Forever Under Construction

Von Goethe

Posted in Quote by homeyra on December 13, 2006

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These days I was busy reading Goethe, also reading about him. I also like quotes, here are a few from Von G.

It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.

Hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture.

Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.

There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight. (This reminds me of this)

A person hears only what they understand.

There is no crime of which I do not deem myself capable.

We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.

The senses do not deceive us, but the judgment does.

No one should be rich except those who understand it.

We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.

More light!

Everything has been thought of before, but the problem is to think of it again.

I do not speak of what I cannot praise.

The man of understanding finds everything laughable.

If you treat an individual… as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.

The little man is still a man.

Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.

Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.

The best government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves.

Freedom consists not in refusing to recognize anything above us, but in respecting something which is above us; for by respecting it, we raise ourselves to it, and, by our very acknowledgment, prove that we bear within ourselves what is higher, and are worthy to be on a level with it

What is important in life is life, and not the result of life.

5 Responses

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  1. afriendtohumanity said, on December 14, 2006 at 7:22 am

    Hi Homeyra,

    I really like this post. In particular:

    “It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.”

    Reminds me a little of the following from John F. Kennedy:

    “Too often we…enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

    I think this is rampant in American politics and among many of the more outspoken. We probably all do this more or less. I think we often get lost in debate and we miss the mark when it comes to truly understanding issues and working together for the common good.

  2. homeyra said, on December 14, 2006 at 11:56 am

    Hi DFTH, I am glad you that you liked this post, indeed JFK seems to point out the same direction. I can’t but agree with you, you see it in US and I see it here.

    ” I think we often get lost in debate and we miss the mark when it comes to truly understanding issues and working together for the common good.”

    Absolutely, I wonder how in this “free” blogging community we could be able to do something more than what we are doing so far.

  3. musicalchef said, on December 14, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    Have you seen his poem, “Song of Muhammad?” It’s interesting.

  4. homeyra said, on December 14, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    Not yet Musicalchef, Mahomets-Gesang…
    if it interests you, there is an online selection of the West-Easterner Divan:
    http://www.arch.ksu.edu/seamon/articles/goethe_essay.htm

  5. pen Name said, on January 26, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Try his East-West Divan; dedicated to Hafiz.

    There is a rhyming translation available in English.


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