woensdag 16 december 2015

Henri-Frédéric Amiel -- 17 december 1854

• Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821–1881) was een Zwitserse filosoof, dichter en criticus. Uit: Amiel's Journal (vertaald door Mrs. Humphrey Ward).

December 17, 1854.— When we are doing nothing in particular, it is then that we are living through all our being; and when we cease to add to our growth it is only that we may ripen and possess ourselves. Will is suspended, but nature and time are always active and if our life is no longer our work, the work goes on none the less. With us, without us, or in spite of us, our existence travels through its appointed phases, our invisible Psyche weaves the silk of its chrysalis, our destiny fulfills itself, and all the hours of life work together toward that flowering time which we call death. This activity, then, is inevitable and fatal; sleep and idleness do not interrupt it, but it may become free and moral, a joy instead of a terror.
Nothing is more characteristic of a man than the manner in which he behaves toward fools.
It costs us a great deal of trouble not to be of the same opinion as our self-love, and not to be ready to believe in the good taste of those who believe in our merits.
Does not true humility consist in accepting one's infirmity as a trial, and one's evil disposition as a cross, in sacrificing all one's pretensions and ambitions, even those of conscience? True humility is contentment.

A man only understands that of which he has already the beginnings in himself.

Let us be true: this is the highest maxim of art and of life, the secret of eloquence and of virtue, and of all moral authority.

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