Instinct

The most intelligent men, like the strongest, find their happiness where others would find only disaster: in the labyrinth, in being hard with themselves and with others, in effort; their delight is self-mastery; in them asceticism becomes second nature, a necessity, an instinct.

The most spiritual human beings, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in severity towards themselves and others, in attempting; their joy lies in self-constraint: with them asceticism becomes nature, need, instinct.

Civilized people cannot fully satisfy their sexual instinct without love.

Conscience is that peculiar faculty of the soul which may be called the religious instinct.

The soul, by an instinct stronger than reason, ever associates beauty with truth.

With the exception of the instinct of self-preservation, the propensity for emulation is probably the strongest and most alert and persistent of the economic motives proper.

In the conduct of life, habits count for more than maxims; because habit is a living maxim, becomes flesh and instinct. To reform one's maxims is nothing: it is but to change the title of the book. To learn new habits is.

Competition, which is the instinct of selfishness, is another word for dissipation of energy, while combination is the secret of efficient production.

The ultimate test of the laughing instinct is that a man should always be ready to laugh at himself.

Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule. Nevertheless one had better know the rules, for they sometimes guide in doubtful cases, though not often.

To live is like to love - all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it.

It may be difficult, too, for many of us, to abandon the belief that there is an instinct towards perfection at work in human beings, which has brought them to their present high level of intellectual achievement and ethical sublimation and which may be expected to watch over their development as supermen. I have no faith, however, in the existence of any such internal instinct and I cannot see how this benevolent illusion is to be preserved. The present development of human beings requires, as it seems to me, no different explanation from that of animals. What appears in a minority of human individuals as an untiring impulsion towards further perfection can easily be understood as a result of the instinctual repression upon which is based all that is most precious in human civilization.

A good man, through obscurest aspirations, has still an instinct of the one true way.

An instinct is an agent which performs blindly and ignorantly a work of intelligence and knowledge.

[Music] It reveals us to ourselves, it represents those modulations and temperamental changes which escape all verbal analysis, it utters what must else remain forever unuttered and unutterable; it feeds that deep, ineradicable instinct within us of which all art is only the reverberated echo, that craving to express, through the medium of the senses, the spiritual and eternal realties which underlie them.

Things as they are are changed when we demonstrate a new reality. A very small change in perception can result in a change in behavior and, cumulatively, in a very large change in cultural patterns. Our purpose and destiny are encoded within us. But they do not automatically propel us to the next act in our day, let alone the next stage in our evolution. Our Fourth Instinct allows us to see that next stage, and our free will enables us to act on it so that it can become a reality.

Music moves us, and we know not why; we feel the tears but cannot trace their source. Is the language of some other state, born of its memory? For what can wake the soul's strong instinct of another world like music?

Life is first boredom, then fear. Whether or not we use it, it goes, and leaves what something hidden from us chose, and age, and then the only end of age... Time has transfigured them into untruth. The stone fidelity they hardly meant has come to be their final blazon, and to prove our almost-instinct almost true: what will survive of us is love.

When reason and instinct are reconciled, there will be no higher appeal.

Conscience is the voice of the soul, the passions are the voice of the body. Is it astonishing that often these two languages contradict each other, and then to which must we listen? Too often reason deceives us; we have only to listen too much acquired the right of refusing to listen to it; but conscience never deceives us; it is the true guide of man; it is to man what instinct is to the body, which follows it, obeys nature, and never is afraid of going astray.