"What brings enlightenment is experience, in the sad sense of this word--the pressure of hard facts and unintelligible troubles, making a man rub his eyes in his waking dream, and put two and two together. Enlightenment is cold water."
"Experience is a mere whiff or rumble, produced by enormously complex and ill-deciphered causes of experience; and in the other direction, experience is a mere peephole through which glimpses come down to us of eternal things."
"... should one sit down to paint the scenes among which he has grown, he will find that the facts creep in upon him. Those brilliant phases and shapes which the imagination sees in far-off lands are not for him to portray. Sadly he must squeeze the colour from his brush, and dip it into the grey pigments around him. He must paint what lies before him."
"But my mother was in love and she had known about life for a long time, with her two bastard girls like two earrings; and she knewthat most often one must pull out one's entrails and fill one's stomach with straw if one wants to have a little piece of the sun."
"My trade and my art is living. He who forbids me to speak about it according to my sense, experience, and practice, let him orderthe architect to speak of buildings not according to himself but according to his neighbor; according to another man's knowledge, not according to his own."
"I, who travel most often for my pleasure, do not direct myself so badly. If it looks ugly on the right, I take the left; if I findmyself unfit to ride my horse, I stop.... Have I left something unseen behind me? I go back; it is still on my road. I trace no fixed line, either straight or crooked."
"The advantage of living is not measured by length, but by use; some people have lived long, and lived little; attend to it while you are in it. It lies in your will, not in the number of years, for you to have lived enough."
"Strong emotional experiences are for the most part impersonal. Anyone who has hated another person so much that only chance standsbetween that person and death knows this, as does whoever has fallen into the catastrophe of a deep depression, anyone who has loved a woman to the dregs, anyone who has beaten others bloody or ever come up behind another person with muscles trembling. "Losing one's head," language calls it. Emotional experience is, in itself, poor in qualities; qualities are brought to it by the person who has the experience."
"The probability of learning something unusual from a newspaper is far greater than that of experiencing it; in other words, it isin the realm of the abstract that the more important things happen in these times, and it is the unimportant that happens in real life."
"Quidquid luce fuit tenebris agit: but also the other way around. What we experience in dreams, so long as we experience it frequently, is in the end just as much a part of the total economy of our soul as anything we "really" experience: because of it we are richer or poorer, are sensitive to one need more or less, and are eventually guided a little by our dream-habits in broad daylight and even in the most cheerful moments occupying our waking spirit."
"Everyone nowadays lives through too much and thinks through too little: they have a ravenous appetite and colic at the same time so that they keep getting thinner and thinner no matter how much they eat.--Whoever says nowadays, "I have not experienced anything"--is a simpleton."