Absence

The central problem of our age is how to act decisively in the absence of certainty.

Human life is thus only a perpetual illusion; men deceive and flatter each other. No one speaks of us in our presence as he does of us in our absence. Human society is founded on mutual deceit; few friendships would endure if each knew what his friend said of him in his absence, although he then spoke in sincerity and without passion. Man is, then, only disguise, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in himself and in regard to others. He does not wish any one to tell him the truth; he avoids telling it to others, and all these dispositions, so removed from justice and reason, have a natural root in his heart. I set it down as a fact that if all men know what each said to the other, there would not be four friends in the world.

Few friendships would endure if each party knew what his friend said about him in his absence, even when speaking sincerely and dispassionately.

Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it enkindles the great.

Our hours in love have wings; in absence crutches.

In the absence of discriminating thoughts, the mind as we know it ceases to exist. Our suffering - our feeling of discomfort, alienation, loneliness - arises because we create a dualistic way of perceiving everything that separates us from the external. When we view the so-called external phenomenal world as distinct from ourselves, then fear arises, fear that we will lose our lives, that we may not continue to exist. Out of that fear come anger, jealousy, greed, hatred, aversion, attachment - all kinds of clinging. All our problems arise out of seeing ourselves as separate entities. We cling to what we perceive as me; my physical body and my ideas, my mind, my thoughts, my understanding, my beliefs, my concepts, my opinions.

They have not wanted peace at all; they have wanted to be spared war - as though the absence of war was the same as peace.

Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict – alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.

Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict - alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.

Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire.

The greatest joy in nature is the absence of man.

Language was invented to ask questions. Answers may be given by grunts and gestures, but questions must be spoken. Humanness came of age when man asked the first question. Social stagnation results not from the lack of answers but from the absence of the impulse to ask questions.

The Occasion of the imagined Difficulty in conceiving disinterested Desires, has probably been from the attempting to define this simple Idea, Desire. It is called an uneasy Sensation in the absence of Good. Whereas Desire is as distinct from any Sensation, as the Will is from the Understanding or Senses. This every one must acknowledge, who speaks of desiring to remove Uneasiness or Pain.

Absence in love is like water upon fire; a little quickens, but much extinguishes it.

People think responsibility is hard to bear. It's not. I think that sometimes it is the absence of responsibility that is harder to bear. You have a great feeling of impotence.

Absolute liberty is absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to himself.

Peace is not merely an absence of war. It is also a state of mind.

Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.