to rise again, - it's time for classicism to be re-established.

By making himself a dictator, by drowning all the countries of Europe in the blood of his countrymen, Napoleon Bonaparte proved himself unworthy of the love of the French nation.

Amply praised artists of the queer sort, like Le Corbusier, the dadaists and cubists and futurists and almost all artists of this century, are never but remarkable dilettantes. They only mirror the fatally degenerating process of the world during this century.

The only true art is classical art. Classical art has been the foundation of all great significant ages and fine accomplished civilizations, and all great significant ages and civilizations of any accomplishment have deteriorated and shattered as the purity and discipline of classical art has been abandoned.

The arts today desperately need a good cleaning. The greatest clots of dirt they are infested with are politics and pornography.

The classical ages were quite different from each other. The Renaissance was as different from ancient Greece as the Rococo was from the Renaissance. The only thing they had in common were the classical ideals.

The golden age of Hollywood was the golden age of America.

A man is as great as his feelings.

Problems without solutions do not exist.

Adapt yourself to the world. Don't try to adapt the world to yourself, because that will inevitably lead to conflicts.

Influence the world as much and as well as you can, but do it only constructively by serving it. That's the only safe relationship between the individual and the world.

To conquer the world is a very foolish thing to do, because the entire world belongs to everyone who is born in it.

The history of the world is the history of its cultures and civilizations. It's not the history of its politics. Only those politicians and ancient rulers who caused culture, civilization and arts to rise were of any consequence.

What is true is self-evident. No man will ever astonish anyone by stating in his liking remarkable truths, because everything which ever was universally true was always universally known as well. The truths of life are the oldest news in the world.

Even the fact that everything true is self-evident is an old endlessly repeated self-evident truth.

What a wonderful idea to turn Antarctica and all Antarctic islands into the greatest nature sanctuary in the world! It's a proposition well worthy of the support of all mankind.

The Middle Ages were so dark because all arts were turned into religion. The age of today is equally dark, because all arts are turned into politics. Civilization has never flourished except when art simply has been regarded as a means for Truth, Love and Beauty, namely as nothing but art.

The Russian and the French revolutions were both caused by the same thing: a few irresponsible aristocrats misusing their power. If the Russian and French aristocracies had been less corrupt, two glorious epochs of two glorious nations would never have been smashed to pieces.

A few rotten aristocrats often make the entire aristocracy appear rotten, but people should know, that only because the sun is hidden, it is not gone from the sky.

Functionalism is the ugliest art man ever developed. It's so ugly that it's a wonder that man has accepted it. It's nought but a perfect means for the rulers of today to suppress and depress their citizens.

Art has no function but to inspire. Architecture is an art. When it does not inspire it is completely worthless.

The faith and belief in God has always existed and will always exist. Because man can not do without it.

Also the faith and belief in Saints and Demigods will forever exist, because man can neither do without them. Because of their greatness, the Demigods and Saints add to the greatness of God; they are easy to understand while God is too great, and thus they make out the link between man and God. Their existence is vital and important, and it has been of the greatest consequences in history.

The only way for humanity to survive is either to abruptly cease to make so many children, to make a mass emigration to other worlds and planets, or to have part of itself killed. These three alternatives should be looked at in this order.

The only favourable one is of course the first.

Man upset the balance of nature by inventing medicines, cures for ills and easy childbirths; thus he became too numerous. He has not ceased to become even more numerous since, consequently he endangers the very existence of nature more and more; if he continues like this nature will quite soon be doomed, and the doom of nature is the doom of man. Such is the situation.

The end does very seldom, if ever, justify the means. Because bad means always lead into a bad end. The only way to reach a good end is to conscientiously stick to good means.

The common artist of today makes one great success, and then for the rest of his life he stays there trying to repeat it. The great artist, though, never repeats himself, but constantly brings forth something new. There are as many different sides of him as there are hairs on his head.

What is "destiny"? It is one's own self-made creation. Of course, it may contain some elements, for instance afflictions of nature, which are not one's own self-made creations, but all the rest is.

The scientologists are ignorant children who think they can play football with the world without bruising it.

The world's greatest charm lies in its immeasurableness of great charms.

Corruption comes from the worship of vanity.

Is it too late to return to the classical ages? Has man in his act of destroying God and nature gone too far to return?

The most fascinating thing about the ancient Olympian gods is the fact, that they were all quite remarkable personalities. None of them was like the other, they all had their very own characteristics; they appear in fact in the ancient tales as individuals of flesh and blood. What was their origin, really? Man has always been fascinated by the subject of giants. Innumerable tales of all ages exist about them all around the world. Even the Bible does in an early chapter mention that "there were giants in those days". Maybe the Olympian gods originally were a last doomed remnant of an old tribe of doomed, weird giants, who because of their tiny number considered themselves unique?

One fact is quite clear, and that is that they will never cease to fascinate the imagination of mankind. They were all great artists, whether they existed or not, and their personalities and personal histories are as entertaining today as they were three thousand years ago.

Classical art is divine art. Because it is so great, so noble, so pure and so simple, that it can but please even the gods.

What is classicalness? It is simpleness and purity of spirit.

A work of art is as classical as it is direct, simple and easy to understand.

The least classical civilized people in the world are probably the Americans. But they have another spirit instead: the Hermesian. They are young, curious and incredibly straight-forward.

The high worth of their spirit is proved by the fact that they create good things, especially within the cinema, despite their opaque ignorance about art, taste and style.

6.3 Propaganda is always disgusting, whatever it is for. Because what is propaganda except empty bragging?

Vanity alone always brags. There are millions of old well-known proverbs all around the world dealing with this fact. Great doings are made in silence. The loudest tongues say the least. Nonsense and sense are like noise and music: you hear the first, but you listen to the other. A sensible person is someone who has nothing to say. Wise men listen to silence. And so on. They are without end.

To think is to create thoughts. It is the most stimulating occupation in the world, but, like all noble practices it should be done with moderation.

Because, where lies the pleasure in your thoughts if you can not share them with others and refine them with more acquired knowledge?

The world is in great danger of becoming the victim of its own folly. Some genius should come down from the top of Mount Olympus and snatch earth away from the claws of ill destiny. I sure hope, though, that it will not be me.

A person in good health is generally more interested in her soul than in her body. The tragedy of a person whose health has been destroyed is that she is then forced by nature to take a greater interest in her body than in the charms of her soul. About the cruellest fate anyone can dream of is to get secluded from one's own world of thought and imagination. Even death is preferable to that.

One's personality is one's destiny.

A very respectable way of honouring a person is to borrow of him a book and to read it from the first page to the last.

If he honours you by freely lending it to you you must honour him by reading it.

Do also remember to beware of the grave danger of forgetting to return his book when you have reached its end and found it most exciting.

7.3 Because of my classicalness I am not in the least against unclassical art. Not in the least. Each artist has his very own ambitions, finds his very own personal art and should by all means devote the rest of his life to it whatever it is like.

But the greater the ambitions of an artist, the more classical his art inevitably becomes, because classical art is truly the most ambitious art there ever was. To give a work of art the classical spirit is to make it divine, and only artists of the very highest kind are endowed with that most enviable ability.

It is often very dangerous to praise a work of art, because when they later on see the masterpiece, those who listen to your praise very often become disappointed, since you made them expect too much.

When you are going to watch a performance, a feature film or some other work of art, ignore everything you have heard about it. Expect nothing from it, ignore all the criticism and the praise which has been expressed about it, and thus alone you will be able to form an opinion of your own.

It's very strange that the best films ever made quite often are the most romantic ones. Just as the best novels ever written usually are the most romantic ones.

A well made romance, then, seems to beat everything else.

8.3 To see a very romantic film, for instance the first part of "Lawrence of Arabia" - one of the most stylish and romantic parts of any film ever made - is to never in one's life forget it.

The most wide-spread philosophy in the world is the Epicurean, the philosophy of resignation. It is in one way a very dangerous philosophy, because, being elaborated by one of the sharpest minds in history, it tempts and allures and often even catches the very crËme de la crËme.

The Epicurean philosophy is a rejection of all responsibility for the world. To reject responsibility is always rather dangerous. Many, though, prefer calm, peace, harmony and irresponsibility to fights, pressures, hardships, adversities, stress and killing responsibilities. In fact, the most difficult choice there is to make in the world is between rejecting Epicure or mankind.

There are two kinds of artists: those who brag about it and those who do not brag about it. The braggarts are generally accepted as artists and considered as more or less unbalanced and queer, which they undoubtedly are, while the non-braggarts, the only genuine artists, often are very hard to discover, since they are quiet, humble, modest, diffident and unpretentious.

Classical art is, like the most delicious of dishes, able to be flavoured. There is one spice called romance, which when moderately used appeals to the gourmet most favourably. Another agreeable spice is baroque, the bombastic taste of which never fails to carry the most tremendous success. There are many other spices as well, but none of them are quite as efficient and tasty as the salt and pepper of art: romance and baroque.

Dependence are the toughest, roughest, most painful and most unendurable shackles any man ever was impeded by.

To search for one's own total spiritual and material independence is to search for the secret of God.

The severest harm you can inflict on a fully independent man is to become dependant on him.

If China continues to follow the course of Mao Zedong they will soon end up as the world's greatest enemies. They have so far meticulously repeated the history of Nazi-Germany, they stand today where Germany was in '37, and they are probably the only ones who are mad enough to consider the idea of beginning a third war.

The government of China doomed themselves and their future as they rejected their nation's past. The cultural history of a country is the heart and soul of the nation, without which it can but expire and die.

Mao Zedong is celebrated as the most clever man. Of course he is sharp, clever and endowed with a great mind. So were many fools before him, for instance Hitler, Goebbels, Stalin and Caligula.

He believes in violence. Violence is madness. Consequently he believes in madness. Ergo, he is mad.

In China, the empire created by Mao, you may not read books, because all books are dangerous, unless they are written by Mao. Therefore the only books that exist in China are written by Mao.

You may not have personal feelings, because then you are a bloody imperialistic capitalist. To enjoy Beethoven's ninth symphony is in China practically criminal.

No arts exist in China except political arts. You may create something only if it is communistic.

In brief, the Chinese government rule the Chinese people by keeping it in ignorance. Thus by means of lies it can make any Chinaman believe anything. If the government says all Europeans are mad, or that everyone who wants peace is mad, then every Chinaman dare but believe it, because people in general believe in authorities, and in China the only authority is the party.

The rulers of China are deceiving the Chinese just as the Nazis long ago deceived and fooled the Germans. Let's hope, though, that this time a world catastrophe will not be the only way to stop the tragedy.

You can not respect the individuality of the Chinese Nazis. The Chinese people are indeed worthy of respect, (probably no people ever suffered more from millennia of constant oppression,) but their government is hopeless. It respects no one, and it is completely unreasonable; it doesn't even admit the existence of individualities. The rulers of China are dangerous, because they lack the most important of all abilities for responsibility: self-criticism.

No man can live without illusions. Destroy your brother's illusions and you destroy him.

He creates his illusions with love as a child. He lives for them until he dies or till they are destroyed. His illusions are the personification of his life, his sole purpose is to realize them, the meaning of his life is his illusions, and therefore without illusions no man or woman can live.

The world is an illusion. It is one of God's most lovable illusions.

Only those who can not govern themselves do actually need a government. If exactly everyone could take well care of himself and his family, then no government would be necessary anywhere.

In fact, the only function of politicians and leaders is to take care of those who do not know how to take care of themselves. Which means political people should leave some people alone.

The politician is the dustman of society. His job is to keep its sewers working.

Politics is the most laughable of practices. If you wish to study vanity in all its most blatant glory, then go to a political meeting.

It is a regrettable pity that art has become almost as divided as the rest of the world. Before the final break with classicism in the nineteenth century, art was recognized and regarded as one thing. Today art can be almost anything.

Paint a wheel. Whether it resembles a wheel or not when finished, it is immediately recognized as a work of art and a masterpiece equal to any Madonna painted by Raphael. That is how far the world has gone.

11.3 Those who consider themselves the most important people in the world are generally the least important, and those who consider themselves the least important in the world are generally the most important.

Consequently, true greatness lies in humbleness.

A man is as great as he is humble. The awareness of one's own greatness should be a spur to the increase of one's own humbleness. It should never carry anyone away.

To be carried away by success is to prove oneself unworthy of it.

12.3 The field of classicism is probably the broadest, richest, deepest, most fascinating and most amazing field there is. It contains all things immortal, beloved, beautiful, simple and invaluable; it's the field of the immortal gods of the Olympus, of the great, beloved and immortal artists, and of every culture and civilization that ever existed. It's the field of man's memories, his dreams, his tales and his hopes; it is one word for all that he ever made out of his love. It's the extremest opposite of the box of Pandora; its lid needs opening, its contents are yearning for freedom, it has been suppressed too long. Classicism is the secret of humanity: it's the ambrosia. Without it no one can live.

A culture is as classical as it is cultural. All cultures are therefore more or less classical.

Both the Greek and the Biblical mythologies are probably bedecked departures from one simple, natural, historical truth.

There are probably many historical epochs of the past, one stranger than the other, which have undergone the same treatment. Time can impossibly fail to change anything.

Life is the fairest of all judges. Life is the very personification of all logic, reason, sense and justice. It bestows on everyone exactly what he deserves: his own fate.

A man's fate is his reward, his punishment and his wages; it is exactly what he deserves: no more and no less.

13.3 The most dangerous invention man ever made was science.

There are two futures for the world to choose between: making the most radical, drastic, significant and pregnant break-through in history, or total self-extinction.

14.3 The most important thing in the world is the respecting of your fellow-being's individuality. Because it is exactly as wonderful, priceless and impossible to overestimate as your own.

Living is the art which you spend all your life learning. You never reach perfection, because it is an art as infinite as all the others.

It is impossible to chart and fix the art of living, because each person learns and develops his very own.

To know people is to love them.

The art of conversation is extremely difficult. It is the art of letting others see your entire self without your exposing it.

Neutrality is always the best policy. It is the policy of being against nothing.

17.3 Always subordinate yourself to others. Never expect anyone to subordinate himself to you.

Venerate the whole world and every human being except yourself.

He who dwells on the bottom of society is exactly as great as he who dwells on the top. Their duty towards each other is to take well care of each other.

A human being is incapable of being humiliated. No one can crush him, insult him, suppress him or disgrace him, because no one can bereave him of his soul.

He who keeps away from dirt has no need to fear it.

The worst crime you can commit against the world and mankind is to bereave them of your company and support. Without support nothing can exist, spiritual or material.

Beware of the most dangerous of all life's temptations: to care more about yourself than about others.

20.3 Why is there such a thing in the world as incapability of understanding? Why do not all people understand everything? Why is it so impossible for so many people to regard things as they are?

Who invented ignorance?

Indulge yourself in life. It is all you have got.

The world can not do without aristocrats. Only well behaving, responsible and humble servants of the world will ever be able to make it better, and such are desperately needed.

10.4 Materialism is the worst, most dangerous kind and lowest level of pessimism. Since pessimism is of no good, materialism is of even less good.

13.4 One good melody is more worth than a hundred atonal masterpieces by Schoenberg, Webern or Dallapiccola.

The object is as important in painting as the melody is in music. A picture which resembles nothing is usually worth exactly nothing. It is the way to paint things that matters, and not the way to paint.

Raphael fixed the art of painting for four centuries, during which an infinite number of the finest and most immortal artists constantly rose and reached eternal fame and appreciation. These artists of these four centuries were a splendid crowd of individuals of the very highest artistic class, the celestial standard of which was never touched by any impressionist. The impressionists rose because society suddenly made classical art academic; they were wise and sensible enough to protest, but they committed the mistake of abandoning Raphael. Each one of them was a magnificent admirable artist, though they were far beneath all the vanished classical ones. The followers of the impressionists were even more degenerate, thus proving that it was a faulty byway leading astray, and today there are as many isms of art as there are artists. It has been a sad development indeed.

Raphael was not at all as impressive and fascinating as Leonardo or Michelangelo, but his refined classical highly developed taste and conscience the world of art has not been able to abandon without running off the rails.

Eccentric artists should beware of themselves. As long as others in any way suffer from their eccentricism they are not worthy of their profession.

16.4 It is not the duty of society to take care of each individual. It is the duty of each individual to take care of himself. Those who can not take care of themselves should learn.

(This is of course meant spiritually and mentally. Invalids, for instance, should by all means be helped as carefully as possible.)

18.4 The duty of all great men as they grow old is to write a detailed autobiography. Great men are the finest fruits and products of the world and mankind; if they omit to impart their secrets to posterity they lived to some degree in vain.

20.4 Of course the cinema audiences are declining! Of course they have been declining for the last fifteen years! What else do you expect when tasteless critics ignore all the great films and observe and appraise only the worst; when cinema businessmen without sense propagandize and back only the queerest, basest and least attractive films; when the few talented directors and stars who in spite of all do exist never are encouraged; and when cities show the best films in their worst, smallest and dirtiest cinema theatres? What else do you expect when the finest art ever developed is carefully sponged upon by ten million parasites with only capitalistic interests and with no concept whatsoever of art and taste?

The English are a people of humble aristocrats. That is why they are so lazy.

That is also why the fall of the British Empire was so awfully regrettable.

In America, according to Americans, everything and everyone that does not agree with or serve American economy is dismissed and held in contempt for being unamerican. And that is why America today clearly is the most vulgar nation in the world, since it only allows the one taste of national vulgarity.

21.4 All those magnificent autostradas and modern functionalistic delightful monsters, together with all those very beautiful thoroughfares, which are made at the expense of green parks and old mansions, will in a near future be one of the world's biggest problems. Because then there is no one to use them.

The most horrific thing about the wars of today is that people who die in them are but few compared with all those who die because of their consequences.

Masses revolt when their masters prove themselves incompetent by behaving badly. If one sensible and competent king had appeared in France instead of those three last ignorant dummies called Lewis, no French revolution had ever thrown the world into a red bloody boiling kettle of more aimless, desperate and vain revolutions.

People should start creating things instead of destroying them.

Creating the future is a much more pleasant occupation than to kill the past.

25.4 Everyone believes himself to see things as they are, but he never really does.

Goethe was one of the finest men. All was said by Goethe that had not already been said by Shakespeare.

29.4 "The way to spread a work is to sell it at a low price." - Dr Johnson.

May. All people are always more ignorant than they think.

No man is so small that he need make himself great.

Never give up a good purpose. Never be satisfied until you have reached it. If you sometimes fail in reaching it, it simply means you have to make it better. Only the worthiest ships do generally reach a harbour.

I can change the world and I will. That is my illusion.

All vain things are piteous, and so are all vain people. All those who want and are dependant on money are piteous, all those who yearn for affluence and power are piteous, all those who believe in force are extremely piteous; the only people in the world who are not entirely piteous are those who are in love with life. Only love is not piteous.

No trouble, difficulty or problem is insoluble. A problem posed by a mortal can always be solved by a mortal.

The greater the artist, the more easily he is underestimated. But the greatest artists are those who are patient enough to accept and endure underestimation.

Josef von Sternberg, apropos his wonderful "Fun in a Chinese Laundry", was great enough a director to tame the bear Emil Jannings, but he was not great enough to handle the dinosaur Charles Laughton.

All work is slave-work. The artist's job is even more exasperating than the common labourer's. To work with one's mind is always more demanding and difficult than to use one's legs and limbs.

An idle life is always condemnable. The only way to prove you are truly alive is to show up your creations.

There are as many aspects of life as there are stars in the universe. To learn all about life is therefore the most impossible task you can engage yourself in.

A civilization is always as great as its greatest idols. The Soviet Union is no greater than Lenin, and the world is no greater than Christ or Buddha.

The trials and sufferings of your past are always minor to those of your future. If you have managed them well, though, there is no reason why you should not manage those of your future equally well.

The more you know, the more you want to know.

15.5 The art of not thinking in words is known only to children. The world has no use of such an art, so they are taught to forget it as they grow up.

Ignorance is the unawareness of spiritual values.

The art of living is the art of behaving naturally.

What is true is always too fantastic to be false.

What is wisdom? It is spiritual awareness.

All knowledge is basically spiritual.

Everything is incredible except that which is false.

Some people suffer from what must be the most torturous of all disabilities: they can not control themselves. They suffer from and are victimized by their own feelings.

What they need is strength and integrity. In order to master the results of their own selves, they must build up and strengthen their own selves.

There are two kinds of friends: those who admire and follow you, and those whom you admire and follow. A man should have many friends of both kinds.

Nietzsche's idea of superman was and is ridiculous. Supermen have never existed and will never exist. There have been several great artists in history, but they were always the equals of carpenters, scholars, dustmen and any craftsmen. No man was ever more or less than an individual.

An individual may improve however much he likes, but he always remains an individual.

All things are quite interesting. A man has no interest in things only as long as he knows nothing about them.

Spirit only is not enough in a work of art. The spirit must be enjoyable.

The finest and most admired characteristics of a man are generally those which he himself is quite unaware of.

England, the last country in the world with a genuine aristocracy, thereby proves itself the only sensible nation in the world.

A sane society is a society which allows people to go mad.

June. Great Britain fell because of the two world wars, but only materially. Culturally and spiritually she is still in my opinion the world's most incomparable living nation.

Suffering is an inescapable fact of life. Those crowds and multitudes who suffer from famine, illness and poverty will, if these tortures are eased, instead begin to suffer from boredom, fatness and laziness.

No man did ever escape his sufferings without encountering other ones instead. Freedom from starvation does not mean freedom from sufferings. Wealth and power never readily equal ease and leisure. Usually, the more talented a person is, the more he suffers. The most suffering people in the world were the artists, and the least suffering ones were always the parasites. Because they have no feelings.

Endure your sufferings and let them spur you to further improvement as a human being.

Strange enough, a man is usually as great as he has suffered.

The two most important things to do in life are to love and to suffer.

Wars exist only because people are stupid enough to fight them. So do world problems exist only because people are stupid enough to nourish them.

A man must suffer, or he will be spoilt and bored to death. And besides, you can not get rid of your sufferings without making others suffer instead.

You can not live without suffering. The more you suffer, the less ignorant you are.

Medicine was supposed to ease the sufferings of man. Instead it increased them. Before the advent of medicine there were no such things as world starvation, world wars, cancer, drugs, suffering proletariats, class wars, slums and radicalism.

In fact, the discovery and application of medicine caused the world to jump out of the frying-pan into the fire.

The best way to embarrass a person is to flatter him.

There are as many different aspects of life as there are grains of sand in the desert, drops of water in the oceans, and considerations in the minds of humanity. To make a break-through in history and discover one of these aspects is an achievement which very few philosophers are able to boast of.

Sufferings come to an end only to begin anew in a different manner.

The opposite of materialism is spiritualism. Spiritualism is quite good as long as it is not carried too far, just as materialism is quite good as long as it is not carried too far.

Once again we are faced by the golden mean as the only perfect choice and solution.

22.6 This world is not mad; but it has been driven so far scientifically and materially, that by living in it, each man risks being driven mad.

Beware of getting mad. Resist the temptation of abandoning yourself to total irresponsibility, unawareness and unlimited freedom; for it is as dangerous, hopeless and vain an existence as it is attractive, enticing and provoking.

Using drugs is an artificial way of abandoning oneself to madness.

July. How sad and dreadful is this barbarous world. The only hope for its continued existence is the most barbarous science and religion in history.

There was a world once without autostradas, without industries, dirty and discontent working classes and dire cities. How I envy those people who lived then.

Imagine a valley without a factory. Imagine swimming fish in the river of this valley. And imagine that this river is not yet dammed. How rare such sights are today. Soon they will be rare even in people's imaginations.

There is no hope for the world. No science, religion, movement or effort of any kind will be able to undo what industrialism has built and dirtied the world with for the last two hundred years. Civilization is hopelessly trapped in its own immoderately material progress.

The Roman legions destroyed the Roman Empire yesterday. Their part is today played by the workers and their employers.

Barbarians are those who live just for pleasure. Those who live for their love know the language of Greek.

It was extremely uncommon that great artists went mad before the French revolution. After the same it suddenly became extremely common.

The best way to insult any person is to take for granted that you know him.

No wonder agreeable artists are so rare today: this is the least inspiring age in history.

The only pleasure which still remains in my life is dreaming. Every hour and moment when I am awake I long to the sweet dreams of sleep.

When the future appears brighter than the past, people generally destroy the past to build the future. When the past appears more agreeable than the future, they generally ignore the future to wallow in the past.

The future will probably never show us another epoch like that of ancient Greece, which is not a good enough reason for our ignoring it.

Ever since the fall of ancient Greece eminent men have regarded the world with melancholy, which is quite understandable, since it is no pleasure to behold the object of one's love degenerate.

Three fatal blows have stricken civilization: the fall of ancient Greece, the fall of the Roman Empire, and the failure of the Renaissance. The first was the severest, there was not much hope left after the second, and there was no hope left after the third. I wish it were somehow possible to return to Egypt and Babylon, to the beginning of civilization, to some distant place in the past where the broken bones and limbs of history could be set right.

Three times the world has received fatal blows which have defeated its hopes for a decent civilization. The first blow was the fall of the ancient Greece, because of the Peloponnesian war. The second was the fall of the Roman Empire, the last and the greatest universal monarchy. The third, last and final blow, which swept away the crumbs that still remained after the two preceding ones, was the failure of the Renaissance. The Renaissance had a brief wonderful renaissance in the eighteenth century, which perished once more in the revolutions, uncontrolled industrialization and materialism, and the fall of the arts.

Is it possible for a future age to arise from these oily oceans, these black stinking slum cities, this our ravished Dame Nature, and these thronging crowds of foolish ridiculous children, whose number but double and triple and multiply in infinite carnal rut?

Yes, it is possible. Everything is possible, and therefore even that is possible.

But the odds are desperately dismal.

Ancient Greece dissolved. The Roman Empire dissolved. Europe dissolved, and finally even the arts dissolved. Dissolution is the road to chaos. Agreement and unity alone leads to peace and prosperity.

The Peloponnesian war was the greatest catastrophe in history.

Only great men become small, only strong men grow weak, only sensible men go mad, and only happy men know unhappiness. There are two different sides of every quality, and the greater the quality, the more the two sides differ.

14.7 The only important thing to do in life is to live.

19.7 Life is merely a race with death.

20.7 A man is generally as wrong as he is pessimistic.

25.7 "Is it too late to change the wind of change?" is one of the most interesting questions asked this century.

Why on earth did not Hadrian continue the work of his great predecessors Vespasian and Trajan? His neglecting to continue the expansion of the Roman Empire marked the beginning of its tragic and most deplorable decline.

It is quite unnatural for man to dwell in cities, since he is the consummate child of nature. The cities being the result of materialism, and materialism being the result of science, science has become a perfect failure, having secluded man from nature instead of harmonizing him with it.

Impeccable people have never existed, and neither will they ever exist. A person's greatness is never greater than his weakness.

The best of all omens is a life purpose.

To laugh at one's own jokes is to undo them. To laugh at the jokes of others is to add to their jollity.

The greatest conquest there is to make is the heart of another human being.

Some people suffer from pain and some suffer from crutches. Others suffer from slavery or boredom or even wealth, but William Shakespeare suffered from love.

26.7 The greatest mistake a man ever committed was to get born.

To search for truth is quite an honourable occupation; but truth is infinite: to such a search there is no end.

Was there a triangular contest between Queen Elizabeth, Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare that inspired the latter to express the pain and love of his Sonnets?

The world is a romantic snake-pit.

Life is the most lovable of tragedies.

How beautiful were the ancient times! People were free from troublesome scientific facts and truths; knowledge of fantasies and imagined tales was a virtue; the world was flat, and even the most embarrassing universe did not exist. The Gods adored earth, around which all the planets, suns and stars did circle, being the glorious, virtuous focus and centre of all infinity.

How I envy the happy ignorant people of those days!

Nature is a jig-saw puzzle which has been laid ever since life came to earth. Man was the piece which completed it. If it is ruined tomorrow, the miracle of miracles called life will probably begin once more from the beginning.

Humanity must not die, and neither must nature. To survive has suddenly become more important than to live.

The course of the world has always been and will always be in the hands of chance. Against chance, even God is sometimes powerless.

29.7 Scientology brags about giving eternal life to everyone; but how do you give a person something which he has already got? The human soul has always been known to be immortal.

Although your soul, with all the qualities that pertain to it, is immortal, your life is not. Your flesh is bound to die sooner or later, and losing your flesh you will at least temporarily lose the world.

A lifetime is as brief as the twinkling of an eye. But to cease winking will prove quite uncomfortable.

Man is at present battling with nature. To begin this battle in the eighteenth century was his life's greatest folly. If he confounds nature, neither will survive, but if nature confounds him, at least nature will survive.

Lovers are rivals of the only honourable sort: instead of conquering each other by force, they conquer each other by love.

I know nothing any more. The only fact which I am still certain of is that I exist.

Life is an illusion, an illusive excuse for emptiness.

The only phenomenon which makes life real in spite of all is the existence of love.

The two basic elements of life are love and emptiness. Another word for emptiness is vanity.

Love is the meaning of life.

Everything is vain, meaningless, mortal and useless, except love. For love is even worse.

If love is the meaning of life - what then is the meaning of love?

The answer is ecstasy, feelings, memories, pleasures and life; but what is the meaning of those?

They last forever! Well then, what is the meaning of eternity?

You ask questions only to ask again what the answers mean.

The question is whether questions are worth asking.

Love is the meaning of life. Let us be content with that.

But contentment is an illusion.

Yes - an illusion worth having.

Why?

It soothes the soul.

Only for a moment.

Of course.

Is it worth soothing your soul by a fickle illusion for one moment?

Yes, it is. Anything is worth doing. Even illusions are worth having.

But you would rather have a greater illusion, a more lasting illusion?

Naturally. And so I have.

Tell me that consummate illusion.

Life.

We may hereby conclude that the meaning of life is a most unnecessary question. Why? It estranges us from life.

A life without problems is generally considered an unthinkable insufferability. A human being, if he has no problems, will usually become a problem.

Thus people in the western world, having no longer difficulties in surviving, do more and more turn out criminals.

An honourable man does not die young, unless he is too honourable for the world.

I begin more and more to understand, that even England is lost. When I read about how they treat their own Shakespeare, how they allow their language to decay, how they adopt American filth, how they leer at the Victorian age, and how disgracefully their aristocrats behave, I can but doubt that worthiness which I thought they still had a last remnant of.

And yet, the rest of Europe is even worse. And even worse than Europe is the rest of the world.

The truth is generally unbelievable. Why bother innocent people with scientific and religious facts which they will not believe in anyway?

The higher the truth, the more it is unbelievable. This is one of the world's greatest tragedies: people have always refused and will always refuse to believe the most beautiful and inspiring of truths.

Only take friendship for an example. People still consider that Achilles and Patroclus, Alexander and Hephaistion, Shakespeare and his young friend, that all these couples were homosexual. They stubbornly refuse to believe in serene stainless eternal Platonic love, as if such a mere possibility was utterly preposterous.

There is no higher form of love than friendship. There is no higher form of love than love without sex. But people who only know love in its base sexual forms will never be able to understand that.

Every second night I dream about the archipelago, the place of my dreams. People laugh there, I see my old friends there, they greet me as I appear, and children laugh, play and make it a general paradise. How I long for the past!

The earl of Essex could have made one of the finest characters in English history, but he chose to become one of its greatest clowns and fools.

4.8 The Divine Age would be a proper name for the period between 499 B.C, when the Greek war with Persia began, and 192 A.D, when the end of the Roman Empire became inevitable.

People usually understand what you can not understand that they understand, while they fail to understand what you wish they would understand.

5.8 Religions have always influenced the world in a very bad manner, the only exception being the ancient Olympic one, which really was no religion. It was merely an infinite treasure and source of inspiration for everyone.

When a religion is sacred, holy and authoritative, it is generally unwholesome and dangerous as well.

The same applies to science.

Science and religion are the two means by which tyrants and suppressers at all times have controlled, corrupted and finally destroyed the world. Because of science and religion we are where we are today.

Truths are harmful when people use them to control and suppress each other. Since I believe that most people never will cease to dwell in Vanity Fair, my opinion is that Truth never should be publicly spread and authorized.

I would rather live in a happy ignorant world adoring life and nature, than in this scientific desert where the greatest god is vain knowledge.

The supreme vanity is knowledge.

O Cupid, god of love, where have you been all these centuries?

Only knowledge of eternal things matters, and the only eternal thing is love.

6.8 The only valuable education is spiritual education.

7.8 There are two different aspects of nature. We have the wild, terrifying, horrific aspect of supreme force and violence, and we have her soft, beautiful, lovable, divine appearance of supreme truth, beauty and peace.

In both capacities she excels everything.

She is the supreme masterpiece of art: God, life and the universal powers have spent five hundred million years creating her.

All existing things, matters and appearances are basically works of art. When they cease simply to be works of art with the sole purpose of pleasing, they become destructive and highly dangerous. This is what happened long ago to science and religion.

8.8 Homer must have been a man who suffered. To be able to emit such glorious everlasting light you must have been imprisoned in the darkest and deepest of desolate caves.

To be ambitious in this world is to be insane. Only mad barbarians could possibly willingly degrade themselves so deeply as to make themselves responsible for the present age.

The distinguishing characteristic of barbarians today is their idiotic dependence and veneration of religion and science.

9.8 Worry is the consummate self-torture.

The other side of supreme undying love is supreme undying pain.

A unique man is a lonely man. Since everyone is more or less unique, loneliness is an inevitability.

The most horrible fact of my life is that no one is to blame for it except myself.

Oh, dreadful truth! Why was I ever tempted to explore the alluring light of your fire, which now is a pain and torture more unendurable than the flames of deepest hell!

The truth about my character will torment me as long as I live, your self being the only thing in the world which you never can escape.

Blessed are those who do not know themselves!

The truth about my character is the ghastliest thing I ever came across.

10.8 What was the Roman Empire besides a filthy degenerate bastard hyena feeding on the excrements of old deceased Hellas?

Hellas was the climax of history. When it declined there was nothing more to add except vain nonsense and a tragic end.

England, it must be confessed, became the second hope of history; but what were the chances for a British success, the Hellenic flop having been so complete?

The ugliest word which man ever invented in his folly was superman. To call a person, dead or alive, a superman, overman or demigod is to bereave him of his human charms, qualities and scruples, which is worse than bereaving him of his life.

12.8 How strange that I, a convinced lover of life, desire nothing more than death!

"Kill yourself, then! It is quite easy, you know!" people say. But the fact remains, that a more dishonourable act than suicide does not exist.

The only excusable way to die is by way of nature.

 

How much has been lost in history, and how little has been gained!

 

Every human being is deplorable, only because the world's fate is deplorable.

14.8 Theory and practice have always been opponents. Theory is always beautiful and completely alienated from reality, while the only aim and business of prosaic practice is the undermining of poetical theory. Personally I prefer without hesitating theory, since no matter how alien from reality it is, it always remains closer to truth and eternity than practice, which always remains trivially mortal.

The world is changing itself to death.

17.8 In the company of a great individual you usually do your utmost to stress and uphold your own individuality; and if the individual is great indeed he admires you for this.

18.8 Eternal questions can only be answered in a whisper.

26.8 The art of loving is extremely difficult. You have to abandon yourself completely to your love if your lover is capable of receiving it, and you have to perfectly contain it and control it if she isn't.

You have to adapt your love to the condition of the lovÈd. If your flame is too strong she will boil away, and if it is too weak she will not even start simmering.

I am just a head out of four billion. I am just a human being out of many, I am just a normal member of society like everyone else, and my thoughts in this world are as valueless as everyone else's. For individuals were only allowed in ancient Greece. With Hellas the individuals disappeared, and since then they have only rarely appeared in Rome as emperors and in Italy as Renaissance people.

My misfortune and tragedy is that I am an individual in a world where individuals no longer are allowed.

That's my only crime, my only sin and my only fault: that I am an individual.

That my life went wrong already at the age of ten is a minor detail of no importance, like the detail that I all since then have been mad.

Either you proceed from one success to another as a human being, or you are lowered from one humiliation to the next.

The final goal of the first is world fame, and the end result of the second is a voluntary departure from this life and world.

28.8 I am completely by my senses. I am only mad in that sense, that I am as completely out of harmony with life as it is at all possible for a human being to be.

Therefore my steadily increasing longing for death is completely understandable, natural and logical.

If one day I get killed in a car accident I hope it will not be quicker than that I will have time to cordially thank the person who drove me over.

If the entire world would abhor me for being what I am, except one person who would love me, then I would know that I would not have lived in vain in spite of all.

For the voice of one individual is always stronger and more significant than the voice of the entire human race.

When man ceases to be an individual he becomes an animal.

An animal is a creature who is led by anyone except himself. An individual is a creature who is led by no one except himself.

Life is a nightmare the only way to awake from which is to die.

29.8 It is good to have a diary, wherein you can express all your worst feelings without causing the world any harm.

6.9 If you can not engage in anything constructive, then wail. Wail the fact that the world is not constructive.

"To know what life is all about is to suffer from it."

10.9 Karl Marx was right in all his statements and ideas, from the point of view of Karl Marx. Each philosopher and thinker is usually impeccably and supremely brilliant and correct, as long as he keeps his notions to himself. The general mistake which philosophers usually commit is to expect others to adopt their views.

Each individual possesses his own individuality. Those individuals who try to make themselves paragons and guides of other individuals thereby display their innocence, their naÔvety and their vanity.

The only right way to live is one's own.

Of all the various ways of expressing one's love, the finest and most evident is undoubtedly by way of self-sacrifice.

(On this day the diarist came of age.)

11.9 I am not a materialist, but I consider the general adoration and fondness of material appearances as most lovable and worthy of cultivation. The love of matter is, like most kinds of love, a most interesting and cultivable phenomenon.

Love is the most wonderful of all feelings. It is also the most painful. A man's greatest pain, highest bliss, deepest sorrows and most adventuresome experiences do all occur because of love.

The art of living consists of the art of loving life and people without getting too passionate.

Materialism as a denial of spiritual life and immortality is quite objectionable and unacceptable to my taste; but materialism as a kind of love and glorification of matter, space and energy is in my opinion quite acceptable and agreeable.

In other words, I am a humanistic naturalist with a very open mind.

Only great men do usually become materialists. They suffer and love life so much that they love the idea of eternal rest.

15.9 The only way to reach one's goals in this world is to fight, endure and show eternal patience.

Persistence will lead you anywhere.

The root of all misery is passion.

The line of historical celebrities who went down because of their own passions is overwhelmingly endless. Greece and Rome fell only because their leaders became too passionate.

The passions of man have created history, which is the most tragic, dreadful and deplorable tale in existence.

16.9 Is it wrong to be passionate? It can not be. Serenity and passion are part of every human being, just like happiness and despair.

Passions do not necessarily lead into insanity. Nijinsky was not insane. He was only considered insane by those who were not as passionate as he was.

Passions have resulted in cataclysms, catastrophes and universal tragedies, but they have also resulted in civilizations, eternal memories, and the arts.

We are all strangers in this foreign century.

Thank heavens I am mortal!

Alexander the Great was probably the most passionate man in history. The question is whether his passions led to anything constructive.

Are passions dangerous, or are they constructive? Whatever they are, they leave memories which I could not possibly do without.

Which lead us to face the fact that passions are very educating.

The only danger of passion is to love someone more passionately than he or she deserves. That is when love becomes more unbearable than pain.

To love someone to death is quite possible theoretically. It has frequently occurred in history.

It is one of Shakespeare's favourite themes, (e.g. Othello, Hamlet, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, etc.)

Schizophrenia is a state of supreme sanity as long as it remains within the patient's control. Schizophrenia should never be treated as an illness, but as a rare, respectable and most incredible miracle.

Life began to expand when the first biological cell divided. That cell suffered from schizophrenia, or else it would never have happened.

17.9 The less you are, the less harmful you are. Is greatness consequently repudiable and odious?

In this world you can not attain greatness without at the same time attaining madness. Therefore you had better stay humble.

Humbleness is never the same as humility and degradation. It is quite the contrary. Worthy people are usually great enough to prove their worth through humbleness.

Schizophrenia is a great man's answer to the terribleness of reality. Rather than to allow his person to be dragged down into the bog of reality, he splits into two different beings, the other becoming that former part of himself which he was not allowed to be.

Schizophrenia is not madness. It is just a splendid solution to the most difficult of all problems: the problem of not being fit, suitable and acknowledgeable to the world.

19.9 It is very strange that, no matter how desperate your situation is, there is always something or someone somewhere who in spite of all is worth living for.

Self pity is the best way to keep wounds alive.

People who write much in diaries are usually dejected. They don't want to bother their environment with their personal problems, failures and tragedies, so they indulge in secret diaries.

23.9 To live without ideals is to live in vain.

The worst thing that could happen to a human being is the loss of her ideals.

26.9 Greatness and happiness lies in littleness and humbleness. Only small and harmless things can be safely loved and cherished. To expand is aimless, since you can expand forever without leading or reaching anywhere.

Everything is useless and vain except love. To love something is to make it greater than yourself. Thus, to love is to humble oneself.

28.9 I can't help it, but I am worried about the world.

My diary justifies my existence. Without it I would never have found strength and encouragement enough to continue my life upon this earth.

I write for the future. This world is to me a perfect stranger, wherefore I prefer dwelling in the past and writing for the future.

But is there any future? I will never stop hoping there is.

What is right? Everything is right. A human being is incapable of creating wrong ideas. All ideas of whatever kind are right.

The dismal part of life is not dismal because it is wrong. It is dismal because it is right. Rightness and wrongness does not exist; only rightness exists.

L. Ron Hubbard is the Richard Wagner of science and philosophy.

Scruples are the finger-posts along the tightrope of life.

1.10 The root of all evil is dependence.

The tragedy of parents is they never know their children.

An artist has to be independent. He will never accomplish anything as long as he stands on foreign ground. He has to be allowed his very own personal individual ground, or he will perish.

2.10 A theory, which would completely solve the problem of Shakespeare's Sonnets, is that their story is entirely fictitious. It is in my opinion quite credible that Shakespeare developed the entire tale in his mind and expressed some of his deeper and less definable feelings by writing it down. Some people must naturally have inspired him, the Elizabethan age was full of inspiring characters, but probably none of those beings depicted in the Sonnets did ever really exist.

Feelings have the most incredible sources, and they bring the most incredible fruits.

5.10 I am what this world, this age and my family have made of me: a dejected, disillusioned, ominous, brooding, pessimistic, unenthusiastic, troublesome, divided, dangerous, unwholesome outcast, who hardly is worthy of what is generally known as life.

7.10 Drown your sorrows in wine, my friend! Get drunk twice a week, and boredom will never bother you.

The two most inspiring and educating elements of life are love and suffering. Love is always practicable, but if you can not suffer, drink!

8.10 To be imaginative is to consider reality what it isn't.

I exist in a world which does not exist.

9.10 The absolute horror of ignorance is its supreme overpowering majority.

The Truth is infinite, relative and highly hopeless. There is no end on it, and there is nothing in it.

But love and above all beauty is the very highest of all existing matters and appearances. For the sake of beauty anything could be sacrificed without getting lost. I believe that beauty alone is what inspires man with energy, passion and ambition, it is the supreme spur, power and pleasure, and consequently it is the world's very centre of light. Life is in my opinion the consequence of beauty; without beauty life would be a most impossible and unbearable idea.

The language of beauty is classical art. The world has invariably degenerated since the French revolution simply because classical art has been constantly less considered.

By finding out and authorizing the truth, science and religion have destroyed this world, once a pastoral paradise.

The world is going too fast. People no longer have time to take care of themselves and get to know each other.

11.10 I have been crying this entire night. What else can a man do?

Anything more tragic than a human life is unthinkable.

Beauty is above greatness, since all things great are doomed, while a thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Germany, England and Russia all went to blazes, while the beauty they produced is still alive and will remain alive forever.

12.10 Nothing has ever scared me more than spiritual darkness.

19.10 Nothing is more difficult than to stand on your own two legs.

What will be the future of this perishing world? No matter what miracles and catastrophes may happen, the future will excel the past in splendour, glory, misery and suffering just as usual.

20.10 The consummate illusion is activity.

The function and duty of the present is to excel the past.

The only thing which never disappoints you is the past.

Ageing things, customs and appearances generally grow more lovable as well. That is why the consequence of change always is tragedy.

Nothing is more tragic than the loss of one's love.

21.10 The greatest and finest illusion in history was ancient Greece. Since that consummate illusion perished, how could any illusion ever persist?

History is the most tragic of all tales, being but an endless account of perished illusions.

The world of today is probably the ugliest illusion in history.

I find only self-indulgent writers readable.

In order to bring life into a work of art you simply have to indulge yourself in it.

The vain endless search for the consummate illusion of eternal inspiration and happiness is life's greatest adventure.

22.10 Shitting cows and bitches are a sorry sight indeed.

23.10 Why is the world so ugly, filthy, degenerate and utterly sordid today? Because it is full of egoists. Ancient Greece went under because of egoists, Rome went under because of egoists, and the world of today looks as it does because of egoists. The greatest egoist in history was Commodus, and since his days there has been no end to their torturous number.

24.10 Time is against me. The world is against me. Every conceivable circumstance is against me, except my friends, whom my unbearable passions of love prevent me from associating with.

One of the greatest orchestrators in the history of music was probably the great Rimsky-Korsakov. I will never cease admiring and revering him for that most enviable power.

Classical music died with Franz Schubert, and with classical music died the last of the classical arts.

After the departure of the last classical art the grand opera was born and eventually became the greatest of all arts in history. Rossini, Verdi, Musorgsky, Puccini, Weber, Bizet, et cetera, developed, nourished and maintained it most exuberantly well and constituted a glorious epoch, which was crushed by the barbaric impact of Wagner.

Richard Wagner, whose excessive self-love, self-esteem and self-glorification tortured Europe incessantly for five decades, was undoubtedly the most influential German of the nineteenth century. Without him, geniuses like Nietzsche, the unfortunate Ludwig II and monsters like Adolf Hitler would never have been afflated enough to dare rising.

Although his music is occasionally quite glorious, however barbarous it may be at the same time, the fact can not be escaped that as a human being he was one of the most hopelessly unscrupulous ones in history.

When reading about the unique and most remarkable Balakirev circle (in nineteenth century Russia, which among other composers included Musorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Cui, Balakirev and Dargomizhsky,) I never smiled more than when a performance of "Lohengrin" actually called forth complete scorn from them.

25.10 My only fault is my entire lack of ambitions.

26.10 What is there in life except conflicts, conflicts, conflicts? Whatever you try to do in life you happen to more exhausting and torturous conflicts.

The course of each man's life is probably something like this: - ambition, defeat, maturity, wisdom, tragedy.

Ancient Greece, the most ambitious cultural effort in history, committed the greatest mistake in history by actually giving up.

I am actually growing weary of life. Pardon me, dear reader, if I die one of these days.

Such a director as Joseph Losey is on the whole dangerous. He is an accomplished director but great in the wrong direction: instead of pleasing and inspiring his audience he tortures and depresses them. He is thereby qualified in the same way as characters like Hieronymus Bosch and Jerzy Kosinski.

Together with Robert Bresson he is a master of communicating the worst aspects of this age.

29.10 Nazism was the final flop of greatness.

Politicians are generally vain ignorant distracted fools. They are moths that necessarily want to burn their wings off on the candle of power for no sensible purpose at all.

The greater you make yourself, the smaller you become.

History proves the most classical ages have also been the most agreeable.

Alexander's greatness was due to his friends and his environment. He was a unique example of a genius whose talents were conceived, acknowledged and supported by his own age. Thus he could not have failed to accomplish the most incredible life-work in history.

31,10 If philosophy is the love of wisdom, then art is the love of beauty.

Nijinsky, one of the great geniuses in history, was a typical product of his age. It was quite natural for him to go insane when his age perished.

1.11 Why do I love England so much? I have no material connections with it, I have only seen it for fourteen brief weeks, and yet I love it more than any other existent nation in the world. Why?

Who made England? Who made the typical comfortable cosy old British England which has adorned the world now for seven centuries? Was it Chaucer, Queen Elizabeth, Spenser, Shakespeare, Reynolds, Doctor Johnson or Dickens? Yes, those were some of them. The true list of the characters who made England, though, is endless, since it contains the name of every learned and faithful Englishman in history.

The face of England today is chiefly represented, not by Edward Heath, but by John Ruel Tolkien. He is an old scholar who lives entirely in an age which does not exist except metaphysically, but which clearly resembles England at her best. He writes tales about that age which without difficulty have become the most outstanding literature today, since almost all other successful writers only write rubbish and sexy trash about pettiness and trivial nonsense.

When he is gone, who will continue the tradition?

3.11 The great enigmas of history, e.g. Homer, Cleopatra, Leonardo, Shakespeare, etc, were characters whose individualities were too universal to be grasped by common geniuses. That is why people ever have wondered who they were.

The truth is the reason why there are lies.

Words are odd complexities which fail to express what they express.

Thoughts can not be communicated. They are too subtle.

A man who thinks is a man who stinks. Thoughts provide life's greatest pleasure, but also life's greatest pressure.

What is meaningless and vain? Everything except love.

What is lovable and plain? Everything including love.

What is the answer to all questions? What explains exactly everything? The answer to that question is the simplest conceivable: it is mathematical, exact and utterly perfect: it is the one letter ÿ.

I was happy as long as I was common, ignorant and vain. My being aware of my ignorance and vanity, and my ambition to drag myself out of it, destroyed me.

Why am I not content with being a total stranger to the world? Why do I necessarily want to communicate myself?

Because in my self there is only love. If I did not constantly ventilate it, I would soon stifle and perish.

4.11 We are all victims of the failures of history.

Who destroyed this world? Which disease affected it in the past since we today have this enormous mess? The answer is simple: human nature. It is human to err, and therefore history became an error.

Searching for an escape from the growing horrors of society, man discovered and fell in love with nature in the eighteenth century.

Aristophanes was the first pessimist in history. He marked the beginning of the fall of civilization.

Commodus verified and made it inevitable.

The western civilization since then has been but a miserable tale of nonsense. A glimpse of hope appeared in the nineteenth century, which regrettably was put out completely by the Great War.

The greatest battles are always fought inside yourself. - Is it wrong to be cocky after a resplendent victory?

5.11 One of the most lovable characteristics of the English is their love of understatements. In England a worthy man is someone who understates well.

The most rational and tolerant of all societies was nature. We have today the most irrational and intolerant of all societies: machinery.

6.11 It is incredible to imagine that such men as Schubert, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Conrad and Stevenson really once existed. The existence of such men provide the world's only contact with infinity.

My world is a world of beauty. My life's duty is to give my world to the World.

People who are difficult to understand usually become egotists or excessively reserved.

They display their passions, or they resign.

Envy and jealousy are the most irrational of all feelings. Because if you were the person whom you envied you would least of all envy him.

The most interesting thing about Shakespeare is his multiple personality. During his life-time he created not only one world but at least forty.

7.11 Why did such an excellent genius and lovable character as Modest Petrovich Musorgsky drink himself to death?

Because rather than being humiliated by his environment he humiliated himself. His worth was not recognized, his genius was never understood, he was not allowed his own personality except by Stasov, and therefore he preferred to humiliate and kill himself rather than to become equally humiliated by the world and the people whom he loved.

8.11 To discover the world is to lose one's innocence, one's happiness and one's good humour for the rest of one's life.

You can not love anything without losing it. I fell in love with the world, and as a consequence I lost it.

Passions are as wonderful as they are torturesome. My heart carouses tonight while at the same time it bleeds in gushes and cascades for the pain of the cruelty of love and unjust destiny.

Shakespeare's Sonnets were pure expressions of his feelings. He did not make them enigmatical on purpose. It would have debased them if reality had been expressed in them as well. Art forbade reality to sully the spiritual truth.

My escapism, my non confronting life and truth, and my supreme irresponsibility are in fact my only prominent powers.

8.11 I am a fallen colossus, crushed to pieces by my loss of ground.

9.11 Alexander wanted and conquered the world. Why? Of all dreadful burdens, responsibilities, troubles and sufferances, the worst and most dreadful must be to have to own the world.

11.11 There is nothing in the world but vanity. But all vanities are lovable.

12.11 To play with human feelings is more dangerous than to play with atomic bombs.

Because once you have brought them to the point of boiling, they will never cease but burn and torture you forever.

19.11 Buddha and Christ did not perish, their lights still linger; but instead they were made gods, which is just as bad.

The world is narrowing itself to death.

For a being like me to live in this world is simply a most absurd experience.

In a world which ever changes eternal things such as love simply are foreign.

Picasso is not an artist who understands his age. If he did he would long ago have refused to understand it any further.

Why did I not become a grave-digger? Grave-diggers at least have graves to dig.

20.11 The Great War was unfortunately inevitable. 1914 there was simply nothing else to do.

Obviously I never stopped considering suicide except temporarily.

Few things are more wholesome to consider, and few things are more disastrous to accomplish.

Those who claim they know you best always know you least.

21.11 It is in my opinion quite human to consider someone or oneself God, since all human beings are more or less divine. But a Supreme Being can not exist since there always must be someone who is even more supreme. Everything is relative. There is no end even to supremeness.

We are all pet dogs, victims and children of infinity.

A human being and a civilization is as high and great as her illusions. We live in a world where truths are discovered, where illusions can not exist because of reality, where the findings and works of science bring all and everything to the same level, wherefore, consequently, we are constantly diminishing.

Man's greatest power is his love, his illusions. Where illusions can not exist, man can not exist.

23.11 I am hopelessly once and for all a dreamer. One might even call me a perfect escapist. - But what else can a being like me be in this world?

My life has so far been a search for the unattainable. So far I have not attained it.

Considerateness is the root of all good.

What a merry world this is! It's a curious circus where everyone laughs, no matter how tragic their fates are, and no matter who dies where.

A sudden tragedy like East Pakistan with hundreds of thousands of victims is only a new entertainment like everything else. Who bothers to consider a tragedy seriously for one moment? It simply is not worth doing, when you are capable of so much love.

If you can not give someone anything you had better leave him alone.

24.11 Thinking of Louise I can not do anything. And being unable to exist without her I can do naught but think of her.

25.11 Tortured by love you are a most torturable creature.

Of all lovers the most incredible ones are the most loving ones.

26.11 The British Empire was the swan-song of history.

27.11 Louise, where are you? Was it you that I saw yesterday: a harrowed tortured desperate face with a depraved and most unhappy smile? Has this world degraded you so much? Even your clothes, if you were the girl I saw, were fit only for a queen of whores.

A torture heavier than life will never be invented.

There is nothing in this world but tragedies. The world is a tragedy, life is a tragedy, everything is a tragedy, since ends, changes and deaths are inevitable.

People generally read books without understanding anything of them.

Just as they see movies without paying any attention to it.

They only want to have fun, and they care nothing about who entertains them, as long as anyone does.

I am an old entertainer. I am an old clown, with a smile painted and fixed on my face forever, but with a weeping and broken heart, which never will be healed.

Thus I am the perfect clown forever, with all my tears buried in a mystery which never will be revealed.

What have I lost? Nothing except myself.

Artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, van Gogh, Verdi, Musorgsky, Nijinsky, Goethe, Watteau, Diaghilev, van der Goes, Raphael, Hölderlin, Wolf, Brahms, Schumann, Oscar Wilde, Alain-Fournier, Gogol, Shakespeare, Alexander the Great, Pericles, Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, etc, etc, perished in self-pity.

That is why artists like Walt Disney, Voltaire, Balzac, Cecil Rhodes, Doctor Johnson, Alexander Korda, Rubens, van Dyck, Reynolds, Giotto, Spenser, Catherine the Great, Chaplin, Antoninus Pius, Puccini, Bertrand Russell, Spitzweg, Mozart, Tolstoy, Beethoven, Milton, Handel, Dostoyevsky, Tchekhov, Conrad, Dumas and Verne were so admirable: they were too generous to ever fall down to base self-pity.

28.11 How can you love such a must unlovable age as this? How can you live in such a most unwholesome world like this? How can you create and live for art in such a most disheartening and uninspiring age like this?

Artists have to be spoilt. Or else they can not be artists. Kings must be made and crowned, or else they are not Kings.

Men like Buddha, Pericles, Alexander, Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, Raphael, Goethe, Queen Victoria and Shakespeare were made by their age, their country and their people. Or else they would never have appeared.

A great man has to be made great. Or else he can not be great.

The Czars of Russia were so powerful only because no autocrats were ever more trusted by their people than they.

Antony and Cleopatra loved each other so much that they made themselves too great for the world. Consequently the world made them perish.

But what tale did ever please mankind more, and what lovers did ever attain greater fame and popularity? Who did ever raise human dignity more than the world's famous lovers?

All lives are tragedies. All tragedies are beautiful. The greatest tragedies are the most beautiful tragedies. The greatest and most beautiful tragedies are the lives of lovers.

A man who is afraid of love is afraid of the least dangerous thing on earth.

Feelings are always feelings of love.

Lovers of the World, never stop loving us! We common human beings will ever be needing your light, since it is our only guidance.

29.11 The past is no concern of mine. History is a tragic story of only failures. With history in mind your view of the world can only be desperately pessimistic and apathetic. Therefore history is of no good to anyone.

When history is not a source of inspiration it is of no good at all.

Our civilization is so miserable only because it has been built on the most miserable Roman civilization, which was built on miserable ancient Greece. Ancient Greece, the most glorious and the highest civilization in history, was the first civilization to perish through a civil war. A civil war is the very basest of all forms of war. Ancient Greece having proved such a perfect and total flop, how could any civilization built on its ruins and following its example ever succeed?

I have never written or said anything except nonsense.

Ambition is the supreme vanity.

Which Alexander the Great and other monsters like him probably discovered and consequently died off quickly.

Indeed, all vanities are lovable, but nothing is more lovable than everlasting vanities. The only everlasting vanity is, I believe, Dame Nature.

Ambition is the supreme vanity and the root of all evil. By forwarding yourself you can but ignore and injure others.

Man was an angelic creature as long as he remained within his mother's control. When he abandoned her he became a self-destructive devil.

A more passionate woman than Dame Nature is unimaginable.

Of what good are my broodings to anyone?

Do the most lovable creatures always have to reach the most tragical ends?

We live in the most absurd age in history.

To know a man is always to love him. You can not fail to love a person whom you know.

You always fail to love those, though, whom you do not know.

An artist's life in this world and age is a most dreadfully difficult balance between megalomania on one hand and schizophrenia on the other.

So far I have succeeded in keeping my balance by contemplating suicide.

30.11 What is reality except a dream?

Supposing that I would commit suicide, what good would that make me?

This age was not made for us, Louise.

The scientists have conquered this earth and filled it with their dreadful truths and technicalities. There is no room left for imaginative artists with illusions like us, Louise.

And yet, no matter how absurd and void of love life on this earth may be, with you by my side it is worth reading in spite of all.

Why has the world always been so miserable? Because its guides, rulers and leaders have usually abandoned it. Alexander the Great was the first great abandoner of history, and all since his days new ones have ever appeared. Only the good emperors of Rome and a few monarchs of Europe now and then did not entirely neglect their duties or disappoint the world's general hopes and loves.

My weakness is my greatest strength.

1.12 History is nothing but the most dreadful of tragedies.

Whatever you do in life you can never be excessive enough.

Indeed, you can love life passionately and enjoy every moment of it, but then you must learn that such a life has to end very soon and very tragically.

Respectability is not an illusion. It is an illusion only to those who are not respectable.

I am utterly, hopelessly, irrevocably divided as an artist: I write in two languages, I practise two arts, I live a formidable lot of lives, and I am hopelessly occupied with too many interests. As a desperate escape from all this chaos I turn to my diary.

Being loved is a greater bliss than being feared. Ruling oneself is a higher art than ruling others.

Musorgsky was a man who desperately tried to be common but who did not entirely succeed.

2.12 Men like van Gogh, Lautrec and Jack London were not martyrs for their art. They were martyrs for their love.

Evidently the world's expectations of me are greater than my expectations of the world.

I could easily become world famous by spreading my art and making it known, but such a project does not interest me, history being what it is.

We live in a dark and dreary age which simply is not interesting.

The enigmas of such enigmatical personages as Sibelius, Augustus, Musorgsky and Shakespeare were probably, usually, simply a great secret impossible love-affair.

Life is the perfect anguish.

Art is the clinical thermometer of civilization. When there is no art, like in the dark Middle Ages, there is no civilization. When there is enough art, civilization blooms. And when there is too much art, when art is turned into a common thing and consequently degenerates, civilization drowns.

The supreme source of inspiration and spiritual nourishment is light. Light is the only thing which makes people capable of seeing.

The first real Nazi in modern history was a Frenchman: King Lewis XIV.

A more braggart autocrat with a more atrociously bad taste the world did not see until Hitler.

3.12 Truths are always overwhelming.

Darkness, however impressive, means nothing when lights exist.

The consequence of love is suffering.

Love is worth suffering for.

Two years have now passed since I was cured of my madness and since my life at last began. These two years have been the most difficult of my life. The first was spent entirely contemplating suicide, and the second was spent almost entirely contemplating suicide. It is a most curious fact that I never actually committed it, and the curiosity of it brings me to believe that I will at least remain alive for another two years during which I will chiefly contemplate suicide.

What encyclopaedias do not say about people is much more interesting than what they do say.

4.12 The last time I visited the Stora Theatre I overheard a voice saying it was out of fashion. Isn't that a wonderful acknowledgement to the only timeless building in Gothenburg?

If he digs in his heart and brains, everyone will find reasons sufficient enough for considering himself God Almighty.

Therefore it is vain to do so.

What is the world of today except a disorganized disunited noisy bubbling and boiling hubbub?

Dear lover, never expect anyone to return your love. You can not give and have at the same time.

You have to choose between being loved and being a lover.

True lovers are too loving to ever have time to be loved.

Sometimes true lovers, who are too loving to ever have time to be loved, tire of the eternal ingratitude showed them by their loved ones. These often become martyrs for their love, like Schubert, Musorgsky, van Gogh, Shakespeare, Nijinsky and others.

Films like "The Green Man" with Alastair Sim should become classics.

Supreme pain is love eternally unacknowledged.

5.12 In the age of Shakespeare I feel at home.

Light is never weaker than darkness. Night and darkness have ever contended, they will ever contend, and none will ever in the slightest way be able to outshine or temper the other.

How did we and the rest of mankind manage to land in this hopelessly wrong and desperate age?

Is space worth conquering? Certainly the universe will be most interesting, horrible, fascinating and dreadful to explore.

In my opinion truths are not worth discovering, since illusions are their enemies, and since only illusions make life worth while.

Whether or not man conquers space is to me entirely a matter of indifference.

Ambitions, knowledge, a situation, wealth, style and pride are in this age entirely worthless, fruitless and vain. That is what is wrong with it.

Ambition is mercilessly slain by fact. Knowledge is vulgarized, standardized and controlled by authority. A situation can no longer be held. Wealth is taxed. Style is out of fashion, and no one has any personal oustandingness to be proud of any more.

The world of today suffers for her splendours of yesterday.

What do you do when you live in the wrong age? Do you simply abandon it, or do you suffer it, allowing yourself to be humiliated by it?

What do you do when you have nothing to live for, nothing to look forward to, and nothing whatsoever to cherish and respect except people whom you can not meet and ages and appearances which do not exist?

What do you do in such an absurd situation, if you do not abandon it?

6.12 Verdi's influence on his age was probably greater than people in general imagine.

It is remarkable that Queen Victoria, Cecil Rhodes and Oscar Wilde all died almost simultaneously, together with Verdi and Lautrec.

It is strange, that however inevitable and enticing suicide seems, there is always some reason somewhere for yet another cancellation.

When you read about the British Empire, the Venetian and the Roman Renaissance, the age of the Elizabethans, the Courts of Catherine II and Queen Christina, and when you learn that countries like ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and the German Empire actually once existed, how can you but deplore, disdain and feel depressed by this horrible, dreadful, awfully abominable present age which you have to endure and bear with, however painful and insufferable it may be?

9.12 Civilization as it is today means nothing to me. If ancient Greece and Rome perished, then anything may perish.

If man is idiotic enough to put out the greatest light in history, then I don't want to be a light.

My personality is unfortunately inescapable.

Why is Berlin dead? Why does not that wonderful age shine any more, which so gloriously enlightened the world before the Second World War, the world before my birth?

Is Gothenburg the only live city in Europe? The glorious joy and lividness on her streets tempt me to believe so.

How, for instance, do you express that wonderful Gothenburg feeling which overtook and overwhelmed me today as I passed my old school and overheard the glorious songs of the sumptuous N‰‰s-march from within the old building? The Samskolan is the only classical and aristocratic school in Gothenburg; only there Christmas is still celebrated with taste, atmosphere and relish.

Like so many times before I wonder once more: do we live in the end of history, or is it just beginning?

10.12 What do dreamers do in a world which has no time for dreams?

12.12 Schubert is in one respect the most singular genius of music. By creating more music than anyone else in lesser time than anyone else, and by starving all his life, he presents a very singular human fate indeed.

He used his time well.

Nothing is more controversial than truth.

Why the hell do I not die? Why the hell do I keep on living? I should have died long ago.

The only thing life can offer you is repulsion, misunderstanding and ingratitude.

All I ever wanted in life was to love.

Everyone is your equal who understands you. A man who can not understand you can not be your equal, unless you fail to understand him as well.

Who did not despise van Gogh while he lived, and who does not love him inconceivably today?

The greatest tragedies are those which never were written.

14.12 The best method of committing spiritual suicide is by love: sooner or later it will drive you mad.

As a man Wagner was powerful but empty.

No artist did ever display his emptiness more grandiosely than Wagner.

15.12 When beings escaped into megalomania in order to prove their worth, the world had finally run off the rails.

A great actor is someone who never expresses his feelings.

Did I write this diary? Did I experience this life?

What is more abhorrent than darkness? And yet, in this world I prefer darkness to light, since darkness hides it from your eyes.

Darkness is beautiful only when the effect of light is an exposure of a repulsive reality.

It is impossible to love a person, living or dead, without more or less identifying yourself with him.

Nothing is more dangerous in a country or civilization than intellectual confusion. There has to be a steady spiritual ideal ground to stand on, or else there will be no strength. Without spiritual strength there can be no material strength.

16.12 Whatever you do in life in this world you will meet overwhelming complications.

If humankind perish, it will be because they complicated themselves to death.

The supreme vice and pleasure, next to forgivable love, is thinking.

Hannibal and Caesar you could at least grasp and understand, while Alexander was a hopeless case indeed.

Ever since the fall of ancient Greece civilization has been self-destructive.

It has taken me a year to reach exactly the same situation of life which I held a year ago.

Exactly a year ago I abandoned all suicidal thoughts and decided to live. During that time I have gradually more and more resumed them.

I can only plunge deeper into darkness, and yearn more desperately for light.

Pain of love, why must thou be so persistent? Wilt thou never change from black to white and one day prove the whitest bliss in spite of all?

Inferno is not a place of flames and fires. It is a pit of silence, solitude and darkness.

The world is never worse than you make it.

Never take anything for granted! Never expect anything from anyone, never demand that anything should happen, because such thoughts will only lead yourself and others into difficulties.

Have demands only on yourself.

17.12 My prime is past. My life is lost. What else is there for me to say?

Goethe's overestimation of himself inspired subsequent German geniuses to become megalomaniacs, whereupon Germany raped the world and perished, regrettably.

Cursed by the failure of past ages this age cursed me.

18.12 In order to give light you have to suffer darkness.

Goethe's "Faust" is in my opinion dry, undisciplined and over-pretentious but at the same time magnificent.

When you love something you want it to remain as it is. You don't want your love to change, since it is perfect as it is.

Why, then, does it always change?

A man who can not make up his mind usually suffers from utter unhappiness.

The maddest man alive was the greatest man alive.

19.12 Power is fire. It is impossible to touch it without getting scorched.

Rousseau was undoubtedly one of the wisest and most clairvoyant man who ever lived. He had one weakness only: he only looked at things from one point of view.

I sacrificed my self-confidence and self-respect in order to escape loneliness. But most people do.

You can not get anything without making a sacrifice.

When you love something you will lose it. But having lost it you will love it even more.

Fire is materialized love.

The definition of philosophy being "love of wisdom", the definition of art should be "love of beauty".

The greatest illusion is knowledge.

21.12 Power always makes a man frightfully lonely. In order to at least poorly escape his loneliness he begins to misuse his power, like Napoleon, Hitler et consortes, and thus sooner or later he loses it.

You can only yourself ruin your own life and personality. Sometimes it may be worth doing.

23.12 All I can say to this world and life is : - "Excuse me."

24.12 Nijinsky was first and last a Russian. Abandoning Russia he committed the first, last and decisive mistake of his life.

I have made up my mind: it simply is impossible for me to make up my mind.

All illusions are worth living for. One of the finest of them is security.

Thoughts, opinions, considerations and broodings never made me happy, but least unhappy and troubled I were under the yoke of resignation.

25.12 How tragic it is to notice how frequently in history incompetent fools have been universally adored and divine geniuses thoroughly neglected, deserted and ignored. Alcibiades, Caligula, Nero, Commodus, Charles II, Louis XV and Hitler were elevated and honoured till madness or total carelessness carried them away, while Masaccio, Correggio, de la Tour, Watteau, Bach, Mozart, Schubert and other honest incredible geniuses lived in obscurity, starved, suffered excessively, and died lonely.

To create illusions is the only thing and consequently the finest thing a man can do.

28.12 I died on July 19th 1971.

The only thing the world of this age is good at is making individuals suffer.

After a long time of misery, how sweet is not a moment of joy!

The best way to burden others with your worries is to show that you worry about them.

29.12 You must not believe in things which you imagine! They are thoughts, not reality.

People want to keep me for themselves. My duty is to let them.

Unhappiness is the result of associating with people who do not understand how much you love them.

 

Part Four.

1.1 Queen Victoria was a woman who loved the world.

The consequence of love is ingratitude.

The most tragic thing in existence, if I have not mentioned it before, is love misguided.

Louise, you never made me happy, except on extremely rare occasions. Therefore I never made you happy, except on extremely rare occasions.

Happiness is too good to be true. While it lasts you do not believe in it, you mock it gladly, and you might even kill it with your own pair of hands. When it is gone you long and yearn and sigh for it, you suffer horribly from its absence; and finally, as you regain it, you begin to misuse it again.

Seeking happiness you suffer horribly lacking it. Finding happiness you misuse it shamefully getting fat on it.

2.1 Love is the most advanced of battles.

The world is a battle-field, everyone trying to make his love his own way.

"The Idiot" was Dostoyevsky's analysis and portrait of his own soul.

Prometheus, by loving man, destroyed the gods.

3.1 This is a world where nature rules. Love made nature, nature made man, and man made civilization. As long as lovers were able to exist in spite of civilization there was nothing wrong with civilization. But when love gradually was made more and more impossible by civilization, civilization doomed itself.

A world made by love in which love is made impossible can not survive.

A genius will sooner or later find his genius unbearable.

4.1 When people are bored something is wrong with them.

The world is a love story.

Once you have passed through the hells of love you will occasionally reach the heavens.

A remarkable quality of mine is, that when I have experienced something especially beautiful I always wish to die.

5.1 When you are old and wise, fat of knowledge and lack further desires, you wish yourself young, happy and ignorant again, while, being young and ignorant, you desire nothing more than to grow up and know about things.

Whatever you have, you always want to get out of it.

6.1 I once heard someone criticize Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" for its departure from reality. An artist should never be blamed for looking at things with gilding eyes, because that is how reality is improved.

Louise, how can I love you now, my past relations with you being only a miserable account of sins and regrets?

And if I loved you, what would you do but be unfaithful?

8.1 The age of the Rococo was in my opinion created by Watteau and Lancret. The Romantic age was, I believe, created by Beethoven and Schubert.

The Renaissance was made by Giotto and Dante. And ancient Greece was made by Homer and Hesiod.

Who made the Baroque? Rubens alone, with the support of van Dyck.

And who made the dreadful age we have today? The dreadful politicians.

10.1 The greatest historic tragedies could only have been the result of great individual tragedies.

The fall of the Roman Empire, for instance, I believe was more or less the consequence of the unknown tragedy of Marcus Aurelius. And the fall of ancient Greece I believe was more or less the inevitable consequence of the unknown tragedy of Pericles.

The ancient Greece we know of today was the age of Socrates, Euripides, Alcibiades, the Peloponnesian war, and Cleon. We know extremely little about Hellas before 431 B.C, the Greece of Sophocles, Phidias, Pericles and Cimon, since their lives' works were ruined by the world which followed them.

We know almost equally little about the age of Alexander, the Diadochs, Vespasian and Antoninus Pius.

Is it not strange that those periods of history, which clearly have been the happiest ones, have become the most carefully forgotten ones as well?

14.1 Whatever you do in life you will never be thanked for it.

15.1 I sincerely believe that, unless the population explosion is being stopped, man will have to revert to cannibalism.

16.1 Schubert was the swan-song of classicism.

Goethe was the swan-song of respectability.

Walt Disney was the swan-song of ambition and art.

Winston Churchill was the swan-song of enlightened despotism.

Why did I commit suicide? Simply because I could not stand my own personality any longer.

Please forgive me, everyone. Please do not think that anything could have helped me, because I would never have committed it if something could have helped me.

There is no help for lovers, since there is no cure against love.

Love is the Paradise which inevitably leads to Hell.

Death will probably not liberate me until I am happy.

And if happiness is robbed from me forever, I will probably live for too many years.

17.1 I am falling, falling and falling deeper and deeper into the black pit, white heaven and fiery hell of love, madness and ecstatic joy.

When will I reach the bottom?

19.1 I can well understand that the age after the fall of Athens preferred Euripides to Sophocles and Aeschylus: Euripides is one of the darkest and most pessimistic poets who ever lived.

Why did Pericles proclaim war? In my opinion that was the greatest mistake anyone ever committed in history.

Cimon believed in peace, union and coˆperation with Sparta and could probably have achieved it.

I love Pericles, but I would have loved him more if he had not disappointed a world.

23.1 My only problem has ever been my lack of independence and my dispersion: this noisy and troublesome dark and dreadful world without neither hope nor mercy, which remind you of itself every day, I am driven to spend most of my time and energy pitying.

There is only one being on earth who knows me, and he may not show it.

Where will this nightmare called life lead me if not to hell, to madness and to utter despair?

I yearn for mercy, for unconsciousness and for blessed death.

I wish I once more were happy, ignorant and gay. I wish I were a happy child without any fearful knowledge, without any power, without any responsibility. I wish I was a happy god like Pan, foolishly dancing about in a light heavenly garden, with knowledge, worries, responsibilities and ambitions as far away from me as possible.

I wish I never had aspired for anything.

24.1 Of course Homer was blind! In such an old age which he must have been of when his songs were taken down - for such an infinite supply of pearls couldn't have been presented but by a very old man - he must in such an age in the course of time have been awarded with blindness.

Please, God, rescue me from this world! Save me from the company of mortal tantalizing coil!

I can't keep my mind on my work since there are people all around me who I have to spend my time thinking of.

Work is the supreme bliss. But the greater your work, the greater your concentration must be; and the more you have to concentrate, the more you have to keep away from pastimes and friendships.

Dame Nature, when will you return to Earth? We are all longing for you most desperately to resume your supreme command and restore natural order.

Machines are horrible creatures which do not even work.

Society is an aimless futile burden for every individual, and it tortures him and degrades him as well.

The Greek civilization was the last promising civilization in history.

Men like Alexander, Augustus, Charlemagne, Charles V and others very successfully raped the world and died unhappy.

Unfortunately, history has proved, that builders of civilizations are destroyers and enemies of life.

The happy periods of history were so happy, that no one had time enough to record them for posterity: everyone was busy enjoying them.

Therefore, for instance, we know very little about the ages of Pericles, Antoninus Pius and the ages before Egypt and Chaldea.

Man was the most beautiful animal Nature ever wrought forth. It's a pity she gave him the means of destroying his beauty too: lust for self-assertion.

Dame Nature created man, the most beautiful of all her children. Man grew up, became an ungrateful monster, and returned his mother's love by slaughtering her. Fortunately he has enough inheritance from her to at least notice that he can not do without her.

Human beings do not exist in this world any more. All we have is human wrecks. It is about time man went home to his Mother.

Dame Nature will welcome us back like the dear old father did his wretched Prodigal Son.

As long as love exists, we will never get rid of violence. Love and violence are inseparable brothers. They always follow upon each other, like winter and summer.

26.1 Sweet Mother Nature, please forgive us, for we have sinned, by neglecting you, abandoning you, seriously injuring you and almost having caused your death. Please receive us back one day, please embrace us all in your love once again, and please show some patience with your poor silly stupid ignorant children, who at last have realized and are deeply repentant of their most serious and dreadful mistake.

Please, Mother, return to your forlorn children!

27.1 My love and longing for nature is what keeps me up.

We live in the maddest world in history. It's not an easy one to live in.

Louise taught me to live fast. Because of her I have always loved so much and so many so fervently.

30.1 What is there for life to offer me except nightmares?

Having become huge solitary monsters and victims of their greatness, the Dinosaurs perished, and exactly for the same reason the human being will probably perish.

I prefer suffering to forwarding myself.

The more independent a man is, the happier he is. In a society no one is able to be fully independent.

The sparrow and the shrew are my favourite animals.

5.2 Against Nature man is a brainless insect capable of nothing.

When man became too civilized, the rat became too acclimatized.

6.2 Queen Elizabeth I was the most remarkable Queen in history.

Queen Catherine the Great was the most remarkable woman in history.

Queen Victoria was the most remarkable widow in history.

My favourite mammal remains the shrew, although she should be less excessive in eating: she should find herself less barbaric, more pleasurable delights.

The otters, for instance, spend a great deal of their time playing highly cultivated games.

7.2 The most fascinating trait of Nature is that actually anything might happen at any time.

8.2 Whatever crimes and catastrophes man may commit and cause, he will never

be able to kill life. Life and Nature are eternal things which nothing can perturb or ruffle.

I sincerely believe that there are no madmen who are mad enough to sincerely, deliberately begin a nuclear war.

We are all subjects to Chance.

Dame Nature is the realm of Chance.

10.2 Time should not have been counted from the rise of Christ but from the rise of civilization, i.e. from the rise of Ur and Egypt.

4000 B.C. is in my opinion a suitable point for the beginning of time. Then we only have to add 4000 years to the old system, which in my most serious opinion is wholly unjust.

Today we would then live in the 972nd year of the sixth millennium.

14.2 Wherever man is not, nature is pure, life is harmonious, all living things are happy and the air free from human odours. But wherever man appears life disappears, the air is poisoned and everything is polluted with dirt and ugliness. At least that is how it unfortunately has been so far.

Nature and culture should live together within each other and stimulate each other. When they don't they can't survive, since they depend on each other.

What happened two hundred years ago which almost brought the world to an end was, that the welfare of man started to be considered more important than the welfare of nature.

That priority claim of so called comfort has proved both noxious and of evil since it has imperilled all life on earth including man, since Nature must needs react against his denaturalisation.

15.2 I believe in God as an essence. Concerning His activities I am a true deist: I don't think he bothers to do anything.

17.2 It is impossible not to love a person whom you know at all.

Believing in the love and cherishing of little things and little people, loving children, minors and juniors far more than gods and certain overmen, I regard myself as the direct contrary to Friedrich Nietzsche, whom I love nevertheless, since even he fell, proving himself human after all.

The greatest of all the great Czars of Russia was, in my opinion, Nicholas II, who by suffering and enduring most, by being the most loving and making himself the humblest and smallest of them all, proved himself the finest being in Russian history.

One beautiful, lovable and generous woman is more worth than ten and twenty excellent popes and emperors.

Like Great Britain, Russia became too big for a man to govern. Only women have proved themselves capable of keeping great empires, like Margaret of Denmark, Queen Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great and Queen Victoria.

Love is the highest and most heavenly bliss when you taste it, and the blackest and most dreadful poison when you drink it.

Like all arts of living, the art of love is an art of not going too far.

Looking at all the great historical calamities and the small minute misfortunes that caused them, for instance the haemophilia of the last Tsarevich Alexis, the eternal unanswerable question of "why" has a very simple answer: Hard cheese.

No one ever knows what Chance is up to.

The only thing I never was able to go through was love. And that is why I so far have been able to remain sane and sound in my mind.

And that is why I am so bitter against man and life: To lead a life without love is worse than being dead.

Therefore I grant myself love and madness occasionally now and then.

18.2 I loved man until I discovered what a beast he was. For that child who rapes his own Mother Nature is truly a beast.

With such a dismal and pessimistic mind, how can I but grow more and more miserable and in the end perish?

Only as long as others do not suffer for my sake I am contented with a life in spite of all.

The more I love, the more I suffer, and the more I suffer, the more I love.

Alexander III of Russia was probably the last great autocrat who delighted in his duties.

I am only happy in the company of Nature.

19.2 In the war which is going on between man and Nature, I definitely fight on the side of my Mother.

Nature is struggling for her life. If she dies everything dies.

If industrialism dies everything survives.

With all my heart I damn and curse all industries for what they have done to Nature. But those men who created them should not be held responsible: they are innocent merchants who merely wanted to have a bit of fun their own way.

Man is getting smaller and smaller in the world of difficulties which he has made for himself.

You can never love anything without losing it.

We are all children lost in our search for love.

Everything we have loved in the past we have lost, and all we will love in the future we will continue to lose.

Man is lost in his own abyss, the consequence of his love - civilization.

Love is something to be ever cultivated and nourished but never let loose.

Passions are wonderful until they govern you.

Freedom exists only in the realm of nature.

All Jews are holy.

20.2 A drug addict is someone who is not worth being called a human being.

And a society in which people become drug addicts is not worth being called a society.

Oscar Wilde was a buffoon who unfortunately made quite a reputation before the world realized he was a buffoon.

But some of his works, for instance "The Nightingale and the Rose", proved he did in spite of all deserve his reputation.

21.2 How strange that life becomes so beautiful when you live and long only for death.

Happiness is found only in illusions. When man sacrificed his illusions for science he did not know what he was doing.

Nature is the only free, sane and natural realm the world has ever seen.

22.2 I prefer ending agreeably by my own will to ending tragically by society.

I curse the cars that have ruined the towns and countrysides by asphalt and pollution.

I curse the tall buildings and skyscrapers, that also have ruined the cities and only caused unhappiness.

I curse the industries, that have poisoned everything.

And I curse man's ruthless way of endangering all life by recklessly having fun at the cost of Nature and the future.

Every day life becomes more difficult and my mind more burdensome. And people around me all seem to grow worse too: never have I read about more disasters in the newspaper, and never have I seen more long-haired young men.

Indeed, he who does not long for death in this world is either blind, mad or blissfully ignorant.

The fine noble ladies you see in the streets are all dressed in dead animals.

23.2 Mrs Frances Reynolds probably called her brother Sir Joshua a "gloomy tyrant" because she loved him.

Who is my best friend? Everyone.

24.2 Who and what made this world in which we are all unfortunately living? Science made it. Politics made it. Ambition made it. Those men who made their equals slaves made it.

What else? There are a hundred characters and things which could rightly be made scapegoats. Medicine, which gave man drugs and the world a catastrophic over-population, is one. The Machine, which made man a slave, which gave him factories, poisonous automobiles, and which ruined earth, is another.

But all the guilty blameworthy sinful causes and origins of the disaster can be traced down to two basic things: Science and Power.

Science bereaved man of his humanity, and Power divided man into Monsters and Slaves.

Only clowns laugh at clowns.

An artist is a clown who is not funny.

I pity my mother for having born such a creature as me.

In spirit, I am a man who is fighting for his life.

I can not love man or man's world. That is my problem.

My only true friends, though, are those who I will never get to know.

"Der Kunstgreis" was an epithet which Goethe deserved and should have been proud of. He carried alone the burden of classical literature as long as he lived, and his greatest merit was that he flattered his age by staying alive so long.

An animal is a creature which behaves like an animal, whether it is a man or an animal.

Why do they imprison poor demented souls in hospitals? Why torture them still further? Why not kill them off immediately?

People go crazy when they no longer want to be human beings.

27.2 Life is a witch-hunt. The witches that you constantly chase and catch and burn are your love-affairs.

My story could also be told thus:

I ran and ran and ran, searching for a very special treasure. Having found it, opened it and discovered it to be the perfect horror and monstrosity, I started to run away from it, which I am doing still.

What was the supreme and "perfect horror and monstrosity"? That is my secret.

The glutton's perfect excuse: Eat while you can, tomorrow you'll starve.

While Alexander conquered and vanquished the universe, Menander created his comedies. What remains of the two achievements today? "I am a human being, and nothing human is foreign to me."

Si je ne sois pas timide je ne sois pas ce que je suis.

28.2 Being in love with life I will survive.

What would man be without a woman? What would Adam have been without Eve? What would Christ have been without his mother?

1.3 I love all things living except man.

Nature is the only society that works.

3.3 Isn't it a terrible irony of life, that those without guilt always feel guilty, while those who are guilty never feel guilt?

5.3 Homer is my blessed old grandfather. Shakespeare is my safe home and lovable father. Aeschylus is my beloved and unsurpassed uncle. And Schiller, finally, is my most exciting friend.

Who, then, is Goethe? He is a stranger whom I admire.

Schiller and Schubert were apparently Goethe's greatest and least acknowledged lovers.

6.3 One of the most horrid and grotesque pranks Chance played with man and history in this century was to make the Tsarevich Alexis Nicolayevich a haemophiliac.

It is not impossible, that with a healthy Tsarevich, Russia would have avoided the Great War and thereby saved Europe from the greatest social disasters and sufferings in history.

Let's not forget, that the last Czar was not broken until his wife was broken by the strain of the illness of her son.

It is indeed grotesque to think that a sick boy upset the world.

The last child and the first boy of the world's first family proved a haemophiliac, and consequently a civilization almost perished.

7.3 The greatest crooks in history were those who escaped attention.

8.3 History proves the happiest times have been those when people did not know where they were going, for example ancient Greece and Antoninian Rome. Because when people did know where they were going they were always going down, e.g. the last century of Rome and pre-Revolutionary France.

10.3 The good Roman emperors were truly the cream of the finest and noblest men in history.

To their noble circle I count Julius Caesar, Augustus, Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Antonine and Marcus Aurelius.

There is nothing to match the company of these seven noble men in world history.

Julius Caesar was the first and the greatest of them. Augustus was the most august. Vespasian was the most imperial one. Trajan was the best. Hadrian was the most human, Antonine the most generous, and Marcus Aurelius the last and the noblest.

What do I think of Diocletian? I think he was a hundred years after his time.

12.3 Power can only lead to blindness, corruption, abuse, disaster and madness.

The glory of God is for me the glory of Nature.

14.3 Communism is the great pit which communists dig and which only communists fall into. It is like the drug disease: it starts well, but it leads only to hell.

The most pitiable story of this century was the fall of Russia. It resulted in the Great War, which resulted in Nazi Germany and the Second World War.

15.3 When I am dead I will at least be free from my great unbearable monstrous self with all its dreadful attributes.

A curse on all those who in any way encourage the drug business, by taking drugs or by giving them.

The drug abyss is the blackest pit the world has ever seen.

Only Hell was an even more horrifying pit - but at least it was unreal.

In my opinion the interests of humanity should be sacrificed for the sake of nature. Nature gave life to man; now it lies in the hands of man to give life to nature.

It is impossible not to sympathize a little with those long-haired addicts; after all, all they want is to show and demonstrate that something is wrong somewhere.

Life is a fatiguing torturing unbearable agony, the pain and burden of which increases every month.

My secret is the origin of my loneliness. My loneliness makes my life unendurable.

Why, then, do I not share my secret with anyone and get rid of my loneliness?

Because my secret is harmful and unbearable; to share my life's greatest grief with others, and to see them as grieved by it as I have been since July, would only grieve me even more.

Between the two agonies I have chosen the least torturing one.

This age made me.

17.3 (On Wagner) Never has anyone expressed less with greater means.

The three greatest world problems today are the drug addiction, the environment destruction and the giant urbanizations. The cause of all three is the industrial society.

How could I have stated such a thing as, "To hell with humanity, I love nature"? Is the monster within me so powerful and unavoidable as to be able to burst forth into such words?

Christ was probably the unhappiest, maddest and most ingenuous human being who ever lived.

The question of who Christ really was is probably and regrettably one of those many forever unanswerable ones in history.

18.3 Life taught me as a child that I had to be independent or perish.

If I perish one day it will be because I lacked and always did lack independence.

The more you study humanity, the more monstrous it becomes.

If an ugly customer scares you, you will also keep away from his brothers.

Being a loved and loving child is the supreme bliss of life.

Christ should have left the Pharisees alone. Then he would never have suffered.

When I am entirely myself, there is no one who despises me more entirely.

There is no one more lonely than he who has found himself.

20.3 This accursed humanity! Every day their actions (like nuclear tests and reckless devastations of nature) fill me with hatred against their whole existence.

My heart has been closed and hidden to everyone except to this diary.

Those who strike me I will strike back with love.

Friend, you must not love me. Leave me alone, leave me to my duties, and you will make me happy.

Like Schiller I beg you: spare me your self.

Friend, I have no time for being loved. If you want to tell or express your heart, do so, but don't try to possess me.

He who tries to possess another is unable to possess himself.

I am determined not to go insane. I don't want to march the same way as van Gogh, Lautrec, Christ, Alexander and all the others.

22.3 The Bible says: "Search and you will find." All my life I searched for light, hopeful and glorious answers to questions, tales and mysteries; all my life I searched and searched and searched, and indeed I found. But what I found was only misery, despair, black tragedy and hopeless pits and dungeons. The more I searched, the more bitterness I found, because all I ever found was reality.

23.3 My presence in this world seems to only torture those who know and meet me. Is it so strange then that I long to get out of it?

26.3 Parents are creatures who always commit the mistake of not respecting their children as much as themselves.

30.3 On the brink of death you discover life.

2.4 The most remarkable thing about coincidences is that they are coincidences.

3.4 Dionysus has apparently taken up drugs, since it is so much á la mode today.

It is incredible that so unwholesome and unsound a god has become so popular.

The greater man's illusions have been, the higher has been his state of being.

4.4 Thinking is as important a part of life as eating.

The more you study the Bible, the less you understand it.

Unfortunately this is commonly the case with most religions. They are all empty balloons.

Only their tales and legends have charm enough forever.

What is life but an endless, fatiguing, tormenting train of crises!

5.4 Overeating yourself on tarts is something that you only do once in a while.

10.4 What are my friends but human beings? I should not favour them more than my likes.

I lived; which is why I died.

We reap today the fruits of the past, which inspire us to plant today what will be reaped by the future.

No town or place or spot in the world has ever been visited with greater frequency or eagerness than the toilet.

16.4 The age of Augustus was a dark age, bearing the impress of degenerating arts, degenerating artists and degenerating Romans.

After Maecenas had passed away, the only light of this period was Christ.

No one was ever inhuman enough to possess no wish to communicate his mind.

18.4 How depressing the fact, that great professors actually are able to doubt the historical existence of such persons as Lao-Tzu and Homer! What hope is there for a humanity which can not even believe the fact that light comes from suns!

Indeed, the philosophic notes of Marcus Aurelius were by no means original, but by comprising and embracing practically all classical philosophies, they are the more universal.

Universal philosophers are more rare and precious than original philosophers, since most original philosophers speak nonsense.

To speak sense is to speak about what is self-evident. That is why no one cares to listen to sense: they regard it as natural and self-evident.

Augustus was probably torn between his admiration of Caesar and his admiration of Queen Cleopatra. His feelings for Caesar being stronger, he allowed Cleopatra to perish.

Her misfortune was to become involved with any man at all. Caesar having deserted her, Antony completed the destruction of her.

When she was faced by Augustus she was already a powerless shadow.

Caesar was lucky to die so suddenly. He was towards his end more and more burdened with an almost superhuman problem: he was torn between his love of Cleopatra and his love of Rome. Calpurnia probably helped to make Rome the heavier weight. It is well known that Caesar in his will left Cleopatra nothing.

Who was Cleopatra, by the way? Was she one of the great unhappy Queens, like Christina of Sweden? It is not improbable that happiness seldom was granted her.

Had Shakespeare lived in the nineteenth century, he would have reached the same end as Oscar Wilde, or, being a much greater genius, a much worse end.

Were they not both in love with "pretty boys", like Gustav von Aschenbach?

21.4 I wonder why Artemis stayed out of the quarrel between Aphrodite, Hera and Athena, and why Athena lowered herself to partake in it.

Was Artemis so sure of her beauty, that she did not deign to contend, and was Athena so uncertain of hers, that she had to have it proved?

In any case, it was a most meaningless quarrel, in which chance, as usual, decided the matter.

24.4 The meaning of history is to produce great individuals.

Indeed it is a poor meaning, but it's the only meaning I can see.

It becomes even poorer when you observe the fact, that truly "great" individuals never have existed: whenever colossi have appeared in history, they have all fallen most pitifully.

29.4 Schubert was a man who could not solve his problems.

I am not afraid of getting involved, but I am afraid of getting mad.

If I engage in something too thoroughly - this I have experienced several times - I do inevitably reach the brink of madness.

Consequently, I am an incurable dilettante.

My life is a steady climb on a thinning tightrope.

I have so far slipped many times but never completely.

1.5 Evasive death, how long will you still mock me?

2.5 You can not gain one feeling without losing another. You can not gain one love without losing another.

Life is an endless incessant chase for love. You always reach it, but you never reach enough of it.

When I talk I embarrass people. When I am silent I embarrass them even more. What, then, shall I do? Sing? Dance?

What fate could possibly be worse than the one that afflicts everyone: stagnation? It's a fate which you can do nothing about except be aware of it, and that hardly makes it any better.

3.5 The meaning of life is indeed love, but you can not love without suffering.

Nothing is more evasive than that which you try to reach.

Nothing has been more sought for by man than knowledge, and nothing has evaded him more.

Harmony and happiness do not exist. Whatever you do in life you will run into problems and complexities.

I suffer gladly for what I am.

4.5 It is tragic that I love too many to be able to love them all.

8.5 When I am dead they might say about me: He was a man who always went too far.

9.5 I prefer giving to being taken from.

A man lives only to crown his misfortunes with greater misfortunes.

If you outlive your misfortunes you encounter new misfortunes.

10.5 Hell does not exist unless it is the road to Heaven.

My view on my life as a man is understandable when you observe what man today stands for: functionalism, world pollution, atomic bombs, the death of millions and of whole races of birds, fish and animals because of oiled seas, and other universal crimes of the same category.

Yes, I love nature more than man, in the same way as I would love any weaker party of a combat more than the great and dreadful brute and hooligan who would be the superior and inevitable victor.

Life is a horribly absurd and meaningless vanity of a ridiculously endless chase for what you can never reach: happiness.

And yet, without this chase life would be merely a horribly absurd and meaningless vanity of a ridiculous endlessness.

Shall I live till I am old and prove that I am God? Or shall I commit suicide tomorrow and prove that I am not God?

There is something of God in every human being, and being human there is something of God even in me. Every being is God, and every being is not God; everyone is both, and it is difficult for everyone to know which he is more. In fact, everyone is a human animal, and he is human and animal to the same degree; it is a mistake to believe anyone to be the first more than the other.

Everyone is part human and part being. The human part is the godly or more accurately the divine part, and the being part is the natural part, the part given by nature, and the part to be restored to nature.

Stop eating when your food tastes best.

Thus, the best moment to die is when you are happy.

12.5 Resignation is abandonment to sugared self-pity.

Raphael was a strange angel who reached great fame as a very young man. He died young, and ever since people have blamed his death on his way of living.

But is there an impeccable way of living? Johnson was criticized for his bearishness, Reynolds for his coolness, van Gogh and Lautrec for their passions and Goethe and Schiller for their aloofness. In whatever manner you choose to live, neither you nor anyone else will be satisfied.

The only hopes of history were those who suffered for history: Alexander, Christ, etc. You can not present light without burning for it.

Euripides was probably Hades disguised as a human being.

13.5 One thing is certain: I suffer from life more than I enjoy it.

But I love life more than I suffer from it.

This diary mainly deals with love and suicide, it seems.

Frank people make bad actors, - except in England. Anyone makes a good actor in England.

14.5 I am only cold towards those who are preposterous enough to think they know all about me.

A life of ignorance and innocence is more appealing than a life of thought, when you lead a life of thought.

Whatever I do I suffer for it.

The greatest difficulty in the world is to eat the cake and have it.

That's what everybody is trying to do and the only reason why everybody keeps on living: no one has ever given up this impossible effort. And as long as no one has succeeded in doing it, people will continue trying.

15.5 If you do not consider suicide, others make you consider suicide.

16.5 Great events happen suddenly.

17.5 All you need to get inspiration is a few upsetting experiences.

It is remarkable, that the two world wars only afflated man's spirit instead of casting it down.

18.5 God destroyed the Trilobites, the Dinosaurs, the great Mammals, ancient Egypt, Babel, Greece and Rome. What will He destroy next?

God created heaven and earth and made it an everlasting Purgatory.

The truth is never more cruel than when it remains silent.

20.5 Who was Nietzsche?

He was an ordinary man who believed he was something out of the ordinary and who was sadly mistaken.

He was one of those doomed geniuses called human beings.

Problems can not be solved. They can only be replaced by new problems.

What happens when you love? Your love gets rebuffed.

What happens when you don't love? You become persecuted by people for not loving them.

What else can you do as long as you are living but complain of life?

A King was needed to rescue Jeremiah.

What is more afflating and stimulating than to penetrate into the minds of dead ancient sages?

22.5 Friends desert you when you need them and bother you when you would rather be alone.

What is power but the opposite of love?

The Iliad clearly shows a gay, youthful Homer eager to spread his light and entertain the world with sparkling, wonderful stories. In the Odyssey he is evidently older and almost yearning to resign: instead of entertaining he gives the listener himself, an account of miseries, the story of a man who constantly has to fight against adversities not to get through until the very end, and then only to be faced next by the prospect of boredom.

I am twenty years old today. How much longer will I be able to endure this torture called life?

A wounded animal screams before it dies.

To stop giving is to stop living.

Whatever you do in life you will find that it never changes.

25.5 Egotists are those called who try to know themselves without succeeding.

If you suffer from the bonds of slavery, don't strike your chained wrists bloody against the walls in anger. Release yourself carefully, gradually and patiently, tear down the walls of your prison by taking out one brick at a time, and finally, when you at last can breathe the fresh air, you will come to notice that you never actually were a slave.

Civilization is a delicate straw which man has fashioned out of nothing during the lapse of six millennia. It is all man has got: his family, his intellect, his certainty, his world of knowledge, everything rests on it. Man is a poor thing in the furious river of Nature, and without this one single straw, which is all he ever found to cling to, he would be carried away by the ruthless furious stormy sweeping flow of nature and, like all other living creatures, become an animal.

These miserable drug addicts you nowadays find so often in the streets are human rats.

27.5 Alexander made himself great and unbearable. That is why he died.

It is a tragic fact that, because of my past, because of the loss of my seven most important years, I have no future.

Never listen to those who criticize. Depreciation is never of any value nor of any use. Only appreciation is worth listening to and giving vent to.

There are two sides of everything: one good and one tragic. There is never a bad side to anything.

More than in any other of his characters, Shakespeare proves the greatness of the individual in King Lear.

King Lear is the universal lover who, by losing everything, wins everything.

28.5 Had he continued, Schubert might have become the Shakespeare of music.

If you don't drown your memories, your memories will drown you.

To search for love is to search for Hell : you had better not find it.

Temperance is the answer to all questions.

There is more to find in Homer than in Shakespeare. Although Homer's style and character is coarse compared to the refined perfection of Shakespeare, Homer's world is richer.

Shakespeare is the greater artist of the two, but Homer is the greater craftsman.

Shakespeare is at times base, barbaric and even ugly, while Homer's flow of serenity is incredibly stable and constant.

Nevertheless, the last three acts of Hamlet excels everything Homer has written.

29.5 Letters should be sealed with love.

I can not love anyone, because it is my duty to myself, to everyone and to the world not to go mad.

Love has too many times led me to the brink of madness.

That is why I dare not love once too often.

Madness is love gone too far.

The only opponent worth conquering is yourself.

30.5 The highest treasures of literature, like Homer and Shakespeare and some others, can not be read or should not be read. They are Meccas for pilgrims to visit occasionally when they feel fit for such tremendous adventures.

Shakespeare is perhaps a bit more approachable, since he is only four centuries old, in contrast to Homer's twenty-eight.

Indeed, Shakespeare is more civilized, modern, ingenious and gentle than the old ancient brutal primitive and fogeyish Homer, but Homer remains more definite, more reliable and more imaginative than Shakespeare.

31.5 Everything is too easy. That's what makes life too difficult.

It's easy to make people enjoy life, but it's not easy to enjoy life.

I want to love, but being unable to love without burning in hell I can not love.

When you find peace, loneliness mocks you with her tantalizing presence. When you desert your peace, you only find hells.

It's easier to revere Homer than Shakespeare, but it's easier to love Shakespeare than Homer.

1.6 Alexander was great indeed, but he was a man who could not solve his problems, wherefore he died miserable.

I have no pride, but I have a wish not to go insane.

Shakespeare is the greatest delight the world has seen since the days of Homer.

Schubert was a man who composed himself to death.

Goethe was the greatest snob the world has seen.

The author is a rather superfluous personage, for he does not make the book anyway. A book is made by the reader: if you like Goethe, Goethe becomes an appealing personage, but if you dislike him he becomes disagreeable indeed.

Schubert made many friends but lost himself.

Essaying to regain it he lost his friends, failed to find it, starved and died.

But he never stopped singing.

Timon, Coriolanus, Caesar, Antony, Cleopatra, Lear, Macbeth, Hamlet, Sir John Falstaff, Richard III, Romeo, Juliet, Othello; Shakespeare survived them all.

And Shakespeare will survive them all, although they are immortal.

The most perfect way of embarrassing another is unquestionably to keep as quiet as a mouse-trap.

The world's over-population is not to be worried about. So nicely is Nature organized, that nothing preposterous ever will happen.

Shakespeare is more fit for philosophers than for common beggars, but, with other sides of him in view, he is more fit for common beggars than for noble and learned philosophers.

It is strange, that lovers never get angry with those they love, and that their loved ones always get angry with those who love them.

2.6 All I ever wanted was a little air to breathe.

Goethe's only fault was actually that he was an übermensch. His example tempted so many of the artists of the nineteenth century to drive themselves mad.

Somehow tragedies are always magnificent: they alone prove the greatness of man.

3.6 As long as I can remember, economy has been a constant and overhanging problem to everyone. Why do people bother about riches? Communism and capitalism, I still maintain, are best done without.

4.6 My love was ever the only sincere side of me.

5.6 To live is to waste one's time.

We are all equals before God: what will happen to one of us will happen to us all.

Life is a walk on a razor's edge: to cut oneself occasionally is most natural.

The only joy of life is to surpass oneself.

Goethe was probably the greatest sage who ever lived.

No one is more deserving of the Nobel prize today than Robert Graves.

His many outstanding novels, and especially his priceless and unoverestimable collection of Greek myths, have made him quite worthy of every conceivable literary honour.

He and Graham Greene are almost the only authors today somewhat worth reading.

Rather be free and active than rich and plaintive.

6.6 Shakespeare's tragedies are best read, and his comedies are best seen. You understand little of the tragedies when you see them, and even less of the comedies when you read them.

7.6 In his "Confessions" Rousseau proved himself least of all a genius and only a depraved stinking old dirty dog. He was an ordinary man who gripped a cloud in the air and flew on it for the rest of his life. His spites and vices are seen even in his face, which you couldn't by any means call sympathetic. But by publishing his "Confessions", he at least died honest.

I am not in the least averse to loving people, but I am averse to their becoming dependant on me.

May I express an opinion? The incredibly abrupt and amazing shift in Shakespeare's style in 1599 could have been due to the sudden death of the great Edmund Spenser. It is probable that Shakespeare loved and admired Spenser immensely, (see Sonnet 86,) and that, consequently, the Elizabethan champion's death somewhat dejected Shakespeare's spirits and caused him to feel deserted and lonely.

The additional death of the glorious Queen Elizabeth increased the force of such a development of his mind.

It is incredible that an old obscure and unknown dog from a place called Stratford, for having written a lot of ungrammatical highly incomprehensible stuff and nonsense, was made the greatest and most victorious playwright the world has ever seen.

8.6 The corrupt and degenerate Greece after the fall of Pericles is best pictured by Aristophanes.

Therefore Aristophanian studies are not always pleasant.

As long as there is anyone and anything lovable in this world, I will be a loving man indeed.

Why did Michelangelo suffer from what is ridiculously called an inferiority complex? Why was he so eccentric and introvert? Was it because he loved Raphael and da Vinci more than himself and their art more than his own?

And yet did no sculptor ever express a greater love of his work and art than Michelangelo did with his third Piet‡ and his Night.

Life is an ocean of hopelessness across which you travel to reach an end but to never find it.

9.6 Goethe was an enigma.

In the last portraits of him there is clearly a look in his eye expressing a desire which he never set down to words.

According to Goethe, Schiller was his second half. Perhaps by probing into the fate and character of Schiller we can trace something of the unknown desires and characteristics of Goethe.

The greatest problem which smokers present is the ash-trays which they always fill and which someone always upsets.

The less I am familiar with people, the more I am capable of enjoying their company and loving them.

In other words, the more I find acquaintances worthy of respect, the more I respect them and feel honoured by their presence.

10.6 Schiller was the man who said everything that Goethe didn't.

Was there ever an uglier building material invented than concrete?

Michelangelo was a psychotic.

Impotence is maybe the root of all evil.

It is wrong to suppose that people are against you. No one was ever against you, and least of all they were against you when you in your fantastic mind imagined that they were. You should not generally trust your mind. Thoughts have nothing to do with reality.

When I am not enjoyable my art is. When I am enjoyable my art is not.

It is always difficult to choose between two delicacies.

All good comes from God.

In order to escape the fact that all evil comes from God as well, man invented Satan.

11.6 A good picture is a picture about which you can say: "Such pictures aren't made any more!"

Shakespeare's use of nouns surpasses everything including Homer's use of adjectives.

"Titus Andronicus" could well have been written by Aeschylus after the Oresty.

Not even "Hamlet" contains such an abundance of dead bodies: Hamlet's ten are nothing to Titus' fifteen.

There is something certain and special about Sir Joshua Reynolds which not even Gainsborough is able to match.

12.6 Aeschylus is more alive than Sophocles and in a way a likeable heir of Homer.

Sophocles is more Attic than Aeschylus, who is more universal.

13.6 You can not trust anyone, except those who are too good to be burdened with trust.

Life is generally quite absurd.

What is the Englishmen's greatest power? - Their consummate conceit.

I can not live without a razor threatening my throat. I have to have that, or laziness, listlessness and indifference will undo me.

When life is not a walk across a razor's edge it is a bore indeed.

What would Michelangelo have been without perilous popes, what would Aeschylus have been without his country's defence wars against the Persians, and what would Abraham Lincoln have been without the American Civil War?

You never degrade yourself more than when you try to degrade others.

You never disparage yourself more than when you disparage others.

Disparagement should never be taken seriously, since it is always regretted by the originator thereof.

The written word is the most wondrous invention the animal called man ever brought forth.

14.6 I am the meaning of life.

Dr Johnson was the meaning of Dr Johnson's life.

So is everyone the meaning of his life.

Culture is one word for conserved and preserved delights.

Joy is a priceless thing. Being such a bottomless and endless container of joy, art is even more priceless and unoverestimable.

Melancholia is to the mind what pestilence is to the body.

Like pestilence leads to death, melancholia leads to madness.

Why are you always fittest when you are about to go to bed? Is it for the same reason that makes you enjoy life most when you are about to die?

A genius (of literature) is someone who is capable of expressing more than just words.

A book is as readable as it is capable of being read between the lines.

The only thing I ever had reasons to complain about was myself.

The world of drugs is a black sea of tragedy.

16.6 More stimulating than a glass of milk each morning is a small Odyssey of thought.

The only thing worth deep and serious contemplation in this world of drugs and functionalism is of course suicide.

Nothing is more unbearable than itching fingers and no wings within reach.

Nothing is more unbearable than nothing.

To create something is the consummate bliss. To want to create something without being able to is the perfectest hell.

A pianist without a piano is more pitiable than Tantalus.

"Faust" is a conceited masterpiece.

Only when others are delighted with me I feel delighted with myself.

When they are not delighted with me I am very miserable indeed.

17.6 The dome of Saint Peter made by Michelangelo became in fact the crown on his genius.

A good emperor makes his own crown. Michelangelo made his.

The sun never sets on Watteau.

I believe lovers of Goethe can not love him in vain. There is in him more than that which is seen. After all, the ocean is not just a field of waves: there is more in it than on it.

A naÔve person is someone who actually believes in things.

Luckily we are all naÔve.

18.6 Goethe was the last optimist.

The World is a violent dramatic acrobatic horse which God is riding.

You are only capable of enjoying what you are capable of loving.

It's a pity that you can not change something without half destroying it.

If posterity does not want me, my adjusting my work is of no use. If posterity wants me, let them do it.

It is as important to indulge in other people's business as it is to indulge in one's own.

What is meant by that? Simply that your life is not the only life there is.

Goethe was in many ways ahead of his time. The canals of Suez and Panama were completed forty and eighty years after his death. (He desired to see them.)

The age between Napoleon and the Great War was in many ways comparable to the Hellenic age between the Persian and the Peloponnesian wars.

Why is the past more interesting than the present? Because the past is beautiful, and the present is ugly.

Alexander became the ground on which Hellas survived, growing from culture to civilization. The Hellenic civilization did not die until Marcus Aurelius wrote its epitaph.

The question that everyone asks today is, will this civilization march the same way?

Life is irretrievably, irrevocably and most regrettably a hopeless tragedy.

But it is more than that: it is also a heroic struggle against that fact.

19.6 It is always wrong to envy someone his wealth and personality. Great people should always be properly admired and revered.

Doctor Stolpe is the Swedish Doctor Johnson.

Goethe's greatest triumph was the fact that he outlived all his great contemporaries.

He was born together with an age and died with it.

The Goethian age saw many wonder men: Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Johnson, Reynolds, Boswell, James Cook, Haydn, Mozart, Schiller, Beethoven, the Venetian painters, Napoleon and Schubert.

You can not think of England without experiencing considerable joy.

Of course, the only right way to write of people and things is the purely objective way, but there are some people which indeed you can not help writing about lovingly.

You might as well try to convince someone that Goethe or Schubert or some other incredible person did not exist, as to try to prove that Epaminondas, Lycurgus, Homer, Christ or even Shakespeare never really existed.

There is always a hand belonging to a live man guiding every pencil, however incredible the stuff it writes may be.

After the Goethian age followed a golden age of immoderation, which led into the Great War.

People never dedicated themselves more to intellectual matters than in the eighteenth century.

Philosophers abounded in the nineteenth century, but they were all of different minds. In the eighteenth century, everyone was of one mind.

It is difficult to be difficult. Difficulties are interpreted only with difficulties.

Somewhere between me and the sun a lark is singing. I have searched for it now for fifteen minutes without seeing it.

I used to sit on a stone. Now I have fallen down into the grass. Alas, will sleep overtake me?

To sleep under the sky is a consummate bliss, because no sleep offers you a purer air to breathe.

It is good to be alive in a moment when you can sleep under a warm and caring sun.

Are clouds whiter than snow? No, they are not, but they are white in a warm way, while the whiteness of snow is cold.

To lie down in the grass and sigh is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

I have given up the lark. They should not be seen. It's not just to find them, and they are more inspiring when you don't see them.

Besides, they probably like singing undisturbed.

One more moment I will enjoy this moment, and then I will go to attend my business.

I could lie here in the grass all day long.

When art thou more at home than in the realm of nature?

The only thing you can not do without as an artist is time. If you haven't got time enough for art, you will never become an artist.

Art is the highest of crafts and the most demanding. Without unlimited and unrestricted supplies of time you will never succeed in mastering it.

An unfinished work of art is like an uncompleted journey: you might as well have stayed at home.

Much went to hell when Russia went to hell.

Shakespeare was, simply, the finest entertainer the world has seen.

Only generous people know the art of accepting generosity.

Greatness will fall through and hit the bottom unless balanced with humility.

I loved Spenser, but Shakespeare loved me more. Few poets know the art of loving the reader.

It is remarkable that van Gogh and Lautrec died of the same age.

And before them Raphael and Watteau followed their example.

22.6 Mothers are always angels.

Life is something you can not do much about once you have made it.

The Greeks were more classic than we are today. But we are more human.

Giants do not fall. They crash, and there is no end to that crash.

Athens was the centre of the world for 150 years. Rome was for three hundred years. Constantinople was for six hundred years. And London has so far been prominent for nine hundred years.

Shakespeare made London the heart of the world and the centre of the stage. It has remained intact since then.

Only Anglophiles, British or not, are genuine Englishmen.

The artists of the Renaissance had remarkable supplies of time to spare: While Raphael painted loggias, frescoes and portraits for the pope, dedicated himself to creating the finest virgins and mothers in history, taught hundreds of disciples his manners and arts, and poured wine into his body and tasted women, Michelangelo fashioned powerful monuments, painted roofs and walls of chapels, built houses and palaces for popes and pagans, planned future Romes, decorated Florence, and composed more sonnets than Shakespeare.

Schubert and Raphael were probably the two most lovable artists in history.

You are wrong only when you are brought to consider yourself wrong. You are then not wrong by thinking so, but by thinking so you are wrong.

When in the daylight of fair illusions you begin to wonder what lies behind them and begin to head for the field of Truth, you will sooner or later find reason to long back to the glorious realm of daylight, which is why the hells of Truth are worth visiting once in a while, for the sake of education.

Truth is dark and tremendous, illusions are light and glorious.

23.6 Michelangelo was probably the proudest artist who ever lived. That was his tragedy.

Lionardo da Vinci was over-scrupulous. That was his tragedy.

Goethe never gave vent to his genius but, like da Vinci, wasted his years on science.

What a wonderful thing it will be to return to civilization and at last in a blessed moment liberate oneself again on a blessed stool without a bottom!

Only in the realm of civilization man has a need of nature, and only in the realm of nature man has a need of civilization.

In this we see man's incurable humanity.

No one is delighted with science nowadays except functionalistic tyrants.

Like I have said before: I only agree with myself when I am agreeable.

24.6 You create things for others to break down.

In Shakespeare you have to search for his pearls. Marcus Aurelius was more earnest: he presented them all in one concentrated package.

Why do larks stop singing when you catch them with your eye?

The finest company to spend a Midsummer with is Shakespeare's Puck.

Charles Laughton would have made an excellent Doctor Johnson on the screen.

A good work of art gives you more energy than you have to spend considering it.

The first thing decaying ages have done has been to give up culture.

25.6 Guard yourself against self-esteem. Nothing is more dangerous.

Passion is the black eternal pit, to which there is no end, and to which everyone is bound.

You will not be anything until you accept what you are.

A lovable person is a person who loves more than he is.

A good book should be a delight forever. You should be able to turn up any page and find it a satisfying delight.

While you rejoice others perish. When you perish others rejoice.

Marcus Aurelius was one of the most controversial and interesting individuals in history. He was the last great representative of the classical age, (from Homer to A.D.192,) and in many respects the most unique of them all.

Grave-diggers dig graves for others. They are the world's humblest servants.

Homer will never be surpassed. His magnificence was of that kind which only was born and bred in ancient Greece and perished with it.

If Greece was not a paradise there never was a paradise.

Friends are to be entertained or done without.

There is a vulgar and a refined side of every great man of history.

The world is a fluctuating tide of levity.

26.6 Tyrants are fools which tell you to do what is contrary to your wishes.

When disagreeable work doesn't make you apathetic it makes you angry. In any case it makes you disagreeable.

When Shakespeare was a poor man he wrote his comedies. When he became a wealthy man he wrote his tragedies. And when he turned his attention to his wife he wrote nothing more, and, like Spenser, perished.

Works of art are beautiful surfaces of cauldrons full of sufferings, joys and feelings of love and woe.

Only in great works of art you can see the soup of the cauldron is more than just a surface.

Most people only look at the surface and like it well, because it has an agreeable appearance. Few people care and dare to taste the concocted soup, but those who do will find it surprisingly rich with every kind of human flavour.

And if the work is outstanding and singular it has even wisdom to offer.

When you hurt yourself everywhere you are tired.

It is dangerous to ride on happiness: she is not a hobby-horse. You'll immediately break her wind.

Shakespeare at least had guts.

Shakespeare was indeed an unbreakable hobby-horse whose back we will enjoy riding forever.

Levity is the road to hell. It must be balanced up by serious men like Goethe.

Tumbling down into hells is an excellent sport: it takes all your strength to get up again.

A wasted day is a day the work of which you are not content with.

A wasted day is something you will never be able to forgive yourself.

It is indeed incredible that Goethe showed his art no interest whatsoever.

Did Schubert perish because Goethe had tired of music?

Glory ends with misery. Illusions do not survive. Creations are made for barbarians to destroy. Life ends with death. Everything is but some sort of a most incredibly unsuccessful business.

Books are written for scholars and readers to misinterpret and misunderstand.

Peasants' lives are hells only to those who are not peasants.

Peasants do no more object to their condition than gentlemen do to theirs. Whatever you are you get used to the life for which you were fashioned.

And no other life than that will ever suit you.

A peasant would make as bad a baron as a baron would make a peasant.

Only princes know how to be princes, and only peasants know how to be peasants.

27.6 When more things are happening than being done, civilization is in danger.

It is remarkable that great artists always have been considered embarrassing beings, as long as they lived, that is.

Poets are happiest dead.

Alexander the Great was the crown and climax of the Hellenic civilization. How could it but fall and gradually fade after having reached such a divine culmination?

Pericles was nothing to Alexander, who united a most divided and chaotic world.

Only the emperor Augustus did ever do the same.

The problem about rulers is they are compelled to be inhuman.

The highest task in history has always been to put order into chaos. Everyone who tried to accomplish it failed, or, having succeeded, regretted it.

Freedom materially restricted is life unnaturalized.

Life is a natural thing. Life unnaturalized is no longer life.

28.6 No one was ever greater, and no one was ever smaller, than every living thing with a capacity for freedom.

Which is a greater delight? To read or to speak? Written words are more pregnant. Spoken words usually do not express and convey much sense. If you prefer nonsense, speaking is preferable, but if you prefer seriousness and profundity writing is indeed to be preferred.

And besides, in writing you may express anything, while in talking you may only express what the listener is capable of bearing with.

Despite the fact that I am bent on tasting every drop and crumb life has to offer, I am least of all self-destructive: I plan and believe in my future.

If people knew the harm they are doing by doing harm, they would not do any harm.

When Shakespeare wrote "As You Like It" he apparently knew what his audiences liked.

You don't fall in love with life until you find the life to fall in love with.

The air is full of wonders. Only artists are able to see them and print them down.

Genius is the power to see uncommon things.

The fact that I prefer Schubert to Goethe does not have to mean that Schubert was greater than Goethe.

Schubert was in fact a chicken compared to Goethe the rooster, but sometimes you prefer chickens to roosters.

And sometimes you prefer roosters to chickens.

What is love? Hell and Heaven and everything between them.

No one's memory is more worth preserving than the memory of those who bothered to preserve the memories of those whose memories were worth preserving.

I am a child of my age.

Leonardo's creatures are sweet, entertaining and probably the most exquisite things in art history.

In moments such as this life is worth while.

29.6 When Michelangelo painted the ceiling of his Sistine Chapel he probably cursed his mother.

What am I worth? What is my life worth? If people made a cipher of me, what am I then more than a cipher?

And what's the use of ciphers?

Tragedians are monsters, except in written tales.

Only dreams can make an artist. If you don't take his dreams into consideration you will never understand him.

Whatever others do or think of me I am never content and (!) always feel insulted.

I work in order to please myself and others, not in order to survive. Life means to me about as much as death.

It is dangerous to get caught in a character.

God knows I hate being compelled to work in the nights. I would even work much better if I could work in the days. But with bellowing cars everywhere and brawling neighbours with their children, and radios and gramophones turned on everywhere, it is quite natural for an artist to escape into the sweet silence of the night, despite its abhorrent darkness.

Life gives a bitter taste when it becomes a waste.

I believe Jacques to be one of Shakespeare's rare self-portraits.

Happiness is a brittle crystal glass which appears to be suspended in the air. But being an illusion, all you have to do is to touch it, and your finger-tip will break it into a thousand invisible unmendable fragments, which, if you don't wail them too well, perhaps one day will reunite and appear in the lucid air again.

There is more to be doubted than to be believed in.

When you bring more thought to life than life to thought you are in danger.

30.6 Are insanities to be thirsted for or to be given in to?

My life is a tight string. How much tighter will it get?

Life is an exaggerated and absurd set of illusions. Therefore life sometimes is worth while.

Those who suffered for civilization should be ascribed its existence.

The most difficult question in history is whether one should work or not.

No strong man is able to remain strong without occasionally giving vent to his weaknesses.

The less agreeable side of work is it teaches you to hate.

Work should be done for pastime and refreshment. It should not be done for a living, except by people without delicate feelings. They alone should do it, for they are able to do it.

The fact which made the nineteenth century the happiest of ages was that then people had time.

Life is worth nothing unless you have time for it, you know.

When man had made the world a cesspit he allowed it to run along by itself.

The best side of man is his bias towards women, and the best side of woman is her tolerance with the monster called man.

It is an irony of nature, that you have to fight in order to obtain peace.

Recklessness of peace is as dangerous as a more than necessary lack of peace.

The most agreeable musician ever alive was Schubert.

Days are sometimes darker than nights, depending on how you feel.

First I burnt in hell chafing an iron fence for three hours. Then I burnt in hell not being permitted to rest, till late in the afternoon. Then at last I had an opportunity to take a walk and visit nature for the first time in four days. And then, for the rest of the evening and night, I burnt in hell writing.

You'll never be able to write well unless you burn your brains in hell.

Sufferers live for the sake of others to enjoy the result of their sufferings.

1.7 Shakespeare led a life sugared with love, while Homer apparently was a man who suffered.

Shakespeare's later tragedies are to a slight degree attacks on his audiences.

A more fearful and honest attack on everyone and everything than King Lear I don't think that anyone ever will find reason to give vent to.

Laborious writings are laborious readings.

When you love more than you are being loved you are a hero.

Epaminondas and Alexander were constructive men, but their achievements were not in accordance with Hellenic tradition.

The realm of ancient Egypt was more splendid than cultural.

The more you peruse Shakespeare and Homer, the more their divine varieties will confound you: their arts will always give you reasons to change your mind about their arts.

Shakespeare and Homer can not be compared with each other. Shakespeare is too English for Hellenic measures, and Homer is too Hellenic for English measures.

2.7 The power to delight is a dangerous power. Napoleon delighted France so much, that France set all of Europe alight.

Written words are more powerful than spoken words. What is spoken is more easily changed than that which is written.

3.7 I was born unhappy and will die even unhappier.

Why should happiness be a fruit too sweet to be tasted?

Hating creatures are inhuman abominable outrageous iniquitous beings whose company and state of being hardly is preferable to death.

What I would most of all like to do in this world is to take it easy.

It is tragic that only you can experience your feelings.

Man, like all living beings, is hopelessly a bauble in the capricious hands of fortune.

If I do not write for myself I write for the future. If I do not write for the future I write for my self.

When ants crawl in your spinal core and eat it, what can you do but toss your head back and scream?

Euripides was great but ugly.

Lovers are dark.

All you have to do to read something is to hang on.

Nothing is too difficult to read. It is all a matter of willingness or not willingness to hang on.

It's vain to ask questions to which there are no answers. But, on the other hand, to ask questions to which there are answers is meaningless.

Art without feeling is art without art.

4.7 Experts on misunderstanding you are not worth your acquaintance. But such experts do not exist.

When you doubt your mÈtier it is time for you to go to bed.

I prophesy that the world of drugs will come to an end together with functionalism.

Culture is the means by which man constantly makes his world bigger.

Goethe was a man who made an age which without him got lost.

The safest way to enjoy life is to follow the tracks of those who enjoyed it before you. And those who enjoyed life most of all were always the artists.

Civilization is a tower. Storms and tempests and human follies do their best to shake it down, but they have so far not succeeded. Giants like Homer, Aeschylus, Augustus and Shakespeare do their best to add new storeys to it, and their handsome work always seems to survive, for their children and followers to discover new worlds from, and for future equals to continue where they had to stop.

Brahms and Verdi were both hopelessly cold, lonely and introspective.

Without deep valleys there would be no mountains to climb and no magnificent glorious rising achievements to make.

It is more edifying to be terrified than to be afraid.

When you tire of life, rid it of yourself.

The only person to worry about in the world is yourself. Worries are burdens which you have no right to bestow on others.

My day depends upon my sleep. When I may sleep my fill the rest of the day is generally well spent. When I am not permitted by fortune to sleep well enough, the day will hopelessly get wasted and lost forever, like this one.

Farewell, wasted day! I will never get you out of my conscience.

5.7 Coriolanus is in many aspects Shakespeare's masterpiece. In none of his plays there is a greater unity, a more brilliant force, a more incredibly even flow of what could only be called divine art.

There is a vein of Shakespeare in Stevenson.

The Greeks must have been happy men. They had everything in store for themselves, while we miserable creatures of the twentieth century have a greater past to contemplate than time to construct a future.

Lovers are happy. Their escape from loneliness into heavenliness is the consummate solution to all problems. Better abandon what you can not cope with.

Love is better done than done without.

Man is basically creative, loving and bored.

6.7 Paradise today is the sweet humdrum bourgeois life.

Lucky are those who live in paradise, and God grant them the privilege of remaining there. As for the children of hell, God have mercy upon them.

Greatness is a pit, into which Beethoven, Schubert, van Gogh, Michelangelo and the whole lot tumbled and thereby perished.

Musorgsky should be judged by his "Boris Godunov", not by his drunkenness.

Life is a dramatic hell of storms and fires. Only once in a while on rare occasions you manage to catch a glimpse of heaven.

You don't survive crises in order to find daisies. You survive crises in order to find new crises to survive.

If Shakespeare and Goethe had met, Shakespeare would probably have said, "Doctor Livingstone, I presume?"

Great men are always fogeys.

If Shakespeare had met Stevenson, Tchekhov or Alain-Fournier he would undoubtedly have sighed and said, "Oh, this straying youth!"

Which undoubtedly Aeschylus would have said about Shakespeare.

Diaries generally contain but balderdash and nonsense. The greater the diary, the truer that fact.

Only fools write diaries for reasons.

Only reasonable diarists are fools.

Diaries are as little worth reading as writing.

If you want to write nonsense, write a diary.

If you want to write a diary, write nonsense.

The perfect diarist writes only perfect nonsense.

The perfectest nonsense is written only by the most perfectly nonsensical fools of which the most perfect are the nonsensical diarists.

Diary notes should never be taken seriously, since they are written exclusively by diarists.

The more fool you get, the more diary notes you write.

It is better to stop living than to stop writing. For by stopping the living activity you stop both.

Greatness and splendour are barbaric traits: only barbarians lack enough conscience to let others suffer for them.

There are two sides of all things except invisible sublimities.

Apparently you'll have to suffer before you'll have to die.

7.7 To abuse others is to misuse oneself.

The fact that Marcus Aurelius, the noblest and finest liege in history, was a pessimist, doomed the world to the dark and barbaric Middle Ages.

8.7 Van Gogh's art was preferable to his personality.

The greatest Nestor of civilization in history was perhaps Goethe.

I prefer enjoyable pictures to brutally perfect pictures like "Citizen Kane".

A greater joy than Kenneth Clark's "Civilization" has not been issued in the twentieth century for the benefit of man.

But I find it difficult to forgive him for having omitted, for instance, Schubert, Toulouse-Lautrec and Stefan Zweig.

Shakespeare brought England to the centre of the stage, in the like manner as Homer brought forth Greece.

You'll never reach what you desire most. That is why you desire it.

It is human to be unhuman.

Thereby is meant: it is human to try to become more than human.

Efforts will fail forever. Marcus Aurelius convinced history about that, and man, eternally making efforts, will be convinced about it forever.

There are two aspects of history: the fact that history has always failed, and the fact that history remains something to look forward to.

How happy and jubilant the geniuses of past forgotten centuries would be, if they knew how much we rejoice and delight ourselves with their achievements!

9.7 Debutantes are always successful. Rising stars are great and bright and well taken care of, until they are no longer rising.

It would be nice just for once to see a corner of nature where there is no human refuse.

Functionalism was a great, fatal, cultural, or rather anti-cultural, dreadful mistake.

A human being is greater than a great being.

Shall I turn to my diary, or shall I turn to myself? I had best turn myself to my diary.

What's the use of being something when you really are nothing?

Greatness inevitably leads to darkness. The Hellenic civilization was crowned with the Roman Empire, which led into the dark Middle Ages. Germany, England, Russia and France became Empires, which led to the great world wars.

Greatness is not damnable, but the results of greatness are quite often unfortunately most damnable.

There is no end to reason.

To reason is to try to find an end to reason. Which is why only unreasonable men reason.

Only small men desire the burden of greatness, and only great men desire to get rid of it.

You always are what you consider others.

Pregnant truths can never be enough repeated and have throughout history never been enough repeated.

You'll never find out what history really is all about.

If Caesar visited us today he would say, "I came, saw and left," unless he stayed and lost.

Goethe's glory guided us into the age of immoderation, during which we made of civilization a perfect chaos.

Goethe was made a paragon. Goethe being a paragon, his decadence also became a paragon. Thus followed the age of immoderation, exhaustion and decadence.

Great works of art are those about which there is never any question.

Suddenly Shelley rose and died, then GÈricault rose and died, then Delacroix suddenly rose, then Beethoven suddenly died, and suddenly Schubert was both risen and dead. What a chaos of talents is history!

What an ocean of promises, and what a desert of unfulfilled hopes!

Everything is chaos except nature.

There has probably been more bloodshed in history than in nature the last two thousand, not to speak of the last two hundred, years.

Man slaughtered man until 1800, when he began slaughtering innocent nature.

Before Marcus Aurelius men at least slaughtered men artfully.

Man never devoted himself more passionately to the slaughtering of men than after 1800. He has indeed been universally destructive since then.

Never cease regarding yourself with criticism. No target in existence should be more mercilessly criticized than yourself. After all, you are basically nothing; it is only right that you should reduce yourself to nothing whenever you have become something more.

I believe in nothing except everything.

There are three men who mark the beginning, the climax and the end of Hellenic civilization - Homer, Alexander, and Marcus Aurelius.

Only barbarians hate. Welcome your sufferings. Let them teach you only to love even more, and never to hate.

You'll never enjoy what you could enjoy more.

10.7 God created the world. Then he created man. Then he gave man the gift of creation. And then man created chaos.

Welfare leads to doubts concerning welfare.

Shakespeare, a great affluent man without afflictions and worries, became the greatest pessimist in history after Marcus Aurelius.

It is difficult to be what you are if you are a man, and if man is what he is today.

It is horrible to know that you are one of those too many ignominious parasites on nature.

If Shakespeare was the Alexander of western civilization, Goethe was the Augustus.

Only religious people believe in Hell, for they alone are stupid enough to march that way.

Our civilization is the fruit of two civilizations - the Hellenic civilization and the Biblical civilization.

Theories are more interesting than facts.

11.7 Only tragedians speak of love.

A Watteau of today would have nothing to paint.

The more I do what others tell me, the less seems to get done.

Classicism is spiritual light transformed into art, culture and civilization.

Shakespeare should be read, not read about.

The best way to destroy the effect of a work of art is to tell what it is all about.

The scholar's worst enemy is the imperfect encyclopaedia.

12.7 Barbarians live in the light of Hellenes and thrive in it like bacilli.

The world has not changed one bit since Marcus Aurelius. Unfortunately, though, it has changed since Pericles.

The irony of knowledge and skill is, that the more you know, the more you are confused.

13.7 Of all the absurd things in existence, death is the most absurd.

We are all expressions of God.

The dead do not want us to wail them. They only want us to remember them.

14.7 I can not appreciate the modern popular music of Britain. It's like a nightmare.

Behind every single action there is a thought, and it's the thought that counts.

18.7 Beware of reality. It is of no good to anyone. Illusions are not only much more comfortable, but also much safer.

If geniuses were not self-occupied they would not be geniuses.

"Save what can be saved," is the motto of civilization.

Great men are unbearable, small men are adorable, beautiful men are terrifying, ugly men you can not help looking at with interest, true love is laughed at, the basest carnal pleasure is wallowed in, all these are only some aspects of Nature's cruel mastery in the art of irony.

It is remarkable, that God first of all created light. He fancied light, it seems.

19.7 Was there ever a world more distressing? I doubt it.

If you are distressed, remember that history has always been most distressing.

Literature is the stablest of arts, because it is the most difficult for barbarians to destroy, and perhaps the only truly broadly accessible of all arts.

It's remarkable, that those who have enemies are usually no less dangerous to the life around them than their enemies.

Russia is not dead. I believe she is merely sleeping.

Occasionally Russia gets fed up with tyranny. Such an occasion must sooner or later come again.

Being happy is more dangerous than being unhappy, for whatever you are, you will lose that feeling, and happiness is harder to lose than unhappiness.

20.7 Life is an expert in irony.

Irony is a milder and more sophisticated form of cruelty.

22.7 The art of living is the art of not making any fuss.

23.7 There is nothing I can stand with greater difficulty than an argument.

Those are thoroughly unhappy who never taste true unhappiness.

24.7 It is tragic that only a whit of man's agreeable gifts during his lifetime will be taken care of.

Truths, only, are merciless, since they, only, are without help.

25.7 Music is a risky activity. Mozart and Schubert proved that. It is too fine an activity to be indulged in.

I am quite convinced that the light that Vermeer painted did not come from outside but from his own heart.

26.7 It's raining lions and hogs.

Only children are happy.

1.8 Every thought which you think is a creative action. Beware, therefore, of thinking of unpleasant things.

I envy people with a great sense of humour. I would rather have a great sense of humour than only a great sense.

2.8 Respectable people are people who have something to respect.

The finest fruits of civilization were Egypt, Homer, Greece, Rome, Shakespeare and England. Will a seventh pomegranate spring forth, or is an autumn approaching?

3.8 What is decadence? Decadence is cultural welfare, happiness and levity.

A decadent age is a happy age indeed, because nothing is considered seriously.

Man is a mad creature, and the greater he makes his civilization, the madder he is bound to get.

Life is a perfect horror to which there is no end. Will it forever grow even worse?

Shakespeare lost his zest after having written Timon. He preferred writing no more to writing even more horrifying attacks on his own race.

Writing for the sake of writing well is a highly unprofitable activity today.

4.8 Is science, knowledge, prosperity, welfare and everything man has lived for since the days of Goethe, a perfect failure? Are we destined to return to poverty, misery, barbaric despotism and arbitrary nature? Has man failed in his effort to become something more than merely a natural man?

Man loves self-sacrificing humanists, but prefer the artificial light of unscrupulous overmen.

I do not love man, but I love some of his arts and accomplishments.

Man has accomplished more than he is.

There are more things dreamt of than in heaven and earth.

5.8 One of the first things which life taught me was the joy which is found in that which isn't.

The first thing you do after learning how to fly is to fly too high and break your wings.

Love always ends tragically. It is a delight which always ends tragically because it always ends.

7.8 I always have the feeling that my thoughts and my entire mind is being read by others. And often I find in the media my very own thoughts expressed only some time after I came to think of them.

It's rather shocking to think that so many think like you.

8.8 Since bishops and princes no longer exist for composers to compose for, they'll have to compose for themselves.

9.8 To know the essence of life is to know how impossible it is to know anything about life.

I do not believe that God drove Adam out of Paradise. I believe Adam did.

It is possible that he was momentarily bored with it.

The three components of our world are man, nature and God, as I see it. They balance each other well.

10.8 English is actually a rather poor language, you'll notice the more you learn it. Shakespeare, only, was great enough a poet to make it appear rich.

11.8 A horrible man is he who has demands on others. A divine man is he who only has demands on himself.

Hatred is bred not in men but in tortured men.

Falls are agreeable after wuthering heights.

Ingratitude is the source of all evil. Give someone something, and he will want for more, and thus reduce your good will to an insult.

Never be benevolent without preparing yourself for a fiery return.

Ekhnaton was the first man to die for the loveliest cause in history.

Poets are philosophical enough not to be philosophers.

The thirty-seventh year of artists has in history always been disastrous or in some other way greatly eventful. Tchaikovsky married in his thirty-seventh year, Handel fell in love with England, Shakespeare wrote "Hamlet", and Raphael, Watteau, van Gogh, Bizet, and some others, died.

12.8 Moses was greater than Christ.

Christ was a tragic exhibitionist, while Moses was a leader.

But without Christ, Moses would appear as a rather ludicrous and ancient figure today, and, thanks to Christ, the tradition from the days of Moses was inflated with new life.

I am not an exhibitionist. That may be my tragedy and my greatest merit.

Alas, is there really a civilization somewhere in this irremediable chaos? You begin to wonder when in vain you try to discern something in the storm.

It's amazing that a civilization really has been able to persist in all these centuries of violent thunderstorms.

The world was calm before Marcus Aurelius. It's amazing that the calmest man in history marked the beginning of the most turbulent historical period.

There is nothing more laughable than life when it seems to be at its highest point of seriousness.

13.8 There is always a reason why poets and artists become unhuman and divine. Either they are inspired by divine greatness by their ideals, or the age drives them that way.

In Encyclopaedia Britannica both Goethe and Aeschylus are called unhuman. Aeschylus lived while ancient Greece reached its greatest glory, and Goethe experienced the lives and deaths of Mozart, Beethoven, Napoleon, Schubert, Schiller, the French and American revolutions and finally the golden 1820s, the decade of the Holy Alliance. Is it a wonder, that poets of their kind, by experiencing such matters, grow a bit over-weighty in their stature?

Leon Battista Alberti was a man who lived with ease.

Thinking is better than acting, for the more you'll think, the better you'll act.

Life is not a comedy. It's a laughable tragedy.

It's no use being a philosopher. Thoughts should be thought and not taught. And it's no good thinking them more than once.

14.8 Artists as young dogs are much more interesting than artists as old fogeys.

Poets are always naÔve, like Homer, Shakespeare, Goethe and Tolstoy, or else they are not poets.

Only highly naÔve beings bother to become poets.

Tolstoy was the greatest hero of his age, but if he lived today he would be a laughing-stock indeed. He would be shut away in a madhouse for good.

Russia was the leading decadent country in the happy nineteenth century.

Music should be heard or read. To listen to it is to misunderstand the essence of music.

Music is made of dreams. Thus it should be experienced like dreams. Beware of paying attention to them, for then you will awake.

All artists are always more or less unhuman. It's the divine sparkle which makes them create.

Titans, like Beethoven and Michelangelo, are always quite absurd, which is why they make you laugh.

What difference does it make who you are? It's an unanswerable question, which you had better escape from than deal with. The best way to escape from it is to understand the fact that you are what you make of yourself and nothing more.

You are what you make, and if you do not make anything you are nothing.

Everything depends on your childhood. If you grow up in harmony, you continue to progress in that way, and if you do not, you follow some other direction. Your way through life is determined by all those things which fire you off, and if you are not fired off at all you are a lucky man indeed.

Charles V carried on an unhumanly heavy burden. That's why he was so tragically difficult for human beings to reach.

He was probably an emperor who, like all good emperors, hated being an emperor.

Those old venerable learned men of Cambridge are the result of one thousand years of English cultural improvement, in the same way as the great Bach was the fruit of many generations of excellent musicians who all were his ancestors.

There is something highly tragic about Bach: he lived isolated in small German towns where no one could understand or even appreciate his music. His sons despised him as they became famous, he never reached fame himself despite the fact that no composer ever deserved it more, and as he died, no composer in history was more quickly forgotten. Half of his production is considered lost today. He died an unknown genius.

Whether you die young or old, life is a tragedy.

Is there any hero in history more tragic than the unknown genius?

In ancient Greece all men were dilettantes. I think that is a splendid solution to the fact that no one really knows what to do in life.

And no one really wants to do one thing all his life either.

16.8 Schubert was loved until he died. Beethoven was endured until he died.

I have always preferred beauty to greatness and will always do so.

No duty is more important than your duty to love.

17.8 Remember, that you are merely a piece of flesh which lives only by chance, that your being is no more than a puppet on the string of chance. God is merely man's greatest universal invention, a pleasing idea, a thing to think of and love, a magic recourse to spite cruel chance's capriciousness and mercilessness with.

An ordinary man is easy to be on terms with: there is hardly more than one side of him; while the many sides of an eccentric makes an eccentric man a most difficult person to comprehend and to be at ease with.

You'll never understand what an eccentric means, for he always means what he says.

18.8 A beloved person's death anaesthetizes you at first: you feel nothing. But the more beloved she was, the more your feelings of sorrow become noticeable as the years begin to pass.

Tolstoy must have suffered a great deal from the tragedies of Gogol, Musorgsky, van Gogh, Lautrec, Oscar Wilde, Nietzsche, Tchaikovsky, Tchekhov and Dostoyevsky.

It's not easy to be a lonely palm in the desert.

The only comfort is in fact the fact that now and then a lost wanderer comes by and rejoices by the sight of your green leaves. But he soon disappears again.

When you love someone he disappoints you. When you love no one life disappoints you.

19.8 Everything good comes from the naïve conception that the act of creating something good is worth doing. Thus the origin of all true art is naïvety.

Films like "The Birdman of Alcatraz" and "The Manchurian Candidate" are worth preserving for all eternity.

Some questions only God knows the answers of. It's good to know there is someone you can trust them with.

Great historical men have barbarically often been accused of homosexuality. Is there any evidence for Tchaikovsky's, Shakespeare's or Lionardo da Vinci's rumoured homosexuality? Such speculations generally arise from the fact that the persons in question evidently don't have sexual intercourse with women. So women naturally think they must have some other kind of intercourse, since it is quite impossible for most women to even imagine that there is such a thing as asexuality. Usually, a man is either sexually interested enough to marry, or he is not sexually interested to be very much sexual at all.

It is tragic, that only great dreamers make great artists. Tolstoy would never have written "War and Peace" if he had been less of an incurable dreamer, and Shakespeare, Goethe, Homer and Dante were probably dreamers like him, not to speak of Plato, Socrates, da Vinci and Einstein.

What makes man divine is his conscience.

20.8 Free sparrows are happier than jailed nightingales. In the same way a free genius is happier than a great respectable artist.

You try to escape only what you can not escape. That's one of your peculiarities as a human being.

It is as easy to overestimate a person as it is to underestimate him.

It is better to be stirred to the roots of your heart than to stir others to the roots of their hearts.

Dreamers are always beautiful.

21.8 It is better to be young and have a world to conquer than to be old and have a world of life to lose.

The tragedy of man is that he can not ascend anything without falling down.

In all my life I have been afraid of people. That has been my greatest fault, my greatest obstacle, and my tragedy. Call it shyness if you want, but shyness is only the mask and protection for an overvulnerability of the sorest of souls.

22.8 How beautiful this world must have been before man crossed its path!

Barbaric civilization, how long must nature endure thee!

There is nothing in heaven or earth more adorable than Nature.

Writing books is strange enough a greater pleasure than to read them, unless you read them as carefully as they were written.

Shakespeare made the perfect career. He began as a splendid actor, ceased acting at the peak of his career, then continued as an actor's best servant and friend, and finally retired, to appear as the world's most celebrated poet since Homer.

The ground for heroism is tragedy.

When you are in a state of melancholy it is better to sit and stare than to do something; for whatever you try to do it will turn against you.

Death, you jolly old nothing, you are the final sum and conclusion of my life.

The only consummate nightmare is the dream called life.

Ballet is the most divine, adorable and unhuman of arts.

23.8 "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." Thus speaks the voice of Chaos.

Every lover of nature and culture knows love is not in vain.

Truths lie. Actual truths are found between truths, since truths often contradict each other.

Whatever you do in life, never be afraid of difficulties. Difficulties always improve your self, without your being aware of it.

It is dangerous not to think of oneself and one's own career. The emperor Otto III proved that most tragic fact. A dreamer may be a dreamer only as long as he does not dream the world away.

A man should be guided by his duties. Without duties a man is hardly a man.

24.8 Only barbarians are free. Hellenes are hopelessly tied up by the ropes of divine heritage.

What makes a genius a genius? The answer is his excessive self-love.

25.8 Listlessness, indifference, indolence and laziness, everything pertains to the realm of darkness which does not pertain to the realm of creation.

26.8 The dangerous thing about love is it shatters your concentration.

Solshenitsyn is a splendid maintainer of the Russian tradition against oppression.

Had Tolstoy lived today, he would be as much against communism as he was against the Czar.

Never hurry while you are making a work of art. It is more important to make it a work of art than to have done with it.

An artist has a greater need of time than of money.

Subordinate yourself ! is the answer to all questions.

It is horrible to think of how much is written every day and how little is being read; how much wonderful works have with pains been written during the course of history, and how very small a minion of it you are able to get acquainted with even if you spent your entire life within the realm of world literature.

27.8 Peace is as great a treasure as love. It is always difficult to choose between them.

What audiences want is your self. If you will make a good artist or not depends on if you are willing to give your self or not.

Decadent artists are easier to sympathize with than to honour.

Melancholy is a more awesome dark hunter than death: he strikes at the very soul, while death contents himself with your corpse.

28.8 When things no longer happen suddenly things no longer happen.

29.8 When things happen suddenly things you would that did not happen happen.

When you are lonely and hate the world, attack yourself instead of the world, for only you are responsible for those feelings which you hate.

It is better not to marry and long for a wife than to marry and have a wife to be harassed by.

When you study history, great men seem to have grown on trees. For every century of their past, each country has a great personage to boast of. The great immortal men seem to have been quite common.

Be great and dark and awful, and people will extol you. Delight yourself by being bright, humble and delightful, and people will be dazzled enough by your light to easily forget you.

A great man quickly loses friends but gain faithful dogs instead.

30.8 If I could paint, I would paint like Vermeer a view of Utby, with its mountains and neat little rows of houses, with the Gardsas Hill and the Utby cliffs majestically enshrining the little village which is Utby, and which although a part of Gothenburg is a village entirely of its own.

To return to nature after a long time's absence is like returning home.

Love weakens the spirit.

Everything worth writing is worth reading. But everything written was not worth writing.

Indeed, the world suffered from the world of slavery before 1830, but when slavery was abolished, the world of slum and industrial poverty appeared instead. And when that finally was overcome, this world of communist autocracies and drugs appeared instead.

31.8 Goethe began where Shakespeare left off.

1.9 Women are dangerous and dreadful. All they want is your soul.

I will probably marry soon.

2.9 Celebrities have more dangers to beware of and tasks to occupy themselves with than seconds to spend as they wish.

3.9 It's not easy to be what you are since you never are what you are.

To live by pleasing is easier than to live to be pleased.

6.9 Man never reached a higher state of being than in the eighteenth century. Aristocrats and artists lived in chateaux next door to nature; wit, reason and sense guided a world of peace and increasing welfare, it certainly was one of those rare centuries in history when God favoured man enough to let man grace the world.

Woman is a nightmare, and man is a monster, except when they love each other.

Rembrandt and Bach have meant as much to Christendom as Jacob and Elijah.

For many, Kenneth Clark redeemed civilization.

When man is not heavily loaded he wants to be heavily loaded.

An artist is the servant of man's muse.

One should go to the cinema once a week, to the theatre once a fortnight, and to the opera once a month, at least.

Beethoven was probably partly insane, but, not knowing how to handle his mental difficulties, he chose dismal loneliness rather than troubling his friends.

Ignorant people think it is polite to listen to classical music. Hellenes do it to enjoy themselves.

When as a child I wrote my first literary efforts people said nothing or received them and lost them, if they didn't immediately criticize them or make fun of them. That's how I started to write in silence.

When as a youth I tried to become a composer people said nothing, reacted with total indifference or interrupted my playing without having listened, saying that it all sounded the same.

When after many wasted years I finally tried to serve and aid man with all my powers, my love and will to serve was rejected as nonsense.

Paragons of culture, like Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky and Homer, are called "mad", "poor", "homosexual", "morbidly melancholic" and "impossible to read", which understandably doesn't inspire you to become their likes.

So I was made an unknown silent nothing.

Life is a challenge.

"Blame it on the age," is man's favourite excuse for barbarity.

7.9 Virtuousness is the road to loneliness.

You have to be unvirtuous in order to associate with people.

Since 1500 the world has walked in the shade of Lionardo da Vinci.

Man sows what death reaps.

The smile of death is more fascinating than the artless smile of life: being certain to win in the end, it is more persuasive.

An artist's best friend is perfect liberty. Suffering from the dreariest of enemies - loneliness - he needs that one good friend.

Since all man's activities rest on the basis of love, since love is the source and essence of all life, and since it is a freakish thing indeed, all men are basically capricious.

You'll never hit the roof of madness. That's why it's always a good sign to hit a roof.

8.9 In the past, people had horrible pains cultivating earth, transporting stones away and digging up roots. Today people amuse themselves with covering earth with a layer of oil and stone, so that it never can be cultivated again.

The only odd thing about me is that I am still alive.

When I die it will be to perform my duty as a human being.

Leibniz was one of the many persecuted historical optimists. It's incredible, that old narrow dark and pessimistic misanthropists are read, admired and eternally remembered for their black repellent hopeless views on life, while optimists like Leibniz are persecuted, attacked, destroyed, crucified and forgotten.

When I was young my idols were the swiftly passing shining geniuses of history who died young, for instance Raphael, Alexander, Watteau, van Dyck and Schubert, and I wonder, are they my idols still?

Nothing is more lovely than youth. Youth is heroic, exuberant, fresh and irresistible, it is the blossom time of your life, and therefore, I think, the most attractive stars of history were those who rather died than lost their youth.

The most human well-known artist in history was probably Rembrandt.

9.9 It is dangerous to dream. If you start you'll never get over it. Dreamers quickly grow old and useless.

The ground pillar of civilization is convention.

Unfortunately man has a greater need for religion than for God.

The most important event of this century was the failure, the fiasco of science, abandoning the cause of man for the cause of his destruction.

Lionardo was right, but he and his great followers, for instance Goethe and Einstein, all worked in vain. The end result of their tremendous unimaginably superlative efforts was atomic bombs and world pollution.

What will man do next?

Man has to tame the field of magnetism in order to tame the universe.

The field of magnetism is about as complex as the structure of water.

10.9 Beethoven was a composer with guts.

11.9 The age of the Renaissance was followed by an age of Resignation, which in many ways Rembrandt was the foremost depicter of.

While the Renaissance went astray with artists like Rubens and Bernini, (who were flamboyantly wonderful indeed, but who nevertheless led classical art astray,) an artist like Rembrandt painted deep dark and dreary Resignation. He painted it well, of course, but nevertheless that was what he painted.

The first thing a natural man should do every morning should be to pay his respects to nature by taking a walk.

For each paper bag I find in the realms of nature I shall curse man once. Today I have cursed him ten times.

If nature decides to destroy man, which I am quite certain she is capable of, she will have an awful trouble cleaning up after him. (This is said merely to point at the guilt of man on the question of dirt.)

When God had created Beethoven he still had his finest inspiration left, and lo! there was Schubert.

Inspiration comes and goes, even to God, it seems, when you look at history.

12.9 Obstinacy and stubbornness is the way to madness.

Love is too often paid back with ignorance and indifference, like ignorance and indifference too often is rewarded with love.

Court lovers, and they will shun you. Let them pay court to you, and you will find yourself unbearably ungrateful.

Characteristics are dangerous to get stuck in. It's better to observe the characteristics of others.

When you love you can not concentrate. When you concentrate you can not love. Love and concentration are two feasts which you can not enjoy at the same time.

These were, in my opinion, the greatest representatives of their ages since the beginning of the Renaissance:

1. St. Thomas Aquinas, whose being more than anyone else represented the awakening of Western Europe in the thirteenth century. The Byzantine Empire was finally culturally dead, and Europe no longer dwelt in its shadow.

2. Dante Alighieri. He, more than anyone else, depicted the awakening of Florence.

3. Geoffrey Chaucer, whose spirit was that of awakening England, and whose being was the final fruit of the age of chivalry.

4. Leon Battista Alberti, who started the Renaissance.

5. Michelangelo, in and by whom it culminated.

6. Shakespeare, who found and set England to verse.

7. Rembrandt, the painter of resignation, who painfully illustrated the fall of the Renaissance and the return to religious darkness.

8. Bach, who continued where Rembrandt left off, but led religious darkness to bright universality.

9. Goethe, the incarnation of the age of enlightenment,

10. Tolstoy, the greatest Victorian, and

11. Stefan Zweig, whose tragedy was the tragedy of Germany and Europe during the two world wars.

While Bach slaved with expressing the dark gothic German spirit in music, Handel enjoyed himself in bright merry England.

An act of vanity is to the artist what a crime is to the judge: he has to condemn it.

An artist creates what others can not understand. That's the artist's tragedy: his aim is to create that which is not vain, but in displaying it and finding that no one understands it he is forced to realize that even to create what is not vain is quite in vain.

Bach and Handel went blind from copying musical scores. I shall not copy musical scores. Beethoven went deaf from playing the piano too much. I shall not play the piano too much. Others went mad for no reason at all. I shall not go mad for no reason at all.

13.9 Life is a theory. It is a God's theory, which is why "panta rei".

There is nothing in life which is at all depressing, except of course life.

It's a heavy burden to be a man today. Being responsible for what he has done, and having done what he has done, his burden is heavier than gold.

God's favourite occupation is probably to play with enigmas.

To search for peace is to search for God. There is no being dead or alive more evasive.

God is an abstract notion in the minds of men. What he or it really is no one has ever been able to explain.

The only thing I admire about France is their ecclesiastical traditions. We must never forget, that in France were built many of the finest sacred castles in history, and that Cardinal Richelieu was a frog.

14.9 I understand why Beethoven went deaf. His music made him too happy. God allows no man too much happiness, so he bereft Beethoven of his hearing.

What Shakespeare composed in words Beethoven composed in music.

To search for God is to search for one's self. You'll never find it.

By gaining everything and becoming the principal guide of his age, Leo Tolstoy lost everything as a human being.

Boredom is better than barbarity.

15.9 When you have nothing to do you long to get something to do, and when you have something to do you long to get it finished with.

Moments of restlessness are as horrible as moments of dreadful work. (When you don't work you are usually restless.)

Life is basically inconsistent.

Before the two world wars and the world pollution crisis, the fallacy and vanity of science and welfare was proved by the example of Leo Tolstoy, whose death as a beggar proved man really had no ground to stand on.

You act only in plays, and all plays must come to an end. Even if you partake in the audience you must leave when the performance is over.

Tradition only is what makes man not just an animal. He has collected so many traditions during the lapse of ages that he has formed them all into something called a civilization.

Kenneth Clark, by preferring civilization to barbarity, and by saying so, probably without knowing it overthrew barbarity at least temporarily.

Tchaikovsky was all his life a nervous wreck.

There was a reason for Greek mythology. They had no ancient traditions, so they invented ancient traditions. Cultural people are always inventive.

Bach's obstinacy as a pioneer in the realm of music was the result of his loneliness and his imagination. He was practically the only one of his age with almost a universal imagination.

I have no excuses for my madness, but reasons.

Science is a wonderful thing to play with.

Newton discovered that all things stick to earth. But why do all things stick to earth?

All things stick to earth, except edges. Only artists and magicians, who have dealt with edges all their life, know how to make edges stand on an edge. And the greater (: the thinner, the sharper,) the edge, the more insistent it is in its attempts to strive away from earth.

Duty bereaves me of all my time for leisure. I have time to compose, but not to play my compositions. When I tried to play them today they were no longer in my fingers. I have time for writing, but not for fair copying. No one can read my works except myself.

Life is basically a fluster.

Life is also basically incredible.

Great artists usually die as they become great, if they don't live long enough to die miserable degenerate eccentric old giants.

16.9 I visited the modern functionalistic Bergsjˆ suburb today. I don't wish to say more than that birds don't sing in the forests around it.

Wherever you wander in nature you seem to find only factories, communities of giant bee-hives, empty beer-cans and signs of vandalism.

Man, called divine by so many artists, has used his divinity in making this world of concrete deserts.

If man is divine, bees are equally divine: the dwelling-places of men and bees are different only in size.

To be a slave is to have something to hope for.

It is better to work slowly than to work carelessly.

The greatest hero in Danish history was prince Hamlet.

In Michelangelo's age man was still half barbarian and therefore something worth believing in. Man had still a future then. Michelangelo was lucky.

Today man is a fully developed aristocrat, a consummate being, an ideal paragon, who for that reason can but go down and fall once more to barbarity.

Kenneth Clark was right. "One can't exactly be joyful at the prospect before us."

All we can do to save ourselves from barbarity is to take care of our past.

17.9 When everything that is being written is not being published, civilization is heading in the wrong way.

Life favours children only. All you can do as a grown-up is to weep.

Marcus Aurelius was the excuse for the fall of the Roman Empire.

The Hellenes were the most optimistical people in history.

To write tragedies is useless. Life is tragic enough without them.

When you are as you should be, you should be as you are.

Life is God.

18.9 No one painted man more lovingly than Rembrandt.

The greatest tragedy of this century was the victory of Bolshevism (in Russia).

I belong to the world before 1914. And I guess we all do more or less. In 1914 all went wrong, and especially the world.

What makes an artist? The answer is despair.

Tchaikovsky was the composer who put tears into music.

19.9 Fugues read better than they sound.

The writer's excuse is that readers exist.

Beethoven's last sonatas are very reminiscent of Shakespeare's last plays.

20.9 You can not speak without making yourself guilty of sins as well as pleasing by excellence. Speech is one of the foremost of human faculties, all of which there are two sides of.

What Beethoven did not compose was hardly worth composing. And yet Chopin continued where he ended. Life is incredible.

Civilizations have perished because of pessimists.

The pathetic nineteenth century was a prelude to the bloody twentieth century. Yes, the nineteenth century, "the happiest of ages", was pathetic. The world's leading country of that age was Russia, and no people were more pathetic than the Russians in the nineteenth century. You only have to throw a glance at Tchaikovsky, Musorgsky, Tolstoy, and others, to realize that fact.

Goethe was a great follower of Bach, but I doubt his worthiness. Goethe served the world more than art.

The function of religion is to collect and unite mankind.

21.9 Thought is spiritual recreation.

To never think is as unwholesome as to never wash.

Thought gives space to life, which, without it, merely has two dimensions.

One's past is always greater than the present, but never greater than the future.

Shallowness is to concentrate on the present. Shallowness gone too far is barbarity.

Whatever you are you are only a man.

It's easy to be divine, but it's not easy to be something more than a man.

While tragic geniuses are extolled, like Beethoven, Raphael and van Gogh, people forget all about Titian, Donatello, Rubens.

Who is more worthy? A fascinating expressionistic eccentric unprofessional painter who dies tomorrow, or a gentle reliable humble old master who is only capable of creating masterpieces?

Man's noblest trait is his desire to do what is right.

You can not stand on any ground without falling, for no ground is stable.

One should beware of criticizing Beethoven's last works before one has tried to understand them.

The fact that they are not classical does not mean they are not musical.

Life is hopeless - but not serious.

You can never hear enough Beethoven, but you can read enough Goethe.

Tolstoy was a great guide of Russia, but he was a fool not to realize that he guided it in vain.

How did he guide it in vain? He guided masses that after his death in his name all together destroyed Russia.

Great men always end tragically.

In Beethoven you find all that which Goethe lacked.

The only way to make a picture is to know how it should be made.

When Bach copied his brother's notebooks, the prehistoric world of music became historic.

Schiller and Beethoven together were greater than Goethe.

22.9 However you live, you will always have something to complain of eternally.

Religion is a dangerous poison. There is love, but no religious truths.

The only probably exception is that God probably is.

I write only when and what I am inspired to write. I write for the sake of self-entertainment. My writings, therefore, are not to be taken seriously, since they are as inconsistent as any entertainer's caprices.

What is a puritan? A puritan is an Englishman who is more than tolerably English. They swiftly went to America when they first appeared in the seventeenth century, as fortune would have it, but since then they have grown as common as Jews.

I hold nothing against them. I merely consider it dangerous to themselves to be so high-strung.

I envy those scholars and academicians whose life is to enjoy and take care of man's golden memories, the historical works of art.

Which is the more difficult thing to do: to get up early in the morning, or to go to bed early in the evening?

23.9 There are no ways in life to follow but God's.

From the letter I received from the Swedish Royal Academy of music three years ago, one is led to believe, that the last thing they are interested in is making a composer.

Ambitions, if you don't dissolve their chimera yourself, are killed by others.

Ambitions, only, have the power to dredge life of all its hopelessness.

To speak is to always say the wrong thing.

To be happy is to be childish.

A tragic life is best hidden behind words.

When it is difficult to live, love evades you. When it is difficult to love, life escapes you.

People complain of the age, lamenting that "so much is happening". This is typical. The reason for such a queer thing as an age is that man has to have something to complain about.

Hells are as unhuman as heavens. Neither exist but in men's imaginations.

The world is a wee grey cell in the mind of God.

There is hope even in hell.

Among artists I am the great village fool.

When you can not write the only thing you can write is what can't be written.

24.9 The purpose of wars is to give talents like Tolstoy something to write about.

25.9 Periods of decadence occur when women gain the upper hand on men.

Is there anything more fatiguing than a bureaucrat?

When your star sinks, let it sink. Never fight against God.

Leo Tolstoy was one of the very few ideal men in history. There is no doubt about it.

One's mind is one's imagination. To have a mind at all is to be imaginative.

26.9 I long to the age of Shakespeare, when talent was king, and all the world his stage.

Mystery is what we call the tragedy of God.

The world of drugs is merely a new religion even worse than all the previous ones.

By involving myself in religious darkness I ruined my youth and lost my life.

Religion leads down to the black night of spiritual imprisonment, while imagination is the only thing on heaven and earth which makes the human spirit fly and the human heart experience freedom.

Imagination, glorious muse! You alone are the source of all civilization.

27.9 Established authorities make civilizations vegetate.

Autumn is yet green. The tainting colours of gold and love have not bereaved the trees' leaves of their charms yet. Still there is a memory in the air of summer's sweet refreshing breaths and even of old glorious spring.

Nature is even more adorable and bountiful than when the air is free from man's dark and poisonous industrial smells.

The Finnish view of Finland is very one-sided and plain: all the Finns see in Finland is wood, water and soil. The Finlandish aspect is broader and more cosmopolitic: they rather see the Swedish 18th century, the glorious Russian 19th century, and other strange inheritances of international kinds, than they look at Finland.

There is nothing more tragic than ends. Nothing ends without ending tragically.

Man's excuse is civilization.

To try to make one's life's situation better is very vain. Such an effort will only make it worse.

29.9 Leo Tolstoy was the excuse for the fall of Russia.

30.9 Life is a blind alley without an end.

1.10 What people call madness is often the same thing as enthusiasm.

Man lacks not a will of his own, but he has not enough of it. He is willing to do things, but he is not willing to do them well.

You pity yourself and think life is hopeless only when you are tired and have stayed up too late.

2.10 A medallion has two sides, but if the first is bright and gleaming, why look at the other?

Never make a bad thing worse by stating how bad it is.

3.10 People don't make much war any longer. It's much simpler nowadays to kill off women and children by driving motorcars.

4.10 If you are tolerant you are lonely, for life is intolerant.

5.10 The seventeenth century was the golden age of painting. Then the world saw painters the likes of which never before or since have wandered upon earth: Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Ruisdael, GellÈe, Murillo, Velazquez, and Georges de la Tour, to point out only a few.

Always have something to long for, and you will always have something to live for.

To have too much to love is to get stuffed, and to have too little to love is to starve.

The characteristic of exhibitionists is that they shine. But what are they compared to the sun? They hide the sun; therefore they are unpopular.

Today we have more barbaric elements in civilization than ever. You only have to look around for a short while, switch on the radio, and go to an art exhibition, to find gross unhuman functionalism with twenty storeys everywhere, noisy thundering troublesome rock music killing your ears off and making a pandemonium of the city, and strange psychedelic plastic monsters and gruesome pictures resembling nothing, not only in every art hall, but on the walls of every house of every well-to-do family in the country, not to speak of all this preposterous domination of bogus art, modern abstract humbugs called statues and masterworks of painted art, which in a hundred years will be thrown away as expensive and embarrassing rubbish, not to speak of all the modern music being wholly unmusical, and so forth - civilized society today is dominated by established barbarity.

The only place you'll find pleasing naturalness today is nature.

The nineteenth century, the age of immoderation, was the age of giants as well, the leader of which was Leo Tolstoy. Like all giants he ended tragically, and so did the age.

When nature hides the city in a dense fog you thank nature for her mercy.

Peace exists but, like all states of life, is no more than something to be malcontent with.

When you are no longer entertaining you had better entertain yourself.

I see nothing but apathy and indifference everywhere. Where are those who make life worth while? Where is genius? Why does not man bring them out from their thralldom into the broad day-light?

Man's only desire is to have fun. He has no will except the desire to have fun. Fun is all he cares about, until life is funny no more and he dies.

The meaning of life is to have fun, for there is no better way to spend it. To have fun is to be happy, however futile that happiness is.

To have fun is man's only wish and will. But for this will he is a meaningless hopeless ruthless reckless faithless mortal beast.

I love exhibitionism when it is properly performed. That art is the most difficult in history.

An unknown nobody - that's me.

7.10 Tolstoy was a greater man-hater than Shakespeare. He proved that by hating even Shakespeare.

Man's problem is that whenever he climbs to appear on the stage the stage breaks.

To be oneself is to be an illusion.

A genius is either a torturer of others or tortured by others.

8.10 Shakespeare was a man for history to love.

Leo Tolstoy was a man who tried to have fun all his life. Unfortunately he did not have fun all his life.

Men are impudent. They are the first to insult you, to interrupt acting talents, and to fall to grossness and barbarity. It's a wonder that women are stupid enough to love them.

I do indeed hate rock music. What Schubert lifted above all earthliness rock musicians have debauched beyond all recognition.

You can not have fun without a bad conscience.

When God tired of himself he created the world.

Passion is the language of hopelessness.

The only duty of women is to be loved.

10.10 Nature makes me believe in paradise.

It's not difficult to imagine nature without man, but it's very difficult to imagine man without nature.

Even mists are ironical. They hide the city but not the factory chimneys.

The difference between genius and classical talent is, that while genius comes directly from love, classical talent comes from temperance.

11.10 Autumn is the highlight and pitfall of the year. No season begins with greater majesty or falls to deeper squalidness.

14.10 When you do not enjoy life you fight against it or suffer from it.

While the "Iliad" is a monument on war, the "Odyssey" is a monument on man.

15.10 What makes me prefer loneliness to company? The fact that man is not capable of offering you peace.

Nature, you are greater than man. Why don't you avenge yourself?

When man ceased to suffer from the tyranny of nature, he began to suffer from the tyranny of man.

Beethoven was a man that went beyond.

Handel was the Michelangelo of music.

Bach was a great lover, while Handel was a great composer.

But Handel played for kicks, while Bach played for God.

They are the twin giants of unsurpassed greatness and never excelled excellence in the history of music. For that reason they can neither be compared nor differentiated.

16.10 People were poor in the 18th century, but happy. (Except in France, where they were too poor to be happy and too happy to be tolerable.)

The pious, irrational God-lover seeks for feeling, experience and the Platonic kind of love, while the cynical rational indifferent matter-of-fact negator of God wants nothing from life but fun.

The origin of all irrationality is nature.

What happened in 1929? Everyone tried to ruin everyone and succeeded.

Defence and resistance, only, creates bad feelings. (This applies to love, not war.)

Love creates a better impression when you deserve it than when you give it.

13.10 My main interest in life is thought. Second to that is art.

What on earth happened to Tolstoy after the fall of Anna Karenina? He never went back to normal after that.

Nothing is sweeter than peace, when hatred and violent torture have taken away from you the realm of love.

Life under any conditions is better than life under no conditions.

17.10 Man is not creative willingly. He is driven to it by suffering.

It is wrong, wrong, wrong, that people should have to think of economy in order to live.

Thoughts sound better when you think them than when you express them.

The tragedy of Shakespeare was that he outgrew the stage.

All great talents, that outgrow their fields to become a star on the heaven of history, are supremely tragic.

Too much of your own company makes you arguable.

What a beautiful institution is school! The pupils are the sheep, and the teacher the shepherd. What a beautiful thing is guidance to such helpless harmless innocents!

18.10 Women are as admirable as men, when they serve men.

Men misuse women so much because they love women so much.

Men are never lovable. Women are always lovable.

An artist's first aim is beauty. When he has achieved beauty he turns to greatness. When finally he is great and has nothing left to conquer he turns to magic and religion.

We have not had wars for thirty years, but what has not Satan given us instead? We have endured the summer of Functionalism, or rather the winter of architecture, our earth has almost been poisoned to death by the industries, which unfortunately thereby did not meet with their final end, and art has never been more modern and more awful to contemplate.

Science served as a substitute for mysticism from da Vinci to Hiroshima. Then suddenly it ceased to be a positive and constructive dream as man woke up to the reality of its nightmare.

There is only one immortal world: ancient Greece.

There is a bright side even of barbarity: it teaches you the value of civilization.

My only friend on earth is loneliness: he never makes intrusions, and he has nothing to offer but peace.

Always give way to intruders: never make any resistance, for nothing will more aggravate your relationship with them.

The perfect example of this matter is Archimedes: "Don't trench upon my circles!" he said, whereupon the soldiers were angered and killed him.

19.10 Christ has wrongly been called the King of Kings. The only Jewish King of Kings in history was David.

People exhausted themselves spiritually in the nineteenth century.

Artifice is admirable only when it is well performed.

Man's artifice is not well performed, since nature suffers from it.

Have you ever seen the reaction of birds to aeroplanes? They try to fly away from them, pathetically, in vain.

Man could never have invented music without some assistance from God.

Where there's life there's God.

20.10 If Bach was the Homer of music, Beethoven was the only Shakespeare.

Never have demands on anyone. Live humbly, work humbly, and die humbly.

The world got the "Night Watch", but Rembrandt lost his wife.

There's a difference between man and trees, but there is no difference between dead leaves and dead men.

The world is generally wrong, and the individual is generally right, except when he claims to be right.

The English are as fond of hate as they are of love, but in both respects they are eloquent.

Handel was the Messiah of music.

The tragic thing about superb art is that man's mind is not superb enough to grasp it at first sight. Only when you have made its acquaintance intimately you realize its superbness.

Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Rossini, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, Verdi, Bruckner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Grieg, Dvorak, Mahler, Puccini, Rachmaninov and Sibelius are, in my opinion, the only composers in history who unreservedly deserve being called great.

21.10 There is no more painful thing than a self-confession.

We call painters and musicians, like Rembrandt, Bach and Handel, divine for their arts, but in music and painting we do not see the masters' tears.

Like man was the child of Prometheus' tears, Ulysses probably rose from the sea of Homer's.

Man is basically unhuman. Only in art his human sides sometimes are seen.

The supreme adventure in life is marriage.

The way to make the age merry is to protest against it.

22.10 Never argue with anyone. Argument never leads anywhere except where you don't want it to lead.

The safest period in history for man and civilization was the nineteenth century, when artists rather died than created something unbeautiful.

23.10 Goethe's honour was that he served man more than himself.

Introverted people are people who listen to God.

Insults are difficult but necessary to bear.

What are you? You are nothing, or a good actor.

It's more important to love what's lovable than to loathe what you think is loathsome.

What is life, exactly? It is what you have to get done with.

Lovers are called idiots because they are human.

One of the humblest lovers in history was Dostoyevsky's idiot.

For the beauty of love men rather burn and die than cease to be called idiots.

Human beings are too good to be true. Therefore they are dismissed as idiots.

Rembrandt was a man who lost everything except his love.

Rembrandt painted nature not as he saw it but as he felt it. That's why his paintings of nature are easier to feel than to see and understand the meaning of.

What exactly is the meaning of love? That's probably one of those questions which not even God knows how to answer.

I love it and think it's fun when people have fun.

24.10 Time is a merciless institution.

Looking at the midnight sky, anyone can see that man is the centre of the universe.

My only merit is that I fear God.

Communism is not human. It is animalous.

Grey-haired women who try to look younger only look even older.

26.10 To be human, to be peaceful, to do no harm to anyone, to be ideal, is to be hopelessly lonely.

Beauty is all in life there is to believe in.

A man is born happy and dies tired.

NaÔvety is the essence of man's agreeability.

27.10 In the 22nd century people will find it very hard to believe what we are torturing ourselves with today: the motorcar jungle.

Will our cities be polluted to death or shaken to pieces by lorries?

Individuals, only, made history. Masses, only, made war.

"Hold on to what you've got," mean the tories, while the labours mean nothing.

Homer's intellectual twin was born 2300 years too late to be of any comfort to him: his name was William Shakespeare.

What is a civilization? It is memories kept alive.

28.10 There is no such thing as high-browed art, but unfortunately there is something called ignorance.

Shakespeare was the most intimate poet in history.

Handel was the most pleasing of all composers, Bach the most discriminating.

Bach is a comfort in difficult moments, while Handel makes good moments even better.

Victorian respectability is something that was lost with the Victorian age. Today we attack and despise the Victorian age because we no longer know anything about respectability.

Only a Victorian could have known what to say to a long-sought universally loved man in the heart of Africa.

The artist is a God's pencil, sometimes with and sometimes without ink.

The basic difference between Germany and England is, that the Germans always have been ruled, while the English always have ruled themselves.

There was an equal difference between Rome and Greece, and between Catholic Spain and Italy.

France and Russia have never had good rulers nor been good at ruling themselves.

29.10 All the world was a stage until 1914. It became a stage in the days of Michelangelo and Shakespeare, for four centuries it expanded, until in 1914 it could hold no more and collapsed. The world is not a stage today. It is a memory of a stage.

These were the five ages of man:

1. The royal age. This was the age of kings, pharaohs, and all sorts of leaders. It was the age before Homer.

2. The Homeric age. This was the age of Greek mythology. It began with the days of Homer and ended with Marcus Aurelius, the last initiator of new classical philosophy schools.

3. The dark age, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the rise of Charlemagne. The only light of this age was the Byzantine Empire.

4. The Christian age, from Charlemagne to the rise of Leon Battista Alberti.

5. The human age, from Alberti to 1914. This age ended by man's becoming unhuman.

At present we live in a period which I hope will not become an age, since it is unhuman.

Children and grown-ups do not get on well with each other, since it is easy to be a child and difficult to be grown-up.

While Homer made a civilization Shakespeare summed up a civilization.

A writer's greatest difficulty is that he can't stop writing.

The most terrible act a man can do in life is to forsake a woman. The influence of women, only, make men bearable.

Bernard Shaw succeeded where Oscar Wilde failed. Both advocated absurd ideas, but while Oscar Wilde's homosexuality didn't seduce any man, Bernard Shaw's socialism did.

30.10 The Russians were the only people in the 19th century who really enjoyed themselves.

Erasmus of Rotterdam is one of the shamefully unwell preserved memories of civilization.

It's the duty of parents to love their children, but it's also the duty of children to love their parents.

More things have been written than anyone ever will read. That's the tragedy of literature.

The happiest of all poets was Homer, whether he knew it or not: he alone had the privilege of tasting the spring of literature while it was fresh and clear and newly sprung from heaven.

A true artist has no identity.

Ages are easier to document than to bear with.

31.10 Shakespeare wrote not for the stage, but from the stage.

Homer and Shakespeare, like Dickens, Dostoyevsky and Victor Hugo, wrote for universal audiences, Aeschylus and Tolstoy like the French classicists for highly aristocratic audiences; Goethe's audience, like those of Sophocles, Chaucer and Spenser, were bourgeois, while the audiences of Aristophanes, Euripides, Balzac and Shaw were simple, common and decadent.

Dante and Milton belong to those poets whose audiences are difficult to specify: they wrote religious stuff, which is difficult both to read and to find readers of.

The audiences of most composers were almost universal. Handel's, Bach's and Beethoven's audiences, only, were quite universal.

The world of art hasn't been the same since Rubens and Rembrandt passed away.

Only happy people cry. They are not happy when they cry, but they would not be happy ever if they did not cry.

Tolstoy and Shakespeare will be filmed forever. What the world needs is a few more Tolstoys and Shakespeares.

Beethoven tried to make a second musical Messiah, but got tragically stuck in the wrong country.

Vienna liked him, of course, but he didn't live as if he liked Vienna.

1.11 Never complain of life. Whenever you feel like doing so, remember that sooner or later it has to end.

The best of all possible worlds was the world of Leibniz: the age that made Bach, Watteau and Handel I sincerely believe must have been the most tolerable in history since the fall of the Roman Empire.

Oh, what a tough and unreasonable civilization this is! Hurricanes blow, wars rape the earthal surface, humanity starves and is half washed away, but man's civilization remains. Man's monument, built by man during many thousand generations, he is more careful to maintain than his own excellence.

All England is found in Shakespeare.

Chaucer is the greatest wonder, enigma and phenomenon in British history, and Shakespeare followed his path to the same inconceivably subtle and beautiful land of wonder, which never can be explained.

2.11 Kenneth Clark was right: the supreme excuse for civilization was Shakespeare.

When Tolstoy criticized Shakespeare he looked at Shakespeare's one missing button.

Writers write their books as if they expected people to understand them. People read books as if they bothered to understand them. Both parties live with the blissful illusory belief in the possibility of understanding.

The only natural church and sanctity is nature.

Only in one aspect did Beethoven surpass Handel: he was more devoted to nature.

Like Homer marked the beginning of our civilization, Tolstoy almost marked the end.

Greek mythology was the finest effort man has made to interpret nature.

There is probably nothing to worry about in life. Whatever happens to us, to man, to the world and to cosmos, time will march on and new ages will follow.

Marcel Proust wrote his "A la recherche du temps perdue" during the First World War. By writing it he almost proved, that all joy of living, all joy that is expressed in art, all human feelings and all love, of man, art and civilization, in brief, all that is best in man, depends on the aristocracy. Without an aristocracy to lead the way in the search for happiness, life simply isn't funny.

We lost the light of the aristocracy in 1914. Until it returns we shall have something in life to miss.

An aristocracy does not have to be an upper class. The main thing is, that there are just a few people who are better than others to lead the way. Their class doesn't matter. They might be beggars or bums, but they simply know better and are better and feel better and live better and have all that in their souls which is wanting in common humanity and which is what common humanity lives for, like the carrot driving the donkey to walk blindly round the well forever.

Man's conflict with nature ended man's age of universal greatness, which Lionardo introduced.

All my life I have longed for death. When, oh when, will death liberate me from this agony which is my life, from this merciless, ruthless, relentlessly cruel and inconceivably hard and excruciating pain which this unendurable life of mine consists of? I long for eternal rest!

3.11 Chaucer's age could probably be regarded as one of England's happiest, together with the Hanoverian, the Victorian, and the Elizabethan ages.

The Renaissance was the age when everyone wanted to excel everyone else in everything.

In the Victorian age, people were extremely high-strung. One of its less attractive pomegranates was psychiatry.

Only those who have something to fear have something to hide.

To demand anything from other people is to demand their love. One should love them instead.

The more Shakespeare grew his love, the more tragic became his tragedies.

There is nothing more tragic than a love story. No one studied that tragedy more closely than Rembrandt.

A play on stage is a dream, a delightful escape into eternity, a show for momentous but infinite enjoyment, especially if it is by Shakespeare.

A happy age is an age which is dreamed about when it is passed.

Life depends on spiritual climates. When your spirit is in the right mood, life is in the right mood.

There is only one thing in life you can't help, and that is love.

4.11 When you are happy you had better keep your happiness to yourself. When Lionardo was happy with his science, he became persecuted by his townsmen for being a sorcerer; when Rembrandt painted his "Night Watch" so full of joy, he lost his wife; and when Beethoven made himself the happiest of beings with his music, he lost his hearing.

I love women, but they embarrass me.

When God created Eve he either felt embarrassed or wanted to embarrass Adam, which she later did indeed.

Adam ate the apple, because he did not know how to cope with embarrassment.

In order to save Adam from further embarrassment, God reduced the garden of welfare to nothing and let Adam manage by himself.

He has bravely suffered since then.

If I ever marry it will be for the sake of duty and not for love. For it is every man's duty towards woman, posterity, nature and life to apply his natural inheritance: the art of making love.

The man who takes life seriously and the man who takes it as a joke - both are indispensable.

A man is either unhuman or forced to be human. He is never human by nature.

Ideas are always strange. That's why it's no use expressing them in public.

Only a God could say: everything depends on my perceptions. But that has been said frequently in modern history. Man should beware of challenging God.

Civilization is difficult to bear with, but so is life without civilization.

Nature has followed man when man has followed nature. Nature has never followed man when man has not followed nature.

Life.

Except for birth and death, nothing really happens.

 

The first question a child asks in life is "Why?" The last thing a dying being wonders about is still "Why?"

Your character is always better judged by others than by yourself.

5.11 The ideal age is an age which everyone stands outside.

The martyrs are the leaders of the world. Without Schubert, Watteau, Raphael, Nijinsky, van Gogh, Christ and their likes, the world would be nothing but an unbeautiful dwelling-place for dry immoral and unhuman beings. A martyr now and then reminds man of the fact that he isn't altogether unhuman.

The most remarkable characteristic of an unmarried man is he never admits the fact that he is unhappy. The most remarkable characteristic of a married man is he never admits the fact that he really is happy.

Marriage is a battle-field on which both parties are victorious.

You can speak forever about civilization, but you can not speak forever.

6.11 The English call everything unhuman which in any way departs from the best.

Self-indulgence is the hole through which all artists sooner or later fall out of their art by.

Politics do not exist. The world goes by itself.

For a man of the world there is no peace. Life for him is love, love, love, love, and nothing else, until he dies. He never finds any peace and suffers all his life.

But because of the man of the world there is a world. Because of him Greece appeared, and Rome and the whole Renaissance. He suffers, but his sufferings are never forgotten.

His opposite contrary is the individual. The individual loves peace and enjoys it. For him life is peace and work, and all he wants is to work in peace. He lives long and dies with a smile on his lips.

The individual were men like Rembrandt, Shakespeare, Goethe, Beethoven, Dante, and so forth. We never forget the individual, but we don't care or bother much about him either, since most of us are men of the world.

7.11 The supreme joy of life is work.

All a man wants is to be human. He isn't ever human, but occasionally there are moments when he thinks he is human. He tries to be human because he isn't, and fails to be human for the same reason. He never stays long in one place, is never busy with the same thing for long, and wanders restlessly, eternally around, searching for what is human. He never finds it, for everything he touches and is made aware of becomes unhuman thereby. Man is an unhuman, restless, divine and tragic beast.

When actors concentrate more on the public than on the stage, they should be thrown off the stage to the public.

When an artist grows conceited he should cease to pretend being an artist.

Solitary men are accused of being mean and unfriendly by men who do not know what it means to be solitary.

Religion has done her job. We now have a civilization to attend to.

Barbarians are those called who love without knowing how.

Philosophy is what everyone writes but no one reads. It's the greatest bore in the world.

Dreams is what pleases man; dreams, not words.

8.11 Civilization began with Greece, in which soil all her roots are to be found. Greece was the land that established civilization.

There was no devil in the world before the fall of Hellas.

Divinity falls in love with beauty. The result is humanity.

The world is the greatest problem man has ever had.

Like Handel was a mere plagiarist of other men's tunes, Shakespeare was a fraud who repainted history in better colours.

No tyrant can master freedom without quenching it. It is impossible to subdue talent without destroying it. You can't control anything without losing it. It's a fact of life.

Institutions are a different thing: their fundamental duty is to serve life, not to yoke it. No tyrant has ever served anything except history.

I would rather be dead than uncivilized.

Passion only tempted man to wreck civilization and abandon himself to the dark horrible early middle ages.

Passion is the devil; God is delight.

Death is love exhausted. Not until your love is quite dead you are ready to die.

Madness is a peculiar thing. The world has ever been ruled by madness, and yet there have been individuals who by this maddened world have been callÈd mad. What must those mad individuals have been but the only sane beings in history?

The reason why Shakespeare left the stage is most abstruse: how was he forfeited of that love of his which proved to be eternal?

People persecute saints and love idiots. That's the fact which made history such a miserable tale.

An angry man is a man whom no one bothers to understand. That is why he is angry.

You'll find nothing in life but strife and melancholy. When you suffer from the first you yearn for the second, and when you suffer from the second you yearn for the first. You'll never be free from either.

Strange enough, you only grieve for the past. You would grieve for the future also, if you knew what it contained.

Everyone has to die, but no one has to live.

Do not invite death, for then he will not come. He prefers coming terribly uninvited.

Everything which is being written has been written before and will be written again forever as long as there are writers to write it. For man is persistent in his abject state.

Ever since Adam did what should have been left undone, man has done what should have been left undone.

All that's me is my love of nature. The rest is nonsense or silence.

What next? is the eternal question.

All that remains, when you have purged life from all dirt, is delusive hope.

9.11 English is one of the mother tongues of civilization.

America is inhuman. As long as it remains unhuman, let us enjoy it.

No man suffers without having something to suffer for.

Being unable to work is darkness, death and barbarity. There is nothing I more fear, loathe and hate.

Company, disturbance, intrusion, love and friction is pithy hell and blackness, when it is forced upon you and you can not have it in your own proportions.

Love and peace are the miracles of life. Too much of either of them is dangerous.

A barbarian is a demon who thinks that everything good is a bore.

Throughout history man has persecuted honour. He has persecuted honourable men for the sake of honour, made martyrs of them, tortured them and killed them, trying to prove themselves more honourable than they. For honour's sake man has committed all the bloody follies of history, and he is committing them still.

Today most people seem to regard Christ as a revolutionist. The same idea was undoubtedly held by those who killed him.

The only stroke of a revolutionist in Christ was that he loved his enemies.

To read Shakespeare as carefully as the Bible is to neglect other equally meritorious poets like Chaucer, Goethe, Tolstoy, Homer, Dante and the rest.

But not to read Shakespeare as carefully as the Bible is to neglect him.

Shakespeare probably wrote his Timon when he was tired of being laughed at.

The world consists of dreamers and actors. Dreamers make dreams for actors to act, and actors inspire dreamers to dream even more. That's how dreamers and actors function and keep the whole world going.

It's no use trying to be content with anything: you'll never succeed anyway.

To call someone or something inhuman is really to be intolerant. People like the inquisitors, for instance, were men who believed in persecuting creatures inhuman.

To be human is to be all a man could possibly wish to be - except happy.

It is human to fart.

To be human is to have time for everything except perfection.

Bach and Handel - who was greater? There is no end to that question.

Shakespeare impersonated the culmination of the Renaissance - and ended it.

10.11 I am drunk tonight. Forgive me, dear diary, for being indisposed this evening.

11.11 Tolstoy could not be charged with guilt for the calamities which followed his age. He was a child of his age, like the entire contemporary world he loved it, he stretched his love even as far as to the common people, and, to be brief, there was nothing in his life but love. When he tragically ran away from it all in the end it was merely to prove himself human, which no mortal can be kept from doing. One is tempted to suggest, that he died a martyr for his age, and that the age followed his example.

The duty of men is to love and manage life. The duty of women is to love men for it.

When your pen doesn't flow easily, stop writing.

Melancholy is like death : you can't help it.

When man no longer bothers to learn Latin and Greek, all is lost including man's faith in man.

Introverted people are always unhappy. That is why they are never popular.

The Roman Empire was a disastrous departure of civilization from nature. Marcus Aurelius was the only natural Roman Emperor.

Whenever in history man has appeared on the stage the stage has broke. But until it broke he always acted well.

There hardly were two more opposite poets in history than Shakespeare and Tolstoy.

In Germany you could be unhuman without a bad conscience. In England you could not be unhuman without a very bad conscience. In Italy you could be anything except unhuman without a bad conscience. In America you could be anything and unhuman without a bad conscience. In Russia you could be anything but human without a bad conscience. And in Sweden, finally, you could be nothing without a bad conscience.

The truth is never found in one's own mind, but outside it.

Life is a meaningless soliloquy, which no one listens to.

Who was Shakespeare? He was a man who wrote meaningless things in a quaint and silly way. He knew much but imagined even more. He was married but loved not his wife, had a dark mistress whom he hated, loved a fair and lovely boy, and was quite perverse in a variety of ways. He wrote much, but most of it is nonsense. He acted on the stage but was not very popular. He wrote plays which he staged which were popular indeed. And this is the strange thing: he is still today the most popular playwright in history.

How could this be? He was a man who couldn't make proper sentences, who least of all was classic, who had no eminence or prominent desert at all, and who even was an old miser and pessimist. How could such a low and indecent fellow become so ultimately famous?

Probably because he was all these things; probably because he was no more than a low and indecent fellow.

The Victorian age was an attempt to get away from the putrid spell of Shakespeare. That attempt resulted in two world wars and a world pollution.

Shakespeare was not happy. The Victorian age was happy. We blame the happy Victorian age today and charge it with the worst of crimes, while we are more grateful than ever for dirty foolish old William Shakespeare.

To work is to be idle, unless there is love in it. Not to work for the sake of love and pleasure is to work for the sake of vanity.

The only excuse for love is civilization, and the only excuse for civilization is love.

The meaning of history is to reach an end. If history never reaches an end there is no meaning with history.

"We'll manage somehow," is the favourite solution of man to all his problems.

12.11 The function of women is to excite the men and stir them to good action.

To fail in love is to fail in life.

Love and hate are both personal fixations and obsessions, locking you up with another person, who is made to have an established presence in your life, whether you like it or not. In a matter of love you like it, in a matter of hate it's against your will, but practically they are the same thing.

Greece, Rome, England. Has history finally settled and found a home?

Greatness and aspiration for greatness is the greatest trap there is in life. During the Renaissance, one of man's most violent periods, people narrowly escaped getting lost in it, and even narrower was their escape in the age of the two world wars. Only England saved the civilized world from ruin in the 1940s.

Civilization is the monument of man, and as long as it remains basically human, man will remain the same.

Only strained people are unhuman. What they need is knowledge how to relax.

Was there ever a more civilized decade than the 1820s? I doubt it. Only one of the most civilized periods in history could have produced the genius and music of Schubert.

A work of art should speak to the individual; not to just any crowd of ignorants. When a work of art speaks to the individual it is individual, and thereby we know the man behind it is an individual. On the individual depends civilization.

A civilized man is not necessarily a lonely man, and likewise are lonely men not always civilized.

When someone is brought into contact with civilization for the first time, he usually laughs at it and likes it. This natural delight proves civilization is not altogether bad.

Art is a way of expressing greatness by small means.

New feelings are horrible, until you grow old and used to them.

Old feelings are the best feelings.

A few Ivan the Terribles and Napoleons now and then are only refreshing to history.

A few Dr Johnsons and Kenneth Clarks now and then are only refreshing to art history.

What does it mean to be unhuman? Look at man, his two world wars, and his conflict with nature, and you shall know.

Frequently in history man has tried to destroy history, and succeeded in destroying nothing but himself.

Intolerance is the basis for all inhumanity. Tolerance is the basis for all humanity.

You are no more and no less than what others consider you to be.

To believe in folly is to believe in man.

Passion and gentleness, society and loneliness, war and peace; there are no two things on heaven or earth you'll be able to combine. The world is an infinite jig-saw puzzle, in which no two pieces fit.

13.11 The lives which Livingstone saved for Africa were shot down by Stanley.

You've got to be inspired in order to write something inspiring.

14.11 I heartily loathe rationalism and functionalism, simply because there is no imagination in them. Art without imagination simply is not art.

The critics hate conventionalism, for in conventionalism there is nothing to criticize.

15.11 Man's greatest vice is the world.

You admire the French when you admire the world. You admire the English when you have no world to admire.

(On Chesterton) The most natural man seems to be the most unnatural.

To do the natural thing is often looked upon by others as the queerest thing indeed.

You'll never write as much as you'll read, but you'll never read as well as you'll write.

It's easy to get too much of civilization, but it's not easy to get too much of nature.

Lassitude is one of the fruits of civilization. Whether it's a good fruit or no I leave for the future to decide.

"Ordnung musst sein," is the German motto. "Ordnung doesn't sein," is the Englishman's reply.

Life is a constant anxiety.

Love is a mirror: your love will frighten you by your looks, or grace you with the mirror of her visage: you.

What's Italian in Italy is English in England, and what's English in England is Italian in Italy, but what's English in England is German in Germany, while what's German in Germany never is English in England.

Routine is the root of all rancour.

To lack freedom is to lack everything, and especially life.

I will now lay my pen aside, since I am able to write pleasing stuff no more. Until my freedom is regained: farewell, my only friend and servant; good-bye, my good pen.

---------------------------

Tolstoy, the world's finest ornament, died unhappy, and there is nothing the world can do about it.

The most striking characteristic of this period is listlessness: no one has any idea what to do.

But everyone thinks in his heart: I've got to find something to do. Everyone lacks the initiative, but at the same time everyone wants to have it. And that's the proof of that man's situation is not hopeless.

What's optimism? It's an illusion, like pessimism.

If your day's first feeling is love, know that your day will be successful.

The first evidence of a happy age is flourishing art and architecture, guided by a flourishing aristocracy.

You can enjoy conventionalism, but you can not have fun with it.

The supremest human feeling is discontent.

"Hamlet", "Faust" and the "Odyssey" were undoubtedly children of discontentment.

A sea of troubles is life, and its foam a surge of discontentment.

In a conventional world there is nothing more unconventional than an individual.

Timon of Athens is the most indescribable of all Shakespeare's human monsters.

When your health commences breaking down it is time for you to return to nature.

Too much tea gives you water in your knee.

They say that cheese is deadening in the night. Strange enough, it tastes good anyway.

A truck loaded with oil drives carelessly, runs into the ditch, becomes a wreck, and all the oil pours forth, drowning and ruining some farmer's fields. That's welfare.

The military wants to kill all the gulls of a northern lake by covering it with oil. They no longer have any enemies to kill, so they turn against birds.

All soldiers are barbarians, unless they learn how to be individual. Unindividual soldiers are always barbarians and have to be used against barbarians, or they will use themselves against any virtuous institution.

The most virtuous of institutions is nature.

No one is ever perfect, and least of all unindividual governments. Governments do not govern. They merely try to govern.

There are no limits to human possibilities, but there is a limit to human forbearance.

Honesty is out of favour today, because honesty is neither beautiful nor interesting. Schubert and Nijinsky were honest men; honesty was out even in their days.

Never write while you read, and never read while you write. They are two activities too noble to be combined.

In a way, Handel united Germany and England.

He not only brought the musical traditions of Italy and Germany together, but also brought them all to England.

Handel had three home countries: Germany, Italy and England. Unfortunately he did not make any more.

As long as man is human, man definitely has a future.

Homer was the origin of Classicism and Humanism.

The world has never changed, nor will it ever change.

Dante was very careful about not writing anything bad.

Man's greatest enemy has always been and will always be man.

Dante is the first light in history after the fall of democratic Athens.

Bach brought order into the chaos of music.

There are more heavens and hells on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in anyone's philosophy.

It's as inhuman to always be human as it is human not to always be inhuman.

Tolstoy was the man who definitely linked Russia to Europe culturally.

When life is not a dream life is a dreary and empty nothing.

Dante's Beatrice, Homer's Helen, and William's dark lady, were the wombs of the finest children in history.

To the lonely man, Handel is the greatest of all composers, while to the man who follows the world, Bach is the home of all comfort.

Goethe began as almost a German Shakespeare but ended as almost a German Dante.

To start thinking is to think forever, unless you realize, when you start, that you'll end nowhere.

Augustus sacrificed his happiness for the happiness of Rome. So did all true Roman Emperors, and the most Roman of them all was, strange enough, Marcus Aurelius.

What's so supremely admirable about civilization? Maybe the fact, that ever since the fall of the Roman Empire, it has managed alone.

There has been no centre of civilization since Rome and Charlemagne, no axis for it to turn about, and yet the fantastic wheel has not yet disintegrated.

Science has brought us to the verge of nuclear war and world pollution. I believe it is time to return to nature and Christianity.

The fall of Greece happened through decadence. Decadence also resulted in the fall of Rome. The dark middle ages were a period of the blackest decadence and degeneration. Dante finally dealt with that decadence.

The writers in the eighteenth century were experts on expressing as little as possible in as many words as possible.

Man is a blind animal, faltering through the darkness of time, going nowhere, having nothing to cling to but himself and his civilization. He lost his sight long ago, namely when he lost Pericles and Rome; ever since then he has been walking into a steadily deeper and denser night.

Some excellent Queens and universal geniuses, for instance Leonardo and Queen Elizabeth, brought him temporary light; but that light, unfortunately, was not strong enough to linger.

Dark is the night, but hope is not dead.

The future of man is not the future of science. The future of science is not the future of man.

I have no faith in mankind. That's my and probably every honest man's greatest problem.

My mother's illness is breaking me down. She coughs every day, endlessly, horribly, expressing the most unendurable pain.

Science is nowadays an embarrassing proof of man's established megalomania and self-denaturalization.

Science should serve man, not his madness.

All scientists are mad who believe in science as a means for greatness.

All men are mad who believe in greatness. There is no human greatness except megalomania.

Leonardo is considered one of the most suspect figures in history, maybe because he was one of the happiest.

Shakespeare was one of the most admirable men in history, because he was one of the smallest men in history. Whenever his characters became great he killed them off, and when finally he himself outgrew the stage he simply left it in peace.

Not to take care of history is to ignore it. To ignore history is to ignore man.

23.11 A language is an ocean of water for the writer to form into delightful crystals.

A good writer can do anything with any language.

Woman is the flower of man, like the flower is the flower of nature.

Complication is the first step towards decadence and degeneration. The more you complicate something, the more you lose it.

To work in silence is to work in peace.

The more complicated life is, the more it is approaching danger.

Shakespeare's rank as the most subtle, unique and lovable poet in history is not very disputable.

Ancient Greece was the only land in history where individuality was divinely respectable.

To kill Socrates was to destroy the highest level of respectability man has ever reached.

Everyone has a right to be himself.

It is more difficult to read and understand what you read than to write and understand what you write.

Usually you, as an individual, make sense only to yourself.

A snob is a most admirable person: he dares to be what he is.

It's no use justifying yourself. You are anyway.

24.11 You have to be wicked in order to learn how not to be wicked.

All the world is an illusion, a dream, a nonsensical nothing. It does not make sense, it is not real, but it is beautiful.

It is as difficult not to worry about something as it is to be content with having nothing to worry about.

There are two aspects of history: the ruler's aspect, and the subject's aspect. The ruler's aspect is cramped: he sees only one aspect and believes there is none more. The subject's aspect is more liberal: he sees both aspects and sympathizes with the less agreeable one.

The Roman Empire was an institution morbid, but not vain.

Science should serve man, not science.

Profundity is noble, but never effective.

Life is a battle which you'll never win, but you'll never lose it either.

The tragedy of classicism is you doubt its good purpose.

Germans have that fire within themselves which comes directly from hell. But their way of using it justifies it. All this, and many other suspect German matters too, Goethe explained admirably well in his "Faust".

"Faust" is the supreme excuse for all abhorrent Germanism.

It is more difficult to understand what is understandable than to understand what is not understandable.

Both Plato and Homer are like the sea; Homer in width and broadness, Plato in depth.

About women you can but write delightful nonsense.

I have loved women all my life, and I will continue to love them all my life.

Where there is a poet there is a spirit.

The trouble about having fun is you'll be nostalgic about it afterwards.

Nostalgia, like melancholia, must be fought, or it will transform your entire being into nothing.

All the prospects of man were bitterly shattered by the crisis of the world pollution. How on earth will mankind ever recover?

Man has constantly hit merciless stone-walls, but yet he has always continued marching forward.

Russia died with the last Czar.

Rudyard Kipling's "If" is an ode to an ideal, which today is lost.

To see the world with a child's eye is to see the world as it is. No one knows the world better than those who are totally ignorant about it.

Conscientiousness, care, virtue and result; you are my four favourite goddesses.

The more I wander, the more impossible I find it to get lost.

26.11 Goethe was the most intellectual poet in history.

Only the joy of company acquaints you with the horror of loneliness.

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh Dionysus.

The first step towards strife and conflict is to make a resistance.

Many books are as holy as the Bible, for instance the books of Homer, Plato, Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe and Tolstoy.

Not to be inconsistent is to be unhuman.

But without unhuman beings this world would be too human to consist very long.

I love the world, which is why I would never dream of trying to interfere with it.

Clear minds are irritating to those who do not have them.

27.11 To be quite open is to be quite unhuman.

The Romans were the people who tried to raise man not only above other men, but also above nature.

Rome, odious Rome, was there ever in history a culture more decadent and unnatural than thine?

The major difference between Leonardo da Vinci and Goethe was, that while Leonardo's chief interest was man, Goethe's chief interest was himself.

Melancholia is that condition called when you have no one and nothing to turn to for comfort.

Men are either dependant on money or women. They are never dependant on both, and they are never independent.

There is nothing more wonderful than love when it is bright, and nothing more dangerous than love when it is dark.

There is no excuse for negative criticism. "Nonsense can be defended but by nonsense."

- Dr Johnson.

Théophile Gautier, in conceiving the immortal idea "art for art's sake", broke with the ancient traditional idea that art was for God's sake.

The voice of Sibelius made Finland heard in the world for the first time.

Leonardo da Vinci was the first man to discover the tremendous and vast possibilities of science, and the first man to discover the vanity of it.

The more you read Shakespeare, the more you realize you should read him.

Shakespeare drove Hamlet first to the verge of madness, then to the verge of suicide, then to the verge of heroic half-divinity, and that's where he killed him.

Science brought light, life, lust and joy to man, which today is fading away. The Renaissance and Leonardo introduced it, and the two world wars and world pollution at least partly killed its popularity.

Our joy is lost, but the future remains.

Leonardo's achievement lasted for four centuries, and still we enjoy its consequences.

There are small people, great people and unscrupulous people. The small people love little things and have open minds, like for instance the Italians, the English and the Swedes. The great people are introverted and consider living a great effort, like for instance the Germans. The unscrupulous people, finally, have no inhibitions, no scruples, nothing to hold them back whatsoever, and are downright sympathetic monsters, easy to despise, but difficult to do without, like the Americans.

Of literature, Goethe was the greatest fop.

Strange are the ways of the goddess of love. You'll follow her anywhere, but always end nowhere. You'll pursue her forever, but attain her never.

Zeus must have loved Hellas indeed when he gave her a poet like Homer.

Your greatest enemy is yourself, and your greatest friend is the world.

Leonardo was one of the greatest benefactors of man in history.

The light of Greece is still shining 2400 years after the fall of Athens.

Greece was the origin of man's divinity.

Shakespeare expressed as much as possible in as few words as possible, while Goethe expressed as little as possible in as many words as possible.

To look into people's eyes is as dangerous as watching the sun. The light of human hearts and the sun are equally dazzling.

There are three kinds of light: cold light, like in Goethe's "Iphigenia"; warm light, like in ancient Pergamum, and dazzling light, like in every high culture in history.

In the two world wars the English lost everything except England.

Athleticism and aestheticism is one of many incompatibilities: a sportsman is seldom apt in writing delicate prose, and an artist is all thumbs in a football game.

Charlemagne never learned to write, probably because he was too much of a sportsman.

Tolstoy was kind, Goethe Olympic, Shakespeare universal, Chaucer delightful, and Dante tremendous.

We live in the barbaric north. Happy are those who live in the pious, humble, civilized south.

During the Renaissance, man tried to become like God. His efforts only led to a breach in his link with God.

Leonardo's heroic attempt to replace religion with science led to atomic bombs and world pollution.

Homer made man divine. By Socrates man lost his divine glory and turned into an individual. By Christ man lost his individual serenity and became a subject to love. By Dante man was proved to be an individual pious learned lover. By Shakespeare man lost his piety and the dignity of wisdom but gained instead an inner profundity. By Goethe and Tolstoy, finally, man was given nothing new.

The only safe subject to write about and speak about in the world is love.

Religion is the poor man's best friend, comfort and refuge. That is why rich men and aristocrats disdain it.

Aristocrats, being dependant on material wealth, have no need of religious comfort or God's existence.

Dante was a rich aristocrat who lost everything. That is how he became one of the chief religious heroes of history.

To lose everything is to gain oneself. To gain everything is to lose oneself.

Oneself is the image of God.

No country has a more fantastic history than Italy.

Science crashed in the second world war, and the crash itself made its monument: the fungus-shaped cloud.

Martin Luther was as mad a hero as Christ. But Christ proved himself right by dying for his faith, while Martin Luther didn't.

Truth is all that matters in history. Failure to observe the truth is barbarity.

My incurable disposition towards passion will bring about my fall.

Passion is one of the many hells first inflicted on poor Adam and Eve.

Bread and water is the only food good enough for your overscrupulous stomach.

The more critical you are of yourself, art and the world, the sooner you'll end up as an artist.

A universal genius is someone who is given all the freedom he wants and uses it well.

Only when you are troubled by other people, you consider what you read and the man who wrote it troublesome.

Marcus Aurelius was by far the noblest and the most tragic individual in history. Only Homer's fate might have been worse and even finer.

4.12 The most delightful thing in life is a day well used.

No matter how you get up in the morning it will not do: either you'll have to force yourself up, or you will be angry with yourself for getting up too late.

Perhaps we shall one day regard the 19th century as the happiest age since the Renaissance and Pericles.

Realism only makes a happy poet a good poet, and escapism only makes an unhappy poet a good poet.

Happy ages only breed good artists.

A Catholic is someone who goes to church every Sunday, makes confession once a month, and receives the Holy Communion every fortnight. Not following this procedure, I am not a Catholic.

If Goethe was on terms with Satan, Tolstoy burned all his life in hell.

The trouble with Tolstoy is that he was too great and too universal to be called normal. He was a typical representative of the most immoderate of ages; he was a relentlessly universal genius not altogether civilized.

Civilized men are usually quite resigned. Being civilized without reservation is an awful problem.

Weakness is bound to fail, joy is bound to fade, nothing will ever linger, except the results of that love which always exists in spite of all.

The child is not only father of man, but no man is a man who doesn't admit that he never has grown up.

You should never read something which you dislike. It is better to be ignorant about what you dislike than to dislike it.

The Victorian age of immoderation brought forth Beethoven, Schubert, Weber, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Rossini, Verdi, Brahms, Musorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Bruckner, Liszt, Strauss, (four of them,) Berlioz, Bizet, Gounod, Debussy, Adam, Lortzing, DÈlibes, Massenet, Offenbach, Leoncavallo, Puccini, Mascagni, Meyerbeer, Millˆcker, SuppÈ, Grieg, Sibelius, Smetana, Dvorak, Franck, Glinka, Fall, FaurÈ, von Bülow, Busoni, Rachmaninov and many others in the field of music, which is only one heavenly field out of six and seven.

Never in history has art flowered more than in the age of Pericles, the age of Gothicism, the age of the Renaissance, and the nineteenth century.

The more you journey in life, the more you'll realize that life is strange.

5.12 God has nature on His side, while man stands quite alone.

It is more important to cite well than to cite.

Chaucer had too much fun to be able to complete his Canterbury Tales.

The essence of love is self-sacrifice.

Man's tragedy is that he has lost his knack of being lovable.

God knows, and the world will know one day, that there is nothing I ever loved, honoured and admired more than man's civilization.

Friendship is the first step towards civilization. The second is collaboration.

A human work of art is always a masterpiece.

Never work more with art than you feel inclined to.

But never spare yourself either.

Moderation may be the root of all welfare.

6.12 When shocking things don't happen automatically, you'll automatically make shocking things happen.

Dylan Thomas was a brilliant poet, but not often agreeable.

Your love will hate you until she realizes that that which makes her hate you is your love.

Never mistake your feelings for other people's feelings. And never mistake other people's feelings for your feelings. That means, never imagine that you can feel what others feel, or that they can feel what you feel: feelings never correspond.

Before the Renaissance the works of poets were copied by hand and spread only to a small degree. That is how we know almost nothing about Chaucer, Dante, Petrarch, Plutarch or Homer.

My English is not good, but when I write weighing the words carefully it isn't too bad either.

To have time is to have air to breathe. Without time the animal called man is out of nature.

There is more truth in a grass straw than in a skyscraper of thirty storeys.

The holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, could be interpreted as God, man and nature.

Marcus Aurelius found what was sought during the entire classical age: himself.

Suffering, only, brought Moses, Homer and Dante to write the Genesis, the Odyssey, and the Comedy.

By nature, man wants to do much, but does very little.

There are two kinds of poets: those who die, and those who do not die; and there are two kinds of poets who do not die: those whose names are immortal, and those whose works are immortal.

Leo Tolstoy was one of the most honest figures in history.

A supreme egotist is someone who bothers to collect stamps.

Everything you do in life is right, as long as it pleases you and harms no one else.

It is only difficult to be what you are when you are not content with being what you are, and that is how it is always difficult to be what you are.

Shakespeare went to church every day: his church was the theatre.

Hate and love are impossible not to combine.

When your conscience says you are bad you are bad. Always follow your conscience implicitly, for there is no other light in the darkness of hopelessness.

It is easier to search than to find.

9.12 Collecting stamps is like cultivating a garden in a nutshell.

You could only possibly write something good by writing something that concerns you.

No one was ever more deeply concerned about Florence than Dante Alighieri.

Shakespeare put words into music, while Tolstoy and Homer put an age into words. That's the basic difference between lyrical and epical poets.

Solitude breeds individuals but kills artists.

Bach is what an artist should be: a comfort.

Perfectionism led to the two world wars.

What is the world? It's a vast globe of oceans and continents, greenth and warmth, trees and animals, fish and people, life and death, laughter and fear, wealth and misery, joy and suffering. It's full of mountains of troubles, miracles of creations, wonders of historical achievement, and incredible issues of nature. Nature is the only ruler of the thing, and all animal and human beings are her subjects. To know what is natural is to be a good citizen in her state, and to respect what is natural is to be loyal and faithful as well. Nature is the world; the entire ball is nothing but a thing of nature, a most entirely natural matter.

Because of nature we exist, and all we have, know and feel is attributable to her. By nature we have civilized ourselves, by nature we have found ourselves, by nature we have found our knowledge of ourselves, nature and the world; and by nature we have arrived at the only thing that nature can not equal: the conception of God.

Yes, by nature we are divine, but there is no one to thank for it but nature, which we never must forget.

Goethe was a tragic fellow. He wrote his three masterpieces as a young man and then was bound to his duke in thralldom for the rest of his life.

To search is to be unhappy, for you wouldn't search if you were happy.

Who is greater - Chaucer or Shakespeare? Shakespeare is certainly the greatest of them, but without a Chaucer there would have been no Shakespeare.

A country ruled by poets is better off than a country ruled by qualified emperors. Compare, for instance, England of Chaucer's and Shakespeare's day and Greece of Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides with the Rome of Marcus Aurelius.

A man who wants to be the best of men is worse than the man who wants to be the worst of men.

When man is loved, France is loved. When man is not loved, England is turned to for comfort and protection.

A man lives only until he dies. That is every man's tragedy.

There is only one perfect way of living: to live as perfectly as possible, to work until you die, to always every minute use your soul and body for the benefit of your self, for the joy of your spirit, and for the good of others. To live as carefully as possible until you die, is about the perfectest way you can achieve. No way is perfectly perfect, for death always comes in the end and robs you of all your achievements, satisfactions, life, feelings and personage.

To reach perfection is to die, but even there life is ironic: death comes just after you've seen perfection, and just before you have ultimately reached it. This is proved to us by history.

Catastrophes have ever occurred in history and will probably continue befalling forever; and the greater man is, the greater will be his contingencies. So far he has always managed to survive them. It is an eternal question whether the day will ever come when man is overwhelmed and destroyed by the forces of nature or no.

To love a man like Jesus is to love man.

Bring down the prophets from their pedestals! After all, they were but human beings.

The more you do, the more you'll regret what you didn't do.

The Bible is God in a nutshell.

There are books which are read in a day, and there are books which aren't read in a year. Oddly enough, those books are the best which aren't read in a lifetime. ("War and Peace", "La Commedia", "The Bible", "Wilhelm Meister", etc.)

Scholars are those who know all about literature. The more they are neutral, the more they know.

Leonid Breshnev is a phoney Czar.

The English rocks in the storms of the early twentieth century were Chesterton, Churchill and Russell, among others.

Germany had no rocks, but it had a tombstone: Hindenburg.

Psychiatrists are men who believe they know everything about man and who therefore know nothing.

The more I found out about England, the smaller grow my chances of ever getting English.

Shakespeare's Nurse of Juliet was the first among a thousand of classic, comforting, tender nurses on the stage and in literature.

That was the end of today. Now follows tomorrow.

While Shakespeare wrote for England, Dante wrote for the Italians.

What am I? A writer who has read Homer, the Bible, Plato, Dante and Shakespeare, and who consequently has nothing to write.

Philosophers are seldom understood because they frequently speak nonsense.

Since the days of the Great War, America has been the world's only home of optimism.

The early twentieth century was the age when all old ages perished. Nothing remains of them today but old ghosts, like Goethe and Homer.

The cinema is the ideal way of civilization to communicate with the masses.

A word in the right place is enough to preserve an age forever.

In Denmark there is only one city: Copenhagen. All other communities are but neat little villages.

Painting and sculpture never flourished more than they did when the church was there to take care of them.

Tolstoy was a man who couldn't make up his mind. Not until his eighty-second year he decided to run away from home, from all his comfort and riches, to become a monk in a monastery; but then, alas, he bitterly experienced that he had made up his mind too late.

My faith is in knowledge, wisdom, experience, humility, man, nature, and God.

Never regret what you fail to do, because others will do it instead. Never consider what you do as vain, for no one else will ever do exactly the same thing.

Teamwork is as necessary as individual work, for without a team at his disposal, an individual is ever a dilettante.

Man is too comfortable. That's what's made him a dotard on commonplace art ever since the Renaissance.

A man who gives everything has nothing to lose.

Science is an entirely theoretical game for wizards. It is never practical, or when it is it is fatally so.

When men are strangers to each other man is a stranger to nature.

It is human to suffer.

Love wrecks everyman's life, but sustains the heart.

There are two ways of living: for man and for God. None is better than the other, and none is worse than the other.

"Quoniam ex ipso, et per ipsum, et in ipso sunt omnia," means, that whatever you live for, you will ultimately live for God anyway.

Finity or infinity? Infinity. Everything is relative; nothing has an end, and nothing can ever be fully comprehended.

God and nature are infinite. Whether man is infinite or no can but be answered by the future.

To persecute is to pursue hell and perish.

Art is unhuman only when it is not spontaneous.

A fool is he who believes there is any tongue better than his mother's.

To express feelings is the artist's chief function and joy.

What is more important: to write what hasn't been written, or to read better writers than yourself?

It is the duty of every writer to publish his writings.

A dreamer is always a philosopher.

Never stop to contemplate the past. The past should be learned from, not contemplated.

To be prepared for doomsday is to be prepared for the worst thing that could ever happen.

When Tolstoy was sick of freedom it became his tragedy that he never found the opposite.

To have a family life is to have all the happiness in the world.

As long as nature is threatened by man I will never marry and breed men.

There is nothing nobler than to be human and suffer for it in silence.

One should never hope for more than what God is willing to give.

Women are astoundingly easy to frighten.

The desire to give is the origin of civilization.

When man is generous, God is generous.

To be generous is to be natural.

The greatest joy in history is generosity.

"It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a rich man to pass into heaven." It is also easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a poor man to be happy.

The most remarkable thing about Goethe was his dominance.

Only aristocrats are good enough to appreciate, love and enjoy making and having good art.

To have feelings means you are human and civilized as well. No uncivilized being has feelings.

Composers love to flatter each other by using each other.

When you are happy loneliness is dangerous. When you are unhappy loneliness is essential.

18.12 When we criticize alien poets, like Goethe and Tolstoy, we do it from ignorance. We know not by nature the mentality of Goethe's country, wherefore we can not judge it. We would never dream of criticizing our own poets, for we understand their feelings for their countries, while we can not understand foreign poets' feelings for foreign countries. Only the ignorant man bothers to criticize what he fails to understand, while the sage at least is understanding enough to leave it alone.

In order to love the world one has to have a self. It does not sound well, but unfortunately it is true.

An artist who does not dedicate his works to others dedicates them in his heart to himself.

You have to be friends with the author to read him well. Which means, you have to think of him as a friend while you read him.

A fool is everyone who does not marry, and a fool is he who ever marries, says the perfect fool.

Without fools no congregation of human beings is consummate.

There were three great universal geniuses of history: Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo da Vinci, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Alberti was the first and the most honourable of them.

Nothing gives you a better reason for thinking than not thinking.

To drink much is to regret much.

Dante was the blackest of pessimists who nevertheless saw light in the end.

You can escape night and darkness as little as you can escape God's eye. You can not escape life except by self-annihilation, after which follows the even darker and more apprehensive unknown.

Goethe's Germany and Tolstoy's Russia are dead. Shakespeare's England and Dante's Italy are still alive. The world of Plutarch is dead, but the world of Homer never died. So are Schiller's Germany and Dostoyevsky's Russia still alive, like the Germany of music and the England of Chaucer.

Hopelessness has something to do with loneliness. Life is never hopeless in good company.

Goethe's Germany is dead, but Goethe is still alive. His soul goes marching on, and there is nothing you can do about it.

There's got to be something in life to fight, or else there would be nothing in life worth cherishing.

19.12 The nineteenth century was a world of love.

Tourists were respectable until they in the nineteenth century became immoderate.

The Mediterranean Sea suffers terribly from all the horrid functionalistic tall dreadful hotels disfiguring every city on the sea and will do so as long as they remain there.

In the 16th century the tourist visited other countries when his duties called on him to do so. In the 17th century the tourist became the learned ambitious young man who visited Italy and other countries to learn and study. In the 18th century people started going abroad to enjoy being abroad. This habit increased in the 19th century and grew to immoderate sizes, which it today holds more regrettably than ever.

Being a tourist was good only as long as the visited countries did not suffer from them.

A human poet now and then in history is indispensable, Goethe would have said about Dylan Thomas.

It is human to err, but it is also human to try not to err.

Before you have ended the day, the day has ended itself.

20.12 To involve oneself in life is to involve oneself in love.

To love something is to love everything.

21.12 Leonardo was the first cosmopolitan.

It is better to be ill and active than to be well and lazy.

Shakespeare, when you read him, shows himself intimate. When he isn't intimate he is simple. In great theatres both these qualities are drowned by the producer's effort to make effects.

A true woman is a paragon of beauty, culture, and good counsel.

Beethoven was greater than Goethe, but less universal.

The "black holes" of the universe are probably pure superstition.

You'll never give without receiving. And you'll never give more than you'll receive.

22.12 Childhood is everyman's prime.

I am a privileged, half-spoilt, self-satisfied snob, whose life is to write about and for those whom he knows nothing about.

23.12 Goethe started by implicitly believing in Germany, and ended by implicitly believing in the world.

Dante wrote for sages; Shakespeare learned from sages and cast what he learned for the pigs.

The pigs, fortunately, did not understand much of it, so they gave it all back to the sages.

But the swineherds, whom Shakespeare served, got what Shakespeare meant, and are courageously feeding the pigs even today. These swineherds are the actors.

The actor is the only excuse for Shakespeare. What Shakespeare wrote would have disgusted Dante and made Homer cry. But Shakespeare served the actor, and no one will ever serve him equally well.

Life is the greatest of mysteries.

Nothing can persist unless you bring order into it.

Women are more often pedantic and censuring than men.

When people think too much of you they demand too much of you as well.

LSD is the latest prank of Dionysus, the drinking god who drove everyone crazy.

To stay young forever is God's privilege.

To be on intimate terms with God is to trifle with hellfire.

Everything is relative. To the Catholic Church the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages were the Golden Age.

Leonardo fancied science rather than church.

24.12 People who don't accept artists don't accept God.

25.12 Today is always the most important day in history.

No human being is more intimate with nature than the farmer, and no one leads a harder life. He knows nature, he suffers her outrageous tyranny, but he keeps silent about it, for he knows in his heart that no one is nobler than he, the provider of mankind.

Periods of peace are distinguished by moderate mortal enjoyable art and constant trouble with rebellions. Violent periods consist of horrible devastating world wars and crises, and flourishing stupendous admirable art.

A peaceful age could be said to be female, and a violent age masculine.

An opinion is what you say is light, but really is light refracted.

26.12 One should never criticize anything, but, when one feels inclined to, understand, that no one does not understand its nature.

Either man adores God, or he adores himself.

When Hamlet finally was driven by chance to make up his mind he died.

Only good company makes you feel lonely, for only the best company is missed when you are alone.

When all lights are burnt out, a new light brighter than all excelling all is always kindled.

Nothing is more sympathetic than the ridiculous.

27.12 The same people to whom Jesus said: "Let he who be without sin cast the first stone," will gladly turn away from the whore to stone anyone who does not deserve it.

To give oneself away is to receive more than you can give.

It is strange, that that which an individual loves the most is seldom recognized and understood by others.

An intense feeling is profoundly felt by the individual but never by the crowd.

The Greeks preferred the Iliad to the Odyssey, maybe for that very reason: the Iliad expresses the feeling of anyone, while the Odyssey is deeply felt only by the individual. The Iliad is universal, while the Odyssey is personal.

I am quite certain, that Goethe didn't educate Germany in vain. What Germany gained during the Goethian period will probably never get lost.

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever." Goethe was one of the men who made Germany beautiful.

German optimism is unique in history. Only the Italian joy of living transcends it.

Leo Tolstoy felt isolated and lacked company. Consequently he befriended and served his peasants.

It was the age that killed Socrates.

Individuals are always lonely. Human beings are never lonely.

There is nothing a lover can not do.

Goethe suffered from love all his life and never quite got away from it. Tolstoy was caught in it already at the beginning and then burnt in its hell for the rest of his life. Leonardo da Vinci, only, was born out of wedlock and was lucky enough to stay that way all his life.

Love is difficult to get enough of and easy to get too much of.

Reality is a bitter soap-porridge which burns in your throat.

Leonardo was maybe the most inspired man in history.

The end of all joy is reality.

When man became divine, the first universal geniuses began to appear.

Leonardo tried to give man all nature. He failed, for he was not God, (which he was wise enough to understand.)

Ruin is always waiting at the end of every broad and comfortable road.

What is nature? It's easier to say what nature is not. Nature is the only thing in the world which is not corruptible.

The basic difference between England and Italy is, that while England never has changed, Italy always has changed.

 

 

Part Five.

1973.

Science is the perfectest toy man has ever invented. He should only beware of taking it seriously.

Tolstoy has preserved for us the finest age in history.

Men exist to love women, women exist to love their children, and children exist to love their parents.

Ekhnaton was the first known martyr in history.

What is the so called "civilized world"? It is Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and New England. Other countries were civilized once, for instance China and India, but their ancient civilizations are legendary today.

Is it possible to sail around the world, or is it not? Maghellan and his men said they did it, and whether they lied or no people believed them.

Goethe succeeded where Leonardo failed: in giving man all nature. Unfortunately, though, man almost forfeited it by using her resources to blow up the world.

One of the basic differences between Leonardo and Goethe is that Leonardo wrote what no one could understand, while Goethe wrote what everyone understood too well.

India and China are faint echoes of civilizations.

The noblest of all abilities is to not resist anything but to welcome everything.

Tolstoy the philosopher was a great spoil-sport.

The German geniuses of the 18th century dared to express the inexpressible.

It is impossible to spoil a child. If the child grows up and becomes a bad man it is the child's fault, not the fault of his parents, who never can be held responsible for their child's self-made career.

Goethe was not lovable.

In order to work well you have to love well.

The first element is air, the second is earth, the third is fire, and the fourth is the noblest - water. They always appear in this order, when they appear.

Without a woman's company you are one life poorer.

Philosophers are seldom optimists.

Chaucer was the English Homer, Shakespeare the British Aeschylus, and Dickens the English Menander.

Tolstoy ended an age which might have begun by Chaucer : the gentlemanly age.

After the fall of Tolstoy's Russia there was chaos.

7.1 Science went off the rails in the nineteenth century, when scientists began to experiment with live beings.

What is the meaning of history? The meaning of history is to produce perfect ages. What is a perfect age? A perfect age is an age which produces monuments, like "War and Peace", "The Canterbury Tales", and the Homeric poems.

The historical languages Latin and Greek are important, because history is important, because history has a meaning.

In Salai Leonardo found all the vices he himself lacked.

You'll always find something wrong about what you do not read.

Goethe died happy, content and optimistic about civilization. Tolstoy died escaping from it.

The only thing Leonardo lacked was passion. Michelangelo provided that part of the Renaissance.

8.1 Where Marcus Aurelius died another Rome rose.

Wherever the civilized man goes, he will always end where he started - in ancient Greece.

Greece never really perished. Europe has repeatedly proved that since Charlemagne.

Like no revolutions in history are able to put an end to the universal aristocracy, no unhuman ruthlessness in infinity is able to infringe on the sovereignty of nature.

The only thing which will make you victorious is a great number of defeats.

Leonardo was a tremendous wizard with almost godly powers who was merciful enough not to initiate everyone in everything that he did and thought.

His wisdom makes the scholar dark and fearful, but without him there would be no history and no civilization.

Rubens was the first pornographer.

Fire and cold are the chief enemies of all life. Man has learned to use fire, but he will never learn to use cold. Fire is the source of all energy; cold is the death of all energy.

Lord Kenneth Clark taught man to love civilization.

Tolstoy was the main prophet of the happiest of ages.

Good music is perhaps the most vital part of any film.

In the 1950s man rediscovered hope after forty years of listlessness.

England is an isle formed by the waves of the ocean of God's tears.

If man is divine, all animals are divine as well. All living things are the image of God.

Only optimists are fond of studying and working. Pessimists are usually lazy.

Tolstoy the philosopher tried to improve the best of ages.

No living thing can stand erect without the assistance of God.

The city is the home of all decadence and degeneration.

A civilization consists of memories of a noble past.

You'll have no civilization unless you take care of the past.

The noblest of all human activities is in my opinion to maintain civilization.

All wild animals are divine.

Wherever there is light there is warmth. Wherever there is darkness there is cold. Nothing is probably colder than space, but not even space is altogether dark.

Why do people saw down trees for no good reason? What makes them harrow nature when they know that it is their own death? Why can't men see what's before their very eyes?

It appears that they do what they do for fun. Children have unfortunately always been fond of playing with fire.

But nature happens to be, not fire, but their own mother.

The much abused colonialism and imperialism was an enthusiastic effort to civilize the world.

Love is something to be careful with: one should never go too far in lovely matters, and never prove oneself impotent either.

The Renaissance brought man divinity, but also the hell of the German melancholia.

The end of all ambitions is melancholy, and melancholy is the first step towards death.

Greece and Rome, love and control, freedom and order, are equally important.

To conserve something for eternity is more than man can do, but no effort is in vain.

Should we return to the horse? Why not? If it is impossible to bring nature back into the city, we should at least withdraw from further interventions with nature outside the city.

The Roman Empire perished in melancholy. Marcus Aurelius invented it.

To spend one's life in the city is to spend one's life in jail.

Nature is the centre of all things.

Marxism is the excuse for capitalism.

Air is the most unexplored of elements. Everything comes from and is dependant on air: fire, earth, water. If everything comes from air, air must be compounded of everything.

Welfare depends on progress. Since the world is finite, progress is, unfortunately, finite.

Canada and America should unite and subordinate themselves to the British Crown.

Think of everything you love just before you go to sleep, and you will wake up in the morning a happy man.

Love your company, and they will forgive you all your vices.

For five centuries man has believed that the world was round. Did the geniuses of the Renaissance commit one great fatal mistake?

When the Nazis started burning books, they prepared Germany for Hell.

Universality seldom appears in history, but for some reason it appears.

The world is what God and the devil makes of it. It may have been round in the past, and it may become flat tomorrow: it's up to them.

God's and the devil's tricks are not to be coped with scientifically.

The more complicated architecture is, the more beautiful it is.

From the moment Leo Tolstoy published his "War and Peace" he never again saw peace.

Bachelors are boring idiots.

The only thing we have got is civilization. We have to maintain it, even if we have to die for that reason.

19.1 I like birds better than aeroplanes.

Without privileged people there would be no civilized people.

Privileges imply responsibility. Privileged irresponsibility is dead.

Life is full of emptiness.

The end result of the exploitation of nature was a world pollution.

A frightening man is easy to frighten.

There are two kinds of immortal art - universal art, and classical art.

The great universal and classical world geniuses disappeared with barbarity.

When man became civilized they lost their function.

Death is life's only alternative.

For the individual the world consists of two elements: himself and the world.

The broader the roads, the more eagerly and enthusiastically the drivers drive themselves to death.

The greater and more fathomless a man's mind, the more difficult he will find it to express it.

The age of "the pursuit of happiness", to quote the paragon of civilization Kenneth Clark, found its finest monument in "War and Peace" and ended with its author.

Humanity is what makes man survive tragedies.

Genius or greatness - which is to be preferred? To the established man-of-the-world, greatness is more comfortable, while the searcher, being unable to make up his mind for anything realistic, becomes a genius.

If I am a mystic I am not voluntarily so. I just think and do what enters my mind and try that way to follow my time. That's all.

Sailers are cheaper than motor-ships. The wind is free of charge, while fuel and engines are not.

Can the future world afford to maintain motor-ships?

The Germans have never feared God.

Whatever you may say about the hydrogen bomb, we can not do without science.

In the nineteenth century the world seemed to have no limits. The world pollution ended that illusion. As long as man was smaller than the world man was happy.

Every man is a mirror of your self. Correct in yourself what should be corrected in others.

There must be a world south of the South Pole.

The only honourable work is that which you do with your hands.

A hospital is a place where you die in bed.

A man who does not cherish memories is hardly civilized.

The welfare of the world is dependant on the individual genius. What Leonardo da Vinci and the world after him accomplished proves that what man one man is able to think any man is able to accomplish.

I believe in man's divinity. Only nature, I believe, is more divine than man. I sincerely believe that man is loved and graced by God almost as much as nature.

27.1 Pessimism is the best excuse for optimism.

My life's aim is to become one of the humblest loving men in history.

28.1 The Church is the poor and homeless man's home and refuge, and the rich man's prison.

19th century capitalism robbed the world of the beauty achieved by man in the 18th century, like the Roman Empire partly robbed Greece of her beauty.

Tolstoy lived in the happiest of ages. Yet his finest and greatest literary achievement was about an age which had passed.

30.1 The Renaissance was the only period in history since ancient Greece in which man was completely natural. And what a monster he was! What a divine monstrous cruel heavenly splendid outrageous beast!

True happiness is joy that makes you cry.

The only thing I ever desired to make revolution against was ugliness, for instance Functionalism.

Nothing is more stimulating than burdens.

You'll never regret giving love.

31.1 Nature is the home of all love.

Happiness is property.

Nowhere are women more revered, honourable, respectable and worshipped than in Italy. In Italy every woman is a saint.

Instead of reading good literature I am writing nonsense.

Italy is the home of all art.

The basis and the ground pillar of all civilization is the humble craftsman.

Leo Tolstoy felt lonely, lacked friends, flirted with his peasants, offered them love and knowledge, gave them all, and as soon as he was dead the people he had tried to educate used their gift to overthrow what made men like Leo Tolstoy.

Christ did for the Jewish faith what Shakespeare did for England.

What is happiness? Happiness is to have nothing to hate and everything to love.

While the Romans favoured material delights, the Greeks preferred spiritual delights.

There is only one deadly sin, and that is inhumanity.

The Bible is the first and best of books.

Maintainers have to be entertained, and entertainers have to be maintained.

In Russia civilization failed. The brave aristocracy of the nineteenth century, the final glorious fruit of two hundred years' splendid development, was in the end unable to cope with the grey, passive, reserved, apathetic, hopeless, dense and stubbornly stupid mentality of the great miserable majority. The aristocrats did all they could to civilize their country, but were repaid by the people with murder and rape, theft and oblivion.

But as long as Imperial Russia is remembered anywhere, hope will linger in the air.

Leo Tolstoy lost his battle with Russia. That's why he ran away in the end.

Civilization is the roof of life.

Only people worth following were ever persecuted.

The sun and moon of world literature is Homer and Dante.

(Then Jupiter is Shakespeare, Chaucer is Mercury, Goethe is Venus, Tolstoy is Mars, and Plutarch is Saturn.)

If a craftsman had entered the court of king Louis XIV of France, the King would have despised him, but so would the craftsman have despised the King for his incompetence.

Happy ages are difficult to believe in when they belong to the past.

Leonardo da Vinci was the most human of gods in the most divine of ages.

Science : a shallow and morbid invention, the dark side of the Renaissance.

Science produced the art of the film after four centuries. Apart from that it has produced nothing good.

The finest and divinest of ages always had plenty of dark sides to show up. A black side of the booming world of the Renaissance, for instance, was the bloody barbaric Turkish empire.

Only ignorant materialistic irreligious exhibitionists care about leading the masses. Scholars are more fond of gently guiding princes and kings.

Subordinate yourself to everything, and you will die happy.

Capitalism is an ugly word invented by the ignorant to describe what they are ignorant about. They look at the sun and complain about its hotness instead of enjoying its light.

Life should be a dream. When it isn't it's unpleasant.

Good art is made of dreams.

The only perfect machine, the only perfect tool, is the hand of Man.

In each of the thirteen parts which constitutes Kenneth Clark's view of civilization he makes a point, a clear, memorable, sensible point.

The good thing about being both composer and writer is, there are some things which you can express in writing but not in music, and there are some things which you can express in music but not in writing.

A good writer remains good as long as he doesn't become aware of his audience.

Chaucer was the most readable of Englishmen till there was Shakespeare.

Religion is the refuge of the man who feels uncertain of his own humanity.

Aristides, one of the noblest, most virtuous, and most qualified leaders in history, died poor.

The world is a Roman Empire, and the Emperor is God.

What is needed in society today is a world revolt against all ugliness.

What is ugliness? It's the immoderation of industrialism, the immoderation of automobilism, and the immoderation of materialism.

Heroism is ugly, unless it is classic. Compare, for instance, the heroism of materialism in the 19th century with the heroism of Alexander the Great.

You have to work for something in order to believe in something.

Homer was the discoverer of heroism and humanity.

The Romans wanted to control what the Greeks wanted to create.

Kenneth Clark is one of the chief enlighteners and delighters of our century.

It's always a mistake to consider the present age the best of all ages. No age was ever perfect, and no age will ever be good enough for man.

You have to learn to hate war in order to learn to love civilization.

The Church in the 16th century taught the world to hate the Church.

Only people who believe in man and the world could possibly believe in making a work of art.

What is "humanity"? It's what makes man different from God and Nature.

It's unbearable to listen to music without being able to partake in it.

A true wife is a woman who loves her husband, subordinates herself to him, and makes him stay faithful to her forever.

A good film is a scientific wonder.

When nothing is impossible for man, nothing is impossible for nature.

Music is the queerest of arts: its beauty is sometimes so profound that it could have made Stalin melt.

Ulysses was the first man who almost fell a victim to music.

When men do not grant themselves the educating company of women, they begin to decline towards barbarity.

The basis of civilization is knowledge about civilization.

No one enjoyed the art of writing more than Shakespeare.

Shakespeare was not without religion. His altar was the stage.

In Shakespeare's and Dante's days it was difficult to move a pen, because everyone sojourned with nature so much, and that's why so many good things were written.

We mustn't forget Chaucer for the sake of Shakespeare.

After Homer and Dante there was civilization.

People become romantic when they feel at ease.

In the nineteenth century people were so intolerant that they made themselves intolerable.

The scholar is the best friend of civilization.

In the 18th and 19th centuries man believed he could succeed in eating the cake and still have it all left.

An aristocrat is a shepherd, and his people are his sheep. He must guide them, or he will lose his aristocratic nimbus.

Whatever you do in life you'll suffer for it.

What is important in history? - The Truth.

Should people learn Latin and Greek? They are historical languages and of use only to the historian.

Greek is as important as Latin, which is as important as any language, dead or alive.

The way to cope with a difficult subject is to go to the bottom with it.

The way to learn Latin and Greek is to make oneself prepared to die for them.

In Dante's Comedy is found the greatest joy ever expressed in words.

The worst thing you can say unto another person is, "I don't know you." To look into a fellow being's eyes is to know him.

To grow old is to grow older.

In modern history couples are more interesting than individuals, (e.g. Dante-Giotto, Leonardo-Michelangelo, Rembrandt-Rubens, Rubens-Titian, Rubens-Shakespeare, Bach-Handel, Goethe-Schiller, Goethe-Beethoven, Dostoyevsky-Tolstoy, Zweig-Mereshkovsky, etc.)

Constructive developments in civilization are always slow and gradual. They always go wrong if they are speeded up.

In Roman Empires humanity always have failed.

If I had more time I would want to become a scientist, - a scientist of small matters, not of machines, guns and bombs.

One should never give way to the masses. They are always ignorant.

Whatever you may feel about God, never forget that you are only a man.

To broaden roads is vain and useless - it only makes the world uglier.

A civilized man thinks primarily of civilization, secondly of making himself worthy of it.

Our love of God is more important than God's love of us.

I would rather suffer from want of industries than from industries. A lack of industries does at least not torment the ear day and night.

I would rather be human, humble, virtuous, true, simple, natural, honest, sociable, common, religious and god-fearing than famous.

Lenin was a man of character, courage and good will, but as a figure in Russian history he was no better then Boris Godunov.

A blood that seizes the throne without being worthy of it is not creditable.

The Law of Israel is one of the ground pillars of civilization.

When great men tire of civilization they build Roman Empires.

The power and the glory, the Emperor and the Pope, the world and the Church, earthliness and divinity, humanity and piety, are always, have always been, and will always be equally important.

Civilization as we know it began in Israel.

Plato loved Socrates better than the world.

Dante is the key to the Middle Ages and the introducer of the Renaissance.

No civilized people has ever been persecuted as much as Israel, and no civilized people has ever survived persecution more indefatigably.

A good world has to be suffered for; a bad world has to be suffered in. In either case suffering is not in vain.

In a good world you seek for your self. In a bad world you seek for a better world.

When I was young I considered the world beautiful. I want it back, that wonderful feeling of universal lovability!

What destroyed it? Materialism, automobilism, functionalism and industrialism.

The 18th century almost scientifically cold classicism wasn't altogether beautiful, but functionalism isn't even classical!

Walt Disney was one of the greatest geniuses in film history.

The film is the highest art ever invented. It's almost too high for earthly measures.

The film as an art is so far the noblest and highest accomplishment of civilization. And yet it is a child of science, not of religion.

The film is the most demanding of all arts. In every way it outshines everything which civilization has ever accomplished.

A film is a painting which moves and changes and contains everything man has ever dreamt of.

The best way to enjoy man's universality of today is to go and see a good film.

The love of God and the love of reality are equally important.

Lenin's ugly mausoleum is visited by millions of Russians each day while greater men, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, aren't even read, since their books are out of print and new editions not allowed; since the only literature that is allowed to be published today is political unreadable trash by dead obsolete dictators, who as professional humbugs committed the mistake of taking themselves seriously...

When the Bolsheviks destroyed imperial Russia they didn't know what they were doing.

Philosophy and psychology are not sufficient as substitutes for God.

I always feel lonely among many people. I never feel lonely among individuals.

A lover temporarily without anything to love is a steam-engine without outlet.

Bach's second part of Das Wohltemperierte Klavier marks the beginning of the history of the piano virtuoso.

We dislike Plato, Goethe and Tolstoy only when we fail to understand them.

I write for the sake of feelings more than for the sake of words.

When spiritual authorities (like the Bible, Homer, et cetera,) are being questioned civilizations perish.

God is a greater authority than man but more diffuse in his undoubtability. The word of man can always be tried and doubted and thereby made valid, but the word of God can never be validated since it can not be proved.

Never be afraid of speaking your mind, even in front of authorities, and never be afraid of admitting that you are wrong.

God is my guide, my light, and my pleasure, if and when it is possible to believe in him.

I read a book in order to get an enjoyable impression of what I am reading.

I study a book in order to understand it.

What is civilization? It could be man's only stable contact with God.

Science is good for individuals, but when it is made a supreme authority for nations and masses, it immediately becomes misused irreligious rubbish and nonsense.

Ancient Greece marked the triumph of the individual.

Leonardo was probably nervous in the Vatican.

Superfluous food feeds only a bad conscience.

A lonely eater is not hungry.

The most peaceful and harmless of all activities might be harmonious music.

Godfearing men seldom think of themselves; they always think of God and their neighbours. Godless men seldom think of God; they always think of themselves.

Humanism is the noblest philosophy ever invented.

Music is the most virtuous of arts.

The more a man suffers, the more frightening he is.

Industrialism led civilization astray.

Materialism is heroic but ugly, and nothing is uglier on earth, because materialism is not natural.

Materialism and love of reality are two different things.

A civilization depends on God, but the evidence of God's support of civilization is material progress. That is at least what all the rich churches claim.

When material progress is discontinued they become doomsday churches.

Poor churches have no claims.

It is wrong to hate the Jews because they crucified Christ. Christ would weep blood on the cross if he saw anyone do it, since he was the very first of Jews.

Greatness ends where humanity begins.

Beware of jumping into barrels and going down the Niagara Falls! Adventures are vain enterprises, leading men, nations and history astray.

Today, the 17th of March, I happened to read a book about St. Patrick, not knowing it was his anniversary day.

Michelangelo was the Hercules of art.

Leonardo was possibly the greatest intellectual in history.

Some say the happiest ages in history were such when men submitted to women.

Those who say it are usually women.

Roman Empires are based on military strength; a civilization is based on individual talents. Why can't they always exist together?

The answer is simple. Love and hate can not do without each other. A Roman Empire is made and managed with love only. Love can not conquer hatred without hatred violently reacting.

Roman Empires, dazzled by the light of love, sometimes lead civilization astray, while civilization never leads Roman Empires astray.

If the supreme pleasure is friendship, good company and a merry social life, then the supreme duty is to maintain civilization, the institution that makes pleasure possible.

But the heart of civilization is the belief in all-conquering love and its ultimate triumph. To believe in convictions, in civilized values, in civilization, the goodness of man and religion, is to confess the supremacy of love above hatred. So why can't Roman Empires and civilization always exist together?

Apparently there are occasionally Roman Empires which are not governed by love only. Only these can not coexist with civilization.

The big question, then, becomes this: why do Roman Empires built and created with love sometimes corrupt? Why do perfect institutions become imperfect?

Roman Empires are artificial. Only artificial institutions become imperfect sooner or later, however perfect they may be. Why? Because man is human enough to tire of their artifice.

In the 19th century the world gradually tired of imperialism. Hitler and Mussolini were poor fools and victims of their age who tried to fight the backward development and maintain the glory of imperialism. Their efforts being desperate, they failed.

I despise every man who believes in making history.

One of the most swelled fruits of materialism was the bureaucracy.

There are three things I long for in this world: the return of the horse, the return of the sailing-vessel, and the return of the craftsman.

If you do not long for a higher state you desire the feeling of having something to long for.

Life is a search for humanity. Happy are those who find it.

Virtue is not only a difficult thing to attain, possess and maintain but next to impossible

It's easy to fall, but it's not easy to get up again.

Light can not do without darkness.

Science is a good means for preserving art.

Welfare kills virtue.

Always have something to long for, and you will never move backward.

You develop a self when you are without company. Company is more worth developing.

I wish to become "a servant of God's servants", but I don't wish to become a pope.

Are the most hated people in the world today the communists?

Rubens, Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Bach, Goethe, Mozart, Verdi, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, all the greatest historical men since the Renaissance were married; all except Handel and Beethoven.

Leonardo and Michelangelo were both unmarried.

Leonardo gave up everything for the sake of the world.

It is not vain to be creative.

A life "sotto voce" is not popular, but no way of living is more civilized, like no music is more agreeable.

In Shakespeare is found the unique thing called perfect waterproof humanity.

Historical triumphs always end with disaster.

If you do not love and hate you will love and fear.

The Renaissance was a dangerous epoch during which man almost bereft God of His authority.

Leonardo was probably the most incredible man in history. He and his age brought civilization to the highest pitch ever attained.

In a vain effort to preserve and control their powers, Roman Empires always strive backward, while civilizations of the Hellenic kind, releasing creativity, always move forward.

The greatest monument ever created by man is the world literature. It's the only building that time hasn't wrecked ever. Literature is the greatest of human efforts, and the world literature is the greatest of all human accomplishments in history.

Only tolerance did ever make history.

No matter how much you turn it over, life remains a dreadful and miserable tale.

What is the most important thing to read in world literature? Everything!

The tragedy of civilization is that people occasionally rather enjoy themselves than cherish it.

Civilization is more cherishable than man, but man is more enjoyable than civilization. A horrible thing to say, but, alas, it may be true.

The tragedy of Leonardo is that so little is known about him today. Much more is known about Michelangelo, wherefore he is better favoured. "People are children who follow the hand that beckons most."

The worst thing you can say to another being is "no".

Happiness is to fight mortality.

The same energy which Leonardo applied to thought, Michelangelo applied to making sculptures.

Virtue is unhuman. That's the tragedy of unhumanity, and the tragedy of humanity is that it isn't virtuous.

No one will ever be content with serving only one master, and no one has ever been able to serve two.

Great men easily become pessimistic or intolerant.

A good writer is a reader who has nothing to read, and a good reader is a writer who has nothing to write.

Perfection is worth aiming at, but it is not worth reaching.

A poet is someone who pleases the world by flattering its past.

Pessimists are usually great, noble, impressive and likeable, but fortunately they are always wrong.

I would like to say to all pessimists: "Get buried!"

Sweden is today the best country in the world.

Sometimes men are made pessimists by women.

A scholar should not marry. He is engaged to art, history and civilization, and should beware of forgetting his duties towards them for the sake of fickle women.

Don't be afraid if the day is dark and the night is bright. It only means that God is active on earth.

What is barbarity? Barbarity is what no one controls. Barbarity has no authority and no moderation, which is why it always must be conquered, surmounted and fought until it is barbaric no more.

Protestants know not humility.

Only fools do ever resist what is given them, because man is made in such a fashion that he never gives to other men what he is not fond of.

Only repressed, restrained and dishonest people are critical.

When man says, "what happens is beyond my control," or, "what happens is not my fault," then the world, civilization and history is in danger.

Only barbarians doubt the value of a classic education.

I love reality, which is why I hate to see it so ugly.

It is common to die a failure.

Love the world. Whatever happens - love the world. One may hate things in it, for instance cars and industries, but one must always continue to love the world as a whole.

America has played a very peculiar role in civilization. Whenever Europe has sunk down into the pit of melancholy during the last two hundred years, America has risen and saved it.

The consequence of self-love is melancholy.

Love is man's greatest weakness, but also the meaning of his life.

The religious traditions of the Jews are older than the religious traditions of the Christians. Christianity is a small sprout from the tree of the Jewish faith.

The Romantics subordinated themselves to everything. I can't subordinate myself to the powers of materialism, industrialism, automobilism, capitalism or communism, wherefore, unfortunately, I am unable to enjoy being a Romantic.

I love every individual, every human being, every creature on two legs, who but believes in divine and human love. Every lover is my friend.

Man has never enjoyed a finer age than the 19th century - the age of imperialism, and yet man turned against that age in his folly and madness and destroyed it.

All roads lead to Rome, but from Rome the road goes to Jerusalem.

Leonardo was the understatement of the Renaissance.

As long as there is someone who is greater than you, you will not be great enough to become a tragic pessimist.

2.4 Man is partly God and partly human.

In Dante is found the greatest horror and the greatest joy ever expressed in words.

Somewhere out in the universe there must be a planet better than earth.

3.4 To work in peace and quiet for the benefit of civilization is the only quite honourable activity.

Loneliness can make of the brightest spirit a dismal philosopher.

One should have a self only in order to share it with others.

For some reason, enthusiasts cease being enthusiastic when they notice they are right.

Never have demands on anyone, and least of all on yourself. Do what you think is best, count on others doing the same, and be satisfied with that.

Without company you are a court jester without a court.

When your light is lost, search for it in darkness.

It is civilized to be afraid of what is not civilized.

4.4 The history of America before 1776 is the history of England.

I am sure future generations will enjoy tearing down what we have built in the functionalistic way during the last fifty years. It's even probable that they will enjoy it even more than we enjoyed tearing down those pretty old idyllic houses which stood where the specimen of the most scandalous architecture in history stand today.

Functionalism,. like nazism and communism, was invented by someone who hated the world.

5.4 Philosophers are those intolerable creatures called who are intolerable enough to consider life quite tolerable.

Europe is my home country.

I count that Europe my home country which includes North Africa, Israel and the Orient, and European Russia.

6.4 America is the bliss of civilization.

All giants have clay feet.

Only gods prefer the example of Christ to the example of David, and only humans prefer the example of David to the example of Christ. One should, naturally, prefer none to the other.

In the 19th century Russia west of the Ural mountains became a part of Europe if it was not so before. Men like Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, Tchekhov, Turgeniev, Dostoyevsky, Gogol, Lermontov and Pushkin made it so.

7.4 With a little help from God man is capable of anything. But that wonderful capability must be used as well as possible. It is, for instance, equally important to preserve and maintain creations as it is to produce them.

Quiet matters matter most.

It is not enjoyable to work for what you do not enjoy working for.

Much went wrong in the 60s, but Kenneth Clark appeared, and there was order again.

The basic difference between Shakespeare and Tolstoy is, that Shakespeare thought you should suffer for civilization, while Tolstoy thought civilization should suffer for you.

The tragedy of Tolstoy was that he did not carry on.

Only in one field perfection is worth reaching : in science.

As long as civilization has been civilized, men have loved things old and hated things new. Love of the past is what made Homer and is the main pillar of civilization.

There is a curse on new-fangled things, and especially on new-fangled architecture. Only modern, intruding, ugly areas of architecture, that sweep away things loved and old, do ever become slums. Only classic architecture is good enough for man.

Peace and quiet is not found in the company of people, no matter how adorable they may be.

Life's greatest delight is creation. You can not create when you are busy having fun.

There is nothing more adorable than a gentle family life, and there is nothing which more mercilessly can cut an artist, the chief adorer of life, into pieces.

I am an illusion.

Subordination and resignation is the only perfect answer and solution to every single problem and question, and that is the tragedy of mankind.

It is better to love what you can love than to regret the love you have lost.

When people can't enjoy themselves I can't enjoy myself either. That is why I want all people to enjoy themselves. I hate only those men who can't enjoy themselves.

I hate company. All I want to do in life is to study, create and philosophize in peace. That is the only way in which I can enjoy life.

I am happy only when I don't have to see man more than two hours a day. Only then I am able to love him.

What an individual can do with any special religion he can also do without any special religion.

To see too much of man is to become critical against him. You can only have fun once a day.

One's life should be guided by sense. There is no sense without thought.

When feelings do not hover they will not last.

The age of optimism, the best of all possible ages, lasted from the fall of Napoleon to the fall of imperial Russia.

All I want is to be an optimist.

Tolstoy loved his peasants so much that he became one of them.

Music is the language of dreams.

When your mind is full of music you can not concentrate on what is more important: literature.

Lenin and Stalin brought back Russian history 200 years. It was Russia's finest step forward to make St. Petersburg a capital in 1713, and her greatest step backward to abandon it and return to half-Asiatic Moscow in 1917.

God suddenly ceased to love Russia in 1881. Then the last great Czar, Alexander II, was suddenly assassinated, then Dostoyevsky died, and then Musorgsky, the composer, died.

Leo Tolstoy was jealous of the Czar.

A humanist has to be and work alone. Without loneliness and the perfect peace and freedom which only loneliness is able to give, he is unable to work and therefore worthless.

The best civilizer is peace.

Bury your scepticism in work!

What comes after death? The paradise of memories.

21.4 The Mosaic, the Greek, the Catholic, the Moslemic and the Protestant Churches ought to unite.

22.4 I make my music to the glory and beauty of the world, God, man and nature.

The greatest effects are produced by the greatest horrors. Nothing is more terrific than terror. That is why you never can forget a horrible work of art.

No one painted nature more exotically than Rembrandt.

Suffering does not make the world better. Sometimes, though, it makes the world worse.

Without peace I am a beggar indeed.

When peace does not work nothing works.

Why do always those suffer who shouldn't suffer, and why are never peaceful people left in peace?

Communism destroyed the greatest and finest age and illusion in history.

Humility, respect and care is the basis of civilization.

27.4 Peace is heaven and everything else is hell.

The happiest age in history was the 19th century. Today people haven't time to be human any more.

Leisure is more important than pleasure.

All the greatest minds in history - Dante, Tolstoy, and all the rest, developed in isolation.

The difference between protestants and catholics is that protestants are critical against everything, while catholics are critical against nothing.

I am imprisoned in the fire of my desire to get out of my prison.

The more you know about Michelangelo, the more you love Leonardo, and the more you know about Leonardo, the more you love Michelangelo.

The same thing could be said about Goethe and Beethoven.

If you love Leonardo it is possible to hate Michelangelo, and if you love Michelangelo it is possible to hate Leonardo, but no matter how much you turn things over it is impossible to hate both.

Peace and Quiet is my Paradise on Earth.

It is more civilized to stoop than to stretch. Humiliation is more beneficial than glorification.

Never eat things which you do not exactly know what they are.

The splendour of imperial Russia died with Anna Karenina.

The tabu thing in the Catholic Church is earthal pleasure. The tabu thing in Protestant countries is unearthal pleasure. In countries where unearthal pleasure is tabu, killjoys always appear, while in Catholic and Jewish countries, Catholics and Jews suffer for their pleasure.

Earthly pleasure is the first step towards baseness.

Those painters, artists and upstarts who rebel against authorities and traditions of art, rebel against history. Usually those very same fellows are very eager to make history. Thus it appears that, in order to make history, they want to abolish history.

Peace is all I ever sought, and unrest is all I ever found.

The fact that the Jews have outlived 3000 years of persecution is a good enough reason for optimism.

Life's a dream, composed of moments as various and unstable as the weather, superseding each other with turbulent haste, giving no age time to breathe. The consummate moment never lasts for long, shifts into wars and nightmares, which suddenly end in quiet peace and silent harmony. It's a hall of mirrors wherein all mirrors reflect different views of life, and wherein all these mirrors in addition reflect each other.

Chambers's encyclopaedia states there is evidence of Leonardo's homosexuality without presenting it. I don't believe in the existence of that evidence until I see it.

A universal genius is a man to whose depth and height of mind there is no roof and no bottom.

Anything is endurable for the sake of civilization.

6.5 Handel and Beethoven were more British while Bach and Goethe were more German.

For four hundred years the world endured the leadership of England. Then, suddenly, during a brief age of astoundingly violent historical cataclysms, England was almost brushed off the map, together with Germany and a major part of our civilization.

France made Europe unendurable between 1661 and 1815.

The highest morality in history is still today the Jewish morality.

Civilization depends on one's appreciation of the accomplishments of human beings.

Civilization belongs to God.

Fame is dangerous, because it turns man's eyes from God to man. All the glory of the world is God's alone.

An ideal world is a world which bothers only about serving God.

Leonardo was a greater prophet of beauty than Michelangelo.

How many pretty young women and men have I loved in my life? None physically; everyone spiritually.

Only individuals are trustworthy.

The progress of civilization depends on God's love of bastards like Leonardo da Vinci.

That man was never born who was too divine to be called human.

Leonardo undoubtedly loved men, but not physically, like he undoubtedly loved women without touching any.

Only divine matters are frightening. 19th century Russia perished because it lost its frightening divinity. It perished in its own supremely noble, humane, civilized, beautiful, weak and sympathetic humanity.

On two occasions in history man has rebelled against humanity: the French revolution and the Russian revolution. (Humanity then does not mean mankind, but the essence of man's good nature.)

The light of religiously decayed ages is woman.

Excessive worldliness breeds unhumanity, intolerance, materialism and godlessness.

I have nothing against communists, as long as they are peaceful. But so far in history they have never been peaceful.

It is human to have fun.

Do not trust success. It's a dragon which, when it expands no longer, consumes itself.

Churchill's morality was higher than Hitler's. That's how he won the war.

Love and serve the world, but never make a boast of it.

An individual is more than the world.

Man is as high as his dreams. His highest dreams are of God and woman.

Civilized ages are either divine or romantic.

When the world becomes greater than the individual, the individual is in danger.

When the individual is in danger, the world is in danger.

It is better to suffer for others than to have others suffer for you.

Hatred of evil means nothing. Love of good values means everything.

The common denominator of all men is God.

Don't believe in unhappiness. It's a lie and a rotten illusion. People only try to make life worse by considering themselves unhappy. Why they want to make life worse is a mystery.

Never be afraid of attacking rotten illusions.

It's fun to turn chaos into cosmos, but what are you going to do after it has been done?

The only thing you can do is to turn cosmos into chaos again.

Without a guide Dante would never have been able to walk out of the forest into the light.

Without authorities, civilization is doomed, and man also.

The greater, better and more numerous authorities you have, the richer and tighter you are.

What is universal joy compared to universal peace?

All you can do about a problem is to solve it.

No poet is more difficult and wonderful to follow than Dante Alighieri.

You can not have fun without a bad conscience unless you suffer for it.

It is only right that man should suffer day and night forever.

It is unhuman not to suffer.

Be ruthlessly self-critical, and you will never lose your self.

Accomplished works of art is the result of climbing mountains of scruples.

Light and peace pertain to each other. Without peace there is no light.

Dante is to our civilization what Homer was to the civilization before his.

Civilization under any circumstances is better than no civilization.

A barbarian's favourite sport is to kill his fellow barbarians.

Feltrinelli started off brilliantly, added a star to the brilliant sky of the 50s, got gradually tragically and miserably lost in the 60s, and finally digged his own grave.

A man who criticizes Hamlet criticizes Hamlet for being Hamlet, which is as unfair as to criticize man for being man.

Only a poet can make a poet. Dante would have been nothing without Ovid, Homer, Virgil, Horatio, Statio, Plato, Aristotle - the whole lot.

What I most admire about Dante is his nose. About his writings, they are not just Dante, but they are superdivine, superuniversal, and superdivinely superuniversally insuperable.

Dante the poet is second only to the writers of the Bible.

As a classic Roman poet he is the divinest in history.

What is England? It's a pretty beautiful country, a rather rare and rosy garden, a place where customs, history and gifts of speech are treated in an English sort of way. It is, in brief, a quaint and quizzical country.

In the eighteenth century it was the noblest art to write and quote much poetry. Happily the habit is still alive among people who live in the 18th century.

In Kenneth Clark's "Civilization" England is the chief actor. When he does not appear on the stage he figures behind, making a puppet of civilization move around less ostentatiously.

Shakespeare wrote more plays than histories and tragedies, like Dante sang more about heaven than on earth.

The world will survive Karl Marx, but Karl Marx will not survive the world.

The more anxious you are to please, the less able to please you will be.

An artist who does not stick to one last will become like Leonardo da Vinci: incapable of ever completing or giving out anything.

It is better to serve civilization in one way than to serve it in a hundred ways and fail.

In the company of divine beings you have to be divine, and in the company of human beings you have to be human. Human beings call divine beings unhuman, and divine beings call human beings base.

No people are more human than the Jews. Compared to a Jew, a human being is unhuman.

No people are more pious, religious and godly than the Jews. Compared to a Jew a good Christian is only human.

The source of civilization is the Word. A fellow who doesn't bother to read much is a barbarian.

Nationalism is dangerous, since it tempts man away from God.

Aristocrats are a hierarchy without a God. That's their tragedy. Their God is the world.

The world constantly changes, is never the same, never gives the individual peace, and never offers satisfaction. Under such conditions the aristocrat lives.

Only lonely aristocrats are sometimes happy and satisfactorily at peace.

The aristocrat's life is a rack. He can't enjoy it, but he forces himself to endure it, because his will is greater than his sufferings. He has but one will in life, and that is to survive.

No one has more constructive energy than the true aristocrat.

The Renaissance, like classical Greece, was a triumph of the aristocracy. Whenever aristocrats have triumphed, history has triumphed.

The function of aristocracies is to make history. The function of the hierarchies is to preserve history when aristocracies fall.

No people have more delicate tastes and feelings for life and art than aristocrats.

People depend on aristocrats, who depend on scholars, (sages,) who depend on religion. At the top of it all is God.

The Renaissance began with Dante and ended with Stefan Zweig.

Science is an earthly matter, and religion is an unearthly matter. Religious science is not science, and scientific religion is not religion. It is blasphemous and unscientific to mix them.

When I love man I hate every man who dares to approach me.

All the greatest works of art in history - the Sistine Chapel, the Comedy, Faust, were created in loneliness and seclusion.

There are two ways in life to choose between: the hard way, and the miserable way. The miserable way makes you suffer, and the hard way makes everyone suffer.

What makes a man ambitious? The answer is thought.

Goethe and Leonardo had one thing in common: they didn't want to earn anyone's hatred. They never were hated, but instead they were persecuted and despised, for being "unhuman" and for loving beauty.

Shakespeare dared hate mankind on stage. For that he was praised for being human. Goethe dared to hate no one. For that he was called unhuman.

One's chief passion in life should be life.

There were hells enough in the world before the industries came and worsened the situation.

Women should not be social. They should be women.

Is it right to be unhuman towards immoral human beings?

It's easier to please God than to please man.

The aristocrat pleases man, the scholar pleases the aristocrat, religion pleases the scholar, and God pleases the priest.

27.5 Within God everything is possible.

Sin is pleasure.

Paradise is love.

The meaning of life is peace. Peace is found only in Paradise, in God.

The weight of evil has always been heavier than the lightness of good.

Civilization could not exist without nature, but nature could exist without civilization. That makes civilization the smaller, frailer and more sympathetic thing of the two.

Peace only can make civilization blossom, and want of peace only makes civilized men withhold themselves.

Every 140th year, approximately, there is a period of universal cultural collapse of 70 years, which is followed by a period of universal cultural rebirth and reorientation of equal length.

Only the best is good enough, and the only best thing is God.

What will happen on the day when God forgives Lucifer? Well, Hell will certainly cease to exist.

Good pictures are more important in a film than brilliant intellectualism.

Individualists are as despicable as socialists. One should be individual and social.

No man is lonelier than the composer, for he belongs to Heaven, and Heaven is not on earth.

Russia is politically, geographically and culturally no more a part of Europe than the Roman Empire was a part of Greece.

Where God is there is civilization.

Any language sounds well in verse.

The greatest hero of every war is the loser.

Nothing is more human than feelings.

Materialism killed the aristocracies.

Losers always win God, and winners never win anything except vanity.

Virgil was a great maintainer of the Homeric tradition.

Country people are usually eccentric and immoderately religious philosophers. It's impossible, though, not to be an individual in the country.

The first defeat is the worst. It's the hardest and most unfair thing which ever happens in an innocent man's life.

The first step towards barbarity is taken when God is left behind.

One human being is more than all mankind.

The three things I love most in Italy are the Church, the peace, and the natural humility.

Food and lust is not good for your studies.

It's impossible to understand God.

In Italy God is almost never mentioned or prayed to. Man is more popular than God, and the chief object of adoration is the Madonna, a woman. The Italian is homeless, and excessively gregarious for that reason: company is the substitute for comfort. All the same I have never seen a better country.

The Italian's home is the Church.

Subordinate yourself to what is good, and rise above what is bad.

That which is intolerable must be tolerated, and that which is tolerable must be served.

In Italy everything good is appreciated to an excessive degree. What is ugly and popular in Germany, for instance, becomes beautiful and worshipped in Italy.

An individual being more than the world, it is more important to love individuals than to love the world.

Dante was the unhappy fellow who made Florence happy.

In Italy every town is more to the Italian than Sweden is to the Swede.

There is no cultural pessimism in Italy.

Who do I see in the mirror? I see a young dark handsome fellow who is not me.

Christ lived in an age when the world was more loved than God.

The supreme authority on religious matters is the Jew.

A Jew who is not religious is not a Jew.

When the weather is bad it is always a comfort to know it is good somewhere else.

A Christian is someone who bends his knees in the world's greatest cathedral. I have seen no Christian in the Church of Saint Peter in Rome today.

I love femininity, but I prefer masculinity.

Man's word is God's, but man's hands are his own.

What is mine is everyone's.

Europe is the modern Greece, Russia and America are the modern Romes.

The two high points of history were the age of Phidias and the age of Michelangelo.

Religion makes man lovable.

From Rome I would like to continue to Campania, Apulia, Calabria and Sicily, and from there to Greece and Jerusalem, but it is impossible this time.

One of the grossest mistakes in history was to blame anyone for the death of Christ.

Why is it impossible to appreciate Greece when you are in Italy? The most sympathetic of all heroes Virgil called cruel, and Dante placed all the Greeks in hell, including the same hero. And yet Greece was once more classical than Italy ever was.

Where there is universality, humanity, faith in civilization, peace and a responsible aristocracy, there is God.

It's tragic that civilization depends more on the unhappiness than on the happiness of man: a lonely and deserted fellow is usually more civilized than a gregarious fellow who spends his life in good company.

You can not bargain with God. What he wills and wants he does, and there is nothing you can do to alter His ways, except excusing them and explaining them away by denouncing all responsibility and calling them destiny.

Civilization depends on the individual's ability to commit himself. Where it is not natural to commit oneself it is not natural to be civilized.

The weapon of my love is humility.

When Shakespeare left the stage the world went out of joint.

The Medicis fell when Michelangelo robbed Florence of the Renaissance by going to Rome.

No one is more ignorant about Rome than the typical Roman, and no one cares less about the divine city.

Rome surpasses Florence in everything, but Florence is more lovable.

The cause of man is civilization.

God is the lover, and man is lovable. Whatever man does is lovable, and what God loves lasts forever.

The meaning of man's life is civilization. When civilization is not pushed further up the hill it can but tumble down.

A perfect melody can make any composition perfect.

I still maintain that music without melody is not music.

Around the Mediterranean all men are philosophers without blushing, and all women work for them with satisfaction.

Where food is cheap God is dear.

The Forum Romanum is a place for future craftsmen to delight in refashioning.

When civilization is not natural it becomes baroque, odd and unhuman.

Civilization has ever followed nature, of which human nature is a part.

In almost all Leonardo's paintings there is someone who points upwards. What are they all pointing at? Not even San Giovanni Battista is pointing at the concrete cross he is holding, but at something more abstract.

God strikes only in order to put on trial.

When Goethe left the court of Weimar and became solitary the French revolution broke out.

What is difficult to understand is worth understanding.

The colour of history is the colour of blood.

I love England, I love Germany and the North, I love Russia, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Rome, Athens and Jerusalem, I love the Church and the entire world, but I prefer civilization.

The Renaissance of the aristocracy through Dante made the world renaissance possible.

When the ruins of Rome become temples again it is either the end of the world or a new beginning.

What Michelangelo did for civilization no age can ever thank him enough for.

When something becomes too incredible it can only be understood by a glance towards God.

Civilization depends on aristocrats. When aristocrats fall civilizations fall.

The Romans loved reality, and the meaning of their lives was the pursuit of happiness. They constantly surpassed their own excellence, and the supreme top and highest pitch of Roman happiness, comfort and splendour was achieved by Diocletian.

People's pursuit of happiness, though, tends to leave humanity and God behind, which may lead to disastrous consequences, which the fall of the Roman Empire and the Third Reich show.

God first, civilization and humanity second, and happiness, comfort and welfare third, should be the three meanings of life.

Happiness does never exist on one hand without suffering on the other.

Michelangelo and Leonardo were the two greatest of all craftsmen in history.

Humanity began in Israel.

When music is not a reflection of God it is a reflection of nothing.

It is unhuman not to love women.

Humility is what made civilizations, and lack of humility is what always destroyed them.

The world was flat for a longer period than it has been round.

To feel for Dante is to feel for Italy and the Italians.

Quando si sta bene si sta troppo bene, ma quando si sta male non si sta mai troppo male. La vita é una tragedia.

Aristocratic life of comfort and nobility is in no way better than ordinary life. It has a finer appearance, but life is life, for the butcher of Jerusalem as well as for the millionaire of Sweden, and there is nothing you can do to change it.

The three noblest Princes of history, Solomon, Marcus Aurelius and Leo Tolstoy, were pessimists whose empires fell with them.

The Renaissance took place within God and succeeded well for that reason. Without religion, piety, devotion, faith, love, hope and humility the universal genii of the renaissance would never have been able to carry on.

Leonardo was God's darling, and Michelangelo was Leonardo's beloved.

You have to be honest in order to be anything at all.

Where there is not indifference there is tragedy.

The supreme vanity is pleasure.

The strangest of all phenomena of life is that love always survives.

Italians love everything and criticize nothing. They are civilized.

Leonardo was maybe the greatest lover of man in history. He was the Homer of science, the Nestor of art, the only painter ever who was better than Rembrandt, the greatest philosopher, thinker, seer and prophet of modern times, a universal genius of divine measures, in all his humility the most faithful of all servants of humankind, and maybe the most lovable man ever.

You have to experience Italy before you can grasp Leonardo da Vinci.

Never close your eyes to anything. Whatever you may see it is only the facts of life.

Homer's Iliad is the most fearful and realistic painting of the horrors of life ever made. The Iliad is a bloody glorious divine tale, utterly shocking in its truth.

Dante was profoundly human. He preferred David to Solomon and believed Christ was God.

Not even Shakespeare achieved profounder tragedies than the authors of the Bible.

Before Homer everything was in vain. After Homer nothing was in vain.

The red thread of civilization is the quality of being human.

Pessimism, isolation and lack of company alienates the human being and destroys humanity and civilization.

Leonardo and Goethe were both unhuman, being experts on more than one field. Goethe's literature suffered from his unhumanity, and Leonardo suffered even more. Is it better to be human and humble with one art in practice, than divine, unhuman and supremely glorious with an empire of crafts?

Leonardo and Goethe were greater than Rembrandt and Bach, but were they happier?

I am not at all sceptical against miracles.

Besides writing there are many arts that could be used by poets epically, for instance music, painting, sculpture, filming, architecture and dancing.

No one is guilty, in heaven or on earth, and that's what confounds humanity.

Divinities are always human.

Where I go Sweden goes.

When Shakespeare left the stage the Renaissance died; when Shakespeare finished writing tragedies the world cried and Shakespeare died.

It is better to sow and suffer than to have nothing to reap.

Humility is the supreme harmonizer and humanizer of man.

Solomon was so wise that he thought equally of God and man.

Israel is the supreme conscience of mankind.

The Italians are the third most humiliated people in history. The Greeks are the second, and Israel is the first.

Blasphemy is what has destroyed just too many civilizations. The last great historical blasphemy was communism.

Without God man is unhuman.

There is no vainer man in history than the soldier.

The new greatness of man which Shakespeare introduced and which killed the Renaissance also killed classical France and imperial Russia.

When God is a burden life is a burden.

History is the comfort of unhistorical ages.

The sun will return to Rhineland when the Rhine is clean.

In Italy everything is beautiful because you are never lonely. In Germany nothing is beautiful because you are always lonely.

Empires are built by soldiers; civilizations are built by human beings.

Germany is the devil's own country. It's the country of Karl Marx, Martin Luther, the great Nazi-executioners of Jews, the three greatest wars in history, and the home of industrialism and materialism. No country has turned Europe into more and greater trouble since the days of Marcus Aurelius, and it is indeed the hardest nut to crack which civilization ever has encountered.

No nut, though, is too hard for the patience of God.

There is no rest in Germany, no sunshine, no light, no humanity, no moderation, no joy, no conscience, no sense of right and wrong, there is nothing in Germany except the awareness of being history's greatest failure.

The good details of Germany are easily numbered: the memories of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, German Gothicism, classical music, and literature. The rest is barbarity, cruelty and ignorance.

The German landscape is one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen. It's a great pity that such a beautiful country has made such a complete historical failure.

Every German has reason to but condemn his mother country.

All men have their God and their humanity in common.

What's the difference between Catholics and Protestants? Catholics are more religious, they have a higher natural sense of morals, they are more poetical and have usually greater artistic interests, and they are more vivid. They are also more human, they associate more easily, they think more, they are more civilized, they are more sensitive, they are more constructive and more delicate.

A Catholic without his parish, without the environment of other Catholics, is like a fish out of water, or like a man alone in outer space.

There is something wrong with everyone who does not work.

I am a little lamb led astray by the herd, but what can I do to repair them?

Nothing is greater than God's wrath. Tremble, o world, for thou shalt witness it!

I don't like the industries, and I never shall. They are an ugly nuisance, and they shall remain an ugly nuisance as long as they exist, but they can not be criticized, because man has made them. To refuse to tolerate them would be to refuse to tolerate man, and that would put an end to civilization.

Homer is the most heroic and human of poets; Virgil is his son, refined, intellectual, classical, bright, lovable, subtle and humble enough to be the only one worthy of that title.

Whatever others do is right.

No one is ever wrong except he who knows it.

When God is generous man is prosperous.

Michelangelo did what Leonardo thought of doing but did not stoop to do.

By abandoning the Latin language the Catholic Church has bereft itself of its foundation.

Rembrandt was the Job of the Renaissance.

Industrialism is a monument to inhumanity. I will hate it as long as I live.

What is wrong about the industries? They make man hate man.

The more you love the world, the more you hate what uglifies it.

The language of Hellenes is humble, quiet carefulness, and the barbarian's language is black destructive passion.

Splendour characterized every considerable empire in history. Splendour is a fantastic feast for the eyes, which unfortunately always has an end.

Man makes splendour to delight himself with. It does not come from God, unfortunately, which is why it always ends. It is the supreme and most irresistible temptation of vanity.

Splendour is the light of darkness, the joy of darkness, and the beginning of darkness.

The servants of splendour usually bring the works of the servants of God to a climax and a finish.

Servants of splendour work at night, while servants of God enjoy His light.

In Italy there is nothing more adorable than a hero. In the North there is nothing less adorable than a hero. Why? Because people in the North are totally indifferent.

Rome is Rome only in Rome.

The difference between Protestants and Catholics is, that Protestants, who dwell north of the Thuringer Wald, fight for their unchangeability, while Catholics are those fanatic beings who never have accepted the fall of Rome and still fight for their faith and belief in it.

Industrialism has done everything but written the most fearful chapter in history.

Aristocrats are homeless beings. Their only homes are themselves.

Michelangelo expressed the divinity of man, while Leonardo expressed the divinity of the universe.

God builds empires like a child plays with bricks and fells them.

Man's highest dream in history has been to fly. Why has he never succeeded? Even today aeroplanes constantly fall, explode and break into pieces.

Only gods and angels have wings, and man has never been steadily a god, although he has often been divine.

There is no action without reaction, and that's the tragedy of history. Every great civilizer in history encountered resistance and hatred, and that's what broke them all down.

The truly civilized man, though, bows his head, receives what's given him, resigns in humility, and remains faithful to his love.

Man as a human being is more durable than man as a divine being.

I hate and curse industrialism, since it has disfigured, harmed and broken against the laws of nature; since it has imperilled all life; since it has caused all craftsmen, horses and sailing-vessels to disappear; and since it has dehumanized and denaturalized man, making him a monster instead. I hate and curse automobilism, since it has destroyed, uglified and disfigured all cities; since it has caused mammoth roads to be constructed at the cost of the cities, the countrysides and all natural picturesque virginity and beauty; and since the car roads have brought us back to the barbarity, the bloodsheds, the tragedies and the ruthlessness of ancient battlefields: on the car roads today people are being killed and invalidated like during the Thirty Years' War on the battlefields. I hate and curse the tyranny of barbarity, which today is being represented by the immoderate and insane vanity of industrialism and automobilism.

Serial killers like Jack the Ripper could only have been brought forth by an unhuman environment like the modern urbanization slums.

I prefer living at the mercy of nature than at the mercy of barbarity.

The supreme civilizer of man is nature.

Without God man is unhuman.

Lionardo da Vinci was the culmination of the Renaissance.

God loves humanity, which is why it always survives and constantly reappears throughout history.

Love your neighbour more than yourself.

The universal genius is a lonely being who lives in a dark and terrible age, without light, with much suffering, persecuted, ignored and depreciated all his life, forced to serve vanity, with little hope that anything of his life's work will survive him, without anything to cling to except himself.

Israel is perhaps the weakest nation in history but has the most powerful friends in history, one of them being the highest authority in history.

Where art is not appreciated enthusiastically civilization has no chance.

Women who do not devote all their life and energy to men are not human.

All vanities are adorable, and especially woman.

God created woman for the company of man in order to refine him.

Civilization can not exist where passion rules. Love is the beginning of civilization, and passion is the end of it.

I am not an anarchist, but I hate all authorities except God and man.

It is wrong to criticize civilization, but it is even wronger to uphold civilization for the sake of civilization. Human happiness is more important.

Loneliness breeds maggots in the finest of hearts.

There are many things which no one says and which everyone should say.

I respect Bach, but I can not respect all his unworthy followers.

When man limits himself he degenerates. God made man an image of God; when man loses that image he loses God.

Man will never discover new worlds with the millstone of comfort hanging around his neck.

Industrialism has made the world greater but hardly better. North of the Alps 75% of it is dispensable, and south of the Alps 100% of it is dispensable.

An individualist is an emperor without an empire.

Napoleon's two greatest enemies were William Shakespeare and Ivan the Terrible, which he was too French and Catholic to be able to cope with.

Jerusalem is the golden pistil, the Greeks are the stamina, Italy is the flower, Spain and France are the stalk and petals, England is the flower-bed, Germany is the meadow in the glade, and Russia is the forest. You can only see it all from the pistil. From the forest you can not see it, nor the stamina, nor even the flower.

America, finally, is the landscape around the forest.

There is nothing more dark, more powerful, more fearful and more passionate than God.

God is passion ; man is his beloved.

Golden ages produce men like Lionardo da Vinci, Leo Tolstoy, Rubens, Marco Polo and Napoleon. Dark ages produce no men at all.

The happiest of ages produced the unhappiest of authors - Dostoyevsky.

Nature is nothing without man. Nature is only man's background. She is man's freedom, his joy, his love, she is the ocean and man is the fish; she is man's universe.

The happiest of ages - the later half of the nineteenth century - tottered already in the 1880s, when it began to suffer from naturalism, but it did not fall until in the fatal year of 1914.

I love music, but I can not stand it.

I shall never publish anything. Civilized isolation is better than reckless glory.

Music is the expression of the greatest possible human joy. Good music is so joyous, so exhilarating, so supremely intoxicating, that it may lead man anywhere. The god of music is far more dangerous and powerful than innocent Dionysus.

The English are one of the very few peoples on earth who could be called perfectly civilized. There are only three others: the Italians, the Greeks, and the children of Israel.

God is more tremendous than the utmost powers of nature.

It's easier to attack civilization than to support it. The difficulty of recognizing good values, actively commit oneself to them, and remain loyal and constant and faithful to them, the hard servility, is the charm of life.

War and imperialism are the most heroic of all activities, but there is no fellow more tragic than the glorious hero.

In the city people lounge about on their beds ; in the country people work.

A woman who is not feminine there is not much joy with.

Shakespeare ended the Renaissance, Brecht ended the most glorious of ages, the Greek tragedians ended the classical age of Greece, every time universal playwrights have appeared, a world has fallen out of joint.

In the eighteenth century the powers of earth looked away from God, which was why such terrible disasters occurred as the departure of America from England, the French revolution, the industrial revolution, the death of a pope in France as a prisoner, and the immoderation of Napoleon Bonaparte.

God has never been nor will he ever be satisfied with man.

When man is divine enough to adore woman he succeeds in making history.

The British explorers of Africa in the 19th century never found the sources of the Nile. They only found the Nile with some lakes.

What does it matter what man looks like as long as there is woman by his side?

Love God, give all your life to Him, be virtuous and persistently humble, beware of the ways of man, follow only God's ways, and He shall make of you a good human being.

I suffer from two dreadful vices: playing the piano and collecting stamps.

Supreme happiness is to be able to love without being loved.

Tonight I shall pray for the Jews of Russia.

It's a dark age.

If you do not commit yourself to perpetual unrest, worse people than you will.

The two greatest and noblest efforts in modern history were presented by Bach and Napoleon.

About 55 percent of the world hates the world, about 55 percent of all people hate all people, about 55 percent of civilization wants to destroy it, about 55 percent of all people refuse to accept and believe in God, about 55 percent of the universe is as vain as a lawn-mower.

Do what you most feel like doing, read what you most feel like reading, be what you most feel like being, accept only what pleases you, believe in no authority, convince yourself about that you are right and the world wrong, think, do and be whatever you like, and you will be unhappier than ever before.

No matter what man does, no matter what he tries to do, no matter what may happen in history, there is always the original source, which is the joy of man.

A pessimist is no better to the world than the world is to the pessimist.

Music which is not purgative is not really music but noise.

Christ was the most human King in history.

Civilization is where there are no industries.

Oh God, deliver us from the outrages of industrialism and welfare!

Drug addiction is fornication.

Michelangelo was the lovÈd ; Leonardo was the lover.

The more human a man is, the more religious he becomes.

Music is a drug to the intellect: it allures you to go on and on without ever stopping, like Napoleon.

Are the Jews doomed to remain forever the only people to understand the most wonderful book ever written - the Law?

Christ was the Jewish answer to the Hellenic civilization.

One wrong word in the wrong place may lead history astray.

It's easier to escape what shouldn't be escaped than to escape painful memories.

You get nowhere by thinking ; you get anywhere by loving.

A man becomes embarrassing when he suffers more than he pleases.

To make a man famous is to make him greater than the world. When man gets greater than the world the world gets lost.

What is life without God? It's easier to do without life than to do without God.

There is nothing more exhausting than history.

What God loves lasts forever, but there isn't much he loves. Basically he loves nothing but himself. All the same I love God.

When people are not barbaric enough to make history, they are so barbaric that they study history.

There is no kind of exhibitionism which is not masochistic.

Music is one of man's most heroic, extravagant and fragile efforts.

God is the only giant who hasn't got clay feet.

Friendship and good company is the basis for any civilization.

Loneliness is the worst and gravest enemy of civilization.

Why is dirt, barbarity, brutality, horror and filth so beautiful? The most human thing is the height of ugliness - marriage.

Only the homeless have homes - They have something to long for.

Civilization depends on man's love of woman.

Man is a labourer ; woman is a servant.

Human happiness tends to undermine civilization. When you are happy you have no desire of sordid books.

May posterity have mercy upon us.

Goethe considered man more worthy of happiness than God did.

If people pay for honey and milk with rotten apples, give them more honey and milk and don't accept any payment.

If people reward good with evil, you shall reward their evil with good.

When God had destroyed Jerusalem he pitied the poor ruined city and has loved poor morbid self-destructive civilizations ever since.

God is the inspirer, man is the constructor, and the devil is the destroyer.

All poets are basically anarchists, because they are more dependant on God than on monarchy.

The glorious and splendid adoration of Mammon, which was introduced by Shakespeare, was eventually killed by imperialism and the envy towards and persecution of Jews.

The most crucial moment in any man's life is the moment of injustice. When it comes; either you endure it, or you become unendurable for the rest of your life.

God is the gardener of forests. Countries in which forests grow are blessed by God - as long as those countries maintain their forests.

The most interesting of all discoveries to make in life is that God is human.

God gave man the horse, the craftsman, and the sailing-vessel. What did man do with them? He destroyed them.

15.9 Monarchy is a fresh old honourable oak, which the rotten branch of socialism has been permitted to obscure.

Kings are historical suns who shine forever. Common men who try to vie with kings are merely shadows.

There are too many people in Italy, which is the Italian's greatest problem.

Cars make a horrible noise and spread a terrible smell. Factories are like cars, but much greater, and in addition they look horrible. Is oil about to make yet another black chapter in history?

Psychology, man's love of man, is the opposite of theology, man's love of God.

Psychology is man's way of increasing his own divinity at the cost of his love of God's.

Industrialism is a bloody horrible tyrannizing empire.

The composer is an emperor without an empire, a prophet without a tongue, a lover without seed, the greatest and finest of cathedral-builders - whose cathedral is doomed to be ignored. He is the king of dense black love, doomed to long for and desire light in vain as long as he lives.

The most beautiful and heroic thing a man can do is to try to realize his dream. Many an excellent fellow has perished in that effort, for instance Napoleon and Alexander; dreadful and merciless are the consequences of the superhuman feat, it always leads to disasters, but the effort is worth making; because it makes man more human and God more divine, it shows the divinity of man and the humanity of God.

Industrialism is the trap of civilization, the clog of man, and the cross of the world.

Welfare was originally meant to dispose of misery. Today welfare is the world's greatest misery.

There are few chapters in history more shocking, more depressing and more tragic than the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleone Buonaparte, the Corsican who became emperor of all the world except England.

The history of the world is the history of Italy.

21.9 Two world wars did not destroy the Germany of Charlemagne, Otto I, Frederick Barbarossa, Charles V, Bach and Goethe.

Goethe the man was better and more agreeable than Goethe the poet, the genius, the exhibitionist.

Today is always a nightmare, tomorrow is unavoidable, and yesterday, only, is comfortable, beautiful and sane.

Music is divine. That's what's wrong with it.

The brightest of all ages, the 19th century, was one of God's most brilliant experiments.

Will I be as critical against the world menace of drugs in fifty years as I am critical against the world menace of factories and cars today?

I probably will, because I shall always be opposed to darkness.

The smaller the architectural models are, the more horrifying the architectural mistakes and failures become.

When Louis XIV reigned in excess and blasphemy nothing was done to get him to the rats, but as soon as the French royalty and aristocracy became blue-eyed, innocent, weak and humble, kings were cut to pieces and queens were racked, sentenced without trials and hanged.

No one does anything to the horrors of automobilism and industrialism today, but it would not surprise me if they violently disposed of it all as soon as it began to show some temperance and innocence.

When Tolstoy killed woman (in Anna Karenina) civilization suddenly lost her meaning.

When man is capricious and woman tries to control him, civilization is not in danger.

A human being is always a human being, whether high or low, great or small, noble or common, well off or destitute, strong or weak, human or unhuman.

Music is the most romantic of all arts.

You can hear in Bach's music that he was a typical German who shared the mentality of "subordination and humility, even if it means slavery".

Art (craft, sculpture, painting, music,) is either divine or profane, despicable and doomed.

Madmen is what the devil calls the divine.

As long as the humble idealist Karl Marx lived, the decent innocent movement called communism was atrociously persecuted, disrespected and loathed like dirt; but as soon as Karl Marx was dead and communism lost its humble, innocent and harmless ways, everyone became a communist, everyone made communistic revolutions everywhere, everyone began to vie with each other in making communism yet another historical world power to tyrannize humankind with. Thus spoke the pessimistic historian.

Homer and Shakespeare, my two favourite poets, were the two greatest heretics in history. And that's maybe their greatest honour.

The Word is Light, and Art is the light which shines in darkness.

Aristocrats and leaders are followed with enthusiasm as long as they are successful, but as soon as they get into complexities and are humiliated, they become attacked, despised and scorned for no good Christian reason at all.

We abhor and suffer atrociously from the sight of the miseries, injustice, horrors and hells of welfare, but as soon as we turn our backs to these things we praise them, support them and consider them good.

Greatness always means tyranny. No tyranny is acceptable except God's, because that tyranny can never affect us politically. That's the advantage both of politics and of God's tyranny.

Autumn moods are always dark.

Goethe was born in God's world. When he died it was God's no more but the inhuman scientist's. Goethe himself was partly to blame for that evolution.

Tolstoy tried to rehumanize the world but failed.

Scientists, like all brave men who don't fear God, build only in order to destroy. Between 1910 and 1950 the children of science destroyed more than one civilization.

Power is something you have to defend in order to keep. Power without war is impossible.

It is human to fail.

Never try to hide your failures. In the long run they might prove your greatest merits.

Handel is the best entrance to the heaven of Johann Sebastian Bach.

A woman sinks constantly deeper in your esteem the more you use her, but nevertheless you always continue to love her.

Jews really get into trouble when they try to be like heathens.

Shakespeare left the stage in order to prove himself human.

8.10 When Russia destroyed Germany she destroyed her own basis.

Isaac was brought to the altar not only once. He has constantly been brought there by God and will ever constantly be so, because the trials of Abraham shall never cease.

As long as Isaac lives Ishmael shall also remain alive.

Industrialism is the curse of the Germanic race.

Man's adoration of God makes the age look dark and the future look bright.

Man's strength is woman. Without woman he is a weak feeble abject creature capable of nothing but worries.

It's natural to share the pleasures of life with others. For that reason I find it my duty to at least try to publish what has pleased me to write.

The Arabian desire to exterminate Israel is vain and doomed to fail. Only God's desires are ever fulfilled, and he has never fully desired to exterminate Israel.

The Nazis desired it and only succeeded in exterminating themselves.

Marxism is the highest and the most clever form of imperialism. It is covert imperialism hiding under the blanket of hypocrisy and hatred towards empires who dare say they are empires. Today all empires are dead except the black and bloody Marxist empire, which has nothing to live by except obsolete established lies.

The greatest joy in life is to sit back and enjoy what you have worked for.

Never say, "écrasez l'infâme!" even to tyrannies like the industrial temple of Mammon. The tyrant will only answer by crushing you. The good and innocent always lose against barbarian brutes when it comes to a direct battle. It's better to wait with patience and let time work for you, because it always will when your cause is right and good.

Socialism, the embodiment of God's hatred of industrialism, is of course quite destructive and has always been so.

Wise men who know what is right exist so that people can abandon them, proving themselves all cowards and the wise man all the braver for his loneliness.

The existence of Israel is the triumph of God.

The best way to fail is to press oneself.

Socialism is a dirty child of a dirty father - industrialism.

Like all empires the Marxist empire lives by sucking out its subjects.

The Jews got God, the Greeks and Latins got mythology, and the Germans got madness.

Only peace makes men like Homer, and only war makes men like Charlemagne.

Nights should be dark. They should not be lit up by street lamps and car lights. The natural lights of the sky and the universe are much more beautiful and atmospheric. At night one should fear nature and not man.

There are two kinds of writers: those who write because of the circumstances, and those who write for no good reason at all.

If civilization ever is wiped out, Israel will survive.

14.10 The worst thing you could call a human being is unhuman.

The Germans used to write an incredibly tremendous lot of words about terrifically insignificant trivialities.

There is no room for God and nature in the Marxist empire.

Where action is God dwells.

I would accept industrialism if it were clean.

Only imperialists hate imperialists.

Israel is man's greatest cause.

It's safer to count on war than to count on peace.

The most important thing to do when you feel like doing something is to do it.

It is quite evident, that for some reason the Swedish Academy does not normally dare give the Nobel Prize for literature to Classics. Those eternal authors who did not get the prize were greater authors and a greater number of authors than those eternal authors who did get it. That is how institutions founded by scientists work.

Music is war, with the sole difference that no one gets hurt.

The best way to make a future is to preserve and maintain the past.

The Slav rejection of authorities ultimately means the rejection of God.

The greater the speed, the more fearful the accident.

Civilization is the empire of likeable creations of man. God is the emperor.

The Jews despised their wisest king, crucified Christ, sold Joseph for a slave, and made a calf of gold for adoration when Moses collected their Law with the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai. That's what the Jews are like. But God loves them. It takes more than an ordinary god to love such a people.

Israel is and will always be the finest flower in history.

A tragic difference of opinion between England and Germany resulted in the two greatest wars in history.

The second, which was much worse than the first, only started because England after the first dared to say unto Germany: "There! I told you so!" having proved itself right by force, which Germany only could take as an unbearable preposterousness.

War against Israel is war against God. If the Arabs make such a war in the name of their god, that proves their god is a phoney. If anything, the Yom Kippur war has proved just that.

Always think of God, and God will always think of you.

You can never learn enough from children.

When man is not complicated his conditions become complicated.

There is no humanity without unhumanity, and no unhumanity without humanity.

It is better to lose everything than to lose God.

The Beatles are quite good when you don't have to hear them.

When you are quite homeless you realize that after all you have a home.

Germany was a Paradise for Jews and the home of all musical beauty, until Karl Marx ruined everything by ceasing to be a Jew and not having any musical sense.

The perfect heathen has plenty of money, is remarkably generous, makes himself most popular, believes in science, is productive in many fields, is much realistic, appreciates everything and everyone, loves Christ, avoids God, Jews and Israel, and is never lonely. He always ends quite disillusioned and dies a broken man, despite his success, good name, fame, and the world's love of him.

Is it possible to believe in civilization after having seen Germany fall, from a state of paradise to a state of hell?

It is not polite to think ill of your enemies.

In the name of the poor and in the name of slaves who fed their masters, the communists enslave the poor.

Those who disagree with the world usually pay for the mistakes of the world.

The remarkable thing about Jews is that, when God abandons them, they don't abandon Him.

The industrial countries have much to learn from the undeveloped countries.

Christianity, the reformation, enlightenment, communism - every age has its own destructive philosophy.

Man's greatest vice is politics. But you can't imagine man without it.

The 20th century is the age of noise, of roaring engines and of unmusical music.

Industrialism is the Judas Iscarioth of civilization, and communism is his first-born son. Kill the father, and the son will be disposed of.

Industrialism has a daughter also. Her name is peace, prosperity, safety, comfort, cleanliness, art, miracle, humility, service, modesty, pleasure, films, gramophones, music and beauty. She is not seen like her brother, whose stinking ugliness she avoids, wherefore she will not be contaminated but survive.

All industries whose chimneys are not seen, whose buildings do not hide the sun, and who do not dirty anything, are good.

The Swedes of Sweden and Finland are nothing compared to the Germans, who are nothing compared to the English and Dutch, who are nothing compared to the French and Spanish, who are nothing compared to the Italians, who are nothing compared to the Greeks, who are nothing compared to the Jews.

The remarkable thing about God is that he is always improving.

Water-closets were made for women.

Christ was the greatest heart-breaker in history.

Most of what Christ said didn't make any sense, but, like all Jews, he had an exceptional humanity, which is worth noticing.

The best way to make enemies is to love them.

Atheists are people of that kind which never gets humiliated. They don't know what they are missing!

The best parts of life do always sooner or later become the worst.

Great men are more common than their admirers consider them to be: history is nought but a starry sky where every star is one of them.

What makes destructive individualists so admirable, irresistible and sympathetic? - Their tragedies.

Tolstoy's final escape from his home and wife was his defeat, fall and ruin. Being a Russian Pericles, and more than that to the entire world, the world collapsed with him, and glory, classical brightness, liberalism, aristocratic high-mindedness, humanitarianism, universal welfare, world order and the finest empire in history followed him down in his fall.

God is history. It's quite natural to regard Christ as a man of the same kind as Alexander and Augustus.

The appearance of Christ is the most delicate, intricate and perplexing chapter in history. He was too mysterious and obscure to ever be able to convince everyone beyond every shadow of a doubt that he was God's son. And it isn't even quite convincing that he ever made that claim.

God loved France so much that France crushed God's most blessed institution on earth at the time: monarchy.

Babylon perished, Greece perished, Rome perished, Germany perished, but the kingdom of Christ is still going strong after 2000 years.

The fact that Greece and Rome overlooked the Biblical tradition resulted in their sudden and total downfall. Or was it that they simply didn't get on the right train in time to get started on the new speeded-up era of non-democracy and non-philosophy for 1500 years? Well, they took the next train instead 1500 years later on - and then left Christianity behind.

The French revolution was not entirely bad. There were many improvements and good results, which deserved being paid for in blood. Not so the Russian revolution, which was only and exclusively a dreadful destructive horrible mistake and decisive step from the best to the worst.

God's greatest sport is to delight mankind with fabulous plays and shows, like for instance the Greek religious mystery drama of Christ.

No one wanted war in 1914 except God. And it's not even certain that He really wanted it.

Sin is the best teacher of virtue.

Christ addressed himself to the masses, and that was his only flaw.

Who doesn't wither when nature withers isn't natural.

Nature is the master of man, and civilization is man's greatest weakness. Is there anything more helpless than a civilized man who stands in urgent need of a water-closet without there being any nearby?

You have to love art in order to appreciate works of art.

The first world war destroyed Austria, Germany and Russia and 300 years of cultural development.

The second world war destroyed what was left of Germany and Austria. It also confirmed barbarity in Russia, destroyed the Netherlands, England, France and Italy and 600 years of cultural efforts.

The Nazis made a tremendous success in making 600 years of cultural constructiveness go down the drain.

The two world wars were God's wars against man. For what reason? None whatsoever. If there was anything in history without any meaning, it was the two world wars. And nothing is more difficult to believe, than that God had anything to do with it.

I believe in God, and I believe in one holy apostolic church, but I don't believe in all the rest: the so called trinity, the son of God, the immaculate conception, the hell and the devil, the original sin nor any such nonsensical stuff out of a sick mythology, which can't be compared with the Greek one in fresh wholesome imagination and pure natural humanity.

Socialism and communism began in England when it departed from the Catholic Church. It's a religion in which the adored god is Mammon, and its system brings chaos into all economy and must needs replace all democracy with hopeless and fatal autocracy - and all truth with established lies.

Alexander ruined ancient Greece, and Christ ruined the Roman Empire. Other great ruinators of history were Martin Luther of the Catholic Church and Germany, and Adolf Hitler of the world.

People resist, resign from and criticize the author who publishes his works, and the author who does not publish his works they attack and criticize for being secretive. Whatever you do as an author with your writings, it must be the very wrong thing.

No one can stand a good pianist, he is always interrupted and asked to play something else, and there is always something wrong with what he plays. When he resigns, refusing to play unless he is asked to, no one ever begs him to, since they are afraid of disturbing him in his silence.

As soon as the second world war was over, almost everyone immediately forgot all about it.

For about ten years humanity had learned its lessons, making good progress and good art, but only for ten years. Then barbarity was again confirmed by the Congo crisis, the murder of Hammarskjˆld, the Cuba crisis, the murder of president Kennedy, the Vietnam war and the establishment of the world fashion of drugs and unnatural psychedelism.

The aristocrats of the 19th century did everything for man, and man answered by banishing them and destroying all their life's work for mankind.

There are no angels who don't have to spend all their lives fighting with devils.

It's impossible to love the Soviet Union, and equally impossible not to love Russia.

Christ was the greatest disappointment in history.

It was God's will that Martin Luther should blow up the Catholic Church, and God's will is not easily compromised with, especially not when it is intimately known by a man like Martin Luther.

The first world war was a German war, and the second world war was the Russian war.

The two world wars was the end result of six hundred years' human ambitions and efforts to be constructive.

Genius is close to madness, and exhilaration is close to death.

It's better to suffer for the future than to let the future suffer for you.

The only way to reach power honourably is to become a slave.

I am quite certain that all the manuscripts which Goethe burnt were his very best.

The Hellenic civilization was God's effort to hide his authority in his love for man.

God is man's only weapon against iniquity.

Only God has a right to be unhuman; because he is the only one you can't prosecute for it.

Humanity makes a civilization, and unhumanity destroys it. Humanity is what's always humiliated, and unhumanity is the constant humiliator.

When the Catholic Church didn't fight her enemy within during the Renaissance, the Germans once more turned against Rome and ravished her.

The weakness of Christianity is that all Christians are considered good by a Christian. Moses never failed to recognize evil when he saw it in his own and God's chosen people.

Who did ever enjoy anything without suffering for it?

For 700 years civilization has depended on tortured individualists.

North of the Alps people are ashamed of being pious. South of the Alps piety is more than just common and natural. Is religiousness then a matter of climate? At least to a certain degree.

There is no harm in earning good money, but devils are those who keep their money for themselves.

The best way to defend civilization is to resist anything except God.

If you can love a Jew you can love anyone. If you can not love a Jew you can love no one.

Nothing can ever be stated or measured with scientific exactness.

Charlemagne commenced this civilization. Or was it the venerable Bede, whose pupil was Alcuin of York, the headmaster of Charlemagne's academy?

The only existing cause which is not self-destructive is God.

A hater of Jews hates humanity, civilization, the world, and God.

Civilization has nothing to fear as long as it doesn't interfere with God.

Science is only part of civilization when it serves civilization.

Civilization is one word for all the divine things which man has made to make himself happy.

The French and Russian revolutions, which killed a thousand-year-old French tradition and civilization and an almost equally old and noble Russia, showed, that people can not govern people without some necessary help from above. It's when they try to do away with the above that they are totally morally crippled.

A happy ending is made to mask and escape reality. In reality nothing ever ends, and least of all are endings, once they do occur, happy.

No one knows what he does not learn.

If you haven't got good blood your only refuge for protection is God, the only human being that exists without blood.

Civilization belongs to the aristocrats, because they only are human enough to care about it. Aristocrats, then, are those who care.

God is the only being in history who did not shout.

There are no victories without subsequent defeats, no historical benefits and gains without resulting losses.

May God keep our civilization better than we have kept it.

There is no gaiety in one room without sorrow in the next.

We are all persecuted persecutors. There is no persecutor except God, and we persecute none except God. Scientifically, that phenomenon is called paranoia.

Only unhappiness makes an individual, and only happiness makes a civilization. An individual and civilization are uncombinable, and yet they are dependant on each other.

Workers are suffering, burghers are heavily pressed, priests have constant laborious duties, politicians have many enemies, government officials are stuffed and bored, outcasts are loathed, artists are ignored and persecuted like Jews, and aristocrats are frightened. The best thing to be then is nothing.

Historical climaxes are always preludes to historical disasters.

The best way to love your people and country is to adore and be true to your wife.

The pursuit of happiness is vain, because once you catch her she is happy no more.

Man is only his minor brother's equal.

Goethe was the greatest king in history since Charlemagne and Otto the Great. He built the eternal empire of Science, which made the world a healthy place for 150 years, until nationalism-socialism and the atomic bomb destroyed its noble and divine appearance, unmasking its dreadful and deadly egoism and opportunism, like the grinning death of an unearthed skull, which is all that remains even of Goethe.

Every man in history had his faults, but no one was ever more miserably imperfect than I am.

My first impulse in life was to do something for man, and that's my basic impulse still. It will remain so as long as I live.

But no man has ever succeeded in doing something good and lasting for man. Every man has died with his life's greatest effort a mere unfinished failure.

It's more human to have a bad conscience than to have a good one.

If you don't have a bad conscience for earning money, you'll have it for not earning money.

It's only right to do what is right, and it's always wrong to do what is wrong.

Either you long for what you lack, or you long to get away from what you have. There is no human state in between.

If you do not turn against your father, your father will turn against you.

Material perfection of America and Russia resulted in material and cultural ruination of Europe.

The charm of life is to get somewhere. If you haven't anywhere to go, you have no life.

What's good for one world isn't good for another. The universal monarchal splendour of the 19th century bred Mussolini and Hitler in Italy and Germany.

During a dark age people commit themselves to romanticizing, adorning, preparing and building a future. When that bright future finally comes, people forget the past and commit themselves to hating, criticizing, attacking and plunging themselves into a new dark age. That's the vain miserable fascinating eternal course of history.

No one can lead the masses who doesn't realize that they are utterly unruly and impossible to lead.

Germany means politics, while Italy means art and religion.

Israel is a political and religious promise for the future.

What saved Leo Tolstoy from persecution and martyrdom? The answer is God. What saved civilization from total extinction after the fall of the Roman Empire? The answer is God. The answer to every unanswerable question is eternally the word of God.

Maps tell lies. The world is much greater than any map can give any idea and notion of.

Peace does not exist until you are disturbed, because then you notice you have lost it.

Dante was closer to God in Hell than in Paradise.

God is an endless eternal bottomless universal infinite human fall, which no one is able to stop.

What season shines with greater splendour than the Fall?

Man is a nutshell, and God is the sea.

Whenever Rome has seen a new age of greatness, there have also been new world disasters. In the age of Gregory the Great there was the world threat of Mahomet, and in the age of Michelangelo there was the same of Martin Luther.

The Italian Renaissance set a standard of art which never has been neither equalled nor surpassed, nor abandoned and martyred.

The more the persecutor insists on persecuting, the more the persecuted will insist on surviving.

People who suffer are optimists, looking forward to not suffering any more, while people who don't suffer are pessimists, looking forward to start suffering.

The nineteenth century was full of the most famous personalities of greatness and prophets of civilization, and the end result of it all was national-socialism.

I have no ambitions, and I shall never publish anything as long as I live unless I am asked to. My music, my literature, my self, is at the humble service of everyone, if anyone wants to make use of them. I shall, though, persist in writing and composing all my life.

It is good and easy to avoid heaven, while it is impossible and dreadful to avoid hell.

God is the only person in the world who is not himself.

The first person to consider himself different, better, righter, nobler and more divine than others was Lucifer.

There is no pain and no torture worse than that which loneliness inflicts, but God is more fond of the tortured victim of loneliness than of any happy laughing fellow graced by welfare.

Because nothing attracts divinity more than the opposite. That's why divinity always has sided with victims, since it is totally impossible for a supreme divinity to ever be a victim.

Schubert had no enemies but was martyred anyway.

When you are not evil you regret having been it.

The supreme blasphemy is suicide.

The best way to run into God is to try to evade and escape Him.

Homosexuality is the result of excessive love of women.

Fame destroys any honest working human heart.

What pain is greater? The pain of maintaining civilization or the pain of losing it?

In the nineteenth century people were high on civilization. Today they are high on drugs.

What is truth? Truth is horror and hell, tribulation and crucifixion, darkness and dirt, ruin, disaster and death, chaos, blood, barbarity, unhumanity, injustice, doom, terror, irreparable losses and oblivion. Truth is the enemy of God, the angel who turned against Him, the rebellion of hell and the power of Satan. Truth is what drove Adam to the apple-tree, away from paradise, and what constantly has driven man further away from God. Truth is the Prosecutor.

The only thing which man can not undo is the Truth.

How is it possible to believe in a future with such a horrible tremendous past?

The trouble of happy aristocratic ages, constantly improving and increasing in wealth and happiness, is that they can not easily step down back to earthly life and reality.

What's the use of power and force, might and strength? It only breeds pride today, which people will be ashamed of tomorrow.

Are we back in times like those before St. Augustine? The world after national-socialism is much like the Roman Empire after Christ. The crucifixion of Christ and the Nazi persecution of Jews were the two most terrible things in history. Will the consequences of Nazi madness be as baleful to civilization as were the consequences of the crucifixion of Christ? Only the Truth can show us the answer to that question.

Only lovers of the world deny the world. One should not love the world, but one should not deny it either.

What ailed Michelangelo and Leo Tolstoy? Fame. What turned Goethe from humanity to unhumanity? Fame. Fame is generous but plunders the spirit. Nothing is ever given without something being taken.

Like there was Christ and Antichrist there is art and anti-art. Anti-art is futurism, dadaism, cubism, surrealism, pop-art, and other art that does not communicate a clear picture to the eye, unmusical and unmelodious music, and other unpleasing, modern, unrealistic unclassical forms and corruptions of art.

There never was a dark age in history, and there never was a bright one either.

There is no government east of West Germany. The communist world is as chaotic and barbaric as ever Germany and Slavia were in Roman times, and only Christianity is ever able to save them.

The result of conquering darkness is to be conquered by darkness. Darkness has to exist together with light, because there is no light without darkness.

Light conquered darkness in the 19th century, whereupon darkness conquered light in the 20th.

It is better to maintain light than to conquer darkness at the cost of light.

There is nothing sweeter than a human good will, and there is nothing more evil than the black destruction of that lovely little thing.

Good food and rest, much sleep and leisure; wine, delight and pleasure, is all very nice and well, but the result is not pretty: pot bellies.

For men and for women, the length of one's hair is a matter of health, individualism, pride and beauty.

It is better to give in to the devil than to resist God.

A man without a bad conscience is not a man but an animal.

Chaucer made the English happy, but Shakespeare made them Englishmen.

The weakness of religious advocates is they tend to favour paganish aristocrats, and the weakness of aristocrats is they tend to claim religious authorities.

Since man does not like God's humanity God keeps silent about it.

There is only one true maker of a true civilization, and that is a naked innocent child, made by man's love of God and God's love of man, called humanity.

When man's appetite for women is in danger, man, the world, the universe and God is in danger.

The Roman Empire fell because God looked on a man for the sake of his beauty and made Him his equal.

The greatest kings are those who dare to step down from their thrones.

The greatest sinners in history were ignoble creatures like Homer and Shakespeare.

Christianity achieved the perfect consummate age, and communism destroyed it.

The oil crisis is as vain as anything that ever happened in history.

What survives me will survive history, because I shall never publish anything, and I am totally self-destructive.

Count Tolstoy, his contemporaries and his equals made the world a paradise for common man, and common man received it gladly and destroyed it gladly.

The only thing man can do anything about is his own self-destructiveness.

Never be too generous. You are only human, and you have only your own human flesh and blood to give, because your soul belongs to God, if you have one.

It is better to be below the line of society than above, because being below you are free to love those above, while being above it is difficult to stoop under the line to love the poor, and sometimes even disastrous, as the Russian revolution proved.

People ignored my classical music, criticized it and rather preferred pop music. That's how I never made a musical career.

There is no more pleasure in music than there is pain.

There is only one world, and that is God's world. But sometimes that world is material, and sometimes it is spiritual. When God is human the kingdom of God is human and material. When God is unhuman his world equally becomes immaterial, exclusively spiritual, unhuman, philosophical, unnatural and divine. Materialism is the negative consequence of a human world, and unhumanity is the negative consequence of an unhuman world. None is worse than the other.

Chaucer loved noble men, and Shakespeare killed them.

Humanity is an optimistic feeling, while unhumanity is pessimistic.

There is no human honour, no glory in heaven and earth, except on battle-fields between the jaws of death.

In fields ploughed and sowed by fame and virtue, vice and tyranny grow.

Nothing is more tiresome than welfare.

Pessimism is better than silence.

There is no uglier phenomenon in history than the rise of common people to world potency. Democracy is the tyranny of the commonalty. And yet, anything else today is worse.

Every great poet makes the disappointing disillusioning discovery that his inspiration does not last.

God has no obligation towards man, while man's obligations towards God are vast and infinite.

Generosity always ends up nailed up on a cross.

There is no culture without cultural fatigue.

God knows I have a world of reasons for hating the business of Scientology, but I will not give them the satisfaction of stating my case.

Fame is given to those who do not deserve it, while those who deserve it never receive it.

Optimistic poets, who write in order to please, are dangerous, because they allure men to presumption.

A man without an appetite for life, food, drink, war and women is dead, dying or unhappy.

There is no harm in being a pessimist as long as you do not die one.

One idea is better than any reality.

When individualism is generous it is divine.

Dostoyevsky was part of the truth which Tolstoy loved, always searched for but never was completely allowed.

A complete truth was the second world war, the greatest hell, unhumanity and madness in history.

There is no generosity without cruelty. Give, and your receivers will fight and kill each other over it; be given, and you shall be bereft of it.

The generous world glory and universality of the medieval Catholic Church ended in witch-hunts, inquisitions, other fanaticisms and the establishment of unchristian intolerance. I hold nothing against the Catholic Church, but wish only to serve the truth, God and history.

King Lear, Coriolanus and Timon of Athens were Shakespeare's three greatest feelings.

God has seen man's ruination of nature with silence and has promised him no penalty save Doomsday, but He has changed His mind before.

Before man discovered oil, nature was clean.

There is nothing more nightmarish than human happiness which you can't reach and join.

There is no happiness without unhappiness.

Was there ever any beauty but man destroyed it?

The lives of human beings who count the lives of animals for nothing are worth nothing.

There is only one thing wrong about great men: they are afraid of getting human and even ashamed of it when it inevitably happens.

There is no stupefying cleverness without utter stupidity.

Why is there no God in loneliness?

A German should be unhappy for not being a Jew.

Civilization never passed from the Latins to the Germans. The Jews, the first civilized people, remained civilized when the limelight left Israel to settle in Greece. So did the Greeks remain civilized when they civilized the Latin world and it became predominant, and the Greeks are still more civilized than the Latins today. And although Rome is no longer the capital of the world, it is still more civilized than any German town in America or Europe. So civilization never passed from old worlds to new worlds. They just spread.

The illusion of illusions is the notion that today is better or worse than yesterday.

Is it human to disregard authority and call virtue a snob? Is it human to praise and support barbarity? No, it is all unhumanity, madness and hell.

Those who imagined the world was round wanted the world to be finite.

Spring is the season of temptations.

The music of Bach is not beautiful in an attractive or pleasing way. Its beauty is more like the beauty of the bare Bible.

Culture is what's always delightful and never a bore or a nuisance.

What vain human being has ever known what he has done?

The good thing called humanity is a limitation to man's abilities, and unhumanity is a destruction of them.

I may be a bad artist, but apart from that I am absolutely nothing.

Good people are tortured, bad people are worshipped, God is ignored and barbarity is encouraged. The age couldn't be better.

To build aristocracies is to help them rise to energy, power, welfare, comfort, happiness, splendour, supremacy, immoderation, megalomania, unhumanity, madness, hell and death.

There is no vainer craze than nationalism. It sunders unity, leads but from cosmos to chaos, brings ruin, disaster and catastrophes, and is the constant murderer of history. There is no land in existence worth loving except Paradise.

God called upon the Germans to end the presumption of Rome, but as a punishment for ruining the Roman Empire the Germans were doomed to never have a successful empire of their own.

Immoderation in love, food and drink is worse than barbarity, because it leads but to disaster, and there's no one to stop it, since politeness forbids criticism.

What insurance have we of God's will to stay with us? When did he ever fail to fail his people, his civilization and his most loyal subjects?

It is very strange, that the finest rulers in history have some of the darkest blots attached to their souls: king David the death of Uriah, and Marcus Aurelius the persecution of Christians.

Now and then there appear in history men who do not know hell, who are too generous to spare themselves, who want nothing but to serve man in humility without rewards, and who are angels, like Origen.

No one did ever get famous without getting infamous as well.

To me Goethe is a great and fearful imposing patriarch not to be interfered with and to shrink from with awe.

The Renaissance, which Dante began, was the birth of man's love of the world. He loved it until 1945.

What is the essence of civilization? It's the will to preserve a moment of beauty, a small spot of brightness, and a breath of peace in this dark and turbulent universe.

Vanity is a dark tragedy, while eternity is light.

No multiplication of man is possible without a multiplication of nature.

Man destroys what is given him and then asks for more.

There is no wealth without immoderation, and there is no moderation without starvation.

Starvation is better than immoderation.

Moses never saw the Promised Land, and likewise will no righteous man ever see it except at a distance, but blessed are those who are content with that, for they belong to eternity.

Workers, rebels and mobs are God's tool of injustice. They only rise and rebel against justice. They never revolt and react when that is the right thing to do.

There is nothing more human than pity. Losers are easier to pity and love than winners.

There is only one civilization, and that is God's civilization. Memories are different in different countries, but the present is always the same everywhere. God is universal and everywhere, and so is civilization universal and everywhere.

Resplendent power, heroic force, splendid might and magnificence, always end in unhumanity.

The Greeks were philosophers, and the Romans were actors.

There are no undeveloped countries except Kuwait, USA, Switzerland and Sweden, which are so undeveloped that they will never be able to catch up with paragon nations like Somalia, Ethiopia, Nepal and Laos.

Great beings make history, and humble beings make happiness.

Dishonesty is to rather please man and follow happiness than pursue God.

Be nothing and you'll end something; be something and you'll end nothing.

There is nothing a Christian can not do, and there is nothing an atheist can do. An atheist has nothing but himself: no future, no light, while a Christian always owns eternity.

Optimism is always defeated, while pessimism survives in her poverty.

Never confuse light with reality. Light comes from nature, heaven and God, while reality is nought but shallow vain materialistic humanity.

What man can not learn from nature man can not learn.

Tolstoy should have escaped from home at a much earlier stage. Then he would not have provoked the masses against the Czar, attacked every part of civilization, persecuted the Church and ceased to love his wife.

Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Beethoven, Tolstoy, every great artist since the new age began has tried to end the Renaissance, but none of them succeeded.

There are many kinds of barbarity, but there is only one kind of civilization.

In "Titus Andronicus" there is Marcus and Livius to maintain light and nobility after the death of Titus, in "Romeo and Juliet" there is prince Escalus, in "Julius Caesar", "Hamlet", "Antony and Cleopatra" and "Macbeth" there are likewise noble people to go on after everyone's death, but in "King Lear", "Coriolanus" and "Timon" everything ends when the star dies. There is only one dark hopeless death in them.

"Othello" is a most unique, singular, personal exception which can't be compared with the others.

It is human to let cherished people and things fall, but it is equally human to desire their eternity.

There is only one universal religion and tradition : the Jewish one.

There is no act of creation without love.

The son of Syrach said: "Never look at a man for the sake of his beauty." It's equally right to say: "Never look at a man for the sake of his ugliness."

Goethe was a weak beautiful aristocrat who considered himself worth being.

Life is an escape from God's wrath.

It is human to consider things unhuman.

Spring is the season for making schemes and plans, and autumn is the season of abandoning them.

Isolation is the only defence against the course of history.

Poets are idiots who float high on writing nonsense, and I am one of them.

There is nothing for writers to write except what's already written. What you haven't read is not worth writing.

There is no man in heaven and earth whom humanity does not compel you to love.

What survives humiliation survives eternity.

Those who seek themselves will find nothing but darkness.

It is more important to preserve and maintain civilization than to forward it.

Materialism is bright, heroic and splendid but powerless and self-destructive without religion.

Tolerance is to tolerate intolerance.

There's no greater thing than a man on the stage. The greatest stage ever was Golgatha.

Craftsmen are either complained of or met with indifference here in Sweden, which in accordance with that tendency is going down rapidly.

The only uniform solution to the problem of life is self-humiliation.

I'd rather burn my music than have it complained of.

One discriminating member is enough to ruin the best of audiences.

Love of Christ and God is as tragic as love of women.

But there is nothing else to love, and without love life's a desert.

Christ has always loved all human beings. Why then do not all human beings love Christ?

Isolationism is a vain escapism. There is no defence against storms when they do break forth, and they always do break forth.

There is no humanity without nature. Humanity depends on nature. God depends neither on man nor on nature.

The greater the belly, the greater the dirt.

Suffering is momentary in contrast to the comfort of eternity.

Rembrandt, the happiest, richest and most successful of painters, died the greatest failure in art history.

God's house is the only place where it is safe to be melancholy.

There is no fame without infamy.

There are two kinds of ages. In the first people are not well off, they work hard and endure bravely the pain of life, the meaning of which is to reach a higher state of happiness and fortune. In the second kind of age that higher state of fortune is reached; people are well off, they cease to work, they complain of life's bitterness, they become egoists and egotists growing fat and unhealthy, and being content with the present they forget to work for a better future. They degenerate and become pessimistic, and they end by plunging back into barbarity to start again in the first poor kind of age once more, but this time they are less certain of being able to reach the second kind and also less motivated.

The first kind of age is human; the second kind is unhuman.

Life is the thinnest of threads on which the universe depends.

Excess in one thing means excess in everything.

Three great religious steps away from Christianity have been taken in history. The first was Islam, the second Protestantism, and the third communism. They were good only at crucifying Christianity.

There is no perfect art. In an exclusively pleasing and faultless piece of art you lack the touch of chaos.

By "Anna Karenina" Leo Tolstoy dug the grave of his age and civilization. He humiliated her and did not restore her, and the same thing happened to his civilization. Civilization is feminine.

On man's love of God depends all civilization and humanity.

Hell is the realm of pleasure, while heaven is run by Spartans.

The Word, like all Art, has two functions: to mirror humanity and reality, and to express God.

The only true joy is malice, say the godless.

The 19th century swarmed with false prophets. The two greatest and falsest of them were Karl Marx, Charles Darwin according to some, and Leo Tolstoy according to others.

Although there were good reasons for objections against Charles Darwin, he has never been refuted or proved wrong scientifically. Although there were no direct objections against Leo Tolstoy's philosophy, its destructiveness was objectionable indeed since it proved right.

Only God wins forever.

God loves the humiliated, which is why He humiliates them.

No one is in greater danger than he who can't pull in his stomach.

By the grace of God there is a world. It certainly isn't by the grace of man.

Books written for the sake of "getting it over with" will be read for the same reason.

To the materialists a dark age is an age in which few care about material welfare. To religious people there are no dark ages.

Mysteries last longer than realities.

Either you love God, or you love your own to oblivion and corruption predestined rotten corpse and grave.

The Jews are a holy people. To love a Jew is to join their holiness. To hate or in any way persecute a Jew is a crime against yourself.

Those who say they suffer from cultural fatigue are in fact suffering from godlessness. God is the original source of all energy, an eternally inextinguishable and inexhaustible constantly overwhelming and omnipresent universe of light and power, lust and joy. One of God's many faces is perpetual activity.

It is as easy to destroy as it is difficult to construct, but it is easier not to destroy than to destroy.

The only sound sweeter than music is silence.

The two world wars were the two greatest triumphs of Germanism in history. Since 1949 all China, Russia and half of Europe has been under Germanic rule, since Karl Marx was a bloody German.

Nature is more civilized than man.

The West has always subdued the East with violence. The East has never conquered the West except with peace, wisdom and divine inspiration.

The communist conquest of the East was a historical disaster comparable to the fall of Constantinople.

But east is west and west is east, which doesn't mean that Greeks are Latins and Latins are Greeks.

Light rises in the east and disappears in the west.

The best place to be in is in the middle.

God is active and man is reactive.

There is no philosophy more capitalistic than communism.

It never was God's intention to please man. His only intention ever was to please Himself.

It's only safe to love a woman at a distance, and then only if she is a virgin.

God creates, and man destroys. That's why Doomsdays occur.

People grow pious, they trust Doomsday will come, it comes not, they expect it but it never comes, finally more and more disbelieve it, but then it most suddenly and unexpectedly occurs when no one believes in it any more, and only those who always were aware of it will then survive it.

Bach had music, Goethe had poetry, but Tolstoy was and had nothing.

In desperation he escaped to his peasants becoming one of them and thus became an anarchist, confirming his incurable amateurism in music and literature. His great novels would never have been written had his wife not guided his pen.

That's why he denounced Shakespeare and Beethoven, poetry and art, beauty and religion and everything which he never could master in his total lack of self-discipline. He was the greatest giant of patheticism in history.

As long as the Jews were guided by priests, and as long as the Greeks were guided by aristocrats, everything went well. When the Romans offered their citizenship to all Italians and barbarians without any distinction, there was chaos, universal disaster and hell.

Every year brings every man one great tragedy : the fall of nature and winter's desolation.

If you believe that the devil exists, you can't believe that God exists.

A woman's first and last duty is to be adorable. If she fails to make herself adored she is a failure.

The more you produce, the more you'll lose.

Civilization depends on who loves it, not on who enjoys it.

There is no hell but ignorance.

Games of chance are exciting and interesting to children and other senseless people, but grown-ups who kill their senses by gambling are just pathetic.

God loves the one who loves and hates the one who hates. Whether he who loves knows God or not God loves him, and whether he who hates adores God or not God hates him.

It is human to think of death, of the transience of life, construction and happiness; on the fact that the paradise of today will be in ruins tomorrow. It's human to think that way, but it's not divine.

Who doesn't worship nature neither worships woman. Who worships nature can't help but also worship woman.

No one is surer to get an unbearably bad conscience than the husband who allows himself to be governed by his wife.

Christ was a man who believed in God when no one else did. When God deserted the world totally, when no one was pious and loved Him any more, there was Christ. In the densest darkness in history light survived in the shape of Christ.

The Jews killed Christ because they did not believe in God, because they feared the Romans more than God, because God had totally deserted the world. But God never deserted the house of David.

There are no women more false than those who try to please by absconding the truth.

Christianity in its original form was Jewish. Roman Catholicism is no longer Jewish.

Suffering is man's mark of nobility.

Marcus Aurelius was the master of the world. He lived when Christianity was young and could have helped her forward, but he chose not to. Instead he shared the barbaric Roman sadistic pleasure of seeing Christian blood staining Rome forever. That was his tragedy.

The supreme blasphemy is to rival with God and rise above man.

Only sufferings, hardships and a hard education can make a nobleman.

Nothing is less feminine than communism. It wants to turn woman into a man, delete her adorability and turn her into nothing in a coarse exclusively masculine working society. That's why all feminine instincts intuitively revolt against the super-masculine communistic effacement of all femininity.

The communist world is like the Roman Empire in its declining period when the Romans ceased making children.

To miss the past is to lose the present. The present is never worse than the past.

The meaning with the fall of the world in 1914 will forever remain an insoluble mystery, like all historical tragedies.

Russia is weak, corrupt and rotten since destructive communists are good for nothing. Only religion can pull Russia together again.

The three most fatal men in history were king Solomon, the emperor Marcus Aurelius, and count Leo Tolstoy, because they were leading examples of their ages, and they failed to stick to their standard.

God is not the one to spoil his children, since he knows, that spoilt children will not survive.

When Goethe went to Italy and saw Rome, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation fell.

No future is ever bright enough to outshine the present.

The first man to persecute a Jew introduced the devil on earth.

In the whole Bible the devil does not exist. He was made up by other people from other nations.

Do whatever you do as if it was a meeting with God.

Solomon turned Zion into a city of sin. Marcus Aurelius cancelled the last Roman virtues by turning Rome against Christianity. Leo Tolstoy prepared the world for decline, fall and anarchy by loving anarchists and terrorists and by hating the innocent Czar.

Divine people are quiet and kind.

Like Jesus Christ, Anna Karenina set an example for eternity.

To die for love is to die for life. The one who dies for love by suicide is not excluded.

Good food is the artist's arch-enemy.

God says to man : do what I want. Woman says to man : do what you want.

Never think that reality is real. There is nothing more false in existence.

The ideal state of Plato is beautiful and perfect like a utopia but led in reality to the downfall of Hellenic culture. Why? Plato's attack on Homer was a Hellenic cultural suicide.

Platonic love is beautiful but led in reality to the disintegration of the Greco-Roman world since Platonic lovers never got any children.

The two books of Homer are equal to the books of the Bible.

God never creates lies.

The nineteenth century was an orgy in gluttony and self-indulgence, which there is no harm in as long as it is not destructive, which it unfortunately was in the 19th century.

When a man gets to be a hundred years old he tends to forget that he was ever born.

The supreme heresy is to think that one ought to do what others do. God never did what human beings do.

There is no peace without freedom and no freedom without peace. That freedom is false which does not bring peace, and that peace is false which does not bring freedom.

There was an unbroken cultural tradition all the way from the venerable Bede to count Leo Tolstoy. But after Tolstoy there was no one to uphold it. Instead all the destructive elements of the world gathered and extinguished that 1200-year civilization in two wars that together lasted for only ten years.

I will never marry as long as there is a Berlin Wall and an Iron Curtain.

To feel American is to forget that you are British.

Ruthlessness always ends badly in violent death. He who kills shall be killed, and he who defends life against death shall be defended. Cursed and marked by death like Cain is he who takes any part in asphalting and cementing nature.

The more you try to satisfy yourself, the more dissatisfied you become.

It's human to be ironic about glory, but glory always remains glorious. You can't ignore or destroy it.

The most interesting thing about Plato is that he was a Christian who lived 350 years before Christ.

There is no harm in being rebellious, because that's the only way to learn not to be rebellious.

The greatest of human delusions is to believe that something good doesn't last forever.

Only the incredible is credible enough.

It's impossible to forsake and forget all about music for the sake of God, but to forsake and forget all about God for the sake of music is to sooner or later also forsake and forget all about music.

Being humble is the virtue of virtues.

Blessed is he who loves for he doesn't live in vain.

Irresponsibility is godlessness. To feel responsibility is to feel God.

Anna Karenina is the best and worst book of Leo Tolstoy. It's the best one, since Anna as a personality is the finest human creation of Tolstoy's, and the worst one, since he lets her die without any rehabilitation.

I have nothing against rock music as long as I don't have to hear it, but when there is no possibility to shut it out for days and weeks the only thing I can do is to accurse it.

Blessed are the persecuted, for they shall vanquish their persecutors.

The more you eat, the more you try to satisfy your hunger, the hungrier you get.

Light hates darkness and darkness hates light, but God loves them both.

The only true freedom is loneliness.

Ten percent of the world is good and ninety percent is evil. It has always been like that, and it shall always remain so. For the evil majority there is no hope, no light, no salvation and nothing except hell and destruction.

Only by evil means the good tithe can control the evil majority.

Suicide is the supreme shame and dishonour. Germany committed political suicide by Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler. Russia committed political and spiritual suicide by the Russian revolution. Israel committed suicide by the apostasy of king Solomon. There are three kinds of suicide: carnal, political and spiritual. All are equally dishonourable and condemnable. Peoples, nations and persons who commit any kind of suicide deserve nothing but the very treatment they hate the most: pity.

Whether the servant of God writes plenty of stuff or very little, the pagans won't read him anyway.

The highest goal you can have in life is a morally impeccable life. Only too few are those who reach it.

There is no tradition except the human tradition.

Who loves God has no enemies, for all the universe is his friend.

Love always gets the upper hand with God.

Either you are a bully or an underdog. Life constantly gets worse for the underdog, he only gets poorer, and nothing can stop his eternal fall. For the bully, life is a constant success. He gets constantly richer and more powerful but at the cost of others. A bully must experience that all his success implies disaster, death and ruin to all his fellow beings. Only he is happy who keeps his balance in the middle without ever getting it better or worse.

No realm lasts forever except the one created by the Word.

What you are prepared for will never happen. That's why it's always best to be prepared for the worst.

King Solomon fell to idolatry. Idolatry brought forth Homer. In the world of Homer philosophy was born and Plato. That philosophy gradually resulted in the Roman Empire. In that empire Christianity was born. Christianity ended up with the Renaissance, which resulted in Protestantism and Martin Luther. From that came communism. World history is a box containing a smaller box containing a smaller box, and so on forever.

The greatest lie in history is that anything human can perish. Nothing perishes except unhumanity, all that is human is eternal, because the quality of being human is the central quality and essence of God.

To take from the rich and give to the poor, to favour the ignorant majority at the cost of the good educated minority, to let the good suffer and pay for the pleasure of the coarse multitude - that's unhumanity, godlessness and slavery.

Save for tomorrow what good you have today, and so you will have it for two days instead of only one.

When religion persecutes science the world howls, but when science persecutes religion everyone is perfectly silent.

Science is basically a lie. Its basis is that something can be logically and practically proved, whereas the truth is that nothing ever is certain.

The truth isn't God, and neither is Jesus Christ God. The truth and Jesus Christ are of God, but they are not God. God himself is unfathomable and undefinable. Nothing and no one can ever be identified with God.

Sensual happiness leads man astray, and only the truth of suffering can lead him right.

Love is true only when it hurts.

The only thing in life which you never can be separated from is suffering.

Communism has passed judgement on itself in the words of Lenin: "Communism will never win until the myth of God has been exterminated from the minds of all men." So it will never win.

A state without individualists is a state without life.

Evil is a lie. Only what's good is true and real.

History depends on God's attitude towards the Jews, his favourite people. If they are troubled and persecuted there is no hope for the world, but if they are appreciated and liked the world has nothing to fear.

Christianity is the victory of the smallest good over the greatest evil.

Even he who is nothing is something, for if he knows that he is nothing he knows that he is. Ulysses claimed to be No one, but by being No one he was the more the one he was.

The art of love, the greatest of all arts, consists of loving without hating - to only love with one's whole heart and soul without at the same time with any particle thereof hate anything.

Every capitalist hating communists is as great a crook as every communist hating capitalists.

There is no salvation from the eternal sufferings of life. There is love, but there is no salvation. Life is, has always been and will always remain an endless inescapable suffering. That's the truth. You can escape from it and assuage it with company, but company is always temporal, and not all people know how to make good company.

The only honourable thing about any person is his sufferings.

God is the future, which no one knows anything about but which anyway is there.

Thomas Aquinas was a community flatterer and perhaps the greatest demagogue of all times within the Church. He was a dry and boring scientific pedant, who deserves is everlasting reputation as a downright saint.

Computer brains can only be controlled by such human brains that surpass the computer brains in fast thinking.

Leo Tolstoy didn't know what he was writing. He didn't know what he was saying when he condemned Napoleon, allowed Anna Karenina to die without rehabilitation, and propagated for murdering the Czar.

I love Russia but hate the Soviet Union.

God loves the world more than woman.

Who doesn't believe in God is dead.

Where the belief in God dies everything dies.

Who doesn't adore woman can not adore God either.

All communistic books and writings are most dreadfully boring. It seems impossible for any more boring literature to ever be able to exist.

Like neither Christianity nor Islam succeeded in winning and convincing all, so communism will to an even smaller degree succeed in winning anything.

The ambition to convert all to the only proper faith is simply preposterous: there is no such thing as one only proper faith, since each man has his own one and only proper faith which is completely different from everyone else's.

The communists erected the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, and the capitalists dropped atom bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Just tell me then who was the more in the right of the two!

The age of chivalry will never end. The only ones who ever tried to end it failed. They were the communists.

Black hatred is the opposite of noble feelings.

It is better to do nothing at all than to do something without love.

Love, blood, suffering, and death - those are the four components of every love story.

The light that shines in darkness is red, but the light dispersing all darkness is white.

Love is red, but power is white and greater than love. For the white light of the sun blinds and forces the eye to look away, while anyone comfortably can regard the red twilight of love, which swiftly passes away beyond the horizon to perish.

Only one way leads to God : the way that leads away from the world.

Communism is the greatest scandal in world history.

8.6.1975 The best and only protection against evil is total isolation.

God is Time, who eternally goes on without waiting for man.

Man is forever a child, though constantly ageing forever.

There is nothing more lovable than theoretical life, and nothing more abominable than practical life.

Woman loves him best who hates her the most.

God has no patience with no man.

The greatest and worst of all revolutions was the German one, which like all revolutions started off well and ended badly. It started in 1933 in the sign of peace and democracy and wasn't over until in 1945 after the twelve most horrible years in human history.

Expect no salary for your labour, no comfort for your sorrow, no consideration for your considerateness, no material recompense for all your effort. Just continue loving and never stop, and at least you will maintain the initiative.

God is clear-sighted, and man is mad.

Man manages all right without woman, but woman doesn't manage without man. Sometimes, though, it's the other way around. Who manages without the other part is in the right, while the part that can't handle independence is most immature and needs management.

The city of Babel was built in the east. The great city became the centre of the earth, and under its sway they tried to unite all people. But instead all people became strangers to each other, and the world was divided. In the same way Islam and communism tried to unite the world but only succeeded in dividing it.

No one walks in to a woman without soon longing to get out of there again, like no one is separated from home and wife without soon longing to get back again.

There is no supreme evil. There is only a supreme good.

God created nature for her constant development and expansion, while he created man for his constant involvement with complexities.

Man is the antipode of nature. The humanity of man is the opposite of the naturalness of nature.

Every house, building and human edifice is a prison. Only nature is free.

Why ? is the question answering all questions.

All is love. All that isn't love should be ignored, since it's nothing. All that isn't love is ignominious nonsense. Only love is of any significance in life. Everything else is vain and mortal while love always remains alive forever. No political world disasters can ever inflict on love. Love survives all and beats everything. All is vain except love.

"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto the governors; as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well."

1 Peter, 2:13.

 

The moon was red like a smouldering fire, and under it glowed in the sea a gleaming stream like of blood.

Against who makes rebellion shall be made rebellion.

"...the evil they wish to others they do to themselves." Jean Jacques Rousseau. Yes, all evil you wish to others and the world will only strike yourself. So love the oil and development, love materialism and the whole political world, love the godless and the evil, love industrialism, bad art and ugliness, and dedicate yourself only to what is good, and your share of life will only be what is good.

Never revenge yourself. He who is treated unjustly is right only as long as he doesn't revenge himself.

God is the enemy of all evil. He who takes evil into his service to strengthen his position is evil. Evil means can only work for evil ends.

---------------------

The Last Notes.

Plato's mistake was to consider philosophers infallible. He thought a philosopher in power would be enough for political responsibility to be well taken care of. But power always corrupts whoever inherits it. Power is an evil in itself, a contaminating plague, which infallibly destroys everyone who touches it. Only one can use power on earth without going bad, and that is of course God.

All evil is temporary. It's only a brief trial which has to be endured and sustained. But goodness is eternity itself.

Eating too little is as much a pity as eating too much.

Not to love woman at all is as much a pity as indulging in promiscuity.

Christ was no revolutionary. He was a king whose people revolted against him and crucified him. It also happened in the British revolution (1649), the French revolution and the Russian revolution.

For each new prophet in history there has risen a new great cultural people.

What is happiness? Happiness is to follow one's own free will, that universal will which is God's and a portion of which God in his grace endows every human heart with.

When the king and the priest persecute each other the world goes down and under. Neither of them is ever completely right alone.

The strong and superior are always wrong, while he who is weak and inferior always is right.

All things old are good, while all things new are bad and evil, says he who is human.

Compassion is the highest of all human virtues.

Who is right - God or humanity? It depends on God. God can make himself wrong and humanity right, like he can make himself right and do humanity wrong.

All beginnings are wonderful, all continuations are boring, and all ends are tragic.

So it's better to start with something new than to continue something old, and you should be very careful about never ending anything.

No matter how well off you are you suffer. He who is quite well off consoles himself with thinking about the past, and he who sits in a rut consoles himself by imagining things about the future.

It's better to have too much than too little, like it's better to be above than under. Superfluity is better than deficiency. Riches are better than poverty. Bread is better than hunger. Rather before than behind, rather for than against, rather with than without. Love is better than hatred. Music is better than silence. God is better than nothing.

The world is a dream where nothing is real except God.

God is he who sows forever but never reaps any harvest.

God is he who always understands everyone but whom no one ever understands.

The trouble with Shakespeare is, that he wrote so excellent plays, that no one will ever again be able to write any better.

You can not find happiness without losing God, and you can not find God without losing all happiness.

Just pick and choose.

There is no downfall without a transition to another rise.

It will take a thousand years to repair the political mistakes committed in the first half of the 20th century.

What God doesn't care about, man will take care of. What man doesn't care about, God will take care of. The co-operation between God and man is the loveliest phenomenon in world history.

What is the least Christian of qualities? - The inability to bear with suffering.

Man is capable of understanding everything with one single exception: what he doesn't want to understand. And the only thing she doesn't want to understand is evil.

All that has anything to do with God is good. All that has nothing to do with God is evil.

Goethe and his age marks the highlight in Germanism and the story of its culture, like Tolstoy does the same in Russian history, like Shakespeare does it in England, Rembrandt in Holland and Lionardo da Vinci in Italy. Other highlights in European cultural history is Titian in painting, Rubens in Flanders and France, Michelangelo in Florence and Rome, Bach and Handel in music, Dante in medieval history and in the Catholic Church, Chaucer in the age of chivalry, and Stefan Zweig in modern Europe.

In the same way, Samuel David and Solomon marked the highlight in the history of Israel, Homer the start and Plato the deadline of the highlight of Greek history, and Cato the start, Cicero the zenith and Marcus Aurelius the end of the highlight of Latin imperial history.

And these twenty names with what they represent constitute the keys to the most important chapters in world cultural history. A few other names in addition to those are Moses, Pericles, Epicure, Plutarch, Augustine, Justinian, Mahomet, the venerable Bede, Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Francis, Alberti, Beethoven and Dostoyevsky., If you also include Buddha, Jesus and general secretary Hammarskjˆld we have thirty-seven names constituting the key to the heart of world cultural history.

The Jewish religion is the only completely realistic and sensible religion. Therefore I confess myself to it, but I will never allow myself to be circumcised.

The Greeks can't stand Jews, the Latins can't stand Greeks and Jews, and the Germans can't stand Latins, Greeks and Jews. Why? All because of inferiority complexes.

 

The free thinker fell silent in the fall of 1975

but resumed his free thinking with a vengeance in 1992,

when the monthly magazine "The Free Thinker" started to appear,

66 issues having been published since then in Swedish

and nine in English.

 

Gothenburg, May 1998.