Irvin D. Yalom

Irvin D.

American Existentialist Psychiatrist, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, Fiction and Nonfiction Author

Author Quotes

I think we ripple on into others, just like a stone puts its ripples into a brook. That, for me, too, is a source of comfort. It kind of, in a sense, negates the sense of total oblivion. Some piece of ourselves, not necessarily our consciousness, but some piece of ourselves gets passed on and on and on.

If we climb high enough, we will reach a height from which tragedy ceases to look tragic.

It?s often pretty hard to speak to others about my cancer. I have a number of pet peeves. Many folks are overly solicitous. They can?t do enough for you. There?s that Kaiser nurse who keeps asking Isn?t there someone who can drive you here? And some people are too prying. I think they are voyeuristic and attempt to satisfy their morbid curiosity about having cancer. I don?t like that and have sometimes wanted to say, Go get your own damn fatal illness.

Lucretius 'maxim:' Where I am, death is not; death is where, I am not.

Nietzsche's message to us was to live life in such a way that we would be willing to repeat the same life eternally.

Only someone who can live like an eagle courageous, able to offer another * love it, just wish him the ability to have a transcendental existence to another. A good marriage can only exist if there are any two people is not necessary to stay alive.

She attempted to deal with her ??terror in a most ineffective and magical mode-a mode that I have seen many patients use: she attempted to elude death by refusing to live.

Substance or essence, is what exists by itself and is conceived by itself, a reason it needs to understand that it is nothing else, give the perception of nature.

The human being either asserts autonomy by heroic self-assertion or seeks safety through fusing with a superior force: that is, one either emerges or merges, separates or embeds. One becomes one?s own parent or remains the eternal child.

The single most characteristic aspect of contemporary inpatient treatment programs is their astonishing range and variation. When I visit outpatient clinics around the United States, I invariably find therapeutic group programs to be broadly consistent from one clinic to another. However, in contemporary inpatient units there exists a blooming profusion of types of groups, of leader strategies and techniques, of patterns of composition, and of duration and frequency of meetings. One's head spins at such abundance: either it represents a great burst of creativity simultaneously erupting in inpatient hospitals all over the country, or it reflects significant and lamentable chaos in the field.

Time cannot be broken; that is our greatest burden. And our greatest challenge is to live in spite of that burden.

We cannot understand the Bible in the language of today. We must be aware of the common language when writing has been developed, and the language read about two thousand years ago

Whether I will live a long time or a short time, I?m alive now, at this moment. What I want is to know that there are other things to hope for besides length of life. What I want to know is that it isn?t necessary to turn away from thoughts of suffering or death but neither is it necessary to give these thoughts too much time and space. What I want is to be intimate with the knowledge that life is temporary. And then, in the light (or shadow) of that knowledge, to know how to live. How to live now.

I thought it was like a rudderless boat was solved from the cleat - but a boat with emotions desperately seeking a shelter, either. Now, among the obsessions, Thelma was in a rare state of free association. Right now expected. Such steps do not last long: the unattached persistent man, such as oxygen just released quickly associated with a mental image or idea. This moment was the crucial time to work, this short break between obsessions - before Thelma regain her balance by binding to something or someone.

If we hope for more significant therapeutic change, we must encourage our patients to assume responsibility?that is, to apprehend how they themselves contribute to their distress.

It's not easy to live every moment wholly aware of death. It's like trying to stare the sun in the face: you can stand only so much of it. Because we cannot live frozen in fear, we generate methods to soften death's terror. We project ourselves into the future through our children; we grow rich, famous, ever larger; we develop compulsive protective rituals; or we embrace an impregnable belief in an ultimate rescuer.

Lust is gnawing our heels a bitch! And this is a very good skill to beg for a piece of spirit when a piece of meat withheld from the bitch.

No part of us escapes the destiny of aging.

Only the wounded healer can truly heal.

She may have played her role, but you, what role did you play? Were you, and I, so different from her? Did you see her? Or did you, instead, see only prey--a disciple, a plow-land for your thoughts, a successor? Or perhaps, like me, you saw beauty, youth a satin pillow, a vessel into which to drain your lust.

Sun, stand still for Joshua great victory! Legend has it? Ancient people, believed the sun moves and the earth is motionless! Now we know the earth rotates around the sun. The evidence for this is to say that human error is involved in making the Bible. Bible / translation interpretation

The imp of doubt continued to make its presence known.

The spirit of a man is constructed out of his choices.

Time will be immortalized. Devours everything and then do something.

We should put a limit to our desires, we restrain their appetites and control our anger, always keeping in mind that the individual can acquire only some of those infinitely small things worth possessed.

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American Existentialist Psychiatrist, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, Fiction and Nonfiction Author