Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson
Genius is that which forces the inertia of humanity to learn.
Laughter is the corrective force which prevents us from becoming cranks.
The only cure for vanity is laughter, and the only fault that is laughable is vanity.
Homo sapiens, the only creature endowed with reason, is also the only creature to pin it's existence on things unreasonable
Life does not proceed by the association and addition of elements, but by dissociation and division.
The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause.
I believe that the time given to refutation in philosophy is usually time lost. Of the many attacks directed by many thinkers against each other, what now remains? Nothing, or assuredly very little. That which counts and endures is the modicum of positive truth which each contributes. The true statement is, of itself, able to displace the erroneous idea, and becomes, without our having taken the trouble of refuting anyone, the best of refutations.
Men do not sufficiently realize that their future is in their own hands. Theirs is the task of determining first of all whether they want to go on living or not. Theirs is the responsibility, then, for deciding if they want merely to live, or intend to make just the extra effort required for fulfilling, even on this refractory planet, the essential function of the universe, which is a machine for the making of gods.
The prestige of the Nobel Prize is due to many causes, but in particular to its twofold idealistic and international character: idealistic in that it has been designed for works of lofty inspiration; international in that it is awarded after the production of different countries has been minutely studied and the intellectual balance sheet of the whole world has been drawn up. Free from all other considerations and ignoring any but intellectual values, the judges have deliberately taken their place in what the philosophers have called a community of the mind.
There is no greater joy than that of feeling oneself a creator. The triumph of life is expressed by creation.
To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
An innate knowledge, or rather an acquired ignorance, suggests to it straightaway the step to be taken, the decisive act, the unanswerable word. Yet effort remains indispensable, endurance and perseverance likewise. But they come of themselves, they develop of their own accord, in a soul acting and acted upon, whose liberty coincides with the divine activity.
In the religion which we shall call dynamic, prayer is independent of its verbal expression; it is an elevation of the soul that can dispense with speech.
It is the emotion which drives the intelligence forward in spite of obstacles.
It is… by the superiority of its morality that a religion wins over souls and reveals them to a certain conception of things.
Mysticism is undoubtedly at the origin of great moral transformations. And mankind seems to be as far away as ever from it. But who knows?
The great error of the doctrines on the spirit has been the idea that by isolating the spiritual life from all the rest, by suspending it in space as high as possible above the earth, they were placing it beyond attack, as if they were not thereby simply exposing it to be taken as an effect of mirage!
The soul of the great mystic does not stop at ecstasy, as at the end of a journey. The ecstasy is indeed rest, if you like, but as though at a station, where the engine is still under steam, the onward movement becoming a vibration on one spot, until it is time to race forward again.
There is no happiness without security- I mean the prospect of being able to rely on the permanence of a state into which one has settled oneself. This assurance is to be found either in the mastering of things, or in the mastering of self which makes one independent of things.
Through religion all men get a little of what a few privileged souls possess in full.
True mystics open their souls to the oncoming wave.
We do not think in real time. But we live in it, because life is greater than intelligence.
What is found in the effect was already in the cause.