Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

French Philosopher

Author Quotes

The universe is a machine for creating gods.

A situation is always comic if it participates simultaneously in two series of events which are absolutely independent of each other, and if it can be interpreted in two quite different meanings.

I would say act like a man of thought and think like a man of action.

Only those ideas that are least truly ours can be adequately expressed in words.

The vital spirit. L'‚lan vital.

Action on the move creates its own route, creates to a very great extent the conditions under which it is to be fulfilled and thus baffles all calculation.

In its entirety, probably, it follows us at every instant, all that we have felt, thought and willed from our earliest infancy is there, leaning over the present which is about to join it, pressing against the portals of consciousness that would fain leave it outside.

Our laughter is always the laughter of a group.

There are manifold tones of mental life, or, in other words, our psychic life may be lived at different heights, now nearer to action, now further removed from it, according to the degree of our attention to life.

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.

There is no greater joy than that of feeling oneself a creator. The triumph of life is expressed by creation.

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

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.

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.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson
Birth Date
Death Date

French Philosopher