THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING QUOTES

“There is no perfection, only life.”

“True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power.”

“Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost.”

“Tomas did not realize at the time that metaphors are dangerous. Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give birth to love.”

“It seems to me that once if one gets involved in a feeling and tries to make a definition of it, it loses its reality.”

“The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become.”

“We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.”

“The only way to deal seriously with death is to live intensely.”

“Human lives are composed like music. Guided by his sense of beauty, an individual transforms a fortuitous occurrence (Beethoven’s music, death under a train) into a motif, which then assumes a permanent place in the composition of the individual’s life.”

“We are not alone in this tragedy. The world was never as quiet and empty as it has become over the past few years.”

“We all need someone to look at us. We can be divided into four categories according to the way we are perceived: the way we see ourselves, the way others see us, the way we think others see us, and the way we want others to see us.”

“Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress.”

“Making love with a woman and sleeping with a woman are two separate passions, not merely different but opposite. Love does not make itself felt in the desire for copulation (a desire that extends to an infinite number of women) but in the desire for shared sleep (a desire limited to one woman).”

“The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful.”

“The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in the love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man’s body.”

“We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.”

“A song has a virtue of its own; a song is free of every other virtue.”

“For there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”

“When a person dies, his likeness fades quickly and is replaced by a multitude of details unrelated to his personality.”

“When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.”

“Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo.”

“The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life’s most intense fulfillment.”

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.”

“Strong characters are brought out by change in action.”

“Living means constantly learning about oneself.”

“No one can lie, no one can hide anything, when he looks directly into someone’s eyes.”

“To paraphrase Simone Weil: ‘He who has not God in his heart must have stones.'”

“A person can get used to anything, even to being loved.”

“An inability to stay quiet is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind.”

“To paraphrase Hegel, I understand my work as the history of the working out of the self-awareness of existence.”