Havelock Ellis, fully Henry Havelock Ellis

Ellis, fully Henry Havelock Ellis

British Physician and Psychologist, Writer and Social Reformer

Author Quotes

There is no Gain in the world: so be it: but neither is there any Loss. There is never any failure to this infinite freshness of life, and the ancient novelty is forever renewed. We realize the world better if we imagine it, not as a Progress to Prim Perfection, but as the sustained up-leaping of a Fountain, the pillar of a Glorious Flame. For, after all, we cannot go beyond the ancient image of Heraclitus, the Ever-living Flame, kindled in due measure and in the like measure extinguished. That translucent and mysterious Flame shines undyingly before our eyes, never for two moments the same, and always miraculously incalculable, an ever-flowing stream of fire. The world is moving, men tell us, to this, to that, to the other. Do not believe them! Men have never known what the world is moving to. Who foresaw to say nothing of older and vaster events the Crucifixion? What Greek or Roman in his most fantastic moments prefigured our thirteenth century? What Christian foresaw the Renaissance? Who

Thinking in its lower grades, is comparable to paper money, and in its higher forms it is a kind of poetry.

This means that sex gradually becomes intertwined with all the highest and subtlest human emotions and activities, with the refinements of social intercourse, with high adventure in every sphere, with art, with religion.

The second great channel through which the impulse towards the control of procreation for the elevation of the race is entering into practical life is by the general adoption, by the educated—of methods for the prevention of conception except when conception is deliberately desired.

Those persons who are burning to display heroism may rest assured that the course of social evolution will offer them every opportunity.

The sexual embrace can only be compared with music and with prayer.

Thus, to sum up, we may say that the sexual energy of the organism is a mighty force, automatically generated throughout life.

The sexual regions constitute a particularly vulnerable spot, and remain so even in man, and the need for their protection which thus exists conflicts with the prominent display required for sexual allurement. This end is far more effectively attained, with greater advantage and less disadvantage, by concentrating the chief ensigns of sexual attractiveness on the upper and more conspicuous parts of the body. This method is well-nigh universal among animals as well as in man.

To be a leader of men one must turn one's back on men.

The sun and the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago... had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.

To live remains an art which everyone must learn, and which no one can teach.

The text of the Bible is but a feeble symbol of the Revelation held in the text of Men and Women.

To make a mountain of a mole-hill.

The things that fill men and women with beauty and exhilaration, and spur them to actions beyond themselves, are the things that are now needed.

War has no part, though competition has a very large part, in what we call ‘Nature’.

The use of expanding bullets and poison gases, the poisoning of wells, the abuse of the Red Cross and the White Flag, the destruction of churches and works of art, the infliction of cruel penalties on civilians who have not taken up arms—all such methods of warfare as these shock popular morality.

We cannot be sure that we ought not to regard the most criminal country as that which in some aspects possesses the highest civilization.

The world's greatest thinkers have often been amateurs; for high thinking is the outcome of fine and independent living, and for that a professional chair offers no special opportunities.

We cannot remain consistent with the world save by growing inconsistent with our past selves.

There are endless theories of education but no agreement concerning the value of any of them, and the whole question of education remains open. I am here concerned less with the duty of parents in relation to their children than with the duty of children in relation to their parents, and that means that I am not concerned with young children, to whom, that duty still presents no serious problems, since they have not yet developed a personality with self-conscious individual needs.

We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide.

There are some idealistic persons who believe that morality and war are incompatible. War is bestial, they hold, war is devilish; in its presence it is absurd, almost farcical, to talk about morality.

We must not suppose—as is too often assumed—that sublimation can be carried out easily, completely, or even with unmixed advantage. If it were so, certainly the old-fashioned moralist would be confronted by few difficulties, but we have ample reason to believe that it is not so. It is with sexual energy, well observes Freud, who yet attaches great importance to sublimation, as it is with heat in our machines: only a certain proportion can be transformed into work.

There has never been any country at every moment so virtuous and so wise that it has not sometimes needed to be saved from itself.

What we call 'morals' is simply blind obedience to words of command.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Ellis, fully Henry Havelock Ellis
Birth Date
Death Date

British Physician and Psychologist, Writer and Social Reformer