Respiration Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
When a person dies, they cross over from the realm of freedom to the realm of slavery. Life is freedom, and dying is a gradual denial of freedom. Consciousness first weakens and then disappears. The life-processes - respiration, the metabolism, the circulation - continue for some time, but an irrevocable move has been made towards slavery; consciousness, the flame of freedom, has died out. The stars have disappeared from the night sky; the Milky Way has vanished; the sun has gone out; Venus, Mars and Jupiter have been extinguished; millions of leaves have died; the wind and the oceans have faded away; flowers have lost their colour and fragrance; bread has vanished; water has vanished; even the air itself, the sometimes cool, sometimes sultry air, has vanished. The universe inside a person has ceased to exist. This universe is astonishingly similar to the universe that exists outside people. It is astonishingly similar to the universes still reflected within the skulls of millions of living people. But still more astonishing is the fact that this universe had something in it that distinguished the sound of its ocean, the smell of its flowers, the rustle of its leaves, the hues of its granite and the sadness of its autumn fields both from those of every other universe that exists and ever has existed within people, and from those of the universe that exists eternally outside people. What constitutes the freedom, the soul of an individual life, is its uniqueness. The reflection of the universe in someone's consciousness is the foundation of his or her power, but life only becomes happiness, is only endowed with freedom and meaning when someone exists as a whole world that has never been repeated in all eternity. Only then can they experience the joy of freedom and kindness, finding in others what they have already found in themselves.

Vasily Grossman
The studio was immense and gloomy, the sole light within it proceeding from a stove, around which the three were seated. Although they were bold, and of the age when men are most jovial, the conversation had taken, in spite of their efforts to the contrary, a reflection from the dull weather without, and their jokes and frivolity were soon exhausted. In addition to the light which issued from the crannies in the stove, there was another emitted from a bowl of spirits, which was ceaselessly stirred by one of the young men, as he poured from an antique silver ladle some of the flaming spirit into the quaint old glasses from which the students drank. The blue flame of the spirit lighted up in a wild and fantastic manner the surrounding objects in the room, so that the heads of old prophets, of satyrs, or Madonnas, clothed in the same ghastly hue, seemed to move and to dance along the walls like a fantastic procession of the dead; and the vast room, which in the day time sparkled with the creations of genius, seemed now, in its alternate darkness and sulphuric light, to be peopled with its dreams. Each time also that the silver spoon agitated the liquid, strange shadows traced themselves along the walls, hideous and of fantastic form. Unearthly tints spread also upon the hangings of the studio, from the old bearded prophet of Michael Angelo to those eccentric caricatures which the artist had scrawled upon his walls, and which resembled an army of demons that one sees in a dream, or such as Goya has painted; whilst the lull and rise of the tempest without but added to the fantastic and nervous feeling which pervaded those within. Besides this, to add to the terror which was creeping over the three occupants of the room, each time that they looked at each other they appeared with faces of a blue tone, with eyes fixed and glittering like live embers, and with pale lips and sunken cheeks; but the most fearful object of all was that of a plaster mask taken from the face of an intimate friend but lately dead, which, hanging near the window, let the light from the spirit fall upon its face, turned three parts towards them, which gave it a strange, vivid, and mocking expression. All people have felt the influence of large and dark rooms, such as Hoffmann has portrayed and Rembrandt has painted; and all the world has experienced those wild and unaccountable terrors - panics without a cause - which seize on one like a spontaneous fever, at the sight of objects to which a stray glimpse of the moon or a feeble ray from a lamp gives a mysterious form; nay, all, we should imagine, have at some period of their lives found themselves by the side of a friend, in a dark and dismal chamber, listening to some wild story, which so enchains them, that although the mere lighting of a candle could put an end to their terror, they would not do so; so much need has the human heart of emotions, whether they be true or false. So it was upon the evening mentioned. The conversation of the three companions never took a direct line, but followed all the phases of their thoughts; sometimes it was light as the smoke which curled from their cigars, then for a moment fantastic as the flame of the burning spirit, and then again dark, lurid, and sombre as the smile which lit up the mask from their dead friend's face. At last the conversation ceased altogether, and the respiration of the smokers was the only sound heard; and their cigars glowed in the dark, like Will-of-the-wisps brooding o'er a stagnant pool. It was evident to them all, that the first who should break the silence, even if he spoke in jest, would cause in the hearts of the others a start and tremor, for each felt that he had almost unwittingly plunged into a ghastly reverie. ("The Dead Man's Story")

James Hain Friswell
1. Lesen ist ein bloeŸes Surrogat des eigenen Denkens. Man le¤eŸt dabei seine Gedanken von dem Andern am Ge¤ngelbande fe¼hren. [... ] Lesen soll man nur dann, wann auch die Quelle der eigenen Gedanken stockt; was auch beim besten Kopfe oft genug der Fall seyn wird. Hingegen die eigenen, urkre¤ftigen Gedanken verscheuchen, um ein Buch zur Hand zu nehmen, ist Se¼nde wider den heiligen Geist. Man gleicht alsdann Dem, der aus der freien Natur flieht, um ein Herbarium zu besehn, oder um sche¶ne Gegenden im Kupferstiche zu betrachten. 2. Wann wir lesen, denkt ein Anderer fe¼r uns: wir wiederholen bloeŸ den mentalen ProzeeŸ. Es ist damit, wie wenn beim Schreibenlernen der Sche¼ler die vom Lehrer mit Bleistift geschriebenen Ze¼ge mit der Feder nachzieht. Demnach ist beim Lesen die Arbeit des Denkens un zum groeŸen Theile abgenommen. Daher die fe¼hlbare Erleichterung, wenn wir von der Besche¤ftigung mit unseren eigenen Gedanken zum Lesen e¼bergehn. Eben daher kommt es auch, daeŸ wer sehr viel und fast den ganzen Tag liest, dazwischen aber sich in gedankenlosem Zeitvertreibe erholt, die Fe¤higkeit, selbst zu denken, allme¤lig verliert, - wie Einer, der immer reitet, zuletzt das Gehn verlernt. Solches aber ist der Fall sehr vieler Gelehrten: sie haben sich dumm gelesen. Denn beste¤ndiges, in jedem freien Augenblicke sogleich wieder aufgenommenes Lesen ist noch geistesle¤hmender, als beste¤ndige Handarbeit; da man bei dieser doch den eigenen Gedanken nachhe¤ngen kann. Aber wie eine Springfeder durch den anhaltenden Druck eines fremden Ke¶rpers ihre Elasticite¤t endlich einbe¼eŸt; so der Geist die seine, durch fortwe¤hrendes Aufdringen fremder Gedanken. Und wie man durch zu viele Nahrung den Magen verdirbt und dadurch dem ganzen Leibe schadet; so kann man auch durch zu viele Geistesnahrung den Geist e¼berfe¼llen und ersticken. Denn selbst das Gelesene eignet man sich erst durch spe¤teres Nachdenken dare¼ber an, durch Rumination. Liest man hingegen immerfort, ohne spe¤terhin weiter daran zu denken; so faeŸt es nichtWurzel und geht meistens verloren: Ueberhaupt aber geht es mit der geistigen Nahrung nicht anders, als mit der leibichen: kaum der funfzigste Theil von dem, was man zu sich nimmt, wird assimilirt: das Uebrige geht durch Evaporation, Respiration, oder sonst ab.

Arthur Schopenhauer
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