"Life is a long Dardenelles, My Dear Madam, the shores whereof are bright with flowers, which we want to pluck, but the bank is too high; and so we float on and on, hoping to come to a landing-place at last--but swoop! we launch into the great sea! Yet the geographers say, even then we must not despair, because across the great sea, however desolate and vacant it may look, lie all Persia and the delicious lands roundabout Damascus."
"... the reason I keep doing it is for the tremendous rush I get at the end of any great swim.... there is ... nothing greater than touching the shore after crossing some great body of water knowing that I've done it with my own two arms and legs.... I'm overwhelmed by the strength of my body and the power of my mind. For one moment, just one second, I feel immortal."
"... if it be true that death is annihilation, then the man who believes that he will certainly go straight to heaven when he dies, provided he has fulfilled certain simply observances in this life, has a cheap pleasure which will not be followed by the least disappointment."
"Immortality is what nature possesses without effort and without anybody's assistance, and immortality is what the mortals must therefore try to achieve if they want to live up to the world into which they were born, to live up to the things which surround them and to whose company they are admitted for a short while."
"Every idea is endowed of itself with immortal life, like a human being. All created form, even that which is created by man, is immortal. For form is independent of matter: molecules do not constitute form."
"Nothing can be plainer, than that the motions, changes, decays, and dissolutions, which we hourly see befall natural bodies (and which is what we mean by the course of nature), cannot possibly affect an active, simple, uncompounded substance: such a being therefore is indissoluble by the force of nature, that is to say, the soul of man is naturally immortal."
"Films and gramophone records, music, books and buildings show clearly how vigorously a man's life and work go on after his "death," whether we feel it or not, whether we are aware of the individual names or not.... There is no such thing as death according to our view!"
"I had a strong curiosity to be satisfied if he persisted in disbelieving a future state even when he had death before his eyes.... I asked him if the thought of annihilation never gave him any uneasiness. He said not the least.... "Well," said I, "Mr. Hume, I hope to triumph over you when I meet you in a future state; and remember you are not to pretend that you was joking with all this infidelity." "No, no," said he. "But I shall have been so long there before you come that it will be nothing new."
"My wife, who does not like journalizing, said it was leaving myself embowelled to posterity--a good strong figure. But I think it is rather leaving myself embalmed. It is certainly preserving myself."
"Theorists may say what they like about a man's children being a continuation of his own identity, but it will generally be found that those who talk in this way have no children of their own. Practical family men know better."